So you can read my books

Friday, July 20, 2012


As Groucho once sang, “Hello, I must be going.”

I don’t do short stories anymore and haven’t for some time.

{Actually, I have doubts that I’ll be doing fiction anymore either. But more of that later.}

I have been working hard at my day and night job as a courier for rare blood. I have been dealing with the dying of my best friend with inoperable cancer. Out of the blue, an editor asked me for a short story … no guarantees, of course.

The parameters? The topic was Petulant Parables. An original story with none of my established characters from my other novels. The story had to contain a moral and be within 5,000 – 7,000 words. It had to be entertaining.

I wrote it. I submitted it. I was rejected with “I don't feel bad telling you the story doesn't fit, because the senior editor has said that same thing to me on every anthology.”

Well, I felt bad.

I had broken a personal rule: no more short stories. I felt I had jabbed myself in my own eye by not listening to my own code. I was also a bit confused.

The story contained a parable and a moral. The problem might have been the moral:

Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, loving is something you do for the other person.

It was 6,600 words long. The topic Petulant Parables was addressed. So obviously, the tale was not entertaining.

Just as obviously my short story prose is not marketable. The evidence seems to indicate that my prose as a whole is not marketable. The market is what it is.

I truly have better things to do with my time right now than clap with one hand.

So I am listing the story, WEDNESDAY’S CHILD, in the volume, BURNT OFFERINGS, for free for the next five days.

As an extra, I am including three Samuel McCord urban fantasy short stories. I started out with him. It is fitting I end with him.

It has a beautiful cover and an equally beautiful interior illustration by the truly talented Leonora Roy. It’s worth a look merely to revel in her genius.

Be my editors. Read WEDNESDAY’S CHILD and tell me what is lacking and sub-par with my work. I’m rather interested.

Thanks for sticking around with me these past months. You have enriched my world, Roland

Oh, one last thing: Sandra, if she is feeling well enough, will draw for the winners of THE ART OF MICHAEL WHELAN and the autographed photo of ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. on August 1st.

If not, I will use a random internet name selector.

My heart goes out to all the family, loved ones, and friends of those murdered in that senseless Colorado movie theater shooting.


  1. Ugh, this industry. I swear, sometimes it seems they want to drive us mad. Take a break, spend time with your friend, and take care of yourself. We'll be here when you decide to write fiction again. Hugs to you my friend.

  2. I agree with Heather, just take a break.

    I've just finished The Legend of Victor Standish and am reading The End of Days now. I plan to review these as soon as I finish them.

    Your writing takes a reader that understands wit and irony, and someone who has a broad understanding of literature. Give it time.

    Take care of life first.

  3. Roland, some things are all in the timing and it has nothing to do with talent. Will read Wednesday's Child and will probably find it is brilliant.

  4. Just dragging in from a 24 hour blood drive at the center. Storms are flickering the lights. Scary.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I am drained both physically and emotionally!

    Sometimes it feels like Life is taking care of me ... with brass knuckles! I hope you enjoyed THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH and will enjoy THE END OF DAYS.

    Victor, the humble soul that he isn't, knows you will!

    Wow! The lights are going off and on, the windows are buckling from the winds, and the rain is bulleting into my windows. Odin is bowling for souls with Zeus in the storm clouds above us. Glad I am not on call or still at the center!!

    I was given the targets, and the editor seemed to feel I missed them. But I would like to think it was timing (and luck!) :-) I hope you do enjoy WEDNESDAY'S CHILD. Let me know what you think. Thanks for your friendship, Roland

  5. Desperately sad to hear about your best friend.

    I can only offer you a cyber hug and my thoughts.

    Take care Roland and don't give up x

  6. Roland: Sorry about your friend. As you know, I feel your pain.

    As for the short, please don't take it personally, or as an indication of your talent. You have enough talent for a dozen writers to divide equally, and all find success.

    I do appreciate the short, and the effort, and found it just as hard as you to accept its rejection. I am a great fan of your work, and in fact you are the first and only author I suggested for that spot.

    Does that tell you anything about my confidence in you as a writer?

    I have also published several of your works, and read them, and enjoyed them.

    Does that tell you anything?

    I hope this statement settles any negative feelings you might have.

    I fully believe in you, and am proud to have been one of your early followers, early fans, and have enjoyed watching you grow and publish. I will continue to pitch you at every opportunity, in the hopes that others will see the writer I see.

    I told the sr editor this: One day he'll be famous, and you'll wish you had that short.

    I fully believe that statement.

    - Eric

  7. Eric:
    It's all good. Really. What stung was "I don't feel bad in rejecting this."

    But as you and I both know from our encounters with death of too many loved ones, life is too precious to get caught up with paper-cuts.

    Sorry about getting to this so late in the day. I have just dragged in, bleeding from cuts and bruises I didn't know I got from the day's work at salvaging the mess at the blood center where I work which was savaged by a weekend storm. Now, that I am sitting down, I am beginning to ache and throb. That will teach me to sit down!

    I will never be famous, but thank you for the kind words to your senior editor.

    Whatever sells these days, I do not seem to be write. As you and I both know, there are worse fates.

    Thank you for buying and enjoying my books. The rejection hit me after an extremely harrowing experience with two dear friends. I was vulnerable.

    Thanks for writing and visiting and caring, Roland