Saturday, October 10, 2015

Some Great Reading for Halloween!

Scott D Parker

Not a lot happened here at the home offices of Quadrant Fiction Studio this week. I'm missing out on many of the Bouchercon events this week. It's great to see all the photos. I guess the biggest thing is happening this week is the upcoming release of Weird Menace Volume 1 from Rough Edges Press. Those who don't know, this is the publishing arm of James and Livia Reasoner. Here's the cover of volume 1:

And here's the image for volume 2 which comes out a few weeks after volume 1:

I have a story that's coming out in Volume 1. It's called "The Curse of the Monster Makers!" James sent me my draft earlier this week and asked me to review it for typos and anything else that needed to update. As I mentioned last week, I have a problem with titles. The title — which is awesome — is entirely from James himself. So thanks James! I look forward to reading the rest of the stories in Volume 1 and Volume 2 during this fun Halloween month.


Speaking of covers, I'm prepping the second Benjamin Wade book for publication and I need a cover. I have a lot of old paperbacks and most them have actual painted art. But there was a time, probably in the late 1950s or early 1960s, when cover art became a little more minimal. I'm thinking of the paperback versions of the James Bond novels were there was only one picture on the entire cover. Also the Michael Shane novels by Brett Halliday--at least the Dell additions that I have--didn't always tried to illustrate a scene from the story. Instead, the covers showed a couple of images that gave you the idea. Currently the book is titled ALL CHICKENS MUST DIE. And instead of going in the painted scene category (like I did with WADING INTO WAR and THE PHANTOM AUTOMOBILES), I'm trying the minimal approach. Here's what I've come up with so far.

Let me know what you think. Do you like it? Do you not like it? What could make it be better? I've never done this before, so I'm happy to get some feedback.


Finally! FINALLY! Chicago has been nominated to be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

About. Damn. Time.

Full roster here. And you can vote. Multiple times.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lofty Goals

by Holly West

Apropos to Angel Colon's post from last week, I thought I'd share some of my goals. This isn't so much a post as it is a look into what I'd like to accomplish over the next few years. H/t to Neliza Drew for finally making me sit down and write them out.


1) Finish, polish, and submit current WIP (Nose Dive) to my agent. Ideally this would happen by November 2015 or at least in advance of the December holidays. Note: As of this writing, the first draft is done. DONE! Now some polish and it will go to my editor on 10/22.

2) Social Media, Newsletter, & Blog: Develop a more consistent and organized presence in all three areas with a focus on brand and providing meaningful content. Newsletter should be content, not promo driven.

3) Regular installments of a special project on Watt Pad. Not sure what this will be yet.

4) Depending on progress w/ current WIP, might do NaNoWriMo in November. Note: This is probably not going to happen.

5) Work on balancing work life w/ home/pleasure life.

6) End all outside volunteer commitments. Concentrate all efforts on my own goals. Note: I've already messed this one up with a couple of commitments in 2016.


1) Develop a crime/mystery series, likely under a pseudonym, for self-publishing. Goal would be to put out at least one book a year independently.

2) Depending upon response to Nose Dive (which will hopefully be under submission to publishers by Spring 2016), self-publish.

3) Write a fourth novel, likely a stand-alone, for submission to my agent by the end of 2016.

4) Request the rights to the Mistress of Fortune series revert back to me Note: This is a bit early to make the request, so I'll have to see where we're at when the time comes.

5) Take at least one major vacation


1) I'd like to have an ongoing contract w/ a traditional publisher and an ongoing self-published series.

2) Seek a new publisher for or self-publish the two Mistress of Fortune series titles. This might result in writing more in the series, which I might be up to by then.

5-year Goal (2020)

1) Regularly writing two books a year, ideally one self-pubbed and one traditionally pubbed.

Do you have a five year plan? Share it in the comments.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Star Struck at Bouchercon

by Kristi Belcamino

In a few days I'm going to be at my second Bouchercon and I can hardly wait.

I've had my suitcase packed for three weeks. Not really. Well, maybe.

It'll be a little bit different than my first Bouchercon last year.

This year, I'm nominated for two awards - which is totally unreal - and this year, I have four books out instead of one.

But I know I'm still going to be that same star struck nerd fan girl I was last year.

I've been studying the attendee list for months. So many authors I admire will be there this year.and even though I've interacted with them online and in some cases, briefly met in person, I know I'm going to be tongue-tied if I come face to face with them. Sigh.

For instance, last year, when I came down from my hotel room to the dining room that first morning, I saw MEG GARDINER sitting alone at a table eating her breakfast!!!! I gave a timid smile and SHE SMILED BACK and I was completely embarrassed and star struck and couldn't have struck up a conversation with her if I had a gun to my head. Yeah. (Sorry Meg if you ever see this!)

Let me put some of this in context -- I'm not NORMALLY a celebrity star struck girl.

Journalism knocks that shit out of you. For instance, I've been cussed out by Tone Loc. Eddie Van Halen spilled his drink on me. Jerry Seinfeld rolled his eyes at me during an interview. Clint Eastwood called me. (Okay, he left a message, we didn't actually get to talk. Damn it.) Dennis Hopper once talked my ear off - although I still haven't figured out what he was talking about. I once hung out with Edward James Olmos in a prison. The Reverend Jesse Jackson called me from his limo. I got to shake President Bill Clinton's hand (Okay. I lied. TOTALLY star struck by meeting the prez.)

So, I'm not normally star struck. Except when it comes to authors I admire!

This year, I'm going to be a bit more brave than last year. Instead of smiling shyly at an author across a table at the bar, I'm going to go strike up a conversation and buy them that drink I promised to buy online. 

I'm going to walk up and thank the authors who have inspired me or helped me along the way. I'm going to try not to be intimidated by them and walk that fine line between fan girl stalker and admiring fellow author.

If only it were as easy as meeting Hank Phillipi Ryan, who joined us walking between hotels one night last year, struck up an easy, natural conversation with us and then gave us her card, offering her friendship. (Hank is such a class act, we should all aspire to be like her!)

I won't call them out here but just suffice it to say that there are at least a handful of authors attending Bouchercon who will probably leave me star struck. I'm going to try to put on my Extrovert Hat and not be a fan girl nerd. Please wish me luck.

And if you want to name names of the authors who render you speechless, feel free!