Tuesday, April 26, 2011

for the Kindle

If you're a Kindle user, I have a few things available exclusively for that platform. I've made a point of pricing them as low as I can justify; as a Kindle user myself, my biggest complaint is that it makes no sense to me for a digital book to cost more than a paperback.  There are no covers, in part because I don't know why anyone would care about the cover of a digital book, and in part because a cover would increase both the fee Amazon charges me and my production costs.

The novels are each about 100,000 words long - shorter than a Stephen King novel, longer than Cat's Cradle. There are some more short stories coming in the near future.

The Vine That Ate The South (99 cents) is a short story originally published in ChiZine and no longer available online.  I apologize for the Amazon description being so vague, but how do you describe a short story without giving away the plot?  Some stories make it more difficult than others.  It's the story of what happens in a woman's life, from childhood through adulthood, and the connections among the most defining events of that life.  I'll give you the first paragraph, though it gives no indication of the speculative fiction elements.

The kudzu took over the stone field, the northeast field where once they'd dug a foundation for what was gonna be a Golden Corral but the bank never approved the loan. Grampa cashed the check for the land all the same, and his old Lincoln sat just over the property line, on blocks cause Gramma said if he hadn't got the sense to fix her up when he was livin' there was no sense doin' for it now he wasn't. Pop hates it when she says things like that. Pop's Gramma and Grandpa's son and Adamae's only parent, just as she's his only natural-born child. Right now he's off on a toot, which is how come Gramma's got Adamae out in the stone field plucking up kudzu blossoms.

The Saint of Daybreak ($3.99) is a novel that had a huge response when I posted the first draft to my LiveJournal back in the day, and I still have people asking if I'm going to write something else like it, or even a sequel.  No, probably not.  This is a junk food novel -- hell, it revels in being a junk food novel, all swagger and shouting.  Even my method for writing it is something I don't do anymore -- I started with a question and tried to find the answer through the writing.

In this case the question was pretty simple: Tom Bishop was one of the leaders of the vampire church for centuries, until one morning he abruptly woke up human, with no memory of the night before.  Now everyone's after him.  What happened?

Downbelow Domino ($3.99) is a personal favorite.  I love haunted house stories, but one of the key questions in haunted house stories is left unaddressed in some of the lesser ones, and even some of the good ones - why don't the characters just leave?  Go to a motel.  Get out of town.  (Poltergeist is a great exception, and of course The Shining.)  I was planning on writing a different novel altogether until I thought of an answer that I liked: 

The man living in the haunted house is under house arrest.

An answer isn't a story, but it was a good starting point.  I lost sleep writing this novel.  I spent every day of a summer thinking about what terrible things I could do to this guy, Castle Finch, and had nightmares on his behalf.  I did my best to keep myself perpetually creeped out.