thWell my newest novel is complete. I edited it top to bottom, each time catching errors and improving the story. Then I sent it to my beta readers, who read it very quickly. My “final” draft is called Rainbox 9 because that’s how many times I went through beginning to end to change things.

I had some writer friends read the first few chapters last summer, and that was immensely helpful. But what I’ve found is that other writers sometimes try to steer a book to be the way they would write it. They pick up on pivotal things, and details that matter, plot and dailogue, and provide great input along the way.

readerEveryone has a different writing style though and if we listen to all our writing peers, we would rewrite work endlessly. That’s why beta readers who are only readers, not writers, are important.

At the end of the day, we are selling to readers, and we have to trust our ability as story tellers. I did three major rewrites and drafts of my “final” draft, then another pass through after my readers gave comments. Thankfully they were easy to fix.

I sent the first ten pages to an agent and my fingers are crossed. If he takes it, there will be more edits I’m sure. If he sells it to publisher, there will be more edits based on someone’s best guess on what a reader would want to see.

glasses.jpgAll along the way there are readers, and without them our works would fall into a vacuum. We’d still write, as most of us write out of compulsion and passion not praise and acclaim, but it is nice when someone reads our books.

For all the readers out there, and especially to my first readers, THANK YOU!

-Tracy

 

Deathlehem Revisited

Posted: December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

71vyERTv33LAs 2015 nears to a close, I’m happy to post about my newest sale. My story “The Other Side of the Wall,” appears in Deathlehem Revisited: An Anthology of Holiday Horrors for Charity.

We have a nice  but small back yard and are constantly annoyed and curious about the incidents on the other side of the tall cinderblock wall. The neighbors make a lot of noise, and one of their three dogs occasionally hops over the fence. Sometimes we stand on tippy toes so we can try to see what the heck is going on over there. I’m not quite tall enough and I am always speculating.

Hence I wrote this story about a man whose curiosity gets the best of him, and his imagination and nosiness gets him more than he bargains for in this holiday cautionary tale.

I just bought a copy today and am eager to read the other stories in the collection.  Edited by Michael J. Evans and Harrison Graves, this should prove to be a creepy fun read. All proceeds go to charity.

Winter Horror Days front CoverWhen I moved from Massachusetts to California a year ago, I was happy to find the friendly and active Los Angeles chapter of the Horror Writers Association aka HWA LA.

A couple of months ago they put out a call for holiday stories for their charity anthology. The only requirement was that the story have something to do with a Winter Holiday. The collection is titled Winter Horror Days.

I brainstormed for a while and finally came up with the tale called, “The Quiet Christmas Tree.” This humorous cautionary tale involves a man, and a Christmas tree haunted by his emotionally abusive late wife. It also involves the bumbling impoverish burglar who steals the tree for his family. As with all good tales, it has a “happy” ending and the right people learn their lessons.

My story was accepted and I’m excited to be in great company with many other HWA LA authors. The book is up for preorder now HERE in paperback and also available in all e-formats.

Winter Horror Days back Cover

 

TCBennett_CemeteryRiots_TitleOnly

I have been lax in posting but have nonetheless been quite busy writing short stories, a new novel, and most recently teaming up to co-edit a fantastic anthology!

Coming in June, T.C. Bennett and I will be releasing Cemetery Riots.

To date, we have bought six stories listed in order of acceptance.

James S. Dorr with The Re-possessed put a new spin on a period piece about graverobbers and true zombies.

William F. Nolan with a wonderful ghostly war story called Among the Tigers.

Kelly Kurtzhals, a new writer, who crafted an eerie tale titled The Cellar about an apartment’s basement which keeps changing in size.

Tracy L. Carbone with Lunch at Mom’s.  I sent in a story to Mr. Bennett because I was excited about the list of contributors and hoped to be a part of it. He accepted my story, said he loved it. Yay! And then I asked if I could co-edit because this is going to be GREAT collection and I want to work with all the talented authors he’d invited. Normally I would not include one of my stories in a book I’m editing but since he took it before I joined came on board I can break my rule.

John Palisano sent us Eternal Valley, a period piece about a man who moves his family to the country to heal his son. But the boy’s good health is short lived when a water monster possesses him, and a mysterious woman is the only one who can save his soul. It’s a moving story about a father who will do anything for his child.

Hal Bodner wrote a beautiful tale entitled Children’s Hour. A man who lost his son in a tragedy spends most of his adult life tending to the children’s section of the a large cemetery. As the years pass, his belief that death is final comes into question as the restless spirits of rambunctious children teach him a lesson that will alter him forever.

Eric J. Guignard penned a lovely, literary story called Certain Sights of an Afflicted Woman. It’s a period piece about a woman afflicted with a disease that saves her life, but sadly not those around her. It’s about family and survival and accepting fate. It’s flawless and beautiful, as is most of his work, and the kind of story that makes me proud to be an editor.

Ray Garton just sent over The Waiting Dead. It’s heartbreaking, beautiful, and the kind of story we are so excited to have in our collection. A hopelessly discouraged overweight girl on the verge of suicide visits a relative’s grave, only to be befriended by a dead young man who wanders the graveyard. LOVE this story and I’m sure you will too.

Chet Williamson, sent  a story called That Still, Bleeding Object of Desire. He warned us, before having us read it, that it might be too weird. Hah! We didn’t think it was weird at all, only disturbing, dark, and well written, which are our favorite criteria. I can’t say much about the story without giving it away. Briefly though, a seemingly horrible man does reprehensible things and it seems we are entering a murder mystery, and a gripping one at that. And I suppose in the end, that’s exactly what it was, but Chet provided some brilliant twists that kept us reading, and surprised us in the end, leaving us gratified, and excited to publish it.

Michael Sebastian’s HWA mentor Eric J. Guignard asked if Michael could send a story even though we had all our slots spoken for. We said yes because we’re nice and Eric wouldn’t steer us wrong. The story, Clown on Black Velvet, ended up being a well written story about a young comedian who dreams of fame, and then gets it in spite of himself.

Michael D. Nye, a full time actor with an impressive background in writing as well,  met me at the Writer’s Coffeehouse in Burbank. After the meeting he asked if I’d be willing to give him feedback  on a story he’d written. I LOVED to story as did my co-editor T. C. Though Michael didn’t know about our anthology I asked if he would PLEASE sell it to us. Thankfully he said yes. The Itch is about an unsuspecting man who, through mysterious and unwanted circumstances, gradually develops a compulsion to kill, and kill, and kill.

Updated: Not all the authors are listed here. Please see the more recent posts about the book. We’re still in track to publish this in late June 2016.

Congratulations to all the authors so far!

th

Today’s 100 word Drabble story:

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

The boy cried wolf and the townsfolk gathered.

No wolf was found.

Later it was a fox the boy roared about, then a bear, and then a human.

Then it was the wind, which blew harder on the boy than anyone else.

And the snow.

And the sun which burned him extra hard.

No identifiable predators. Ever.

He garnered a lot of attention, and much doting by the townsfolk.

Then people ignored him.

He screamed and invented great tales of woe, but no one listened.

And one day the townsfolk grew weary of the cries and sewed his mouth shut.

Sorry, I’ve been busy, as usual. Here are Drabble pieces though, as promised. All a hundred words, exactly. Happy reading!

The Sculptor

Her arm was severed at the elbow four years to the day her car careened over the embankment. “At least it’s only your right hand,” Mother said. “You can still sculpt.” Teri dug the nails of her left hand into the soft clay, creating a horrific face. The right eye welded shut, plastic nose a tad too pointy for reality, as if it were made from plastic and borrowed thigh skin. She looked up from her work and into the mirror to check the details. She stabbed a hole in her clay cheek.  At least it’s only my right face.

imagesThe Typist

Tap! Tap! Tap! Adam smashed the antique keys of the storekeeper’s typewriter, writing a letter to God about his dissatisfaction with humanity. “And therefore,” he typed, furiously and for so long that his fingertips bled, “You must, this very minute, deliver us from this curse of knowledge!” Ding! He looked at the keys, stained red, sticky, and slow to return to their original positions. Each minute of each day for what felt like eternity, he had written such a letter to God, begging for reprieve.  Damn that Eve. Damn the apple. “Dear God,” he began again.

The Tree Killer

Marilyn pedaled around the old oak tree on her brand-new tricycle. She’d ridden all day, carving a circle around the tree to mark her territory. Grandma said stop, but Marilyn didn’t listen. Round and round the tree she rode, shiny black tires butchering the grass beneath. The tree swayed its branches in warning but she wasn’t deterred. The tree swung harder, slapped her across the face with its leaves. She pedaled faster. Determined. Thunderous noise roared above. She soldiered on. Slaughtering.  Rumbling grew louder as a shadow enveloped her. A giant branch smashed down upon her. The living grass cheered.

untitledThe Hysterical Pregnancy

Five months into Allie’s pregnancy, Dr. Mason informed her there was no fetus. She viewed the ultrasound picture of an empty gray-scale sack. “Screw your tests,” she said. “I’m carrying a child.” Doctor Mason patted her hand. Month six, the baby kicked. Month seven, a tiny hand pushed against her from the inside. Month eight, constant movement convinced her that life grew within. On delivery day, blood and urine tests still reported lack of human life. The doctor bullied her. “It’s in your head.”  Two hours later, a creature akin to a goat ripped from her to start His reign.

headFrom now on, come hell or high water, I will post a fresh new Drabble (100 word story) on my wall every Friday. Today’s is inspired by a little clay head I bought at last week’s World Horror Convention. I heard two days ago that a well-known artist in the horror genre, James Powell, was killed in a car accident. Sadly, I never got to meet him. He didn’t come to the convention but his art was on the badges we wore. He wasn’t the artist that did this sculpture, but for a moment I wondered. What if it WAS him and his spirit lived in this little sculpture? So here you have today’s installment:

 

The Artist’s Head

By Tracy L. Carbone

A tiny clay head, with gaping eyes, hangs from a string on the door to my room.

At night it swings and creaks, rubs against the door like a cat scratching to get in.

In the morning it is still, with a look like the cat who swallowed the canary.

The artist was killed in a mugging gone bad, just a day or two after we met.

What if he’s in it? What if he lives? So I let the head stay, with its nightly forays.

Creak. Scratch. Again, the head swings, trying to get in.

I bolt the door.

Thanks for reading,

 

Tracy

 

IMG_0187 IMG_0179 IMG_0175IMG_0201 IMG_0194Years back, I used to attend a lot of conferences. This is in the time before Facebook or Twitter. I went to World Horror and World Fantasy, Thrillerfest, Love is Murder, NECon, New England Crimebake, Romantic Times

But then there was Social Media and suddenly I could keep in touch with people I’d met and also “meet” brand-new ones. I knocked it down to once a year conferences thinking that would be enough, that in person meetings really didn’t matter anymore. That Facebook was really all I needed.

Last week though I attended the World Horror Convention, hosted by the Horror Writers Association. I wrongly assumed I’d know a lot of the people, based simply on the small amount of people I correspond with and the ones I knew “way back when.” Instead I knew only a small percentage. It hit me then that I really need to 1) go to more conferences, 2) update this blog more  and 3) become a little more visible even if that means posting to my nearly forgotten Twitter account.

So to kick off, here are some pictures of some old and new friends from this year’s World Horror Conference in Atlanta. It was wonderful time, chockfull of panels and movies, readings and great conversation.

Please check back as I will be updating the blog a lot more often now.

For today, please check out the sites for as many people in these pictures that I can name. From the top:

Brad  C. Hodson, Rene Mason, Lynne Hansen, Frazer Lee, John Skipp, Jack Ketchum, Jonathan Maberry, Christopher Golden, John Farris, Bob Eggleton, Eric Miller, John Palisano, Maria Alexander, Joe McKinney, Robert Payne Cabeen, Eric Guinard, and finally Dacre Stoker, who I just met at the con.

There was tons of talent gathered in Atlanta but this is a good start.

Thanks for reading-

Tracy

Please visit my Amazon site for a list of all my works in print.

 

 

 

 

FullSizeRenderIt’s been too long since I’ve posted anything on this blog. I blame my cross country move to California, and adjusting to my new life here. In a nutshell, it’s sunny and pretty almost all of the time. And when it’s not, it’s rainy and pretty. I love the vastness of the mountains, and the sounds of water birds and crickets and frogs at night. I live in a suburb about a half hour from Hollywood and Los Angeles.

Since I moved, I have been lucky enough to fall in with a terrific group of creative people. I am a long standing member of the International Horror Writers Association. Because of that, and the conferences I frequented for years, I was able to slide into the Los Angles chapter of the HWA without feeling out of my element, or like a stranger. I knew many of the folks from conferences, or Facebook, or Shocklines.

Though I’ve written only two stories since I got here, which is pitifully low output, I have joined the ranks of thousands and am currently cutting my teeth on a screenplay adapted from my novel, Restitution.IMG_1462

Thanks to the HWA and their enthusiastic organizers, I’ve had several book signings.

If you’re in the area, please stop by my Shades and Shadows reading on March 21st. Also, the L.A. Vintage Paperback Expo on March 22nd in Glendale is going to be phenomenal. The HWA has a booth there. Please come visit. March 2015

I promise to write more frequent posts, and update people on my writing, my new recipes and various upcoming signings and appearances.

Till then, have a fantastic day!

Tracy

MarnieI was excited this morning to receive a glowing review on HELLNOTES. The reviewer, Dr. Alex Scully of the successful and brilliant Firbolg Publishing, made my day with this one.

Here is an excerpt from the review.

“Carbone has woven a complex and bizarre tale full of twists and turns. There are hints of Collie Wilkins with a dash of Henry James throughout the narrative. Carbone walks a delicate balance between the real and the unreal, and the supernatural is blended seamlessly into the story.”

CLICK HERE for the full review which gives a great feel for the plot and atmosphere of the novel.

Okay, back to write some new fiction.

 

Tracy