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

Announcement: I’ve Gone Digital @ Smashwords!

After two month after joining, I have finally published some e-books over at Smashwords. At this point it’s just a few short stories available for sampling and downloading to your e-reader of choice, or simply on the website itself.  These are just a small taste of what I do. I cover several styles and genres in my writing, so the stories I will be publishing will reflect that diversity. Later down the road I will feature longer works.

For now, there is:

Previously published in Madness of the Mind (Static Movement imprint, 2010)

Previously published in The Cedar Chest (Static Movement imprint, 2010)

Previously published in A Pint of Bloody Fiction (House of Horror, 2010)

Blogpage link previously published via Crossed Genres

The discovery of this rather empowering self-publishing platform (which was started in 2008) pretty much nixed my plans for The Rucker Files over at WordPress.  The Ruckerfiles was to be my online archive of writing works as well as a place to self-publish whatever work I wanted. I fully intended to continue the submission process to other publishing venues, but still, I want to be able to D-I-Y some works that I had no intentions of ever compromising for other editors and whatnot.

Now with Smashwords, if you know anything about the platform, the idea of The Rucker Files just seemed a little moot at this current juncture. However, there will be a place for this all-encompassing archive in the future. For now, I intend to use Smashwords for my primary self-publishing venue. If you read up on the platform, the reasons are obvious and sensible.

Much more to come throughout the year.

Dealing with Personal Loss as a Writer

Everyone deals with loss in their own unique way. My friend Bob Thurber lost his daughter Sarah to death back in the middle of December (yeah, just before the Christmas Holiday). He called it “an unspeakable loss” a few weeks later. No words would justify, so it was best he said little else about it. Naturally, I tried to reflect on my own situation with young daughters of my own. Yeah. An unfathomable situation.

Since I know Thurber to be a writer who channels a lot of his own emotional truths into his writing, the other day I became curious as to how he would actually channel this particular ugly, awful truth.

My timing was impeccable. It was the eve of the 2nd month anniversary of her passing on to a better place. Thurber had a new story that he shared with me called “The Search Party”. He said it would go live online the next day–the 2nd month anniversary.

And so it has been posted here, at The Outlet. Have a read of “The Search Party” to see a writer confront his terrible loss in his own way with less than 300 words.


PROMO: Beneath the Surface of Things – by Kevin Wallis

Beneath the Surface of Things, a collection of dark short fiction by my friend and editing colleague Kevin Wallis, is available in softcover now at Amazon.com. There is also a Kindle edition for you digitalphiles. My copy is on the way and reviews have been unanimous: Kevin Wallis writes boundless, unnerving dark fiction as good as any name-brand author, if not better. Order your copy today. Get two and send one as a gift.

Beneath the Surface of Things