Hello, good morning, and welcome to another edition of my weekly blog post, this being a Thursday—the third Thursday in September of 2021 if I’m not mistaken.
I’ve finished editing In the Shade and am now in the process of laying out and finalizing Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Those of you who follow this blog “automatically” will likely have seen that I’ve posted “teasers” of the two stories from that collection that have not been published before, specifically House Guest and In the Shade. If you were intrigued by those teasers and think you might like to read the rest of the stories, then you will soon have that opportunity, probably within the next week or two.
I’m doing a last read-through of all the stories in the collection, mainly looking for any missed typos that snuck past in the published versions. It happens from time to time, in my stories as well as books from major publishing houses, and everywhere in between. In fact, with the possible exception of Mark Red, I think I generally have a lower rate of such things than most big publishers, at least based on recent experience. This is surprising. When growing up, I read a daunting amount, and reread the books I liked far more often than pretty much anyone else I’ve ever known*. During that time, I don’t remember coming upon very many such minor, typographical errors, of which I find a surprising number nowadays. This may reflect the declining state of the publishing industry, but on the other hand, it may simply be a matter of focus and attention. Nowadays, since I write and layout and edit stories all the time, I’m more keyed in to notice such errors. When I was in my teens and twenties, I just wasn’t looking for such things as much.
I may continue to post teasers of some of the other stories in The Cabinet, just to try to keep generating interest. With those stories at least, if you become impatient, you’ll be able to get the Kindle editions for ninety-nine cents—or for no extra charge if you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited (I believe that I enrolled them all in that program).
Actually, since I have you here, I’d like to ask a question. As I’m laying out Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities (aka The Cabinet for the purposes of brevity), I see two options, and I’d like to know what you all think you might prefer. For a collection of stories, would you rather have a six inch by nine inch “trade paperback” book that’s about 360-ish pages long, or a five by eight, more ordinary size paperback, that’s about 500 pages long? I can do it either way, and the font size and order wouldn’t change**.
I’m seriously asking, so I’d love to get your feedback***, on this and on anything else upon which you might wish to comment. I suspect, though I don’t promise, that I’ll be posting teasers of the various stories on a similar schedule to the previous two, i.e., Friday and Tuesday. I’d be happy to see/read your comments on those or on any of my other posts, for that matter.
It’s interesting to see that, given the fact that my word/page count for The Cabinet isn’t as bad as I thought it might be, it’s just possible that I could have fit Outlaw’s Mind into it and not made it too bulky. But I think it would have been a bit much, at least, and it certainly would have delayed its release. Also, I’m glad to release Outlaw’s Mind as a stand-alone novel, and one of comparatively manageable length, since I had originally seen it as a short story. After that, I still mean to take a bit of a break or a detour from the mainly horror writing I’ve been doing for the past few years and go back to more general sci-fi/fantasy/adventure stuff. There will probably always be at least some horror elements to most of my stories; that seems just to be the way I’m built. But it won’t be the main thrust. Short stories, of course, are another matter.
Look forward to more teasers and to the upcoming collection, and then to Outlaw’s Mind, which probably won’t be out this year. The Cabinet will be a little early for Halloween, but it might just make it for Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday. We shall see.
*Christopher Lee had me beat on total number of times reading The Lord of the Rings, but he started before I was born. I maintained a faster pace of reading it in my first ten years after encountering it, during which I read it more than twenty times. Also, I didn’t really know Christopher Lee…but then again, did anybody?
**It’s not in the smallish print I had to use for Unanimity Book 1 and Book 2, because even with all the stories thrown together, it’s only about a third as many words as that whole book. I don’t know whether Unanimity will ever be considered my best book, though there are aspects of it that I think represent me at my “best”, but it is certainly by far my longest…at least for now.
***A note regarding this requested feedback. You should know, if you get notifications of my blog posts on, for instance, Facebook or LinkedIn, etc., that I don’t go to those sites myself very often, whereas I get notified quickly of comments posted here on my WordPress-based blog. So, if you want to give me feedback that I’m likely to see in a short period, you should leave a comment here on the main site rather than in the associated Facebook post, for instance.