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Fresh Dirt Archives: April-July 2000

July 22nd, 2000:
My collection Thank You For The Flowers went off to the printers yesterday. Now I get to start the hard work of arranging book signings, media coverage, etc. I'm taking pre-orders for personally autographed copies if you're interested. You can learn more by clicking here. It will be available through Amazon, regional bookstores, various specialty shops, and by order through your favorite local stores.

My story "Scarecrow Boy" was accepted for the limited edition anthology Chiaroscuro: Treatments Of Shade And Light In Words coming this fall. A quick bounce from the Warner Aspect novel contest, but my friend David W. Hill advanced to the next round. Just got my contributor's copy of Canadian Fiction Magazine's anthology Northern Horror. An agent is reading one of my novels. My article "Postcards from a Book Tour" will appear in a future issue of Speculations, my article "Fishing For Ink: Getting Noticed By The Media" will run in the HWA newsletter and Gila Queen's Guide To Markets, and my article "Telling Lies For Fun And Profit" is tentative for a future Writer's Journal. If you're the patient type, you'll see them here eventually, because all my articles come to the Haunted Computer to die.

July 7th:
My 20th high school reunion is coming up next weekend. A time to reflect, compare guts, spouses, and wallets, and generally wonder who all these strangers are and where we went wrong. Funny, 20 years ago I was voted "Most Original" in high school. I wonder if I've really lived up to that. I like to create, but my life, though quite joyful, is not one of those daring, reckless strings of events that some of my fellow classmates might have expected. I suppose I've always been a homebody who'd rather toil in isolation (but hopefully not eternal obscurity) than grandstand about.

For writing, more notes on my next novel. I have about a half-dozen of the characters loosely in my mind. I just need a title to really help me get going, plus one or two happy accidents of research. I'm in the middle of a creepy suspense-horror story. I think I've found a groove with this particular type of emotion, because I've used it several times this year. Not much new on the rejection-acceptance front, but that stuff's all on the borderlands of reality anyway.

June 25:
Finished another of my "child terror" stories. Something about being a new father has tapped into this fear of something happening to the child. This is the third time this year I've written a story so terrible that I won't allow my wife to read it. Well, working my fears out in fiction is better than a few hours with a therapist.

I'm sending off an entry for the Warner Aspect first novel contest tomorrow. The imprint is more science fiction and fantasy, and this is a supernatural novel, so it's another longshot. But the novel was just sitting around, anyway.

June 16:
Finally cleaning up the last of the work on THANK YOU FOR THE FLOWERS. Hopefully all will be finished this weekend, then nothing to do but wait for the proof. I've been diligently collecting the names of bookstores and reviewers, so I plan to stay busy arranging book signings, etc. After the up-and-down results of my Writers of the Future signing tour, I'm determined to do it right, taking sole responsible for my success or failure. I also cobbled together my first banner ad for the book. It's not professional but maybe it will work. Here it is:

Got another agent nibble on CREEP. This will be the first time I've had an agent and a publisher interested in different projects at the same time. Two lottery tickets in the hat...

June 2nd:
Still deep in rewrites for CALLING IN THE FIRE. Maybe it's a waste of time, and I should be focusing on the new novel. But maybe it's a good time to see if I've learned anything in the past couple of years and if I can make this thing better. Though it's been rejected a bit, I kind of like it and believe most of the flaws were in the very beginning.

My first translation into French! Editor Benoit Domis of Tenebres, the only pro French horror magazine, has accepted my story "Constitution." It will probably appear in 2001. This will make the third appearance and the third country for "Constitution."

May 21st:
New letters out to agencies for tomorrow, most of whom I've tried before. They say third time's a charm, and that's perhaps true. I haven't much new material lately, mostly focusing on rewriting.
Hellnotes Newsletter reported that Lore is dying, don't know what that does to the status of my story "Scarecrow Boy," which is supposed to be in their next issue. I've never yet had a magazine die while holding one of my stories, but it seems to be another of those obligatory rites of passage. The story is also to appear in Thank You For The Flowers, which was meant to be all reprints.

May 10th:
I'm one of those people who hates to lose. Why in the world would I want to be a Little League coach? My son gave up a grand slam and we lost yesterday to move into last place. I'll feel bad for days. When we win, I feel good for about an hour.
Ah well, the orb revolves yet...a publisher has asked to see the complete manuscript of THE RED CHURCH after reading three chapters. Fingers crossed, but I've been here before.

May 3rd:
My story "Thirst" was accepted for the October 2000 issue of the webzine Electric Wine. It was first published in German at Storisende Verlag and appeared in the subsequent anthology Die Drachen Von Morgen. "Haunted" was the most popular story in the second issue of EW, according to editor Diana Sharples. Both "Thirst" and "Haunted" will appear in Flowers.

April 27th:
My collection Thank You For The Flowers is nearing the final stages of completion. You can read more at the
official Flowers page by clicking on the cover at right. Thirteen stories of suspense and imagination, including two award-winners, fill the 200 pages of fiction. The book is scheduled for an October 2000 release.

My story "Narrow Is The Way" has been tentatively accepted for the Brainbox e-anthology. The story was written at last year's Writers of the Future workshop. All that remains is to write a few pages about how I came up with the idea for the story.

The story "When You Wear These Shoes" has been accepted by the literary magazine HAPPY. This story was rejected by quite a few fantasy magazines. I think I'm starting to catch on to the fact that maybe I'm not a genre writer. In fact, I have an oft-rejected soft SF piece that I just realized is probably a better fit as a romance story!

My Chicken Soup For The Sports Fan's Soul entry is a finalist among 5,000 entries for inclusion in the final book. Fifty-fifty chance from here on out to be in a book with a circulation of 1 million. I'll bet I'm the only suspense-horror who submitted a story!

I'm in the midst of a book-signing tour for Writers of the Future Vol. XV. You can find dates and locations on the main Gravematters page.

I'm currently rewriting Calling In the Fire, the third novel I wrote. I'm also developing it as my first screenplay. My next novel is going to be a ghost story from a different perspective. Of which, more later.

Sign up for the Scottstuff newsletter and be eligible to win a copy of L. Ron Hubbard's BATTLEFIELD EARTH. The fourth issue of the newsletter will be e-mailed in July 2000, featuring an interview with writer Amy Sterling Casil.

-copyright 2000 by Scott Nicholson

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