Time’s Running Out! “If I Only Had No Heart” is Going Away SOON

If I Only had No Heart is Heading to The Vault!

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The 2016 If I Only Had No Heart was written for a National Novel Writing Month and follows one of the most unique ideas I’ve ever had. It’s a bloody sword-and-sorcery fantasy focused on an awakened machine main character. And, what’s more, it’s currently available for free on the blog.

Quick summary to tease them tastebuds:

Spirit, an acolyte of the machine goddess, performs her duties well and still yet absorbs much torment from her superiors. Thought to be a viral creation, the android is banned from speaking with the goddess until, one day, her friend Klavdiya hands her a prayer card. Spirit hopes that the prayer card will bring her peace, but the goddess has other ideas…

However, this book won’t be free for long! Next week, the Free, Downloadable PDF of If I Only Had No Heart is going away for an unspecified amount of time (maybe even forever), so you’ll need to get it NOW if you want to read it.

Why Am I Doing This?

Though I can attest that the story itself is extremely unique and follows an intriguing plot, it hasn’t been edited quite as well as something I would like to have self or traditionally published for money. In an effort to either show only my best work, I’m taking down all serially posted novels on my website. Evolution of the Predator is already a couple months into the removal process, so get into this one while you have the chance!

Don’t Let the Vault Swallow This Quietly!

Go to the If I Only Had No Heart home page and either read each post (removal dates posted on each chapter) or download the PDF while they last.

Are there any online serials you’ve enjoyed reading? Let me know in the comments!

Cheers and happy reading!

Time’s Running Out! “Evolution of the Predator” is Going Away SOON

UPDATE 30 May 2020: This has been updated to account for the takedown of the book.

Evolution of the Predator is Heading to The Vault!

The Evolution of the Predator

The 2015 Evolution of the Predator was written during a National Novel Writing Month and follows an idea I’d had for quite some time. It’s a quaint survival science fiction currently available for free on the blog.

Antoinette crash lands on the planet Osmina, home to a xenophobic species still in an early, tribal phase of development. In order to uphold Earth’s directive to remain as uninvolved as possible with alien life, she tries to remain hidden and survive for the two years before a rescue party will arrive. A curious elder cast out of its nomadic tribe throws a wrench in her plans and efforts, pitting Antoinette’s conscience against her duty.

However, this book won’t be free for long! Next week, the Free, Downloadable PDF of Evolution of the Predator is going away for an unspecified amount of time (maybe even forever), so you’ll need to get it NOW if you want to read it.

Why Am I Doing This?

Though I can attest that the story itself is pretty interesting, especially if you’re into heady, quiet sci-fi, it hasn’t been edited quite as well as something I would like to have self or traditionally published. In an effort to either show only my best work or participate with the community, I’m taking down all serially posted novels on my website, starting with Evolution of the Predator.

Don’t Let the Vault Swallow This Quietly!

Go to the Evolution of the Predator home page and either read each post (removal dates posted on each chapter) or download the PDF while they last.

Have you posted any work serially? Leave a comment below so that I or other readers can check out the story! I understand from experience how hard it is to do a serial because readers who don’t start when you post part one are rarely going to head to the beginning and churn through the rest. How did you keep your serial going?

Cheers and happy reading!

May 2020 Author Newsletter

Hello there, Friends and Stuff! I’m excited to enter a new month and bring you some new and brilliant updates!

Dark Divinations – A Victorian Horror Anthology

DarkDivBanner Dark Divinations Horror Addicts

First, Dark Divinations debuted on May 1st. You can order it now in paperback on Amazon. If you want to get the party pack, you can still get that here! Later this month, I’ll be posting updates about some special videos going up on Facebook… you’ll want to get in on that for sure!

Open Novella Contest

Whaaaat!? I made it through Round 2 of the contest? I couldn’t believe it. My novella, a 25,000-word story about a gay WWII pilot who crashes and washes up on an island reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno, actually had enough score to make it through. You can find the novella here if you’re interested.

Our Lady of Perdition

Do I think it will win? Hell no. It’s the most artsy-fartsy thing I’ve written in my entire life, and it seems like Wattpad is more interested in YA-focused romantic fantasies or something a bit more… commercial. But the fact I’ve made it through round 2 is really pleasing, because it means the story’s well written enough to make it through despite sounding like it was written by a person totally not in Wattpad’s primary audience.

Changes on the Blog

You’ll notice a few (somewhat unfortunate) changes on the blog. Let’s start with the good and move our way to the bad!

Home Page Updates

My home page has been updated – now it’s easier to find the How-To articles by clicking on the Witty Nib Writing Club. There’s also a new blog-roll going where you can access recent posts more easily.

Expect New Graphics in June

I’m preparing for a few big changes that will go up in June and will reflect some of the things associated with the Dark Divinations anthology. If you stick around and watch the video watch party on Facebook, you may be surprised to see an interesting face and hear a terrible voice! To go along with these revelations, my avatar and a few other pieces of the website will be changing.

Witty Nib Writing Club Changes

06092019 Writing Club witty nibSadly, the prompts and attempts at collaboration with the Club didn’t quite turn out. I’m ever grateful to Robbie Cheadle for her response to the research prompt, but I think among the corner of blogs I survey, there’s a plentitude of prompts. As a result, the Witty Nib Writing Club will change from a monthly prompt and informative post to a monthly informative post alone. You can still join in the club using the comments, but I thought it’s time to retire the club. Maybe I’ll start something easier up in the future!

More Professional Foci

Something I’ve realized in the past few months – while I’ve not had a real job – is that blogging, sadly, doesn’t further professional writing credentials. It does help me meet new people who I love to follow, obtain new info about upcoming releases, and fulfill a long-term audience goal, but it takes up so much time. So much. I’ve decided to reduce the time spent on my blog in order to attempt more short story submissions, perhaps consider doing a poetry submission, and finish my newest novel.

Sadly, I’m probably not going to be reading as many blogs or be quite as responsive. I’ll give it my best shot, but that’s all I can promise!

I’ll also be (at least temporarily) closed to beta reading requests, and any book review requests (while still open) will not be completed for quite some time.

Speaking of Novels…

I’ve got several novels up on the blog: American Chimera, If I Only Had No Heart, and Evolution of the Predator. You can click on each of these links to see their representative pages. However, these links aren’t going to work forever. No – I’m going to be taking my novels down, one at a time, starting at the end of the month with Evolution of the Predator. I was pretty torn when making this decision, but ultimately I think it needs to happen.

The reason for this decision is because they’re second drafts, beta read only by my partner, and they’re not representative of my best work. Because I seek to present a higher level of professionalism, I’m taking the oldest work – Evolution of the Predator – down first because it represents that which was written at my least mature point. That will start at the end of this month, May 2020.

It’s Not Too Late to Catch These Novels!

Nope! Until May 30th, all novels will be available for download. You should head to their pages and download the PDF files if you want to save them for later reading.

Evolution of the Predator

On May 23rd, 2020, I’ll have a reminder post telling about the imminent takedown of the novel. On May 30th, 2020, the downloadable PDF of Evolution of the Predator will be taken down from the Evolution of the Predator page. Starting on June 6th, I will take the post containing the first chapter down. Following that, one chapter will be taken down per week (as long as I don’t forget – but I’ll handle it as soon as I can). They’ll be removed in order from first chapter to last with the hopes that potential readers will be able to read one chapter per week without losing access (though I will probably email you chapters if you ask nicely). The page already lists the dates I plan to take down each chapter. The page and entire story will be gone on November 14th, 2020. All links to it on the site will be broken, though I will attempt to remove links by hand as I can.

If I Only Had No Heart

On July 18th, 2020, I will post a reminder that If I Only Had No Heart will be ending soon. On July 25th, 2020, the PDF will be removed from the If I Only Had No Heart page. On August 8th, the first chapter will be removed. One chapter will removed per week after, starting with the first chapter and ending with the last chapter. The page and entire story will be gone on November 14th, 2020. All links to it on the site will be broken, though I will attempt to remove links by hand as I can.

American Chimera

Don’t worry about this baby for now! I’m still posting this one serially, and she won’t be finished posting until December 2020. It’s also a pretty good little book, just needs some editing. However, I will be taking it down sometime in 2021 (not yet planned fully), so catch it while you can!

What About You?

Do you have any cool new things going on in May? Any excellent accomplishments in April? I’d love to hear about them to celebrate and/or commiserate with you! Cheers!

Favorite Books of 2019

Lucky for me, there’s 5 Mondays this December, which allows an excellent chance to look back at the pile of books (36! Huzzah for me!) I’ve had the privilege to read in 2019!  Here’s a few of my favorites from this year:

Favorite Book On First Read

650Without a doubt, my favorite book this year was Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. If you are a fantasy or a history buff, you should read this absolutely exquisite work. It’s so good that I don’t even feel jealous of the author, just ever so grateful I was able to read the book. 100%, totally recommend. If I hadn’t already given away my copy in earnest effort to get someone to read it, I’d give you mine.

Pro tip, though: get an e-book version. The binding on the paperback is a little weird and can make your experience slightly less enjoyable.

If you allow re-reads, I would have to say this book is competitive with Ancillary Justice, which I still think is probably on of the best books I’ve ever read, but perhaps less fun that Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Favorite Indie Book

This feels like such a dangerous category to even have! First, let me say that so many of my fellow bloggers have written great books. More so than anything, what I’ve found to be important in finding a great Indie Book is to look at how dedicated the author is to the craft. A good blog/website is HIGHLY indicative of a good book to follow.

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That being said, I think my favorite Indie Book this year was Diane Wallace Peach’s The Melding of Aeris. While many books could boast powerful storylines and well-written prose, what continues to stick out about Aeris is the extraordinarily clever world and detailed magic system. The feel is post-apocalyptic, but it doesn’t go into detail as to why the world is such. I had a lot of fun reading it and would recommend to those looking for a way into the indie book scene.

I feel like if I do runners up, I’d just be listing off a bunch of bloggers’ books!

Favorite Series

One of my goals this year was to read more series, and I’ve read several. However, I’ve got to limit my choice to just one!

And, no doubt in my mind, it was the Robert Remini Andrew Jackson trilogy. This trilogy is a fantastic set of biographical works that incorporates both feelings from back in the day when everyone was racist and ideals from a more modern, critical era. Though Jackson was a lunatic, Remini shows you his charisma, wit, and drive in such a way that he becomes more coherent. I’ve always enjoyed studying Jackson, though, so I’m inevitably a bit biased.

Also I’ve read this series in the past, so I feel like I cheated a bit by choosing them here. A good runner up would be the Imperial Radch trilogy, but I think it suffers from having a weak second entry.

Favorite Classic

Surprisingly enough, I didn’t read too many true classics. For that reason, I’m including somewhat recent science fiction and fantasy classics.

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Even so, I’d have to go with Dracula by Bram Stoker. I didn’t go in expecting much from this book, but I was pleasantly surprised by the tension, the depth of character, and creativity with the subject matter. I think it’s a great read for anyone interested in expanding their experience with fantasy and classics. Don’t be afraid of it just because of the Twilight craze!

A Couple I Explicitly Didn’t Like

I don’t want to talk about Indie books I didn’t like. If you want to see me rip Indie books, you’ll have to go to my Reviews Page and find them yourself. Part of this is my belief that Indie Books, if done right, should explore niches traditional publishers are afraid to go down – niches that might not be for every reader.

I was sad that I didn’t like Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. I thought the premise looked really cool, and I very much enjoyed some of the short stories she’d published in other places. I thought the book didn’t explain itself well, and I could never root for the main character. It also came off as tone-deaf in a post 2016 world. 100% worst thing I’ve read this year.

Without anything coming close to Trail of Lightning in terms of sheer dislike, I moved on to thinking about disappointments. Though I enjoyed the book by the end, I was disappointed with The Warrior’s Apprentice. After having read two other novels by McMasters-Bujold, I expected more from this book. I also got more from the books following The Warrior’s Apprentice in the series. I think she tried to fit too much in the novel, and it ended up being an overwhelming tapestry of exciting stuff. It was also her first publication, so that inexperience probably didn’t help.

 

 

H.R.R. Gorman’s Author Newsletter – July 2019

I took things a little slower in July. Even so, I got a few things accomplished that I’m really proud of, and I wanted to talk about them here and hint to things coming.

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Short Story Submissions

I hate this part of author life. God knows I do. I did three (maybe four) last month, and my goal was to get three this month. Well, I wrote three stories, but I only got two submitted because I have no idea where to submit the third one. If you know of a place to submit weird alien stories, let me know.

Still no “yes” from anyone. Hopeful about some of the June ones, but not really expecting anything at this point.

Dark Divinations

I submitted a story to Dark Divinations. The prompt was a Victorian era horror about divining the future. Since my cultural background was highly influenced by events in the Victorian era, I took an Appalachian approach to it – and I hope they like it!

Mysterion

This magazine publishes Christian stories in interesting contexts. I decided to try a sci-fi story because I bet they get way more fantasy. I hope to stand out, and perhaps that will give me an edge! I also think religiously inspired sci fi is WAY too rare, so this is right up my alley.

An Unexpected Success!

Last year at about this time, I decided that I needed to discover what people liked about poetry. I needed to know what someone meant when they said a passage was “poetic.” I believed that the understanding of poetry would improve my prose if nothing else, and I looked for ways to learn it.

One of my favorite poetry teachers is Colleen Chesebro. Her weekly micropoetry prompt/contest is chock full of excellent hints, tips, and – most importantly – feedback. Even if she must leave a quiet comment one week, I can still look at who she chose as the winner and try to divine why it was considered the best. I can’t imagine how much work she must do to curate such a fantastic contest.

Anyway, I was stunned to find out I’d been chosen as Poet of the Week on July 22nd! My poem, The Woman at 106, was written for Colleen’s first ever photo prompt. What an honor! I am very pleased that my dedication to learning a new craft is showing fruit.

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Camp NaNoWriMo

This was my first month of Camp, and I… succeeded?

Basically, what I learned was that I should have dedicated a number of hours to writing rather than a number of words written/edited. Because I tend to go backwards on word count when I edit, I could NEVER reach my goal. However, I think I reached my goal in spirit, so I think that counts a lot.

Will I do Camp again? I’m not sure. I didn’t find it all that much different from a normal month, save for an additional obligation and a few extra cheerleaders. I’ll think about it!

Blog Recap

I stayed pretty on par this month with my June month, and for right now this feels more sustainable than my “post every day” schedule. Sadly, there wasn’t a late-July Carrot Ranch prompt, but hopefully y’all didn’t hate that blank spot! I did a lot of prep for later months, though, and I think I’ve come up with some great surprises for the beginning of 2020 (no promises, though! I need to make sure I have enough material to actually do it justice). I’ve also nearly gotten all my 2019 reading done (1.75 books away)!

Here’s a few of my favorite blog posts from the month:

Some Things from Real Life

This month has been full of IRL things. I went on vacation (day trip one weekend to Battleship North Carolina), worked a LOT (good Lord), and had to go help my mom when she came down with gout.

Aaand because of the gout, my mom is now convinced it’s time to retire, and I could be looking at her showing up at my door any day now ready to move in. She doesn’t really plan things out sometimes, so she could come unannounced. I love my mom, and I do think she should come live at our house at least until she sells her own house (which is 3 hours away), but I also don’t really want to share it long-term right yet. Am I selfish? I feel like I am. I’m also worried that she hasn’t saved up enough for retirement, and I’m not old enough to have that much savings built up (I’m not 30 yet – I have old parents, in case you’re wondering about that).

Anyway, I hope I’ve done right by my mom, but I worry I’ve not.

H.R.R. Gorman’s Author Newsletter – June 2019

June was a big month for me.  I wanted to share with y’all a few things that I’ve done and maybe get out some hints as to what’s coming next.

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Short Story Submissions

If you remember back in May, I decided to submit a short story somewhere in order to start feeling better about getting rejections.  I sent a story to a quick turnaround journal and, of course, got rejection #1, just like almost everyone.

This month, I wanted to do a few more submissions, so here’s what I did:giphy-2

Chew On This Anthology*

I submitted a short story to a horror anthology about eating scary things.  It’s southern gothic and all kinds of weird.  I hope the editor for this anthology likes the more psychological, Twilight-Zone style of horror.

*Also, this was submitted in May but I’m not sure if I told everyone here.

Three-Lobed Burning Eye Magazine

A weird looking magazine seeking weird-sounding fiction.  I submitted my short story “Disco Demolition Night” because I think it’s basically gold but, unfortunately, is in a really weird genre.  If you have ideas for what to do with historical fantasy, let me know!  I write too much of it for my own good.

Across the Universe Beatles Spec Fic

Like I said above, I write too much alternate history or historical fantasy for my own good.  This anthology specifically wanted a story about the Beatles, and I had an idea that I hoped they’d like.  Well, it was rejected fairly quickly, so you’ll be seeing it on the blog soon because I genuinely don’t think a Beatles themed fanfic will see much success elsewhere!

Jolly Horror

Jolly Horror is making a horror-comedy anthology about cursed items. I wrote a story  and submitted that.  I really enjoyed the little tale, so we’ll see what the editors think.  It’s still historical fantasy, le sigh.

Blog Recap

This month on the blog, I slowed things down.  This will probably be the pace here for a while, because it’s more manageable.  Hopefully the reduced post-load will give me time to develop more professional outlets like publishing short stories or finishing new long works.

Here’s a few of my most popular posts from the month you can check out!

Some Things from Real Life

Well, I’ve kept writing things other than the blog – and, since I decided to do fewer posts this month, I used my time well!  I finished the novel I’ve had in my wheelhouse for quite some time.  It’s not ready for alpha readers (I want to have a swing at editing it myself first), but hopefully at the end of July I’ll put it out there for people to take a peek at.  It may be the craziest thing I’ve ever written.

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As well, I finished what I believe are the last edits of The Mercury Dimension.  When I feel confident enough and have a short story credit or two to my name, I plan on querying with it.

What are some things you’ve done this month?  Let me know in the comments!  Maybe we can commiserate about the writing life or trade an alpha read! I’ll tell you about the story I finished, American Chimera, if you’re interested.