The book was first published in 2004 as Black Fire by James Kidman, and there was a paperback edition from Leisure and a signed Limited Edition hardcover from Cemetery Dance Publications, but it’s been out of print since then.
Now that my Patreon supporters have given me the opportunity to tackle this one again, I’m restoring my preferred title and my real name for all future editions.
So far, there has been a ton of fine tuning and some serious excising of unnecessary material through Chapter Twenty, but something really surprising happened in the following section:
I discovered a bunch of chapters that really, really, really were NOT needed.
The reason why this happened is actually rather simple: the first finished draft of the novel was only 50,000 words, but in the early 2000s, that wasn’t long enough to sell the book as a novel to a trade publisher.
A good friend gave me some tips on how make the story zig and zag, to add more words and stretch things out, and that added material got me to the word count needed to sell the book to Leisure, but…
None of what I added really helps the story.
And my rule these days is simple: if the material doesn’t develop the characters or move the story forward (and preferably it does both things), out it goes.
So, yep, this will be one of those very rare “Author’s Preferred Editions” where stuff is being CUT out instead of crammed back in, and I’m certain you won’t miss the things I’m editing out.
Reworking this section is taking me a little bit more time that expected, but I’ll have some more news to share soon, and I thank everyone again for all of your support!
Since October of last year I’ve been putting together plans to do a little more with my personal press, LetterPress Publications, beyond just publishing my own chapbooks and books for my Patreon supporters — although LPP will still do that! — and I want to share some important information with you today since I’ll be making a pretty big announcement for LetterPress Publications tomorrow, May 15.
A LITTLE HISTORY:
I’ve worked at Cemetery Dance Publications full-time since 2002, and I’ll be there for as long as Richard will have me, but something has been missing these past fifteen months.
My wife and I worked together at CD from June 2006 until February of 2018, when she jumped at an opportunity with a company closer to where we actually live that we just couldn’t pass up. (Home is actually 90 minutes from the CD offices — it’s a long commute, and even longer now without my partner in crime!) But with our kids, our future plans, and everything else, this fantastic new job was a no brainer for her.
Yet… no longer working with her to juggle all the books and logistical planning and everything else we face as a team at CD has left a big hole in my day to day work life.
Luckily, unlike a lot of the difficult problems people face in real life, there was an easy solution to this. I like publishing books. She likes publishing books. We even already have a little press all set-up for publishing my rewards for my Patreon supporters, which has been a ton of fun these past two years.
So, starting this month, LetterPress Publications will be branching out from a personal press to an actual small press, publishing deluxe special editions of works by my favorite authors. We’ll be working together again… in the evenings… and on weekends… for one book this year, and then three to four books per year after that, if all goes well.
Although I cannot get into which specific projects just yet (watch LetterPressPublications.com for the big news!), I think you’ll be very pleased with what we have planned.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY PATRONS ON PATREON:
If you’re concerned about the future of my Patreon page or my writing, please know I’ve been juggling the behind the scenes drudgery for officially launching LetterPress Publications as company that sells products to the public (which includes some extremely mind-numbing stuff with the state and local governments, the IRS, my credit union, my accountant, and my attorney that luckily only needs completed once — I hope!) since October of last year.
So I’ve been pretty busy already, but still getting my Patreon work done for the most part. (The serial novel The Echo of Memory is a bit behind schedule, but that’s because I’m too hard on myself about whether a chapter is ready to post! That said, more chapters are on the way soon.)
More importantly, the actual labor of running LPP is the same kind of tasks I’ve handled day in, day out at Cemetery Dance Publications since 2002, just on a much smaller scale since it’ll only be 1 or 2 books in production at a time.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LONELY ROAD BOOKS:
No changes there. That’s still a side project for Richard Chizmar and me, and we’re still working on books for this year and beyond. The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan to name one, and a final William Peter Blatty signed Limited Edition to name another.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CEMETERY DANCE PUBLICATIONS:
Well, there’s a better than slight chance I’ll get ribbed by Rich, Mindy, Dan, and New Dan for a while. “Oh, there goes Mr. Big Shot Publisher!” That sort of thing.
On the other hand, I can change all of their passwords for the website and the order management software until they stop it, so… 😉
Yeah, this isn’t going to change anything about my work at CD. Everyone there is incredibly supportive of each other’s hobbies, side ventures, creative projects, and the things we do to find personal fulfillment.
If you have any questions or concerns, please always feel free to get in touch! My CD email address remains email@example.com and my new LLP email address is… well, I don’t know yet. Still working on that, but I’ll post it when I have one!
P.S. Here’s the LetterPress Publications Logo, just so something shows up on social media when I share this. 😉
I’m extremely pleased to report the trade hardcover edition of The Zombie Who Cried Human has been published and is shipping now, and it really turned out beautifully. Glenn Chadbourne’s artwork brought Boy Zombie and his entire town to life… so to speak… and I’m really pleased by how this came together.
WHAT AGE RANGE IS THIS FOR?
I’ve been asked what age range this book is for, which is a great question. My answer is simple: it’s for kids of all ages who are prepared for the style of artwork and the nature of the story. If you’re actually purchasing this for a child, give it a pre-read — like you would for any book you get them — and make sure you think it is appropriate based on their interests. If not, set it aside in your forbidden closet of mystery until they can find it on their own!
Just a reminder that anyone who wants to qualify for the next exclusive signed Limited Edition chapbook I’m publishing for my Patreon supporters just needs to sign-up for Level 2 or above by the end of the month!
This chapbook is going to be a bit of a surprise and different from the previous ones, and I don’t want to ruin the fun by saying too much, but I just have to show off the cover artwork because I love it so much:
Shipping early next month to qualifying Patreon supporters is the hand-bound Patreon Stories: Volume One Lettered Edition, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out! These are hand-bound in real leather and my binder used imported hand-marbled endpapers, etc, to take them to the next level. Here are some photos I took real quick yesterday:
I’m still working hard on improving my “product” photography skills, which have always been lacking, and here are a few shots of the new chapbook I published for my supporters over on Patreon. Not bad, but there are some things I want to try differently for the next one!
I’ve sent the final files to the printer, so I should have the actual chapbooks in about two weeks!
Because there were a few extra blank pages at the end, I included an “alternate ending” for the story. It’s a small change that is also kind of a big change in terms of how you might interpret the preceding events.
My first readers were torn over the possible endings, so I thought it would be fun to include both of them for your perusal. Future printings of the story will only have one ending, although I cannot say for sure yet which one since I have no clue which one I like better.
More news soon… Thank you again for all of your support!