Looking For Horror Blogs


Beginning in mid-March (I’m thinking the 13th) I’ll be heading out on (what I hope is) my biggest blog tour yet…

With the coming release of Dying Days 2 and Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days, I’m going to be guest blogging and interviewing on some old friends’ blogs as well as somke new ones, and I’d like to add as many more as I can to the list… that’s where you come in!

If you have a blog that is into horror (or a blog that isn’t normally but would be interested in my zombie books) I’d like to hear from you and add a date with your blog… I’ll be doing Giveaways, maybe promotional giveaways, who knows… the more blogs I can get the better and bigger it will be…

If you’re a fan of a particular blog let me know as well, because I’ll be contacting them for the tour and need all the help I can get.

In fact, if anyone goes above and beyond in helping me, besides my eternal gratitude and goodwill, I’ll throw in some freebies like eBooks, signed print books, and (if you live close to Florida) let you buy me an expensive lunch… and I might need new shoes. We’ll figure it out.

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Old Stories Making New Stories


A long, long time ago in a galaxy… OK, about 6 or 7 years ago… I began publishing my fantasy short stories in my epic Freehold series, and did this huge Thieve’s World thing as a shared world, with great authors adding their stories, and we’d all sell tons of books, and… it became a mess, I owed (still owe) people lots of money, lots of broken promises, tons of unpublished shorts and novellas, and it led to the demise of my own Carnifex Press. A dark period for me and others…

A few months ago I quietly published a novella Freehold: Betrayal as well as a companion short story Freehold: Corpsepaint, and watched them both do absolutely nothing…

I gave up on my dreams of becoming a great fantasy writer like Tolkien, Martin, and Moorcock… I’ll just stick to horror and zombies and… steampunk…

As you know from reading this blog (and taking notes of my every move, I’m sure) I’ve been dabbling in steampunk lately, because I’ve always been a fan of it as a reader.

In my very first short story I needed a name of a government agent who was a bit on the bad side, a strong character who didn’t hold back. I ‘stole’ the name Kruk from my Freehold baddie Bliack Kruk… easy enough, as only a couple of his stories had ever actually seen print.

In recent weeks I’d also been in contact with names from my past Carnifex Press days, notably Boone Dryden (who is back onboard as an editor), and Cythnia Rodania, who penned some great pirate stories for Freehold that we never published (well, it turns out she did publish those great pirate stories in some way or another), and they are both also big fans of steampunk.

And then it hit me… those old fantasy stories had some good plots and characters (even though my writing has been much improved over the last 6 or 7 years, I’d like to think) and they’d sit trunked forever… until now.

I’m pondering whether or not to use some of them, which can be easily converted into steampunk Victorian ideas, and create an entirely new universe and new adventures with these ‘old friends’…

After all, mad kings, outpost towns, political plots and assassinations, jealousy, barbaric creatures, beggars and thieves, the search for knowledge, dragons… OK, the dragon part can go, but the rest?

Excellent… add this to my list of Works In Progress… as if I don’t have enough to do already…

Dying Days 2 Finished!


I wrote the very last lines of Dying Days 2 at exactly 11:58 pm on February 25th… with exactly 2 minutes to spare in my deadline.

Once again, I cut it to the very end, but I am happy I did. I think it’s my best work so far in my career (we’ll call it a career, I’m excited right now)… I was so worried about being behind, but I managed 27k words of this rough first draft, and my three beta readers have already begun the task of marking it up with problems.

Today I think I’ll toy around with promotions, updating the Twitter account, pulling out a new index card for the week ahead and figuring out what the next 15 projects are going to be.

It is such a great feeling to finish something, but I’m also sitting here feeling sad. Another group of great characters perished, and the Darlene Bobich saga is stopped once again. Will there be more? I think so.

I guess only the readers can really tell me if it’s worth sweating another month of deadlines…

Two New Zombie Book Covers


I’m almost finished with Dying Days 2 (the first draft, anyway) and then March will be for edits, rewrites and all that boring stuff.

In case you didn’t know, I’ve also been writing a companion novella as well, Still Dying: Scenes From Dying Days, featuring short stories of some characters from the first two Dying Days books as well as new characters… what I like to do sometimes, as I’m writing a new character into the series, is do a quick short piece about them leading up to their entrance, or perhaps an origin piece… I’m currently about 10k into this book and hope to finish it right after Dying Days 2 is done and then release them both at the same time…

I also toyed with the idea of doing another Kickstarter campaign and seek donations to have you written into a flash fiction, short story or even a novella of your own… might jump on that asap…

The cover art was done (once again) by the wonderfully talented Ash Arceneaux http://www.asharceneaux.deviantart.com/

Here are the two covers… tell me what you think!

 

0 For 2 on Subs This Week


If I didn’t know any better, I’d say rushing through short stories to meet a deadline within a few hours might not be as productive as it was a long time ago (or, in my case, a few weeks ago)…

Before this last writing burst, I finished a few other short stories at the last minute and submitted them… and went eight for eight in acceptances, even with four of them written literally at the last minute.

Could lightning strike again? So far… no.

Two short stories have been rejected of the five I wrote recently, including the fungi story that I really, really liked. And they simply said ‘not for us’ (paraphrasing, of course, but there wasn’t any notes accompanying the rejection)… but that’s what happens, right?

I’ll add it to the bottom of the pile, and when it comes back around I’ll edit it again, maybe change a spot or two, and either resubmit it or simply bundle it with my previous “Rainforest of Bones” short story featuring the same character, write a third story with him, and release it as a three-pack of horror shorts…

It’s already after 2 pm and I haven’t written a single word of Dying Days 2 today… this is why I love days like yesterday, where I can roll over 3k in words, but wish I could sustain that momentum… went to breakfast, hours killed in WalMart, and then answered e-mails, traded blog links, got my new business cards from UPS (I’ll scan one later, very cool!) and generally wasted time doing household stuff like trying to get out of actually doing household stuff.

Tonight my goal is at least a thousand words… I have a big turning point in Dying Days 2 coming up this next chapter, so I know once I start it will get done.

And might’ve gotten a cool artist to do the book covers for my Steampunk releases, so I’m excited about that…

Steampunk Short Stories


As some of you might know, I’m a Steampunk fan but never wrote too much in the subgenre until recently. I decided to write something a bit different from my horror stuff (especially the extremely graphic zombie work), something my eleven-year old daughter could read.

I created a character (Clockwork Katelynn), a setting (Arizuma, in the Old West of the Western Colonies), an agent of the Ministry of Defense for Mother England (Kruk), and wrote two short stories in two days.

Then I followed these up with three more steampunk short stories featuring one or both of the main characters and submitted those three to anthologies.

One of them came back rejected today already, which is fine in the grand scheme of things. With the way publishing works today, I’ll stick it in the bottom of the pile, do a rewrite when I get back to it, and either re-send it to another anthology or add it to a collecton of all these short stories.

I’m going to be at a Steampunk convention in Daytona Beach in mid-April and would like to have a Steampunk print book in hand to sell if possible. The goal was to write a short novella with these characters (15k-20k) and have the great editors/readers I use go through it chapter by chapter as I write it), and have it debut at this show.

Now, I’m thinking if one more of the remaining two come back, I might bundle the shorts into a release, add some more stories, and easily hit 20k… and if all three get rejected… nope, gotta be positive!

The rejection also drops me back down to earth with the streak of eight straight acceptances broken, but that’s fine. I’ll just have to start it over, right?

Dying Days 2 Writing


After a great weekend spent with my youngest daughter – playing UNO and Tetris on the PS2 (I dominated in both games) – I got barely any writing in. Sure, I kept up with e-mails and Twitter and read a good book or three on the Kindle, but no actual writing got done other than a few quick lines here and there…

That puts me firmly behind… by the end of today I need to be at 21k, but I’m only at 16k, and I spent the morning chopping large chunks of the last two chapters that I didn’t like and knew needed to go away…

One problem I might have is that I’ve introduced some new, fresh secondary characters and they all have their own minds, own agendas, and probably all want to live. Unfortunately, they’re starring in an extreme zombie apocalypse novella, so that might not happen. It’s called Dying Days 2 for a reason.

Another problem is having many more secondary plotlines running through this one, and it might call for more than 25k, which I’ll be fine with, but it will push me into March with the writing and I already have other writing plans for next month.

We’ll see…

So, my new goal is now 9k in 9 days with no off-days or getting behind again… can I do it? Sure, it’s just another deadline…