Hot on the heels of the news about Hold Your Fire anthology release, I have another short story coming out later this month! My story, “The Pirate Prince of the Barbary Coast” will be included in the Particular Passages anthology.
About the Particular Passages:
Down a forgotten hallway lie rooms no one has entered. Each room contains a world waiting to be explored. Some beautiful and full of wonder, other dark and full of terrors. You won’t know which until you step inside.
So take a deep breath, and open the door…
My historical fantasy is set at the end of the nineteenth century in San Francisco and features a thief on a quest to steal a golden egg that is rumored to have belonged to Hawaii’s Queen Liliʻuokalani. But he’ll discover the egg is more valuable than he could have ever imagined…
I’m excited to share this story with you later this month when the anthology comes out! It’s one of my favorite stories I’ve ever written, though it certainly took a while to find a home for it. However, I could not be more grateful and stoked that this is where it ended up. Special thanks to James Sams for doing all the heavy lifting on this and putting it together!
Other authors with phenomenal stories in this anthology include:
Elmdea Adams, Jen Bair, David Boop, J.T. Evans, Todd Fahnestock, Arlen Feldman, Jessica Guernsey, Sam Knight, Chris Mandeville, Kim May, John D. Payne, Wayland Smith, Stephannie Tallent, and Marie Whittaker.
If you’d like to pre-order your copy of Particular Passages, click here.
I blinked and somehow it’s Christmas. Christmas in the weirdest of all years, but Christmas just the same.
I also blinked and it’s been over a month since I updated my blog and I have a couple things to share! Well, more than a couple things, but we’ll see how many posts I get to over the next few weeks.
Starting first with the most important! Some time back I announced I will have two stories in an anthology coming out next year, Hold Your Fire. Recently, there were two pieces of good news for the anthology I am extremely belated in sharing with you all.
The first is that Hold Your Fire was reviewed by Publishers Weekly, which is super cool! You can check out their review here. As the review says, “Readers looking for short bursts of inspiration will be pleased.”
Hold Your Fire also received an advanced review from Kaye Lynn Booth at Writing to be Read. She mentioned one of my stories, “White Feather” in her post! You can read her review here.
Hold Your Fire will feature my stories “White Feather” and “Hyde Park.” The latter also appeared in Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem which came out this summer. Hold Your Fire is a charity anthology to benefit scholarships for Superstars Writing Seminars. The next seminar will be held in 2022.
It’s been a minute since I’ve done a writing update. Not because I’ve had nothing to report, but because I’ve been basking in the magic of starting something new.
Last fall, I had an idea for a short story that I started, but didn’t finish until spring of this year. I loved the seed of that little idea so much, but it was a tough one to get going, to turn it into all I felt it could bee. I finally had a spark of another idea to help me this spring and finished my little short story. I loved it immensely and was tremendously proud of it. I remember thinking, “This is the best thing I’ve ever written.”
I took it out to a couple of my beta readers. The three of them have been reading early drafts for me for years. And they loved it too – enough to set me in the direction of taking my little short story, a germ of an idea that took half a year to incubate enough to get it to roughly 6,000 words, and encouraged me to do more.
In the midst of a hellish year where the truth is stranger than anything fiction could devise, that little short story got a revamp and is now the entry point to a new novel.
Fast-forward a few months and I’m now coming up on 45,000 words into the draft of a book I never intended to write. And I still love it with all my heart. It’s lovely and odd in all the right ways. Dark, but also punctuated with moments of hope and beauty. A tribute to both a world that no longer exists and one that never existed at all. It’s the book that only 2020 could write, but also just a step past where I was headed all along.
There’s something very strange about creating inside a year that’s haunted by darkness. Anyone who’s started something new this year, made a positive life change, gotten engaged, married, had a baby, bought a house, I think understands the friction that exists when you set your personal happiness alongside a year that continues to staunchly declare itself itself the worst year of our lives. Many creators have stopped creating entirely, unable to make art or create beauty out of the ether.
It’s also why those of us who HAVE found a way to create, to carve happiness in small fits and starts, who are experiencing some of the most profound joys of the human experience even against a backdrop of darkness, find these moments taste a little bit sweeter, as if to compensate for the bitter taste of life that is the year 2020.
I’m so excited to finish this draft, to get all the pieces down so I can really shape it into something I think is special. Even if it’s special to no one else, but me in the end, I think there will be something unmatched about a creation that sprung unbidden out of the wasteland and that for its creator, presents an ever-refilling well of ecstasy, light, and hope.
This is getting a bit longer than intended and I do have some other things I wanted to drop into this update since it’s been a while so let’s shift gears!
-I’m still continuing to query Shadow of the Magician. Doing that during a year like 2020 is about as soul-crushing and wearying as you’d expect. Nothing much to report here.
-In happier news, an older short story of mine, “Winter’s Cry” was reprinted in The Magazine of History and Fiction this spring. You can read it here.
-My recent short story, “Hyde Park,” received a mention in this awesome review on The Nerd Blitz for the Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem anthology. You can check it out here.
-I wrote a new short story this fall and am continuing to shop around a short story from earlier this year that I received a nice, personalized, and very encouraging rejection for from a publication I really admire. Fingers crossed it finds a home somewhere soon!
-And in non-writing news, we officially have a date and venue for our wedding!
Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem is officially available today! This anthology features 23 new stories celebrating monsters and the movies. I’m honored to have my story, “Hyde Park” included in the stellar lineup. Edited by Kevin J. Anderson and published by WordFire Press, this is an awesome anthology you won’t want to miss. Available in paperback and ebook.
Sometimes you go to the movies. And sometimes, the movies—and their monsters—come to you. At any moment, without notice, monsters once relegated to the screen become a reality. Aliens and demons, dragons and ghosts, werewolves, vampires, zombies, and seemingly ordinary people who are just plain evil.
Join award-winning authors Jonathan Maberry, Fran Wilde, David Gerrold, Rick Wilber and others for 23 all-new tales of haunted theaters, video gods, formidable demons, alien pizza, and delirious actors. Each story takes you to the silver screen with monstrous results.
Funny or grim, unsettling or cozy… You’ll laugh! You’ll sigh! You’ll scream!
Grab popcorn—and good running shoes—and enjoy the show.
Featuring stories from: Jonathan Maberry, Rick Wilber, Brendan Mallory, Ryan F. Healey, Hailey Piper, Julie Frost, Karina Fabian, Charles Maclay, Jesse Sprague, Kevin Pettway, Luciano Marano, Linda Adams, Cindy Hung, David Boop, Phyllis Irene Radford, Andrew Hearn, B.D. Prince, David Gerrold, Ben Monroe, Shannon Fox, Steve Rasnic Tem, Fran Wilde, and Sam Knight
The current pandemic has me working a lot and reading a lot (expect more reviews as soon as I have time to get them up!), but I’m popping in briefly to share that the upcoming anthology I have a story in, Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly!
In the midst of all this Coronavirus craziness, I haven’t had time to update my blog at all – and definitely not with the bright spot of news I recently received!
My short story, “Winter’s Cry,” is being republished by The Magazine of History and Fiction in May! It was previously published by The Copperfield Review in 2012.
“Winter’s Cry” is a short story set in the mountains of Colorado in the winter of 1890. Short on cash to fund his upcoming wedding, a young man accepts a position as a ranch hand. But as an unusually harsh winter descends, his friendship with the owner’s young daughter is put to the test when wolves close in on the ranch.
In other writing news, I’ve finished two new short stories since the beginning of the year. I have one more I’m working on then I’ll start writing my next book. Looking forward to starting a new big project!
And in personal news, I have an announcement…I got engaged in February!
My fiancee surprised me at home after we went downtown to celebrate a late Valentine’s Day! We are planning on a wedding in 2021.
In my last writing update, I mentioned I wrote and finished a short story two days before the Halloween deadline for an anthology. Well that story, “Hyde Park,” is now sold!
Apparently there were over four hundred entries for the Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem anthology and just twenty-two made the final cut! I’m honored to have made it all the way to the end with my story and can’t wait to check out all the other pieces in the finished anthology.
Here’s my original pitch for the story:
Doctor Faustus meets The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde in “Hyde Park”, a story about a young writer-director who’s keeping a monstrous secret about his overnight Hollywood success.
Executive edited by Kevin J. Anderson with an editorial team provided by Western Colorado University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Publishing MA students, the anthology will be published by WordFire Press. Expected publication for Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem is July 2020.
Spend an afternoon antiquing and it’s not hard to figure out why picking has become one of America’s fondest pastimes. It’s treasure hunting while connecting with history. But what if those treasures hunt us back?
From old books, to vinyl records, antique mirrors, vintage figurines, or a Bob’s Big Boy piggy bank, curses have no limits.
Featuring stories from D.J. Butler, Joy Auburn, Martin L. Shoemaker, Jessica Guernsey, John D. Payne, Jen Bair, Karen Pellett, Steve Ruskin, Tanya Hales, Lauren Lang, Frank Morin, Mike Jack Stoumbous, Kelly Lynn Colby, Jace Killan, Jo Schneider, Gama Ray Martinez, Martin Greening, Chris Abela, A.J. Mayall, Heidi A. Wilde, Shannon Fox, Lauryn Christopher, and Mark Leslie.
Edited by Angela Eschler
Cover art by Novae Caelum
And audiobook narrated by Shaun Smith and Hillary Andrus Straga
All proceeds from the sale of this anthology go to benefit the Don Hodge Scholarship fund. This scholarship helps aspiring authors attend Superstars Writing Seminars. Click here to learn more about the scholarship.
I’m so excited to share I have a story coming out in the Cursed Collectibles anthology and it’ll be available for purchase on October 1st – just in time for Halloween!
The story I have in this anthology, entitled “The Garden Party” is actually one I wrote way back when I was going to UCSD – and then rewrote and submitted for this! I love the theme, the cover art, and can’t wait to read/hear the rest of the stories. Thanks for all the hard work Jace Killan!
Authors with stories in the Cursed Collectibles anthology are Dave Butler, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Joy Johnson, Martin L. Shoemaker, Gama Martinez, Mike Jack S, Lyn Worthen, Shannon Fox, Karen Pellett, Jessica Springer Guernsey, Jennifer Blair, Steve Ruskin, Tanya Hales, Frank Morin, Lauren Lang, Jo Ann Schneider Stringer, Kelly Lynn Colby, Heidi Andrus Wilde, Adric Mayall, Chris Abela, Martin E Greening, John David Payne
Edited by Angela Eschler
Cover art by Novae Caelum
And audiobook narrated by Shaun Smith and Hillary Andrus Straga
All profits from the sale of this anthology go to the Don Hodge Scholarship Fund (which is a scholarship that helps people attend Superstars Writing Seminars)
The anthology and audiobook will be available for purchase on Amazon.
This month I’m starting the agent querying process for Shadow of the Magician. I got feedback from most of my beta readers back and made all my changes to the manuscript from there. I also finished doing the grammar line edits so I feel like this is a solid, clean draft. I’m now at the point where anything else I might do it just feels like picking at it to procrastinate on moving on. I still have a few readers I haven’t heard back from yet, but unless I get some significantly new and different comments, I’m done with this for now.
So next stop: try to find an agent for it! I’m going to the Fallbrook Writer’s Conference on Sunday where I’ll have the opportunity to pitch it to one of the agents there. I also have a few other agents that are my on first round query short list so I’m working on creating all the submission documents I’m going to need.
If you’re not familiar with the agenting process, all agents represent different kinds of projects so it’s important to spend time researching agents so you approach the right people. They also have their own submission criteria of things they want you to send to them which differs from agency to agency. From there, if they like what you see, they can ask you for more pages or the whole book to read. So before you start querying, you need to have a number of things ready to go besides the full manuscript itself. Query letters, summaries, synopses…and all of differing lengths and formats too! Sometimes actually finishing the book feels like the easy part!
I’m also planning to get another short story written for another writing contest this month. Maybe even two. And I have some new edits I want to make to the flash fiction that earned me an Honorable Mention recently. Feeling more encouraged and believing I’ll find a home for it eventually.
Beyond that, I have few more short story ideas I want to write and then I’m planning to start my next book soon. I’ve had the outline done since May and am still feeling really eager to dive in with that one which is a good sign. I’m excited to see how the writing process goes on a new novel now that I can try out all the things I learned from writing Shadow. If I haven’t mentioned this before, Shadow is really special to me because it’s the book that more than anything else I’ve ever written, really taught be how to construct a story, write a book from start to finish, and also how to revise. I learned so much from the process (*cough* hell *cough*) with that one so I’m eager to see what all that learning looks like on a new book!