Struggle. Adventure. Love.

These are the three elements in any good story. Everything else is background.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Distant Call now available!

VTP has released two of my short novella stories as single ebook downloads for under a dollar, and both are doing well. I would like to think a few of the sales are because people recognize the author and liked other stories I wrote, but I'll take a "Sounds like it doesn't suck and it's cheap enough" motivation.

And the digital covers VTP commissioned are fantastic!

Available at Smashworlds, and or by following the link at the VTP site.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Plethory of Powers now available!

Two tales between one set of covers! This book is both a prequel to The Weaving, and a set of novella-sized stories that stand on their own.

In "The Case of the Missing Succubus," Rose, the Witch of the Woods, must solve a murder mystery and find a missing girl before someone else winds up dead. When the girl turns out to not even be human, and her assistant is a shapeshifting coyotie named Keyotie, events are bound to get complicated.

This is followed by "A Conference of Powers," an old-fashioned pileup of mislaid plans and hairbrained schemes as all the magical powers in the land are invited to a conference at the King's palace. Rose and Keyotie again make an appearance along with elves, dragons, and various wizards and witches. And did I mention the Royal Wizard, the man responsible for keeping everyone on their best behavior, is new to the job?

A Plethory of Powers is available in paper or electronic format at the usual online stores.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Villain

Glen Mayo, author of Circle of Dishonor and celebrated author in the murder mystery genre, posted a short discussion of the Villain in my story A Distant Call in the Victory Tales Mystery anthology. You can read it on her blog at

This made me think more deep thoughts about the Villain. To me, how a writer fleshes out the character of the Villain makes or breaks the story--in particular, when it comes to the Villain's motivations. The Hero is motivated by love, compassion, duty, justice, and perhaps revenge (if so, the Hero will learn that Revenge Is A Mistake, usually). The Villain is motivated by hate, greed, lust, or fear. "Hiss! Boo! Go getem Hero!" We hate the Villain, right? Well, sometimes.

Many very good stories have villains motivated by greed and hatred, because real life is full of such people. Heck, our prisons are full of people like that. But, sometimes your story needs something different. Sometimes life pits our Hero against someone who might also be motivated by their own version of love, duty, passion, or revenge. This Villain is a likable fellow, but fatally flawed. We can identify. If not identify, we can feel compassion for this one and understand why he or she is doing what they do. We might cry when this Villain gets it in the end.

In Gwen's novel, Circle of Dishonor, the Villain is as much the restrictive social rules of post civil war America as it is the killer motivated by greed and hatred. These attitudes about gender and race are directly responsible for deaths and suffering and an ever present threat that our Hero Detective, Nessa, must battle. Yet how do you punch an attitude? How do you defeat an assumption? Her world is full of Villains, but they are good people infected with bad beliefs. We can identify. We are all Villains at one time or another, basically good people capable of doing stupid things.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mystery anthology kickoff!

Alright! On March 1st, the mystery anthology by Victory Tales Press will be hitting the markets. The authors of the novellas contained in the book are celebrating by throwing a blog party. So here's the deal. On Tuesday, March 1st, go to Miss Mae's Blog , sign in, read some excerpts from the stories, and leave a comment. At 8pm, Miss Mae will pick four lucky posters using some random method like names in a hat, to receive an absolutely FREE copy of the book.

So that's a good shot at an absolutely free book, for just stopping by and saying "Hi!"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shadows and Light Vol 2 now out!

My story "Master Race" is in this one, and it's chock full of tales about the struggle between good and evil. Opening up one of Pill Hill's anthologies is like opening a box of assorted chocolates, except for the tummy ache from eating too much at one time. OK, metaphores are not my strong suit.

Anyway, available in electronic format thingies and hard copy. That's Shadows & Light Vol. II accept no substitutes! Available online book sellers, kindle, nook, and wander over to Pill Hill Press Store

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A wonderful review of Mars Needs Men

Remember the story published by Victory Tales in their Christmas Anthology? I just received notice that the Coffee Time Romance blog has posted a review of the book. What did it say about my particular story? Here's the end of the review:

Gerald Costlow thoroughly entertains with this inventive short story. Any tale that can successfully use toilet humor while still weaving a believable love story is a winner. This one made me cry and giggle and I enjoyed every second of it.