john hartness

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ConCarolinas Wrap-up Thinky Post

Published June 7, 2016 by administrator

It’s Tuesday after ConCarolinas, and I’m finally out of the post-con coma. I’m almost human again, too. Conventions these days wear me out almost as much as the day after. Yesterday was spent buried beneath my little girls while they wallowed all over me. It was our first time away from the little one, and two years since we had an extended weekend away from the big one. I admit, I slept like the dead this weekend, but it didn’t really do much to make me not miss my babies.

So, ConCarolinas.

First of all, a huge shout-out and love-filled thank you to Carol Cowles, Jada Hope, and Misty Massey for being the most awesome con mistresses ever. You guys are my heroes.

I love this convention. Not only is it the closest one to home, but it’s also one of the best. It isn’t a huge con, but it’s got a good crowd full of great people. We’ve all been together for so many years that we really are a family now. It was huge fun getting to play with Alexandra, Crymsyn, Nicole, and Melissa at the table. In case there was ever any doubt, we ARE the party at a convention. We have a big old time, and we give people candy. I really enjoyed Mom-talk with Sarah and getting to meet her family. I didn’t realize how much I missed talking to Faith since our days in the CC dungeon behind the escalator. The extended family – John, Jay, Misty, Gail, Tamsin, Emily, and all the rest that I’m forgetting to name… I love these people. I’ve made so many friends in the eight or nine years I’ve been attending, both as fan and as guest, and that roster continues to grow every single year.

The panels were a blast, and I really enjoyed this year’s Writer’s Workshop. It’s nice to see so many talented people coming up through the ranks as compared to all the nonsense floating around the interwebs these days. I didn’t sell much, but then again that isn’t really why I go to ConCarolinas. I went for the reasons mentioned above. These are my people, my tribe. Even the readers are so freaking awesome it makes my heart sing. It was well worth the cost of the hotel room. And the food… OMG. There’s a blog post coming later on truck food. It makes me hungry just thinking about that lobster dog.

All in all, and despite the issues with the A/C, it was a good weekend.

This year’s shindig is particularly significant as it marks my return to the con circuit after a year off. My con-going ended abruptly after MidSouthCon last year, and did so on quite the sour note. Then I spent the last twelve months pregnant, sick, depressed, and all manner of other things which are not conducive to the creative lifestyle. Suffice it to say I approached this event with no small amount of trepidation.

Social anxiety has been a growing problem over the last few years. I started out on a high note, publishing my first book in May 2011 and following it up with multitudes more. Conventions were big fun and I was just really starting to get the hang of this being-a-writer thing when my world collapsed. We won’t get into the psychological trauma of losing my father again (we all know we’ve been over that too much), but it was the primary catalyst for my withdrawal from society and, almost completely, from writing. And the tragedy didn’t stop there. The last few years have been an onslaught of sadness coupled with the all-consuming NEW MOM tag. My girls take up most of my time, and between them and the why-bother feeling from the general state of the writing market, it’s been a tough trek getting my mojo back.

I have to say, though… ConCarolinas has done wonders for my writer’s soul. I came out of it renewed and inspired. And the September deadline I acquired Saturday night can only help. It’s ambitious for me since I’m a slow writer, but I think having that project and the expectations of a publisher waiting on it will help me to drag myself out of the dirt and get back to it.

Which brings me to my last, and probably most important, comment: I just wanted to say thank you to John Hartness for being a great friend, and for believing so strongly in me even when I don’t believe in myself. And for calling me out on it in public. I needed that kick in the ass.

So enough of this. I have a book to finish.

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Big Bad II – Available Now!

Published February 25, 2015 by administrator

Here at last for your reading pleasure… Big Bad II, now with bigger, badder villains! Gorgeous cover, beautifully disturbing stories, and a nice, healthy dose of WTF. John Hartness & Emily Leverett have really outdone themselves this time, folks. This is a serious cast list author-wise, and I’m honored to be included among such talented people. The very idea of an anthology filled with stories about bad guys makes me happy.

This book… and all of us in it… we are the reason why YOU should be afraid of the dark.

HORROR

Publication Date: February 24, 2015 Dark Oak Press

Everybody loves the bad guys, and this second edition of The Big Bad brings you more to love! A collection of best-selling fantasy and horror writers brings you twenty-four all-new tales of vampires, demons, ghosts, zombies, and the most terrifying monsters of all – humans. Crack open the pages, if you dare, and explore two dozen tales of humor and horror by some of the brightest names in the business!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | B&N Hardcover

The list of authors includes:

John Glover                 John Hartness
Selah Janel                  Gail Martin

Jason Corner               S.H. Roddey
Kasidy Mansico           James R. Tuck
Sara Taylor Woods      Eden Royce
Sarah Adams              Jay Requard

Riley Miller                  Edmund Schubert
Stuart Jaffe
                 Emily Leverett
Bobby Nash                Nicole Kurtz
Lindsey Lewis             Eric Guy
Matthew Saunders      Neal Litherland
Misty Massey              M. B. Weston
David B. Coe

My contribution is called “Skippin’ Stones”, and here’s the first part of it:


Skippin’ stones down by the crick…

That was where any momma could find her little boy on a Saturday afternoon in Rock Mountain, Tennessee. We would line up, one by one in even spaces all up and down the loamy crick-bed, searchin’ for the best, shiniest river-rocks to thump across the surface of that little offshoot of the Tennessee River. Sometimes we would all huddle up together and compare stones before havin’ a contest to see who could skip the farthest, or who could drag the most jumps outta our rocks. There weren’t no television or nothin’ like that, so us kids had to entertain ourselves. Skippin’ stones meant we got to throw things without getting’ in trouble.

Me, I always liked the little, flat ones. Perfectly round, and light-colored. Sometimes I picked up ones with veins of dark sumthin-or-other runnin’ through ‘em, but most of the time I went for the white or light gray ones. Call it superstition, but those light colors always did me good. I still believe it, too, ‘cause the day I met the Devil, I was skippin’ rocks with dark streaks in ‘em.

Me an’ Jimmy Tanner was out by the crick one afternoon when we was six and Jimmy’s momma came lookin’ for him, mad as a wet hen and armed with her favorite whippin’ stick.

“Get yo’self back to that house right his minute, Jimmy-boy!” she screeched, wavin’ her hands around like her tail was on fire. That skinny little stick wobbled around in the air, but we knowed better than to think it would break. Them green wood switches she picked would bend into all sortsa knots before they’d up and break. “Yo’ daddy is gonna ring yo’ neck for what you done gone and did!” The boy took off runnin’ like his tail was gonna be on fire…and it prob’ly was, too, cause his momma really liked her whippin’ sticks. She caught me ‘cross the knees one time for smartin’ off to her. I never did it again, I tell you what.

After Jimmy run off and left me standin’ knee-deep in the cool water with my shoes up on a sunny rock, I bent down and picked up somethin’ outta the water. It was a stone; the flattest, shiniest one I ever seen. It was bright white, but it had a streak of sparkly black runnin’ right down its middle.

I’m gonna have your soul, Mickey.

I felt the voice, like a cold chill of goosebumps up my back and my arms. It sounded like the wind, like nature had found her voice and wasn’t too happy with me.

You can’t run, and you can’t hide, Mickey. I’m gonna take your soul straight to Hell.

“Who’s there?” I called out. Now, don’t get me wrong…I was scared. So scared I didn’t notice the warm trickle down the inside of my right leg ‘til long after I’d gone screamin’ home and crawled up cryin’ in my momma’s arms.

You know who I am, Mickey. Don’t play dumb.

“Now you listen to me, you dirty ol’ Devil!” I screamed. I know I sound a lot braver than I was, but when you’re eight years old, you ain’t got the good sense God gave a wet paper bag. “You gonna turn right back around and you is gonna go straight back to Heck!” I couldn’t say Hell yet. Momma woulda washed my mouth out for sure. It didn’t matter. The Devil knew what I was talking about.

Tell me, Mickey… what’s it like to be afraid of something you can’t see?

Coming Soon to a #Horror Shelf Near You!

Published January 30, 2015 by administrator

I’ve been waiting for the go-ahead on this one for quite some time. I’m finally ready to show off now.

Remember how I had a story featured in The Big Bad: Anthology of Evil? Well, Volume 2 is almost here, and I’m in it again! This book just happens to house one of my favorite things I’ve ever written as well. The story is called “Skippin’ Stones”, and it’s the product of a sleepless night after meeting the devil in a dream. My brain works in some pretty strange ways.

The book is due out on 2/24, so everyone should be ready to run out and buy it right that minute. It’s a great collection, and one I’m proud to be part of. But since the book isn’t here yet, I’ll leave you with the awesometastic and super-creepy cover. I have to say…I’m in love.

Big Bad 2

Keeping Up (Public) Appearances

Published October 22, 2013 by administrator

That’s right, ladies and germs, I’m going to be turned loose on the world again!

This one is a little different, kids. This appearance is right here in my very own stomping grounds.  In conjunction with the “Haunted Chester” event coming up this weekend,  There’s all sorts of spooky nonsense going on that weekend, including a live paranormal investigation, courtesy of State Paranormal Investigations. But just between you, me, and the lamppost, the biggest fun is going to be on Saturday, October 26th.  A group of us local authors will be out at the Chester County Library selling books, signing autographs, and doing that authorly thing that we do. Want to know more? Keep reading.

 

HAUNTED CHESTER

 

Author Event – Saturday, October 26, 2013

2:00 – 4:00 PM

Chester County Library
100 Center Street
Chester, SC 29706

Authors:

Lucy Blue
(Romance Author)

Alexandra Christian
(Paranormal Romance Author)

Marcia Collette
(Author of Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, and Paranormal Romance)

Crymsyn Hart
(Paranormal Romance Author)

John Hartness
(Urban Fantasy Author, Editor of The Big Bad Anthology of Evil)

Tally Johnson
(Author of historical SC Ghost Lore)

Nicole Kurtz
(Author of Women’s FIction and Owner of Mocha Memoirs Press)

S.H. Roddey
(Urban Fantasy/Horror Author, Romance Author – as Siobhan Kinkade)

Getting The Words Out

Published August 10, 2012 by administrator

The last six months have been… let’s say…trying. Real life has come down on the top of my head in a big, nasty way and for a very, very long portion of those months, I wasn’t doing anything at all but playing mommy, driving all over Hell and half of Georgia, and trying to sleep when I could. In the past six months I’ve had a baby, lost my father, buried two cats (one of mine and one of my mother-in-law’s), attended the funeral of my husband’s best friend’s grandmother, and lost two other friends, one under extremely suspicious circumstances.  It hasn’t been easy.

The good news?

I’m finally writing again. FINALLY.

I’ve told you already about Devil’s Daughter, scheduled to hit eShelves in September and Rock N’ Roll Angel, scheduled for the Splatterpunk Anthology Release sometime in October, right?

Well hold on to your hats, kids.  There’s more.

Something about Fandom Fest really inspired me to get off my duff and do what I love again. I have been, and it feels great. In the last 30 days, I have submitted three stories:

 

1. Easy as Pie went to Necro Publications’ Into the Darkness Anthology Call

2. Wolfy went to John Hartness and Kerlak Publishing for the Big Bad Anthology Call

3. Skippin’ Stoneswas just packed up and sent to the Deep Cuts Anthology Call. I did it ten minutes ago.

 

They’re done, filed, and off my writing plate. It feels fabulous.  Pushing those off on someone else has opened up my writing world to all these other crazy projects. So here’s what’s next on my plate:

 

1. James R. Tuck’s Sword & Sorcery Anthology Call through Seventh Star Press. I have two ideas for this and they’re battling like mad in my head.

2. My Soul Collectors Series. Devil’s Daughter is the first taste of that series, and I can’t wait to really get going on it.

3. The Steampunk Horror Novel. I’m 30,000 words into it, have no title, and don’t have a clue exactly how I’m going to end it… but I’m having fun with it. Over the last few months it has turned into a bit of an homage to Frankenstein, which is hands-down my favorite horror novel of all time.

 

There are all manner of other fringe projects, but those are my three priorities. If I can get them done and out of the way my IN PROGRESS folder will shrink considerably.

I guess that means I should stop stalling on the internet and get back to work, huh?

Getting Better All the Time…

Published July 18, 2012 by administrator

Or I would be if I weren’t fighting a massive head cold.  Summer colds are the worst, too. Not only do you feel rotten, but it’s hot and humid outside and it’s an all-around miserable time.  I don’t like it.

Shoving that to the side, let’s talk about fun things, shall we?

I know I promised an update on Fandom Fest – it’s coming, I swear.  The posts are written but are so outdated that I can’t publish them without a few rewrites.  So that funness will come a bit later.

Let’s see…what else is going on around here?

Well, in the last twenty-four hours I’ve submitted stories to two different anthology calls.  I’m about 98% sure BOTH will be rejected, but I’m okay with that.  I have to try, right?

Easy as Pie was submitted to Necro Publications’ Into the Darkness Call.  It’s pretty gruesome, so they’ll probably be bored by it.

Wolfy was submitted this afternoon to the Big Bad Anthology call.  I’m sure John will just love me for adding one more thing to the to-be-read pile.  At last count I think he was over 100 submissions.  Poor guy… but honestly, he asked for it.

Now that those two stories are out of the way it means I have to get back to work on something else, doesn’t it?

On the “already contracted” front, both Rock & Roll Angel and Devil’s Daughter have been through edits, and the cover art form for Devil’s Daughter has been returned.  Plus I got some really positive comments on a beta read for Devil’s Daughter today that made me very happy.

I think I’m up to date with all of my contractual obligations.  Next stop… catching up on blog posts.

Like this one, for instance.

I keep telling you guys that I suck at blogging.  I’m one of those weirdos that would much rather be writing books.

I also agreed to help a friend of mine with another project, but there will be a whole post dedicated to that later.

That’s about all I’ve got for now.  Well, unless everyone wants to know that it’s raining cats and dogs outside and in about five minutes I’m going to get very, very wet.  So I’ll leave you all with that.

Stay cool and dry, everyone.