I am happy to be a part of Mr. Nicholson's blog tour for his latest novel, The First.
Also, I just received word that Mr. Nicholson's other novel, The Red Church is very close to breaking the Top 100. If it does then he will give away a second Kindle. So purchase a copy today. You won't be sorry. The book can be purchased for 99 cents as an ebook.
The First, But Not The Last
By Scott Nicholson
The First has a long, winding tale as part of the "Curtains" series of my story collections. Originally slated to be my first United Kingdom release with Ghostwriter Publications in 2008, it had a cover and everything, but a lot changed between the time we set it up and its expected release. Namely, a recession and the digital era.
At the time, it was going to be a verbatim version of my 2000 U.S. collection Thank You for the Flowers. I was thinking I'd just duplicate my entire decade-long career in the UK, moving along in order.
But when it made sense to release it as an ebook, I put it out with a mixture of dark fantasy, science fiction, and supernatural stories. It was the slowest seller of the three collections I had out at the time, even though that monster-eye cover Neil Jackson at Ghostwriter did is way cool.
Back in the Stone Age when I started my serious writing career, I wrote a lot of science fiction because it was the easiest place to find good story markets. There were always five or six magazines that paid a nickel a word, big money in those days. I did get a few sales but soon shifted to more supernatural fiction, because even though those magazines didn't pay as well, there were dozens of them and you could send out lots of stories and keep them circulating.
I also wrote fantasy and dark fantasy, some for anthologies and others simply because that's where the idea led. It wasn't until this summer that I got the sensible idea to re-order all my short stories into different collections by genre. And since The First was already pretty heavy on the science fiction and fantasy, it was easy to strip out a few tales and put in some more so that there were 14 stories. Now it's one of my fastest-selling books, which is weird considering it's a story collection, and in the print world, story collections are difficult to sell.
Part of the renewed popularity of short stories is because digital readers have adopted new habits, which means they may read in quicker bursts, taking advantage of pockets of time where they normally wouldn't think of reading. Stuck in traffic? There's the Kindle.
I won't make any social prognostications like "People want shorter reads because of shorter attention spans," because I don't know if that's true. I do know the science fiction genre has a long tradition in short stories, and readers of futuristic or fantastic fiction often embrace a wide range of ideas.
Some of the 14 stories in "The First" fall into pure dark fantasy, of imagination and creatures, while others veer into dystopia or post-apocalyptic fiction. I invented an oppressive futuristic society ruled by the shadowy Areopagus, and a cycle of six stories from the ouevre are included. There's a time-travel romance as well, so you can see where it might clash with the material in the other five story collections.
Those who know me by my ghost stories or Appalachian gothic thrillers might be surprised by the collection, which includes my first-ever published story "The Shifting Sands of Memory," for which I was paid the princely sum of $10. There's a definite pulp feel to these stories, since I was a "C" student in science.
I'm glad The First is available as a cheap--er, value-priced--e-book at 99 cents, available at Amazon, Smashwords, and my Web site. Visit undiscovered countries, possible pasts, and unlikely futures in those pages.
And if you see H.G. Wells, tell him he's a cool author and we'll be talking shop sooner or later.
For every book of mine that hits the Top 100 during the tour, I will throw in an extra Kindle 3 giveaway. Tell your friends. Amaze your neighbors. Shock your therapist.
Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, As I Die Lying, Burial to Follow ,and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.
To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm