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Daniel I Russell - Writer of Horror Fiction

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Monday, December 07, 2009

...rising from the flames...

Like most human beings, I'm aware that some people don't like me (jerks), so this next bit is just for them. Sitting comfortably? Ready to rub your hands together, throw your head back and laugh like some comic book super villain?


This week, I experienced a very, very weird feeling in my career. Some of you writers will have heard about the Leisure Horror Fresh Blood contest. I entered this in July, as with my novels not having been released in print, I was eligible. The contest closed in September, with the ten finalists being announced in November. There was a few novels of mine 'out there' and any positive decisions needed to be kept quiet to keep me in the contest.

Needless to say, having my novels on hold for the last 5 months, I didn't make the cut. To be a novelist with Leisure is my ambition, so imagine your dreams being stamped on and you'll know how I felt not seeing my name on that list (and a tad unprofessional in my book. I saw the finalists on a guy's twitter update, and it was a few days before I got the official email).

You laughing, haters? ;-)

But then, this weird feeling swept over me. Excitement. Rather then have months of stress and canvassing for votes to stay in the comp, I don't need to! Plus (and yes, you may consider this sour grapes) a few things didn't sit right with me viewing the finalists. Most of them have no presence on the web, suspicious for an aspiring writer. Pen name, anyone? (This tactic was suggested to me. Curse my honesty!). There's a few other gripes I have with one or two other finalists (maybe if I sent my bio and published credits, I may have made a better impression) but get over it, Dan.

And now, I can resume the search for other publishers (yay!) and agents (boo!).


Here we go. Begone gloaters, for here comes the good news.

DO NOT BUY SAMHANE. That's right. Funny request isn't it, a writer asking you NOT to buy his book. I haven't been happy with my current publisher for a long long time. The book took 18 months to get through the editing process (a fact not helped that three separate editors did the job - no issues with them as individuals, they did a great job. Just the process was sooo frustrating!) and to this day has not been promoted by the publisher. The selected excerpt wasn't posted, rather, the first half of the first chapter, badly formatted to the point it's unreadable. My reviews (and they've all been good thus far. Check out Samhane at www.goodreads.com for example) weren't even posted on the site with the book. I've been trying to get out of my contract for a long time, but the publisher has stuck to their guns and the download is still for sale at their site.

However, they did revert the print rights back to me....so...

In 2010, I'm pleased to announce that Samhane will be released in paperback by Stygian Publications, the same folks that brought you the critically acclaimed Malpractice anthology and the force that supports our very own Necrotic Tissue magazine. I'm sure the book will be reasonably priced, look great and be widely available. Out of all my novels, Samhane has always been my baby, being my first novel and all. Sales haven't been great, what with the poor advertising and ebook version only, but I'm sure Stygian can change all that. Readers love it, and we hope to reach a lot more in 2010. Watch this space.


All potential contributors be aware that submissions open again in January and for January only. This time, not only do all contributors get 1c a word as usual, and one story selected as the best of issue be awarded the pro rate of 5c a word...but check this out from the Stygian blog:

"As many of you know, NT already pays one writer per issue Pro Pay of 5 Cents per word. In cooperation with Quatre Con, we are having a horror writing contest for our January submission period. The winner will also receive 5 Cents per word and publication in our July issue along with 5 contributor copies and they will be announced as the winner at Quatre Con in Sacramento, Saturday, April 10th at 2 PM.

That's two chances out of twenty two stories we will select for July that will receive Pro Pay. What are you waiting for?? Oh yeah, January 1st. Submissions rules are the same as always, please check out our guidelines at www.necrotictissue.com.

In addition:

"Stygian Publications is pleased to announce a fantasy short story contest for the Abyss Walker Anthology, a new joint venture with the creator Shane Moore. All stories must take place in the Abyss Walker world. You can write a story about your favorite character or create a new one and they may be set in any time.

Half of the stories will be by established writers to include Shane Moore, the creator of the Abyss Walker series, but the other half will come from this contest sponsored by Quatrecon. The First Place winner will receive publication in the anthology, professional pay of 5 cents per word, and five contributor copies. The 5-8 runners up (depending on length of stories) will receive publication in the anthology, 1 cent per word, and two contributor copies."

Guidelines at www.stygianpublications.blogspot.com, so there's plenty for you writers to be getting on with.

2010 also sees Necrotic Tissue go under a slight change in respect of the chief editor. R. Scott McCoy has done a sterling job over the last few years, but in 2010, he's sharing the wealth (or is that burden?) with his associate editors (or is that whipping boys?) John P Wilson and yours truly. We're going to get an issue each, July for John and October for myself with us in charge of the layout, articles, formatting, etc. The submission process will be the same (so no hate mail if you don't get into the October issue, please). Going to be a lot of work, but worth it and great experience. A big thank you to Scott for this amazing opportunity.


My novella Fear of the Dark, a nasty little piece, like Alice in Wonderland on a bad LSD trip, is currently under consideration by the mighty Skull Vines Press. The boys are mad busy with the Abyss Walker series (again, see the comp above) and this might be another 2010 release if the final light is green. But I'm hearing good feedback, so fingers crossed. 2010 might be a good year!

You know what? I'm not going to bang on about goings on here at Manji Towers for once. Gonna keep this a 100% writing post! See you next week.

Posted by Daniel I. Russell :: 9:14 am :: 1 comments

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