ConQuest Wrap-up and $0.99 Sale

My collection, All Manner of Dark Things is still on sale for 99 cents on Kindle through Monday. You can check it out here.

ConQuest is over. I’m tired, but I had a good time. There are a lot of people that I only see at ConQuest, although with WorldCon in Kansas City, 2016 might be an exception. The panels were a lot of fun. The crowd was smaller than last year, but was no less passionate about Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. I served on several panels and had a reading. While my body and wallet are feeling the sting of a long weekend, I can’t wait for next year.

I picked up some vintage copies of Weird Tales and The Magazine of Horror. I drank and ate and talked about everything from books to fandom. It was a productive weekend.

To everyone that made ConQuest memorable, I sincerely thank you. The creative batteries have been recharged, and now it is time to get back to work. I have critiques due for my Berkeley writing class and books that need to be written.

Let’s get to it.

 

ConQuest Kansas City Schedule

Memorial Day weekend is approaching, and that means two things: my birthday and ConQuest. I always have a lot of fun at the convention. I’ve met some good people there over the years, first as a fan and then as a writer. Last year, I took part in a bunch of panels. It was so much fun that I am doing it again.

Friday (May 27)

Writing Groups 3:00 PM: I’ve been a member of the LFK Writers Group for a few years. I’ve been a member of several others in the past. We will be talking about different types of writing groups and what sort of things you may want to look for in a good group. I’ll be on the panel with other members of the LFK Writers Group.

Writing Prompts 5:00 PM: Myself and the other writers who contribute to The Confabulator Cafe come up with writing prompts every month. I personally use several different techniques in order to generate story ideas. We will give suggestions, take suggestions, and maybe even come up with some prompts on the spot. This will also be with the LFK Writers Group.

Horror from the Headlines: Current Events as Inspiration 8:00 PM: Is there anything scarier than the evening news? Current events can be good fuel for horror stories, but they can be a double-edged sword. We’ll talk about using headlines for inspiration and some of the pitfalls that you need to avoid. I will be joined on the panel by Orrin Grey, Sean Demory, Kristin Helling, and Jim Yelton.

Saturday (May 28)

Publish Like the Pros 10:00 AM: Independent Publishing is booming due to e-books and technological advances, but there is still a lot to learn if you are tempted to take the plunge. Bottle Cap Publishing will talk give tricks and tips for creating a professional product and promoting it as such. I will be joined by Kevin Wohler, Sara E. Lundberg, and R. L. Naquin.

Reading 2:00 PM: I will be reading from my next novella Mama’s Little Boy, as well as “Assholes with Guns,” my short story that appeared in The Literary Hatchet and will be in my next collection Whispers and Proclamations.

Film Adaptations: The Best and Worst 6:00 PM: My first writing love was not fiction, but screenwriting. These days, film adaptations are Hollywood powerhouses. Some are good and some are really, REALLY bad. We’ll discuss adaptations that succeeded as well as those that failed.  I will be joined by Orrin Grey, Robin Wayne Bailey, and Dora Furlong.

Sunday (May 29)

Navigating the World of Short Story Submission 11:00 AM: Short story submission is a scary thing. You send your work to strangers, and you often get rejected by them. We’ll talk about how to find markets, submit to them, and how to deal with both acceptance and rejection. I’ll be joined by Lou Antonelli, Jude-Marie Green, and Tom Trumpinski.

The Big Three of Weird Tales 3:00 PM: In 279 issues, from 1923 to 1954, Weird Tales Magazine helped spur a resurgence of dark fiction. Powered by mainstays such as Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and H.P. Lovecraft, the magazine became a major influence for the future of weird fiction and featured a large number of legendary writers. We will discuss the “big three,” their legacy, and what readers can learn from them today. I will be joined by Orrin Grey and Donna Munro.

It should be a fun weekend. I’ll even have a few copies of All Manner of Dark Things for sale if folks are interested. Check out the full line-up on the official Conquest website. Or you can skip straight to the programming schedule. I look forward to seeing you all there.

 

Now Playing in Theater B and Enpower Comic Con

51VuNhXDRRLMy latest short story publication “Blood and Dust” is available in Now Playing in Theater B from A Murder of Storytellers. The anthology is full of gritty horror from a bunch of great authors. It’s my second anthology with A Murder of Storytellers (Faed was the other). I am happy to be a part of the project.

The story itself is about a rural town during a drought-stricken summer. The children face the horror of a dwindling summer vacation and a beaten-up black limo that rolls in to town with a strange driver. It’s a complete short story, but I have an idea for expansion of that summer in to a full-length novel. We’ll see where the dust-covered muse takes me.

I also want to let everyone know that I will be at Empower Comic Con in Topeka, KS this Saturday. I’ll be speaking on two panels. We’ll be starting at 10 am with Writing 101, a panel focused on the craft of writing, followed by the Writing Business at 11 am.

I’ll be joined on the panels by a variety of local writers, including science fiction writer Jason Arnett, science fiction/fantasy writer Kevin Wohler, urban fantasy writer R. L. Naquin, alternate history/science fiction writer James Young, fantasy/horror writer Dane Kroll, and science fiction writer Suzanne Dome. It should be a lot of fun, and I hope to see everyone there. It’s a first year con, but they’ve got some cool guests, lots of cosplay, and me. What more could you want?

“Patchwork” in Typhon: A Monster Anthology

 

A wtyphonhile back, I took part in a story contest at LitReactor, a literary website that I frequent. The contest required us to produce an original monster and use our hometown as a setting. While my hometown area has always been a source of inspiration for me, “Patchwork” is the first story that I wrote with the geography of Clearfield in my head. That changed a bit in the re-writes leading up to the story’s inclusion in All Manner of Dark Things and the setting changed to that magical Fairfax place that lives in my head. I’ve always been proud of my patchwork monster that steals its bodyparts from its victims. The story that I wrote one afternoon in the corner booth of a busy bar has continued to be one of my favorites.

Now, you can read “Patchwork” in an anthology full of great monsters, inspired by the father of all monsters Typhon, and brought to you by Pantheon Magazine. If you are unfamiliar with Pantheon, they put out a spectacular product, and Typhon is no exception. You can pick up a copy at Amazon or Createspace.

If you use Createspace, be sure to enter coupon code CFAK5JBZ for 15% off.

 

 

2015 Writing Wrap-Up

The writing life is about putting one foot in front of the other. I took a lot of steps in 2015.

Publishing-wise, this was my most successful year, yet. I’ve always built off previous years, but 2015 had a lot of great moments. “The Polka Man” came out in Faed from A Murder of Storytellers. “Mercury Beach” appeared in Yellow Mama, accompanied by an excellent illustration. “A Simple Device” was published in Rejected from ACA Books. “A Burial” was featured as part of the Page and Spine Fiction Showcase. “C Was for Cat” found a home with Body Parts Magazine. “Copy Rights” was printed in a beautiful edition of Sanitarium. “Voids” was posted by the Saturday Night Reader. I even sold another poem. “Crow, Why Do You Cry” appeared in Illumen. I published short stories every month at the Confabulator Cafe. To top it all off, my first solo collection All Manner of Dark Things came out in April and has been pretty well received.  Financially, I made far more writing than I ever had before. Trust me, that’s not saying much. I turned around and invested the money in my writing education, taking classes at LitReactor with some of my favorite writers, such as Benjamin Whitmer, Nicholas Kaufman, Helen Marshall, Jordan Hamessley, and Simon Strantzas.

I got the opportunity do A LOT of panels at ConQuest in Kansas City. Eight panels, plus a reading. I think I moderated five. I was running all weekend and exhausted by the end of it, but it was a great experience. I love talking about books, writing, and the horror genre in particular. I did more panels at the Longview Literary Festival at Metropolitan Community College. I spoke to the Young Writer’s Group at Sumner Academy in Kansas City. They were amazing, and I wish them great success. Who knows where the literary life will take them? I did a signing at the local Hastings and another at the Topeka Public Library’s Great Writers, Right Here author fair.  I even served as a juror for the 2015 Stoker Awards. There were other opportunities for events that I didn’t take advantage of, but I hope that this is just the beginning.

2015 is going to be hard to beat, but I am going to give it a shot. “Assholes with Guns” just came out in The Literary Hatchet. “Blood and Dust” will be out in Theater B from A Murder of Storytellers very soon, and “Patchwork” will be coming out in Typhon: A Monster Anthology from Pantheon Magazine. I am also hoping that both my novella Mama’s Little Boy and my second collection Whispers and Proclamations will be out some time this year. There will surely be other things. There always is. I am planning on being at ConQuest and Longview again. WorldCon will be in Kansas City this year, and I would love to be a part of it. I may even pick up a couple more cons here and there as they fit in to my schedule. There have been discussions about me conducting a couple of writer’s workshops, and my monthly contributions to The Confabulator Cafe will continue.

As I said at the beginning, this profession is about always moving forward. I’m proud of my 2015 steps, but I hope to take many more in 2016. It’s a long journey, but the only way to get where I’m going is to keep writing and see what opportunities present themselves. Thank you for following along in 2015, and I hope you will still be there with me a year from now.

Links to all of this year’s publications can be found by clicking “The Work” in my header menu.  You can pick up a signed copy of All Manner of Dark Things at “The Store” if you prefer to avoid Amazon.

“Assholes with Guns” in The Literary Hatchet #13

lithatchet13cover200My short story “Assholes with Guns” is out in The Literary Hatchet #13.

It’s a story about dangerous men, both young and old. I wrote it in a Noir class taught by Benjamin Whitmer (Cry, Father) that was hosted by LitReactor.com.

The magazine is available now in both a free online PDF and in print. You can pick up a copy here:  http://lizzieandrewborden.com/HatchetOnline/LiteraryHatchet/issues.htm

“A Gift of Flesh” at The Confabulator Cafe

My Christmas horror story “The Gift of Flesh” is now available at The Confabulator Cafe. It’s the story of a man who receives a strange cardboard box on his doorstep, and the madness that ensues. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great holiday season!

The Gift of Flesh

NaNoWriMo Week 2 at The Confabulator Cafe

I’ve been sick for a week, and it has significantly impacted my NaNoWriMo progress. You can read all about it in this weeks NaNoWriMo update at The Confabulator Cafe.

 

NaNoWriMo Week 1 and Illumen Magazine

illumen23National Novel Writing Month is in full swing, and I am working on a new horror novel titled The Dream Catcher. How am I doing? Well, if you head over to The Confabulator Cafe, you can find out for yourself.

A few days ago, I received a copy of the Autumn issue of Illumen, a speculative poetry journal from Alban Lake Publishing that contains my poem “Crow, Why Do You Cry?” You can pick up a copy at Alban Lake’s online store. I don’t write a ton of poetry, but I’ve had success with it, and I’m very proud of the poem.

I had a good time at the Longview Literary Festival a couple of weeks ago. I met some cool people and sold a few books. I hope that everyone enjoys All Manner of Dark Things. Next up will be the Topeka Public Library’s “Great Writers, Right Here,” a book fair full of great local authors on December 12th. I’ll be selling and signing books from 1pm to 4pm in Marvin Auditorium. If you have never been to the event, it is a fantastic opportunity to interact with some great local writers and pick up some fantastic books. Be sure to stop by if you are in the area.

First, I need to kick NaNoWriMo’s ass. I hope to see you all on the other side.

Longview Literary Festival

This Friday, I will be attending the Longview Literary Festival at Metropolitan Community College in Lee’s Summit, MO. It’s a one-day event, and I’ll be speaking on a couple of panels for “Combining History and Fiction” and “Writing in Multiple Genres.” There will also be panels and workshops on self-publishing, character creation, working with small presses, working with an editor, and many more.  All and all, it’s a pretty jam-packed day. The keynote speakers this year are science fiction writer Bryan Thomas Schmidt and romance author Claire Ashgrove. I will have copies of All Manner of Dark Things for sale, as well as the anthologies Faed and Rejected.

It all starts at 10 am on October 23rd at the Cultural Arts Center on the Metropolitan Community College-Longview campus, 500 S.W. Longview Rd., Lee’s Summit, MO.

I really enjoyed the festival last year. Many of the attendees are students at the college. They have a great outlook on the business and art of writing. It’s also free, so the price is right.

Speaking of students, I received a bunch of thank you cards from the writer’s group at Sumner High School in Kansas City, Kansas. I spoke to their class and had a fantastic time talking to the kids. Their enthusiasm was inspiring, and I would love to go back to do more of a technical workshop and write something with the group. Talking to people about writing always energizes me. Things like Longview and the Young Writers of KC always raise my desire to keep writing to another level.

There are a lot of writers that I only see at things like this. I look forward to seeing a bunch of people that I haven’t seen since ConQuest. I hope to see the rest of you there, as well.