Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hard Times Blues update

So, in the midst of starting a new job, more grad school, moving twice in the span on a month, breakups, and hurricanes, I have managed to work on my next book. I'm waiting for the next round of notes from my editor, then a final draft due on September 11th. I feel more comfortable about this deadline than any other looming over my head right now. This project's been gestating a long time, and it's just about time for it to see the light of day.

Six Gallery and I are playing it smarter than my first book. We're doing a December release, for a few reasons. One: that gives us time to send out ARCs to different publications. Four months is usually the best timeframe between mailing them and going to press, so we're still kind of cutting it close.  Better than not sending any at all. Two: actual time to do promo, with all sorts of swell literary propaganda coming your way. Three: Dan McCloskey's book is coming out in October and the press needs to put their resources behind one writer at a time. Four: This book is just a bear to edit. Both Christine and myself experiment a bit with format. And there is the tiny thing of printing upside-down text.

Another thing: I managed to squeeze in a fifth story called "A Song For the Yellow Prince." It's short, and strange, and kind of sweet in it's own way.

So *drumroll* the stories in Hard Times Blues are:

The Elvis Room
The Revelation of John
Graveyard Shift
A Song for the Yellow Prince

"Pulp" was my submission for the Interdisciplinary Writers Lab antho last year. "Revelation of John" is the story I was originally going to submit, before formatting a bevy of formatting issues had me running around Redding, California, during the night, looking for anywhere on Earth with Wifi, until I just said screw it. "Graveyard Shift" is the most implausible damn story I've ever written. It started out as a commision for my friend and fellow Terp Leo Svirsky (and by the way, Leo, congrats on the new album! Check out his stuff: It was about a topic I had little interest in, meaning zombies. For a long time it seemed just a blow-off thing to me, lke a workshop exercise, then I started seeing the potential. It originally seemed like it would never see the light of day, then it was publshed twice in one year. In rewrites, it's gotten progressively longer, and bloodier, and weirder, and it's one of my personal favorites. I hope you'll like it as well.

So we have five stories, three of which are seeing the light of day for the first time. And Dan McCloskey's doing the cover again. Good times. I almost want to hire Rachel Dorrett and just make it a full-blown JDS reunion.

Did I mention I'm going to the World Fantasy Convention this year? Yay! Time to activate my Wonder Twin powers of self-promotion and schmoozing. Form of: a bookmark! Form of: a martini! Form of: a manuscript shoved in an agent's hand!

Oh, and I'm doing the 101 Weird Writers series for "Weird Fiction Review." I'll be doing scholarly work on Elizabeth Hand and George R.R. Martin, among others. When will I get the time to do my homework during all this? Hell if I know.

Anyways, book's coming along. Things are cool. I'm not dead. That is all.

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