Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Rifle Carousel

My ebook, The Rifle Carousel: Fifty Hint Fictions is finally available! Download it from smashwords for a wicked cheap 99 cents. For fomatting reasons, I'd recommend reading it on PDF.

It's fifty stories, all in twenty-five words or fewer. My favorites are "Spaghetti and Meatball Night at the Bigamist's Trailer" and "I'll Follow You Across the World Like a Puppy Through All of Your Lifetimes." I hope you find a few that speak to you.

As always, you can contact me here, on facebook, twitter, or email (samuelrippey@gmail.com). I'm anxious to hear your thoughts--good, bad, or indifferent.

On to the next one...

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Title. Different Cover. Same Machine Guns.

My hint fiction book, despite delays, is almost ready to go live. 

After considering some wise advice, I've changed the title from Unclear! to The Rifle Carousel: Hint Fictions. The first title was meant as a kind of private joke, but it would undoubtedly give readers the wrong impression. Thanks to Robert Swartwood and my amazing wife for their very useful input. 

I also redesigned the cover. Took less work than I thought--always good. The new image is bleaker, yet contains fewer AK-47s. For some stupid reason I can't post it here, but will on my facebook page. 

If anyone reading this is interested in receiving an advance copy at no charge, email me at samuelrippey@gmail.com. In return, I'd ask that you write a short review at amazon, bn.com, smashwords, at your blog, or web venue of your choice sometime after the book goes live (I'll let you know when it does). 

Doesn't need to be long and involved--just a few sentences is fine.  I'm not afraid of honest criticism, so if it's not a five-star title, please don't be afraid to say so. I'm just honored that you'd read my stuff in the first place. If you like it, please spread the word to your friends/family/sentient livestock/etc. 

As a tease, here's the title story:

The Rifle Carousel
Every night: AK-47s, saddles on their breeches, gilt hooves for grips. Father Nemerow thinks it's a swords-into-plowshares dream. I know better. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Fiction

This one has been rejected by a half-dozen different publishers. In fact, I got the title for my upcoming book (Unclear!) from one of their rejection letters.

I like it. It's weird and kind of makes me mad. 

# # #

"Letter from Tetiaroa"

Dear Lindsay, 
Tetiaroa is forty miles north of Tahiti. You knew that. It was on page fifty-three of your diary. 
I arrived here on your boat. I stole it from Big Sur. Did you notice?
I hired help and paid them to sail me here and then take the boat back to Tahiti. They left me here with the lifeboat. Now the lifeboat is shelter. I turned it over on the beach and I lie beneath it at night.  
NEVER is what you said. 
What about our names? What about high school? We are both eighteen and born on the same day. I did not want to marry you. I did not even want to kiss you. 
Yesterday I wrote your last word to me in the sand. I took driftwood and palm leaves and organic trash from the jungle undergrowth and made letters on the beach. 
(Remember when we wrote words with rocks on the beach? When we stopped along the Pacific Coast Highway?)
Perhaps a satellite will take my picture. Perhaps you will see the photo on the internet. Perhaps you will see me lying beneath the letters. I will have a white square on my chest, the only skin without sunburn. The square will be from holding your diary while I lie stupefied in the sun.
With ash from my bonfires I will write another word on my chest. It will be my word. You will never see it.
Remember the Taurus Diner? You do. It is in your diary. The word in your mind that time was not NEVER. I will write that word on my chest.
ALWAYS love, 

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Worst Hint Fiction Story I Have Ever Written

Title says it all. 

They Can't All Be Winners

My third mutated hamster exploded during the bumper car race. Goddamn bumper cars! 

Always bumping. 

Bad for hamsters. Next? Lions. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Interview with Robert Swartwood

Robert Swartwood, author and editor, has swung by to discuss ebooks, publishing, and the horror of Pennsylvania Dutch desserts. His most recent work is the excellent The Calling, which I reviewed here.

Your novel THE CALLING is in the vein of Peter Straub and Dean Koontz. Who are your other influences?

Stephen King, definitely. In fact, he's probably the biggest influence. My first King novel was INSOMNIA, which isn't the best book to introduce new readers to King. It's very long and complex. But I loved the complexity of the storyline, which I think is evident in THE CALLING. Straight-forward narratives seem to bore me most times.

Self-publishing has morphed into a great hulking beast over the past two or three years. How do you see it growing in the next three?

It will definitely become more common. Everyone wonders if major publishers and bookstores will disappear, and I don't believe they will, at least not completely. There will be few, yes, and they'll go through changes, yes, but they'll still be around. But more and more people are buying Kindles and Nooks and iPads and other devices to read e-books on, so the distribution is there. 

Are you looking for a traditional publisher, or going DIY exclusively?

I'm not opposed to still selling a novel to a traditional publisher, but if an offer was ever made, I would to have to think and consider a lot more than I ever would have before. Mostly because there's more longevity in e-books than there are in print books. Before, writers needed publishers to get them into bookstores; now, many of those bookstores are closing. 

In the world of self-published ebooks, many traditional roadblocks to publication have vanished. Do you think think an author runs the risk of market saturation if he puts out too many self-pub titles? Or is quantity an advantage?

Quantity is definitely an advantage. The more books, the better. Of course, it helps if those books are good. Many authors race to complete a new book so they can get it uploaded as soon as possible. They might have a friend or two look it over and get some feedback, but they don't give the work the proper time to stew before coming back and looking at the work with fresh eyes. So I guess I should say it's quality over quantity, but quantity definitely helps (look at James Patterson). 

Hint Fiction has become a phenomenon--almost a movement. Any worries about being pigeonholed as ‘that 25-words-or-less-guy?’

Not really. If Hint Fiction had been a major failure, then maybe I wouldn't be too happy with being only remembered by that, but right now I can't complain. 

You describe your upcoming book, THE DISHONORED DEAD, as a ‘nontraditional zombie novel.’ How so?

The novel isn't your typical zombie novel (i.e., there are no flesh eating creatures). It's about our world in the not-so-distant future which has begun to decay and most of the population has become the walking dead. Only a few have life, and those are called zombies. They are hunted down and destroyed by the dead because the Government has taught them to be afraid of the living. The way I originally pitched it was FAHRENHEIT 451 meets NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. It's a thriller, very fast-paced, but definitely has some ... I guess you would say social commentary, too.

Anything else coming up you’d like to shamelessly plug?

After THE DISHONORED DEAD, I'm releasing THE SERIAL KILLER'S WIFE. That one is a straight-up thriller about a woman who has 100 hours to find her serial killer husband's trophies (the fingers he cut off each of his victims) to save her son's life.

And finally, from one South Central Pennsylvania boy to another: chicken pot pie or shoofly pie? Defend your answer.

Honestly, I don't care for either. But if I had to choose one, chicken pot pie. Because, man, shoofly pie just looks disgusting! 

Robert Swartwood’s work has appeared in The Los Angeles ReviewThe Daily BeastPostscriptsChiZineSpace and Time, and PANK. He is the editor of Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer. Visit him at www.robertswartwood.com.
The Calling: A Supernatural Thriller is available for an introductory price of 99 cents at the following places:

Robert invites you to join him on Monday, April 18, at 7 pm EST, where he will be doing a live reading at his website.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hint, Hint

A couple o' new stories in 25 words or fewer. (The title doesn't count.) Taken from Unclear!, a collection of my hint stories, which will be published when I finish the damn thing.

My Only Notes on the Investigation 

After touching the ghost, three of us ended up in the hospital. Jon and Janis, who were married, died.

The Genesis of an Ascetic, or
People Always Ask Me: When Did You Know You Wanted to be a Monk?

Ronnie deftly filleted the bluefish with a dull butter knife. "Order any flesh, fish or otherwise, to cooperate," he said. "And it will."