28 June 2012

June 2012 Silverthought update

The June 2012 update of Silverthought Online includes short fiction by Bryan Carrigan, Alexandra Fresch, M.R. Jordan, David McAodha, and Curtis Waugh, an excerpt from Silverthought's upcoming print and digital release Suicide Sons by Michael Gold, and a new episode of Breakfast with the Author in which Mark R. Brand interviews James Tadd Adcox and Rebekah Silverman.

Since Silverthought's last update, we've released paperback and digital editions of The Damnation of Memory by Mark R. Brand, Drink for the Thirst to Come by Lawrence Santoro, Blood: The New Red by David S. Grant, moon chalk by David LaBounty, and I'm pleased to announce that Suicide Sons by Michael Gold will soon be available in paperback—and while I was writing this, it became available in Kindle edition.  You can check out the pre-order page for the paperback and read an excerpt of the book.  A decidedly darker turn than Michael's previous Silverthought publication, Horror House Detective, Suicide Sons is a compelling story of religion gone wrong.

Back to Kindle editions, the majority of Silverthought's back catalog is now available in Kindle format.  Don't have a Kindle?  Download the Kindle app for your computer, mobile device, or tablet, or you can use Amazon's Cloud Reader to enjoy our titles.  We've had some surprising successes in the e-book arena—Jim Bainbridge's 2010 novel Human Sister has quickly become the best selling and best reviewed book in the history of Silverthought, both designations the book richly deserves.  To follow up Human Sister, our Elm Ridge Books imprint will be releasing Jim's poetry collection Cloud-Glazed Mirror in July.  It is a collection described by Paulette Bates Alden as "fresh, vital and precise. Whether tender, playful or meditative, the poems are fully engaged with the world of the senses, nature, emotion and consciousness, calling us to a deeper level of awareness of what it means to feel and experience life fully. Beguiling and luminous, these are poems to savor and return to."  The collection includes the Pushcart-nominated "Blood" and eponymous second-place winner of the LaNelle Daniel Prize in Poetry.

Another surprising success in Kindle format has been my Silver trilogy, which were the genesis for this little web site.  Without Enemy, An End, and Broken, there wouldn't be a Silverthought.  I've received so many encouraging responses to these books, which have gone largely ignored for the greater part of a decade.  I've also learned that apparently a lot of reviewers hate my books, hate me, and think I should stop writing and all copies of my books should be burned.  I guess that's what I get for rejecting many, many tens of thousands of writers over the last decade.  But after my feeling stopped hurting, I redoubled my efforts and now have a horror novel, a scifi collaboration, and the conclusion to The Grange on my writing to-do list.  Take that, reviewers! In related news, thanks to the speed and ease of Amazon KDP, my next three books are already available for download, and I haven't even written them yet.  And hey, they already have a slew of one-star reviews!  Go figure.

I'm also working frantically to ready books for print including The Beauties by Lauryn Allison Lewis—whose fantastic scifi work solo/down is now available from our friends at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography—and Scott Too by Victor Giannini, a novella Roger Rosenblatt described as "fiction of the highest order.  Giannini uses his device of confused identities to get at basic questions of what it means to be one's self, to be human. In spare, restrained prose, he gives us a taut, intense novella at once mysterious and moving.  This is a work of humane imagination."

On the structural and logistical side of Silverthought, avid visitors will note that the forum has been deactivated.  In terms of simple practicality, we must follow our community to the social media sites they use and let the older forms of interactivity go for now.  We may resurrect the forum at some point, but Facebook and Twitter will receive the majority of our attention, so like and follow Silverthought if you haven't already done so.  We have also incorporated a new (old) Silverthought blog into our main page.  Mark has already posted some great suggestions for submitters there, and we intend to use this blog as a place for quick posts between major site updates, giving you all the Silverthought news and minutiae you can bear to read.

And speaking of bearing to read, we're going to be shutting down submissions to our Silverthought and Offense Mechanisms print divisions for the rest of 2012.  Submissions to our online division will continue as usual.  We have a considerable print submissions queue and it must be shoveled out before we can take on any more.  Thank you for your patience.  If anyone wants an unpaid internship rejecting vampire books, let me know.  Not kidding.

And oh yeah, Mark has been included on CBS Chicago's list of "Five Indie Chicago Authors And Publishers For Which To Watch Out" or something like that.  So congratulations to Mark—and WATCH OUT FOR HIM.  Seriously.

I hope you enjoy this update, and stay tuned for more books, more shorts, more breakfasts, and more snarky responses to one-star reviews.  Viva la guerra!


06 June 2012

EDITOR UPDATES: A new feature

Things are changing at Silverthought Press this summer, and one of the big changes involves retiring the forums that have been a part of our site from the beginning. A hundred years ago (or 2001, if you want to get specific about it) Silverthought lived mostly on a board hosted at illout.com. We were disorganized, unseasoned, and about as green as a granny apple, but our little community was one of the most fun things I've ever experienced online. We moved to our own dedicated board shortly thereafter, and it's with a bit of sadness that we let this part of Silverthought go, since Facebook and Twitter or whatever you kids are using these days really don't carry the same sort of specificity that a dedicated message board does. On the bright side, social media platforms like Facebook have let us share our books and our work with more readers than ever before, and we've made the transition right along with the rest of our writers, readers, and friends.

One part that couldn't be replicated by social media, though, was the staff interaction that made the forums so fun in days past. With that in mind, and in order to communicate a bit more directly with the hundreds of short fiction submitters that I read regularly, I've decided to revive a periodic blog feature to talk about whatever is pertinent at the moment to my editorial duties. Because I also regularly submit work to dozens of short fiction venues, I know firsthand how important it is to be kept up on what a publisher is looking for and how they're doing in terms of working through a submissions queue. There were a few terrific threads on the forum about generally what we like and don't like, and I'll try to recreate those here so that even when the forum is gone, you can still have access to them. I can also answer any questions at length here that readers, writers, or submitters might have about who we are and what we do.