Daniel I. Russell is the author of Entertaining Demons, Samhane, Retard, Come Into Darkness, Critique, The Collector Book 1: Mana Leak, Mother's Boys and the huge collection Tricks, Mischief and Mayhem. Daniel is a HWA active member and represented by the Tobias Literary Agency, NYC. Daniel has also been the vice-president of the Australian Horror Writers' Association, special guest editor of Midnight Echo, associate and technical editor for Necrotic Tissue, and Shadow Awards judge.
Review: Hollow House by Greg Chapman
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Saturday, March 27, 2010A BLUE/BLACK COLOUR SCHEME, OH, AND A COMPETITION!
BEWARE THE BUNYIP!
Once again, sorry for the inconsistent blog entries. Things have been HECTIC here. After the Western Australian College of Teaching finally pulled their finger out of their arse and renewed my membership, I've been allowed to work again. Whoohoo! Means my bank account drought may be coming to an end. Also have more fulltime-permanent work on the horizon, which is great. Let me at those chemicals!
On top of that, this week I've had informal requests for a couple of short stories for upcoming publications and tentative discussions about a possible poetry collection (I'm writing this before heading to the library to bone up on different styles. Might also get some things out on serial killers and medical procedures for added inspiration). I've also been finishing the first round edits of The Forgotten, which eventually came in at around 92,000 words. Oh, and the last of the tech edits for Necrotic Tissue #11. So yes. Hectic.
But the big boost was that my copies of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #43 arrived this week. Great stuff, and as you can see above, my Bunyip story 'By the Banks of the Nabarra' made the cover. A very big high point in my writing career thus far, and I cannot recommend this magazine enough. The submission process is top notch.
For potential readers to get a hold of a copy (and there's a decent amount of my story in there, a whopping 34 pages as well as the other amazing pieces - including one written by my good friend Victorya) we have several options.
Buy from the magazine direct at www.andromedaspaceways.com (although...they haven't updated the site since the last issue so you may have to wait awhile), buy a signed copy via paypal from my site www.danielirussell.com. Visit the store. It should be up there in the next few hours. Or finally, should you live local to Manji Towers, I'm in the process of convincing the book store in Manjimup Newsagency to stock a few copies. Magazine's only AUS$8.95.
DAN'S AMAZING ASIM COMPETITION!
According to David Kernot, the editor of ASIM#43:
"'By the Banks of the Nabarra' is a truly reflective piece of Australian culture."
That's why I chose to write about a bunyip, I wanted something uniquely Australian, and it's always been one of my favourite creatures.
For a chance to win a signed copy of ASIM#43, simply leave a message either here, on Facebook, Goodreads, etc stating what YOUR favourite monster is and why. Best answer, whether it makes me laugh or makes me ponder, will be picked on Saturday 3rd April (Aussie future Saturday!).
NECROTIC TISSUE #11 READY TO ROLL
And isn't it stunning? Colour scheme goes well with the cover above.
Just a quick mention that the next issue of Necrotic Tissue has been proofed and is currently with the printers ready for shipping in the first week of April.
And yes, that name on the cover is Bram Stoker nominee JEFF STRAND, author of Pressure and Dweller among others. I'm a big fan of the gleefully macabre (!) Mr. Strand and it's an honour to feature him in this issue. #11 also sees the fruits of our submissions process and countless editorial meetings. I can't wait to read all these great stories again.
Check out our slightly revamped site www.necrotictissue.com for subscription/single issue purchasing information!
And with NT business, submissions open once more for the month of April only. I'm the chief editor for this one (bites nails). Send in your BEST. We're dying to read it.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010A blog. Like a golb, but a bit backwards
WELL I SUPPOSE I'D BETTER DO A BLOG POST THEN, EH?
Don't expect the usual happy-go-lucky horror blog this week. I'm sat here with a head ache today after spending the day at the computer.
In the Necrotic Tissue virtual office, head editor R. Scott McCoy has handed the reigns temporarily to Bad Billy author John P Wilson, so he can lie in the hammock in his overly-grandiose office (think of the ballroom in Labyrinth), sipping mountain dew and reading the great reviews of his own book FEAST, from Shroud Publications. Alright for some. Mind you, the guy has been working flat out on NT for 3 years so deserves a change.
Thus, with his additional responsibilites, John passes on the job of technical editor to me for this period, and that's what I've been doing all day. It's rewarding, but hard on the eyes, like looking in the mirror when I get out the bath (eurgh!). I close my eyes and see commas and scene breaks and too many uses of the word was (only kidding authors that are in the mag...this isn't the slush pile anymore!). I now have the ultimate respect for those people that do this every day for their job. I hope you get optical cover in your contracts of employment!
I need to relax...perhaps have a lie down and read a book. NOOOO! The words! The commas! Was was was!
This is on the back of us proof reading the April issue (#10) this week. Yes, lots and lots of work done for Necrotic Tissue over the last few days. The virtual office is tense. We all have to make our own cuppas and can't all go for a drink come Friday afternoon...and Friday afternoon hits us all at different times anyway! Sheesh!
Is it all worth it? Seriously?
Buy an issue, or better yet a subscription at www.necrotictissue.com. It will answer that very question.
NEUES BUCH DECKT!
Or...new book covers.
The head editor of Voodoo Press. Michael Preissl, has this week revealed the covers to the German editions of my books Samhane and Come Into Darkness, which are to be released later this year.
And I'm sure you'll agree that they're very good! When I asked a few people that read the original ebook of Samhane what they wanted to see on the cover, they all said the same thing. Evil clown! Despite Chuckles the Clown not being a main character, he certainly is one of the nastiest and thus earns his notorious place on the cover, gazing out through the storm clouds across the rooftops of Samhane. And the feedback we've got back so far has been very positive!
Also, we have to the right the German edition of Come Into Darkness (Komm in die Dunkelheit...which over at the Skullvines Press forum, earned me the name Daniel 'Dunkelheit' Russell! Cheeky bastards, but at least Dunkelheit means darkness, and not cheesy chicken schnitzel or anything). While a simpler concept, we have something dark, subtle and atmospheric.
I love these covers, and well and truly owe Mr. Preissl a good few beers for sorting them out.
For any German readers, the books will be available from www.voodoo-press.com as well as Amazon and bookshops. Why not visit the site and see what else is available? There's also an interview up of yours truly with Carsten Steenbergen of Phantastik Journal!
I'm off for a lie down in a darkened room...
Wednesday, March 03, 2010Careful, love. He's ranting again!
First off, I would like to apologise for the small font (I'm having tech issues!) and then continue shouting from the proverbial.
The final TOC (that's table of contents for those of you that aren't up to speed on the lingo, ie, you, mum) has been released for the much anticipated horror-western anthology from Bandersnatch books, Dead West.
And wow. Seriously.
The book is due out in October with line edits starting in the next few weeks. It's an honour to be included, especially when I look at some of the names I'll be sitting alongside, and it's nice to be sharing a TOC with good buddy Jerrod once again. If this keeps up, we might start a rumour.
The pay will also help my careening book tab that I seem to be running up. Har!
Anyway, the contents:
Jerrod Balzer – A Show of Rage
Steven Shrewsbury – Boston Corbet: Castro Gunfighter
Steve Vernon – Border Crossing
Hunter Lambright – Things Worse Than Ghosts
Daniel I. Russell – Rainchild and the Trickster
Rick Hautala – Screaming Head
Steve Rasnic Tem – Sleeping Ute
Lisa Morton – St. Thomas of El Paso
Harry Shannon – The Reckoning
Martel Sardina – The Turtle’s Only Friend
Michael Knost – Thinning the Herd
Maurice Broaddus – Trails End
Matthew Pizzolato – Windigo
And finally a big thank you to the editor Scott Colbert. The man puts my own editorial organisation to shame. I think he's even included toilet breaks for the authors in his time frame. Well done that man!
ABANDONED MANJI TOWERS
We've been away for a few days this week, mainly as the girl child had a hospital appointment in Perth, but it was good to get away from Manjimup for a little bit. I didn't mention it, as telling the world exactly when your house will be empty is a very stupid thing to do (little tip there, Facebookers!) After said hospital appointment, we visited the centre of Perth and took the kids to the Western Australian Museum. They have the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit on, and with the kids loving dinos, we just had to take them.
Here's some video footage:
In which I dare Mason to touch the cordon in front of the T-Rex. Unfortunately, it chooses that moment to go absolutely MENTAL! There were some changes of underwear that day, believe me.
And he's a pic of a very laid back horror author with his bored baby, taking a look at a very real set of great white shark jaws. Scary stuff when you see it up close. At least that's one less in the ocean to eventually eat me.
AUTHOR'S RANT...YES, IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN
I'm still finishing off my few remaining short stories and then have an entire novel and Necrotic Tissue #10 to edit. After that, I'll be starting the next big project...but what to do?
One thing I always promised myself was that I'd write the novels I wanted to. If publishers liked them and bought them..well...woot! If not, bad luck. Write another one.
Now that I have kids and my writing career has developed somewhat, I worry that this is the correct approach. Anyone who has written a book, even if it's just a novella, will know how much time it takes to be sat at the keyboard hammering away. I feel now that I have to warrant that time. To write a short story that might take a few hours over a couple of days to not sell...it's no biggy. But for the same thing to happen with a novel that might have taken upwards of a year to complete, you can't help but have the feeling that you've wasted your life.
At the moment, I have part of a new novel done at 40k words. This has always been a long one and I can see it reaching around the 140k mark. For most publishers, that's a long book: too long a book. Already I'm narrowing my margin of success. Yes, if I was a household name with a big publishing house, size is irrelevant. Just look at Under the Dome. I believe that if this book would have been written by a newbie writer, 100% of publishers would say it was ridiculously over-long.
So should I finish this novel? Seems a waste of 40K if I don't, but then it might be waste of several months to have it finished only to gather virtual dust on the hard drive.
So what else had I planned? Another 80-90k novel (the more attractive length) based on a short story that is currently under considering with Bucket O Guts Press, called Nobody Fucks with Venus. The story was vastly different from my comfort zone and I loved the setting and characters. I want to challenge myself and write a whole novel based on this world. Shame is...it's quite bizarre.
The Collector is a novel of mine that hasn't had any success with publishers or agents, and it's quite hard to define as it has several elements of horror/SF/fantasy/humour/etc. The horror publishers have said no as they don't class it as horror, more SF and fantasy. The SF crew see it as horror. And so it goes on.
Alternatively, the book may suck balls. I'm not bullshit enough to claim the book is brilliant and these publishers just don't understand the concept. The book could quite simply blow. I've been in the game long enough to accept that criticism! (And often have!)
So should I write this bizarre book, will it also share some of the same marketing problems as it won't fit into a neat box? (Categorically. I don't mean the hardback will be octagonal in shape or anything...although that would be a unique selling point and would drive Waterstone's shelf stackers nuts!).
I could use my head and not my heart, and write something more mainstream. A non-supernatural killer story, perhaps. Corben and Kernick do okay for themselves, and it seems Koontz has packed away his more outlandish tales for paint by numbers thrillers nowadays. I could do that...but I wouldn't enjoy it. And if you're not enjoying it, then what's the point?
So I really don't know. Hopefully by the time the shorter stories are done and the mountain of work edited, the solution will have revealed itself.
If not, at least I can do a cookbook or ghost write for a dumbass model/whore or something. It's not rewarding, bet hey, it'll be a best seller!