News, Views, and Reviews

This past week has been fairly lethargic in the land of tmso. I was steaming along on my current re-write, when I just hit a sand pit that sank all my ambition. It’s not that I don’t know where my story needs to go, I just don’t have the motivation to get my characters there. They all want to play in the sandbox, I guess…

Anyway, J.W. Manus got a hold of me and asked that I whip up a book cover for a project she’s working on. That was fun, but didn’t help with my lack of mojo. Ah, well.

Here’s a run down of what’s been up in my neck of the woods: ‘The End’ Anthology

Is underway. I posted an announcement over on the forum and it generated a lot of initial interest. I already have one submission – woohoo! I plan to keep the motivation high for my potential pool of writers by cracking the whip now and then. However, offering some sort of prize would probably be better, no? I’m thinking of a gift certificate to Amazon of like, $20 or something, for the three top winners. What do think? Will it make them bite? The other option is to try to get some famous writers (yes, I do know a few, that will probably disown me if they got wind of what I’m about to write) to contribute to the anthology to attract writers. But then I’d feel guilty for not paying them for their work. We will see.

Book Covers

As mentioned above, I helped put together a book cover for Marina Bridges‘ Zombies Take Manhattan! Here’s what it looks like:

With the image, provided by the editor (J.W. Manus), and some guidance, I came up with the above. I didn’t mess with the original picture much, though in hindsight, maybe I should have. Anyway, I like it and so did the author. Now we can only hope readers do, too!

Red Skies Press Tales of the Sword Anthology

Is finally closed to submissions! The editor, Dorothy Davies, announced she was happy with the number and quality of stories submitted and she’s ready to put this baby out into the world.


I submitted a story for this anthology last summer (Elijah’s Fear), and thought the anthology would go to press sometime in the winter. But that didn’t happen. I presume the anthology didn’t get a lot of interest, or maybe the editor just didn’t like the stories she got? It is a ‘for-the-love’ anthology and though there are lots of good writers wanting to get published, apparently they don’t have the mojo to throw their good work around. I guess.

Anyway, I’m learning from Red Skies Press, and will make sure not to fall into a similar trap. Not sure what exactly I learned, but at least I am aware that come the closing deadline for submissions for my anthology, I could very well be faced with too few stories. I’ll have to plan for that eventuality while trying to prevent it.

Review Sites

Over on BigAl’s Books and Pal’s indie review site, Big Al announced that he is accepting submissions for review. He’s also doing something weird with reader’s choice reviews. I’m not sure how that will play out, but there it is.

When the debacle about the lusty seamen (can’t be bothered to look up the name of the author and her book, but I did go get the link!) came about, Big Al saw a huge up-tick in his site visitors as well as indie books submitted to his site for review. Soon after, he stopped accepting submissions. Last month, he realized he would never get through the back list and opened his site up for new submissions. Not sure how it will all work out for him, but it is interesting to see the evolution of his review site.

I have a review site as well. Right now, I only have a handful of readers and I pretty much pick what I want to read. I post my reviews as soon as I’m done reading the book, but it might take me months to finish. I don’t have any deadlines nor do I have folks beating down my door asking me to read their book. There are several good reasons why that is the case.

  1. My review site caters to atheists, and we all know they represent a small (but growing!) portion of the population.
  2. I’m a nobody.
  3. Had to put up three to round this list off nicely.

Last month, someone contacted me out of the blue and asked me to review an upcoming anthology called Atheist Voices of Minnesota. The book has over thirty personal essays from atheist’s living in or from Minnesota. The anthology is very well put together, and the essays were touching, moving and – most importantly – personal. The anthology doesn’t have your typical atheist in-your-face virulent tone to it. Don’t get me wrong, I like that tone and use it often myself, but there’s another, human, side to atheism and this anthology shines with it. Anyway, I put up the review late on Friday night and my site visits have gone up by 10 times. No one is beating down my door to offer me books to read and review, but it did make me think about Big Al’s experience. It made me wonder if I really want to keep a review site up and running especially if it gets popular. Do I really want to spend all my time reading books I didn’t choose myself?

Time will tell.

Until later, read, write and enjoy this great spring weather!


6 thoughts on “News, Views, and Reviews

  1. Hey, Nila, sorry about the doldrums. It happens. It will pass. Call it writer’s flu and treat yourself very nicely for a few days.

    Thank you again for the book cover. It’s terrific!

    And you are a very brave woman trying to wrassle writers into an anthology. I’ve thought about trying my hand at that, then back off, thinking, oh my, I don’t know if I have the stamina…

    1. Yeah, I hear ya. I’ve been participating on the contests on the forum for at least three years (never won), and I was always impressed with the quality of some of the writers (that usually won, but sometimes didn’t – fickle readers/writers). Anyway, we thought to put an anthology together years ago, but it never got going. Finally, I said, I’m just gonna do it!

      I’ll do my best to see it through.

  2. Last month, someone contact me out of the blue and asked to me review an upcoming anthology called Atheist Voices of Minnesota.

    Well done you but I understand your reticence to continue a blog dedicated to reviewing blogs at the request of others. It doesn’t have to be all that way and if it is getting you feedback and exposure maybe it is a good idea to take the odd one.

    Keep it up, proud of you buddy!

    1. Egad. Where did those typos come from?! I swear I proof-read. Fixed.

      Thanks! That was nice that the editor thought me intelligent enough to review their anthology.

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