“Midnight Blonde” accepted

I’m very excited to announce that a new Felix Renn story, “Midnight Blonde,” has been accepted for an upcoming issue of Supernatural Tales.

I feel this story in particular truly represents what I’ve been trying to do with this series, mixing detective noir with supernatural menace. I think readers will really dig this one.

And the third Felix Renn novelette will be called…

BLACK-EYED KIDS

Yes, folks, it’s finally done. I completed the final draft last night and sent it off to my publisher this morning.

At 24,000 words, this one is probably closer to a novella than a novelette, but it will still be the longest Felix Renn story published to date. To give you an idea of just how long it is, “Temporary Monsters” and “The Ash Angels” both clocked in at about 12,000 words a piece.

I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot of “Black-Eyed Kids,” but I will say that it combines the hard-boiled action of “Temporary Monsters” with the supernatural suspense of “The Ash Angels.”

While it was always my intention this time around to write a longer story, the truth is I didn’t have much of a choice. These days the Felix stories I’m working on don’t want to be short, they want to be long. Sometimes very long. I suspect this is my unconscious mind’s way of preparing me for a Felix Renn novel. At least I hope that’s the case, because my next project is… yes, the first Felix Renn novel.

It’s been a long time coming, but I feel I’m finally ready. The story is already outlined, so if I bust my ass and keep distractions to a minimum, I should have a first draft finished by the fall.

Until then, “Black-Eyed Kids” should keep all you Black Landers sated. It will be out in September from Burning Effigy Press.

So where do we go from here?

It’s been a couple of weeks since my big announcement, and while the glow of excitement still hasn’t worn off, people have been asking me what happens next.

I may have sold my first book, but what about that science-fiction comedy novel I wrote (and Tweeted about) last year? What about this Weird Western novelette people have been talking about on Facebook? And, most importantly, what about Felix freaking Renn?

The Short Story Collection

First, because it’s the question I’m asked most of all, the collection is still untitled. Even though the book won’t be out until late 2012 at the earliest, the publishers and I are already discussing what we should call the thing. Mostly because I don’t want to spend the next year-plus referring to the book as “the untitled short story collection.”

Honestly, I thought this would be the easy past. But I think the surprise of ChiZine accepting the book, and the manner in which they told me, have resulted in my being at a bit of a loss as to what to call the damn thing. Do I take the easy way out and go with the title of one of the stories in the book? The Dark and the Young? Deleted Scenes? The Rifts Between Us? They’re not bad, but I also like the idea of coming up with a completely original title.

So at this point, I’m not sure when the book will have a title, but I promise, once I know, you’ll know.

The Weird Western

It’s called “Deadstock” and it’s coming out from a new Canadian publisher called Stonebunny Press. The people behind Stonebunny are Melanie and Todd Fischer, who, through their earlier company Imelod Publications, published authors like Jeffrey Thomas and Wilum H. Pugmire. So I’m in very good hands there.

I don’t want to say much more since I’m planning a big announcement once “Deadstock” hits stores in the next few weeks. Suffice to say, I’m very excited about this one.

The Felix

Those who follow my Twitter feed and Facebook page already know that I recently finished writing the third Felix Renn chapbook. I’m currently in the rewrite phase, but I expect to fire off the final draft to my publisher within the next couple of weeks.

Once that’s done, all of my time will be devoted to the first Felix Renn novel. Finally!

And, while all of this has been going on, I’ve been querying agents. I’ve had a couple of bites, but nothing definite yet. On the plus side, the few rejections I’ve received have said basically the same thing: you’re a talented writer, I’m just not the right agent for you.

This is the problem when you write across so many different genres: finding an agent who will represent everything. But I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Either I’ll find someone and we click, or I’ll just going ahead on m own. I’ve already achieved one of my major career goals, that of selling my first book, and I figure if I can do it once, then I can do it again. And again. And again.

“Chilling Tales” reviews and Felix news

The first reviews of Chilling Tales are in!

Rue Morgue magazine liked the book a great deal, and while only a few stories were singled out, “My Body” was one of them. (The review isn’t online. You’ll have to pick up the mag to read it.) The second review appeared on the SFRevu website, and even though the reviewer didn’t like the book as much as Rue Morgue, he seems to have enjoyed my story:

Among the good stories I will mention Barbara Roden’s “404”, a Kafkaesque tale of office horror where employees mysteriously disappear one at the time, and Ian Rogers’ “My Body”, a modern ghost story with an undercurrent of sadness.

Read the full review.

It’s also worth noting that Chilling Tales is now for sale in the U.S., with copies available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc., etc.

In other Black Lands-related news, I have a new Felix Renn short story making the rounds, and I just hit the 12,000-word mark on the new novelette. If I can maintain my current pace, I should have it finished within the next couple of weeks. And once it’s done, I start work on the first Felix Renn novel.

World Horror Convention 2011 schedule

On Thursday I’ll be flying out to Austin, Texas, for this year’s World Horror Convention. This marks the second time I’ve attended this particular con — the first being the one held in Toronto in 2007— and the first time I’m actually taking part in the programming. My involvement is fairly minor compared to some, but I’m very happy to be moderating a panel and taking part in a book launch. Here are the deets:

Book Launch – EDGE Books

2:00 – 4:00 PM, Friday, April 29 – Convention Suite

Join hosts Michael Kelly and Jaym Gates for the multi-author book launch of “Chilling Tales”, “Rigor Amortis”, and “Those Who Fight Monsters”. Plus get a special sneak peek of EDGE’s Fall Horror line up, including “EVOLVE Two: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead”, and “Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes.”

The End of Good Advice

1:00 PM Saturday, April 30 – Dezavala

Mikal Trimm, Ian Rogers (M), Vanessa Fewings, Peter Straub, Gord Rollo, Wayne Allen Sallee

In the old days, there were a few solid ways to build a career—get some attention with short stories, or get an agent and sell a novel to New York. But good advice often has an expiration date, especially in the rapidly changing publishing field of the Internet era. What good old advice still works, and what new advice do the old pros not even know?

If you’re going, don’t be stranger. Come up and say hello. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

“Chilling Tales” Launch – Part 2

I will be at Ad Astra this Saturday for the second part of the Chilling Tales launch. There will be a panel discussion at 11 a.m., and then a launch party from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. If you’re attending the convention, make sure to stop by and check it out.

Jeffrey Thomas reviews “The Ash Angels”

Last year, Jeffrey Thomas, creator of the excellent series of Punktown books, posted a review of “Temporary Monsters” that had me spinning for days. Well, Mr. Thomas has gone and done it again with an equally wonderful review of “The Ash Angels.” Here’s an excerpt:

As much as I enjoyed the first Renn outing, I think I enjoyed this one doubly so. Renn’s personality seemed even more to the fore this time, his voice more bitterly humorous… It’s Christmas eve in snowy Tornoto, and the chilly isolation of the human soul is felt throughout — not least of all by Renn, who mourns the breakdown of his marriage. For a brief novella, there’s a lot of shading to Renn — the humor, the regrets, the resourcefulness — and a well-formed character will make you want to hang out with him again.

Read the whole review at Jeffrey Thomas’s website.

Double-Booked Book Launches

My work hasn’t appeared in very many publications that have had actual book launches, so what were the odds I’d get double-booked for two such events? Pretty good, apparently.

BIFF BAM POP, the pop culture website where I’m currently writing a book review column, is publishing a graphic anthology called The Collected Biff Bam Boo, featuring two of my flash fiction pieces, “Wendy” and “Vogo,” with artwork by J.P. Fallavollita.

Meanwhile, EDGE Books is launching the all-Canadian horror anthology Chilling Tales, featuring a new Felix Renn story called “My Body.”

Both events take place this Saturday, March 19th. The Biff Bam Boo launch will be held at the Curzon restaurant (1192 Queen St East) from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Chilling Tales launch will be at Bakka Phoenix Books (84 Harbord St.) from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

My plan is to hit the Chilling Tales launch first and sign books for an hour or two, then zip over to the Curzon for the Biff Bam Boo launch. The latter is taking place at a restaurant, and even though the end time is slated for 7:30 p.m., I’m told that the event will go on as long as people are there.

So if you’re hankering for more Felix Renn and you want your book signed, I’d suggest you come to the Chilling Tales launch on time, as I won’t be there for the whole thing. And if your interests lie more toward horror comics, you should swing by the Curzon and pick up a copy of The Collected Biff Bam Boo.

Or hell, come to both and have a REALLY good time!

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What are the Black Lands?

The Black Lands is a dimension filled with supernatural creatures that lies next to our own. This alternate reality is the setting for a series of stories by Ian Rogers.

To find out more about the Black Lands, read the history.