The Prousting of Samuelle Calder
Day 7 of the Veins Blog Tour

September 11th, 2014

Sam CalderI hope you grabbed your copy of Veins while the e-book edition was on sale for $0.99 at FEAmazonBarnes & Noble, and Kobo. The sale has officially ended, but a check of the sites indicates that the discount is still listed at all but Kobo . . . so there’s still time (though I can’t say how much). If you want a copy, now’s the time.

Today, the Veins virtual tour concludes with another Proustian interview at the website of writer Kristina Elyse Butke. This time Kristina interviews Samuelle Calder, who has a major role in Veins  and Vipers.

You can read the complete interview at

Illustration: “Sam Calder” by Star E. Olson, Copyright © Star E. Olson. All Rights Reserved. The illustration appears in both the print and e-book edition of Veins


Mannequins, Back to School &
Short-Short Stories @ Riley’s

September 10th, 2014

12910WorldsShortestStoriesLast week, I posted a preview of the short-short story and flash fiction event that will be rolling into Riley’s Pour House on September 30. That event is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting Storytelling Nights yet, so — if you haven’t seen the post (which includes Michael A. Arnzen’s story about growing up in the shadow of the Amityville Horror house) — you should check it out now by clicking here. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Today I’d like to look back at last month’s event to give you a sense of how the idea for a night of ultra-short stories came to be.

Billed as an evening of Mannequin Tales and Back-to-School Adventures, last month’s story night featured stories from Marlene Pendleton, Joanne Letcher, Larry Ivkovich, Dan Cindric, and Mary Ann Shaughnessy. All the presentations were first rate, but . . . [Read more at The 21st Century Scop].

Narrative Tension
Day 5 of the Veins Blog Tour

September 9th, 2014

the-road-cormac-mccarthy1In his well-known and often quoted poem “Musée des Beaux Arts,” W. H. Auden writes about the place of suffering in the world, “how it takes place / While someone else is eating or opening a window or just / walking dully along.”

Writers do well to keep this relationship in mind, not only when writing about suffering, but also when attempting to build and sustain narrative tension.

The relationship between Auden’s poems and the art of building and sustaining tension occurred to me recently while rereading Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road. One scene in particular illustrates the connection. It occurs late in the book, after the boy and his father near the end of their post-apocalyptic journey. They reach the coast and come across a ship lilting 100 feet offshore. The vessel likely holds needed supplies, which means that the father must swim out to investigate while the boy remains on shore. This device. . . .

[Read more at]

Join Me in the Madhouse
Day 4 of the Veins Blog Tour

September 8th, 2014

Vortex CoverYes, this really is Day 4, just as my previous post (also dated September 8) really was Day 3. It seems the date in my WordPress settings went a little crazy and moved to another time zone. But it’s all corrected now. Amazing what a little revision can do. Which bring us to the topics of revision and going crazy (both of which I cover in a guest installment over at one of my favorite blog sites, Stephanie Wytovich’s Join Me in the Madhouse).

The guest blog considers why writers should listen to those inner voices that know when something is finished . . . and when it isn’t. Along the way, it draws on insights by Patrick Rothfuss, Truman Capote, and others who have struggled with seeing works through to completion.

Most significantly (for me at least) it answers a question that I’m sure is foremost on your mind. Namely: “When’s Vortex coming out?” To find out, all you have to do is click here . . . and I’ll meet you on the other side.

Rhonda Libby’s cover for
Vortex: Book Three of the Veins Cycle, coming November 4.