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Where to Find Me

Although I'm going to leave this blog up for the time being, I'll be posting big updates on my personal website's blog exclusively from now on. The hassle of maintaining multiple blogs was becoming too time consuming to keep at it.

Speaking of big updates, just yesterday I announced this: I've cancelled both my contracts with Dorchester Publishing (Leisure Books) and had the rights returned to me. For the full story, please check out my blog (http://tinyurl.com/3mkv6vh ). This was not a decision made lightly, but I strongly believe it was the right thing to do.

If you're on Facebook or Twitter, I've been posting quite regularly in those two places, as well, so come find me and we'll hang out, tell a few stories, share a laugh ... it will be fun.


New Blog Post!

You might have noticed that I haven't been very prolific here on my blog lately. Life has simply been too busy in 2010 and what little time I have available for writing has been spent writing fiction and my MLIS thesis paper.

You might also be beginning to notice that this isn't much of a blog post, either.

"But wait," I hear you screaming, "the subject heading says 'New Blog Post!' Why would you call it that if you don't have much to say?"

Well, I do have a little bit to say, it's just not being said here. The Book Smugglers, a wonderful book blog that I visit regularly, has asked me once again to write the opening post for their annual event, Smugglivus. It's become a bit of a tradition that I do that, so there's no way I could say no! You can read my post here.

On a side note, today is also my birthday. The Big Three-O. Guess that means I'm all grown up. Woo-hoo! And you know what I'd really like for my birthday? For you to head on over to The Book Smugglers and leave a comment on my post. It's worth your while -- you could win an autographed copy of my book, Be a Writing Superstar! So what are you waiting for? Head on over, read, comment and win!

The DarkLit Fest

Calling all GTA writers and dark literature fans: the DARKLIT FEST is taking place tomorrow, Saturday, November 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the McLaughlin Branch of the Oshawa Public Library. 19 amazing guests (including Guest of Honour Kelley Armstrong) are scheduled to attend and there will be panels, readings, pitch sessions (ChiZine Publications, Burning Effigy Press, ECW Press) and book signings throughout the day! Plus, there's FREE FOOD AND DOOR PRIZES! Not bad for the admission price of $0.

For further info, check the website: https://sites.google.com/site/darklitfestofdurham/

It would be great to see some of you there!

Guests include:
Brent LaPorte
Brett Alexander Savory
Gord Rollo
Howard Shrier
Ian Rogers
Jennifer Hale
Joel A. Sutherland
John McFetridge
John R. Little
Jon Evans
Kelley Armstrong
Mark Leslie Lefebvre
Megan Crewe
Michael Kelly
Monica S. Kuebler
Rio Youers
Robert Paul Weston
Sandra Kasturi
Sephera Giron

Blood Lite II and Cemetery Dance

With a new baby in the house, two books to write and edit for Leisure Books, a book to edit for Scholastic and a second to write to hopefully sell to them, and a dark literature festival to organize (not to mention a full time job, a wife to hang out with, a dog to walk and, oh yeah, a social life), you might assume I haven't had much time for short story writing.

And you'd be right! No time at all. But that doesn't mean I don't have a little bit of news to share on the short story front. First, the cover for Blood Lite II: Overbite was released a short while ago and it's pretty cool:
Editor Kevin J. Anderson has informed us that the book has been printed and should be in stores soon -- it is, of course, also available from all the usual online stores. The lineup of authors is solid and I'm looking forward to seeing how my story, a Christmas horror tale called "Oh, the Ho-Ho Horror", is received.

The second bit of news I've been meaning to share is that I recently sold a "quiet" ghost story, called "Fade", to Cemetery Dance Publications. I've been told it will likely appear in the next issue of their magazine, hopefully early next year.

I've still got a few stories that I haven't submitted to a single market due to a complete lack of free time. If only there was a way to sell stories without needing to devote the time needed to submit them to market after market... You hear that, publishers? Drop me a line and I'll gladly send you a story -- it'll save me a lot of time!

DarkLit Fest

Something I've been working on behind the scenes these past few months is a one-day literary convention called The DarkLit Fest of Durham. For the past few years I've been dreaming of such an event to take place in my neck of the woods -- in Durham Region, east of Toronto -- and I finally decided to take the plunge and organize it myself.

Not only was the location an integral part of my plan, but I also wanted the fest to focus on dark literature and, most importantly, I wanted it to be FREE. It can be expensive traveling to and from these types of events and the entry cost is often quite high, so I wanted my event to be affordable (i.e. FREE) for anyone who wants to come.

So what bang do you get for your buck? You get to meet bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, who is the Guest of Honour. You get to meet the other nineteen (yes, nineteen!) literary guests -- authors, editors and publishers from the fields of mystery, crime, horror and dark fantasy. You can register for a pitch session or two in the hopes of selling your manuscript to our three publisher guests: Burning Effigy Press, ChiZine Publications and ECW Press! You get to sit in on panels and readings and can buy autographed books. You might even win a door prize, and if all that wasn't enough, there will be FREE food at the Meet and Greet Luncheon.

Did I mention all of this is FREE?

I'm organizing it in conjunction with the Oshawa Public Library, and they've been an absolute joy to work with. This is going to be a truly special event so if you live in the Greater Toronto Area, you won't want to miss it! The date is Saturday, November 27 from 10:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

More information can be found on the website: https://sites.google.com/site/darklitfestofdurham/home

If this year's DarkLit Fest is as successful as I'm hoping it will be, I'll likely make it an annual event, so I hope to see some of you there! It's not like you can beat the price. By the way, it's FREE.

Be a Writing Superstar

Like I said at the beginning of my last post, I've got some good news to share, so enough with the doom and gloom talk.

We're now a week into September, the month that my children's non-fiction book, Be a Writing Superstar, is being released by Scholastic Canada! And that means it has its own page on the Scholastic website. Not only can you see the cover and read a bit about the book there, but you can also read an excerpt which includes some of the perfect illustrations by Patricia Storms. Check it out: http://www.scholastic.ca/titles/beawritingsuperstar/index.htm

Speaking of the cover and blurb, why don't I go ahead and share those with you now as well?
Hockey Superstars 2006-2007
Hemingway. Dostoevsky. Shakespeare. All of them wrote masterpieces when they were adults. But imagine what they could have written when they were kids, if only they had had this book!

Be a Writing Superstar is an irreverent, encouraging writing guide for young readers, which covers a whole spectrum of topics. It succeeds in teaching them the nuts and bolts of the entire writing process - from brainstorming their early ideas and shaping them on paper, right through to hosting their own book launch! Yes, kids will be trading witty repartee and bon mots with their fellow scribes, as they get their literary game on!

And, for when the dreaded writer's block kicks in, kids can draw inspiration from their writing heroes by reading some short interviews with famous Canadian authors and illustrators! Some of Canada's finest, including Robert Munsch, Mélanie Watt, Gordon Korman and Kenneth Oppel, agreed to answer 5 Silly Questions about their writing, and all of them are included in this book. A hilarious reminder that writers are funny people and writing is, above all else, fun!

You can't beat the retail price of $6.99 (especially as a children's gift), so if you live in Canada head on over to Chapters.ca or Amazon.ca to purchase a copy. If you live elsewhere in the wide world you can ask your local bookseller to order a copy, using one of the following ISBNs: ISBN - 10: 0545980003, or 9780545980005.

Leisure Books, Part Two

I came here intending to share a few pieces of good news that I've been meaning to write about the past few weeks, but I was hit with a cold, hard slap as soon as I saw my previous blog post. Back in July my excitement was building for the release of the mass market paperback edition of Frozen Blood, with a beautiful new cover and many edits that made the book much stronger. I was one happy dude, to be sure.

And then the news suddenly broke of Dorchester Publishing's decision to go all digital, with the news later being modified to digital and trade paperback. This was then followed by the news that Don D'Auria, my editor and the man responsible for Dorchester's horror line, had been let go. I'm speeding through all this and leaving some details put since I'm assuming most people reading this are already familiar with the situation. If you're not, Google is your friend.

So where do I stand in all of this? I'm still not really sure. I've been told the e-book of Frozen Blood is still coming out this November, and that a trade paperback will be in stores six months later. The House on Forks Road, my second contracted horror novel with Leisure, is similarly being bumped back six months. But other than that I've received very little information or updates from Dorchester and am not getting answers to some big questions. So I'm in a "wait and see" position -- I wish I could tell you more, but that's all I know right now.

Many Leisure authors have decided to leave the company and look for new publishing homes, and I wish them all the best. I also wish Don all the best and hope he finds a new home soon. The rumours are all true, folks: Don is one of the best editors in the industry and an absolute pleasure to work with. I just wish we could have at least seen my first Leisure release through to the end together. I hope I have the opportunity to work with him again soon.

Leisure Books

The Dorchester Publishing paperback release of Frozen Blood is quickly approaching (time flies with a newborn in the house!) and it's now available for pre-order in the usual places, such as Amazon.com, Amazon.co.ukAmazon.ca and Chapters for the low, low price of ... well, it's different prices depending on where you live, but it's a deal in every country.

I've also got a high-res image of the cover art, which I absolutely adore, and the new cover copy is below that. Take a looksee!

Frozen Blood (Leisure Books)

Tara Stewart had no choice but to attend her father’s funeral, even if it meant having to deal with her vindictive sister, Evelyn.  As she arrived at the old mansion, the hail storm had already been raging.  And it was not about to end.  But the storm is hardly Tara’s only fear.  She will very soon discover that the house itself seems intent on her death.  It is filled with ghosts, spirits from her past who whisper threats and warn the end is drawing closer, ever closer…

But there is no escape.  The storm has transformed the mansion into a prison.  Reports on the news say it has become the worst blizzard of modern times, bringing destruction on a catastrophic scale.  Trapped in a house of horrors while the world outside slowly freezes,
Tara is surrounded by dangers both natural and supernatural—dangers that will push her to the very brink of madness.

Happy belated Canada Day to my countrymen and Fourth of July to my neighbours to the south!

Wipeout Canada

Wipeout Canada

And it's official: I've applied to be on WIPEOUT CANADA. Bring on the big red balls! You can check out my application video on Youtube HERE.

In related news, this is also official: I might be certifiably insane.
But man, how much fun does that obstacle course look like?!

Geekiest. Day. Ever.

Other than taking care of the usual baby stuff, this is how I spent my day yesterday:

*went to see Iron Man 2
*watched the 4 1/2 hour Lost series recap and finale
*completed both of the above activities while wearing the t-shirt below:
Monkey Island t-shirt
Today is Victoria Day, a statutory holiday here in Canada, and the weather is gorgeous. Although I haven't been online much since Charlie's birth, things have been clicking along at a fairly steady pace (writing wise) and I'll have some cool updates on my upcoming book releases to share soon. But for now, I'm going to enjoy some quality time with the family while trying to figure out what exactly happened in what I felt was a fitting, touching, poignant end to Lost (even though I have very little idea what actually happened).