Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I'll have a new short story coming out tomorrow, and I'm experimenting with doing the front matter as an image instead of as text. So the title will be in the same font as the cover, and the title and copyright info will all fit on one easily-skippable page. Plus I can include the Rookery Creek logo, which just makes me happy for some odd reason.

So far it's looking good on the Kindle. I haven't made an epub version yet, but I don't foresee any issues. I'll be interested in seeing how it looks on Smashwords--and whether they'll realize the "Smashwords Edition" requirement is met in the image. Will be interesting.

I'm also planning to redo the blurbs for most of the short stories. Or, more precisely, write longer blurbs to go with the short ones. Those will go up in March. For those of you who buy single short stories, are you influenced by seeing that the story has been previously published? Is that something that would make you more or less likely to purchase a story?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cleaning House

I'm officially sick. Yeay. Fortunately it doesn't seem too bad (knock on wood). I slept a lot yesterday and am heading back to the day job today.

While I was on vacation in December I cleaned out the computer room, which involved sorting all the papers on my desk. I have a giant stack of things to scan sitting next to the scanner. This week I started doing a little each night while we watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

Part of me wonders why I bother. Do I really need to scan all the bills and the payment receipts, so I can keep them forever and ever?

I suppose that even if I am just transferring my pack-ratness from physical to digital, at least it doesn't take up room. It's not a mess. It's just going to be this giant file sitting on my hard drive. I'll be able to show my nieces and nephews, Look, this is what it cost to heat the house in 2008. Of course, it's hard to say whether any of them will have my bent for history. I'd find a heating bill from 1952 fascinating, myself. But I'm weird like that.

Monday, January 23, 2012


So The Husband has a head cold, which I am trying to stave off. Meanwhile, we've had 4 emergency vet trips in the last two weeks. Three trips for The Bulldog, and one for one of the cats, who went into diabetic shock in the middle of the night. Fortunately for him, he fell over into his water bowl, and we heard the splash. He's ok now.

The Bulldog, on the other hand, should be thanking his lucky stars that he's so cute.

Ok, so the first three trips were not his fault. We thought he was sick, then we thought it was pancreatitis, then we thought he had swallowed something and it was stuck in his stomach, so they did exploratory surgery. Didn't find anything, but they tacked his stomach while they were in there, so we didn't mind so much. Turns out he had some sort of "bacterial overgrowth" so they gave him antibiotics.

The antibiotics have let his surgery incision heal up beautifully, by the way.

So he's starting to feel better now. Surgery was the 14th, and we're starting to wean him off the pain killers. So he's getting his old energy back, but we're not walking him much. I wanted to take him out last night, but it was too icy to walk.

Today we get home, Husband is tired and cranky, and we discover that The Bulldog has decided to eat half of an oven mitt.

Back to the e-vet.

Some vomiting and x-rays later, we've recovered a portion of what was missing from the mitt. No idea where the rest is. Probably in his intestines by now. So we're giving him a boatload of pumpkin and watching to see what comes out the other end.

I am officially exhausted. And desperately trying not to get sick myself.

Friday, January 20, 2012

100 Words About: Story Ghosts

I’ve been looking through some of my old files. I’m a pack rat. I have tons of story fragments and things, although most of them are in dead tree at this point. (Really must scan those now that I have a scanner.) I have some on my hard drives, though, going back 6 or 7 years. A few are older, doc files so old that Windows doesn’t know how to open them anymore. (Must task The Husband with finding a solution to that…)

Looking through the old files is like being haunted by the ghosts of unborn stories. Most of these are fragments, where I wrote down just enough to get the story idea to be quiet before going back to work on Scent and Shadow. A few are just notes. But some are pretty good, if I do say so myself. The character voices jump out at me, echoing in the chaos that is the back of my brain, asking why I never finished them.

Because I don’t know what happens next, I usually reply.

Um, hello, they snap back. You’re the author. That’s your job.

Stories are all about me, me, me. They don’t like to share, and they hate being upstaged. But they are stubborn ghosts. Hell, I have one character that’s been waiting for a story for fifteen years at this point.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Demon's Asylum and Geargirl Released!

In keeping with my goals for 2012, I'm pleased to announce the first of Rookery Creek Media's new publications for the year.

First, the long awaited Demon's Asylum is finally available!
London, 1794. George Wickham has always been able to see the true natures of the creatures around him; it’s just that up to now he’s always been able to lie about it. When a truth spell and a conspiracy land Wickham in Bedlam asylum, he finds an unlikely ally and lover in vampire Thomas Thornton.

But Thornton’s in no hurry to get Wickham free of Bedlam, and as the plot against him takes a sinister turn, Wickham must decide which poses the greater danger: the person who had him committed, or the demon he’s falling in love with. Contains explicit sex.

I've decided to experiment with Amazon's KDP Select, so for now Demon's Asylum will only be available through Amazon. It will be released in other formats through B&N and Smashwords in mid April. For those of you with Amazon Prime, you can borrow the novella through the Kindle Online Lending Library.

For those of you without Kindles, don't fret! Also available is my erotic short story Geargirl, originally published in Sex Toy Stories: Erotic Tales of Naughty Play from Ravenous Romance (2010).

Briony is a cyberpunk mercenary longing for a little personal action, but dating your coworkers is just a nonstarter. Fortunately for her, the autopilot in her vehicle has other plans. Contains explicit sex.

Geargirl is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

So the plan for the next few months--while I evaluate KDP Select--will be to release one new story via KDP Select and one story via all channels each month. That will give me a chance to compare sales between the two methods, both with concurrent releases and with the stories released last October. Should be interesting.

Friday, January 13, 2012

100 Words About: Forgetfulness

I was totally going to rant about something, but I have no idea what it was now. I know I had a great post in mind earlier in the week. You'd think I'd know to make a note about it by now. But no. Instead I get to Friday and have no post topic.

I blame my new story idea. I haven't had an idea be this persistent in a while. Fortunately I'm fobbing it off with world building. "Well, I can't write you until I figure out why X happens." Sometimes that works and I get a little epiphany into the nature of the universe. And sometimes the story just says, "I don't care. Write me. Write me NOW."

(This is not helping me finish Paul Galati's origin story...)

In other news, edits for Demon's Asylum are pretty much done. Now I'm writing the metadata so I can make the beta ebook files. Then I just need to proof it and finish the cover, and you'll all have 25,000+ words of historical m/m vampire erotica. What could be better? ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Print and Progress and 'Puters

Scent and Shadow is now available for order in print at Amazon. I also (as I mentioned on Friday) got a new review over the weekend from my friend Zombie Joe over at Wicked Lil Pixie. Thanks Joe!

I got very little done last week, as I was hit by the dual blows of nasty headaches and a dying computer. The Husband has now set me up with a new computer (new as in new-to-me) and we are mostly done with the setting back up of stuff.

I did get a small start in on the next Gabriel Chapel book, and got hijacked by a completely unrelated idea that would flesh out another section of Aether Vitalis that has been kicking around in the back of my head since I started listening to The Book of Werewolves at work. (I love you, LibriVox!) I might be able to squeeze that one into a short story, more likely a novelette.

Demon's Asylum is partly edited, but I have to compare my saved files to see which one is the most recent. Stupid dying computer. I should have the cover done shortly. Fortunately I hadn't done much on it yet, just made a mock-up before buying my stock photos, so no work lost there. I use CrashPlan, but the computer kept locking up during backup so it was hard to tell what was good and what wasn't. For the most part, everything seems to have come through ok, it just needs a little sorting.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Migraine no love me. But in the meantime, check out this nice review from Zombie Joe at Wicked Little Pixie!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011: The Year in Review

2011 was not so much a "Year in Writing" as it was a year in publishing. I didn't set any particular goals for last year, which is good, because things ended up going in directions I never would have envisioned last January.

For one thing, I had trunked Scent and Shadow back in July of 2010, and had every intention of letting it sit until 2015. But then my writing buddy convinced me to un-trunk it.

I submitted it to a writing workshop, and it was rejected.

Yes, originally, they took a pass. But I emailed back, thanking them for their time and asking for a recommendation as to where I should take it next. I wasn't submitting the novel because I thought it was ready - I knew damn well it wasn't. But I needed another set of eyes, because I couldn't see it anymore.

My attitude impressed them enough that they gave me some of the best feedback I've ever gotten. They told me to rewrite and to resubmit the first 20 pages. Which I did.

And I got in.

So, long story short, I started the year with a trunked novel, rewrote it, workshopped it, wrote whole new scenes and rewrote other parts, had it professionally edited while I learned how to self-publish, and then self-published it October. Along with 11 other stories.

And I'm pleased to announce that Scent and Shadow is now available for print at the CreateSpace store, and should hopefully be available at Amazon later this week.

So, yeah. Not what I'd had in mind a year ago. But oh, so worth all the work.

2011 (not counting unfinished projects):
Short stories written: 2
Short stories sold: 1 (two awaiting contracts)
Short story submissions: 8
Short story rejections (including revoked submissions): 5, plus one that's probably a no response
Short stories published: 2
Total short story word count (final drafts written 2011): approximately 4900
Total novel word count (final draft): approximately 103,000

Most of my achievements were on the publishing side of things, but I really let the publishing side take over my writing last year, which is a mistake I don't plan to repeat. Granted, I had a lot to learn about publishing - ebook formatting, creating covers, finding editors to work with, uploading ebooks, setting up loads of accounts, creating my own publishing business, doing print layout, marketing, pricing, metadata - but I still need to be writing.

So for 2012, the writing comes first!

Writing goals: 4000 words of new writing a week.
Publishing goals: a new story published every month, either self-published or otherwise. Also, I want to self-publish two 5-story anthologies.

I'm hoping to do another full-length novel this year, but no promises. I'm toying with the idea of doing a novel as a serial, as the story I have in mind breaks out quite conveniently. I haven't decided yet. But I will promise that you'll see more Gabriel Chapel this year.