Posts Tagged ‘Urban Fantasy’

Just got my short story ‘Charon’s Obol’ back from Xchyler Publishing to give it the final look over before they start to assemble the actual ARC of ‘ Legends and Lore‘  this fall’s paranormal anthology. I hate this stage because it means reading it as cold as you can to detect any hiccup in the works. I find this to be a very difficult thing to do with m own work, as I have already read it over countless times. It is hard to divorce yourself from your own words far enough to spot the niggling little things.

Luckily, once they have compiled the work together we will be able to read each others stories and not only get a sense for the thing on a whole, but help spot errors in each others work.
This part really causes my heart rate to go up. Seeing the other stories that will share space with your, getting the feeling of the antho as a whole, and sensing the magic the editor’s have woven to take separate stories and making them into one book.

ShadesAndShadows_Cover_full-resI have no doubt that, on October 18th, a fantastic anthology will be available for you all to read. How am I so certain? Because last years collection was simple amazing, and I was proud to be in it.

If you haven’t picked it up yet, put ‘Shades and Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology’ on your to buy list and grab it the same time you get ‘ Legends and Lore’  – Don’t worry, I’ll give you the link to that collection too, just as soon as it exists.

If you liked Tomorrow Wendell’ both these anthologies have White Dragon Black short stories in them so you can get your Jonathan Alvey fix.


Pearls are made by many layers after layer of nacre being added to one grain of irritating sand. Good stories are not so different with the rough original tale being coated in layers of edits. Yes, I know. Usually the reference is to a polished gem. Cutting away tiny amounts and buffing it just so, until it shines. I see it as layers, for although edits often do involve cutting bits, I feel a story reaches a smooth beauty only by layer after layer of strong edits are added to it.

I’ve finished the ‘new’ short story I was working on, and even gave it a fitting, if not entirely original, title – ‘The Ties That Bind’. Of coarse by finished I mean, I wrote all the words I think belong to it, gave a it a once over, then did a round of edits. Which means it is far from actually being finished. I have sent it on to my editor, so another round of edits it guaranteed to be needed. Then my beta-reader will get her hands on it and will point out all the errors I made while working through the comments my editor made. Once I’ve corrected them, there are further steps because this one already has an outlet to go to. So, another round, or two, of edits will happen as it passes through the skilled hands of the editing team at Xchyler Publishing.

So if anyone tells you writing isn’t hard work….. It just happens to be hard work that I love! There should be no other reason to write, if you aren’t writing because you love it, and can’t think straight without putting those words down, your not a writer. I ‘m not sure what you are, but it isn’t a writer.

Having ‘done’ the short story, I was able to get some fresh words into the fifth novel this morning, and let me tell you, that felt good. I have realized that this novel is going to take a bit of a different twist/direction than I first thought. That’s fine, and I think it will work well. Another plus, is that it will change up the style/format of the novel from the couple before it just enough to be distinct.

I have a number of chapters from ‘Bindings & Spines’ back from my beta-reader and can’t wait to work through them. Partly, I confess, because I’ve got to another bit of a rather rough spot in the other edits of that novel and are not entirely certain of just how to proceed. I can still work on B&S, if I go through the post beta-reader chapters, and feel I’m making process, while I dodge the tough stuff for another day or two. After that, I’ll have no choice but to buckle on my armour, draw my sword, and wade into battle, screaming ‘Damn you, ME! What were you thinking!’

I got a new review today for my debut novel. In fact, it seems I got a new fan as she has asked to review all future works. That makes all the hard work I’m doing on edits seem worth while.

“Tomorrow Wendell is an excellent read with a well-developed plot and strong characterization.”  Click the quote to go to the blog. Hop on over read the whole thing yourself and that way you can help support a blog that is supporting indie authors. This is a big circle of support, most of us doing what we can to help each other out. She gave an honest review, and even if it had been bad I would still tell you to go give the blog a look. It’s how the system works — at least it’s how I believe he system should work.

I haven’t been posting a lot of reviews here – I figure you don’t need to see them each as they come in. You can go to Goodreads to get a feeling of how people are responding to the novel.

Here is a link to the second latest blog review – ‘This concept is really interesting. Not only does it meld the mystery genre with the paranormal and fantasy genre, but it also has an entirely new idea about the use of magic.’

I may not be pulling in the money like this was a ‘real’ job, but I’m certainly putting in the hours.  With writing in the morning, either in the new short story or the fifth novel, and edits all afternoon, plus social media promotion of my novel and myself, my day is full.

I can’t imagine how all those other writers out there, who do actually hold down another ‘real ‘ job do it. I mean, seriously- kudos to you all. My writing is eating into everything else, and I don’t know how to stop that. I feel if I’m not doing my self imposed minimum of edits and writing, I’m shirking my duties and not taking this ting seriously. It has become the number one priority and everything else is secondary to it.

Unfortunately, that can’t be true, even for me who has no ‘day job’. Things need doing around the house, repairs, upkeep, cleaning and yet…

I’m going to have to find a balance, I know this, but I also know I can’t get stressed about either side of this argument because stress isn’t good for my brain… it isn’t good for anyone’s brain, mine just overreacts.

This is the only reason I wish I could be ‘rich’ off my writing is to have other people do the ‘other stuff’ so I could just worry about the words. I guess that’s true for all of us writers. Actually, I wouldn’t mind getting some serious money coming in for another reason–to fully cover the cost of going to a con – at least one per year, right here in Ontario.
I am seriously going to do all I can to get to Ad Astra in Toronto this year – and unless I hate it (which I can’t see happening) – and every year after. It would be nice if I could do that on the profits of my sales . . . maybe in 2016.



I’m sure was I was smoking some serious drugs when I wrote the second novel, Bindings & Spines. There is just so much… rambling. So much that needs to be cutdown to size. It makes the going tedious. Trying to sift through the gravel to retain the nuggets of gold, dump the rest, then integrate those nuggets int one flowing chain – then repeat. These edits are taking more time than I expected, which means my dedication to doing them is being tested. I’m trying to stay resolute and confident that the end result will be worth it.

I continue to add a few hundred words to the fifth novel, pushing it slowly to a conclusion. Yet while I do, the fear that I am making the same mistakes in it as I did Bindings & Sines haunts me. I have no other way of working though. I don’t edit or censor myself as I write – I simple release the words. Hopefully, it will be purer than B&S.

The new short story is also coming along. I am not in the least bit worried about word count with this one. I’m calling it a short story but if it turns out closer to a novella – so be it. If this one works, it will have a special place all of it’s own and won’t have to fit any guidelines. Which is good , because I’m finding it harder and harder to keep Jonathan Alvey’s stories under seven thousand words.

I’m basically done with the edits for Charon’s Obol – the White Dragon Black short for Xchyler Publishing’s fall release paranormal anthology. It’s sort of cool to be in this one, as it feels like a cycle coming round. Jonathan’s  first time in print was last years anthology – Shades and Shadows, ShadesAndShadows_Cover_full-reswhich lead to Tomorrow Wendell being published and now, Charon’s Obol, sees his return to print in another short story.TomorrowWendell_Spread What is also satisfying is that, in a way, this short story is a follow up to the novel.

On a completely separate note, I’m think I’m going to start trying to make attending Toronto’s Ad Astra Con an annual event. I haven’t gone to even one yet, but it is a con for writers and fans of sci-fi and fantasy, that is as close to my back yard as I’m going to get. And it does have a good reputation and has been running for a good number of years.