Monday, November 26, 2012

BLIND SHADOWS is now in print.

My first collaborative effort with Charles R Rutledge BLIND SHADOWS, is now available in a signed limited edition.

Because this is a limited edition of 150 copies, I feel it necessary to point out that the book is now here. Also, I'm just delighted. Here's pictures to PROVE that the book exists.

In the event that you could not get to ordering a copy before they sold out (hey, it happens), you can also go to the website for Doctor No's Comics, where I have been known to shop, and so has my co-author, and try to get a copy there. Naturally, there's a Link.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seven Forges

So it's nothing solid yet, but things are looking positive for the SEVEN FORGES trilogy.  We've reached the negotiation stage. They like the book, I like them, we seem to be getting along swimmingly. This is, as they say, a good thing.

Now I just have to be patient. I can't go jumping the gun and announcing things when they haven't been finalized.

But I am pleased.

I recently had the publisher in question asking if I could manage to hand in the next two novels in the series within six months on each book. A friend of mine, co-author Charles R. Rutledge,  came close to laughing milk out of his nose at the question. He didn't actually laugh milk out of his nose, because he wasn't drinking milk, but if he had been, there would have been a need for tissues.

Why? Because Charles has worked with me. When I am in the mood to write, I tend to produce a great deal of words. Most of them are even coherent, and happily there are editors to help me fix the ones that aren't.  More news soon. First, however, I get to pace nervously whilst the agent and the publisher begin the Dance of Money and Rights.

I hate this part. I love reaching this part, but I hate this part.

Okay, but I only hate it a little. Mostly i'm delighted. I've sold a trilogy of books and that makes me happy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tom Piccirilli

Tom Piccirilli is my friend. We don;\'t talk often, but we TALK when we talk. You know what I mean? He's going through a few things right now and because he's a writer, he does what a lot of us do. he WRITES about it.

The link below is Tom writing about his brain tumor issues.

The link is on Brian Keene's blog.

I'm sharing it because it's the sort of thing I think everyone should read.

Tom Piccirilli

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Word Whore: Put up or Shut up, Or, the great Dr.Doom Versus Barbie Caper

So, for years now, I've had no trouble calling myself a word whore. Why? Because I AM a word whore. If prostitutes are paid for sex and that makes them whores, than by simple math, I am a word whore as I get paid for writing.

I'm currently at the 2012 World Fantasy Convention in Toronto. I'm having a wonderful time. I was having a wonderful time last night, too, when my roomie at the con, Christopher Golden, actually referred to me as a word whore. He was speaking to Allison Pang, who contributes to a blog called Word Whores (that's okay, I don't mind sharing) and I nodded and gave my usual answer. I have, for the record, used this answer since I was beginning my career. My pat response, while nodding, has always been, "I will gleefully write Doctor Doom Versus Barbie if there's money involved, but I'll make it the best damned Doctor Doom Versus Barbie story you've ever read."

Allison Pang, upon hearing my comment, looked right at me and said, "I've got five dollars I'd pay to read that." While I was laughing it off, Chris Golden looked over with THAT look on his face. Anyone who knows him knows the look. He is that kid. The one who looks at you and says "I double-dog dare you." But he takes it one step further. He's the ultimate enabler. It isn't the first time he's gotten me in trouble it likely won't be the last.

Chris smiled and said, "Hang on a minute." We were at one of several parties and Chris went off in a flash and came back a moment later waving Canadian bills. "We're up to twenty dollars," he said. And went off again. I just started laughing. I mean, seriously laughing. But because I know Chris, I also started plotting.

A few minutes later he comes back with $55.00 dollars (US and Canadian alike) and a coupon for a free popcorn. And the next thing I know, I have 40 minutes to write a complete story, at least two pages long. I went back to the room and turned on my computer.

The audience was substantially larger than the original 11 people who had put their money up to see if I could, in fact, write the story. I handed my laptop to Chris (I had no printer with me, as I'm not THAT anal) and made him read it aloud instead since he'd gotten me into this mess.

In his finest reading voice, which, to be fair is pretty damned amazing) he recited the tale below. Technically this is a professional sale as I made more than five cents a word (in US and Canadian both), so for the consideration of all literary awards, the Stokers and the Hugos I now offer you....

Dr. Doom Versus Barbie (Trademarked where appropriate): as demanded by Allison Pang

Victor Von Doom stared past the grim mask that forever hid his scarred face, and looked out across the Latverian hills. He stared across the landscape but saw instead only the darkness that scarred his life. Years of struggle and conflict, a seemingly endless run of battles against the enemies that refused to bow to his iron will and would, given the chance, stop him from achieving his lifelong ambitions.

The Fantastic Four were not a concern, not at the moment. They were off world, exploring other realities, perhaps, or merely examining the secrets of the universe that eluded them. Doom had other secrets in mind. With a moment of peace, a brief time in which his enemies were gone and the world understood that Doom was to be feared, he instead focused on the goals that had eluded him for as long as he could remember.
Somewhere beyond Death’s veil, his mother’s spirit still drifted in darkness, lost to him, her beauty, her brilliance a faded memory.

That would not do.

He turned away from the view of the world beyond his castle and stepped back into the chambers where he kept his darkest secrets, his greatest experiments and the books of lore that he had accumulated.

It was time. He merely had to find the right woman, the perfect vessel to sacrifice in exchange for his mother. The cost was nothing to him, negligible, really. What was the soul of one woman in exchange for the return of the woman who had gifted him with knowledge and power and who deserved to serve beside him.

Distantly he remembered a conversation with his nemesis, Reed Richards, from their days in college. The man had dared presume to be his friend and had spoken his mind in a fit of hubris. He Compared Victor with Oedipus. Remembering that conversation, Doom paused long enough to write himself a reminder to make the insufferable fool scream in agony when next they met. He’d work out the exact details later. One maniacal plan at a time was the best way to handle the matter, really.

Hours of scrying, contacting demons and calculating the paths of the stars in the heavens had lead to one simple conclusion. The woman he needed to capture, to dominate in order to bring his mother from the netherworlds was an American, Barbara Millicent Roberts. Everything had been worked out, of course. Doom left nothing to chance. Barbara Roberts was on her way to his castle even as he prepared his devices.

All he had to do was wait for her.


Barbie looked around the village with wide, blue eyes, excited by the change to finally meet Ken’s family. She’d never guessed, never dared hope that the man she loved could be a real prince, but here they were, coming to meet his father!

Ken smiled at her, his perfect mouth dimpling as he flashed his pearly teeth.

“Ken, are you sure your dad is really ready to meet me?” She pouted just a little.

Boris, the elderly man who chauffeured them from the airport, climbed wearily from his seat and came around to open the door for her. She smiled her thanks and climbed out quickly. She was still nervous about her outfit. A million dresses and none of them seemed right for meeting with a real life king.

Ken laughed as he climbed from the car. “Barbie, you worry too much. Dad said he couldn’t wait to meet you.”

“I thought you said your dad was like a super genius.” She looked down at the ground and then back up as Ken slipped one muscular arm around her shoulders. The air was chilly, but Ken made her feel so safe.

“He is, but what’s that matter?”

“I thought maybe you were embarrassed to have me meeting him. I mean I’m always saying math is hard and you always talk about how your dad thinks being smart is the most important thing ever.”

“Well, it’s important, but there are other things that matter more.”

“Like what?”

“Like being happy.” Ken smiled again and hugged her to him and she let herself sniggle in closer.

“Oh, Ken. Is your dad happy?”

“Well, he will be. He’s been looking forward to meeting you for a long time.”

“I can’t believe how perfect this day is, Ken. I’m the luckiest girl in the whole world.”

Ken’s eyes travelled along the cobblestone path that lead to the castle’s gate. From within the darkened passageway a glint of metal shone and the heavy tread of Doctor Doom clanged heavily.

Barbie looked toward the figure and her eyes grew a bit wider.

“Ken?” Her voice was a whisper. “What’s wrong with your father?”


“He’s wearing some kind of suit….”

“It’s armor. He has many enemies, Barbie.”

She stared and her heartbeat increased. Was he joking? The man coming toward them looked like a freak!

Doom’s voice called out from within the dully armored mask that hid his face forever from the eyes of the insolent underlings. “This is her? This is your Barbie?” His words were cold, filled with a seething hatred.

“Yes, father.”

Barbie stared in as he towered over her. He held a small box in his hand and waved it in her direction with callus regard for decency.

“You are unpure.”

“What?” Barbie felt a cold fear grip her heart.

“You’re not a virgin.” Doom spoke as if to a slow child.

“Well, I was going to save myself, but….”

Before she could finish Doom held out one hand and unleashed a torrent of power that ripped the flesh from her bones. Meat burned and blood boiled, her eyes exploded from her skull and Ken stepped back for a moment, horrified, before he tried to run. Doom’s hand continued on tracking him until the energies fried the flesh from his form leaving a puddle of bones and blistered remains.

Another failure. His clone had failed him. Like most men the clone had a libido and like Doom himself, his was too beautiful for a woman to resist.

Doom scowled at the remains and pointed to Boris. “Clean this up.”

“Master, not all is lost.”

“What do you mean?” Doom stopped and looked toward his faithful servant.

“She has a sister, a younger sister. Her name is Skipper.”



I need to clarify that I know there are typos in here. I get that. I'm not cleaning them up because this is EXACTLY as it was written and as it was read. 

According to Chris, this event will be repeated in Brighton next year. I will have no idea what the story is, only that I will have 40 minutes to write it.  

This story brought to you by Chris-Starter financing