Dragon Stones Now On Amazon, B&N

Today, during my semi-monthly auto-Googling, I discovered that Dragon Stones has made its way out to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and the like.  Interestingly enough, Long Before Dawn hasn’t reached those outlets yet, but it is available from online bookstores in the U.K.  Go figure.  Perhaps the British are more amenable than the Americans to proper vampire stories, where the vampires are monsters.

Anyway, for all my legions of fans out there who have just been waiting to be able to purchase my two latest books from somewhere other than Lulu.com (you know who you are), your wish has been granted!  You can get Dragon Stones from Amazon.com or BN.com, and Long Before Dawn from Blackwell Online and WHSmith in the U.K.  Both should be available elsewhere as well.

(Reading) I Am Legend

I’ve at last gotten around to Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend , which has been on my “to read” list for years. I’m liking it so far, but what’s most interesting to me is that (minor spoiler alert), in Long Before Dawn, I took the same approach to crosses and other holy symbols that Matheson did–i.e., a holy symbol only works on a vampire who practiced the represented religion when alive. As the main character in I Am Legend, Robert Neville, says: “… neither a Jew nor a Hindu nor a Mohammedan nor an atheist, for that matter, would fear the cross.” He later goes on to explain that because the classic vampire legend arose in heavily Christian Europe, the cross became identified–wrongly–as the universal anti-vampire ward, which is exactly what I was thinking when I wrote Long Before Dawn.

Other than this little tidbit, of course, the two books are completely different. Matheson takes a rigorous, scientific, naturalistic approach to his vampires, whereas mine are supernatural beasties who can fly around and turn into mist. Still, I find myself pleased to find that my vampire book has something in common with one of the undisputed classics of the genre.

Now if I can just interest Will Smith in starring in an adaptation of Long Before Dawn, that would be another similarity, and one I could definitely live with …

Galley Ho!

This is just a short note to let all who may be breathlessly waiting for Dragon Stones know that it has entered what might be called the “galley” phase, where I order finished copies from Lulu.com and go through them with a highlighter to fix any remaining formatting or style issues (at least, things that I consider formatting or style issues).  I’ve already been through this process with Long Before Dawn and it probably took about two months, but I expect it to go faster this time now that I’ve already done one.  I expect to hit my target of releasing Dragon Stones some time in June, though it won’t be available from book stores until 6-8 weeks after that due to the ISBN lag time.

In the meantime, I’ve started editing my next release, Father’s Books, a ghost story (of sorts) that I wrote after A Flock of Crows.  By now I’m sure everyone realizes that I can’t write a “normal” ghost story, but that’s the easiest way to label Father’s Books right now so I’ll stick with it.  More information will surely follow!

“Long Before Dawn” Available From Lulu.com!

Long Before Dawn is now available from Lulu.com in both print and electronic versions. Huzzah! It will eventually be available from Amazon.com and other booksellers, but that is still a week or two away as I have yet to receive my ISBN. I will post a follow-up when this is ready. In the meantime, if you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Long Before Dawn directly from my Lulu storefront, you can do so here (check the link in the sidebar) or here.

In the past, I’ve made a habit of giving free, signed copies of my books to anybody who asks for one. This is partly because I’m more interested in having readers than in making money (although I wouldn’t turn down big bucks for the movie rights), partly because hardly anybody asks for one, and partly because I’m not really comfortable exhorting people to buy my stuff. (This is why I need an agent.) However, it’s been pointed out that giving away books online could get prohibitively expensive, so I’m going to have to forgo the “free” part, and exhort people to buy my stuff*. I will still be more than happy to sign copies, though. If you’re interested, drop me a line.

Thanks, and happy reading!

*Please buy my stuff. (Maybe if I keep saying it, I’ll get used to it.)

“Night Watchman” Review

I stumbled across an Epinions review of Night Watchman today. I was surprised to see this, given that Night Watchman came out over five years ago, but it’s nice to know people are still reading if after all these years. (Yes, it’s a recent review … 1/26/08.) Although the review is not unalloyed praise (3 out of 5 stars), it is positive overall, and raises some valid points that I would probably address if I were rewriting the book now. Still, I think Night Watchman does hold up pretty well for a novel that I wrote when I was about 23 years old. (Never you mind how old I am now.) You can visit the reviewer’s Epinions page here and his home page here.

Long Before Dawn is an even older* book than Night Watchman; I started working on that shortly after getting married, and finished it at the ripe old age of 22. But since Dawn was never published, I’ve had the opportunity to go back and “improve” it a couple of times since completing it. I think that this most recent set of revisions, done to get it ready for Lulu publication, has tightened up the plot and characterizations significantly. We’ll see if the readers (all ten of them) agree!

*In fact, Long Before Dawn is so old**, I originally wrote it using the MS-DOS program PC-Write. PC-Write couldn’t handle a document that long, so I had to split it into three or four files for editing. Ahhh, good times …

**And Long Before Dawn isn’t even my oldest book; there’s one more, older still, called Three Detectives, that I actually had an agent working on for a while. He was never able to sell it, unfortunately. This is a (you guessed it) detective novel, set in Utica, NY, that I wrote after a marathon Nero Wolfe reading session. Perhaps it will see the light of Lulu some day, but I doubt it.

That First Step Is A Lulu

So seeing as the mainstream publishing world has never quite known what to do with me — I have a portfolio of rejection letters eight inches thick full of comments like “highly enjoyable but we have no idea how to market it” and “skillfully written, but not everyone wants to read The Books of Blood by Clive Barker” (I used to get compared to Mr. Barker fairly regularly) — I’ve decided to bypass them and start publishing books myself, with the first one being that old standby, the vampire novel, coming soon via Lulu. Watch for Long Before Dawn to be available in the next few weeks.

I’ve set up a small homepage at Lulu which for now will serve as my main writing, media, and publishing-related site, although I’ll likely continue to cross-post material here … assuming Dennis lets me sit at the keyboard every now and then.