Thursday, March 27, 2014

In Like a Lion...

March 2014. Quite an eventful month. Of course, every year at this time I attend MidSouthCon in Memphis and for the tenth time in sixteen years I received recognition for my writing from the Darrell Award Jury. Although I've only won once (back in 2000 for a short story), it's still nice to be noticed by the readers and have my work featured.

As a consolation, the final volume of the Angelkiller books, Doom Angel, finally appeared in March from Seventh Star Press. I am grateful to have this series finished and that it has received favorable reviews so far. The book made its first official appearance at MidSouthCon.

I was very impressed with this cover art by Matthew Perry. Matt has been doing the artwork for many of SSP's releases and I'm very fortunate he was assigned to the Angelkiller books. This cover has been cheered by pretty much everyone and there's no wonder. It is a remarkable piece of work.

Next, we have the release of Southern Haunts 2: Devils in the Darkness, also from Seventh Star Press, which contains my short story "Jack in the Box." It's been described as the kind of story you'd hear around a campfire in a horror film. This second Southern Haunts is also edited by Alexander S. Brown. There is already a story call for a third, for which I have submitted a story called "Granny Wise." Hope to hear whether it has been accepted after the deadline expires in May.

To round out the releases for March, the NovoPulp 2013/2014 Anthology became available for sale. Although Hermit Studios Press is a European entity, through the wondrous medium of the Internet I was able to participate as an editor and contributor on that project. The people involved were a wonderful bunch of talented folks and it was great working with them. I look forward to the next anthology.

I've completed my first couple of assignments as editor for Pro Se Press. Editing for others helps me with my own work, which right now consists of working on stories for three story calls as well as clearing out six stories in my backlog. Among those are a series of mystery stories that should appear quarterly beginning in August. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to seeing the upcoming issue of The Martian Wave from Nomadic Delirium Press, which should contain my short story "Object in the Sand". It should appear shortly.

That's about it for now. Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry!


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Too much to do, not enough Month

February flashed by. Somewhere last night it slipped away unnoticed. Looking back at it, most of what I see is January. Who thought it a good idea to short a month 2 or 3 days, anyway?

Reviving Classic Pulp Fiction Today
I've sort of joined up with Pro Se Press as an editor. They asked and I've accepted. They have dozens of ambitious projects in queue and it looks like it would be exciting to be a part of that. Time will tell.

March means Midsouthcon in Memphis. I will be appearing there as a guest (schedule below) and my short story "Eclipse over Elmwood" that appeared in Southern Haunts (Seventh Star Press, Alexander S Brown and Jennifer Mulvihill, editors) is a finalist for the Darrell Award for Best Midsouth Short Story. This is the tenth time since 1998 I have been on the Darrell Award list and, although I won only once (2000), I am honored each time to think the jury considers my work of notice.

I have been assured that the third Angelkiller book, Doom Angel, will be available at Midsouthcon. The publisher, Seventh Star Press, has had so many projects ongoing that it slipped from its originally announced release in 2013. SSP has signed quite a few authors in the last year. It is fast growing from its micropress beginnings to something more than a small press. This month they are promoting in several major blogs as well as the print issues of Locus and Fangoria.

So, now I'll be working on stories for the upcoming Dreams of Steam V (Dark Oak Media) and rewrites on stories that have been rejected this year. Sometime this summer I hope to have another novel finished and at least three stories published. I'm also working on developing a series of episodic stories around two original characters. Wish me luck.

Here is the schedule for Midsouthcon as it stands right now. There may be some changes, so check your program when you get there.

 03/22/2014     9:00 AM     Elements to becoming a successful Author     Art and business of writing.  Panelists explain how to mix the business with the creative side of writing. There's more to being an author than just writing

03/22/2014     11:00 AM     Self Publishing Promotion     Debunking the mythos, and the importance of social networking. The importance of social media to an author. How do self published authors promote themselves

03/22/2014     3:00 PM     Dark Fantasy / Goth 101     How to effectively write dark fantasy and Goth     Elements used in writing and what defines dark fantasy and Goth. What's the difference in the two.

It's going to be a busy Saturday for me. Anyway, back to the salt mines. Til next time, remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Yeah, It's Cold Enough for Me, Thanks!

This year is coming in with a vengeance. I've lived in the southern US all my life, so forgive me if I complain about the cold. If I wanted single digit temperatures, I'd live in Canada, for Pete's sake.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great holiday season and weren't rash enough to make any New Year's resolutions. I gave up doing that long ago. To paraphrase a wise man - I'm in shape; round's a shape!

Foster Fade
My year opened up with the release of a short story in The New Adventures of Foster Fade, Crime Spectacularist from Pro Se Press and I couldn't be more delighted. Working with managing editor Tommy Hancock is actually a great experience. Between him, Stephen Zimmer of Seventh Star Press, and Allan Gilbreath of Dark Oak Press and Media, my experience with small to medium press has been nothing but positive. I look forward to working with them and many more this year.

Although I have already had a couple of rejections this month, I'm continuing to work on rewrites and other submissions. There is one particular piece I am determined to place if it takes all year, a kind of nemesis piece that's been rejected by five markets so far. It's been rewritten several times, gone through a couple of serious changes, but still retains its original idea. I often tell people who ask about becoming a writer that, no matter what you write, there is a market for anything you do. I believe this piece will prove me right or wrong on that assertion.

This year I believe I will be able to make a couple of conventions I originally thought I would have to miss. Besides Midsouthcon in Memphis (March), I am attending Hypericon in Nashville (June) and Imaginarium 2014 in Louisville, KY (September). I hadn't intended to continue convention-hopping this year, but my personal situation changed and I was happy to find out I could at least attend those three.

Still no word on the release of the last Angelkiller book (Doom Angel) though I do expect it to appear before March. There are still three of my stories slated to appear in various publications, although their exact release dates are still TBA. Will keep you advised.

I don't want to close without congratulating my friend Stephen Baird  on his being picked up by Dark Oak Press. I look forward to the re-release of his first novel Creiton's Sword and his future works, which I have been privileged to beta-read and critique. Much success, Steve!

That's it for now. Til next time, remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wrapping Up 2013, A Summary

One more year done. What a year it has been. A personal milestone of 40 years of marriage to my lovely Maria. A writer's milestone of 10,000 likes on my facebook page. Joy, sorrow, amazement, satisfaction, and discovery. It has been remarkable.

I won't go into all the political and social changes. There are more than enough bloggers to talk about that, and my opinions don't really mean enough to make that much difference in the long run. Perhaps if more people realized that, there would be more meaning to blogs in general. Nevertheless, I did want to express my dismay at the growing lack of respect for free speech in general and the expanding lack of tolerance for differing opinions. In a nation that was supposedly founded on the concept of freedom in diversity of belief, I see a growing division between people originating from that very diversity. Once this country prided itself on the concept of being a "melting pot" of many cultures, the sum of its parts being a greater "American culture", unique in itself. Not so any longer. The fire under the melting pot has gone out and the brew is separating. I grieve for that loss of identity that used to be called simply "American".

Enough of that. It is fast becoming an exercise in futility to remind people of what has been lost in the vague hope it can be regained.

I was glad to have finished the last volume of the Angelkiller Triad, Doom Angel. Many thanks to the people at Seventh Star Press. With that project out of the way, I am entertaining several others, one of which has long sat unrealized and whose time, I believe, has come. Although it has only a working title, I believe it will be a worthy addition to a time-honored genre.

To sum up 2013's accomplishments, I have these:

Broken -- Minds, like dolls, can be broken. Appeared in the final issue of Midnight Screaming Magazine (Kara Myrick Ferguson, editor).

Eclipse over Elmwood -- Was it a natural eclipse, or something else? Appearing in the Southern Haunts anthology from Seventh Star Press (Alexander S. Brown and J. L. Mulvihill, editors, 2013).

Guardian -- A soldier of the establishment or rebel? Appearing in the Perfect Flaw anthology from Seventh Star Press (Robin Blankenship, editor, 2013).

Identity Crisis -- A man discovers his true identity. Appearing in the Big Bad Anthology from Dark Oak Press (John Hartness and Emily Lavin Leverett, editors, 2013).

The Last Frontier -- James Mayberry finds himself the unwilling subject of an ambitious black project. Appearing in Dreams of Steam III: Gadgets from Kerlak Publishing (Kimberly Richardson, editor, 2013)

Manners Lives -- Death in deep space. What does it mean? Appears in The Fifth Di December 2013 magazine.

Yet to appear, hopefully soon:

Doom Angel - Book Three of the Angelkiller Triad from Seventh Star Press

Ninjabot -- What is a ninjabot? Appearing in the upcoming Blink! anthology from Ink Monkey Press (Mandi M. Lynch, editor).

An Object in the Sand -- To appear in the 2014 issue of The Martian Wave (J Alan Erwine, editor)

On the Edge -- Once encountered, some things are unstoppable. To appear in the upcoming anthology from NovoPulp.

Two stories with Pro Se Press which I am not allowed to discuss in detail due to contract restrictions.

With any luck, those are just the beginning. I'm looking forward to a fruitful 2014 and an even more prosperous 2015. I am excited to be expanding my writing frontiers into different avenues, from genre to mainstream, however I will never abandon genre writing. It is my first and most precious of literary loves.

Oh, by the way, for those of you who might have missed my interview on BlogTalkRadio's The Star Chamber Show, you can catch it here. Thanks again to the SCS folks for the chance to connect with the audience.

I guess that's it for now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! Til next time, remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!




Saturday, November 23, 2013

For November - Looking Back

As 2013 comes to a close, I have mixed feelings about the last several months.

Personally, the year has been an emotional roller coaster. For those closest to me, it has been much worse both emotionally and physically. I nearly lost my mother (she went on dialysis and then, wonderfully, was taken off) and did lose my grandmother (she was nearly 100 years old). My daughters have both had their own problems. My wife and I celebrated 40 years of marriage quietly, and my own 60th birthday slipped by with a whisper.

Writing-wise, the year has been fair to me. Besides the publication of my short stories in Southern Haunts, Dreams of Steam: Gadgets, The Big Bad: An Anthology of Evil, and Perfect Flaw, I have signed contracts for publication of short stories in the upcoming issue of The Fifth Di and NovoPulp: the Google+ Speculative Fiction Anthology. The last Angelkiller Triad volume, Doom Angel, is due for release in December. This means I reached exactly half of what I want to do each year. I will have to literally double my efforts for 2014.

Close friends had physical and emotional challenges, and many are still going through them. The wife and I do what we can to help, but that usually means little more than moral support. Although our personal problems are tiny in view of the larger ones facing the world at large, that is little comfort. So it is that finding things to be thankful for on the 28th is more difficult this year than ever before.

Not to be cynical, but Thanksgiving seems to be becoming more irrelevant as the years pass. Nevertheless, I will do my best to keep it going, if only for the sake of my grandchildren, who deserve to have at least that one day of the year to look back and take stock of all their own successes and to thank the one who makes them all possible.

Cause that's what grandpas do.

Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Celebrating a Personal Milestone


One of the loneliest professions is that of a writer. Most of us spend our time isolated from others while we internalize and create stories from personal experience and observation. We become an amalgam of who we are and how we perceive the myriad others around us. Too often we lose ourselves in the process, and this is what makes writing so difficult. Good writing requires commitment to the craft above self-identification. We have to be the characters, the situations, the problems and the solutions.

It isn't often in the world of small press publishing that an author gets the kind of attention I have been privileged to receive on Facebook. I am delighted to know that my work reaches a wide audience, with fans in the US, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, and 40 other countries. To celebrate my Facebook page reaching 10,000 likes, Seventh Star Press is sponsoring a giveaway of my last two novels, Angelkiller and Traitor Angel for US and Canadian fans. Ebooks will be awarded to overseas giveaway winners. Here are the details:

The last in the Angelkiller Triad, Doom Angel, will appear shortly to bring the story to its conclusion. The characters in the books are Jonah Mason, John Tripp, Steven Overguard, Janice Meeker, Harold Martin, Andrew Nicholson, and the Knights Jaelon, Malthusan, and Populus. Casualties are inevitable in all wars, and the Conflict between the Army and the Enemy is not exempt. In the final volume, not all survive the deadly encounter with Dorian Azrael.

Three characters do not survive, two become Knights, and one retires. It's up to you to make your best guess as to the identities of these six.

As I understand it, two contestants who make the most accurate guess will be chosen at random to receive softcover copies of Angelkiller, Traitor Angel and Doom Angel upon its release. If more than two of the contestants guess all six correctly, one chosen at random will receive a $100.00 Amazon gift card and up to three others will receive $25.00 Amazon gift cards in addition to e-book copies of the series. Please see the Seventh Star Press blog at the link below for the full details.

Entries should be addressed to Angelkillercontest (at) seventhstarpress.com with “Angelkiller Giveaway” in the Subject line. Contest ends December 11th. Winners will be announced December 18th.

I want to thank Seventh Star Press and everyone who has supported my work; family, publishers, and readers. Thanks for indulging me and I hope you enjoy the stories.

- See more up-to-date details on the contest at the Seventh Star Press blogsite.
It isn't often in the world of small press publishing that an author gets the kind of attention I have been privileged to receive on Facebook. I am delighted to know that my work reaches a wide audience, with fans in the US, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, and 40 other countries. To celebrate my Facebook page reaching 10,000 likes, Seventh Star Press is sponsoring a giveaway of my last two novels, Angelkiller and Traitor Angel for US and Canadian fans. Ebooks will be awarded to overseas giveaway winners. Here are the details:

The last in the Angelkiller Triad, Doom Angel, will appear shortly to bring the story to its conclusion. The characters in the books are Jonah Mason, John Tripp, Steven Overguard, Janice Meeker, Harold Martin, Andrew Nicholson, and the Knights Jaelon, Malthusan, and Populus. Casualties are inevitable in all wars, and the Conflict between the Army and the Enemy is not exempt. In the final volume, not all survive the deadly encounter with Dorian Azrael.

Three characters do not survive, two become Knights, and one retires. It's up to you to make your best guess as to the identities of these six.

Two contestants who make the most accurate guess will be chosen at random to receive softcover copies of Angelkiller, Traitor Angel and Doom Angel upon its release. If more than two of the contestants guess all six correctly, one chosen at random will receive a $100.00 Amazon gift card and up to three others will receive $25.00 Amazon gift cards in addition to e-book copies of the series.

Entries should be addressed to Angelkillercontest (at) seventhstarpress.com with “Angelkiller Giveaway” in the Subject line. Contest ends December 11th. Winners will be announced December 18th."
- See more at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2013/11/special-contest-for-h-david-blalocks.html#sthash.2VS1AE5f.dpuf
It isn't often in the world of small press publishing that an author gets the kind of attention I have been privileged to receive on Facebook. I am delighted to know that my work reaches a wide audience, with fans in the US, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, and 40 other countries. To celebrate my Facebook page reaching 10,000 likes, Seventh Star Press is sponsoring a giveaway of my last two novels, Angelkiller and Traitor Angel for US and Canadian fans. Ebooks will be awarded to overseas giveaway winners. Here are the details:

The last in the Angelkiller Triad, Doom Angel, will appear shortly to bring the story to its conclusion. The characters in the books are Jonah Mason, John Tripp, Steven Overguard, Janice Meeker, Harold Martin, Andrew Nicholson, and the Knights Jaelon, Malthusan, and Populus. Casualties are inevitable in all wars, and the Conflict between the Army and the Enemy is not exempt. In the final volume, not all survive the deadly encounter with Dorian Azrael.

Three characters do not survive, two become Knights, and one retires. It's up to you to make your best guess as to the identities of these six.

Two contestants who make the most accurate guess will be chosen at random to receive softcover copies of Angelkiller, Traitor Angel and Doom Angel upon its release. If more than two of the contestants guess all six correctly, one chosen at random will receive a $100.00 Amazon gift card and up to three others will receive $25.00 Amazon gift cards in addition to e-book copies of the series.

Entries should be addressed to Angelkillercontest (at) seventhstarpress.com with “Angelkiller Giveaway” in the Subject line. Contest ends December 11th. Winners will be announced December 18th."
- See more at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2013/11/special-contest-for-h-david-blalocks.html#sthash.2VS1AE5f.dpuf
It isn't often in the world of small press publishing that an author gets the kind of attention I have been privileged to receive on Facebook. I am delighted to know that my work reaches a wide audience, with fans in the US, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, and 40 other countries. To celebrate my Facebook page reaching 10,000 likes, Seventh Star Press is sponsoring a giveaway of my last two novels, Angelkiller and Traitor Angel for US and Canadian fans. Ebooks will be awarded to overseas giveaway winners. Here are the details:

The last in the Angelkiller Triad, Doom Angel, will appear shortly to bring the story to its conclusion. The characters in the books are Jonah Mason, John Tripp, Steven Overguard, Janice Meeker, Harold Martin, Andrew Nicholson, and the Knights Jaelon, Malthusan, and Populus. Casualties are inevitable in all wars, and the Conflict between the Army and the Enemy is not exempt. In the final volume, not all survive the deadly encounter with Dorian Azrael.

Three characters do not survive, two become Knights, and one retires. It's up to you to make your best guess as to the identities of these six.

Two contestants who make the most accurate guess will be chosen at random to receive softcover copies of Angelkiller, Traitor Angel and Doom Angel upon its release. If more than two of the contestants guess all six correctly, one chosen at random will receive a $100.00 Amazon gift card and up to three others will receive $25.00 Amazon gift cards in addition to e-book copies of the series.

Entries should be addressed to Angelkillercontest (at) seventhstarpress.com with “Angelkiller Giveaway” in the Subject line. Contest ends December 11th. Winners will be announced December 18th."
- See more at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2013/11/special-contest-for-h-david-blalocks.html#sthash.2VS1AE5f.dpuf

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Updating? Not Really

There are a couple of reasons I haven't been keeping up with this blog. The first is, I am a lousy blogger. That pretty much takes up 90% of the reason. The rest is that a lot has been happening in the background that was a whole lot more interesting than anything happening in my life. All I do is write and look for inspiration in the world around me. That's pretty boring compared to the war in Syria, the government shutdown, the Mexican cartels, Snooki having a break down, the revelation that cats can be stressed by too much attention... the list goes on. As a result, I find I am a bit down.

Soooooo... I have decided that I will concentrate on what I do and let the rest of the world take care of itself without my attention. This is what children do, and it seems to work very well for them. In fact, their happiness seems to fade in direct proportion to how much attention they pay to the world around them. It appears that maturity is connected to concern and worry. I find this unsatisfactory, therefore I reject it.

Enough philosophy.

I have finished the last of the Angelkiller books, Doom Angel, and sent the manuscript to Seventh Star Press. They tell me to expect it to be released around Christmas. I find this satisfactory.

My flash fiction Ninjabot will be appearing shortly in the Blink! anthology from Ink Monkey Press (Mandi M. Lynch, editor) and my short story Jack in the Box will be coming out in the Southern Haunts II anthology (Alexander S. Brown and J.L. Mulvihill, editors) from Seventh Star Press. The NovoPulp anthology (Niamh Brown and Micha Fire, editors) will feature my short story On The Edge. Also, satisfactory.

Interestingly, my facebook page is approaching 10,000 LIKES. I have asked SSP Managing Editor Stephen Zimmer if we can do something to commemorate this "milestone". Yes, I know it's a silly thing to celebrate, but, hey, you take the joy where you can get it or you get none. Skate on over there to find out the details as they develop.

Working on projects for two other publishers, a couple of folks I really enjoy working with. Will reveal those projects when allowed.

::Sigh:: Feeling better already. Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry.