Monday, October 26, 2009

Unfinished Business, Episode 7

Episode 7 of The Dark InSpectre is now up, in which our hero spends some more quality time with some friends from his past.

Here’s an excerpt:
For the next several minutes, Victor and Tull proceeded to torture the two men. Screams punctuated every slice and gouge, a symphony conducted by psychopaths.

Read it fresh out of the oven:


Sunday, October 25, 2009

The latest

Couple of very interesting things lately. First of all, I got an absolutely amazing review for The Killer Within from a site called Book Illuminations. I mean, I never would expect a review to be this good. Here it is:

Average citizens are the new tools of the crime families. A drug has been developed that leaves the individual open to any suggestion- including assassination. These sleeper hits are increasing rapidly in number and Detective Frank Arnold suspects that something bigger is on the horizon soon. He’s determined to work his way onto the task force to stop the crime lords- but will his determination cost him everything?

Wow! Jason Kahn’s short story packs one heck of a powerful punch. While readers may suspect some of the twists in THE KILLER WITHIN, Jason Kahn ramps it up and adds a few more twists to surprise the reader. The shocking ending is unexpected and yet perfect for the overall concept of the story.

Jason Kahn uses the short story format to craft a tale that is both intriguing and well developed. The characters are multidimensional, not flat, allowing the reader to empathize with them. Frank is an excellent choice for the role of narrator as his passion and dedication are present throughout the story, making his observations even more shocking.

THE KILLER WITHIN epitomizes just what a short story should do. The tale is complete within itself while whetting the appetite of the reader for even more tales by Jason Kahn. Bravo!

And just so you know I'm not making that up myself, check it out for yourself here.

In addition, I found a growing community for writers of online serialized science fiction. I know, it's like someone invented this group just for me! It's called New Writing Media. I've already met some other people through it who are writing their own ongoing stories. And not only that, but the site has a resources page of other sites specifically for listing and reviewing online serials. Unbelievable. I've started the process and have already got The Dark InSpectre listed at a place called the Web Fiction Guide.

And Episode 7 of The Dark InSpectre goes up tomorrow! Yay!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Revising and revising some more

Been able to put some good work into my latest short story. Done one revision and cut out about 500 words. I'll give it another read, try and cut some more, then put it back up on the Baen slush board and get some more feedback. It's getting there, definitely getting there. And here's a teaser. The title of it is: Music and Magnetism.


Friday, October 16, 2009

My interview's up!

Hey y'all, an interview with my scintillating self is up over at the blog of fellow Damnation Books author Lily Kleiman. Check it out here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Special Guest Lily Kleiman!

Hello everyone! Today, I’m very pleased to have as my guest blogger one of my fellow Damnation Books authors Lily Kleiman here to answer a few questions. Lily, a former graphic designer, has written two books, Daylight and Eden Fell, the latter of which is the one that’s recently been released by Damnation Books. Here’s a picture of the cover:

Jason: First of all, tell us about Eden Fell. What was your inspiration for the story? And what was the writing experience like?

Lily: The inspiration was an old occult saying I heard during a conversation back in 1998. "The unicorn died giving birth to the dragon, thus the garden of Eden fell." Meaning, innocence died giving birth to knowledge, thus Eden fell. I liked how it was phrased and I was intrigued by the possibility of personifying myths as well as the battle of innocence versus knowledge. And that was the initial seed of an idea for the book.

Writing Eden Fell was an intense experience. Eden has such a strong voice in my head and it literally overtook my life. I was a basket case while writing that story.

Jason: What do you think makes the main character so unique? Is there any of yourself in Eden?

Lily: Sorry, I can't tell you, the answer is revealed in the final chapter ;)

Just kidding.

I was fascinated with Eden as a character. Although her behavior is questionable (huge understatement), what makes her the most unique is the lack of ambiguity. Right from the start, you know who she is.

I'm not like Eden. At least I hope not *lol* She's self-destructive whereas I'm always searching for ways to better myself and my work. I think the only thing we might have in common is the lack of pretenses. Because I always live for a good challenge, my fictional characters tend to be the opposite of me.

Jason: You also have a previous novel out, Daylight. Is there a common theme to the two stories? Or are they completely different?

Lily: They're completely different stories. I did things all backwards. I wrote Eden Fell about 5 - 6 years before I wrote Daylight, which is a dark coming of age tale and a human drama. I suppose you could fairly say that general darkness would be the only common theme in both stories.

Jason: You self-published Daylight. What was that process like? Do you recommend that route for other authors?

Lily: I did self-publish Daylight through Because I've worked as a graphic designer at publishing companies, I already had the skills to do layout and design for a book, which I've done many times in that capacity. So for myself, the process was the almost the same as any job I've had. Though I did find there was more pressure involved because I was on my own. It wasn't like I had a team of people checking my work like I've had as a graphic designer.

I don't necessarily recommend self-publishing but I don't have anything against it either. Self publishing should be a personal choice, as it was for me. Daylight was always a personal project and my goals were to learn about putting together a fictional novel and sharing a bound book with others. Self publishing was just a means to an end. Though I don't regret the experience, it was a one time only. Once was enough for me.

Although in retrospect, and using the knowledge I have now, there are better options than self-publishing. Such as independent companies like Damnation Books. Alas, Daylight will always remain a personal project to me and I don't have any regrets.

Jason: In your former life, you were a graphic designer. What made you switch careers and explore writing?

Lily: Heh, former life, I like that ;)

My focus changed at some point, for a variety of personal and health-related reasons. The fact was, I wasn't happy as a graphic designer. Now that I'm a published author, I couldn't be happier with the work I'm doing. It's a trade-off, of course, and a hard decision to make. But again, I'm quite content with that decision.

For myself, I find creative writing is the ultimate form of expression. There are many challenges and techniques in writing that I could never achieve in art. Creative writing seems to be the next level for me.

Jason: The art gallery on your web site contains a variety of pictures. All are beautiful, while some are more eerie. Is there a common theme between your art and writing? Where does it come from?

Lily: Thank you, especially the eerie comment, that's a high compliment to me :)

In everything I do, whether it's art or writing, what comes naturally to me is darkness in a variety of forms. I'll touch on just about any subject, from fantasy to horror to human interest. Like I said before, I live for a good challenge. The theme of darkness is one of the main things that provides that challenge for me.

As for where it comes from, I have absolutely no idea. Your guess is as good as mine ;)

Jason: You’re also getting a short story published in Ethereal Tales. Congratulations! Tell us about it and what your future writing projects/plans are.

Lily: Thanks! I'm looking forward to receiving my copy of that issue in the mail. The story is called Bleeding Apple. It's about Peter and how he deals with his wife's absence, necrophilia and a trip to hell. It was a little piece I wrote a while ago, and when I found out about Ethereal Tales, I was reminded of a couple of stories that would work, including Bleeding Apple. I'm very pleased it's been accepted for publication.

I have about 3 potential novels in the works and the main one I'm focusing on is a horror novel. I've already written a host of short stories I might pursue publishing in the meantime. But again, the horror novel is the main focus. _________________________________________________

That’ll wind things up for now. Thanks Lily for giving us some very interesting insight into your writing and creative process. Feel free to stop by any time. Good luck to you on all your future writing endeavors!

You can check out both of Lily’s books at:

Learn more about Lily’s writing and art at

And this Friday, I’ll be on Lily’s blog, answering a few of her questions. Bye for now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Guest tomorrow!

Just a quick reminder that author Lily Kleiman will be here tomorrow answering questions about her art and writing projects. I hope to have her interview up by around noon Eastern Time. Hmmm, never had a guest here before, maybe I should spruce up the place a bit. Oh, geez, that plant is dead for god's sake! And will somebody get rid of that cat?! Anyway, it'll be great, I swear!

In other writing news, I have started revising my latest short story, which is a hard sci-fi piece. I was a little worried about how to make it shorter, but I think I figured that out. And there's also an info-dump I have to take care of. Yes, I know, I can't believe I had one either. I might as well have written the actual words: As you know, Bob....

Unfortunately, it looks like the editor of Wolfsongs II is working on her next book instead of the anthology for which my story has been gathering dust. So it's back to patient waiting mode on that one. Same for the story I submitted to Something Wicked many, many moons ago. And the one I submitted to Flashing Swords. Boy, it's no lie, it really does help the waiting blues to just keep on writing the next piece.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Unfinished Business, Episode 6

Episode 6 of my Dark InSpectre series is now online, available for your reading enjoyment.

Go ahead and get some.

Here's an excerpt:
Since the last time I’d been here, I’d discovered a cover-up, hints of corruption within the Department, and new clues about Dee’s murder. Not to mention getting the shit kicked out of me. Now she wanted me to take another mind trip with one of these lunatics?

Click the pic:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A cult following!

I was just breezing by my Dark InSpectre story on the blog where it's published (I like to do that every now and then), when much to my astonishment, I saw somebody had left a comment at the end of Episode 4. I couldn't believe it. It was left by a woman who said she found my story after Charles sent out that spot advertising it from his "Horror Happenings" email list. So, A) the ad worked, and B) I got a very nice comment, my first one!

And get this, someone even signed up as a "follower" of the story. I think that means they get automatically notified when a new episode goes up. Unbelievable! I sort of assumed this was all going up in a vacuum. I really had no idea if anyone was actually reading it. I know there are those rolling statistics on the side of the page, but I don't really know how to interpret those, and I generally don't trust them anyway. But now I know there are at least two people out there who I'm not related to who actually read it. Amazing!

In other news, I sent off my short story The Devil You Know to an anthology that's collecting submissions right now. We'll see what happens. No word on the Wolfsongs II anthology, I'm just hoping the author/editor is working on it.

Also, next wednesday, guest author Lily Kleiman will be here discussing her various writing projects. And then two days later on Friday, Oct. 16, I'll be on her blog discussing my various writing projects. Should be cool!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blog hopping

I may have mentioned this before, but next week I'm "guest blogging" at the blog of one of my fellow Damnation Books authors, and she's doing the same in this space. She'll be here on Wednesday, Oct. 14, and I'll be there on Friday, Oct. 16.

Here name is Lily Kleiman, and she's a former graphic designer turned author who has written a couple of books. This whole guest blogger thing has been a fascinating exercise. When Lily first offered her site to the other Damnation Books authors, I automatically said yes because it sounded fun and interesting. But I had absolutely no idea how to proceed. Would we be writing each other continuously and posting for each other throughout the day?

Now I see that a good way to go about this is to do a sort of interview format, where the "guest" answers a bunch of questions in advance, and then it's all posted along with relevant links, plugs, etc.

At least that's how we're doing it. If anybody has any other suggestions, feel free to comment. So stay tuned for next week.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The reviews are in!

Well, just one anyway. But it's good! The reviewer had very nice things to say about my short story The Killer Within. So that's way cool. This is only the second review for a short story I've ever had, the first one being for Devil May Care way back in October of 2006. Here's the full text of the new one, along with a link:

The Killer Within, by Jason Kahn, was sent to me by the author as a review copy.
4 1/2 Stars
Overview: 4 3/4 Stars
The plot was enjoyable and original. The story is of good short story length and has two good twists. The character development was well done, causing the reader to be shocked and empathize with the main character in turn.
At one point, the narrator, which was the policeman, referred to something his partner was feeling as a fact instead of adding a caveat, such as “she appeared to be.” It gave the view an omniscient feel for a moment and made me wonder if viewpoints had changed suddenly.
The writing was excellent with tight, concise sentences and minimal descriptions. The story had the feel of being the first few chapters of a novel, yet worked well as a short story. If there were a full novel, I would certainly be interested in purchasing it.
Editing: 4 Stars
There were a few editing errors, mostly just misplaced or missing commas.
Rating: PG-13 for Violence
Here are some comments from the author, Jason Kahn:
Jason Kahn lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn , with all the other young families who fled Manhattan for more space. By day, he works as a medical editor for a New York-based cardiology research foundation. Jason’s hobbies include rooting for his University of Michigan Wolverines and chasing after two mischievous gnomes who claim to be his children. Jason’s most recent fiction, The Dark InSpectre series, is currently running at blogspot.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The R word

Was feeling good yesterday. I finished the short story I've been working on. It's called Music and Magnetism, and I even did some revising of it. I'll continue that today and print it out for my wife to read before posting it for the Baen's Universe slush editors to read. I also got another person to review The Killer Within.

Then I got an email saying that my story The Devil You Know got another rejection. It's been a long journey for that story. It's the sequel to Devil May Care, my first pro sale to Baen's Universe. Thing is, I think The Devil You Know is actually a better story than the first one. Oh well, I will suck it up and continue to try and find a home for it.