Update of August 18, 2020: Good News! Ezine51 has accepted four of my flash fiction submissions.

Phil Slattery portrait
Phil Slattery
March, 2015

On Sunday night, I sent six works of flash/micro horror fiction to Sirens Call Publications. I received an email just now that they will publish four of them. Three in their Halloween issue and one for their December issue.  These are just works I came up with on the spur of the moment when I was experimenting with how fast I could write flash/micro fiction.

Of course, I won’t publish the stories here before Ezine51 does, but I will give you their names as a teaser.  “Walking Through Downtown”, “River of Lost Souls”, and “Shadow Men” will be published in their Halloween issue. “Dirty Phoenix Rising” will be published in their December issue. 

After these have been published, I will add them to a new edition of A Tale of Hell and Other Works of HorrorI have anything else published by December, I will add it too.

I may try to come up with more flash horror to submit to other magazines. While this magazine does not pay anything (and most don’t), flash fiction is easy and quick to write (at least for me) and, in terms of publicity, it keeps my name out in the public view depending on the readership of the accepting publication. Ezine51, I believe, has a readership of 35,000.

Thoughts? Comments?

The New Print Edition of A Tale of Hell… IS OUT and Costs $14.95.

Cover for New Print Edition of A Tale of Hell
Cover for New Print Edition of A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror

The new print edition of A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is out at a much reduced price of $14.95.

The original print edition of A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror has been prohibitively expensive from the start. I recently decided to change that. Producing a new edition also gives me a chance to come out with an improved cover design. I was new at publishing with Amazon when I first published ATOH and my cover design came out as less than exciting.

One of the mistakes I made with the original print edition was that I chose the option for full color printing thinking this applied to the cover.  Full color printing is always expensive, so I wasn’t surprised when the price came out at $53.99 and didn’t know any better. However, as I came to find out later, that option was for color interior pages. Amazon bases the printing cost on number of interior pages and whether the interior is in color or black and white. I found out that the cover can be color without affecting the printing cost so long as the interior pages are B/W. For example, when I published Click in print, its cover was in color, but the price was very reasonable (and still is).

I have been working on a second edition to bring down the price to something reasonable. Republishing it also gives me an opportunity to expand the distribution to brick and mortar stores by using Amazon’s expanded distribution, which I did not take advantage of initially. However, the important changes for the reader are that the price will be reduced considerably: down to $14.95 from $53.99 and finding a print edition should be easier. Note that A Tale of Hell… is about 300 pages long, so $14.95 is not unreasonable for a book of that length.

The new cover is similar to the Kindle edition (as I just love that painting by Adolphe Bougereau) but is modified slightly to conform to the limited formats available for Amazon print books.

Get yours asap.

Photoshopped painting of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci wearing a medical face mask to prevent spreading COVID-19/Coronavirus
Prevent the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

Update of August 18, 2020: Second Edition of The Scent and Other Stories Coming Soon!

New cover for The Scent
The cover for the second edition of The Scent and Other Stories.

I have decided to put out a second edition of The Scent and Other Stories.

My primary reason for doing this is because I don’t like the cover any more. It is too dark and bland. When I initially created it, having been a (film) photographer at one point, I thought a black and white photo of a woman looking at the reader would be intriguing.

However, when I searched Books-a-Million to see if they carried my works (and they do), they came up with only four, of which The Scent… was one. It looked very dark and bland and ancient on their website. It was nothing to entice a viewer. Therefore, I have developed a new cover, which you can see here. It’s much more eye-catching, which is important when it’s laid out side by side with a dozen others on a computer screen.

I started thinking about a second edition some time back. I wanted to include another story entitled “Bye-Bye”, which was previously published by Fictionontheweb.co.uk. After I added the story to the current manuscript, I discovered that I had 90 pages. In the Amazon printing world, they can print the title on the spine of the book so long as the book is 100+ pages. I really want the title to be on the spine to make it more marketable in bookstores. So I have another 10+ pages to add.

I searched my electronic files and found a story entitled “American Dream” which I started a few years ago, but never got more than 40%-50% done. I calculated the number of 6×9 pages the story would be  currently to eight. So I decided to finish it and include it in the second edition. I am still working on it.  Once finished, it will probably be more like fifteen to twenty pages in length. Maybe one day, if I write more stories along this line (and I hope to), I will put out a third edition and include those.

San Antonio Riverwalk
The San Antonio Riverwalk

The story so far is that a rather wealthy and bored, young wife named Laura is waking up in her bedroom in Corpus Christi while her husband is out of town on business. She is trying to decide what to do for the day. She thinks about the nightlife she enjoys and the lovers she has had (her husband is frequently out of town) as a result.  She wants to call up her current guy on the side, Malcolm Flynn, but he is up in San Antonio for the weekend with his girlfriend. In a little while, a friend named Jill calls and asks Laura to go to San Antonio with her. She agrees thinking that San Antonio is a big town and she probably won’t run into Malcolm there. Of course, Laura and Jill spot Malcolm and his girlfriend in a cafe on the Riverwalk.

That’s as far as I have gotten. I am still toying with ideas for what happens next and how the story ends.

One side note on the story is that it includes Malcolm Flynn. Malcolm is a character in the novel I am planning to finish after Shadows and Stars: The Man Who Escaped from Hell. I also have plans to include Malcolm in some short stories. He is one of my varied alter egos that crop up in my work from time to time. Malcolm won’t be the protagonist in The Man Who Escaped from Hell (that’s Jake Brody), but he will be a close friend of his.

Let me know what you think of my plans and if you have any questions.

Don’t forget to subscribe.

Hasta Luego.


Off topic: Good video on How the Current Pandemic May End

I am veering away from literature and writing as a topic tonight and moving on to something of vital importance to everyone in this nation: Coronavirus and Covid-19. I saw this video tonight and thought this was an excellent video that as many people as possible should see. It does not take a political stance one way or the other. Joe Scott avoids the hype and political finger-pointing and sticks to the facts.

Joe Scott is one of my favorite YouTube stars. He speaks mainly on scientific topics, which he does with a disinterested, “facts matter” approach rather than much of the opinions you hear these days which try to push the viewer to one political viewpoint or another and whose facts are either missing or distorted. Joe tries to get to the facts in any situation, poking a little fun/disdain toward those who are not after the facts and have some sketchy, if not downright weird, ideas.

Joe does not have a science background, but his videos seem very thoroughly researched. Follow this link to his LinkedIn page for some biographical and background information.

In this video Joe discusses how he sees the Pandemic ending with our lives returning to something like normal probably sometime in 2022 (even if a vaccine is available in early 2021), though as he points out, our lives will never be completely like they were, because Covid-19 will always be in the background.