Charlene has her own Ebook

Really it was excellent news to hear when I got back from vacation! To be fair, it looks like it got posted before we left, but I blame a whirlwind of activity (ie. work, last minute packing, boarding cats, etc.) for distracting me from the Ebook release of my short story, The Mysterious Disappearance of Charlene Kerringer. You can now pick it up exclusively on Kindle at $1.99. Just click on the big blue cover on the right.

If you’re more interested in anthologies than the single varieties, you can still pick up a copy of RealLies with all of its gorgeous cover artwork, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or even from Zharmae directly.

But the awesome news just keeps on coming.

On top of this, I found out that over at The A P Book Club, run by two friends who are total book lovers, they recently posted a review of RealLies. Ashley even went through and gave individual reviews for each short story, and had some kind words to say about Charlene’s tale.

While it starts out like your typical detective story, it soon takes a sudden turn in a completely unexpected direction. Things get weird, but I actually enjoyed where they ended up.

If you would like to take a look at their full reviews, Ashley broke hers up into two parts. Paul also wrote a review, but didn’t include my story. It really is difficult to review every story in an anthology though. There are so many! Take a look at what they said, and also browse through their impressive review listing that stretches from My Little Pony and Transformers Prime to Two Boys Kissing and Skulk.

  • Ashley’s Review of RealLies Part 1: Curiosity
  • Ashley’s Review of RealLies Part 2: Control
  • Paul’s Review of RealLies

I guess it’s time to dive back into edits again. Doing some major changes on my Supernatural Western novel. Although I’m hoping to participate in NaNo in November, I’m thinking I might be stuck with edits instead of writing. Edits are supposed to be even more important than just producing though, right?

Killing Self-Doubt and New Short Stories On the Way

So I’m dropping off a few articles for all my writer friends out there. Found by the amazing Astrea Baldwin – she’s so good at finding these inspiring gems!

Writers Must Kill Self-Doubt Before Self-Doubt Kills Them – Now just a warning that this piece is rife with profanity and crude jokes, but honestly this tackles a very true fact. Self-doubt is one of the worst killers of fiction. Sure it’s handy when it’s right, but you know when it’s speaking the truth. You just have to be careful not to be fooled by it. Of course Chuck says it way better: “Admiral Ackbar knows what it is: that shit’s a trap.”

Self-publishing EPUB experience – Not only does this thread talk about the results of switching a piece from pay -> free -> pay again, but also tells you how to set something as free. Apparently there’s a bit of a trick to do it on Amazon, as they’re not too thrilled about free works. A good reference for me, but also good for anyone else needed to liven up their self-published works.

Finally, I’ve got some updates on pieces I’ve been working on. I decided to self-publish a couple of short stories. One will be short, but free – Clawbinder – which is already free for reading online, so I didn’t see a point in making folks buy it. Ultimately it just makes it easier for folks to learn about my work and my writing. The second piece will be my western werewolf & vampire short story, which is far longer than Clawbinder (in the 7k-9k range). I’ve had it edited by the wonderful Jessica Augustsson who was able to piece apart the good from the bad in a way that I never could. And Clawbinder’s getting its own cover as well thanks to the talented Fena Lee. I’m using up my one-time free e-book cover on Clawbinder since I’ll be putting it up for free anyway. After that piece, I’m looking to commission her for a piece for the Night Feeders story I mentioned.

Figuring out all the formatting and steps needed to get these stories posted will take some time, but I think I’ve researched enough to be comfortable with it. Still keeping my fingers crossed until I’ve actually taken the plunge though. It’ll be a good side-project for me to work on during NaNo next month as well.

Next Year’s Halloween & Publishing Choices

After a fun-filled weekend partying with friends dressed up in clown costumes, necromancer gowns, and how could I forget the horse wizard, business rhino, and Mexican Alien Fart-o-Meter — how can I already be thinking of next year’s Halloween bash? Well there’s two reasons actually.

One, I’ve almost perfected my Steampunk outfit and I’ve worn it consistently for the last two years. With Dragon*Con at the beginning of September followed closely by Halloween, I have a feeling I’ll want to liven up my wardrobe a little bit next year. I’ve got some goggles I want to make still for it, get some fingerless gloves, and find a better way to attach my freaking topper hat, but still! It’s fairly close to being done, and so I’m getting the urge to add a new get-up to my choices.

Two, my sister has been showing The Birds in her English 1101 classes. Yes, I know – the fabulous Alfred Hitchcock version that I adore. I admit I would have loved to watch Hitchcock’s work in my freshmen college years, though our dystopia films were just as fun come to think of it. Anyway, it makes me think of what Melanie Daniels wears in the film (played exquisitely by Tippi Hedren of course). I’m sure you’ve seen it around. It’s really a neat concept even though the fabric for the outfit is a little wanting.

So after a little browsing, I found this unique rendition of it. You know, anything involving blood, gore, and a ripped out eye is just going to be creepily fun! What a way to turn this simplistic outfit into a grotesque study in avian phobias! And then on top of that, I found a wonderful “shopping list” posted up on etsy listing parts and pieces to create your own Tippi outfit. How fun!

So yeah — Tippi may just be my next big costume attempt. And since I’m a big fan of Tippi Hedren anyway (did you know she runs a conservatory for lions in Florida now?), it might just give me an excuse to practice my sewing some more.

In writing news, I read this insightful post comparing E-Pub with Traditional Publishing. It’s very useful for writers like me – writers who are about to have their first book ready to publish – to see what the market looks like at the moment. It’s changing so dramatically now that it’s difficult to keep up with what direction you should approach. I tried explaining to a friend of mine the other day how E-Publishing is now a respected form of publication to little avail. Apparently if you’re not keeping up with all the news going back and forth on this topic, it’s easy to fall behind. Of course I’m still undecided, and probably won’t be ready to make my decision until the very end. Some folks are suggesting that you wait around a few years until all the scam groups get weeded out, but honestly, I feel like I’ve already waited a year on my novel getting it prepared. And now that I’m going to be devoting all my time on the sequel during NaNoWriMo next month, I’m even more determined to get the first book finished up.