Dimensional Abscesses: Happy Release Day (Early)

Dimensional Abscesses, an anthology from Jeff Hite and Michell Plested, editorsI very excited to announce the Dimensional Abscesses anthology is now available on Amazon (Kindle format) and is up for pre-order on Smashwords.

Apparently, the idea was to release the book on Friday, April 24, but Amazon — like everyone involved — was too excited to wait. Instead of going to pre-order, it went live. So, the cat’s out of the proverbial bag and you can get your copy NOW!

Not all portals take you to nice places. Sometimes they lead you to places you never expected to go or — even worse — places you did not want to go. And you might never get home…

A modern look at Dante’s Inferno. A cockroach survival tale. A quest through fire to save a kingdom. A broken doorway to paradise. Dimensional Abscesses is a collection of ten engaging short stories by some of today’s freshest voices:

“Paradise Out of Order” by Kevin Wohler
“We’ll Leave the Lights on for You” by Philip ‘Norvaljoe’ Carroll
“Inferno Land” by Charlie Brown
“Welcome to the Deluxe Dairy” by JR Murdock
“A Traveler’s Tale” by Christopher Hite
“The Realm of Fire” by Dan Absalonson
“The Plumbers Portal” by Julayne Hughes
“Finding Olympus” by Jeffrey Hite
“Tunnel in the Sky” by Michell Plested
“Time Jack” by D.J. Pitsiladis

Some of the stories are light-hearted, fantastic, and innovative. Others are dark or downright weird. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it in this collection.

Free Story Day: The Monologue

Confabulator Cafe logo“How do we achieve world peace?” “What three steps would we take to achieve it?” No, I haven’t given up writing to pursue a life in philanthropy. These are the questions that plagued me as I recently tackled a new story.

In March, the Confabulator Cafe gave writers the prompt “Three Steps to World Peace” as a springboard for our April stories.

While some writers might have taken an unexpected approach — the three steps being stairs, for example — I heard in these words the start of a manifesto.

I don’t normally write from the point of view of the villain, but sometimes the best point of view for a story is the one I’m more uncomfortable with. And it quickly became clear that the person who wants to bring about “world peace” in this story doesn’t have humanity’s best interest at heart.

Come on over to the Cafe and enjoy my free flash fiction story, “The Monologue.”

If you enjoy this story check out the anthology A Method to the Madness: A Guide to the Super Evil. My short story “Ultimatums: Giving Up the Element of Surprise” tells the story of a super villain whose ambition exceeded his plans.

A Method to the Madness: A Guide to the Super EvilA Method to the Madness: A Guide to the Super Evil
In an almost unprecedented move, a conclave of The Super Evil convened at a secret lair in North America to create a guide book for aspiring ne’er-do-wells. The result? A collection destined to become the handbook globally of every evil genius.
Available to buy from: Amazon (paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble

Dimensional Abscesses: Interview With the Editors

Dimensional Abscesses, an anthology from  Jeff Hite and Michell Plested, editorsFor those not in the know, who haven’t heard me ramble on for the past couple of weeks, I have a short story coming out in Dimensional Abscesses. My short story is called “Paradise Out of Order” and features an alchemist who is the subject of my current work-in-progress.

The soon-to-be-released anthology will be published by Evil Alter Ego Press, and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know its editors, Jeffrey Hite and Michell Plested.

Recently, Michell (pronounced like “Michael,” in case you’re wondering) and Jeff were nice enough to invite me to talk on their Get Published podcast, and they agreed to return the favor by doing an interview for my blog. (Who has time to host a podcast?)

So, without further ado (there’s been far too much ado), here’s the interview.

Me: You’ve described yourselves as each other’s “evil alter ego.” What does that mean to you?

Jeff: For me this means we play off of each other strengths and weaknesses. The whole alter ego thing came about because for a long time when we were supposed to be a on a call together one or the other of us would be unavailable. Some people started to speculate we were the same person thus each other’s alter ego. Some days I play the evil half and other days Michell does. That way we each get a turn to play good and or evil as the case may be.

Michell: Since that time, Jeff and I have worked together and become friends. We both bring different strengths to the table which is what I love most about working with other people. When things get out of control in my life, Jeff is usually able to pick up my slack and vice-versa. We bounce ideas off each other all the time which can be a terrible time drain (with all the new projects we are coming up with).

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From Short Story to Novel: Get Published Podcast

Get PublishedLast week, I had the honor of being interviewed for the Get Published podcast. Now you can listen to the whole crazy, chaotic thing as I ramble about my new short story, my upcoming novel, and life in general.

Get Published Episode 150 — From Short Story to Novel

For those of you who don’t know, later this month my new short story “Paradise Out of Order” will be published as part of the Dimensional Abscesses anthology. Edited by Michell Plested and Jeff Hite, this anthology will be published through their new venture Evil Alter Ego Press. It is a collection of stories about portals that go to places you’d rather not go. In the case of my story, it’s a door in the back of an alchemist’s shop that is supposed to take people to paradise, but it’s not working. (Hence, my title.)

When I mentioned to Plested and Hite that I’d like to help promote the upcoming anthology, I mentioned it was important to me because the main character in my short story (the alchemist who owns the shop) is the main character of the novel — and series! — I am currently writing. Well, they were so thrilled with my offer to help market their book that they asked me to be a guest on the Get Published podcast.

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Free Story Day: Midnight Star

Confabulator Cafe logoEven though it’s been a couple of months since I posted to this blog, I have not been resting on my laurels. In fact, I’m pretty sure I don’t even own any laurels. In addition to working on my novel, I’ve also been working on a short story for the Confabulator Cafe.

So, what is the Confabulator Cafe? It’s a virtual gathering place for writers (most of them are either local to the Lawrence area or passed through here on their journeys). For the past several years, I have been lucky enough to call these writers my friends. They are each amazing and inspiring, and they push me to work on my craft.

In 2015, the Cafe changed its mission. The editors decided to focus exclusively on short fiction to showcase the writing talents of its members. Although I haven’t been a contributor to the Cafe in over a year, this new direction appealed to me.

This month’s writing prompt was “unlikeable midnight.” Cafe writers were free to write whatever they wanted, as long as they used those two words.

I hope you enjoy my entry, a short story about Pete, a very unlikable man who wants nothing more than to grab a late-night breakfast at a 24-hour diner called “The Midnight Star.”

A great thank you goes out to Sara Lundberg, our editor supreme, for spearheading the return of the Cafe after its hiatus. I hope I’ll be able to contribute to it regularly in the year to come.