Thursday, November 26, 2020

Rude Awakenings from Sleeping Rough

This is a tough blog post to share.
It's about a book that was tough for me to read.
Especially from the privilege of the warmth, comfort, and security of a home...
...where I'm surrounded by books, surrounded by so many of those objects we take comfort in because they can perhaps, allow us to momentarily forget our mortality. 
Allow us to forget there's not that much separating us from our having, and not having. From having warmth, security and comfort, to having nothing but the clothes on our backs.
This was also a tough book for me to publish. But I wanted to do something. I wanted to share the story of my friend Peter.
It's not easy to read about something like this happening to someone I love.
It's a story that the charities don’t want you to read.
It's about a fate that can strike any of us, at any time, that we don’t want to think about.
I met Peter C. Mitchell in the mid 1990s when we were both working as booksellers at the Chapters in Ancaster, Ontario.
He was one of the most well-read, intellectual, and witty book nerds I’ve ever had the honor of working alongside.
Though he kicked my butt at chess and book trivia board games, I loved hanging out with him, because he challenged me. He made me think. He made me laugh.
We worked together over the years, he was a trusted friend who babysat my only son, he was also a first reader and wonderful editor for plenty of my fiction and non-fiction stories.
It has been several years since I’ve seen him in person.
He returned to London in 2017 to complete his research on a book entitled “A Knight in the Slums” a self-confessed vanity project about his great, great grandfather, Sir John Kirk, and the man’s dedication to bettering the lives of the disabled and the working poor in Victoria-era London.
A perfect storm of calamities ironically left Peter penniless and sleeping rough, falling victim to the very same ailments John Kirk fought.
That nightmare inadvertently gave Peter an inside look at the very systems put in place over a century earlier by his great, great grandfather and those who, like him, were trying to help.
That experience frightened him more than the horrors of homelessness itself.
And that is the story of Rude Awakenings from Sleeping Rough.

This is a book being published independently by my own Stark Publishing imprint in a stealth manner and on a shoestring budget and is being used to help earn Peter his way out of his situation.
Unlike most traditional publishing deals, the author is earning 80% of the net profits on sales of the book. (It's typical for a first-time author to earn 8% - and, if they're well established, as much as 20%)
Because I'm not publishing this book to make money. I'm using it to help drive funds towards a friend who does not want charity. He wants to earn his way out of the hole he is in. And he wants his story to be shared
Below is a link to the book at the various retailers where it is available. It released December 1, 2020.
It can, of course, be special ordered in paperback or hardcover via any local bookshop, as it is distributed via Ingram. (And I encourage folks to consider ordering books via local bookstores whenever and wherever they can. Local businesses serve the local community and culture and allow the revenue to stay local).
If you know someone in the media or a book reviewer who might be interested in a review copy of the book, please have them contact me.


Sunday, November 01, 2020

364 Days Until Halloween 2021

If you're like me, you've already begun to count down the days until Halloween 2021.

I know, I know. It's Nov 1st. There are other holidays to look forward to.

Okay, I'll give you that. There ARE other holidays. But I'm still going to pine for the next Halloween. The most wonderful time of the year.

And in the meantime, I'm going to share a pretty cool Kickstarter project that I'm honored to be a part of. It's WMG Publishing's Holiday Spectacular 2020.

Imagine an original holiday story delivered to you every day during the holidays? But not just the regular "the holidays" - on top of the Christmas themed tales, you can get Valentines and Halloween tales for 2021.

It's the story gift that keeps on giving, almost all of the way through 2021.

This project was born out of Kristine Kathryn Rusch's combined love for short fiction and holiday countdown calendars.

Subscribers to this project will get the first story on November 26th, 2020 and then a new story EVERY DAY through January 1st, 2021.

That's right! A Brand New Original Holiday Story Every Day, following three distinct themes. Mysterious Chrismas, Fantastic Christmas, and Sweet Holidays.

But wait, there's more!!!!!

Because (and you'll see why I related this to my eagerness for Halloween 2021) there are two more wonderful projects:

  •  From February 7th through the 14th, 2021, you can get eight original Valentine stories delivered to your inbox. One each day. This Sweet Valentines collection is edited by Annie Reed.
  • From October 25th through November 2nd, 2021, you can get nine original Halloween stories delivered to your inbox. This Halloween Harvest collection is edited by yours truly.

All of the stories are fantastic. I've had the privilege, as one of the series editors, of reading them all. But I'm a little biased about the ones I selected for my combined Halloween and Harvest themed anthology.

The stories are available to be delivered on those calendar dates but will also be available in book format.

And you can get in on the action and check it all out before this Kickstarter runs out in another 16 days.

What's your favorite time of the year?