I wound up taking yesterday off from writing/editing, which really puts me under the gun today. But after working yesterday, getting groceries, and laundry, I was exhausted, and figured I’d get up early this morning and get going on the editing/rewriting. So, of course, I wound up sleeping late–I got almost ten hours of sleep last night, which is extremely unusual for me on any night. But I am not going to argue with it; I clearly needed the rest, right? So, I am going to get this entry finished up as a warm-up, clean up my email inbox as necessary, and then I am going to finish getting the kitchen cleaned up before showering and getting down to business here. I promised that I would get it finished today and turned in, and I am going to make this deadline no matter how badly I would rather curl up in a chair with About the Author, which I am absolutely loving, for many reasons.
I am only on my first cup of coffee right now, and am slowly waking up, which is kind of lovely. The shower will, as always, finish the process. It is a little disturbing how filthy the kitchen has become–out of order and all that. I am thinking about making shrimp creole for dinner, which means making it around two thirty (making the roux; etc.–it takes four hours to cook in the crock pot). I don’t think I’ll have a problem getting the edits/rewrite finished today, either–it really won’t take very long, I have very concise editorial notes and my editor really has a sharp eye for simple, easy ways to make the story and characters stronger, which is lovely. It’s simply a matter of not allowing myself to get distracted by anything, which is harder than it sounds.
At least, it is for me.
While I have been talking about Todd Gregory in the lead up to the release of his (my?) third Frat Boy book this week (its official release is Tuesday, for those of you who are keeping up), I’ve decided to skip over the vampire stories (“Blood on the Moon” and Need) because, while I enjoyed them and am proud of them, they are a different animal (there is a fraternity connection; my main character in both of those was a fraternity boy–Beta Kappa, of course–at Ole Miss) than the Frat Boy books. And while of course my Todd Gregory short story collection, Promises in Every Star and Other Stories, has little to do with either the Frat Boy books or the vampire stories, it’s more of a piece with the Frat Boy books than the vampire stories–although the short story “Bloodletting”, which is also Chapter One of Need, is included in it.
As I often have said, short stories are often more problematic for me than writing novels; so of course, having a short story collection put together has always been a dream of mine–from having enough stories to actually having any interest in such a book from a publisher. And Bold Strokes gave the collection a great cover.
You really can’t go wrong with that cover, can you?
It wasn’t my first short story collection, though. This was:
That book happened in late fall, 2004. A publisher approached me and wanted to do a collection of my wrestling stories. I hadn’t published enough stories at that time to make up a full book, so I had to write some new ones, and I did. The book didn’t come out when it was supposed to, I never got paid anything for it, I wasn’t even sure if it was available anywhere–to be honest. The subsidiary rights were sold to Insightoutbooks, and it did very well there–again, I never saw any money because of ‘problems’ with the publisher. In the fall after Katrina, I got an offer from the publisher for a flat cash settlement to return the rights to me, terminate the contract, and get all remaining copies in stock at the warehouse….which ended up being nine copies. I seriously doubt the print run was that small, you know? In other words, I got thoroughly screwed…but at the same time, I wanted the mess over and done with and didn’t have the time nor interest as I was trying to figure out what to do with my life and living situation after the flood, you know? I think you can still find copies of it somewhere on line–for ridiculous amounts of money. I personally only have one copy left. Maybe I should do it as an ebook. It can’t hurt, it’s just sitting there, right?
Anyway, I digress. As I look over the table of contents for Promises in Every Star, I see that only two stories–“Man in a Speedo” and “Will You Love Me in September?”–were the only stories in it to be previously unpublished; I’ve not really written any Todd Gregory short stories since the book came out, which is kind of odd, really. People just stopped asking me to write stories for their anthologies. Not sure why that is, but there you have it.
I love all of these stories–“Promises in Every Star,” “The Sea Where Its Shallow,” “Unsent,” and “Wrought Iron Lace” are particular favorites of mine–and I was terribly pleased to have them all in one book.
I’d love to do another collection of my darker stories–crime and horror–and I think I may have enough published to do one, although I’d probably have to write some new ones (and I do have some unpublished ones on hand) but I might have to do it as a self-published thing. Who knows? We’ll see.
And now, back to the spice mines.