Categories
e-books My Fiction

My Fiction – Pieces of Candice (eBook)

Pieces of Candice: A Horror Story

The Tease

Told in a voice of madness and menace inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, “Pieces of Candice” is the first-person account of what happened when a helpless young woman in a desperate situation ventured into the dark woods for help. It’s psychological horror right in step with classics by the likes of Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell.

Author’s Commentary

As a psychological horror story with a touch of gore, it’s certainly one of the darkest pieces I’ve ever written. It’s also one of the earliest as the seeds for it date back to 1994 as I was reading a lot of horror and suspense back then. Writers like Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, to name the heavy hitters at the time. Not to mention that the serial killer fiction as true crime stuff had been all the rage during that period. When I finally took a stab at writing it in earnest, it took roughly three years of stops and starts to finish it because it was difficult to slide in and out of the narrator’s disturbed mind. I felt pretty icky at times, other times I’d chuckle at my sick sense of the grotesque.

Although I finally finished it in the late 90s, I didn’t pursue getting it published until the summer of 2010 when then editor/publisher Chris Bartholomew of Static Movement put a call out for stories dealing with madness for an anthology aptly titled MADNESS OF THE MINDWith a title and theme like that I knew that “Pieces of Candice” had a likely home. Thankfully, I was right, although I made some changes to certain details and updated others to bring it to this current century.

Recently I decided to spruce the piece up a little more and re-publish the ebook edition on Smashwords as part of Operation: Remember Me? so that it would exist for online reading as a digital download on various eReader devices.

By today’s literary and consciousness standards, this piece probably doesn’t play as well given the old school male predator versus female victim aspect of it. However, if you can get beyond that and don’t mind stepping into the disturbed, socio-pathic mind of Jules (the narrator) for a little night reading, click on the cover image below — designed by yours truly — to access the Smashwords view page for a free read. Just be sure to dissociate the art from the artist.

Disclaimer

None of these old works are my finest work, but they now exist in digital form for posterity, if nothing else. I suppose also as a reminder that as a writer I can always do better.

The Cover

Pieces of Candice 5 (1600w)

Categories
e-books My Fiction

My Fiction – The Underneath (eBook)

The Underneath: A Bizzaro Flash of Horror

The Tease

After Ramsey discovers a strange blemish his life takes a swift turn into a painful, surreal experience, leaving him to wonder: is this real life?

Author’s Commentary

This one was published a couple of years back in the bizarro print anthology LIKE FROZEN STATUES OF FLESH, compiled by fellow writer/editor Joe Jablonsky. Written in 2009, it is certainly a bizarre piece of fiction dealing with a fella who has discovered a strange blemish on his skin that was not ever there previously. What happens after that discovery results in perhaps the most surreal story I’ve ever written in my two decades-plus of fiction writing. This one sports one of my better cover efforts. You can click it below to take a brief misadventure into something a bit nightmarish.

Disclaimer

None of these old works are my finest work, but they now exist in digital form for posterity, if nothing else. I suppose also as a reminder that as a writer I can always do better.

The Cover

The Underneath 3 (1600w)

Categories
e-books My Fiction

My Fiction – Finder Kept (eBook)

Finder Kept: A Tale of Unintended Fate

The Tease

Like Pandora’s Box, some things are simply best left buried or undisturbed. When a drunken homeless person unwittingly acquires a strange object from a man who is obviously running for his life, the homeless person’s apparent new fortune takes an instant turn for the worse. This is an unfortunate tale of unintended fate.

Author’s Commentary

This was the first story featured in the print anthology BEST LEFT BURIED, selected and edited by Gregory Miller a few years back. I’m guessing my little tale about what happens when a cursed, otherworldly trinket falls into the wrong hands must have epitomized the theme of the anthology because Miller chose to have my story lead the book. It’s no doubt an incredibly huge honor to have your words and your name be the first featured content in any book. This one’s definitely in the “weird” section of my personal library. You click the cover below for a free read.

Disclaimer

None of these old works are my finest work, but they now exist in digital form for posterity, if nothing else. I suppose also as a reminder that as a writer I can always do better.

The Cover

Finder Kept 2 (1400w)

Categories
Authors Books e-books Writer

A Literary PSA: Samantha Winston – The Perfect Alternative to Fifty Shades of Grey

Instead of watching Fifty Shades of Grey (or, perish the thought, reading the books), how about instead you get your erotica fix from Samantha Winston who writes smart, substantive, steamy and sexy erotic literature with huge doses of romance.  As her website says: sexy stories that will warm your heart while heating you up!  Given the intense frigidity of the winter season, that’s a welcome thing, right?  Published across six different imprints, there are over two dozen selections to choose from  in Ms. Winston’s library.  Some notables are:

Hotline (Totally Bound)

Gladys Hawke (Ellora’s Cave: Aeon)

The Wife School (Red Sage Publishing)

Llewellyn’s Song (Ellora’s Cave: Xanadu)

Fun facts: Samantha Winston is the pen name of Jennifer Macaire, an American-born and raised freelance writer/illustrator who was born in Kingston, NY, and lived in Samoa, California, and the Virgin Islands.  She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite.  She attended Parsons School of Design for Fine Art, and Palm Beach Junior College for Art and English literature.  She has three children, lives in France and is married to a professional polo player.

This has been a Ruckerpedia Public Service Announcement by Brandon L. Rucker.

Categories
e-books Short Stories Smashwords

Bedtime Story: “Pieces of Candice” by Brandon L.Rucker

Want some dark reading before you go nite-nite? Well, I’ve got a story for you that I think you’ll like if you dig your Edgar Allan Poe mixed with a touch of F. Paul Wilson, or Ramsey Campbell, or Clive Barker, or Stephen King. Yeah, Poe & King might be the main ingredients in this sick soup of a psychological horror story that is “Pieces of Candice”. It’s one of my oldest, darkets, sickest and most unapologetic tales ever told (and I hope to never write something like it ever again, heh-heh).

Available digitally as an e-book @ Smashwords
Excerpt (from the intro):
Please allow me be perfectly clear that this is not a tell-all confession of all the misdeeds that I have done over the years. It is simply an admission about one particular indiscretion.
I wish to confess to anyone who will listen to, and failing that, anyone who will read my brief account of madness concerning one Candice Bean. You will assume I’m a madman and that this confession is a plea for sympathy or for mere bragging rights. My only hope is that no one finds these lurid details to be too sinister that they would deem me as an unreliable source. Make no mistake that what happened to Candice years ago by my terrible hands is indeed true. [more]
###

Inspired in the mid-90s by the menacing voice used in Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart” , “Pieces of Candice” was first completed in late 1998 and revised a few times over the years after that, but was never submitted for publication until 2010.  The story was accepted and published in Madness of the Mind by writer/editor/publisher Chris Bartholomew through her own Static Movement publishing imprint.  As the head writer of Serial Killer Magazine, she knows a thing or three about horror stories and serial killers.  Earlier this year the story was self-published by the author at Smashwords for digital download to computers and a variety of digital readers.



Clicky to purchase




Categories
e-books e-publishing Short Stories Smashwords

Pieces of Candice (and a Smashwords update)

Candice is feeling a bit lonesome. Of the four stories I have up over at Smashwords, “Pieces of Candice”, an Edgar Allan Poe inspired horror story, is trailing behind in downloads. She needs your help (and if you read the story, you’ll know why).

As a psychological horror story with a touch of gore, it’s certainly one of the darkest pieces I’ve ever written. It’s also one of the earliest as the seeds for it date back to 1994 as I was reading a lot of horror and suspense back then. Writers like Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King and Dean Koontz, to name the heavy hitters. When I finally took a stab at writing it in earnest, it took roughly three years of stops and starts to finish it because it was difficult to slide in and out of the narrator’s disturbed mind. I felt pretty icky at times, other times I’d chuckle at my sick sense of the grotesque.

Although I finally finished it in the late 90s, I didn’t pursue getting it published until the summer of 2010 when editor/publisher Chris Bartholomew (Static Movement) put a call out for stories dealing with madness for an anthology aptly titled Madness of the MindWith a title and theme like that I knew that “Pieces of Candice” had a likely home. Thankfully, I was right, although I made some changes to certain details and updated others to bring to this current century.

Recently I decided to publish the story on Smashwords as an “e-book” so that it would exist in print as well as online and digital download. That’s the mode for modern publishing, going with multiple formats (similar to how recorded music has almost always had multiple formats).

If you’d like to step into the chilling, sociopathic mind of Jules (the narrator) for a little night reading, click on the cover image below to access the Smashwords download page. Just be sure to dissociate the art from the artist. -_^

Smashwords Update – First Week Totals:
 
4 = items in library (2 micros, 2 shorts)
 
157 = downloads/reads/samples
 
14 = members have linked the stories to their libraries
Categories
Blog Daybook e-books e-publishing Smashwords

E-Book Publisher: 40k Books – Another Player in the Game

These folks at 40k Books hit me up on my Twitter account and are now following me. I’m guessing they found me through Smashwords. So I checked them out. One typo on the front page aside, what I’ve discovered looks pretty good. They publish only novelettes and novellas.  With that model they have published some Hugo Award and Nebula Award winning auhors, as they specialize in speculative fiction (sans fantasy). They are an international organization.

There is an interview over at Writer’s Digest: 40k Books is An E-Publisher That Specializes in Original Short Works

I like this quote from one of 40k Books’ essays: “Ever-tougher competition for eyeballs, coupled with drastic structural changes in the publishing industry – such as the rise of ebooks and the decline of traditional bookshops – means that today’s authors must adopt an entrepreneurial attitude. They need to take a leaf from the book that’s being written in the music business, where bands are building brands without the aid of record labels and similar intermediaries.”

“Writers, regrettably, are reluctant to take this responsibility. There is a widespread perception that culture and commerce are incompatible. Marketing is still erroneously associated with Yeats’s ‘greasy till’ and Orwell’s egregious ‘swill bucket’.”

Yet I am unaware of any advantage 40k Books would have over simply going rogue (i.e. the independent route) with Smashwords, but if you’re looking to push yourself beyond the short story form and go digital, you may as well explore all your options.

Of course, if you’re completely against the digtial revolution in publishing and loathe the idea of people reading your words on some silly electronic device, then completely disregard this information. 🙂