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Last night I hit a milestone, finishing the first draft of a novel that I first started writing about two years ago. That reminded me it might be a good time to summarize where everything stands with regard to my writing and publishing.
Obviously 2020 has been an absolutely crazy year. It’s been hard to feel like this is what life is supposed to be like, but then we simply have to deal with the circumstances in which we find ourselves, right? The COVID pandemic and the unusually loony and contentious political scene have at times made it difficult to do the things I would normally do. I know I’m not the only writer who has wondered how one could possibly concentrate on telling stories at a time like this. Others have had trouble reading for enjoyment.
While for part of the year, I’ve felt detached from my usual enjoyment of both reading and writing, at other times I’ve been more engaged than ever. There finally exists some hope that the most difficult aspects of 2020 will soon be alleviated.
First, as for publishing, my main published work of this year was Armageddon House, the novella published by Undertow Publications in May. There was a beautiful limited hardcover edition, which quickly sold out, and a trade paperback and ebook which remain available.
Also, a Polish translation appeared recently from Wydawnictwo IX, the first time my work has been published in translation anywhere.
To see more about Armageddon House, you can find all posts on this blog with the Armageddon House tag here:
The only other work that I believe will appear in 2020 is my story “I Wake Up and Remember Myself” which will appear in Vastarien, volume 3, issue 2, a great, big double issue of what is always a reliably interesting periodical, and which this time contains work from many great writers. That issue of Vastarien can be preordered here:
As for writing, in September, I finished a long novelette that is out on submission. I’ll say a lot more about it once it has found a publisher. This was the only project I both started and finished in 2020, taking much of the summer.
So mostly, I started and ended the year writing the first draft of the novel I mentioned earlier. When I hit a point when I didn’t feel like writing new words, I went back to the beginning of the novel and started re-writing from the beginning through about the 1/3 mark, which means that even though I just hit the end of the first draft, much of the novel has been polished a bit, and the rewrite process won’t be quite as long as if I needed to start from the beginning.
In other projects, though it’s not exactly what most people think of as “writing,” I did take brief time-outs during the year to plot and outline a couple of other novels, and I’ve arrived at which one of these I’ll begin writing next year when I get to a good place with the current edits.
That’s all I have to report for now. I’ve been reading a lot, and have encountered some really great books in the past few months, so maybe I’ll write something about those soon.
I’m very pleased to announce that my story “I Wake Up and Remember Myself” will be appearing in the next issue of Vastarien: A Literary Journal, volume 3, issue 2. This should be available in November, so anywhere between 1 and 30 days from now.
I haven’t yet seen the full table of contents, but in the announcement from Grimscribe Press (publisher of Vastarien), they say:
Happy Halloween!Our first double issue! Original cover art and 13 original, full color illustrations by living legend Harry 0. Morris. 25 works of fiction by Michael Griffin, Cody Goodfellow, Leia Von Hessen, Sarah L. Johnson, John Claude Smith, Casilda Ferrante, Lora Gray, Matthew M. Bartlett, and others! 5 Nonfiction articles by Shawn Chang, Denis Moreau, E. F. Schrader, Alex Skopic, and John Palisano. 9 poems by Sonya Taaffe, Rae White, Dimitry Blizniukm and others. All new recurring column by a special guest! Coming November, 2020! Preorder now!
Here’s the link to the issue listing where you can preorder print or electronic versions:
The Polish edition of my novella Armageddon House is being released by publisher Wydawnictwo IX, and is now up for order.
I don’t read Polish, and I’m sure most of the people reading this blog don’t either, but nonetheless I’m very excited to have my work translated for the first time. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to reach many new readers. My thanks to Wydawnictwo IX and translator Tomasz Chyrzyński.
It’s a bundle of 5 books that can be purchased for whatever the buyer thinks it’s worth, and if the payment is $15 or greater, you get 10 bonus books, including my story collection The Human Alchemy. You can optionally donate 10% of your purchase price to Planned Parenthood at the time of purchase — not paying 10% extra, but just saying “yes, please give 10% of what I paid to charity.”
Aside from the fact that I’ve had two books published by Word Horde, I really believe every book they’ve done has been worth owning — in fact, I’ve already purchased them all! If you own some of these already, it’s still a great way to pick up a lot of what Word Horde has released for a great price, and put some money in the pockets of some great authors, an amazing press, and if you’re so inclined, a worthy institution in Planned Parenthood.
Even if you already own every one of these books, as I do, you can purchase the bundle as a gift for another reader you suspect might enjoy them.
There’s a lot more information about the bundle and all the individual books and authors here: https://storybundle.com/horror
My sincere thanks to Molly Tanzer for curating the bundle (Molly’s super-enjoyable novel Vermilion is part of the 15 book package as well), and to Word Horde for putting out so many great books.
It’s available now direct from Undertow Publications (MOBI or EPUB):
It’s available now from Smashwords (many formats):
Smashwords also acts as an aggregator, gradually spreading the ebook out to other resellers such as Apple, Kobo, Overdrive and more, so it will soon be available pretty much everywhere ebooks are sold.
My author’s copies of the Armageddon House limited hardcover edition arrived a few weeks ago. It happened to be the same afternoon my wife and I had to say goodbye to our beloved 17-year-old cat, so I was too distracted and sad to post anything about it at the time.
Now that a little time has passed… hey, check out this beautiful book! I would love to take credit for this thing, but all the credit goes to Publisher Michael Kelly and Designer Vince Haig of Undertow Publications. Thanks, guys!
This limited hardcover edition sold out right away, but if you’re really determined to grab one of the hardcovers, as of right now you can grab one on Ziesings.com at a slight markup HERE.
The ebook and paperback editions can be had inexpensively, and of course, the story is the important thing, right? Having said that, if you find an opportunity to get on the list to obtain these limited hardcovers from Undertow, you’ll then be in an advantaged position to get copies of this publisher’s always-excellent future output. Check out their Limited Editions page here.
Well-Read Beard is another reviewer who does YouTube reviews, similar to Jason White who also reviewed Armageddon House not long ago.
If you’d asked me a year ago, do I want to read book reviews or watch them on YouTube, I would’ve said I’d rather read them. Having said that, I now find that I enjoy watching and listening to a reviewer show and talk about a book in their own voice. I’m sold on this format for a review, and not just because Well-Read Beard and Jason White both said nice things about the book!
Because it’s a video review, you should probably just watch it rather than reading me talking about it. My thanks to Well-Read Beard!
Oh, and if you prefer to read reviews rather than watch them on YouTube, you can find what Well-Read Beard said on Goodreads here:
In addition to publishing fiction by Polish writers, they also publish translations of writers like Robert Aickman, August Derleth and H.P. Lovecraft… and me.
The English-to-Polish translation will be done by Tomasz Chyrzyński. This will will be the first instance (at least to my knowledge) of my work being translated into any foreign language, so it’s exciting news. I realize most existing readers of my work do not read Polish, but I love the idea of people in another part of the world encountering my work for the firs time. My thanks to Wydawnictwo IX and Tomasz Chyrzyński for making this happen.
It seems like a lot of people are talking about the new book in the week since it came out. Here’s a quick rundown, in no particular order:
S.C. Hickman wrote a quite detailed and analytical review — contains spoilers, so beware if you haven’t read Armageddon House yet:
Jason White, YouTube reviewer, shows off his copy of Armageddon House and mentions enjoying the book, as far as he’s gotten.
Another YouTube book reviewer, Well Read Beard, mentions Armageddon House around the 3:30 mark. He says he’s excited to read it and it’s his first experience with Undertow or my writing.
The book has racked up some very nice Goodreads ratings and reviews already:
Des Lewis is doing one of his always-enjoyable Real-Time Reviews of the book. If you haven’t seen these before, Des posts regularly as he reads through the book, often posting once per story or per chapter. He just started Armageddon House two days ago, so I look forward to seeing this unfold.
The most in-depth review has come from Gordon B. White on The Outer Dark podcast — but you have to listen, rather than read it!
Here are a few other bloggers whose reviews of Armageddon House I’ve already mentioned here, but I’ll include them again for the sake of having everything together.
Lou Pendergrast at More2Read blog
I’ve also seen lots of comments here and there around the internet, so lots of people reading it and commenting informally, which is fantastic. Further, I’ve heard from several people who are preparing to give the book some attention, one way or another, so my hope is that the momentum will continue to build!
If I’ve missed any reviews, let me know. My thanks to everyone who has given Armageddon House their attention, especially those who have taken the time to help spread the word.