Novel sale, story sales, new poems and my true self

/ Thursday, August 26th, 2021 / No Comments »

Howdy again, folks! I’ve had a fair number of cool things happen here in 2021 that I have yet to record here. Rather than continue to wait for a block of time to open up, I decided I’d better go ahead and launch these bottle rockets.

In olden days, I would have tried to space all these items out over several blog posts. But Lord knows I don’t have the time to do that, haven’t had the time all year, and blogs are passe, anyway. Nonetheless, I want there to be some sort of record that people can easily find that these things are happening. And this is still the simplest way for me to do it.

Before I get to the meaty morsels, I have got to serve this fun confection: this amazing new Chibi version of myself that I received in exchange for assisting with a fundraiser for Kaleidocast Season Three. Artist Mantamasters has concocted what’s essentially the Platonic version of me, the person I aspire to be when I write. If confronting my true self doesn’t inspire me to finish some of these dangling novel drafts, I have no idea what will, ha ha!

By the way, folks, if you haven’t checked out Kaleidocast you really need to get on that now: three whole seasons for your enjoyment! Find them here.

A novel development

TC-coverSome pretty big news that, amazingly, I have not yet breathed a word of on this blog (mind-boggling!) is that: I HAVE SOLD ANOTHER NOVEL!

Broken Eye Books will be bringing out my dark fantasy novel Trail of Shadows in 2022. Trail of Shadows has been gestating for a long, long, long time. I want to thank my buddy Jamie Lee Moyer and her editing skills for spurring this book into what appears to be its final form, barring whatever additional adjustments Broken Eye Books publisher and editor Scott Gable might require. I’m so grateful to Scott for giving this wayward monster a home.

Trail of Shadows ties into a number of short stories that I have had published over the years. The few and the proud who have followed my tales in all their scattershot appearances might not have been aware of it, but the narrative of Trail of Shadows has been an unseen source of gravity, in the manner that anomalies in a planet’s orbit ultimately reveal that there’s another unseen planet exerting force from further out in the void.

 The novel grew from my short story “The Hiker’s Tale” (included in Unseaming) and its novelette sequel “Follow the Wounded One” (included in Aftermath of an Industrial Accident). “The Cruelest Team Will Win” (also included in Aftermath) follows the events of Trail of Shadows. “The Feather Stitch,” published last year in Lackington’s, connects the Trail of Shadows universe to my “Button Bin” stories, sewing it all together into one big scary “Allenverse,” so to speak.

Worth a note: this isn’t my first rodeo with Broken Eye. My story “Drift from the Windows” appeared in Tomorrow’s Cthulhu and another story, “Nolens Volens” (that has a distant connection to Trail of Shadows) appeared in Nowhereville.

It is wonderful and kind of mind-blowing that this huge, hidden piece of art I’ve been sculpting for a decade will at last be available for readers. I’ll keep folks posted on its progress.

Double double-barrelled horrors

Selling this novel ain’t the only news! I have also sold two short stories to a forthcoming Plutonian Press anthology of Horror and the Weird, working title Pluto in Furs 2.

One of the stories, “Abhors,” is possibly the grossest piece of fiction I have ever written. I am not ashamed of this at all, I am proud!

The other story, “This Rider of Fugitive Dawns,” is a bit more of a surreal nightmare. Both tales prominently feature invertebrates and various strange and uncomfortable ways that a human can end up interacting with them.

I super-grateful to editor and publisher Scott Dwyer for choosing both stories for his book — a landmark achievement in the course of my odd little career.

And: I have two new poems that have not just sold; they have been published! The first, “Astynome, After,” appeared online in The Deadlands. I wrote it after Deadlands poetry editor Sonya Taaffe reached out and pried me at least temporarily out of the tarpit of the poetry doldrums that I’ve long been stuck in, I am delighted to be able to share this epic bit of ekphrastic weirdness with the world.

The second poem, “Edifice,” appears in the latest issue of Star*Line. A straightforward song of horror, here it is for your enjoyment.

Everybody must get stoned

In case anybody was wondering, Aftermath of an Industrial Accident did not win the Shirley Jackson Award. This is not a shock to me — I am thrilled to see Kathe Koja take home the trophy (or, to be precise, receive it in the mail). Meanwhile, I get to add to my rock collection. Aren’t they pretty?

The demands of my day job and a whole series of household crises have occupied my time in very inconvenient ways through the first two thirds of 2021. However, I have did manage to squeeze out enough time to start some very interesting projects under the Mythic Delirium Books imprint that I know you are going to love. Watch this space for more information!

Bonus Round: the birthday party for A Sinister Quartet was a blast! In what must be the most unusual thing I’ve ever done to promote a book, all four Sinister authors dressed up as creatures from each other’s worlds. This might give you an idea of how that looked in virtual space:

I dressed as a character from C. S. E. Cooney’s The Twice-Drowned Saint, with massive makeup help from Anita. What can I say? I’m your angel.

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