Tag Archives: inspiration

War Journal: Story bites

 

So I spent the last few weeks with most of my online presence dedicated to getting awareness out on Pendulum Heroes.  Finding people and places to review it, town crying on Facebook and doing crazy amounts of research.  And I’m still working… I just built a new page on the gristle dedicated to it.  It’s to the point where it didn’t quite feel natural to leave that first line featuring the novel’s name without a link to Amazon where you can buy.  I keep looking up at it like it’s naked, like I’m missing a primo place to sell.  It’s a war in these trenches, folks.

That said, I have kinda fell off on my short story writerly duties.  Chief among them is to tell you guys I have another story published on Apex Magazine.  This one’s called Three Meetings of the Pregnant Man Support Group and it’s my second time appearing in Apex, which is pretty awesome.  When they sent me the acceptance I felt like opening my door and shouting “it wasn’t a fluke!” but I thought better of it when I thought how I’d take that same message if a neighbor did that and I’d come to the conclusion that their significant other wasn’t getting the right kind of attention.  Instead of that, I pushed some books.  Didn’t quite feel the same, though.

Also in this issue of Apex, I had the pleasure of being interviewed again by Andrea Johnson.  I hold fast to my belief that she’s bar none the best interviewer in the business… she does a great amount of research about the writer and asks very intelligent and poignant questions.  You can tell she’s passionate about what she does and she brings that passion to the table when she talks to you.  The link’s at the start of the paragraph, check it out and see what I’m talking about.

Finally, we’re almost in July and with that comes my latest story “A Song of Home, the Organ Grinds” in Lightspeed Magazine.  This is my first time ever getting into Lightspeed and it’s one of those big ones that I’ve always aspired to get an acceptance from.  It’s a story about killer steampunk cyborg monkeys and a homeless street urchin.  If that didn’t prompt an eyebrow raise from you then you must’ve lost your eyebrows in a freak running-with-scissors incident.

You won’t see too many more of these announcements in the near future, I think.  I’m doing less short story writing and focusing on trying to finish the third book.  That said, it’s hard to stop completely, so I’m pretty sure I’ll have a flash piece or two to entertain you between novels.  We’ll see.  In the book world, it feels like I’m starting over again.  At this point, I’m fine with that.  A few of y’all remember my first pro sale, how stoked I was, how I went at this like a war in the trenches.  I feel like I’ve reached the top of the hill when it comes to short story telling and short story selling.  Time for me to get back in the trench.

That’s about it.  Check out my new Pendulum Heroes page if you’re interested in getting more information about the series.  I would put the link but it’s right up there at the top of the page and I’m trying to fight that whole add links addiction.  Oh, what the hell.

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Pendulum Heroes

Hey folks,

While it may seem on the surface that I’m doing my usual incommunicado thing, there’s been a lot of stuff going on in the background.  I finalized my stories for the upcoming issues of Apex and Lightspeed magazines (I’m the FEATURED writer for Lightspeed!), got interviewed by a class of tenth grade students (which I thought was very fun… they asked some great questions),  seriously leveled up my formatting (more on that later), and oh, what else… I finally made my novel into a real physical thing!

Pendulum Heroes is set up for preorder on the majority of ebook retailers.  Check out the Amazon page, which seems to glow to me.  This is for the e-book only… I’m still finalizing the print edition, trivial details such as the ISBN placement and such and as soon as that’s done it’ll appear on the page as an option.

But who wants to wait for all that finalization before I tell you guys that it LIVES!  It’s physically in the world.  Look!

I tried to get as far away as I could from standard covers and the usual format.  I’ve written a lot of stories getting here and I’m especially proud of Pendulum Heroes.  I wanted the physical book to be something I could proudly display on a coffee table and the only way to do that right was making sure most of you could also proudly display it on a coffee table.  To ensure that happened, I teamed up with Micaela Dawn, an artist I believe will be world famous some day.

The inside’s beautiful too.  When I say I leveled up my formatting, I spent an untold age learning things about Microsoft Word most mortals don’t.  I learned about gutter margins, mirror mode, page breaks, section breaks – continuous and new, drop caps, headings, and man a lot.  This may sound weird, but it got fun, y’all… it’s about as close to playing a game with Word as you can get.  Most of the stuff you won’t notice… which is the whole point.  It’s been perfectly formatted so the words disappear so you can enjoy the reading experience.

Pendulum Heroes is set to go live June 10th.  But I couldn’t wait til then to tell y’all and show you the book!  While I highly encourage copping a print edition for the feel of it and for any unadorned coffee tables you know of, the e-book’s also beautifully inlaid with custom stylized touches.  Besides, it’s Friday, some of y’all just got paid and I’d be remiss if I let that money burn a hole in your pocket.  So hit up Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo (they have a preview!), or Apple, preorder the digital version now, forget that you ordered it and then get hit with a pleasant surprise when your device loads it up for you on the 10th.

Don’t tell me I’m the only one who does stuff like that.

If this was your coffee table, you’d already be home by now.

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War Journal 78: My First Audiopub

Gather round, gristlers, for storytime.

Today I get to announce the completion of yet another side quest on my road to writer fortune and glory; my first time ever getting published in audio format!  My story “The Wind You Touch When You Run” is up and available for not only reading, but for listening over at Escape Pod.

This is one of those side quests that started out virtually nonexistent and then grew into a fire.  I guess that’s what happens when you go from hoping that somebody, just anybody will look at this thing you’ve drafted (some of my long timers will remember those days!) to growing into a quasi-vet.  As my horizon expands, new markets and new experiences in writerdom are my quarry.  I can report unequivocally that it felt absolutely electrifying hearing my story narrated.  The narrator, Dominick Rabrun, had one of the characters sounding like Grit Eastwood-Batman and it so worked!

Back to the story.  “The Wind You Touch When You Run” is about two black men, in a historical role reversal,  on a world where they are working as slave catchers.  I’m not going to go too much into what happens because, hey, you can listen to it (awesome!) over at Escape Pod.  I will say it’s full of not often talked about black history, real stuff that may surprise you.  The name of the story comes from a  Langston Hughes poem called Demand and the protagonist quotes a line from Southern Mansion by Arna Bontemps.  Southern Mansion really fueled the imagery of the story and since they’re linked and pretty convenient to get to, I highly encourage you folks to check these poems out.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t shout out C.C. Finlay over at F&SF Magazine, who put early eyes on it and provided some really great suggestions which made the final story what it is.  He’ll never know how much I appreciated his editorial gaze… well, unless he comes over to the blog and sees me talking about how much I appreciated his editorial gaze.  Let’s just leave the compliment dangling out here on the webz and see if he finds it, shall we?

So get out of here folks… check out my first ever audiopub over at Escape Pod!

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War Journal 77: Brevity, the Soul of Twit

So I’m on this road to self publishing this book, and there’s a couple of things I needed to do in conjunction.  Book Publishing Side Quest One: increase web presence.  I’m pretty sure studies show that on average 0% of Americans buy books they never knew existed.  The numbers from the UK are even worse.  Yeah, you may have heard of me, but what about your neighbor or that dude that bagged your groceries the other day? Have you even told your family about this sporadic thing you enjoy called my published fiction?!  Point is, I need to delve into more social media outlets.

With much fear and trepidation, this week I joined Twitter.  If anyone out there’s like me, meaning hasn’t joined Twitter and hates Facebook, I’ll tell you firsthand you may like it better.  I do.  Twitter’s not overly concerned with pages and status levels of everyone you ever knew… it’s more of conversation based thing… like you’re at a large party with some friends, maybe their friends, and some work associates that you’re various levels of cool with… and one of them says something you’re interested in.  Join the convo.  When something else piques your interest, head over there and see what they’re talking about.

Honestly, when I first logged in I figured I’d be in the quiet, lonely void for a good hot minute.  I mean, its a microworld of hashtags and @ symbols!  But it didn’t take long for me to find some folks I knew and get talking.  Now I’m fairly comfortable.  At this rate I’ll be throwing up hashtags like middle fingers to the law by the end of the week.

So that’s about all the soft selling I’m gonna do.  Find me out there @WriterBeamon.  Let’s chat for a bit about Book Publishing Side Quest One or whatever’s on your mind.

You’d be surprised how much you can cram in that space

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