Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

My New Website is Up!

One of my 2015 objectives has been completed. I have a new website. Two things prompted me to build a new site. First, I wanted to combine my blog and site in one place. Secondly, my old website was not mobile friendly. This one is. Check it out!

It's still a work in progress, but I've been building this for several hours a day since Friday. I canNOT sit still this long...

If all goes well, then this might be my final post on Live Journal.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Moravian Book Shop Signing Reminder

Just over a week away from Moravian Book Shop's Spring Open House on Saturday, May 9.  I shall be there from 3-5PM signing copies of...well... every title I have out right now.  You likey paranormal, SF, fantasy? Look no further, intrepid reader!

Then, stick around because at 5:30 Moravian will host the launch party for The Far End of Happy, the latest novel from lovely and amazing writer pal, Kathryn Craft​!

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Independent Book Store Day!

Saturday, May 2 is Independent Book Store Day.  In addition to Moravian Bookshop in Bethlehem, PA (where I will be signing on Saturday, May 9), another of my favorite indie bookshops is Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  They will celebrate their 40th anniversary during the May 2 festivities.

If you visit Rehoboth Beach and are looking for summer reading suggestions, Browseabout is currently carrying both of my paranormal mystery novels, Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side, as well as Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, the SF, fantasy, and paranormal anthology that I edited and contributed to.

Thank you for supporting indie bookstores and indie authors!

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

About This Writing Stuff and What I'm Working On...

This week, Bob Greenberger takes us on a trip down memory lane in a six-part retrospective of his years at DC Comics. At the Write Stuff conference last month, Steven H. Wilson presented "Character Development as World-Building." He is offering a somewhat condensed version on his blog and I've provided links to the first two parts. Jami Gold suggests that we should spend more time on the big rocks and less on the sand, while Delilah S. Dawson discusses the pros and cons of author self-promotion. We get a double-shot of Kristen Lamb (because who wouldn't want that?) as she examines our chances of becoming truly successful authors and then delves into five ways to ruin what could have been an otherwise solid story.

Lastly, "About This Writing Stuff" will be taking a hiatus for the summer. I am editing the second volume in the Middle of Eternity anthology series from Firebringer Press (and finishing revisions on the second of two stories I'm submitting to it). This collection will be titled Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity and is slated for release in 2016. You can check out volume one, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, by clicking here. Additionally, I've been developing a SF novel since 2012 that has been consistently placed on the backburner in favor of other projects. It would be nice to finally get this off the ground.

I've also been invited to contribute a short story to a new paranormal series from Firebringer Press called Cattail Country Store. Each story will premiere as an audio podcast episode. Later, the stories will be collected into an anthology. The first installment, "Last Call" by Steven H. Wilson, has been released. Click here to listen to it for free on Prometheus Radio Theatre.

Outside of my writing life, I work FT doing IT support and one of my 2015 goals is to renew my MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) certification in Windows Server 2012.  This will entail passing five exams. As if all of that is not enough, I have a home renovation project slated to begin in June before I steal away to the beach for a week in mid-July for a much-needed vacation.

I wish everyone a fun, safe, and productive summer!  Happy writing!

Looking Back at the DC Offices Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Conclusion by Bob Greenberger

Against All Odds--What's Our REAL Chance of Becoming a Successful Author? and 5 Ways to Kill a Perfectly Good Story by Kristen Lamb

Character Development as World-Building Part One and Part Two by Steven H. Wilson

HarperCollins Signs Amazon Deal, but Details Scarce by Digital Book World

The #PublishingFoul Survey: The Results by Lynne Cantwell

Are You Drowning in To-Do Lists? by Jami Gold

5 Things Writers Do on Facebook That Make Me Automatically Unfollow Them by Jody Hedlund

Please Shut Up: Why Self-Promotion as an Author Doesn't Work and Wait, Keep Talking: Author Self-Promo That Actually Works by Delilah S. Dawson
Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Book Signing at Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA

I am excited to announce that I will be signing books at Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA on Saturday, May 9 from 3-5PM as part of their Spring Open House. Which books you ask? Any random book you happen to toss at me? Well, I suppose I *could* do that, but I'd rather sign any of the following titles I will have on hand:

Testing the Prisoner
By Your Side
Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity
ReDeus: Divine Tales
ReDeus: Beyond Borders
GLVWG Writes Stuff

Hope to see you there!

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

The (Virtual) Discount Rack

You know you're a real writer when your books hit Amazon's virtual bargain bin.  Right now, the paperback version of my first paranormal novel, Testing the Prisoner, is available for $2.19. That's less than the Kindle version ($4.99).

Also, the paperback version of my newest anthology, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, is currently $7.67. The Kindle version is $2.99.  This illustrated collection of 13 SF, fantasy, and pararnormal stories brings together eight burgeoning writers of exemplary talent and imagination. In addition to contributing three stories, I proudly served as editor.  It was so much fun, we're doing two more volumes to be released over the next three years!

As usual with Amazon, these prices are subject to change...practically on a daily basis.  So get 'em while they're hot!

Thank you so much for supporting independent and small press writers.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

About This Writing Stuff...

This week, I'm excited to see my photo below the words "Real Writer" on Kristen Lamb's blog, but enough about me. Chuck Wendig expresses strong opinions about Clean Reader, an app that affords readers the option to remove profanity from eBooks.  Meanwhile, Delilah Dawson explains why authors might, sometimes, under certain circumstances, seem like a$$holes.

Brace yourselves!  The contract between HarperCollins and Amazon is about to expire.  Will this be Hachette all over again?  Joe Konrath has always felt that libraries deserve better deals in acquiring ebooks, and he is doing something about it.  Over in the Kill Zone, K.M. Weiland drops in to explain the "inciting incident."

All that and a little more...enjoy!

F**k You, Clean Reader: Authorial Consent Matters by Chuck Wendig

Worldbuilding: Adding Flesh to the Bones of Your Story by Chuck Regan

What Makes a "Real" Writer? and Selling & Social Media-DON'T Be a Personal Space Invader by Kristen Lamb

8 Reasons Why Authors Are Assholes by Delilah S. Dawson

Top Three Fun Things I Did with Kristen Lamb at the Write Stuff Conference by Phil Giunta

Writer Beware: Rights Grab - OMNI Reboot by Victoria Strauss

Another Major Publisher is Going to War with Amazon by Jillian D'Onfro

Ebooks for Libraries by Joe Konrath

What the Heck is the Inciting Event? by K.M. Weiland

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

The Force was Strong with the Write Stuff Conference!

I always love it when a conference starts with an adventure, thereby setting the tone for the rest of the weekend.  The Write Stuff did not disappoint!  Due to a mechanical failure with her plane in DFW, our keynote speaker, Kristen Lamb, missed her connecting flight from Philadelphia to the Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. It was 6PM when the Social Media Jedi called me from Philly and the next flight out to LVI would not depart until 10PM!  As conference chairman, I took the care and gluten-free feeding of our damsel-in-distress keynote seriously.  Thus, I jumped in the car and took off for Philly. After brief confusion in the airport (which also set the tone for events to come), I finally located Kristen and we were on our way!

The ride back was smooth and, in fact, is now a blur due to one of the most engaging conversations I've ever had.  I found myself instantly comfortable, thus making the hour-plus ride feel like 15 minutes. We stopped off at a Rite Aid in the Lehigh Valley for gluten-free and dairy-free snacks before heading over to the hotel--with a brief sight-seeing detour through the back roads of Easton, PA. That last sentence was, of course, my way to avoid admitting that I took a wrong turn and was lost.  For more hilarious details on this leg of our misadventure, see this post.

Our first pre-conference session on Thursday, led by Kristen, was "The Novelist of the 21st Century".  This full-day class was divided into the business of publishing (morning) and craft (afternoon).  Kristen covered different types of publishing (traditional, small press, and self) and the inherent benefits and drawbacks of each. After lunch, she delved into topics of story structure, concepts of antagonist, protagonist, "Big Boss Troublemaker", log lines, and other topics. Ever the engaging speaker, Kristen's session was as entertaining as it was edifying.

My evening ended with our first thunderstorm of the year during dinner at On the Border with Kristen and conference volunteer Dan Krippene.

On Friday, the first session I attended was Kristen's afternoon course, "Social Media for Writers" where attendees were taught many ways to properly create a blog and website and effective uses of log lines and tags. During the class, many of our presenters, agents, and editors arrived for the Friday evening and Saturday programming. After Kristen's session, I had a few minutes to catch up with Steve Wilson and Richard White before it was time for Page Cuts and Writer Beware.

Page Cuts consists of three presenters who critique the first pages of stories as submitted by attendees. The presenters are given the pages to read while a moderator reads them aloud.  Each presenter is then allowed approximately five minutes to provide feedback.  Although the authors of the stories are among the audience members, all submissions are anonymous.

While Page Cuts was happening in four of our session rooms, Richard White presented "Writer Beware" in the Foundry, a small room to the left of the hotel restaurant, and Pattie Giordano and Tina Gallagher sat in the Allentown room for "Pitch Practice" wherein they coached writers on their agent and editor pitches, occurring on Saturday.

As is our tradition, Friday evening concluded with our reception.  After disseminating the complimentary drink tickets to our various faculty members, I hung out with presenters and writer pals Steve Wilson, Aaron Rosenberg, and Michael Jan Friedman. We were joined by Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group President, Peggy Adamcyk and our programming chair, Donna Brennan (who, in all honesty, was far more responsible for the success of this conference than I).  Peggy is a fan of Michael Jan Friedman's and it gave me great satisfaction to introduce them.

Near the end of the night, Mike and Steve turned in, but Kristen had not eaten since lunch.  Aaron wanted pie and suggested Waffle House. Since there happened to be one near the airport (last I saw it was still standing after we left), we rounded up Richard White and took off for breakfast food, pie, and excellent conversation.

Saturday is a big day for the Write Stuff with 20 classroom sessions on all manner of craft, editing, revision, publishing, book cover design, and editor/agent pitch appointments.  It kicked-off with continental breakfast, during which Peggy welcomed everyone and distributed thank you gifts to the conference committee and volunteers.  After some brief announcements from yours truly, we launched into the final day of the conference.

Hats off to Becky Bartlett and Donna Galanti for their standing-room only presentations!  I spent the morning attempting to play photographer with my phone, sitting in on part of Steve Wilson's podcasting and audio books session and peeking in on Richard White's historical fiction session.  After lunch, I had the pleasure to introduce Kristen as our keynote speaker. It was her last appearance of the conference and her energy never wavered for a minute.  She delivered an funny, poignant, and inspirational speech and the audience responded in kind.

In the afternoon, I provided my Windows laptop to Aaron Rosenberg for his book cover design session and hung out there in the event tech support would be needed (it wasn't).   Finally, it was time for the book fair and Flash Fiction Lit contest awards.  By 4:30PM, the conference had wound down.  After loading up my car, exchanging goodbyes with presenters, conference committee members, and volunteers, Kristen and I headed to Chipotle for dinner, joined by Richard White. That's when it hit me...IT WAS ALL OVER!

I must admit that after dropping Kristen back at the hotel, it was nice to be home early enough to have some quiet time and chat with my wife about the conference.  As an epilogue, I picked up Kristen on Sunday afternoon and after a quick lunch at Reb Robin, delivered her safely to LVI airport for what turned out to be a smooth journey home.

All photos taken by Phil Giunta except for final photo (above) which was taken by Brenda Havens.
Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Top Three Fun Things I Did with Kristen Lamb at the Write Stuff Conference

The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group celebrated our 22nd annual Write Stuff writers conference just a few days ago.  As conference chair, I had the opportunity to spend quality time with our keynote speaker, Kristen Lamb.  While a conference recap is soon forthcoming, for now I give you the Top Three Fun Things I Did with Kristen Lamb at the Write Stuff Conference!

Picked her up at the Philly airport and drove her back to the Lehigh Valley when mechanical issues caused her to miss the connecting flight.  Her company and conversation generated a rift in the space-time continuum, reducing an hour-and-a-half drive to what felt like 15 thoroughly enjoyable minutes.  BONUS: I’m still getting over the fact that Kristen Lamb was in my car.  I might have my passenger seat preserved in bronze.

Upon arriving in the Lehigh Valley, went grocery shopping at a Rite-Aid near Easton, PA then proceeded to get lost in the back streets with the goddamn GPS telling me to turn right into someone’s house. BONUS: Kristen assisted with navigation, never mind the fact that she’s from Texas and had never been to the Lehigh Valley before.  I’m considering reprogramming my GPS with her voice, including a profanity option.

Along with two other writers—Aaron Rosenberg and Richard White—we hit the local Waffle House around midnight on Friday for breakfast food, pie, and high energy shop talk.  BONUS: I took another wrong turn on the way out and got lost…BRIEFLY. Kristen’s response: “Recalculating!”

But seriously, folks, here’s the true bonus:  Kristen is an inspiring speaker, an energetic teacher, and an adorable giver of hugs.  The Force is definitely strong with the Social Media Jedi!

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group Anthology hits Amazon!

The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group (GLVWG) has released a new anthology that will launch at this weekend's Write Stuff Conference.   However, it has already gone live on Amazon!

The trade paperback version of GLVWG Writes Stuff is available for $7.99.  The group is still in discussion about when to release it in eBook format.  Of course, the group is also about ready to throw their 22nd annual conference in a few days, so the eBook topic has been shelved until after the conference.

I am proud to have both a short story ("My New Shiny") and an essay ("Write or Die") in this new compilation of works written by members of GLVWG and I look forward to reading it!

By purchasing a copy of GLVWG Writes Stuff, you are supporting a non-profit organization that provides library talks, monthly sessions on various writing and publishing related topics, reference resources for writers, free monthly critique sessions, and much more. Check out our website here!

Thank you for your support!