My Books & Stories (Amazon Page)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Conestoga 14 Report

Well, a visit to Conestoga 14 this morning and this afternoon might (remember might) have paid off. I put a partial for Hatchings into the hands of Tyree Campbell, editor and publisher of Sam's Dot Publishing this morning and he asked to see Night On A Boat (my short Quentin Dallas vignette) in an email Monday.

This evening I met Travis Taylor and during our conversation he offered to give me a copy of his book on planetary defense (which sells on Amazon for $35). I turned the offer down, of course (stating that I appreciated it, however), but if I see him tomorrow morning I might just take him up on the offer (probably not; I'm far too polite for my own good sometimes).

I haven't seen S.M. Sterling yet, and naturally I expect a rejection from Mr. Campbell (even though he complimented me several times for knowing how to format a manuscript and to use commas) and after saying he wouldn't read the partial and synopsis during the Con when I left he was sitting there reading it anyway (he thought the idea of a secret government agency buried inside FEMA was a remarkably plausible one).

So, for what it's worth, and the remarkably short time I've actually had to spend at the convention, it was well worth the $35 registration fee. I just wish I could have stayed for the "meet & greets" and the parties tonight (I don't see too well at night these days (badly need new glasses) and I have a taillight and a rear blinker light out so driving at night is only done on as as-needed basis).

So, all-in-all, it looks like the July epub date for Hatchings is off the table for the moment (though I need to dive into that final, final, final edit again and git 'er done).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Cover designs can be an important part of your book, possibly as important as the writing inside those covers. After all, what attracts you a book first aside from the name of the author? The cover, right?

Here's another cover design I'm toying with for the book,

The original cover, which was done by a friend over at Absolute Write is on another computer and I'll amend this post later to show it.

Here's the other cover design,

So, which one do you like best?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Rejection & Depression

Every time, every time I submit something I'm absolutely sure it's going to be rejected. I'm a hack and I'm proud of my hackness. I've been told by a professional (associate) editor that it would be years before I was writing at a professional level.

But, I've had 3 short stories published by the same online 'zine and they're a pretty big venue (and very well-respected for the most part). Yes, they're a nonpaying venue, but do I give a rip? Nope. I'm gaining a reputation there.

Every single time I get something published out there wherever by whomever for whatever I'm putting my stories out there to entertain people and more people are getting to know me and my writing. That means that eventually people will start to watch for stuff I write - and maybe even buy it now and then.

Every time I get something published I think of that editor and say to myself "See what you missed, a$$hole? You tried to discourage me and to extinguish my career before it had even started. This is my payback for that."

Starting small and working up? I can live with that. Starting and stopping altogether? No way. I have been writing since I was in my pre-teens. I'm now past 50. I've published a buttload of non-fiction in various venues, but I've never had a story or novel professionally published. I might never see that happen. Does that mean I'm going to stop writing?

Not just "No", but "Hell, no!"

Just the mention that I'm going to self e-publish a book this July made an acquaintance of mine at my day job happy. He's as anxious about seeing the book come out as I am (which surprised the daylights out of me) and he's happier about it than I am because there is a great deal of trepidation I feel about this particular venture.

But he's going to tell 2 people and they;re going to tell 2 people and so on and so forth.

My writing's going to make someone else happy. It already has and that person hasn't even read the book yet.

Yours will too - if you stick to it long enough.

It's hard. It's dirty. It's cutthroat, and it's inefficient - but if you've got the bug for writing you cannot ever lay it down.

If you can walk away, you should. But think about those people you might disappoint, those people who will never be delighted just to hear that you have a story or book about to come out.

Can you walk away from them?

It is a wonderful thing to be able to inspire delight, anticipation, and yes, hunger, in another human being with your imagination.

So, when discouragement and depression, and rejection get you down, remember the guy I told you about above. He could be anyone you know. He could be a lot of people you know. You have stories to tell. Tell them and forget about everything else.

You may not be a master today, but who is? It takes years to become a master in any field. Be a hack instead and tell stories that delight and entertain and thrill.