November 19, 2010

So, Kealan Patrick Burke, the supremely talented author of books like The Turtle Boy and The Number 121 to Pennsylvania & Others, Midlisters, and quite a few others that you should have read by now, decided to hold a contest on his blog, Something Stirs: a flash fiction contest with a Halloween theme.

I had not written any flash fiction in a while – had not, in fact, written anything fiction-wise except for the Big Thing I’m working on – and decided to give it a whirl. Once I had the idea, I got it down on paper in about an hour. Tweaked it a little and sent it off, and a couple of weeks later got an email from Kealan stating that I’d won.

This is cool on so many levels. One, it’s Kealan, a guy whos work I’ve been reading from the beginning and admire a great deal. When someone you admire recognizes your own work, it’s pretty sweet. Two, it’s flash fiction, which I’ve had some success with in the past and am now eager to do more of again. Especially as I toil away on the Big Thing – I don’t want to take the kind of time away from it that it would take to write a full short story, but ducking out for a quick 500 words keeps things fresh without slowing my momentum on the Thing.

Anyway, you can read the story here, if you are so inclined: http://kealanpatrick.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/all-hallows-flash-fiction-competition-winner/. I hope you are, and I hope you dig it. And while you’re here, check out some of Kealan’s work. It’s good stuff.

Now, where were we…?

December 6, 2009

“The best laid plans….” You know the rest. As is obvious by comparing the date of this post to the date of my last post, all of my plans to blog throughout October, Halloween and beyond sort of went by the wayside. What can I say…life happens, as it will continue to do from time to time. So, no more grand declarations of my intentions here. I hope to be around a lot more, as I have lots to say. Hopefully, time will be on my side.

Now, to fill in the gaps since I last posted:

First, there’s a new review of mine over at Dark Scribe, where I take a look at Tom Piccirilli’s upcoming heavyweight of a collection, Futile Efforts. Great book, adequate review. 

Next, I got the chance to do something amazing since I last wrote here – I got to stand face-to-face with Stephen King. Yes, I was one of approximately 500 to do so on this particular night, and yes, our encounter lasted roughly 7.5 seconds, but it was 7.5 seconds of pure awesome. I attended a booksigning for King’s new novel, Under the Dome, over in Atlanta back in November (on a Friday the 13th, no less), got to speak briefly with The Man, and had him scribble his name in my Collector’s Edition copy of the brick….er, book. (It’s 1,000+ pages!) Basically, this is the guy who cemented my interest in reading, and who kick-started my interest in writing, so yeah…those 7.5 seconds were a pretty big deal.

Finally, I entered a contest over at the Cafe Doom message board in October – a short story contest. The top ten finalists were chosen anonymously by posters on the board, and from those ten the editor of Dark Discoveries, James Beach, chose one tale to be published in his magazine. For some reason, he chose my story “Pun’kin,” which is now slated to appear in DD next summer or fall. I’ve published some non-fiction there before, but this is my first time cracking the fiction section, and I’m pleased and honored.

I think that’s enough for now. Time to toddle off into the night, warm up  by the fire, and read some good books. See ya’ soon.

In “Stitches”

August 17, 2009

52StitchesCoverA nice little review of the anthology Fifty-Two Stitches is available here. My flash fiction story “Sitting Up With Grandpa” is contained therein. You’ll be able to read that story online (and for free) on August 30th simply by going to the Fifty-Two Stitches website. If you’re one of them old fogies who’d rather have their reading matter on paper, by gum, then click here to preorder the paperback.   

Here’s a line from “Grandpa” to whet your appetite: “Jimmy tried not to look at Grandpa, but part of his job was to shoo away flies that gathered around the body.”

A Look Ahead

January 9, 2009

Thought I’d start the year off with a look at what’s coming up. It’s already shaping up to be a pretty busy year, and I’ve got lots of plans to follow through on and lots (and lots) of writing to do.

Out now is Shroud #4, which includes my tale “Three Graves” in a pretty packed lineup. Due out in the next few weeks, also from Shroud Publishing, is the charity anthology Northern Haunts, which has my story “Mother Ocean” in its 100-story table of contents.

I just learned today that my story “To The Devil, His Due” will appear next Friday, the 16th, over at The Flash Fiction Offensive. Be sure and check it out.

Finally, my story “Sitting Up With Grandpa” is scheduled to appear at 52 Stitches on August 30th. 

On the non-fiction front I’ve got some reviews and at least one interview lined up to appear at Dark Scribe Magazine in the coming weeks. Also, my work is coming soon to the best-named book review site on the Internet – Bookgasm. And there’s another project in the works – this one involving a regular column as well as, you guessed it, more book reviews. I’ll make an announcement about that one closer to publication time.

I’m having a blast with all of this – thanks to all of those who’ve given me a chance to put my work out there for the world to see. Keep an eye here for (hopefully) more to come!

Mark Your Calendars

December 23, 2008

Just got the tentative lineup for 52 Stitches, the online Flash Fiction project that kicks off in January. Looks like my story “Sitting Up With Grandpa” will go up on August 30th. Naturally there will be reminders around then, but I figured someone is bound to give you a calendar for Christmas (doesn’t everyone get a calendar for Christmas?), and what better way to break it in than making a note of my new story?

In closer news, I should be having some book reviews appear early next year at a popular site with a cool name. More on that when it happens. In the meantime, unless something big breaks, we’re going dark until the new year, when I’ll be back with my favorite books of 2008. Merry Christmas!

Fifty-Two Stitches

December 9, 2008

The contract is signed, so I’m glad to be able to announce that my flash fiction story “Sitting Up With Grandpa” will be a part of the lineup of Fifty-Two Stitches, which promises a new story a week throughout 2009, culminating with a paperback containing all the stories. I don’t know when “Grandpa” will appear, but don’t worry – there will be plenty of reminders once a date is set!

You can learn more about Fifty-Two Stitches here and here.

They’re here…..

November 18, 2008
So today I got a package in the mail from Cutting Block Press. Inside were three copies of Horror Library Vol. 3, in which my short story “Toll” makes an appearance. Cracking that book open and finding my story inside was a surreal experience – one that I’ll never forget.
Getting published has been a dream of mine, and a couple of years ago I decided to quit dreaming and get to work. Since then I’ve had numerous reviews, interviews, and flash fiction stories appear online, plus a couple of interviews appear in print (in the excellent Dark Discoveries magazine). And while having some of my fiction appear online was great, I’m old-school, and I hungered to see my work in print.
A couple of months ago I did, thanks to Shroud‘s flash fiction contest. But I’ve known this was on the horizon, and this is what I was really waiting for – having my work in a BOOK.
And now I do.
And I like it. And I think I want to have it happen again.
So, enough celebrating. It’s back to work. Well, as soon as I plug the book, which you can preview and purchase right here.