Back in a flash...
So half of the staff of PCP is over on the West Coast. I'm going to try to keep up on correspondences as best I can, but if you don't hear from me, it doesn't mean I didn't call.

To end with an amusing thought: I plan on learning from my mistakes and doing another antho last year, but likely I won't be able to afford any of the talented writers and artists I worked with this year 'cause you'll all have real gigs. That's funny and sad, all at once.

Back in 10 days! Don't die while I'm gone, cause I'd hate miss it!


Short thoughts and an Invite
One of the best things about Chuba's visual motif is that no one would ever mistake him for Gollum or the whiney goblin in Harry Potter. Chuba looks like Chuba. If that doesn't seem to be much of a feat, let me remind you about the Curse of Drizzt. Chuba isn't getting forehead armor on my shift, thank you very kindly.

I'm headed to Colorado, so things might be a bit more quiet around here. I'll be meeting with MNTS and hammering out the final table of contents, meeting with one of our artists, and pitching GT to some gaming stores. Good ol' Marshak's House of Fantasy. A friend had a check bounce there once, and when his mother got the bill she thought it was a "adult" video/bookstore.

Also you're all invited to the "bachelor" party, and I'll try to find room at the actual gig. (Although the party will be much more exciting. "Home-made" = wild magic in my house.) Let me know if you'll be around the NE come the end of June....


The Night Wind's Siren Call
Beautiful night, tonight. I'm at work, one computer spitting out invitations to the wedding, the other sending off revisions for the book. I don't have the time, but I needed to get on to express how great these stories are.

Every single story in this collection is one that I never could have come up with. That's a great thing to say about a book. No cliched fantasy crawls here; there are original thoughts, plots and ... something else that rhymes with "aughts." Draughts? Goblin snots? Potent draughts?

Anyway, you get the idea.

So while MNTS and I are finishing up round 3 edits, you all should be moving on to the next big thing. Yes, GT is going to rock. Yes, ours is the best damn indie anthology to be published this year. But that is all for the reader. To you, the writer, we should be boring. We should be tired. We should be old blood, the corpse of work in your way as the ink flys off from your pen as you compose the next big thing ...

... because no one else can your stories, and you're some of the best writers I know.


B&W Cover Illus. and Rant
First the good stuff:

(This will be in color in another 2 weeks or less There's some slight distortion due to resizing for the blog.)

Rant, or "Why none of us should ever break our deadlines with publishers."
I've been guilty of demonizing editors/publishers in the past. Stoic and silent behind a wall of professional courtesy, they make easy targets for weak minded phebes like myself. But from the other side of the curtain of Oz, it isn't so difficult to understand why they become so distant. The "Why" is really very, very simple.

When a writer (or anyone else) makes a promises to meet a deadline, it allows the publisher to make promises to other folks who must also work on deadline (printers, colorists, the guy that does layout, and the gal that does distribution). And when those first deadlines are broken, all 101 of the other deadlines fall like so many cliched dominoes, which results in the publisher looking like an idiot when the readers start asking for the book that was due two months ago.

A full blown catastrophe hasn't happened to PCPress yet, but even minor delays turn me into a type IV demon-grinch, because even minor delays threaten to slow up every other aspect of the book.

So when you get you big break, don't break a deadline without letting the guys upstairs know.

And if you're wondering why we haven't gotten back to you yet, it is because someone else did. Grr.

On the flip side, I planned for talent-drop out by over staffing certain departments, so everything will proceed smoothly in the end (if only by force of my fire whip).

End rant.

Deep breath.

Ah. It feels good to be able to post again. Round two of edits coming out by Monday.


We'll Sleep When We're Dead
Bloody hell, what a weekend.

Announcing to H's parents in the hospital + writing/editing + high-power artist negotiations ("We can't pay you much." "I'm okay with that.")+ writing/editing + wrapping my arm in fiberglass insulation, securing it with duct tape, and reaching inside a glowing kiln to retrieve a crucible filled with molten silver.

There. Any illusions you may have had about me being a cool and calculating craftsman should be properly dispelled. But the test-fire was a success. Will try the real deal later next week.

GT News: We are supposed to have our black and white cover art today. I'll post it just as soon as it is in.

And on a side note:
Grimbones: Underestimating the power of nature since 1974
1800 degrees F. is really, really, really hot.

You wouldn't think so. At least I didn't think so. But it was dark out, and when we lifted the lid off the kiln the night was lit bowels-of-hell red by the glowing fire bricks.

Yowsa. Adrenaline crash for hours.


Welcome, CLM and Saurus!
A big deathy welcome to two new(sorta) friends. For record, we're usually not this busy. :)

A Decision in Seven Breaths*
You all know me as a hard-rolling publisher that spends his nights wining and dining industry elites. I'm also proud to say that I'm the boring, average fellow that dates the very wonderful woman named Heather.

We found out two weeks ago that Heather's father has pancreatic cancer.

We found out two days ago that the cancer is inoperable and will runs its course in 6 months, likely much less.

We decided yesterday that we needed to get married before her father passes. We are shooting for the weekend of June 20.

Seven breaths.

So, your buddy, pal, biggest fan and advocate, Grimbones, has a busy month ahead of him. But despite my shy, retiring nature, I have the adrenaline reserves of 12 large elephants. I do not anticipate this slowing the release of the anthology more than one month or so, but if we stretch into July, I humbly beg your understanding.

*Bad fantasy writing has informed me that a samurai should make a decision in the span of seven breaths.
Grims, I think you're an [insert modifier], and here's why!

For the Record
First, last and foremost: We will NOT use anyone's art work or stories without their permission. Just as the Press is willing to put the breaks on the project if Alrunic (owner of Chuba) says so, we will also stand behind and respect any visual artist that doesn't want to have art their work used in certain ways.

We are running a shoestring-cum-garotte operation here. We have the cumulative talent to turn out a kick ass product that rivals the best the industry can produce, but we can't pay the creators what their work is "worth."

The one thing we can offer (that the giants can't) is an intimate relationship with the work. We hold our authors and artists in the highest regard, and treat them accordingly. We will lay down in the street for you, post your bail, bake files into your cakes.

We aren't working with you so much as working FOR you. And it is in everyone's interest for us to bust the best indie anthology yet produced. End o' story. :)


Let Them Eat Cake
So TSG and MNTS have mentioned merchandise. This raises an interesting question since a t-shirt or poster is all art and not much story, leading one to believe that the artist should be the one getting paid.

Another argument would be that association that makes a t-shirt attractive is due to the stories, hence the writers of the book being advertised deserve a cut.

A third argument is that since we will likely be using CafePress, and since their products are over-priced to begin with, why not just sell them "at cost"? This way we - the fans and creators - get our goodies for as cheap as possible, we don't have to worry about anyone not making money, and we get as much advertising as possible out into the world.

I'm of the opinion that we should go with the third option, but of course I'm willing to entertain discussion.

The only caveat might be for products using the cover design. This was the most expensive piece of artwork and it would be nice to recover some of that. Once I made back a part of that expense (which I doubt will happen) I would drop the price back to CP's exorbitant prices. :)


The Artists of Goblin Tails
One of the "selling points" we offered to artists when we went recruiting was the chance to get their work noticed by other publishers. We're dedicated to getting their work out there and getting it noticed, so we welcome any inquiries; we'll be happy to hook you up with these talented folks - as long as they keep making their deadlines. ;)

There will be an entire section of the anthology that will provide bio info for the artists and authors. I can enthusiastically recommend each and every one of them.

Introducing: Daan Vinke!
Deciding to include black and white artwork in the antho was a gamble. The artists had to be professionals that could turn out quality work on deadline, be willing to work for slave wages AND have the flexibility to depict our favorite goblin in a number of unusual situations.

Therefore it is my honor to introduce just one of our many talented artists, Daan Vinke, aka Grimbones' savior. We had the incredible good fortune of "discovering" Daan. He hasn't been published before, but I think you'll agree that this won't be the last we see of him.

(Q. So what's the story behind this piece?

A. While many of Chuba's adventures are lighted hearted romps, a few in the anthology are dark - even somber - tales. In this particular story we find Chuba digging a very special grave. ;) )

Yes, and for the record: we rule.