Tag Archives: short stories

A New Story Is Up: Carolyn

Over a year ago, I wrote a story called For Carolyn and it was published on Tales from the Zombie War. There were a few comments asking for more about both Carolyn and her mother, Alex, and while I normally ignore comments asking for a sequel, I actually had an idea about them and where I could take them.

So over the course of a year, I fleshed out a story about Carolyn and her mother trying to survive in woods infested with zombies. I actually liked it a lot. It’s a little story. Focused, I think. I hope you’ll like it too. Be sure to check out some of the other stories on Tales of the Zombie War because they’re pretty awesome, too.

You can find it here.

And, if you’re coming from the story to here, be sure to check out my other stories and my book.

-D-

2 Comments

Filed under Day-to-Day: What's Going On, Events, Releases and New Things

The Death of a Year

Let’s see if I can remember how to do this.

We’ll start with an opening sentence and take it from there.

Oh hi! I don’t really know if there are people who still read this. It’s been about, oh, two months since I last updated. I’ll make the assumption that everyone who reads my blog assumed that I had died over that little break. Well, I’m not dead. Far from it.

I’m here to do what’s likely to become the annual tradition around here. I’ll weep about my failures over the last year and make promises to do better next year.

Actually, you know what, let’s do this up right. Let’s not talk about failures. It’s boring, it’s whiny and no-one likes reading that. Let’s do the opposite of that. So here it is. My top five list of awesome shit that I did.

5. I killed three bookstores and a nationwide bookstore chain in the process. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Dylan, that’s…not such a good thing.” But it had to be done and I made sure it gone done smoothly. No one died, product got sold and there are people all over the city with Borders bookcases in their homes cause I did my job like a ninja. A retail ninja. And I did while remaining sane.

4. I submitted a whole crapton of stuff to be published. None of it got published, but that’s not the point. After a few years of sitting around and not doing anything with my writing career, I actually got out there and started things up again. It’s awfully hard for me to get going once I’ve stopped doing something (see: this blog), but by God, I did it.

3. I read a metric-crapton of books. For those of you who use Imperial measurement, a metric-crapton is a lot of books. Every book I read helps me be a better writer. You know what else helps me be a better writer?

2. I started writing stories again. I hadn’t written a new piece of fiction in almost a year and I finally got back up on that horse. But! The biggest piece of news from the previous year?

1. I self-published a book. It’s still there on Amazon and for even cheaper now. You should go buy it if you haven’t done so already. And, if you want it in paperback, then, holy crap, you have that option now too. There’s people out there, right now, reading my work. Bam.

So that’s sounds like a pretty well seized year. Sometimes I’m pretty bummed about how a year went and I’ve been feeling that a little bit the last couple of weeks. But, you know, looking at that list there, I think I can live with how 2011 went. I’m ready for even bigger things next year.

Just…please, no more store closings.

Dylan

1 Comment

Filed under Day-to-Day: What's Going On, Events, Releases and New Things

Tales of the Whispering Mad and the Mis-Dead: Now in Paperback!

You may remember that I have a book, which is available on the Kindle.

Now, everytime I tell people that I have a book and it’s only on the Kindle, they tell me, “But I don’t have a Kindle.” To which I respond, “Then buy a Kindle and then buy my book!” This never goes over well.

So! I’ve come up with a solution. You can now buy my book IN PAPERBACK. No ereaders required, you just go online, order the book and it arrives in the mail, in paper form. Truly, a miracle in modern technology.

Go HERE to buy my book in dead tree form.

Go HERE to buy my book in electronic radioactive form.

Some day, I might even get around to putting it on the Nook.

Dylan Charles

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing: Novels, Stories, Blogs and Comics

Branching into Paperback

I’ve long resisted printing my book simply because it makes for a more expensive product. It’s the same product, but with a price difference of fifteen bucks.

But today I finally decided that ya’ll deserve the opportunity to buy my book in an actual, hard-copy form. It’ll be the same thing as the Kindle copy, but printed on for real paper for all you luddites out there.

Pay close attention to this very spot for when Tales of the Whispering Mad and the Mis-Dead becomes available in paperback!

Dylan Charles

Leave a comment

Filed under Day-to-Day: What's Going On, Events, Releases and New Things

On the Shoulders of Giants

I’ve been reading Necronomicon, a massive collection of Lovecraft’s stories. Lovecraft has always informed what I write, even before I started reading his stories. He influenced the writers who influenced me, Stephen King in particular. And when I got into my big Lovecraft kick right after high school, I began to make a couple of (terrible) attempts at writing about elder gods and eldritch horrors with noneuclidian features.

And though I stopped writing anything overtly Lovecraftian, ancient evils from beyond time will creep into my stories, those nameless horrors that can’t be described with human language. So in a lot of ways, I respect that curmudgeonly, crazy bastard. Without him, I wouldn’t be the writer I am (for better or for worse).

So when I read the first story in the collection, I was a little disappointed. There was a great idea at the center of it, but it was very short. It wasn’t really very well fleshed out. There are hints of what he would do later in his stories; creatures from the abyss, indescribable monsters that are so close to human, ancient ruins and crazed protagonists. On the whole though, it’s a cool idea without enough story or backstory. And it made me happy. While I’m nowhere near his equal in the things he does well, at the very least, I’m stumbling the very same way he did in those early years.

It’s comforting to see that because I can see that he overcame it, which means (hopefully) I can too.

Dylan Charles

3 Comments

Filed under Horror: Movies, Books, Stories and More

Pick It Apart

I have a bit of difficulty watching a movie or reading a book. If it’s horror or thriller or anything to do with monsters, I constantly take myself out of the experience by critiquing it the entire time. I can’t help but ask myself how I would have written it or how I would have described a character or if I would have gone that route with the monster. Or I just get grumpy that I didn’t come up with the idea.

It makes it a little hard to get invested in a fictional world when I spend the entire time nitpicking the thing from start to end. “Well I don’t know if that’s a realistic way to depict people running in fear.” “Why would the ghost kill people that way? That’s entirely contrary to the nature of ghosts!” “This helldog is entirely too verbose.” I can’t turn off the critic, the writer, the little guy in my brain that wants to do this for a living.

If I want escapism, I usually go for movies or books that aren’t in my genres. That way, I spend less time thinking of how I would’ve done it and just enjoy the ride. Horror is for educational purposes only. It’s how I learn and develop what I do and how I become a better writer. And that is my excuse for why I watch so many terrible horror movies.

Dylan Charles

1 Comment

Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think

The Crutch of the Matter

Since I’ve started working on my series of short stories, writing has become much easier for me. Not necessarily blog entries, since that’s a whole other process, but I’ve now written four or five stories (I lost count), all of which take place in that same world.

While I’m digging the ease of writing, but I’m getting a little spooked. It’s so easy to let this character and his world take over a lot of my heavy lifting. I make up new settings, but those settings follow the rules of this world. I create new characters, but, once again, they follow the rules of the world.

The rules are a large part of what makes writing challenging. They rules determine what is and what isn’t possible. They determine how people will react to events. They can determine atmosphere. And now, all of that is more or less settled for me.

Every time I get a new idea, I immediately try and see how it will fit in the confines of this world. “Ah-ha!” I’ll think, “A death hospital staffed by werewolves! How can I use that?” And instead of doing something new with it, I’ll paw at it and work it until it fits into the series.

While it seems soon to be worrying about this, I hope I’m not falling into some kind of rut. On the other hand, maybe I should just quit my whining and just keep plugging away. Writing is better than not writing. Plus I’ve got another idea that could be gangbusters.

Dylan Charles

1 Comment

Filed under Writing: Novels, Stories, Blogs and Comics