I have spent a long time writing a short story entitled “The Interrogation of General Tsak” and I finished it today. I can take a quick breather before I get back to Shadows and Stars.
This is the story of a self-centered Air Force colonel who is interrogating a captured,princiled alien general after a failed invasion of Earth at the end of a decade-long war. It is 5,813 words in length.
As I wrote this off and on over the last several months, I kept discovering more and more nuances that I had to answer in order to avoid any plot holes. I really hate to leave any plot holes in a serious story. It makes me appear careless and unprofessional. I have finally worked them all out and the story is now intricately woven together like a weaver finch’s nest. I hope it holds together as well.
I had intended to spend the day working on Shadows and Stars, but over the last few days, I have had an inexplicable drive to finish this story and to cover all the minute details. I have spent the day doing that and running a few errands. I feel this is a story that will fall apart if something is overlooked.
I have submitted the story to The Dark magazine. I should hear from them soon.
One of the errands I ran today was to mail a copy of Nocturne to American Book Review. Hopefully, I will get a good review from them. Wish me well.
I spent a lot of yesterday researching getting my books carried by libraries. In order to be carried by a major library, a book needs good reviews in a respected journal. Unfortunately, I have been trying to find reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads and on various websites. I have also learned that libraries also prefer to purchase books from Ingram Spark or another wholesaler rather than directly from a website such as Amazon.
This is another reason I need to pursue publishing the print versions of my works with Ingram-Spark. I have started the process with A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror. So far, I like the process more than I like the Amazon process. I have more control over how my final work will appear among other things. I will probably publish Nocturne with them next.
So now I am trying to find ways to be reviewed in a journal respected by major libraries. I am finding out that there several of these. Of course, each has a different submittal process. I will take it a step at a time as usual.
Major libraries also like to carry books that are in the Library of Congress. Unfortunately, for a self-published book to be carried in the Library of Congress, it must be submitted unpublished. I will have to give this a shot with my next self-published book, which may be another collection of my horror shorts. It might be another poetry book if I can find more of my poems from the 80’s-90’s.
I recently discovered Ligeia Resurrected. Her focus is on all things Goth, but the majority of her videos seem to be on gothic literature and music, dress, make-up, and absinthe, naturally. I enjoy her book reviews and will start posting them here occasionally. I am considering having book reviews by myself or others at 8:00 p.m. on Fridays, but that is still in the concept stage. If I do them, they will probably be written as my video production skills are rudimentary at best. I may make videos of them later. I hope you enjoy this presentation.
I have recently started watching Clifford Sargent’s book review channel “Better than Food”. These are terrific reviews. I watch these and I love the way Mr. Sargent seems to not review these clinically as a English professor might, but he seems to take them to heart. His genuine love for the literary art form is obvious. His reviews are insightful with a stream-of-consciousness delivery that draws the viewer into the world of whatever he is reviewing. Throughout a review, he may inject little bio notes about the author and/o many other factors that led to the development of the work. These reviews may be practiced, but it is obvious that he is not reading from a script and he doesn’t seem to be struggling to recall anything he memorized. He talks to you as if you were a fellow classmate as you discuss a work you both read for class or you read in a book club and now you two relax in his home or in a park or in his yard or on a staircase while you have coffee together. Most of the books he reviews are contemporary novels like Death to the Bullshit Artists of South Texas by Fernando Flores, though sometimes he dives into the past and reviews a classic like Goethe’s Faust or a modern classics like Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
His review tonight was of Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. I have heard of this story for many years and I have been intending to read it, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. After watching this review, I know I will have to read this ASAP. Apparently, I have been missing out on a great classic for years.
Be forewarned, this review does contain spoilers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Just now, I finished adding Amazon’s new service, X-Ray, to my short story collection Diabolical: Three Tales of Jack Thurston and Revenge. X-Ray inserts links into a Amazon Kindle text which lead either to a Wikipedia article or to comments by the author on a character or term in the text. It’s easy to use. I like it, because in a work like Diabolical, there are many obscure terms which may need clarification to some readers. I feel this will help the reader enjoy the work more, because he/she will not need to run to a dictionary, encyclopedia, or to a search engine to find out the background on a character or term, especially if they are historical. For example, in these tales I use the names of several demons which are cited in historical works. Probably very few people would recognize the names of these demons (such as Azazel or Belial) and would need to do at least a little research to find out their significance.
This also helps with marketing my other works in which some of these characters may be mentioned. In my own comments on a character or term, I can mention in what other works that character appear and how to find and purchase those works.
Yesterday, I added X-Ray to my short story collection The Scent and Other Stories. Go to amazon.com/author/philslattery to learn more about each book and to purchase one or both.
Just a reminder for those seeking Christmas gifts at the last minute: I now have three works available on Amazon Kindle.
My novelette, Click, has received a five star rating from one reader, who stated, “Author has a wonderful ability to develop the characters using few words. Great foreshadowing to build suspense. And then a really outstanding twist at the end that left me smiling.” In Click, A Texas policeman, on a secluded island while recovering from the guilt of shooting an unarmed man, suddenly finds himself under attack by unknown assailants and caught up unknowingly in a web of intrigue.
Several of the stories contained in my two short story collections have garnered high praise from readers.
In my first collection of previously published and unpublished short stories, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future.
In The Scent and Other Stories, another collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range in setting from forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s confession in present-day New Mexico to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas
“Through the Gaps” (http://throughthegaps.com/art/decision/) has published my short story “Decision” about love and racism in the mountains of 1970’s eastern Kentucky. Many sincere thanks to the “Through the Gaps” staff for re-printing this, one of my favorite and most poignant stories. I love the illustration they chose, which has considerable emotional impact once you have read the story.
This story is definitely literary drama, not horror, but it is one of the first stories I wrote when I started writing and it demonstrates some of my basic principles in writing.
The “Through the Gaps” staff seem to have a real knack for picking illustrations. They did a superb job in picking the illustration for my story “Sudan”, which was published last week and, like the illustration for “Decision”, is particularly poignant once you have read the story.