Saturday, April 27, 2013

Free Stuff Dead Ahead

Well, behind if you don't hurry. Those crazy SpecFic Collective guys have more free stuff for you.

The Crooked House of Coins, a haunted house story, is free on Smashwords with the coupon EY74Y.

Milo Fowler's The Black Ace, episode 4 in the Coyote Cal Adventure Series, is free on Amazon.

Boneyard, the fifth and final installment in Simon Kewin's Genehunter series is free on Amazon.

Lyn Perry has five flash fictions titles at Feedbooks: Quick Gasps of Breath - 5 Microhorrors; Space Monkey Pirates - 3 Flash Fictions; Billy Farnsworth Zombie Hunter - 2 Quick Tales; Spam Fiction - A Flash about Spam (email, that is); and Even Superheroes! - A Fun-filled Fan Fiction.

Check out the SpecFic Authors site for more details.

But hurry (that means go there NOW) because all the zeros go poof and turn into nines on Tuesday.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Coming to a Road Near You

Highway 24 is on its way. The content edits are done. The line edits are done. The cover is done. My novelette—something between a short story and a novella—will be coming out from MuseItUp Publishing in June 2013.

Here's the blurb:
On a lonely country highway, a young travelling salesman runs down a teenage girl. It was an accident. Why she was wandering around on a highway in a pink, formal dress, he can’t imagine. There’s no doubt she’s dead. Fear takes over and he flees the scene, absently taking one of her shoes with him. An old memory, something familiar about that shoe, struggles to surface. As he speeds away from the accident, he thinks his nightmare can’t get any worse, until he sees a pair of green eyes in his rear-view mirror. The shoe and those eyes lead him to a small town where he meets an all too knowing preacher and a sheriff obsessed with the girl’s tragic demise. As Paul digs deeper into the mystery of the girl and her shoe, he comes face-to-face with a dark secret from his father’s past.
And here's a brief excerpt:
With one mistake, everything in his life had changed. He found no easy catharsis. Her death melded to him, her copper fusing with his tin to yield a tarnished brass. Numbness morphed to anger at the injustice. She was to blame. She’d jumped into his path. Not enough time and distance for the brakes. Nobody does that kind of shit, unless… 
Unless someone was chasing her. A cold shiver coursed down Paul’s spine. He looked up the road, peering into the black void behind him, listening for a snapping twig or gravel crunching underfoot. Darkness weighed on him from the heavens and earth and every direction. His instincts told him to run, but his conscience refused to let him leave. Abandoning her seemed so final; giving in to fear and giving up without a fight. He had to do something, so he stooped over to pick her up. When his fingertips brushed the silky, pink fabric, reality struck him with the weight of a steel door. He stopped himself. 
His stunned mind roused, forming predictions for the future, most of them terrifying.
Drive safely and keep your eyes on the road.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Genre Challenged

Joanna Penn posted an article earlier this week "Writing Fiction. What Is Urban Fantasy Anyway?" that got me to thinking about my own genre woes. I published a short story to Amazon a couple weeks ago (Saul Book I: Forgiveness). It's the first in a series. I had an awful time finding a category for it. It's not urban fantasy. Doesn't have the same feel as something like Neverwhere, and as Penn notes, the particular urban setting plays a prominent role in an urban fantasy. Saul isn't science fiction either. It's set in the future, but the focus isn't on technology and how we engage it. Saul has some supernatural elements but it's not really paranormal. The category I wanted was dystopian, but that wasn't an option. I finally settled on Futuristic and Conemporary Fantasy. Both of which sound so general as to be meaningless.

I could have picked one of those more popular categories like urban fantasy and argued why Saul fits, but I'm wondering if it's better to err toward the general instead of the specific. The last thing I want to do is disappoint a reader. Readers have expectations when they pick up an urban fantasy and if you don't meet them, no matter how good the story, they will feel cheated and probably angry at you the writer for wasting their time. Maybe Amazon will add a dystopian category or maybe I just didn't find it, although I'm 99% certain I scoured all the categories. Anyone else feel genre challenged?