/ October 1st, 2012 / 1 Comment »

Today Clockwork Phoenix 4 opens to submissions.

Today is also the final day you can submit to Mythic Delirium 28.

Did I mention today is also when the edits to my novel The Black Fire Concerto are due in to Black Gate?

Bring it on.

Bring it on.




My poem with Anita, “Unland, Unlife,” up for Dwarf Stars Award

/ September 24th, 2012 / 2 Comments »

I learned last night that my poem “Unland, Unlife,” co-written with Anita, has been selected to be one of the contenders for the 2012 Dwarf Stars Award. This is the first time we’ve been up for a writing award for something we’ve composed together. Way cool!

And even more mockup fun (cover in progress)

/ September 10th, 2012 / 2 Comments »

More fun with logos and mockups (work in progress)

/ September 9th, 2012 / No Comments »

I’ve also updated the Clockwork Phoenix guidelines. Though this too is still a bit of a work in progress.

Novel and short story collection news

/ September 7th, 2012 / No Comments »

So last night and this morning I got the go-ahead to share two very exciting bits of news that came to fruition in the month following the Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter.

First, I’m pleased to announce the sale of my novel, tentatively titled The Black Fire Concerto, to Black Gate. The few and proud who have followed my blog entries this past year have heard me refer to this work as the “Claire-dare novel.” That’s because my wonderful friend and colleague Claire Cooney, who writes as C.S.E., solicited this work from me late last fall (and just spent the last four months editing it, bless her heart.)

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where magic works, ghouls walk and fox-people populate hidden cities, my book chronicles the adventures of a sorceress, musician and sharpshooter named Olyssa, told from the point of view of Erzelle, a young harpist whom Olyssa rescues from a death cult and ends up taking under her wing.

The book is an experiment on two fronts: Black Gate intends to tackle the e-book market, so that’s the form in which Black Fire Concerto will first appear. (No publication date’s set at the moment; there’s a lot still to do to reach that point.) Second, inspired by Black Gate’s sword and sorcery roots, Black Fire Concerto is an effort on my part to capture that Elric and Moonglum/Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser feel — filtered through my own dark and twisty sensibilities, of course — and thus it’s not a solid brick of a novel, but rather two episodes, a free standing novelette (The Red Empress) followed by a two-part short novel (Bone Mosaics/Burning Horses.) For those of you who know your Elric, the latter aspires to some of the same over-the-top magical extravagance that marks the “Sailing to the Future” episode that kicks off The Sailor on the Seas of Fate.

Of my published work, the novel’s probably closest to “The Ivy-Smothered Palisade” in style and tone … and yet, not really.

I’m grateful to Claire and to Black Gate overlord John O’Neill for giving me this opportunity. And I’m certainly grateful to Nicole Kornher-Stace, Elizabeth Campbell, Virginia Mohlere, and definitely Anita, who all gave me oodles of essential beta reading. More news as things develop.

Now, second — I’ve already announced the sale of my first short story collection, The Button Bin and Other Horrors, which contains, among other things, the novella “The Quiltmaker,” which is the sequel to my Nebula Award-nominated short story “The Button Bin.” I was excited to sell this to Apex Books earlier this year, with a planned release of later summer/early fall.

Well, you might note what time of year it is. As things shook out, for reasons it wouldn’t be my place to divulge, Apex wound up unable to provide any sort of timetable for when the book actually would appear, and we had an amicable parting of the ways.

But now here’s the great news … within a day(!!!) I resold the collection to Carrie Cuinn of Dagan Books. Carrie is just coming off her own successful Kickstarter, that will let her finish two new anthologies, Fish and Bibliotheca Fantastica, and launch a line of e-book novellas.

Dagan Books editor Don Pizarro has attended my poetry workshops at ReaderCon in Boston, and I had my first substantial conversation with Carrie there this past summer, with no clue at the time that she and her crew would end up becoming my publishers. They’re a dynamic bunch and I’m delighted to be on board.

The Button Bin and Other Stories will have cover art by frequent Mythic Delirium contributing artist Paula Friedlander and an introduction by Laird Barron. Thomas Ligotti has written a blurb that says, among other things, this:

“…there’s one thing that I feel especially urged to say: these stories are fun. Not “good” fun, and certainly not “good clean” fun. They are too unnerving for those modifiers, too serious, like laughter in the dark—unnerving, serious laughter that leads you through Mr. Allen’s funhouse.”

More as things develop. This is going to be fun.

New “Tour of the Abattoir” at Tales to Terrify, with book reviews

/ September 5th, 2012 / No Comments »

In the latest edition of Larry Santoro’s Tales to Terrify podcast, I talk about the Weird Tales/Save the Pearls controversy and review two new novels, Ennis Drake’s 28 Teeth of Rage and Laird Barron’s The Croning.

Fun with logos (work in progress)

/ September 1st, 2012 / No Comments »

An update on everything

/ September 1st, 2012 / No Comments »

This coming Wednesday at The Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, I’ll be giving a presentation, “How to Run a Successful Kickstarter,” as part of PechaKucha Night Volume 3. The music starts at 6 p.m., the show at 7 p.m., space and tickets are limited. (The organizers would no doubt appreciate it if I finished my overdue PowerPoint and turned it in. I’m working on it, guys!)

Speaking of Kickstarters, there are a handful of pledge levels that required the corresponding reward be given out in August. I wasn’t quite able to get this completed, not because I didn’t have the reward ready — I most definitely did — but because, I’ve learned, and I suppose this is a consequence of being so successful and having such a wide net cast, there seems to be a percentage of Kickstarter backers that just won’t respond to any message, even when the message is, “Hi, I want to give you the thing you paid for, how do I get it to you?” (So anyway, if you’re a backer who’s supposed to get an August 2012 prize and you haven’t yet, check your e-mail or the Kickstarter site.)

Mythic Delirium 27, which I’m unofficially dubbing the “romance” issue, is at the moment in the process of being proofread. I’m hopeful to have it out this month, though I’m still waiting on cover art. (And, as above, subscriptions to Mythic Delirium are a Kickstarter prize, too, and I’m hopeful that set of backers will tell me where to mail their issues, hee. Messages still going out regarding this.)

This past week has seen some very cool developments regarding the project I’ve been calling “the Claire-dare novel” (a tribute to Claire Suzanne Elizabeth Cooney, C.S.E. for short, who is the reason it exists.) It’s not clear to me how much I can say yet, as the Person Ultimately In Charge is currently living it up at WorldCon, but hopefully things will be clearer in the coming week.

Speaking of things I can’t share quite yet, I have a new web site in progress (finally!) that will, when it’s done, take the place of both and When exactly that will happen, I can’t say, because I’m nowhere close to finished yet. But it will happen.

And speaking of web sites, I can say with certainly that the reading period for Clockwork Phoenix 4 will be Oct. 1 through Dec. 14. I haven’t updated the actual guidelines on the Clockwork Phoenix website yet because there’s a couple other details I want to work out. But that’s coming soon too.

That’s me these days, in a perpetual state of “Stay tuned.”

Trying to play

/ August 25th, 2012 / 1 Comment »

With LJ Crossposter

My ultraweird short story “Monster” sells to Nameless

/ August 24th, 2012 / No Comments »

I’m pleased to report that my truly strange short story “Monster” that combines serial killers and fractals has sold to the new horror journal [Nameless] Magazine, and is currently scheduled for a Spring 2013 release.

I’ve got a number of other behind-the-scenes things going on right now in regards to my own writing that I’m dying to share but can’t yet, so for now this tidbit will have to do.

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