Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Time Draws Near...

Can you name the fonts? 

This is the (semi-) final cover art for The Dulcet Constellation. The painting in the background is called Mary, Queen of Heaven by the Master of the St. Lucy Legend. It's my favorite artwork at the National Gallery in DC. Go see the original—it's eight feet tall and shines like a gem.

This book has been a thorn in my side for a long time. Hopefully within the next month, I'll release it. There comes a point when more revision becomes not only insufferable, but futile. Your changes become just changes and not improvements.

But I'm very excited for everyone to read this. It's a PG-13, with no sex and minimal grue. I wouldn't be embarrassed to have my grandma read it, which is something I can't say about other stuff I've done. But, rest assured, things will still get as weird (and I would hope, interesting) as ever.

I'll do a full press-release type write-up sometime soon and post it here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


...well, maybe not. But The Rifle Carousel: Hint Fictions will be free for the entire month of July. Click on the cover art & get to downloadin'!

You can get it at Smashwords or Barnes and Noble. (Smashwords is best for Kindle users, as it offers the .mobi format. The book hasn't made it to Amazon yet, unfortunately.)

Hint fiction is defined as a story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story. I was introduced to the concept by Robert Swartwood, editor of Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer. My story "Civilian" appears in the anthology alongside works by Peter Straub, Joyce Carol Oates, James Frey, Douglas Clegg, and F. Paul Wilson.

Turns out, I loved the form. I ended up keeping a notebook specifically for hint stories, and The Rifle Carousel represents the best of them.

As you read, I'd encourage you to use your imagination to fill in the blanks. Twenty-five words ain't a lot of verbiage, so my job is to give your brain a push in the right direction. Titles are also very important; in many of my stories they're key to understanding (or not understanding) what's going on.

A handful of my favorites:

Spaghetti and Meatball Night at the Bigamist's Trailer 
Before desert, each of the three Mrs. Pfizers had tried to hold my hand under the table.

My Only Notes on the Investigation
After touching the ghost, three of us ended up in the hospital. Jerome and Janis, who were married, died.

Three Caskets
Two for the dogs, one for her. She wanted four but I kept the goat alive.

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.