Tag Archives: Tom Petty


“Real love is a man’s salvation, the weak ones fall the strong carry on…” ~Tom Petty from the song, STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS.

Had lots of real love over the last week or so. It did make everything better.  But I am tired. The hardest end of a school year ever.  I’ve been getting a lot of writing/editing done this week as well as grading and cleaning. Also managed a visit to Village Books 35th Anniversary Party.

Buying a Dan Wells, a S.M. Stirling and a Connie Wilson at Village Books 35th anniversary celebration.

About to go relatively dark for a couple weeks. I’m heading out of the country for some rejuvenation time. So regular updates on social media will be limited. I’ll try to check e-mail every couple days. I’ll try to upload new sections of STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS onto Wattpad [private only to my followers–follow me here.], but may just do a chapter a week rather than the little sections.

If you want to make sure you get to be a beta reader for STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS sign up for the monthly e-mailing list in the orange box in the upper left! I will want a two week turnaround for reviews and feedback in order to meet my self-imposed deadline of August 8th.

I was going to write more, but I need to finish packing and getting stuff ready to mail before I go to bed tonight.

Cheers! Ciao!



Publishing: How the short-view can lead to Longview

Beware this is a bit of a random post. It would be more coherent if I had time to edit it! 😉

Longview Asylum, Cincinnati.

The publishing industry is in a state of flux. My take on this situation is in the title of this post. If a writer focuses too much on what is happening to publishing, their latest book ranking, and promoting, they will likely go crazy. Not that authors aren’t already by their very nature a little crazy. But focusing on the day to day details in publishing is about as bad as watching your daily stocks rise and fall.

I admit, I spend too much time looking at my statistics and reading about the latest thing to lift a book out of obscurity. But, I do believe the only way out is time. As i mentioned in a comment today on google+, I’m on year 22 of a 25 year Overnight success plan. I’m glad I started submitting fiction back in 1993.

So, how do I fight the urge to check the data every day? Mostly, sadly, adverbly, I don’t As the data gets less interesting, I pay less attention. I also fall back on my habits when I submitted short fiction. The more irons you have in the fire, the less important each individual one is to success.

One of the irons I put in the fire today was SELF-e. I uploaded Toils and Snares to it. SELF-e is a ebook service for public libraries. It is marketed as a discovery service. If your book is offered free and people read it, the more likely they will buy it or request the next one at their library.  It will be months before I see any feedback and then it will not be in sales, but the more I offer myself out there, the more likely people will find me.

When offering myself out there, I do my very best to limit my cries of “buy my books,” to cries of “buy it now on sale.” And the rest of the time, I’ll talk about process or share a bit of advice. I want to be that ‘cool bald writer’ who is very eclectic rather than that annoying bald writer whose record player is stuck in the same track endlessly begging for people to buy his books!

I’m off to Sucia Island in the Salish Sea with a bunch of high schoolers and some college folks. I’ll be taking word processor 1.2–a Write in the rain notebook, a comp book and pens and pencils.

Don’t let it kill you baby. Don’t let it get to you. The waiting is the hardest part. ~Tom Petty



Path to Indie Publication: Part III–2003: Breakout year?

My Path to Indie Publication Series is a companion series to Marshall Ryan Maresca’s Path to Publication. I have been avidly reading Marshall’s posts since I discovered his blog. Read Part IPath to Indie Publication.

2003 Breakout Year *

101 submissions. Three sales. A Semi-Finalist in the Writers of the Future contest that earned me a K.D. Wentworth critique. I rewrote the story and sent it back out. Strange Horizons requested a rewrite. Alas, the rewrite, though it met their criteria, seemed to lack whatever would push it into the realm of a sale. In terms of my writing career, 2003 was a success.

I rode that wave of success to three convention appearances as a “professional” writer and panelist, well… the wave and my connections to fandom through the Heinlein Society.  I had some wonderful moments participating in panels with Alan Dean Foster and Greg Bear, but I felt like a pretender. I hadn’t written many new stories. I continued to teach Creative Writing at my high school and write some poetry as examples while I taught.

For the next few years my energy to submit fiction waned. I had spent fifteen years, collected 485 rejections, 14 short fiction sales and quite a bit of frustration. I puttered in short bursts on fiction, wrote reminders to myself about stories to write someday and gradually wound down to complete inactivity as a writer. This corresponded with a particularly hard time in my personal life. My creative energy went into theatre with Shakespeare NorthWest, and a few new songs and poems.

2010. The Future. Arthur C. Clarke had regrounded his future in 2010, why couldn’t I? I sent out a single submission. #500. For some reason that carried more weight. It didn’t sell. It took me a year to send out another, but I finished 2011 strong with 70 submissions. No sales. 2012 saw 37 more submissions up to August.

Sometime in 2012 I stumbled upon NANOWRIMO. I had an idea—a girl, an At-Risk teen, her DNA made up of 48 teen-age girls I’d worked with, surviving a realistic apocalypse. The basic setting was one I’d come up with back in 1997, not long after my first reading of Lord of the Flies. In world where almost everyone dies, even the worst humans will generally do the best they can. Not like Golding’s golden boys. So, I made a plan, created a list of nearly 40 potential scenes in the life of Lizzie. Then I wrote it. My brain had been thinking about it long enough and it pulled in all the things I knew. At the end of November I had 68, 000 words! And it was good. Rough, but good. I’d let a couple teen-aged girls read it as I was going along. It stuck with people. With o’ermuch hubris, I decided I would publish it the following August. The working title had gone from Zombie Zoo [Petty] to Where Have All Your Children Gone [Hooters] to All Is Silence In the World [Springsteen]. Finally, after reading a post from Mark Coker of Smashwords who said too long titles don’t sell well, I shortened it to All Is Silence.

In December, I cut the last couple thousand words and wrote 20,000 more trying to get the right ending. As the new year came I had finished a book. By January 2nd I’d decided I hated the 2nd attempt at an ending. Sigh.

Coming next week: Part IV–Synchronicity

* Adapted and expanded from the Foreword to Outward Bound: Science Fiction & Poetry, a collection of some of my published and unpublished works. Top

Electronic Advanced Reader Copies are out!

Hey folks,

It feels amazing. I wrote the first words to All is Silence November 1st 2012. It’s original working title was ‘Zombie Zoo’ (from Tom Petty) then ‘Where have all the children gone?’ (from the Hooter’s All you Zombies {also a Heinlein Title}) then ‘And Everything After’ (From Counting Crows) then “All is Silence in the World” (from Springsteen’s Jungleland) shortened to “ALL IS SILENCE.”

If you did not receive an e-mail regarding eARCs [aka galleys, aka the ‘last’ draft before line editing] and you should have send me an e-mail at rob@robslater.com.

Now I’m finishing out some pre-chapter quotes and formatting for print. I should have print ARCs/Galleys in about two weeks to send out to major reviewers.

Prepping to write the next book “STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS” from the Tom Petty song of the same title. It’s about six months since the pandemic hit and Lizzie has choices to make. Stay tuned here for updates.