Archive for the ‘Ghosts’ Category

Strange is the writing world in these coronavirus stay-at-home days.  Often on this blog the action comes mainly toward the ends and beginnings of months.  It makes some sense, deadlines are often at ends of months for us, the writers, too, so why not let editors’/publishers’ schedules have similar times for sending acceptances, contracts, et al.?  Except that for this month things had to be different.

And so, after gaps of a week or more, we’ve had writing news the first three days of this week, just about exactly mid-month, on the 14th, 15th, and 16th of June.  And now, with only a single day skipped, on Thursday the 18th a “double-header” from The Great Void Books.  The Great Void, we might recall, is the publisher of my novelette “The Garden” in their speculative fiction anthology UNREAL (see March 28, 22, et al.).  But other genre-centric anthologies have been in the works as well and today brought not one, but two stories accepted for their ghost tales and crime books, respectively.

First, then, what was for me a sort of experimental story, using multiple points of view, “Pre-Owned Jeans” (originally published in 2010 in L&L Dreamspell’s DREAMSPELL NIGHTMARES), has been taken for SHATTERED VEIL, for ghost stories, of which Editor Aditya Deshmukh emailed this morning:  This is such a beautiful story.  The intriguing shop, the haunted clothes, and the just ending.  The two deciding to see each other at the end makes it even more beautiful. I ‘m glad to inform you that the story has been accepted.  Then second a novelette, “Madness” (originally from THE WITCHING HOUR by Silver Lake Publishing, 2001), a cross-genre tale of mean streets (and offices) in the city with intimations of witchcraft — or is it? — will be coming out in The Great Void’s crime fiction anthology, WATER TURNS RED, for which Aditya said later this afternoon:  The story kept me hooked until the end. Glad to inform you that I’m accepting the story for the anthology.

And there we are, to which Aditya has added for both:  More details soon.

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Then one more tidbit, discovered today, the aforementioned UNREAL with my biochemical novelette “The Garden” is available on Amazon now, as of June 15, in both paperback and Kindle editions. For more details on that one, press here.

Maybe not that new, it actually was posted last May, but that just shows I don’t check Goodreads as often as I probably should.  The reviewer is James Agombar and what’s especially nice is he offers a detailed story by story description, though admittedly with possibly one or two spoilers.  Also some stories don’t go over as well with him as others — two going as low as two stars out of five! — though he admits that those might be a matter of taste.  And, best of all, his overall score for the book is a full five!

As he concludes:  . . . I love the way James Dorr crafts his stories and the strangeness fuses well with his style and clarity.  This mixture represents just what he is capable of in terms of diversity and I’d recommend this anthology to anybody if they are wanting something different to the run of the mill blueprint that publishers seem to want with short stories nowadays.  An excellent and strange journey awaits you in top literal form.  But see for yourself by pressing here (from which you can also click the book’s title at the top for its main Goodreads page, including links for purchasing should one so desire).

Sunday afternoon was Bloomington Writers Guild “First Sunday Prose Reading and Open Mic” day (cf. October 6, May 5, et al.) at local tavern Bear’s Place.  As of last month, there have been two featured readers rather than three to give sufficient time for open mike readers and still be cleared before 5:00 p.m. (at which time the Ryder Film Series has scheduled screenings), this month’s being Andy Hubbard with several books of both prose and poetry who, in the spirit of “Days of the Dead,” read four poetry-like shorts on ghosts and hauntings both in the rural midwest and coastal Maine; followed by me with “Ghost Ship,” a tale set in the universe of my mosaic novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH of a “Flying Dutchman” type figure’s appearance on a far future ocean, originally published in TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU as well as reprinted just last month in BLACK INFINITY (see October 28, 21, et al.; also April 28 2013 et al.).

After a break (which included shared candy courtesy of Antonia Matthew, who we’ve met before), the “Open Mic” portion drew only three readers this time, the last being Andy whose scheduled presentation had run a bit short with two more extra-brief ghostly poem-stories.

Set in the “universe” of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, but an ancillary story not in that volume, “Ghost Ship” was first published in TECHNO-GOTH CTHULHU in 2013.  But again on the haunt, with Halloween coming, it has more recently been in the news with its acceptance, and then contract signing for a special “Derelicts” issue of science fiction journal BLACK ETERNITY (cf. September 15, August 11).  And so, again, it has materialized; from Editor Tom English:  Here’s “Ghost Ship” for review.  Please let me know if anything (text or formatting) needs adjusting.  If possible, please get back to me by Tuesday or sooner.  Thanks again!

So the writing life ticks on.  The issue will be BLACK INFINITY #5, set to be out later in October, in time for you-know-when.  And, the copy checked over and my reply sent, I’ll be looking forward to it in time for reading as ghosts and pirates and who knows what else flock to my door questing for Halloween candy.

The illustration is by artist and poet and current Horror Writers Association trustee Marge Simon, who some years ago challenged me to write a poem about it.  The result, titled “Émile’s Ghosts” (the title was also Marge’s, for the illustration), was published originally accompanied by the picture in ILLUMEN in Spring 2008 and also appears in my 2011 poetry collection, VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  And now it, still with the illustration at my suggestion if Marge was willing, has been published again in the HWA’s October NEWSLETTER, a special expanded Halloween issue, with a full dozen poets included, including such names as Linda Addison and Alessandro Manzetti, Michael A. Arnzen, Christina Sng, Stephane M. Wytovich . . . the list goes on.  So for HWA members, just press “Gallery of Poets” in the October NEWSLETTER (fourth from the bottom in the issue’s contents), then scroll down and down until you see the picture, the only illustration that’s there, with the poem to its left.

For those who might wonder whatever happened to the kickstarter for DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH (cf. July 10, et al.), there is now an answer.  Visitors may have noticed it’s been closed, but now the official word, that the closure is temporary — after a fashion.  That is, there will be a new kickstarter, most likely in September or October (authors [*ahem*] meanwhile will be paid), closer to an intended Valentine’s Day 2020 date for publication.  Also, according to Editor/Publisher Dickon Springate, it will be simpler that the aborted one, and noting the romantic aspect to the anthology’s contents, perhaps more inclusive to women readers.

To remind, DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH is an anthology of short creepy & emotional stories based around the idea of love evading the limitations of life & death . . . a mix of ghost stories / horror / thriller and erotic fiction [including] cross genre stories, with my part in it “The Sending,” originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, a ghost story/mystery set in an early-1930s Florida lighthouse.  (“The Sending” also has been reprinted in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE, for more information on which one may click on its picture in the center column.)

More information will be reported here as it becomes known.

Don’t be shy!  The kickstarter for DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH continues apace (see July 5, et al.), albeit a bit slowly.  Such is life, is it not?  But swag awaits, as well as good reading.  Beer mats and ball caps, plus digital copies of the book as well as in paper, plus special editions with two bonus stories for those who act quickly.  But act one must, this special promotion ends July 31!

A thought provoking dark fantasy anthology where Love follows Death, in the words of the publisher, and where that’s not always a bad thing.  The blurb continues:  Twenty Two fabulous inspired short stories, from a fresh line-up of authors, ensure that there will be something for everyone, and with many being on the macabre side of things, this anthology makes the perfect counter-programming read for those who want something a little different come Valentines Day.  A full contents page can be found on the kickstarter site by pressing here.  Other information as well includes associated merchandise — bookmarks, T-shirts — along with more literary rewards for various levels of support, plus pictures and short bios of the authors.

And may one remind, a good part of what’s pledged goes into the payment of us, the authors, for tales including my ghost story/mystery “The Sending,” of hurricanes, crime, lighthouses, and abandoned Spanish forts on the Florida coast in the 1930s.

We were told to watch for it on June 21 and now it is here, the kickstarter for DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH (see also, with table of contents, April 30), the book itself to be published on Valentine’s Day 2020.  This is the one for, to go back to the original call, short creepy & emotional stories based around the idea of love evading the limitations of life & death.  . . .  The genre will be a mix of ghost stories / horror / thriller and erotic fiction, cross genre stories are welcome.  In my case the story is a reprint originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE in December 1997, about gangsters and a ghost-inhabited lighthouse in early 1930s Florida (also reprinted in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES, which one may click on in the center column).  But more to the point, the kickstarter itself offers as prizes not just the book itself but a rather extensive selection of swag.

For example (and note, the money is British although I’m sure there’s a way to covert it if needed), for £89 : Full Monty backers package, comes with everything in the Essential Merchandise Collection, plus a baseball cap, second glow-in-the-dark T-Shirt, engraved shot glass, engraved whisky tumbler, 8 bookmarks and heat reactive magic Mug. Also comes with a standard paperback edition of the finished anthology and digital versions of other two back catalogue books. Group discounted at 10% of regular price.  Other choices include such things as a numbered, signed by the authors edition; your name inserted in one of the stories; a full-page ad at the end of the book  . . .  or to see for oneself, check it out here.

And remember, if contemplating an offer, the money pledged will also help (ahem!) pay the authors!

A thought provoking dark fantasy anthology where Love follows Death, and where that’s not always a bad thing.

Twenty Two fabulous inspired short stories, from a fresh line-up of authors, ensure that there will be something for everyone, and with many being on the macabre side of things, this anthology makes the perfect counter-programming read for those who want something a little different come Valentines Day.

The wheels grind slowly, but they keep grinding, this a small notice from an anthology called DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH, from Beyond Death Publishing, and a call to look over text for a Kickstarter campaign to begin soon which, hopefully, will add a bit more to author payments.  And so there is skin in the game for us all.  The blurb above pretty well describes the theme, with my story in it originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, about a lighthouse and a ghost lightkeeper titled “The Sending”* (see April 30, which also includes a table of contents).

So Thursday evening I sent back two small corrections for my bio copy, another small part of the life of the writer.  If all goes well, according to Editor/Publisher Dickon Springate, they’re aiming for a Valentine’s Day 2020 release.  But look for the Kickstarter much, much sooner with prizes spanning both books and keepsakes, like T-shirts and coffee mugs, to be announced on these pages when live.

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*”The Sending” has also been reprinted in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE, for which one can click on its picture in the center column.




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