I edited an anthology!

Yep, I sure did! If you like stories about discovery, or you just want to support me in what I do, here are the details.

EXPLORERS: BEYOND THE HORIZON

EXPLORERS is now available! Yep, after nearly two years it’s finally released into the world. Terry, Eli, and myself are incredibly proud of the collection that we’ve put together, and I hope you will buy a copy and enjoy it along with us. We want to thank the authors for submitting their fine work to us, thank John McCarthy for putting together an amazing print version of the book, and thank Scott Macumber for doing the cover artwork. So many people were involved in the creation of EXPLORERS, and it is because of all those talented people that we’re able to bring this book to you. It was our honor and our privilege.

You can purchase EXPLORERS via the following links:

CreateSpace Trade Paperback

Amazon.com Trade Paperback

Amazon.com Kindle eBook

Barnes & Noble Nook

Smashwords

The Smashwords page has the ebook available in .mobi, Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm Doc, and Plain Text formats, as well as online reading. Also, please know that the ebooks are DRM free. As soon as the iBookstore version is available I will pass that URL along.

But wait! There’s more! If you buy the print book, you can email the receipt to the Dead Robots’ email address, and we will then send you — FOR FREE — the ebook as well. Now you don’t have to make the heart wrenching and wallet bursting choice of going with one or the other. Buy the print book and get both!

The Dead Robots’ Society Podcast is proud to present EXPLORERS: BEYOND THE HORIZON, a short story anthology featuring characters forever changed by their discovery of lands and worlds beyond their own. Whether it’s by charting new stars, trekking across fantastical realms, sailing new oceans, or traversing the wild and unknown spaces between dimensions, readers will find the unimaginable in the pages of EXPLORERS. Authors contributing work to the anthology are:

J. Daniel Sawyer
Jeff Brackett
Lauren M. Roy
Colum Paget
Vincent Morgan
Ira Nayman
Jocelyn Adams
Court Ellyn
Jesse J. Summerson
Andrew Hawnt
Mark Mellon
Laura Givens
James Ebersole
Kurt H. Hyatt
Daniel Latham

IN THE DEEP DARK wins a contest!

Last month a friend of mine mentioned that a horror author he knew was holding a contest to find the scariest short story. I’d only written one horror short story, but the reception to it had been positive enough that I figured it had a chance, so why not submit and see what happened. The prize, other than the recognition of course, was a $50 Amazon gift card, and for someone like me that’s a real boon. So, I sent it in and waited.

Yesterday the results were announced, and IN THE DEEP DARK won! Edward Lorn, the author and contest creator, said about my story, “Justin’s piece terrified me to no end, both while reading, and long after the final page turned. This is what scares E. Blood and guts and acts of violence during intimate moments, are all well and good, and I enjoy them on a regular basis, but when you can create atmosphere, then you have a winner.” Wow, that’s incredibly nice to hear. And he’s right, in that horror shouldn’t just get to you while you’re reading it. It should stay with you long after you’ve put it down, the words always in the back of your mind and ready to frighten you all over again when you least expect it. Stephen King did it to me with SALEM’S LOT, and William Peter Blatty did it with THE EXORCIST. The fact that I could do that to someone else makes me smile big time.

If you’d like to read this story, head over to Edward’s site and check it out. If it will add extra incentive, keep in mind that I’m planning on using this short story as the prologue to my upcoming horror novel. It’ll take a few tweaks to make it fit, but it works too well not to do that. So, yeah, there you go.

Thanks to Edward for liking my story as much as he did, and to Jeff Brackett for letting me know about the contest in the first place. You’re both gentlemen and scholars.

A quick writing update

Well, it’s been about two and a half weeks since HAYWIRE was released, and that first week was straight-up crazy! I spent about two days living on Facebook, with periodic side trips to Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. So much more exhausting than I thought it would be, but I have to admit to it was also fun. You might be wondering, though, what was the net result of all that work and effort? Did I sell a bajillion copies? The sad answer is no. Not even close. In situations like this there are always two worlds at war with each other, one the real world where I’m a first time novelist with a debut book in a niche genre, and the other is the dream world in my mind where everyone is dying to buy my work and bury it in praise. And, as usual, reality won. I sold what my publisher assures me is the usual amount for someone in my position, but then quietly follows that up with urgings to not quit the day job just yet. Little does he know I already did that years ago.

But, before I get too sad about all the people who haven’t learned of my book or who haven’t bought a copy, I want to make sure I thank all those who did. I was astonished by all the people who helped me get word out through Facebook posts and retweets, who put the book on their “Reading” or “To Read” lists on Goodreads, who let me come on their podcasts and blogs to promote it, and who went to Amazon and posted a review. I received kind words from people I never expected, such as classmates I haven’t seen in years, and co-workers of my wife who don’t even know me. The kindness and support that came in, and still comes in, has humbled me nearly beyond words. I am so grateful to you all, and the thanks I feel goes beyond what a blog post can convey. I am deeply in your debt.

If you’d like to see some of the people I’m talking about, I have a Pinterst board devoted to all the people who bought a copy of my book and then went even further by taking a picture of themselves with it. John Mierau was the first person to do it, and all it took was that one to have me begging people carry it on. They did, and now I have this — a constant reminder of the wonderful people who’ve helped me get one step closer to my dream. You all get a very special thanks.

Okay, now that the HAYWIRE talk is out of the way, let’s move on to my other projects…

I talked with my editor over at Crescent Moon Press yesterday, and she informed me that I should be getting her edits for A MINOR MAGIC next week. I look forward to seeing their notes and diving back into that world. I haven’t touched or read the story since they bought it, so plunging back into it will be a lot of fun. Once I start on that process I’ll put a progress widget on the right side of my home page like I did with HAYWIRE. That way you can keep track of it without me constantly posting.

On Wednesday I finished the first draft of my horror novel STILL WATER. To be honest, I don’t know how much I’ve talked about it here on my blog, but a quick and dirty synopsis would be — In the small West Virginia town of Stillwater, coal mining has long been a way of life, but when an ancient evil that has slept in the mountains for millenia is awoken, the entire world could be plunged into an unending nightmare of pain and darkness and death. Now that the first draft is complete I’m going to put it away and let it rest while I work on other things (such as the aforementioned edits of A MINOR MAGIC). I really like STILL WATER and think it’s a solid horror story, but the proof will be in what eventual readers think, so here’s hoping they like it as much as I do.

I’m also trying to get more of my short stories up and available for sale on Amazon, so if you’re interested in those you can head over there and take a look. We’re also close to finishing the EXPLORERS anthology that my Dead Robots’ Society podcast has been working on for about a year. I’ll be glad to have that launched and into the world.

And that’s it! I think that’s brings us up to speed. If you’ve bought a copy of HAYWIRE, I thank you. If you haven’t, then why not? It’s good! Trust me! 😉

Peace…

HAYWIRE has been let loose upon the world!

Well, it’s March 13th, and you know what that means! No, I’m not talking about when St Felix III began his reign as Catholic Pope, or that today is when Mongolia declared their independence from China in 1921. No, I mean that today is the day HAYWIRE becomes available for purchase. I hope that all of you are ready and eager to buy your copy, because I’m more than ready for you to get it. Now, the first question is of course, “How do I get it?” Great question! First, and probably most importantly for a good number of people, it’s available on Amazon via the following links:

Kindle $4.99_____. Print $9.99______.

It is also available from Barnes & Noble for the Nook. I don’t have a cute picture to serve as a link, but you can click HERE and head straight to it.

If those aren’t to your liking, it’s also available from Smashwords in a wide variety of formats, among them PDF, EPUB, Palm Doc, RTF, and HTML. You can go HERE to see those if you’re interested.

Soon it will also be available in print from Barnes & Noble, as well as in ebook format for iBooks, Sony, and the Kobo. When those come available, I will let you know immediately.

Now, some people have asked me, “What about signed copies of the print book?” That’s another great question! As of right now I don’t have any copies on hand to sign and send out. When I do, I’ll let you know. Until then, though, you are free to mail me your copy with a self-addressed stamped envelope, and I’d be happy to sign it and mail it back to you, or you can order it and send it directly to me, along with an email to let me know to expect it. Either way, reach out to me and I’ll pass an address along to send it to. Or you could make a trip to Balticon, run me down in the hallway or on a panel, and I’d be happy to sign it and have a chat. Your choice.

Let me end this by saying thank you. If you’re reading this, then it means you’re at least somewhat interested in buying my book and reading it. For that, I thank you. Writing is something I’ve wanted to make a career of my entire life, and with your support I get closer to living my dream. I hope that you order the book, love it, order copies for your friends and family, and then you review it on Amazon or where ever you bought it to help bring more people on board. I also hope you pass this post along to everyone you know, and so on, and so on. Thanks for everything, and check back soon for more news.

w00t! 🙂

HAYWIRE out March 13th!

How’s that cover, huh? Because HAYWIRE is being published by a small press, I had more control over what my cover would look like than a lot of other authors would, and I knew my brother — who’d worked on previous covers me, all to my delight — was up to the challenge. What do you think? Do you like it? Please let me know.

Also, the book will be releasing on March 13th in both print and ebook versions. You won’t be able to just walk into a store and see it on a shelf since Gryphonwood is a smaller press, but you should be able to order it at your local store, as well as online. I hope that you do, and that you contact me to tell me what you thought. I’m really excited. Are you?

A writing update

Hey, everyone, sorry it’s been so long since I last did an update on where I’m at with my writing. I could roll out my usual excuses, but I won’t. Suffice it to say, I’ve been busy as hell. But, today is a calm morning, so let me take advantage of it by bring you up to speed…

First up, HAYWIRE! The editor of Gryphonwood Press sent me an edited version of my manuscript a little over a month ago with notes on further edits he’d like to see me make. When I got them I thought, “Oh, I’ll be able to knock this out in a week, if it takes that long.” Man was I wrong. What I’d failed to realize was that HAYWIRE is a novel I’d finished a couple of years ago, and since then I’ve evolved as a writer, and if I wanted to make the book as good as it could be, I’d have to make a ton of little changes all through it to bring it up to the level I’m at now. Then, to make things even more difficult, the changes I was asked to make were more far-reaching than I’d initially thought, causing extensive rewrites and wholesale slaughter of previous chapters. It was an alphabetical massacre. Now, a little over a month later, I’m done. I’ve corrected and changed it as much as I’m able. Yesterday I sent it back to the publisher, and now I wait to hear back. Once I know more, I’ll let you know.

A MINOR MAGIC, which is being published by Crescent Moon Press, has emailed me about edits to that manuscript. They want to wait a little while between the publishing of that novel and HAYWIRE, which I totally agree with. When I know the date HAYWIRE comes out, I’ll let CMP know so we can schedule the editing of A MINOR MAGIC.

I was nearly finished with the first draft of STILL WATER when the edits for HAYWIRE came in. Now that HAYWIRE is off my plate, I’ll be getting back to STILL WATER. I’d like it if I could finish the first draft, and then let it cool while I edited A MINOR MAGIC. That way, when I got back to it, STILL WATER would be out of my head and I could come to it fresh. After I do an editing pass on it, I’ll send it to some beta readers to get their take on it.

And as for my short stories, I’ve actually just had two of them published. My sci-fi noir story THE DAME WORE WHITE has been published by Flagship Magazine, and my horror story IN THE DEEP DARK has come out from Abbatoir. I’m extremely proud of both stories, and I like that they represent me as a full-spectrum writer. I love science fiction, I love fantasy, and I love horror, so it’s only natural that I write the same way. Hopefully I’ve got something for you no matter your tastes. Please click on one of those links to support not only me, but also the wonderful people who think enough of my work to publish it.

And… that’s it for now. As always, I’ll try to post more quickly next time. Have a good one!

Just a quick update

There are times when I wonder if updating this blog serves any purpose. I rarely get comments or emails, and by rarely I mean once in a blue moon, so does anyone even read it? Perhaps if I put up notices on Twitter and Facebook letting people know I made an update, that might draw more people in. I’ll have to give that a try.

Anyway…

First, an update on my writing and the upcoming books. It looks like A MINOR MAGIC will be the first to hit the market. We’re hoping for a November/December release. And then, somewhere around March of 2012, you should see HAYWIRE come out. I’d like a bit more space between then, but I won’t know if that’s possible until dates firm up a touch more. I’ll keep you in the loop. And as for STILL WATER, I took a break the past two weeks to work on my podcast’s anthology plus to rest for a few days, but next week I’ll get back into it hardcore. If I’m not done with it by the end of October I’ll be upset with myself.

Speaking of podcasts, I’m still doing two of them right now. The Dead Robots’ Society is nearing it’s 200th episode, which doesn’t include all the convention panels, special episodes, and audio dramas we’ve produced, so in reality we have over two-hundred files available for download right now. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished with it. But I’m also still co-hosting with the guys over at The Hollywood Outsider. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I really encourage you to, especially if you like movies and TV shows. I have a lot of fun doing it, and the guys I host with are a lot of fun. I wish they lived closer so that I could hang out with them in person. Please, do yourself and us a favor, and give it a spin. We just put out our ninth episode.

If you’re interested at all in video games, I just finished replaying Gears Of War 1 and 2 in preparation for playing the third game, and I also just finished playing a new RPG (that’s Role Playing Game for you non-gamers) called X-MEN: DESTINY. As you can tell from the title, it is a comic book game, but with an RPG feel. It’s not the best RPG I’ve ever played (Hey, Bioware, what’s up? Get Mass Effect 3 out NOW!), but it was still a lot of fun. I’d give it a solid 8 out of 10.

I think that’s it for now. This brings you up to date on where I am with some of my projects, and as they develop I’ll post ’em here and keep you in the loop. Thanks for coming, and please let me know what you think regarding anything I’ve talked about.

Oh, before I go, please notice the new icons I’ve put at the bottom of this post. I got the idea for this from Robin Sullivan, and I’m hoping they’ll help in keeping people connected with me and what I’ve working on. If you see any problems with them, or have other ideas, please let me know.

Take care.

And now HAYWIRE has a publisher too!

Yep, you read that blog post title correctly. Following hot on the heels of my announcement that A MINOR MAGIC was picked up by Crescent Moon Press comes the news that my science fiction novel HAYWIRE has also found a publisher with Gryphonwood Press. I met the founder of Gryphonwood Press, David Wood, a few months ago. I had him on my podcast, learned about his publishing history and how he came to found Gryphonwood Press, and greatly enjoyed talking with him. I knew right away that I wanted to work more with him, so I submitted HAYWIRE. Over the weekend he told me that he liked the manuscript and wanted to publish it. I am incredibly excited.

As more news develops and time tables start to shape up, I’ll let you know the details. Thanks for continuing to read this blog.

A MINOR MAGIC has a publisher!

I just wanted to officially announce that A MINOR MAGIC is going to be published by Crescent Moon Press. I’m grateful to them for wanting to publish the novel, and I’m strengthened by their belief in me and my manuscript. I’ll let you know more about the book and its release as I get the information. Thanks to you for reading my blog, and thanks to all those who helped me in this process.

Updated my site a bit

In an effort to make the site look a bit more professional, I’ve gone through the pages that contain my short stories and I updated them so that they are more uniform in their presentation, so that all the audio links work properly, and so that free PDF versions are available on each page. I also updated a couple of them to notate new publishing credits and the like. The only two short stories that I’ve not yet put on the site are IN THE DEEP DARK and The DAME WORE WHITE, and the reason is that they will both soon be published, and until their exclusivity period is over, I can’t make them available here. BUT, when they ARE published, you can bet your bippy (what is a bippy, anyway?) that I’ll let you know so that you can seek them out and let the publishers know how much you liked what you read.

Anyway, not really much else to say at the moment. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you give my short stories a read if you haven’t already. And hey, if you purchased a copy of either THE TIES THAT BIND or PIRATES OF THE CRIMSON SAND, that’d be okay too. 🙂

Talk to you later…