Posts Tagged ‘self-promotion’

Short Fiction Wednesday! The Music Box

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Welcome to the second week of Short Fiction Wednesday, in which I feature the first 1.5-2k of a story from my ebook collection Night Bird Soaring and Other Stories, which features 17 different reprint selections ranging from fantasy to horror to alternate history. If you enjoy what you read here, you can purchase the full collection at Amazon or B&N for $2.99.

Night Bird Soaring and Other StoriesThis week’s selection is a horror piece that first appeared in the premiere issue of Shock Totem: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted; in fact it was the first story they bought and they originally commissioned cover art based on it, but in the end they decided to go another direction in that department (which I think was smart because the cover art they decided on in the end was awesome). The story, called “The Music Box”, is about stuffed animals, those toys that were your best friends at bedtime when you were a wee child. We all had our favorite, so it should be no surprise that our toys have their favorite child as well…and are willing to kill and maim to keep them for themselves….

(warning: strong language)

The Music Box

Kevin tucked Rodney’s favorite stuffed elephant, Snowflake inside the diaper bag. Snowflake got comfortable, leaned back on a pile of diapers as if they were pillows, then wrapped his worn trunk gently around Kevin’s fingers, to show his appreciation. Kevin gave him a secret smile, which immediately vanished once Cheryl came clicking into the kitchen with her high heels, complaining of the time.

“We should have been on the road a half hour ago,” she said.

The telephone rang, and Cheryl snatched it up.

Snowflake poked his head out between the open zippers just in time to see Rodney come in after her, sucking his fingers and dragging a stuffed teddy bear that wore a blue shirt that had “Boo!” written across the front in black letters. Snowflake cursed under his breath. No doubt Cheryl would insist Rodney take Boo Bear instead of him.

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Short Fiction Wednesday! Night Bird Soaring

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I haven’t done much promotion of my ebook Night Bird Soaring and Other Stories, mainly because I was lazy, but I figured it would be nice to at least try to make back the money I spent on the cover art, so I’m giving some try to promotion. Every Wednesday for the next seventeen weeks, I’m going to post the first 1.5 – 2k of each story in the collection, hopefully to get readers hungry for more. And in some cases, that means readers will get a full story!

Night Bird Soaring and Other StoriesOur first selection comes from the collection’s title story, Night Bird Soaring. It follows the life of Totyoalli, who was selected at birth to be the flesh representation of the Mexica god Tezcatlipoca and is destined to die at the sacrifice on his thirtieth birthday. But Totyoalli has his heart set on becoming an astronaut and isn’t about ready to let destiny get in his way. This story originally appeared in Greatest Uncommon Denominator and made the long list for the BSFA and was a finalist for the Sidewise Award. It also appeared in audio format in Escape Pod, narrated by Mat Weller (who did a fantastic job with the tongue-twister names).

Without further ado, on to the story….

Night Bird Soaring

On his sixth birthday, Totyoalli’s parents took him to the holy city to see the Emperor Cuauhtemoc, but the plane ride proved the most exciting part. He kept his nose to the window, taking in the vast lands of the One World, from the snow-capped mountains of his home in the northern provinces to the open plains of Teotihuacan. He marveled at the miniature cities and cars passing below. All his life he’d dreamt of flying, ever since the first time he’d seen a bird gliding through the air.

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Out with the old, in with the new

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So 2012 has come and gone and the new year is before us, which means taking stock of what I accomplished and then looking ahead to the future.

So, last year was a crazy ride of ups and downs, some of which I still can’t talk about because things haven’t completely ironed out yet. I finished a second draft of one novel, started a third (which I didn’t even get half-way through), then wrote another novel in a completely different genre, but again in the same milieus that I love. I still haven’t lost the desire to write about Aztec history and mythology, and have several more stories brewing in the back of my mind. I started the year off strong and hopeful, but hit a slump where I wasn’t enjoying writing anymore, but moving ahead into a new genre helped me rediscover my love of writing. However, I think my lack of desire to move on to new subjects led to the demise of my career in traditional publishing before it even started; there is apparently no market for what I write with traditional publishers, in either genre I’m writing in, but I really, really want to write these stories, so in the end, I decided to let my agent go and strike out on my own. She put in a lot of work on trying to sell my novel and unfortunately that didn’t turn out as well as we’d both hoped, but I think going a less traditional route might be better for the kind of stuff I write. There were some interesting developments in that category in December and hopefully I’ll be able to make some announcements by the end of January. Stay tuned!

On the negative side of things, I made zero money this year on writing, a first since I’ve started doing this in earnest. At least the taxes will be easy to do this year.

As for this year, I’m putting aside the failures of the past and pressing onward. I know what I want to write and am going to do it, and if it means self-publishing it in the end, then so be it. Part of me still wants a traditional sale with the backing of a big publisher, if only because it seems on the surface to be less work for me, but the idea of self-publishing isn’t as scary anymore. The professional world is changing fast, and traditional publishing is looking less and less stable and safe as it used to. I haven’t ruled out the possibility of getting an agent again, for the idea of going into any contract without someone to watch my back makes me sweat, but that just might not be in the cards for me.

On conventions, I don’t know that I’m going to go to any this year, aside from my local one. I really want to be able to go to LonCon in London in the summer of 2014 and that means having to save money for the trip, especially since I’d love to bring the whole family with me this time. The plan this year is to not attend either WorldCon or World Fantasy, though I loath to go two years without seeing my best friends at least once.

On a final note, after having heard really good things about RWA as a writer’s organization from several close friends, I went ahead and joined, and joined a local chapter here in Denver at the end of the year. It seemed a good move professionally since what I’m writing right now is, for intent and purposes, genre romance, and it would be useful to learn from other romance writers. I do intend to approach some small press publishers with this novel I’m working on right now, then self-publish if that doesn’t lead to anything, and there’s at least one more book in this series that I really want to write. In the end I just want to write about what I love and if that leads to sales, great; if not, then at least I’m getting some satisfaction for myself for having told the stories at all.

MileHiCon, October 19th-21st

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So, I’m on a couple panels at the upcoming MileHiCon next weekend. Here’s my schedule:


11am – 12:30pm: Speed Meet An Author (Mesa Verde B) with H. Bell, M. Boroson, S. Brust, J. Campbell, G. De Marco, R. Garcia, T. Hutcheson (M), M. Kirk, D. Kollin, E. Kollin, TL. Morganfield, L. Reeve, R. Seagren

7pm -9pm: Fantasy, Magic Realism, Fable & Mythos: Assorted Readings (Avistrum Academy/ 12th floor) with J. Campbell, R. Garcia, D. Landes, TL Morganfield, A. Ritchey, C. Schafer

So, it doesn’t look like anything stressful or that I need to prepare for too terribly much before hand. I’ll have to figure out what to read on Saturday night. Once I read the panel description, maybe that will help me figure it out. Likely it will be some short fiction.

Last Day for Free Stuff

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Today is the last day to get the Kindle edition of Night Bird Soaring and Other Stories for free on Amazon. My thanks goes out to everyone who downloaded a copy.

In other news, I finished the first draft of my alternate history romance novel I started back in late September. It was quite fun to write and it came in just under 80k words after only 23 days. If only all my novels hit the page so easily. I’m looking forward to working on the next draft.