Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sisters in Crime Panel

We had a speaking panel on Noir crime along with Marian Lanouette (see an interview here), at a Sisters in Crime event and signing at the Edwards Public Library, Southampton, MA.
They happen to be featuring The Maltese Falcon, one of my favorite books (yeah, and movies, because they shot the dialogue from the book).

Try the funky link here to see the flyer.

It was a lovely night with an attentive audience, talking about noir, mystery and writing, the current state of publishing, and other fun stuff. Marian has great stories to tell, and we had a blast.
Sorry, I didn't get to capture all the crowd in pictures, but we had a respectable attendance.

Many thanks to Barbara Diamond Goldin (a noted children's book author in addition to her library duties) for setting this up, and the the library and its supporters for an excellent night.

 Marian in position

  My tapestry featuring the cover to A Shadow on the Wall

 Marian mixes with the audience

That's Barbara (the library Director) in the middle, who made us feel so welcome.

Fiction Slam Night Contest

Recently attended the Fiction Slam Night Contest, sponsored by the New Hampshire Writers' Project.
The contest was held in the French Building Auditorium Rotunda at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester, with a lovely reception area to refresh the 80-some-odd people who came to hear the 8 winning entrants from the regional 3-Minute Fiction Slam competitions.

Now I've got rather high expectations, and this was a night of extraordinary talent. The stories were top-notch- quick, concise, and sometimes touching. It was a tough task for the three judges to select winners from the terrific stories read.

Thanks to the Institute for hosting this wonderful event, and to all those in the program who made it all possible. There are a lot of people working hard to create excellent fiction, and all in our backyard.
And shoutout to John Herman for being an entertaining emcee for the event. 

Judges: Tim Horvath, James Patrick Kelly (who also generously supplied cash prizes), and special guest Jacquelyn Benson

The contestants- each one already a regional winner

The appreciative crowd

Nashua regional winner Jennifer Valentine and supportive family

Steven Wong, Nashua group coordinator Ursula Wong (middle- the rose between two thorns)- the author of Purple Trees, and Dave, from the Nashua group

I'd say there were a lot of winners, but you can see the ones holding prize checks!

Kent Devreux and Rob Greene

If you'd like an example of one of the superb stories of the night, try Getaway.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Featured in Latest Granite Coast Magazine

The new Granite Coast entertainment magazine is out, and features a few New England writers- most notably myself and fellow Insanity Tales author Stacey Longo, author of the new release Ordinary Boy.

The mag has lots of info about music and entertainment in our region, so check it out. Here's their Facebook page.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Authors by the Sea and Queen City Kamikaze Con Writeup

Fun couple of days this weekend, but exhausting.

First up was the Author's Night by the Sea, sponsored by Pear Tree Publishing, where we had a good night of signing books and meeting people.
Some pics courtesy of Jenn Hobbs, others by Maureen Ross.


Many thanks to K.D. Mason for his work on publicity, raffle prizes, and taking over in a time of need for others. And thanks to the Portsmouth, NH Elks Club for hosting us.

Friends new and old were there, including: T. Stephens

Scott Goudsward, Ogmios, Joe Ross of Rosstrum Publishing, Coralie Hughes Jensen, Maureen Ross, and others



Then early next morning, we were off to Manchester, NH, for the Queen City Kamikaze Con, where we were signing our works at the Books and Boos table.
More pictures available here.

And as the authors of Insanity Tales we were on a panel to discuss writing collaboration.
Left to right: David Daniel, me, moderator Stacey Longo, Ursula Wong, and Vlad V.
Thanks to Jason Rivers for playing official Staff Photographer for the panel shots.

Other friends were there, like The Dome from SciFi Saturday Night, the cool podcast of all things science fiction. Here, the Dome meets his cosplaying counterpart!

Stacey gets in on the action ...

And then we get the Three Jasons! Which one is the scariest?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weekend- Two Book Signings

Hey there. I've been away for a bit. Got laid off, had to find another job. Glad to say, that happened, so I can focus on other things again. Whew.

So after being snowed out of the first two book signings of the year, finally have a clear day- and back-to-back events.

Tonight I'll be in Portsmouth, NH, for the Author's Night by the Sea, sponsored by the New England Author's Expo and Pear Tree Publishing. We've got lots of writers, prizes, a cash bar, and more. Come on by. And buy...

Tomorrow, we'll be at the Queen City Kamikaze convention, up in Manchester, NH. I'll be on a panel with fellow authors from Insanity Tales.

Which, by the way, on Kindle is #75 in Anthologies & Literature Collections > Horror
Just sayin', an awesome collection, with an Introduction by horror writing superstar Jonathan Maberry.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Me and Harlan Ellison

I am humbled- and awed today by something I discovered by accident.

While looking up my story collection The Big Book of Genre Stories, on Kobo, I saw the "also boughts".

I am placed on the same page as works by Harlan Ellison.

The Harlan Ellison. The writer with more awards than any other writer- and unless you're aware, you've not heard of him. One of the giants, the classics.

Which tells you something about being a successful, working writer for 50 years. Yeah, 50.
He's the man. And I'm listed on the same page on a retail site.

I'm not worthy! Though I carry his torch. As he said of himself, comparing to Fritz Leiber- "I'm not fit to carry his pencil-case."

How often are you placed in the pantheon with your heroes? It makes me weep with joy.

I've actually met the man, who said nice things about me.

You probably haven't read him. You need to.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tough Year so Far

In the great novel Dune, by Frank Herbert, one of the quotes says:
"God made Arrakis to test the faithful"

It's a statement on how tough it is to survive on that desert planet, and how I think of New England- you've got to be hardy and half-crazy to live up here in winter. And this one is kicking our asses. A blizzard every weekend, with snow now piled so high you can't see anything, and cold to numb you into looking like Jack Nicholson's character at the end of The Shining movie.

But okay, cold and snow I can deal with. I grew up in Aroostook County, Maine, where the snow was piled up to the telephone pole wires. People sometimes think that's an exaggeration. It's not.

The snow canceled my first two book signings of the year. Sigh. Plus a couple of other things we were looking forward to. Ah well.

IBM just shed thousands of worker jobs. Mine being one of them.
So- soon to be no more health care, or able to pay for daughter's colleges. Thanks corporate America!

If this were one of the civilized countries, I'd at least have the health care and education covered, so all we'd have to deal with would be household expenses. But here in the 21st century, they can whisk your life away in a heartbeat, and it's just numbers on the sheets of corporate hacks who will never go hungry or without. Their boat starts leaking, so they punch more holes in the bottom. And hard-working American families can go suffer. It's a crappy system that ruins people for no good reason.

So, yeah, it's a tough year so far. Wouldn't be suprised to see a giant sandworm...

So as a writer, do you give up? Hell no! I'm hard at work on my 4th Zack Taylor novel (while re-releasing the first 3), as well as a clutch of stories. And I'm editing a number of other works for other writers. And judging stories for the Al Blanchard Award. And polishing my entry for the Flash Fiction Contest of the NH Writer's Project.

If you feel like buying one of my books to help out, it would be much appreciated. Or leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads. Or if you know of a company that needs a good Software Technical Writer with a quarter-century of experience.