Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Free Contest and Pics--The Zombie's Lament in Black Chaos II

On page 65 of Black Chaos II, edited by Bill Olver and published by Big Pulp Publications, you'll find my short story, "The Zombie's Lament." 
The cover looks great: bright colors, cool image from a known artist--Ken Knudtsen, who has worked on Wolverine for Marvel Comics, and on projects for David Geffen. 
I've been very lucky with covers of magazines and books for my short stories.  "Hide the Weird" was in an issue of Space and Time Magazine.  That cover was really cool, too.  Not too nerdy, very bright and colorful, and a skeleton is laying back, chilling out on the beach, having a drink--as the nuclear apocalypse mushrooms in the distance.  What else can you ask for?
The book's print is in good shape.  The ink is solid and it doesn't look unprofessional or cheap.  The author bio came out great.  There aren't any typos anywhere, and the book as a whole just looks good.
Anyway, the ISBN for Black Chaos II: More Tales of the Zombie, is 978-0-9896812-2-3.  It's available via bookstores, both brick-and-mortar and online.  The stories and poems are about zombies in relationships, zombies in the circus, zombies in a Christmas special, a mother-in-law zombie, and pissed-off zombies.  In short, if you like your zombies a little bit different, you'll like this book.
So, now, the contest!
On my published works blog (just click the tab above), you'll find "Everything's Connected" and "So Many Reasons to Celebrate the Season."  These stories were written by me and purchased and published by OverMyDeadBody.com and OnThePremises.com.  And they're free!  The first one is a very short, light detective piece and the latter is a very short (and, IMO, very funny--yet very not) slice-of-life piece about a writer coming home to a failing marriage and a houseload of people on Christmas Eve.  Jack Nicholson in full The Shining mode makes a brief appearance in that one.
Anyway, to enter the contest, all you have to do is go to my Published Works page, choose one of those two free stories, click the link, read it, and leave a thought or two about the story as a comment on my Published Works blog beneath that story.  Read both stories and comment on each and you get entered into the contest twice!  The winner gets a free copy of Black Chaos II: More Tales of the Zombie.  You don't pay for the book and you don't pay for the postage.
The contest will run until the end of June.  I'll notify the winner via email and get the mailing address at that time.  And because I have many readers outside the U.S., I'll leave the contest open to anyone in the world who wants to enter!
Thanks very much for doing so, and good luck!
And, by the way, if you've read "The Zombie's Lament," and you've found this blog entry from my author bio in the book, please feel free to leave a comment here and let me know what you thought of the story.  Please and thank you, and thanks for reading my work! 

Monday, May 25, 2015


A quick message:

I have 7 beta-readers lined up, and I would love 10, and I haven't asked any of my e-friends yet.  I mean, haven't we all been buried by people asking us to read their books and manuscripts?  And I especially feel bad because I haven't had the time to read and comment on too many of anyone else's work lately.

But if you're an e-friend of mine, and you wouldn't mind being a beta-reader, please let me know by Wednesday the 27th.  My email is on this blog page somewhere.

Please and thank-you!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Novel Manuscript Finished

Spent much of the week getting my beta-reader email packages together, plus calling a few people so I didn't have to send them emails.


Because the 37th novel-length edit of the book is done!!!  That's right--37!!!  This week I'll send out my beta-reader queries and work on the next book.  This weekend I'll spend one day incorporating all of the red comments in this last manuscript edit, save it all to one long document, and back it all up.

Then, out go the agent queries as I work on the next book, tidy up and send out a few stories, and take a look at the new book my zombie story is in.  And, please, wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Post A Book-Selfie and Support Schools and Libraries

Photo: Kami Garcia, and a good book.
Dear Blog Readers:
Below is an email sent to me from Kami Garcia, author of the Dangerous Creatures series.  Rather than using her publisher's marketing budget to, well, market her book, she has nicely asked for that money to be used to buy books for schools and libraries in need.  (This is an unbelievably nice thing to do, considering the book market today.)  Unfortunately, I don't Tweet, and I don't have a Twitter account, so I'm hoping my readers will take part in this worthy campaign, in place of my un-technologically advanced self.  Please and thanks!
[Now that I went to the website, I see that this is something I can do because it's not a Twitter page.  Or is it?  This sort of proves my point about my tech savvy, but whatever.  I'll post a book-selfie--but you should also do the same!]
Here's her email to me:
Hi guys! 

Reminder: The #booksarentdangerous campaign kicks off today at 9 AM PST / 12 EST. 

Short explanation: Dangerous Deception comes out in a week, and instead of a traditional campaign, we got our publisher (LBBYR) to donate our marketing budget to buying books for underfunded schools and libraries.

You are all invited to join in the fun & help get books onto the hands of needy kids!

Attached is the campaign graphic, in case you wanted to share it anywhere, and/or point people to booksarentdangerous.com which is where we will be posting campaign details as well as resources for book donations in the days to come. (Feel free to share yours as well!)

But also hopefully this: donate a book and encourage your readers to put up a pic and do the same!

Remember to use the hashtag #BooksArentDangerous. It can be any book that you loved, that mattered to you, or that you recommend.

LBBYR will take each picture as your pledge to donate a book to an underfunded school or library and will match these donations throughout the next two weeks.

Let's get some books into the hands of kids in our local school libraries! Pass it on!

Again, questions to shanepangburn@gmail.com

And this concludes our spam. Love to all!

XOXO Kami & Margie

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quick Jots for 5.6.2015

Just a few quick things:

--When a Star Wars geek fan said, "May the fourth be with you," I was automatically urged to respond, "And also with you.  Let's lift up our hearts.  It is right to give thanks and praise..."

--Seriously.  Like, I feel I've been unwittingly programmed.  And I'm as self-aware as anyone I know.  In fact, a lot more.  This is a very uncool, borderline terrifying, feeling for me.

--And I've never heard of "May the fourth be with you," before.  And I've been around my share of that kind of dork geek enthusiastic fan.

--I'm only four chapters or so from finishing my novel manuscript, for those of you who've been keeping track.

--It feels like minor-league summer around here.  To the extent that I feel like I will run over innocent women and children in my hurried attempt to get out of my workplace and go home.  And I usually stick around there a while longer to finish things up and to get things done.

--Despite that, I have two rose plants that I tried to save, but couldn't.  Their stems were snapped by the incredible weight of all the snow that had settled (and been shoveled) upon them.  I taped them, and propped them up, and watered them, and...yeah, well, my landscaper told me I should cut it at the place it snapped, and hope for the best.  Everything above that snap had died.

--This same guy told me the name of a bush I did successfully save last week.  It's the full, thick, green thing that the small purple snappy things come out of.  Begins with H, I think.  [Please leave the name in a comment below if you know it.  People have tired of me calling it "the purple poppy plant, with the little snappies."

--But, anyway, I saved that thing by getting a lot of leaves, detritus, and who-knows-what-else out of it.  The green is now fuller and more lush than it's ever been, and the poppy things are coming out.  Last year those purple snappy things didn't come out until June, and they stayed out for a couple of weeks.  Drove me crazy.  Meanwhile those purple snappy things had sprouted in everyone else's yard for miles around me.

--I just so happened to be watching a little black ant (not big carpenter sized) stroll into a tiny opening between the gutter of my deck extension, and the house.  So I sprayed half an entire container of ant killer in there, with the plunger you pull back and the gun nozzle you can point right in there.  Only twenty or so ants came out, staggering and dying.  (Made me feel bad, but those things aren't staying in a colony there.)  And the whole situation gave me PTSD flashbacks from the time thousands and thousands of ants came down upon me and my real estate agent in a former house.  Long story.

--And I know that there's a lot more than just those 20 up in there.  They just learned to stay further away from the stream of poison coming in.  I'll spray a lot more up there (which I already have, and no more of them have come out) and then seal that hole up.  Hopefully anything left alive in there don't eat their way in.

--I looked into bombing it out, but the hole is way too small, and apparently you only do that in an enclosed room, not in the outside air beneath a TimberTek deck and a gutter.  I also looked into the poison ant food that you place down and they bring it back to the colony, thereby killing the queen and everyone else.  But there's no place to place such a thing.  The deck and gutter are too far away, and the ants don't actually go onto those things, anyway.  They stroll beneath the gutter and into the hole.  They could've been doing so for who-knows-how-many years.  But I checked the deck, the gutter, the closet and washroom, and the office upstairs, and there's no evidence of penetration, sawdust, or anything else.

Any suggestions of what else I can do with that situation, please comment and advise. Thanks!