Last week I sat down to write a fantasy short story. I got about 300 or so words into it and stopped because I've had easier times removing fence posts from dried concrete. The words were just not coming. I opened that story back up each day this past week and stared at it, hoping to conjure something, but nothing magically appeared. I just couldn't do it and wasn't sure why. Then when reading K.C. Shaw's new novel, Jack of all Trades (go buy a copy!), I realized what was wrong. Years back I read fantasy to the exclusion of all else. I did that for years before venturing into science fiction and horror. Because I read so many fantasy books in times past (literally hundreds of books), I gradually moved on to other things. I realized tonight that it has been a long time since I read fantasy regularly and because of that, the unique terminology inherent in such tales as well as basic knowledge of medieval/renaissance life has fled from my mind. At one time, I studied such things and poured over history books on life in the middle ages, but it's been so long since I did that, whatever I learned needs to be re-learned. So the end result is, I've given up on any fantasy stories until I can brush up on my facts. Poo! I had this neat idea about a wizard named Gabeus Fillymander who ran a private magical detective agency, but who was called upon a lot by the city guard to help solve crimes and mysteries. Naturally he is hiding a big secret from his past. Oh, well. Maybe someday.
Time for some book pimping!
First we have the 52 Stitches collection from Strange Publications, gathering all the stories from the project's initial year, including two of my stories, Nuts and The Confession. Available from Amazon.
Next up is the new anthology from Pill Hill Press, The Middle of Nowhere: Horror in rural America. Available from both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. This one opens with my ghost tale, The Gallery of Final Repose.
And of course, we have The Devil's Food from The Monsters Next Door. My offering, The Faceless Ones shares this awesome book with notable names like David Dunwoody, Natalie L. Sin and Aaron Polson. Available from Amazon.
Even though I don't have a story in it (I did make the shortlist though!), the new Dead Bait anthology from Severed Press is now out. The aforementioned David Dunwoody and Aaron Polson have tales in this book, so you know right there it's packed with quality stuff. Available from Amazon.
Let's not forget the book I mentioned earlier, K.C. Shaw's Jack of all Trades. You can get it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or from the publisher. I advise the latter.
While you're buying books, be sure to get a copy of Cate Gardner's awesome chapbook, The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon, available from Bucket 'O' Guts Press.
Now I'm off to get in another chapter or two of Jack of all Trades before calling it a night.