INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES: Best Horror of the Year

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INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES – now available as a $5.49 e-book!

Three stories are in top BEST OF THE YEAR 2015 anthologies:

  • –Steve Rasnic Tem’s excellent INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story, Beneath the Pilings, THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR 2015 (editor, Ellen Datlow)
  • –John Shirley’s excellent INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story, Windows Underwater, THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY & HORROR (editor, Paula Guran)
  • –Tim Lebbon’s excellent INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story, Strange Currents, YEAR’S BEST WEIRD FICTION 2015 (editors, Michael Kelly & Simon Strantzas)

Six stories received Honorable Mentions in THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR 2015 (editor, Ellen Datlow)

 

APPEARANCES + PHOTOS & FUN STUFF!

I’ll be at three conventions in September.  Please stop by, chat, and get your books signed!

As soon as I have my schedules, I’ll post them on my website and blog.

DragonCon is always trippy, with 65,000 people or so attending. It’s one of my favorites. I love the costumes, shows, parade, masquerade, music, and panels: i.e., everything

Alicia Lurye always does a fabulous job at organizing and running Roc-Con, which attracts 3-5,000 people. Last year, I got to hang out with Brent Spiner: Data from TNG! This year, Alicia’s bringing in Lou Ferrigno, The Incredible Hulk. I hung out with him once before, way back in 2000 at the Grand Slam Star Trek Convention in CA. Returning again this year is J.G. Hertzler, General Martok from DS9 – he’s a GREAT guy & loads of fun! 

This will be my first time as a Programming Guest at BoucherCon World Mystery Convention. Heather Graham, who is SUPER, is bringing in Harlan Coben, R.L. Stine, and David Morell, among others. 

PHOTOS & FUN STUFF! Click here to read all the dirt about me and see some cool photos.

Malice Domestic – this weekend!

I’ll be at MALICE DOMESTIC (Bethesda, MD) this weekend. My panel is SHERLOCK LIVES! (Sunday, May 1, 10-11 am) with John Betancourt (moderator), Lois H. Gresh, Laurie R. King, Bonnie MacBird, and Michael Robertson. I’m psyched to be on a Holmes panel with Laurie R. King – wow! We also have a signing on Sunday at 11 am, directly following the panel.

THE X-FILES: SECRET AGENDAS

X-FilescoverI’m thrilled to have a story in THE X-FILES: SECRET AGENDAS, edited by Jonathan Maberry and slated for 2016 publication by IDW.

Included are all-new X-FILES stories by Andy Mangels, Bryan Thomas Schmidtt & Kate Corcino, George Ivanoff, Jade Shamess, Jeff Mariotte & Marsheila Rockwell, Jim Beard, Joe Harris, JT Gilstrap, Lauren A. Forry, Lois H. Gresh, Lucy A. Snyder, Nancy Holder, Ryan Cady, Weston Ochse, and Yvonne Navarro.

Many thanks to Jonathan!

INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES: $5.49! FOUR stories reprinted in top BEST OF THE YEAR 2015 anthologies!

IN_front_smINNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES (Lois H. Gresh, editor) – now available as a $5.49 e-book!

FOUR stories are reprinted in top BEST OF THE YEAR 2015 anthologies:

  • Steve Rasnic Tem’s excellent INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story, Beneath the PilingsTHE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR 2015 (editor, Ellen Datlow)
  • John Shirley’s excellent INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story, Windows UnderwaterTHE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY & HORROR 2015 (editor, Paula Guran)
  • Tim Lebbon’s excellent INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story, Strange CurrentsYEAR’S BEST WEIRD FICTION 2015 (editors, Michael Kelly & Simon Strantzas)
  • Richard Gavin’s INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story, The Barnacle Daughter, in BEST NEW HORROR 2015/#27 (editor, Steve Jones)

SIX stories received Honorable Mentions in THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR 2015 (editor, Ellen Datlow)

INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES is now available as a $5.49 e-book!

THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR #8

IN_front_smI’m delighted to report that Ellen Datlow has selected Steve Rasnic Tem’s excellent INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story, Beneath the Pilings, for THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR 2015.

Congratulations to Steve for writing such a wonderful tale! Also, thanks to Ellen as well as Pete Crowther and his  crew at PS Publishing. Editor’s obligatory plug: INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES is a superb read. If you like weird fiction, pick up a copy here. 

THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR 2015 Table of Contents:

We Are All Monsters Here by Kelley Armstrong
Universal Horror by Stephen Graham Jones
Slaughtered Lamb by Tom Johnstone
In a Cavern, In a Canyon by Laird Barron
Between the Pilings by Steve Rasnic Tem
Snow by Dale Bailey
Indian Giver by Ray Cluley
My Boy Builds Coffins by Gary McMahon
The Woman in the Hill by Tamsyn Muir
Underground Economy by John Langan
The Rooms Are High by Reggie Oliver
All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck by Kate Jonez
Lord of the Sand by Stephen Bacon
Wilderness by Letitia Trent
Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma
Descent by Carmen Maria Machado
Hippocampus by Adam Nevill
Black Dog by Neil Gaiman
The 21st Century Shadow by Stephanie M. Wytovich
This Stagnant Breath of Change by Brian Hodge

Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Neural Psychoses / Beat Sheet

I reported in December 2015 that I’d turned in SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS to editor Steve Saffel at Titan Books. In manuscript form, the novel is 526 pages long and approximately 105,000 words.

sherlock_forweb3For the past month, I’ve been working on a detailed outline for the second novel in the series, SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE NEURAL PSYCHOSES. 

Commonly known as a BEAT SHEET, here’s the process:

Put each “event” (for convenience, I call them “scenes” though they sometimes span more than 1 actual scene) on an individual note card.

When done, put all note cards on my dining table. Arrange them until a fairly concrete and detailed outline emerges. This enables me to juggle the various points of view, scenes, and plot/mystery elements in a visual manner.

Directly from the cards, type what I call a “detailed running outline.” As I create this version in Word, I modify various elements, as needed. This phase takes awhile, as I want to hammer out as solid a foundation as I can before I actually start writing the novel.

Map word count onto my calendar. I put myself on a rigorous writing schedule, making sure I map at least 2000 words/day onto my calendar.

Stick to the calendar schedule. Try to get ahead of schedule! If I can pump out 3,000 or 5,000 words, it’s been an excellent writing day. But I’m happy with progress that keeps me on target to hit my deadlines.

I wrote SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS using this technique, and it worked very well. So I’m doing the same thing for SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE NEURAL PSYCHOSES. 

 

Year’s Best Weird Fiction 2015

IN_front_smMichael Kelly and Simon Strantzas just posted on my Facebook page that Tim Lebbon’s excellent story,  Strange Currents, from INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES will be in their YEAR’S BEST WEIRD FICTION 2015.

Congratulations to Tim! As I wrote a moment ago regarding John Shirley’s INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story in THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY & HORROR — being the editor, I’m biased, but in all honesty, INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES is a superb read. If you like weird fiction, pick up a copy here. 

 

Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2016

IN_front_smI’m delighted to report that Paula Guran has selected John Shirley’s excellent INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES story, Windows Underwater, for THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY & HORROR: 2016.

Congratulations to John! Being the editor, I’m biased, of course, but in all honesty, target=”_blank”>INNSMOUTH NIGHTMARES is a superb read. If you like weird fiction, pick up a copy here. 

You can see the full Table of Contents here:

The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2016 ToC

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS

Holmes_forweb Earlier this week, I finished writing the draft of SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS for Titan Books. I wrote the novel in 6 months. In manuscript form, it’s 511 pages and 104,000 words. 

I now must edit the manuscript before turning it into my “real” editor at Titan. 

Most of my friends don’t understand what this means. 

The term, editing, does not mean a mere checking of spelling and grammar. Sure, if I see proofreading-type errors, I’ll fix them. But what I’m looking for during my editing phase are bigger problems: inconsistencies, redundancies, stilted dialogue, weakening of tone or voice, balance of style, coherent logic, character development, lack of tension, wrapping up of any loose ends, overused words or phrases, BALANCE (worth repeating).

SH_webHow do I explain what I do to my friends, who are not writers? First of all, most of them never ask me about the writing process. They assume that the writer bangs something out, voila, it’s perfect and ready to go, and magically, a publisher comes along and prints it. Anyone can be a writer: anyone. They assume that the publishing house’s editor does all the editing – !

Ask any professional writer if it’s wise to submit a manuscript that requires a huge amount of editing by the “real” editor, and here’s what he or she will tell you: never do it! 

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS is my 30th book, and I’ve also published 65+ stories. In addition, I’ve written 200+ technical manuals and 100+ medical and scientific newsletters, as well as 50+ science articles. I’ve edited two short story anthologies in the past couple of years. For 20 years, I was a manager of technical documentation, training, and systems analysis. 

This doesn’t make me a god of writing or editing. It does mean that I have a bit of experience. 

Trust me, you do not want to submit a manuscript to a professional editor unless you’ve edited it yourself. 

Holmes1With SHERLOCK HOLMES, I’m reviewing my manuscript to make sure that my Holmes and Watson (and various other characters) conform to Arthur Conan Doyle’s canon. I must make sure that my scientific speculation is true to the time period in which I write. I must add something new and vigorous to the canon without contradicting it. 

Given that SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS has a Lovecraftian/weird twist, I must make sure that my Holmes remains true to character while dealing with something extremely odd. 

I typically ground my tales in science. Even if I don’t divulge the scientific (or otherwise factual) underpinnings, a story must make sense to me, or I can’t write it. Sometimes, I do go off on flights of fancy, and venture into the purely supernatural/metaphysical realm; but this is rare. I’m typically jumping off from fact into fiction. 

So in my first SHERLOCK HOLMES novel, you might think I’m in a purely supernatural/metaphysical realm, but I’m not. And my Holmes knows that I’m grounded somewhere in science, too. 

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ADVENTURE OF THE DEADLY DIMENSIONS is the first novel in a trilogy that I’m writing for Titan Books. While my editor and I hash through book #1, I’ll be researching, outlining, and writing book #2. Busy times ahead! 

In all honesty, I’ve never had this much fun. I’m completely obsessed with SHERLOCK HOLMES, and nothing makes me happier than writing these novels.

It reminds me of the time I got to watch STAR TREK as my “day job.” Or when I read 500 comic books as my “day job.”

Writers work like dogs, but we do have our fun.