My sub/pub cycle is a little slow at the moment, as I'm getting the short story collection up and running. It's going well, and should be ready in April. (stay tuned!!)
That said, I wanted to draw attention to the magnificent, weighty tome that is Pill Hill Press' "Daily Frights 2012" It features 366 stories, all 500 words or less, and is ideal for those who like their horror in short, breathless gasps.
My story, "Scratch" which was first published as part of Lily Childs' Friday Prediction is in there, I'm happy to say. In addition there's dozens of names you'll recognize within the over 550 pages - and all of them are bringing the scary! It's available at Amazon etc. now.
Speaking of the inimitable Ms. Childs, she's hosting the horror event of the season over at her blog. February Femmes Fatales is in its second year, and features a stunning story by a different fascinating female author each day. (For those of you keeping track, you'll note that this year has one more story than last year.) Do yourself a favour and get over there, quick.
Now, I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that my own little story extravaganza, 9 Days of Madness, is just six weeks away. The deadline to submit your stories (to 8.mad.days(at)gmail(dot)com) is February 15. Send me your tales in the theme of "Unsettled", or just check in on March 13 to see the madness begin! Full details on the event here.
And finally - something to take away. I've been considering "character" recently. One thing that I know some people do, and it helps them, is to diagram their characters. They take a page, or whatever, and put down all the information that they can imagine about that character. I've tried this, to mixed results. Usually, despite what I put down on one of these things, the story takes its turn, and all that work is left behind. What I tried doing instead, recently, was to come up with situations outside of my story and see how my character(s) would react. So far, I've found that more rewarding. There's even a small chance that whatever you come up with may well develop into a viable scene in the story.
Here's what I've used so far.
1. Your character has a date. He/she has been waiting over an hour. It is now apparent that they are being stood up. What is the first thing they do?
2. Your character is back in their childhood. (If they ARE a child, don’t change them) They’ve just broken something expensive. What do they do next?
3. Your character is waiting for a bus. How do they interact with their fellow waiting passengers? (If you like they can be alone – what do they do? Have they ever taken a bus before? Etc.)
- It’s three a.m. Where is your character on a normal night? If they are normally out, what are they doing. If they are normally asleep, something has gotten them out of the house at this hour – what is going on, and how are they dealing with it?
Tell me what you think!
(And keep writing. Keep. Writing.)