Friday, August 26, 2011

Lady Killers

This year at Conclave I'll be making a variety of presentations including "Werewolves of Michigan," "Michigan's Most Haunted," "Secrets of the Emerald Tablet" and "Using Female Assassins & Secret Societies in Your Novel."  Of these topics, I think Female Assassins will be the most well attended.

The last ten years have seen an explosion of female assassins in both print and movies.  The movies have been particularly generous in this regard- "Kill Bill," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Aeon Flux" and "Ultraviolet" come to mind immediately.  There's a reason for this, and it making use of this trend can really ratchet up the tension in your novel.  And if you use it right, there's a big chance you will have better luck selling your story.

Think of it this way- a lot money is spent by the entertainment industry on stories involving female assassins and secret societies.  So why haven't you included one or the other in your own fiction?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Ghost Box

Sometimes I find it hard to pay attention to daily life while I'm writing.  Phone calls go answered, emails ignored, friends and family thought of in passing but sure to be there when the story is finished.  The world stops for us while we write.  Everything is on hold except the story.

The last year has been like that for me.  On top of starting White Cat Magazine, I finished writing two novels- "Tainted Blood" and "The Ghost Box." which are now in the edit process.  They're both a bit dark and wild.  In "Tainted Blood," mercernaries track an ancient werewolf through the cities of Detroit.  A great deal of this sort of thing occurs unnoticed in the streets of Detroit, especially during hockey season.

"The Ghost Box" is the novel I wrote after seeing artist James Baxter's painting "Incident at Track 13."  I was writing a ghost story at the time, saw the painting of what looked to be a Civil War alien abduction, and suddenly saw how to blend my story with that imagery to make a suspense novel revolving around aliens, ghosts and a paranormal investigation gone bad.  It's based on a true story.  Okay, maybe not, but after living in that world as I wrote the novel, it seemed more real than daily life.

You see, it's tough staying in touch with the real world when you write this kind of stuff.  Then again, writers live most of their lives in the worlds they create; we just visit reality every now and then to drop off our laundry.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Market News

Editor Charles P. Zaglanis opened his new company “Edit Assistance this last week to provide a variety of of editorial services to those of us writers who need constructive input and developmental editing. He and his staff are accepting submissions from both published authors and non-published writers.

Although Mr. Zaglanis is best known for his work at Elder Signs Press and Dark Wisdom magazine, he is also highly respected for his skills as a writer. His story “Isle of Dreams” in the anthology “High Seas Cthulhu” is a masterpiece of dark fiction.

Firms like Edit Assistance have an interesting place in today’s competitive writing world, where the output demanded of us requires that we keep a faster pace than in the past. Many publishing houses have reduced their level of editorial control, and expect more of this to be handled by the individual writer.

But the faster we work, the more mistakes we make and the more editorial input we need. Bestselling authors realize what developing writers don’t: it helps to hire professionals. Professional writers need professional help. If developing writers ever want to be professionals, they can get a leg up on the competition by hiring someone to polish their manuscript. A polished manuscript capturers an editor’s eye, believe me.

So we should welcome Mr. Zaglanis’s help. We all need it.

I wrote this in approximately three minutes. Look for the mistakes. Let me know what you find.

Monday, August 08, 2011

New Fiction by Vesper

Vesper (the wonderfully talented and intellectually gifted Cora Pop) is a well known presence in the blogging world through her blog Chick with a Quill. Today we’re proud to present a short story by her that, although it exceeds our normal lengths, was such an intriguing read that our editors couldn’t pass it up. It’s called “It came from Planet Mars.”

She hails from Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec, which is not so very far from my favorite town in all the world- Montreal. I lived in Toronto for six years and Montreal for six months, and during that time I came to love the imaginative scope of Canadian writers.
When you read Cora’s story, you’ll see why. Click here to read it.