Close Your Eyes and Run Cover Launch

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Good news! My vampire cyberpunk novel Close Your Eyes and Run has just gotten a brand new cover created by the talented Eleonora Gueli. It looks amazing, doesn’t it?

To celebrate, I’m making the book available to download for free on Amazon from now until Friday, so be sure to check it out!

Back when I originally wrote Close Your Eyes and Run, I was a big fan of Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk novel Snow Crash as well as Anne Rice’s novel Interview with the Vampire and I thought, why not combine the two together? The book ended up becoming something quite different than a simple combination of those two novels since I included several other miscellaneous influences as well, but that was my starting point.

Anyway, if you read my novel and like it, be sure to leave a review on Amazon since that helps other people find the book. I hope you enjoy!

2019 Gold Quill Award

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The anthology Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel (which I contributed a story to) just won a League of Utah Writer’s Gold Quill award for Published Collection! The award was presented at the Quills Conference last Saturday. I wasn’t able to attend, but it sounds like it was a blast.

 

My story that appears in the collection, “The Miracle of the Gulls”, is partly based on the true story of Olive Oatman, partly based on the miracle of the gulls event from Mormon history, and also a little bit inspired by the Hell on Wheels television series. It’s a steampunk story featuring zeppelins and mechanical men, so it’s not exactly historical fiction, although I did read Olive Oatman’s 1857 biography for research and sprinkled a lot of old-fashioned words into the narrative for flavor. I loved working with editor John M. Olsen on the story. His suggestions improved the story a lot.

 

If you haven’t read this award-winning anthology yet, be sure to give it a read.

Machinations and Mesmerism: Tales Inspired by E. T. A. Hoffman

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My story “Spinollio” was just published in the anthology Machinations and Mesmerism: Tales Inspired by E. T. A. Hoffman. For those who don’t know, E. T. A. Hoffman was a writer, artist, and musician who is probably best known for writing The Nutcracker and Mouse King. He also wrote the first detective story and some consider him to have started the Romantic movement. My favorite stories of his are “The Sandman” (a creepy horror story featuring an automaton and eyeballs) and “New Year’s Eve” (featuring a man without a reflection meeting a man without a shadow). He wrote romance, horror, and humor and wrote for both adults and children.

“Spinollio” is a pastiche I did of various Hoffman stories. I included some of his humor and some of his horror. I tried my best to write it in his voice, although I’ve only read his work in translation, so I guess I’m imitating the translator’s style and word choice as much as Hoffman’s. Like Hoffman’s stories, it takes place in a time where men always wore swords at their side, women regularly used snuff, and things like wigs, duels, and fainting were all the rage. Be sure to check it out!

The Literary Hatchet Issue #23

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My story “Suckling Reflex” was just published in The Literary Hatchet Issue #23 which you can read for free online (it will also be available on Amazon in a few days). Don’t you just love the cover? I think it has a kind of Alice in Wonder feel to it. Anyway, since this is a flash fiction story, saying almost anything about it would get into spoiler territory, but I’ll just say that it’s about a mother with a newborn baby who’s a bit unusual in some way. Feel free to let me know what you think of the story in the comments.

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

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The Mormon Steampunk anthology Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel is now available on Amazon. I have a story in it called “The Miracle of the Gulls” based on the true story of Olive Oatman (although, as this is a steampunk story featuring mechanical men and zeppelins, I’m obviously using “based on a true story” in the loosest possible sense.)

I read Olive Oatman’s 1857 biography for research and included a lot of the old-fashioned words I found there which hopefully makes the story stand out a bit. I’ve got to say I loved working with editor John M. Olsen. His suggestions certainly improved the story overall.

Here’s a little blurb to give you an idea what the story’s about:

Swarms of mechanical locusts descend on Deseret, destroying farms in the process. Thomas Durant, the man who is building the new railroad, is only too happy to buy up these now worthless patches of land when a mysterious figure named Olive Oatman arrives in town, fresh off the zeppelin. She’s searching for her long lost brother, but where has she been for the last five years? Why does she keep her face covered? What other secrets is she hiding? Will she be the one who can finally stop the locusts?

And here’s the table of contents:

Goat in the Machine  – Scott William Taylor
A Reckoning in the Night – Angie Taylor
Rachel’s Prayer – Megan Rupp
Sisters Sorenson and the Mechanical Man – Scott E. Tarbet
The Shop of the Clockwork Master – Finlay Lofthouse
Blackhand – Christopher Baxter
An Incident at Oak Creek – Bryce Moore
The Miracle of the Gulls – D. J. Moore
Solids Don’t Evaporate – Mindie Erb
Many Hands – Heidi Wessman Kneale
By Ailad’s Bootstraps – Kurt F. Kammeyer
Painted Ghosts – Kim May
Dame Ginny McLaserbeam and the Dastardly Duke – Judith and Michael Collings
I haven’t read it yet (except for my own story, of course), but the story I’m most looking forward to based on the title alone is “Dame Ginny McLaserbeam and the Dastardly Duke” by Judith and Michael Collings. If I’m not mistaken, the titular character, Dame Ginny McLaserbeam, made an appearance in Michaelbrent Collings’ book The Longest Con.
This anthology should be a lot of fun. Be sure to check it out.

Happy New Year!

New Year’s has long been my favorite holiday. I like that you don’t have to stress out about trying to buy the perfect present as with Christmas or the other present-based holidays throughout the year. You don’t have to make awkward small talk with distant relatives like on Thanksgiving. Halloween is fun, but worring about trying to get the right costume is still stressful.

No, with New Year’s, you don’t have to do anything. Just celebrate in your own way and stay up until midnight if you want. It’s like a reward we all get for making it through the stressful holidays. And unlike the Fourth of July, you get the next day off to sleep in, so you’re not punished for staying up to watch fireworks by having to wake up early for work the next day.

I also like the feeling that we can all get a fresh start in the new year. It’s a good feeling. I guess making resolutions can be stressful, but those are optional. I didn’t make any this year.

On Christmas Eve this year, I received a rejection letter for a story I put a lot of work into and wrote specifically for one specific magazine. (Editors, don’t do this. Please wait until the day after Christmas to send out rejection letters.) It put a damper on the whole holiday. But on New Year’s this year? I got two acceptances! See. A much better holiday.

One of my stories was accepted by the recently resurrected Gallows Hill Magazine. In fact, I have the honor of being the first author to be featured on their new Fiction Fridays segment with my flash fiction horror story Three Views of a Dentist. Just looking at the picture they picked to accompany it gives me the creeps. Check it out and give it a like if you think it’s worthy.

I’ll tell you more about the other story that was accepted in a future post.

Anyway, Happy New Year’s!