Friday, January 31, 2014

Two Things

Hi, there.

Me again...

I know, I know, I don't blog very often. Maybe I should blog more, or simply quit it altogether. I often have things I want to share, but Bloggety Blog just plain doesn't cross my mind a lot of the time.  Maybe I should hire a ghost blogger, but I would only do that on the condition that the blogger be an actual ghost. I wonder what Dickens is doing these days...

...Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely.

Wow! Chuck? Really? Is that you? That's fantastic. But what about in death? I mean, you've been dead 144 years.

In great aims and in small I have always thoroughly been in earnest.

Great! Let's chat next week.

Anyway, until Chuck and I chat about ghost blogging, I guess I'll do it for now.

First, while I missed the opportunity to do this in January, I've decided that every month, through the rest of the year, I am going to buy and read a book by an independent author whom I've never read. After I have read each book, I shall write a review (most likely on Amazon, though I may post them here, too, as well as on Goodreads, possibly B&N). My reasoning for this is simple. There are a lot of authors out there not getting read. I could actually include myself in that group, but I've been luckier than many. We all keep saying support independent authors, musicians, bookstores (businesses in general, really), magicians, acrobats, and so on. So, while I know a lot of people already do this, I'm going to make it a point every month to find an independent author whose work I've never read, do my best to move around through genres, and read something by them. This is a win-win situation because a) the author will get a book sale and a review and hopefully I can try to then give the author a push; and b) I will likely find some new fantastic authors. Basically, it comes down to a support thing. So all three or however many of you actually read my sporadic blog, feel free to offer suggestions. I'll never get to them all, but suggestions are helpful, obviously, since I'm looking for indie writers I've never heard of.

And speaking of support, this brings me to the next thing I want to mention. Feedback and suggestions are very welcome on this one as well.

Not too long ago, Mark C. Scioneaux, Robert Shane Wilson, and R.J. Cavender put together an amazing anthology called Horror For Good - A Charitable Anthology, with proceeds going to to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. How cool is that? I mean, really? I know all three of those editors to one degree or other, and they're all fantastic guys with hearts of gold. Click the link a buy a copy, especially if you like horror fiction, or know somebody who does, because the collection is amazing.

 And now currently, Richard Salter and Jordan Ellinger are putting together Fantasy For Good, which I wrote an introduction for, to help raise funds for the Colon Cancer Alliance. Again, two awesome guys doing a collection for a good cause. Colon cancer is essentially what killed my father, so I have a slightly more personal interest in this one. Check out the pages and see what it's all about.

This brings me to something I have been wanting to do for a while now, but haven't had the time. I am already up to my neck in writing and editing work, including co-editing an anthology with my good friend Warren Lapine called Shadows and Reflections: A Roger Zelazny Tribute Anthology. But I've been wanting to do something along the lines of what the editors of Horror For Good and Fantasy For Good are doing. But I'm not sure I can do it alone. When I thought about it, I asked myself what genre would A) I most like to edit, and B) would I likely be good at.

Simple. Crime.

So that's is what I would like to start tackling this year. I went back and forth on what charity I wanted the money to go to, and decided on the Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, Inc. Why? That's easy. Because domestic violence, in my opinion, is one of the worst, most heinous crimes in the world, and people, regardless of age or gender or anything else, need to feel safe. I loathe domestic violence, and so that is where I want the money to go.

Even moreso than with the independent writers, suggestions and help with this would be beyond appreciated. I spoke with Jessica, one of the directors the other day, and she is all for it. What I need help with (other than the obvious, which is finding great crime stories by both big and small names alike) is a publisher that can manage to work out a system specifically with the shelter, and anything else anyone knows about such things. Bob Wilson and Richard Salter are good friends of mine, and I've pestered them a bit, but any and all help is more than welcome and beyond appreciated.

I guess that's it for now. I'm gonna go try and channel Chucky Dickens, see if we can chat a bit more.

Oh, and you are also always welcome to BUY MY BOOKS.

(smiley face)