Tag Archives: anthology

And the Awards for Beach Nights Just Keep Coming!

Just when I think the saga has reached its end… Many of you recall that last year, I took second place in the Rehoboth Beach, DE short story contest with my paranormal tale, “Tower Sixteen.” That story, plus 22 others, were published in the anthology, Beach Nights by Cat & Mouse Press in November 2016. 

Last month, the Delaware Press Association bestowed four awards on Beach Nights including best anthology, best edited collection, as well as two awards for individual stories. 

Well, yesterday I learned that Beach Nights and editor Nancy Day Sakaduski just won two awards from the National Federation of Press Women: First place for anthology and second place in the editing category! 

Here is a statement from the judges wherein, I am proud to say, my story “Tower Sixteen” is specifically called out along with “Flight of the Songbird”, which took first place in the initial Rehoboth Beach contest last year. 

What a fun and inviting collection! A wide range of stories nicely presented (including typography) and well edited. I realize judges chose the stories, but I can see your development and guidance as well. It seems while there is great variety, these are nicely edited and of high quality. These stories overall have excellent, memorable first lines – unlike collections where the reader feels the story could have started 2 pages in! Keep watching for that with your authors – that they show characters and actions, rather than describing them in exposition to set the scene. The very best of these do that. I was particularly taken with Flight of the Songbird and Tower 16, actually – I would agree with your judges on the strength of those stories. I also loved how you ordered the stories for flow, so the award winners are sprinkled throughout. Very interesting for the reader to discover those along the way. Nice work!”

 

 

Beach Nights – Countdown to Launch

For those of you within driving distance of Rehoboth Beach, DE next Sunday, November 13, consider stopping by Browseabout Books on Rehoboth Avenue, just two blocks up from the boardwalk. Between 2-4PM, Cat & Mouse Press will be launching their fourth annual Rehoboth Beach short story anthology, BEACH NIGHTS.

In Beach Nights, readers will encounter a ghostly WWII tower (Phil says: Hey, that’s my story!) and a couple with an unusual annual tradition; a girl who finds her voice at a jazz club and a boy who learns the snow cone king has a secret; an old lady who is inspired to get a tattoo, and a despondent man who is resurrected through the tango.

Beach Nights opens with a funny and romantic story involving a high school prom, and continues through tales that involve a mermaid’s moon, a “Vampire Surf Club,” senior disco queens, a seemingly haunted Funland ride, a murder at a Rehoboth hotel, a moonlit sea turtle rescue, and a kid who sneaks into a James Brown concert and meets the man himself.

Many of the authors will be in attendance to sign copies of the book, as well as the editor and judges. Refreshments will be served, and prizes will be given away!

Beach Nights

 

The View From On High: The WWII Towers of Delaware

 

Beach NightsIn case you missed my other five or six posts about the Rehoboth Beach Reads short story contest, my paranormal tale, “Tower 16” took second place and will be published in the anthology, Beach Nights, coming in November from Cat and Mouse Press.

In fact, the book launch is scheduled for November 13, 2-4PM, at Browseabout Books on Rehoboth Avenue.

My story focuses on lonely WWII veteran and Rehoboth Beach resident Reggie Prell and his doting granddaughter, Hannah, who is visiting him during summer vacation with her parents. In between regaling Hannah with stories of his army career, Reggie is confronted by the ghosts of his brothers-in-arms, all of whom have passed away over the years leaving Reggie the lone surviving member of his battery. Realizing that his end is near, Reggie reveals to Hannah the legend of Tower 16—which only materializes to claim the souls of those who served in the fire control towers along Delaware’s coast. Will Tower 16 come for Reggie next?

I was told by the editor of the anthology that my story actually made one of the judges cry. I know it certainly moved me as I wrote it.

So What Is This Tower You Keep Referring To?

I’ve been fascinated by the WWII fire control towers along Delaware’s coast for years and always wanted to write a story about them, but it was not until the Beach Nights contest was announced that an idea finally came to me.

After all, tell a paranormal fiction writer that you’re looking for stories that take place at night and whaddaya expect to get?

My connection to Rehoboth Beach seems to sDelaware Beaches Plaquestrengthen each year. I was married there, and as I write this, I am back in town with my wife as we celebrate our anniversary.

For the past four summers, she and I have rented a house for a week every July with friends, and we take the occasional day trip here as our schedules permit.

When at all possible, I also try to include a visit to Tower 7 in Cape Henlopen. It is the only tower open to the public at present, but there is a growing movement to restore and open some of the others.

This past July, I had the pleasure of visiting Tower 3 near Dewey Beach, which I’d spotted earlier in the day during a parasailing excursion.

 

Of course, trips to the beach wouldn’t be complete wiTower T-Shirt and Plaquesthout stimulating the local economy. This time, I finally bought a few tower-themed goodies from the local shops, including a t-shirt and two wooden plaques as pictured here.

Below are several pictures taken not only of the tower in Cape Henlopen, but images of the ocean, the bay, and surrounding park taken by me  from the very top of the tower.

 

The Purpose of the TowersFire Control Tower2_Long

The Fire Control Towers were constructed by the US Army in the early days of WWII to protect the Delaware Bay from potential incursion by German vessels.

There were 11 total concrete towers built between Cape Henlopen and Bethany Beach. Across the bay in New Jersey, two were built in Cape May and still exist, while the pair in Wildwood have been demolished.

Further north in Delaware, five metal towers were raised in Fort Saulsbury, but only one remains at Big Stone Beach as shown below. Photo credit: http://www.fortsaulsburyde.com

Fort Saulsbury Tower

The towers were mostly constructed in pairs in order to triangulate the position of enemy ships. The information would then be transmitted back to the gun crews.

Cape Henlopen was also the location of Fort Miles army base. Today, the base remains as a tourist attraction with many of the large caliber guns on display alongside the buildings as shown below.

Fort Miles Mobile Gun2 Fort Miles Rail Gun Fort Miles Massive Gun Fort Miles from Tower

Below: From the top of Tower 7, views of Delaware Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and Tower 12 in Cape Henlopen State Park.

Ocean from Henlopen Tower3 Ocean from Henlopen Tower2
Fire Control TowerCape May Ferry

Below: Tower 7 in Cape Henlopen State Park on a perfect summer day.

Fire Control Tower 7

References:

Fort Saulsbury, DE website

Fort Miles, DE website

 

Shore Leave 38 Convention Recap!

My trek to Shore Leave last weekend was much different from any previous year in that I arrived at the con directly from a marvelous week’s vacation in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Clear skies and sparse traffic made driving through the bucolic town of Denton, MD simply serene.

For a fisherman like me, traversing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was indeed a religious experience. Looking right and left, the view was blue straight to the horizons. Gorgeous.

Then I reached the 695 Beltway right at the beginning of rush hour. Let the road rage begin! Ugh.  Nevertheless, I finally reached the Hunt Valley Wyndham Grand, checked-in, registered for the con, unloaded my car in the blistering heat, took a shower, and missed my 5PM discussion panel.

After dinner at Noodles & Company with friends Sharon and Cyndi Van Blarcom, Lance Woods, and Renfield, we met up with fellow scribe and Firebringer Press publisher, Steven H. Wilson, with whom I had spent the aforementioned week in Rehoboth Beach along with his family and several friends (click here to see vacation pics!).

Friday night at 10PM brought the traditional Meet the Pros book fair where all of the con’s writer guests gathered to sell and sign books. It also celebrated the release of two new books for Firebringer Press–Steven H. Wilson’s fourth novel, Sacrifice Play: A Tale from the Arbiter Chronicles, and Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, the second installment in our speculative fiction anthology series. Seven of nine (pardon the obvious pun) anthology writers were on hand to sign copies including Daniel Patrick “Renfield” Corcoran, Michael Critzer, Susanna Reilly, Stuart Roth, Steven H. Wilson, Lance Woods, and myself. The night was so busy that it’s all a blur to me now and I did not have the time to take too many pics…

Special thanks to Ethan Wilson, Christian Wilson, Jessica Headlee, Jill Mardesich, Tim Marron, and Cheyenne-Autumn Christine Reilly for volunteering to shlep boxes of books from Steve’s car to Meet the Pros and then from there to my hotel room afterward!

Crazy 8 Press at Meet the Pros Firebringer Press at Meet the Pros Renfield at Meet the Pros Lance and Steve at Meet the Pros Susanna at Meet the Pros Michael Critzer and Phil Giunta Peter, Bob, Michael, at Meet the Pros

Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Saturday and Sunday brought about a myriad of discussion panels on writing and publishing. My panel schedule was lighter than usual this year. On Saturday morning, I was a panelist on “The Whole Package” with Richard White, Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg, Mike McPhail, and Jim Johnson. We discussed all that goes into quality editing, layout, and cover art.

Afterwards, I made my way down to the lower lobby to meet actors Michael Forest and Barbara Bouchet who each guest-starred on episodes of classic Star Trek.  They were both very friendly and I picked up an autographed photo from each of them.

While there, I was stopped by an attendee and asked to sign a Shore Leave trading card with my picture! I was honored, because after all, as Lucy Van Pelt said in the 1965 Charlie Brown Christmas Special, “How can you say someone is great who’s never had his picture on bubblegum cards?”

Phil on Trading Card

I then sat in on the Crazy 8 Press panel as several of the authors, including Peter David, Russ Colchamiro, and Michael Jan Friedman read excerpts from their latest books.

Crazy 8 Press-1 Crazy 8 Press-2

At 4PM, I had the pleasure of sitting in on John Noble’s talk in the ballroom. Mr. Noble is known for such shows and films as Fringe, Elementary, Lord of the Rings, and much more. He is an eloquent and engaging speaker.

John NobleJohn NobleJohn Noble

The “Firebringer Press Presents” panel occurred at what has become its traditional timeslot, 5PM. Of course, this is opposite the con’s official autograph lines for the celebrities and the dinner hour which often results in the panelists outnumbering the audience.  Nevertheless, it was a fun and lively discussion about current and future projects as well as our brand new aforementioned anthology, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

Phil at Firebringer Panel Stu and Sue at Firebringer Panel

Steve at Firebringer Panel

After the panel, a few of the anthology writers gathered in my room for a book signing party, including Steven H. Wilson, Stuart Roth, and Lance Woods.  Once all of the Kickstarter books were signed, it was time to gather with friends for a delightful dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack.

Back at the hotel, it was another round of book signing with Susanna Reilly. We chatted for a few hours with Stuart and his wife, Maria, before turning in for the night.

Sunday morning saw me finally participating in Shore Leave’s Writers Breakfast in the Cinnamon Tree restaurant. Every year since becoming a writer guest, I committed to attending and every year I failed to do so. I sat with Stuart Roth and Shore Leave Co-Con Chair, Dr. Inge Heyer. Inge is a longtime friend who has been involved with Shore Leave as a magnificent writer liaison for many years.

By 11AM, I was in the autograph line for John Noble and Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica, Castle, Big Bang Theory). The lines moved quickly and both gentlemen were wonderful to meet and chat with.  Afterward, I had about an hour to relax in the comfy chairs that line the hallway near the elevators. I was joined there by veteran writer Aaron Rosenberg. We chatted for about 30 minutes about writing, vacations, and life in general before it was time for my final panel of the con.

Shore Leave 38 Autographs

At 1PM, I joined Joshua Palmatier, Mike McPhail, and Michael Jan Friedman for “Building an Anthology”.  We had no official moderator, but questions from our audience members guided the discussion, much of which was spent on the topic of how to use Kickstarter to fund anthologies.

Near the end of my day, I once again crossed paths with artist Todd Brugmans who created the artwork for several Farpoint program books as well as Heroic Park, the debut novel of Lance Woods. For Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary, Todd was commissioned to create cover art not only for Farpoint’s program book, but for Balticon and Shore Leave’s as well. Combined, the images create a triptych and I happened to have all three with me for Todd to autograph!

Farpoint, Balticon, and Shore Leave program books

Alas, it was then time for me to say my goodbyes to every friend I could find in my final patrol of the hotel before beginning my voyage home.  All told, it was yet another enjoyable, albeit frenetic, Shore Leave filled the typical cast of colorful characters.

Phil with Crazy 8 PressTrek and Roll!Orion Slave Girl Science Officer Saavik Rock on and Prosper  Klaatu Judge Q

Mon CalamariJoker with Bomb

Jill Mardesich             Jessica Headlee Cobra CommanderBorg

R2 Unit-2R2 Unit-1

 

 

Time Shadows: A Doctor Who Anthology for Charity

Congratulations to longtime writer pal, Stuart Roth, who has a story in the upcoming Doctor Who anthology, Time Shadows by Pseudoscope Publishing. Stuart has also contributed to both volumes of the Middle of Eternity anthologies that I created and edited for Firebringer Press.

Time Shadows Cover
Doctor Who anthology
Time Shadows is a new, unofficial, unauthorized Doctor Who short-story anthology for charity from Pseudoscope Publishing. All sales proceeds will be donated to the Enable Community Foundation.
 ‌
Click here to read more about Time Shadows on the publisher’s blog!
 ‌
Synopsis
 ‌
“A great man is a torch in the darkness, a beacon in superstition’s night, an inspiration and a prophecy.”
— Robert G. Ingersoll, “Voltaire”
 ‌
Tipped off by a mysterious raven man, the Twelfth Doctor and Clara travel to Refuge, home of the last vestiges of life near the end of the universe. There, they discover an ancient, powerful Time Lord relic. No sooner does it activate, than new thoughts, new memories form in the Doctor’s mind: new adventures of all his past selves.
 ‌
Someone or something is tampering with time, changing the destination of the TARDIS, and altering the Doctor’s past. He and Clara must travel into danger, into darkness to set things right.
 ‌
Edited by Matt Grady with Samuel Gibb. Foreword by Gary Russell.
 ‌
Featuring stories by Violet Addison, John Anderson, David Black, Andrew Blair, Simon Blake, Christopher Colley, John Davies, Abel Diaz, R.P. Fox, Stephen Hatcher, Chris Heffernan, Ian Howden, Pete Kempshall, J.R. Loflin, Kevin Mason, Roger McCoy, David McLain, Christopher Olsen, John Peel, Stuart Roth, Dale Smith, David N. Smith, and Nick Walters.
 ‌
About the Enable Community Foundation
 ‌
The Enable Community Foundation advances and extends e-NABLE, a fast-growing global network of digital humanitarians using technology to design, fabricate, and disseminate free prosthetic-like hands and arms to those who need them.
 ‌
 ‌
Thank you for your support! Allons-y!
Time Shadows Full Cover