“The Temperament of an Artist” is an extremely early story of mine, written in middle school and sent out on submission without any revisions because I was a young idiot who just couldn’t wait to mail a new story to the editors I found in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Sigh. I still owe a lot of them apology letters for sending them so many bad stories those summers when school was out.
Most of what I published in the 1990s is dead and buried in a folder on my computer for good reason, but at the time I was just having fun and trying to sell short stories like my literary heroes.
“The Temperament of an Artist” was the second story of mine to see print, published in a little paper zine in 1995 that doesn’t even seem to have existed if you search the web for information now.
I revised the manuscript a few times in high school and college, but still, I was surprised to like this one as much as I did when I opened the dreaded “old stuff” folder while considering the contents for Walking With Ghosts.
It’s not great, but it’s kind of fun, I think. Especially if you put yourself into the head of the wildly optimistic thirteen-year-old kid who wrote it while believing his work could set the world aflame.
As promised when I launched my page on Patreon one year ago this week, I’ll never be super pushy to try to convince you to sign-up. That’s just not my style. And besides, I think we’ll both be happier if my supporters really want to be there in the first place.
That said, my first year on Patreon has truly opened my eyes to how much I can accomplish and how much further I can take my work with the help of a small group of enthusiastic supporters.
Thanks to those supporters, I have written more new short stories in the last year than ever before, I’m working on new special editions and revised editions of past books, I’m preparing TWO novels for publication in 2019 (and they might be serialized on Patreon first), and I’m even publishing fun exclusive items like a brand new novel told via a chapbook series just for my supporters and even a one-time only Limited Edition called Patreon Stories: Volume One, which I will print in August for qualifying supporters and which will NEVER be reprinted or offered again in any form or fashion:
In fact, if you sign up to support me on Patreon at a qualifying level by August 31, you CAN still qualify for either the signed trade paperback or signed Limited Edition hardcover of Patreon Stories: Volume One, which will ship next month!
In the future, only supporters who have been at the qualifying rewards levels for six months will receive the exclusive “never-to-be-reprinted” books, but I waived that this year since we’re all still learning about how Patreon and the rewards work.
So this really is your chance to get in on the ground floor of something I plan on doing for many years to come.
FUTURE PLANS & HOW MY SUPPORTERS MAKE THEM REALITY:
I’m especially pleased to report my writing plans have completely changed thanks to my experiences with my supporters on Patreon.
For example, the next two books I’ll be writing in 2019 and 2020 are books I’ve had on my mental back burner (one of them since 2006 or so!) because the idea of finding a publisher for them is painfully unrealistic. I have to admit, thanks to some bad advice early on in my career, I’ve spent too much time trying to write novels that New York publishing companies might embrace. That was a mistake and I’ve finally learned from it. Only took me [counts on fingers] 25 years! (YIKES!)
Simply put, big publishers don’t buy stories like the ones living inside my head, demanding to be put on paper. Yet these are the stories I want to be writing and, thanks to my supporters on Patreon, I can write them without having to kick myself every day over why I’m not doing something “more productive” to pay the bills and keep the lights on and feed my family.
Thanks to my supporters on Patreon, these books I want to write will be written AND I will keep the lights on, pay my bills, and feed my family at the same time. I literally couldn’t do all of this without their help.
Also, for the record, I do think readers who already like my work will really like these new books, so it’ll be a win-win for all of us.
Here’s A Modest Request:
Please consider supporting my work on Patreon at whatever level you feel comfortable with; your support really will be appreciated and it will help me push my work even further along than I ever thought possible.
ALSO: THERE’S NO OBLIGATION:
Please know, if you change your mind after a month or two and want to cancel your support, it’s no big deal! You can modify your support or cancel at any time.
Finances change, interests change, real life happens, stuff comes up; trust me, I completely understand! There will be no hard feelings or annoying “please come back” sales pitches thrown in your face.
Even if you just give supporting my work a try for a month or two, I would really love to see you over there.
Thank you again to everyone for all of your support and encouragement over the years. In the end, you’re the battery cells that makes it possible to get the work done. Thank you!
One Candle Against the Night is a novel I’ve been thinking about for a very long time, so the challenge of writing and publishing the story as a serial chapbook series for my supporters on Patreon seemed like the perfect way to make sure this book finally gets written.
Each chapbook is “housed” in a custom-printed envelope with a fine linen finish and my private press logo printed on it in silver metallic ink. To make these chapbooks a little different from others I’ve seen, the “endpapers” (the inside-covers) feature a printed “faux marble” artwork design. Each chapbook is also signed and hand-numbered.
Here are some photos of how “The River Town” chapbook turned out:
I’ve posted my short story “Answering the Call” for my supporters over at Patreon! As a special bonus, I’m also including the first draft of my “Story Notes” that will appear in my first full-length collection later this year.
Given how hectic this time of year is, I thought I’d better post a reminder that TODAY is your very last day to sign-up over at my Patreon page to qualify for some of the BIG REWARDS that launch in January!
If you sign-up for Level Six on the rewards tier, you get:
1) the free monthly reads for Level One and above!
2) the signed Limited Edition chapbooks twice per year for Level Two and above!
3) the signed advance review copies twice per year for Level Three and above!
4) the signed Limited Edition trade paperback that will be published exclusively for Patreon Supporters once per year for Level 4 and above — and this collection will never be reprinted in any form!
5) the signed Limited Edition Hardcover Edition of the book from Level Four, which will be published exclusively for Patreon Supporters on Level 5 and above!
6) AND, as a supporter on Level Six, you’ll get a copy of every short story collection, novella, and novel I write, along with the anthologies I edit, for as long as you stay an active supporter at this level!
This means eBooks, trade editions, and even signed Limited Edition hardcovers. New books and reprints, they’re all yours if you want them. This applies to all books published after January 1, 2018 and ALL editions of the books except for Lettered Editions since I only get one or two copies of those. (Sorry!)
So if you want the eBook edition of my new book, it’s yours! Oh, you want the signed Limited Edition, too? That’s yours! Oh, there’s a trade paperback? Boom — it’s yours and I’ll sign it if you want!
Q: BUT WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING OUT IN 2018?
A: Whoa, I didn’t realize this was a Q&A, but great question!
The first book due out in 2018 is the trade hardcover of The Halloween Children, my novel cowritten with Norman Prentiss. Check out the beautiful approval copy of the book in the photo below.
I’m actually probably a little nuts for offering this Reward Level because 2018 is looking to be my most “productive” year in my entire career due to a whole bunch of long-gestating projects finally being published at the same time. On tap for 2018 are:
• The Halloween Children (trade hardcover)
• Dark Screams: Volume 9 (eBook)
• Dark Screams: Volume 10 (eBook)
• Lost and Lonely (signed Limited Edition short story collection)
• The Zombie Who Cried Human (children’s book)
So that’s the deal with Level Six!
I hope you’ll give it a shot if you can afford to send that much support my way, but I’ll totally understand if you cannot.
Every single one of you at every level is making it possible for me to spend MORE time writing and publishing my own work in 2018, so you’re all awesome in my book and your support is appreciated more than you’ll ever know.