Update: #amwriting – fall, weird, bigfoot

#AmWriting in Autumn

The leaves have been fantastic around here the last few weeks. We’ve had some beautiful blue-sky days lately, though they have been a bit warmer for my tastes. Even though I’ve been going through some really hard stuff lately, I’m doing my best to get out and enjoy the greatest season in West Virginia. I even got me a brand new set of overalls. Autumn is probably my favorite time of year, especially here, though I do not think it would be so special if it were fall all year round (a guy’s gotta ski sometime). The last two years, we’ve had some biblical-scale infestations of those pseudo-lady bugs. This year I have a plan to keep them out, and, so far, the lady bug problem has been subdued. Crossing fingers. Other than that, the only negative I can think of regarding Octobers is being reminded that there are still people in this world who think it’s OK to say/write/think to one’s self, “Happy Fall, Y’all!”. (If you’re that person, please note: it is never OK). Otherwise, it is pretty much the perfect month. Here are some pictures from my walk to my writing spot a couple days ago, though my old smart phone needs to be replaced. It is not capable of really capturing the brilliance and beauty. I wish I had some pictures from a bike ride I took up on Burner Mountain, but I suppose I’ll have to be satisfied with memories, like a healthy human being.

#AmWriting Weird Fiction

I finished a very strange Augustus Valley novella recently. I started it in February, planning for it to be a 3k-5k word short story for Hinnom Magazine (before the editor there had some kind of personal emergency and kind of disappeared from the internet—come back, C.P.! We miss you. Seriously, hope you’re OK).

At first, I had trouble with it, getting in words in fits and starts. Slowly, it grew—and kept growing (much like something in the story that… well, isn’t generally supposed to). Next thing I knew, it was past 10k words, then 15k… and this September I buckled down and knocked out the last of it, coming out to around 21,300 words after some editing. I guess I might dare say the story is a touch Aickman-ey. I hesitate to make that comparison, because I would not presume to lift myself to his level. It’s super weird, though.

I’m not great at pitches and summaries for even my more traditional stuff; I really don’t know how to pitch this one. A kid goes to work cleaning a mansion for a very strange man, who tries to mentor him in his off-the-wall philosophies on science and religion. Then crazy stuff happens. You will be amazed! Disturbed! Confounded! Horrified! Anyone interested yet? I hope my trouble to summarize it in a compelling way does not mean that it is actually a dud. I was afraid it would be, after all the trouble I had finishing it, but when I went back over it, I found myself quite happy with it. Hopefully readers will also be pleased. I do not know when it will be available for you to read, but if you sign up for my emails, I will notify you as soon as possible.

#AmWriting Bigfoot

After that, I got back to work on the Bigfoot novel at last. Once again, I find it unlikely that I will finish it this year. However, I’m actually starting to make some progress on it, which I could not say until this season. Sometimes it feels like writing this book is more difficult than tracking Old Sassy over Cheat Mountain.

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Other notes and news

The West Virginia Book Festival was a whole lot of fun, as always. Big thanks to my buddy Stephen Golden for lending me his couch and food. Thank you, all who made it out to support me, and hello to any new readers who might be visiting my blog for the first time. Thanks to you guys, I sold out of all the copies I brought of Little One, the first time I’ve ever done that. Next time I’ll try to plan a little better.

On November 1st and 2nd (aka Halloween Weekend, despite it being November), I’ll be signing books at the Haunted Majestic in Huntington, a floating haunted house on the river. I am psyched to go and meet more people and check out this awesome event.

If you haven’t picked up the latest Black Static (#71), I highly recommend grabbing a copy. I found Stephen Hargadon’s “Dixon Parade” quite enjoyable. Shades of Thomas Ligotti and Ramsey Campbell. I have not finished the rest of the magazine, but I was very pleased to discover a new author and seek out more of his work.

End of Summer Kindle sale coming soon

It’s already getting very cool in the Allegheny mountains. Autumn is coming.
As the summer wraps up, I’m going to be doing a 99 cent sale on the Kindle versions of my novels (sale price will apply to the US and UK amazon markets only). When the Watcher Shakes will go on sale first for a week, followed by Little One for another week. Stay tuned.
Email list subscribers will be notified first.

Click here to make sure you get the notification.

Lewisburg Literary Festival THIS WEEKEND

Whoah! I have been so busy that August (and with it, the Lewisburg Literary Festival) completely snuck up on me. Can you believe that August starts this Thursday?
Refer to the website and Facebook page for details on schedule, speakers, workshops, and all that jazz! (Unfortunately, there is no literal jazz, as far as I know. One of the few things that could make Lewisburg cooler is a jazz lounge).
Come out on August 2-3; I’ll be there. More excitingly, so will Tobias Wolff and Sarah Vowell. And other cool people.
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This is one of the coolest literary events in WV in one of the coolest small towns in WV (nay, in all of America!—see Budget Travel Magazine‘s 2011 list). Everything’s so cool.

New edition of When the Watcher Shakes on Amazon

It’s time for a little update to my first book, When the Watcher Shakes. Behold this gorgeous cover from none other than Ben Baldwin, who also designed my covers for Little One and Antique Bed, and whose art has appeared in publications like Black Static, Stephen King & Richard Chizmar’s Gwendy’s Button Box, and too many others of note to name here.
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Please note that this is not a sequel. This is a new edition with some superficial changes to the text. Nothing has changed in regard to plot or characters, and no scenes have been added or removed. So if you already own a copy of the first edition, congrats! You don’t need to get the new one, unless you are, like me, a sucker for awesome artwork and need to have a copy just for the new cover. But now may be a good time to think if you have any friends that need a copy. 🙂

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Click here to buy When the Watcher Shakes on Amazon!

Give thanks for #BuckSeason – 99c ebooks!

I’m putting my eBooks on sale. Why now, you ask? Well, because that’s when BookBub said to, that’s why!
Unwilling to brave the Black Friday Thursday Thanksgiving Week horde? I have the perfect thing. Pay only 99 cents for either of my books, Little One and When the Watcher Shakes, and never leave your house. That’s right, it’s a #BuckSeason Sale — hunt ebooks for under a buck!  This deal is limited, so act now. This will be good in the US and UK Amazon stores*, until November 26th. (Clicking on the images below will the US product display pages on Amazon.com).
 
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Happy Thanksgiving!
 
*This deal is also good in Amazon AU and Amazon CA, but for Little One only!

Happy Halloween

I kind of already said this, but HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Here is the jack-o-lantern Emily and I carved this season:
 

October is the best month for a variety of reasons. You got beautiful fall colors, crisp, cool weather, and yeah, Halloween (see above). I got in some good mountain biking, had tons of fun at the annual West Virginia Book Festival, and got to meet up for coffee with an old friend at Taylor Books, which is a pretty great coffee shop/book store in downtown Charleston that I recommend.
 

Also, this month I released a new Kindle horror novelette, Antique Bed, which you can get on Amazon for only $0.99.
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And just in time for Halloween, Horror Tales Podcast released their fourth episode, which is my story “The Unknown Thing”, previously published in Beneath the Waves: Tales from the Deep. Click below to listen (it’s free):
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***EDIT: I was just notified that my story has been listened to over one thousand times already, in just a few days! Cool!
One experience I had that was not enjoyable this month was the Witch’s Brew drink at Starbucks. This purple monstrosity was so awful looking that I just had to try it. There is zero coffee in this drink (not that anyone expected it), and I could only take a few sips before tossing it in the trash.
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As I don’t live in a town where there is trick-or-treating (or a town of any kind, for that matter), sadly, my house is not stocked full of candy (also, I guess they don’t always do trick-or-treating on actual Halloween anymore?). However, Emily and I have some pretty fun plans involving our traditional viewing of Halloween is Grinch Night and some caramel apples that are sure to ruin our teeth but be wildly tasty (ironically enough, last night I had a dream in which two of my teeth fell out for no reason).
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So go enjoy the holiday, however you do that—consuming tons of sugar, watching movies, listening to Horror Tales Podcast, or reading one of my books (I guess somebody else’s book is fine, too). Remember that tomorrow candy will be dirt cheap.

Listen to "The Unknown Thing" on Horror Tales Podcast

My short story “The Unknown Thing”, originally published in Beneath the Waves: Tales From the Deep by Things in the Well Publications, has been turned into an exciting podcast episode on Horror Tales Podcast. They were going release it on Halloween, but they just couldn’t wait any longer—so here it is! Click the icon below to see all the episodes, including mine (Episode 4).
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Give the podcast a rating and review on iTunes if you have an account there, and it will help this new podcast reach more people.
Max Ablitzer does so much hard work in getting the best and most intriguing sound effects for the podcast and I love how it turned out. I think you will too.

Happy Early Halloween!

 

Go to the West Virginia Book Festival this weekend in Charleston, WV

Hi everyone, this weekend is the West Virginia Book Festival at the Charleston Civic Center. Please come and support books and writers and West Virginia. It’s free!
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Of course I will be selling autographed copies of my novels in the Festival Marketplace. I look forward to meeting you there. Marketplace hours are Friday the 26th from 11:30 AM to 6:30 PM and Saturday the 27th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Big Deal Authors presenting include John Scalzi, Dennis Lehane, and Meredith Sue Willis. Cool Things To Do include writing workshops, buying books, guest lectures, and buying books. The highlight of the year! See the schedule here.