The one where I get to sign a contract

beattoapulphardboiledA few months ago, I suppose I could look back and tell you the exact date, but really that’s just an exercise in exactness and I’m anything but organized or precise, I received one of the most flattering emails that a writer could receive, and remember, while I’ve written on an off for 20 odd years, I have yet to put myself out there in a way that markets me as a writer, except for the years of 2010-2011 (really 12 months). During that loose year I wrote several short stories, even got invited to participate in a few anthologies. It really should have been the rejuvenation of my languishing career as a writer. Then life got in the way, and distractions happened (some good distractions), and my writing has been limited. Stagnant and uninspired. Then I got an email.

An independent producer/filmographer of short films contacted me, and over the last couple years he’s held on to this virtual rumpled copy of Beat to a Pulp: Hardboiled, that in my mind I imaging tucked into his back pocket, dogeared and well read. He was reaching out because he liked the story “The Janitor” that appeared in that collection, which had lead him back to this vary website where he had read more of my stories.

First, I can’t say how gratifying that someone could or would put such weight on a story I wrote 4 years ago that they would reach out. It’s flattering, uplifting, and inspiring. I should write more, and I am working hard to do just that. So for that I am thankful. The ember was almost out, but now there’s a flame again. Thank you.

He was reaching out in a professional capacity. He wanted to adapt “The Janitor” and another story that had only been published on my website. Imagine the grin on my face.

We discussed his process, his previous movies, even the possibility of me assisting with writing the scripts. I really liked his direction for “The Janitor” which has a more action oriented end, something that was already one of the potential directions I had contemplated during the initial writings. So the prospect of seeing the story of crime scene cleaner Mike Banks in search of his missing employee Conny Parker became so much more tantalizing,  inspiring. I may even get to writing the novel that the story was a character exercise pretext.

There are no guarantees and don’t expect me to be able to buy a round of drinks next time we meet, but I wanted to share because the license agreement contracts for the two stories arrived today at my office and I’m about throw down my John Hancock with that big grin. With luck, I’ll be able keep you supporting friends apprised of production status and possibly one day add my name to Internet Movie Database.

Book Tuesday

Man, has it been an age a day since I posted something relevant. What a major slack I am. I work hard at it.

If you work in books or love to read books, you’re probably aware that Tuesday is typically new book day. And usually for me it’s a day of frustration. Agonizing to the core when I saunter off to my local book store and never find the book I know has been released. Usually I write this off to living in a small state and small population. Also I tend to read authors who aren’t best sellers, even though they should be and everyone should be reading them. I guess we can’t all be James Patterson (who by the way, if you’re reading this, I’d be happy to take a check to write one of your books. My daughter needs to go to college.).

So usually Book Day is a bit of a disappointment, reading wise. And well, writing wise, I’ve never been published… before… in a format that would be celebrated on Book Day.

Until today! Boo-yah!

So get your checkbooks out and your e-readers charged, here’s the skinny on some books you’ll want to buy.

The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology
Lost Children Books
303 KB
Edited by Thomas Pluck, Fiona Johnson and Ron Earl Phillips (me!)
$2.99

This anthology came off the springboard of a writing challenge posted on Flash Fiction Friday by Thomas and Fiona, where contributors wrote stories about different aspects of child abuse and neglect. As additional incentive Thomas and Fiona respectively pledged $5 to Protect.org and £5 to Children 1st Scotland.

Turnout was great, five times our weekly contributions, netting a total of about $600 for all charities involved. So Thomas, who spearheaded this effort, asked me to come on board as co-editor along with Fiona, and we paired it down to 30 stories of horror, reality and some hope.

I invite you to try.

Beat to a Pulp: Hardboiled Edition
Beat to a Pulp
230 KB
Edited by David Cranmer, Scott D. Parker
$.99

BEAT to a PULP: Hardboiled is a compilation of uncompromising, gritty tales following in the footsteps of the tough and violent fiction popularized by the legendary Black Mask magazine in its early days. This collection includes thirteen lean and mean stories from the fingertips of Garnett Elliott, Glenn Gray, John Hornor Jacobs, Patricia Abbott, Thomas Pluck, Brad Green, Ron Earl Phillips, Kent Gowran, Amy Grech, Benoit Lelievre, Kieran Shea, David Cranmer, and Wayne D. Dundee and a boiled down look at hardboiled fiction in an introduction by Ron Scheer. Edited by David Cranmer and Scott D. Parker.

Some heady talent I’ve been included with, and worth all 99 cents and then some. How can you turn it down?

So this isn’t all about me, let us take a look at Blasted Heath.

Today is 11/01/11 and a Tuesday, and Allan Guthrie, who may owe some favors in either heaven or hell, and Kyle MacRae, who I don’t know well enough to make cracks at, hung out their shingle for Blasted Heath, a new e-book publisher. I was lucky enough to receive copies of DEAD MONEY by Ray Banks and ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS by Anthony Neil Smith. I’ve virtually flipped through both and each is more than promising. Also released are PHASE FOUR by Gary Carson, THE LONG MIDNIGHT OF BARNEY THOMPSON and THE END OF DAYS by Douglas Lindsay, and THE MAN IN THE SEVENTH ROW by Brian Bendreigh.

And Back to me.

If you want to look down the road to about the 30th of this month, I will be in Luca Veste’s OFF THE RECORD anthology, stories based on classic song titles. I thought about songs such as Dolly Parton’s Jolene, the Eagles’ Desperado and Don McLean’s American Pie. I went with the latter. No levy, but I hope you’ll pick up a copy and read all the wonderful stories included.