Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday Update

Not a whole lot to report this Sunday. I have been working on Blood Plague and A History of Blood. Something kind of interesting happened when I was writing the last chapter of A History of Blood, I wrote 3000 words in 45 minutes. I have no idea how that happened that is over 3 times as fast as it usually takes me to write something(about 1000 words/hour if I am into the story). It seemed like I couldn't get my fingers to move fast enough across the keyboard, it was really cool. I hope it starts a trend but I am not going to hold my breath. I have gotten 8000 words done in 12 days not bad considering I also did 5000 on Blood Plague.

I am going to try to try and focus more attention on Blood Plague, I really want to have it done before the Summer Reading Program starts at work. As soon as the program starts I will running programs everyday for six weeks, and last year I came home exhausted almost every day. Storytime for 50+ children is tiring, I only got 1000 words written during the entire six weeks. If I can get Blood Plague done then it will be perfect. I can set aside for six weeks and then start editing.

I got a couple of rejections this week for short stories, one of them was really nice. I have had a few form rejections from the market and then in this one they say that they really liked the story and hoped to see more from me, it just didn't fit the theme of their magazine.

I have been contacting artist for PHP, we have a whole new line up of novels and we need cover art, I found a couple of new people on the web and have tried to contact a couple of artists we have worked with before. We usually ask the authors what they had in mind for a cover, it is interesting what some of them come up with and they are all so passionate about what they want. I think it is always fun to get art for them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shadows & Light II Final Cover/Blurb

I realized that I never posted the final blurb/ cover for Shadows & Light Volume II. I decided to go the simple route with the blurb, the one I wrote for Shadows & Light: Tales of Lost Kingdoms sounded a little pretentious, so here is the one for Volume II:

The struggle between man and evil has always been a mainstay of fantasy. Pill Hill Press pays homage to this tradition in the sequel to their critically acclaimed anthology, Shadows & Light: Tales of Lost Kingdoms.

Volume II features thirteen brand new magical tales of the epic battle between good and evil, including:

Choices in the Dark by Ray Tabler, Master Race by Gerald Costlow, The Hand of Fate by David J. West, Azieran: The Secret in the Mist by Christopher Heath, Mania's Children by Gustavo Bondoni, Champion by Marc Sorondo, Night Ambush by Scott Harper & Diane Smith, The Tithe of Hell by Edward McKeown, The King of Sorango by John M. Whalen, Zhea by Gregory L. Norris, Spread Your Wings and Die by Lydia Sharp, Sons of Odin by John Richard Albers & Aquila's Ring by Cat Rambo.

And here is the final cover:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Update

So I have been happily writing away on my two novel projects, and when I am not in the mood to write I have been doing research for History of Blood. The story begins in Neolithic times, and at first I was going to just have him be a caveman who subjugated his people into worshiping him once he became a vampire, but now I have decided that there will be whole tribes of vampires.

The tribes are going to be the source of British/Scottish/Irish folklore. The Twyleth Tyg, the Sidhe, the Tuatha de Danann, and the Seelie and Unseelie courts are peopled by vampires. My novel will only loosely be based on any folklore. I am writing it under the assumption that the events of the novel are taking place thousands of years before recorded history, so the legends that we have today are oral retellings that have been altered by the passage of time so that they bear almost no resemblance to what actually happened. Plus, since it is first person, the narrator of the story is somewhat unreliable.

As the novel progresses it will become more and more historically accurate. I am thinking about having my main character immersed in a vampire war between the Twyleth Tyg and the Tuath de Danann, but I am not even close to the that part of the story and I have some time to think it over still.

My attempts at getting some more stuff reprinted online have born fruit, The Crystal Blight, one of my few forays into sci-fi will be reprinted over at Orion's Child. And in other news, my fantasy story, Stephen the Swift has been accepted for Big Pulp's Pirates and Swashbucklers themed issue. I'll post more about those when they come out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Project: A History of Blood

I have just added another project to my current projects bar on the left, A History of Blood(working title). I have always enjoyed history. My major in college was applied history which is now called museum studies so that people understand what it is. I majored in Applied History because it seemed to have more real world applications than a normal history degree, I got to take history classes for all of my elective courses, and I also got to take field excavations, where I helped acquire a portion of a prehistoric rhinoceros skull for the college museum(which isn’t as fun as it sounds, it was 103 degrees out and the hard rocky landscape reflected the sun making it feel even hotter…oh, and I got a little car sick on the ride there).

So I have always contemplated writing a historical novel, ancient history intrigues me the most, but I could never decide which time period to write in, did I want to write about pharaoh Khufu, ancient Sparta, or one of the thousand stories that can be garnered from ancient Rome.

I have written a number of short stories set in ancient time periods, or that required historical research. There was Roman Blood, about vampires during the Revolt of Batavi, Blackbeard's Ragnarok, about Vikings(though I will be the first to admit this one isn’t very historically accurate), Epimetheus' Palace, set in ancient Greece, a few warriors accompany Pandora to close the Box, Let Justice Be Done, about a group of roman soldiers who were mummified and come back from the dead, Mortis Lupus, a flash fiction piece centered around the idea that Julius Caesar was a werewolf, and finally Naumachia Magic, a story of the ancient game Naumachia, where Roman gladiators reenacted naval warfare for the amusement of the mob.

But like I said, when it came to a novel I couldn’t decide what time I am going to do them all. A History of Blood is the first person memoir of a vampire, who was turned around 3000BC, and it will follow his adventurous life until modern times, or at least that is the idea.

It seems a little overwhelming, but it is my new secondary project(I like to have something I work on when I get bored of my main project, what can I say I am easily bored). It will give me something to research when I don’t feel like writing and it will be my first attempt at first person.

It will probably be my secondary project for a long, long time, I can’t even guess at how many thousands of words it is going to take to cover 5000 years, so the percentage done on this one really doesn’t mean anything.

As a little teaser here are some of the names that I am planning on the vampire using throughout the novel, these might change as I write, or research new interesting historical figures: Gwakhmai, Gwyn Ap Nudd, Imhotep, Hemiunu, Djedefptah, Nabu, Sakir-Har, Achilles, Shalim, Cambyses II, Adrastus, Hippocrates, Seleucus I, Hanno, Wodan, Esos, Arminius, Publius Acilius Attianus, Marcus Petronius, Lucius Petronius, Ambrosius Aurelianus, Arthur Pendragon, Roland, Herrick, Eric the forester, John Harrington, Alexandre Botezatu, Alexandre the Strong, Alejandro Segovia, Onondakai, Apotamkin, and Alexander Harrington.

Some of them are real historical figures or gods, others are my own creations, which I will attempt to replace with real historical figures as I research more, but I am planning on the vampire living all walks of life, from commoner to king, and finding the name of a common soldier in 490BC is not that easy, and even if I could, who would really know the name?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Busy New Year

Well its time to start a new year. What does this mean for me? Well I spent the last few days going through my published stories and checking which ones I have the rights to. Once a story has appeared in print I like to get it out online so that more people can read it.

I have been sending out story after story. And in an interesting twist and an attempt at something new, I even tried to get a couple of stories published in audio markets. I have already received one response and I can say that my story The Lunatic's Bloodletting, which first appeared in Living Dead Press' End of Days Anthology will be in the next issue of Static Movement ezine.

A new year also means a busy time for me at Pill Hill Press. We are trying to clear out our overstock inventory and we have sent out dozens of review copies. Contacting reviewers is one of my duties at Pill Hill and I have been pretty busy with it. We are also looking into some new promotional ideas.

Also I am happy to say that edits on Shadows & Light II are almost done. The authors should be getting proofs of their stories by early next week at the latest. Once all the authors have had a chance to see the proof and I make a few minor changes to the cover, and come up with a blurb for the back(a task which I always find incredibly hard) we will go to print.

I haven't really gotten much writing done, but I did find out that a publisher who had accepted a few of my stories had problems with a couple of anthologies. I won't go into details but the rights to the stories reverted back to me, so I gave those a good edit and sent them out. If the publisher opens up calls for the anthologies again I have a guaranteed acceptance, but I might as well shop them around first. There is no telling if they'll have more "problems in the future".

Below is the revamped cover pic for Shadows & Light II, I think the black background really makes it pop in ways the white background didn't.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Pro Paying Acceptance to Start the New Year!

FaePublishing, a new professional paying online market, has just offered to publish my story The Last Dragon! Due to the length of my story and their $125 cap, I will actually be making around .04/ per word but that is still by far my best paying short story sale. I am super excited. What a way to start the new year, now I'm off to convince the wife that a greasy cheeseburger is the perfect way to celebrate.