Patrick Scalisi's Blog

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 • 2 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 • 3 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 • 3 views • Tags: awards, horse-thieves, news

June 9, 2014

June already! Where does the time go? May simply flew by because of how busy the month was and because I needed to set up a new computer after my old laptop had an untimely run-in with my cat and a glass of water. Unfortunately, this meant that I was able to accomplish very little in the realm of writing. To resolve this problem, I have pledged to write every day for at least 30 consecutive weekdays, both to get back on track and to see if I can maintain such a streak.

It has been about a month since the release of Allusions of Innocence, a new anthology from Solarwyrm Press that includes my short story, "Hex McGowan and the Cat's Meow." Hex -- in case you couldn't tell from his name -- is a very unlucky individual who gets drafted by the Cat Guild to steal back their most precious treasure from the clutches of the Rat King. You can buy print and digital copies HERE.

Also, I'll be doing a cover reveal for my book, The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West, once the publisher and I decide on a release date. The fantastic artwork for the book was done by Dwayne Vance. Watch this space and my various social media pages for more updates.

Speaking of social media, did you know that you can find me on several platforms that I'm sure you already use? In addition to Goodreads, you can check out my pages on Facebook and Instagram for fun updates, discussions and contests. (And I promise that all of the Instagram pictures won't be manuscript pages; occasionally, you get burrito Frisbees.)

Until next month, happy reading!
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Published on June 09, 2014 04:56 • 10 views • Tags: hex-mcgowan, horse-thieves, news

May 7, 2014

I just went through and removed every YA novel from my Goodreads “To-Read” list.

Why?

Because YA genre fiction is so stuck in a mire of stagnation that the entire genre has become a parody of itself. With so many books demanding my attention, I don’t have time to waste on the same story over and over again.

When did this happen? Why aren’t YA authors taking more risks? And why do we have a market flooded with books whose plots are seemingly chosen by throwing darts at a wall chart?

Choose setting: fantasy, dystopian or sci-fi. Insert female protagonist. Determine obstacle that she has to overcome (bonus points added for some kind of hidden past). And select love interest. If the author can somehow convoke a love triangle (a la The Hunger Games), that’s all the better for “narrative tension.”

Without coming off like a boy who hates lovey-dovey plots because of cooties, I can’t help but wonder: Where are the gay and lesbian protagonists? Where are the transgender protagonists? Where are the neuter protagonists who don’t care about finding sudden and meaningful love in the ruins of civilization? Hell, where are the male protagonists?

A good writer should create characters that the reader cares about — regardless of gender or sexual orientation. As a young reader, I loved Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles, even though the protagonist was a female princess, albeit an unconventional one. The fact that the main character of the book was a young woman didn’t matter; it was the character and plot that made the difference. (Wrede’s princess, Cimorene, doesn’t find love until book two of the tetralogy, and even then doesn’t spend the entire volume swooning over Mendanbar’s warm lips and magical kisses.)

What happened to books like Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card), The Amulet of Samarkand (Jonathan Stroud) and The City of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau)? What happened to plots and romances — or lack thereof — that weren’t molded by the cookie cutter of today’s YA genre market?

Part of the blame undoubtedly rests with publishers, all of whom are looking for the next Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, Bella Swan or Tris Prior (and the lucrative film rights that go with them). This has, unfortunately, resulted in a trough of creativity as authors write toward current trends and publishers pump out copycat after copycat.

The only way for readers to respond is to demand with their wallets that YA genre fiction undergo a renaissance. We’ve already seen the start of this trend with YA genre films (see: Beautiful Creatures, The Host, Mortal Instruments) and the time has come for their source material to follow suit. Until then, I fear that I will find very little to inspire me in a genre that is in desperate need of reinvention.
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Published on May 07, 2014 12:55 • 106 views • Tags: rant, ya, young-adult

April 18, 2014

Just a quick mid-month update with a few breaking news items. Katie Carroll, author of Elixir Bound invited me to contribute a guest post to her blog. The post, which is all about revising your work, can be found HERE.

Next week, I'll also be attending the Chiller Theater Expo in Parsippany, N.J., on April 26 with Post Mortem Press. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello. There will be some great celebrities, like Norman Reedus, at the event as well. See you there!
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Published on April 18, 2014 10:56 • 16 views • Tags: elixir-bound, katie-carroll, news, post-mortem-press

April 8, 2014

Things continue to move forward with the publication of my short story, "Hex McGowan and the Cat's Meow." After more than 20 rejections, the story has found a home in the Allusions of Innocence anthology to be published by Solarwyrm Press. You can see a preview of the book's cover here on Goodreads.

Last month, we completed our crowd-funding campaign, raising nearly $900 in pre-orders to support the authors and defray publishing costs. For those who missed it, the anthology will be released in a variety of formats at the end of April. We're also getting some great advance praise on the book's Goodreads page.

Meanwhile, the cover art is still pending for my debut book, The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West. As I mentioned previously, Dwayne Vance is doing the art. He's kept me appraised of the painting's progress, and it's coming along great. I simply can't wait to share it with the world.

Once the final cover art is in, the publisher should announce a release date for the book, at which time I will shout it from the rooftops.

Until next month, happy reading!
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Published on April 08, 2014 04:49 • 17 views • Tags: hex-mcgowan, horse-thieves, news

March 2, 2014

Things are moving quickly this month for my short story, "Hex McGowan and the Cat's Meow." After more than 20 rejections, the story has found a home in the Allusions of Innocence anthology to be published by Solarwyrm Press. You can see a preview of the book's cover here on Goodreads.

The anthology is being funded through the crowd-funding site Indiegogo, and you can find the campaign HERE. We've reached our initial goal of $500, but the editors would ideally like to raise $2,000 to provide as much support to the authors and to promotion. There are some great perks, too, like being able to pre-order this and another anthology in a variety of formats. If you would, consider making a contribution today.

The cover art is still pending for my debut book, The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West. As I mentioned previously, Dwayne Vance is doing the art. He's kept me appraised of the painting's progress, and it's coming along great. I simply can't wait to share it with the world.

Once the final cover art is in, the publisher should announce a release date for the book, at which time I will shout it from the rooftops.

Until next month, happy reading!
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Published on March 02, 2014 07:45 • 10 views • Tags: hex-mcgowan, horse-thieves, news

February 5, 2014

As usual, January has flown by and we're already into the second month of 2014. But the start of the new year has already brought with it a bounty of good news.

First, I'm proud to announce that after more than 20 rejections, my short story "Hex McGowan and the Cat's Meow" has finally found a home at Solarwyrm Press. The story will be released in an upcoming anthology that will be partially funded through Kickstarter. I'll post more information about the crowdfunding campaign when the initiative has launched.

Second, the magazine that I work for by day is up for a whopping 45 awards at this year's industry press conference. (I know, because I made PDFs for all of them!) Of those entries, three are stories that I wrote in 2013. Here's keeping our fingers crossed for the awards banquet in June.

Finally this month, I've seen some of the preliminary cover art for The Horse Thieves and Other Tales of the New West. I'm pleased to let you all know that the eminently talented Dwayne Vance will be providing the cover art, and it's a doozy. I simply can't wait to share it with the world.

Once the final cover art is in, the publisher should announce a release date for the book, at which time I will shout it from the rooftops.

Thanks for making the start of 2014 great! Until next month, happy reading!
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Published on February 05, 2014 12:27 • 12 views • Tags: awards, hex-mcgowan, horse-thieves, news

January 8, 2014

January is generally a time to review the past 12 months and look ahead to what the new year has to offer. 2013 was ... interesting to say the least, with a lot of professional ups and downs. Frustrated with my intermittent writing schedule, I established a new routine mid-year that allows me at least an hour to write every day. This has been hugely rewarding because I'm halfway through my next book, tentatively titled Abe Titterman and the Key to the Universe.

In terms of submissions, 2013 saw far fewer stories sent to publishers than ever before. On top of that, unprofessional publishers either reneged on at least one acceptance, and dealing with the editors of several Connecticut-based professional magazines was simply a nightmare.

On the other hand -- and this is a big on the other hand -- I was exceedingly fortunate to have a technical piece published in the November issue of The Writer, which you can read online HERE for free. Plus, my short story collection The Horse Thieves and other Tales of the New West was accepted for publication by the wonderful folks at Hazardous Press.

This is the writing life, tragedy and triumph -- and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Just before the close of 2013, I delivered the final galley for Horse Thieves. Final cover art should be coming soon, at which time the publisher will set a final release date. Stay tuned here and on Facebook for frequent updates as we approach the release.

Also -- can it be true?! -- a story that I thought dead, that had been rejected by a record-breaking 22 markets, may finally see the light of day. What can it be? Who is this glorious Lazarus? You'll have to wait until the ink is dry to find out.

Thank you for all of your support last year. Right now, the future looks bright, and 2014 promises to be a great year for my professional writing career. I hope you're all ready to go on this journey. I know I am!

Until next time, happy New Year and thanks for reading!
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Published on January 08, 2014 07:05 • 13 views • Tags: horse-thieves, key-to-the-universe, news, the-writer