Guest Blogging At Inkpunks And Having Conversations Between Authors!

Hey folks, I’ve got a guest blog up over on The Inkpunks website about writing in a city where you don’t live, and Minerva Zimmerman is hosting me on the “Conversations Between Authors” feature on her website, so please send them your clicks!

Over the years that I’ve been traveling to conventions, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of the Inkpunks crew, and am happy to call a bunch of them friends. There’s always a great articles to be read there, and I’m stoked to have one of mine among them. Not only are the blogs interesting, but the Inkpunks are a talented group of writers, artists, and editors, so after you check out their website, check out their work. Thanks, Sandra Wickham for asking me if I wanted to send them something.

Minerva and I “met” for the first time on Twitter, around the time that I sold my story “A Taste of the Other Side” to Jennifer Brozek’s anthology Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls. Minerva had sold a story to Beast Within 3: Oceans Unleashed (also edited by Jennifer Brozek). I can’t remember who followed who first, but I do remember having some fun conversations. It was also great to finally meet Minerva at World Horror Con 2014 in Portland. Here’s hoping we cross paths at another convention soon.

In the meantime, Minerva has got a book birthday of her own coming up soon, so check out her debut novel, Take on Me!

Thanks for the great conversation, Minerva!

Write on!

Advertisements

Music Monday: “Back In The Saddle” By Aerosmith

It’s felt like forever since I’ve launched a book, but really it’s only been two years since Tombstone Blues released (okay, that is forever in today’s book market) but now it’s only three days until Too Far Gone launches. In any case, this week will be spent shining up the shoes, hoping the jacket still fits, and wondering what in the hell I’m going to say before I start the reading (at current writing, I’m still wondering what in the hell I’m going to read)…so situation normal, I guess.

I’m back
I’m back in the saddle again
I’m back
I’m back in the saddle again

Ridin’ into town alone
By the light of the moon

Write on!

“A Taste Of The Other Side” Longlisted In Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror Of The Year 7 And A Few Other Things

Lots of cool stuff happened in the last couple days.

After I was finished with fence construction on Sunday, I decided to be a giant dork and run over to my local bookstore to see Too Far Gone for the first time.

dorky chad

The book looks great. It’s as beefy as I hoped and I think the trilogy looks amazing all together on the shelf.

Trilogy

Yesterday I was a guest blogger at GMB Chomichuk’s Comic Alchemy blog, talking about why comics are the reason I became a reader. 

And you can’t be a writer without being a reader.

Speaking of comics: My contributor copy of Canadian Corps #1 showed up yesterday!

Canadian Corps

The comic turned out great. The team at September 17 did a wonderful job putting it together, and I can’t wait to read more. (They’ve hit me right in the Alpha Flight zone, so good job, S17). I know my name is only in the back of the book because I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign, but my name is still in a comic, which is exciting. Next step: to get billing on a comic book cover!

Final bit of news, my story “A Taste of the Other Side” from Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls made Ellen Datlow’s full recommendation list for Year’s Best Horror! There’s lots of great stories on there, and I’m stoked to be sharing a list with so many great writers, and so many friends. The second half of the list is here. Thanks to Gears & Growls editor Jennifer Brozek for buying the story and to Ellen Datlow for reading, this is the second time I’ve made Ellen’s long list (first time was for “First They Came for the Pigs”, my story from Fungi) and it feels great.

Write on!

Music Monday: “Black Shuck” By The Darkness

The opening guitar riff of this one is so good. If I ever give up writing and take up professional wrestling, I want it to be my intro. I can already smell the pyro.

John Oliver FIRE

“Black Shuck” is one of those songs, that when it comes on, I’m never satisfied with listening just once. Also, mythological monster references FTW. Whether I’m walking or driving, this song always makes me kick up the pace.

And the volume.

In a town in the east
The parishioners were visited upon
By a curious beast
And his eyes numbered but one and shone like the sun
And a glance beckoned the immediate loss
Of a cherished one
It was the coming of the

(Black Shuck) Black Shuck
(Black Shuck) Black Shuck
(Black Shuck) That dog don’t give a fuck

Write on!

They’re Here!

Too Far Gone box

Well, almost. I haven’t received my author copies yet, so I suppose this picture could be a cruel joke and those are old copies of Tombstone Blues with stickers on them and I never really finished Too Far Gone–which I guess would mean I’m in Hel.

So…let’s go with them being real books, shall we? Hope you’ll all love the end of the series!

Write on!

When Words Collide 2015 Roundup

When Words Collide is the only convention that I can say I have attended every year. And I certainly have no intention of breaking that streak. Having been there since the beginning, it’s been cool to watch it grow. The organizers have a great record of bringing in top notch guests and 2015 was no different. This was the first year I think WWC has grown to the size where I’m no longer guaranteed I’ll get to see everyone I want to, or at least not for as long as I’d like. So if we missed a chance to chat, hey, I’ll be back next year!

Day one of When Words Collide was mostly a wash, no fault of the convention though. I arrived in Calgary on Thursday, as is my custom, so that I could hang out with old chum, and Aurora-nominated Thunder Road Trip artist, Kevin Madison. We had a great time catching up, but a change in the local air pressure gave me a headache that absolutely floored me.

I was in too much pain to manage to caffeinate Friday morning, which didn’t help matters either. My headache made me nauseous much of the day. Still, I rallied enough to make it to the con hotel and register (this happened largely because my shared room was in my name, and I didn’t want to leave my roommate in the lurch).

By supper time I’d eaten roughly five spoonfuls of soup and three pieces of cheese–which I knew given the Absinthe and Whisky tasting social that Tyche Books was hosting, wasn’t going to do the job of keeping me upright.

The other big downside to feeling crappy on Friday was it meant no Sentry Box visit! Granted, Sentry Box has a table at When Words Collide every year, (and they were kind enough to stock my books. W00T!), but it’s not the same as being able to bask in all the gaming book glory. I usually leave with some out of print treasure from days past when I get to Calgary, and was disappointed not to have a chance to browse this time around. I’ll have to make time when Too Far Gone book tour takes me back in November.

Winnipeg comics author Andrew Lorenz introduced me to Joshua Pantalleresco over Twitter and then I met Joshua pretty much the moment I walked into the Dealer’s Room. I love the first tour through the Dealer’s Room, because it’s my first concentrated dose of all my con friends. Everyone at a con eventually passes through the Dealer’s Room. Clare C. Marshall had a table there, as did ChiZine Publications, which was great, because Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi are always fun to hang with. Sadly their managing editor, and my glamourous ChiSeries Winnipeg co-chair, Samantha Beiko wasn’t able to make the trip due to illness. I also caught up with On Spec, and Bundoran Press.

I grabbed supper with Renee Bennet and Celeste and Bill Peters. It’s not quite a WWC tradition to dine with Renee and Celeste, but I think we’re at either 2 for 5 or 3 for 5 when it comes to sharing a meal while I’m in Calgary, so it may as well be. Celeste and Bill used to live in Winnipeg, so I got to catch them up on some of our new stuff.

Recently I learned that one of my Calgary writing pals is moving home to Winnipeg, and so I had to try not to gloat that we’ll be stealing Dave Fortier away from Cowtown. It sounds like the Calgary crew is definitely going to miss him. They did extort a promise from me to take good care of him, and I have no doubt there will be stories shared, dice rolled, and whiskey poured in the near future.

I couldn’t bear the idea of attending the Guest of Honour Keynote Speeches–nothing against any of the speakers, but the idea of being in a large gathering was just too much with my lingering headache. Fortunately, I felt better as the evening went on (big thanks to the expertise of Jill Flanagan!) and had a great time chatting with Jill, Brett, Sandra, Gregory, and Clare, but I called it an early night after the whiskey social.

Saturday: Up and at them! What a world of difference the day made. No lingering effects of my Friday headache, and enjoyed breakfast with roomie, and fellow Manitoba author Craig Russell.

One of the big things on the agenda for Saturday was to meet up with Sandra Wickham because we’re co-writing a novel together. It’s totally a thing. We’ve been talking about it for months, and When Words Collide was our chance to pull all of our ideas together and break the plot. And it’ll be awesome. Or at the very least, since she’s a total plotter and I’m a total pantser, an excuse for whiskey. I went to her panel on health and fitness for creative people, because I blurbed her book on the topic and I’ve been her audience participation dummy before. SHE MADE ME EXERCISE. I think getting beat up last year was more fun, to be honest.

I talked to some other fine Calgary booksellers in attendance, and got to know some folks from Owl’s Nest (who will be hosting me for a reading in November) and Indigo Signal Hill (who will be having me in for a signing) a little better.

The mass autographing was on Saturday night. I actually signed a few books too, which is always nice, but I think I signed more books just happening upon people throughout the conference. Still, it’s always nice to hear a reader is excited for the next book, or excited to start the series and watching people queue up for Diana Gabaldon does give one something to aspire to, doesn’t it?

Sunday was my only panel of the weekend. It was on setting. A topic I do enjoy. I shared the panel with Calvin Jim, Sarah Kades, and Al Onia, and I think we had a good discussion. We all approach writing setting slightly differently, and so I think everyone had at least one observation that got the others thinking.

After the panel, it was basically time for me to go home. I did a quick stop in the dealer’s room to grab a bite to eat, and say my goodbyes. I also finally got to meet Kristi Charish. We’ve chatted on Twitter and Facebook, and I loved her story in Masked Mosaic, as well as her debut novel, Owl & the Japanese Circus. You should really check out both.

It’s never easy, and I hate leaving a con early. Normally I stay an extra day–especially at When Words Collide–so that I can attend its Dead Dog party, but that wasn’t in the cards this year, unfortunately. By the time I was done saying goodbye, I realized I was getting to the airport later than I’d have liked. Nearly missed my flight home as a result. The line to get through security was INSANE. Just when I thought I was safe, I got pulled over for the extra rummage through your bag in public check. Still, I got home, another great WWC in the books, and I’m already excited for next year.

Write on!

 

Music Monday: “Barrett’s Privateers” By Stan Rogers

Happy Monday, folks!

After an end of week bout of food poisoning (or possibly flu, but probably not) and a weekend of fence building, I am feeling like a broken man on a Halifax pier, so enjoy some Stan Rogers!

I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

Write on!