The Paths of Cormanor Reminder, Robert E. Howard Art Chronology, More Julian Hawthorne, and Open Submissions!

Cirsova

The Paths of Cormanor

Cirsova Publishing has just 8 days to go on the Kickstarter for Jim Breyfogle’s The Paths of Cormanor!

This new spin on the story of the Swan Princess is sure to delight fans of fairytale romance and fans of sword & sorcery alike! Following a confrontation with a monster from the elder days, Prince Kellen loses a piece of soul which becomes trapped within Amara, the Cormorant woman who saves him. While Prince Kellen goes on his own quest for the magic that will make his soul whole again, Amara must face her own challenges as another monster terrorizes the countryside and the march lord who should be dealing with the monster is terrorizing her family!

Robert E. Howard Art Chronology

Michael Tierney hasa new project live through Chenault & Gray publishing. Four fully-illustrated volumes covering the history of the art and illustration…

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Married… with Adventure!

I am looking to put together an anthology of Action/Adventure stories that feature a hero and a heroine who are either a married couple at the start of the story or become engaged to be married during the course of the story, with preference given to the former.

Stories can be of any genre and any setting, however I want to see marriage treated as a solemn sacrament, entered into with the intention of lifelong fidelity. It may be a world in which this is the minority viewpoint (such as our own) but I want the main characters to treat their vows as such–even if no one else does.

Wordcount should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words. That’s a guideline, I won’t automatically reject a story that runs to 11,500 words. Still, being in the 5k to 10k range will give you a better chance at acceptance.

The focus of the story should be on the Action and Adventure–I’m not looking for love stories with explosions, I am looking for stories in which the protagonists face danger and thwart enemies by working together as man and woman, complementing each other’s strengths and overcoming each other’s weaknesses.

I believe that the human race is divided into male and female for a reason, and I believe that men and women are intended to work together like two blades of a pair of scissors. That’s what I want to see, the strength of a man backed up by the cunning of a woman, the intuition of woman guided by the practicality of a man.

Or, whatever. I’m not going to argue about what virtues are masculine or feminine and I want realistic believable characters most of all–and that means not stereotypical. Show me personalities that mesh, couples who lean on each other and are together stronger than either could be alone.

I am looking at a submission window from August 15th to October 15th. Submissions should be sent to me as an email attachment. (You can use my Reach Out And Touch Me tab for that.)

Please put your contact information (name and email) on the first page of the manuscript. Manuscripts can be in any document format–Open Office or .rtf is preferred. PDFs will not be opened. Please use “Submission-Married-[title of work]” as the subject line of your email.

I do not as yet have a publisher for this anthology. Once I have submissions I will begin the process of negotiating for publication. Therefore, I can’t promise any payment up front at this time. To be honest, I can’t guarantee that the stories will be published at all.

On the other hand, you’ve got nothing to lose. At worst you end up with an exciting story that you can sell elsewhere.

Any questions can also be directed to the link above.

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Blacktop Wasteland

https://www.audible.com/pd/Blacktop-Wasteland-Audiobook/1250751934

As an interesting aside, I was revisiting Donald Westlake’s Parker novels (published under the pen name of Robert Stark) when I ran across this review and decided to give it a try. Five minutes into the audiobook (read by Adam Lazarre-White, who does a marvelous job) I knew two things–that Parker would trust the protagonist Beauregard “Bug” Montage to drive for him on any job whatsoever, and that sleep be damned, I had to finish this book.

This novel is pure Noir Crime Fiction done right. It doesn’t “deconstruct” or “reimagine” the crime novel, it just makes it happen. It takes place in the rural south, with mostly Black characters, but it’s not a “Black” story, it’s a human story. Racism is part of what Bug has to deal with, but he’s a Noir Crime hero, being screwed is built in.

Bug has left his life of crime behind him and has a family, a straight business, is part of the community of his town–a fine upstanding young man.

But he has money problems, and wants to pull one last job to get him out of the red. One simple job.

So, naturally, everything goes just fine and he takes his money and pays his bills and everything is just peachy.

Yeah, and if you believe that you ain’t from around here, are you, cuz?

Because this is Noirland, and it doesn’t matter if it’s New York City or Red Hill County, North Carolina, “simple” and “fine” ain’t on the menu.

There’s a wannabe gansta who shouldn’t be in a job with pros, and a crime boss who shows that you don’t have to be Sicilian to be a psycho mofo, and so many double crosses that you need a friggin’ calculator to keep track of them, and in the center of it all a man who shows us that a bad man can be scary, but a good man pushed past his limits is terrifying.

This is Pulp. This is action oriented storytelling at its finest. High octane adrenaline-fueled bad guys and good guys from the opening line to the last word.

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That Summer’s Evening Long Ago

The latest issue of Storyhack Magazine is now available. In it you will find, among other stories, a new Erik Rugar mystery, “That Summer’s Evening Long Ago”.

Savvy readers will recognize the title as a line from Lewis Carroll’s poem “I’ll Tell Thee Everything I Can” which the White Knight recites to Alice in Through The Looking Glass. I’ve always loved that poem, and it seemed to me to capture the mood of the story.

Regular readers of this blog may recall that I talked about the epilogue of Bad Dreams & Broken Hearts and how I felt it was important that Agent Rugar’s story has a definite ending to it.

I still feel that way, and I don’t intend to alter the events that I laid out in that book.

However, I would like to point out that final story in Bad Dreams & Broken Hearts takes place in the spring of the year 373, and Rugar doesn’t retire from the CPS until the summer of 384, which gives me eleven years of his career in which to write new stories.

“That Summer’s Evening Long Ago” is one of those. I have another one completed, and a third in process. I might end up with enough new stories to warrant a second collection. We’ll see.

This story starts with Rugar taking a case as a favor to a girl he knows through Miss Kitten’s Dating Service. He’s asked to investigate a crime that the victim doesn’t remember and leads him into a sordid tale of unrequited love and criminal alchemy. In the Rugar stories I try to play by two sets of rules–Noir Police Procedural and Magical Fantasy, and I think I managed to be true to both of them here.

I hope you like it.

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Adventure Stories For Young Readers Deadline Extended

Since there are several people who have said they want to submit, but didn’t have time before the 15th, I have decided to extend the submission window the 25th of May.

Click Here To Go To Sanderley Studios

I am partnering with Cedar Sanderson’s newly formed Sanderley Studios to produce a collection of short fiction for young readers.

I am looking for exciting adventure stories that showcase (but not preach) virtues, suitable for boys and girls in their teens.

Submissions open on Mar 15th and will run until May 15th.

The ideal story would be between 5,000 and 10,000 words and be action oriented. All genres considered, but exotic settings preferred–Science Fiction and Fantasy, but also Wilderness Survival and Historical Fiction.

In my opinion children get enough Real Life Drama from assigned school books, this collection should be an escape from their ordinary life.

The audience, as I said, is junior high to high school aged children, but the characters need not be of that age group. Stories that do have young characters should show those characters obedient to parents and legitimate authority. The goal is to model healthy adult/child relationships. The fact that so many children today come from broken homes is, in my opinion, a reason for families to be shown as stronger, not weaker.

There is more information at the link above, but questions or submissions should be sent to me at mjb63114@gmail.com.

Please use [Your Name] Young Adventure Submission [Title Of Story] as the subject line of the email. Include in the body of the email a brief description of the story that includes word count, genre, and publication history if any. I am looking for unpublished stories, but may consider stories previously published on-line.

Stories should be attached to the email. Open Office files are preferred, but I can convert word documents or .rtf files. PDFs will not be opened.

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Invitation To A Duet

I currently have seven unfinished stories for which I would like to find co-authors. They cover a wide range of genres, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, all with my signature Weird flavor.

To this end I am offering to send interested authors a zip file containing the stories. If you would like me to send it to you, drop me a line via my contact page. (I can’t seem to add the link–it’s the park that says “Reach Out And Touch Me” directly above.)

Asking for the file doesn’t obligate you to anything. Read over the partial stories and see if any of them spark your interest. If you would like to work on one or more of them, send me a brief description of what you’d like to do, working from what I have set down.

I’ll choose which author gets which story, based on the pocket outlines. Assuming that I get enough interested replies, then I’ll work with each author, offering my feedback and comments and reworking my sections if necessary to make the stories hang together.

Ideally we will end up with seven stories that can then be collected into a book which I will shop around to a small press for publication.

Payment will be dependent upon the publisher, most likely royalty sharing. For my own part, I will cede to the coauthors reprint rights so that you can publish the stories in your own collections, provided that I am given coauthor credit.

Posted in Artists That I Admire, Hard Weird, New Wave, On Publishing, On Writing, pulp revival | Leave a comment

Adventure Stories For Young Readers

Click Here To Go To Sanderley Studios

I am partnering with Cedar Sanderson’s newly formed Sanderley Studios to produce a collection of short fiction for young readers.

I am looking for exciting adventure stories that showcase (but not preach) virtues, suitable for boys and girls in their teens.

Submissions open on Mar 15th and will run until May 15th.

The ideal story would be between 5,000 and 10,000 words and be action oriented. All genres considered, but exotic settings preferred–Science Fiction and Fantasy, but also Wilderness Survival and Historical Fiction.

In my opinion children get enough Real Life Drama from assigned school books, this collection should be an escape from their ordinary life.

The audience, as I said, is junior high to high school aged children, but the characters need not be of that age group. Stories that do have young characters should show those characters obedient to parents and legitimate authority. The goal is to model healthy adult/child relationships. The fact that so many children today come from broken homes is, in my opinion, a reason for families to be shown as stronger, not weaker.

There is more information at the link above, but questions or submissions should be sent to me at mjb63114@gmail.com.

Please use [Your Name] Young Adventure Submission [Title Of Story] as the subject line of the email. Include in the body of the email a brief description of the story that includes word count, genre, and publication history if any. I am looking for unpublished stories, but may consider stories previously published on-line.

Stories should be attached to the email. Open Office files are preferred, but I can convert word documents or .rtf files. PDFs will not be opened.

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Mongoose and Meerkat Audiobook Live!

Cirsova

The audiobook for Tales of the Mongoose Vol 1: Pursuit Without Asking is now available on Audible!

Erin Michele Gabbard has done a wonderful job bringing these fun and exciting tales to life in her reading.

Please check it out!

Tales of the Mongoose and Meerkat - Vol 1: Pursuit Without Asking Audiobook By Jim Breyfogle cover art

Also, Kat and Mangos’s latest adventure, The Grain Merchant of Alomar, is out now in our spring issue!

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Misha Burnett’s Endless Summer Audio Book Out Now!

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Wylding Hall

Wylding Hall available on Audible Plus

This, in my opinion, is Weird Fiction done right.

First, it works as Fiction, without the Weird. That is to say, it’s a story about a Folk Rock Band who rented a house in the countryside in the early 1970s to record an album. That story is engaging, told in a documentary style, with different voice actors playing the parts of band members and others such as the band’s managers, reporters, and the like.

It’s a kind of memoir of the Psychedelic Era, like Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool Aid Acid Test or Hunter Thompson’s Hell’s Angels. The drama of the band recovering from the somewhat suspicious suicide of their former lead singer and dealing with the intensity of being isolated together in a remote location, with all of the attendant emotional undercurrents, would have held my interest by itself.

Second, the Weird aspects are understated and subtle. They are kept in the background for most of the novel–strange things glimpsed out of the corner of the reader’s eye. Since it’s told as if the characters are retelling the story years after the fact, there’s a lot of “At the time it didn’t mean much to me, but after what came later…”

That kind of exposition takes a light touch, and Elizabeth Hand does it well, varying the mix of the mundane and the uncanny to keep the reader off-balance and wanting to find out more.

Most important to me, she keeps the sense of Mystery, in a cosmic sense, to the very end. Reviewers on Audible complain that she never explains what happened at Wylding Hall–I consider that a feature, not a bug. The different characters have their own theories, but there is never any big reveal that tears away the veil.

I like that. When the end of the book came I felt a pleasant chill and a sense of a vast dark universe, full of unknown wonders and unanswerable questions.

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