Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

And now, as promised (see November 9), Lindsey Goddard’s interview for DIRTY LITTLE HORROR is here!  As some may have noticed, these interviews have been sort of frequent of late, as if there’s almost been one every month, and, while I can’t guarantee when the next one might be, there is a reason.  The hope is the word may spread not so much about me but that there’s a new book lurking in wherever it is one goes to find new books:  my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  And thus some may read it and, if so moved, will hopefully think it worth reviewing on their own blogs, Amazon, Goodreads, et al., and so spread the word further.
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Of course, someone could just find it interesting too.  So for the latest, including the dirt on not just TOMBS but THE TEARS OF ISIS as well, on the lure of dark fiction, on writing styles and whether I have one (or at least can describe it), on creating collections, and more . . . press here.
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So once upon a time, say a month or so before October, the Horror Writers Association was setting up a series of Halloween-related member columns to post, given sufficient participation, one or more a day in October up to the big night.  And so I wrote up a piece on how, in a university community with a lively arts scene, those of us too old for trick-or-treating and/or jaded on parties can always find things like mini spooky film festivals to help celebrate the season.  Calling it “No Place to Go for Halloween?” I wrapped it together with bio and social link material plus a raft of info on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, as participants were instructed to do (that is, to include information on latest books, projects, etc. — also, if desired, to offer prizes for those who commented and the like) and sent it in.
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Well. times were busy, and while I checked in at one point to see if my piece had been put on the schedule, I didn’t find it (or so I thought, though in retrospect it may be just that things weren’t final yet).  So I figured that maybe they couldn’t use it — no big deal, one can’t use everything.  So it goes.  And it being a busy time for me, I ended up failing to follow the feature myself after about the first week and a half .
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Silly me!  So yesterday afternoon (today being exactly one week after Halloween) I received an email from Coordinator Michele Brittany with contact information on those who had commented on my column.  It had in fact been used after all on October 21!
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And so, in lieu of having  announced it at the time, for those not members of the HWA or otherwise having missed “HALLOWEEN HAUNTS,” to see my part in it (and from there, if desired, to go to the other daily columns — just  click “HALLOWEEN” on the bar at the top) one may press here.

Sometimes this writing business plays out like a detective story.  A mysterious tag on an unknown Facebook page, or more properly speaking just a notice that there was a tag.  You follow it down.  An Amazon link.  And then it begins to come together. . . .

The inaugural volume of the HYPERION & THEIA anthology series features stories, poetry, and art that encapsulate festive revelry and otherworldly reversal:  Gods and Goddesses of old prepare for destruction.  A demonic circus delivers a haunting finale.  The Shebeast lurks in the forest and pulls at heartstrings.  Alien diet supplements wreak havoc in near-future San Francisco.  Three women conspire to break an oath with a wicked witch.  The Herculaneum Scrolls reveal the role of ancient aliens.  A Roman warrior and a warrior turned slave venture into the territory of a Queen of ancient Egypt.  Two cowboys track dark magic in the Wild Wild West.  Ghosts stuck in the mortal realm high off drugs.  You are a lone radio jockey after the apocalypse.

Thus saith the blurb found.  The plot revealed:  HYPERION & THEIA, VOLUME ONE:  SATURNALIA (cf. October 2, et al.), edited by Leah T. Brown and Elizabeth O. Smith and illustrated by Marga Biazzi, has as of October 18 (or 17, according to Amazon) been published — at least in electronic format, but with indication that a print edition should follow.  And, just as my “Golden Age” was the closing tale in ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (see October 10, et al.), a long poem of mine originally published in DARK DESTINY (White Wolf, 1994), “Dreaming Saturn,” is the opening entry in this book.  For more on which (including links to Amazon and others) press here.

More will be revealed as it becomes known.

Two quick items, the first that Gehenna and Hinnom’s YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY (see September 25, et al.) arrived in yesterday’s street mail just in time for a glance through on Halloween, which seemed sort of proper.  It is a big book, as noted before just from the contents, with my story in it a reprint from some years back titled “Flesh,” about a man who wishes to gain weight.  For more on YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 one can press here.

Then this morning I came across a short tale on Carrie Ann Golden’s A WRITER & HER ADOLESCENT MUSE blog, “A Halloween Haunt Story,” which is well in the spirit and can be read here.  But the thing is, then scroll down to the end and at the right is a link to “Author Interview:  James Dorr” — a rerun, as it were, of Carrie’s last year’s just-after-Halloween (cf. November 14 2016) interview of . . . moi.  So for still valid info on me, for those who may have missed it, on the not yet out TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH as well as THE TEARS OF ISIS, themes found in my writing, characterization, an excerpt from TOMBS, and other such lore, just give it a click as well.*

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*As now it happens (November 2) that the links below the story may change from day to day, mine no longer being in the slot.  So, if still interested in Carrie’s year ago interview of me, a direct link is here.

No need for a picture here on the posting, plenty are waiting for those who click the link.  And so for Saturday, three-days to go before Halloween, we have “Inside Germany’s Creepy American-Inspired Halloween Parks” by Nick Kirkpartick with photographs by Tomasz Lazar, on WASHINGTONPOST.COM.  And if that weren’t enough, watch for the links within to other Halloween-themed features.  For more, for the brave, your journey starts here.

Then also a quick reminder:  For those who receive THE HORROR TREE’s “Weekly Posts From the Horror Tree” roundup, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of today’s edition where their interviewee this time is . . . me.  Or scroll down here to October 22 where you’ll find the link when it first came out.

Today brings an email plus PDF proof from Editor Vince Gotera of the latest STAR*LINE for Fall 2017.  Please proof your piece(s) . . . as well as your listing(s) in the table of contents.  Could you please get back to me with any corrections ASAP?  In my case the page of interest is the twelfth with, sharing poems by Christine Sng and by R. Mac Jones, tucked neatly in at the bottom right my three-liner “Wet Work” (cf. October 13).  And this time, aha!, there was an error, one of the sort that would sneak past a computer spell-checker (whereas, ironically, the correct word might not).

So not to worry, I’ve sent back the change along with mailing and payment details.  More to come when the published issue arrives.

Tis the season, well into the run-up to Halloween.  Thus in today’s email, from C.P. Dunphey of Gehenna Publishing, [w]e are happy to announce that from the 25th-31st of October, we will discount all our titles to $0.99 on Amazon.  We may have some difficulty running the promotion for HINNOM MAGAZINE Issue 003, but rest assured, we will do our best to include the Halloween-themed issue in the lot.

We advise you to buckle up and prepare for one haunting Hallows’ Eve with these terrifying tales.

He says “all our titles” from which presumably not only the two already published issues of HINNOM MAGAZINE but YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY including my story “Flesh” (cf. September 25, et al.), among other books, will be included along with HINNOM’s third issue; also given the low sale price cited it’s most likely for electronic format, but no matter the details it sounds like a sale worth looking into, in less than ten days time.  More details here as they are learned.  And for those who can’t wait, YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY is available on Amazon now in both Kindle and paperback editions for which, to take a look, one can press here.

Also received from Bards and Sages Publishing, a galley proof for THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES, Volume 1, with its lead story by me, “By Force and Against the King’s Peace” (originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE; see January 19, et al.).  This will be the promised print collection of stand-alone electronic chapbooks that came out last year under the “Misfit Stories” aegis, hopefully to be out “in both large format trade paperback and hardcover for libraries” in time for Thanksgiving.

Friday the Thirteenth proper has revealed more good news too, at least so far.  At least from the writing standpoint, with a Friday publication of THREE DROPS FROM A CAULDRON, for Samhain 2017, by Britain’s Three Drops Press.  Although largely a book of poetry, my ingredient in the inculcation is a very short story, “School Nights,”* originally published in GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV:  THE FOLKLORE EDITION (Burial Day Books, 2014, cf. October 29 2014, et al.), about a young girl who . . . well . . . learns.  The book itself can be read for free by pressing here, with instructions also for purchase of a 74-page paperback edition for $7.32.

Then, speaking of money, another royalty has been received with again, as is my custom, neither publisher or amount revealed to avoid embarrassment.  Nevertheless, had it not been paid via Paypal anyway, the check would have covered the cost to mail it with some cash left over.

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*Oddly enough, the title seems to have been omitted from the contents page.  Look for the “School Nights” on page 22, following “Vampire Girls” and “House of Horrors.”

Who knows what Friday the Thirteenth will bring, but yesterday, Thursday the twelfth, was rather nice despite a gloomy, Octobery day.  The highlight, a first poetry acceptance for me by STAR*LINE new editor Vince Gotera, for a “horrorku” titled “Wet Work.”  Horrorku?  Well, it’s sort of supposed to be horror plus haiku though it’s really more just a three line poem with a vaguely 5-7-5 syllable count (mine is 5-7-4) on a horror subject, which in my case would more likely be epigrammatic, although not always.  But to the point, even if lacking walruses (cf. October 1) “Wet Work” does have a mermaid.

Then Thursday night brought the Bloomington Writers Guild co-sponsored “Second Thursday Players Pub Spoken Word Series” (cf. June 8, et al.) with, this time, a special reading performance of PREMIUM TAFT, a two-act play by Tom Trent, with musical interludes by Jason Fickel.  PREMIUM TAFT is, to read from the Facebook description, “[a] fictional time-traveling comedy about William Howard Taft’s whistle-stop presidential campaign appearance at the Mitchell Opera House in 1908 . . .  or maybe 1958?”  Or science fiction meets farce, in this case with an Indiana small-town ambience with grifters, politicos, greed, and rock ‘n’ roll.  And lots of fun.

This was followed by “open mic” presentations of which mine came in fourth of six, to an audience of about 15 people.  Noting that it had been a gloomy, Octobery day, ideal as a precursor for Halloween, I read four poems from VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), “Night Child,” “La Méduse,” “Moonlight Swimming,” and “Chagrin du Vampire.”

“Now comrades, I am finally convinced that a dream of mine — space travel — for which I have given the theoretical foundations, will be realized.  I believe that many of you will be witnesses of the first journey beyond the atmosphere.  In the Soviet Union we have many young pilots. . . (and) I place my most daring hopes in them.  They will help to actualize my discoveries and will prepare the gifted builders of the first space vehicle.  Heroes and men of courage will inaugurate the first airways:  Earth to Moon orbit, Earth to Mars orbit, and still farther; Moscow to the Moon, Kaluga to Mars!”

The square erupted in cheers, led by none other than the country’s leader Joseph Stalin.

Twenty-two years later, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite into space aboard the R-7 rocket.  After its flight into space on October 4, 1957 — 60 years ago today — Sputnik-1 quickly entered into legend, and struck fear in the United States about falling behind in the space race.  But such a momentous launch likely couldn’t have happened without Tsiolkovsky, a mathematician, founding father of modern rocketry, and a science-fiction visionary that even inspired Arthur C. Clarke.

Thus starts today’s anniversary internet gleaning, “How a Russian Scientist’s Sci-Fi Genius Made Sputnik Possible” by Matt Blitz on POPULAR MECHANICS.COM, on the Russian visionary Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky, rocket pioneer and, yes, science fiction author, remembering the October 4 1957 launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik.  Some of us are so old we remember that day, even now when we’ve just celebrated a few weeks ago a space probe’s demise in crashing on the planet Saturn.  And some of us so young that we might live to see the first colony on Mars.  And some of us who became science fiction fans, or even scientists — or even writers — may share in a tip of the hat to those times, though Tsiolkovsky himself, born just over a hundred years before in September 1857, had died twenty-two years before the launch, on September 19 1935.

For more, one may press here.  And for even more than that, for the rocketry details also from POPULARMECHANICS.COM, please to peruse “The Rocket that Launched Sputnik and Started the Space Race” by Anatoly Zak by pressing here.




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