Time for some good news. My story, “The Story of Jessie and Me,” has been accepted for Crystal Lake Publishing‘s anthology Tales From the Lake, Vol. 4.
I’m thrilled! Crystal Lake is doing great things, and it’s a family I’ve wanted to be a part of for a while.
I’m passionate about this story and this anthology. Go check out the previous volumes if you haven’t, and check this one out later this year. They also have a fantastic library of horror novels to choose from.
At long last, the novel that found a home on cold, metal e-retail warehouse racks in 2014 has moved onto the cozy, wooden shelves of your local book store. Yes, it’s exciting, gratifying, satisfying, terrifying, but the one thing that’s undeniable is my little book is all grown up.
So, let’s party.
Over the next week, I’m going to hold a giveaway contest on Facebook and Twitter. Like, share/retweet, and use the hashtag #CarryingCarrier for an opportunity to win signed print copies of the new edition, a $20 Amazon gift card, and an Amazon Kindle Fire.
I just wanted to drop by here for a few moments to observe the fact that Carrier will be in brick-and-mortar stores in a week. I could tell you about the new interior design and the higher printing quality. I could tell you how being in stores will hopefully expose the novel to a whole new audience. Instead, I think I’d rather reflect on the book itself.
I know. Blogs can be self-indulgent, and I’ve striven to not have one of those. But hey, it’s an occasion to observe, and you’re in my house right now. Pop a squat, or get out.
More than six years ago, when I was 27, I was in what some would call a rut. I imagine it’s a phase that affects many twenty-somethings. It is a part of our lives in which we accept adulthood and that we can never go back to the time when we can more often do as we choose not as we need. To a large extent, we have to cope with the fact that responsibility dictates our actions.
A couple weeks ago, in my summer update, I wrote about how 2016 hadn’t really panned out the way I’d hoped. It hasn’t been a bad year at all. In fact, production-wise, I feel like I’ve written some of the best fiction of my life. And while I haven’t had much to announce this year, some of that production is paying off.
I’m thrilled to announce Gamut, a new literary magazine, has accepted a short story of mine. I can’t stress the previous sentence’s verb enough.
An acceptance from any market is a great thing. It’s acknowledgement for hard work and dedication, not to mention passion for a piece. It says you did something right, but more than that, it says someone else believes in the story as much as you do. And now the story has an avenue to reach other readers.
But contributing to Gamut is a whole different accomplishment. Not only is Gamut an amazing project (and I’ll get to that in a moment) that is the brainchild of some people I hold in high regard, but it’s also a professional market.
At the beginning of this year, I teased some big things. I learned a lesson in teasers: It’s not a good idea unless the things you’re teasing are definite. Many of my hopes for 2016 haven’t quite panned out. I finished my second novel, but I’ve struggled to find a home for it. I’ve also finished some solid short stories, but it’s been a mix of rejection and taking a long time to hear back.
I get it. I’m shooting for the stars, and it takes a long time for even light to travel through interstellar space.
However, in the face of a disappointing 2016 (seriously, has anyone had a good 2016?), one of those things I teased (something big regarding Carrier) is definitely happening.
That’s an interior proof. But wait, wasn’t Carrier already published? Yes.
It’s a bit ironic, but I don’t think it’s atypical that a writer falls off of his blog writing activity, so I don’t feel too bad about neglecting you. Still, I do feel bad. Like, pretty bad. On a scale of 1 to bad, I give myself a C – in feelings.
Just so we’re clear about that.
So how have you been? I’ve been well. Unfortunately, the reason I’ve been so silent is I’m in between projects right now. That doesn’t mean 2016 will be as uneventful as 2015. On the contrary.
I know what you’ve been thinking. You’ve been wondering what happened to me over the last few months. It’s pretty understandable. I haven’t called in a while, and for that, I apologize.
I’ve been running silent (which provides me a nice interstitial segue to a review to Craig DiLouie’s Crash Dive that I just posted; come on back afterward) these last few months. I’ve been writing and reading and watching and waiting, biding my time for the moment to strike.
Whenever you work on something for years and the moment when it will come to fruition approaches, it’s hard to tame your excitement. It’s hard to contain the explosion of emotions. It’s hard to keep your organs inside your torso. That’s where I am right now.
We weren’t sure that we were going to be able to make it available for preorder, but here it is, and I am absolutely terrified. For sure, the prospect of you and everyone else getting Carrier in your hands and its words funneling into your eyeports excites me, but with each moment it takes further from my grasp, I can’t help but feel more apprehensive.
I’m not a parent, but I imagine this must be something akin to what parents feel as they hug their children and send them off to school for the first time. I have loved this thing and put everything that I could into it, and now it has to go out and face the scrutiny of the world.
So check this out. Isn’t it gorgeous? A couple of months back, I spent some time with artist Jack Kaiser who extracted the planet and the Atlas from my brain. It was a delicate procedure, and he was gentle.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, David Walker at Permuted Press contacted me to do the title and byline. He was incredibly accommodating and tolerant to my bad ideas and rambling.
The wrap (spine and back cover) is still to come, and when I get it, I plan to share more details about the entire process. But for now, just look at it. LOOK at it.