Cover Art Reveal for Vignettes from the End of the World

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Coming soon from Apokrupha!

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Finding Your Inspiration

Since it was just lying around on a flash drive, I decided to share the PowerPoint presentation I created for my grad school teaching module last year. A couple of the slides are a little wonky, but you get the idea. I hope you find it useful!

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A Crash Course in Dieselpunk

This week I’m celebrating the sale of my novelette Beautiful Things to Fox & Raven Publishing. I figured it was the perfect time to post about the sub-genre in which Beautiful Things exists, that of dieselpunk. An offshoot of cyberpunk, dieselpunk lives in the shadow of its more famous cousin, steampunk. Wikipedia notes that “Dieselpunk is an art style based on the aesthetics popular between World War I and the end of World War II. The style combines the artistic and genre influences of the period (including pulp magazines, serial films, film noir, art deco, and wartime pin-ups) with postmodern technology and sensibilities.” My story, set several years before World War II, features art deco, jazz, secret societies, Nazis, werewolves, and diesel-based technology. I have to admit, it was absurdly fun to write. Here are a few images that inspired objects appearing in the story, just to give you an idea of the aesthetics:

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

 

Why dieselpunk? Well, every now and then I get the crazy idea to experiment in another genre. The original story started out as horror, but I wasn’t happy with it. I loved the imagery of dieselpunk, and it fit my story’s time period. I envisioned an alternate, art-deco Munich; werewolves on motorcycles; Nazi experiments with super-soldiers; and diesel-fueled airships sweeping over the cities and death camps. Despite all that, it somehow manages to be arguably the funniest thing I’ve ever written. I had originally intended to submit Beautiful Things to a dieselpunk anthology a couple years ago but didn’t finish it in time. Gradually it grew into a novelette, and the good news is that eventually I plan to write further adventures for my intrepid heroine and her favorite werewolf.

For all you ever wanted to know about dieselpunk, visit Dieselpunks.

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Of Devils & Deviants: An Anthology of Erotic Horror – Cover Reveals and Pre-Order

Originally posted on CROWDED QUARANTINE PUBLICATIONS:

Of Devils & Deviants -HB Cover ODAD PB Cover

After almost a year of work, Of Devils & Deviants: An Anthology of Erotic Horror is only a month away from its official release of May 1st. Featuring 23 stories by some of the genre’s finest, and with illustrations throughout by the inimitable Chris Taggart, Of Devils & Deviants will seduce and horrify you in equal measure. The book will be released in all formats on May 1st 2014. Pre-order links below.

Hardcover (350pp) £18.99

Hardcover (350pp) £15.99 +£2.99 P&P

Paperback (468pp) £9.99 + £1.99 P&P

Paperback (468pp) £9.99 + £1.99 P&P

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I Have a Book Deal!

If you haven’t already heard, Permuted Press signed me to a four-book contract this week. The deal includes my grad school thesis novel (Those of My Kind), as well as its two sequels and a standalone new adult zombie novel. I’ve been out of grad school for nine months, so working on writing deadlines again will be a bit of an adjustment. Then again, I do like some structure.

Currently I’m revising the second book, A Place With the Dead. While I wrote the first draft almost twenty years ago, grad school proved that Tristan’s story required more than one book. I always knew I had a series on my hands. I’m making tons of changes, of course, and to be honest, I’m a little afraid to look at the thing, as six years have passed since the last draft. But it’s a good deal more apocalyptic than ToMK, and the third book (Dusk of Hope) takes that even further, so I think I’ll fit right in at Permuted Press.

No release dates yet, of course, but I’ll be posting here with the latest news as it comes.

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Conduits Cover Art Revealed

Today I have the privilege of sharing with you the cover for my upcoming novella Conduits. Beautiful, huh?

conduits

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Miles and Miles of No-Man’s Land

Jennifer Loring:

Reblogging because it’s important.

Originally posted on Libba Bray:

This is the hardest blog I’ve ever attempted to write.

For the better part of eight months, I have been struggling under the thumb of a rather intense depression. This is a monster I’ve battled many times in my life; it is not new. Yet, this has been a particularly brutal one, and I’m not out of the woods yet.

As a writer, I try to write about everything. But it’s hard to write about depression. For one, there’s the fear that the minute you say, “I’m suffering from depression,” people will look at you funny. That they will nod at you with wincing, constipated face, place a hand on your arm and say, with all good intent, “How are you?” And your pain will war with your desire to be “normal” and not looked at funny by sympathetic people at parties. So you will answer, “Fine, thanks” while you’ll…

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A Winter Treat

As we brace for yet another storm (really, winter, this is getting old), I wanted to share one of my favorite homemade hot chocolate recipes. Enjoy!

Image courtesy of Wikiphoto

Image courtesy of Wikiphoto

What You Need:

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions for Two Servings:

Mix ingredients together. Stir 1/4 cup mix and 2 tbsp hot water in a medium-size saucepan until blended. Gradually stir in 1 1/2 cups milk. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

I like to put the dry mix in fun plastic containers from the dollar store and tie the directions to it with ribbon. Take that, winter!

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Body Language

As an editor, one of my pet peeves is reading about characters who do little more than nod, shrug, or point. With that in mind, here’s a handy body language cheat sheet to help you avoid repetitive, meaningless character actions in your own writing.

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Upcoming, and What I’m Working on Now

Somehow I never mentioned this on the blog (just everywhere else), so let me leave this right here.
Tales from the Lake Vol. 1 Table of Contents:
Graham Masterton
Taylor Grant
G.N. Braun
John Palisano
Charles Day
John Paul Allen
Joan De La Haye
Bev Vincent
Tim Curran
Elizabeth Massie
Tim Waggoner
Blaze McRob (poetry)
Jenn Loring (1st place in Tales From the Lake horror writing competition)
J. Daniel Stone (2nd place)
William Ritchey (3rd place)

Introduction by: Rocky Wood

Cover by: Ben Baldwin

Edited by: Joe Mynhardt

Scheduled release: July 2014

And check out my bio page on Crystal Lake Publishing’s website! I was stunned, to put it mildly, that I had won this competition, and it’s even more exciting to be in print alongside my grad school mentor, Tim Waggoner, for the first time.

I’ll be out of town for the next week, but I’m working on two novels at the moment (a YA horror and a brutal post-apocalyptic dystopian), as well as another novella and a new batch of short stories. Things really picked up for me in the last few months of 2013, with the two writing competitions and the sale of Conduits to DarkFuse, so I’m heading into 2014 with guns blazing.

I wish everyone a very happy holiday and a productive new year!

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