Brown River Queen cover art

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Markhat News

The new Markhat book, The Broken Bell, is headed to the First Line Editor (FLE)!  Which means a new Markhat in the near future.  I imagine the e-book will be released first, with the printed version a few months later.  I'll provide dates when they become available.

I've started the first-round edits for the YA novel. This one is entitled All the Paths of Shadow and will be available from Cool Well Press in September. This will, I believe, be a print release.  I'll post details of that release later.

I'm also working on a short story for an upcoming horror anthology and the screenplay for a short Halloween film a good friend of mine, Matthew Graves, is putting together.  I'm also building a couple of props for the movie.  The embalming pump is coming along nicely, and it will look great in the living room long after the movie is done.  I'll post a few pics of it when I have it sealed for fluid.

That's pretty much my world at the moment.  Editing, writing, a little mortuary science -- yes, these are the salad days.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let's Pester Bookstores

People are asking me when local bookstores will get print copies of  The Banshee's Walk.

Now, it's true that as an author I am privy to many of the Mysterious Secrets of the Universe.  I know all about Area 51.  The Roswell crash?  I have actual debris.  Who shot Kennedy?  I know, but it's best if I don't say.

But sadly, the inner workings of local bookstores are well beyond my ken.  Yes, the book came out June 7.  No, I don't know why they don't have it yet, or when they plan to get it.

So here's the best thing to do -- call them and ask.  Nay, call them and insist -- nay again, demand -- that they stock their shelves with The Banshee's Walk at once!

Bonus points are awarded if you make your demands in a clipped British accent punctuated by excited wavings of your cane.  Double bonus points shall be granted if you glare through your gold-rimmed monocle.

Look, when I ask, they just roll their eyes and pretend to consult their computers while they check for Facebook updates.  But when you, a potential customer ask, it means business, and so do they.

There are three bookstores in Oxford.  I've posted their names and phone numbers below.  Give them a call, and help me get The Banshee's Walk on local bookshelves so I can feed my ego by strolling elegantly past while smoking a tweed jacket:

Phone  (662) 236-2262
Ask for The Banshee's Walk by Frank Tuttle

Phone   (662) 236-9494 
Ask for The Banshee's Walk by Frank Tuttle   

Phone   (662) 915-7137 
Ask for The Banshee's Walk by Frank Tuttle

If you also want to throw in phrases such as 'Tuttle is the greatest living writer since Eugene K. Shirtbasket' or
'I want to order three hundred copies please' then be my guest.

If you want to skip the whole meat-world shopping process and jump straight to the Web, order your copy here.   

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Thing I Hate

Once upon a time, there was a lawn mower I hated with every fiber of my hate-covered, hate-filled, hate-centered being.

I hated that mower.  I hated every bolt, every nut, every linkage, every cotter pin, every mis-shaped and leaky hose.  I hated the sound the engine made on those rare occasions when it did crank and I hated the smirking silence it exuded on the far more frequent occasions when it didn't.  I used to lie awake at night and imagine myself smashing it into bits with a ten pound sledge hammer.  Remember the printer-in-the-field scene from the movie Office Space?  Where the guys take the copier that's bedeviled them and go on a primal-ape ragefest that ends when there's just nothing left to kick?

Yeah.  That, but with the kind of mad-eyed rage one normally associates with 25 consecutive lifetime prison sentences.  We're talking deep, wide, burning epic hatred here.  

That mower is gone now -- and in its place, I present to you the Poulan Pro chainsaw.

I've spent the afternoon foolishly trying to replace the pull starter on the accursed spawn of Hell.  It looks simple enough.  Six parts.  A few screws.  I remember sitting down and thinking to myself, how hard can this be?

Well, little did I know that the engineers at Poulan (spelled 'we torture we kill hahahaha') spent the better part of the last two centuries refining the dark art of making simple repairs not only impossible but surprisingly dangerous.

Look, this shouldn't be such a big deal.  It's a pull starter.  A couple of springs.  A racheting wheel.  A pull cord.  But somebody at Poulan had to sit down and think really hard about a way to turn that into an operation that requires:

* Zero gravity
* A person with at least four limbs
* A tool which can extend itself through seven of the 14 known dimensions

And brother if you don't have those three items you are screwed.

The heart of this travesty is the main recoil spring.  And when I say spring, I'm speaking in the loosest possible terms.  Someone decided they could shave an twenty-eighth of a cent off manufacturing costs if they replaced the spring with an 18 foot length of narrow springy metal.

The sadistically cheerful instructions that came with the replacement parts advise you, the hapless installer, to 'rewind the main spring and replace it in the housing.'

I hear the serial killer from Saw saying that now.  Saying it with a smirk.  Because he knows there's no way you're ever going to get that murderous length of razor sharp steel back in any housing no matter how much type-matched blood you have on hand.

I made five attempts before deciding, and I quote, '@#$$#@  #$^%$^%& ^%&%^*&%^ #%^&%^&!"  I wound up with the hooked tip of the thing in my right eye, in my left ear, and even (I kid you not) poking up my shorts before pronouncing the erudite phrase above and leaving the cursed thing where it fell.

So keep it up, chainsaw.  There's a spot out in the field for you too, right beside the old Craftsman mower. I hear the rust creeps very slowly.  Very slowly indeed.    

And to my pals at Poulan -- stop making simple crap hard!  It's a chainsaw, not a freaking particle collider.  Act like you've built tools before, morons.

Time to find my sledge hammer.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

And The Winner Is...

Joe Austin!

Now to backtrack a bit.

Last week, I announced a contest in which a signed copy of  The Banshee's Walk would be given away to a single person among those who entered the contest by emailing, liking the post on Facebook, or commenting on this blog .

Hundreds of thousands of entries rolled in, if you're counting individual electrons.  This afternoon I compiled a list of all entrants (by hand, since my printer is dead), put them all in a box, and drew out a single name.

Which was Joe Austin, who entered via Facebook.  So, Joe, hit me with your contact info and I'll get your signed copy of The Banshee's Walk out pronto!

In other Markhat news, I just finished my end of the first round edits on the new Markhat book, The Broken Bell.   So a brand new full-length (120,000 words) Markhat novel will be available soon -- first in e-book format, of course, and then later in print.  I'm just guessing here, but the e-book might hit in late August or early September.  That probably means a Christmas release for the print version. Again, I'm just guessing!

And lets not forget about All the Paths of Shadow, my YA fantasy novel which may be coming out around the same time from Cool Well Press.  Paths of Shadow is another long book, weighing in at around 120,000 words as well.  Meralda's world is quite different from Markhat's, but I hope readers love them both.

Okay, back to work for me!  Congratulations, Joe.  Hope you enjoy The Banshee's Walk!