For those who’ve been reading Christine Rains’ 13th Floor series, today is the official release of the latest installment, “The Harbinger.” And if you haven’t been reading this series . . . Why not? They’re fun, quick reads. Go pick one up. (“The Harbinger” is one of my favorites, but I also really liked “The Dragonslayer,” and “The Alpha” was pretty good too.) Over the next couple months Rains will release the final two stories. So hurry and catch up!
After a long hiatus, Neil [Gaiman] and Benedict [Cumberbatch] returned to my dreams the past nights. Neil had asked me to bring a special sort of box to bury his dog in. It was a white box with a bright blue pillow case-like covering. This was strange to me since usually when he appears in my dreams he is helping me with something (most likely my writing, but on at least one occasion we were covering up a murder).
And Benedict, well . . . It was once again one of those situations where we had no direct contact. He was the youngest son of a wealthy family (they may have been plantation owners on some tropical island), and there was some seriously messed up stuff going on in his family, perpetrated by him, and I’ll leave it at that. Except to say later in the dream I went to visit this plantation which had mass graves that one could peek into and see all the bones.
Rob [Thomas] was in a few dreams a while back, but I haven’t seen Bono in ages. And then I heard he figures into the finale of American Horror Story somehow? And between that and the fact that one character was named Pepper (I was somewhat insulted by that, btw, though the character was a strong-spirited one), I’m starting to think they’re messing with me. Jackasses. (Though I’m sane enough to know better. Really. I am.)
By the way, it’s the last day to get St. Peter in Chains free for Kindle. So go do it if you haven’t already.
For those interested in attending, I wanted to let everyone know the table read for my St. Peter in Chains screenplay will be this Friday, the 25th, at 10:00 a.m. at the Waldorf Hotel in Park City, Utah. If you’re around and attending the Sundance Film Festival, please stop by!
Meanwhile, the novella on which I based my script is free for a couple more days on Amazon. Pick it up if you haven’t already!
And now for the bad news: my flash fiction that had been accepted to Pill Hill Press’ Daily Flash 2013 will go unpublished after all. The press has decided to close. I’m more than a little disappointed, but that is the nature of small publishers. There are pros and cons, of course, to small and large publishing houses; this just happens to be one of the big cons.
So my short screenplay St. Peter in Chains is set to have a table read at the Sundance Film Festival next Friday, the 25th. At the Waldorf Astoria (if you happen to be there and interested in attending). But if you can’t be at Sundance to hear the script read, you can at least read the novella the script was adapted from. It’s free for Amazon Kindle today through Wednesday (the 23rd). Go pick it up here. That way you’ll be all set for “St. Peter at the Gate,” which I hope to finish and publish this spring.
Just like last year, I thought I’d set some [writing] goals for myself this year and see what I can accomplish over the next twelve months. So here, in no particular order:
- Edit & publish The K-Pro
- Finish writing & publish “St. Peter at the Gate”
- Draft at least one new novel (either Pretend You Love Me or An Astral Affair)
- Finish my Henry II play
- Write at least two more Sherlock Holmes stories
- Finish my zombie television pilot spec script
It’s a pretty ambitious list, I realize. And there are still other projects in the wings not listed here. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it all, but I’m going to try!
I always thought 2012 might be a big year for me, and it was in many ways, though somehow it feels less significant than I hoped it would be. I realize this sounds foolish, ridiculous even, given the huge life changes this year brought, but . . . I don’t know. Maybe because I expected the year to be important, the fact these big things happened seem small because I was waiting for them all along. Almost as if taking them for granted even before they occurred.
Here are the major milestones of my 2012:
This past March saw me moving from Massachusetts to California. I’d lived in Massachusetts for more than twelve years, but it had never felt like home to me. Meanwhile, I had been supposed to move to California back in 2001, so here I am, a bit tardy, but better late and all that. And I love it here. I now live someplace I’m glad to return to after traveling.
Which brings me to
Besides the move, which was travel in one direction, I did take a couple round trips this year. I went back to London over Easter, spent ten lovely days there to write and see a couple shows and an old friend from uni. And I visited family in Houston before attending the Austin Film Festival, where I also took the opportunity to see old friends from that area. Really good trips.
There was also a weekend away in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco.
I love to travel, am already planning a return to London in summer 2013.
My first play, only ten minutes long, but a success on various fronts. It premiered in February in Enfield, Connecticut, as part of the annual Lab Works, where it was a finalist. Then it got picked up for the Source Festival in Washington D.C. It would have had a showing in Texas, too, except my Source contract eliminated the possibility (because the Texas show would have been in May, and I agreed to not have it produced again until after Source, which was in June). Still, on top of all this, “Warm Bodies” was selected for publication in an anthology, which is supposed to come out some time next year.
I’m excited by this modicum of success, though I’m hoping it wasn’t just a fluke. I don’t want to be a
one-woman show one-show woman.
I put out five e-books this year, starting in late June, and they’ve done moderately well. I’ve had close to 13,000 sales and downloads in the six months since my work has been available, and my Sherlock Holmes stories have been particularly popular, were even the #1 & #2 Sherlock Holmes stories, respectively, on Amazon for a while.
Truly, I resisted self-publishing for a while, but though I was getting encouraging feedback from places that liked my style of writing, no one was taking that step to publish me. (Though, as an aside I will say that I did have four flash fiction pieces accepted to an anthology.) And it seems that these days the publishing industry is somewhat backward, where the agents and publishers want to see whether you can sell before signing you. They only publish two kinds of writers now anyway: big names and lowest common denominator trash—the stuff that sells to the masses regardless of how badly written it is. The “middle class” of writers has fallen through the cracks, and self-publishing seems to be the net that has caught a good many of them.
In any case, I’ve been pleased to get my work out there and have it find an audience. And I’ve enjoyed the occasional fan e-mail, too.
I was prepared to write off 2012 as a bad year for my screenwriting. Though I’d had a couple agency nibbles for my Sherlock spec, they came to nothing. And I spent the entire summer fielding rejections from various screenwriting competitions. Then, in October I got one really positive read for my short film script St. Peter in Chains (based on one of my novellas), and just a few days ago it made semi-finals in the Table Read My Screenplay competition. I have not been able to get anyone interested in actually making the film yet, but I’m still hoping it might happen. In any event, the year in screenwriting ended better than it began. Perhaps my strength is in prose, and maybe a little bit too in playwriting, but I’ve wanted to work in film and television since I was a child, so it’s tough to let go of those dreams.
. . . And those have been the major features of 2012. I’m not sure what to think about 2013; I’ve had 2012 in the back of my mind for so long, always knowing it would have some weight, I haven’t thought ahead to anything else. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe going in with no expectations is better than being disappointed in the long run.
I thought nothing would top November 2012 for sales and downloads of my books. I thought for certain that December would be slower because of the holidays. But I’m pleased to be able to say—maybe thanks to all those Kindles people got for Christmas and Hanukkah—that December has been the best month so far for my books. What a great way to finish out the year. Thanks, readers! I’m hard at work on more for you to read. The K-Pro is in edits and “St. Peter at the Gate” (sequel to “St. Peter in Chains”) is in progress. Also have a Sherlock Holmes haunted house story in the back of my mind . . .
I passed the 12k mark in sales and downloads on Christmas Eve. Quite the gift from my readers, and just a couple days shy of being exactly six months from my first publication. If I do the math correctly—and I can’t promise anyone I can or will—that’s an average of 2000 a month. I really appreciate that people are reading (or at least buying and downloading) my work. I’m trying to get more written, too. I mostly get asked for more Sherlock Holmes stories, but I also get a lot of requests for more of Peter Stoller, and that’s what I’m working on now. I’m also making major revisions to The K-Pro. And yes, there’s an idea for a new Holmes story percolating in the back of my brain as well. 2013 promises to be a very busy year . . .