Monday, May 29, 2017

Coming Full Circle

Last week I dropped in to let y'all know that I'm still here, I've just been busy. And one of the things I've been busy with is BRASS STARS.

Some of y'all might remember that this SF Western novella was first published by Eggplant Literary Productions back in 2013. That was a year that felt like a really big deal as far as my writing career was concerned. This novella was accepted and published, and - after ten months and a shiteload of queries - I also found representation for The Steampunk Novel.

It felt like the wheel was starting to turn in my favor after five years of working really hard to not only polish my craft, but push beyond short stories. I shared links and the gorgeous cover art and told myself that This is it. This is the break I've been looking for.

And then things... just didn't go the way I thought. BRASS STARS sold, but not well. And then the publisher folded less than a year later and I was left with a book I loved, but was now a reprint.

What to do?

My first thought was to find another home for it, but that proved unsuccessful (despite getting all the way to final consideration at another small press). And I was worried that maybe this little book that I really love so much was, well, maybe not that good. (I know, I know. Why am I telling you this? In the business side of things everything is supposed to be shiny and wonderful.)

The good news is, I still love this novella to death. It's not a fancy book. It's not a literary book. It is a book about a snarky, sweary, determined woman who wants revenge. And a psychopathic, cybernetic horse. I mean, really? What's not to love?

So, I am republishing this one myself, complete with additional revisions (about 10% new material) and a brand, spankin' new cover. The exact release date has not been decided on yet, but I should have a preorder page up on Gumroad in the next week or so.

In the meantime, you can check out the cover and blurb below.

Tashndelu Sand has traveled across the deeps of space in the company of Snyder - a cybernetic beast who has no ones best interest in mind - to Paradise, a lonely town on a desert planet, to find the
last man in the posse that killed her mother. The plan is simple. Get in, kill Brannigan, and get out, and nothing is going to stand in her way. Not John Crow, an Extra Sapien like herself, trying desperately to win her heart. Not Diamondback Jack, a retired gunner who is determined to save her soul. Not even her own fear of the brutal darkness growing inside her.
Fifteen years ago, Brannigan shot her and left her for dead. It’s time to return the favor.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Coming Up For Air

Every now and then you get a year that's just full of stuff - both good and bad.

This spring I've managed to deal with the flu, a lingering (think 2+ months) cough, a head cold, and a fractured rib.

I also finished up two drafts Of Flesh and Bone, the final Touch novella. Plus managed to crank out 13k in a week on the Monster Society novella that will be featured in the forthcoming anthology with Eric S. Brown and Robert Waters, in order to get it turned in a month early. (In addition to a brand new, never-before-seen novella, the anthology includes all of the short stories about the Monster Society previously published in The Grantville Gazette.)

I had a point, shortly after finally getting over the flu which knocked me out for two solid weeks, where I was frustrated because I felt like I hadn't gotten anything done. And then I sat down and looked at what I had written and realized that I already had almost 80k under my belt between Christmas and the middle of April.

(Oh, yeah. Did I mention finishing up revisions on the Epic Not Fantasy? There was that too and I am waiting on pins and needles for it to find a home so you can all read it because it might just be my favorite book yet.)

But, as we head into Memorial Day weekend - and near the middle of the year - I am trying to take stock of what I've accomplished and what's still to come.

My remaining big conference of the year is LibertyCon at the end of June. (I know, I know. I would love to make it to more cons too, but finances don't currently allow me to travel very far.) The plan is to be able to share both the Monster Society anthology and the completed collection of the Touch trilogy with y'all by then. And if that doesn't happen, then they should be available shortly afterward. (And Of Flesh and Bone will also be available as an individual ebook as well for those that have been buying the novellas as they have been released. The advantage of the collection is that it will be available in print, for those that don't like reading on a screen.)

In addition to both of those novel-length collections, I have two novelettes coming out end of June and early July. I've been teasing the cover of the first (Jacquelyn and the Sparkly Emo Vampire Goat) on Twitter and my Facebook author page, but I'll be doing a more detailed write-up here in a few days. [SparkleGoat is currently available for preorder on my Gumroad page, but I'm still finishing up some details on the second book, Mothers Last Child, and would like to put them both up here together.]

Suffice to say, if you are looking for more of my work, it's coming very soon. But, due to the repeated health issues and the sheer volume of work I've been tackling, I've not had much of a chance to talk about any of it here. Or much of anything else.

That's about to change though as I am working on getting all the pertinent covers and links, etc together. So, please stay tuned.

There's a lot of great stuff coming.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Make an Author Happy on Her Birthday

Hey, folks. So, today I am celebrating 38 years on this planet. If you want to celebrate with me, you can make me very happy by buying one of my books.

"Eleven stories about love, survival, and the depths of the human heart. Eleven worlds – some remarkably similar to our own, some dramatically different. From the clammy dungeons and mysterious rooftops in "The Spider Thief and the Sorcerer" to the muddy, voodoo protected shores of Lake Ponchartrain in "Legacy" to the highrise slums of Venus in "The Weather's Always Fine in Paradise", this collection of short stories will take you out of the everyday world and into the realm of 'what if'? What if magic and knowledge were things that could be leased and reclaimed? What if voodoo could open a woman's heart to the possibility of love? What if the things that mattered most were not things at all? Explore the possibilities in this collection of eleven stories from A.G. Carpenter."

Paperback available through Gumroad  or Amazon

Kindle version through Gumroad

Nook/eReader version available through Gumroad, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

 "Delaney Green is one of them that don't burn. Possessed of the Touch - with the ability to not only see the future but manipulate it - she's been kept in an institution for most of her life. When the Salesman, a murderous entity with a connection to Delaney's past, starts burning girls to death, FBI Agent Percival Cox gives her the chance to leave the asylum behind. But he presents an even greater threat and she must risk flesh and bone in order to keep him from becoming a Power more destructive than the Salesman. "

Available on Amazon for Kindle

Nook/eReader version available through Kobo, and Barnes & Noble

"Delaney Green might be dead, but she don’t mean to stay that way. As she searches for a way back to the realm of the living, and the man she lay down flesh and bone for, Percival Cox and his team investigate a series of deaths and stolen souls. But Percy is not the man he used to be. If Del can’t find a way to stop him from waking his past, he could destroy everything, including himself."

Available from Amazon for Kindle

Nook/eReader version available from Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

Monday, January 2, 2017

Begin Again: The End of the Year Wrap-up and Beginning of the Year Aspirations

2016 was a shit year in a lot of ways. For an arbitrary collection of days a lot of bad things happened and I, for one, have been looking forward to the chance to reset my goals and expectations with the arrival of the new year. But in order for the magic that is assigned meaning to work, I have to not only make plans for the future, but look at where I've been for the last twelve months. (Figuratively. We all know I've been right here.)

So, before I lay out goals for this new series of months, let me, briefly look back at the past year.

I started the year off with the publication of my collection of short stories, The Weather's Always Fine in Paradise. While the majority of these stories had been published elsewhere previously, many of them had disappeared from the web as various markets closed down or took down older content. And it gave me the opportunity to share three stories that had gotten a lot of "nice, but not quite" rejections over the years.

The release of that book was quickly followed by a contract with Falstaff Books for a trilogy of Southern Gothic novellas, Touch. And the first, Of Lips and Tongue, was released at the end of June.

I also began co-writing a series of short stories with Eric S. Brown for the Grantville Gazette, featuring his characters, The Monster Society. Altogether we have written five short stories and three have been published to date (with the last two forthcoming a little later in the spring).

In addition to those short stories, I wrote the second Touch novella - Of Shade and Soul, forthcoming January 2017. And I finished the first volume of an SF epic, Survivor, that is steampunk and post-apocalyptic and character driven and has no magic whatsoever. It's also close to 700 pages, by far the longest thing I've ever written. (There was also the Sparkly, Emo, Vampire Goat story I wrote in the week leading up to Christmas - 8k words worth of funny, subverted fairy tale.)

So those were the positive personal things I accomplished in 2016, which leads me into my goals for the new year.

A couple of years ago I moved away from more general goals to focus on project-oriented goals. This was in part because life is chaotic and I was beating myself up for the portions of the year (and they are there no matter which year it is) when I can't get my butt in my chair and write every day or I just can't get as many words on the page as I'd like. (See this past September when I battled carpal tunnel issues and dropped my weekly wordcounts to about 1/10 of what they were in July and August.)

There are two projects already on my plate for 2017.

1. The third/final novella in the Touch trilogy (Of Flesh and Bone) which will come out late spring or early summer if things go as planned. (There will also be both an audio book and print collection of all three novellas, following the release of the third novella in eBook format.)

2. A super-secret project that I'm hoping to be able to announce by the end of January.

I'd also like to:
- Start the second volume of the Epic Not Fantasy.
- Polish off a couple of novellas I've drafted over the past couple of years and then shelved because they weren't quite right.
- Work on an idea for a creator-owned comic book series.

In order to make that happen there will likely be daily and weekly wordcount goals, but those will be negotiated with myself as the year progresses and various deadlines present themselves. Due to the recovery from the carpal tunnel issues, I've found that 1k a day is pretty doable, but higher daily goals tend to aggravate.

But these are just the concrete goals, the tangible things that if I achieve them I can actually show folks "Here is this thing I've done and you can see it." I have other goals that are more personal and less quantifiable.

The biggest, and scariest, is writing the things I've been afraid to write*. I am encouraging myself to write those things that cut deep and challenge and are not safe at all. This latter is a thing which makes my anxiety plow through the roof because all of these word-things (books and short stories and various scripts) are meant to be building a career out of this work that I really love. But not safe can, sometimes, also mean not-sellable. And not-sellable is a difficult piece to fit into a burgeoning career.

But there are things I want to write that will not be written unless I stop trying to stay in the safe parts. And that's my primary goal for the year: to not write safely.

So, with all the assigned meaning I am capable of giving it, welcome to the new year. May 2017 be a year of keeping ones real-world loved ones safe, and making ones words decidedly dangerous.

*There are always projects that crop up that I have doubts about in regard to technical skill. But the really frightening ones are the ones that push social and political and spiritual boundaries. You know the ones, they always involved writing about That One Subject That is Very Personal For You.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Award Eligibility: 2016

Hey, folks.

My publication activity this past year is pretty simple.

I self-published a collection of short stories in February - The Weather's Always Fine in Paradise. Of the stories in that collection, two were previously unpublished. (The others were all reprints from my semi-pro/pro sales in previous years.)

These two are all shorts and eligible for awards where the criteria is "published between Jan 2016 - December 2016". 
The Weather's Always Fine in Paradise

If you are interested in reading any of these for consideration, I am offering a free eBook copy on request. You can reach me via email annagrace(dot)carpenter(at)gmail(dot)com

Also published in 2016 was my Southern Gothic/Horror/Dark Fantasy novella - Of Lips and Tongue. If you are interested in a copy for consideration please contact my publisher, John Hartness, at Falstaff Books - john(at)falstaffbooks(dot)com or contact me at the email address above.

There are also several short stories that were published in the Grantville Gazette which I co-wrote with Eric S. Brown.
 - An Army of Scarecrows
- The Monster Society: Snowbound
- The Lost Monster

The Monster Society stories can be read for free via the above links. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cover Reveal: Of Shade and Soul

I am so very pleased to share the cover for Of Shade and Soul with y'all. Are you ready?

This is the second book in the Touch trilogy and we are working hard to bring it to you in January of 2017. It will be available on Amazon, Kobo, B&, and other fine retailers of ebooks.

In the meantime, enjoy that shiny cover. (And, if you haven't bought a copy of the first book, Of Lips and Tongue, you can check out the opening pages on HERE.)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Resistance (Update 11.14.16)

Things have been quiet on the blog as I have spent the last several months working on finishing up two different projects.

The most recent was the full draft for "Of Shade and Soul" the forthcoming sequel to "Of Lips and Tongue". We don't have an official release date yet, but we're aiming for early January. (Assuming my health cooperates. The carpal tunnel issues I've been struggling with are slowly improving, but I am not back to where I was earlier in the year. And, as with most stress injuries, rest is the best cure when it starts to flare up.)

So, look for updates on the release date, plus a cover reveal coming in December.

I've also finished up a second draft of "Survivor" - the epic post-apocalyptic SF book I've been working on since the spring. I finished the first draft mid-summer, but after taking a step back and talking to my agent, I realized I was cutting the story short. So, I did another pass to flesh out some of the areas I had glossed over in the madness that is a first draft and in the process added another 46k words to the manuscript.

*insert desperate laughter here*

The latest revision pass is now tightening up the action in the last third of the book in prep to put it out on sub. But, with current events in the US the past couple of weeks, I was reminded of this sequence from an earlier section of the book. It has been on my mind a lot so I thought I would share it with y'all.


Izzy checked the compass heading, fluttered the pedals underfoot to adjust course. "We are doing the right thing, aren't we, Reese?"

"Pursuing the talisman?"

"Protecting humanity." Her cheeks flushed, guilty.

"Ah." He swung his legs over the edge of the hatchway and looked down at her. "Are you tired, Isabenne?"

"Yes." She frowned. "But that's not... none of this is new, is it? The war. The politics. You've seen it all before."

He rubbed his head, thoughtful. "There is nothing new under the sun. But it is not continually worse. Not unless we cease to try."

"Is that we're doing? Trying to hold back the centuries of all the worst of humanity in the hope of a few more years that are good?"


She could hear the concern in his voice, but refused to look up at him. "Perhaps. Then we are believers after all. Fighting for something that history says we will never reach."

"And what is that, Isabenne?"

"Peace." Her voice cracked and she glared out into the darkness, blinking away tears.

Reese was silent for a while. "Perhaps we are not meant to fight for it."

That made her look up at him, startled. "You think we should surrender?"

He shrugged. "No. I think..." He shook his head. "Not all resistance is war. Maybe we are meant to save humanity some other way."

"Some other way."

He spread his hands. "We are destined to live. If we remember that..." He fell silent again.

She licked her lips. "Maybe." She locked the controls and let her feet swing free. "You should rest. We don't know what tomorrow brings."

Reese sighed. "Aye, captain." He drew his feet up, settling back against the wall of the corridor.

Izzy took a few deep breaths, forcing herself to relax. We are destined to live. She stared out toward the stars twinkling on the horizon. That might be worth fighting for.