Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Novel Progress

To the countless hordes who have been flooding my email and phone lines with questions regarding where I'm at with the crime novel I've been writing, I thought I'd provide an update. I have just finished what I believe are my final revisions before handing the whole thing in to my editor. My wife is going to give it one more read-through over the next week or so and then that will probably be it.

I know what you're thinking: "Your wife? She's just going to tell you how great it is!" Clearly, none of you have met my wife. She has read a lot of crime/detective fiction and she is one tough editor, especially when it comes to my stuff. (she's also an attorney, so there's a natural inclination to pick things apart there).

On the first go-round, she pointed out the need for several major revisions. My state of mind got so bad that I got depressed and had to put the manuscript away for about a week. Not that her critiques weren't entirely valid. I just started getting down about the whole thing. But I bounced back and addressed everything and printed out a fresh copy yesterday. So hopefully (fingers crossed), the wife will be satisfied (as if!), and she'll only point out minor stuff. Then it will be off to my editor and time for a whole other round of revisions, I'm sure.

Then I'll get the answer every writer awaits with baited breath upon submitting a manuscript for the first time: Does it Suck?

Stay tuned...

PS. Still don't have a good title for it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Episode: It's Up, and It's Good!

Episode 39 of The Dark InSpectre is online, in which our hero has to ask his boss for help at the murder scene if he has any hope of keeping his investigation quiet.

Here’s an excerpt:
Walter shook his head then got up and walked over to the wall of blood, directly across from the smiley face, and stood staring at it. His voice sounded almost haunted. “He’s like a… psychic vampire?”

“Not quite. He feeds on leftover psychic energy, and from what I understand, there aren’t many cases that make it to his age without going crazy.”

His voice was soft. “Sounds like you know about this.”

I shrugged. “I did a bit of research is all.” No way I was getting any more into that.

Walter’s back was to me as he stared at the bloody signature, his surface thoughts giving off horror, sadness. Was that a flash of remorse? Then he turned back to me. “This can’t get out. The normal population will be terrified of us even more, Jack.”

Enjoy: http://darkinspec.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Story Out. Arrrrr!

Celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day, Pulp Empire Publishing has released the anthology Pirates and Swashbucklers, with a story by yours truly. Check it out, it's chock full o' bucanneering, cutlass-waving, plank-walking goodness!

Incidentally, when informed about Talk Like a Pirate Day, my 11-year-old responded, "Do we get off from school for that?"
I told him to go swab the decks and get me some fresh grog. Yo ho!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Guest Blog Time

It's time for my monthly guest blog over at Abandoned Towers. I do get a kick out of writing these, but I have to tell you, I probably stress over these pieces more than anything else I write. Not sure why that is. Maybe cuz I view these more like "work" than my other writing endeavors. Either way, feel free to stop by and check it out here!

Monday, the Pirates and Swashbucklers anthology with my short story Voyage of the Hangman drops. I'm totally psyched!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Episode 38

That's right, kids. Episode 38 of the Dark InSpectre is now online, in which our hero watches a ghost turned into a snack, and has to decide who he can trust.

Here’s an excerpt:
This couldn’t get out, not even a whisper of a rumor. Still-raw memories of my investigation into Dee’s murder and the Quads pulsed like open wounds in my brain. I’d seen firsthand the dangers of poking my nose into things people would rather I left alone, especially when it came to Department conspiracies. This had to be kept totally quiet. Which meant I needed help.

Enjoy: http://darkinspec.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Forge of the Soul

My new short story, Forge of the Soul, is online at Something Wicked Magazine.

I cannot express how satisfied I am that this story has survived to see the light of day. It's path was neither short nor easy. When I finished the first draft of it, I posted it up on the Baen's Universe slushboard. I have to say that the Baen Board has been an invaluable resource for me. I cannot tell you how much my writing has improved from the feedback I've received from the slush editors and other authors on the board.

However, sometimes the criticism can be a bit harsh, especially for stories that do not "fit" the usual Baen Board style. Baen stories are characterized by a positive, life-affirming ending. Forge of the Soul is not that kind of story. The central premise is that some key people involved in the Salem Witch trials reappear forty years later in another town, but they haven't aged. One other Salem refugee who has aged normally recognizes them, and so the story kicks off... Needless to say, it's pretty dark.

I knew this wasn't the typical Baen Board story, but I posted it anyway, confident I would get at least some helpful feedback. The response from one of the slush editorial board members was as follows: I hated this story.

End of feedback, period. I'm not kidding, can you imagine anything more unhelpful or completely non-constructive than that? I'm an editor, I would never do anything like that ever. EVER!

But whatever, I kept going, working on my story, and then submitted it to Something Wicked, confident this was the right venue. A while went by, a long while. Then the magazine abruptly closed. I was major pissed at the way it went down, too. They didn't even bother telling the authors our stories had been released.

So I sucked it up and kept submitting, getting more helpful feedback and improving the story bit by bit. Next thing I knew, a year went by, and lo and behold, I got an email from Something Wicked. They changed to a completely online format and wanted to accept my story. Hurrah! So I sent in my most recent, updated version, and a few months later, up it goes!

Quite the long and winding road, and I'm sure not all that unique, either. But ultimately satisfying. ;)

Friday, September 2, 2011

More Arrrr!

Cool interview with yours truly over at Pens and Swords in advance of the upcoming Swords and Swashbucklers anthology, which contains my story Voyage of the Hangman. I'm way psyched about it!

Fell free to check it out here.