Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sex and Swashbucklers

Couple of interesting developments lately. Before I started the latest story arc for the Dark InSpectre, I knew that a plot development I had in mind would come into direct conflict with my editor's writer's guidelines. She doesn't allow cursing or sex. I've pretty much abided by the cursing thing, though I find it fairly ridiculous that in this noir universe my main character, a hardboiled, cynical detective, doesn't curse. But he was definitely going to engage in the old hokey pokey. It was going to be a natural, important part of the plot, and if you've been following along, you can see I've been steadily leading up to it. I warned her about this when I started and didn't get much of a response. Well, I just wrote the sex scene--nothing hardcore, mind you--but there's no doubt what's going on. I sent it to my editor, and she.... did not touch it. In fact, she didn't even mention it. So whatever, the sex is in! Look for it in an upcoming episode!

In other news, I was graciously asked to contribute to the second Pirates and Swashbucklers anthology. All of the contributors to the first one were solicited. I came up with a story idea, sent it in, and the editor gave me the green light. So now I have to write it. I've never been asked to contribute to anything before, so that's cool, and I've only rarely had to write something on a deadline like this (end of July), so that should be... interesting. Better get started, I'm already filling my head with characters that go Aaaaarrrr!

Guest Bloggin'

My monthly column is up over at Abandoned Towers Magazine. Check out the words that are comin' outta my mouth!

Writing prompts for all!:

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Episode: Doctors and Lawyers

Episode 47 of the Dark InSpectre is now online, in which our hero connects the dots between some of the major players.

Here’s an excerpt:

Check clubs and associations. Whaddayaknow, Lenny belonged to a fraternity. He was a year older, but guess who his frat buddy was? Marcus Ames. My eyes narrowed. Ames and Holloway were chummy, I already knew that much. Did Walter know Holloway, too? What did it all add up to?

I got the chance to ask when Walter’s face appeared on my vid screen. He looked tired, but had his usual half amused expression. We talked more about Natalie Brown’s article and the leak, shifting the conversation to Harcher’s investigation. Bottom line, I needed to clear a big case, Heske or this Narco investigation. Everything else would go away.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hacked and Jacked

Something disturbing happened a couple days ago. Somebody was able to log in to my Dark InSpectre wordpress site and set themselves up as an administrator. They then started posting multiple posts in a foreign language. Because I have it set up as a networked blog, these posts started appearing on my Facebook page and twitter account as if I had posted them. I cannot tell you how mortified I was when I started seeing them just appear under my name. I quickly went into the user area of my site and deleted the guy's profile and all the posts. I also saw somebody else I had no idea about set up as an admin, so I deleted them, too. Working with my editor, we instituted new security and changed passwords.

A friend of mine who's much more of a tech person than me later informed me that the posts were in Polish and had to do with cheap mortgages, with a link that probably downloaded malware. I cannot believe that this is what some people spend all their time doing. I mean, shouldn't this person who has obvious computer skills be out making money at a real job? Maybe this is their real job (depressing thought). Regardless, I found this whole episode pretty awful and anxiety-provoking and am glad to have restored my site and everything else back to normal. My tech friend Dan assures me that this was a routine occurrence, on the order of those spam emails from the deposed King of Nigeria promising millions of dollars (I thought I was the only one who got those!). I guess he's right, but those I can just delete, this seemed more insidious. Oh well, I guess that's life in the blogosphere.

Seriously, though, if I ever find that guy, I will give him a major frowning!

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Episode Up!

Episode 46 of the Dark InSpectre is now online, in which our hero learns about a way cool drug that's all the rage with psycho-telepathic killers.

Here's an excerpt:

I chose my words carefully. “Would it be effective in suppressing tel activity related to contacting the psychic imprints of deceased individuals?”

His wrist twitched. Fairchild looked at me with a penetrating stare and I suddenly felt like one of his study subjects. “Do you mean like what you do?”

I tried not to squirm in my seat. “Partially. This would involve more… direct contact than I’m capable of. Even to the point of absorbing the psychic imprint, and then storing it or expressing certain attributes of the DV. It might even be an addictive behavior.”

He stared at me, completely motionless, his eyes alight with scientific interest. The wrist still twitched.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of such a case.”

I kept my face expressionless. “It’s pretty rare.”

His eyes didn’t leave mine. “And of course if this had anything to do with an ongoing investigation, you wouldn’t be at liberty to say.”


Friday, April 6, 2012

The Sargasso Lull

I've got a bunch of stuff floating out there in the ether of various submission piles. At present, I have three short stories and a novel that I'm waiting to hear back on. I sent them all out in February, so it's been about two months. I got an automatic response with the novel query, so I know they received the query letter and first few chapters. But the short stories, none of them generated any automatic responses, which makes me nervous. Probably for no reason, but nervous nonetheless. Plus it's now at that two months and counting period where I naturally get itchy about not hearing back and wondering if I will hear back and what if I don't hear back and why aren't I hearing back?

Keeping writing helps, and the Dark InSpectre series is going well, but there have been some further hiccups there, too. My editor informed me that she lost her regular job, which totally sucks and I feel awful for her. I've been in that situation and know how soul-crushing it can be being out of work and having to look around for employment. What that means for the series is that she finally admitted something I've kind of known for a long time: she can't pay me.

Way back when the series started, she told me I should send her invoices each month to get paid $10 per episode. This lasted for maybe 7 or 8 episodes. I've written over 60, so there's obviously been a bit of a lag. To me, this isn't that big of a deal, I never wrote these for the money. There's a story in my head and I've got to get it out. So I'm actually relieved I can officially stop sending invoices and not feel weird about it anymore. I just hope she finds work and can make ends meet. I'm also glad she's still willing to edit my series despite her financial troubles.

Until next time!