Patrick Scalisi's Blog

July 22, 2015

This past week, I was fortunate enough to participate in the Avon Free Public Library's summer author series. I joined fellow Connecticut writer Wally Wood for Authors in the Tents, in which we had a book at the Avon Farmer's Market and were able to meet with readers from the area.

Wally was even kind enough to write a blog post about the event.

Wally, by the way, writes commercial fiction, mainly mysteries and literary works. Be sure to check out the killer description of The Girl in the Photo
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Published on July 22, 2015 08:21 • 2 views

June 1, 2015

If you've attended one of my writing workshops in the past, chances are good we've talked about worldbuilding. Creating a believable world from the ground up is essential in fantasy and sci-fi, but it's just as important in all kinds of fiction. How does setting affect your characters? Is it suffocating them? Giving them room to grow?

One of my favorite websites, io9, recently shared this great video on worldbuilding that's definitely worth taking seven minutes to watch.

https://youtu.be/mA6MQHNM2yE

In other news, my final workshop at the Wallingford Public Library will take place Monday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. If you've ever been interested in the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing, then this is the one for you! Join me for a discussion of today's publish models to help you make an educated decision on which one is right for you.

Want me to speak at YOUR local library or school? Drop me a line! I offer workshops on writing and publishing for all ages.

I'll also be taking part in the local author summer program at the Avon Free Public Library. Come down to the library on July 20 between 4 and 7 p.m. for the library's farmers market. In addition to meeting some local authors, you'll also have the chance to sample and buy delicacies grown by Connecticut farmers. More information can be found HERE.

Finally, are you on Goodreads? Of course you are -- you're reading this blog right now! Well, you can follow me here for updates about what I'm reading and working on. Plus, you can comment on my reviews, leave your own reviews of my books, and get into all kinds of mischief.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you all soon!
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Published on June 01, 2015 04:11 • 6 views • Tags: news, workshops

April 14, 2015

Have you borrowed a book, movie or audiobook from your local library in the past year? Have you requested a book from another library or used your card at a library outside of your hometown?

If so — or if you simply believe that a healthy library system is essential to the wellbeing of Connecticut residents — then now is the time to act.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s next biennial budget, which takes effect July 1 and is currently being reviewed by Connecticut’s General Assembly, cuts $3.5 million dollars from the State Library System.

Specifically, the governor’s budget proposes to eliminate funding for the ConnectiCard system, which allows Connecticut residents to use their library cards at any library in the state, and cripple the ConnectiCar system, which facilitates interlibrary loans. Legislation has also been introduced that would repeal the statutes that authorize these programs.

To put things into perspective, the Wallingford Public Library has produced a great video explaining how this will affect ALL libraries across the state and ALL Connecticut residents.

The last time cuts like this were proposed was in 2009 under Gov. M. Jodi Rell. At the time, library staff members from across the state stood arm in arm with concerned citizens to have the funding restored.

This needs to happen again.

The Connecticut Library Association has made it easy (click HERE) to find and contact your elected representatives. The organization’s advocacy page also has downloadable resources, FAQs and talking points. Among the most important are:

* CT residents will no longer be able to borrow from any public library in the state

* Libraries will have to shut their doors to their neighbors

* Taxpayers lose due to ConnectiCard cuts. They saved $68 million in 2014 by borrowing and not buying 4.5 million items

* Cutting these funds hurts the people who need their libraries the most — CT residents who live in urban areas

* This funding helps libraries, already under financial strain, to continue to provide important literacy services (reading, financial and digital), access to government services and much more

* It will be near impossible to re-establish critical public library statutes once they are eliminated

It is urgent that you contact your elected representatives today and ask that funding for Connecticut libraries be restored and maintained. Let’s not lose one of Connecticut’s most precious and important literacy and educational resources.
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Published on April 14, 2015 14:16 • 123 views • Tags: libraries, rant, save-ct-libraries

April 7, 2015

It's the end of the world as we know it ... but the authors of All That's Left of Yesterday feel fine!

That's right -- I'm pleased to announce that my short story, "Salvage," appears in the apocalyptic collection All That's Left of Yesterday from Dark Opus Press.

Rob and Serge are two freelance mercenaries hired by a powerful technology magnate to venture into "The Crash Zone" -- a wasteland caused by a man-made asteroid strike. But what have they been hired to retrieve? Some experimental software? A new product design? Or something more devious?

All That's Left of Yesterday features "Salvage" and 14 more stories about aliens, technological meltdowns, ecological disasters and global warfare as the scattered elements of humanity rise into a new world devoid of rules and social conformity. You can get this collection in paperback or digital editions from Amazon.

This month, I will begin hosting a series of three workshops at the Wallingford Public Library. The events are free and open to the public, but registration in recommended.

Want me to speak at YOUR local library or school? Drop me a line! I offer workshops on writing and publishing for all ages.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you all soon!
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Published on April 07, 2015 04:44 • 13 views • Tags: atloy, news, workshops

February 18, 2015

The great thing about writing is that even if it's the dead of winter in Connecticut (with a bazillion feet of snow on the ground), you can write yourself someplace warmer. Perhaps a spy thriller set in the Caribbean or a steamy romance on the Mediterranean Coast. And while you're in the zone, I guarantee you'll forget all about the cold.

If you're interested in warming those creative juices, I have a number of workshops planned for February and March. Want to hear about the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publising? Or perhaps you're struggling to find markets for your work?

Here are the latest dates:

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015: “Traditional vs. Self-Publishing” Canton Public Library -- 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Mar. 14, 2015: “Getting Your Work Published” Clark Memorial Library, Bethany, Conn. -- 1 p.m.

Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015: “Traditional vs. Self-Publishing” Clark Memorial Library, Bethany, Conn. -- 1 p.m.

Saturday, Mar. 28, 2015: “Writing Fantasy and Science-Fiction” Clark Memorial Library, Bethany, Conn. -- 1 p.m.

In addition to my workshop tour, I'm also going to be appearing on Cavaliere’s Cabaret at Lyric Hall in New Haven, Conn., on Friday, March 20. Hosted by award-winning Cabaret performer Anne Tofflemire, the event begins with a song, dance and arts variety show, followed by an open mic.

Finally, I've had the great fortune to be able to do some freelance writing for Art of MtG.com, a website that celebrates the artwork and artists of the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. If you like fantasy art or would like to hear insights from artists working in the business, head on over to the site to read my interviews with Eric Deschamps and Raymond Swanland.

Thanks for reading!
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Published on February 18, 2015 17:33 • 25 views • Tags: art-of-mtg, horse-thieves, magic-the-gathering, mtg, news, workshops, wotc

January 4, 2015

Happy New Year one and all! This year marks the seventh year that I have been published semi-professionally, and I'm ready for all of the great things that 2015 has in store. Of course, my main objectives are to quickly finish the second draft of my latest novel and to continue to promote The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West. As to the latter, I have several workshops planned through March that serve as both great learning opportunities for budding writers and chances to see some of the books I have available.

Here are the current dates:

Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015: “Writing Fantasy and Science-Fiction” Woodbridge (Conn.) Public Library -- 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015: “Getting Your Work Published” Woodbridge (Conn.) Public Library -- 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015: “Traditional vs. Self-Publishing” Canton Public Library -- 2:30 p.m.

March 14, 21 and 28: “Getting Your Work Published”; “Traditional vs. Self-Publishing”; “Writing Fantasy and Science-Fiction” Bethany Public Library -- Time TBD

In addition to the editing and promotional work, I also have two stories slated for publication, and possibly a third. My story, "Salvage," will appear in the sci-fi anthology All That's Left of Yesterday. And I'm ridiculously pleased to announce that I will be taking part in a world-building anthology called The Lane of Unusual Traders. You can learn more about The Lane and its inhabitants by visiting this great wiki.

Finally, here are some stats about the year that's now gone: In 2014 I made 28 short story submissions. Twenty-two of those resulted in rejections. Three were withdrawn. Between 2013-14, "Salvage" was rejected by 22 markets before it finally found a home in All That's Left of Yesterday. The lesson here is the oft-repeated mantra to stick with it, fellow writers. Persistence is what separates authors from people who merely dabble in writing.

Thanks for reading!
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Published on January 04, 2015 11:04 • 42 views • Tags: gantline-imports, horse-thieves, lout, news, salvage, workshops

December 12, 2014

You're no doubt stressed about the holidays. Who isn't? Even before figuring out what to get everyone on your list, where does one even get the money to buy gifts? Stretching budgets, maxing out credit cards, dealing with layaway — is it all worth it to put yourself in even more debt for the next several months?

Luckily there's something you can get the author(s) on your list this Christmas that won't cost any money at all and can be done in less than 10 minutes: You can choose to review one of their books.

Independent authors — that is, authors who have self-published or published with a small or indie press — live and die by their reviews on Amazon and here on Goodreads. Without the benefit of a Big Five marketing department, reviews are how word-of-mouth spreads about indie authors, how new readers outside of the writer's core fan base discover the writer's work, and how, just maybe, the writer will sell a few more books to pay this month's electric bill or maybe share a nice dinner with his or her partner.

Reviews go a step further, though, because a constructive review can help a writer hone his or her craft. A review really is "the gift that keeps on giving."

Your review of a book doesn't have to be an essay ripped from The New York Times or Publisher's Weekly. It can be a simple affair: What did you like? What do you think the writer could do better in the future? That coupled with a few stars is all you really need to gift a review this holiday season.

So take a short break from the hustle and bustle this Christmas and think about some of the books you read this past year. Then grab your coffee or hot chocolate and sit down at your computer for 10 minutes to give a truly priceless gift that any author is sure to treasure.

...

And just in case you want to get me a gift this holiday season, you can review my debut book, The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West, here on Goodreads or on Amazon.

Happy holidays and best wishes for 2015!
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Published on December 12, 2014 12:29 • 29 views • Tags: christmas, holidays, horse-thieves

July 15, 2014

I'm proud to announce that my debut book, The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West, is now available from Amazon in KINDLE and PAPERBACK formats. Released by Hazardous Press, the book features cover art by Dwayne Vance.

In an alternate American West both eerily familiar and vastly different from our own, a man’s car is his steed. Years ago, Yoshimitsu Automobiles purchased all the struggling car companies and formed Consolidated Motor Corp or CMC. Any "horse" worth its shoes is made by the conglomerate, which owns "ranches" across the country. With a stranglehold on the market, CMC does what it wants, when it wants, how it wants — all at the direction of the company’s vainglorious president, Darwin E. Hayes
This is the world where Crawford — a cynical gun-for-hire — lives, works and has learned to survive.

It’s not an easy life in the dusty, cutthroat towns of the west, but it’s one where Crawford is fortunate enough to have a roof over his head, a beautiful and willful woman at his side, and a trusty horse on his hitching post — a CMC Colt.


In honor of the release, I'll be hosting a contest on my Facebook page very soon. I'm also accepting questions from readers right here on Goodreads.

Finally, please leave a review on Amazon -- good, bad or indifferent -- when you buy and read a copy of the book. The best way you can help small-press authors is to review their books. Good reviews are always nice, but let me know if there's something I can do better as well. It is only through YOUR feedback that I can hone my craft.

Thanks for your support!
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Published on July 15, 2014 05:00 • 19 views • Tags: horse-thieves

July 2, 2014

My debut book, The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West has a release date and cover art. Head on over to facebook.com/patrickscalisi for all the details.

Coming July 14 from Hazardous Press -- The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West, by Patrick Scalisi.

Crawford is a loner cowboy in an alternate American West in which the internal combustion engine developed well ahead of its time. Several years ago, he won his "horse" in a poker match against a powerful corporate man -- and the bounty hunters have been on Crawford's tail ever since. As the net closes, Crawford must finally return to Sausalito to face down Consolidated Motor Corp. and prevent a deal that would alter the equine world and the West forever.

A collection of five connected short stories and one novella.
Cover art by the incomparable Dwayne Vance (futureelements.net)
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Published on July 02, 2014 06:45 • 17 views • Tags: horse-thieves

June 30, 2014

Hear that? It's just the crickets in the background as I write this month's update. June was quiet, but for good reasons. I've been writing steadily again and am nearly done with the first draft of my new book. I also had the pleasure of traveling to Charlotte for a media convention at which my day-job magazine won several awards. I received two third-place honors for my work writing copy for two photo-heavy stories. Plus I got to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

I also received word that my debut book, The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West, is now being formatted. A release date and cover reveal, with art by Dwayne Vance, should be immanent. Watch this space and my various social media pages for more updates.

Until next month, happy reading!
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Published on June 30, 2014 13:34 • 14 views • Tags: awards, horse-thieves, news