Showing posts from November, 2020

Ready for the NEXT Shift in the Publishing Paradigm?

Sometimes, it's painful to be right.  On July 17th, in my blog post titled "The Publishing Paradigm Shift is No Longer Coming, It's Here," I was bemoaning the loss of another notable Canadian small publisher. Since that time, I've actually been encouraged by the appearance of a flurry of new small presses and magazine titles. There will always be publishers, although the value of being one of their authors diminishes as companies gets smaller and their professionalism, reach and distribution clout decline. There is no doubt that being published by anyone other than yourself has its perks - ie: someone to do some of the grunt work; a stable of other writers to give you more sense of community; more direct contact with the people who actually do the work of publishing and marketing.  But the subdivision of small publishers into micropublishers comes with an equal number of drawbacks; ie: negligible advances if you're even able to get one, less prestige, limited

When Nonsense Rules

If William Butler Yeats and Lewis Carroll had a baby (the question of whose uterus they would employ remains an open poetic question), it might open its eyes and read aloud from; When Nonsense Rules Ululating out at me  from the branches of a tree a loon’s voice screamed in fractured cries Something here is not quite right   I peer through darkened canopy For water birds, I cannot see Forsaken now by lake and sea And stranded on a blood dimmed tide   Whales drift like clouds through clotted air While slithering down the thoroughfare Songbirds writhe on filthy wings And from the hedge a wart hog sings Nothing here is as it ought With nightmares, our paradise is fraught   Cars and trucks dance down the street With ominous and warlike beats Fenders clashing on concrete Wheels spinning skeins of lies. And the blood dimmed tide does rise.   All the world is on its head. All our politics are dead The populace has lost its voice We just

Best Advice for First-time Novelist

Here’s my advice for someone who has just written her first novel and is wondering how to proceed. Should she submit it to an agent or a major publisher? Sure. Professional publishing credits have far more cachet than self-publishing credits. But don’t hold your breath for a response – if you send out twenty queries, you may hear back from a few of them in a reasonable time. 1)        Agents are difficult to get. They are of diminished use in an overcrowded, over-booked market; and many of them are tired of beating their heads against the wall in the current market conditions.  Som experts like Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith think agents are never a good idea. But I think they can sometimes land you a bigger deal than you could get for yourself, and relieve you of the administrative burden if you have a hugely successful career.     2)        As a writer you may be better off submitting your work directly to the publisher. Or not. The  big publishers are all backlogged beca

The Groundbreaking New Book

Have you written the most groundbreaking new book on the market? Me too!  We have so much in common.   My first published novel, The Human Template , is now available at all major online retailers! I'm celebrating with a Zoom launch this afternoon, where I get to thank my wonderful beta readers and friends and family and new fans and anybody else who wants to stop by.  The worst thing I could do now is simply forget about it and redirect all my energies somewhere else. Every snowball begins as a collection of snowflakes. They just need to find each other. It's my responsibility to get that ball rolling! I will be working hard to get the sequel, The Carnivorous Forest, out on schedule (by next summer), without losing focus on the immediate goal of turning as many readers as possible onto The Human Template . I can't get discouraged by tepid early sales - because that has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the book. I need to encourage everyone who has read and enjoyed

Where the Weirdness Lurks

In the course of pondering the question of whether or not I write “weird fiction,” I have been forced to delve deeper into what makes my work weird. My preconception of weird fiction probably begins with Lovecraft and his Great Old Ones; tentacle horror of the sort Michael Shea wrote so effectively in stories like Fat Face and I, Said the Fly . In my unpublished book, House of the Empty Stare , I certainly explored the sort of bizarre picaresque that Clark Ashton Smith first visited in the 1920s and that Shea buffed to a high gloss in Nifft the Lean. A bit of that sensibility carried over into my story, “Razorwings,” which got a great review by one of the most underrated writers in the weird pantheon, Brian McNaughton – author of the neo-classic, Throne of Bones . (for anyone interested, I’m planning to release a Razorwings story cycle immediately after The Carnivorous Forest ). Although I started working in the horror genre in the late 80s and remained in the field for almost