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

The Space Between Houses cover reveal!

Cover reveal

A little over five years ago, my first book, The Space Between Houses, was unleashed upon the world. The initial run was limited, and as such, the book has been out of print for a couple of years now. And it would have probably stayed there as well, if not for all of you. I am constantly being asked if, or when, Space will be available again. And since the book will always have a special place in my heart, coupled with the demand, I decided it was indeed the time to bring it back.

For this second edition of the book, I have gone through and cleaned it up a tad. Fixed some minor mistakes, and gave the whole thing a new coat of paint. Beyond that, I have also added three short stories that were not included in the original edition, but were written around the same time.

So, without further ado, I present the cover for the second edition of The Space Between Houses, published by Adventure Worlds Press, which will be available for purchase this April.

-Christian

Cover final

 

 

Scribes & Songsters

I was recently asked to appear on an episode of Scribes & Songsters. I had a blast talking to host Veronique Mandal (a great writer as well!) about my work. Thanks to all involved and if you do check out the video, make sure to subscribe to the Scribes & Songsters page as they feature tons of fantastic authors and musicians.

Update!

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update on my projects. So, hey, why not now?
First, I did finally finish* my novel. I need to put an asterisk next to that because It is not actually finished (possibly far from it), but it is more finished than ever before. Basically, I finished it enough to submit it to a publisher. I’ve had really good feedback on the book and think it is quite scary. Hopefully I’ll have some publishing news sooner rather than later to share.

Next up, and I already did a post about this, but what the heck, it’s my site so I can do what I want, is the re-release of The Space Between Houses. I’m crazy excited about getting this book back into print. I went through and cleaned up a few of the things that always bugged me about the book (don’t worry, I didn’t go full George Lucas on it or anything), and was also able to add in three short stories that I had written around the same time (or just after) TSBH but were published elsewhere. This means that between TSBH and No Light Tomorrow, almost every short story I’ve ever written that has been published will be in print. Fear not though, I’m not expecting those who already own the book to buy it again. As I said, the three stories have been published online previously, and can still be found over at Adventure Worlds Press.com (you might have to do some scrolling though). And, like the rest of the stories in the book, I was able to give those three stories some added shine for this upcoming second edition.

There is a tentative release date of the fall for the newest incarnation of The Space Between Houses, but an exact date has not been announced. And it will be coming out through Urban Farmhouse Press. I’ve read a number of UFP books, and they are always quality.

On the subject of short fiction, I have a few NEW short stories I’ve put together recently. One is a leftover for an anthology I was going to submit to last year, but didn’t have the time to finish it before the deadline. Another is for an upcoming anthology, but I won’t know if it makes that book or not until at least October, and the third is a short story for a rainy day. I figure it is good to start stockpiling some short stories in case of unexpected opportunities.

And, lastly, I’ve started a new novel (horror, of course). I won’t tell you what it is about because it is in its embryonic stage, but I can say that it is an idea I had about a year ago (maybe less), and as soon as I did, I knew it was the next book I was going to write.

Besides the above stuff, I’ve been doing a few interviews, and will be teaching a workshop on horror and Sci-Fi writing with Ben Van Dongen (co-author of a couple of my books, as well as full author of a couple of his own) in Sept. And then there’s been PlayStation. That sweet, awful source of endless distraction. While on the subject, if you haven’t played the Resident Evil 2 remake yet, do so. It is amazing!

-Christian

All Write in Sin City!

I was asked recently to be a guest on the brand new podcast All Write in Sin City (along with writing buddy Ben Van Dongen). Normally, I find interviews for radio, TV or internet, to be a bit stuffy, but the folks running the show at All Write know what they were doing and it was a very pleasant experience.

If you want to hear me talk about various topics like: writing horror, attending conventions, and the importance of selling in person, then give it a listen. Oh, and as a bonus, the podcasters (not sure if that is what they are called, but oh well) recorded me doing a reading at Biblioasis (a local bookstore for those not in my neck of the woods).

Listen here.

Enjoy!

-Christian

 

Monsters! Aliens! Short Stories! …& Friends!

A couple months ago, I was asked (along with my frequent collaborator, Ben Van Dongen) to host a writing workshop. I said yes, of course, but truth be told I did have some reservations. You see, I’ve been lucky enough to take part in all sorts of writing and literary events since the release of my first book, The Space Between Houses (which turns 5 this year!), but have never hosted a workshop.

What would we speak about? And, more importantly, would anybody care?? After some discussion with Ben, I can say that at least one of these questions has been answered. We’re going to focus on what we know best: short stories and genre fiction.

We’ve since mapped out a series of sub-topics and writing exercises for those attending. It was while doing this that I had an interesting revelation. If such a workshop as the one I myself was going to be hosting existed five or six years ago, it would have taught me how to avoid a lot of the obstacles which plagued the embryotic days of my writing career. Which then made me realize I need to build a time machine.

The workshop itself will be held at Gertrude’s Writing Room; a cozy space with a ton of charm. Ben and I sat in on the last workshop held there (to see what we were in for) and fell in love.

For anyone that is interested, there is a link to the website to register HERE and one for the Facebook event page HERE.

The workshop, now titled Monsters! Aliens! Short Stories! …& Friends! will be a 3 hour class, and it goes down January 19th. The cost is $50

-Christian

P.S. All those who attend will receive a signed copy of our short story collection, No Light Tomorrow.

poster 2 

 

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

3 Writers!

I was going to get into some of the music I listen to while writing but decided that I would save that for a later date. Instead, I thought I would shine a spotlight on three authors who inspire me.

12977531I’ll get the obvious one out of the way first. Stephen King. Listen, if you are a horror writer, you have probably been influenced by King’s work (whether you like his stuff or not). The man is synonymous with horror fiction. My first experience with King’s work came through my brother. He was (and still is) and avid reader of Stephen King. Because of that, even though it would be years before I would pick up a horror novel (King’s or otherwise) I was seeing his books lying around our house. Since then I’ve read about twenty or so of his books (with many more in the ‘to-read’ pile). My personal favs are The Shining, Bag of Bones, The Talisman and Desperation. But to be honest, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by him (except for The Colorado Kid. That book sucked hard).

219635Next up is one of two Canadians. Michael Slade (AKA John Banks, Jay Clark, Rebecca Clark and Richard Covell). Confused yet? Let me explain. Michael Slade is the pen name of several writers (most of them lawyers), but the biggest contributor, and only one currently writing under the name, is Jay Clark. The Slade books (with only one exception) all follow a division of the RCMP called Special X. Special X are tasked with catching psychopaths who have connections with other countries, requiring the unit to often times work with other law enforcement agencies from around the world. The thing I like the most about Slade’s work is how unapologetic it is. It is vicious, violent, sexy and unfiltered. Although I enjoy all of the early Slade books (some of the later ones aren’t the best), my favs are: Headhunter, Ripper, Bed of Nails and Ghoul. I actually consider Ghoul one of my all-time favourite books.

24497842And that brings me to the second Canadian: Craig Davidson (AKA Nick Cutter). I met Craig a few years ago when I was asked to host The Dark Side Tour on its stop in my hometown. The tour was a cross-North American book tour with Craig Davidson and Andrew Pyper. At the time, I had just taken my first fledgling steps into my writing career and felt immediately out of my depth talking to these two guys. Luckily, they were both awesome and the night went off without a hitch. A perk of playing host was that I was given copies of their new books at that time (The Deep from Craig and The Damned from Pyper), so that I could ask some relevant questions. And although I loved both books, something about Craig’s visceral horror really grabbed me. I went back and read his other offering under the Cutter name (The Troop) and was outright hooked, and have greedily devoured everything since. I’ve been fortunate enough to hang out with Craig a bunch of times over the last couple years, and now consider him a friend. I’ve yet to be disappointed with any of his work, but hands down my favourite is the literary kick to the face called The Acolyte. This book resonates with me on every level. I fucking love it.

So, there you have it. Three authors who have shaped my own writing style and inspire me to keep plugging away. There are many more, of course, but if I started going through them all, we’d be here all day.

-Christian