Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October Wrap-up

The majority of  what has been done this month isn't immediately visible because it resides almost exclusively on my laptop and in my notebooks. 

I finished, finally, the second Velvet Wasp case and am currently putting the finishing touches on two other stories whose deadlines are the 31st. Finishing these stories was often interrupted by editing assignments from Pro Se Press but I can't blame them for my own procrastination. The VW case was supposed to be done by the end of September. 

Good news came in the form of the announcement that my short story "The Hard Part" was accepted for Hermit Studios Press' NovoPulp Anthology Volume 2. I got a look at the preliminary cover art and it looks fantastic. I also got a notice that the Blink! anthology from Ink Monkey Press, which contains my flash fiction piece "What is a Ninjabot?", has started back up again after an extended hiatus brought on by computer problems.

Expect me to start talking soon about a Lovecraftian anthology I will edit for Alban Lake Publishing next year. The guidelines have been drafted and the details are being ironed out now.

Last month Jackie Gamber and I had a blog tour through the internet. You can check out the index of the tour in a previous post. I'm happy to participate in blog tours. It gives me a chance to connect with a larger audience without having to traipse all over the place physically. I want to thank all the host websites for the opportunity.

After the Imaginarium convention, I'm done with conventions for this year. This gives me a chance to catch up on my writing assignments and spend more time with my family, friends, and grandkids. Over the last couple of weeks we've had wonderful visits from my daughter and her boys then from James and Marcia Miller and their kids. We were delighted to get a surprise visit from Nora Tamada, who we hadn't seen in about 10 years. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the family between now and the end of the year.

Okay, back to the notebooks. Til next time, stay low and keep your powder dry!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Poisonous - A Review

Poisonous
by Tommy B. Smith 
ISBN-10: 1937758249 
ISBN-13: 978-1937758240
Rainstorm Press, 2010
118 pages

Blurb: Following the Quake of ’79, a terrible force came to the city of St. Charles. This was the Living Poison. In Lilac Chambers, it may have found the perfect host. As she finds herself changing, becoming increasingly dangerous to everyone around her, it becomes apparent that her state of being is no accident of nature. She is becoming a prime vehicle for the Living Poison’s destructive swath through the streets of St. Charles. Detective Brandt McCullough has seen the Living Poison’s brutality. John Sutterfield, ringmaster of Sutterfield’s Circus of the Fantastic, is discovering its malignancy festering within the very circus he founded. These two are the only ones who might stand in the way of a force greater than anything they have ever known, one which threatens to wash the streets in red and swallow the city into chaos, but the stakes may be higher than either of them can imagine. St. Charles—indeed, the world—may tremble.

 Can a disease be sentient? And if it were, how would it act?

Poisonous might be the answer to those questions. Maybe it's the Living Poison, maybe it's something more supernatural, but whatever it is, it's killing people and spreading. The mysterious atmosphere of the storyline, it's suspense and growing threat, make Poisonous an edge-of-the-seat thriller as well as a first-class horror tale. Smith certainly has an eye for what makes a great story and relentlessly uses that skill with an unflinching determination to give the reader a hell of a ride.

Find it at Amazon and Rainstorm Press



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Letters to Daniel - A Review

Letters to Daniel
A Documentary 


Written, Directed, and Produced by Amy McCorkle


Producers Melissa Goodman, Pamela Turner
Music by Danny Jones
54 minutes
Healing Hands Entertainment


Impressed by the on-screen work of Daniel Craig, Amy McCorkle created a blog to do what she couldn't do personally: share her life with him.

A self-described fangirl, Amy is a prolific writer of novels, novellas, short stories and screenplays. Her work has won awards and received recognition from several venues. Some would envy her success but Amy suffers from bipolar disorder and doesn't always appreciate how people react to her work.

"Letters to Daniel" is a window into the mind of a woman learning how to deal with her psychological problems and her healing process from an abusive family history. It is an inspiring story describing how Amy grows to know who she is and finds out how to handle her life.

The blog has obviously been therapy for Amy, probably more successfully than any psychologist could ever be. She uses the blog as she would a dear confidant and the documentary lets you hear it in her voice, something you won't get from the blog itself.

"I wonder if I'll ever meet my heroes" she says. My opinion is she should look in the mirror.

To learn more about Amy, visit her website or Amazon page. Letters to Daniel is also available as an ebook on Kindle here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Imaginarium Convention - A Review

Over the weekend I had the honor and privilege of being a guest at the Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY. In my opinion, this was a wonderful event springing from the respect and love the staff, guests, and vendors have for one remarkable man. But before I go on, a little background....

A few years ago there was an event in Louisville which came to be known in our writers' community as "SweatFest". I won't go into the details about this debacle except to say that were it not for the efforts of one man and his team of capable and efficient people, it would have been simply the most horrible experience I have ever had in my 20 years of convention-going. They literally made a silk purse from a sow's ear that year. The following year they again rose to the challenge and salvaged that same event from being a mistake of massive proportions. To this day, I am amazed at how they could do it. In spite of that, however, I have determined to skip that event from now on. I understand this last year the literary track did very well and I have no doubt it is because the rest of the concom finally allowed those who knew what they were doing to take it over.

Somewhere between then and this last weekend, it was determined that Louisville could do better for its creative community. Out of that came Imaginarium and I cannot applaud the creators and staff enough for what they have accomplished.

Am I gushing about this convention? Yes. And I don't gush often. But to see how this convention was organized, laid out, formatted, and run rank it as one of the best I have ever attended.

If you are an inveterate convention attendee or guest, you know the things that can and do go wrong. And I'm sure they did go wrong at Imaginarium but there was so little evidence of it, it may as well have gone perfectly. Of course, there was the odd cancellation and programming changes, but those were plainly posted in two places at registration. The staff were magnificent, hard-working, and ever-present when you needed them. The Author GOH did not appear, apparently due to a sudden illness (?), but we were content to have the other Imaginators (GOHs) there and things progressed smoothly. This was no mean feat. With over 100 guests and a programming track that would make a mathematician have nightmares in its complexity, they effectively herded the cats... er.. writers and got it done with admirable aplomb. For our part, every writer, filmmaker, and comic book artist worked just as hard to make sure we got to our respective panels, signings, showings, and readings on time. It was truly a joint effort as I have never seen before.

And I'm back to the beginning of my post. This was, indeed, a most heartfelt thank you to the man and his most capable staff who saved Louisville's writers' conventions. To Stephen Zimmer, Susan Roddey, Robin Blankenship, Frank Hall, all the staff and volunteers who worked so long and hard to make this come about, I salute you. You have created something that should and will be the forerunner of great things to come.

Find out more about the convention, guests, and programming, from its website at http://www.entertheimaginarium.com/.

In parting, I want to say I really enjoyed meeting up with old friends and making new ones. There are too many to list here (with over 100 of you, where would I start?) but I especially want to mention D. A. Adams, Amy McCorkle, Kay Iscah, and Jerry Benns. So glad you could make it. The rest of you -- my SSP friends, the people of Dark Oak, the Pro Se crazies, and the distinguished members of the Literary Underworld -- see you next time!

Til then, remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ongoing Blog Tour and Upcoming Convention

A bit late, but here is the itinerary for the blog tour.

http://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/trilogy-tour-featuring-jackie-gamber-and-h-david-blalock/

Tour Schedule and Activities
9/8 SpecMusicMuse Review
9/8 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void Multi-Blogger Interview Part 1
9/8 Horror Tree Guest Post (Blalock)
9/8 Elizabeth Delana Rosa ~Book Lover & Creator of Worlds~  Guest Post (Gamber)
9/9 Jorie Loves a Story Guest Post (About Gamber)
9/9 I Smell Sheep Interactive Thread with Jackie and Dave
9/9 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post (Blalock)
9/10 The Southern Belle from Hell Art of the Angelkiller Triad (Blalock)
9/10 Bee’s Knees Review Guest Post (Gamber)
9/10 Blog of Sheila Deeth Guest Post (Gamber)
9/10 The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies Multi-Blogger Interview Part 2
9/10 Seers, Seraphs, Immortals & More Jackie Gamber Interviews H. David Blalock
9/11 Seers, Seraphs, Immortals & More H. David Blalock Interviews Jackie Gamber
9/11 Workaday Reads Guest Post (Gamber)
9/12 Vampires, Witches, & Me, Oh My! Guest Post (Gamber)
9/12 Trip Through My Mind Multi-Blogger Interview Part 3
9/12 Beauty In Ruins Guest Post (Blalock)
9/13 Jess Resides Here Review
9/14 Willow’s Author Love Guest Post (Blalock)
9/14 Fantastical Musings Multi-Blogger Interview Part 4
9/14 Jorie Loves a Story Guest Post (Gamber)





Next week I'll be heading to Louisville, KY for the Imaginarium Convention. I hope to see you there. For more information on the convention, check out their website.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The August from Hell

August is gone. At last!

I spent the majority of the month on crutches after a bout with tendonitis degenerated into a full-fledged battle. From a wheelchair in July to crutches for most of August to a cane and back to crutches when the other foot decided it had worked enough and wanted a break... I had a brief period in the middle of the month where I actually thought I might get back on both feet at the same time but it turned out to be a mirage. I'm done with this.

I still managed to attend the River City Comic Expo in Little Rock. It was a great event and I'm glad I could make it. My daughter Herika Raymer did most of the heavy lifting. Thanks, Herika! I got to see the preliminary artwork for the cover of the upcoming Velvet Wasp series from Pro Se Press. I must say, it looks fantastic. Can't wait to see it in print. It should be out soon. Kimberly Richardson of Dark Oak Press took pictures of my hands. Strange, huh? More about that later.

I finally finished the steampunk story for submission to Dark Oak Press' next Dreams of Steam anthology. I was able to keep it under 10,000 words by sheer force of will. I hope it came out as a steampunk story. I kept getting lost between western and scifi somewhere in the middle there. I have written several steampunk tales now and, truth to tell, I'm still not sure I know what steampunk is. All I can do is try to channel Jules Verne and HG Wells as I write and hope for the best.

Finished several editing jobs for Pro Se Press and Hermit Studios Press.  They each have their particular ways of doing things, so keeping that straight is a third job there. The deadline for NovoPulp's next anthology passed but I was able to get my submission in before the end. Hopefully it will make the cut.

August 17th my mother had a birthday and August 24th was my wedding anniversary, two bright spots in an otherwise trying series of weeks. My Facebook page passed 18,000 likes on August 28th, the latest milestone showing it's possible my work may still be entertaining. A lot of people have been complaining about Facebook's advertising and privacy policies. Odd, since in spite of what a lot of people maintain, using social media is tacit permission to expose your posts to the public at large. Private messaging is different from status updates but people seem to think they are the same.

Before I go, just a reminder that links to my latest work are live at my website. Til next time, remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Vacation on Crutches

Well, the majority of July has been a major pain personally. Somewhere along the line early in the month I contracted acute tendonitis of the Achilles. For a week I was confined to a wheelchair. I learned a lot about how difficult it is to get around in them and gained a renewed respect for those tied to them for life. For another two weeks I will be on crutches, trying to finally heal the last little bit so I can start walking again. I spent the entire time with the family in Florida inside the beach house while the rest went down to the beach and out to eat. I didn't mind that too much. It was the stumbling around in the beach house on the crutches that annoyed me. Plus the couple times I nearly fell, further aggravating the tendon.

I did get a chance to do some writing, though. At least that wasn't too badly affected by my injury. I received an editing assignment from Pro Se Press the day before I left for Florida. It was to content edit three short stories before the end of the month. Content editing is much quicker than copy editing, still, it's going to be tight.

In spite of it all, I have been working to complete my writing projects. Encouragement came in the form of contributor's copies of The Martian Wave 2014 and Rat-a-tat: Short Bursts of Pulp! It's always good to be able to look at one of my stories in print, reminding me that I'm still entertaining enough to convince publishers my work should be presented to their readers.Someday I hope to have enough prestige as a writer to actually be a guest of honor at a literary convention or that one of my novels (preferably one of the Angelkiller Triad) would catch the fancy of the producer of major motion pictures.

Everyone has dreams. I started out wanting to be a published author. Done. Someday...

Anyway, that's all for now. Til next time, remember to stay low and keep your powder dry!


Seventh Night by Iscah - A Book Review

Title: Seventh Night
Author: Iscah
Hardcover: 260 pages
Publisher: Amoeba Ink co. (November 7, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983551944
ISBN-13: 978-0983551942

There's a plot to prevent the treaty between Cordance and Tivin, but the identity of the conspirator is a mystery. When the marriage between the princess of Tivin and the prince of Cordance is interrupted by an attempt on the prince's life, things begin to heat up in this delicious fable. A beautiful princess, a magician's apprentice, a mysterious sorceress, and a surfeit of princes lead to a convoluted but enjoyable tale of intrigue, magic, betrayal, adventure, and true love.

Iscah's Seventh Night is reminiscent of a cross between The Princess Bride and The Last Unicorn. Her writing is clear, crisp, and precise. Her mastery of the ideas presented in the fable is obvious, and her story flows easily from page to page. Would that my own writing was so clear.

I have been writing and editing for more than four decades and seldom have I seen a new writer with so much evident talent. I was privileged to meet Iscah at a recent event and she is as charming in person as her princess in the novel. I wish her every success and, if this novel is any indication, she will certainly get it.

You can pick up a copy from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Seventh-Night-Iscah/dp/0983551944.