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Monday, October 31, 2016

RUN: A Collection of Dark Tales






Today is the official release of RUN: A Collection of Dark Tales, edited by Elle J. Rossi and published by Seaside Publications. Here is the list of contributors and the names of their stories:


                                            RUN – A Collection of Dark Tales

 

 

Nightmares come to life in this thrilling collection of dark tales.

 

Resurrection Morning by Caleb Pirtle III: Ambrose Lincoln is a man without a memory. The government has erased his mind with drugs and electric shots. He is a more effective operative, the powers say, if he has no fear. A man without fear can accomplish assignments that others would be afraid to try. Besides, a man cannot reveal any secrets if the secrets have been taken from him. Lincoln is sent to Paris with a British Intelligence officer to help a famous jazz singer escape. She has been smuggling German information out of the country, and someone has betrayed her. If the Gestapo finds the jazz singer first, she will be executed as a spy. Who can Lincoln trust, who wants him dead, and who can help them in their frantic, desperate flight from Paris to the English Channel? If the don’t make it out of France by morning, they won’t make it at all.

 

Black Out by Sue Coletta: When the power goes out on Bear Cat Mountain evil stalks the terrain. With a fallen tree blocking their only escape—live electrical wires dancing across the road and cell tower down—the body count quickly rises. Blu and Jake Carpaccio must track down the killer before they fall victim to his trap. But who can they trust? And how do you fight someone, or something, you cannot see?

 

Sweeton’s Shangri-La by Rachel Aukes: When a young couple discover a mythical paradise, they learn that a fantasy can all too quickly become a nightmare.

 

The Sideshow by Kimberly McGath: Katie Cartwright is struggling with her memory and is haunted by flashbacks. Regressing to an evening at the circus, things are not as they first appear. Strange events, suspicious deaths, and eerie music set the stage for an unforgettable trip to the big top.

 

Three Days by Jennifer Chase: Samantha Carr receives a special email invitation for three days to stay at a new luxury beach hotel. Nothing is as it appears including where the hotel is located. The view from her room changes, leading her into the middle of a gangland war. Will she be driven to madness or give in to the sinister force that relentlessly stalks her?

 

Smile For Me by Kristine Mason: Make me young, make me pretty, make me happy, make me smile… Lisa Duplain refuses to grow old gracefully. Fearing the aging process and desiring youth, she books a weekend at Melody’s Grace—a quaint bed and breakfast also known as the fountain of youth. But something wicked dwells within the walls of the B&B and not everyone who stays at Melody’s Grace leaves happy…even if they have a smile on their face.

 

Bleeder by Paul Dale Anderson: Lucy makes the mistake of answering her doorbell early one morning to find a handgun shoved in her face. The armed man, bleeding from gunshot wounds, forces Lucy to patch him up and hide him inside her house. But the bleeder picked the wrong house, and Lucy is far from innocent victim she pretends to be. A taut tale of blood and fury with no bounds.

 

A Love Story by Kathy Love: When a group of teens use social media to create a fictional love interest for a fellow classmate, they have no idea the horrible chain of events they will set in motion. Now they are the ones receiving messages from the boy they created. But the question is, who is sending them the messages?  Someone who knows what they’ve done? One of their very own group? Or could it be something far more sinister? One thing is for certain, this isn’t a story about revenge. It’s a love story.

 

A Promise is a Promise by Joe Broadmeadow: When an innocent summer day turns into a lifetime nightmare, two friends make a promise to visit vengeance on those responsible. The naivete sets in motion a deadly conclusion.

 

The Game by Elle J Rossi: You win, you live. You lose, you die. The game is as simple and as complex as that.

 
$13.99 for trade paperback. $3.99 for Kindle (on sale now for 99 cents at Amazon) https://www.amazon.com/RUN-Collection-Caleb-Pirtle-III-ebook/dp/B01MDK8VII/
 
 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Discovery and Discoverability




This year has been, for me, one of both discovery and discoverability. Columbus had his 1492. I had 2016, and the year isn’t even over yet!


Interesting that I should write this the morning after returning from Columbus, Ohio, where I read, autographed and participated in an R. A. Lafferty panel at World Fantasy Convention 2016. The trip odometer on my ten-year-old Toyota turned over another thousand miles as I arrived back home in Rockford, Illinois. During the past five years since Gretta’s tragic untimely death, I have traveled more than a hundred thousand miles promoting myself, my new writing, meeting new people, and renewing old friendships. Is it any wonder I feel a little like Brian Keene on his current farewell tour or Richard Collier in Richard Matheson’s Bid Time Return?



Life has often been likened to a journey, and I suppose there is a passing resemblance. We, in the fiction business, send our heroes on impossible quests that involve actual or metaphorical journeys of discovery. Writers, like readers and protagonists, must journey from here to there in order to discover who and what they really are.



Here are some the important things I discovered about myself this year: I kill people for a living, I can never remember a pitch or an elevator speech when an agent or editor asks me what I’m excited about now, and I have lots of wonderful friends and acquaintances who actually do remember me despite all of my faults and foibles (or perhaps because of them).





Every writer needs a label (as, according to publishers and librarians, does every published book), and mine is “I kill people for a living.” I forgot to mention that I kill people for a living when Darrell Schweitzer asked me to introduce myself to the large audience at the Ray Lafferty panel during WFC. I mumbled something about being first and foremost a reader (as was Lafferty), a shy guy who doesn’t know how to promote himself at an SFF convention. I should have, instead, captured the audience’s attention by mentioning that I kill people for a living. I didn’t, and I regret it.



We live and learn. Don’t we?



Likewise, when an editor asked me in an elevator what I was working on now, I should not have mumbled “I never talk about works in progress because talking depletes the energy I reserve for my writing.” What a missed opportunity! I should have had a pitch prepared so the editor, before leaving the elevator, would have asked to see the completed manuscript. Does it do any good to kick myself after the fact?



But I was heartened by good friends who remembered my name and my characters from my stories which were published alongside theirs in anthologies or magazines or from panels we had been on together at Worldcons or Windycons or previous World Fantasy Cons. I got to spend some quality time discussing the business of writing with well-known authors I respect. What more can one ask for?



And a few friends even showed up to hear me read from Winds and Light, two of my supernatural fantasies in the Winds-Cycle.



Just as valuable an experience, however, was the road from here to there and back again. I wrote in my mind an entire short story due next January for an anthology, worked out the next two chapters in my current WIP, and saw locations and scenery I want to describe in future novels. I drove the same I-70 Jack Maguire and Amanda Miller drove in my novel Executive Function to get from St. Louis to Washington, DC.



Now I am back at my keyboard and putting those experiences into words.



During the past five years since Gretta died, I have seen much of the country I never had the chance to see before. Oh, sure, I traveled a lot when I was a soldier. Even then I was a writer at heart and noted people and places for future fictionalizing. But looking at everything through the eyes of a working writer is different. You are on the hero’s journey of discovery.



Noting how tired and exhausted—yet exhilarated—I looked and we both felt, Stephen Vessels asked me in the smoking room at WFC as I prepared to depart for home: “So, was it worth it?” Stephen and I attended Thrillerfest in NYC, MidAmericon2 in Kansas City, and World Fantasy Convention in Columbus this year on book promotion tours and kept bumping into each other. We took time out of our busy writing schedules to promote ourselves and our books, spent our own hard-earned money, and traveled thousands of miles. Was it worth it? Was it necessary? Did it sell books?



The answer, of course, is still blowing in the wind. Was it worth it to meet fellow authors and readers in person? Yes. With so many titles being published these days, promotion is essential to discoverability. The more people who know your name and can place a face with the name, the more books you are likely to sell. That’s the theory anyway. But the reality is that the more books you write, the better you write, and the more people will want to read what you write. There is a direct relationship between quantity and quality, although it’s almost as easy to write lots of bad books as it is to write just one. What matters most, though, is what you’ve learned about the human condition that readers recognize as true in their own lives. If you are able to share your discoveries with others in a way that resonates with them, they will want to read more of what you write. It is really as simple as that. In the final analysis, it’s the writing that matters.



So next year I will stay home and write more. I was gratified when a Nebula and Hugo nominated writer I admire told people at his reading at Worldcon that Paul Dale Anderson is a fantastic writer and everyone should read my books. I was thrilled when so many people showed up at my own readings at Stokercon and WFC. I was honored when readers asked me to sign copies of my novels for them.



But now it’s time to write. I have deadlines looming. I am happy to be home with my cats and my books and my computers where new works beg to be written.



I discovered a lot during my many travels and in my life’s journey from here to there and back again.



I invite you to discover me through my writings.



Sunday, October 9, 2016

I'm Paul Dale Anderson, and I Kill People for a Living (TM)


SF writers love to astound people. Suspense writers love to leave people hanging, oftentimes from cliffs and sometimes from ropes. Thriller writers love to take people on fast roller coaster rides. Mystery writers love to lead people on a merry chase, often with hounds nosing up the wrong trees while the fox hides in plain sight. We horror writers love to shock people.


I read aloud from my works recently at a public library. I was the last writer to read that afternoon. I shocked people awake by saying, “I’m Paul Dale Anderson, and I kill people for a living.”



The nine mostly-mainstream writers who preceded me identified themselves as fiction writers or biographers or historians or journalists who celebrate the lives of either real or fictional people in books.

.

I write about death and dying.



I identify with serial killers. I identify with trained assassins. I kill people for fun and profit. I love to get into the minds of my villains as much as, or perhaps more so than, the minds of my protagonists. I want to show why, as well as how, people do what they do.



Like I said, we horror writers love to shock people. I write shock suspense stories that cross genres, but all of my stories and novels turn into cautionary tales. I am the executioner who holds an axe over your head, and I love to watch the hairs on the back of your neck bristle.



Make one false move, and feel my Instruments of Death!