Tag Archives: writing

A Complete Literary Conference on YouTube!

Recently I was a panelist at Litlando, a new one-day literary conference here in Orlando.

The complete conference is now on YouTube.

I sat on the Weird Fiction panel, naturally.

Enjoy a full day of panels and lectures — for FREE.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLg-TKhQp7AqFbx4ykk4ZkMxdpl-EJV_un

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I’m Falling Through Fall.

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I’ve gone from my UN-summer of surgery to FALL-ing forward through to the end of the year. Since the end of September, I have been keeping rather busy. It’s a good kind of busy, sure, but between you and me – I had to live October one single day at a time because my workload was pushing all of my tolerances.

I did what I could to keep the blog up, but I have let a number of cool occurrences pile up, so here’s a capsule post to get us all up to speed.

The Conventions:
My convention season has been short (again, back surgery) but productive. I kicked if off locally at the Speculative Fiction: Southeast 2015 conference. This was the first year for the event, but it ran silky smooth and I had a great time sitting on panels, making new friends, and selling books. I am not sure exactly how it happened, but I did end up sitting on a panel with Orson Scott Card. He was a little cranky but generally well disposed. You hear about this guy’s politics and you figure he’s going to be a big ball of hate but he manages to keep most of it inside.

Two weeks later I was off to Necronomicon 2015. This con leans more to gaming and science fiction/fantasy in general. I enjoyed sitting on a number of panels but I didn’t really sell that many books. Now, you all know that sales are not what drive me as a writer, but still it’s satisfying to know that you have potential new readers. So, it was a nice weekend in Tampa but I am not sure if I would go back as it wasn’t the cheapest con in the world.

As I write this, I am two days away from BizarroCon. This is the one I have been waiting for. My year as an NBAS author has come to a close. I am, for the most part, pleased with the experience. It brings me great satisfaction to have Pax Titanus out in the world, but now it’s time to move on to the next big thing. What will that be? Hopefully I will find my answer in Portland!

New Releases
I’ve managed to land stories in two recently released anthologies and the Orlando Weekly – all horror, no less.

Check out my “Tales From the Crypt” style yarn in Potter’s Field 5. This was a story I have been trying to tell for some time. I’ve grateful to the folks over at Alban Lake Publishing for giving it a home.

Robert the Doll (just Google him) is a famously haunted doll from Key West. Since first learning his story, I have been decidedly freaked out. I’ve needed to work it out of my system for some time. Thankfully, I’ve found my outlet in Southern Haunts: Magick Beneath the Moonlight. Here I worked my fears into a Twilight Zone-ish tale of the classic dilemma of wrong place, wrong time equals AHHHHH!

The Orlando Weekly recently ran one of my new Flash Fiction pieces. Click here to learn the fate of one ill-prepared necromancer.

Press and Media
All I did was stand in one spot for long enough and a media tour sprung up under my feet. I’ve done a good chuck of press lately. Plenty here to check out if you are so inclined.

I was interviewed for the YouTube series, Hangin’ With the Authors.

My NBAS brother, Scott Cole, chatted with me for a bit on his blog, 13 Visions.

Incoming NBAS author, Anthony Trevino, interviewed me as he kicked my ass out the door.

Orlando Literary king, uhhh, John King, had me as a guest on his well-travelled podcast, The Drunken Odyssey.

I returned for a special Halloween reading. And then I did another (that you can listen to here)!

Mr. King pulled me off the couch and dragged me down the street, reading all the way. No longer can I linger in the shadows of the House of Mouse.

The Podcast
Matt de Simone and I continue to pollute the airways. Our Podcast continues to churn forward. This is pure fun for me. Give it a listen, there’s a show and a topic for everyone.
Looking at this post, I now understand why I’ve been so tired lately. It’s a good tired, though. The kind of tired that comes from honest hard work. Thank you for giving me a reason for doing all of this.

I’m not sure what 2016 will bring, but it’s hard not to feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough of some kind. It’s your support that’s making it happen. As always, I appreciate you. Thank you for taking the time to read my work, to buy my work, to suggest it to a friend.

Until next time,
Tom

Get Yer Latest Tom Lucas News Here!

It’s turned out to be the Summer That Wasn’t.

I am not typically one to write about the low level gripes (I am more of a high concept grief guy) but the last few months have been TOUGH. Specifically, I’ve been dealing with crippling back pain (hard to walk, hard to stand) since early spring. I’ve been stuck on the couch – a miserable house arrest. However, I’m very pleased to share with you that I have had surgery and it went very well. I’m basically pain free, aside from the post-op soreness. Soon, I hope to be at full power.

At any rate, that’s why my productivity (at least in the social media sense) has been down. For any of you who are or who have dealt with chronic pain, I salute you. The negative headspace has been very difficult to navigate. I haven’t been able to continue to press the book promotion (Pax Titanus still needs to sell some copies if I am going to prove my worth to my current publisher – please encourage your friends to buy a copy) and the latest book project has not been happening.

But I have managed to work on a few cool things…

1) I placed a short story in a horror anthology. Details when available.

2) I’ve been working on a spec script with a friend. I don’t want to jinx it, but I can tell you it’s for a TV show we’ll be pitching this fall. By the time we are ready to storm the gates, we’ll have a couple of scripts, some story bibles, and other goodies. Please cross your fingers and toes for us.

3) I spent three days last month in Spring Hill acting the fool. Technically, I was just acting. The role was of an abrasive, sarcastic father. I don’t even have an acting career and I already have to take roles for “older” actors. WTH???

It’s a short, student film (current title is “Water Heater”). Amateur all the way around…in a good way. It’s currently being edited and when it’s released, I will definitely share it with you. Until then, feel free to like the film’s Facebook page for updates. https://www.facebook.com/WaterHeaterTheShort

4) Right before I went into surgery, I was able to get the Fan Packs out in the mail. FINALLY. The pain had made it damn near impossible. If you were expecting to get one and did not, please use the contact page to shoot me a message and I will take care of it for you.

5) And my last bit of news (totally saving the best for last) is that I am now the co-host of a smashing new podcast – MattyLovesPodcast. Yeah, I’m not sure how to promote my part in it with that kind of title. I place all blame on the host, Matt de Simone. So far it’s been an absolute blast. We mainly talk comics, but also movies, games, TV, and books.

We have four episodes published and will be gunning for every Friday from now until the end of time (or potentially sooner). We are using YouTube as our base of operations, but once we have 12 episodes (issues), we will have a volume and we’ll be getting the show up on a more traditional podcast platform (iTunes, etc.) for your downloading and listening pleasure.

Episode 1: PILOT

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/z88VzgVEAJs

Published on Jul 3, 2015
In the introductory podcast, MATT de SIMONE and ‘Dr.’ TOM LUCAS discuss:
– The scariest films of their childhood
– “Engelbert Cumberpatch”
– Good news: Fallout 4 is coming out
– Bad news: Fallout 4 is coming out
– What’s good and random on Netflix?
– The pain in the ass that is the Oregon Trail

Episode 2: The Effects of Geekdom

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/BYC_44TtlG0

Published on July 10, 2015
‘Dr.’ Tom and I discuss how comics, film, and other forms of entertainment have affected our damaged brains forever in the best ways possible.

– The X-Men taught me a lot of about social acceptance.
– Tom had a copy of the very first printing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1… Stay tuned for later episodes to find out why he doesn’t have it now.
– Watchmen blew our minds. Tom did not want to wait over a month for Rorschach’s origin reveal to be released. I read my brother’s copy.
– Tom is Slade Wilson.
– Here are a few Google Images for this week:
– “Dave Gibbons Art”
–  “R Crumb Art”
– “George Perez Teen Titans Covers” or “Nightwing Teen Titans Costume”
– A few bands to Spotify this week:
– Cock Sparrer
– Sham 69
– KISS is one of my favorite bands ever made. They taught me how to write cheeky lyrics. “Take Me” also taught me about Paul Stanley’s sexual innuendos. I explain.
– Tom loved “The Weekend Top-40” as a kid–until The Sex Pistols.
– Miyagisms.

Episode 3: For a Good Time, Spare Some of Your Expenses
YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/-TN79QxEVmM

– Tom pitched JMS’ Midnight Nation.
– Matt is digging the Secret Wars tie-in Where Monsters Dwell.
– Do you want to spend $5 on a cup of coffee DAILY? Or a comic book weekly?
– Grant Morrison is the new Heavy Metal E-I-C, and Matt and Tom are stoked.
– Fans in Great Britain: Please send Tom all your exclusive Judge Dredd hard cover collections. For free. Email the show at mattylovespodcast@gmail.com to let us know.
– A Rob Liefeld dedication episode is coming.
– Matt’s obsessed with the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures tabletop game and wants to tell you about it.

Episode 4: Saturday was for Kids, Man.

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/cK9Mop_8gpk

– ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ doesn’t hold up well. Buck Rodgers takes place in Chicago. Matt never knew this. Both properties had some sweet toys.
– Speaking of toys, there were a lot of toy companies that created toys and then had television shows created based on the action figure line. G.I. Joe is an excellent example. The comics were badass too. There were actually 155 issues (not the 133 Matt says). The guys talk about the Joes, Cobra and The Terrordrome.
– Tom’s mother’s vinyl collection is sick. Matt and Tom riff on why vinyl records are the best and deduce that these records are worth a small, yet priceless fortune. Collecting vinyl records is a lot like collecting comics. All of these collectables feel like time travelers.
– Google: Drew Struzan.
– The main topic of conversation revolves around the greatness that was the Saturday morning cartoons on network television during the late 70s and throughout the 80s.
– Thundarr The Barbarian, Goldie Gold and Action Jack, Matt’s distain for Smurfs, and you can never go wrong with Superfriends.
– Does anyone remember The Spiral Zone?
– Matt and Tom provide a breakdown of the network line-ups for specific years and more. Enjoy yourself.

We have an underused Facebook page that you can like for sometime updates. https://www.facebook.com/MattyLovesPodcast

I will also be providing links to current shows on my blog. Just look for the “Listen to my Podcast” page. Or, just check the YouTube channel every Friday. It might just be Matt and I talking, but many have told me that they truly enjoy our chemistry and perspective. Please check it out.

Ok, that’s what I got for now.

Is it obnoxious that this is my idea of not being productive? Am I a sick man?

Maybe, YES.

Talk soon. Until then, thank you for your support. YOU are the reason I keep going.

Tom

Top 10 Books Recommended for Writers

As an editor and publisher for the past 15 years, I’ve spent a lot of my time coaching writers through the process of writing, editing and marketing their books.  It can be a challenging process even for the most ambitious and confident individual. All creators need encouragement, inspiration, and a kick in the pants sometimes. I’d like to share with you a list of ten books I frequently recommend to authors.
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This book is fascinating because it explains the neuroscience behind how stories work and why they are important to human development. It teaches how our brains are hardwired to respond to story, to pay attention to them and learn about the world and human emotion. It delves into the specific aspects that the brain is hungry for in…

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You Are Big. I Am Small.

lion

You have exhausted me
I am a shell of a man
Enduring your endless
Boasts and hyperbole

You are not unique
I’ve suffered many
Like you before
Chest bowing crowing

I wonder what
Tragic event unfolded
To make you like this
What great legend speaks

I don’t understand
The need the want
Of a hole that
You must endlessly fill

You do have my pity
As I groan under my breath
Pausing to let you tell
Another moronic story

Sympathetic, yes
After all we are friends
And I am a man of
Honor and patience

But there are times
When I cannot help
But feel that you are as small
As you make yourself big

That comforts me
Gives me the strength
To fight at your side
Against the maws of the beast

Seeing you as less than
Makes you tolerable
But I cannot help but wonder
If it makes me egotistical instead.

Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar via Compfight cc

Family History

It’s my understanding that
I have one hell of a family history
That’s not too difficult to believe
Probably true for most.

From all over Europe
Viking North
Mediterranian South
And many stops in between.

There’s been much love
Conducted across the water
and that love trickled down
from Duke to Lord to whatnot.

There’s a Von in there somewhere
And someone who worked
For the Hapsburgs
And some other sketchy types as well.

I once asked
If we’re descended from such greats
WHERE THE HELL IS THE MONEY?
Have you heard of the Great Depression?

My father loved to regale
Such histories and myths
Your grand so-and-so knew Jesus!
Now that’s hyperbole.

The Greek line has been
The most frustrating
From Sparta, I was told
Fierce. Warrior. Blood.

Oh, how I loved that
A cult of manly men
Brutal with sword and spear
I could almost feel the DNA.

That little chestnut
Kept me going for years.
No matter the beast
I could slay it. Spartan.

Then I learned
It wasn’t Sparta but
Crete called home.
Asterion, my brother.

Not nearly as much
Fun a boast
But there’s that labyrinth
And the bullhead.

As are most things
Less impressive and shiny when
Scrubbed down by truth
But useful nevertheless.

If you are ever lost
Keep making right turns
Eventually you’ll find
The way out of the maze.

I learned that in Crete.

Book Review: Weaver by Katherine Arandez

Weaver (The Kervanian Chronicles #1)Weaver by Katherine Arandez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In my youth, I would often walk into the woods or neglected places and imagine that just beyond it was another world, something beyond the ordinary. I don’t think that I was unique in this way, but I may have had a more active imagination than most. Adulthood and the mundane have a way of stealing this from most.

Arandez’s Weaving evoked memories of my childhood imaginings more than once.

For those who enjoy detail-rich settings and mythologies, there is some deep down world building here. Arandez doesn’t just suggest that there is a greater world just past reality; she builds it brick by brick. It proved to be challenging at times to keep on top of all of the details, but as a first book in a series, it has some heavy lifting to do.

The plot is complex. Three children cross through a magic portal into another world and must go on a great adventure in order to get back. In itself, this seems quite familiar, but the mythology of Weaver has many layers – players and events to remember as you move forward through the story. My guess is that for those that enjoy the story, rereads will be in order to fully appreciate what is going on.

When I was younger, I loved books like Weaver. As an adult, I appreciate the amount of thought that goes into world design. Arandez has developed enough material to tell many great stories from this, and I think that she’s an author worth watching.

View all my reviews