Tag Archives: steven h. wilson

My Schedule for Shore Leave 40

If you’re attending Shore Leave in Hunt Valley, MD in a few weeks, you can find me behind the table at the following panels. In between, I’ll be in the audience for other discussion panels, celebrity stage appearances (specifically William Shatner, Allison Scagliotti, and Ming-Na Wen), getting autographs and photo ops, and generally socializing.

Hope to see you at Shore Leave’s big 4-0 celebration!

FRIDAY, JULY 6

7PM-8PM / Derby Room: Anthologies – Share the Love. Greg Cox (Moderator), Phil Giunta, Jenifer Rosenberg, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Christopher L. Bennett, Joshua Palmatier, Richard C. White

What attracts readers to short story collections? Do you prefer themed collections, single author collections, or a Whitman’s Sampler of stories? What draws authors to write for anthologies, sometimes for their whole careers?

10PM-Midnight / Hunt-Valley Hallway: Meet the Pros.

Meet your favorite authors, purchase books, and get them autographed!


SATURDAY, JULY 7

9AM-10AM / Derby Room: Science Fact. Kelli Fitzpatrick (Moderator), Phil Giunta, Christopher L. Bennett, Glenn Hauman, Mary Louise Davie

What really cool recent technologies and scientific breakthroughs or discoveries will shape our near future reality, as well as the way we tell genre stories? Collab with science guests.

2PM-3PM / Salon E: Firebringer Press Presents. Steven H Wilson (Moderator), Phil Giunta, Diane Baron

The scribes at Firebringer Press are ramping up some new releases and we’d love to tell you about them.

4PM-5PM / Salon E: Heinlein’s Five Rules of Writing. Laura Ware (Moderator), Phil Giunta, Jim Johnson, Lorraine Anderson, Dayton Ward

Robert Heinlein wrote five basic rules of writing that are easy to remember but hard to actually carry out. A discussion of said rules and their application.


SUNDAY, JULY 8

11AM – Noon / Salon F: The Writing Life. Phil Giunta (Moderator), Kelly Meding, Heather E. Hutsell, Diane Baron, Roberta Rogow, Richard C. White

With full time jobs, raising families, caring for elderly parents, and other obligations, panelists discuss their strategies for ensuring that words make it to the page (or screen) regardless of what life throws at them.

Resurrecting My Fan Fiction

Earlier this year, I took the time to transfer my old fan fiction stories (aka “fan fic”) to Google Drive and, as expected, nostalgia inspired me to reread many of them and reminisce about what I consider my “training ground” as a writer. Are these stories perfect? Of course not. I was still getting my storytelling legs under me, but I recall how much fun and enthusiasm went into penning every one of them.

Beginning in the late 1980s and running through 2002, I wrote about 25 short stories set in the universes of Star Trek, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and others. Unfortunately, I only managed to save about 16 of those stories digitally. First on floppy disks, then a Zip disk, then a CD, and now on my laptop and Google Drive.

Inspired by writer pal and publisher, Steven H. Wilson—who recently began Fan Fiction Fridays on his blog—I thought I’d take this summer to share at least some of my fan fic, beginning with a contest entry I wrote in July 1995 called “Star Trek: A Passion For Peace.”

I hope to post a new story each week to be found under the Free Fiction! menu above. I hope you enjoy these stories.

 

Spring Loaded!

May is nearly over and this is only my third blog post of the month. I’m not sure where the time is going, only that it’s passing with frightening speed. The past four weeks have handed me healthy portions of success and failure. I’ll begin with the latter. A network switch upgrade at work—that had been postponed three times for reasons beyond my control—was finally scheduled for Sunday, May 20, but came to a screeching halt when we discovered a problem with fiber cabling. We’re having that problem corrected now and will reschedule the upgrade for another Sunday in June or July.

Just before Memorial Day, I received notice that a short story I’d submitted to a contest had been rejected. Such is the writing life. I took Honorable Mention in this same contest in 2017. I was disappointed, but that didn’t linger very long because my local writers group is preparing to publish their next anthology in 2019 with the theme of Rewriting the Past. This story happens to fit that theme. In fact, I have two stories that deal with altering the recent past in some way. Hopefully, one of them will be accepted.

On a brighter note, I managed to add about 4,000 words and two chapters to my SF novel-in-progress during the month. Over Memorial Day weekend, I also recorded my second Kickstarter video since April. This one was for the third volume of the Middle of Eternity speculative fiction anthology series that I created and edited for Firebringer Press. It will be called Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity and will probably see publication in early 2019. I’ve talked about this series extensively in previous blog posts so I won’t keep blabbing about it here. If you’re interested, you can check out the first two volumes on Amazon or Goodreads by clicking on the titles here: Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity and Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

The previous Kickstarter video I recorded in April was for another upcoming book that I’ve also discussed here before. This will be a double-novella that will combine a vampire story called Freedom’s Blood by Steven H. Wilson and my paranormal mystery, Like Mother, Like Daughters, in the format of the old ACE Doubles (read one story, flip the book over to read the other). I hope to see that book released this fall.

I also managed to submit a supernatural tale to an open call for an anthology titled Beach Pulp, to be published by Delaware-based Cat and Mouse Press later this year or early next. I worked with Cat and Mouse previously when my short story, “Tower Sixteen” won second place in their 2016 contest and was published in the anthology Beach Nights.

Lastly, I attended a number of training sessions this spring as a volunteer for the Lehigh County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). These sessions included CPR/First Aid, Missing Person Search and Rescue, Fire Suppression and sizing up a hazardous scene, Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START), and leveraging and cribbing to extract a victim from beneath large debris. Learning new skills, making new friends, and accumulating helpful new emergency gear from flashlights and first-aid kits to tools and tourniquets.

Add to the above yard work, spring cleaning, and minor home improvements and it’s no wonder that time flew by. I hope to get out on the water again with rod and reel come June. I haven’t been fishing since mid-April and that’s a problem for me!

Blogging Takes a Back Seat…

The tenth of May had to arrive before I realized that I had not yet written a blog post this month. Several reasons for this, some of which I’ve mentioned here previously.

First, my priority has been a science fiction novel that has seen sporadic progress since 2016. It became one of those projects I worked in between writing  a novella, editing two anthologies, and writing about eight or nine short stories. Over the past month, I’ve been focusing more of my writing time on the novel, rewriting parts of the outline and troubleshooting problems in the pacing and plot of the first draft, which is only about 70% finished. Truth be told, since writing the outline and the first eleven chapters over the past two years, I didn’t like where the story was going. Better ideas developed during my time away from the project, but now I’m back on track.

On top of this, I recently received gorgeous cover art for the third volume of a speculative fiction series that I created and edited for Firebringer Press. The Middle of Eternity anthologies, as mentioned here many times, began in 2014 with Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity and continued in 2016 with Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.  Each book offers over a dozen stories in the SF, fantasy, and paranormal genres written mostly by emerging writers. For some, this series marks the first publication in their careers. That was my goal when I pitched the idea to Firebringer Press. Fortunately, Firebringer is owned by fellow scribe Steven H. Wilson who has shown much generosity in helping creatives find an outlet for their work.

The next book, Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity will probably hit the market in 2019 since my publisher and I are planning to release a “double-novella” later this year in the format of the old ACE doubles from the 1950s through there 1970s. Read one story, flip the book over to read the other. I just recorded the Kickstarter video for this in mid-April. I hope to see the campaign go live later this month.

Of course, now that spring has decided to make an appearance in my part of the country, lawn work and spring cleaning have been consuming what time I might have used for promotion and blogging. Most of the heavy work is done, but there are a few home improvement projects on the horizon this summer… as always.

So blogging might be sporadic over the next few months. I have another Kickstarter video to record for Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity and I hope to finish the first draft of my SF novel by September at the latest so that when I attend the Mindful Writers Retreat in October, I can start hammering away at the second draft.

As they say, though, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

Psychics and Ghosts and Vampires… Oh My!

I glanced at the calendar in the left sidebar of my website today and realized I had not yet written a blog post in April—but not without good reasons.

Near the end of March, I drafted project plans for the next two books I’m releasing with writer pal Steven H. Wilson through his publishing imprint, Firebringer Press. Both of these books will, hopefully, be crowdfunded via Kickstarter.

Like Mother, Like Daughters Book CoverFirst up will be a paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters starring Miranda Lorensen, paranormal investigator, psychic medium, and single mom from my novels Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side. This time, she’s bringing her daughter…

After Andrea Lorensen’s lover is found murdered during a paranormal investigation, she is determined to find the killer—with some help from her lover’s ghost. Meanwhile, her mother Miranda travels to Salem, Massachusetts where she reunites with the spirit of a teenage girl executed for witchcraft in 1692. This time, however, the encounter reveals an astonishing truth about Miranda’s past life—a truth that could kill her. 

Like Mother, Like Daughters will be paired up with Steve’s vampire novella, Freedom’s Blood

You’re a vampire, but you have an unyielding belief in the sanctity of the individual’s rights. How do you survive, if you can’t take blood without permission? And what do you do when someone offers you his blood… with strings attached? This humorous tale explores the ethics of being a vampire—or even just a creature that’s gotta eat—against the background of a developing America. Starting out in Colonial Maryland and carrying on through the 21st Century, “Freedom’s Blood” will perhaps amuse, perhaps enrage, and will certainly introduce you to a vampire like none you’ve ever encountered. 

We intend to release the book in the format of the old ACE Doubles where you read one story, flip the book over, then read the other.

Somewhere in the Middle of EternityAfter we recover from that, Steve and I will produce the third volume in our Middle of Eternity speculative fiction anthology series that began in 2014 with Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity and continued in 2016 with Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity. Almost all of the stories and interior illustrations for book three are finished and the cover art is in progress.

In addition to our returning writers Steven H. Wilson, Stuart S. Roth, Susanna Reilly, Michael Critzer, Lance Woods, April Welles and myself, we will be joined by Julie Fedon, Christopher Ochs, Bart Palamaro, Sean Druelinger, and Peter Ong.

To take the pressure off of artist Mike Riehl, who not only produced the covers to the previous volumes but all of the interior illustrations, we brought aboard artists Laura Inglis and Tim Marrron. It should be noted that both Julie Fedon and Christopher Ochs illustrated their own stories.

Look for more details  about both books in the coming months!

 

After Action Report: Farpoint 25

Farpoint 25 Program Book Cover
Farpoint 25 Program Book Cover by Todd Brugmans featuring caricatures of the entire Farpoint Convention Committee

Just returned home from the 25th annual Farpoint SF convention in Hunt Valley, MD and I am proud to say that I’ve been attending since day one waaaaay back in 1993 when I first met the convention’s co-founder and fellow writer, Steven H. Wilson.

We struck up a friendship that has only become stronger over the years since both of my novels and our Middle of Eternity anthology series were all published under Steve’s imprint, Firebringer Press. In fact, we have more books coming soon as we discussed during our Saturday morning panel along with fellow Firebringer writers Susanna Reilly, Michael Critzer, Diane Baron, Daniel Patrick (Renfield) Corcoran, and our layout specialist, Ethan Wilson.

In its early days, Farpoint sponsored a short story contest. My first submission was in 1995 when I entered a Star Trek story and took second place after a tie-breaker. The contest faded away through the decades until this year, when author track manager Steve Lesnik resurrected it. This time around, entries had to be 2,500 words or less and be based on a common photograph taken by Steve during his trip to Europe. No details about the origin of the photo were divulged, but I happened to recognize it.

I am ecstatic to report that, once again after a tie-breaker, I took second place for my post-WWII short story, “All That Matters is What You Believe.”

Second Place Trophy-Farpoint 25 Short Story Contest

Now that the contest is over, I can dish the details. Click here to read the stories from the contest!  Not sure how long the link will remain up. There were 13 entries total. Mine is #12: “All That Matters Is What You Believe.” First place winner was #4: “Splitting Arrows” by Eric Bakutis and Third Place was #6: “Hillfolk” by Aaron Rosenberg. All three of our stories will be printed in next year’s Farpoint program book.

As for the rest of the convention, I had a great time reuniting with many friends, some of whom I only get to see twice a year at the Maryland conventions (Farpoint and Shore Leave). Many of these friends are my fellow author guests such as the aforementioned Firebringer Press writers, but also Aaron Rosenberg, Russ Colchamiro, David Mack, Heather Hutsell, Diane Baron, Howard Weinstein, Keith DeCandido, Allyn Gibson, and many more!

The celebrity guests included Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, Timeless, Orphan Black, Watchmen, Eureka, the list goes on), Nana Visitor (most known to SF fans as Kira from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Nora McLellan (Killjoys), and popular SF and Star Wars author, Timothy Zahn.

While I’ve met Ms. Visitor at many cons in the past, this was my first time meeting Matt Frewer and it was a delight. He was funny, gracious, and kind to the fans. A truly positive experience.

On Friday night, Farpoint hosted the traditional book fair for all of the published author guests. It was a great opportunity for me to catch up with many of my fellow word slingers. Below are just some of my colleague at Firebringer Press (from left to right: Steven H  Wilson is chatting with a friend while Michael Critzer and Susanna Reilly smile for the camera).

Firebringer Press at Farpoint 25

Writer pal Heather Hutsell (below) was one of a few authors who had book premieres at Farpoint 25.

Heather Hutsell at Farpoint 25

My Farpoint 25 Book Fair Table

I actually set up at two different tables over the weekend. During the book fair (above) and on Saturday (below) where I spent about two hours at the assigned Firebringer Press table with my wife and  long time convention pals Kathy and Kevin.

Phil at Farpoint 25

Evon, Phil, Kathy, Kevin at Farpoint 25
Evon, Phil, Kathy, Kevin at Farpoint 25 (Photo by Blair Learn)

Dalek at Farpoint 25Of course, what SF convention would be complete without props and costumes! I’m sorry to say that while there were many fans in wonderful costumes during the convention (as always), I didn’t have an opportunity this time to take pictures. Worse, I did not feel well enough to attend the masquerade contest on Saturday night, but with credit to the photographers, here are a few of this year’s props and cosplayers…

Willy Wonka vs. Darth Vader
Willy Wonka vs. Darth Vader (Photo by Blair Learn)

Overall, my compliments to the Farpoint committee on a marvelous 25th anniversary celebration. Here’s to another 25 years!