Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Free Scotty Stuff

It's been pretty dead around here recently and it's totally my fault. My surgery turned into much more of a predicament than I was expecting and I pretty much lost ten days of reading time, putting me very far behind on my proofreading and review projects.

But in an effort to liven things up and to support my favorite author, I've decided to give away a few books I've been sitting on for a while. If you purchase Scott Nicholson's new e-book, Liquid Fear: A Mystery Thriller, between now and 11:59 p.m. EST on April 1 and leave a comment below letting me know you purchased it, I will enter all the names into a drawing for a couple of "real" Nicholson books. First prize is an autographed copy of Thank You for the Flowers and a mass-market copy of They Hunger. Both of these books are new and unread. Second prize is a lightly read copy of one of my Nicholson favorites, The Farm.

Due to monetary constraints, I have to limit this drawing to US residents only. Even if you don't win a prize in the drawing, you still win because you've bought a great thriller for a super-great price! Make sure you grab Liquid Fear: A Mystery Thriller while it's only 99 cents! Good luck!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boycott of Dorchester Publishing

I’m not normally a big fan of boycotts of companies, but when it comes to the Dorchester Publishing situation I can’t help but agree with the calls coming from authors and former authors of the company. Spearheaded by horror heavyweight, Brian Keene, there is now a call for a boycott of Dorchester due to their selling of e-books that they don’t have the rights to. I’ve seen this firsthand at Amazon, as I came across Brian Keene’s The Rising for sell about a month ago—long after the rights had reverted back to him.

I support this boycott because I’ve seen firsthand how hard most authors work and how little they are compensated for their work. I’m a passionate reader and I’m a big fan of certain authors; and many of these authors have been screwed by unfair practices at Dorchester. I encourage you to explore the issue and consider showing your support for authors by not giving support to Dorchester Publishing.

For a much more in-depth look at the issue see Brian Keene’s post about it at his site.

Monday, March 14, 2011

An Interview with Author Lincoln Crisler

It is with great pleasure that I welcome author Lincoln Crisler to Bookhound's Den as part of his blog tour. I hope you enjoy this interview with Lincoln, and make sure you say "Hi" to him.

So who exactly is Lincoln Crisler?

Most importantly, I'm a married father of three. I'm also a staff sergeant in the US Army and an instructor at the US Army Signal Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, Georgia. In addition, I'm the author of two short story collections and one novella. If you had to sum me up in one word, it'd be "BUSY." I always have a few irons in the fire. It's a great way to live life!

I couldn't help but notice you're a combat veteran. First off, thank you for your service. How has your military experience affected your writing?

You're welcome! My military service has, essentially, sponsored my writing. I've been a writer since birth, except the first five years of my military career, but I wasn't serious about it until I deployed to Afghanistan. It was my second tour in the Middle East, and I was a newlywed, and we wanted to make the year count instead of treading water for twelve months. She got a degree and I wrote most of what eventually became my first short story collection. I'd say the plan worked!

Do you have a "typical" writing routine? Or do you just write when you're able?

It's easier to establish a writing routine when I'm deployed than when I'm home. When I'm deployed and off work, I don't really have any obligations...go to the gym and do college work, maybe. But at home, I help my wife run her business and we have a toddler and a teenager together. Most writers with day jobs either get up early or stay up late to write, but I'm already getting up at 4AM to play GI Joe. So, no regrets, but writing at home is a slow climb rather than the nice, mostly steady pace it is when I'm overseas! Lately, I've been taking my laptop with me to work and writing after physical training and on my lunch break. That doesn't seem to work out too bad.

Tell us a little bit about your new novella, Wild. What inspired it? Who would it appeal to?

WILD is a detective-western with bonus! zombies and magic. If you like cowboys, you should like WILD. If you like zombies, you should like it. And I've gotten great response from readers that have never seen a zombie-western before.

Do you have any projects that you're working on now you can let us know about?

I have two collaborative projects that I hope to have published before the end of the year; one is brand-new and another is an overhaul of something fans of my work may have read before. I have a secret comics project in the works (just waiting for my artist to free up some time) and of course, like many writers, there are a couple of novels that I work on when the mood takes me.

One last thing before you leave. Your bio says you like to cook. What's your favorite dish to prepare?

There's a recipe I created a few years ago for my wife's birthday that I call Shrimp Consuela. It's sauteed shrimp and garlic in a bleu-cheese cream sauce, over bowties. I don't think I've ever made it for anyone but Connie and the kids. It's freakin' awesome. If we hadn't already been married, I'm pretty sure she'd have dragged me to the courthouse by the short hairs the very next day.

Credit for author photo to Clark Fox

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Guest Post: Author Lee Thompson

It is with great pleasure that I welcome author Lee Thompson back to Bookhound's Den. Lee is the author of the forthcoming Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children from Delirium Books (which is, by the way, the first limited edition I've ever purchased!). Lee is a tremendously talented author that I suggest everyone read, whether or not you're a horror/dark fiction fan; Lee's writing is sure to stir something deep within. Without any more of my blather, I present to you Lee's guest post.

“On Knowing What You Want” by Lee Thompson

I'm listening to the late and great Danny Gatton as I write this. The man knew what he wanted. He worked at it and was incredible. Sadly, like a ton of gifted, hardworking bastards, he killed himself in a small and lonely apartment even though fans adored him and his presence humbled other musicians. Like Danny, a lot of my other heroes knew what they wanted—Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bruce Lee, Thomas Edison, etc.—and they devoted their lives to their calling.

They were not dabblers.

Their work consumed them.

They used their passions and unique visions to leave their mark.

That's something I want. I'll strive for it whether it's reachable or not.

When I was a boy I wanted my dad to love me and my mom, to show it consistently. I also wanted to be a ninja.

When I was a teen I wanted my dad to teach me because I had no fucking idea how to be a man. (I also wanted to be ninja and a little bodybuilder.)

In my twenties I wanted to be a badass guitarist with unique phrasing and tone and masterful chops—like Brian Setzer, Hendrix, Vaughn, Gatton, as well as a ton of classical players. And I was pretty proficient in all of those things because I worked at them hours every day. From a young age I admired the dedication it took and I failed to understand how some people could be so fearful, bland and lazy. Now I think their perspective of life just gets them down, they give up their dreams, they realize to be still and commonplace is far easier than bearing a heavy workload and stretching their minds and bodies' imaginations.

When I knew I wanted to be a writer (I mean really dedicated to doing my absolute best) I'd already written four junk novels. So, the natural thing for me, once I'd said, “This is it. I'm giving a hundred percent to writing and learning whether my days be fun-filled dancing or suffocatingly bleak,” was to study my heroes. People like Tom Piccirilli, Greg Gifune, Douglas Clegg, Jack Cady, Peter Straub, Ray Bradbury, and Jack Ketchum. They had things to teach me. Markets they'd published in, wisdom in interviews, the beat of scenes, the craft of character.

I hand copied things to learn, just like when I'd studied various martial arts or guitar phrases to develop precision and efficiency. I'm also a firm believer in lists. LOL. And I wrote what I wanted for my writing career and luckily I'm on my way in what seems a short time span.

Here's my list. Even though I've had people tell me what I should do, this is what I've stuck by and for me it's paying off:

I want to focus on writing stories that set a tone right away, where I can mine the mysteries, joys and sorrows of childhood. I want to keep pride from tripping me, be open-minded and continually learning (though I have learned that letting it steep for a bit is always good). I want to give back with things I've learned, to publishers who've put their faith in me, to friends who have helped me. I want to be an approachable author because it means a lot to me that readers spend their time and money on my work. I want to mix my favorite genres because I love them all and each has something special about them (and I couldn't pick just one anyway.) I want my world and imagination to be an open range, not a small bedroom. I want to pay my dues. I want to sell to markets I enjoy and respect and to have my name alongside my heroes through Delirium Books, Bad Moon Books, Shock Totem, Dark Discoveries, Apex, Weird Tales, etc.. Places where the publishers care about the writer and reader. Where the products are incredible. I want a solid career, and to keep pushing myself and learning.

I don't think generalizations like “I want to be the next Stephen King,” or “I want to sell ten stories to pro mags a year,” works for me. I want specifics, concrete goals and the robust satisfaction that comes when reaching them!

In NURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN my characters know what they want. John McDonnell wants to solve the mystery of four girls' brutal deaths, but he doesn't want his dad's friends to go to prison. Mike Johnston wants to see his mother die peacefully, but first he wants truth and her apology so he can forgive her. Wylie Wright wants the sheriff's wife even though she doesn't know what she wants, and it goes against the morals he's always upheld until passion flared between them. And my characters want to know who Angela Forte is and why she's intruding on their lives with black magic.

-Lee Thompson

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Crooked Stick Figures" by Lee Thompson

I have no problem admitting it: I get excited when I'm able to get something for free. Especially when it comes to stories and books. So when I found out that Darkside Digital was giving away a free e-copy of Lee Thompson's short story, "Crooked Stick Figures," I nearly tripped over my Web browser to get my copy. If you've read any of Thompson’s work, you know why I would run to get this.

John McDonnell works for Child Protective Services. He's seen his share of pain and ugliness. When he answers a call to a lonely house, everything inside him screams for him to just turn and walk away. The little girl that greets him at the door becomes his guide...into madness.

If you haven't read any of Thompson's work, here's your chance to experience his unique, emotion-packed writing—for free! This is a powerful little story that will leave you yearning for more of Thompson’s work. Don't miss out on this quick, creepy read.

Get your free e-copy (EPUB, MOBI, PDF) for a limited time here.