For some, Mardi Gras is a celebration
For others, it’s a dangerous game
I visited New Orleans once in 2000 with several online friends. I was a senior in high school at the time and it was stressful meeting people who I had never really seen in real life. This was the age of anonymity on the internet, and all I had was a picture of them.
This was before 9/11 happened, so the flight over was completely different than it is today. It was also before Katrina hit and I remember us driving over bridges and seeing all the buildings underneath, all the homes that in a few years would be seen on TV underwater.
For me, it was a special moment, a way of letting go of the stress of my academics and visiting someplace new. At the time, I was stressed out from applying to colleges and I didn’t know where I would be the following year. It was a period of transition and a period of reflection.
When I was asked by the wonderful editors of Filles Vertes Publishing if I wanted to participate in an anthology about New Orleans, I jumped at the opportunity. You see one of those online friends of mine passed away a year ago, and she was absolutely in love with the place. She was also a big supporter of my work. I wanted to honor her with a story about the city she always wanted to move to.
I am thrilled to share the cover reveal for Masks an anthology about Mardi Gras and the themes that surround it. My story, “La Femme en Rouge”, is a tale of transformation and of reflection. I associate New Orleans with a place to help me make big decisions in life, and I think my story reflects that. I wanted to capture the lights, the smells, the sounds, the moods, the mixture of perspectives, and the economic struggles.
I hope you’ll dare to explore the fantastic tales within, and maybe you’ll also find yourself transformed. After all, Mardi Gras is all about shedding your skin. Coming 3/31/2020.
I really didn’t expect to be sharing a new publication so soon after having two horror shorts published, but here we go!
I just sent off the contract to Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. They’re going to be publishing my fantasy short story, “Curse of Beauty”, in the next issue on their website! It should be going up around May 1st, to be included in Issue #28, so in just a couple of weeks. Note that this will be a free read, so anybody can drop by and read it once it’s live. 😉
This story has had a long road to get to this point. I’ve been trying to find a home for it since 2011 and have had over 20 rejections on it. Sometimes I wondered if it was worth shopping around, but this is a business where it’s good to be persistent. Like I’ve said before, my writing can be difficult to pin down, which means finding the right niche for it is difficult.
I’ve actually had a couple of older, hard-to-place pieces picked up lately. “A Slippery Customer” was another one. That one too had been homeless since 2011 and had 16 rejections, and the anthology crawled all the way up to #3 in Amazon’s horror anthology listing.
I guess the lesson of this story is not to give up. Take a fresh read of your story now and then, because you do get better as a writer over time, but don’t let yourself get discouraged. Keep sending them out. Eventually you’ll find the awesome editor for your piece. The numbers I’ve listed here are pretty typical in placing your writing. These are just short stories I’m talking about too, not even novels. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of submitting longer pieces to publishers. (I think I’m still scorched from Hodderscape’s open window from last August.)
Anyway come May 1st I’ll be sending out all the links I can, and hopefully you’ll understand why I’m so proud of this baby. I hope you’ll read and share as well!
I’m still reeling over how well Creepy Campfire did for days, but now it’s time to ramp up for the next horror story to crawl (scurry? creep? fly?) out of the woodwork.
Pete Kahle, the awesome editor of this series, released this trippy, disturbing cover for Not Your Average Monster #2!
Isn’t it great? The longer I look at it, the more creepy monsters I see in the background. It really reminds me of The Mist, one of my all-time favorite Stephen King stories, and that makes me so damn happy!
Pre-orders should be up in the next couple of days, and I’ll be sure to post links so be sure to check back. In the meantime if you’re interested in getting your hands on a review copy, head over to the Bloodshot Books Facebook page and let him know.
You guys remember me talking about this book last week, right? The one that just came out last Wednesday? I got my contributor copy this past week, after driving through over an hour of traffic and rain to get home from work. I was so stoked, you know I had to take a selfie.
Creepy Campfire Quarterly had been flirting up and down Amazon’s top charts this past week, and today it actually climbed to #3 in Amazon’s Horror Anthologies!
I am just so freaking thrilled! We’re still waiting on reviews, but there has been quite a bit of interest from professional reviewers from what I understand, so we’re hoping to get some soon. If you like adult-only horror stories, why not pick up a copy? And if you’re super special awesome, why not drop a review over at Amazon or Goodreads as well?
If you’ve seen much of my writing, you know that I like stories that aren’t exactly obvious. Stories that start out one way and then flip the entire plot around before it gets to the end. Characters that you think you’ve got figured out, but then do something outrageous and crazy that either make you cringe or laugh out loud. Well I’m happy to say that Zharmae has put an anthology together that is packed full of these stories.
RealLies: A Zharmae Collection of Short Works
My short story that appears here is more like a novelette at 9,900 words. “The Mysterious Disappearance of Charlene Kerringer” is what I would call a fantasy noir piece. It follows Detective Harris, a man who is rather out of luck and decides to take a gamble on a case. His gamble ends up on a sour note of course when he realizes the mess he’s fallen into. It’ll take more than his typical gruffness to resolve this conundrum, and you can bet there will be plenty of amusing characters along the way. This anthology is for those that like worlds with several layers.
RealLies is coming soon or available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Zharmae.
Be sure to also check out the Goodreads page!