Cover Reveal: Burn Baby Burn Baby by Kevin Craig

Not one of my normal blogs, but this is important. Kevin Craig, fellow writer, fellow MNMer, fellow WCDRer, friend, and all around excellent guy, has a new book coming out. This is something special and you should take notice:

Curiosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for contemporary, young-adult Burn Baby Burn Baby, by Kevin Craig, which is due for release December 11, 2014. The cover was designed by CQ managing partner Eugene Teplitsky.

Burn Baby Burn 1000About Burn Baby Burn Baby:

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.

The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

Pre-order Burn Baby Burn Baby from Amazon.

Add Burn Baby Burn Baby to your Goodreads ‘to-be-read’ list.

Kevin Craig - Author picAbout The Author:

Kevin Craig is the author of three previous novels; Summer on Fire, Sebastian’s Poet, and The Reasons. He is a 4-time winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon’s Best Novel Award. Kevin is also a playwright and has had eight 10-minute plays produced. His poetry, short stories, memoir and articles have been published internationally. Kevin was a founding member of the Ontario Writers’ Conference and a long-time member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR). He is represented by literary agent Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group.

Find Kevin Craig Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Suddenly, a flood

For the longest time, things on the writing front seems to go quiet for me.

Oh sure, I still attended writing-related meetings with the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR) and Simcoe County (WCSC), but even the WCDR meetings fell off in the last couple of months, as I just couldn’t get to them, and I’ve missed a ton of meetings at the York Region (WCYR) chapter as well.

And I still get requests and calls for Vanishing Hope, the little book that could.  It’s sold so much better than I ever thought it would.  And it also gave me a lot more confidence, but more on that as we go along.

I even got interviewed by Pat over at Nine Day Wonder that you can read here if you so desire.

I’m also registered for the Ontario Writers’ Conference May 5.

And of course, I’m still pounding away at my 500 words a day.

So what have I been up to and what does this have to do with the flood mentioned in the title?

First, we go back to October.  The aforementioned WCDR ran a short story contest called Whispered Words.  I’m not much of a contest guy, but I thought, what the heck?  Let’s give it a shot.  I had two ideas floating around that would both work within the confines of the contest rules (1 – no more than 1000 words; 2 – someone has to whisper).  I wrote both stories, one called Scooter’s Last Run and the other, Stealing Corey.

While I had high hopes for both of them, I found the 1000-word limit awfully restricting forScooter.

At the end of Jan this year, I found out Stealing Corey had made it to the semi-finals.  In the words of Yoda, excited I was.

But then I didn’t make it past there, still top 20-ish of more than 220 entries?  I’ll take that.  Didn’t hurt that the person that took the grand prize is my fellow board member in the WCSC, Deepam Wadds.  And good for her, it’s well-deserved.

Then, earlier this week, I found out Stealing Corey was selected to appear in the Whispered Words anthology to be released sometime in late May or early June.

So that’s Good News Number One.

Now let’s go back to January.  Just a little into 2012, I got an email out of the blue from the crazy, yet somehow lovable Ed Kurtz.  He was starting a new series of novellas featuring a character of his own making, Sam Truman, a PI working on the fringes of legality and reality in a New York-like setting circa 1960.  But Sam doesn’t get the normal cases.  A simple robbery puts him in the middle of reanimated corpses.  A missing persons case somehow involves aliens.

Anyway, Ed asked me if I’d like to create a Sam Truman Mystery for Abattoir Press.  Well duh.  That was a no-brainer.  Not telling Ed that I’d tried to write a mystery before and completely crashed and burned, not hinting that the thought of attacking another one terrified me, completely bamboozling him into thinking I was a competent writer (something made a lot more easy when he lives in Texas and I’m hiding in Ontario), I jumped in and came up with my own twisted spin on Sam.  And, incidentally, Ed’s also been the only one that asked me to tone it down a bit.  If you read his novel Bleed then imagine the guy telling me to tone it down, that’s saying something.

Okay, full disclosure, the tone down was due to the 1960s timeframe, not because I managed to gross him out.  I question whether that’s even possible with Ed.

So, what’s all this leading up to?  Well, the first novella in the series, Catch My Killer! written by Ed Kurtz himself, is available in ebook right friggin’ now!  Go here, order a copy and devour it in all it’s pulpy goodness.  Come on, can you really go wrong for a buck ninety-nine?

The second entry into the series, Brandon Zuern‘s The Last Invasion drops May 15 and it’s as goofy, pulpy and fun as Ed’s.

Then, aptly enough, on Canada Day (that’s July 1 for the rest of the world) my little entry is birthed into the world.  Called Soft Kiss, Hard Death, I’m not going to give much away about it except to say that my son, the oft-mention Boy of this blog, happened upon me as I was Google searching a particular plot point.  He looked at me, scrunched up his face, and said, “Dad, you’re friggin’ sick!”  Now, it think that was from the images he saw, but when I tried to dig myself out by explaining what I was writing and why I needed this info, his face moved from scrunch to outright horror.

It’s should also be stated that, in writing a particular scene in the story, I squirmed through the entire session.

Mission accomplished.  I think you’ll like it. Or you may never talk to me again.  One of the two.

Other entries into the Sam Truman series will proceed along every six weeks and, sometime in early 2013, I understand Ed will compile a few of the stories into hard copy books.  So, you know, I can have all that sickness sitting right on my bookshelf for all to see.

By the way, you can read a great interview with Ed Kurtz on all things Sam Truman, Abattoir and his other cool books and ventures here.

So that’s Good News Number Two.

And yes, I’m well aware of what “number two” can also be taken to mean.

Also in July–and to be honest, I’m still a little freaked out about this–I’ll be, for the first time, participating in the Muskoka Novel Marathon.

Now this sucker’s interesting.  Basically, 32 writers get tossed into a room to write.


For 72 solid hours.

It runs from 8pm Friday, July 13 (yes, Friday the 13th) to 8pm Monday, July 16.  The challenge is to produce a novel, novella, whatever, in that time.

If I’m lucky I may get a blog post out of it.

The bigger thing however, and the one I don’t want to make light of, is that this is a fundraising event to support adult literacy and employment programs at YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, a worthy cause.

Now, take just a second, right now, and consider…what would your life be like if you could not read?  If you faced something like this blog post and couldn’t make sense of it?  Just think on that for a second.

The YMCA is looking to raise $10000 and trust me, it goes to a phenomenally good cause.  Now, no one despises the act of asking for donations more than me.  I hate it.  Every time someone puts a hand out in my direction, my first reaction is, I have my causes, I have my charities that I support.  Please don’t ask me to give any more.

I get that.  And that’s why I’ll say, if this doesn’t work for you, fine.  But if there’s any way you can spare some money, anything, even the cost of a coffee, would you consider throwing it in the pot to sponsor me?

If you want to, they’ve made it easy by creating an online donation site that you can reach here.  If you’re not comfortable with that, contact me through the comments below or at lefttowrite (at) sympatico (dot) com and we’ll work something out.

So yeah, mid-July?  Fingers worn down to nubs.

So that’s Good News Number Three…I think.

The next item occurred due to an innocuous little statement by Lydia Peever on Facebook.  She mentioned something about looking for an editor.  I happened to be in the right place at the right time reading the right post and I mentioned that I was looking for someone to edit.

One thing led to another and now I not only have the pleasure of editing Lydia’s works, I also get to read them.  Believe me, she kicks ass and deserves to see a lot of success from her writing.

And she even wrote a blog about me editing her.  You can read it here.

Good News Number Four!

Then I got more good news from WCDR.  They’ve approved one of my workshops, so in September, I’ll be talking about how to work emotion in your writing, whether it’s in dialogue, narrative, description…it’s gonna be a blast.

Of course, the WCDR have never really seen me in action…don’t be afraid, be very afraid.

So that’s Good News Number Five.

And then, of course, early in 2013, No Hope, the follow up to Vanishing Hope, and this time a full novel-length work, will be released through Burning Effigy Press.  I’m editing the heck out of it right now to make sure it stands up to, and preferably exceed, the standard set in that first story.

I’m excited as hell for this one, and also a little scared.

While you’re waiting, hit up the website and order up some of BE’s other works.  They’re all amazing.

Still, even though it’s the oldest item on this list, No Hope is still Good News Number Six.

It’s gonna be a crazy year, people.

A quick wrap up

This will be a short one, readers.  Just cleaning up a few end of year details, getting ready for the new year and highlighting a milestone of sorts.

So this is 2011 damn near done.  For the first third of this past year, I say, good frigging riddance.  They were a rough time for me personally and professionally.  On the plus side, I changed jobs (within the same company), and I think I grew up a lot personally and learned to place blame squarely where most of it lay.  With me.  Then I learned to deal with it.  I also learned to stand up for myself a lot more.

The last two-thirds of the year are a whirlwind.  I joined the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR) writing community and went to the Ontario Writers’ Conference on April 30.  Two days later, as a direct result of the conference, I started this blog.  Only 244 days ago.  Or 5856 hours.  351,360 minutes…or 21,081,600 seconds…give or take.

From a chance meeting at the OWC, I ended up a founding board member of the Writers’ Community of Simcoe County (WCSC).  From meetings at WCDR, I ended up great friends with members of the brand new Writers’ Community of York Region (WCYR).

At the same time, I also taught three Creative Writing courses and met a lot of new friends and writers that way.

So I’ve met a lot of writers/editors/enthusiasts.

I got published for the first time ever in August at the Festival of Fear and the response not only at the booklaunch but also ever since, whether it was readers, fellow writers or reviewers, has been so much more positive and passionate than I ever could have hoped for.

I also got reacquainted with some old friends and family and met some new ones.

In all, though it started out as the worst time of my life, it’s turned into one of the best years, professionally and personally, that I ever could have hoped for.

In the beginning, I had modest hopes for this blog.  244 days ago, I’d originally planned to put up a new blog every day.  That turned out to be unrealistic, but I have managed an average of one every two-and-a-half days.  I’ve almost hit a hundred posts, which seemed so unattainable way back in May.

Which leads me to the milestone I was talking about.  Sometime today, I’ll cross 10,000 hits (only 26 to go as I write this).  Now, I’ve come across some blogs that have had ten or twenty times that, but for me to have an average of forty people viewing this site daily or about a 100 or so per blog post…when it didn’t even exist in April…that’s surprising to me.  It always shocks me that so many people are somehow interested in anything I have to say.  Because most of what I say is either dirty, profane or doesn’t make sense.  Ohid I actually good peanuts!

And yet, still you come.

And starting tomorrow, or next year, however you want to look at it, I’ve decided to make three resolutions.  Two are easy, the third’s going to be a challenge for me.

  1. Keep doing what I’m doing when it comes to my family and friends.  I don’t want to lose any of them because of my boneheadedness.
  2. Create a page on here to let you know what I’m reading.  As a heavy reader and a pathetically slow writer, I’m always interested in what others are reading.  When I visit someone’s house, I always look at what books they have on their shelf.  So I’m gonna let you know as well.  Could generate discussion…could suck.
  3. (And this is the hard one, folks)  Write an average of 500 words a day.  Every day.  I came across a site (thanks Jason Darrick!) that is set up like an all-year NaNoWriMo, but, at least for me, seems a little more attainable.  So I’m not going to count blog posts in the word count.  Only actual fiction writing.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress here.  Yes, in public.  Humiliation works wonders.

That’s it.  Next year at this time, we’ll see how I did.

So, thank each and every one of you who take time out of your day to stop by.  I really do appreciate it.

Have a fantastic 2012 and let’s keep doing this, shall we?