Free stories, good news and more Red Dirt

I’ve been trying for a while to get these stories removed from this site, but e-mail keeps bouncing. I don’t know who is maintaining it these days, but I do know my stories sometimes get stolen from this site and reposted under other peoples’ names. But anyway, since the stories are there and it’s the day before Halloween, here are links to three Halloween stories I have online at

Unholy Womb – Voodoo Charlie is out to spoil Halloween for Danny and thousands of other people.

SKN-3 – Dr. Stillson finally gets revenge on the widower of the woman he was having an affair with. But will the dead man get the last laugh?

The Halloween Feast – Not long after losing his wife and young son, Lewis goes to a mysterious Halloween party where he is allowed to dance with ghosts.

These stories were in the original version of Darkscapes and will be in the new edition coming soon from Fine Tooth Press.

My good news is that I got a message from Nathan at Scrybe Press yesterday. According to his e-mail, I should have copies of the new Shara in my hands by mid-November.

A few more things on the Red Dirt Book Festival recap. First, a big public thank you to the Pioneer Library System and all its partners for holding the festival and for inviting me. The festival was very organized and the folks running it were very generous toward the guest authors. That was much appreciated. (For those wondering, the mystery gift is a sunglasses holder that clips to the visor of your car.)

A librarian friend at the festival told me that the American Library Association is “crying out” for Western novels targeted toward older male readers. Oddly enough, they want stories with no sex and very little female involvement. How old do you have to be before you don’t want sex? I don’t know, and don’t ever plan to get that old. But anyway, that’s a market idea that’s maybe worth exploring.

And finally, I have to comment on the last panel I was on. It was called Alternative Publishing. One of the other panelists was a newspaper columnist who used a print-on-demand company to publish her book of humor columns; she had to pay about $1,000 to have the book set up for printing. The other lady self-published four books, all of which have been fairly successful (the first sold 15,000 copies and the others have sold about 5,000 each); the first book actually scored her a spread in People magazine. She spent several thousand dollars to self-pub that first book. Both those ladies had been rejected only a few times before shelling out the money for their alternative publishing ventures. It turned out I was the voice of pessimism, telling people to submit to the top traditional markets and work down, to be wary of small presses and print-on-demand publishers, that yes, there is still a stigma to self-published and print-on-demand books, that author discounts on POD books generally suck, that stores won’t carry them, etc. etc.

If you were there for that panel and are still wavering, call some book stores and ask them about their policy on such books. Just because you have a printed book doesn’t mean people will care. And it especially doesn’t mean they’ll open their wallets for you.

For those who remember my involvement in many HWA flame wars in 2003 … my, how times have changed.

0 responses to “Free stories, good news and more Red Dirt”

  1. Hey, it was good chatting at Red Dirt.
    Perhaps the “no sex” just means no physical involvement. You could still have some romance, I suppose. Perhaps more like the courtly love of the middle ages, lots talking of talk and no walking the walk?
    Sounds like you were the voice of reason at the Alt Pub panel. Sorry I couldn’t make it.

  2. Nice collection of stories. Unholy Womb was my fave as I like anything
    having to do with Voodoo and beastly hatchlings, which was a plus.
    For the Westerns, perhaps if one left the female characters one-dimensional with no “honey-do’s/nagging” you’d have a winner? Interesting niche.

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