Posts Tagged ‘The Writing Life’

Another triple play starts the week (we seem to have had a lot of these this month).  So beginning last Saturday. . . .

1.  As we already know, eco-anthology MOTHER’S REVENGE was not to be out in time for Earth Day as originally planned (see April 11, et al.).  However I did receive payment Saturday, April 22, so things are in process —  and one might add it made for a pleasant Earth Day surprise;

2.  Also in process, CREEPY CAMPFIRE QUARTERLY plans to publish instead with DEADMAN’S TOME continue apace (cf. post just below), with a new revised contract received, signed, and returned today;

3.  And, as part of the daredevil life of the writer, much of last week for me was taken up with a second, meticulous (hopefully) proofreading of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (for information on which, plus pre-order, see its picture in the center column).  Bleary-eyed, I sent in the final corrections today, only three that I could find and all very minor, so a tip of the hat this afternoon to publisher Elder Signs Press for a job well done so far!  If all else goes well, the novel should be out in paperback form on June 1, with a Kindle edition to come sometime later.

Another month, another interview, so it may seem.  See, e.g., April 7, March 13, January 10 . . . and that’s just this year!   But come June 1, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER DAY TIMES OF EARTH is expected to be published and it’s all a part of getting the word out.  Besides, interviews can be interesting both to reader and interviewee if one puts one’s mind to it.  And even fun.

So word came today from blogger Gwendolyn Kiste who interviews quite a number of writers, samples of which can be found by pressing hereThank you so much for your responses!  At this point, it appears that the interview should go live on my website in mid-May.  I will definitely send you an email when I post it.  

And there we have it.  More secrets bared:  My writing habits (some of them quite bad).  The influence of music.  Contributions by the goth cat Triana.  And with this the latest on THE TEARS OF ISIS and, lest we forget, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  One of the fun things, in fact, is that each interviewer is different as well, not just in their questions (some of these, of course, may be common to more than one interview) but also in their approaches to questioning.  Matter of fact?  Interested in detail?  Fun-loving?  Quirky?

Search on “Interview” in the “search here” box at the upper right for a tour of the dates I’ve listed above — a possible project for an otherwise dull rainy day?  And check here in May for a link to the newest by Gwendolyn Kiste as soon as I have it!

Along with yesterday morning’s marathon interview, Friday also brought these more low-profile items:

1.  A contract by email “signed” and sent back to TALES TO TERRIFY for permission to podcast “In the Octopus’s Garden” (cf. April 1), originally published in 69 FLAVORS OF PARANOIA for March-April 1999 and also the lead prose tale in THE TEARS OF ISIS;

2.  Receipt by street mail of my copy of the corrected contract, countersigned by publisher Scary Dairy Press (cf. March 8, et al.) and with payment included, for “Swarms” as a reprint in MOTHER’S REVENGE, planned to be out for Earth Day, April 22;

3.  Also by street mail, two copies of a contract received from Smart Rhino Publications for my science fiction story “Golden Age” to be reprinted in ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (see March 13, February 21, et al.), one countersigned by me this morning and left out for return mail pickup.

All in all, not a bad way to wind down the week.

Secrets, secrets.  What was my “first ever” book, and why?  (Hint, long out of print, you usually won’t see it in my current bio-notes.)  Do I claim a specific writing style?  Does my novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH have an ultimate message for readers (and what is the relation of TOMBS to what dramatists call “the five act structure”)?  In the process of coming up with a title, how did TOMBS differ from THE TEARS OF ISIS?  And now the answers, to questions I wouldn’t have dreamed up myself and many, many more have been revealed, courtesy of blogger extraordinaire Fiona Mcvie on AUTHORSINTERVIEWS.

And maybe a little more will be there on ISIS as well, or how Peter Lorre might have made a good “Ghoul-Poet.”  If curious, press here.  (And if interest is piqued by what you find, links are provided at the bottom for pre-ordering TOMBS as well as ordering THE TEARS OF ISIS — or if in a hurry, just click on their pictures on this page in the center column.)

Hello Lovelies,
 
We have another awesome guest post from author James Dorr, as he shares with us the inspiration for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, which releases in May.  I have to be honest, it has been a true pleasure reading James’ insightful posts, and I am definitely excited to read TOMBS!  Without further ado, let’s turn the time over to James!

So begins today’s blog from Heidi Angell, with one small correction:  TOMBS is listed by Amazon for release on June 1, though that’s close to May (and if you would like to see for yourself, or perhaps pre-order, one can press here).  But given her next sentence, how can I resist quoting exactly the words she uses?  This, then, is the second guest essay on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH on Heidi’s blog, the first on “What Is a Novel-In-Stories?” posted on February 9 (for which, below, see February 13).  While the first told about the structure of the novel itself, this one, titled “It Began With a Map,” is more on the structure of the world depicted within the novel and how it was developed.  To quote myself:  The original planning for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH began with a map — different areas were defined in terms of the people who lived there.  More or less “normal” people lived in the New City and the Tombs; ghouls, the eaters of the dead, were in the Old City; boat gypsies lived on the river — they were mostly normal, but prone to disease from the river’s poisons, thus leading short but more intense lives; more or less normal people again lived in the Port City, far down the river, but had a higher proportion of mutants. . . .  And so I continued by wondering what various people did for their livings, social relations between males and females (some of which may seem a reflection on where we might be heading now), and end the post with a sort of portrait of a “typical” night in the Tombs itself, the necropolis just to west of New City across the great river.  Or, better, read it yourself by pressing here.

So, probably around the end of April/beginning of May I hope to have a third essay for Heidi, hopefully ramping up interest in the book itself when it’s out in June.  And I might mention also that this series really began with Heidi’s interviewing me at the start of the year (cf. January 10).  Those late to this blog can catch the interview by pressing here, or if interested in the novel’s structure, my first guest essay can be found here.

Hark us back to a Thursday seven weeks ago, February 9, and recall that I had a guest blog published by Heidi Angell, “What Is a Novel-In-Stories?” (see February 13*), nakedly pimping — guess what? — my own mosiac novel, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  You thought it was over?  But now it comes out:  “What Is a Novel-In-Stories?” was only the first of a series of three essays planned for Ms. Angell’s blog, and word came today that the second of these, “It Began with a Map,” is scheduled for Thursday next week, March 30.  So what will the third be?  Well, most likely to come out in early to mid-May, anticipating the novel’s debut from Elder Signs Press on the first of June . . . well, I haven’t officially made up my mind yet, but we shall see then.  Perhaps you have some ideas?

Meanwhile, for Thursday, “It Began With a Map” will touch a bit on the geography and peoples of the world of the “Tombs,” hopefully whetting appetites further.  While I, having received an advance PDF just a few days ago, have begun the slog of proofreading the thing — another part of the thrill-a-minute life of the writer!

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*In fact, if you haven’t read “What Is a Novel-in-Stories,” why not do it now by pressing here?  Or better yet, if you would like to pre-order TOMBS, you can click on its picture or press here.

We would like to announce our third annual VESTAL REVIEW Award (The VERA).

Please feel free to nominate one story under 500 words published by your magazine in print or online in 2016.  The winning selection receives a prize of $100 and a publication in VESTAL REVIEW, and the runner-up entry gets publication in VESTAL REVIEW at our usual terms.  There is no nomination fee.  Only a magazine editor is eligible to submit a nomination.  One story per magazine, please.

Thus the VERA award, from VESTAL REVIEW, “the oldest magazine dedicated exclusively to flash fiction” as their subtitle has it, and yesterday came the news:  Third Flatiron Anthologies editor Juliana Rew wanted to check if it was okay by me for a story, “Chocolat” (yes, that’s how it’s spelled), that appeared in their spring 2016 IT’S COME TO OUR ATTENTION (cf. February 21 2016, et al., including for special story background December 11 2015) to be nominated.  “Chocolat” is the tale of a beleaguered Frenchman protesting a recent (really, though by now a few years past) European Union Financial Council change in the legal definition of chocolate — which is to say, chocolat in French — and what became of him.

When the winners will be announced is not known by me (I think stories can be nominated through September 30, which would mean not soon) and the chances, of course, of actually winning are probably not great, but Third Flatiron puts out a pretty good series of quarterly themed anthologies (for more information on which one may click here), including offering professional rates.  Or in other words, just being singled out by them is itself an honor, and so I’ve said “oui!”

If you’re familiar with Smart Rhino’s anthologies (and we certainly hope you are!), you may remember his stories “The Wellmaster’s Daughter” in UNCOMMON ASSASSINS, and “Labyrinth” in INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS.  His story “Golden Age” will be published in ZIPPERED FLESH 3, now in production.  So marks the start of Monday’s outing of Smart Rhino Press Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge’s blog, BULLETS AND BUTTERFLIES.  Here you will find things concerning my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS and the lure of short stories, as well as my upcoming novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, though of the latter the publication date is now set for June (i.e. rather than “spring,” which only means things sometimes get out of date; also the poet Allan Poe may be better known as Edgar Allan, but typos can happen too).  Also the blog itself  may seem familiar, having also been published in Smart Rhino Publications’s own January NEWSLETTER (see January 18).  But as Weldon himself says on his Facebook page:  Just posted my interview with Bram Stoker nominee (and frequent writer for Smart Rhino Publications) James Dorr.  His story “Golden Age,” will appear in the upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH 3.  He has some great advice for writers from his own experience.  So maybe it will be worth reading anew.

Or in any event for those new to this blog it can be found here.

This was to be the one on poetry, last month’s premiere “Second Thursday Players Pub Spoken Word Series,” co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and local tavern and music venue Players Pub, being dominated by prose fiction — including, ahem, my opening reading of “River Red” from THE TEARS OF ISIS (cf. February 10).  And so it was, mostly, with even its musical component being poetry-based via Evansville Indiana group SHAKESPEARE’S MONKEY, a “poetry band” reminiscent of 1950s coffeehouse safe_image.phppoetry accompanied with jazz (albeit in this case, guitars and hand percussion), who we’ve met before at the Bloomington Arts Festival Spoken Word Stage (see September 4).  The featured readers this time out were Writers Guild Chair Tony Brewer whose poems included a Pushcart Prize nominee, local poet Eric Rensberger who began his reading with a guitar accompanied “Medicine Show” spiel introducing bartender “Dr. Joe” and the pub itself before continuing with the more “serious literary part,” and First Sundays Prose Series Chair Joan Hawkins breaking the pattern with two prose “creative memoirs.”  Then the open mike session added four readers of whom I was second, reading three pieces from VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), “La Méduse,” “Émile’s Ghosts,” and “Night Child.”

Then for another quick note, I’ve added two pieces to “Poetry (Essays)” under PAGES in the far right column, my ILLUMEN feature “It Begins With the Sound” (see November 5, et al.) and “What Is a Novel in Stories” (see February 13), the latter admittedly really about my upcoming TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, but springing from Edgar Allan Poe’s essay “The Poetic Principle.”

Swinging into the life of the writer, two days ago the contract arrived from the “Scary Dairy Press Team” for their eco-horror anthology MOTHER’S REVENGE (see February 12, et al.).  My offering in this is a story I’m fond of, “Swarms,” originally published in Lone Wolf’s 2001 CD ROM anthology BLOODTYPE (and listed in Datlow/Windling’s THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR — ah, those were the years!) and also in my collection DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET.  A reprint in the recycling bin, as one might have it.  But MOTHER’S REVENGE is mostly to be original fiction, as most anthologies tend to be these days, making my little tale an exception but, if I may say so, a good enough fit for the theme for (my having explained the story’s status in my cover letter) the editors to have accepted it anyway.  Only problem, the contract that came was one designed for original fiction.

What one does then, though, is fairly standard.  This was one I was to print out and send back as hard copy, so what one does is to pen in corrections, initialing each as well as signing the contract as a whole at the bottom (thus, in effect, signing the contract “as corrected,” in theory allowing the publisher then to correct the corrections if need be, then send it back, and so it goes. . . ).  In this, changing a reference from “first rights” to “one-time rights” and lining out wording having to do with no “prior publication” (since for reprints there is, by definition).  And thus yesterday it went into the mail while I emailed the publisher telling them that it was on the way as well as explaining the changes I’d made in case they might cause any problem at their end.  Then, later that evening I got an email back, Wonderful!  Thanks so much!, so apparently we’re still on the path for a hoped-for Earth Day, April 22, release.




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