Archive for the ‘ Novellas ’ Category

LIARS, FAKERS, AND THE DEAD WHO EAT THEM – ALLEVON #2

I have been holding onto this announcement for a while now, and I know some of you have been waiting ever so patiently, but I can finally announce the next book in the ALLEVON series by Written Backwards. If you’re not familiar with ALLEVON, these are smaller, illustrated, trade paperbacks from some of the best writers of speculative fiction working today. The name of the series is “novella” in reverse (What else would you expect from a imprint of Dark Regions Press called Written Backwards?), and focuses on original fiction under 40,000 words.  The first book in the series, At the Lazy K, by Gene O’Neill (an award-winning writer of science fiction, fantasy, and horror), was a novella published in May 2015, and featured illustrations by L.A. Spooner, as well as an introduction by Rena Mason.

So, how do you follow a book that is part western, part ghost story, part drug-rehabilitation, and a literary, multi-genre exploration into the rich cultural history of northern California?

With something unexpected.

Zombies.

Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them by Scott Edelman is officially the next book in the ALLEVON series! Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them is a collection of two zombie novelettes that dance together in a wonderfully-horrific, undead embrace. This second book in the series will be illustrated throughout by British Fantasy Award winning artist Daniele Serra, who is responsible for creating the incredible cover below. And, of course, Scott Edelman is a gem. The book will collect two original novelettes: “Only Humans Can Lie” and “Faking It Until Forever Comes.”

Since I’ve been holding onto this announcement for a while, this also means I’ve been working on this book for a while, and so it’s nearly finished. Yes, if everything goes well, expect a mid- to late-August release date!

More information coming soon!

Allevon #2

 

 

2015 BRAM STOKER AWARDS® PRELIMINARY BALLOT

The Horror Writers Association recently announced the Preliminary Ballot for the 2015 Bram Stoker Awards®, and I am proud to announce that I have a few things that made the list this year, and have a bunch of friends whose work made the list as well.

The Library of the DeadThe Library of the Dead, by Written Backwards (now an imprint of Dark Regions Press), made the preliminary ballot this year. Many fingers are crossed that it finds its way onto the final ballot. Qualia Nous was officially nominated last year for Superior Achievement in an Anthology (although it bowed to Ellen Datlow’s Beyond Symmetry), and two short stories from the anthology took home statues for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction (Usman T. Malik’s “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” and Rena Mason’s “Ruminations”).

Norman Partridge’s “Special Collections” from The Library of the Dead made the preliminary ballot as well for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction. His introduction/story starts off the anthology, and apparently impressed the HWA’s long fiction jury.

Below is the complete table of contents for The Library of the Dead, which is illustrated throughout by GAK, and concludes with a tribute/dedication to J.F. Gonzalez by Mary SanGiovanni. I’m a bit bummed not to see some of the short fiction on the preliminary ballot, but seeing Norman’s introduction/story on the ballot brought a smile. The other stories within received over 40 recommendations collectively, which is saying something…

  • Norman Partridge – “Special Collections” (long fiction)
  • Yvonne Navarro – “Those Who Shall Never Be Named”
  • Mary SanGiovanni & Brian Keene – “The Last Things to Go”
  • Roberta Lannes – “A Raven in the Dove’s Nest”
  • Kealan Patrick Burke – “I’m Not There”
  • Chris Marrs – “A Chimera’s Tale”
  • J.F. Gonzalez – “I’m Getting Closer”
  • Weston Ochse – “Reliving Through Better Chemistry”
  • Lucy A. Snyder – “Cthylla”
  • Christopher Golden & Tim Lebbon – “Fault Lines” (long fiction)
  • Rena Mason – “Jaded Winds”
  • Michael McBride – “Tears of the Dragon”
  • Erinn L. Kemper – “Phantom on the Ice”
  • Sydney Leigh – “Night Soliloquy”
  • Gene O’Neill – “Broken Lady”
  • Gary A. Braunbeck – “Tales the Ashes Tell”

At the Lazy KAlso making the preliminary ballot in the long fiction category is the first book in the Allevon series of illustrated novellas by Written Backwards: At the Lazy K by Gene O’Neill. This small book, illustrated by L.A. Spooner and introduced by Rena Mason, is causing quite the buzz, which means the Allevon series will continue. More news on the next title soon. I would also like to note that along with At the Lazy K making the preliminary ballot, and Gene having a story in The Library of the Dead (an idea conceived by the awesome duo that is Gene O’Neill and Gord Rollo), Gene O’Neill is on the preliminary ballot for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection for the wonderful The Hitchhiking Effect by Dark Renaissance Books, as well as for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction for his recently released chapbook for his story “The Algernon Effect.”

If you are a voting member of the Horror Writers Association, you can email written@nettirw.com to request either a digital copy or a trade paperback of the following:

1. The Library of the Dead – Superior Achievement in an Anthology.

2. At the Lazy K by Gene O’Neill – Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

3. “Special Collections” by Norman Partridge – Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

I hope to see The Library of the Dead on the final ballot alongside those I admire in the world of anthologies: Ellen Datlow (The Doll Collection), Christopher Golden (Seize the Night, which has an incredible long fiction piece called “Paper Cuts” by Gary A. Braunbeck, which also made the preliminary ballot for long fiction), Stephen Jones (Horrorology), Jonathan Maberry (X-Files: Trust No One), and Richard Thomas (Exigencies). See below for the complete list.

The long fiction category is always one of my favorites. Along with rooting for Gene O’Neill for At the Lazy K, the long fiction category this year includes Norman Partridge’s “Special Collections” from The Library of the Dead… as well as an incredible story by Scott Edelman called “Becoming Invisible, Becoming Seen” and Gary A. Braunbeck’s “Paper Cuts” and Mercedes M. Yardley’s “Little Dead Red” and other fine stories.

I’m also excited to see that Shadow Show: Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury made the preliminary ballot for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel, which Mort kindly gave me a copy of when I made a surprise visit in Chicago last October.

Who else am I going to name-drop here? Let’s see: how about Clive Barker, whose novel The Scarlet Gospels made the list, or Patrick Freivald for his novel Black Tide, or Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts. There’s also John Palisano’s “Happy Joe’s Rest Stop” and Damien Angelica Walters’ “Sing Me Your Scars” for short fiction. And of course fiction collections, another favorite category: along with The Hitchhiking Effect by Gene O’Neill, we have Gary A. Braunbeck’s Halfway Down the Stairs, which I’ll be reading later this week, and Lucy A. Snyder’s While the Black Stars Burn, which I’ll also be reading later this week. And of course some wonderful poetry from Bruce Boston’s Resonance Dark and Light, and Marge Simon’s Naughty Ladies, and Stephanie M. Wytovich’s An Exorcism of Angels. So much to read… so much to read…

As previously mentioned, Horror Writers Association voting members may request a PDF or print copy of The Library of the Dead (anthology), and/or At the Lazy K by Gene O’Neill (long fiction), and/or “Special Collections” by Norman Partridge (long fiction) for consideration by emailing written@nettirw.com. They will also be made available on the HWA message board.

Congratulations to everyone who made the preliminaries this year! And congratulations to those who did not make the list, but probably should have. 2015 was a great year for horror fiction. I see familiar names on the list this year, and names I don’t recognize, which is either a good thing, or a bad thing. Some I have published, some have published me, and some have shared the table of contents with yours truly in various anthologies or magazines over the years. And some, well, perhaps someday I can say I recognize those names as well.

Here is the complete list of the categories in which I have a part this year (plagiarized from the Horror Writers Association page):

Superior Achievement in an Anthology:

Michael Bailey – The Library of the Dead (Written Backwards)
Ellen Datlow – The Doll Collection: Seventeen Brand-New Tales of Dolls (Tor Books)
Shannon Delany and Judith Graves – Beware the Little White Rabbit (Leap Books, LLC)
Christopher Golden – Seize the Night (Gallery Books)
Stephen Jones – Horrorology (Quercus Publishing)
Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles – nEvermore! (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)
Jonathan Maberry – X-Files: Trust No One (IDW Publishing)
Eric Miller – 18 Wheels of Horror (Big Time Books)
Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward – Shadows Over Main Street (Hazardous Press)
Joseph Nassise and Del Howison – Midian Unmade (Tor Books)
Jeani Rector – Shrieks and Shivers from the Horror Zine (Post Mortem Press)
Richard Thomas – Exigencies (Dark House Press)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction:

Gary A. Braunbeck – Paper Cuts (Seize the Night) (Gallery Books)
Ben Eads – Cracked Sky (Omnium Gatherum)
Scott Edelman – Becoming Invisible, Becoming Seen (Dark Discoveries #30)
Jeff Gunhus – The Torment of Rachel Ames (Seven Guns Press)
Lisa Mannetti – The Box Jumper (Smart Rhino Publications)
Seanan McGuire – Resistance (The End Has Come) (Broad Reach Publishing)
Gene O’Neill – At the Lazy K (Written Backwards)
Jason Parent – Dia de los Muertos (Bad Apples 2) (Corpus Press)
Norman Partridge – Special Collections (The Library of the Dead) (Written Backwards)
Mercedes M. Yardley – Little Dead Red (Grimm Mistresses) (Ragnarok Publications)

For a complete list of of the 2015 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot, you can visit the official release here: horror.org/9296-2/ 

Good luck, everyone!

WHAT IS CAL WILD?

The Cal Wild Chronicles

What is Cal Wild?

(either read this, or click any of the images throughout this post to go directly to the campaign, but I recommend reading this first, and then visiting the campaign)

Cal Wild is California, years from now, nearly destroyed by civilization, with not much left but desolation and a few glimpses of humanity… and some hope. If this were television, Cal Wild would stretch a seven- or eight-season series on HBO, or perhaps Netflix, and you would fall in love with each of Gene’s characters to no end. Perhaps someday this series will get to that, but it all starts with these books, which will hopefully paint a world for you in more colors and more depth than can ever be adapted to screen.

Over the last 30 years, Gene O’Neill has created this colorful world, and now he’s ready to share it with you in this collection of illustrated trade paperback books. GAK will be illustrating each book in this series, and is currently at work building a four-part panoramic front cover that will span across each of the books if placed one next to the other, and when flipped over, will create a four-part panoramic back cover! How awesome is that? If you’ve had a chance to at least flip through the latest Written Backwards anthology, The Library of the Dead, you realize what you’re in for with GAK illustrating all four books of The Cal Wild Chronicles.

The Confessions of St. Zach

The Confessions of St. Zach starts the series, introducing the crimson man, named such after he is dyed a dark crimson red for his crimes, That is what we do with our criminals in Cal Wild. He is one of the Dyed People, or DP’s, each whose body is completely stained (for life) the color fitting the crime. During his survival, he runs across a green woman, and others that are dyed various colors spanning the spectrum. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue… what does it all mean? The trade paperback for this book is scheduled for late fall / early winter 2015.

2. The Burden of Indigo

Then comes The Burden of Indigo, the second in this series, and perhaps one of Gene’s most beloved novels about a man dyed for the ultimate sex crime. “The Burden of Indigo” is one of (if not the) first short story published by Gene, expanded as a novel, and follows an indigo man who thinks his colors are slowly fading. The trade paperback for this book is scheduled for late winter / early spring 2016. This book will make you weep.

3. The Near Future

Late spring / early summer 2016 will bring the third in this series, The Near Future, a fitting title, since the book will be published in the near future, and you will have it in your un-dyed hands sooner than you think. But… you can look forward to a novella included in this book that offers a love scene between a scarlet man and a light blue woman, among other things.

4. The Far Future

Last in this series of four books isThe Far Future, which is scheduled for a late summer / early fall 2016 release. This fourth book should wrap up this colorful world in a nice little package, and will include an original short novella called “The Dark Green Woman.” When you get to the end of this book, you will realize what an amazing journey Gene O’Neill has taken you through, and will want to pick up the first book and start all over again.

So, there you have it. Four books by Gene O’Neill to paint his imagined Cal Wild, each completely illustrated by GAK, and released each quarter from the end of 2015 to the second half of 2016. Consider this your subscription service to Gene’s O’Neill. Help with this campaign, and you can get a new book by Gene delivered to you each quarter, and perhaps some other fun swag (and books!) depending on how much you contribute, and how far these stretch goals… stretch.

Why a campaign? Well, this is the first time Written Backwards has ever taken on such a large project as this (4 illustrated books, all at once, along with other projects in the works), and doing such takes an amount of resources that would otherwise not be there, and, as many writers out there are aware by now, Written Backwards pays its contributors what they should be properly paid. This will see to that.

If you want to test out the waters, or are limited by the amount of dough in your wallet, I recommend pre-ordering the first illustrated book in the series, The Confessions of St. Zach, or perhaps starting with one of my favorites, The Burden of Indigo. This will only cost you $25, will help this campaign immensely, and if stretch goals are met, you will take home not only 1 of these fine books, but a copy of Gene’s latest illustrated novella, At the Lazy K, along with your choice of any book from the Written Backwards library. So, 3 books for $25, and free shipping (in the US)! Can’t really beat that. But yes, you can…

For a $100, you help this campaign even more, and get a copy of all four illustrated books, including The Confessions of St. Zach, The Burden of IndigoThe Near Future, and The Far Future, which you can arrange side-by-side to create either a four-part panoramic image spanning the four front covers, or you can flip the books over and arrange them side-by-side to create a four-part panoramic image spanning the four back covers. Plus you get a copy of his illustrated novella At the Lazy K, which has a tie-in character to these books, along with not 1 book of your choice from the Written Backwards library, but 3! So, 8 books for $100, and free shipping (in the US). I’d say you can’t really beat that, but, well…

A few other perks include Gene O’Neill writing you into one of his stories, or perhaps a print of any of GAK’s creations from this entire Cal Wild series, along with those 8 books (including shipping in the US), for not that much more of a donation to this worthy cause. Yet, there are even better deals if you’ve got the dough to spare…

For $250, you can be an official Cal Wild sponsor, getting you all the perks mentioned above, plus recognition and cross-promotion up the wazoo until the end of this four book series.

For $500, you can be an official Written Backwards sponsor, getting all that previously mentioned stuff, plus recognition and cross-promotion up the wazoo until the end of 2017, along with copies of any or ALL (yes, all) Written Backwards titles, including future releases to the end of 2017. So, 11 potential books to-date, plus however many are published over the next two years (probably 4, or maybe more depending on how many novellas are released), plus a few best friends for life, and some (I’m going to mention it again because I’ll stick to it) seriously crazy cross-promotion. I’m looking for authors and editors and publishers to fill these sponsor roles. You will get your money’s worth, no doubt.

Anyway, if you haven’t yet had the chance to visit the campaign, feel free to do so now, although you may just want to scroll down a bit through these stretch goal images… and then click on any to visit the campaign.

If you can’t meet the $25 minimum for books, any amount you can provide to this campaign will help. But look at all this cool stuff you can get!

One final question, which is usually a staple question with publishing campaigns: Where will all the money go? The answer should always be: The the writers, and illustrators, and well, the bare amount necessary to bring these books to life. Feed the creators of this world. Help bring Cal Wild to life!

Cal Wild stretch goal #1 Cal Wild stretch goal #2 Cal Wild stretch goal #3 Cal Wild stretch goal #4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AT THE LAZY K – ALLEVON #1

At the Lazy K, now available at Amazon.com

At the Lazy K, now available at Amazon.com

4-001At the Lazy K, the latest novella by Gene O’Neill, is now available at Amazon.com (click the image above for a direct link to purchase). With interior illustrations throughout by L.A. Spooner (some of which are sprinkled throughout this post), and an introduction by Bram Stoker Award winning author Rena Mason, this smaller, matte-finished book fits nicely in the hands and digs instantly into your heart. This is Gene O’Neill at his finest.

Gene O’Neill is a multi-award winning author of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, with over 150 works published, including stories filling the pages of Twilight Zone MagazineCemetery Dance Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Gene is not a stranger to Written Backwards; his fiction has appeared in nearly every anthology, including Chiral Mad, Chiral Mad 2, the Bram Stoker Award nominated Qualia Nous, and most recently The Library of the Dead, an anthology he and Gord Rollo first conceived. His short story “3-Dot People” will also be included in Chiral Mad 3. And look soon for his Cal Wild series, a colorful collection some are calling his magnum opus, which includes The Confessions of St. ZachThe Burden of IndigoThe Near Future, and The Far Future.

5-001This is the first of the ALLEVON series of illustrated novellas by Written Backwardsand Gene is the perfect way to start this ambitious new line of books. How many novellas released each year by Written Backwards is yet-to-be-determined, but each new release will be carefully and beautifully crafted, such as this one, and each will be authored by different writers of various genres, and each will be illustrated by different artists.

What can you expect with At the Lazy K?

Once a brothel, and later turned into a rehabilitation center, a place called The Lazy K survives a century-spanning curse following the wrongful hanging of an innocent man on the branches of an old California oak. This haunting novella by legend Gene O’Neill is part western, part ghost story, part drug-rehabilitation, and is a literary, multi-genre exploration into the rich cultural history of northern California.
1-003Tracy L. Carbone says it best in her Amazon review: “I bought this book as soon as it was released. When it was delivered, my first reaction was that it was a beautiful book. With its matte cover and internal illustrations by L. A. Spooner, its cream pages and professional layout that are standard of Written Backwards, I hoped sincerely that the prose would match. I have known of Gene ONeill for many years but had never read his work. Long story short, it was terrific. In line with the quality of the publisher’s other works. So much in commercial fiction these days is based on shock value and gore and pushing boundaries. This refreshing tale was more literary and in the vein of old fashioned horror. The reader is given a solid background from which to understand the curse in the book, as well as brief but all encompassing backgrounds of the main characters. I found myself easily envisioning the surroundings the author craftfully painted of the various eras and locations. Well done! I will have to track down more of O’Neill’s books.”

At the Lazy K was recently released at Anthocon in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where Gene served as a Guest of Honor, along with Thomas F. Monteleone, Christopher Golden, Holly Newstein, James A. Moore, artist Guest of Honor Susan Scofield, and surprise guests F. Paul Wilson, Gord Rollo, and gak, who illustrated The Library of the Dead.

Pick up a copy of At the Lazy K by clicking here, or follow the link for a peek inside.

 

ALLEVON #1

Allevon Logo

ALLEVON

Starting in 2015, Written Backwards will take a break from anthologies to introduce ALLEVON, a new series of original novellas. These will be stunning trade paperbacks (5″ x 8″ smaller format) with a matte finish, a cover price of $10, and will offer something unique to writers: 1) a $500 advance, 2) 50% royalties, 3) 25 contributor copies, and 4) the opportunity to purchase copies at 50% discount. I challenge other publishers to offer similar perks. It’s time to push for quality long fiction, and time to rock the publishing world.

The first in the series will be At the Lazy K by Gene O’Neill. The story takes place near Calistoga, California on an old Mexican land grant, spanning from cattle ranch to upscale bawdy house to a modern yet haunted rehabilitation center. This unique, literary mix of western and modern storytelling is Gene O’Neill at his finest, and the perfect match for Written Backwards.

AT THE LAZY K

AT THE LAZY K

The ALLEVON series is invite only at this time; however, if you have a novella in the 20-40,000 word range that fits the Written Backwards mold, feel free to send a query to allevon@nettirw.com. In typical Written Backwards fashion, you are more than welcome to invite yourself.

More information soon…

lazyK_peek