Posts Tagged ‘The Bala Worm’

This is a short take, really a footnote, as the publication was primarily electronic and, I believe, even at that pretty much out of print now.  But paperback copies of some volumes had been made, for the authors if for nobody else, and mine with my story “The Bala Worm” (see May 23 2019, et al.), THE BLOOD TOMES, VOLUME TWO, CREATURES, NOVELETTE EDITION, arrived in my mailbox Monday afternoon.  The story itself was originally published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008; also reprinted in THE TEARS OF ISIS), and appears with four other “monster” novelettes to add to my reading while semi-sequestered by pandemic lockdowns.

A xenological invasion.  A creature in the pipes.  A monster in the dark.  A dragon.  And childhood toys that are more than they seem.  Five novelettes.  Five stories that will force you to get in touch with our undeniable connection to the animal and insect worlds and the monster within . . . for are we really all that different from the monsters that we loathe?  Our deft and expert authors have won awards and had work in award-winning anthologies, and these stories showcase their gift for terrifying us but also in finding the humanity through our fear.  They are . . . Gordon B. White, James Dorr, Mark Pantoja, Jon Gauthier, Peter Emmett Naughton.  We challenge you to read these stories, but only if you’re ready to explore the nightmarish creatures within us all.

Say what?  Let us hark back to June 11 2019, et al., when the Kindle edition was already up (and had been, in fact, since late May) with a print edition from Tell-Tale Press to be in the future.  So it’s been awhile, but the time has come — had actually come yesterday — and now it’s here, the paperback version of THE BLOOD TOMES VOLUME TWO, CREATURES, NOVELETTES EDITION for those of us who like the feel of a book in our hands, five long stories of beings both real and imaginary to kindle (sorry) the reader’s imagination.  My tale in this:  “The Bala Worm,”* set in modern-day Wales, of a quest for a dragon last seen in the Middle Ages.  Or at least one just like it.  And where do vampires come into all this?

For more on the new paperback edition one need but press here (or to check all titles on Tell-Tale Press’s own website, including the CREATURES, NOVELETTES Kindle version, one may press here).
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*”The Bala Worm” is a reprint first published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008) and reprinted in my 2013 collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.

A xenological invasion.  A creature in the pipes.  A monster in the dark.  A dragon.  And childhood toys that are more than they seem.

Five novelettes. Five stories that will force you to get in touch with our undeniable connection to the animal and insect worlds and the monster within . . . for are we really all that different from the monsters that we loathe?  Our deft and expert authors have won awards and had work in award-winning anthologies, and these stories showcase their gift for terrifying us but also in finding the humanity through our fear.  They are . . .

Gordon B. White
James Dorr
Mark Pantoja
Jon Gauthier
Peter Emmett Naughton

Thus the blurb fromTell-Tale Press’s Amazon listing for THE BLOOD TOMES VOLUME TWO, CREATURES, NOVELETTES EDITION of which my tale of a dragon quest in modern-day Wales, “The Bala Worm,” is a part (cf. May 23, 14, et al.).  And that is one mouthful of a title.  But the thing is, my author’s copy came yesterday evening from Editor/Publisher Andrea Dawn, was downloaded today and converted to PDF (which the local cave computer is more comfortable with), and from just glancing through it looks to be about 80 pages of really fun reading.  The individual stories, in fact, can be read for free*, for which press here, but there’s something nice about having them in ebook form together as well, which Kindle readers can get for only 99 cents by pressing here.  So, separately or in Kindle format, to quote one more line from the Amazon blurb:

We challenge you to read these stories, but only if you’re ready to explore the nightmarish creatures within us all.

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*”The Bala Worm,” incidentally, is a reprint, originally published in Ricasso Press’s BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON in 2008 and reprinted in my 2013 collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.

Can’t live with it, can’t live without it, once in a universe long ago, far, far away, PayPal used to tell one when one had received money.  Or maybe it is that they now considered themselves so important that, why just naturally, people would visit them every day — maybe even each hour! — to see what they’d spent and/or what they’d got.  So, silly me, having blogged about Tell-Tale Press’s publication of my novelette “The Bala Worm” (for which, see just below for yesterday’s post), I started to wonder if, having earlier posted on May 14 that payment was due within a week, I had in fact been paid.  So, what to do?  Check PayPal.

So the good news is this:  I have not only been paid, but the cash came just a day after the 14th, on May 15, semi-pro to be sure but nevertheless a nice little sum and worth several dinners.  Even with cocktails, should I wish to have them.  And one more surprise, one more little secret the folk at PayPal were concealing from me — or, rather, were daring me to seek myself — payment had also been received from CURIOUS GALLERY (cf. May 1) for “Appointment in Time” apparently just after I’d sent back the contract, on May first as well!

“Appointment in Time” is a clockpunky New Year’s Eve story originally published in Untreed Reads Publishing’s YEARS END:  FOURTEEN TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR, about how the New Year actually comes forth (not exactly the same as they show on TV), while for “The Bala Worm,” well, you can read it yourself right now for free by just pressing its link in the post just below.

Late May, we will notice, seems to be a bit of a dead time for news of authorial doings, at least for me.  I checked last year’s entries and that was the case for 2018 too — movies and similar things could be covered, but subjects concerning the actual writing life, not so much.  Today, however, I’m happy to announce that “The Bala Worm” is up and free from Tell-Tale Press as part of their, to give it its full title, THE BLOOD TOMES, VOLUME 2:  CREATURES, NOVELETTES EDITION (cf. May 15, 14; April 26, et al.).  To see for yourself, press here and just start reading (or, if you’ve a yen to see what other titles lie under the TELL-TALE PRESS — HORROR LIBRARY rubric, then click the little left-pointing arrow at the top left of the page).  “The Bala Worm” is the recounting of a hunt for a dragon in modern-day Wales, originally published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008) and also reprinted in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS (for which press its picture in the center column), and is the second of five long tales in the NOVELETTES EDITION.

Also all five novelettes are available on Kindle now for $0.99, for which one may press here, while more selections from Tell-Tale Press in the “CREATURES” universe may be found here.

A xenological invasion.  A creature in the pipes.  A monster in the dark.  A dragon.  And childhood toys that are more than they seem.

Five novelettes.  Five stories that will force you to get in touch with our undeniable connection to the animal and insect worlds and the monster within . . . for are we really all that different from the monsters that we loathe?

Thus the blurb, the book is entitled THE BLOOD TOMES, VOLUME 2:  CREATURES, NOVELETTES EDITION, and to get to the point it’s the one with my story “The Bala Worm” (see just below, May 14, et al.).  And the news that just came, the Kindle edition is up for pre-order rather faster than had been expected, on Amazon now, for which press here!  As noted above, you get five novelettes for $0.99, 171 pages according to Amazon divided between authors Gordon B. White, me, Mark Pantoja, Jon Gauthier, and Peter Emmett Naughton, my part being the one with the dragon in the above description, though at novelette length of course there’s more.  Much more.  While for more information from the publisher, Tell-Tale Press, including other CREATURES volumes (horror short stories, fantasy, mystery, . . . ) one can press here.

Or, going back to the Amazon copy, so says the blurb:  We challenge you to read these stories, but only if you’re ready to explore the nightmarish creatures within us all.

Two quick bits of news arrived late yesterday and today, the first from Editor Andrea Dawn that payment (ahem!) for my story “The Bala Worm” (cf. April 26, 6) will be coming in less than a week, with the Tell-Tale Press anthology CREATURES on schedule to appear on Kindle on May 23 with stories also available then on the publisher’s website.   “The Bala Worm,” a novelette of dragon hunting in modern Wales, is itself a reprint, originally published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008) and also appears in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.

Then today’s note comes from Editor/Publisher Jason Brick that things had gotten a wee bit behind for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE (see March 27, et al.), so to catch up we’re going to . . . skip the step where everybody gets a pdf proof of the copy of their story individually, and roll right on to sending out a pdf proof of the book itself.  Which I’m hoping we’ll send out late next week.  This is an anthology of 100 stories of 1000 or fewer words apiece, “any genre, any style,” including my original flash piece,”The Junkie,” with publication still expected for June.

April 6 saw the announcement that Tell-Tale Press had accepted “The Bala Worm,” the story of a dragon hunt in present-day Wales initially published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008) as well as in THE TEARS OF ISIS, for the Horror Novelette division of its upcoming CREATURES anthology.  Today Editor Andrea Dawn has announced that it’s expected out on Kindle on May 23, with pre-orders starting May 17, as well as on the Tell-Tale Press website.  Also included were tables of contents, divided into separate “Libraries” for Fantasy, Horror, Mystery & Crime, and Science Fiction, with the horror one also subdivided into Short Stories and Novelettes.  Thus “The Bala Worm” is in Horror/Novelettes as we see below, also noting that all CREATURES stories are listed as in Volume 2, Volume 1 being a previous collection with the over-title WINTER HOLIDAYS:

The Blood Tomes, Volume 2 – CREATURES, Novelettes Edition (Horror Library)

The Buchanan Boys Ride Again – Gordon B. White
The Bala Worm – James Dorr
Buck – Mark Pantoja
Teddy Bear Picnic – Jon Gauthier
Borderland – Peter Emmett Naughton

One quickly notes that while there are only five titles here, “Novelettes” is the smallest category, horror short stories for instance having about twenty stories in it (the largest of all), with the other Libraries coming in at 11 titles each.  Confused?  I know I am, but more will be clear when the volumes are actually published, for which see here as the time grows nigh.  While the cover above, also, is for horror novelettes only, with separate covers for each of the other Library divisions.

Well, the story is actually called “The Bala Worm” and it’s fairly long as these things go, first published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008) as well as in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS (cf. its picture in the center column for reviews and more).  And then the call came:  We are looking for short stories about any kind of creatures you want:  animals, insects, arachnids (all giant or otherwise), dinosaurs, aliens, monsters, cryptids, legends, mythical, mythological, whatever strikes your fancy.  We really want you to go outside of the usual box that we see in fiction.  Sure, you can have classic vampires or aliens, werewolves or unicorns, but the story needs to be new and fresh, something that hasn’t been thought of before or hasn’t been worked with a lot.  The story should fit in any of the the genres of fantasy, horror, mystery, and science-fiction.  And not only that, but [w]e are also looking for novelettes.  We will be picking ONE novelette as the final story for each genre anthology.  Your novelette should be something that really catches us, perhaps that touches our hearts, horrifies us in a new way, has a profound vision of technology or the future, or baffles us with a twist or shocking revelation.  I did say “The Bala Worm” was long, yes?

So it seemed a good match.  The publication from Tell-Tale Press was to be titled CREATURES and, while semi-pro, payment for novelettes (here defined as 7000 to 10,000 words long) would be double that for “regular” stories so, even if only one would be picked, why not?  Then yesterday afternoon the word came from Publisher/Editor Andrea Dawn, I read your story “The Bala Worm” and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The writing was strong and to the point.  It was interesting and I liked the mythological legend woven in there.  So I would like your permission to publish it in the CREATURES novelettes anthology.

So there it is.  Publication is tentatively set for May 23 on the Tell-Tale Press site — free, if I understand correctly, as individual story files — and as an anthology on Amazon Kindle with the possibility of a future print edition.  More to be reported here as details become known.




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