The Slayers and Other Updates

Where did April go? It seems like things have been moving so fast that it’s been a challenge to keep up with life much less write about what’s been going on!

The Slayers

About a week ago, I saw a tweet by Bryan Thomas Schmidt mentioning a movie forthcoming on the SyFy Channel called Age of the Dragons. Basically, it’s a retelling of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick but with dragons instead of whales. You can learn more about the movie at the official site.

Seeing this reminded me that 2011 is the tenth anniversary of the publication of my story “The Slayers”, which is also a retelling of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick with dragons. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the story’s publication, I’ve made a copy available as an ebook at Smashwords.com:

The wonderful cover art is provided by Laura Givens. The story first appeared in the August 2001 issue of Realms of Fantasy. This ebook edition is 99 cents per download, the same as a song from iTunes. Drop by Smashwords.com and check it out today. The link will take you right to the ebook’s page, where you can read a description and even preview the story!

Breast Cancer

Just as May got started, I learned that Kumie — my wife of nearly 21 years and best friend — has contracted breast cancer. Treatment will consist of surgery and chemotherapy. Although the news is scary, the prognosis is good. Kumie is a strong woman and I have every confidence she’ll beat this thing into submission. As I said on Facebook, cancer picked the wrong person to tangle with!

The outpouring of support has been wonderful and many friends from afar have asked how they can help. Probably the most important thing is to continue to pray and send good, positive thoughts our way. From a practical standpoint, it’s worth taking a moment to note that Kumie is a self-employed bookkeeper. She doesn’t get sick leave or paid vacation. Every hour she spends away from her job is a loss of income for our family. If you really want to help, go to the section above and pick up a copy of “The Slayers” or click “David’s Library” in the right-hand bar and find a book there that looks good. Honestly, buying a book would be the most helpful, practical thing anyone at a distance could do to help right now.

Of course, donating to and supporting cancer research is vitally important. I also urge you to visit the American Cancer Society at cancer.org to learn about more ways you can help everyone with cancer.

Owl Dance Update

Life continues even when confronted with challenges like breast cancer. In April, my editor, Matthew Delman, and I made good start on Owl Dance edits. We’re now four chapters in and Matthew has made some excellent suggestions. Even if you’ve read the original stories in places like Science Fiction Trails you’ll want to check out the book. There will certainly be more depth of character and details than there were in the original stories.

Recent Sales

April saw the sale of two short stories and one poem. One of the stories is called “Locator Beacons” and it will appear in Full-Throttle Space Tales #5: Space Tramps edited by Jennifer Brozek. This is a brand new story featuring space pirate Ellison Firebrandt and his crew and tells about their encounter with a stowaway on a ship they raid.

I sold a new Scarlet Order vampire story called “Luftgeist” to Hungur Magazine published by Sam’s Dot Publishing. This tells the story of the vampire Desmond Drake and his voyage to America on the Hindenburg. The story is slated for publication in November.

Finally, a poem I wrote in collaboration with Kurt MacPhearson called “Pulsar Prospectors” was picked for the January 2012 issue of Dreams and Nightmares Magazine.

It turns out that the editor of Dreams and Nightmares, David C. Kopaska-Merkel, lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Sadly, the city was devastated by a tornado soon after he accepted the poem. I have heard that David and his family are fine and that, although their house suffered damage, it still stands. I hope that is true. My prayers go out to David, his family and all the people in Tuscaloosa as they rebuild.

Coming Tomorrow

Tomorrow I’ll post an interview with Tales of the Talisman contributor David J. Corwell about an exciting new book for writers called Many Genres: One Craft. David wrote a section about setting up book signings. The interview gives special attention to the issue of setting up book signings when you’re one contributor in an anthology with several other authors. Hope you’ll give the interview a read!

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