This and that

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve checked in here. My bad. It’s not that I don’t want to update the page, it’s just that things move at such a glacial pace in the literary world that, sometimes, there’s just nothing to report. However, with that said, I do have a few bits to share.

First, I have recently submitted a trio of short stories to various publications that I admire quite a bit. As always, competition is fierce, so nothing is set in stone. I’m very picky about who I submit to (stupid, I know), but I feel that my work has value, and as such, I want a publisher than can properly showcase my talent. When submitting shorts, it is truly a waiting game, as they (the publisher) have a shit-ton of fiction to wade through. These things take time.

Second, there is my novel. This book, which is out in the ether at the moment, means a lot to me; but I am a realist, and so am not expecting anything soon. That doesn’t bother me as much as you may think. You see, I am always writing. I have a second horror novel in the works, as well as a literary fiction novel (both in the second draft phase). My brain may not be good for much, but it loves telling stories. There’s no shortage of ideas floating around in there.

Lastly, I’ve been reading a lot of fantastic novellas recently (The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper, Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling and Break/Interrupt by Ben Van Dongen to name a few) and have been inspired. I’m, as of this writing, almost finished the second draft a horror novella which has been a blast to write. Truly, this story has been the most fun I’ve had in front of my computer in ages. There is a publisher in mind for this one, but they have a very limited release schedule, so it might get shopped around a bit. I will, as always, keep you updated.

Besides that, I’ve been reading a lot. Finally checked out Stephen King’s On Writing. It is weird coming to this book twenty years after its release. It’s so famous, that I’ve heard most of its advice second hand years ago. Still, if there is a person alive who knows what the hell he’s talking about, it’s King, so I was happy to absorb.

Anyway, that’s it from me. Be back soon,

Christian

We made it!

Hey! 2020 is behind us! We made it!

Last year was not exactly ideal (says captain obvious). All the plans were scuttled…seriously, all of them. The various book signings and conventions I had lined up to promote the re-release of The Space Between Houses vanished. I’m not complaining about this, mind you. It sucks, don’t get me wrong, but we were all in the same boat, so I’m not going to make it into a one-man pity party.

On a positive note, I did get some writing in, and even managed to sell four short stories (three have been released, the last coming this fall), with a fifth out in the ether as we speak.

I also managed a couple new drafts on my second horror novel, as well as a first draft on a literary fiction book I’m working on. That latter project will come to completion first, but then it’s back to the scary for me.

Another thing 2020 allowed me time for was a re-write of my first horror novel. Basically, after talking to some friends in the industry, I decided that there needed to be some changes to the story (mostly pacing). Ultimately, I am much happier with the novel now, and have recently started sending it out to agents and publishers (fingers crossed).

Looking ahead to this year, besides finishing those two books, I’m also going to try and squeeze in another four or five short stories as well as a mystery project (more on that soon).

With any luck, we’ll all be able to return to some semblance of normal in 2021 and we can start going outside again (I’m almost a mole-person at this point so it can’t happen soon enough). I miss the conventions and signings so much! Meeting new folks is the highlight of this wacky career I’ve chosen.

Anyway, that’s enough out of me for now.

Cheers!

-Christian

New Short Story!

I’m a little late with this one, and for that, all I can do is throw my hands in the air and say life got in the way. But as they say, better late than never!

You’ll notice by the above image, that this book is not like the others I have been featured in. And the reason for that is because it isn’t. Words Gathered is a unique blend of poetry, prose, fiction and non-fiction. A veritable smorgasbord of literary delight.

This might have you asking how one of my spooky tales came to reside in such a volume? Good question.

Gertrude’s Writing Room is a fantastic local resource for both aspiring and established writers. Besides being a warm, and cozy place for creatives to gather, they also offer a plethora of writing workshops (I’ve attended one and taught two more). So when Gertrude’s owner, Vanessa Shields (an accomplished poet), asked if I’d be interesting in contributing to the first ever collection Gertrude’s would release, I of course said I would be delighted to.

Okay, now I’m just rambling. Long story short, it’s a great book and you should check it out. It can be purchased from Gertrude’s website, found here.

Until next time!

-Christian

New Short Story!

I am pleased to announce that my short story, Hunger, will be featured in an upcoming anthology from Blood Song Books. The anthology is called Harvest and features stories of a rural bent.BSB_Harvest_Acceptance_2

The book will be available in both print and digital format on July 1st. If you are interested in ordering it, please follow the link below.

https://books2read.com/harvest

-Christian

The Space Between Houses Returns!

2019 marks the five year anniversary of The Space Between Houses. It’s crazy to me that this book is only five years old. It seems like a whole lifetime ago that it was released.

So, with the anniversary looming, I knew I wanted to do something special. The problem, however, was that The Space Between Houses has been out of print for over a year now. I toyed with the idea of self-publishing, but at the end of the day, rejected the idea. This, of course, led to the obvious question; who would publish it?

As luck would have it, I soon found myself having a coffee with Daniel Lockhart, owner and publisher of Urban Farmhouse Press (UFP). I’ve known Daniel for a few years, and he is a great guy. So, while sipping coffee, I asked if he—and by extension, UFP—be interested in re-releasing the book.

He said no.

…just kidding, he said sure, why not.

Which brings me back to the five year anniversary. This coming fall will mark the exact date the book first launched, so it is only fitting that it also act as the date of the re-launch. UFP will be releasing a brand spanking new second edition of The Space Between Houses later this year!

There will be more info as the day grows near, but in the meantime, check out UFP’s webpage and FB page.

-Christian

Distressed cover final

This and that

I’ve been away for a bit now, and for that, I apologize. To make up for it, I’m dropping an update on my novel along with various other things.

I’m happy to report the novel is oh so very close to completion (within a month or so) and I can’t wait to set it free (and by that, I mean be done with the damned thing). I gave a few chapters to some agents and publishers a month or so back at a literary event and got high praise and excitement. So, fingers crossed.51LRqN2hAFL

When not writing, I’ve been enjoying a few choice reads. I just snagged the newest Junji Ito effort to make its way across the pond, Frankenstein. I’ve also been jiving pretty heavy on anything by Adam Nevill (if you haven’t read this guy’s stuff, you need to remedy that immediately).

And, as always, I’ve been playing way to many video games. I just finished Prey, a fun enough game about aliens taking over a space station. I’m currently (finally) playing Farcry 4, and plan on jumping into the cyberpunk horror game, Observer (staring none other than Rutger Hauer!!) in the very near future. If you’ve played any of these games, let me know what you thought.Far_Cry_4_box_art

I was recently in the fine city of Kitchener, Ont. with my homie Ben Van Dongen for the Tri-City Super Con. It was a fun enough event, but the turnout was lackluster. For Ben’s thought’s, read his blog here.

Otherwise, I’m gonna keep on trucking, and will hopefully have some info soon on the novel.

-C

Four Years of The Space Between Houses

Distressed cover finalSo, this coming September will mark the four-year anniversary of my first book, The Space Between Houses. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this book, and like having it available in my back catalogue…but, it is currently out of print.

Now, here’s the dilemma. I can get more made under my own press (Adventure Worlds Press), but since I don’t have any of the final files (the original publisher does), I would have to go through the book and literally retype it. This is not a completely bad thing, as there are a few minor things I’d like to change (mostly all grammatical), and this would allow me the chance to do so. The down side is, I’d have to retype the whole fucking thing.

Sigh.

I’m leaning towards doing it, if for no other reason then my next solo book (the long in development novel) will probably not be out for quite some time. I still have No Light Tomorrow and All These Crooked Streets but neither of those are horror, and they are both co-authored.

Double sigh.

I guess I need to think about it some more. I’ll give an update in a week or two once I’ve made up my mind. I just really don’t want to retype the damn thing.

Triple sigh.

Later ‘gators,

Christian

Update!

I haven’t done one of these in a while, and thought it was time to give you all an update on what the hell I’ve been working on.

The short answer is: the novel. I say “the” novel, because this thing has been my Everest for the past few years. I’ve probably talked about this before, but I can’t be bothered to look back so I’m gonna go over it again. Without getting into all the details, I decided last summer to throw out my debut novel and write it again from scratch. This might seem like a drastic (and extremely foolish) thing to do, but after writing Sugar’s Last Dance for the All These Crooked Streets anthology, I knew it needed to be done.

So, where am I? Well, I am happy to say I am about a month or so away from finishing it. At least, finishing it enough to send to publishers and agents (it’ll need an edit from there). Speaking of agents, I met a few lately and gave them the first bunch of chapters and they really liked it. They even asked me to send it to them when it was finished. This was a nice surprise.

Anyway, after a wrestling match of epic proportions with the second draft, I feel like I’ve ironed things out and it should be (fingers crossed) smooth sailing until the end. I’m not going to lie, I’ve thought long and hard about putting this thing on the shelf and moving on to the next idea (a real dozy I can’t wait to write!), but I refuse to let this thing get the better of me, so I’m going to see it through.

On a completely different note, I feel like I’ve been neglecting this blog, so I have made the decision to start posting more often. Every Monday will be a post revolving around what inspires me to write (be it music, movie or book), with updates on Friday. So, come back often and tell your friends!

-Christian

Sugar’s Last Dance: Behind the Scenes part 3.

Sorry gang, this took a bit longer than expected (life and all its unforeseen eddies have pulled me off course). But, as promised, the real life person who inspired Ana.

Like last time, don’t worry if you haven’t read the story yet, there will be no spoilers here.

A bit of history first. A few years back, I watched a Spanish horror movie called Blind Alley. This film, which was about vampires, was a rather dull affair. It was a case of great cinematography…and nothing else. Except, there was something else, the lead actress. This woman was quite possibly the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. The kind of beauty that entrances all who witness it.

I quickly added her to the mental list we all carry around. You know, the one that says if we had a chance with so-and-so, we would gladly risk our marriage and or our family to do so.

bapos (1)Flash forward a bit. I was sitting down with the newest Eli Roth flick (his return after a few years away thanks to negative reviews of Hostel 2), Knock Knock. While the movie was laughably bad (mostly thanks to a subpar performance from Keanu Reeves. Seriously, go watch it, he has no fucks to give in that performance), to my great surprise, the lovely actress from Blind Alley was back. And a blonde to boot!

I poured over every one of her scenes. I’m not going to lie, I was in love.

When the time came to write Sugar’s Last Dance, I wanted to make the main character the most beautiful woman ever, which got me thinking. Who do I think that person is? And bam, it came to me. Ana de Armas!

I modeled the protagonist after Miss de Armas, using her appearance in Knock Knock as my inspiration. I even when so far as to call my main character Ana.

ana-de-armas-in-vogue-magazine-russia-october-2017_4To my great delight, Ana de Armas has started getting some bigger roles in Hollywood. She recently appeared—and was amazing—in Blade Runner 2049 as the utterly loveable Joi.

Now, just to be clear, I modeled my Ana off the real thing in physical appearance. I’m not sure, but I doubt that the real Ana de Armas would do some of the things that her namesake gets up to. Or maybe she would.

So there you have it. I almost never model characters in my stories after real life folk, but this time, I couldn’t resist. I felt like this was as close as I would ever come to meeting this lovely woman, so went with it.

-C

AnadeArmas1