Sunday, December 30, 2012

Preditors & Editors Nominations!!

Great news! I, and the work I’ve been involved in, have been nominated in FOUR different categories in this year’s Preditors & Editors™ Readers' Poll!!

P&E is a respected publishing guide, and their annual poll an indicator of quality projects and contributors throughout the past year. Voting is open to the public and they don't harvest your info. You do have to go through a one-time e-mail verification in order to prevent Spam. Please take a moment to cast your vote!

Best Anthology published in 2012: Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations

Best Book/e-book Cover Artwork published in 2012: Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations

Best Print/Electronic Book Editor: Eric J. Guignard

Best Horror Short Story published in 2012: “A Curse and a Kiss” by Eric J. Guignard

In addition, “Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations” is listed on three different “Best Of” Lists through (partnered with Listopia):

"Indie Books - Short-Story Collections/Anthologies" Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations is currently #8.

“Best Books of 2012” Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations is currently #392.

"Best Horror Anthologies" Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations is currently #3. 
If you have an account, be sure to vote at each of the links!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

“The Next Big Thing” Project: My latest work and three emerging writers you should know about

My writing compatriot, ERIK T. JOHNSON, tagged me last week as part of a round-robin writer concept that allows authors to promote other authors they see as rising through the ranks with significant accomplishments and soon to be “The Next Big Thing.”
It begins with each author answering ten questions about their own current projects, and then passing the mantle to three other writers.
For example, Erik T. Johnson posted on November 21 at:
Erik was tagged by John F.D. Taff on November 15.
Today it's my turn to answer the ten questions!
1) What is the working title of your next book?
I’m going to break the rules here and discuss TWO book projects, because each is so different:
a) AFTER DEATH… = an Anthology
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION (working title) = a Novella
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
a) AFTER DEATH… = Like most people, I’ve wondered often at what may occur after we die. I don’t dwell on it, of course, but harbor a healthy curiosity. There are countless ideas throughout history and across cultures, and I wanted to explore this topic through the voices of horror and mystery fiction writers.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = I read an excerpt of the lives of traveling circus performers, and included was an account of a group of carnies who frequented the Baggage Auctions in the 1960’s. The baggage auctions were treated as a form of gambling, whereas attendees would bid on unopened luggage that was left behind at hotels and airports. The winner would open the luggage and keep whatever they found inside. I wanted to incorporate this background into a horror ghost story.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
a) AFTER DEATH… = Speculative Fiction, Horror, and some Science Fiction.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
a) AFTER DEATH… = n/a
Charlie Stewart = Steve Buscemi
Joey “Third” Thurston = a cross between William Hurt and Kiefer Sutherland
Ray Galler = Ray Liotta
Vic = Michael Parks
Yefim László = John Malkovich
Gail Donovan = Connie Britton
5) What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
a) AFTER DEATH… = An anthology of stories that suggest different ideas of what may occur after we die.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = A gambler in 1960’s Detroit acquires a haunted record player and falls influence to the occultic chanting it plays, recorded by a murdered mystic.
6) Who will publish your book?
a) AFTER DEATH… = Dark Moon Books, an imprint of Stony Meadows Publishing,
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
a) AFTER DEATH… = Between announcing open call to producing first draft of anthology was about eight months.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = Still writing first draft, but overall time for completion will be about four months.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
a) AFTER DEATH… = I’m sure they’re out there, but I’m not aware of any other horror fiction anthologies that deal exclusively with different stories exploring what occurs after we die (i.e. not just “ghost stories”).
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = The 1st person POV voice in my head is most reminiscent of Andy Dufresne in Stephen King’s “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.” However, the plot is structured more like “Christine.” (Yes, like most horror writers, I draw great inspiration from “the King!”)
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
a) AFTER DEATH… = My long-standing wonder at what occurs after we die.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = Lisa Morton inspired me to write a novella and offered me an opportunity to participate in Journalstone’s Double Down series.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
a) AFTER DEATH… = This anthology contains thirty-four brand new stories, each beautifully illustrated. Some of the authors include: Steve Rasnic Tem, Bentley Little, John Langan, Lisa Morton, Simon Clark, Joe McKinney, etc.
b) JOEY THIRD’S LAST BAGGAGE AUCTION = At the risk of sounding bold, I think this is the best fiction I've yet written! Atmospheric and dark, I modeled a classic ghost story and added historic flair, placing this in 1960’s Detroit.
And now … onward!  My three taggees that I pass the mantle to are:
Andrew Williams -
Max Booth III -
Christine Morgan –
Check each of them out next Wednesday, December 5, when they answer the above ten questions about their own work and then tag more worthy scribes.

Friday, November 9, 2012


I am thrilled to announce and congratulate the following authors who were accepted into my second anthology project, “After Death... ”!

Andrew S. WilliamsSomeone to Remember
David TallermanPrisoner of Peace
Steve Rasnic TemThe Last Moments Before Bed
Lisa MortonThe Resurrection Policy
John M. FloydHigh Places
Kelda CrichCircling the Stones at Fulcrum's Low
David SteffenI Will Remain
Aaron J. FrenchTree of Life
Sanford Allen & Josh RountreeThe Reckless Alternative
Brad C. HodsonThe Thousandth Hell
James S. Dorr Mall Rats
Ray CluleyAfterword
Jonathan ShipleyLike a Bat out of Hell
Edward M. ErdelacSea of Trees
Jacob EdwardsThe Overlander
Bentley LittleMy Father Knew Douglas MacArthur
Jamie LackeyRobot Heaven
John PalisanoForever
Robert B. Marcus, Jr.Beyond the Veil
Alvaro RodriguezBoy, 7
William Meikle Be Quiet At The Back
Christine MorganA Feast of Meat and Mead
Simon ClarkHammerhead
Peter GiglioCages
Kelly DunnMarvel at the Face of Forever
Trevor DenyerThe Unfinished Lunch
Steve CameronI Was The Walrus
Larry HodgesThe Devil's Backbone
Benjamin Kane EthridgeThe Death of E. Coli
Emily C. SkaftunFinal Testament of a Weapons Engineer
Joe McKinneyAcclimation Package
Josh StrnadHellevator
Allan IzenIn and Out the Window
John LanganWith Max Barry in the Nearer Precincts
The theme of this anthology is to imagine what may occur to someone AFTER they have died.
As of my final selection earlier this week, there totaled 364 submissions. There were so many brilliant and well-written ideas that it was agonizing to only be able to select a handful. I wish I could include many more authors, but space was limited. As it is, I grew the project larger than originally planned. Of the afore-mentioned stories, six were by invitation and the remaining selected through open call. The book comes out to about 115,000 words of all new and original fiction!

Every story will be custom illustrated by Audra Phillips,

Publication is on schedule for Spring (March/ April) 2013 through Dark Moon Books.

Thank you, again, to all who submitted — I truly enjoyed reading every story.

Keep writing!

Cover Art for AFTER DEATH...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

GUEST BLOG: “What the Hell is That?” Writing Contemporary Horror Fiction by Mike Robinson

A friend of mine tells the story of when he was ten years old and lying in bed. He was having trouble sleeping, and so tossed and turned well into the deep redeye hour, that time when, regardless of location, the primal country of our ancestors seems most palpable. As he finally started to drift off, he felt a tug on the sheet, then heard a voice (“Gruff,” he explains, “like a grown man”) whisper harshly into his ear, “Scoot over!”

Sleep never came that night and, whether ghostly or imagined, the cold-fingered memory still grips his spine.

Or take my younger years. One Christmas Eve, after watching the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol, I sat in bed, wide awake. I’m sure I was joined by millions of others my age, but it wasn’t the anticipation of presents keeping me up. It was the damn Ghost of Christmas Future, who I expected any moment to come drifting down the hallway to my room. I wanted to close my eyes, but was too afraid I wouldn’t see him coming, and so would snap awake to a tall robed figure looming bedside, pointing its long skeletal index finger at me.
It’s difficult for me to believe that one can write truly effective horror -- horror that feels organic, new and authentic -- without some variation of this wonderful “fright gene.” And while many kids get scared, I’d venture to guess it’s a minority that actually craves such experiences, and would as an adult classify them as ‘wonderful.’ They’re frightening at the same time they’re uplifting, texturing the world in rich, noble insanity. I still have them, too, to some degree. They’re baked into the cake. For whatever reason, my brain works often in perverse entertainment to unnerve itself, like when I lie awake in the dark, on my side, and think, “I’m alone right now. What would happen if I felt a light tap on my shoulder?”
This gusto for goosebumps, this knack for nightmare, is, I believe, a formative and fundamental part of writing good horror fiction, fiction that is borne of an innate, ongoing process, and not just relegated to Halloween. Such a mindset also encourages originality, because for you the tropes and stock creatures and boardroom frights have come and gone, and you’re out scouring murkier fathoms.
By no means am I insinuating that horror writers belong to some exclusive club that asks potential members to list their childhood terrors for approval. I’m merely saying it helps incalculably if that hungry fascination, both celebrated and unsettling, runs in your DNA.
Take a novelist acquaintance of mine. For years she wrote romance and erotic fiction. Successfully, I might add. But one day she became interested in trying horror, “because it always sells.” I was skeptical -- I thought she should no more write horror than I should romance. But hey, I’m open-minded (truly I am), so my reply never went beyond a nod and some words of wooden encouragement.
Her result, while well-written and passable, was largely what I expected: a paint-by-numbers retread of typical genre fare. She didn’t have it in her blood, nor had she sopped up enough of the genre to know what was overrun and what awaited better exploration. Her approach was artificial, mechanical (not helped by the dollar signs in her eyes). I’d seen such things as hers, and had yawned past them. And yet, decades-old work by the greats, which I’ve read and re-read, continue to chill. Stephen King said horror must regularly renew itself, or die. H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Matheson and Clive Barker are some of last century’s revitalizing visionaries. Who’s holding the defibrillators this century? Why not you?
We’ve all heard the mantra that the heart of horror is fear of the unknown. Increasingly, however, that truism is more acknowledged than executed. Since the 1980s publishing bust, when oversaturation proved the genre’s downfall, horror has limped on, like a transient ambling down the road, pitied by faces watching from curtains of snug homes. Dark Fantasy took it in, as has Paranormal. YA has sucked up some of it. It’s been broken down and mixed in with other genres. This is partly why we’ve seen the resurgence of tropes like vampires, werewolves and zombies, all of which hardly represent “the unknown,” not any longer. They’re well known, and so, in this author’s opinion, not very scary.
Some of the best inspiration for those looking to break this rut can be found not necessarily in mainstream books but in the thousands of utterly bizarre reports posted everyday in archives and message boards of websites catered towards strange phenomena. Even documentary-style TV shows like Paranormal Witness can offer up good fodder. Whether you believe these people or not, it’s for sure that nothing can be as weird as reality. And I don’t just mean Victorian-garbed girls fading into thin air, or Sasquatch strutting through the brush. Consider the following example of a man who, while living in the jungles of Hawaii, was invited to dinner by a neighboring couple, Tom and Anne, whom he’d always considered nice, but odd. He goes on to explain:
“One night .... I was over at their house as usual and was sitting at the table having some food and conversation. I was eating, looking down at my plate. Tom and Ann were saying something. All of a sudden, like a switch went off, they stopped talking in mid sentence. I looked up from my plate, across the table at Tom and Ann next to him and I saw them there, as if frozen in time. Their mouths wide open with their eyes and their mouth’s completely black. And I don’t mean normal black. I mean a deep, empty black. Blacker than any black you’ve ever seen your life. Almost like another dimensional black. Their mouths as black as their eyes. You could feel the black (if that makes any sense).
I was immediately struck with a sense of fear. As I stood up and looked at them, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I wasn’t high, I wasn’t drinking, I was just seeing something that I couldn’t understand. I contemplating running through that dark jungle full of fear to get home. When everything returned to normal, like a light switch turned back on, as if nothing happened at all.”
There’s another report in England of a couple encountering, early in the morning, what they called a “stickman,” a flat, silhouetted humanoid they compared to the logo on the door of a Men’s public restroom. It’d been “lolly-hopping,” was their term, until it stopped, realizing they could see it.
Those are just two of an infinite number of examples. I bring these up not to revel in weirdness, but to suggest how deep and dark those unexplored fathoms can be. So grab a flashlight! And of course, while I tack towards the supernatural, or extraordinary, keep in mind horror does not have to be physically inexplicable, though it does involve something inexplicable, like the who or why of the creepy (and very earthly) home invaders in the underrated film The Strangers.
Most really good horror fiction also, for me, is like a solar system. In the center pulses the Central Big Idea or Image, which nourishes the smaller ones orbiting it. Of course, this can be seen in other genres (notably theme-layered literary fiction), but I feel it’s particularly significant with horror. It’s usually the image or idea that starts the juices flowing, that spools out the rest of the story. It’s the image that, when successfully realized, will survive in your readers’ minds (and dreams) long after the closing passage. Think of The Shining, for instance, and you think of a murderous father pursuing his wife and son.
My forthcoming horror novel The Prince of Earth began with the image of a young woman injured and alone atop a misty mountain in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, where she is plagued by a malevolent force. To me, it was a powerful aesthetic vision, and the progenitor of all else that came after it. And this image wasn’t attached to any specific idea. Oftentimes, the idea, or ideas, are built into the image, and it’s your job to decode them and discover them, unearthing the morbid delights in that visual package.
If it’s not entirely obvious, I’m not a big outliner. I realize this is subjective, and in all fairness I have been known to what I call “micro-outline” a certain section or chapter I’m having trouble with. Every writer should do what they feel works for them. But when it comes to horror, a genre that relies on suspense, surprise, underlying trepidation of what’s around the corner, I’m mildly suspicious of outlining. If you as the author are the first to take the journey of your story, unsure yourself what lurks out there (or within), that shows in the result. It gives the book a heartbeat, a greater sense of intrigue, doubt and wonder. If the tale is more or less composed as a “Fill in the Blanks with Scare A, B, C,” or a connect-the-dots exercise, it tends to dilute the reading experience.
And, of course, if your Big Image proves too big for an outline, it may just break its cage, maul your mind and tell you other ways of doing things. And wouldn’t that also be a wonderful experience?
Mike Robinson has been writing since age 7, when his story Aliens In My Backyard! became a runaway bestseller, topping international charts (or maybe that was also just a product of his imagination). He has since published fiction in a dozen magazines, literary anthologies and podcasts. His debut novel, Skunk Ape Semester, released by Solstice Publishing, was a Finalist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Currently he’s the managing editor of Literary Landscapes, the official magazine of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society ( His supernatural horror/mystery novel The Green-Eyed Monster is now available from Curiosity Quills Press.
Link to Amazon Purchase Page:

Link to Mike Robinson’s Author Page:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Writer's Resources - CONVENTIONS

If you are planning on pursuing writing as a serious occupation, make sure that you utilize all the best resources available, including the precious in-person relationships that can be developed at national writers' conferences or conventions.

This is your chance to meet agents, editors, publishers, peers, and (perhaps surprisingly) even fans! The first time someone I didn't know brought a book to me to sign and said they enjoyed my work (heart be stilled!) was at a convention.

Besides the in-person networking, you may be able to pitch your projects to decision-makers, and attend (or participate) in panel discussions, workshops, and other seminars in order to hone your craft. Besides the business opportunities, Con's are also just a great time to have fun with like-minded people over the course of one-to-four days.

Here are some of the better, or larger conventions, or those that particularly interest me, my interest being: horror, genre fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and associated sub-genres; these are listed in absolutely no order at all: (Thrillerfest) - New York City, yearly (Book Expo America) - New York City, yearly (World Horror Convention) - Rotates cities in North America, yearly (World Fantasy) - Rotates cities in North America, yearly (ArmadilloCon) - Austin, TX, yearly (Necon) - Rhode Island, yearly (Anthocon) - New Hampshire, yearly (Killercon) - Las Vegas, NV, yearly (L.A. Festival of Books) - Los Angeles, yearly (Pacific Northwest Sci-Fi & Fantasy Convention) - Seattle, WA, yearly (FantasyCon) - England, yearly (Stoker Weekend) - Rotates cities in North America, yearly (Readercon) - Massachusetts, yearly (Mid Southcon) - Tennessee, yearly (Bizarro Con) - Portland, OR, yearly (HorrorFind Weekend) - Gettysburg, PA, yearly (Horror in Indiana) - Indianapolis, IN - yearly (TusCON) - Tuscon, AZ - yearly (Mile High Con) - Denver, CO - yearly

In addition, here is a link that lists another SIXTY conventions related to horror, fantasy, science fiction, film, etc. around the country.

Need more reasons to attend a Con? Read some great advice by Susan Denney at Writing-World:
Hope this helps, and keep writing!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Great publishing news - Four new sales!

Great publishing news! Writing often seems to be "feast or famine" meaning you often experience a long stretch without producing anything of note and then suddenly have an abundance of new material go to print.

Just in the past month, I've sold four new short stories to publications that I am very excited to be a part of!

My story, "Experiments in an Isolation Tank" will be featured in the anthology, CHIRAL MAD. This is an amazing collection with the most beautiful artwork for a cover that I've seen in awhile. Cover art is important as it speaks immediately to the quality of the book's contents. I am thrilled to share the Table of Contents with some fantastic authors that I have long admired, including JACK KETCHUM, GARY BRAUNBECK, GENE O'NEILL, GORD ROLLO, and several others.

My story, "Last Night…" will be featured in the anthology, MARK OF THE BEAST - New Legends of the Werewolf. Nice to get back to some of the "traditional" horror monsters once in awhile. This turned out to be one of my favorite stories that I've written.

My story, "The Ghost of Ozzie Hobbs" will be featured in the anthology, The Ghost IS the Machine. I wrote a story for this collection just so I could be in a publication that features NY Times Bestselling author (and son of Stephen King) JOE HILL!

My story, "Groundhog Day" will be featured in the newest "Best Of" anthology, (still pending title) by THE HORROR ZINE. This should be another successful and amazing collection, based on the successes of the last anthologies.

The Horror Zine's last "Best Of" anthology, FEAST OF FRIGHTS, (that I was also a part of) included Simon Clark, Graham Masterton, Joe R. Lansdale, Scott Nicholson, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Joe McKinney, Susie Moloney, Tom Piccirilli, Ed Gorman, and Jeff Strand. It was recently reviewed by FANGORIA MAGAZINE! For sale here at:

Hoping to keep the momentum going, although I don't have that much time to write new material while working on my latest anthology, AFTER DEATH...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Submissions are now CLOSED for "After Death..."

Submissions are now closed for the anthology, "After Death..." Thank you so much to all who took the time to submit to this book!
I've tried to keep up on reading throughout the open call period, but it will still take me several weeks to get through everything. Acceptances and rejections will be sent throughout July-August and a final Table of Contents posted September-October.

I learned a new term that was shared with me in a rejection I recently received, and I think it's appropriate for me to share here. For my anthology, I received an "embarrassment of riches." Meaning, I received SO many fantastic stories from SO many fantastic authors that it is truly embarrassing to have tell many of you that I can't accept your writing for this book. This includes friends, peers, and authors whose strength of writing and accomplishments far surpass my own.

Including those authors I prearranged with for an extension and those who were invited (extended deadlines), I expect to have about 350 submissions total. I received 42 subs just yesterday alone and 20 the day before that - Whew!

I just finished logging in all submissions and sending confirmations. The average word count is much lower than my last anthology. 3,780 words is the average (Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations averaged about 4,500 words per sub). That totals to over 1.3 million words for me to review, the equivalent of about thirteen full-length (300+ page) novels.

I will be accepting in the range of 100,000 - 110,000 words for "After Death..." which means about 26 - 29 stories, based on the average word count. Percentage-wise, that is about the top 7% to 8% of submissions will be accepted. Stories will be accepted not only on their merit, but also by their uniqueness and how they interrelate with each other. This means I am striving to maintain a proper "flow" or consistency in tone amongst stories, the way that you listen to songs in order on an album of music, though also with an emphasis on variety of beliefs and stories.

Anyway, that's just a few thoughts from me.

Thank you again to all submitters and I will be in contact with each of you. I'll continue to post updates on Facebook and this blog.

Keep writing!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Writer's Resources - MARKET LISTINGS

For you writers of short fiction, how much time do you spend searching for a market for your work? I used to forecast that for every three hours I spent writing, I used another hour just on researching markets. This included understanding what the market was doing, checking on the audience and reviews of publishers, deciding where best I fit in, as well as prescribing to said market's highly personalized guidelines. Whew! It was time-consumptive.

We all have work and family and other life obligations that come first, so the time found for writing is precious and a limited resource. Utilize every writer's resource that you can in order to sift through the unnecessary balderdash.

Here are some of the best online writing resources I have discovered that provide MARKET LISTINGS and the latest in what publications are asking for (focused on speculative or genre fiction).

These are FREE market listings: - Speculative Fiction and Humor - Aswiebe's Market List: Fantasy, Sci Fi, and Horror - Places for Writers: Literary, Journals, and Fiction - Dark Markets: Horror - Every Writers Resource: Literary, Genre Fiction, Academic – Horror Tree: Horror, Speculative Fiction - All Fiction Genres - Poets & Writers - Angela Benedetti’s Market Listings - Writing Career (Magazines) - Writing Career (Anthologies) - Sandra Seamans' Markets (My Little Corner: Horror, Science and Speculative Fiction and other genres)

This following is a PAY market listing: - Duotrope Digest: Literary or Genre Fiction

In addition, be sure to obtain your annual print copy of WRITER'S MARKET (Writer's Digest Books), that provides traditional publishers who may not advertise on the internet.

Hope this helps, and keep writing!

Midnight cheers,



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

AFTER DEATH… One Month update

It’s been one month since I announced open call for the latest fiction anthology, “AFTER DEATH…” I’ve already received over 125 submissions, which is three times the amount of subs I received in the first month for my last anthology, “DARK TALES OF LOST CIVILIZATIONS!”

Each day I am amazed at the brilliant and gruesome ideas that are sent to me. I am so excited to work on this - This collection is going to turn out really fantastic!

I have read all submissions sent to me on or before May 2. I rejected 58 stories immediately as they didn’t fit the guidelines, or theme, or for other reason. If you haven’t heard back from me, it simply means that I am holding your story for further consideration and until the close of the submission period. I will respond to all submissions before August 30.

Selection Process:

I am keeping stories for further consideration based on four qualifying factors:

1. The story is interesting
2. It is without obvious flaw
3. It fits the theme of this anthology
4. It is written in a strong or unique voice

I grade each submission on a rubric scale, meaning I assign a rank or grade to it, based on several factors. So, as the submission process goes on, stories that rank higher will displace the stories beneath them on the scale. As I receive more submissions, I will review stories from the consideration list and reject those which fall far enough below the others. By the end of this process, I will be able to select the best-ranked stories based on what I am looking for, as well as how the stories relate to each other.

What I Am Looking For:

Potential contributors, please note! I am looking for stories about what happens to us after we die. This can be any idea, in any subgenre relating somehow to Dark Fiction. The point of the story MUST OFFER some explanation about what we can expect after we pass away. I do not want a story about a living person who circumstantially is haunted by a ghost. That is a “ghost story” and not at all what I am looking for. Consider writing a tale that is from the perspective of the deceased. What happens to your character after they die? Where do they go? What do they see? Heaven or Hell? Another universe? Reincarnation? Other spirits? Wild adventures? Etc.

Please feel free to e-mail me directly if you have any questions about this.

ALSO! I am in discussions with a few established authors to include their stories in order to really fill out this collection with amazing writing. I will announce further details about this later, but they are authors who I have long admired and are deeply involved with the HDF writing world.

Original, Full Guidelines listed here:



Friday, April 27, 2012

GUEST POST from Raymond Masters - Thoughts On Writing

My name is Raymond Masters, and I'm a self-published author. That doesn't have nearly the same connotation as it did when I first started writing. In fact, indie and self-published writers are quickly becoming the standard. The internet is full of stories and advice from professionals and semi-pros. I am neither of those; I am but a humble beginner. Of course, it really doesn't take long to amass a list of – let's not call it advice – helpful hints to pass along to those in the same boat as I am. So, this is for the beginners or those considering writing.

The thing about writing, as they say, is to write every day. If you want to be a writer, then write. Don't wait around for the perfect time to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. That perfect time rarely presents itself. Just do it. Have ten extra minutes? Jot down some notes or the opening paragraphs of your next scene. Why? It's hard to get back into the swing of things, once you've taken a break from it. I'm living proof of that. I love writing and have so many ideas to tell that I have to kick myself whenever there's a gap in my writing. It's not always easy. This is especially true for indie or self-published writers. Life doesn't stop – or even slow down for that matter – just because you have this awesome story to unwrap.

You can also sequester yourself in an office or your bedroom and close the door. It's okay; it's not anti-social. This lets others know this is not the time for socializing. This is your work time. Or it can be your "you" time. If you do this daily and form a routine, this accomplishes a couple of things. It not only gets your family used to the fact that you're going to be writing for an hour or two each day, but it also will speed you up as a writer. You won't require as long to get into that magical zone.

Get plenty of rest. It's funny to throw this in there, but your body and mind really need to be recharged thoroughly for the best results. Of course, there are some exceptions, but if you're writing something you wish to control, get a good night's sleep the night before. If you're doing your own edits, then you'll have a lot fewer "What?" moments down the line.

Take breaks. Get up and stretch your mind while you're stretching your legs. Some of my best ideas have come to me while walking, showering, or resting. It's because your mind has permission to wander off. But, and here's the thing, it won't be wandering too far, since you're writing daily. Your subconscious will be researching your story while you're doing some of the most mundane tasks of your day. Just be sure not to take a weeks-long break, as I said, or your mind will grow bored and move onto something new and shiny.

And, speaking of shiny, I hope you did, indeed, find my hints to be helpful. These are all ideas that I put into play while writing Forging Truth. Forging Truth is the first book of The Truth Saga. I am currently working on its sequel Corrupting Truth. If you're interested in good fun and character-driven stories, you may wish to check out the below links.

Thank you, so much for tagging along. And a very special thank you to Eric for helping me to Spread the Truth.

Take care,

Where to find Forging Truth: