Thursday, March 15, 2018

Read "Braving the Morrow Candle's Wane" in Beneath Ceaseless Skies

The latest issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a magazine of literary adventure fantasy, just released. Inside, you can find a story of mine called Braving the Morrow Candle's Wane.

Braving the Morrow Candle's Wane is a story about faith, war, and growth. When the initial idea came into my mind (prompted by a weekend contest on Codex), I'd recently read a comment somewhere on the internet complaining about short stories that are "mostly just two people in a room talking." The commenter claimed such stories are "always boring" and "all the same." Having written a couple flash pieces that focus on the dynamic between two people, I took a bit of umbrage--which ended up manifesting in this story. With Braving the Morrow Candle's Wane, I wanted not only to show that "two people in a room talking" can be compelling, but that you can do lots with that premise. If you check the story out, you might see what I mean. [Light spoilers incoming.] I attempted to build tension, nest multiple narratives, and layer mixed themes, all within the "limitation" of a story largely driven by a single dialogue exchange between two characters. You can judge for yourself if I pulled it off or not. I'm happy with the result. And I'm happy to see it out in the wild!

This is my first appearance in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. As a reader, it's one of my favorite magazines, so I'm very pleased to have my work featured there. Scott H. Andrews, the BCS editor (and cool dude), approached me at MidAmeriCon II and asked me to send him a story sometime. It took me a while to write something I thought would fit there, but it was worth the wait. You can read my story alongside a delicious piece by Siobhan Carroll. You can also listen to it on the BCS podcast if audio is more your thing.

And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t share one other awesome thing about this story. When you’re in a relationship with an artist/illustrator, there are certain perks involved. For instance, this:

Autumn interpreted the themes of Braving the Morrow Candle's Wane and painted this awesome piece, called Awakening. I love it. You can grab a print of it here, if you love it too.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Look at These Awesome Flash Drives With My Name on Them

I got a nice surprise in the mail earlier this week: a box full of flash drives with my logo on them! A company called USBMemoryDirect reached out to me and offered to send these custom drives in exchange for a shout out on my blog if I liked them. And I do! I think they look great:

I haven't decided yet what I'll use the drives for (other than stroke them vainly, of course). I may load them up with ebooks and stories, then take them with me to conventions, do a giveaway here on the site, or even leave them in random places around the streets of Philadelphia.

If you like them as much as I do, you can grab some yourself on USBMemoryDirect's website. They have a ton of different flash drive designs in addition to the nifty book-shaped ones they sent me.

That awesome logo, by the way, was designed by my partner (and illustrator-extraordinaire), Autumn Evelyn. She also designed the new header on my site, which incorporates the logo. Feel free to reach out to her if you'd like a logo, illustration, or book cover of your own. Then you too can have little USB books with your name on them!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

"The Sun Falls Apart" is now available on Amazon

The Sun Falls Apart, the story of mine that won Writers of the Future in 2016, is now available on the Amazon Kindle Store.

The Sun Falls Apart is about a teenage boy named Caleb who has never seen the sun. Boarded windows and a fortified door have kept the outside world a mystery his entire life. The only way out is passing the strange tests his parents conduct on him–tests that require Caleb to grasp at a power he doesn’t understand.

"This was, in my estimation, sentence by sentence the best written story we had this absolutely first class piece of fiction." 

- Robert J. Sawyer, on The Sun Falls Apart

This is my first foray into self-publishing. I know the standard advice is that short stories don't sell well on Amazon (especially singles), but this is mostly an experiment for me. I wanted to familiarize myself with the publishing process on Amazon, and I figured the best way to learn would be to dive right in and publish something. I'm moving from short fiction to longer works now, and there may come a day when I want to self (or hybrid) publish a novel.

And hey, it's less than a buck! Maybe some folks will actually buy it. You never know.

That awesome cover, by the way, was created/designed by Illustrators of the Future winner Autumn Evelyn. She adapted the original illustration she made for this story in the Writers of the Future anthology, and I think it works wonderfully as a cover. I also have some exciting news to share that involves Autumn, but I'll save that for another day.

In the mean time, if you'd like to pick up a copy of The Sun Falls Apart for your kindle, click here.