Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Contest Announcement: Blurred Lines

Heads up!

I'm judging a short story competition hosted by Dark Futures Magazine.

The there of the challenge is "Blurred Lines":

One of the greatest characters in fiction is that of “the other”, those nearly but not-quite human characters we see so much of ourselves in. The best monsters, robots, and aliens blur the lines between us and them and it’s that push on the edges of our humanity that helps us understand who we are. Give us blurred lines, pushed boundaries, and others that make us ask, where do we end and they begin?

First place gets $15 and publication on the Dark Futures website as well as the next issue of Phase 2 Magazine. No fees. Awesomely handsome judge.

Click HERE for details.



For those of you keeping track, that's two big announcements this week. But I'm not done! I've got another one for you next week so stay tuned!

Monday, February 23, 2015

BIG NEWS: SOL OF THE COLISEUM IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!!!

I told you I had some big news coming and I wasn't lying.

I am very pleased and excited to announce that my fantasy novel "Sol of the Coliseum", formerly "Sol of a Gladiator", is finally going to be published!

I finished Sol in 2011 and spent a couple years trying to get an agent or a publishing deal. After not so much as a request for a full, I set the story aside to work on my short fiction (which has been very rewarding). In early January a friend (who has always been super supportive of my writing and whom I will forever be grateful) asked about Sol and if it would ever get published. I just chuckled and shook my head. But the next day I decided that maybe it was time for me to once again test the waters. I sent Sol out to seven smaller publishing firms and, much to my surprise, received back three requests for fulls, one of which turned into an offer!

Mirror World Publishing, a small but growing publishing company out of Canada, will publish Sol of the Coliseum in paperback and eBook formats in October 2015!


 

For those of you who don't remember Sol, you can read an excerpt HERE or here's my pitch from my query letter:

Living your entire life in one building seems absurd to most but to Sol, it may be a fate impossible to avoid. Born a slave in the great Coliseum, the gladiator Sol survives each day only by besting cunning warriors and exotic beast to the delight of the Coliseum crowds. But despite his life of violence, he somehow manages to carve out a little peace, sharing his life with a makeshift family of fellow slaves. 

Outside the Coliseum the Empire is in turmoil. Currents of discontent flow through the capital and the populace is on edge. When an unknown bard uses Sol as a symbol of defiance to inspire the oppressed masses, the streets fill with revolution and the Empire decides the fighter must fall.

The Empire sends its most ruthless assassin to quell the insurgence. Rather than martyr the slave, he plots to turn the crowd against their hero, freeing the assassin to finish Sol as he sees fit. For the first time Sol must battle an opponent beyond the reach of his sword. He must win over the crowd and best the assassin if he is to do what no slave has ever done: escape the Coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.


Needless to say I'm super excited and very much looking forward to sharing my publishing journey with you.

So stay tuned!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stay Tuned!

Just so you know, I'm working on some big things....


Exciting things...


Big announcements...


And they'll be rolling out soon...


So stay tuned!!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Two Free Horror Anthologies

Just a quick heads up, Crystal Lake Publishing is offering up two horror anthologies for free today on Amazon:

Fear the Reaper




















and

Horror 101: The Way Forward

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Are You Eligible For the John W. Campbell Award?

I don't think any of us write with the goal of being showered with awards. We write because we love words and we love stories.

On the other hand, if someone wants to give me an award, I'm not going to spit in their eye.

There are a ton of awards out there, most of which I have no knowledge of. But since I don't live under a rock, I at least know about the Big 3:



Before I die I'd like to be nominated for one of them. Hey, a guy can dream, right?

Now, I don't exactly follow the awards circuit with baited breath. But, you can be sure I'm going to check in on the nominees and winners on an annual basis to see what stories I need to read. After all, they're the best.

The last time I was on the Hugo site, I spotted a link for the John W. Campbell Award which, unbeknownst to me at the time, "is given to the best new science fiction or fantasy writer whose first work of science fiction or fantasy was published in a professional publication in the previous two years". They have a whole list of definitions for "professional publication" but the one that caught my eye was any publication that pays out a minimum of 3 cents/word and a total payment of at least $50. I've had a couple of those. Sure enough, I shot the administrator an email and my name was added to the list of 2015 eligible authors!

I'm not telling you this to brag (although I'm super honored to have my name listed with such talented folks, even though I don't have a snowball's chance of winning), I'm telling you so that you can check to see if you qualify! Check out the rules and the FAQ page! See if you qualify! If you don't look you'll never know!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Introducing My Daughter

Please forgive the belated introduction but I am pleased to introduce to you my daughter, Amelia Florence Gaylord!

She's 5 months old as of yesterday and strong as a bear. She's sleeping well and growing every day.


Cute, isn't she?




But not to be trifled with...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Favorite Short Fiction Markets

I write short fiction and I like to get published which means I submit to a ton of markets...often. Everyone knows the top tier markets like Clarksworld or Tor but there are so many smaller markets, some of which are great to deal with, some less so. Here are my favorites in to particular order:

For constructive personal feedback, nobody beats Shimmer. You'll probably only get a sentence or two, and it will probably be terse, but how wonderful is it to get editor insight? Fantastic.
DailyScienceFiction is my unicorn. I've submitted every single short story I've ever written and I've yet to lure this mythical beast into my service. Two stories shortlisted but to no avail. And several of my stories have been PERFECT for DSF. It drives me nuts. I have a running list of lifetime writing goals (maybe I'll share it sometime) and landing on DSF is near the top. Someday...

Here's a fun one: Ruthless Peoples Magazine. They are serious when they say they want ruthless stories about ruthless people. They are also seriously nice. Best rejection letters ever.
In the "Paid More Than I Expected" category, check out Eldritch Press and  Liquid Imagination. For semi-pro markets they treat their authors right.

For themed issues, keep an eye on Penumbra (also good for personalized rejection letters) and Crossed Genres. They both come up with some great monthly themes and both pay professional rates.

MUST ACT NOW: If you haven't seen this one yet, go check out The Lane of Unusual Traders, a super cool author and reader interactive world. They have a great prompt up right now but stories are due the end of August so hurry up! (I have 2 in the works)

I've only sent one story their way (still pending) but I love the concept behind Scigentasy. We need more gender diversity in speculative fiction and that's what they're all about.

Other cool markets that respond with personalized rejection letters:
Untied Shoelaces of the Mind
Pseudopod
Lightspeed (currently closed to submissions)
Fantasy and Science Fiction (great feedback but snail mail only)
Waylines
Stupifying Stories
Kasma SF
Phobos

Finally, one to watch out for. I won't get into why but if I were you I'd avoid TheWiFiles. Not to be trusted.

What about you? Any favorites? Any you disagree with?