Write a little more

It has been a while since I did a blog. Call it laziness, writers block, or whatever it is, the words just haven’t been flowing lately. So what’s been going on? For those who have followed me you know that I have a few books that I have put out.  The last one was Beyond the Darkness which was published in October of 2017.  The book chronicles a team of Paranormal Investigators and more specifically, the lead investigator, Lucas Mitchell who discovers a deep connection to the events of his past during their current investigation. Some haunting and scary things unfold culminating in events that will change his world forever.

When I first decided to write this book I realized that there wasn’t really a book like it out there. A lot of the books under the genre of Paranormal have to do with romancing a vampire or to some degree a lover’s tale with a hint of paranormal. I have no problems with books like that but I wanted to do something a little bit different. I don’t consider my book a horror book, it is more paranormal than anything else. I wanted to tell a story that would have some scares but also have deep characters. So if you are into ghosts and other spooky things but also want a good story to follow, check it out. If you are interested in reviewing this book, send me a message. I am always looking for honest reviews.

So I am jumping back on the writing train after a brief rest although its been a little more than brief. I have a couple of projects I’m working on. I have begun the follow up book to Pine Brook Falls, this would be book 2 of the series. If you have read Pine Brook Falls, please know that the next book in the series will be out next year. Stay tuned for more information and a early preview later this year. Another project is in the early stages and I am thinking of making it into a series if all works out. I will have more information about this in the future.

I wanted to share a few links I have come across. These are different sites offering writers opportunities. I have not personally checked them out so I cannot speak on their validity but in case you are interested, feel free to check them out for yourself. I am not sponsored, affiliated, or have any association with any of these organizations.

Stairway Press: Now Accepting Manuscript Submissions

Stairway Press publishes and markets literary books in a variety of genres including science, science fiction, short stories, political essays, literary thrillers and adventure books. They are not interested in young adult or children books. Their main focus is quality writing. Although a number of the books I looked at I would not describe as literary, even in the context of genre.

Click Here

Through the Ages: Seven Markets for Historical Short Fiction

Historical fiction is an astonishingly vast genre that transports authors and readers back to the past – from Wild West tales of cowboys and gunslingers to prehistoric fiction featuring the early beginnings of mankind. Take a look at some of these magazines, websites and literary journals that accept historical short fiction.

Click Here

Tor.com Publishing Open to Novellas till May 15th

Until 15 May 2018 (9 a.m. EST), Tor.com Publishing, the publishing arm of the science fiction and fantasy website Tor.com, will be open for unsolicited novella submissions.

Click Here

Well until next time, happy writing and happy reading.

Matt A Byron

 

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A short story to share

I wanted to share a short story I wrote some time ago.  No, it’s not a Christmas story.  My stories tend to be a little on the dark side and I fear if I were to write a Christmas story good ol’ Santa Claus may befall some tragic event that would threaten Christmas forever. So, for the sake of all the boys and girls of the world, and the safety of St. Nick, I will refrain from writing a Christmas story.  See, I think I just saved Christmas.

Now, the story I would like to share is not holiday related. In fact, I wrote it years ago for a writing class. It’s flash fiction, so it will be very short.  The premise was I had to write a story in under 30 minutes with no rewrites. I wrote it and it stuck. I didn’t know where I was going with it when I started the first sentence but it developed over the course of a few paragraghs and it stuck.  Here is my flash fiction story.  Happy reading.

Harry’s Journal

To whom it may concern,

Those of you that read this might think I made this up.  Others might just think I was crazy.  But this is not an act of lies or deception, but my honest account of an otherwise amazing yet unbelievable event that I see as my duty to tell you about.

I am not looking for publicity or fame nor am I looking to scare anyone who may come across this. I guess I should begin another way.  My name is Harry. It is the name I was given and the only name I know. Much of the world as I know it is the same now as it ever was. My friends always told me I lived a life of fairytales. If they only knew what had happened to me, they would have changed their minds.

My knowledge is not made up out of thin air and at no time did I get inspired by anything I had read. It’s hard to explain this without giving you a little history about me.

I am seventeen years old.  I guess that would be the right way to explain it. I had friends who were like my family, family that were my life and a girlfriend, Rachel, who was the better part of one whole of me.  I didn’t have a bad upbringing and for the most part, have lived a good, even if I can say, great life.  If only it would have stayed that way, I would not be leaving this for you now and you wouldn’t have any reason to read it.  For that I am sorry.

The event I speak of came without warning and to my credit, unwarranted. I have never been special or gifted so there really isn’t any explanation for any of this except, it just is.  After that event, things started happening to me which I couldn’t explain. I first started noticing things were different a few weeks ago, but I dismissed them altogether. I tried to live my life as normal as possible, but things kept happening. I would see things and hear things all the time with growing frequency. No one believed me when I tried to tell them what I was going through. Not even my girlfriend. In fact, they stopped talking to me altogether.    

I know what you must be thinking. I am some young kid looking for attention but I assure you that is not the case. I have no cause for attention nor do I want it. I just want to live my life without distraction. I want a normal life. Not one interrupted by events that are beyond my ability to control. I know you may not want to believe me and I don’t blame you. If I were you, I wouldn’t have any reason to believe it either but I must insist you read further and the true nature of what I am writing will become clear.

I lost the ability to communicate with my friends because of everything that had happened. I am not looking for your sympathy.  I have enough of my own but I have learned to accept what has happened to me as I hope you will too. I am a conduit.  I can commune with the dead.  This is the part where you might be inclined to stop reading and walk away but please don’t because you need to finish reading this.  This is not something I want or desire, it just is and it is my duty to explain it to you.

Due to events that I have endured, I have lost the ability to communicate with the living. I didn’t understand it at first until I realized that the event that changed my life was actually my death. I had died but had no idea that it had happened.  As to how I died is not of importance, just the fact that I did.  Please know that I can no longer communicate with the living.  Is this starting to become clear to you?

I finally accepted my death in return to help others who haven’t been able to accept their own. I am a conduit for the dead and if you are able to read this then you must realize that you are like me. I can only communicate with the dead and I am communicating with you now. I know it’s not easy to believe, but in time, you will come to accept it as I did. I am sorry to be the one to have to tell you.

Sincerely,

Harry

Newly Departed Relations

 

Writing and the Holidays

The time for holiday celebration is upon us.  The stores are humming with holiday music.  Kids are excited to for Santa’s visit. Visits with long lost family, well perhaps not lost but those people who you haven’t seen since last year that you come around that you may or may not hold a resemblance to. Yes, its that time of year again.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.

I came across some writing opportunities that I would like to share.  I have not looked into these very closely so I don’t know how good they are but I thought I would share them with you.

Here are a couple links to check out.

$800 for Short Stories to be Published in “Awakenings”

The Book Smugglers is currently seeking submissions of short stories for their upcoming anthology, Awakenings.

According to their call for submissions:

“When it comes to Awakenings, anything goes. You, the author, should feel free to take this general theme and interpret it in any way you see fit–from a story about an AI’s first hours of sentience, to magical alternate histories featuring characters discovering how to wield power for the first time, anything goes.

We encourage authors to subvert these sample themes, to expand upon what “awakenings” means, and adapt the prompt to other possible connotations and genres under the Speculative Fiction umbrella.”

They will pay 8 cents per word, up to $800.

Stories should be between 1,500 and 17,500 words.

The stories will be published free on their website, as well as in an ebook. The ebook will offer 50% net royalties.

The deadline to submit is December 31st, 2017, at 11:59PM. (The very last minute of 2017!)

They plan to respond to all submissions by February 20th.  To learn more, visit this page.

 

Eight Markets Seeking Speculative Fiction

The markets on this list include anthologies and magazines, most are interested in short fiction but some are also interested in graphic novels, plays, poetry, and other cross genre work. Almost all of the markets on this list pay. Some pay professional rates, others less. Most focus on speculative fiction, some with an additional theme…

 

If any of these links are useful, I wish you the best.  Writers need to look out for one another.  And just to put my own plug out there, my new book Beyond the Darkness is available on Amazon.  I am always looking for honest reviews so if anyone is interested, please send me a message.

Again Happy Holidays, hope you have a great and safe holiday and a Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye 2016

As the hours approach to closing out another year, what can we expect from 2017? What was 2016 like for you? The year has gone by so fast that there hasn’t been enough time to reflect on all 2016 had brought.

I did release a new book in 2016 and I have another one coming out in 2017. It’s hard to believe another year has passed. We’ve witnessed Superman battling Batman (yeah, that wasn’t a highlight for me either), an election year that was turned on its head, and a plethora of celebrities, most of which, left us way before their time.

I’m not saying 2016 was a horrible year but I wouldn’t rank it up their as one of the best of all time. Let’s hope that this next year will bring happier memories, new writing from the authors out there, and less tragedy.

With each new year, there is a renewed hope of things to come. Perhaps you’re planning a wedding, expecting a child, or your next blockbuster novel is waiting to be released. A new year with many possibilities.

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year.

 

A Writer’s Pledge

Writers write.

penWhat is a writer to do?  You are interested in writing. You have a great idea you believe would make for a great book, but you are not sure if you can pull it off.  You read a 1,001 articles that offer advice for beginning writers and each one sounds good. Then you realize that a lot of these articles contradict one another. This only adds to your confusion.  Should you follow the advice from help book #1.  But then help book #2 suggests that you do it another way. Everyone has some type of advice on how you should write, how your shouldn’t write, and that great idea you had beaming in your head is just that, an idea.

S-T-O-P.

Forget any advice anyone gives you on how you should write. Just write. The first step in writing is to write. You may ask yourself, “Is my story good enough?” Maybe.  Maybe not. But you won’t know if you barricade yourself behind a wall from the very beginning.  Write.

When I was growing up, I wrote a ton of short stories, songs and poems. I just wrote and wrote and wrote. Yet, I didn’t share anything I wrote with anyone because I was afraid of negative feedback. I sheltered this part of myself for fear that this passion I had for the written word was not good enough. So, it remained my secret for a long time. Something happened as I got older, though. I wanted to see what other people thought of my writing.  I was curious to know what other peoples thought  Did I have what it took to be a good writer?

As It turns out, my short stories were not very good. I heard the first few critiques and I wanted to bury my head deep in the sand and give up. But, I still had this passion for writing.  I took some advice, well, actually, I read every writing advice book I could and thought I could turn out something better. I got so consumed with obtaining knowledge, I spent more time reading people’s advise on writing that I hadn’t written anything. I would always put it off. Tomorrow I will write became the trend. I realized that it was a defensive barrier I had put around myself.  No one could tell me that my writing wasn’t good if there was no writing to critique. I let fear imprison me. Instead of working to improve my own writing abilities, which I knew I possessed, or at least hoped I did, I chose to hide.

That’s when I made a pledge to myself.  A Writer’s Pledge.

I write. It is my passion. My desire. I am my biggest fan. I am my biggest critic.

The point is, we can’t worry about how good or how bad something is without first trying.  Not everyone will write a best seller. But if you love writing and it gives you joy beyond anything else you can imagine, you owe it to yourself to follow your passion no matter where it leads you. Make your own Writer’s Pledge. You will hear people say to write for the readers you hope to have. Find a genre and write toward that. There is a lot of good advice out there but first, you need to just write. Once you begin that process, you will learn something about yourself and something about your writing.  Advice is good, don’t get me wrong, but not at the expense of your creative process.

Pick up a pen. Let your fingers stretch across the keyboard. Dust off the typewriter.

The time is write now.

The Write Touch

Today is writer’s day. Well, not officially. There is no special designation to honor a writer’s passion, diligence, creativity, or contribution to the literary world. No day to mark on the calendar to celebrate all those who have cried, cursed, laughed, shouted, or smiled through the process of creating words which invoked emotional responses in people who found those words.

For a writer, both aspiring and established, each day should be viewed as Writer’s Day. Anytime you sit down at your desk or other writing sanctuary and begin  the process of creativity, you should feel enlightened by the fact that you have an idea you want to explore, words in your head that will inform, entertain, or hit an emotional nerve with an unsuspected reader. Writing is not easy. It takes a lot of patience, practice, doubt, more doubt, and persistence to accomplish what you want to set out to do.

When your fingers are gliding across the keyboard, imagine you are playing a grand piano and listening to the beautiful music created at your fingertips. Now imagine your story singing by your touch. The community of writers is vast and diversified but we all share a common and unique kinship.  We have all started with a clean slate. We have all sat and watched an empty screen fill up with words as our mind and fingers worked together to help bring to life our thoughts.

antique-writing-deskPeople say that writing is a solitary life. You and your thoughts. While I do find that to be true when I am in the midst of the writing process, I also feel connected to others who share my interest for writing. I love to learn from others who have reached success whether small or large and from people like myself, who are still trying to figure it out. I like to hear their ideas, their struggles, their successes, because it makes me feel that I am not alone. In those moments of self-doubt or bitter frustration when the words are not coming out the way I want, I know there are others who have endured those same struggles and found ways to overcome those same obstacles. This gives me hope and I feel a connection with them. Writing can be the most frustrating thing you could ever do, but it could also be the most rewarding.

Let today be Writer’s Day.  The next bestseller is only words away.

Halloween and Writing

It’s that time of year again. Halloween. I have been working on the completion of my next book, Beyond the Darkness. It is in the final editing stage. I am hoping to release it by the early part of next year.

People ask me why I like scary stories. What inspires me to write stores with dark content?  I will say not all my stories are scary but there is definitely a darkness to them. I know a few people who are horrified to be horrified. The thought of watching a scary movie or reading a spooky story sends shivers down their spine. That inspires me. If I can put words to paper that invokes that kind of reaction than I have connected with the reader on some subconscious level.woman

Why do people go to Halloween attractions? Would anyone step in to a haunted house if there was a real chance that harm could befall them? No. There is a certain adrenaline that comes from being taken away from your comfort zone if only for a few minutes. That is what propels me to write the types of stories I do. I am a student of fear as I am still learning what scares people and how I can incorporate that in to my stories.

Halloween is a good teacher for all the lessons to be learned are out in full display. What lurks in the shadows just beyond your field of vision? Did you see something from the corner of your eye just to turn around and find nothing there? Why did a chill run down your spine when you walked into that room? Did you hear a noise from another part of the house when no one else is home?  When you are all alone, are you really all alone?

As you enjoy this Halloween season, be safe. Halloween is a time to embrace our darkside a bit but also to have fun. But just know that fear will be waiting for you from  Beyond the Darkness.

Happy Halloween