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Archives: Summer 1999

Here in the mountains, the weather is dry and cool. The air almost tastes of autumn already. My garden is nearly as sparse as a publisher's mid-list. But the world is green and so is optimism.

It's been an interesting few months for me. I've gotten together with the cover artist for my story collection THANK YOU FOR THE FLOWERS and we banged a few ideas together. His name is John Shamburger, and he's a really talented newcomer. I saw his work in a local gallery, and had someone send a message to him about how much I liked his work.
John's already sent me a color sketch, and I'm excited about how good the book is going to look. Oh, yes, Sharyn McCrumb has already offered to write a cover blurb for me! Whether my words on the inside match up to the quality of the package, I can't say. But people generally do judge a book by its cover, so I hope people buy it, even if they never get around to reading it.

Let's see, as for recent acceptances, my story "Do You Know Me Yet?" appears in July in The Psycho Ward, the first of the Asylum anthology series. The story is a permutated take-off of a Ramsey Campbell story, and I got the idea when I met him at the World Horror Convention. Took me about two hours to write and two days to sell. Wish I could do that a few times each week. Order info is on my home page, and I'm in stellar company there with Douglas Clegg, Victor Heck, Gerard Houarner, and other fine writers.
I've sold a story called "Skin" to Canadian Fiction Magazine for their all-horror issue coming out in the fall. The guest editor is Edo Van Belkom, a Stoker Award-winning author. He accepted the story despite a major Americanism on my part. Oh, well, us yanks are a bunch of hosers, anyhow.

My story "Thirst" was accepted by E-Scape Magazine. The story first appeared in German, so it will be fun to finally see it in English. There was some confusion about electronic rights for this piece, but I think we've sorted it out. Since no legal definition for "electronic rights" yet exists, the term pretty much is defined by whatever both parties say it means.
Also have one called "Sung Li" sold to the new e-zine At The Brink of Madness. The story is slated for issue number two. I don't think they've got the first one out yet. I have a Douglas Clegg interview going up soon at Writer Online as well. Clegg is in the midst of his free e-serial NAOMI, and if you haven't signed up for it yet, do yourself a favor and catch up at
www.douglasclegg.com.

I've pretty much wrapped up my latest novel THE RED CHURCH. Now I'm making a final rewriting pass to the end, then a quick rewrite backwards from end to beginning, and then probably a couple of more "final" rewrites. The query-go-round has begun, and I'm confident I will get a nibble or two from an agency. I think this is my best chance for a novel sale yet (and it had better be. If I ain't improving, then I'm in trouble, because I truly had nowhere to go but up.)

In true obsessive fashion, I'm already burning with desire to begin my next novel. I've been thinking about it, but I probably won't start for a week or two because there are some short stories that have been screaming to be let out. But the next novel will be a more mainstream suspense thriller, with no supernatural elements. I have a working title, and the amorphous threads of a protagonist, but they have yet to weave themselves from the ether.

Gosh, I'm crazy, but I can hardly wait to spend the next six to ten months in glorious frustration over the next novel. Um, and there's a few others waiting over there in the wings, whispering to me...

-Copyright 1999 by Scott Nicholson

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