Lovecraft’s Pillow Cover Reveal

Greetings, fellow travelers. The time has come for my first cover reveal, followed by my first eBook launch. Okay, so it’s a short story, and the cover’s pretty basic, but I’m there – it feels like Christmas!

Plan for at least two more stories to follow before December 24th (Just in Time for Christmas!)

The stories coming your way are The House that Jack Built and Lost at Sea. The first is a reprint from Gothic Tales of Terror, an anthology released in 2015, and tells a strange tale about a certain infamous denizen of Whitechapel. The second story first appeared in Morpheus Tales,  Issue 17, in 2012, and then found new life in Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction Volume 6, in 2016; it adds a missing part to the classic Gothic Horror story, sometimes Science Fiction story, of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.

Lastly, if you are not a subscriber to my newsletter, and you want free stories and other swag, from time to time, now would be a great time to sign up. Drop by the Landing Page for a quick form. Once you’ve filled it out, you will be given a password to access the story.

As always, thanx for your support, and thanx for reading!


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Jumping from the Curb…

I’ve been working a lot lately on getting things published, which includes trying to find a publisher, or an agent to represent my work, or just someone who cares. I’ve had some success, as always, with poetry and short stories, but…

I want to get my novel published!

Okay, several novels, but things aren’t working out how I planned. I’m to the point that Charles Dickens found himself when no one would publish A Christmas Carol… okay, maybe not to that point, but it feels like it.

Traditional or Legacy Publishing versus Self- or Independent Publishing: To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?

I’m ready to take arms and oppose.

I grew up believing, earned my degrees and still believing, and even now believe that I should be traditionally published. It’s validating, right? Reality, however, is screaming that my only hope, especially considering what I write, is to become an “Indie” and self-publish (or find Obi Wan). Despite the likes of Beatrix Potter, Walt Whitman, Marcel Proust, Mark Twain, William Blake, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, and Charles Dickens all having done it, it makes my skin crawl.

Just close your eyes, they say. Let all your fears and common sense blow to the four winds. It’s useless to resist (or was that Resistance is Futile?). Just jump in with both feet and do it. Who cares if it ruins you (financially, mentally, and creatively)?

I find myself overwhelmed and dizzy, as if I’m a Lilliputian standing at the edge of a Yahoo sidewalk contemplating Jumping from the Curb into the gutter, into the maelstrom of self-do-everything, floating downstream into subterranean levels of damp stink, black cold, and obscene obscurity, with what little self-esteem I have left mingling and mating with sewer rats and abandoned alligators.

I think what really is holding me back is that “self-do-everything” part, which includes the two things that are always insisting on being on opposite ends of my life spectrum: time and money. When I have the time, I’m broke. When I have the money, I have no time.  Then there are a few other minor things:

  • Editing the manuscripts, manuscripts that have seen Alpha and Beta-readers and a lot of self-editing (and they still feel incomplete and imperfect)
  • Establishing a publishing company, acquiring business licenses, figuring out taxes
  • UPCs, EANs, ISBNs, ASINs, Copyright, LOC, to infinity and beyond
  • Art, Covers, Backs, Spines, Interior matter, blah, blah, blah…
  • Self-promotion, press materials, marketing, public relations, and an advertising campaign
  • A website to showcase and sell, a blog to attract fans, distribution, social media, book signings, release parties, swag…

Working on all of this kind of sucks every molecule of creativity out of my body directly through pores that are only a half molecule in diameter. It hurts. I just wanted to write books, be creative, and stay in my comfort zone….

Jumping! I’m in the gutter!! floating down, down, down, and… it’s damp, stinks, is black, cold, and…

The first three self-do-everything covers for three previously published shorts I’m going to put out on Amazon for .99 cents each. Yes, I want similarities, and these will all be joining a future collection called – you guessed it – Haunted Tales (unless someone thinks of something better quick). The collection will include published and new work, as well as a professional cover, spine, back, front and back matter, etc.  Your feedback is requested, welcome, and appreciated – thank you!

Posted in Fellow Writers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Karma :) League of Utah Writers Fall Conference

One thing that I have been really working on for the last several months, probably subconsciously in conjunction with my difficulty in writing, is choosing not to be offended. I think it started when I was asked by an ecclesiastical authority to change my username on a church website (Prince of Darkness kind of clashes with Church of Jesus Christ…). Choosing not to be offended is kind of like Karma – what goes around comes around (maybe)?

At first, I really struggled with such a small thing – choosing not to be offended – afterall, I had been using the moniker as part of my writing persona almost as long as Ozzy Osbourne. I found myself really having to look at things in a “big picture” be-kind-and-thoughtful way. As the sting of that change wore off, I found that I was being constantly bombarded with opportunities to choose not to be offended.  As Luck, or I prefer, Fate would have it, one of the workshops I attended at the League of Utah Writers Fall Conference tied rather nicely into this fun, along with my own workshop in which, yes, I had to choose not to be offended… imagine that:)

Callie, Paul, and me

I am thankful for the several brave individuals – victims – who attended my class, How to Be a Boring, Bad Writer... I must be more infamous than I believed myself to be – I had over 10 people show up, shall we say, and my class even included a poetry component. In addition, the lasagna at the gala, finale, closing ceremonies, whatever it was called, was wonderful, not to mention sitting at the Guests of Honor table with Kevin J. Anderson, J.H. Moncrieff, Paul Genesse, Callie Stoker, Jared Gray, and Jodi Milner. Talk about not being offended and Karma – I must be living right.

So, back to Karma and one of my most beloved friends, J. H. Moncrieff, one of two Guests of Honor (the other being Kevin J. Anderson). J.H.M., as her not-so-close friends call her, really helped me embrace the Karma of the conference, which  increased my willingness to stay and attend several of her classes and panels, including How to Improve Your Online Karma…

Now, let me be upfront and honest – this is going to be my take-away, my point of view, what I got out of the class… is that enough “full disclosure,” or maybe full-frontal– never mind. The biggest take-away is the following:


(FYI – Social Media is FOREVER)

J.H. Moncrieff & a fan.

There are three basic rules to online Karma: 1) build personal relationships, 2) don’t constantly self-promote, and 3) word-of-mouth and goodwill trumps advertising. There was also a Fourth Rule, kind of like Let the Fourth Be With You kind of rule, as mentioned: DO NOT EVER POST SOMETHING YOU WILL REGRET.


Now, there are several other tidbits that I found most endearing, and also that I intended to use as I resurrect my blog, which as most of you know usually only appears after I’ve attended some kind of writing event. One of the tidbits is something many are familiar with – Branding – and something that I absolutely detest – why do I need to have a brand, or be a brand, or invent a brand? Well, the answer is pretty simple: none of the Big-5 are going to brand me, so I guess I’ll be forced to do it myself.

Me, J.H. & Lauri Schoenfeld


Branding can be broken down into several key components, but these are probably the most critical:

  • What kind of books do I write?
  • What is my voice?
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What do I want potential readers to know about me?
  • What makes me different from everyone else?

Answer these, and you will know what your brand is. You may also have a good idea of a logo or symbol to represent what you are, who you are, and what you represent. Personally, I don’t know all the answers, but I plan to find out soon…

A couple of other pieces of advice, which are going to pretty much make this whole post null and void:

  • Post for Readers, Not Writers
  • Give More than You Receive

Okay, maybe only null, not void. I will leave this blog post with the following closing remarks:

Be the better person – rise above trolls and negative critiques

Be Grateful Everyday

Do Some Good Everyday

Posted in Education, Writing | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments