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Showing posts from 2016

Print Edition of ‘Circa Sixty Years’ Coming Sooner Than Anticipated

Credit: Pixabay.com Well, the photographic cover for my single short story book, “Circa SixtyYears Dead” will not be here in time for the holidays. However, the print version will be here sooner than I had anticipated, thanks to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing’s new paperback print option. “Circa Sixty Years Dead” Print Edition Until recently, a print version of a self-published Kindle book had to be produced by separate means through Amazon’s Create Space. But now a print edition of an ebook can be produced a little bit more quickly through Kindle Direct’s new print option (currently at the beta level). So far, I’ve partly regi stered “Circa” for this option . I just have to upload the manuscript and cover to the program. The manuscript is what may take a while before I upload it because I need to make sure it’s formatted correctly and formatting isn’t the best of my self-publishing skills. Apparently, the manuscript and cover have to come from my o

Falling Behind But Writing Through the Busy Season

It’s been a very busy week especially as we have gotten further into the holiday season. If you missed my post last week about writing around holiday busy-ness, you can take a look at it here . Hopefully some of those ideas I’ve put into practice will work for you other writers out there too. Still, my writing’s come to a slow-down because I’ve had a load of other things to do, yet I continue to work on my stories and that is most important: to write everyday even when you don’t feel like it. If you only do it when you feel like it, then you’ll never feel like it. Or, to put it more precisely, the days when you don’t feel like writing will out-number the ones when you do and so you will always come up with an excuse not to write. Credit: Wikimedia Commons I’ve been continuing to work on my novella averaging at least a page a day considering my full-time day job, and I try to get one to three extra pages in on the weekends. Plus I’ve been giving a little time to my curr

Writing Around the 'Distractions' During the Holidays

Credit: Pixabay.com Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas will be here before we know it. The holiday season brings with it a cramped schedule. We’re running here and there shopping for food and gifts and trying to deliver those gifts. We’re trying to write and mail off those holiday cards in time. Then we have family to cater to, including those who come from out of town and stay with us. On top of that there’s our jobs and other everyday, year-round duties such as paying bills. This cramped holiday schedule makes us writers’ writing time even more cramped. This is especially so if, like me, you’re working a day job. It’s even tougher when you have family to cater to who stay with you during a holiday week or weekend. You can’t just ditch them to go write. After all, they are our family, our blood, so we should show them appreciation and love. That’s what the holidays are all about, or should be at least. But still, an artist needs his/her own space whe

Far Out Fantastic Events: NaNoWriMo and New Gaiman TV Series

The most far out fantastic events for me since last week have been my participation in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and news of author Neil Gaiman producing a new sci fi TV series. World-building and Character Development for NaNoWriMo I had said at the beginning of the year that I would write a full first draft of a novel (or novella) and there’s no better motivator for it than now, NaNoWriMo. In the last two posts I talked about writing through writer’s block for one of my short stories and searching for new monsters for another. [ link to the posts that talks about these ] But I’ve decided to take a break from both these stories so I can write my novella during this month of November. The problem is I only started writing it last week and we’re already in the middle of the month. In fact, I didn’t even actually start writing it; I just planned it. But even so, there probably won’t be another motivator for another year, so I’ll still write it even if so

In Search of New Monsters For Horror Fiction

Credit: Pixabay.com The most current horror story I’m writing is a haunted house one but the challenge is in coming up with unique monsters. So far I’ve steered clear of the vampires and zombies (unless you count attacking skeletons, which I don’t because they don’t have enough flesh to be considered a corpse). I don’t want to create any spoilers, but the monsters that are cliché in this story are more so in high fantasy than in straight horror. For the past decade, vampires and zombies have dominated the horror/sci fi scene. As with many types of monsters, their popularity is a phase. Vampires have been fading out in the last year or so. Although the two will be in the popular imagination for years to come, like everything else they are fads and fads eventually fade out. Aliens were a fad in the ‘90s and early 2001s; pirates were a fad in the late 2001s through the early half of the present decade. As much as I love zombies, their popularity will probably be used

Post-Halloween Post: 'I, Frankenstein', Writing Challenges, Variant Cover

I hope everybody had a great Halloween. It went by all too fast as always. Maybe that’s why I’m a horror writer, so I can have “Halloween” year round. Overall, my All Hallow’s Eve was okay, even though I became dreadfully sick and I hadn’t even eaten any candy! So I didn’t do anything that night except stay home and read H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Rats In the Walls”, which is one of his best stories and has plenty of Gothic elements such as a haunted castle and a dreadful family secret. I strongly suggest reading it. The next evening, however, I attended a Halloween party that my writers group put on. Each year we get together on or near the hallow-day and read a story we each wrote based on a photo prompt. I’m not good writing in response to prompts, at least when it comes to fiction. So I’ll admit that my story was crap. But I’m glad I wrote and read it for the sake of participating. Here’s some more of my post-Halloween activity: Short Movie Review of I, Frankenstein The

Halloween Reading: Free and Discounted Horror Books and a Review

Credit: Pixabay.com I said I would have some treats for you on this Halloween weekend and I’ve kept my word! Starting now and ending midnight October 31 st (early November 1 st ) you can purchase my collection of dark fiction, The Fool’s Illusion, at 50% off the list price. To do that just go to CreateSpace .com   and use this code: 5HVKZ4DU . And if that’s not good enough, then starting Sunday and also ending at the stroke of the witching hour on Halloween, you can get a copy of my newest horror book, “Circa Sixty Years Dead”, for free! Just go to Amazon to claim it; no code needed. A print book of short horror and science fiction at half price and an ebook of a short but terrifying supernatural tale at no cost! Take advantage of this offer now because, as I said, they turn back into rotting Jack-o-Lanterns at midnight, Halloween (early morning November 1 st ). And if my books of horror and dark storytelling aren’t good enough for your Halloween reading, check

Halloween Flashback Flash Fiction and More!

Halloween Flashback Halloween is just shy over one week from tonight! Can’t wait? Well then I have a ghost’s chain link to a story just for you! Also, below you will find other haunting chain links to posts of past Halloweens. First the story. It’s called “The Boos Brothers” .   I wrote it back in Halloween of 2013, but didn’t publish it here to the Fantastic Site until the following year. I talk more about it at my "Halloween Ghost Post"   which is the post from the night before I published the story to the Fantastic Site, that night being the one before Halloween or, if you prefer, All Hallows Eve Eve. It also includes a Halloween reading list. I was hoping to include one for this year but didn’t get a ghost of a chance. Anyway, “The Boos Brothers” is a ghost story about Halloween decorating and, of course, Halloween haunting. In this tale, the two are tied together more closely than one would think. Speaking about decorating, I’m just finishing up with my ow

4 Documentaries About 4 Famous, Fearsome Authors

A while back, I talked about how interviews of some of my favourite authors motivateme to write better, especially during those times that I don’t feel like writing for whatever reason. Well I thought I would put together a short list of documentaries about four of the world’s most famous horror authors since we’re nearing Halloween. Below are documentaries and bio films of Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. All four of these can be viewed for free on YouTube, and one is also at Biography.com. Frankenstein: Birth of a Monster : This is a dramatisation of Mary Shelley’s life as a writer. Originally aired on the BBC network in 2003. They Mystery ofEdgar Allen Poe : This was a Biography channel presentation. You can watch either on YouTube or at Biography.com, but I strongly suggest you watch it at the latter; the YouTube version cuts off the introduction and opening credits (probably to prevent potential infringement issues).

6 Far Out Phantastic Finds for Your Halloween Blog Reading

Credit: Pixabay.com This is one of my favourite times of the year. A time when the darker weather comes (though it hasn’t come enough here in Sacramento yet), the days grow shorter, and a post-harvest haze permeates the air filtering out the sunlight by a few layers and giving off a burnt aroma . Darker days (literally darker, that is) call for darker stories and events that grow out of the horror genre. We like to take on the forms of our favourite creatures of darkness through costuming. Well, as much as I love the season of the witch, more commonly known as Halloween, I couldn’t come up with anything relevant to write about for this post. Yet it’s still early in the season but it will fly by faster than a witch on her broom or a vampire bat fleeing the oncoming dawn. So I dug up this list of six phantastic blog finds for your horror-reading zombie appetite. But there will be a special Halloween treat for you (and maybe even a trick) by the weekend of Halloween as there h

The New Book-to-TV Trend: 5 New TV series Based on Sci fi/Fantasy Novels

Credit: Pixabay.com Sorry about the late post. My desktop was having problems. Traditionally books have been adapted for the big screen but now the trend is in ones adapted for the small, including online television. This isn ’t a new thing even for the science fiction and fantasy genres. It started as early as the Six Billion Dollar Man in the ‘70s, which was based on Martin Caidin’s novel, Cyborg . Several of Steven King’s novels were made into television series such as It (1990), and then George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones has been an HBO hit since its debut in 2011. But now that there are five novels by four different popular sci fi/fantasy authors that have either recently been adapted to television or are in the plans to be, a book-to-TV trend is definitely forming. Therefore you can expect to see more famous novels (and maybe even not so famous) turn into television shows in the near future. Here are the most recent upcoming five: 1) Neil Gai

Gaiman and McGinnis restore the human touch to book cover art

I apologise for not posting last week. I started a new day job and so it put me back in my writing schedule. But now I’ve returned to the night job here at the Fantastic Site once again! A few weeks ago I was at Crocker Con talking to a friend, Chris Wisnia creator of the Doris Danger  comic book series. The series commemorates comic book creator Jack Kirby’s art of the 1970s while spoofing 1950s and ‘60s atomic sci fi monsters. Anyway, I told him that one of the comic books I read over the summer was an issue from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman storyline from 2014, Overture . He told me he just finished reading Gaiman’s award winning novel, American Gods . I said I haven’t read that one yet because I normally don’t have the attention span for a 500-plus page novel. (The last one that I read was David Copperfield , which, as great as it is, took me over a year to read because I was reading other books simultaneously.) But I told him that I’ll probably read it as an excuse to buy the new Rob

‘Circa’’s Influences and In Search of . . . Bloggers

Well, “Circa Sixty Years Dead” is one week old today, and my previous book, The Fool’s Illusion, will be three years old later this month! Several of you took advantage of the free giveaway of “Circa” last weekend , and so I want to thank you all. When you finish reading it, I ask that you leave a review at the book’s Amazon page at your earliest convenience, even if it’s just one or two sentences. For those of you who missed the freebies, you can still get “Circa” at the low price of 99 cents . I’m not sure when or if there will be another free giveaway for my newest short horror story. However, I am planning some more promotions where you can get a discount or even win a free copy. Watch out for promotions like these as we get closer to Halloween, the time to celebrate the horror genre! Also, I have an online book tour in the plans so watch out for updates on that, too. "Circa Sixty Years Dead" Now Available for Purchase! Photo Credit: Steven Arellano Rose, Jr. S

Book Release: “Circa Sixty Years Dead”

Well, it’s finally here! “Circa Sixty Years Dead” is now available at Amazon ! And to celebrate the labour of my work as well as the labour all of us put into our jobs whatever they may be, for two whole days I am making my latest book of horror available for free download! So from this Sunday September 4th through Monday September 5th, you can obtain your free digital copy of “Circa Sixty Years Dead”! You don’t need a Kindle device to read it. Just click on “Read On Any Device” under the book’s image at its Amazon page and you’ll be taken to instructions on how to download a free Kindle app that can be used on any digital device. So take a break, celebrate your hard work and the closing of the summer and read about an archeologist’s labour of love . . . and labour of death! Also, after you read it, please leave a review at the book’s Amazon page. It would be greatly appreciated! Credit: Steven Arellano Rose, Jr. Book Title: Circa Sixty Years Dead Author: Steven Arellano

‘c Sixty Years Dead’ Cover Reveal; Using a Graphic Design Application

Last post , I presented the complete book cover illustration reveal for my upcoming horror short read, “Circa Sixty Years Dead”. Now, may I present to you the full cover reveal--illustration and lettering both: Credit: Steven Arellano Rose, Jr. As I said I would , I used a graphic design application, Paint.Net, to paint the black sky and touch up some of the statue’s edges to reduce that glowing effect. I also used black digital paint to touch up the horizon line on the right-hand side because it had been uneven with the horizon line on the left. The rest of the illustration was produced by my own hands. The lettering was completely produced using Amazon’s graphic design application, the cover creator. Graphic art software is very handy in practical situations, in my case, the marketing of a book. Yet I try not to let the digital art drown out my art made with my own hands using physical tools, pencils in this case, as opposed to virtual ones such as Paint.Net’s paintbrush.