Looking back and charging forward

Every January I make a To-Do list of all my major works in progress and figure out which ones I want to prioritize. Here’s the 2017 edition.

Looking back over last year, I’m super proud of all the work I’ve done. So many short stories got finished up, published, and I’m hoping that more get picked up soon. Here’s a quick rundown of everything I published this year.

  • January 2016 – A Slippery Customer
    • Hit top 10 on Amazon’s Horror anthology list multiple times
  • February 2016 – Tiny Necks
    • Almost entirely 5-star reviews and more keep rolling in
  • May 2016 – Curse of Beauty
    • Received several excellent reviews!  ❤
  • October 2016 – Dead Man’s Hill
    • A Halloween tale with a dash of dark humor

However I did notice that I hadn’t made much progress on my novels. Outside of Beyond the Treehouse, I didn’t do that much work on the WIP novels I had. There’s a good reason for that actually.

At the beginning of the year I got a publication offer from a small publishing company, one that I had worked with before. Their communications were a little sporadic, but I was excited to get my book published. However the contract they sent me gave me major concerns. It took me a bit to find some legal advice, but once I did I felt like I had a grounded ability to negotiate and listed out my requests. Unfortunately a big request on my list was not available to negotiate, and I had to reject the offer. A few months later I found out that the publisher was closing shop after being in the business since 2012.

I was upset to hear what had happened to them, and to the amazing authors who worked with them. It was also hard for me to get back into working on my books after that. Short stories I could dive into easily, but books were harder. Books take a lot of commitment, and after having plans fall through like that, it’s been hard to get motivated again.

I’m hoping to change that in 2017. This year I’m planning on focusing a lot more on my novels, and hopefully knock out book 2 for one of my series on the list. I also have a standalone horror novel that I’ve been itching to start too. Here’s my list of WIP novels and short stories for 2017. Look at how complete that short story listing is too!  ❤

If you want to see my 2016 WIP to-do list, check out my post:

Hooray for To-Do Lists!

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Coming soon: Hallowe’en Hell

Some excellent news this lovely October day! My Halloween-themed short story, “Dead Man’s Hill”, has been accepted into Sirens Call Publication’s eZine, issue 29: Hallowe’en Hell! Every issue of their eZine is free to read, so you’ll get a whole issue chock full of Halloween tales. How’s that for getting you in the Halloween spirit? Once it’s out, I’ll be sure to post a link here for everyone to enjoy!

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This story was originally written in a response to the following prompt: A zombie apocalypse occurs in a society which has been ready for it for over a century.

So YES, there will be zombies. And YES, there will be gore. It wouldn’t quite be Halloween without it, right?

Also a big thanks to everyone who visited and posted comments on the HWA book giveaway last week! I haven’t gotten the notification on who won yet, but once I do, I’ve got the anthology right beside me ready to go.

Halloween Giveaways Galore

We’ve had our Halloween decorations up for  a couple of weeks, but that doesn’t diminish the excitement when October rolls around. The temperature has dropped and the sweaters have been broken out. Pretty soon it’ll be time to visit pumpkin patches and drink hot apple cider to keep warm. It’s the month for marathoning horror films and making the tough decision of figuring out what to wear to that Halloween party.

Now there’s another treat to help you enjoy this frightful season. Throughout the whole month of October the Horror Writer’s Association will have daily guest blog posts from horror authors celebrating the season of candy and terror. We’re posting short stories, reminiscing about the joy of Halloween, and of course hosting giveaways!

halloweenhaunts

Drop by and check out today’s Halloween Haunt post, Dirty Ghosts by David Ghilardi. To see the full schedule, check out the listing here on Facebook.

not-your-average-monster-2-cover-smallBe sure to drop by on October 5th for your chance to win a free copy of Not Your Average Monster Volume 2!

On October 31st, for Halloween, one lucky winner will win a Kindle Fire HD6 as well!

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Curse of Beauty Now Available!

It’s the beginning of May. Do you know what that means?

The end of spring semester for many exhausted college students?
Yep!

It’s time for convention season to go into full swing?
Quite possibly.

The new Game of Thrones season came out, filling up my Facebook feed and tempting me with spoilers I’m trying desperately to avoid?
Oh yes!

You know what else it means? It means my story, Curse of Beauty, is now available on Heroic Fantasy Quarterly! It’s been included in their 28th issue and even features some beautiful artwork from Kat Scarber.

All of these stories are free to read, so why not drop by and take a look?

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly – Q28

If you enjoy them, please share them around! Make an artist’s day! 🙂

Curse of Beauty Coming Your Way

I really didn’t expect to be sharing a new publication so soon after having two horror shorts published, but here we go!

I just sent off the contract to Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. They’re going to be publishing my fantasy short story, “Curse of Beauty”, in the next issue on their website! It should be going up around May 1st, to be included in Issue #28, so in just a couple of weeks. Note that this will be a free read, so anybody can drop by and read it once it’s live. 😉

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly - About Us

This story has had a long road to get to this point. I’ve been trying to find a home for it since 2011 and have had over 20 rejections on it. Sometimes I wondered if it was worth shopping around, but this is a business where it’s good to be persistent. Like I’ve said before, my writing can be difficult to pin down, which means finding the right niche for it is difficult.

I’ve actually had a couple of older, hard-to-place pieces picked up lately. “A Slippery Customer” was another one. That one too had been homeless since 2011 and had 16 rejections, and the anthology crawled all the way up to #3 in Amazon’s horror anthology listing.

I guess the lesson of this story is not to give up. Take a fresh read of your story now and then, because you do get better as a writer over time, but don’t let yourself get discouraged. Keep sending them out. Eventually you’ll find the awesome editor for your piece. The numbers I’ve listed here are pretty typical in placing your writing. These are just short stories I’m talking about too, not even novels. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of submitting longer pieces to publishers. (I think I’m still scorched from Hodderscape’s open window from last August.)

Anyway come May 1st I’ll be sending out all the links I can, and hopefully you’ll understand why I’m so proud of this baby. I hope you’ll read and share as well!