In some ways, 2017 is shaping up to be a much better year than the one we are currently living through. As my dad says to every passing year at 12:01 a.m., January 1st, after swinging open the back sliding-glass door and making a lude gesture–“Fongul!” or, loosely translated from Italian–“Fuck you.”
On top of the fact there aren’t enough cool celebrities left for 2017 to make a dent in 2016’s death pool, there are also some more personal Pro’s to the coming year. First up, my novelette, Full Moon in the West, is to be released by Grinning Skull Press as an ebook. Remember that time a posse killed your wife and daughter, and you conscripted the aid of a local witch, who enchanted your dead father’s old gun and set you on a quest for revenge? Well, if not, this one might jog your memory. Oh yeah, and if you can’t tell, there are werewolves in it.
In addition to my first publication with Grinning Skull Press, my second Mirror Matter Press title is also set to be released in 2017. Stone Wall is the follow up to this year’s, Stone Work, a collection of three novellas that introduces Stone, a mercenary, making his way in a blasted, future cityscape, and Megan, his techie and moral anchor. Stone Wall sees Stone return to the prison from which he escaped eight years ago. The Wall. The Wall is where he got his scars. The Wall took his wife and daughter. Now, The Wall is his line to half a million dollars. All he has to do is break back in, save the boy, and get back out with his skin. What he doesn’t know is that Henry Burke, the detective who put him away eight years ago, is hot on his trail. And this time, there will be no arrest. If you haven’t read Stone Work yet, grab a copy here and catch up, so you’ll be ready when Stone Wall breaks out (see what I did there?).
And now to explain the title of this post. In 2014, two weeks before I turned twenty-nine, I decided to finish a short story for the first time in two years or so. It was part of a promise I made to myself to get something published before I turned thirty. Not that there’s anything wrong with being unpublished and thirty, but it was a goal. That story was “Old Haunts.” I had piddled around with the story on and off for a year, unable to decide what it was about. I was a fan of “ambiguity” and “letting the reader decide what the story was about.” Unfortunately, for me at least, that was just laziness. I needed to be less ambiguous, and throw the reader a bone. So I decided what it was about, based on the characters and their conflicts, and finished it.
The excitement of writing the final line of a story, and the satisfaction that followed, was exhilarating. I went on to write five additional short stories and two books that year. All of the short stories were published in various zines for varying amounts of money, I self-published one of the books, and sent the other off never to be heard from again. Two of the stories I wrote would end up being the first two stories of Stone Work.
“Old Haunts“ was published almost a year later in the first issue of Cyclopean, and was my first by-the-word or semi-pro sale. “Old Haunts” gave me my confidence back, and started me on the path of publishing. Now that I have the rights back on it, I am releasing it as an ebook, which is currently available for preorder. I know–who wants to pay any amount of money for one short story? That’s why I am including a free copy of “Coker,” the second short story I wrote the year I got back on track. If you pre-order “Old Haunts” and would like a free ebook copy of “Coker,” simply PM me a screenshot of your order confirmation (or any form of proof you pre-ordered it) and your email address, and I will gift you a copy of “Coker.”
If you read this far, thanks! To find out what “Old Haunts” is about and/or to pre-order it, click image below!