It finally arrived! Volume Nine of Bardic Tales and Sage Advice is finally here, in my grasp…and it feels delicious!

As you should remember, last July my story “Behind You, in the Corner” was published in a fantastic online publication called Bards and Sages Quarterly. Of course you bought a copy. Then, at the end of the year, there was a poll for the best/favorite piece from each issue. Thanks for voting for me, by the way.

My story won for the July issue. There were a TON of votes on it, so obviously people liked it. It didn’t quite make story of the year, but that’s okay. There was a response to it, and I’m happy about that!

Not only did I get an extra couple of bucks, it was published in BT&SA vol. 9, which we’ve been waiting in deep anticipation for over a few months now. Friday, it showed up and man is it beautiful.

Big thanks to Julie Ann Dawson, the editor. She had the foresight to read my story through to the end, and accept it for publication. I love visionaries like her, they make the world a better place!

And of course, thanks so much to everyone who voted. Thanks for reading my stories, following me, supporting me, all that jazz. I truly appreciate it and mean every word I say. You’re all awesome!

If you would like to buy a copy, go here:

Bardic Tales and Sage Advice vol. 9!

So, in other news, I’m chugging along at the Third Tower. Since I sit in front of a computer all day at work, I haven’t had the drive to write much lately. Then I was like, what about pen on paper? So, several recent chapters have been handwritten. I spent some time last night transcribing them onto the computer, which naturally killed my eyes and back (maybe I should have used a desk chair instead of a wooden kitchen chair?), but they’re all set. The best news is, I’m only 13 chapters away from the end!

I never wanted to have another several years long novel on my hands. I started this three years ago, took a break, wrote some more, took another break, and on and on…

Hell, I didn’t even touch it in 2016! I tried, I thought about it, but nothing came out. Shame on me. But hooray for me for getting it done now! Only a few more weeks and then it’s complete, and I can do anything I want.

Other short stories have been getting done as well. I just had one up on the online workshop last week, and it got 11 critiques! Most of them were very positive and helpful, and a lot of the reviewers “liked” the story. That’s promising!

Next up, I’ve got a mind-fuck fantasy story that takes place in the summer, but autumn has already begun. Hmm, unlike here in Toledo, where it’s been autumn for two days and feels like high summer.

Wishful thinking maybe? Nah, I’ll fight the heat and enjoy my maple pecan lattes and wear scarves like the hipster doof I am.

Later, sexies! Stay awesome, and thanks as always!

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The Latest

May 15, 2017

Man, where has the time been? Lots of stuff keeping me busy in real life, which is good! I even missed two big announcements, but it’s okay, great traveler! It’s never too late to enjoy the goodness.

My short story “Out of Sight” was published in the latest issue of Pulp Modern. I’m very proud of this story and excited that it found a home. The publication is amazing as well. Lots of great stories in it, and worth checking out. You can get a digital copy of it, but you can also get a print publication of it!

Pulp Modern. Get it while it’s hot!

I implore you to pick up a copy. I already got my payment for it ($10, whoo boy!), so I don’t benefit from others buying it. Still, it’s worth supporting small publications, independent authors and businesses, and let’s be honest, it isn’t that expensive. Maybe even write a review on Amazon while you’re at it.

Thank you in advance!

Anyway, remember last June when my story “Tyree’s Diadem” was published on the awesome webjournal Crimson Streets? Of course you do—that was one of my best stories, and one that launched a franchise featuring Clay and Styg. (In fact, I’m working on yet another story featuring them as we speak!)

Well, the first 26 stories published on the website will be collected in an actual print copy! This includes “Tyree’s Diadem” as well as many other great stories. I’ve done my best to keep up with the stories they publish (one per week) so it isn’t a majorly time consuming process. Plus, I’ve gotten to read some of the best unknown and lesser known authors out there.

I’ll of course put a link to it when it’s available, but please keep this in mind! If you love fun pulp adventures (of every genre), good writing, or simply like supporting the community, please buy a copy (again, I make no extra money on this).

Also, last year my story “Behind You, in the Corner” was published on Bards & Sages Quarterly. Thanks to many of you, it won the Reader’s Choice award for the July ’16 issue. Due to that, this summer, Bardic Tales & Sage Advice vol. 9, the “Best Of” issue featuring the best stories from the previous year’s issues, is coming out. Hoping for an August release, details are pretty much what I just wrote, but again, you’ll be notified once I am!

Other than that, I’m working hard on getting other things done. Been editing a lot, working on Clay and Styg, and still trying to get The Third Tower finished. I’ve got a free story coming real soon on Smashwords, and who knows? Maybe In the Pale Moonlight will have a price break sooner than you know it? (As if $1.99 is too expensive for some people!)

Thanks a lot my sexies! Keep reading, and keep kicking ass.

It’s Time

February 13, 2017

Well call me Mr. Bigtime.

Things have been happening for me. Good things, things that make me feel like an actual, real-life author. I know I am, but this is for real. This is awesome.

Where do I start?

For quite some time now, I’ve spoken about my novel, In the Pale Moonlight. Never at length, and never anything revealing. But it’s coming soon, and I’ve had so much to do for it. After 60+ failed attempts at getting an agent, I made the tough decision to self-publish. I realize that self-publishing isn’t the taboo thing it once was, but I wasn’t crazy about it.

Self-publishing is good because I control everything. I don’t get shafted on money, I don’t have ideas and decisions tossed out because someone wants to vicariously implement their thoughts onto mine, etc. It’s bad, though, because I’m 100% responsible for everything.

EVERYTHING.

Artwork, promotion, dates, times, formats, basically just getting shit done is 100% on me, with no one else there to do it for or with me. Sure I can ask for help, but for what? “Hey, can you bust your ass for me so I can possibly make a couple bucks with my novel and you’ll get a hearty pat on the back?” Yeah, no.

It’s okay, though. I’ve learned a lot. And I’m happy with myself for managing to get it all done. Formatting, proofing, artwork decisions (believe me, there were a LOT!), promotions, all of it. I’ve worked very hard on this, and I feel confident in myself.

The book is coming out on February 27th.

That’s two weeks from now! Preorders are available, and the book is easy to find online. Smashwords, Amazon, and all the other sites they’re affiliated with. It’s even on Goodreads! Hell, I’m an official Goodreads author now!

It’s exciting.

While it’s true that “anyone” can do this, how many actually do? How many put the work in to not only write a book start to finish, but also go through all the steps of getting it online and ready to sell/read/enjoy?

Like I said, I’ve put in a lot of work. And I know it’ll all be worth it. I couldn’t be happier to share it with you, and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy.

Thanks so much for your support!

Smashwords

Amazon

So close I can taste it

December 17, 2016

As we (here in Ohio, at least) delve into colder temperatures and stupid snow all over the place, I suddenly have a lot of free time. My day job is centered around selling building supplies to contractors (and the occasional clueless homeowner…seriously, are there any homeowners out there that actually know how to fix their house without making it worse?!), we are experiencing a lack of business.

This has been beneficial for me personally, because I can get a lot of stuff done that otherwise I’d have to squeeze in somehow–especially with Rogue One this weekend! I hate to plan my life around movies, but c’mon, Star Wars!!!

Ahem. Anyway…

I’ve talked about my novel, In the Pale Moonlight, several times over the years. It’s been a long time coming, specifically because I’ve taken a long, long time with it. Mostly, it was laziness. I’d write a lot, put it aside for “a week or two” and several months later I’d get back to it. Even after it was done, I putted around with editing it, but ultimately, got it all done.

So my attempts to get it accepted by an agent were met with either stock rejections or silence. It won’t keep me down, however, and I declared loud and clear that I was going to self-publish it. There’s so many free programs online that hey, this can’t be that hard, right?

Wrong! It’s so much work that other people would typically do for me had this been accepted by an actual publisher. It’s okay, I’ve learned a lot about it, and also about myself.

For starters, I really make a lot of typos. I mean, not as many as some people I know (every other word, like seriously!), but I’ll gloss over a word or two here and there. Not to mention, there’s a lot of sloppy writing in there. So I decided to go through the book just to make sure there weren’t any major issues, figuring it would take a day or two.

Two weeks later, I came out with a new draft of the book. Typos fixed, grammatical errors taken care of, and awkward sentences rewritten, it’s got a fresh sheen on it that no one can take away from me.

As far as I’m concerned, the book is good to go!

All I need to do is format it (well, finish formatting it, I’m almost done) for Smashwords and Amazon and whatever programs I plan on putting it on. I also have to finalize cover art, which is much more difficult than you’d think. I know, I know, you have a program or website or this and that and I need to check it out right now! I’ve seen all of them, tried them all, etc. I have something in mind and it isn’t as easy as you want it to be.

Finally, I need a release date. Do I plan it a month in advance, so I can promote it? Two weeks? Two months? Six months? I don’t know…and I’m worried that I won’t give myself enough time to prepare. Not to mention, I’ve got to start worrying about marketing and promotions for it…

Ugh. It will (hopefully!) pay off in the end. Not that I’m looking for a huge payday–I’d love to be able to pay off my car, my credit cards, my student loans, or anything else, but let’s be honest: am I going to be a millionaire from this?

Nope. But my book will be published and available for one and all. In the end, that’s all I can hope for.

Wish me luck–I’m oh so close!

I Did It

August 13, 2016

Well, I did it. I took the plunge and self-published. A lot of people are probably thinking, “What took you so long?” Some others are probably wondering why I need a blog post to celebrate this. But my vainglorious attempts at becoming a bookstore cover name have dwindled so small I had to accept that the only way I can do this is on my own.

So, here ya go. People who clearly know better than me, people who think they know better than me, and people who just love to scream out unsolicited advice–I’ve self-published. Happy?

As of now, it’s only one story. More are coming, trust me. And yes, my novel I’ve had sitting here collecting dust will go up as well. There’s a lot of work involved in this, work I could put towards writing something new, but I’ll have to take it on the chin and accept that I’m playing more than one or two roles in this now.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/mykelen

Go there. Enjoy it. Write a review! And as always, thanks a lot for looking. I love all my sexy friends and fans, and I wouldn’t still do this if not for you guys!

What a long road it’s been…

If you’ve been following things, you’ll know that my wife and I have been renovating her dad’s house, readying it for us to live in. For the most part, we’re done! It’s nice…really nice. Still, there’s a lot that needs to be done.

A big part of me wants to just put it aside, like many homeowners who have dozens of half-finished projects sitting around. Unfortunately, I have some major things, like hooking up the dishwasher, finishing the kitchen floor, and hooking up the range. If not for those, I’d be good as gold.

So the writing is on the backburner for now. I can handle it, but it’s burning me up, from the inside out.

While packing, and subsequently unpacking, I’ve unearthed more notebooks and folders jam-packed with old writing that I can shake a pencil at. Stuff from a few years ago, stuff from college, even stuff from high school. One notebook has writing from sixth grade, way back in 1992! That was unfinished homework, though, so it doesn’t count.

Regardless, I’ve been itching to get things done. I had a list of unfinished stories and such that has been collecting dust for over a year now. More and more stories need edited, and let’s not forget how many stories I could be submitting.

But the submissions wouldn’t even be going as well as I’d like anyway. I have a few stories out right now, and of course it’s the same old sob story. If a publication is still actually active, they take forever. One week after their due date for response, I’ll email, they take a few days to either yell at me to wait, or give me a half-assed rejection.

Then there’s the ones that don’t even respond, the ones that aren’t open anymore. Sometimes, they are in fact open, but take their sweet time to even respond to the queries, and don’t seem to notice that they’ve taken twice their quoted time to get back with you.

Too many of them are closed, though.

I can’t understand it, except ambitious people that get too overwhelmed. Well how long does it take to put a simple message on your website that says you’re closed, you’re behind, or you’re having second thoughts? It’s way more professional than, say, no contact at all!

This is why I’m getting into self-publishing. I know it’s risky, but at least my stuff will be out there. The only big problem is the time it takes to get things prepared for it, and here we go again with not having enough time for it.

But I will. Soon, things are back into place. Hell, I have some time occasionally at work to get this stuff done! (Just don’t tell my boss). So, editors, publishers, and fellow writers (who will surely cross-promote with me, right?), is the time now? Is everything going to work out?

Soon, this house is going to be finished, and I’ll be back at work like nothing ever happened. Right?

Of course it will. Because it has to.

Road to Shambala

May 22, 2016

Did you all get your copy of 9Tales from Elsewhere? It’s available now on Amazon for your Kindle!

Naturally, my story, “Valley of Iricia” is in it—as the lead story, no less! I don’t know for sure, but the cover looks somewhat indicative of what goes on in that tale of adventure and might! Seriously, go grab a copy now. It might cost a couple of bucks, but it’s way cheaper than your much needed bag of weed or pack of cancer sticks, plus it lasts longer, and does your brain better than those things! Maybe give it a good review while you’re at it?

Ahem. So.

I mentioned recently that I’m getting into self-publishing. It’s a lot of work getting things ready, but it’ll be worth it. The worst part is, it doesn’t provide much time to write and edit. Although, I can’t complain because I haven’t been doing either recently.

Yes, yes, I said I can’t make excuses, but holy crackers things are swampy right now. My new job isn’t taking up my free time. In fact it’s quite the contrary. I’m out by 4 every day, and have the entire night to do whatever I want. Rather, what I need to do.

Amy and I are renovating her father’s house for us to live in. If you’ll remember, he died on Easter, and we inherited the house (as well as pretty much all of his stuff). We’ll be moving in hopefully no later than the middle of July, but it’s a lot of work.

We have to redo literally everything. Floors, walls, ceilings, appliances, wiring, roof, gutters, lawn, blah blah blah. I don’t mind doing handy work. After all, my own father was quite the household handyman and taught me more than I ever thought I’d need to know. I just wish I had a little bit of time to myself…

But good things come to those who wait. It won’t be long, and soon enough I’ll be in my own house with my own office and be able to pump out quality stories for the adoring masses to consume with vigor.

Think of all the authors who’ve had stuff you love, but aren’t pumping it out as fast as you’d prefer: George RR Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, JK Rowling, Scott Lynch, Anne Rice, Joe Hill, and nowadays, highly productive guys like Stephen King and Dean Koontz. They get it done and out to you, even if it involves a little bit of waiting. That can be good, though, right?

See, in a way, I’m glad I’ve had time to think about writing instead of simply diving headlong into it. Ideas and plots are coming to mind, and it makes it easier for me sort things out and be prepared, rather than going willy-nilly into something I’m not quite sure of.

For a while, I’ve had two stories continuing the adventures of Ingo (the protagonist from “Valley of Iricia”, but you already knew that, right?), and I’m finally able to flesh them out and add all the cool embellishments that he needs in his stories. I want nothing more than to just sit and write them both, but once I’m able to, they’ll be better than they would have been had I written them last year.

And what of editing? I hate waiting too long to get back to a story and edit it, but in this case, I’m glad. I’m going in with a fresh set of eyes, fresher than a four to six month wait. There’s a few specifically I’m talking about, and once they’re done, they’ll be up online and ready to read. Again, just a matter of time, but as always, it’ll be more than worth it in the end.

We have liftoff!

April 8, 2016

May 18th! My story, “Valley of Iricia,” one I’ve worked diligently to get accepted, will finally be published.

9Tales from Elsewhere, an ongoing anthology series, will be publishing the story in their 6th volume. You can preorder now on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DWZL1RU

I’m really excited that this is finally available. By finally, I mean that someone picked it up. Ever since writing the story, it’s been one of my favorites, and something that I couldn’t stand to see go to the unacceptable pile.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love my other stories any less! Just that I always felt something with this one, like it was one of those stories that needed to be told, needed to be read, and needed to be out there.

As you all know my love for Conan and He-Man, two major inspirations for the tale, you can understand why I love it so much.

But I’m sure you will as well. Go, preorder, read and enjoy. And thanks for your support!

More good news!

I got another acceptance. Seriously, I’ve been hoping for so long that this story would be published it was making me sick. I wasn’t ready to give up, and I’m glad I didn’t.

Again, it was sent with a minimum of information in the cover letter. I keep wondering, did that have anything to do with it? Or was it simply that the editor liked it enough to publish?

I really shouldn’t split hairs, and I shouldn’t worry about such things. Another story has been accepted for publication! Myke Edwards is a happy man, and the world gets to read another great piece of fiction.

Sorry for the self-aggrandizing, but how can I not be excited right now? Things are looking up for me, and my hard work is paying off. Sometimes it’s good to vent about frustration, and sometimes it’s good to vent excitement.

Naturally, I’ll let everyone know the instant the story is available. There’s several others I’m waiting on, and they’ll be mentioned as well, of course.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I’m not naming the name of the story or publication just yet due to clerical reasons. Once everything is finalized, I’ll be sure to let you all know what and where, not to mention when.

Good news, everyone!

March 1, 2016

Well, something went right.

The other day, I received an excellent email from Janet, the editor of Crimson Streets. CS is a new-ish publication that is dedicated to pulp-style fiction of the early 20th century. Everything I’ve read on their website I’ve loved, and it’s getting some positive feedback in the community.

The first story I sent, a sword & sorcery meets futuristic sci-fi piece, was rejected, and rightfully so. Janet was awesome with the rejection. She basically told me with fantasy, the main question they ask is, “Would Conan do this?” Without question, this was hands down the best insight into what they are looking for from authors, better than any other publication has ever managed.

Yeah, I went there.

Anyway, I sent another story, “Tyree’s Diadem.” This is a story I’ve been very happy with, and very proud of. Unfortunately, it’s been getting rejected left and right. It’s the first story to feature Clay and Styg (whom I’ve talked about plenty), and it’s a damn fun pirate/thief/adventure/heist story.

Naturally, I’m happy and excited to have someone pick it up. Best of all, the snarky/condescending comments from some certain people regarding this story were completely unfounded!

My recent blogs have been about the difficulties of not getting published. Well, I started doing things a little different. Did that make the difference? Or was it simply the merit and enjoyability of the story itself that worked for me.

I sent a story with no identifying info about myself, and it got accepted.

I can live with that.

So with that in mind, go check out Crimson Streets! It’s a great publication, and there’s a lot of wonderful stuff coming up with them. They might even do print anthologies of stories from their online pubs, so be sure to support them and make this come true!

As always, thanks to you all for believing in me. If I could tell you how many times I was thinking of quitting writing for good…

No need for that now. Thanks a lot, Crimson Streets.