2015 – The Year Ahead

So 2015 is upon us well and truly. It’s already 11 days in and I’ve received two awesome pieces of news. More on that shortly. With 2015 comes a new year with many changes ahead.

First off, my family and I are moving back to Adelaide this month, so it’s been a mad rush of packing the house to move in the next few weeks. Writing time has been almost non-existent. It has meant that I am leaving a job to unemployment for hopefully a short while. If no work does come up, at least after doing job applications each day I can spend some more time writing!

I have decided to set myself some goals for this year. My biggest goal is to completed the first draft for the zombie novel which I started in 2012. Last Thursday night, I did crack the 50,000 words of the planned 75,000. Now this novel is aimed at the Late Young Adult range, it does have some swearing and graphic scenes.

My second goal is to complete several short stories (aiming for a minimum of 5) and send them off for submission. I completed another short story for consideration for another anthology late last year that got rejected. Have decided to expand it, adding more to it and then send on to another market.

My third goal is to read 20 books this year. I’ve gone back to using Goodreads to keep track of which books I have and set the goal through the iPhone app. So far I have completed 2 books (admittedly, the first one I started in September last year). The most recently finished is Bound (Alex Caine #1) by Alan Baxter. Was a brilliant read.

Now onto the news. I received an email that my application for the Advanced Diploma in Professional Writing has turned into an offer of acceptance. I should hear from the TAFE in a few days.

fromoutofthedarkThe second piece of news is that the story I sold last year has been publication and is now available! The paperback edition is available through Amazon whilst the ebook is available through Smashwords. When I saw the list of other authors appearing in the anthology, I was pretty excited. The contents are:

  • Gene Stewart – Eschaton’s Fate
  • Tony Shillitoe – Hope
  • James O’Keefe – Light in the Darkness
  • Alexander Zelenyi – In a Room Empty For You
  • Rob Bleckly – The Grim
  • L.E. Bodillo – The Dead Kind
  • Mark Rookyard – Between the World
  • Victoria Dylan – Out in the Dark
  • Jason Andrew – Fading Light From a Dying Star
  • Gregory L. Norris – Fleeing into the Darkness of Disaster

Having my own story appearing right after Tony Shillitoe is something to be very proud of as he is quite a well known Australian author.

With many thanks to Robert N Stephenson for publishing this piece. I have known him for quite a few years now. He has a new book coming out this month, which I am really looking forward to reading. It will be available through Satalyte Publishing from January 30th 2015.

So some great news to kick the new year off and some goals set to achieve. Let’s see what the rest of the year brings.


2014 – A Year in Review

I have seen a few other authors do this on their own sites, so thought I would do the same. 2014 has been a productive year. I have managed to write something every month, with a rough estimate or around 50,000 or so total words over that period. Most of the year was spent working on my eventual submission to the From Out of the Dark anthology. The hard work paid off with it being accepted for publication. It should see it out for sale sometime early this year. There was also a very late submission for another anthology that closed on the 31st December. I am yet to hear back on it, as at last count there were nearly 1,200 submissions. Hopefully my story will stand out from the rest and be accepted.

The Writers Group has grown in membership, plus joining forces with the local ABC Open Project representative. Daniel has been great with this, giving us some great tips on writing not only fiction, but also on writing for real world and online. We put on another Word Art exhibition, this time at the Berri Library. The number of hits on our blog went up considerably with the use of QR codes on each artwork and respective written piece.

This year I plan to finally finish off my first novel plus a horror novella. In the mean time, I am currently packing to move back to Adelaide, which means I will be saying farewell to the Riverland Creative Writing Group at some stage. Hopefully, I will also be accepted into the TAFE course that I applied for in November.

On the reading front, to aid with being familiar with horror tropes, I have started to gather a small collection of horror novels, particularly works by Stephen King. A total of 9 books were completed, also nearly finished The Stand by King. The total was less than the previous year of 13 but as most of them this time were quite lengthy, it balances out.

All in all, a good year and hopefully 2015 will be bigger and better.

Revamp & NaNoWriMo

Decided upon a bit of a revamp of my blog. Funky new header image and design to streamline the site.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, I have now joined the Australian Horror Writers Association.

On that note, this month is NaNoWriMo again. I’ve put a story that I have finished another draft on hold for a short bit that will be submitted by end of the year for another anthology. In the mean, I have put an idea that I was going to use for another sub that didn’t happen due to working on the Out Of The Dark submission. Decided to turn it into a novella that will fit right in for the word count of NaNoWriMo. Started late, but already over 5000 words for only 2 nights writing. Would love to be a winner again for this, as it’s only ever been achieved once. If not, it’s still a good thing to get another story out of my head.

Latest Developments

Last week I completed the story for the From Out of the Dark anthology. The finished story was submitted and the editor is having a read and will let me know ASAP. Can’t wait to find out how it goes.

Also, this month, my writer’s group has another Word Art Exhibition coming. See the poster below. Looking forward to this one a lot, if I finish my story in time!


Poster A

Out of the Dark – First Draft Completed

It is done! The first draft of my story for the Out of the Dark anthology is now done. Had a good session at writer’s group tonight plus did a lot more after that. Total word count on the first draft is nearly 5,900 words, so pretty happy with that. I had already excised a whole section as I felt it slowed the story down but gained enough ground to reach the 5,000 minimum.

So now begins the fun process of editing it until it’s in a publishable form!

Call for Submissions

No, I’m not starting my own anthology by my friend Robert N Stephenson is putting out a call for submissions.


From Out of the Dark
Horror from the emptiness of the space between the galaxies.
Words required – 5 000 to 10 000
Subject explanation:
I am seeking short stories to a maximum length of 10 000 words with a minimum length of 5 000. All stories are to he set in the gap between galaxies, the immense darkness of space and all the frightening aspects and contemplation of billions of light years of unseeable entities can bring. These are not just first encounter ideas as the bent is strong horror memes within science fiction framing. This is not horror added the SF or SF added to horror by slight of hand. What is required is a true as possible journey into a place we cannot and will never imagine outside of telescopes and maths. This is science fiction, so no fantasy worlds please. Space ships and rays guns are fine, but if I spot a dragon I might not reply.
From Out of the Dark requires some deep thinking and frightful manipulations of emotion and events to create fiction that can cause a sweat and a gasp for air lost to vacuum.

There are no entry fees, no costs other than postage if using mail or a few nips on your bandwidth if emailing. Please, no queries, you either understand what is being asked or you don’t. I will be able to read if you do not get what is being sought after here.

The editor is me, Robert N Stephenson, I am an award winning author of several novels and non fiction/fiction collections with over 100 published short stories. I have edited over 30 full length novels for publishers as well as edited Altair Magazine for 3 years as well as several anthologies in SF and Horror. Altair Australia Publishing has published 23 titles in all and there has been a 4 year gap between publication of the last one until now. I don’t like to edit hard, but if I do find something that could aid in the end product I will suggest and encourage you to consider and apply.

The anthology open date started a couple of weeks ago, but things have been hectic and I have only now formulated the guidelines, but the closing date is October 31st 2014. I will be buying stories as I go along so don’t wait until the last minute to submit, I will be filling this work as fast as possible and with the best available before or on that deadline.

Rights – first time world print rights and first time world digital rights (print – ebook – kindle) Rights expiry of individual stories end after 12 months from actual publication date. The book and ebook will remain on sale in its designated form for a while, quite a while I hope.

Payment $75 per story and a print copy of the book.

Royalties – selling price through amazon etc will be at a cost price and no earnings will be made from the sale of these books. If Possible the ebook will be free of charge, but sometimes amazon requires a 99 cent payment so they get their cut. The aim of the book is to get out there widely and quickly, highlighting the great work of authors. The $75 payment may not be a great payment, but I am not earning anything from the books sales and am personally contributing all payment money. Money paid on acceptance, not on publication as most collection are. While the print date is set for late December please note delays can occur due to my own work commitments and project deadlines.

Contract will be a simple email acceptance, an ‘on trust’ arrangement. If you are prepared to break that trust then no written contract would be of value.

Submission details
Post = Altair Australia Publishing ‘From Out of the Dark’ PO Box 475 Blackwood SA 5051 Australia

Email = author@altair-australia.com
Email Subject line = Submission, submission title, author

Attachment file as, rtf, TXT, pdf and even docx, I will also accept odt

Word count on the top of the first page, plus a short bio if you think I will be interested.

Reply = As soon as capable given my own limited times. It is hoped no longer than 12 weeks waiting time. No posted MS will be returned, so do supply email address for my rejection/acceptance.