Donald J. Bingle's Blog

January 10, 2016

With five books and somewhere around fifty shorter works published by a variety of small, medium, and large publishers, I have some experience with the editing process. I’ve had editors who have given my work no comments at all and I’ve had editors who have asked for substantial overhauls altering the plot and major characters. And, like any writer, I have a few horror stories about editors, like the one who asked me to revise my submission to de-emphasize certain characters and highlight another only to ask me (not that politely) why the hell I did that in the next draft I submitted to him. I even had an editor once who had apparently had such a traumatic experience in real life with a certain kind of punch (the liquid refreshment, not the pugilistic kind) that she admitted she refused to have any reference to that type of punch in anything her authors wrote.

Overall, though, my experience with editors has been pretty good. That’s probably because I do my best to comply with the submission guidelines of the publisher and because I take the time to proofread my material carefully before submitting it.

I’ve also had some experience with editing the material of others, whether that be by providing mark-ups to fellow writers in a writers’ group, being a beta reader for stories or novels by friends, or marking up documents for my pre-retirement day job. (If you want a darkly humorous take on the workshopping process, check out Frame Shop: Critiquing Another Writer Can Be Murder, my mystery-thriller set in a suburban writers’ group.) Last year, I took the next step in my editing career, agreeing to edit and publish Familiar Spirits, an anthology of ghost stories promoted by magician William Pack.

Since both Bill and I knew a number of writers from local writers’ groups or our own connections, and I wanted to avoid slogging through hundreds of submissions from amateur writers, we issued a limited call for submissions to people or groups we knew. While brief, the call covered the essentials for a proper submission, seeking “original ghost stories between 2,500 and 5,000 words,” indicating where and how such submissions should be made, and specifying “submissions must be Word documents in standard format; double-spaced 12 pt. Times Roman font. ... No multiple submissions. No simultaneous submissions.” If you don’t know what all of that means, you should really spend some time on some writing websites and learn the terminology of the business before you submit anything anywhere.

Of course, some people thought these very limited and straightforward rules did not apply to them. It’s one thing to ask an editor if they are willing to make an exception (long or short) on length, but quite another to submit stories that are significantly longer or shorter than requested without bothering to ask. By the way, always use word count, not the number of pages, when communicating with industry professionals; pages are variable depending on formatting, while word count is precise. Easy, too, as your computer counts the words for you.

While we're on the subject of counting things, the very first rule is to learn how to count to one and stop. Only obnoxious amateurs make multiple submissions when that is specifically disallowed.

Keep in mind at all times that writing and editing are professions and your communications need to be professional. You not only want to follow the rules because the editor created those rules for a reason, but because it demonstrates to the editor that you are someone with whom he or she can have a productive and aggravation-free working relationship. Avoid doing things that brand you as an amateur. Like what, you say? Well, one person submitted a tale at the very beginning of the submission period via email in which she asked if she could still submit her story that night to one of the local writers’ groups because she had “doubts about the story” and wanted a “groupthink” on it. Then, she went on to say that it had been submitted elsewhere and rejected. Here’s a thought. Workshop your story, fix it, then submit it later during the submissions period.

Look, your job as a writer is to persuade. Your story needs to persuade the reader to care about what is happening so they continue reading. Your cover letter needs to persuade the agent, editor, or publisher that they should read the story because it is what they are looking for and is ready to print. Yes, I still read the story referenced in the prior paragraph—because I am a compulsive kind of guy—but I admit freely that if it had been on the borderline of acceptance or rejection, the cover email would have tipped it to the rejection pile. If you have doubts about a story, fix them, then submit; don’t burden the editor with your insecurities or your unfinished stories.

And, since we are speaking about open calls and guidelines, actually submitting a story that is on the subject of the call for submissions is a must. Oddly, despite having made a call specifically for ghost stories, I received plenty of stories that had not a single ghost in them. Look, I’m not saying you can’t play around at the margins of the subject-matter for a call for submissions. After all, you want to make sure that your story is different from all the other stories submitted for the call. I’ve done that plenty of times. But, there’s a distinction between a unique take on the topic and being completely off-topic. Off-topic stories waste everyone’s time.

Continuing on the theme of wasting time, let’s talk about format issues. Follow the guidelines on format. If no guidelines are specified, follow general industry guidelines or Google “Shunn format” and read all the way through its guidance. Remember that everything you do which does not already conform with what the editor is doing will require him or her to fix it, whether they go to print or to an e-reader file. You may think that’s the editor’s job, but it is not. It is your job. It may take only fifteen minutes to properly format your story, but when an editor has to do that for ten or twenty stories, it really adds up. So, no tabs for indentation; use the indentation feature of your word-processing system (Word or RTF files are the most common file formats requested). Don’t add random spaces at the end of a paragraph; end the paragraph with the period of the last sentence in it. Those erroneous spaces affect line and page breaks. (As for the debate over two spaces vs. one space at the end of a non-paragraph-ending sentence, follow guidelines, but keep in mind it is easy to do a “change-all” to switch two spaces to one. Harder to change one space to two in a few seconds.)

Also, keep in mind that your editor is dealing with lots of stories, lots of bios, and lots of author photos. Use file names useful to him or her in keeping track by actually using the story name in the file name (rather than story.doc or submission.doc or somesuch), your name in your bio file (rather than bio.doc), and your name in your photo file (rather than smallphoto.jpg or whatever). Your editor may never thank you for that favor, but he won’t be cursing you while trying to hit deadline. Similarly, unless the call specifies that submissions be blind (i.e., not have identifying information on them), please put your name on your story so the editor doesn’t have to look it up when he or she is thinking about sending you an acceptance.

If your story is accepted, please pay attention to the contract. If it says you must have a PayPal account to get paid, open a PayPal account. If it has an exclusivity period, pay attention to it. If it tells you what the discount is for extra copies for authors, don’t bother the editor/publisher with questions about how much extra copies cost.

Finally, we get to the editing itself. First of all, remember that the call for submissions was made and your story was selected because the editor/publisher wants to put out a quality publication containing great stories on that topic. Accordingly, assume, even if the editor is heavy-handed or even occasionally misguided in making comments, suggestions, and changes, the goal is to make your story better for the reader. Approach comments with an open mind. It’s easy to get defensive or protective of your work or to take comments personally—I sometimes still have to stifle that urge, even with my long years in the business—but, it’s all just part of the process of being a professional writer.

That’s not to say you have to roll over for every comment made. Just pick your battles carefully, especially if the manuscript is marked-up heavily. Do you really care that much about a punctuation or word change? Or do you care more that the editor misunderstood a character’s motivation or suggested a change which upsets the timeline? If you tend to write long and/or submit at the upper end of the word count range for submissions, don’t be surprised if the editor trims for space and pace.

If you don’t like an editorial suggestion or don’t want to make the change, don’t just say “no.” Either suggest an alternative way to solve the problem or explain why leaving the text as written is important in the context of the story. This may be because the seeming error is not, in fact, an error (e.g., an uneducated person may use poor grammar in dialogue) or because the editor has missed some earlier reference, clue, or explanation. Remember, though, to think through the situation dispassionately and objectively. Keep in mind that some comments may have been made because of a lack of clarity at some point earlier in the story. Sure, editors can be confused or mistaken (they work on multiple stories and projects in a limited time frame), but sometimes an author knows what he or she meant to convey so well, they forget they didn’t actually convey everything they meant to the editor/reader. While you might be able to explain why a particular comment is incorrect to the editor, you won’t be sitting at the shoulder of every reader to give that explanation, so it may make sense to suggest a clarifying change elsewhere when rejecting a specific edit.

Editing is a tedious and time-consuming process. Remember, you, as the author, are only dealing with one story. An editor may be dealing with ten or twenty or thirty stories in an anthology project or magazine issue and may have multiple such projects going on at any one time. So, if the editor wants your changes via the word-processor’s “Mark Changes” feature, do it that way. It they want you to send an email discussing comments by page, paragraph, and line number, do it that way. Make their life easier and they will remember for future projects; make their life harder and they may reject your future submissions unread.

Lastly, once the project is complete and the product is out, carry your share of the burden of marketing the book. Write about it in your blog (with imbedded links to where to purchase), post about it on social media (with imbedded links to where to purchase), do a reading at a local store or genre convention (with copies available for sale), and tell your friends, your fellow writers, and your alumni association. Anthologies are not generally big money makers and one of the things that makes them work at all is that the marketing muscle of ten or twenty or thirty authors is greater than the marketing muscle of just one author, editor, or publisher. It’s fine to get a copy to show off—maybe one for your mom, too—but if the book doesn’t sell well and make money, it is less likely the editor or publisher will do more anthologies, which makes it harder for all of us to sell our stories. You may think you are too cool to bother with marketing, but think about how cool you will be if people actually read your work and you get fan mail or get a new opportunity to write another story or book or win an award or become a best-selling author.

Heck, maybe someday somebody will ask you to edit an anthology so you can write a blog like this, too. In the meantime, take a look at Familiar Spirits and let me know whether you think I did a good job, in spite of all of my crabbiness and complaining about the process.

Aloha,
Donald J. Bingle
Writer on Demand TM
http://www.donaldjbingle.com/
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October 29, 2015

I promised more guest blog posts, so here's one from Jeffrey J. Mariotte:

The Real Monster Isn’t Under Your Bed

You might have been in line behind the monster at the supermarket, or filling your car at the next pump. Maybe you hushed him in a movie theater, or she cut in front of you in traffic.

The monster doesn’t live under your bed or in your closet, doesn’t come out of a coffin when the sun goes down or transform into a vicious beast under the full moon.

The monster looks like you and me and your boss and the guy behind the counter at Wendy’s.

I enjoy reading tales of vampires and zombies, witches and werewolves, ghosts and haunted houses and all the rest. Those are the traditional monsters, the stuff of classic movies and the fiction of fear, and they’re fun to check in on from time to time. And I’ve written more than my share of vampire fiction (eleven novels about Buffy’s pal Angel, the vampire with a soul, and four set in the world of 30 Days of Night, for instance), and a zombie story here and there. My next novel, 7 SYKOS, written with my partner Marsheila Rockwell and coming in February, is sorta kinda a zombie book, but with some huge twists that keep it from really being a zombie book. But it’s in that neighborhood, anyway.

I dig zombies and bloodsuckers and demons and all the rest. But that stuff doesn’t scare me. It’s not real. It’s not a threat. I’m not going to turn a corner on a city sidewalk and bump into one.

It’s the real monsters that I find truly scary. The ones you can bump into. The ones you might regret having bumped into.

They’re human beings. They’re predators. They’re out there. They might be reading this over your shoulder.

They might be you.

EMPTY ROOMS is a dark thriller that grew out of a nonfiction book I wrote, called CRIMINAL MINDS: SOCIOPATHS, SERIAL KILLERS & OTHER DEVIANTS. The good folks at CBS-TV asked me to write a book describing the real stories behind the crimes and criminals that inspired and were mentioned in the first five seasons of the Criminal Minds TV series. That book demanded tons of research, and that research—studying the most horrific things people can do to each other—took me to some pretty dark places.

One of the things I learned doing that research was just how close my life’s path has taken me to that of various serial killers. It’s spelled out in the book’s introduction—check it out. Finding those intersections, while I was doing that research, raised the hairs on the back of my neck like no vampire has ever done.

In EMPTY ROOMS, the “monster” is a human being. He’s a predator of the worst kind—the kind who preys on children. The book is not, I believe, salacious or triggery. It is as authentic as I could make it, sensitive to the horror of what’s predators do to children, while avoiding sensationalism. It’s been praised by victims of childhood sexual abuse and by fellow authors, including folks like Michael Connelly (who called it a “searing, no holds barred journey into darkness” and said “I highly recommend it.”) and T. Jefferson Parker, who wrote that it’s “as good and moving as a thriller can be,” and added, “Keenly observed and deftly written, it’s something you’ll want on your shelf as long as you have one.”

It’s scary, I believe, because it’s real. Those monsters, those predators . . . they’re out there. And you won’t always recognize them, because they don’t sport fur or fangs.

Most of the monsters in the MONSTERS UNLEASHED! Storybundle are the more traditional kind. And they’re fun, spooky stories, perfect for Halloween-season reading (and beyond). Many were written by good friends and some are by authors I’ve yet to encounter, so I’ve got some great reading ahead of me, too.

You probably know the deal by now—you pay what you want for the 12-book set. A minimum of $5 gets you the first 6 books, for $15 or more, you get ‘em all. You decide how much of that goes to charity, how much to the authors and to the storybundle folks for their costs. The set was curated by the mega-talented Kevin J. Anderson.

You can’t go wrong with these tales. You can’t go wrong at these prices.

Just don’t look for real monsters to be clawing their way out of graveyard earth or fluttering around in the form of a bat.

Real monsters are much sneakier than that. And much scarier.

Real monsters look just like us.


Thanks Jeff! Please share Jeff's post on Facebook and Twitter. As an incentive, I'll select one person who sends me evidence of their link/share/tweet/post via comment/email/DM by midnight tonight, October 29, 2015 a code for a free copy of the Monsters Storybundle. Frankly, it's such a great deal, it's practically free already. Check it out here: https://storybundle.com/monsters.
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Published on October 29, 2015 08:11 • 53 views • Tags: code, contest, criminal-minds, empty, killers, mariotte, monsters, murder, rooms, serial, storybundle

October 25, 2015

Congratulations to Ashley P. in Florida for winning the Goodreads give-away which ran from October 14-24 for a free print copy of Familiar Spirits. It was great to see that more than 800 Goodreads members were so interested in my darkly unsettling anthology of ghost stories that they entered the contest. So great that I've decided to put both the Kindle and print copies of Familiar Spirits on sale through Halloween.

The Kindle edition of Familiar Spirits, regularly $4.99, is on sale now for just $2.99 at http://amzn.com/0692532951. Remember, you can download a free app to read Kindle books on any PC, iPad, tablet, phablet, or smartphone, so you can read this in ebook form even if you don't own a Kindle.

Of course, some people prefer the look and feel of paper. That's okay, because the print edition of Familiar Spirits, regularly $19.99, is on sale now for just $11.99 at http://amzn.com/0692532951.

Please share, post, tweet, and tell all of your friends about this limited-time bargain just in time for Halloween!

Familiar Spirits by Donald J. Bingle

Aloha,

Don
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Published on October 25, 2015 15:56 • 85 views • Tags: bargain, contest, creepy, dark, ebook, ghosts, halloween, kindle, print, sale, scary, short-stories, spooky, stories

October 24, 2015

Wrote a blog for the HWA's Halloween Haunts, which ran a few days ago. Thought I would re-post it here for those who may have missed it. Or you can catch it and another thirty Halloween-themed posts by horror writers at: http://horror.org/category/halloween/

Yep, I’m an old guy, so I remember going trick or treating back in the ‘60s (that’s a date, not a temperature) in a housing subdivision in Illinois. The subdivision was plenty big (all pre-fabricated houses; our family watched as ours was unloaded wall by wall from a truck and assembled one day), so the principal negotiation which occurred between us kids and our parents on Halloween was how many streets we could go up and down trick or treating. The limiting factor in such negotiations wasn’t how far we could go from the house (we walked about a mile to elementary school and there were hundreds and hundreds of houses within that radius) or whether there were bad neighborhoods or bad people out there ready to snatch us up for their own sick purposes, but how much loot … er, candy … we were allowed to haul in and eat at our leisure (after trading with each other for our favorites). At about twenty houses per side of the street per block, we always pressed for at least five blocks (200 houses!), while Mom and Dad preferred two or three.

Mom and Dad, of course, won all such arguments, which explains why I was still skinny by the time I got to high school.

Of course, these days, the negotiations are completely different. Why is that?

Scary stories.

Parents get in trouble in some locales for letting their kids walk to and play in local parks on their own and every year at Halloween the local television news does stories about the wisdom of sending kids to Halloween parties at school or church, instead of trick or treating, because bad things can happen. The local hospital usually also gets into the act by offering to x-ray candy looking for needles and razor blades hidden in apples and candy bars. Somber newscasters recommend chucking all unwrapped treats and checking the wrappers of the rest for punctures or tampering.

The thing is, while bad things can happen and may start happening more than they have in the past at any time, there’s just not a solid historical record for all this hype. Yes, there have been stories of tampering on the news, but they generally turn out in retrospect to have involved diseases or poisoning from other sources, or even deliberate attempts to kill a specific kid and then escape blame by tampering with that kid’s sugary stash. Don’t believe me? Check out this debunking on Snopes.com: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/poison/....

That’s right. Horror stories about trick or treating have stolen fun from millions of kids and made them raid their own allowance to purchase candy on the sly, rather having sweets handed to them by their neighbors—the same neighbors that yell at them when they step on the lawn.

As members of the Horror Writers Association, you can only wish your horror stories have the same kind of impact on the world.

TODAY’S GIVEAWAY: Donald is offering one e-book copy of Familiar Spirits, one e-book copy of Frame Shop. Enter for the prize by posting in the comments section. Winners will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail. You may enter once for each giveaway, and all entrants may be considered for other giveaways if they don’t win on the day they post. You may also enter by e-mailingmembership@horror.org and putting HH CONTEST ENTRY in the header.

Donald J. Bingle is the author of Frame Shop, a mystery thriller set in a suburban writers’ group, and co-author (with Jean Rabe) of The Love-Haight Case Files, a new urban fantasy about representing the legal rights of Other-Than-Humans in a magic-filled San Francisco. Says New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Nye about Love-Haight: “You have to enjoy a book where they kill the lawyer and he still defends his undead clients.”

Links at: www.donaldjbingle.com

Here’s an excerpt from The Love-Haight Case Files:

No one knows when and how the magic was reborn.

Maybe it never went away. After all, some people have always seen, experienced, and … sometimes … feared the supernatural, from pixies and faeries to werewolves, ghosts, and the walking dead. But one day—more likely night—everyone else began to see, experience, and … sometimes, too often … fear the supernatural, too.

Maybe the quantum strings of the universe played a new musical, magical note. Maybe a blockage holding back mystical energy broke up and a trickle of magic became a torrent of paranormal power. Maybe the stars aligned and a new age dawned, like the hippies of Haight–Ashbury always promised it would.

The world has changed. Some people embrace the change. Some people fear it. Some simply try to ignore it. But some fight against the change, as some always do.

But facts are facts. Other-Than-Humans (OTs) walk the earth with man and animal. They live life, half-life, or un-life, as the case may be, as best they can. Some work. Some laugh and love. Some skulk through alleyways in the night. Some fade from sight. Some eat, drink, and make mayhem, sometimes with food and drink best not described in polite company. Some kill and terrorize. Some are killed, dissipated, or destroyed. Some are hunted down and captured. Some fight back. Some are arrested. Sometimes some of the supernatural need a lawyer.

Paranormal creatures have always had their own dark and mystical rites.

Now they need someone to look after their legal and supernatural rights.
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Published on October 24, 2015 16:10 • 39 views • Tags: candy, familiar-spirits, frame-shop, halloween, haunts, scary-stories, sweets, tampering, trick-or-treat

October 21, 2015

Well, it's Supernatural Wednesday and so, in keeping with the theme of hunting monsters and laying ghosts to rest, we're going to chat a bit about tales of paranormal critters. And, since the Winchester Bros. never seem to pay for anything, we're going to match you up with some offers to get free stuff to read between your weekly dose of Season 11 of Supernatural.

First up, is the ongoing contest on Goodreads to win a free print copy of the ghost anthology, Familiar Spirits by Donald J. Bingle Familiar Spirits. Commissioned by magician William Pack and edited by yours truly, this book contains eleven darkly unsettling ghost tales by authors ranging from Jean Rabe and Sarah Hans to TS Rhodes and Wren Roberts. (If you haven't guessed from the names recited, nine of our eleven stories are by women authors because ... well, these were the best eleven stories submitted and it just worked out that way.) While you are entering the contest, don't forget to put Familiar Spirits on your "to read" list or grab a digital or print copy right now while you are thinking of it. Here's the Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh....

But, wait, there's more!

The new MONSTERS Storybundle has just come out and it includes The Love-Haight Casefiles by Jean Rabe The Love-Haight Case Files by Jean Rabe and me. Storybundles are cool, because you can get a bundle of ebooks on the announced topic, set the ratio of how much the authors get vis-a-vis the Storybundle folk and give part of your purchase price to charity if you want. This bundle has plenty of goodies by Aaron Rosenberg, Josh Vogt, Kevin J. Anderson, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Matt Forbeck, Steve Saville, and more. And, I'm offering a free copy of the bundle to the first person to comment on this post on Goodreads as to which New York Times bestselling author had this to say about The Love-Haight Case Files: "You have to enjoy a book where they kill the lawyer and he still defends his undead clients." Great news! And, you can find the answer on my website: www.donaldjbingle.com.

Even more monsters! Ratfish(Schlock Zone Drive-In) by Buck Hanno Ratfish, by Buck Hanno, is another monster story now on sale for just 99 cents on Amazon. To encourage you to take a look, I've also got another Storybundle code which I will give away to the first person who posts in the comments to this Goodreads post the color of the hat Buck Hanno has on in the author's photo on the Amazon page. What could be easier? http://amzn.com/B00FCGIPDQ

Monsters! Monsters! Monsters!

Aloha,

Don
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October 20, 2015

If you read a lot of books and you've never heard of Storybundle, you should definitely check it out. Basically, a Storybundle curator (in this case Kevin J. Anderson) picks a theme/topic/sub-genre and picks a dozen or so novels on that topic by a wide variety of authors who have submitted their books for Storybundle's consideration. Then the books are offered to the public for a limited time at a fantastic price. The buyer decides what to pay and can tweak their payment to give part to charity or allocate an extra bit to Storybundle. Usually, for a minimum contribution of $5, you can get a half-dozen novels in the ebook format of your choice . For as little as $15, you can get the whole dozen or so in the bundle.

That's a great deal for readers. And, it so happens, Storybundles are a great deal for independent authors, too, since the promotion by a dozen participants in the bundle expands their social media breadth and gets their book and their name in front of readers who are particularly interested in the theme/topic/sub-genre of their book. Those readers might be tempted to get the Storybundle because of another author in the bundle they already know or one who is more famous, but once they've gotten all the books, they are more likely to read them all (and possibly review them) than if they were to get a book from an unknown author in a freebie promotion.

The current Storybundle is on MONSTERS and it includes The Love-Haight Case Files by Jean Rabe and me. It also includes books by Josh Vogt, Matt Forbeck, Kevin J. Anderson, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Julie Frost, and others. All the authors are posting blogs with interesting stuff about their book or writing genre fiction and I'll get to that soon, but in the meantime, I'll be linking to blogs by some of the other authors in an effort to spread the word about them, their books, and the Storybundle.

You also might want to take a look at other blog posts by these fine folks.

First off, Kevin J. Anderson announces the Storybundle: http://kjablog.com/monsters-unleashed/

Jean Rabe discusses how what Andre' Norton taught her helped launch The Love-Haight Case Files: http://jeanerlenerabe.blogspot.com/

Josh Vogt discusses laughter vs. screaming in his blog: http://jrvogt.com/where-do-your-monst...

And Keith R.A. DeCandido talks about Key West as a setting for his tales of weirdness at: http://kradical.livejournal.com/30352...

Watch for more links to more cool blogs from the Storybundle authors in coming days!

Don

Donald J. Bingle
Writer on Demand TM
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October 14, 2015

Just a quick note to let you know a short give-away just commenced on Goodreads for Familiar Spirits, the ghost anthology I edited and funded via Kickstarter. Lots of darkly unsettling stories for the season. Take a look and enter and put it on your "to read" list. Or, go to Amazon or bn.com and do your Halloween shopping early.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh...

Aloha!

Don
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Published on October 14, 2015 09:04 • 104 views • Tags: anthology, contest, creepy-dark, dead, familiar-spirits, free, ghost, ghosts, give-away, giveaway, graveyard, halloween, horror, magic, scary, spirits, spooky, unsettling

July 28, 2015

I'm trying something new.

No, not a Kickstarter. I've had one of those before, for Frame Shop, my mystery thriller about murder in a suburban writers' group.

Instead, after getting somewhere around fifty short stories published, gathering and self-publishing my own tales in a series of Writer on Demand story collections by genre, and actively reviewing and marking up manuscripts of others for close to fifteen years, principally as part of the St. Charles Writers' Group, I've decided to go a step beyond and be both the editor and publisher for an anthology of stories by other people.

That anthology is called Familiar Spirits and the Kickstarter for it is active now. Go check it out; I'll wait for you.

http://kck.st/1D5y18B

Pretty nifty, huh? I hope you pledged while you were there or at least hit the button to share news of the anthology with your friends on social media, but if you didn't, don't worry. I'll give you the link again at the end of this blog.

Familiar Spirits was commissioned by magician and storyteller William Pack. Not only does he do great magic shows, he does programs at libraries where he tells tales about Houdini, Edgar Allen Poe, P.T. Barnum, and The Great Chicago Fire. For those who want more--and people tend to get really interested in a topic when Bill is telling the story--he also sells non-fiction books he has written on such subjects.

Bill also has programs where he tells spooky, creepy stories, sometimes combined with magic, so he wanted a book of ghost stories to sell at those programs, too. He came to me and asked if I would be willing to edit a book concentrating entirely on dark, creepy, unsettling ghostly tales. Since I am often dark, creepy, and unsettling, it was a good match.

Here's the line-up of stories and authors:

"The Cold Earth" by Sarah Hans
"All I've Got is a Photograph" by Dolores Whitt Becker
"Stepping into October" by William Pack
"Green Lady" by Lynne Handy
"What Happened at the Lake" by Wren Roberts
"The New Girl" by Kate Johnson
"Legend of the Sea Captain" by Ric Waters
"Statuary" by TS Rhodes
"Irene" by Melanie Waghorne
"Cold-Nosed and Cold-Hearted" by Jean Rabe

Plus, possible stretch goal stories from Cathy Kern, Daniel Myers, and Steven M Saus.

Along with the usual stretch goals of additional stories and books, if certain stretch goals are met, all the authors get bonus payments. And, along with the usual reward levels, there are also rewards where you will be taught a magic trick, get a Tarot reading, get a presentation on pirates, and get a show from William Pack and/or a roleplaying game run by me, the world's top-ranked player of classic roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons for about fifteen years.

Now you want that link again, right?

http://kck.st/1D5y18B

I'll be promoting Familiar Spirits at GenCon this week, along with being a panelist on a variety of panels from the GenCon Writers' Symposium, including one on crowdfunding. Check out the news page on my website at www.donaldjbingle.com for details about my schedule.

Thanks for your support, past, present, and future.

Aloha,

Don
Donald J. Bingle
Writer on Demand TM
www.donaldjbingle.com
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June 23, 2015

InkIt is having a science fiction contest called "Beyond Time," so I dropped one of my old time-related stories into it for fun. It's called "Standing Still" and, if you've never read it before, here's your chance to take a look. And, of course, I wouldn't mind if you voted for it while you were there.

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/15615

This story is also available with two others in my collection Tales Out of Time.

Thanks!

Aloha,

Don
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Published on June 23, 2015 09:58 • 131 views • Tags: adventure, alternate-history, contest, science-fiction, scifi, story, time, time-corps

June 22, 2015

To celebrate the ebook and trade paperback release by WordFire Press of The Love-Haight Case Files by Jean Rabe and Donald J. Bingle, I've set up a give-away for a free trade paperback copy. Here's the details:





Goodreads Book Giveaway






The Love-Haight Casefiles


by Jean Rabe




Giveaway ends July 21, 2015.



See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.






Enter Giveaway




https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/en...
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