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Daniel I Russell - Writer of Horror Fiction

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Careful, 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!


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:
Original Video

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.


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!

Posted by Daniel I. Russell :: 10:24 am :: 8 comments

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