Short story “Spiders” for sale

Last week, I put up a couple more short stories for sale. I’m going to tell you about one of them today and one next week — I’m still waiting for it to go live on the Kindle store.

Lenny and Steven are best friends in a society where everyone lives forever — except for those who die on their fiftieth birthday. No one knows whether they’ll be one of those to die until they start showing symptoms, and by then it’s too late. Lenny, however, is convinced he’s going to die, and that colors everything in their friendship.

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A New Start, live

My short story, “A New Start,” is now available to purchase at the usual e-book stores for 99 cents. (Note that you do not need an e-reader to read this or my other stories. Kindle has free software available for PC, Mac, iPhone/iPod, and I think Android. Nook also has their program available for those who don’t own a Nook. And Smashwords has HTML, plain text, RTF, PDF, Java, and other formats. So if you’re interested, don’t let the lack of an e-reader stop you!)

When Fainche gets out of her family’s car at a rest stop, she doesn’t expect to come back and find her husband and daughter left without her. Imagine her surprise when she calls on her cell phone and another Fainche answers! She follows them, intent on discovering who the impostor is and how her family was fooled.

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Sneak peek at things to come

I tried to do a post by e-mail last night, but it doesn’t seem to have gone through. Nothing important — just my recipe for chicken noodle soup, which I made last night as the whole family’s under the weather. If anyone’s interested, I’ll be happy to put it up again later.

No running this week. Woke up a little wheezy last Saturday, but went for a run anyway. Huge mistake, as I barely had the breath to go up and down the stairs after that. Rather than risk making myself worse — or giving myself a relapse as I’ve started to recover — I took the whole week off. I did finish week 3, though, which puts me 1/3 of the way through the training regimen.

What’ve I kept myself occupied with this week while not running? Continue reading

First e-pub uploaded

Reign of Lightning cover

Cover for Reign of Lightning

The first story in my e-publishing venture, Reign of Lightning (a paranormal romance written under the pen name Doru Walker), has been uploaded to Kindle, PubIt, and Smashwords. (At the moment, it’s #653 in the queue for the Smashwords Meatgrinder, which will convert my doc file to all the various formats they sell.) Depending on various factors with each store, it should be available for purchase before the end of the week, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. Below is a sample to whet your appetite.

If you’re curious, yes, I created the cover image myself. The main picture was taken at Point Lobos. The lightning is from a NOAA image in the public domain. Editing, including addition of words, was done using Pixlr.

Melody Irving sat in her car for a moment before getting out. She’d come down this weekend because she was worried about Aunt Cassie, but she wasn’t ready to face her aunt. Instead, she glanced over toward the jumble of rocks across the street, overlooking the ocean. They were practically spitting distance from here. She slipped out of her car and closed the door softly.

Crossing the empty street and wending her way to the rocks was a matter of moments. She used to spend hours here, staring out at the water, letting it calm her soul. Aunt Cassie had worried that Melody was brooding about her parents’ deaths, but nothing could be further from the truth. The ocean took her pain and left her whole; maybe it could ease her fears now.

Breathing in the salty air as she watched the waves calmed her. After a few minutes, she turned back to her car. It was time to see what Aunt Cassie wasn’t telling her.
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Creating a publisher

There’s a lot of discussion out right now about indie publishing (self-publishing, e-publishing, POD, etc.). Some old hands are saying that with the current shake-outs in the publishing industry, such as Borders’ bankruptcy and closing of multiple stores, some of the big-name publishers will go bankrupt within the next few years — and these authors are starting to warn others that unless they want their manuscripts tied up in the legal process, they might be better off skipping traditional publishing completely, at the very least until things settle down. (Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s post with warnings; one of Dean Wesley Smith’s posts)

On the flip side, David Farland in his Daily Kick in the Pants warns against self-publishing and suggests only doing it if you can gain traction with samizdat publication; otherwise, he says, you’re shooting yourself in the foot and tarnishing your name for all future use. Larry Brooks, over on StoryFix, had a post recently — “A Self-Publishing Reality Check” — warning of the costs involved as well as the potential for throwing bad stuff up.

The truth is, it doesn’t have to be all one or the other. Yes, a publisher can go bankrupt — but that’s always been true. A fire could break out in their offices and take out all the paper slush that’s been sent to them as well as their computers, too. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t submit. Life is risk.

My (completely far-out-there goal) is to submit to all of the big publishers, so if one or two do go bankrupt and tie up my manuscript, I’m still in the game. I’m also pursuing small press (Moongypsy Press, for example). AND (here we get to the crux of this post) I’m going to be putting some stuff up for sale digitally.

I’ll use different pseudonyms for different series, so if you’ve liked one book or novella in a series, it’s easy for you to find more. Whenever I put a new one up, I’ll post the opening page or two here in my blog, along with purchase links, and I’ll mention it on Facebook and Twitter. That’s going to be the extent of my marketing. It’s an experiment. Both Dean Wesley Smith and Lynn Viehl say the best way of marketing a book is to write the next one. I’d like to see whether that works.

Because I’m using multiple pen names, I’m creating a sole proprietorship publisher, Hartshorn Publishing. I’ll also create a page here for that name, with recent releases and lists of series titles and descriptions.

I don’t expect to have anything up before the end of the month at the earliest, but this is your notice. . . . It’s coming.