Too Far Gone Winnipeg Launch

What a great night!

It’s been a week, and I feel like I’m still coming down from the party.

Thanks to everyone who attended, and for those who couldn’t make it, here’s some photos of the evening.

I like to start with some crowd shots, because these photos of all the awesome Winnipeg folks who came out to support me will definitely help keep me warm when I take Too Far Gone on the road.

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Also, there was cake. Red velvet cake.

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I was introduced once again by McNally Robinson’s John Toews. There is no hyperbole when I say nobody crafts an intro like this man. Many thanks for all your support, good sir!

Tstone pic 5

Nothing says fun, like action shots of someone reading from a book, but here are some of my favourites:

David A pic 1

I wish I knew what I was saying when Gerald Brandt snapped the photo below.

Gerald B pic 1

shen pic 2

Tstone pic 3

Goofing around before the signing portion of the evening started, and mugging for Shen Braun’s camera.

Shen pic 3

Me and Shen, who is one of my oldest friends, and also a very fine writer (for some reason the perspective on this photo makes me look like some sort of Gamma-irradiated Gargantua Chad). Shen was a first reader on Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues, but I finally get to surprise him with the ending.

Shen pic 4

I brought an assortment of pens to make my doodles in each book in addition to a signature, and of course, my “Loki Approved” and “Fucking Magic” stamps.

Tstone pic15

A bit of the signing line.

Tstone pic 16

And finally, the last book signed, I was apple to join friends for a post-launch drink.

Friend, inkslinger, and cocktail crafter extraordinaire, Andrew Penn Romine created a Thunder Road cocktail to help me celebrate the conclusion of the trilogy. It’s called The Thunderbolt, and it is fantastic. A variation on the Black Manhattan, and as dangerous as its namesake.

The Post Launch Thunderbolt

Thanks for another launch memorable, Winnipeg.

Write on!

Music Monday: “Comin’ Home” By Murder By Death

This song was always going to be Chapter One of Too Far Gone. Years ago, Murder By Death did the seemingly impossible: They dethroned The Reverend Horton Heat as my favourite opening act discovery. They kicked off their set by saying, “First we’re gonna do a song about drinkin’, then we’re gonna do a song about revenge, then we’re gonna do a song about drinkin’ and revenge.”

As long as I’ve been thinking about the final book in my trilogy, this song captured how I wanted to kick it off.

I’m ridin’ out the wind, I’m comin’ home
It don’t matter where I’ve been, I’m comin’ home
Crawlin’ on all fours, I’m comin’ home
Turnin’ brick walls into doors, I’m comin’ home

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!

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!

Thunder Road Trip!

My Too Far Gone tour dates are confirmed and I’ll be climbing in the Thunder Van and hitting the road to spread tales of high adventure!

Thunder Road Trip by Samantha Beiko

(Illustration by Samantha Beiko, actual conveyence used on book tour may vary.)

Here’s where you’ll find me this fall:

  • October 1st, McNally Robinson Booksellers, Winnipeg MB, 7 p.m. Winnipeg Launch! (reading and signing)
  • October 8th, Pembina Hills Art Gallery, Morden MB, 6-8 p.m. (reading and signing)
  • October 17th, the Elephant Room in the BUSU building at Brandon University, Brandon MB, 3-4:30 p.m. (reading and signing)
  • October 25th Chapters St. Vital, Winnipeg MB, 12-3 p.m.  (signing)
  • October 30th-November 1st, Central Canada Comic Con, Winnipeg MB
  • November 4th, Bakka Phoenix, Toronto ON, 6:30pm (reading and signing)
  • November 5th-8th, World Fantasy Convention, Saratoga Springs NY
  • November 9th,  Audreys Books,  Edmonton AB, 7-8:30 p.m. (reading and signing)
  • November 10th, Variant Comics, Edmonton AB, 7-9 p.m. (reading and signing with E.C. Bell)
  • November 12th, Owl’s Nest Books, Calgary AB, 7-8:30 p.m. (reading and signing)
  • November 13th, Indigo Signal Hill, Calgary AB, 12-3 p.m (signing)
  • November 14th Cafe Books, Canmore AB, 1-3 p.m. (signing)

Hope to see you there! Too sweeten the pot, I’ll be bringing my “Loki Approved” and “Fucking Magic” stamps…

Write on!

My When Words Collide Schedule

When Words Collide is my favourite literary conference. I haven’t missed one yet, and every year it gets better and better. The organizers have lined up a great group of guests again for this year:

Daniel Abraham Fantasy
C.J. Carmichael Romance
Diana Gabaldon Historical
M.L.N. Hanover Urban Fantasy
Sally Harding Literary Agent
Faith Hunter Urban Fantasy
Gwen Hunter Thriller
Brandon Mull Young Adult

I’m very happy to be sharing a program book with all of them.

Here’s where you’ll find me:

Saturday 8 PM – Parkland-Bonavista-Willow Park Autograph Session (2 Hours)
Our Festival Guests are joined by 50+ authors Drop by to meet the authors and get your books signed. This session is open to the public, so tell your friends.
Sunday 11 AM – Rundle Setting – More Than Just Window Dressing
Al Onia, Sarah Kades, Chadwick Ginther, Calvin Jim
Setting in fiction can be so much more than a backdrop for the characters. A story’s world can be an integral part of the plot, theme and character. Arrakis in Dune is a main
antagonist. Noir detective tales are defined by their milieu as much as by the hard-boiled
hero. Fantasy would be simple magic without an outré world. Science fiction has matured
as much in depiction of believable universes as much as character realism.
I’m taking it light on the panels this year. For me, When Words Collide is as much about hanging out with friends as it is about promoting my work, and I don’t get to see the Alberta gang nearly as often as I’d like. Also, I needed to keep a large block of time clear for reasons (join me in whispering: SECRETS) that I will hopefully be able to share soon.
Sentry Box has kindly agreed to have copies of Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues on hand, and I’ll be bringing some copies of my illustrated Thunder Road-verse short story “A Simple Twist of Fate” and some Too Far Gone teasers if you can’t wait until October and Too Far Gone‘s release for me to scribble on something.
Friday 3 PM – Rundle How to Write a Good Pitch and Query Sally Harding, Jane Ann McLachlan, Marie Powell You can write the greatest novel ever written, but you still need to get it into the hands of a publisher. Our panel tells you how.
I’m still undecided on everything I want to check out as an attendee, but I know for a fact I’m going to these three panels:
Saturday 10 AM – Kananaskis Sirens, Secrets, and Sins (2 hrs) Detective Sweet From street cop, to undercover and drug work, to life as a homicide detective, Calgary Police Service Detective Dave Sweet talks about his life in law enforcement. There will be a Q&A after for an opportunity to ask him your writing questions. *Please be aware there will be explicit visual and audio material used.
Sat 2 PM – Fairview Graphic Novels – ChiZine
“The visual language of the comics medium is a compelling tool for unique storytelling. A deceptively simple final product is a machine of many moving parts. Working in comics is sometimes like writing for prose, television, or theatre, but most of the time those habits make for bad comics. Join award-winning graphic novelist GMB Chomichuk (Infinitum, Cassie and Tonk, The Imagination Manifesto) as he walks through ten things he learned the hard way about the visual language of comics, comic contracts, and comic markets. The first thing on the agenda will be to take a list of need to know questions from the audience to ensure people get the answers they came for.
@gmbchomichuk on Twitter & Instagram”
 
Saturday 3 PM – Fairview Health and Fitness for Creative People Sandra Wickham Strong in body, stronger in mind! Join fitness professional and author Sandra Wickham for an informative session on how to incorporate health and fitness into your life, how it will benefit your creative endeavours and how to start and stick with your health and fitness goals.
Write on!

August Goals

How’d I do in July?

  • Work in Progress, keep at it. Lock down four more chapters, which will take me to the last 50 pages of the previous draft, and make a plan for the revisions of those pages.
  • Finish revising and submit one of my fallow short stories.
  • Get all of my unsold short stories back out on submission.

Pretty good, but not perfect. Still small victories, right?

I locked in those four chapters of the Work in Progress, and almost locked a fifth. It needs a couple more run throughs before I’m satisfied to add it to the manuscript. The WiP now stands at 68000 words, and with just under 20000 (very rough) words left to revise and flesh out, I should be able to bring this draft in under 100000 words. After that it will feel like a real book, and I can hone it into submission readiness.

That short story came very close to going out the door, but while it has been revised, I’m still not sure it’s for the better. It’s shorter, and with short stories, shorter usually is better, but it didn’t quite sing on reread. So I’m going to take another run at it.

Had every short story back out the door and into the world in July. Some of them more than once! Collected a new pile of rejections, some personalized, some form letter, and no new sales, but that’s okay. I can’t sell any of the stories I don’t submit.

That was my July. I feel pretty good about the month, considering there was two rounds of substantive editing on Too Far Gone that happened over the span of the month, and copy edits rolled up to say hello on the 31st.

What’s on deck for August? Lots.

  • Copy edits of Too Far Gone.
  • Page proofs of Too Far Gone.
  • A couple of shiny things popped on to my radar, and there’s a couple of anthologies for which I’d like to write a story. I have started noodling with both, they’re at the 1K mark. But both have deadlines of August 31st. I can probably get one, but not both done in the month so I’m seeing which one jazzes me the most.
  • Have a blast at When Words Collide in Calgary. (This is a bit of a soft pitch, but whatever. I’ve got some work to do while I’m there also.)
  • Keep my unsold short stories on submission.
  • Get that unsold short story out the door.
  • WiP: I’d initially hoped to have this ready to go for When Words Collide, but that’s not going to happen now. Hello, World Fantasy Convention deadline! Forward progress is the big thing here. I really want this book out the door and on submission this year.
  • Start writing pre-writing blog posts for Too Far Gone promotional purposes.
  • Write my final report for my last Manitoba Arts Council Grant.
  • Write a travel grant for World Fantasy Convention

This is more than plenty for the goal plate, but I do have a week of holidays coming up in August. So we’ll see how it goes…

Write on!

Too Far Gone Cover Reveal!

So excited to finally be able to share this with you!

TooFarGoneMCK_EPA

I fucking love it!

It’s exactly what I wanted to see.

In other fun news, Too Far Gone was recently named one of The 49th Shelf Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2015! If you’re excited too, (and why wouldn’t you be? It says THRILLING right there on the cover) here’s where you can go preorder:

Amazon

Chapters/Indigo

Indiebound

And remember, personalized copies of my books are always available if you call ahead to McNally Robinson Booksellers or the University of Manitoba Bookstore.

Write on.

May Goals

How in the hell are we a third of the way through the year? I’m going to try not to think about that…

Instead, I’ll look back at how I did with April’s goals:

  • Work on my other WiP
  • Revise and submit one of my previously drafted short stories.
  • Get rolling on keeping the rest of my short fiction on submission again (FINALLY)
  • Finish my comic script

Progress on the WiP went very well (okay, there was a lot of swearing). Locked another five chapters, and made preliminary revisions on a few more. I’m at roughly the halfway point of this draft. It’s taking longer than I’d like, but it’s moving again for the first time in forever.

I organized my short fiction and found potential markets for my available short stories. Pretty much everything went out the door, including previously published short stories looking for reprint markets. I only had to hold one thing back, because I ran out of open reprint markets. I spaced the organizational tasks out over the month instead of devoting an entire day to submitting stories, which helped keep the job manageable, but it also highlighted why I need to stay on top of my short stories. Maybe I’ll set aside one day a week to ensure everything is up to date going forward. All told I think it was over ten hours to double check that stories weren’t in fact on submission elsewhere, build a list of available markets for each story, and then make sure those markets were accepting submissions. After that was done, came the tweaking of formatting and submitting. As I was in the middle of doing all that, a couple of rejections for previous submissions rolled in (for a while I thought I’d hit a new record, but 11 months was still a little shy of the longest it’s taken for me to get a response). So the hard part of keeping my short stories on submission is done. I just have to maintain the machine better for the rest of the year and that’s another big goal down.

I got sick again in April, or maybe more accurately, I never got entirely well, which cost me a weekend and lots of energy. I still feel like I’m fighting it. Blergh. That’s all I have to say to this bloody six week and counting cold. The cold definitely did me in on the revising a short story front. Another thing I’ve noticed is that once I hit a good deal of momentum on a novel, I am loathe to set it aside unless I am writing for a contracted deadline.

My comic script required three more drafts before I felt good about turning it in. I probably rewrote every word of that script, even if the bones of the story stayed the same. All of this was done without really imagining who might be drawing the story. But now the editor on this project showed me some sample art by the person they want me paired with, and HOLY SHIT. I really want this to work out. More news when I have news, obviously.

And what’s on the agenda for May:

  • Keycon is on the horizon (10 more days!), so I want to sort out what I’ll be reading during my reading slot. Chances are I will preview some of Too Far Gone, but I have an hour to fill, and will probably read at least one short story in completion (so let me know if there is anything you’ve a hankering to hear) in addition to a TFG teaser.
  • Polish up and practice my presentation for The Writers’ Union of Canada.
  • Keep plugging away at that WiP.

That’s it for May.

Write on!

Too Far Gone Is Off To Ravenstone (And February Goals)

I realized when posted my goals for January and the rest of 2015, I completely forgot to fess up on how I did in December. So…just for those keeping score, how’d I do?

  • Clean my office.
  • Finish another draft of Too Far Gone.
  • Write something for the fun of it over my Christmas holidays (Not sure if this will be my superhero story for Tesseracts 19, or my sekkrit project for the Illuminaughty, or both).
  • Maybe take a run at a couple of those yearly goals that can still feasibly be reached.

Hmm. I wrote a draft of my superhero story, and managed about 10000 words of my Illuminaughty novella. Made good progress on that last draft of Too Far Gone but didn’t quite get it done over my Christmas break. A couple of the chapters that were next in order were much rougher than I’d remembered them. The writing for fun was definitely necessary though. I felt a big recharge of the batteries as I created something new instead of fixing something old. As for cleaning the office…attempts were not even made. The state of organization in my office has degraded to the point that I didn’t think I could tackle it in a full day, and I never seemed to have two days in a row without something else requiring my attention. Maybe tidying can be a reward for handing in Too Far Gone?

Because:

Too Far Gone Finished Manuscript

It is done, and submitted to my publisher. And on that note: cue the music.

(Warning: Author may not appear exactly as pictured.) So, that’s one goal down, how’d I do on the rest?

  • Finish Too Far Gone  (I have to, that’s my deadline)
  • Turn in a review of Owl and the Japanese Circus for The Winnipeg Review
  • Submit a story to Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe

Everything made it off the desk! That feels good, let me tell you. I tracked my fiction words every day in January using that fancy spread sheet I built inspired by Jamie Todd Rubin. I wrote every day in the month of January, totally 37151 words. Most of those words were rewrites in Too Far Gone, but I also noodled around on a novella and a short story when I needed a creative recharge. It’s still too early to do much analysis on the month, and I’m curious how the numbers will look when I’m primarily drafting and not revising. Author Jonathan Ball wrote a blog about tracking his writing that was interesting. I like the idea of tracking revised words/drafted words separately, and to separate out specific projects, as well as having a column for “other” writing, like blog posts and articles. I’d already started my tracking, so I thought I’d keep it consistent for 2015, but I might adopt elements of his plan in 2016. What’s the plan for February? In the spirit of actually attending to a couple of my yearly goals before November/December, specifically the short fiction ones here goes:

  • Revise an old story to submit to Swords v. Cthulhu
  • Finish revising a previously drafted story
  • Draft a new short story.
  • Clean my office

That’s all for now! Write on!