So if I had known how much time it would take, I might not have gone ahead and made this book, which I’ve been working on since February. Not even counting the writing, I’ve probably put 100 inefficient hours into this, and honestly it’s probably closer to 200.
But I’ve learned a little bit of formatting, some Photoshop, some patience (probably the most important thing of all) and overall it was probably a worthwhile process.
And now it’s done. Over 70,000 words, 20 stories written in 12 different countries, and each story comes with an original illustration. I really owe a lot especially to Wind Lothamer, who allowed me to use that amazing image for the title plus provided the art for the title story, and to Nahid Taheri, who hand-painted so many of the great images.
And it’s entirely free!
The PDF is free/ PWYW on Gumroad and totally free on Smashwords. In the next coming days, hopefully, it will appear for free on Amazon and B&N and Itunes, etc.
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.
Any day now, issue 9 episode 2 of the Tales of the Talisman will be back from the presses. This issue includes a lot of great fiction, art, book reviews, and more. It also has one of my favorite stories I’ve written–“A Faint Drumming, A Red Flame.”
The title comes from “A Call of Cthulhu,” and the story features the castaways, rogues and halfbreeds that appear briefly on the wharf in southern New Zealand in Lovecraft’s story. It is hard for modern readers to read such a dismissive, xenophobic throw-away line, and I was excited to have a chance to tell the story from their side, as it were. From there, further elements include a steampunk moa, Nicola Tesla’s cousin, a dangerous taniwha, and ultimately eldritch horror, naturally.
I used some present and some past tense, so for me it’s a bit experimental. In short I’m very happy to have found a home for this story. You can buy it from the Tales of the Talisman website or at selected North American bookstores.