Saturday, 15 July 2017

Publication Dance and an Indiegogo Update

I keep swearing - yes, swearing - ladies and gentleman, that I'm going to offer you some writers' guest posts to make this old saw more interesting, but life keeps getting in the way.

That said, being busy isn't such a bad thing. I'm honored to have a story freshly published at The New Engagement, Digital Issue #12, July 2017. "Enter the Kingdom" is a dystopic sci-fi story with a fresh twist on The Handmaid's Tale theme. When I began writing it ages ago, I hadn't read Margaret Atwood's now classic tale about post-apocalyptic religious persecution of women, but apparently I picked up on that creative wavelength. When I fleshed out an early draft in my post-grad creative writing program at Aberystwyth University in 2009-10, I was flattered to hear one of my seminar mates say the story reminded him of Atwood, and I had to rush out and read the book and view the movie. It's interesting how these themes percolate through our subconscious (or unconscious) minds in that Jungian archetypal manner.

In other news, publication day of The Contest & Other Stories (Tootie-Do Press, August 2017) is looming ever closer! I just posted a campaign update, and I'll share it with you here:

Happy weekend, backers and followers!

We're always stunned by how fast time whizzes by. Must be having a good time here on Redwood Highway 101!

We're adding two more like-new used book perks - as chief wordwhacker at Tootie-Do Press and Starstone Lit Services, Kate  judged new paranormal releases in the PRISM contest recently. Rather than keep these books in her library or donate them to a public library, she wants to share them with a backer. A great deal for a new book by an award-winning paranormal author PLUS a copy of The Contest & Other Stories early bird PDF!  

Silverlight by S.L.Jesberger is a Celtic romantic fantasy. This copy is autographed and comes with book swag!  Bound: The Silverton Chronicles by Carmen Fox is an urban romantic fantasy featuring werewolves. Claim one of these perks and hunker down for some great summer reading!

And, if that's not all, we've just reached our FINAL first lines reveal! Our final short story in The Contest & Other Stories is also art-inspired, but a bit different thematically from the others. "Heaven or Hell?" is a bit of humorous metafiction that features us - the authors - as characters. It's inspired by William-Adolphe Bougereau's famous painting, Dante & Virgil in Hell (1850).                                                                

                  HEAVEN OR HELL?
Dante & Virgil in Hell
William-Adolphe Bougereau, 1850
My old friend Andy bounced into my room and flashed that sideways, shit-eating grin he always got when he started coming down from a trip.

“Guess what, Joe? I’ve learned how to tell if you’re dead or not while I’m hallucinating.”

I looked up from my book, wondering what kind of drug Andy had experimented with this time. “Um, how can you tell?”

“Look in a mirror. If you see yourself, you’re alive. If you don’t see a reflection, it means you’re dead.” Andy leaned toward the dresser and checked his reflection in the mirror. .

You're probably expecting us to say, "That's all folks!" But it's not . . . we still have a cover reveal coming up soon!  And though the description of the connecting novella is posted in the campaign and at Tootie-Do Press, we haven't shared much about that either, so stay tuned!

Warm regards,
Authors Joe DiBuduo & Kate Robinson

        & Tootie-Do Press

Thursday, 6 July 2017

The Contest and Other Stories: First Lines Reveal

I've announced The Contest and Other Stories, Phases I, II, and III pre-order campaign at Indiegogo in my three previous posts, but I've not posted any of the updates that are distributed to donors and that appear on the project page.

On that note, because I've just posted an update, and because the sun just popped through the marine layer in my coastal lair, putting me in a festive mood, I'm up for some fun and even some extra work (if you live in the Pacific Northwest, you'll totally understand!)

The updates consist of sharing the paintings that inspired the short stories in the connected collection, along with a reveal of the first few lines of the story. Here's today's campaign update:

The world is in the midst of unparalleled political, environmental, and spiritual upheaval. Many things are changing for better or worse, but the one constant we can depend upon is that there's no lack of good books to keep us focused or distracted, whichever we may need at any given moment!

Reading not only informs us with facts, statistics, history, and through instruction; we can also benefit from immersing ourselves in story, learning about the human condition without having to directly experience the corresponding drama of our favorite fictional characters' lives.

As with all short stories, each and every tale in The Contest & Other Stories highlights a particular conflict in a character's life. Some of our stories are lighthearted and have happy endings, others are dark and end in tragedy, but there's much to ponder about life, love, human emotion, and the pursuit of happiness in each one.

Dance at Bougival (1882), a painting by the incomparable Pierre-Auguste Renoir, inspired "Success," a romantic story involving class struggle that ultimately leads to success - or does it?

Dance at Bougival
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1882


After I sold my first book, I clandestinely took dancing lessons, and now the lessons were paying off. Suzanne had finally agreed to dance with me. I shared what I had been missing, twirling her around the dance floor with the expertise of one of those fancy ballroom instructors whose salons line the streets of Paris.


Y une place Animee a Paris (1898), a street scene by Spanish painter Joaquin Pallares Y Allustante, inspired "The Jonah," a paranormal suspense tale in direct contrast to the normalcy of the Victorian-era urban scene.

Y une place Animee a Paris
Joaquin Pallares Y Allustante, 1898


The warning sirens had just faded and the post-explosion silence grew more deafening by the moment. “You did it again, Michel. Get your stuff and get the hell off the property.” Georges growled and waved his hand at the cave-in caused by God knows what – inappropriately placed explosives or too many explosives.


If you haven't already, you'll want to pre-order (and receive quickly via e-mail) the early-bird PDF so you can be one of the earliest readers of The Contest & Other Stories. The PDF is basically the electronic version of the full-color book interior. We'd love to hear from you and receive your feedback!

If you'd like to check out more of the story first line reveals and view the artwork that inspired them, please see the previous updates at The Contest & Other Stories, Phase I, II, and III campaigns, scroll down past the Overview, and click on Updates.

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July celebration if you're in the US, or are having a lovely summer or winter if you're abroad.

Warm regards and happy reading,

Authors Joe DiBuduo & Kate Robinson

 & Tootie-Do Press