2014 – Publish or Perish!

On one hand, 2014 was for me a year like any other.  Every new story I wrote this year was rejected, many multiple times. I racked up well over 50 rejections this year, and most of the stories I think are among my best. In fact, even though I love writing short stories, I think I’ll stop trying to write so many every year. It’s just a lot of work that mostly leads to rejections. Writing novels is probably a more fruitful way to go.

Furthermore, I tried to write another novel for Nanowrimo this year and did not finish it. So on that hand, it’s sort of a normal year.

That, however, is a very misleading hand.

It has unequivocally been the best year of my writing life.  I sold two travel articles early in the year, appearing in Wanderlust UK and CSTN Solo Travel.  The Tales to Terrify podcast agreed to adapt one of my first published stories. Two different anthologies (Dead Harvest and History and Horror) bought stories of mine, one a reprint and that found a home for the first time.

Best of’ all, as you have no doubt heard if you’ve been to this blog before, is that I sold my novel.  This is a book I started planning in 2005 and I finished in 2011 and then spent a while looking for agents and publishers.  Because the folks at Severed Press wisely pointed out that there’s not a lot of market for historical horror, they signed me to write two additional books.

I’m almost finished with my Journal to the Center of the Earth novella, the first one for them. I re-read Verne and Burroughs and Doyle and I hope to keep their fast-paced narratives even though obviously it will be a different story.

I’m excited to see what 2015 will bring.

New Anthology – OH MY

download

I am happy to report that the Anthology History and Horror Oh My, which has my story Ekdíki̱si̱, is out now on Amazon.

There are twenty stories in this collection, and by reading them you can learn the real reasons behind the trial of Socrates, the curse of Glamis Castle, and the writing of the Book of the Dead. Discover the horrors of the American Civil War and the English Civil War. Meet a vampire during the Dust Bowl and a Sasquatch traveling among the fur trappers of Canada.

On the Quest for the Crow King is now available

dark harvest

My Story “On the Quest for the Crow King” is now available as part of a massive anthology from Scarlet Galleon. It’s a huge book, with 50 stories of dark, autumn themed horror. It should make for good autumn and winter reading and I’m as excited to read the other stories as I am to have one of my own there.

Want to know something weird? This is the most autobiographical story I’ve ever written. In other words, some of the things that happened in this story really happened to me. A little background:

Instead of myself as the lead, I chose a friend (and changed his nationality but not his name) to star in this story of dark magic and shamanism. His female coPOV is not based on anyone, although her name–Natalie–came about from a Natalie Imbrugela song coming on in the cafe when I was first plotting this story. That cafe–new at the time–was gone a month or two later and so I consider her name rather fortuitous.

Crows in the Persimmon Tree

Crows in the Persimmon Tree

The crows are really big, and the persimmon trees (감) are a part of autumn I’ve never had before but up there with pumpkins and leaves as a key part of the season. But the reason the Crow King is in the story is because one of my favorite students was trying to tell me about a story or a video game and he just kept saying “Teacher, Crow King.” It sounded kind of cool, and his (its) existence basically wrote the rest of the story.

Moonbear Alert

Moonbear Alert

Moonbears are real too, although they are endangered and I’ve never seen a wild one in real life. It’s quite sad what’s happening to them, and why, but major efforts are being made. (My working title for this story was “Monks & Moonbears.”)

Jiri-San

Jiri-San

This is what the terrain looks like, so imagine being chased down something like this.

There is not, to my knowledge, a lot of urban fantasy set in Seoul. That in itself is strange, as it’s the 2nd largest urban environment in the world. There is a unique, rich history here as well. This story was rejected quite a few times and it’s word count varied from 9000 all the way down to 4000. This version, a trim 5000 words, has found a home, and I couldn’t be happier than to have it here.

As always, I’m happy to hear all feedback.