There are a lot of talented and successful writers, but one of my absolute favorites is Douglas Clegg. I met him in an online author chat a number of years ago and even in that brief meeting he impressed me. He was generous with invaluable advice and he was kind in his manner, with no airs one might expect from a Best Selling author.
Since then he has impressed me many times over with his fabulous writing, his amazing support and his elevation of the genre with class, style and excellence. But yesterday he outdid himself by posting his intentions to support other writers. This is what he posted in his newsletter:
After realizing how fortunate I've been as a novelist over the past 20 years, I've decided it's time to give back -- but in a way that I hope will serve the writing and reading community, as well as others.
Generally, I feel writers do give back -- often -- by writing the best fiction they can write.
But at this point, my life has been enriched by being able to write for a living and be part of the world of books and readers.
As a result, I've decided that:
1. All profits I receive from all small press editions of my books will, herewith, go directly to specific non-profits that I believe are out to shepherd the world a bit.
Additionally, I'll use some of these funds specifically for the support of aspiring writers who seek to improve their craft through classes, conferences, etc. in the form of scholarships and gifts.
Bear in mind, this won't make me give free rights or licenses to . Those advances and royalties will become even more important toward funding what I believe are useful endeavors and charities.
2. I will be launching some small press editions of various novellas and older novels of mine, specifically to bring contributions toward these endeavors.
When a reader buys any of the small press editions designated for this funding, they'll know from a note inside the book that any income I make from these books will go directly to specific non-profits or toward supporting writers who want to improve their craft.
3. First on this agenda is a yearly scholarship for one writer's tuition for those who are attending Borderlands Boot Camp.
More will be announced soon about this, but basically, I'll pay for one student a year to attend the Boot Camp. This won't include transportation or food, but will cover the exact fee for Boot Camp. Again, details are coming soon, since I'll award this for the upcoming January session.
More information on Borderlands Boot Camp for writers here:
I'll be teaching here in January in the division.
4. A reasonable portion of my yearly income from writing for the NY publishers will go toward organizations that promote reading and the arts.
5. I'll pick one writer to mentor during each calendar year. What the mentoring will mean is that I'll be available in email, within specific parameters that will be set.
I'll pick the writer from among any applicants that I believe show promise. At any time that the mentoring is not working out, I'll release the mentoree and myself from this -- no point in making the year go bad for anyone.
This will be a form of light mentoring, but I hope I can bring some knowledge and insight into a new writer's life.
I mentored -- very lightly -- Derek Nikitas with the Killer Year group via the in 2007. It was enjoyable and personally rewarding to be part of such a talented writer's early success, even if in a small way. Derek's novel, Pyres, is excellent, by the way.
When I pick a mentoree for 2009, it'll be someone who has clearly demonstrated a professional pursuit of writing fiction, and has a clear talent for it.
My mentoring will not including reading the drafts of a book or teaching writing. It will be about discipline, focus, story development, developing business acumen for this, and, I hope, guiding the mentoree in some way to augment her or his own career direction.
Details on this to come -- if I can't find the right mentoree, it'll be delayed until I find the right one.
Someone once wrote me demanding that I mentor her. Then, she grew irrational and furious when I told her I didn't have the time to do it.
So, I have to assume that sometimes, people are just plain crazy when it comes to wanting this kind of thing. Those folks'll be ignored by me. If you're even slightly crazy, don't ask. And I won't tell.
6. I am going to launch a writing class weekend for writers next summer, with a focus on story, drama and premise. Very informal, and as small as it needs to be.
Students will be responsible for their transportation, hotel, etc., as well as a fee that will cover the guest speakers' fees and any incidentals. I will pull in a few other novelists who I think can provide guidance and insight as well.
Truly, I don't care if we only get three people coming -- I think it's important to keep storytelling and writing alive, and it's up to experienced writers to teach this art and craft. Details to come.
All this arose from my sense that after 20 years, there's something I can offer from all I've earned -- and learned -- in this life's work. I hope it all helps, in some small way, as a contribution to the future.
And that is my note for you, right now. Again, I'll have more details about the upcoming small press books as we move into fall.
Hope your end-of-summer is a good one -
So as you can see, Doug has done something extraordinary. May we all be inspired by his generosity!
Be sure to visit Doug at DouglasClegg.com for his FREE Story of the Month. And for updates about his work and his Writer's Support mission, Click Here to Subscribe to his Newsletter.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
A $10 Peace of Mind
Santa is buffiing up for the big event, gathering gifts and training the reindeer--he's getting ready, but are you? Oh yes, that's right, my friends--Christmas is ONLY four months away. Yes, there, there, take a deep breath. I know you don't want to think about it. I know you just want to wait until the leaves change and the wind shifts, but I want to offer you a peace of mind that only early holiday shopping can bring...and have I got a deal for you! *shines cheap shoes and straightens leisure suit lapels*
For your holiday shopping enjoyment, or simply for the delight of a great deal, Apex is having a $10 Sale. If you liked the MB collection (or you haven't ordered a copy yet), you can get trade paperback copies of MAMA'S BOY AND OTHER DARK TALES, the perfect stocking stuffer for those discerning friends and family members, for only $10. There are a number of other great titles available, too.
The catch is (and there's ALWAYS a catch) that the sale lasts for only one week and starts today, August 19th, so don't wait--shimmy on over to Apex for a book sale that will make your holiday shopping a breeze this year. Remember, do it for Santa! *big grin*
CLICK HERE for a the $10 Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales!
CLICK HERE for the complete list of $10 titles!
Happy shopping, you lovely little elves, you!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Vince Made Me Blush
As many of you know first hand, writing a book is hard work and selling it is hard, too. It's challenging to find ways to help your book get noticed by a larger audience unless you've got the marketing department of a large publishing house behind you and a lot of cash. But once in a while a really amazing book review comes along and makes all that hard work feel like a shining gold star on your forehead while also making it just a little bit easier to sell your book to the masses. Vince Liaguno's review at Dark Scribe Magazine is one of those reviews.
I really hope you'll pop over to Dark Scribe Magazine to take a look. And if you have a minute, tell me what you think.
CLICK HERE for the Dark Scribe review of Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales.
I'm really proud of this one, gang, so thanks for reading!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Just a quick bit of what I hope you'll consider excellent info. If you've been wondering how to fit in the big shoes of authors who have been published in Chizine Magazine, then read on. If you've been curious about the dark corridors of Chizine Magazine and Brett Savory's mind, then read on, as well. If you've always wondered how Chizine is really pronounced, then that's right, read on, my friend.
The Snutch Writing Group (don't ask what Snutch is...I'll never tell) had an exclusive chat with Brett Savory, publisher of Chizine Magazine, just the other day and they left the evidence behind in a entertaining and invaluable chat transcript. Sounds like they had a blast AND man, did Brett give them the keys to the kingdom.
So, if you want to know what the Snutch group discovered, go to John Mantooth's blog for the juicy details. You'll be glad you did! And if you're feeling frisky, come back to the blog and share what you've learned, especially that crazy name--is it Chai-zeen or Chee-zeen? What's your guess?
CLICK HERE for John's Blog and the Brett Savory/Snutch Group Transcript!
Btw, if you ever see John Mantooth's writing in your travels, stop and read it. He's danged good!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Master of the Arcane
I want to share some wonderful news with you about my dear friend, Chris Perridas. It was just announced that he's the new associate editor of the new Bloodletting Press imprint, ARCANE WISDOM. Following is the press release from publisher, Larry Roberts:
I'm very pleased to announce that Chris Perridas will be joining the ARCANE WISDOM staff as an associate editor. Mr. Perridas will be very active in choosing, proofing and editing all AW's titles.
Chris and I are currently working on AW's first publication set for late 2008:
THE GREAT GOD PAN AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES
By Arthur Machen
Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by S. T. Joshi
Please share with me in congratulating Chris on his new position and Larry for being so brilliant in hiring Chris!
Another dear friend, Edmund Schubert, the editor of Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show was recently interviewed by the lovely Alethea Kontis.
If you want to see what being a full-time editor can do to you, be sure to read Ed's interview. It's one of my favorites ever!
Read Penguin Man's interview - CLICK HERE!
Enjoy, gang, and have a fabulous week!
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Forgive my shameless plug (yet another one), but I'm very excited and honored to be the featured author at Horror World for the month of August. You'll find my story, "Bessie Green's Thumb," available there until the end of the month--FREE! Horror World publisher, Nanci Kalanta said it had a Twilight Zone feel, so if that's your cup of weird tea, please stop by for a read.
Click Here for "Bessie Green's Thumb."
At Horror World you'll also find:
A Simon Wood interview with Steve Wedel
The always fabulous Horror World Book Reviews
The Lastest Pod of Horror - #46 with The Three Steves
Ron Kelly Goodness
It's a great day for horror fans because novelist, Ronald Kelly is back in business in a big way. After a decade away from the industry, he's back in the writing game full-time. I'm new to his work, but after reading Flesh Welder, I can't wait for what he's got in store for us. On his website he's announced a TEN book deal with Full Moon Press. Hop on over to Ron's site for the full line-up--it's a stunning bit of news for Kelly fans around the globe.
Another bit of nice (and shameless) news--over at Goodscares, C. Michael Cook offers a very thoughtful review of Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales. Have a read and let me know what you think. Btw, Michael always has something interesting to read, so be sure to go back for more!
Also, for those of you who have ordered the hard cover limited edition, I have them in my grubby little paws as we speak. They'll be signed, numbered and in the mail to the publisher for shipping to you by Monday afternoon. If you don't have a copy yet, but you'd still like an inscription, 1) buy your hard cover copy from APEX today (SUNDAY) and 2) send me an email with your proof of purchase and 3) inscription info (your name or whoever you want the book inscribed to and if there's anything special you'd like written in the inscription) and I'll be sure to add it to the shipment for tomorrow.
That's the scoop for now, gang. Have a great week!