Oct 26 2010

Short Story Spotlight

Remember how excited I was about the impending release of the Beat to a Pulp anthology a few weeks back? The book is out now, and it’s a beaut. BEAT TO A PULP: ROUND ONE was edited by David Cranmer and Elaine Ash, with a foreword by Bill Crider, and stories by some fiercely talented writers: Ed Gorman, Patti Abbott, Chris F. Holm, Charles Ardai, Sophie Littlefield, Glenn Gray, Jedidiah Ayres… actually, every story in this collection is a winner. (My “Insatiable,” which won the 2010 Spinetingler Award for best short story, is also in there.) In case you need any more convincing, Cullen Gallagher‘s essay “A History of Pulp” closes the anthology.

Speaking of Chris F. Holm, he’s just released his own short-story collection, 8 POUNDS, which is available via Kindle. My first reaction when I saw this was “Damn! I don’t have a Kindle!” It turned out that wasn’t a problem; thanks to the Kindle app, which is available for various computers and handheld devices, I was able to download 8 POUNDS without a hitch. I’d already read all but two of the stories in the collection, but at a mere 99 cents, it would still be a steal if I’d read them all. Chris’s stories are a joy to read (also: very scary), and if you haven’t encountered his work before — he’s been in Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, Thuglit, and Needle, to name a few — now’s the time to get acquainted.

One more anthology I’m excited about: DISCOUNT NOIR, edited by Patti Abbott and Steve Weddle. Inspired by a flash fiction challenge a few months ago, this collection from Untreed Reads features stories by Dave Zeltersman, Keith Rawson, Sandra Seamans, Eric Beeter, Kyle Minor, Kathleen Ryan, Kieran Shea, Cormac Brown, Jay Stringer… okay, I could go on and on. You know you want it.

Finally, while I’m on the subject of short stories, I’m taking part in Christopher Grant‘s 600-to-700 challenge over at A Twist of Noir. I’m not sure what I was thinking, given that I’ve never written flash fiction before, but my 678-word story, “Sorry Bastard” will be up in a couple of weeks. This is the first time I’ve been inclined to write a second story with the same main character. If you’ve read Cheap Bastard,” published by Spinetingler in March, you’ve already encountered Don. I have a feeling he may be back again after this.

Apr 11 2010

Welcome to the Dark Side

I’ve been threatening to start a blog for a while now. A second blog, I should say; I already have one called the Gluten-Free Guidebook. If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy — or if you just like to travel — please stop by. It’s been up and running for just over two years and covers a subject that’s close to my heart (and stomach).

But if you want to read more about my dark side, stick around here. I write crime fiction, and my first novel, THE DAMAGE DONE, will be released this October by Forge. You can find my short stories all over the Internet, on sites such as Thuglit, Beat to a Pulp, A Twist of Noir, and Crimefactory. For years I’ve been writing travel guidebooks for Frommer’s and sneaking the things that really interest me — Gothic architecture, cemeteries, and film noir settings — into them. Now I’m using my travels to places like Prague, Paris, and Peru as backdrops for my fiction. It’s much more fun this way.