Tag Archives: beach nights

What? No more cons for the rest of 2017?!

Sorry for the delay since my last post.  Once spring arrives, my workload around house and yard often becomes all-consuming. I was also a writer guest at the Great Philadelphia Comic Con for two days and had a great time with writer pals Bob Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, Peter David, Russ Colchamiro, and new friend, Heather Hutsell.

Phil's Table at Great Philly Comic Con

Crazy 8 Press at Great Philly Comic Con

It was great to see some excellent celebrity guests as well including Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5, TRON, and more) and Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more). There were many others, but those were the only two gents from whom I sought autographs. I had met Mr. Boxleitner about 15 years ago at Shore Leave where I had a Babylon 5 photo signed, but this time around, I wanted to get a few TRON items autographed.  As an Indiana Jones fan, it was fantastic to meet the gracious and genial Paul Freeman (Belloq).

Bruce Boxleitner (TRON, Babylon 5) Paul Freeman (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

One lesson I learned at this con is that I’ve reached a point where I’m starting to run out of room to display all of my books. I know, that’s a good problem for a writer to have!  So, the display is going vertical, ladies and gents. I ordered a six-shelf book rack, which just arrived today.

Book Rack

Although I’ll rearrange the books for better visibility. I was just toying with ideas when I set up the above picture.

Even though I’m not doing any more cons for the remainder of 2017, I do have three or four single-day library events and book fairs lined up where I can use this and of course, when I’m back on the con scene next year.

My reasons for taking a hiatus from the convention scene are many. First, I’m doing two fairly expensive home renovations this summer. Secondly, the sheer number and complexity of upcoming projects at my full-time job are daunting and will require some weekend and after-hours work. Thirdly, my writing time has been significantly drained by the editing work on the third volume in the Middle of Eternity series. Finally, I’m just burned out and I simply cannot do everything and be everywhere.

The first draft of my science fiction novel was supposed to be completed last year, but again, home projects and prepping the second anthology for publication consumed the first half of 2016. I managed to complete only the first four chapters in the novel. Disappointing.

Even after Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity was released in July 2016, I ended up spending a large portion of my writing time recording two of my three stories from that book on audio for podcast, which turned out to be an utter waste of about three weeks since a decision was made not to podcast anything unless ALL of the stories would be recorded. Well, most of the other writers either had no time, no interest, or no resources to record their stories. Thus, the podcast was cancelled.

I did manage to complete four short stories for various publications and contests between August and December. Then, as now, my novel saw only a modicum of progress, but two more chapters have since been finished. Still, the paltry progress is frustrating.

On the bright side, I shall be stepping down as editor of the Middle of Eternity series after book three is submitted to the publisher, which should permit me to fully focus on the SF novel.

What else have I been up to in my writing life? Well, one of those four short stories that I wrote in the latter half of 2016, “Once More, With Feeling,” was just published in a mixed genre anthology titled, The Write Connections, published by the Greater Lehigh Valley Publishing Group.

Two more of those stories have each been submitted to separate contests, the first (“So Hungry…”) to the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable paranormal fiction contest, and the second (“The Celestials”) to the annual Rehoboth Beach Reads short story contest sponsored by Delaware publisher, Cat & Mouse Press. I took second place in the 2016 Rehoboth contest and my story was published in the anthology, Beach Nights. Even if I don’t win one of the top three monetary awards this time around, I hope to at least see my story published in this year’s anthology, Beach Life.

The fourth story (“The Forest for the Trees”) will be included in the upcoming Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, tentatively slated for release in July 2018. That tale is an 11,000-word fantasy piece set in late 17th century Finland. So much research was involved in the great famine of the time as well as Finnish mythology.

Speaking of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, I am off to edit a few more submissions this evening. The good news is that I have a three-day weekend ahead of me and maybe—just maybe—I can make some time to write…

Lastly, there is a good chance that my paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters (written and submitted to the publisher in 2014), will finally be released in October as an ebook and audio book! Many of my readers have asked when the next story starring psychic-medium Miranda Lorensen will be released. Well, this is it, folks! It’s Miranda’s origin story and also involves her daughter, Andrea, who has a paranormal adventure of her own. Catch more of Miranda in my first two novels, Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side.

 

Beach Nights Takes Two Awards!

Many of you might recall that my short story, “Tower Sixteen,” won second place in the 2016 Rehoboth Beach Reads contest and was published in the anthology Beach Nights by Cat & Mouse Press in October.

I’ve just been informed by editor and publisher Nancy Sakaduski that Beach Nights has won two first-place awards in the 2017 Delaware Press Association Communications Contest: short story collection published by entrant (multiple authors) and book edited by entrant (Nancy Day Sakaduski).

Congratulations to all the Rehoboth Beach Reads authors! The book will now advance to the national National Federation of Press Women awards.

 

Reviewing Your Favorite Books, Even When You’re “Not Very Good At Writing”

While many of my readers take the time to leave reviews for my books, others often compliment me in person, via Facebook, or email, but when I ask these particular readers to leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon, they express reluctance, stating that they’re “not very good at writing” or they assure me that they will leave a review and never follow through. 
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Remember, you do not need to purchase a book from Amazon to leave a review for the book there.  Also, for those unfamiliar with Goodreads, it is a social media site for book lovers where you can rate and review books, create an online library of books you currently own and would like to read, and join groups of like-minded readers to discuss your favorite books. Best of all, it’s free to join!
 
The screen capture below shows two Amazon reviews for Beach Nights, a collection of short stories from Cat and Mouse Press that contains my paranormal tale, “Tower Sixteen”.  The book was published in October 2016. 
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Note the second review from Early LBI. It’s one brief sentence: “Great group of short stories.” Five words. That’s the perfect example of a brief review you can leave for any book that you enjoyed even if you’re “not very good at writing.”
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Ratings and reviews help authors immensely. As our volume of reviews and ratings increases, new promotional and writing opportunities open for us, new readers notice our work, and most importantly, reader feedback encourages writers by letting us know that our work is reaching and touching people. 
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Thank you so much for your support! We deeply appreciate it. 

OK, Now What Am I Working On?

Amidst all of the turmoil, chaos, and uncertainty that continues to be 2016, I must admit that it was not a bad year for me as a writer. I always wish I’d done more, of course, but I’m grateful to have four stories and an essay published across three anthologies, one of which was a second place contest entry that earned me $250. Click on each cover below for more information about the books.
Write Here Write Now Cover Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity Beach Nights
 
Last month, I had a short vignette accepted for the 2017 anthology of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group. That book will be titled the Write Connections and is slated for a March release.
 
I also finished my first of what I hope will be three stories for Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, the third volume in the Middle of Eternity speculative fiction series (no release date yet) and I’m working through a gods and monsters tale that is due in six weeks. YIKES!
 
Most importantly, I wrote the first four chapters of an SF novel that has been in development since 2012. It’s one of those projects that, at first, I simply tinkered with between other stories, but I finished the outline in 2015 and wrote four chapters over winter before being pulled away onto other projects. I intend to switch my focus back to this novel and complete the first draft in 2017, even if that means postponing or turning away some other projects. Only so many hours in the day and while I love writing short stories and editing anthologies, it’s been over three years since my last novel was published, so I’m overdue! 
Shout out if you’re working on any cool projects!

Beach Nights & Cool Sand

More than half of the authors published in Beach Nights gathered in Browseabout Books between 2-4PM today to celebrate the release of this fourth annual Rehoboth Beach Reads anthology by Cat and Mouse Press.

Beach Nights Paperbacks

To say the turnout was impressive would be an understatement. Many books were signed, much cake and wine consumed, and it was a joy to finally meet editor and publisher Nancy Sakaduski and several of my fellow contributing authors. My heartfelt gratitude to Nancy for all of her hard work on the Rehoboth Beach Reads contest from editing to publishing to arranging the book launch and everything in between!

Special thanks also to writer pal Susanna Reilly for making the trip from PA to show her support and to her dad for buying lunch at the Purple Parrot!

Beach Nights Display at Browseabout Books.
Beach Nights display at Browseabout Books.
Beach Nights Cake
Beach Nights cake
Several Beach Nights authors furiously signing books for loyal readers.
Several Beach Nights authors furiously signing books for loyal readers.

 

Writer pal Susanna Reilly at the Beach Nights book launch.
Writer pal Susanna Reilly at the Beach Nights book launch.

 

These beach anthologies are certainly popular!
These beach anthologies are certainly popular!

 

It's a crowded house at the Beach Nights book launch!
It’s a crowded house at the Beach Nights book launch!

 

Beach Nights editor and publisher, Nancy Sakaduski of Cat and Mouse Press.
Beach Nights editor and publisher, Nancy Sakaduski of Cat and Mouse Press.

 

Kathleen Martens, First Place winner in the Beach Nights short story contest.
Kathleen Martens, author of “Flight of the Song Bird” and first place winner in the Beach Nights short story contest.

 

Emory Au, artist for the Rehoboth Beach anthologies.
Emory Au, cover artist for the Rehoboth Beach anthologies from Cat and Mouse Press.

 

Weldon Burge, author of "Melvin and the Haunted Mansion."
Weldon Burge, author of “Melvin and the Haunted Mansion.”

 

Robin Glanden, author of "The Portrait" and "The Attitude of Gratitude List."
Robin Glanden, author of “The Portrait” and “The Attitude of Gratitude List.”

After the signing was over, I took the time to kick off my flip-flops and hit the beach for about 20 minutes before making the journey home with yet more fond memories of this wonderful town that has become my second home.

Rehoboth Beach in November
Rehoboth Beach in November

 

Rehoboth Beach in November
Rehoboth Beach in November

 

The Lone Chair on the Beach
The Lone Chair

 

Wandering seagull
Wandering seagull

 

Cold November sand
Cold November sand

 

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