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Wrinkled Shorts – releasing a collection of my short stories in one volume

December 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Huge exciting news! Okay, honestly – not so huge, not that exciting, but news nonetheless. I’ve put together all of my short stories into one collection, with a bonus story added. It’s like getting 20% additional for free! [Insert infomercial voice here.] The new volume, called WRINKLED SHORTS, is now available for Kindle and Nook, and should be out on Kobo and the iBookstore very shortly. It’s also available via Smashwords for online reading or other devices. [Update: Kobo and iBooks versions now available.]

What is Wrinkled Shorts? It consists of my four current short stories – Incursion, Special Delivery, Opt-Out, and The Awakening – plus a new, never-before-released short called Dreamshift. Below are the blurbs. If you felt like spreading the word via social media, bullhorn, or carrier pigeon, whatever, I’d surely appreciate it.

wrinkledshorts600x900Incursion (science fiction): A young boy working on his village’s plantation watches as alien craft scream overhead. His first emotion is excitement… until the technologically superior aliens start shooting. He has no choice but to grow up quickly, becoming one of his village’s most trusted defenders. What does human nature mean?

The Awakening (science fiction): Robert has been running the Monhegan Island-to-mainland Maine ferry for years. This morning, however, he and his boat are greeted by mysterious lights emanating from the small rocky island. No one greets him when he ties up to the dock, and not a structure is in sight – all the houses and buildings have disappeared. All he sees is a curtain of light. Curiosity gets the better of him, and he steps through the curtain…

Special Delivery (horror): Kerry Jensen is nervous about her upcoming blind date, and one glass of wine isn’t doing the trick. Before she has an opportunity to pour a second, there’s a knock at her door. Her blind date is early, but it’s an unexpected package that will change the rest of her night — and possibly her life.

Opt-Out (suspense): A massive global social network announces an initiative to encourage its nearly one billion users to donate organs and body parts with just the click of a mouse. Millions of potential transplant recipients rejoice, but there is a dark side. For a young, newly engaged professional in Portland Oregon, that dark side arrives wearing a smile and designer suit during a chance encounter at a train station.

NEW: Dreamshift (scifi/suspense): Jeremy is a college student, struggling to make ends meet. After hearing of a sleep experiment than pays handsomely he eagerly signs up. The tests seem innocent enough, the reasoning behind them intriguing, but the end result may cost Jeremy more than he’ll ever earn. Can dreams tell the future, or are they in fact the future itself?

And here are some completely made up Frequently Asked Questions of Wrinkled Shorts:

  • Q: Why is it called Wrinkled Shorts?
  • A: Steve has never been very good at ironing. His Author Page/Twitter profile image was taken overlooking a vineyard in St. Tropez, France during a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, but all anyone ever talks about are the wrinkled shorts he wore. Oh, and the bird poo on the light post, but “Bird Poo” was rejected as a title early on in the process.
  • Q: Why is buying a collection of short stories better than buying them individually?
  • A: You save money. Jeez.
  • Q: Speaking of money, why does this collection, which combined isn’t even half the length of a novel, cost three bucks?
  • A: Steve needs a better iron. Plus, each story provides a solid 15-30 minutes of enjoyment, adding up to several hours of intense reading pleasure. How long did the intense pleasure last from your last Starbucks triple-half-caff-skinny-vanilla? And don’t count the burned tongue or acid reflux.
  • Q: Is there anywhere we can donate to buy Steve new shorts? I mean actual shorts, not short stories.
  • A: No, but we’re sure he’d appreciate a download or two… perhaps even a review. And he won’t tell anyone his waist size anyway.
  • Q: Can I return one of the stories if I don’t like it and get 20% of my purchase price back?
  • A: Seriously?
  • Q: I love these stories so much, Steve is so talented, I hope he writes some more!
  • A: Mom, I told you never to post here…
  • Q: Will Steve be writing any erotic shorts soon?
  • A: MOM!

UPDATE: This sucker got a review already, might be a record in terms of quickness…

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steve
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A breakthrough, epiphany, lightning bolt, whatever… My plot will now continue.

June 18, 2012 4 comments

About a month ago, I started a general outline for a new story, completely outside of the Gabriel arc. Got my main character, sketched him out, put together some secondaries, wrote a half dozen sentences outlining where I wanted it to go, and set up a Scrivener project with blank chapters and character cards. I even whipped up a working title and threw together a cover using some not-free images (no, I won’t be using it — that would be wrong — but I will use someone else’s artwork as my internal motivation).

On my Med cruise, I took a few hours over a few lazy days at sea and wrote three chapters that started the story. Some good intrigue, action, things blowing up, the usual. But looking at my outline, I didn’t have that hook…that twist…that “wow” factor laid out ahead of time that I was working towards. I had the story idea, but needed something  unique and “holy &%^$& I didn’t see that coming” inspiring.

Last night, driving home from a friend’s house with my wife asleep in the front seat and my two boys mesmerized by iDevices in the back, it hit me. Figuratively, of course – something hitting me while driving would raise my insurance premiums.

No, the idea hit me, that “wow” I was looking for. A little snippet, innocent and all, from chapter two of what I had written jumped up and said, “use me, use me!”

And so I will. Stay tuned.