Oh boy, this is belated

The awesome folks over at Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing gave the world the Lost Signals anthology, oh, um, eight months ago. Yeah. August last year.

I should maybe remember to update my website with a little more haste.

Within this intense anthology sound and radio wave themed horror, you’ll find my story, “The Sound of Yesterday”. Each story got a heading illustration by Luke Spooner.

thesoundofyesterday

Get yourselves a copy, fine readers!

Here’s the full Table of Contents.

Scott Nicolay writes the introduction
Matthew M. Bartlett, with “If He Summons His Herd”, and “Where Night Cowers”
T.E. Grau, with “Transmission”
Joseph Bouthiette Jr., with “From: Item L5161ORDE, ‘The Dangsturm Interruption’”
Josh Malerman, with “The Givens Sensor Board”
David James Keaton, with “Sharks With Thumbs”
Tony Burgess, with “Bad Lieutenant”
Michael Paul Gonzalez, with “How the Light Gets In”
George Cotronis, with “Darkhorse Actual”
Betty Rocksteady, with “The Desert of Wounded Frequencies”
Christopher Slatsky, with “Eternity Lie in its Radius”
Amanda Hard, with “Rosabelle, Believe”
Gabino Iglesias, with “The Last Scream”
Dyer Wilk, with “The Man in Room 603”
My story, “The Sound of Yesterday”
Matt Andrew, with “Children of a German Autumn”
H.F. Arnold, with “The Night Wire”
John C. Foster, with “Armageddon Baby”
Vince Darcangelo, with “The Small Hours”
Regina Solomond, with “Hush”
Joshua Chaplinsky, with “Feedback Loop”
Damien Angelica Walters, with “Little Girl Blue, Come Cry Your Way Home”
Paul Michael Anderson, with “All That You Leave Behind”
and James Newman, with “SOMETHINGINTHECODE”

~A

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Three, two, one, let’s jam

We have launch on Qualia Nous!

There was a surprising info leak two days back, that the mammoth science fiction and horror anthology was available to purchase on Amazon before the “official” release of the book. Word from the publisher, Written Backwards, is that the contributors told the world, and sales bloomed.

Whether you want to catch my story in the anthology, or read the phenomenal work from my co-contributors, or wish to enjoy yet another brilliant project coming out of Written Backwards, Qualia Nous is here and ready to make an impact.

Buy your copy now.

Happy release day to editor and writerlings;
Michael Bailey
Stephen King
Usman T. Malik
Gene O’Neill
Emily B. Cataneo
Erik T. Johnson
Ian Shoebridge
D.J. Cockburn
John R. Little
Jon Michael Kelley
Lori Michelle
James Chambers
Jason V Brock
Marge Simon
Peter Hagelslag
Christian A. Larsen
Max Booth III
Richard Thomas
Erinn L. Kemper
William F. Nolan
John Everson
Pat R. Steiner
Paul Anderson
Lucy A. Snyder
Rena Mason
Thomas F. Monteleone
Patrick Freivald
Mason Ian Bundschuh
Elizabeth Massie
and Gary A. Braunbeck
Know that it’s an absolute pleasure to share the pages of Qualia Nous with all of you.

~A

Off on a tangent

I’ve begun writing many, many short stories when an idea strikes or the mood takes me; most of the recent ones are for my own entertainment, a kind of fanfiction for the world I’ve created in The Damning Moths. Sometimes triggered by a reader asking about a specific event in the novel, or just an offshoot from where I’m filling in blanks, plotting other events, and I will start wondering, “What happens here?”

Despite the level of enjoyment these pieces bring me, in a lot of cases, I feel compelled to drop the stories in favour of writing something more in the second novel. There is an oppressive need to get the next book done now, now, now, even as I’m juggling the many threads in the story and trying to keep everything sane, in order. But there the shorts sit, waiting, and I do try and tie off those loose ends eventually. They are too fun to ignore indefinitely.

After completing the draft for an extremely succinct piece, I shrugged and gave copies to my editors to see what they would say. Opinions were good. Apparently, the story appealed to them as well. And so, given a final polish, I’ve gone ahead and released Greenflame as another freebie over at TheDamningMoths.com. You’re all welcome to stop by and read this 1,600 word short when you have a moment spare.

There are more tales from In The Between, the pieces which catch my attention here and there. I look forward to the day when more of them are complete and I can publish them as well. In the meantime, the novel still screams at the back of my mind, demanding more words, more time, more attention. Maybe we can start placing bets on which story I will get through next.

~A

In looking back

I’ve been writing for 3/5ths of my life.

This blog has already been around for three years, a confusing rush of time blended into the everything else happening. On that note, many thanks for continuing to read, my friends. This is, as always, an interesting experience for me.

We’re approaching the third anniversary of my first publishing acceptance, and in turn, the second anniversary of holding an actual printed book in my hands, containing a story I had composed. I’ve made some amazing friends in being a part of that anthology.

Almost six months ago, my first novel successfully launched, along with a little companion tale. The start of many to come in the Anecdota.

And now, another short story will be given to the world. Something small and special, still close to my heart, still young and cherished until the moment the anthology is made and I cannot hold the words as they pour between my fingers and make their way into the reader’s minds, when the story is no longer mine alone.

As stated on the Acknowledgements page of The Damning Moths, I merely write these things; they come to life when you read them. You take them in and experience the story, and they become more, something outside of my control.

Gazing over what I have already accomplished gives a sense of warmth and comfort, a happy glow proving, “I Am.” To know how many people I am reaching, from corners of the globe both obvious and unexpected, is poignant. I’m glad for what I have already done, and equally grateful for the small, screaming voice which always tells me it’s still not enough. Because I have a drive to do it all again. Write a story. Find it the right home. Release it to change and grow and transform into what it must.

Looking back over these things, just one possible sum of my existence, I know I have done well. Here I am, listening to songs hopeful and quietly melancholic and composing new tales, always, endlessly. I can wrap the past around me as a comforting blanket. None of it was a fluke, I’m leaving a mark.

I am here, doing what I was made for.

~A

Cross a name off the list

Publisher Written Backwards has been responsible for some of my all-time favourite anthologies. Which makes me all the more amazed to be included in the next one…!

A short story happened one day, a strange little piece indeed. Inspired by reading about cutting edge medical breakthroughs in cancer treatment, at the same time as ancient Greek medical theories, and finding myself in a strange overlapping territory – “dyscrasia” being both the old Greek term of health imbalance, and now used in naming plasma cell cancer.

The music I happened to be listening to topped off the whole event. Somehow, I had a complete story on my hands, without being sure what to do with it.

I determined after sitting, reading, editing the whole thing that it was probably cyberpunk, a sub-genre of science fiction. And then I waited, and read, and re-read, still uncertain. What was this piece? What would I do with it? There was something very appealing in the story for me, but I don’t normally write sci-fi, and I spent a lot of time glaring at my computer screen. I edited a touch more here and there before throwing Dyscrasia at my beta readers. They got back to me, expressing opposite opinions. Add in another beta reader. Another day. Another reaction.

A new thought tickling at the back of my mind.

Editor Michael Bailey had mentioned his next anthology, Qualia Nous, was not entirely invite-only. The door might still be unlocked for those willing to knock. A great coming together of sci-fi and horror, guaranteed to be as epic as the previous Written Backwards anthologies, and here I figured, why not submit? I don’t know what else to do with Dyscrasia. Almost as if… I was passing the time. So submission goes off, I sleep, then head out for work, life goes on.

I get home again, see an email in my inbox.

It hasn’t even been 24 hours.

I’ve been formally accepted into Qualia Nous.

Dyscrasia is exactly what the editor was waiting for.

That weird cyberpunk story which bubbled up on its own accord, truthfully when I was procrastinating away from writing other novels, had landed me a place beside some amazing authors in one of the most exciting new markets out there. I can’t wait to hold a copy of Qualia Nous in my hands and see how this anthology has come together, with me, somehow, a part of it.

~A

Two Days

People have asked me, in an almost constant stream, aren’t I excited about my book coming out? Even aside from the fact that I’m rather reserved with expressing my enthusiasm (I simply do not understand the people who actually scream and leap around when they are excited), I’ve had a whole lot more to take care of in the lead up to release day. I haven’t been so worried that I couldn’t still feel eager, but at the same time, most of the nervousness I’ve had is that distant roar of panic instead of glee. So little time and so much to do, and a drive to do it all well.

But I’m running out of other responsibilities. I’ve crossed almost everything off the list. The first shipment of books coming to me is taken care of. Incidental tasks are completed. The Market on The Damning Moths website works fabulously. I’ve put up sample chapters and illustrations to the delight of many readers (and once again, thank you for the wonderful feedback). A free short story was made available. I’ve remembered to send updates to the mailing list, and finalise the ebook formatting, and complete a rather intimidating amount of business-end work.

There’s nearly nothing left to distract me.

In two days, my first novel will be available. Pre-orders will be sent out. Guests will come to the launch party on Sunday. I will sign bookplates and posters (both part of the pre-order freebies), and it’s both all too real, and a little unbelievable. Sure, I’m excited, if you dig under the veil of bewilderment.

I’ve asked some of my long-time author friends: does it get easier? Does release day ever stop being this vibrating, ruffled thing of delight and fear? There’s a reason they are my friends, because they were utterly honest with me. Even someone whose novels are bestsellers and internationally renowned warned me that, no, launches don’t get less unsettling. They just become more familiar in their terrible wonder.

And yet, here I am, ready to do it all again for the subsequent books. Stars above.

~A

It’s time

Because there’s nothing like adding an extra activity into an already full schedule, I’m trying to dedicate myself to blogging again. I miss you guys! So here it is. Hi, folks. I’m back.

Let’s start off with the most pertinent information…!

I finally got my new tattoo, because The Damning Moths will be released on November 13th, and this ink is to commemorate my first full novel length publication! If you’re not already following along on Facebook or the mailing list and want to keep abreast of book-related announcements, head on over to the fancy updated official website for The Damning Moths. We’ve got a stunning photo-realistic portrait of the main character, Lacilegwen, as our background image, painted by the incredible Ty Scheuerman. A countdown timer (which never fails to give me butterflies when I see it – gasp) and some other information here and there, but the website will continue to grow as more media is completed and other goodies become available.

Here’s a photo from the day after I got tattooed. I’ve talked a little bit before about the significance of tattoos in my life, and this one is rich and meaningful in more ways than one. It’s been five days since, and it’s progressing through the natural peel part of healing, complete with otherwise frightening amounts of ink-blackened skin falling off. Itching comes on in manageable increments. I’m still very enamoured.

Now other pre-release planning for The Damning Moths is becoming concrete. I’m in the middle of contacting various printers and manufacturers for pricing on giveaway treasures, and gleefully cackling while obtaining the best possible offers. This reiterates why I run my own business. I rock at this stuff.

Other short fiction I am writing to use in the month of pre-release excitement is working out better than I anticipated, simply because I struggle with shorter work, yet must be getting better with all this practice. First impressions from a couple of readers have been positive, but I still have a lot of work to cover in an ever-shortening amount of time.

And in case you’re wondering, the weather forecast is stupidhot tomorrow, followed by a return to normal, cool, with rain. October, don’t freak out on me

I hope all you lovely people have been happy and healthy. Say hi, tell me your best news from the last few months. I need to catch up!

~A