Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good bye 2011

This is my last posting of the year. There have been highs and lows.

As a writer, I met a personal goal of selling a novel. I also had a novelette published, My writing improved considerably since then and I'm relieved that it is no longer available.

The personal lows were numerous and I am not going the catalog them here. Suffice to say, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I know that 2012 will be better.

Until next year, I remain, Dane Grannon

Monday, December 26, 2011

I am writing again and Baltimore Review

I read the Baltimore: the Plague Ships trade paperback. This is an excellent story with a rugged art style that I really like. Lord Baltimore is a well defined complex character who deserves his own book. I am very glad my old LCS was able to order then forward it to me. I now live 90 miles away, so I probably won't be back. Now I need to find another one.

The move closer to my job is paying great dividends. My energy level is considerably higher. I feel the urge to critique and write when I get home instead of eating dinner and going to bed. I've read and taken notes on three Stoker nominees. This year is going to be tough. Somehow I'll make my decisions.

I am also in the process of reviewing the novel I started for NaNoWriMo. So far, I've decided to keep about 14,000 words of the 21k. Yes, I know I didn't finish, but as I said at the time, I was just too tired.

I've been keeping an eye on the sales of some books that I've read and don't consider as well written as Lucky Streak and they are outselling it. I don't know whether it is price point, publicity, or they are just better, but it is disappointing. I plan to finish the re-write of Escape from Hope and post it during the first quarter of next year. With it under my control, I'll be able to experiment with the price.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sad tidings

Yesterday I learned that a friend from high school is in Hospice care following the return of her breast cancer. I am keeping her and her family in my thoughts this season.

Until next time, I remain Dane Grannon

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lucky Streak sold something

I want to thank the unknown person who purchased a copy of Lucky Streak. The dry spell may be ending.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Time with my kids. Last in the old place.

I spent this evening watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Flight Before Christmas, and the TV friendly version of Christmas Vacation with my kids. Everyone enjoyed it.

An important plot point of Christmas Vacation revolves around Clark's bonus. I can't remember the last bonus I received. Far from it, this year the client announced a 10% cut in bill rates for contractors. My company has tight margins, so they were forced to pass along a 10% reduction in my rate.

I'm very happy to have a job. I wish that my writing came close to replacing the list income, but I don't see that happening. I've decided to complete the rewrite of Escape From Hope and post it for $.99.

Until next time, I remain Dane Grannon

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Still not writing

I haven't written a single sentence outside of work since my last post. I don't know whether this means that I'm going to stop writing or not. My energy level is such that all I want to do when I get home from work is sleep.

If you check out Lucky Streak on Amazon, you will discover a new 4 star review. The man liked the aspects of my book that I thought were the most important. He posted the review on the Kindle Horror group on Facebook as well. As of yet, this has not resulted in any sales on Amazon. I'm not holding my breath.

I think the low sales show that I need serious help in marketing. If you are a marketer, don't bother contacting me. I do not currently have funds available to finance another campaign. My last set of Facebook adds resulted in Zero sales. This is disappointing as everyone who reads Lucky Streak enjoys it.

I passed up the opportunity to purchase Men of War issue #4 today. The comic has disappointed me for the last time.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Sunday, November 27, 2011

No Online Sales in November

While I sold four copies of Lucky Streak from my dwindling personal stock, no one ordered a either a printed or eBook copy from Amazon. I'm beginning to think that the price point for an eBook from an unknown author is $0.99. It would be an interesting experiment to change the price for a while and see what happens, but my relationship with my publisher is such that I can't even make the suggestion. Some fences can't be mended.

As I write this, I'm watching The Walking Dead. I love the characters in the show and the comic book. I hope that someday, I can write characters like that. Of course, that assumes that I actually write something else. I am beginning to believe that this will never be anything more than a time eating hobby. Maybe should practice my guitar instead. At least my ears provide positive feedback as I play.

I think that I'll be able to think more clearly about writing once I move in two weeks. I'll have more time for writing then and it will be considerably easier to establish a stronger support group.

Until next next, I remain, Dane Grannon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I was at my sister's house surrounded by over twenty relatives and one cat. While everyone else is inside, I was on the patio trying to prevent an asthma attack that would completely ruin my day.

My vantage point provided the first warning that something was amiss people streamed from the hospital across the highway. Cars and trucks raced across the parking lot colliding in a massive pileup that blocked both entrance and egress.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Future of Media part 1

I don't write non-fiction essays, but there is something that's been eating at me for a long time. What do we expect to pay for our various forms of entertainment? What forms will that entertainment take? This posting will ramble and I don't plan to edit because I want my true voice to come through. Maybe this will make sense. I'm betting that it will ramble.

To address the costs, it is necessary to examine what the public wants from the various media. I know what I want, but it would be the height of arrogance to presume that others want the same. So I did a little research and I do mean a little. I'm a geek or a nerd, depending on your definition, and concentrated on determining what my demographic wants. My research consisted of watching Amazon sales rankings and listening to the following podcasts, The Adam Carolla Show,The Nerdist,The Legion of Dudes,Half Hour Wasted, The Walking Dead TV Podcast, PDK Media Blackbox, Geek Dads Weekly, Comic Geek Speak, and last but probably my favorite The Film Vault. Have I mentioned that I have an extremely long commute?

This research led me to this conclusion, we want access to everything whenever we want it. This shouldn't surprise anyone. Society as a whole is completely centered on the now. I could go on about how young adults are living with their parents longer because they like the amenities of home, but that would lead to a discussion about the economy, taxes and the budget. I'm not qualified to provide answers on these topics, although I bet this site would receive more traffic. At what price, my soul?

If I was writing a formal paper, there would be footnotes documenting the following, but this isn't and I don't feel like fleshing this out into an article. Given my lack of reputation in the business, I doubt anyone would publish this in any form.

Network television is dying. Big surprise. I'm such a wonderfully deep thinker -- a true visionary. I truly wish for a sarcasm tag. The current ratings woes at NBC are a prime example. I saw a story on the web, that stated that something like 50% of their primetime schedule is below the audience levels of most of the shows that were cancelled last season. I'm certain that the other networks are facing similar struggles. The originality of the programming is declining. If there is a good concept, the networks spawns several replicas. Does anyone really know how many versions of CSI is running? With few notable exceptions, there is very little worth watching on ABC, CBS, and NBC. Go ahead and make a comment about a show that is truly worth watching. I'd be interested to see.

There are some television programs that I consider worth seeing, but, for the most part, I wouldn't let my younger children see them. I am a big fan of The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. I also enjoyed the premier of Hell on Wheels. But here's a secret, I don't watch them at the scheduled time or even from on my television. I sit in front of my computer and watch them. I've even watched them on my iPhone. As I said before, I want programming when and where I want it.

As you probably guessed from my list of podcasts, I was a big fan of radio programs. The problem is, some are broadcast at times that don't fit my schedule. That's why I love podcasts. They are ready when I am. Adam Carolla calls his podcast "The pirate ship" and reportedly turned down a multi-million dollar offer to return to the airwaves.

Streaming content is the wave of the future. Unlike recorded shows, it is much more difficult to skip commercials. I'm willing to listen to the commercials in order to have the shows when I want them.

This post is getting quite long. I will continue the discussion in part two later this week.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I want to remind everyone that Lucky Streak is still available through Amazon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I may have read my last Men of War comic

Yesterday I read Men of War #3. My fear of what would occur did. A person in the main story suddenly showed up with super powers. I know that the comic was firmly established in the DC Universe in the first issue but I held out hope that they would keep the team in the normal side of the action.

This issue is a "pants" which means that I wouldn't buy it.

AS everyone who has been reading this knows, I've been struggling with writer's block. As a cure, on November 1st at noon, I decided to start NaNoWriMo. I had no plot and only the most vague characters. So why am I writing this? Don't I have 1667 words to do today? I finished the words hours ago. I'm thinking about my plot some this evening. I'm ahead of schedule. If anyone is interested, my nickname is DaneGrannon.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Completed short story

Today I finished the rough draft of the first completely new story I've written since the divorce. It was a writing prompt from the Dead Horse Society. I like the basic idea but realize that this story will need more work. I'm really happy to be writing again.

I had my kids this weekend. I took the youngest two to the library and my eight year old selected two Captain Underpants books to check out. She then spent three hours reading them. I couldn't be prouder.

A facebook acquaintance was recently attacked by a jerk because a glitch in facebook showed her as married to another woman. To my knowledge, neither woman is gay. When will people stop caring what consenting adults do in their bedrooms?

I read Frankenstein issue #2. The story keeps getting better. I like the backstory. Despite it's cartoony art style, I'm really enjoying it.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Monday, October 17, 2011

I started a new short story

The writing group that I participate in, but am not a member of, posts writing prompts each week. Normally, I'm too busy to participate, but this week, the prompt corresponded with my planned writing. I hope to complete a draft before Saturday. When finished, I think I'll post it on Amazon for $.99. Maybe I'll pair it with another story to make it longer. I'll consider it.

These would be my first self-published, but anthologies don't sell. After my last experience, I don't know if I want a publisher. I have high hopes that my third quarter statement will arrive this week, but won't hold my breath.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Everyone knows that I write dystopian fiction, As such I'm interested in a variety fiction of that genre. A friend suggested that I read Orchid #1 from Dark Horse Comics. This issue is only $1.00. Reluctantly, I ordered it from my local comic store.

First thing: This is not for children. It is definitely teen+.

This comic was written by Tom Morello drawn by Scott Hepburn colored by Dan Jackson and lettered by Nate Piekos. The cover was by Massimo Carnevale. I don't know who any of these people are and to my knowledge have never been exposed to them.

The cover captures the essence of Orchid at the beginning of the story. It incorporates several clues that reveal the nature of the world. I think that Massimo would be an excellent choice to due a cover for the second edition of Lucky Streak. ( I love Sean Conn's cover, but don't know if he'll be able to draw a different cover for me,)

Tom Morello's writing is very good. There is a subtlety and complexity that reminds me of some of the best novels. He is not afraid to take chances. He also showed a good skill at misdirection. I found the story to be very well done.

Scott Hepburn's drawing is a very dark realistic style. His faces convey a great deal of emotion and personality. His sense of motion is very good.

Dan Jackson's coloring hits the tone perfectly. The entire book feels dirty and grimy. Red is the only bright color.

I don't know anything about lettering, but Nate Piekos' work did not distract from the story. It was easy to read with appropriate emphasis.

This is a well done book. I give it a definite BUY.

I also really enjoyed the second issue of Demon Knights. It further develops the host of characters.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Non-comic post.

My very long commute provides an excellent opportunity to listen to audiobooks. My favorite source is Librivox. They record books that are in the public domain. They have a great catalog.

On Friday, I finished listening to The Sea Wolf by Jack London. Even though this book is 105 years old, it stands the test of time and is a true masterpiece of psychological deconstruction. I won't give away the plot, but it is completely gripping. I think that it would take a director of the stature of Stanley Kubrick to do this justice. In many ways,  it is more horrific than A Clockwork Orange. Too bad that he died last century.

I hope that my current work in progress begins to approach the subtlety of human change.

Speaking of my WIP, it was my turn to have a selection critted by The Dead Horse Society. The feedback was excellent. They enjoyed the selection and one person asked me how many times I'd edited it. The truth is, only once. I've only changed a few incorrect word choices and a few typos.

The most interesting "observation" by the people is that they reached the conclusion that there is a lesbian affair. I hate to break it to them, but that isn't the case. One person made an interesting suggestion regarding the opening scene. I like the idea, but am concerned that it will read like one of those "lost footage" movies. I wonder if I can use the idea. I'll give part of it a test write.

The news I thought I may have for this entry has not materialized. Perhaps by next time.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Comic Reviews

I read Frankenstein: Agent of shade as on of my selections for the DC 52 relaunch. This is by far the most cartoony of the books I read. I loved the artwork and and the action. The writer did a wonderful job making Frankenstein and the surrounding cast interesting. The artwork added to the surreal feel of the entire book. It is a great combination. I rate this as a buy.

I decided to give Men of War #2 a try. The artwork is still wonderful and the humans are both realistic and interesting. The story does a good job providing a brief backstory on Sgt Rock that enhances his character. Then the story gets bad. Rock is dealing with a godlike being who takes him to the upper-reaches of the atmosphere. She issues a warning. The first issue established that Rock is in the DC Universe and super powered people are around. I hope the involvement would be minimal at best. This is what I didn't want to see. This story is a borrow.

On the other hand, the Navy SEALs story that is also in the book, became considerably more interesting. It continues last issue's story and in well done. The glaring mistakes made before were less noticeable. This story moved from a pants to a borrow.

The other "story" was a bit of batman as an enhanced ad for a batman mini series or book. I'm not a fan.

That's it for this post, I'll be writing another either later today or tomorrow. I promise to talk about writing. I have news.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Friday, September 30, 2011

Musings of a tired mind

I changed jobs recently and my new commute is nearly three hours every day. This really stinks. T he work is interesting and the people nice, but by the end of the day, I'm brain-dead. I haven't written any fiction since the change. This will improve when I move again next month, but in the mean time I'm just going from day to day.

I have a few things to write about today. The first one is Adam Carolla's The Car Show on the Speed Channel. I've watched this since the beginning and really enjoyed the hour long show. Imagine my disappointment when the most recent episode was reduced to half an hour and they dropped John Salley as a host. I am not amused. The new format feels rushed and I feel cheated. I'll continue watching because I appreciate the insights of the panel.. I've never been much of a car person, but they hold my interest without making me feel stupid. Bring back the hour format!

My second topic is a review of Demon Knight. It is one of the DC 52 #1 issues that are restarting in September. I went into it without knowing anything. This is my favorite of the three issues I purchased. The artwork is superb. The story telling feels a little rushed but it is important to introduce the main characters and show a little action. My "friends" at Comic Geek Speak described this as a Dungeons & Dragons adventure in a comic. I couldn't agree more. I really am looking forward to issue 2.  I rate this as a BUY.

As I was typing this, I thought of something else to mention. Yesterday I thought of a fantastic starting line. "I wouldn't say my neighbors had a bad marriage, but she brought a date to his funeral." This will become a story.

That's all for now.
Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Nerdist TV Show

I know that I promised to write a comic review for my next post, but something came up. The Nerdist TV Show aired on BBC America last night. It is based on my favorite podcast, The Nerdist.

Chris Hardwick, Will Wheaton's former roomate, is the host along with Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. The podcast is always funny and I never miss it so I decided to give the show a try.

Craig Ferguson was the first guest. I don't watch very much television so I've never seen his show, but he was a great guest. I laughed both times I watched.

The second guest, who was a surprise to the audience, was Matt Smith. For those who don't know, he is the 11th Doctor on one of my favorite shows Doctor Who. He was funny and had a great pornstar name. You'll need to watch the show to find out what it is.

I give this show the highest possible recommendation to all nerds and geeks. I give a good recommendation to non-geeks. The show was well put together and very funny. It is not meant for children, but anyone 14+ would enjoy it. If it returns, I'll watch it!

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon.
Enjoy your burrito.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Men of War review

As stated earlier, DC is relaunching their entire line with 52 new #1 issues. I haven't read comics since I was a teenager and can't picture myself reading a book about superheroes but I was interested enough to try a few books. ( For my readers, I actually was a Kickstarter member for Fracture from Action Lab comics, but that is an exception. I love PDK Blackbox podcast.)

The first one I purchased was Men of War. Sgt Rock starred in one of my favorite comics. I always enjoyed the war stories. I've could've looked this up, but I think that the stories took place during World War 2.

I hoped that this would be an updated version. The cover depicts a modern soldier wearing dog tags with the name Rock on them. The story starts at a climatic end then flashes back to the beginning. Since this is a first issue, it is very important to grab the audience. That's the only reason I excuse this rather lame device. I wasn't concerned, because who is going to kill the main character in the first issue?

The rest of the story is well done. I really enjoyed the backstory and the artwork is good. The color pallet is an excellent device Most colors are shades of gray with reds being the exception.

After the main story, part 1 of a completely forgettable story about the SEALs was tacked on. I felt so little attachment that I totally forgot about this part.

Now comes my big gripe. The book cost $3.99. Why couldn't DC leave off the SEAL story and drop the price to $2.99?

To use my "friends" at Comic Geek Speak's rating system, this is a "BUY". Despite the price, I feel that the main story was good and the artwork excellent. I hope my budget allows me to continue reading this.

The next post will be a review of Demon Knights.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Friday, September 16, 2011

Something Completely Different

DC Comics is relaunching with 52 number 1 titles. I haven't collected or read comics since I was a teenager, but I met the hosts of Comic Geek Speak at Planet Comicon in Kansas City last spring and started listening. I also started listening to The Walking Dead TV Podcast at the same time and discovered the Half Hour Wasted and Legion of Dudes podcasts. These podcasts covered the re-launch and actually attracted my attention.

Even though provides excellent service and great prices, I decided that if I wanted to read comics, I would either download them or go to my local comic bookstore. Digital day and date is a great thing, but I find the price point of either $3.99 or $4.99 for a digital comic to be way too expensive. After all, the e-version of Lucky Streak only costs $4.99.

I looked through the offerings and decided that I would never read a traditional super-hero comic. I'm just not interested. I can't picture myself reading Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, or any of the numerous Batman titles.

Six or seven weeks ago, I thought that it would be interesting to read only three titles. After careful consideration, I picked Men of War, Demon Knights, and Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. I enjoyed Sgt Rock Comics when I was a child. Men of War follows the adventures of his grandson. Demon Knights follows the story about a demon who is contained within a man. Frankenstein is about the role of Frankenstein in the DC universe. These titles all contain strong horror elements.

I'll write a review each of the issues during the next week. The reviews will contain spoilers so be aware.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Researching my new novel

I've spent the last few days researching social and climatic information regarding events surrounding the driving events upon which one of my new novels is based. It is important that I stress the important pieces without bogging down the plot. I will need to be careful.

The Dead Horse Society's reading at The Writers Place in Kansas City, Missouri went very well. Several people approached me afterwards and said that I did a good job. They also shared the opinion that Lucky Streak sounds very interesting. I even signed a few copies. Every copy that I've signed is dated. The novelty is still mind blowing.

I said that I'd post when the Quarterly Statement from May December Publications arrived. It arrived a few days ago. One would think that this could occur without drama. Yeah, right. I sent an email requesting a correction. They are choosing to ignore it, just like they did my last letter. One final thing, they enclosed a check for $.84.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Another 5 star review

I looked on Amazon and discovered another 5 star review for Lucky Streak. So far I've had only five star reviews. It appears that people like it even though Amazon Sales have not been as good as I hoped.

I had a great twitter conversation with Bill Oberst Jr, the actor. He emailed a great still from the upcoming movie Nuns with Big Guns. He's a friendly guy. He traded a signed picture for a copy of Lucky Streak. I don't want to tell him this, but he was supposed to receive a free copy but someone didn't mail it.

I had a long telephone call from a friend who read Lucky. He was very surprised and is encouraging me to complete the rest of the books. I'm seriously torn between looking for an agent and a new publisher and self-publishing this series. I definitely don't want to put out an inferior product. Since I'm not really an editor, I will most likely search for a new publisher.

There was no drama in my life today, although what I thought was a serious allergy flareup has turned out to be a summer cold. I hope I feel better this weekend. I have my kids and this will probably be the last weekend to use the pool here at the complex.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Update for weekending 08/13/2011

Several of my friends who are known for telling the truth no matter how much it would hurt someone's feelings have read Lucky. One said that there is a scene that "made my skin crawl". I can't tell you how pleased that made me. Another friend who is a non-horror reader gave it a 4 star review only because the horror ending. He described Lucky as gripping and thoroughly enjoyed it. I only wish that others would try it.

I learned that a person requested Lucky Streak for his local library and they said that they won't be adding it to their collection. I'm feeling the pain of all debut novelists at small presses. It is a real struggle to have my book carried. There is a good chance that The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas will carry it. I spoke to the owner when Lucky was first accepted for publication and she said it was likely. When she returns from vacation next week, I'll stop by.

On the evening of Saturday, Aug 13th, I'll be doing a limited reading after The Writer's Place in Kansas City. After the KaCSFFS meeting, I'll read some from Lucky. I really appreciate the chance to read in front of a group of people whom I know. Maybe I'll even sell a copy or two. I'm not holding my breath though.

I want to thank my friend Brad who must realize that my intellect is returning and I'm being completely unreasonable in our "debate" just for the sake of being unreasonable. I'm still fostering the idea of writing a political satire novel.

Finally, I have started on the next Lucky book. I am currently on Chapter 4. The first two chapters started out well. The third was a little disjointed, but it is an early draft. I've also written the first sequence for a novel placed in the time of swords and magic. It isn't high fantasy. I have no plans for elves or orcs and any of that ilk. There is an interesting monster of my own creation though.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Printed version of Lucky Streak is now available

Lucky Streak Print is finally available it has been a long time waiting.

I am working on the start of Lucky sequel and the start of a story that I'm calling Night's Wrath. I don't know which will catch fire and drag me to write it. I'm still pretty tired from working on Luck Streak, but I'm starting to feel the creative juices flow again.

My author's copies of Lucky Streak should be arriving in the mail in the next few days. I'll be glad to see a copy. It won't seem real until then.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interview on The Zombiephiles

Interview of me on The Zombiephiles. Asterdaemon made me sound reasonably intelligent.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lucky Streak available

Printed version will be available on Amazon in a few hours.
Amazon has an eBook available now.
Smashwords has different eBook formats available as well.

If you want to order a signed copy, go here.

When you read it, please do me a big favor and do a review.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First eBook version of Lucky Streak

I am currently reading the first eBook version of Lucky Streak. It will be out on Amazon in a few days. This turned a very bad day into a somewhat good one.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Movie review -- X-Men First Class and The Hammer

Once again I am faced with the daunting task of writing a blog post about my struggles as a writer when I don’t have any real progress to report. Sometimes the adventure in writing is living. My personal life is starting to sort itself out. The divorce is set to be finalized in two weeks. My apartment is clean and organized. I’ve even had the kids for two weekends.
I lack the creative energy to write. A large nondescript wall has materialized in all directions. Every time I seek a new creative avenue, it blocks my path.
Last night, I decided that a writing assignment would jump start my journey. So I went to see X-Men First Class. I collected the comic in the late 1970s and early 80s and I always wanted to learn more about the relationship between Professor X and Magneto. The movie delivered. It is by far the best of the comic book movies that have come out in recent times. Kevin Bacon completely stole the show with his outstanding performance. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Another pleasant surprise was delivered by Netflix -- Adam Corolla’s independent movie, The Hammer. In the interests of full disclosure, I am an avid listener of his #1 in the world downloaded podcast. Even so, I expected him to appear stiff and unbelievable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most people don’t know this, but his big break came when he showed up at a radio station to teach Jimmy Kimmel how to box. His experience showed in every boxing scene. I think I’m going to watch it again before mailing it back. What makes this movie is that it is about Adam’s character’s development. I really cared. See this flick, it is a very solid 3.5 stars.
I guess I managed to write something after all. I hope I didn’t bore you too much. Until next time, I remain Dane Grannon.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I urge my readers to try out the following blog.

A Wolf's Paradise this book is being serialized. I read the latest posting and will now need to make the time to read more.

Review of Hell Hath No Fury.

May December Publications continues the line of zombie anthologies with this excellent collection of short stories written entirely by women. The multi-national group of authors succeed in broadening the scope of what zombie really means.

Many of these stories provide an explanation of how the outbreaks started with causes as varied as bio agents in the water to genetically modified grass. These stories may occurred in the middle of the disaster, but the common theme isn't about the zombies themselves. They examine what it means to be a "family" and love. Many contain timeless themes that highlight the very definition of humanity. This collection is a celebration of our adaptability.
I highly recommend this excellent anthology. The quality of submissions increases with every new May December Publication book.  I give this a solid 4 out of 5 stars,

Review of Eolyn

I want to preface this by saying that I know Karin through the Dead Horse Society Writing Group in Kansas City. I've been reading the sequel in our critique group.

As a middle-aged man, I don't feel like I'm the true demographic for this novel. I rarely read novels with a young female protagonist. It is a challenge for me to relate.

The book starts with a gripping sequence. There are many important bits of information which are necessary to understand the narrative, and they are given in just enough detail to keep the story making sense. I was riveted.

The next section is extremely important for defining the most important interpersonal relationship in the book. I found my attention wondering, but I knew the payoff would be worth plugging through. This is more likely a reflection of my state of mind than the novel. When I re-read it, I think I'll enjoy it more.

The remainder of the novel reads like an experienced novelist. To be honest, I felt it was more complex and subtle than King Rat. The plot contained many reasonable complications. None of the characters are exactly the way they appear. This rich world successfully engaged me to the point that I read the last hundred pages in almost no time. The ending was not a surprise to me since I'm reading the sequel, but normal readers will be excited by this.

All in all, I give this 4 out of 5 stars compared to all novels that I read. As a first novel this is 5 out of 5. I urge everyone to read it.

An excellent hardcopy may be purchased at here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Update for Week Ending 5-28-2011 -- ConQuest

I attended ConQuest 42 in Kansas City on Friday and Saturday. This was the first Con that I feel like I really participated in. As a member of the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Club, I knew the people running the event. I even volunteered to enter many of the items donated for the auction into a spread sheet. It felt good to help. I hope that the Con raised a lot of money for Joplin, MO.

What made ConQuest different than PlanetComicCon for me is that I had friends attending. I felt welcome. It is always difficult for me to establish new relationships, but the people around me have been fantastic. Everyone I dealt with was extremely nice and loved to talk. Several of the people who manned the panels I attended were open to me talking to them in the "hallway" later. They all enjoyed talking about the trends in SF and Fantasy.

I have an interesting idea for a blog entry that I may write in the next few weeks. The greatest effect of my attendance that I feel revived. My spirit and energy are back. I will start writing again, but first things first, I must move. There many details that must be finished.

I want to give a special shout out to Captain Logan at .wearegeeksnotnerds who talked to me about comics, movies and our books for around 30 minutes on a U-Stream cast. It was great practice for me to be interviewed. Since then I've check out their site and found a lot of great things.

Finally, if you are into geek culture and don't know about Luke Ski shame on you. We performed a concert that kept me laughing the entire time. I purchased 5 of his CDs. You should too. My favorite song is Arkham Asylum.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Update for Week Ending 5-21-2011

This week I registered my domain name and set up a basic website and simple online shopping cart through Go Daddy. The tools were extremely simple to use and it was very economical.

I now have an income goal for my writing. I want to make enough to pay for the website and all my writing supplies. With the publication of Lucky Streak, I believe that this is attainable.

Writer's block has fully manifested itself, so I'm writing anything just to get the words on the screen. On Friday I watched a horror movie and wrote a review. The review became a blog post. I haven't heard back from Altered Realities Radio yet, but remain hopeful that they will publish it. If so, I may try one each week.

Last night I attended a writing conference conducted by Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Club. I didn't learn anything new, but it is always renewing to spending time talking about writing. Afterwards Robin Wayne Bailey, Diane Bailey, Chris McKitterick, and I went out to eat at Marrakech Cafe. I really enjoyed the food and company.

I am really looking forward to ConQuest. It is less than a week away. There will be flyers advertising Lucky Streak on the free table. Shawn Conn did his normal incredible job on the flyer. I'm extremely lucky to be working with him.

That is all for now. Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Slaughter -- Movie Review

The Slaughter was directed by Jay Lee was released in 2006. This low-budget comedy/horror film starts seriously then descends into silliness. It is the true hallmark of a film that refused to take itself seriously. This movie cost only $25,000 (estimated) to make.

The opening scene is straight out of Lovecraft. A group of beautiful nude women chant and summon a cheesy-looking demon. The event is interesting but overdone.

The next scene features a young mother who is awakened by a thunderstorm. The sequence of lightning strikes reveal a swapping of the demon carrying an axe with that of the mother. The mother checks on her daughter and discovers her hacked in two. She rushes from the room and falls over the stairway guardrail and is impaled on the landing.

This beginning juxtaposed black-and-white and color shots to good effect. I think this could have been the start of a serious horror show. From this point on, the descent into comedy begins.
The remainder of the movie relates the story of a group of six college kids, the jerk boss and his pretty but bossy assistant. These characters represent the most common eight archetypes of bad horror movies -- the nerd, the jock, the stoner, the normal guy, the big-breasted blonde, the greedy boss, the harassed assistant and my favorite, the competent woman. At first I thought  she would be the helpless girl but I was pleasantly surprised.

At first I thought the movie was taking itself seriously and was going to stop watching it; however, as time passed, I realized that it was a comedy and my enjoyment increased. The script and acting are full of deliberate overacting and exaggerations. Behind the silliness lurked a plot that could be filmed as a moderately decent straight horror film. There are also numerous homages to pop culture.
This is not the greatest of movies ( I give it 2.5 of 5 stars) but I'll freely admit that the ending surprised me. While I can't recommend paying to watch, it is good enough for see for free. There is some silly violence and nudity and it deserves its "R" rating.

I hope you enjoyed this review. To learn more about me visit my blog at and my website at

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update for Week Ending 5-14-2011

Time for yet another boring post. The Adventure is dragging. I think that I wrote less than 500 words.

There are many reasons but the most pressing is that I'm feeling the effects of stress on my life. Yes I know that I sound like I'm whining, but all in all this was a bad week. It started with my birthday. For the first time in 21 years, I have neither wife nor girlfriend to celebrate with. The soon to be ex-wife officially filed the papers. I'm be more reasonable than I should but at this point I want it over with.

I have purchased most of the basics to furnish my new apartment. I'm waiting until I have the moving truck to pick up the futon I'll use for a bed. I plan to buy a nice bed in a few months, but will shop around for a while. Maybe, I'll try a Sleep Number bed. In any event I'll select a considerably softer mattress than the one I have now.

My mother's health continues to deteriorate. I am gravely concerned that she won't last out the year. She probably end up in a nursing home before too much longer. I'm being supportive of my sister in her attempts to deal with this. I hope my brothers do the same. I don't have the emotional energy to deal with this. I feel almost empty.

This leads me to my writing. Lucky Streak is scheduled for publication on July 20, 2011. I should be excited about this, but right now, I want it to be over with. My publisher should be sending over an updated pre-press version in the next few days. I expect it to be clean. She is extremely thorough.

This post is rambling. I am ending it now, before it gets worse.

Until next week, I remain, Dane Grannon

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Update for Week Ending 5-07-2011

As I write this, I am sitting at the launch party of EOLYN. I met Karin only a few months ago. She is a wonderful writer. I’m only one-third of the way through and it has been a delight.

As I sit here, I feel happy for her but almost insanely jealous. I’m an adult and should be beyond these feelings; however, the events in my life are such that my emotions are on edge. I must endeavor to control them or link this into a package that can be utilized in my writing. I find that my best writing originates in strong emotions and powerful memories. My writing is never a true memory, but a trickle within the torrents of my stories.

My writing is going poorly. The second book is proving impossible to write. I have a detailed outline and well-defined characters but almost no motivation. I wonder if this is related to my concern that no one will actually purchase Lucky Streak. May December Publications is a creating a flyer that I can place on a free table at the entrance to ConQuest. I hope that they generate good sales.

I hope that some of my followers will review Lucky Streak and help me plug the book. A few months ago, one of my friends said that she will interview me closer to the publication date. I look forward to this. I trust her to take my not-so-great public speaking skills and transform them to coherence. 

A month from now, I’ll be settling into my new apartment. There are many details to manage, so I’ll have no difficulties finding distractions. This bodes an ill-wind for my writing. I’m considering taking break, but I worry if I stop, I won’t start again.

Until next week, I remain Dane Grannon

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Update for Week Ending 4-30-2011

I seem to have run out of steam on writing the sequel to Lucky Streak. At the moment I can't force myself to write another zombie novel. That doesn't mean that I've stopped writing. I finished the rough draft of my bad guy story, An Ordinary Day, and started another creature feature, Night's Wrath. Of course these titles will probably change.

I really like where Night's Wrath is headed. The protagonist in the first scene came to life much better than I imagined. I may have stumbled upon a character who is strong enough for a novel. The world is certainly interesting, but that part was easy. I placed it in the same general area of The Undead War and Escape From Hope. It also contains a monster that I created. This beast is becoming more powerful every time I use him.

I spent Friday evening at the pre-launch party for Eolyn by Karin Rita Gastreich. As of this writing, I am only two chapters in on the first book, but I read 4 chapters of the second. Karin is a member of The Dead Horse Society in Kansas City and we are providing her feedback. I'll write a review later.

My idea of having a sale on Escape From Hope appears to have fallen on its face. The coupon code is still available and works until the middle of May, but no one is buying. In the past week thirty people told me that they visited this blog and used the codes to download the story. I can see through my traffic meter that this is not the case. The solution to poor sales is to write better. Maybe the next story will work.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Update for Week Ending 4-23-2011

I'm been working on expanding my short story An Ordinary Day for possible inclusion in a new anthology from May December Publications. The story is different in tone and approach from my novels. It is a challenge to write, but that isn't my biggest issue. I work very hard to tell the best stories I can. My editor and beta-readers really like them, but sales are nearly non-existent. I arranged for a sale, as a test to see if the base price was too high, but apparently it didn't make a difference. I sold two copies in the past two weeks.

If the launch of Lucky Streak doesn't go well, I think I'll take the hint. There are lots of movies I'd like to see and books to read. Perhaps the world doesn't need mine.

I read an article that sums up my current feelings about eBook/eComic piracy Pirates bankrupt Writers.

Until next time? I remain Dane Grannon.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Update for Week Ending 4-16-2011

This week I submitted two short stories. The first one An Ordinary Day is my attempt at a bad guy story for an anthology. It is shorter than the others submitted for it, but I tell the story without any added fluff. I think it adds to the horror. I'll see what the editor thinks.

The other short story is a rework of the story Return From Paradise. This story was the last story cut from an anthology last year. I've tightened it some more and think this is my best short story yet. I really hope it finds a home.

I've been writing on the sequel to Lucky Streak. It is going well. A Facebook friend expressed an interest in doing a cameo so I've added her in. I think that her character won't be fluff and will survive my edits.

That is it for now. Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Update for Week Ending 4-09-2011

I started writing on the sequel. I like the way that it is going. The idea is strong. The outline is becoming more complete as I progress. It is apparent that I've incorporated many of the writing tips that I've been given over the past several months.

I've been reading the materials that I picked up at the Planet Comicon. The comics are wonderful. I really enjoyed The Prospector and The Sixth Gun. I feel very fortunate that Darren Neely, Cullen Bunn, and Brian Hurtt all signed their creations.

The wait for Lucky Streak's publication is driving me crazy. It is almost futile to concentrate on my writing.

I'm enjoying my membership in The Dead Horse Society. I genuinely feel like I am learning a lot and building friendships.

Today is April 10, 2011. Happy Birthday D.A. Chaney! @DA_Chaney Give her a shout out.

Until next time, I remain Dane Grannon

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Missing Person Alert from HHWLOD--Houston Area--4/2 @1819 CDT

HHWLOD missing person for the HHWLOD family.

More information

Update for Week Ending 4-02-2011

I have started writing on the sequel to Lucky Streak. It is a lot more fun than working on an outline.

My posting of the HWA letter about Dorchester generated hundreds of hits on my blog. If I'd been thinking, I would have included a post about Lucky Streak so that it was visible from the start. I didn't think about it until several hours had passed. It was a missed opportunity.

May December Publications sent my quarterly royalty statement. If just half the people who said that they were going to buy my story actually did, I would have ten times as many sales. It's a good thing that I have a day job, otherwise I'd starve.

I listened to a horror related podcast and made a connection with an actor whose work I admire. He is pretty cool and said that he'll read Lucky Streak when it comes out. I added him to my publisher's free copy list. I hope that he writes/says something nice about it, but only if he really likes it.

That is all for now. Until next time, I remain Dane Grannon.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Special Letter from HWA

Dear HWA Member:

The National Board of the Horror Writers Association previously voted unanimously to remove Dorchester Publishing and its Leisure imprint from our list of Approved Publishers, primarily because the company no longer meets two of our key criteria:

1. The initial print run by the publisher for a book-length work of fiction or nonfiction must be at least five hundred copies and must be widely available in brick-and-mortar stores (not "special order" titles). In other words, print-on-demand publishers and Internet-only publishers do not qualify.

2. The publisher must not wrongfully withhold or delay royalty payments to authors. We have been hearing an unusually high number of reports from our members of unpaid advances and withheld royalties on their Dorchester books. We have also heard reports that electronic versions have been published in breach of members' copyright.

New Dorchester titles are not eligible for Bram Stoker Award consideration nor will its authors be eligible for Active Status membership for any books published after January 1, 2011. It has been made clear to Dorchester that it is welcome to reapply for Associate membership status only if all these problems have been rectified.

The HWA president has written an open letter to Dorchester, which appears below. This e-bulletin has been authorized by HWA's National Board of Directors.

Open Letter to Dorchester Publishing:

To the Attention of Robert Anthony, President, Dorchester Publishing

Dear Mr. Anthony,

This is an Open Letter on behalf of the Horror Writers Association.

We have been made aware of numerous claims by our members and other authors that reflect poorly upon Dorchester’s business practices. This is particularly the case with the Leisure imprint.

On behalf of our members, I write to remind you that Dorchester/Leisure has been removed from our Approved Publisher List. New Dorchester/Leisure authors cannot use their relationship with your organization as status credits for our Membership categories; nor are your titles published after January 1, 2011, eligible for Bram Stoker Award consideration.

We request that you pay all HWA members who are owed royalties by Leisure/Dorchester no later than April 30, 2011. We also request an immediate assurance that Dorchester will fulfill all your contractual obligations to all HWA members published prior to March 31, 2011; that you provide a full and accurate accounting of royalties due as per your contracts with each HWA member; and that you will pay all future royalties in full and on time.

We also request Dorchester audit your catalog and that of your Associates to determine that no fiction is offered for sale in electronic format in breach of authors’ copyright or other rights, and that Dorchester compensate HWA members for any electronic copies of their work that have already been sold in breach of their rights, no later than April 30, 2011.

We request that Dorchester provide immediate active assistance to all HWA members wishing to revert rights where that reversion is consistent with Dorchester’s existing policies and/or contractual obligations.

Leisure/Dorchester should also cease and desist from publishing any material written by HWA members where that member has requested Leisure to do so within your mutual contractual obligations, and in any format—printed or electronic.

Should Dorchester complete these requests and show ongoing good faith toward all authors, including HWA members, HWA will reconsider Dorchester’s status.

Rocky Wood
President HWA (in accordance with Resolution of the HWA Board)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Update for Week Ending 3-26-2011

As I write this, I am getting ready to go to Planet Comicon in Kansas City. I am pretty excited about this. This is the first year that I've attended a Con since I was in college.

Next some exciting news. A good friend of mine whose enthusiasm for horror greatly exceeds his budget, requested that his local library requested First Time Dead Vol 1. He chose this book based on my review. I looked on my site traffic and saw that a library read my reviews. I hope that I played a small role in their decision. I urge all of my readers to request that their library order the books I recommend.

I finally came up with the idea to tie together the middle of my book. I hope to complete my outline by 3/31 then it will be time to start writing. After that the goal will be for 500 words a day. It will take six months to complete the rough draft. I am looking forward to the challenge.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Special Guest Blog from H.C.Elliston

If a magic formula for writing a good book exists, then I’d love to hear about it! Getting TICK TOCK RUN to the stage where I felt proud (and like I wouldn’t totally embarrass myself) took endless late nights, missing out on a social life, and an overdose of stress. For over two years, I went to bed every night with words flying around in my head. I’d jump up, race to the bathroom and scribble ideas on an empty toilet roll tube – I still do that now, did it last night! I am still learning the craft of writing. Always will be. My stories won’t ‘hit the spot’ for everyone as we all have varying tastes. I can only hope that a small chunk of readers enjoy curling up on their sofa, trying to work out who the baddie is, while cheering my characters on. Writing this novel has been one of the toughest undertakings of my life, it’s also a very lonely experience, but one of the most satisfying.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekly Update for week ending 3/19/2011

This week has been busy. I added considerable detail to the first third of my outline for the Lucky Sequel. (I really should come up with a name.) I'm happy with the results so far. This prep work helped me fix a plot error. I had someone appearing as a normal human after death. This is fixed.

I know that my publisher has other books in the queue before mine, but I'm very anxious to receive their final copy. My situation is being made worse by the imminent arrive of my business cards and the t-shirts that I had printed to advertise my book. I plan to wear the shirts at ConQuesT KC during Memorial Day weekend. Originally I planned to have a dealer's table and sell some May December Publications books; however, it won't work out.

I've joined The Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society ( KaCSFFS ). The monthly meeting was last night. Three people read. Someday, I will too.

Until next week, I remain, Dane Grannon

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Action Lab Entertainment -- Fracture #1

A few days ago, I received my copy of the Kickstarter edition of Fracture from Action Lab Entertainment. I've been swamped but finally took the time to read this wonderful issue.

I won't give a spoiler, but the concept behind the comic is excellent. I enjoy the ying/yang nature of the book. The interplay between Malice and Virtue is excellent. I'm glad that I participated in this Kickstarter project. I'm glad that I learned about this from The Nerdist Podcast.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekly Update for week ending 3/12/2011

I await formatted manuscript from my editor. The ending is sound. Publication date is getting close. I know this writing doesn't reflect it, but I'm extremely excited and filled with dread. What if sales are as pathetic as my novelette, Escape From Hope?

The sequel plotting is going well. I finished the first 24,000 and the last 24,000 words. The problem lies in the middle arc. I need to devise a plot strong enough to tie it together. It is not helping that the 'G' key is sticking on my keyboard.

I have many ideas about what I need to accomplish in terms of social commentary and distant events, but I need to be able to show the changes without telling. It will be boring if not in context.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Successful ending

Both of my beta readers like the latest incarnation of my ending. I really like it as well. The only person I haven't heard from is the editor. I think it will be acceptable. I am happy.

Last night, I plotted out another six thousand words on my outline.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New ending feedback

My beta readers thought my new ending was horrible. I'm glad for their input. The last thing that I wast is to put out a substandard product. @astrademon had a great suggestion. I'll try to write it up during lunch.

Note to Writers: Always thank your beta readers -- they are priceless.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekly Update for week ending 3/05/2011

On Thursday I received a copy of the artwork that will be the cover of Lucky Streak. Shawn Conn did an excellent job capturing the essence of the scene. I am extremely happy with it. Needless to say, I'm very excited.

Todd finished reading my manuscript. He made a suggestion for changing the last chapter. To be honest, it was very hard to hear any criticism of my novel -- my baby. That said, I kept an open mind and decided to try and rewrite it. I'm still torn about whether or not I can accomplish what I want, but I'll write it and see. I spoke with some of my other readers and they also said that the ending seemed weak. I need to improve my story. I hope that this makes the story better.

Part of this adventure is learning to work as a professional. I need to incorporate others' advice into the structure of my story. I hope I've learned my lesson.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon