Monday, November 25, 2013

Cover art released for Miseria's Chorale horror anthology...

MISERIA'S CHORALE, coming soon from Forgotten Tomb Press.

...featuring my short story, The Wind.

Really impressive artwork [click to enlarge]!

This anthology, which will be published by Forgotten Tomb Press, will be commercially available soon--stay tuned for details!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Another short story to be published in Twisted Dreams magazine


I'm pleased to announce that my story, Lost Luggage, has been accepted by Twisted Dreams magazine, and will be published in their April 2014 issue.

Lost Luggage is a story about a woman taking an overnight trans-Pacific flight, who awakens to discover that her son and husband are no longer on the plane.

I'll post more details about when this story will be available when we get closer to publication.  But in the meantime, here are a few examples of cover art from recent Twisted Dreams magazine.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Coffin Hop 2013

COFFIN HOP is an annual Horror Author event, geared towards gaining exposure for indie horror and genre authors, and increasing interaction with fans and readers. Conceived in 2011 by authors Axel Howerton and Julie Jansen, COFFIN HOP was initially intended to be a small answer to the proliferation of author blog hops for Romance, Erotica and other genres while noticing a dearth of well-organized, high profile events for horror writers.

Here's a quick interview I did through Dark Moon Digest's "Last Writes" blog for this year's Coffin Hop:

Click HERE for interview

And here is the updated DMD staff page, with revamped bios:

Scroll down for mine

Last Writes

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An image from my latest anthology

My short story, The Wind, will soon appear in the upcoming horror anthology, Miseria's Chorale, which will be published by Forgotten Tomb Press.

Click the link for more information about the lineup / contributing authors comprising this collection.

Miseria's Chorale will be commercially available via in a few weeks--I'll pass along ordering info as soon as the details are made public.

But in the meantime--enjoy this image from my section of the anthology, depicting a group of stories that The Wind is thematically grouped with [click image to enlarge].

The lineup is fantastic--really looking forward to seeing this book in print!

Stay tuned for further details...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The challenge of finding a literary agent

The process of seeking literary representation from prospective agents can be a frustrating, tedious, and ego-crushing journey in humility.

The first step--and of course, the most difficult--is to actually write a novel that others might be interested in reading -- to say nothing of all of the reviews / rewrites / edits required to bring the manuscript up to publication quality.

Next comes the query letter--which is a tool used to "hook" the interest of agents.  Writing an effective query letter is also quite difficult, as it requires you to summarize the entire plot of your book into two engaging paragraphs [a much harder task than it sounds] that will either pique the agent's interest to read more or induce them to file your query in the round filing cabinet beside their desk.

From there, the hopeful author has to cast themselves upon the fickle winds of agent opinion... and be prepared for lots of rejection.  The querying process is a lot like applying for jobs on the internet or via classified ads: your percentage of getting a positive result is exceedingly low.  What ensues is a confidence-crushing cascade of impersonal form rejection letters.  Even famous authors aren't immune, as evidenced by this list describing agents' negative reactions to books that eventually went on to become literary classics.

But if the author believes in the project and isn't deterred by a few rejections--and of course, if the quality of the manuscript makes the novel worthy of publication--once in awhile you'll get a few gratifying nibbles:

Dear Mr. Falcone:

Thank you for sending me sample pages of your novel.  I would like to take a look at the entire manuscript.

Dear Ryan,

Thank you for your query. I'd love to read the first three chapters of...

...and suddenly all of the hard work you've put in is worth the effort you've expended and disappointment you've faced getting to that point.

I want to be clear:  landing an agent is only the first hurdle a writer must overcome on the arduous path to getting a novel published.  But positive reactions from agents like those listed above only make me more eager to see my first novel in print.  I look forward to the day when I can walk into a random Barnes & Noble and see my book upon the shelves!

Thanks to a few visionary agents, I'm more confident than ever that it'll happen.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Stephen King's Best Books -- honorable mention


Now that Halloween is in the rear view mirror, I wanted to follow up this year's countdown by providing a sampling of books I've enjoyed by Stephen King that just missed making the cut.  It was very hard to leave some of these classics off of the list:

  • The Shining -- the ultimate "haunted house" story, this classic book has a totally different [but equally as potent] ending than that of the equally memorable film, directed by Stanley Kubrick
  • Gerald’s Game -- creepy psychological thriller that takes place in a remote cabin, where a tied up woman is helplessly trapped after her husband suffers a fatal heart attack.  Only she doesn't stay alone for long...
  • The Dark Tower, Book VI -- this book brings King's masterpiece decades-spanning series to its ultimate conclusion, finally revealing what happens when Roland the Gunslinger finally reaches the subject of his obsession
  • Duma Key -- fast paced supernatural thriller about a man who moves to Florida to recuperate from disfiguring injuries, and becomes embroiled in a bizarre haunting
  • Desperation -- an evil force terrorizes a western town after being unwittingly unleashed from an abandoned mine.  King wrote this book to connect to it's sister book, "The Regulators," published under his Richard Bachman pseudonym.  Both books are noteworthy in that they used many of the same characters, but in different contexts
  • From a Buick 8 -- unusual sci fi tale [told mostly in past tense] about an abandoned "car' that opens a gateway to another dimension and causes trouble for the state police that have impounded and stored the vehicle over the years
  • Dolores Claiborne -- unusually clever format, told as a run-on-sentence narrative from the title character, with no interaction with any other characters, no chapters, etc.  
  • Lisey’s Story -- a successful writer's widow discovers dark secrets about her husband's tormented past