Month: November 2014

Vote For SNAFU, Read SNAFU For Free, And Other Updates

This is going to be a quick one today because I’m very busy. What’s keeping me busy? I’m critiquing a short story for a writer friend (she knows who she is), getting my Sci-Fi short story edited and revised in preparation for submission, and I’ve got a synopsis which I’ve been putting off. Plus, I’ve got to update this lovely blog at some point. I love being busy and wouldn’t have it any other way. It means I’m being productive, and productive is always a good thing!

For those of you who have read SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror, and would like to help Cohesion Press, you can vote for it in This Is Horror’s yearly awards. All you have to do is go to their website and vote for it as your favorite anthology of the year. You could also vote for Cohesion Press as publisher of the year if you’d like too. I won’t twist anyone’s arm. All I’d ask is that you consider voting. You’ve got until November 28. We’d really appreciate it! Plus, This Is Horror is a great website in its own right. I’ve been following them for a couple of years now. Check them out. Here’s the link: http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/this-is-horror-awards-2014-public-nominations-are-now-open/

Also, for those of you who subscribe to Cohesion Press’ newsletter, you know the man behind the press, Geoff Brown, is offering to give readers either SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror, or the recently released SNAFU: Heroes for…drum roll please…FREE! Do not adjust your eyes. You saw it correctly. I said absolutely free! What’s the catch? It’s e-book only and you have to provide an honest review after you finish reading. BOOM! Easy-peasy. If you’ve been waiting for a chance to snag either of these books, now’s your chance. Go forth and spread the news! I’ll let Geoff tell you himself. Here’s the link: http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c1cf49a5f67dee21be2d91aae&id=acbd2e11e7

In other freebie news, you can download the Dark Carnival Horror Anthology, published by Pen & Muse Press, from Smashwords…drum roll please…absolutely free! There are a ton of creepy short stories ranging from YA to Urban Fantasy to straight up horror. I’ve got a story in there, as well as authors like Mark Matthews, Julie Hutchings, and Claire C. Riley. Monday it’s free. Tuesday it’s free. Wednesday it’s free. Everyday it’s free! E-book only. Here’s the link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/492403

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has taken the time to read SNAFU, the Dark Carnival, or any of my other stories. It may be a little early to say that 2014 has been the best year so far in my writing career, but it really has. And it only makes me determined to make 2015 even better. I hope you’ll continue to support and read my work. All of you truly make this fantastic, crazy, and sometimes nerve wracking journey worth while. We’re just getting started. Keep your eyes peeled for more news.

Soon, my Precious, soon.

Being a Published Author Means Waiting, the Unknown, and a Lot of Hard Work

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” – Joyce Meyer

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about how I got here. Not sitting in my Oscar the Grouch pajama pants typing this blog post, but, rather, this point in my writing career. Something dawned on me last night and I wanted to share.

Before I get going I want to state that I’m a fairly new published author…as in this year. My first paying publication was unleashed upon the world July 11, 2014. Since then I’ve signed four contracts for various other stories. Even though it may not seem like I have much to show, I’ve been working my ass off trying to make a name for myself. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Hi. My name is Brian and I’m a relatively new published author. It has taken me five, no six, years to get where I am. Oh, and I had no formal training along the way. Everything I know now I learned the old fashioned way–by trial and error, and an unrelenting will to succeed. Even though I made it this far, I realize there are plenty of opportunities for improvement. I’m always trying to tell a better story today than I did yesterday. Those early days were frustrating and challenging. But if we want to succeed in this new era of publishing, we must persevere. I have, and I will. Still, I have my bad days just like any other writer.

And see, that’s what many published authors don’t talk about. We still fear we’re not good enough. We still get rejected. While I can’t speak for any other published author, I can say that you learn to handle rejection in a more professional manner. Before publication it would hurt. Now I don’t let it get to me. It lights a fire in me to show those editors they missed out. It may sound a little conceited, but you have to have supreme confidence in not only your stories, but your abilities as well. You must be your own champion.

Have I mentioned how hard the waiting is? I recently made peace with the waiting. Before I used to shout from the rooftops when I received a letter of acceptance. FYI, don’t do this. Until you sign a contract, nothing is set in stone. And even then, if your edits aren’t up to snuff, or you miss a deadline, you can be dropped. It’s so difficult to sit on good news, but you must learn this lesson. MUST. Case in point, I have a story that was accepted for publication by a small press. I typed up a nice blog post about it. Then I realized I never signed a contract. I took the post down. Until there’s a signed agreement, that acceptance is nice, but ultimately is only a precursor of what may come. Patience, grasshoppers. A different editor at a different press helped me learn that valuable lesson. Thanks, Geoff.

There’s also the waiting after you sign the contract. You wait for edits. You wait for proofs. You wait for promotional materials. You wait for any nugget of news you can find because you’re so damned excited to share any information with the world. Despite our excitement and eagerness, we must remember that editors and agents are people with lives of their own too. They have families, jobs, other clients, and a calendar of commitments. Putting it plainly, they’re busy folks. This also raises the unknown factor. Since we rarely hear back from editors, agents, or other literary professionals when we’d like, sometimes we worry. It’s the nature of being creative, I think. We dream up ridiculous scenarios in our heads of what we believe is keeping editors or agents away. Maybe we’re not as good as we thought? What if I’m not a seasoned enough writer? What if my platform isn’t big enough? Stop worrying. Trust editors and agents to be professional. Plus, the good ones are totally approachable. If you have a question or concern, ask. 99% of the time they’ll be happy to alleviate your concerns.

What can you do while you wait? Write something new! Keep busy. Show your agent, editors, and even your fans that you mean business. Build your resume by creating as many fantastic pieces of fiction you can. Build relationships by submitting to anthologies and magazines. Always have a next project.

My agent and I are gearing up to go on submission. You know what that means? Months of waiting. Yep, I’ve already prepared myself. What am I doing in the meantime? I got the itch to write a new Sci-Fi short story and then I plan on finishing another book (THE MISTS OF CALTHAR). That way my agent will have a next book to shop around. Plus, my short stories have been doing well so my resume is growing. My short stories have appeared in two anthologies this year with two more on the way (late this year and early next year, respectively). I’ve been keeping busy because I want my agent to see that even though I may be a newer author, I’m here to give it my all. Ever since I started writing seriously, I thought about it as a career. I plan on being around for many more years.

If you’re struggling with rejection or wondering if you’re talented enough to be published, don’t. Trust that if you put in the work, you’ll eventually see results. Rejection will never leave, but it will take on a different meaning. You can always improve your craft if you’re determined enough. Stick with it. If I can do it, you can too. One thing I would suggest is stop looking at being published as a dream. Make it your goal and don’t stop until you achieve it. Roll up your sleeves, put your head down, and don’t let anything stop you. Then do it again, and again, and again. And when it does happen, don’t be satisfied with one acceptance. Stay hungry. It may be one of the toughest things you’ll ever do, but, at the end of the day, it’ll be so worth it.

“Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.” – Mary Pierce

The Dark Carnival Horror Anthology Is Available Now

Dark-Carnival-PM-Horror-Anthology

The Dark Carnival horror anthology is available from Amazon and Smashwords…right now! It’s free on Smashwords and we’re working on making it free on Amazon (as of this second it costs $0.99). There are plenty of horror short stories for all tastes in the anthology, including one by me. Who doesn’t like getting something for free? Get yours now!

Dark-Carnival-T2

Dark Carnival on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/492403

Dark Carnival on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Carnival-Anthology-Elizabeth-Vescio-ebook/dp/B00PGBGSIG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415912560&sr=1-1&keywords=dark+carnival+anthology

In other news, I signed a contract to appear in another anthology. You’ll have to wait a little longer for more details. I’m really excited to be working with this press and can’t wait for you to read my story, and the anthology. I will say this particular anthology is projected to release in early 2015. I can’t wait!

I’m Back With Cohesion Press For SNAFU: Wolves At The Door

Wolves at the door cover

 

I am pleased to announce my involvement with Cohesion Press and their forthcoming anthology, SNAFU: Wolves at the Door. My short story, Project Lupine, will appear alongside a story by James A. Moore, as well as other up and coming authors. I’ll be sure to share more details as they become available. Promise.

So, what does this mean for me? It means I am grateful to be working with the Cohesion Press team a second time. I couldn’t be happier. Everyone at Cohesion has treated me wonderfully, and, in light of recent events with previous publishers, I’ve come to appreciate them more and more. My thanks go to Geoff Brown, Amanda J. Spedding, and the entire Cohesion Press team.

As writers and authors it’s nice to know there are people out there willing to take a chance on a somewhat unproven talent like me. It’s humbling and gratifying, not to mention a bit intimidating. It means I have a responsibility to represent Cohesion Press in a positive and professional manner. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously.

For those of you who loved my story in the first SNAFU, you’ll probably love this one too. This time around I’m bringing a team of mercs squaring off against genetically altered werewolves in a secret lab. Like the tag line says: SNAFU brought the pain. SNAFU: Wolves at the Door will bring the bite! I had a lot of fun bringing this story to life. My goal, as always, is to entertain readers while I have them. Hopefully they’ll like my story, and this anthology.

I hope you’ll join us for some werewolf fun later this year. See you there!

You can learn more about Cohesion Press by following this link.

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