Month: December 2014

Publication Announcement: The Dragon’s Tinder

The contract has been signed. It’s official.

My short story, THE DRAGON’S TINDER, will appear in the Twice Upon A Time anthology, from The Bearded Scribe Press. The Dragon’s Tinder takes Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Tinderbox, and re-imagines it with revenants, vampires, and vampire hunters. I’m looking forward to seeing what other retellings await readers in this anticipated anthology. Check out the cover below.


From the publisher:

What if the Grimm Brothers got it all wrong?

In this forthcoming title, fairytale, folklore, and myth is reimagined and remastered.

Join Joshua Allen Mercier and The Bearded Scribe Press in its maiden publication, filled with retellings of horror, steampunk, dark fantasy, historical fantasy, cyberpunk, zombies, and other sub-genres of Speculative Fiction.

Watch the trailer:

A wide variety of authors and stories will appear in this anthology. A friend of mine, Tonia Marie Harris, has a story in this collection as well. I am honored to share the same pages as her. If you haven’t already, drop by twitter and congratulate her! Follow this link.

I’ll be sure to pass along more details as they become available.

For those of you interested in learning more about The Bearded Scribe Press, follow these links: official website / twitter / facebook


Sale Alert – For a Limited Time, SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror is only $2.99!


The fine folks at Cohesion Press are in the X-mas spirit. They’ve lowered the prices on both SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror and SNAFU: Heroes. You can own either, in e-book format (from Amazon), for just $2.99 through the end of December. If you’ve been waiting to get either book, now’s the time. Give them as gifts or treat yourself.

Follow this link for SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror:

Follow this link for SNAFU: Heroes:

Coming January 2015!

Coming January 2015!

And get ready because SNAFU: Wolves at the Door will be releasing in January 2015! Cohesion Press has all your military horror needs covered. I turned in edits for my story, PROJECT LUPINE (which will be appearing in Wolves at the Door), yesterday. I can’t wait for all of you to read it. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

You can learn more about the entire SNAFU line of books from Cohesion Press by following this link to their official website:

2014 – A Year Of Submissions

It’s that time of year again. Yep, the end is neigh! Not the end, end. Just the end of the year, when most of us like to look back at what we’ve accomplished and haven’t accomplished. I thought it would be fun to share a timeline of my submissions and other important author things. It may look like I only have two stories published, but the reality is I’ve been working behind the scenes throughout the year. Let’s take a look.

Most publisher’s names have been omitted. The  purpose is to share the timeline and how stories are accepted/rejected behind the scenes. Wouldn’t want to burn any bridges.


  • 17 – Through Mourning submitted (1).

As you can see, I started January by completing and submitting a short story. It was a good start, and a story I love.


  • 18 – The Dragon’s Tinder submitted (1).
  • 22 – Covert Genesis accepted for publication.

February was huge for my budding writing career. Covert Genesis would go on to become my first major publication. Still seems like a dream. Don’t wake me up!


  • 11 – Signed with Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary Services.
  • 31 – The Dragon’s Tinder rejected (1).

March brought another huge milestone. I signed with my agent. I also received my first rejection of the year. Can’t have one without the other.


  • 7 – Through Mourning rejected (1).

April brought another rejection. This one, however, suggested my story wasn’t a good fit for that particular anthology. The editors liked my story and encouraged me to submit to future anthologies. Someday we’ll publish something together.


  • 29 – Three book contract signed with Permuted Press.

May brought another huge milestone in my writing career. A publisher wanted to publish my books! I was elated, and eager to give them my best. But the publishing winds can change. It also meant I had to get busy writing another book.


  • 17 – Death Blossoms submitted.
  • 22 – The Dragon’s Tinder submitted (2).***
  • 22 – Through Mourning submitted (2).

As a writer, I believe in each of my books and short stories. I can only hope an editor feels the same way. That means researching possible publications and submitting until an editor decides to publish me. It means submitting and waiting over and over until receiving that one “Yes.”


  • 11 – SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror released.

My first major release! My short story, Covert Genesis, was released to the world. Readers were exposed my style of writing for the first time. It was both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. My story has been both applauded and criticized by different reviewers. I’ve finally “made it” as an author. My thinking has always been to concentrate on the next project. So I did.


  • Flesh Never Lies submitted.

August was fairly quiet on the submission front. I was busy writing the second book in my Black Gate Trilogy. I still found a way to be productive though. More on this submission later.


  • Through Mourning rejected (2).
  • 24 – Project Lupine submitted.

I don’t have the exact date for this one as I couldn’t find the email, but I know it came in September. Again, Through Mourning wasn’t right for that particular anthology. Someday I’ll find a home for this story. I love it too much and want to share it with the world.


  • 11 – Through Mourning submitted (3).
  • 11 – Project Lupine accepted for publication. Contract signed.
  • 14 – Enduring Darkness, Book Two of the Black Gate Trilogy, finished.
  • 20 – Dissolved three book contract with Permuted Press.

October was a busy month for me, full of highs and lows. I had another acceptance, finished another book, and dissolved a major contract. While I won’t get into the specifics behind the reasons why I dissolved my contract with Permuted Press, I will say they decided to change their business practices without notifying the majority of their authors. For me, it was a warning sign. (Always listen to your gut!) We chose to part ways amicably.


  • 9 – Dark Carnival: An Anthology of Horror released.
  • 12 – Death Blossoms accepted for publication.
  • Flesh Never Lies rejected. *

November saw another of my stories (Nothing But Net) released for readers to consume. Another of my short stories was accepted for publication, and another was rejected. Flesh Never Lies was rejected due to insufficient material to fill the anthology. What can you do? You roll with the punches and keep on producing quality stories.


  • 4 – An Unfamiliar Sky submitted.
  • 18 – From the Cold submitted.

I know, December isn’t over yet. I decided to end the year by finishing, and submitting, two short stories before getting to work on my next book. I didn’t intend to write From the Cold but inspiration kicked me in the face as I was playing the latest Dragon Age game. They have these beautiful icy landscapes and I found myself wondering what may be under the ice. From that one thought a story idea was born.

*** – The Dragon’s Tinder has tentatively been accepted for publication. However, until I sign a contract, nothing is official. All I can do is wait on the publisher.

As you can see, I still have three short stories under consideration. A couple more have been accepted and are awaiting publication. All I can do is wait to learn their fates. I would suggest each writer decide what’s important to them. If short stories are your passion, concentrate on them. If you want to see your books on store shelves, focus your efforts there. Whatever you do, stay busy. Build a resume. Show potential agents, editors, and publishers how determined, as well as how talented, you are. Show them you’re here to stay. Sure, you’ll likely have ups and downs. We all do. Look at my 2014 timeline. The point is to stay the course. If you want to be published you have to finish and submit stories. Rinse and repeat. Keep writing. Follow your passion and create the kind of stories you’d love to read. You can do it. I know you can.

What’s next?

I think I’m done with short stories for a while. I’ve been itching to get back to writing books. Mists has been calling and she won’t be ignored any longer. After that, there’s another book I want to write. My goal is to finish two books in 2015, two new short stories too. It’ll be draining, but I think I can do it. We’ll see what life has to say though. You never know what’s going to happen.

What about you? How was your 2014? What are your goals for 2015?

Shut Up And Write

“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” – Winston Churchill

If I could go back and scream one thing at my past self it would be to shut up and write. When I was learning the basics of writing I would spend way too much time on this blog talking about my latest breakthrough. What I should have been doing is writing and writing some more. Why didn’t anyone tell me that?

That’s my advice to anyone listening. Stop talking about writing and just do it. Talk about your latest project afterward. Talk about how you just signed a contract to publish a short story or a book afterward. You could be the best undiscovered writer in the world and it doesn’t matter if you haven’t produced anything.

Don’t make the mistakes I used to make. Don’t be the person who shouts about every little breakthrough in their personal writing process. The hard truth is it only matters to you. Eventually you’ll look back and see you spent more time talking about writing instead of actually writing. You’ll be left with a bunch of dusty blog posts and nothing to submit.

Do yourself a favor and get behind your computer and write. Everyday. For an hour, or two, or three, or however you create. Just do it. Pretty soon you’ll have multiple finished projects. You’ll be well on your way to calling yourself an author. I know you can do it. Deep down you do too, or you wouldn’t be trying. We want to celebrate your successes with you. In order for that to happen you have to finish, and submit, stories first.

Well, what are you waiting for? There are plenty of readers waiting for something awesome to read, myself included. Don’t keep us waiting!

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

Winter Introspection


“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.”Robert Frost

I have a birthday coming up in December. That means I’m a winter baby. Winter in general has always been a time of year when I look inward at myself–where I am, where I want to be, how I can get there, and if I’m the person I want to be. I think it has something to do with the snow.

Even as a kid I would go outside during snow flurries and just listen to the quiet as the flakes fell. Those moments always struck me as profoundly peaceful. I felt more connected to nature during those moments than any other time of the year. Now that I’m older, I’ll take my dog out to run through the snow. He enjoys it just as much as I do. We’ll trudge a path through the soccer fields close to our home. Sometimes we’ll find a tree and I’ll throw snowballs while he chases them. Fun times.

Buck likes to sled too.

Buck likes to sled too.

For many people December brings stress over Christmas shopping, planning, and trips. We lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the gift giving season. Maybe, just once, we should take a moment for a little introspection. Maybe it’s with a hot beverage. Maybe you’ll go outdoors like me. However you can, find a moment of peace this holiday season, something for only you. Perhaps you’ll find a little focus and inspiration too.

As an author, mindset plays a huge part in my writing process. I’m at my best when I’m not only focused, but completely immersed in whatever story I’m creating. Winter introspection always helps bring clarity. A clear mind means crisper characters and a better flowing story. So I say, bring on the winter, the snow, and the cold. Bring on the prospect of new and exciting stories. No matter what time of year you love, find a way to be creative all year round. Perhaps you’ll find inspiration in the way a single snow flake glides toward the ground on a current of frigid air. Or, maybe, you’ll bundle up indoors. There’s no wrong way to spend the passing of winter.

As for me, I’ve got a book to finish. The sky is grey and the prospect of snow is likely. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

“In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.”Henry Rollins

Just stay away from the Overlook Hotel. Wouldn’t want to end up like Jack Torrance, now would we?