Sunday, January 23, 2011

Off Like a Shot

Here we are in 2011. There are a few things that continue to please me and some that continue to confuse me. First and foremost, I am pleased that I can still get people to read my work without chucking it in the dustbin in disgust. That, more than anything, keeps me writing. What confuses me is that people continue to read books in print format.

Wait, maybe that's backwards.

With the growing influence of electronic formats like Kindle, the massive market share given over to online sales, and the beginnings of technologies to put books on phones fer Pete's sake, independent bookstores are now feeling the crunch hard. Even some of the larger chains are hurting, and the mainstream book publishers go home at night and cry into their pillows over the loss of what they thought was an eternal market to the upstart child Technology.

I am a Luddite. If you don't know what that is, go look it up on Wikipedia (stop looking for a link there). I still do my writing longhand with pen and paper. It is the only way I can feel connected to my work and my audience. Watching words come into being on a screen, whether it's a word processor or this blog window just isn't the same. I know that probably makes me a dinosaur. So what? Dinosaurs are cool. Just ask my grandkids.

That's probably why I have mixed feelings about my new job as story editor for parABnormal Digest. In the old days, when you had to mail in your work, people invested a lot more into its appearance. A standard manuscript format was developed and taught in schools. Now, even though the material I receive is usually good, strong stories, they are often, very often, not in that standard format. My publisher says I'm too picky. It's the story that counts, he says. I can't help but think that, if you don't have enough respect for your work and the publication you're sending it to, to follow the instructions in the guidelines, why should the editor?

Rant mode off. Back to the writing side of things. Kind of.

Swordbearer will be out very soon and I've seen a teaser trailer for it. I have to say that Stephen Zimmer, Matthew Perry, Sven Granlund, and everyone who works on the post-production is doing a bang-up job. And, yes, the Hat (aka Justin Powell) is the kind of energetic personality that makes following the antics of the local media community all the more entertaining. I will be sharing a link for the teaser soon.

The first weekend of January saw us at Shadowcon in Memphis. Nick Valentino was the Writer Guest of Honor. Nick has spent the last year or so travelling all over North America promoting his novel Thomas Riley, and rightfully so. It was great meeting with him and his stunning friend Elizabeth Darvill. All the best for them both as they hit the road with their books.

Unfortunately, everyone who sat at the Imagicopter table, and some who didn't, came away from Shadowcon with the flu. It laid me low for several days and I still have a nagging cough. It really sucks getting old.

Coming up soon: High Kings and Emperor releases from Sam's Dot. Still have yet to see the Call of Cthulhu anthology from Papercut Books hit print due to formatting problems with the publisher. Since I never received even an acknowledgment about He Who Hesitates from Elder Signs Press, I have to assume it didn't make the cut. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Attending the MRPA Gamecon the weekend of January 28-30. Will also be headed to Clarksville, Arkansas February 4 for the Redgunk Festival at the University of the Ozarks. Two weeks later, off to Jackson, MS area for February Fright. March is, of course, Midsouthcon in Memphis. It's gonna get busy real quick.

Working on: finishing Angelkiller, Deity, Eye of the Storm, and Boathouse, probably in that order. Stories in queue targeted for Dreams of Steam 2, Southern Haunts, and a couple of Sam's Dot magazines.

That's it for now. Back to the salt mines. Later all!