Well, the editorial this month was going to be an amusing (I thought so!) piece, and I’d been thinking about it for days and how I was going to approach it. Only … you know, those life things again. So this won’t be an amusing or even a semi-demi-hemi-amusing editorial. It’ll just be one of those times where I say: Go get some writing done! Quick like a bunny, write! Write write write! Are you writing yet?
While you’re writing, also be thinking of how you can help someone else—I’ve talked about this in the past, and I’ll just briefly mention it here. Go read to someone in a nursing home or rehab unit; play music for them; visit visit visit! Or go play with some kitties or dogs at a shelter. Make some blankets or toys for shelter animals. Make some sandwiches and hand them out to the homeless. There’s a lot you can do … and it really doesn’t take that much effort.
And while you are doing something for other folks, please do something for yourself: If you do not have a carbon-monoxide detector where you live, please put one in. Now. This minute. I’ll wait while you put one up. And keep the batteries new. This could save your life. It WILL save your life. Eleven years ago this month, I had purchased one and put the batteries in, but didn’t get around to hanging it up in the basement (the effort! So little in retrospect, of course). However, I left it on the kitchen counter, not far from the basement door. Days later, I was awakened around dawn by the sound of an alarm and the alarm’s human voice saying there was carbon monoxide present—the chimney had collapsed inside, and the furnace came on, and the gases weren’t venting, and the basement filled up with carbon monoxide, and it reached the first floor, and it was only a matter of time before it reached the second floor where my bedroom is. That alarm saved my life; I know that without it I would have slept right on into oblivion. I would be dead. So please don’t screw around. There’s no excuse not to get a carbon-monoxide detector. If you can’t afford one, talk to someone about helping out; borrow money; sell something; talk to your local fire dept. Get one NOW!
I have no easy way to jump from the previous paragraph to this one, so here’s more stuff from past editorials that I’ll keep mentioning until I get some of these articles.
I was just thinking about various newsletter-y things earlier this evening, and you know what I’d really like to see? An in-depth article or two about occult/paranormal detectives. Anyone interested in writing it? Query me. Thanks!
Also, I’d LOVE (really!) to see what you as a writer (or artist or editor or whatever) do for marketing and promotion of your work. I want to run these useful bits in upcoming issues. The marketing tips and techniques (blog crawls? Tweets? Press releases? Radio interviews? Cookie-baking contests?) should be no longer than a page or two.
And don’t forget: I am still interested in knowing where you work; it’s one of those things that fascinates me: where does a creative person create. Do you have a cozy shed out in the backyard where you can get away from it all? Do you spread out all your notebooks and pens and imported stationery across a wide-planked verandah as you catch those cooling evening breezes? Have you snagged an isolated spot in the quiet living room, the noisy laundry room, the cobweb-infested basement? Are you camping out in a garret (aka the attic)? Do you have an actual office set aside, filled with all the incredibly neat stuff that serious writers and artists need? Let me know where you work … and include a photo or two and a line or two or three about the space. I have about a dozen or so submissions right now, and I’m going to run these and the others you’ll be sending me in future issues.
And, as always, I’d like to see articles (or perhaps columns) on the following:
– YA horror (writing, marketing, etc.)
– unusual stuff out in the horror world
– comics and graphic novels
– writing plays
– writing films
– writing stuff we don’t know much about
– publicity and marketing
– media tie-ins and novelizations
– writing computer games
– collaborations (the good, the bad, and the ugly)
– horror subgenres (historical, sf, mystery, etc.)
– horror photography
– the ups and downs, ins and outs of self-publishing
– horror in other countries
– writer archives/library collections
– different kinds of horror/trends
– what happens when a writer dies (this is about the estate, not decomposition of the actual body)
– the late great giants of the field
– what folks in the field see for the future of the genre
– humor in horror
– horror and television
– horror and the stage
– horror and snacks (Just wanted to see if you were awake! Please pass the ladyfingers!)
– horror cosplay
– horror crafts
– horror field trips (places to visit: Lizzie Borden’s house, Poe’s grave, Cthulhu Caverns, The Editor’s Demonic Slope, etc.)
– religion in horror
– sex and the single horror writer, aka erotica and horror
– horror maps and geography and real and not-real places
– the horror writer and social media
– the history of horror
– ghost hunters/paranormal investigation
– horror tropes—old and new
– how to write enticing, entertaining, engaging jacket copy without giving away twists and the ending
– decorating the horror home
– horror art, book covers, posters, etc.
– discussions with librarians, editors, etc.
– this and that … the list goes on.
Query me first at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can send me a private message on Facebook. Do NOT query me in a post on my Facebook page or HWA’s page. Do NOT send opinion pieces or blog reprints (mostly—but it depends, of course, on the subject matter).
And don’t forget to send photos of your book signings and readings and seminars and dictionary bake-offs and other writerly events.
The deadline for each issue is ALWAYS the 15th of each month, so send your news/photos/whatever early—that is, BEFORE the 15th and not on that date or shortly after. This is FREE promotion for you and your work! FREE! FREE! FREE! Take advantage of that!
As always, I would like to thank my proofreaders: Dean Wild, Greg Faherty, Morven Westfield, Walt Jarvis, Sheri White, Anthony Ambrogio, Marge Simon, Naching Kassa, and Joel Jacobs. And thanks to the sainted Donna K. Fitch for all her extremely hard work getting the newsletter put up at the Web!
The deadline for the JANUARY issue is Friday, December 15.
Happy holidays and all that festive stuff! And Happy New Year! (I’m writing the editorial just days before Thanksgiving, so it feels odd to be saying anything about the new year, but it’s hurtling toward us! Aieeee!)