Reminder: Signings in Lansing today (10/24/12) and Davison tomorrow (10/25/12) [events | brutal light | fading light]

Brutal LightJust a quick reminder for Michigan folks reading this blog, today (Wednesday, October 24th, 2012), at 7 p.m., I’ll be at Schuler Books & Music in Lansing, Michigan, participating in a multi-author panel discussion on paranormal fiction, then signing copies of my dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and the dark fiction anthology in which I have a short story, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous. Then tomorrow, I’ll be selling and signing even more copies of Brutal Light and Fading Light at the public library in Davison, Michigan… which will also be a multi-author event, the Flint Fang Fest Book Signing. Addresses for both are on the other end of the links.

Also, congratulations to Jen Lavinski, the commenter who won the PDF copy of Karina Fabian’s Neeta Lyffe 2 that I was raffling off last week!

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Brutal Light cover art: Dawne Dominique.

October Events: Signings in Lansing and Davison [brutal light | fading light | events]

Brutal LightOn Wednesday, October 24th, 2012, at 7 p.m., I’ll be at Schuler Books & Music in Lansing, Michigan, participating in a multi-author panel discussion on paranormal fiction. With me will be authors Sidney Ayers, D.J. Desmyter, Bruce Jenvey, Megan Parker, Cindy Spencer Pape, and Nathan Squiers. After that will be the selling and signing of books, including my dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and the dark fiction anthology in which I have a short story, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous.

After that, I wake up naked in a cornfield outside of Grand Rapids, wondering what happened.

Fading LightOn Thursday, October 25th, 2012, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., I’ll also be selling and signing even more copies of Brutal Light and Fading Light at the public library in Davison, Michigan… which just happens to be my home town! Once again this will be a multi-author event, the Flint Fang Fest Book Signing, with fellow authors Cindy Spencer Pape, Bruce Jenvey, Roxanne Rhoads, Nathan Squiers, and Megan Parker also on hand.

I once blinded (for a few seconds) Olympic hockey champion Ken Morrow at this library. True story.

So if you’re in either vicinity at those times, save the dates, as I hope to see you there!

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Brutal Light cover art: Dawne Dominique. Fading Light cover art: Jessy Lucero.

Links will not be blamed for nothing [links]

LinksWork on the Untitled Mad Science Novel continues apace, though not as quickly as I would like. I’m on chapter 5 now (17k words); when I get done with chapter 7, about 11k in verbiage from now, I’ll switch tracks and get to revising The Morpheist. I want to get that one in the hands of some beta readers–or possibly a freelance editor–before year’s end. For months after I finished the first draft, I was content to leave it in a dark folder on the hard drive, with only vague intentions to deal with its problems… but now it’s talking to me again. (A’course, the problem with this is that UMSN won’t shut up. I’m having a blast with it.)

My friend Bryan Thomas Schmidt has a Kickstarter going to fund a science fiction anthology titled Beyond the Stars, with some big headliner names attached. I like me some meat-and-potatoes SF sometimes, and this is all that with some tasty, tasty gravy, so I’m supporting it. Take a look, and consider doing so too!

If your world domination plan revolves around the use of remote-controlled cyborg cockroaches, the way mine does, this is some good news.

3D printers are proving to have many uses here, but they have even more uses–some critical and potentially revolutionary–in third world countries.

Here’s an article on cellulose nanocrystals, and their potential uses as Building Materials of the Future. The future will be weirder than you or I can imagine (and believe me, I’m pushing at it when I work on The Morpheist…).

Would you plug your brain into the Internet? Yes. Next question?

Finally, here’s some news that makes me fear for the safety of Canada’s borders: Canadian cheese-smuggling ring busted. The cheese cartels in Wisconsin and Minnesota will have their vengeance, I assure you.

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Photo: 3poD/Bigstock.com.

Fading Light Release Day! [fading light]

Fading LightThe day, she has arrived! Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, edited by Tim Marquitz, published by Angelic Knight Press, and including my short story “Goldilocks Zone”, is now out and about for your reading pleasure!

Fading Light, for those just tuning in, is an anthology of thirty tales of monsters making their moves on the world of the living. The writing prompt was this:

“The light has failed: the era of man is at its end.

“Born of darkness, the creatures of myth, legend, and nightmare have long called the shadows home. Now, with the cruel touch of the sun fading into memory, they’ve returned to claim their rightful place amidst humanity: as its masters.”

From that came an impressive set of stories, diverse in style, tone, genre, and monstrous vision. I read the early review copy a few months ago, and was thrilled to be included with such talented writers and strong tales. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy them as well.

Fading Light is available today in print and for the Kindle from Amazon, and in a variety of e-book formats (.mobi, .pdf, .epub, etc.) from Smashwords. And don’t forget the 99-cent e-book only companion volume, collecting five more monstrous tales (again, from Amazon and Smashwords).

FL already has a couple of good reviews, right here and here.

While I’m here, let me just also throw in some links to additional FL publicity that’s come out in the past week:

The fourth multi-author interview was on the Fantasy Book Critic site: part one and part two.

Contributor Peter Welmerink wrote a guest blog for Fantasy Book Review on writing longform fiction vs. writing short stories.

Contributor Adam Millard wrote a guest blog for This Is Horror on reasons for reading at least one H.P. Lovecraft story.

Contributor Edward M. Erdelac wrote a guest blog for Fantasy Book Review hailing H.P. Lovecraft’s recently passed birthday.

Aaaand… that’s it for now, I think. Hope you enjoy reading the stories in Fading Light as much as the lot of us did writing them!

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. Cover of Fading Light by Jessy Lucero.

Not so much a plan as a sort of lining up of things [personal | writing]

PersonalI’ve been on vacation this past week, and in fact still am. Last week involved a trip up to Torch Lake, Michigan, and my aunt and uncle’s place there. Had a great time, managed to get by with no great sunburn (unlike other years). Visited some wineries up in Leelenau County there and picked up a few bottles.

Yesterday was my birthday. The original plan was for Kristyn and I to go to Cedar Point for the day, but rainy weather reports made us postpone that (to tomorrow, in fact). So we largely spent the day amusing ourselves with mini-golf, go-karting, arcade games, pancake-house-visiting, and wine-imbibing. Not all at the same time, mind.

So, that’s been my week. Unfortunately, not a lot of it has involved writing, though I have spent a good deal of time thinking through what I’ll be working on in the coming weeks and months. I’m hesitant to call it a plan, as that involves a rather optimistic idea that no fresh shiny ideas will barge to the head of the queue and take over my fingers. Since that’s pretty much been the story of my writing so far this year, I’ve got to be realistic.

WritingBut. I think I’ve more-or-less worked out how things are going to go through the rest of the year. Starting with my Untitled Mad Science Novel. Untitled mainly because all the ideas I come up with for the title turn out, upon a quick Google search, to already have been used. Fortunately, that’s about the only thing that’s stopped at the moment, as the writing itself for it is going very well, with about 13k (of a projected 80-90k) words first-drafted. The genre, broadly, is Humorous Weird Dark Science Fantasy with a side of WTF. My goal is to finish the first quarter of the first draft by mid-September, then move on to…

The rewriting of The Morpheist. I have a very rough draft of this 29k biopunk novella, which needs to have multiple things fixed, some detail added to the description of people and places, and some adjustment to make it look like the things I came up with for my main characters during writing were intended all along. You know how it is. My goal here is to get this to a point where it’s coherent, polished, and maybe ready for a few beta readers to tear into it. Then I’ll return to UMSN and tackle the second quarter of the first draft, which should take me to the end of the year.

At the same time all this is going on, I’ve had a notion to dig deep into my past and revisit my old Nihil Nations stories, starting with Electricity in the Rain. It was my first publication, serialized in the pages of Mythic Heroes (the first four parts, anyway–the fifth never saw publication as the magazine died out from under it). It’s a dark science fiction take on the emergence of people with super abilities, and how the world reacts (closer in spirit to The 4400 than Heroes, though it predates them both by a long shot). With some heavy rewriting (my style at that time was still (cough) evolving) and new material, it could make novella size. If I decide to go ahead with this, it’ll likely be at the same time as the other two projects above.

Sometime in there as well, I hope to bash out a short story or two. Maybe some short-short flash fiction; it’s been quite a while since I attempted any, and that may be the only way anything gets done with everything else I’m trying to work on. Quite possibly something with bugs in it. I’m thinking bugs.

How’s by you?

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and a contributor to the dark fiction anthology Fading Light. His blog originates here. First photo: Elena Ray/Bigstock.com. Second photo: Andres/Bigstock.com.

Bryan Hall: Hooks in Novels and Novellas [guest blog]

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m welcoming author Bryan Hall to this patch of virtual real estate, and a guest post by him regarding his new book, The Girl, the second in his Southern Hauntings Saga, published by Angelic Knight Press. Take it away, Bryan!

Guest Post by Bryan Hall

Bryan Hall

Some of you may be aware that myself and a couple of my writing friends (Armand Rosamilia and Billie Sue Mosiman, to be specific) get together on a weekly basis with one or more people from the writing community and talk books, mainly from the perspective of a reader. That discussion is called ‘The Pub’ and is hosted on my site. The reason I bring that up is because one of our first discussions ever was about hooks in novels or novellas. Over the course of the conversation some guests made some great comments in the comment section and joined in the discussion. It got me thinking about The Girl, out today from Angelic Knight Press.

The Girl is part of The Southern Hauntings Saga and is the first real introduction to what the main character–Crate Northgate–is going to have to deal with over the course of this series. In that initial discussion we talked about how important it was to get those hooks sunk deep into a reader quickly so that they don’t set aside your book and pick up a different one. But one particular commenter–I can’t credit him properly since he didn’t leave his real name–added some very valid points as well.

Pick up a Stephen King novel. I’m sure you’ve got one and if not, that’s okay too. Plenty of other writers will fit this exercise as well. Start reading through it. Now, you’ll notice one of two things.

The Girl

1. If you’re reading an old King novel, odds are the first pages have something to draw you in–to hook you nice and tight. ‘salem’s Lot has the tall man and the boy in Mexico and it leaves you wondering how they got there, urging you to read on.

2. If you’re reading a newer novel, or even one from the nineties, there’s a good chance the hook isn’t there. That’s not always the case, of course. Under the Dome gets going pretty damn quick, and some of his other stuff does as well. But Misery? Gerald’s Game? Nope. Hell, even my personal favorite The Shining takes a while to get going.

The point? Well, as our mystery commenter pointed out, style goes a long way towards drawing a reader in and keeping them there as well. Some writers–like King–have a unique style that some fall in love with (some happen to hate certain styles as well, obviously). Another wrinkle in this idea is simply that as King’s career progressed he didn’t have to work as hard to hook readers. They knew the goods were coming, and they’ll wait through one hundred pages of character development and backstory to get to it if need be.

With The Girl, I had to create two hooks. I had to hook readers into the story of The Girl itself. I hope I did that with the use of the main character and the overall mystery that drives the narrative. But I also had to hook readers into the Southern Hauntings Saga as a whole. As it stands I plan on this series running five or six books long. The number could change, but that’s the figure I have in mind right now. Hopefully this story and the mystery of Crate’s past hooks you in and makes you want to find out more. If so, I’ve done my job. If not… well… I just hope it does. Either way, I hope you enjoy the story and take the time to check it out.

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Buy links:

The Girl is available from Amazon.com (U.S.) for Kindle and from Smashwords (multiple e-book formats).

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About the author:

Bryan Hall is a fiction writer living in a one hundred year old farmhouse deep in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and three children. Growing up in the Appalachias, he’s soaked up decades of fact and fiction from the area, bits and pieces of which usually weave their way into his writing whether he realizes it at the time or not. He’s the author of the sci-fi horror novel Containment Room 7, the collection Whispers from the Dark, and the upcoming Southern Hauntings Saga. You can find him online at www.bryanhallfiction.com and learn more about the Southern Hauntings Saga at www.whoiscratenorthgate.weebly.com.

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light. His blog originates here. Guest post written by Bryan Hall. Cover art for The Girl by Rebecca Treadway.