Thursday, September 29, 2011

Getting Close to the End

I don't recommend losing a toe in order to get time off from work, but losing a toe has benefited my writing. I'm a few thousand words away from writing the end of my new novel, Agathon's Daughter--suspense in ancient Greece. I've decided to break the story into three parts. Book One will be, Hetaera, book two, Priestess, book three, Oracle.

This spring I had no idea how I would find the time to complete the book. I work extremely long hours at the airport: fourteen hour split shifts, sometimes longer, and I'm frequently too exhausted to write on my first day off. If someone had said, "Would you give up a toe to have time to finish your next novel?" I might have said, yes. Just kidding, but having time to write has been wonderful. In fact, if not for my poor foot, I'd have to say that I've been living my dream life this summer.

For me, the most difficult part of writing is getting out that first draft. I love to rewrite, and I usually edit as I go, because I find rewriting so much easier than getting out the story the first time. Perhaps it's because I tend to let my imagination go on the first draft, and that can lead me up blind alleys or on some crazy tangent. This was especially true when I was on narcotics. I'd end up with characters who had no business in the story, or go off into some fantasy which took the action into a whole other direction. The middle of a book is always a muddle for me.

But now I'm almost at the end. I can see it. Just have to write about eight more scenes, and I know what they are--at least, I think I do. Then, I'm onto bliss: rewriting. I could probably rewrite forever, but I'm forced to stop when I keep changing the same sentence.

On top of seeing the end, on top on being able to get my foot into a shoe and drive, on top of all that: I've worked out a deal with a major Literary Agency, The Literary Group International and they will be representing my work for trade publishing, but until that happens, I will continue to self publish! This a new model and very exciting.

And on top of that: The amazing, wonderful writer, Tess Gerritsen has written an incredible foreward for Agathon's Daughter. I worked on the book a few years ago in a workshop I took with Tess at the Maui Writers' Retreat. Her belief in my writing has sustained me through some very tough times, and I can't thank her enough.

Thank you, Tess!
Thank you, universe.

And for my Jewish friends and relations: Happy New Year! Shanah Tovah!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ghost Plane and Other Disturbing Tales is FREE on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N

My newest short story collection Ghost Plane and Other Disturbing Tales is now FREE on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Nobel. Eleven twisted short stories about life, death and insanity. Get your copy just in time for the ghoulish season.

Several of the stories were inspired by my work at the airport. Blue Angel begins: There are a lot of ways to die at the airport. Ironic, since the book was published two weeks before I had a serious accident at work. My foot got run over by a 1,000 plus pound jet stair. A few more inches and I might have lost my foot, even bled to death. But that's another story, Toe. (Not part of this collection.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Star Review for Vestal Virgin from Red Adept Reviews

It's true, reviewer J. Lynn of Red Adept Reviews gave my debut novel, Vestal Virgin--suspense in ancient Rome, a 5 Star Review.  For those of you who might not know, Red Adept has won tremendous recognition as a reviewer of epubbed books. In fact, her blog has become so popular that she has had to hire a number of reviewers, including J. Lynn, who reviewed Vestal Virgin.

Red Adept also offers editing and proof reading services for very reasonable rates. This, I believe, came out of Red Adept's (Lynn O'Dell's) love of indie writers and their struggles to put out a professional product. Editing can be tremendously expensive.

A 5 star review from Red Adept is golden. As you might imagine, I was sweating it last night. I woke up several times and checked to see if the review had been posted. The last time I fell back to sleep, I dreamed that I received a 2 star review. I know that Red Adept reviewers consider things like editing, typos and formatting, so I figured I was good for at least 2 stars, even if the reviewer hated the book!

This brings me to another topic: Writers have a love/hate relationship with reviewers. We love reviewers, and we need them, but a bad review is torturous. Bad reviews are inevitable, especially when a book is successful and begins to sell outside of its market. That has happened to me with my short story collection, Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction)--as sales increased, the book attracted several 1 star reviews. Some of the reviews are questionable, meaning they might even come from the same reviewer using a different name, but there's nothing I can do about it, if the reviewer follows Amazon guidelines. 1 star reviews can bring down a book's rating, which may result in fewer sales. I believe 1 star and 5 star reviews should not be given lightly.

Okay, that's my rant about reviews. And I'm happy that my book received 5 stars from Red Adept!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Trick or Treat for Horror Books--The Red Tash Halloween Bash!

Check out The Halloween Bash at Red Tash and win some of the freakiest horror stories out there, including Ghost Plane and Other Disturbing Tales. For details visit: Red Tash, author of This Brilliant Darkness

Trick or Treat and visit these blogs to win these cool books:
  • Scary Marian Allen has two treats for you: Lonnie, Me, and the Hound of Hell; and The King of Cherokee Creek.
  • Zombie Whisperer Jason Kristopher will regale you with his tale of the undead, in The Dying of the Light: End.
  • Crazy Connie Roberts-Huth may fill you with delicious dread, with Whispers of the Dead.
  • Robert S. Wilson knows sometimes there’s nothing more eerie than The Quiet. Goosebumps to follow.
  • Mad scientist Alan Nayes will give you The Unnatural. Oooooh, sounds creepy, doesn’t it?
  • Dust off your cape, trick or treaters! Mad Woman Genevieve Pearson offers Chasing Power, an urban fantasy about people with SuperPowers.
  • Dreams can be frightening, when they turn to nightmares. Miles Cressman wants you to try his book The Dream Metropolis, a sci-fi thriller.
  • Fantasy lovers, M. Edward McNally has the Norothian Cycle for your perusal. Don thy armor, yon knight, and grab thy sword to sally forth on an adventure in The Sable City.
  • The Fiendish Hollister Ann Grant will captivate your mind with alien adventure Lost Cargo, then chill your bones with real ghost photos from the Gettysburg battlefield in Haunted Ground.
  • Heather Marie Adkins has an unholy offering for you in her paranormal mystery The Temple.
  • Don’t Panic! Robert Collins says if you liked The Hitchhiker’s Guide, you’ll enjoy his book Expert Assistance.
  • Insane Clown Posse got you down? Jim Bronyaur has the solution for you in No Laughing Matter. What’s more frightening than a clown? How about an undead clown? Genius, Jim.
  • The hilarious Rex Jameson wants you to bring home Lucifer this holiday season, so let’s get it started this Halloween with Lucifer’s Odyssey.
  • Rising again to thrill us is Phoenix Sullivan, author of Sector C. Leave it to cloning to mess up a perfectly good human population.
  • Dressing as a serial killer this Halloween? J.E. Taylor promises Jet-fueled action with her crime thriller Georgia Reign.
  • Rider on the Storm Melissa L Webb has not one, but 23 horror, fantasy, and paranormal spine-tinglers for you in Restless Highways.
  • Ever feel like you’re not alone in the shower? In Haunted on Bourbon Street, Deanna Chase conjures up ghostly shower stalkers.
  • She vants to suck your vlood…or at least reveal secrets of these denizens of the night. Vampires Revealed is Rebeka Harrington’s gift to our grand prize winner.
  • For something G-rated, E. W. Saloka offers Volumes of The Silver Leaf, with winged horses and generous wizards, dragons and other fantastic creatures.
  • So, come up to the lab, and see what’s on The Slab, a horror novel by Jeffrey J. Mariotte.
  • Short stories more your style? The Indie Eclective has a collection right up your alley & perfect for the Trick or Treat Bash! (I admit, I hope they ask me to join their group next time. I’d even let them haze me, more than likely.) The Indie Eclective’s Halloween Collection.
  • Ever watch the full moon rise on a crisp October night? I’m betting Robin Morris has, and she’ll let you have a copy of her Halloween Sky and Other Nightmares collection, as well.
  • The prolific short story author Suzanne Tyrpak wants you to know your seat will double as a floatation device, and it’s time to return your trays to the upright position—you’re on her Ghost Plane now, folks.
  • Knight in Shining Armor Chris Turner pens dark fantasy, heroic sword and sorcery, and a little comic relief in his collection Fantastic Realms.
  • Ever had a bad day and just want to escape it all? That’s what Halloween dress up is all about, isn’t it? Ellis Jackson’s Simon and the Wardrobe of Destiny is a terrific tale, and believe me, you’ve rarely had a day worse than the way Simon starts his journey.
  • Kim Jewell offers Misery’s Fire, where high school is Hell, for real—cliques and chicks, included.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget the obvious—you can leave a comment on my blog here at It’s a great way to leave questions and comments about the contest.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Writer Loses Her Contract with a Publisher because She Self-Published

I saw this link today on Kindleboards, and I'm reposting it, because I think it's important.

Writer, Kiana Davenport, lost her contract with Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin (according to The Passive Voice Blog ), because she electronically self-published her award winning short stories in a collection called Canibal Nights, Pacific Stories. The publisher demanded that she take down the stories and remove all mentions on Google--an impossibility--or she would lose her contract for her novel. It seems there was no non-compete clause in her contract, so she may not have to return her $20,000.00 advance. I'm not clear on that particular.

The story makes me wonder: Why does the publisher see the publication of her short stories as a threat? One issue: the stories were published on Amazon, major competition, but it would make more sense if the publisher realized that publication of Davenport's short stories would actually increase sales of her novel.

This is another sad example of trad publishing losing sight of reality.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm back! With Pink Snow Bunnies in Hell

Hooray! I'm out of Rehab and back home--minus one toe. But I got a lot of good writing material, and I've written a new short story called, Toe, which will be included in a short story anthology this fall, published by Mark Williams and Saffina Desforges, authors of the runaway bestseller, Sugar and Spice. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, Pink Snowbunnies in Hell A Flash Fiction Anthology is now live! A collection of flash fiction by some great indie writers, including Debora Geary, T.L. Haddix, Nathan Lowell and many more. A piece I wrote, Eulogy, is also included. Eulogy won first place in Red Adept's contest last winter.

The collection is just .99 cents and all proceeds go to animal shelters.

Here's the description:

A sleep-deprived author mixes up her metaphors.

A graphic designer has too much time on his hands.

Twenty writers, fueled by copious amounts of chocolate, dream up quirky, funny, and occasionally creepy stories.

And the Pink Snowbunnies in Hell Flash-Fiction Anthology was born.

These are very short stories, under a thousand words each. Some have actual bunnies. Some take rather offbeat trips through the underworld. And some just have a character that shares the sleep-deprived author’s mixed metaphors.

All proceeds from this anthology are going to local animal shelters. Pink snowbunnies can take care of themselves, but thank you for helping us support those animals who do need a little assistance.

Stories included in the anthology:

Domestic Disturbance, by T.L. Haddix
Wedding Heaven, Ltd, by A.J. Braithwaite
When, by Robin Reed
Where’s JoJo? A Bunny’s Guide to Family Dysfunction, by Julie Christensen
Wingman, by Nathan Lowell
It Finally Happens…, by Heather Marie Adkins
Careful What You Wish For, by Barbra Annino
Of Demons and Bunnies, by Nichole Chase
Pink Snowbunnies are the New Pink Ribbon, by Jimi Ripley
One Wrong Turn Deserves Another, by Asher MacDonald
Marissa’s Tattoo, by Steve Silkin
Eulogy, by Suzanne Tyrpak
The Taste of Pink Snow, by Susan Helene Gottfried
Revenge of the Peeps, by Camille LaGuire
Love in a Time of Bunnies, by Coral Moore
The Bunni and the Bird, by Penny Cunningham
The Recession is Hell, by Randi Rogue
Pink Snowbunnies Acrostic, by Molly Black
Don’t Mess with the Meadow, by Rex Jameson
A Gift for a Very Special Girl, by Debora Geary