From the Dark Side

I was recently given the honor of having my work appear in a charity anthology called From the Dark Side. Not only does this eBook have some of the best names in new fiction that I know, all of the proceeds are going to the Letters and Light Organization, a non-profit charity that promotes youth creativity. So, you can read short woks by myself, James Melzer, Jennifer Hudock, Jake Bible, Nicole Ireland, as well as poems by Kate Sherrod and Acadia Einstein, content in the knowledge that your hard earned dollars are going to help someone find their inner muse.

Go get it, please.

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Smashwords

Dark Journeys Contest Update

Hey people,

The Dark Journeys tour is still going strong, with Jenny heading all over the Internets, chatting with some of the best minds in fiction, audio, and audio fiction. I am holding off on the contest to give you all a chance to get out and leave a comment on all of the blogs, here is the original list:

May 2010

May 14, 2010: Jim – Yes, THAT Jim

May 17, 2010: Edward G. Talbot

May 19, 2010: Morgan Elektra of Trickster Moon Productions

May 21, 2010: Ramblings of English with Chandra Jenkins

May 24, 2010: Paddy’s Wanderings with Patrick Pillars

May 27, 2010: Drew Beatty

May 29, 2010: Scrivener’s Circle with David Sobkowiak and Laura Frechette

The Journey has continued, and she has also visited the following places:

June 2, 2010: Nicole Ireland

June 4, 2010: Mary Rajotte

June 7, 2010: Scott Roche

June 9, 2010: Superficial Gallery

June 14, 2010: Slushpilehero

June 16, 2010: Jason Warden of ShadowCast Audio

June 18, 2010: The Feckless Goblin

I encourage you to visit the rest of the tour, but to be entered in the contest, you ONLY have to visit and comment on the first group. Good luck, and play safe.

Introducing Jenny Beanses! AKA Jennifer Hudock

I believe she needs no real introduction. However, she is the author and podcaster of The Goblin Market, she is taking readers on a 12 part Dark Journey, she is one of the founders of The Creative Alliance, and is the editor of two upcoming charity anthologies, From the Dark Side and Farrago.

Without any further ado…

So, who are  you and what do you do?

I am an emissary from the Old Gods sent to Earth to monitor human behavior and report back in written form so they can plan the best way to wreak havoc on mankind… seriously. I’m a storyteller. I have been telling stories as long as I can remember. I write all day long every day. Some of it is actually fiction, but right now most of it is creative nonfiction and news commentary on a variety of online blogs.

You write a mix of horror, dark fantasy, and more traditional fantasy. As an author, how do you juggle the genres? Is there any genre you find more compelling to write?

There is something that has always appealed to me about making the unbelievable believable. I’ve seen a lot of weird and unexplainable things in my own life, so I like to mirror that type of craziness back into the world. No matter which genre I’m writing in, I’m primarily focused on creating intense characters that readers or listeners can relate to. Through their personality and the way they approach the events and situations in the stories, I have this hope that readers can feel them as people, someone they can relate to on a personal level.
What made you and James start up the Creative Alliance?

Patrick Pillars and I were talking about the creative movement in our generation. How the Internet has really changed all the rules right now, and left a wide gap open for the creative world to mold and shape itself. As creators, we realized that in every memorable creative movement from the Romantic writers to the Beat Generation, it wasn’t just about one type of creativity, or just one memorable icon. It was a whole community of people who worked together on some level.

I talked with James about this extensively, and we started kicking the idea of putting together an online place where the people in the community we’re a part of could reach out and share their creativity, knowledge and approach to the changing times in an effort to make a greater impact as a group. So we set up The Creative Alliance.

We are working together as a community, not just for our own individual goals and such, which is a great thing.

What’s the deal with the Podcaturday Podcast?

Podcaturday, w00t! Acadia from Superficial Gallery has always been really cool about linking to people on his blog, especially on Saturdays. In fact, that was how I met him over a year and a half ago. Someone on Twitter said, “Get some free exposure for your blog today by sending this guy your link.”

One afternoon, Acadia asked me who I knew that podcatted (yes, podcatted) because he wanted to try and network with some podcatters and get them some more exposure. From there, he asked me if he was going to link to Podcats, if he should have a podcat, and he came up with an idea to record a 1 minute podcast about things he could say in under a minute.

Then we started playing around with FreeCallRecorder.com, and came up with an idea to just ramble on about whatever popped into our heads, and Podcaturday: The Weekend Roundtable Discussion, was born. We hook up on Skype every Saturday morning and just talk about whatever comes up for about an hour. On our second episode, we invited James to join us, and the chemistry the three of us had was so good, we decided to make it a regular thing.

It’s just nonsense… but it’s good nonsense, and I hope more people check it out because we really have a great time doing it.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the free vs. paid model recently. You give away the podcast of Goblin Market, and you sell your stories for a small charge. Can you tell us about these two different systems, and the advantages they have?
Giving away Goblin Market has definitely introduced me to a lot of people, both in a networking sense, and a fanbase sense. I haven’t put Goblin Market up on Podiobooks yet, but it’s still managed to get about 15,000 downloads just on my website, which is such a great thing. Giving it away for free is an investment in your fans. You give them a piece of yourself in its entirety, and in a sense, you prove to them that you can provide good content, or not, in some cases.

There is a hope that through establishing yourself and building a little credibility by giving away your work for free, they will in turn tell others about you. When you do publish work, whether it’s through a publishing contract deal, or on Amazon or Smashwords, people at least know what they can expect from you as a writer. It’s touch and go marketing, and it doesn’t always work in terms of selling your fiction, as a lot of authors have discovered, but everything is changing so rapidly we have to do what we can.

For me, I want to get my work out to as many people as possible because that is why I write. So I will keep experimenting with both models as long as it keeps getting my work out there to new readers and listeners.

Goblin Market is finished, and there are only a few more Dark Journeys left. What will be coming up next?

Well, I am working on the sequel to Goblin Market, Jack in the Green, and plan to start podcasting that sometime this summer. It’s not finished yet, and while I know a lot of people recommend finishing your work before you start podcasting, most of the people who recommend that don’t even actually follow that themselves. I have a feeling that having the pressure of putting out new episodes will help me stay on track with writing. I promised myself I wouldn’t start podcasting until it was at least halfway complete though, so I can get a good head start.

I am also editing two charity anthologies this summer: From the Dark Side, which all proceeds will go to the Letters and Light Organization, and Farrago. Farrago is an effort to help raise money for Michael Bekemeyer’s film project.

On top of that, I am working on a novel called Running Down the Moon, which I want to get traditionally published once it’s finished.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be, and why?

I would be an oak tree because the oak is a powerful symbol of my Celtic ancestry.
My thanks to Jennifer! If you haven’t already, go check out her work!

Lost Gods eBook Deal!

More and more of my friends and fellow podcasters are selling their work at Smashwords.com, and for good reason. When you purchase a book there, you are getting it in any eBook format you want. Your story is readable on every eReader that I know if. There is no DRM, so you can have a copy on your home computer, your laptop, your smart phone, hey, even your iPad if you got one of those.

It’s a good deal is what I am saying.

I’d have been buying a bunch of eBooks there, but I would like to do more to support my friends. So here is the deal, if you buy a Smashwords book from the following list of authors, email me, and I will send you a coupon so you can get the Smashwords version of Lost Gods for only 99 cents, and I will throw in my short story Double Deal for free!

So, buy any story, email me, get a novel and another story for only 99 cents.

Here are some people you can check out:

Scott Roche – Pulp Horror and Fantasy meet and have children that are Scott Roche’s stories.

James Melzer – Canada’s OTHER greatest podnovelist – UPDATE – James reminded me his stuff is all free, so to take part in this deal, just leave him a review. That’s right, get HIS STUFF FREE, review it, and then get MY STUFF FREE (or greatly reduced). What could be better than that?? Free CANADIAN fiction!

Jennifer Hudock – Urban Fantasy, Zombies, what more could you want?

John Mireau – Canada’s OTHER OTHER greatest podnovelist, SF master.

Paul Cooley – the Feindmaster himself.

Nobilis Reed – He brings the spice to the party. Spice is a euphemism for erotica, just so we are clear. UPDATE – Nobilis has a whole page at his site dedicated to where his stuff is for sale, so if you get ANYHTHING from him from ANYWHERE, let me know and I will include you in the deal! Check it out here:  http://nobiliserotica.com/site/book-index/

Xina Marie Uhl – The book is called Necropolis. What else do you need?

Cheryl Dyson – This one has a gauntlet. A THROWN gauntlet. Go check it out.

Made In DNA – He lives in Japan.  JAPAN, people. And he writes about Hyperviolence and Sex. At the same time.
So, support your friendly hardworking neighbourhood author, and get some fiction from me! Just drop me a line at drewbeatty at gmail dot com, and I will send you your coupon code!

Dark Journeys, and a contest!

Anyone who has so much as glanced at my blog will know the huge amount of respect I have for Jennifer Hudock, so I am thrilled to announce that she will be dropping by drewbeatty.com on her very first blog tour!

Pat Pillars had a great idea to do a giveaway for people who comment on the posts. For his giveaway, you have to comment on three blogs, mine is going to be a little more difficult. To help support her blog tour, I have decided I will give away a personally inscribed copy of Lost Gods! What you need to do to win this bad boy is simple. Jenny is going to visit 7 websites on her tour.  Visit the sites, and comment on the 7 blog posts. The most important thing is that you comment on ALL 7 posts! On June 1st, 2010, I will look at the sites in question and compile a list of people who have posted on all of them, and draw their names from a hat, or perhaps a cookie jar. Oh, wait, we broke the cookie jar. Hat it is then.

So, you get to visit 7 cool sites, read or listen to 7 cool interviews, and then get a chance to win a book! By me! That is what we call win-win, people.

Check back in this first week of June to see if you have won! Actually, you should just check back here all the time.

The Dark Journeys Schedule

May 2010

May 14, 2010: Jim – Yes, THAT Jim

May 17, 2010: Edward G. Talbot

May 19, 2010: Morgan Elektra of Trickster Moon Productions

May 21, 2010: Ramblings of English with Chandra Jenkins

May 24, 2010: Paddy’s Wanderings with Patrick Pillars

May 27, 2010: Drew Beatty

May 29, 2010: Scrivener’s Circle with David Sobkowiak and Laura Frechette

Zombie Awareness Month

Hey people.

May is Zombie Awareness Month. Why is that, you ask? Well, apparently a hell of a lot of Zombie movies take place in May. I don’t know why, perhaps people think that the beauty of spring contrasts thematically to shambling corpses so nicely. Or the rebirth of animated corpses mirroring the rebirth of of nature. In the northern hemisphere, anyhow.

So, here are some things to help you celebrate Zombie Awareness Month. You can send your friends a witty postcard to let them know the joy of Zombie Awareness Month. You can deck out your Twitter and Facebook Avatars with these handsome Twibbons. Finally, you can buy Zombonauts, the anthology in which my “Zombies in Space” story appears.

Other cool Zombie related media include The Zombie Chronicles by Canada’s own James Melzer, The Zombie Doubleshot stories by Jennifer Hudock, and the Lost Zombies project. Have fun, and if you see any shambling corpses, call the authorities! They won’t listen to you or anything, but it can’t hurt.

But call them as you are running away from the zombies. That’s just good sense.

She’s at it again!

Jenny Hudock is an unstoppable force of fiction. This week she has not one, but 2 stories for sale. I know what you’re thinking “She’s just trying to milk us for $1.98. I see what she’s doing there!” Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

It’s 2 stories, for 99 cents. I bet you feel like a bit of a tool now, eh? Wanna know more? You can also get a podcast version free with purchase of the eBook.

So, get yourself over to Smashwords, and check this one these two out. Here’s a little taste:

Treed

I know it’s stupid, but I wish I had a backpack full of brains instead of a week’s supply of granola and dried fruit. Unfortunately when you’re packing for a big hike, the last thing you really worry about is how you’re going to fend off the walking dead. I’m more or less convinced that a backpack full of brains would be a good distraction, allowing me to climb down from this tree while they were feasting and run away.

So far, the tree has been a pretty safe haven. The dead aren’t smart enough to climb trees; they’re clumsy. These last two hours though, their focus seems to have gotten sharper, and I know it’s because I’m the only meal within a ten mile radius. And that is where the brains would come in handy. I’d only need to throw one or two of them and then watch them all stumble after it like broken dogs fighting over a bone.

Instead of brains though, I have granola bars and banana chips and enough water to choke a horse in the desert. I don’t even have a gun, and even if I did, I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to use it. I’m just a girl, and before you say, “Well I guess that was your first mistake,” I’ll have you know that I survived the first attack. I swung my way through a wave of hungry, dead campers while my boyfriend Keith was overwhelmed and torn limb from limb like a Thanksgiving turkey at a homeless shelter.

The last thing I heard him say was, “Run, Laura! Run!” That second “run” was wet, and it gurgled in his throat like hair in a clogged drain.
I didn’t ask questions. With a heavy branch in my hand, I picked up my feet and booked outta there Olympic-gold-medal-track-runner-style.

Keith’s garbled screams echoed off the canyons, and I ran until I couldn’t hear them anymore. By the time I stopped to catch my breath and shed a couple of tears, I was lost.

When we were attacked, we had already hiked about two days from the state park parking lot. Silly me left Keith in charge of both the compass and the GPS, which meant I was more or less screwed, and I wasn’t going back for either one. I didn’t even realize just how badly I was screwed until I circled back around the same rock formation the fifth time, stifling my own screams of frustration.

That was then I saw them. There were five of them staggering toward me in dusty clothes, their gore-crusted mouths gaping, innards strewn like gutted trout. Three of them were pretty badly decomposed from the smell of them, and the other two looked more like recent victims. Possibly even victims of the rotting corpses leading the way.

For a second I was scared that Keith was right behind them, but so far there’s been no sign of him.

Jennifer Hudock’s “Call of the Selkie” now available!

Those of you that already know Jennifer Hudock know at least two things: She’s awesome, and she’s a hell of a writer. She is doing a cool, empowering thing – selling her short fiction online through Smashwords. Her most recent selection is now available, here is a sneak peak:

Call of the Selkie

Sure, I had memories, golden days in the park when he couldn’t push me high enough on the swings, summer afternoons wading through the creek catching crayfish, and how his knowledge of the stars could easily turn a sleepless night into adventure. He sang me ancient lullabies in a language I never learned, and his bedtime stories came from the heart, not the pages of a book. I knew that I got my green eyes from him, the red sheen of my hair from his mother’s grandmother, and the freckles from his brother, Owen, whom I had never met. Yes, I had more than enough memories to carry me through, but it was his paintings that lingered on after he was gone.

Despite living in the middle of farm country Pennsylvania, all of my father’s paintings were of the sea in its many guises. Each painting was a tiny piece of him that he’d left behind, the only goodbye note before he mysteriously disappeared that afternoon while I was at school. Every night after he left I sneaked into his studio, stood in the half-dark of the setting sun and tried to decipher the messages he’d left me. Orange slices of sunset slanted through the blinds behind me as I watched the raging sea roil inside the canvas. Alive and overwhelmingly real, in the silence I could hear the distant call of gulls as the waves smashed like fists upon the shore.

Eventually my mother put a lock on the door and gave me a stern lecture about putting the past behind us. She did it just to punish me. She was jealous that the paintings spoke to me, but more afraid that I might discover some hint about where he’d gone. Maybe she worried that I would follow and forget her just like he did. She hid the key so well that entry was impossible. I didn’t cry, or fight her though I needed to. I wanted to scream and tear the smug look from her face, but instead I acted like I didn’t care. She took away from me the last physical connection I had to my father, and for that I could never forgive her.

It wasn’t long after she locked the door that I began to dream myself inside the paintings. Drifting from wave to wave, surrounded by a host of sleek, grey seals, whose joyful song soared high above the waves. Around and around the seals swam in an ancient spiral dance, and then my father appeared from the edge of the circle, young again, younger than I’d ever seen him even in photographs, but his eyes always gave him away. He smiled, and it was a real smile.

“It’s time to come home,” he said.

He held out his hand, and I grasped his fingers, but as he disappeared beneath the water, the waves pushed me upward every time I tried to follow. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t follow where he went, as though the sea itself kept spitting me out. One by one the seals all disappeared and darkness drew the sun away. Alone, buoyant, wave over wave of salt musk and hundreds of miles between me and dry land, I laid back and floated beneath the endless stars while moonlight rippled silver sheets over my ocean bed.

Get the rest at Smashwords!

What I Have Learned From Twitter

tweeterTwitter is a marvellous tool. You can get to know people, make friends, business connections, and discover more and more about the world than you ever knew possible. I’m not just talking about Twitter as a tool for the instant transmission of news stories, as it is evolving into, rather the smaller things that you pick up talking to people from all over the world.

The past few weeks I have learned many things from my friends on Twitter. For example, @jennybeanes tweeted a couple of weeks ago that she was going to have a Birch Beer and then record an episode of her Goblin Market podcast. I sent her a message that alcohol before recording is usually not a good idea. She replied that Birch Beer is not an alcoholic beverage, it is something akin to sarsaparilla. Hey, I’m Canadian, up here if it’s not root beer, it’s alcoholic.

Another example is the phrase “to blat”, which apparently is Kiwi for zipping, or driving around the city. Thanks to Phillipa Ballantine for introducing me to that. I had no idea. In Canada to blat is a rude noise that one avoids doing in mixed company.

Finally, from Michele Bekenmeyer come the concept of Oatmeal pie. Sounds yummy, and also it’s a great thing to shove down a rude co-worker’s throat while karate chopping her in the neck.

So, let’s put this all together, shall we?

I had a snack of oatmeal pie and birch beer before blatting around the city with my awesome Twitter friends!