Tag Archives: short stories

New story part of Fiction River and an awesome bundle

“Death in the Serengeti” is one of my favorite stories for many reasons. It’s a thriller that’s a fun read, it brings me back to my trip of a lifetime to Africa, and it also involves an all-time favorite writing experience.

Let me tell you about that experience.

New York Times bestselling writer Kevin J. Anderson was editing the Fiction River Pulsepounder: Adrenaline anthology, and I submitted “Death in the Serengeti.”  He bought the story and said many very nice things about it, but he also wondered if the tension could be amped up even further.

Long story short, we got together over Thai food and brainstormed the possibilities. As writing experiences go, it doesn’t get much better than brainstorming improvements to your story with a writer of Kevin J. Anderson’s stature and abilities. Just awesome!

So I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of Fiction River Pulsepounder: Adrenaline, which includes the amped up version of “Death in the Serengeti.” That’s now happening this month.

But the news gets even better.  Kevin J. Anderson has curated the “Bump in the Night Thrillers” bundle, which includes the anthology (and therefore my story) plus fifteen other books. All for just $15!

Yes, sixteen books for fifteen bucks!

The bundle will only be available through August 16, so get it now here.

Here are Kevin J. Anderson’s words about the bundle.

A terrific bundle for a ridiculously low price

Crimes, Capers, & Rule-Breakers

Crimes, Capers, & Rule-Breakers is a new bundle of 20 short stories written by some awesome writers. It includes my story, “The Beautiful People.”  And for a limited time, you can pre-order it for just 99 cents, a bargain of ridiculous proportions. The price will go up (I believe on the actual launch date of July 11), so pre-order today.

Sometimes, you gotta be bad.

Steal away with this bundle of thieves and miscreants and join them on their criminal adventures! From burglars to assassins, grifters to con artists, these are mysteries from the other side, from the criminal point-of-view.

Break some rules and snag the Crimes, Capers, & Rule-Breakers Bundle today!

Click here to pre-order today.

New stories appearing the 24th of each month

On the 24th of every month, I’m releasing a new short story in all electronic formats. This actually began in April with the release of “The Beautiful People,” and continued in May (“One-Night Stands for Love and Glory”), and June (“Huram’s Temple”). Each short story only 99 cents!

Huram, the Phoenician, crafts bronze masterpieces for King Solomon’s temple. When the two most highly prized pieces disappear, suspicion falls on the only three Israelites in the camp. With one of them missing and the king’s guards slain, the other two Israelites must learn the thief’s identity before the sword falls on them all.

“Huram’s Temple” first appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

Just 99 cents.

First-rate stand-up comedians don’t waste their time far out on the galactic fringe. Enter Earl Weatherbee, who depends on his AI, “Artie,” to translate his culturally dependent jokes into what evokes hilarity among the local bumpkins.

When the rubes turn to throwing rotten tomatoes, Earl concludes that his longtime sidekick has gone bad. Even so, Earl refuses to abandon the AI with whom he has shared a career, his only true friend. Loyalty, it turns out, goes both ways.

This memorable story, which first appeared in Fiction River, will make you laugh and will make you cry.

Only 99 cents.

Everything comes easy for Lisey, one of the Beautiful People. Pearly-white teeth. Long, flowing blonde hair and blue eyes. Borderline anorexic and with all the brains and wit of a gob of spit. And filled with total disdain for the uglies.

Until trouble finds Lisey, and she needs help from the ugliest of the uglies.

Just 99 cents.

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.