Obama Conspiracies… and a free book

In an era where the outlandish and fantastic has permeated our media 24/7, where mind-bending conspiracy theories shape our views, THE OBAMA INHERITANCE writers riff on the numerous fictions spun about the 44th president… [C]ontributors spin deliberately outlandish and fantastic twists on many of the dozens of screwball, bizarro conspiracy theories floated about the president during his years in office and turn them on their heads. — Maureen Corrigan, NPR

9781941110591_cvr-189It’s release day for a new short story anthology edited by one of our own — Gary Phillips — who conceived of this wild gathering of tales based on conspiracy theories that were floated about Barack Obama, our 44th President. It’s had a nice reception so far, including this week’s review on National Public Radio. Maureen Corrigan highlighted the first story in the collection by our own Kate Flora, calling it a “truly fabulous story” and reading a sampling of it. (We are all thrilled!) Corrigan’s take on the anthology? She calls it  “15 stories so sly, fresh, and Bizarro World witty, they reaffirm the resiliency of the artistic imagination.”

You can read her full review HERE

Also in the anthology are mystery great Walter Mosley, our own Lise McClendon, and a diverse group of writers including Danny Gardner, Christopher Chambers, and, well, here are all the stories:

Michelle in Hot Water by Kate Flora
. . . The Continuing Mission by Adam Lance Garcia
True Skin by Eric Beetner
Evens by Nisi Shawl
A Different Frame of Reference by Walter Mosley
Brother’s Keeper by Danny Gardner
Forked Tongue by Lise McClendon
Sunburnt Country by Andrew Nette
I Know They’re in There! by Travis Richardson
The Psalm of Bo by Christopher Chambers
At the Conglomeroid Cocktail Party by Robert Silverberg
Deep State by Désirée Zamorano
I Will Haunt You by Anthony Neil Smith
Give Me Your Free, Your Brave, Your Proud Masses Yearning to Conquer by L. Scott Jose
Thus Strikes the Black Pimpernel by Gary Phillips

Other reviewers say…

“Pulp fiction for the post-Obama era . . . Readers who enjoy political satire in its many varied forms will certainly enjoy this collection.” —Booklist

“The stories are adrift with white supremacists, secret locations, strange conflicts, and subtle aliens. . . . Truly excellent.” —Publishers Weekly

“A mashup of genre fiction . . . imagines the consequences of white supremacist politics on American society.” —Kirkus Reviews

Already a bestseller on Amazon! Check it out HERE. On Barnes & Noble & iTunes!

Support your local independent bookstore by buying it there!

One last thing! The darkly comic serial killer tale, written by five of us from this group, is FREE this week. Its tone works well with the Obama Inheritance – get them both!

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Beat Slay Love: One Chef’s Hunger for Delicious Revenge

Thalia Filbert is a pseudonym for Taffy Cannon, Kate Flora, Lise McClendon, Katy Munger, and Gary Phillips.

FREE ON AMAZON for a limited time.

This incredibly sly mystery has everything you’d want when you bite into a dish: suspense, spice, and a new take on an old classic…  Beat Slay Love is the perfect read.” — Bestselling author Charlaine Harris

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Is Two Too Many?

by J.D. Rhoades

A week or so ago, an article in the New York Times sparked quite a bit of discussion in the writing world. The article was titled “In the E-Reader Era, a Book a Year Is Slacking.” It noted that, with the explosion of e-readers and e-reader apps on mobile devices, readers “used to downloading any book they want at the touch of a button” get impatient for new material from their favorite authors, resulting in authors being pushed by publishers to pull “the literary equivalent of a double shift, churning out short stories, novellas or even an extra full-length book each year.” This led publisher’s representative Bruce Joshua Miller to write a letter warning that authors and publishers who “buy into” this were “devaluing the writing process as well as the product of that process” and risked ending up on the “toxic junk pile along with old e-readers and cell phones.”

As I watched the debate unfold, the question kept nagging at me: is this really such a new thing? I seem to remember back in the day (as we geezers like to put it),  my favorite science fiction writers were publishing novels, short stories, and the occasional novella during the same year. And, as I once wrote elsewhere, my friend Duane Swierczynski, once did a blog series called “Legends of the Underwood,” about some of the old-school paperback and noir writers like Gil Brewer, Richard Matheson, Richard Bachman aka Stephen King, etc. who could write like the wind. Bachmann/King, for example, supposedly wrote THE RUNNING MAN in three days. In those days, multiple books a year by the same author weren’t unusual; Western writer Louis L’Amour was writing as many as four books a year for Gold Medal until Bantam offered him a contract to do a mere three. Much of the stuff produced by the paperback houses, of course, was dreadful, but they also published writers like John D. McDonald, who was cranking out a couple of Travis McGee books a year until he slowed down to one a year in the 70’s.

Now, I confess, when I first saw this article, I said to myself, “I couldn’t  put out two full length novels a year if you held a gun to my head.” But then I thought about it. On a regular writing day, I’m good for a little over a thousand words. Writing five days a week,  that’s about a 5K a week. Most of the writers I know, by the way, write more than five days a week.  A regular mystery novel runs anywhere from 85,000 to 100,000 words. So you could, theoretically, turn out a first draft every 17 to 20 weeks. The key words there are “first draft”. When I said “a thousand words”, I didn’t promise they’d be any good. But should it really take 32 weeks for a second, third, however many drafts you have to do to polish that masterpiece?

But this calculation also presupposes that all a writer has to do is write. One of the secrets of the productivity of the old paperback masters was that they didn’t have to tour, promote, contribute to their websites, or all the things a modern author is supposed to do to keep their fans and their publishers happy. They turned the book in to Fawcett, who printed a mind boggling amount of copies and put them in spin racks in every drug, grocery, and candy store in the country. Do that for me, and I’ll give you two a year, easy. Oh, and pay me enough to quit the day job so I can get all this done.

So what do you think? Thalians, is two a year doable for you? What about one plus a couple of novellas (now that e-publishing has made that a viable form again)? What would make it possible?  Readers, would two to three books a year from the same author delight you or burn you out?  Are authors complaining about doing two books a year trying to safeguard the quality of the writing process or just crybabies?

HEY! HEY! LOOK AT ME! Or, When the Spear Carriers Start to Sing

My contribution to the new DEAD OF WINTER anthology features Chief Deputy Tim Buckthorn of the Gibson County, North Carolina Sheriff’s Department. Tim was a character from my novel BREAKING COVER (available here for Kindle, here for Nook, and here in paper).  One reader observed that BREAKING COVER ends up being as much about  Tim Buckthorn as it is about Tony Wolf, the supposed protagonist, and he was absolutely right.

Funny thing is, Tim started off as a bit player. He was originally just a redneck deputy who hassles Wolf (who’s been hiding out for years under another name) while Wolf’s just trying to fill up his tank and get a pack of nabs and a cold drink at a country store.

Continue reading “HEY! HEY! LOOK AT ME! Or, When the Spear Carriers Start to Sing”

Chilling Crime for Winter

The theme is winter, and the Thalia Press Authors Co-op rises to the occasion, digging deep into their devious imaginations with short stories of cold, ice, mystery, and of course unexplained homicide.

Eight established crime authors and eight chilling stories to send shivers down your spine: The anthology, Dead of Winter, edited by Katy Munger and Lise McClendon, will release next week as an e-book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Enjoy this collection of intriguing, surprise-filled stories full of buried secrets, back-stabbing and revenge —  all set against the wintry backdrop of the cruelest season. Continue reading “Chilling Crime for Winter”