Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Guest Blogging on Mayhem and Magic

My thanks to Pamela James from the Cozy Armchair Group for allowing me to share my thoughts on being a writer on her blog. Please stop by and say hello.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Schedule updated at

Sarah has updated the schedule page on Gwen's site with news on her recent activities and upcoming events. Check it out at:

Friday, September 17, 2010


This week I have resorted to modern technologies to produce an old fashioned chapbook. If you aren't familiar with the chapbook, I'm not surprised. From the 1500's to the late 1800's chapbooks were a popular form of entertainment. They dropped out of favor with the public around the time the dime novel appeared on the scene. Now the dime novel has grown into being a mass market paperback, and the lowly chapbook has all but disappeared.

It is time for a comeback. I have written a short story, formatted, printed and assembled it into a chapbook that I'm using to promote my novel. Tomorrow I am shipping off the first 40 copies of  "Chapbook Number One: Pocketful of Trouble" to an online friend who is putting together goodies for those attending the  MYSTERY ON THE HIGH SEAS; A CRUISE TO DIE FOR convention aboard the Carnival Splendor, November 14-21.

The Kentucky Book Fair is on the same weekend they sail, and I can't be in two places at once. My only presence at the convention will be my chapbook. Inside the front cover is a short blurb about my novel, CIRCLE OF DISHONOR. Inside the back cover is a small author photo and Bio. I could have sent bookmarks or postcards with the same information, but the chapbook is a little piece of history. Besides, there is a chance people who read the short story will like my work enough to buy my book.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Will Short Mystery Fiction Survive?

It might seem a little odd to be talking about short stories when I have a new novel out, but the short story was my first love. Short, short short, flash, and micro fiction stories are all wonderful.  I am a faithful reader of FlashShot, and Story of the Day. They are fun stories to find in my inbox each morning, but are not usually mysteries. Great short mysteries are getting more rare each year, and I mourn the loss of each venue that closes.

Closures are more common than any mystery lover can keep up with. I often click on one of my bookmarked links and find it broken. Some of the short story's survival is tied to the success of Amazon and Apple where authors post their stories for readers to find and purchase.

There are still free downloads, and some great sites for reading short mystery. I  have spent hours cruising the online short fiction sites, sampling what's offered, and bookmarking my favorite places. Who can resist dropping by MysteryNet or looking around for free down-loadable stories on Amazon?   Unfortunately, the free stories are not going to save the form. Quality writing takes support. Many of the best sites for short story writers don't have enough support to survive if they pay their authors.

The periodicals are in bad shape. Spinetingler appears to be the latest victim of the shrinking number of venues for short stories. Alfred Hitchcock, Ellery Queen and The Strand are still hanging on, but without reader support these too will fade into history. 

Yes, I am using that dirty phrase "reader support." We readers, lovers of short stories, have the ultimate power to either save the form or let it die. If we subscribe to the journals, purchase anthologies and collections, download shorts from Amazon and Apple, authors will get paid to write short fiction. When authors are being paid for their work, the quality will remain high and the readership will grow. The choice is ours. Do we love short mystery enough to support its survival?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Circle of Dishonor Included in September Bluegrass Bookshelf

Steve Shive's monthly column about Central Kentucky writers appeared in today's Lexington Herald-Leader I am pleased to see Circle of Dishonor is one of his September selections for the Bluegrass Bookshelf. If you would like to see my book and those of the other Central Kentucky articles you can click the link below:

Friday, September 03, 2010

Guest Blogging on Fling Words Today

Today I am guest blogging on fellow Pill Hill Press writer Mark Taylor's blog Fling Words.

Stop by and read about why I love setting stories in Victorian Kentucky.

While you're there take some time and look around at Mark's work. He has a pretty cool site.