My Bookshelf

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! +++ Tiara 10th Anniversary - Labor of Love?

At the end of the ransom talks with Publish America over my rights reversal on Tiara, they informed me that my ten-year deal had expired, so I owed nothing. This worked perfectly as I had already begun the rewrite. I intend to self-publish the Tiara - 10th Anniversary Edition which will allow me to test the self-pub market as well as tweak up a work that was not edited as it deserved.

Tell the truth, it's hard to mess with perfection. I wasn't able to rewrite this per se : in it's pure form, it appears as a work of Shakespearean quality (just as I intended). It was perfectly concise, its 109 pages doing as much as I normally devote 140 to. What I did instead was follow the storylines along a different path. I wouldn't call this one of my postmodernist works but it is distinct from the original. You'll have to pick up a copy of both and see for yourself.

At any rate, I'm hard at work finishing this up, so look for Tiara - 10th Anniversary Edition at Amazon sometime in December. Which means I'll be working at it on Thanksgiving---oh, by the way---


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stxeamtown Available on Amazon!!!

Well, Torquere/Prizm just published Stxeamtown and it's out on Amazon as of November B-Day! Here's the blurb...

Stxeamtown is a futuristic novel set in a post-apocalyptic land in a society closely resembling that of its Yesterworld. As the citizens in its four major colonies try to recreate the Glory Days while ignoring their setbacks, they find themselves repeating the same mistakes of their past. The social and political animosity between the colonies creates both distrust and isolation. The clannishness reinforces prejudices that keep the people from finding unity and brotherhood. It is the love between a young couple from different sides of the Stream that eventually brings their people together in this classic steampunk fantasy.

Trip is the vice-president of a Team living in the Aboveground, a community of rooftop dwellers residing atop the factories of Steamtown South. He begins a romance with Lyrica, the sister of a Team Lead living in the Aboveground of North Steamtown across the Stream. After communicating in Morse for weeks on end, Trip takes the perilous trip across the Conveyor Line into North Steamtown where the couple is united at last. Trip’s presence is eventually discovered by members of Lyrica’s Team, and they are forced to flee together on the Conveyor back to the South Side. Once again they are detected, and the members of Trip’s set (*quartet) come to the couple’s rescue before they are ‘crossed out’ and banished to the Low Ground. The five adolescents escape to the streets of the South Side where none of them had set foot since they were small children. Together they assimilate into the industrial society where a new chapter in their lives begins.

Trip and his friends travel east to Border Town, also known as Bartertown, which sits on an island that connects both sides of the Stream. They make connections with the Traders, a Team that is looked down upon by Northerners and Southerners as ones who ‘take but do not make’. Trip and his friends begin to understand how those of the Aboveground go undetected, as the great chimneys of the cities cover the skies with an eternal cloud of steam. Yet their revelations are dismissed by the Traders as urban myths. They eventually convince the Traders to allow them to negotiate a deal with Allo Provera, one of the biggest textile industrialists in the Southland.

Trip impresses the wealthy Provera with his wisdom and understanding, and Allo begins teaching him the secrets of their society as well as the deeper mysteries of its politics. Trip is eventually hired as an Emissary of the Southland and is sent to the North Side to improve their business relationships. He brings his friends with him as his diplomatic entourage, but their past is uncovered and the secrets of the Aboveground brought to light. The Enforcers stage a full-scale invasion of the Aboveground, and only Provera’s intervention helps to avoid disaster for Trip and Lyrica’s ex-friends.

Set in a futuristic industrial world filled with mechanical wonders and moral contradiction, Stxeamtown is a satirical look at the modern world and its continuing struggle to maintain a balance between its achievements and its social standards. For young adults and speculative fiction buffs, Stxeamtown is a steampunk classic not to be forgotten.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Assent Publishing Picks Up Transplant!

The excitement continued on Dead Man's Pond as Assent Publishing signed a deal on Transplant. They become Number Eight on the charts as I continue to set my course for the stars, so we hope they do better than Tenth Street Press. Actually, they include a  promotional seminar with the deal, so hopefully they'll be able to come up with some new ideas that'll help me get a piece of that big fat horror audience out there.

Speaking of which, I've been busting a gut to get La Momia (The Mummy) finished for Black Bed Sheet Books. That one's coming along fine though I've done enough research to make me feel as if I would know Torreon, Mexico like the back of my hand if I ever visit there. That's one of the more rewarding aspects of writing, though. If you're really trying to sell your story to your audience, the research is the next best thing to being there. 

I finally sent the last proofread of Stxeamtown back to the editor at  Torquere/Prizm, and hopefully they'll get it right this time. I've seen salt shakers, pepper shakers, but...comma shakers? SOMEBODY over there poured commas all over my manuscript (kinda like they did on Wolf Man at Damnation Books), and static cling does not get the suckers back out. I wish they'd send some of these assistant editors back for a refresher course in punctuation. When all's said and done, they may have their name on the credit pages, but I'm the poor bastard who has his name on the cover. You'd think they'd at least make it look like I know how to punctuate correctly.

Maybe if I die and come back, I'll be an editor. There's got to be better money in it.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

KKK Day in KC MO - Frank Ancona's Day Off?

Frank Ancona’s KKK rally on the steps of the Jackson County Courthouse promised to be the event of the second weekend of November 2013 in KC MO, especially with the Kansas City Chiefs having their NFL bye week. There had to be over 1,000 people in attendance, none of whom came out in support of the organizers. As one spinster said when I remarked only five neo-Nazis showed up for the home team, “Well, at least the kids came out.”     

Not to mention the fact that Ancona’s Traditionalist Ku Klux Klan pulled a no-show, leaving the National Socialist Movement to entertain a motley crowd consisting of blacks, thrash rockers and over-the-hill hippies. The no-shows were conspicuous by their absence: there was one man flying a Star of David (despite this performance being scheduled on the anniversary ofKristallnacht), no faeries (or at least self-advertised), a handful of Mexicans and no religious objectors (read Catholics). Most seemed to be there to show their sensitivity for civil rights, though the profanities that rained down seemed to show little concern for the rights of women or children in attendance. 

 I remember a thrash show way back when called ‘A Guy Playing Records', and this is what the Ancona Drive turned into. The Nazis (not one skinhead among them) played a record of the late Richard Butler, which was too loud and too boring to drown out with the catcalls. I left in the middle of it all, the protestors shouting and yelling intermittently to no avail. You could still hear the dead man’s half century-old message echoing past the cordon of bored policemen. Blah blah blah Jews, blah blah blah Jews. You would think Ancona would have sent one aspiring orator out to sharpen his claws on this particularly hard audience. Fact of the matter is, that job’s been vacant since Butler died. 

The Klan in America has become an anachronism. Ancona has become a parody of the last Great White Hope, Pastor Thom Robb of the Knights of the KKK. Robb stepped up to the plate after David Duke struck out, and has since been exposed by Frontline as running a hate-for-profit mail order Klan out of Harrison, Arkansas. Ancona’s outfit is a weak reflection of Robb’s, stirring up controversy in Missouri hick towns by stuffing Klan posters in people’s mailboxes. Joining his Klan just isn’t going to happen. Either you send your $30 as a patron, or send along an application and wait for a qualifying phone call that never comes. You might be an FBI agent, or a reporter, or an IRS agent---or some black guy giving his money away. Just ask Alfalfa from the Little Rascals: if Spanky don’t like you, you don’t get in.    

 The biggest problem facing these dinosaurs is that hate gives you ulcers, ask anyone who’s got them. Preserving the white race isn’t the most terrible cause on earth if it didn’t carry all that baggage. Promoting white Christian American causes isn’t going to ring the fire alarm either. Breathing fire on people for no reason whatsoever just doesn’t cut it, and any semi-literate flipping through the Bible picks up on that. Maybe they have grievances over illegal immigration, reverse discrimination, abortion and gay marriage, but knee-jerk racism is drowning out the voices of all those who speak against it. The five patsies who got abandoned on the courtroom steps by Ancona can tell you all about it. 

I got patted down, wasted my afternoon, and didn’t come away with anything but this hot topic to write about. People who are paying Ancona’s $35 dues should seriously consider the renewal fee.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Making Me Scream?

Well, things are finally picking up again, and I can never remember to expect the unexpected. Assent Publishing is wanting to make a deal on Transplant. Not to mention that Transplant is the third story in the Tales To Astonish trilogy, which is being looked at by Curiosity Quills. It may make it the third of eight published works (Publish America notwithstanding) that is coming out in the horror genre. Didn't I say something about not wanting to be pigeonholed as a horror writer? Ain't that a shame, Turk. 

Speaking of Publish America, I just bought the rights to Tiara back from them. I'm planning to test the waters and self-publish through Create Space, but guess what? It's hard to mess with what was a perfectly concise work of literature. Although it's coming along fine, when I go back and try to tweak the 2003 version, I just can't see anything that needs rewriting. Readers are going to get a great new re-release, but---don't throw away the original. It's a keeper. 

My editor at Torquere/Prizm is just about ready to let Stxeamtown go to the printer. I sent her a note of admiration---she kicked the manuscript back at me twice, yet in retrospect I wish Netherworld Press had been as meticulous with The Fury. That was a truly humbling experience though, happily enough, I've been getting nothing but rave reviews back. Though Netherworld is giving me the same low profile as Tenth Street has, I'm going to keep pushing on my end and hope (beyond hope) that somehow it gets into the right hands.

These publishers sure seem to like my spooky stuff. C'mon, Hollywood, give a guy a break!