Archive for the ‘ Publishing ’ Category

CHIRAL MAD 3 – UPDATE #2

Chiral Mad 3

All poetry has been selected for Chiral Mad 3. It’s been a fun ride! As previously announced, there will be 20 poems from 10 different poetry contributors (2 from each) to be symmetrically placed around the fiction. The first half of the accepted poems (and their creators) were previously announced, and now we have the second half, which are listed in bold:

01. Elizabeth Massie: “Black River #1” and “Black River #2”
02. Marge Simon: “Mirror Image” and “Reflections through the Raven’s Eye”
03. Stephanie M. Wytovich: “Put Me to Dream” and “Welcome Home, Darling”
04. Bruce Boston: “Beyond Symmetry” and “Reflecting on Reflections”
05. Erik T. Johnson: “Whisper #1 (A Warning)” and “Whisper #2 (A Prophecy)”
06. Ciarán Parkes: “The Speed of Sound” and “Recognizing Trees”
07. Jonathan Balog: “Insomnia in Reverse” and “Fail-safe”
08. P. Gardner Goldsmith: “Fair” and “Promise”
09. Rose Blackthorn: “Arbitration” and “Prescience”
10. Sydney Leigh: “Folie à Plusieurs” and “Folie à Deux”

Illustration for Brock

Illustration for Brock

Unannounced until now, Glenn Chadbourne has agreed to provide illustrations around some the poetry; this is in addition to his illustrations for each of the 20 stories, some of which can be found scattered around this page. Glenn is cranking out some outstanding work, and at a remarkable pace. This guy is a machine! But, I’ll let his work speak for itself…

4 more stories have been accepted as well, bringing the count to 8. Fiction submissions are not yet open, and are currently by invite only. If the window opens, it will be brief, and most likely sometime around summer… if at all. I wish I could open the submission window completely for all to participate, but it is just not possible at this time. 12 spots remain to be filled, and there are more surprises.

Illustration for Thomas

Illustration for Thomas

The next set of accepted contributors includes Stephen King, whose story “The Jaunt” previously appeared in the Benjamin Franklin Award winning Qualia Nous, and is now in production to be made into a film as one of King’s “Dollar Babies.” His novel Revival was recently released in mass market paperback, and his novel Finders Keepers, the follow-up to his Edgar Award winning novel Mr. Mercedes, and the second book in this trilogy, is scheduled for release in hardcover June 2nd.

The list of acceptances has also expanded to include new fiction by Richard Thomas, whose stories “The Jenny Store” and “Playing with Fire” previously appeared in Qualia Nous and Chiral Mad 2, respectively, as well as new fiction by Mercedes M. Yardley (a newcomer to Written Backwards, but no stranger), and new fiction by Jason V Brock, whose novelette “Simulacrum” previously appeared in Qualia Nous. Richard, Mercedes, and Jason are outstanding writers, so if you haven’t yet had the chance to read their work, don’t wait for Chiral Mad 3, seek out their work now. It’s great having familiar names return to Written Backwards, but it’s just as great having new names as well. And if some of these names seem new to you, well, get to it. Here’s where the anthology stands in terms of fiction, with the latest acceptances in bold (in no particular order):

01. Gene O’Neill: “3-Dot People”
02. Ramsey Campbell: “Know Your Code”
03. Jessica May Lin: “Red Runner vs. The Surgeon, Issue 18”
04: Paul Michael Anderson: “The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim)”
05: Stephen King: “The Last Rung on the Ladder”
06: Richard Thomas: “The Offering on the Hill”
07: Jason V Brock: “Windows, Mirrors, Doors”
08: Mercedes M. Yardley: “The Dead Collection”

That’s it for now. More surprises are on the way…

Illustration for Anderson

Illustration for Anderson

 

Illustration for Yardley

Illustration for Yardley

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

POSITIVE +

The world is negative. Admit it. I’ve slowly learned this through life, which is why I radiate positivity. I don’t try to be positive, it just happens. I am a positively charged being. If you’re close, you can feel it flowing off me like some kind of magnetic field, and if you are feeling negative, my superpower will draw you in and wrap around you like a blanket and keep you warm. I will make the hairs on arms stand on end. I will make you smile. And if you don’t, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

I guess that’s why I originally chose to write psychological horror. My work typically highlights beautiful things hidden in the darkest of places. If you’ve read Palindrome Hannah or Phoenix Rose, or any of my short fiction or poetry in Scales and Petals, you know what I’m talking about. Since I first started writing horror (sometime in 1999), and then publishing (2001), my work progressively darkened.

Palindrome Hannah, the debut novel, questioned coincidence and dealt with subjects such as suicide, multiple personalities / possession, domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, mental instability, bullying, and other horrible things. Dark, horrid puzzle pieces that hopefully formed something more beautiful.

Phoenix Rose, the follow-up novel, questioned reality and dealt with sad subjects like family loss, childhood trauma, mental disorders, and the unforgiving balance of life and death, while also focusing on spirituality, hope, sacrifice, and rising from one’s ashes.

While writing those two novels, I published Scales and Petals, a collection of short stories and poems. While a few of the works are on the lighter side of the dark, the rest dive into some rather horrid places. And it only gets darker from there.

Psychotropic Dragon, what I’m currently calling my last horror novel, is ultimately a love story. It is also the darkest, most difficult thing I have ever written. It has taken me over ten years (12?) to get this thing on paper. I kept putting the project on hold because I just didn’t want to finish the damn thing. I’d revisit the novel over the years, writing in bursts of 5,000 to 10,000 word chunks, and then the manuscript would sit for a while. Over a year, at one point. Finally, I gave myself a goal and cranked out the last 15,000 words over the course of a few weeks. Such an exhaustive process. And now it sits again, unfinished, waiting to be edited and rewritten, and edited some more. A few pre-readers are taking a shot at it, but there’s still work to be done. What’s it about? Psychotropic drugs, hallucinations, sex (the good and the absolute worst), child abuse, sexual abuse, dissociative identity disorders, the great eclose of the human condition, and other “real” things. Sick stuff. Some sick, beautiful stuff. It’s a love story, right? Right…

Anyway, there’s even more dark stuff in the works with Inkblots and Blood Spots, what I’m calling my last horror collection. This book contains the short stories and poems written between Phoenix Rose and Psychotropic Dragon. Dark, dark stuff. Dark, but transitional. After closing both of these future books, however, you will realize why these may be my last two “horror” projects. I hope you understand. Truth be told, only a tenth of what I read would be considered horror, and my writing style appears to be going down that path as well.

What about the anthologies?

DSIAPellucid Lunacy was my first editing project, a collection of psychological horror that raised a little over $2,000 for Breast Cancer and Down Syndrome research (donations split down the center), and was a recipient of the International Book Awards and winner of the USA Book News “Best Book” Awards.

The second anthology, Chiral Mad, also psychological horror, fared much better in terms of funds raised for charity. The Chiral Mad tally currently stands at $4,260, with all proceeds going to the Down Syndrome Information Alliance. That is positively amazing. Recently, the DSIA sent a thank you letter for their first check of $3,000. To date, Chiral Mad has received rave reviews and is the recipient of the following:

– Shortlisted for the Grand Prize of an unmentionable award, to be announced May 6th, 2013!
– London Book Festival winner for Anthologies/Collections
– This is Horror Awards, Anthology of the Year runner-up
– USA Book News “Best Book” Awards (Fiction: Anthologies), Finalist
– USA Book News “Best Book” Awards (Best Cover Design: Fiction), Finalist
– Halloween Book Fest Awards, Honorable Mention
– A few more surprises are in store soon…

While I may be cutting back on my own horror fiction (perhaps cutting it out completely), I will continue to edit and publish charity anthologies. That is a certainty. Will they all be psychological horror? Perhaps not, but perhaps yes. Perhaps most certainly yes. If I’m invited to write for a specific horror-themed anthology, I will consider it, but I don’t see myself writing horror anytime soon. What I write will probably have dark elements, but will not be straight up horror. My latest 5 or 6 published stories are borderline horror anyway, so I’ve already started down a more positive path with my writing. “Primal Tongue,” “Bootstrap” and “Hiatus” are examples of this.

Before I forget, I need to mention that Surviving the End (in which my story “Hiatus” appears), edited by Craig Bezant, recently won the Australian Shadow Award for edited publication. This is sort of the equivalent of the Bram Stoker Awards for Australia. Awesome news. “Birthday Suit,” a short story by Martin Livings, also in Surviving the End, won for short fiction.

Anyway, what shall I write? Am I retiring from writing horror altogether? I’m not sure. I’m leaning toward young adult fiction, or even a younger audience. Maybe both. Maybe more than both. Kids are reading, but I look on the shelves under “Young Adult” and I see crap. Vampires, Sex, Werewolves, Sex, Zombies, Sex… it’s too much. Kids need to read something more realistic, something positive. If I go down this route, there will be dark elements in my fiction, but my work will be overall positive, because that’s what the world needs.

Positivity rocks.