Free Stories for All Tastes (by me)

It's been a while since I posted to the free stories I have up online.  Since traffic to my blog seems to be growing lately, I figured it would be a good idea to let people know where they can find actual stories from me -- and for free, no less!

A few years ago, I self-published a collection of short stories.  I later published the first story in that collection, "Unrequited," as it's own ebook.  "Unrequited" is probably one of the best things I've ever written, and is easily the story I've gotten the most positive feedback on.  It's also a bit on the long side, which automatically disqualified it from publication in most literary journals.

"Unrequited" is about internet dating and the end of the world.  It's a love story...with zombies.

In that collection, I matched "Unrequited" up with two other short stories that literary journals had deemed unpublishable.  The first is Mercurial, which is non-linear and cyclical and about relationships.  Honest to god, it got rejected an awful lot because it's too weird, and I submitted it to a lot of weird places.

Author Francois Camoin referred to "Mercurial" as "the story that reads like it was written on drugs."

The third and final story in that collection is "Grimm."  It was also far too long for publication in any literarly journal and, as such, I never bothered submitting it anywhere.  Perhaps I could have cut it down to a more digestible form, and would instead be pointing you towards a well known literary magazine to read it, but for some reason that never occurred to me.

"Grimm" is connected to my first book, "I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At."

The first story I ever had published by someone other than myself was "Weight."  This story was something of a turning point for me, as it represented the last short story I would ever write with my bizarre need to use only one word in the title.  It was published by the Ginosko Literary Journal.

All of my short stories are connected, and "Weight" features the back story of a character who plays a prominent role in every thing I've written.

You can find "Gateway Drug" in a literary journal called Children, Churches, and Daddies, which is a mouthful.  They have mastered the art of repackaging, though, so there are currently three different anthologies that feature this story.  It is probably the only flat out humorous story I've ever written.

Most of what happens in "Gateway Drug" actually happened to me.

I recently had a short story, "Young Zombies in Love," accept by Best New Writing, for what I'm assuming is their 2014 edition (as it's an annual publication).  I don't want to step on any toes by just giving it away for free -- not yet, anyway.

It occurred to me lately that my portfolio of short stories has gotten lean.  There's the six that I mentioned above, half of which are stuck in self-publishing purgatory.  I have probably a dozen more (at least), but none of them are where they need to be.

Then again, I don't know if I thought "Weight" or "Gateway Drug" were where they needed to be, either, but apparently other people liked them well enough.

Short stories are a funny business.

You can, of course, find my first, full length book anywhere they sell books, thanks to the fine folks at Hellgate Press.  It's called "I Pray Hardest When I'm Being Shot At," and if you like anything I've ever written, you'll like it, and vice versa.

Oh, I'm also really nerdy and contributed an essay for "Joss Whedon" the Complete Companion."

In the near future, I'll share some of my YA book, "Master of the House."

I think it's actually getting pretty good.