Tag Archives: short stories

Five new stories to appear in 2018

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve sold four new stories to the Fiction River anthology series and another to Pulphouse, the legendary, award-winning magazine that is being revived after about a twenty-year absence. These stories will appear sometime in 2018. To say that I’m psyched is an understatement of epic proportion.

New stories in Fiction River

I have not one but two new short stories now available in the fabulous Fiction River anthology series. (It has been called “one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today” by Adventures Fantastic.)

One story is called “The Kids Keep Coming” and it’s part of Fiction River: Tavern Tales.

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The other story is my ghost story, “She’s No Shimmer,” which is now available in Fiction River: Haunted.

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I’m delighted to have these stories appear in this wonderful anthology series, and also know that there are more in the pipeline. I highly recommend a subscription, either in paper or electronic formats. I’ve subscribed since the very first issue. Alternatively, the anthology is available in e-book and paper form at all the usual online stores or you can purchase a signed paper copy from me (same prices as shown in the left sidebar for all my novels).

Story reprinted in Fiction River Presents

For the very first time, a magazine or anthology has chosen to reprint one of my previously published stories! In this case, the second volume of the Fiction River Presents reprint series has gone back over the eighteen or so volumes of Fiction River originals and decided to include “One-Night Stands for Love and Glory” by yours truly. It’s a quirky story that will make you laugh and make you cry. I’m truly honored to share the Table of Contents with all the awesome writers listed there.

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Fiction River Presents: The Unexpected is available now.

AmazonNook, Kobo, Smashwords

“One-Night Stands for Love and Glory” appears in Fiction River

A new story of mine appeared a few days ago when Fiction River: Universe Between released. Fiction River is a terrific multi-genre anthology series that has gained great renown in little over a year. The Universe Between issue includes a rarity for me, a science fiction story, “One-Night Stands for Love and Glory.” What isn’t rare, at least I hope not, is that it will make you laugh; it may also make you cry.

Fiction River is available in electronic and paper formats, and by subscription or individual issue. I’ve been a subscriber since the very first issue and highly recommend it. Click here for further details.

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Ellery Queen’s to publish “Huram’s Temple”

I’m ecstatic to announce that Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, one of the most prestigious short story publications anywhere and a giant among mystery magazines, has accepted my story “Huram’s Temple.” Ellery Queen’s is available in paper and digital formats and by subscription as well as on newsstands.

I’d like to think that all readers will enjoy this unique mystery, but fans of my stories “Beloved” and “Back to the Garden” should especially appreciate the setting.

The publication date hasn’t yet been set. I’ll announce it as soon as I know.

 

Surviving the Kris Rusch Death March

I’m writing this from gate D9 at the Portland, Oregon airport, waiting for my flight back to Boston after spending over a week on the Oregon Coast. I’m tired but very excited about my writing and what the future holds.

I was one of eighteen professional writers working with Kristine Kathryn Rusch (and at the tail end, Dean Wesley Smith) on short story writing. I affectionately renamed the workshop to The Kris Rusch Death March because she is (in my ever so humble opinion) two things: the best writing teacher on the planet and also the toughest.

First, a correction.

She refers to herself as a coach, not a teacher, which is an apt distinction. The point isn’t to attain perfection and get an A with a gold star on your paper while at a workshop. It’s to get the tools in your writer’s toolbox to help you consistently sell your fiction.

Think in terms of a bath tub filled with water. (This is Kris and Dean’s analogy, not mine.) Above a certain line is the “selling line” where a story sells to a professional market. A writer’s work isn’t a flat surface of water; it’s made of waves. With some stories (or novels), the wave rises above the selling line. With others, it’s below it.

As a writer adds more tools to her toolbox, she raises the level of the water so despite the swells and troughs — no writer produces the same quality story every time — more and more stories are above the selling line.

Sometimes the work required to achieve that feels like it’s the writer’s blood that is raising the water line. You have to leave your comfort zone and take chances. Perhaps you’re good at some technique that–to use one of Kris’s phrases–is like waving your hands and saying, “Look over here,” to distract the reader from that gaping hole in your story.

That hole is in story after story, whether you realize it or not, preventing you from consistently selling. Kris grabs you by the scruff of the neck and forces you to work on your shortcomings.

There were some very uncomfortable days for me during the workshop. I felt like I’d gone backwards and didn’t know up from down. My brain was spinning like Linda Blair’s head in The Exorcist.

But I’ve emerged from The Kris Rusch Death March with new tools in my writer’s toolbox, especially one I’ll call my new chisel. I’m convinced I’ve taken major steps to raising the water line in the bathtub. And no, even though I felt like I was in agony a couple of those days, the water in the tub isn’t pink.

I wrote four new stories as part of the workshop. One will be going up electronically within a day or two. Another will be going to a traditional magazine market. A third needs to be redrafted from about the two-thirds point. The fourth will be the launching pad for an exciting new fantasy world that I hadn’t even conceived of.

I completed numerous exercises, some of which could in one way or another become transmogrified into stories.

But the best part about the workshop isn’t the stories themselves.

It’s that shiny, sharp, new chisel in my toolbox.