Category Archives: News - Page 2

Coming Very Soon – The Taste

thetaste-800I have spoken once or twice about writing my merry little novel marathons. (Hey! The next one is coming up in August! You can support me here!)

Last year, I went in with an idea of some bad things that could happen, and a couple of disturbing images in my head. By the end of the weekend I had the awful little novella you see here.

I’ve never written horror before – I’m not even much of a horror reader. I even got slightly uneasy making the fake blood you can see on the cover. But I like the book, and I hope others will like it too.

It releases on Friday, April 29, coinciding with my appearances at the Ad Astra convention. If you’re there, come say hi. And feel free to buy the book

  • On Kobo
  • On Amazon
  • On Barnes and Noble, Apple iBookstore, And whatever other purveyor of fine e-books you tend to shop at. (If you don’t find it at your favourite ebookstore, let me know so I can get it up there!)

Oh, and by the way, if you sponsored me for the Toronto Novel Marathon in the past, I will gladly send you a copy of The Taste absolutely free. Just contact me and I’ll get you a copy in the format of your choosing.

ABNA Quarterfinalist

Brendan's Way - ABNA 2013 EntryMy SF novel Brendan’s Way has been selected as a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Woo! It is one of 100 SF/fantasy/horror novels selected as a quarterfinalist, which is a list whittled down from 500 second round selections.

The quarterfinalist entries were selected on the basis of a 3000-5000 word excerpt from the novel. If you’re interested for any reason, you can download mine to your Kindle-enabled device here. And you can also add your reviews to the excerpt as though it were a real, live, Amazonian book. Please do so, especially if you have five stars hanging around looking for somewhere to go.

I’d love to share the enthusiastic and, I admit, embarrassingly orgiastic comments that the reviewing judges provided for my excerpts; unfortunately, they are not yet available, because of some kind of error on Amazon’s site. But when they appear, and provided that they are as unequivocally positive as I am assuming, I will post them here.

In the interest of pedantry (and no one is more interested in pedantry than am I), I note that quarterfinalist should be hyphenated. I don’t like this unhyphenated compound word, no, not one jot. It’s spelled correctly in the contest rules but they’ve removed the hyphens on the announcement web page. Odd. As long as I make it to the semifinals or semi-finals, though, I will withhold my complaints to the management.

Good news everyone

My science fiction book Brendan’s Way — the one I recently had an agent asking for pages from — made it to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

Okay, so that puts it in the top 500 science fiction books submitted. And the first round is based solely on the pitch for the novel; I don’t think they even look at anything else at this point. It’s not as though I’ve really won anything yet.

But still, it’s good news. We gotta take what we can get it this biz. So hooray, and go Brendan!

New work posted: At the Barricade

My short story “At the Barricade“, recently published in the Windsor Review, is now available in the Sample Work page.

In the mail today…

Oh, what’s this?

Looks like the latest literary mail… let’s see who’s in it this month…

Hmm… someone in there looks familiar…

Hey, I know that guy!

Woo hoo! Short story published in the Windsor Review!


On Guard for Thee: e-book version

Good news from Bookland Press: On Guard for Thee: Canadian Peacekeeping Missions is now available in e-book format!

Anyone with a Kobo device, or the Kobo app on their phone, tablet, or computer, can now download and read the book.

CanWrite 2012: Masters, Muses, and Magic

Things have been busy lately, hence no posts in a little more than a month. But here’s good news: CanWrite 2012 is a go!

Four days, four ways to access masters, muses & magic!

Need to get away from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day routine ? Are you suffering from a serious case of writers’ block? Want to jump start those creative juices by talking shop with fellow writers? Could that draft you’ve been working on benefit from some constructive feedback from your peers or a professional editor?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, the Canadian Authors Association is delighted to invite you to our 91st annual writers’ conference. Join us for easy access to the following options:

  • Personal writing time
  • Writing circles – learn from your peers
  • Blue pencil sessions – get feedback from professionals
  • Hands on writing workshops
  • Master classes for published and mid-career authors
  • Voice coaching for truly effective readings
  • Hands on help with social media tools and techniques
  • Open mike readings
  • Opportunities to promote and sell your book
  • Click on the link below to get more information or to register.

I know I’m going to be there, and I hope I’ll see lots of other writers there too.

The Poetrain

Now this is the kind of thing that I’d love to see more of. There’s a great poetry festival every year in northern Ontario, specifically in the town of Cobalt, the Spring Pulse Poetry Festival. And this year, they’ve got a unique way of getting there for those from more southern parts of the province.

We’re leasing an Ontario Northland Railway car and need 20 paid passengers. They are giving a 20% discount on return fare which is normally around $228. Per person return would be around $184. We’re getting sponsors to help subsidize trip for those who are financially challenged. Have negotiated a group room rate at local hotel for $75 per double room with breakfast.

On Thursday May 10 the train will leave union station for Cobalt. The trip takes around 8 hours. The festival is going to start on the train itself with book launches, writing workshops, readings, music, art lectures, etc… A professional photographer will be on board and we’re also going to film it for a documentary. Then we will continue with the festival throughout the weekend and train will return to Toronto on Sunday May 13.

We have several members from the league of poets and the Ontario Poetry Society signed up. I have interest from two other musicians to play and certainly would love you to join this very unique adventure. Right now collecting a pre-registration list and do hope you are keen to be part of this collective creative train tour.

I’m really sorry that I’m going to be away that weekend, because it’s this kind of innovative, creative, and fun stuff that really gives me hope for the Canadian literary scene! I’m not much of a poet but I would love to take part in this.

If you’re interested, check out the Poetrain or e-mail David Brydges for more information.

“Unrest Among the Smart Cows” now available

I decided to put my short story, “Unrest Among the Smart Cows“, up on Amazon. I’ve had this story for a while — I started it when George Carlin died, because it’s one of his quotes that got me thinking about the themes in the story.

It wasn’t easy to put “Unrest” into epub format. I don’t do much HTML any more, and I was never an expert with it. There’s a table in the story, though, and I had to render it appealingly in HTML to make it display all right in the Kindle format. I ran it through the Kindle simulator and it seems to be okay.

In other news, my novel L.M.F., which has been available for the Kindle for a while, is free to download for the weekend. If you haven’t read it, now’s your chance. (Or you could actually pay the three bucks for it after tomorrow — that would give you a chance to read it, too…)

A few stray things

Such as:

  • As you probably know, I’m pretty active on the Reddit website. Well, a writer on there put together a site to promote other redditors’ books, and ended up with Not bad for a couple of days’ work!
  • This seems like an interesting place to send some work, doesn’t it?
  • I’ve received a cheque from The Windsor Review for my short story, which they’re publishing later this year. Their publishing schedule continues to amaze…