What an incredibly busy week and change!
Like, no joke, October is looking to be the single most busy month of the whole year, and the whole year has already been really busy:
1. I’ve signed contracts for two short stories;
3. I’ve dutifully submitted two other short stories;
4. I am gearing up to submit two more short stories, with a third following shortly after;
5. made a really nice breakthrough on my new novella and it has re-lit a fire under my ass to get it done. And the idea was such a “no duh” type of inspiration that it’s almost embarrassing in hindsight, as I should’ve figured it all out looooooong ago.
C’est la vie, right?
BUT . . . the craziest bit of news (number 6, if you’re counting) comes from the world of side projects, namely video game development. Last year, Rooster Republic (the indie press I co-own with Don Noble) started exploring the creation of media besides books. Initially, we were entertaining the idea of board games and card-based RPGs, though that early effort quickly evolved into video games.
Heckpoint is a frenetic side-scrolling shoot ’em up where everything and everyone is destructible (especially you). You can read a bit more about its development at the Nodacoy website.
Fast-forward a little more than a year, and we have been officially accepted by Steam. The homepage for our video game Heckpoint is live, as of this week, and the game itself looks to be available for purchase on Halloween. To qualify this as a staggering achievement is an understatement. Frankly, we have nearly killed ourselves to make this endeavor a reality.
In addition to this, we also finished prototypes of a board game as well as a card-based RPG. They are definitely products that will see release, we just don’t have a release date set, as of yet.
All in due time.
And so, it has been a challenge to keep posting regularly because I’ve been enormously busy on the business-end of things. This is to say nothing of drafting new fiction, and the deadlines for submission dates of said fiction being relatively soon. In order to finish these stories I’ve had to develop a bit of tunnel vision. Otherwise, I’m likely to wander off and get lost.
The tunnel vision has been paying off though, as a new short story ought to be finished this week. I’m on the fence as to the title (though I always have a placeholder) and more often than not a title presents itself once a piece is complete. Continuing my own personal fixation on Winter (which presents itself throughout my short story collection), this new tale is set during a nasty snowstorm.
Here’s an excerpt:
We marched along without a word, the pack and crunch of snow underfoot somehow louder than the wind. Snow fell in a harsh whisper, like sand falling on glass. Deep black shadows lurched at sharp angles. What you could see was bathed in a sodium glow. Houses and apartments cramped together. White crests lined the street, their vague shapes hinted at the kind of cars buried underneath. Josh and Brad were too far ahead to see, but the blood showed us the way, as if Katie and I were Hansel and Gretel.
So far, so good. I’m enjoying this bit of work and I hope it finds its way into a decent home.
I’m still whittling away at my body-horror short story, but I’ve got more time to work on that piece and I am happy to take my time on it, since it’s . . . weirder. The mythology and internal logic need to be as sound as possible, no matter how “out there” those things may be, and tying all that to the characters and their personal philosophies is important, too. Of most importance, however, is that the damn story is also entertaining.
And here’s an excerpt from that:
“My father used to say that the body was the first fact of human existence but I am not sure that I agree with that, you know? After all, a fact is indisputable, there’s a certainty inherit to a fact. There’s no certainty with this flesh. What is flesh other than an organ of constant transformation? It’s as if flesh is a metaphor for something else. Where my father saw a fact, I see a fiction.”
“Or a question.”
“Yes, yes, I think that’s more apt. Flesh is the first question of human existence.”
I am intentionally working in a Cronenbergian wheelhouse with this story, so while there is a philosophical bent to the proceedings, I am also making sure to add in some grotesqueries and visceral bodily harm. You know, for the kids!
I’ve recently been invited on two different podcasts, both of which are live if you are interested in having a listen. Each interview is about an hour:
Frank Edler had me over at Bizzong!
And Leo X Robertson interviewed me for Losing the Plot.
And, finally, some more great reviews for Now That We’re Alone this week, but specifically the review over at The Grim Reader (AKA Adrian Shotbolt) website, courtesy of guest reviewer Thomas Joyce.
Here’s some choice quotes:
“. . . Day does an excellent job of building the atmosphere and dread until the unnerving finale.”
“. . . further proving Day’s wonderful skill as a storyteller.”
“. . . wonderfully poetic language.”
“. . . a flawless collection.”
“. . . the skill of a natural storyteller . . . a title befitting Mr. Day.”
“Day really cranks the creepy dial to 11 . . .”
“He has clearly demonstrated a powerful talent for storytelling within a wide range of stories, populating each with wonderfully deep characters, telling them with some truly beautiful prose and fantastic description. Not a word is wasted as he takes us by the hand and leads us through these often creepy, always entertaining landscapes of his creation.”
Ah . . . if only I could wake up to a review as nice as this every day. But that would be a bit like spoiling yourself with too many sweets, I suppose.
Now, I must excuse myself.
These stories aren’t going to finish themselves.