Saturday, April 28, 2007

Things are moving slowly in fiction-writing land.

The second volume of Twisted Tales II (with my story "Ticket") is still on the way from Double Dragon but you can find volume one at
$5.99 as a download.

I will have an article published in the June issue of the Fiction Flyer (to sign up, see — ) accompanying an interview with Piers Anthony. Good company for me, which is sure to attract plenty of readers. Mine is a light and rueful look at the reality of becoming an author, but don't think I'm trying to discourage anyone. There is more opportunity out in the electronic world all the time, and the key to our success is to have the quality and excitement readers want.

Our local writing group is preparing to put out an anthology featuring our region with short stories, poetry, and family histories from the members of our group. I'm seeing a great increase in the focus and quality of our members' writing as they move from writing into an empty void to writing with this concrete objective in view. Anyone out there belonging to a writers' group should definitely look at taking on a publishing project as a spur to the members' efforts.

Our group meets in the Canadian municipality of the Crowsnest Pass, an amalgamation of former mining towns in the Rocky Mountains; now becoming more of a summer home and tourist destination. As the southernmost pass entering the Rockies within Canada, and the only one which is not a National Park, it couples the beautiful mountain scenery with the possibility of buying a home and of finding a livelihood far from the city crowds. We have the Frank Slide, which wiped out part of the town of Frank in 1903; an important wildlife corridor for birds and mammals moving up the Yellowstone to Yukon route (wolves, grizzlies, eagles, etc); the history of the old coal-mines (one has underground tours) and the worst mining disaster in Canadian history; the original locale of the new Canadian opera Filomena (the story of rumrunners and the last woman in Canada hanged for murder); and some of the best outdoor sports (hiking, climbing, caving, skiing, etc) sites in the west.

My home is just outside the pass – I'm kind of a gatekeeper, I could suppose. Geologically my wife and I live within the Rockies because the last of the massive thrust faults which produced the mountain uplift surfaces less that a mile east of the community. Visually, we are at the edge of the foothills with the first of the pine-clad hills half a mile to our west. We sometimes have cougars, bears, and moose coming by and a week ago elk were grazing on the hill behind the hamlet where our water reservoir sits. The coyotes sit up in the hills and yodel at us, and when I take our dogs for their morning run they often have a brief chase after them. The dogs eventually heed my whistle and return while the coyotes sit up on a hill doing coyote "Ya ya – can't catch me" calls.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

With the usual profuse apologies, I’m interrupting the posting of episodes of Iskander’s Wildcat to use this blog as a medium for updating my writing, publishing and promoting activities. If either of you kind people who were following the two chapters posted below want to read more, please e-mail me at

It looks as if my first publication with Double Dragon E-books will be my short story in the second volume of Twisted Tales II – Time on our Hands. The first volume can be accessed at the second volume, with my short story “Ticket” included is due out any day now.

My editor assures me that the two novels, “Deadly Enterprise” and “The Wildcat’s Victory” are moving on schedule. The first is due for publication in June. The second draft of “Arrival” – the prequel to both novels – is well under way (interrupted only by a re-edit of my own to the two novels so that changes I want to make are prepared before my editor sends the blue pencil pages to me). I’m hopeful that Arrival will join the other two in 2008.

Even more recently I mailed back the publisher’s copy of a contract for my fantasy novel “Rast”. The editor at Zumaya Publications read and liked it – so now it will be slotted into Zumaya’s list somewhere after the end of this year. We may change the title; I’m leaning toward Rast – Sorcerer’s Bane, but now it’s not only my decision. My website is being updated to include the first chapter of Rast, and the map of that magic land. Descriptions of the plot can be read on my website, so I won’t repeat them here.

What else? I’m looking at doing a bit of novel reviewing for online sites. Well – if I want to have someone revue mine I guess I should offer to work on someone else’s promotion. With an election likely in Canada almost any time, my wife and I are offering our copywriting and proofreading experience to the political party of our choice. No names, but it’s not the one than upholds George Bush’s policies and runs on lavish corporate funding from oil companies.

Happy reading to all. Will write at you again soon.