Saturday, January 28, 2012

Of Book Deals and Fairy Tales

Once upon a time (Because the best stories start that way, don't you think?) there was a writer. She lived in a small castle of brick and glass and spent her days poring over words and phrases, in search of that story, the one that would steal her heart and sweep her away. She'd written a few books and offered them to the Word Gods as a token of her commitment, but since they were frightful things, they were banished to the Trunk of Horrible.

One day, she got an idea, a whispery sort of idea that breathed dark secrets into her ear and wouldn't leave until she wrote it down. Then it grew and grew and grew until it was a monster of chaos, but many edits and beta reads helped tamed the unruly beast into a proper sort of story.

And then she wrote a query letter and lo and behold, the Gates of Luck and Good Timing opened and she became agented. Her book went out into the world in search of a home, because, alas, books are only manuscripts, no matter how pretty, until they find a home, and it traveled far and near and had many adventures on its way to the desk of an editor called a "noted expert on the horror genre" by Publishers Weekly.

And by some magical luck, he liked our heroine's novel. Or perhaps the novel bewitched him. They can be tricksy things. But either way, the result is this notice from Publishers Marketplace:

Fiction: Horror
Damien Walters Grintalis's debut INK, in which a man gets far more than he bargained for when he visits an elusive tattoo artist, to Don D'Auria at Samhain, for publication in 2012, by Mark McVeigh at The McVeigh Agency (World English).

And they all lived happily ever after.*

Pretty nifty fairy tale, right? Except it isn't. It's real.

My novel, Ink, is going to be a real book after all. The release date is scheduled for early December of this year. I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with Don and to be a part of the Samhain Horror line.

In truth, I'm not sure if it has truly hit yet. It's more of an amorphous 'yes, this is happening' sort of feeling that strikes at random moments and leaves me stunned and speechless, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I wish I could capture the feeling and trap it in a glass bottle so I never forget.


*Please note: I may have embellished this story a bit in the name of creative license. Except for the Trunk of Horrible. That is real. I have seen it, but only in quick little glimpses. One cannot gaze too deep into the abyss, or so it's been said…

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First Short Story Sale of 2012

I'm thrilled to announce my first short story sale of 2012! I've sold my story, To Be Undone of Such Small Things, to Daily Science Fiction. As always, I'll post here when I know the date of publication.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The End

At 3:00 a.m. this morning, I finished the first draft of Into the Grey, a novel that has been the most difficult one to write so far. As always, I felt a huge sense of relief, a bit of sadness, and more than a bit of elation. As it's a first draft, it's rough around the edges, but as I've said many times before, first drafts are for story; second drafts are for pretty.

I've also mentioned that I am a wing-it sort of writer. With this novel, the ending threw me for a complete loop. I was totally not expecting what happened. I was grinning and grimacing the entire time I was frantically typing out the words. As it turns out, it is a much better ending than the one I'd envisioned. I'm glad the characters steered me in the right direction.

Now I'm sitting here with coffee in hand, a good night's sleep behind me, and I feel that funny little post-novel let down. I've been so wrapped up in the characters and now I have to leave their world behind. But it's a good thing and in a few months, when it's time to reread and edit, I'll get to hang out with them again for a time.

I'll be focusing on short fiction for a few weeks, and then I'll start the first draft of another novel. Hopefully that one won't be such a brat.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Short Story News - Daily Science Fiction

My story, In Her Arms of Dresden Pale, will be sent to Daily Science Fiction email subscribers on Thursday, February 16 and will appear on the DSF website a week later on February 23. The story is an odd little slipstream tale that was inspired by...

Nope, I don't think I'm going to tell you. You'll have to wait until the story is published. The details of the inspiration are in the story notes that will accompany the tale.

If you're not a DSF subscriber, you can do so for free on their website. A short story delivered to your inbox five days a week. For free. So what are you waiting for?

Monday, January 9, 2012

'Tis the Season...for Awards

So we've reached Award time - Nebula, Stoker, Hugo, and others. Here and there, you'll see writers posting lists of their eligible stories. I've been reading, recommending, keeping lists, etc.. This is my first year as a member of SFWA, so I'm excited about voting for the Nebula Award in the various categories, but I'm also terrified I've missed something fantastic that I would have voted for had I read it. I know no one can read everything, but I want to make the most informed votes I can. Of course, the stories that speak to me may not speak to others, but it is what it is.

And here is my obligatory nod to my own work. The story I'm most proud of that saw publication in 2011 is Like Origami in Water which was published by Daily Science Fiction in October. It's dark fantasy so it would be eligible for the Stoker, Nebula, and Hugo.

And to be honest, I'm laughing a little as I type this. It feels awkward in a high school 'vote for me' sort of way. But I've received a lot of positive feedback on the story so to not mention it would feel strange, too. It would be very cool if people deemed it vote-worthy, but if not, I'm not going to fall to pieces in a pile of broken. That would be rather silly, yes?