Archive for June, 2011

“Bast” to be featured in anthology with best-selling authors

Posted in News on June 30, 2011 by Christian

Do murderous cats leave witnesses?  My short story, “Bast,” examines this scenario in the upcoming What Fears Become: An Anthology from The Horror Zine (Imajin Books), a collection of deliciously dark delights from dozens of morbidly creative writers, poets, and artists.

What Fears Become includes contributions from Bram Stoker Award winner Bentley Little, bestselling author of Descendant Graham Masterton, Cthulhu Mythos contributor Ramsey Campbell, Masters of Horror writer Joe R. Lansdale, and Xanth creator Piers Anthony, among many, many others.

From classic horror and pure suspense to Twilight Zone-style dark fantasy, What Fears Become relentlessly explores our basic fears and leaves you with twisted endings that will make your skin crawl.

This fall, come and discover … What Fears Become edited by The Horror Zine’s Jeani Rector with a forward by award-winning, bestselling author Simon Clark.

Why am I never satisfied?

Posted in News on June 22, 2011 by Christian

The day started with an acceptance of a story called “The Disease of Perception” by a slick new British genre magazine called Diagonal Proof.  It’s a story about how maybe the insane aren’t insane, and that their hallucinations might be symptomatic of a much bigger problem.  The issue with my story in it comes out in August September, but you should check out the current issue hereDiagonal Proof covers most major genres (Action-Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery/Crime, Science Fiction, Suspense/Thriller, Western), so there’s bound to be something you like in there.

About an hour later, I got a rejection for a story that’s been homeless for about three years now.  I would ordinarily say, “well, it must not be very good,” but it spent about three months shortlisted at a very nice magazine only to be ultimately rejected because it didn’t fit the theme of the issue.  Apart from that, I’m very proud of this particular story, and it’s frustrating to see it constantly kicked back to the curb.

It is much easier for a story to be rejected than accepted, and editors will tell you that they reject many, many fine stories.  (This is often part of form rejection letters, but it also happens to be true.)  I tried to take solace in my earlier acceptance.  I really did.  But there’s something about rejection that stings so much worse than an acceptance feels good.  It’s like the one “B” on a report card full of “A” grades.  Now, knowing that a rejection is not a big deal and doesn’t reflect on me as a writer or even on the story, necessarily, why can’t I just be happy?

Add to that, I think I might have writer’s block, but that’s another post…

Today, I feel like Sisyphus

Posted in News on June 20, 2011 by Christian

A short story of mine was going to be published next year in the annual print edition of a really nice magazine.  For no real reason at all, I went to that magazine’s webpage today, and come to find out that the publication will be shuttered August 1, 2011.  Even if another publisher takes control of said magazine, “any previously accepted submissions that have not been published are released back to the authors,” which includes me.

So here’s the wasted timeline:

  • October 1 – Started the story.
  • October 9 – Finished the story.
  • October 15 – Sent to first magazine.
  • December 21 – First magazine rejects it.
  • December 31 – Sent to second magazine.
  • January 24 – Second magazine rejects it.
  • January 24 – Sent the third magazine a query and synopsis.
  • January 29 – Sent them a clean version without the swearing.
  • February 1 – The editor sends the piece out for a “full review”.
  • May 1 – They accept the story for the 2012 print edition.
  • June 20 – I see the notice that the magazine is going out of business.

Here’s some of the nice things they had to say:

  • This is a good sci-fi/survival story. The author does a nice job of presenting the desire to survive, even when it seems like all hope is lost. The ending had a nice twist. Good effort.
  • One of the better written stories I’ve seen in a long time.  If anything, it’s too short!  I was dying to see how he got out of his situation.
  • I like this one and didn’t struggle flipping through the pages!

So you can see why I feel like I’ve rolled a boulder up a hill, gotten it almost to the top, and then watched it roll back down to the bottom.  And, like Sisyphus, I’ve already started rolling that boulder back up the hill by putting it in another publisher’s slush pile.  No villains here.  Just rotten luck, I guess.

Happy Father’s Day

Posted in News on June 19, 2011 by Christian

Celebrate by reading a story about the Father of Lies!  Ever wonder what would happen if the Devil changed his tack in the war against Heaven?  I explore that notion in “The Damned Retirement of Rodger Cloots”, which was published today by the good folks at The WiFiles.

Also, for those who missed it (and shame on me for not making a bigger deal out of it when it was published), “The Feast of St. Fiend” is up at Roar and Thunder Magazine.  Its a story about the duality of humanity, which is a fancy pants way of saying we all are capable of good and evil.

Two for the Price of One

Posted in News on June 9, 2011 by Christian

Richard Roeper introduced me to the concept of “X for the price of One” columns, so I decided to do a catch-all post, as there are a couple of smaller but noteworthy things going on in the world of Ex Libris Larsen.

Number 1: The new issue of Horrotica went up tonight.  A lot of creativity went into that of the envelope-pushing variety, including a nasty little nugget of mine called “Ethyl’s Alcohol“.  One of my, oh, three nastiest.  If you are squeamish about sex or violence, this one isn’t for you.

Number 2: How about the new look of  the website?  That’s my wife that did that, y’all.  The site (like all sites) is a work in progress, but I think it looks a lot more “established” now with her artistic tweaks.  That background, by the way (the one that looks like a tombstone)?  It’s a tree from our vacation.  What kind of meaning can you make out of that?  Best to not overthink it.

Greetings, Earthlings!

Posted in News on June 6, 2011 by Christian

Welcome to 1999.  That’s when I should have started this blog.  My name is Chris, and I am a writer.  That’s not all I’ve ever done, but words have always been central to what I do.  Among other things, I’ve worked as an English teacher, a night jock at 95 WIIL ROCK, a midday host at 106.7 The Fox, a producer for Steve Cochran and Kevin Matthews, a staff writer for Z-Rock Pages and Pioneer Press, and even a printer’s devil.  I have also begun having my short fiction published in various print and internet outlets.

This blog is intended to be a portal to my writing.  What that means at this point, I’m not entirely sure, but as the weeks and months pass, I intend to shape this blog into something more cogent, with access to my online stories and maybe even some “exclusive” stories you’ll only find here.  How’s that for tempting?  I can hear you changing this blog to your homepage right now.  Did I mention my super-powered hearing?

I know it’s not much of a first post, but there you go.  Now I have to try to figure out this WordPress thing, add some content, and hopefully, keep you interested.  You’re the bestest for having gotten this far.  BFF?  I think so…