Monday, December 31, 2012

INK News

Ink was included on the The Bag and the Crow's list of favorite reads of 2012 along with books by Jack Ketchum, Rio Youers, Robert Shearman, Nick Mamatas, Brian Keene, Lee Thomas, fellow Samhain Horror authors Ronald Malfi and Brian Moreland, and many other fine writers. I'm honored to be included on such a list.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Samhain Publishing Year End Sale

Samhain Publishing is have a year end ebook sale. Any ebook, including Ink by yours truly, is 40% off.

Visit the Samhain Publishing site and enter "NEWYEAR" at checkout. The offer is valid until midnight on Monday December 31.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Year in Words

As the year winds down to a close, I thought I'd take a look at what I've achieved over the last twelve months.

I sold twelve short stories, eight of which were published this year and four which will be published sometime in 2013. I also had twelve stories published this year. Those publications include:

They Make of You a Monster - Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Glass Boxes and Clockwork Gods - Electric Velocipede
Scarred - Fireside Magazine
And When the Innocence Falls to the Floor - Penumbra eMag
In Her Arms of Dresden Pale - Daily Science Fiction
To Be Undone of Such Small Things - Daily Science Fiction
A Handful of Glass, a Sky Without Stars - Daily Science Fiction
And Down Will Come Baby, Madmen and All - Buzzy Mag

Earlier in the year, Like Origami in Water, published in 2011, was included on Ellen Datlow's Honorable Mention list for Best Horror of the Year Volume 4. Thinking about that still makes my heart flutter.

As far as novels, I finished one in January, wrote another (first draft - 106k), and edited two others (one for my editor, one for my agent). 2012 also brought the release of my first novel, Ink, the reception of which has been overwhelmingly positive.

Looking ahead to 2013, I've stories set to appear in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Apex Magazine. I'm also working on some new short stories for projects I can't talk about yet. 2013 will also bring book signings and conventions.

As award season is approaching, it would be remiss if I didn't mention that my short fiction is eligible for the various awards (Stoker, Nebula, and Hugo), and Ink is eligible for the Bram Stoker Award® for first novel (It's also eligible for the Nebula and Hugo, but it may be too dark/horror for those). I'm also in my second year of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award.

All in all, 2012 has been amazing, but my inner overachiever thinks I can do better next year. Here's hoping I don't disappoint her.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Interviews

I was interviewed by author Russell R. James, and I talk about Ink, my tattoos, some of my favorite books, and the furnace in the house where I grew up, among other things.

I was also interviewed by Niteblade Magazine, and there I discuss the origin of my short story, Running Empty in a Land of Decay, which was published in Niteblade last year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A new review of INK

K.E. Bergdoll, who also reviews for The Crow's Caw, posted a review of Ink on her blog, The Rookery. Among other things, she said, "One of Grintalis' great gifts is making the unbelievable, not only believable, but making it live and breathe. Her monsters are not cartoons, her demons are not dispelled with the light of day—all of her creations are real. Her love of horror fiction is obvious (I found myself reminded of Peter Straub), but her craft and imagination raises Ink beyond the deluge of lesser works in the genre. I love her short fiction, but Ink proves Grintalis can handle the novel length with ease. No doubt we have much to anticipate in this writer's career and I highly recommend Ink for anyone with a fondness for horror."

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Short Story in Electric Velocipede

My short story, Glass Boxes and Clockwork Gods, was published today in Electric Velocipede and is available to read free online.

An excerpt from the story:

When the one in red gives up and screams, no one makes a sound. We turn our faces away or rest our foreheads against the glass and wait. It won’t take long. Big is quick with the remaking. In between the screams, sharp snaps punctuate the air with exclamation points of splintered bone and leaking marrow.

We all try not to scream.

We all fail in the end.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Of Darkness and the Real

I write about darkness and sorrow and dreadful things, but real life is always far more horrific. My thoughts go out to the families in Newtown, Connecticut today. I am angry. I am heartbroken. I have no way to understand how someone could do this. Everyone please hug your children a little tighter tonight and please keep the Newtown families in your thoughts and hearts.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Seventeen Random Facts About INK

1. A snippet of a scene was inspired by a scene in the movie Young Sherlock Holmes. Hint: In the movie, a figure steps out of a stained-glass window. In the book, a window is involved, though not of the stained glass variety.

2. My villain, Sailor, was inspired by the beginning of the joke A sailor walks into a bar.

3. There is a fictional restaurant in the novel called McAfee's that was named after one of my beta readers.

4. Another restaurant is not mentioned by name, but by description. That restaurant is very well-known in Baltimore and happens to be the spot where my husband proposed to me.

5. Another character's last name was borrowed from yet another beta reader.

6. To accurately describe Sailor's distinctive walk, I practiced walking like him in my living room. More than once. It proved to be more difficult than I thought, but once I got it right, describing it was easy.

7. Sailor also has a distinctive, gravelly voice. The voice of actor Michael Wincott served as the inspiration.

8. Three characters from Ink have made appearances in subsequent novels. Two were unplanned and completely took me by surprised when they showed up.

9. I wrote a full set of lyrics for the song that Sailor hums and sings, and I have a musician friend who may put it to music one day. 

10. There is a Shakespeare Street in Baltimore. To my knowledge, it does not contain a tattoo shop.

11. Jason's last name, Harford, is the name of another street in Baltimore.

12. There is one specific sentence that has appeared in all the novels I've written as well as a short story. Some of the words have been flipped around and the sentence is used to describe different things, but the rhythmic construction remains the same. And yes, the inclusion is intentional. It's a bit of an Easter egg that I call 'the Damien line'.

13. Two of the characters play a game of chess. I do not. Luckily, one of my beta readers pointed out the error of my ways as soon as he read the scene, saving me from much embarrassment later.

14. There is a recurring phrase in the novel: It is what it is. This is also one of my husband's recurring phrases. Truth in fiction and all that.

15. And this one is totally embarrassing: I misspelled one of my beta reader's names in the Acknowledgements page.  Once I realized my error (when it was too late to be changed), I let her know, but can you say ugh? I added a letter where it should not be and while it's not as dreadful as typing a different name altogether, still, it's horrible. I'm so sorry, Jenifer!

16. Many things changed in the editing and revision process, but the very last line remained the same throughout them all.

17. And speaking of that last line, I wrote it after I wrote the first two chapters. I didn't know how I'd get there, but I knew how the story would end.

So there you go. Seventeen random facts. I may put the lyrics up on the blog at some point, and perhaps I'll reveal the Easter egg line in a future interview, but for now? It is what it is.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Release Day for INK

 At first glance, nothing made the man in the tailored suit memorable—no cleft chin, no razor-sharp cheekbones, no scars. An ordinary face, an unremarkable man, albeit dressed in an expensive suit and a silk tie—the second-best part of being William, in his opinion. He doubted the previous owner, the real William, felt the same.

He moved with a hitching stride, a sort of low-slung walk as if unaccustomed to the fit of the pants. A far from ordinary gait. The city buzzed and hummed around him, but he paid it no mind; he had things to do.

Today is the official release day for Ink. I have a swirl of emotions right now twisting inside me, but I think the most prevalent is one of stunned realization. My story is now available for anyone to buy. Anyone at all.
Pre-orders of the paperback shipped early and I had folks Tweet and Facebook photos of their copies, and someone Tweeted yesterday about their favorite books of 2012. Ink was among them. To know that my story left that sort of impact on a reader is amazing.

It's been a crazy, wonderful journey. A huge thank you to everyone who has blogged, Tweeted, Facebooked, emailed, or mentioned the book to a friend to spread the word. I am truly grateful. 

Ink has a Goodreads page if you read it and would like to leave a rating or review. You can also do the same on Amazon.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the latest review from Nick Cato, which says, "Grintalis' sharp prose and couple of nifty twists gives things a fresh spin. Jason's final confrontation with both Sailor and his living tattoo bring the tale into dark fantasy territory, but at its heart, INK is a solid horror novel and a fine debut from a promising new author." But please be advised that there are spoilers in that review so if you'd prefer to read Ink blind, you might not want to read the whole thing.

Links for purchase:

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dreams of INK

Fourteen hours until Ink is released and I feel as if I'm standing on a precipice, yet what waits below is not a deep chasm of treacherous rock and stone.

Today, I'm a published author, thanks to my short fiction. Tomorrow, though, I become a published novelist. Maybe it's only semantics and this whole thing is worthy of nothing more than a rolling of the eyes.

Except… Except…

Over the years, I heard things like "agents don't rep horror", "horror doesn't sell", and when I received the first rejection for the first query letter, I wondered if they were right. Second rejection. Ouch. By the fifth, they didn't hurt as much. And then came a request. I don't remember if it was a full or a partial, but what it meant was a maybe, a step up on a climb to somewhere that was a dream.

More waiting, more querying, more maybes, more nos. And then a yes. Another step.

And then came submission. More waiting, this time for editors, more maybes, more nos. Sometimes the nos cut so deep, I thought I'd bleed out before too long. Then came a yes. Another step. A huge one.

And now this.

I know tomorrow will bring giddiness and laughter and fear and anxiety, but right now, I have this almost ethereal feeling of accomplishment that tastes of honeysuckle and candyfloss. Call it luck, call it hard work, call it talent. But I didn't quit. I kept taking those steps. I kept climbing.

Now I'm standing on that precipice and what waits below is a dream I dared to believe in, and I hope I never forget what this feels like.