Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Going on Retreat

Holy Cross Abbey GroundsI’m going on a writing retreat in October.

I got the confirmation card in the mail yesterday, reserving my room at the Holy Cross Abbey. All I need to do to firm up the reservation is send a postcard back, letting them know when I’ll be arriving. Will it be for dinner, or not?

I can’t wait to go. Two other members of my face-to-face critique group will be going as well. We’ll each have a private room, but we’ll be able to meet at any time to hold critique sessions (if we want). This is a retreat of our making, not one set up by the abbey, and we’ll be the ones to set the rules.

The only thing we’ll not be able to do is chat over dinner. Dinner at the abbey is a silent affair. No talking aloud. (In fact, this edict may mean no communication at all throughout the meal. I intend to find out: I’m going to use that time for studying how a silent meal is undertaken by monks…the experience will prove invaluable…for perhaps my next work-in-progress.)

Another thing I want to do is attend Vigils, a mass at 3:30 a.m. In fact, I’d like to spend an entire day attending all masses: Vigils, Lauds (7:00 a.m.), Mid-Day Prayer (2:00 p.m.) Vespers (5:30 p.m.) and Compline (7:00 p.m.) — just to have done it, of course. (Imagine the experience gained for writing!) But I think my writing will suffer…or at the very least, accomplishing my goals for the week may suffer.

My 2009 goals including finishing everything I had started. I believe it was around March that I realized I wouldn’t reach that goal…not while continuing to start several new projects this year. And although I’m already mulling over a piece I want to write once I arrive at the Abbey, I’m going to see how much of a dent I can put into my 2009 goals.

More about goals later. I’ve got a post card to fill out and return…and decisions to make: what shall I take? When shall I leave? What do I hope to accomplish?

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

I Have a Book Trailer!



I have a book trailer!

I don’t know why, but YouTube appears to have turned down the volume. You may need to turn it up when you view it.

The cover art (from which I stole the skull for the video) was done by Amanda Kelsey. The music, entitled, “Exciting Trailer,” was composed by Kevin McLeod.

Please let me know what you think!

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Remembering 9/11

September 11 2001 - Plane hitting World Trade Center It’s raining today.

Heavy, wind-blown curtains of rain snarl traffic, run ankle deep in the parking lot, and deliver a good soaking no matter how large an umbrella one carries.

Despite the cliche, I can’t help thinking the sky weeps for the atrocities carried out on 9/11/2001. The inauspicious weather mirrors my mood. It serves as a potent reminder.

Today I remember.

I remember those who died, and those who died fighting — saving and attempting to save those lives.

I honor those who continue to fight, and thank you for all that you do.

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Do You Like Free Fiction?

Cover of Blood Soup by Kelly A. Harmon

I’m giving it away!

I’m holding two contests as part of the launch of my novella, Blood Soup, on September 8th. Here are the rules:

Contest 1 – Getting Viral on Twitter

1) Optional: Follow me on twitter: @kellyaharmon. You don’t have to follow me to win…but I hope you’ll consider doing so. Of course, following me on twitter means you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the start time of this contest…and the second contest, as soon as they start.

2) Tuesday morning (September 8th) I’ll tweet about the launch with the location of where to buy the book. Re-tweet the information with the hash #BloodSoup. Abbreviate if you have to, but don’t omit the hash or the link.

3) The first person to re-tweet with the required info wins a free e-copy of Blood Soup.  I’ll also give out free copies to the 25th, 50th, 100th…and the last person to re-tweet the information on Tuesday.

Periodically through the day, I’ll do a search on #BloodSoup to tally up the tweets. I’ll announce winners as they happen.

Contest 2 – A Chance to Win Additional Fiction

1) Buy a copy of Blood Soup.

2) Follow me on twitter: @kellyaharmon.

3) Wait for me to announce a page number, line, and location of a specific word in the line…and then email me and tell me what the word is. For example, I may tweet: “What is the 6th word on line 10 of page 27?”

If you’re the first person to let me know via email, I’ll send you a print (or electronic, if you prefer) copy of either Black Dragon, White Dragon or Triangulation: Dark Glass (your choice) …two anthologies which contain short fiction I’ve written. I plan to give away at least five winners…more if I’m able to do so.

Spread the word! I want to give away lots of fiction!

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

In a Frenzy!

Cover of

I’m reading a fantastic book (a novella) by Carole Johnstone right now and I wanted to share. It’s called, Frenzy, and I can’t put it down. I plan to have a little Q&A with the author when I’m done, so look for that soon! Here’s the information:

Frenzy

Caught between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea…

Eight men wake up to find themselves on a life raft in the middle of an ocean. They are stranded and alone, with no memory of how they got there, and no idea if help is coming.

But they are not completely alone. As hours become days, as water rations dwindle and tempers fray, there stirs a threat more deadly than either sharks or each other.

There is a shadow in the abyss beneath their feet. Watching. Waiting. Stalking eight men lost and adrift above the deepest trench in the world…

Available in e-book format from Eternal Press
Available in print paperback from Amazon
ISBN: e-book: 978-1-926704-38-8; print: 978-1-926704-46-3
Visit the author’s website

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Murder, Betrayal, Comeuppance…

Cover of Blood Soup by Kelly A. Harmon Murder, Betrayal, Comeuppance…

That’s the tagline for my novella, Blood Soup, available from Eternal Press on September 7. The “Coming Soon” announcements page has recently been posted. You can see it here.

Blood Soup will also be available in print via Amazon, about three weeks after the electronic version.

Do you tweet? Do you like FREE fiction?
I’ll be running two twitter contests related to the book, both on September 7th:

First: The 25th and 50th person to re-tweet my announcement on the 7th will win an electronic copy of Blood Soup.

Second: Anyone who buys Blood Soup will also have the opportunity to win print versions of Triangulation: Dark Glass and Black Dragon, White Dragon (two anthologies that some of my other work appears in) just by tweeting specific information from Blood Soup. For instance, I’ll tweet: What’s the last word on line 4 of page 22? Give the correct answer and you may win a book. I’ll give away up to five print versions of these books. More details to come closer to the launch date. In the meantime, you may want to follow me on twitter: @kellyaharmon.

Excerpt from Blood Soup:

Theodicar looked down at the mewling infant in his arms, and felt the anger rise up. Even in death his wife defied him, the nurse ensuring her success. Women did not rule. He would not allow it. They had created a male child, and that child would take the throne upon his death. “You can save the boy,” he said to Salvagia.

She slitted her eyes at him, her stare mutinous. Her words were loud and hard in the wake of Pia’s death. “I have the power to save one at the expense of the other, Sire. The girl is stronger. And eldest. She was born to rule.”

Theodicar watched the girl curl up in his arms, her birth fluids staining a brown patch on the dyed-yellow wool of his tunic. She burrowed into the crook of his elbow, trying to achieve the comfort of the womb.

“I will not hear those words again,” he said. “That absurd idea died with my wife. My son will rule.” He reached for the boy, thrusting the girl child back into the nurse’s hands. “There’s no need for a daughter. And no need for anyone to know of her.”

“So be it,” Salvagia said, wrapping the weary girl in a square of wool, covering her face. She reached for her basket.

“Kill her now,” said Theodicar.

Salvagia looked stricken.

“Sire, if we kill her now, she will be of no use to her brother. Once dead, the blood won’t flow, and we need her blood to strengthen his.

“Then drain her now,” he snapped. “I will not have her crying out when we call the witnesses back to cut the boy’s cord.”

She paled, but nodded, and grabbed the necessary implements from her basket. She did the job quickly, tears streaming down her face. To keep it warm, Salvagia set the flask of blood in the ashes at the edge of the hearth. Then she wrapped the tiny body in linen and shoved it deep into her basket.

“Your life is forfeit if you speak a word of this to anyone,” Theodicar said. “Do you understand?” She nodded, pushing the basket out of view.

He sat down in his chair. “Call the witnesses back. We’ll sever the cord in their presence to prove the succession. Wipe those tears,” he said.

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I Got My Copy…Do You Have Yours?

Cover of Triangulation: Dark Glass Anthology
I got it!

I received my contributor copy of Triangulation: Dark Glass  in the mail yesterday. The cover is even more powerful up close and in person. It’s smooth and slick and the colors are a rich, deep, gorgeous darkness…I feel like I could step right into it and ask the guy if I can have a look-see through his spyglass.

Just so you know, Triangulation: Dark Glass  is the 2009 edition of PARSEC Ink’s internationally acclaimed anthology series… I’m thrilled to have snagged a place in the line-up: only sixteen tales were chosen out of more than 500.

I’ve been reading the stories, right from the beginning…and I have to say…they’re really good.

(I haven’t gotten to my own yet…so I’m not bragging. Mom taught me not to brag.) But the rest of these tales? Really good so far.

Had you been at Confluence last weekend, you could have picked up a copy (they were printed especially for the Conference). But you can order yourself a copy on line if you’re still interested.



In Other Writing News…
I heard from my editor about a non-fiction piece I wrote on critique groups for a “how to write” book. The book is ready for print. A bio from me and the other contributors, some links to on-line resources for the chapters, and they’re ready to go… I’m excited about that one, too. I’ll put up the cover when it’s available.

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

A Room with A View

Mine. Here’s what I’m seeing as I look out my window right now. No internet access, but I think it’s a fair trade.


My view.

It’s been windy, but I’ve picked up some color. I’m noodling with a plot, and it’s coming along. But mostly, there’s the view…and that’s just fine.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Cover Story!

I received the final artwork for my novella, Blood Soup today! It will be available September 7, 2009 – just in time to start thinking about the Halloween rush. (I think that’s why the cover is a tad more “horror” looking than “dark fantasy”… Still, isn’t it fabulous?


Cover Art for Novella: Blood Soup

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Warning: Don’t Let Your Kids Read This Book

A friend sent me a link from Jay Nordlinger.

One of Nordlinger’s readers wrote to say that he recently picked up a 2008 reprint of Chesterton’s Everlasting Man  (Wilder Publications) and was surprised to find a disclaimer by the publisher on the title page. I’ve snagged the cover page so you can read it, starting with, “This book…”


Title Page from Chesterton's The Everlasting Man

In case you have images turned off, here’s the quote:

“This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today. Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race have changed before allowing them to read this classic work.”

The reader says:

“As my father-in-law would say, this is ludicrous! It is wrong in so many ways I don’t know where to begin. In the first place, it is an act of cowardice on the part of the publishers. If they were ashamed of the content, why did they print it in the first place? It is also an act of arrogance: How dare they presume to know how Chesterton would have written his book today? Or to apologize on his behalf? Somehow, I find it difficult to imagine that Chesterton would have been cowed by the strictures of political correctness. . . .

If the publisher had included a preface that properly discussed the issues they fear may be of concern, that would be one thing. But to print a cigarette-packet-style warning so that parents can prepare their children for the “horrors” ahead is unseemly.”

Says Nordlinger, “Very modern. Very dumb.”

I agree. On my reading list are several classic novels, a few of which might require this type of “warning” label if such a practice becomes de rigueur.  But I can’t help but feel a tad bit insulted. Do people really need to explain the content of a book clearly written in a different age? You tell me.