Thursday, December 27, 2012
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Sunday, December 02, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
With this acceptance I have now met my annual goal of 52 acceptances. Though I certainly hope to receive a few more acceptances before the year end, it's going to be tough to beat last year's 73 acceptances. In fact, I have to look all the way back to 1995 when I had 77 acceptances and 1991 when I had 84 acceptances to find the only two years when I did better than last year.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
"The type of story I was expecting most from the collection was Michael Bracken's 'The Hitter and the Stall.' Here we've got a cute young blond who picks the pocket of the wrong guy – someone better at that job than he is. Here there's a kind of mentoring involved, but the younger punk's attitude and nonchalance was exactly what was conjured for me with the title, cover, and description of Wild Boys. That the two men end up sharing more than pickpocketing skills is a given, and the narrator's awareness that this boy could be trouble, even as he's tumbling the fellow into bed, rang true.Read the entire review here.
Friday, November 09, 2012
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Now, I wait to see if I met his needs or not.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
"One for the Toad" has been reprinted in Restored to Love (Xcite).
The two reprints constitute my 47th and 48th acceptances of the year.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
"Prolific author Michael Bracken [...] makes the point that short stories can be more lucrative than novels while also making you a stronger writer."Kevin concludes that Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction is "an excellent book that you must have and use." Read his extensive review here. (And purchase Mind Slices, Kevin's latest collection, here.)
In his review of this blog in "Blog Bytes," his column in the December issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Bill Crider refers to me as "the hardest working guy in the short-story game."
You may have to purchase the magazine to read the entire review, but failing that you can read more from Bill at Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine and follow the links to learn more about his extensive list of publications.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Thursday, October 04, 2012
I wrote this story in 1991, it received a dozen rejections back in the early '90s, and it had been sitting in my files since the mid-'90s.
Lesson learned? Sometimes you write for the market; sometimes you write and wait for the market to catch up.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
I wrote a romance two years ago that was rejected by the anthology I'd originally targeted. This morning, while looking through my binder of anthology submission calls, I found one the story might fit if I could revise it a bit. The deadline for submission was listed as tomorrow.
I spent the morning adding 500 words to the story, submitted it, and promptly received an acceptance and a note that my story had squeezed in under the wire because the editor had actually closed the anthology earlier today.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
The total does not represent 1,025 different short stories. Buried in the total, and too difficult for me to calculate based on the way I keep my records, are several reprint sales.
The total also does not represent 1,025 short story publications. Some of the stories are awaiting publication later this year and next, and a few were sales to magazines that ceased publication prior to publishing my story.
Even so, that's a hell of a lot of short stories.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Saturday, September 08, 2012
"Due to the one surprise during the first sex scene and the ending I would say this story is worth a read. It’s not great but it isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read either."Read the entire review here.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
A brilliant post-war Bonnie and Clyde style storyline, on the run after a robbery, they stop for some celebrational sex, well written and brilliant plot and great twist to the ending.
Monday, September 03, 2012
My story "Tips" has just been publish at Out of the Gutter's website:
Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
In the review she mentions five stories as her "absolute fav's," including my story, "Drought." Read the interview and review here.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
"...this one snagged my attention because of the romance, the luscious outdoor sex, and the older characters."Read the entire review here.
Saturday, August 04, 2012
"The tales in Microchick are good ones. All are complicated and frequently have multiple twists that encourage the reader to consider other possibilities. Microchick: Erotic Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror is another very good read from author Michael Bracken and only intended for adult readers."Read the entire review at Kevin's Corner.
Microchick is only available in electronic formats, so look for it wherever eBooks are sold.
Thursday, August 02, 2012
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
My erotic story "Boys of Summer" appears in the mini-anthology Stud Poker (Xcite Books). The Kindle edition of Stud Poker will be free at Amazon August 7-11. Learn more here.
"'Lost Soul' is a snappy, quick read for mystery lovers who are short on time. I’ll definitely be looking for more stories by the author."Read the entire review here. Purchase the story here.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I tested several of my stories (representing different genres) and all but one was rated "lean" overall. The only story that wasn't rated "lean" was an unedited partial first-draft typed directly into the text window, and it was rated "fit & trim" overall.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I was telling someone I was a "horror writer." Siri changed it to "whore writer."
Siri knows me.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Monday, July 02, 2012
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Late Saturday evening I received my 26th acceptance of the year--a 2,600-word confession--surprising me because who expects a magazine editor to be working late on a Saturday?
Thursday, June 21, 2012
"I don't want to ruin the ending but I was surprised to say the least. It's a bit about manipulation and using your body to get what you want, which is something graduate student Jeremy is quite adept at."And he had this to say about all of the stories in the anthology:
"They were all well-written little shorts."Read the entire review here.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Last night, I started reading Take It Easy and wasn't depressed until the second paragraph of Robert van Gelder's introduction, titled "A Few Words About Runyon," where he notes that Runyon "gives two days each to the actual writing of these stories that you are about to read [...], but although he is paid for them at the rate of three dollars or more a word, this work is for him a part-time activity."
Holy Mother of God. Three dollars--or more!--per word. In the early 1930s.
At a mere three dollars per word, last year I would have earned more than half a million dollars from my short fiction.
I didn't even come close.
Friday, June 15, 2012
I originally wrote it for the confession magazines, from whence it was returned because it was too "hot." I revised it by amping up the heat a little and sent it to the editor of a series of confession anthologies, where "confession" has a different meaning than it does at the magazines.
Yesterday, the anthology editor asked for a slight revision--amping up the heat even more in the, um, climactic scene--but she wanted to finalize the contents of her anthology today, so could I turn it around quickly?
I said I could, I did, and this morning I awoke to an email telling the revision was "perfect."
I live for those emails.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Winner, "Business: Writing and Publishing" category, 2012 International Book Awards.
Winner, "Education/Academic" category, 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Winner, General Non-Fiction Award. 2011 London Books Festival Award.
Listed 5th in "This Year's Ten Most Terrific Writing Books" by The Writer magazine (Dec 2011).
Finalist, "Business: Writing and Publishing" category. USA Best Books 2011 Award.
Finalist. 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.
Finalist, "Writing" category. ForeWord Review's 2011 Book of the Year Awards.
Monday, June 11, 2012
I haven't written much about my health since, but I thought I should provide an update. Today was my annual visit with my cardiologist, and the news is all good.
First, I've lost 15+ pounds since September 2008, most of it finally coming off this year. (This weekend I even bought new chinos a waist size smaller than I had been wearing.) My cardiologist wanted to know how I'd done it because, for the first time in his life, he's been advised to drop 15 pounds. So, I was giving my cardiologist dieting advice!*
Second, my blood pressure and cholesterol levels are now within "normal" range, which means no changes to my current medication.
Third, and perhaps more importantly, my EKG was normal. The doc says my EKG was one of the best post-bypass EKGs he's ever seen.
So, life is good!
*Here's how I've done it:
1) Improve the quality of my diet by including more fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables and eliminating as many prepared canned and boxed foods. Reduce salt and fat intake. Eat more chicken and seafood and less beef. Also, eat more home cooking and less fast food.
2) Reduce the amount of food I consume. Instead of eating until I'm full, I now eat until I'm no longer hungry.
3) Fight my addictions. For example, I'm a Mountain Dew addict. Each time I've gone cold turkey, I've been back on the bottle within a few weeks. Now, I trick my taste buds. When I want a Dew, I take a big swallow of it and then switch immediately to water. I get that first rush of flavor from the swig of Dew but the water ultimately quenches my thirst.
4) Find an exercise I'll actually do because walking is boring. I've always enjoyed dancing, so I've taken some dance classes and have been dancing several times the past few months. (A dance partner and I even won a Twist contest!)
5) Be happy. Enjoy life. Don't stress over the little things.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Thursday, June 07, 2012
The editor to whom I first submitted the story left the magazine shortly after I submitted it. The person checking her emails during the transition had no record of it, so I resubmitted the story. A few months later, after a new editor settled into place, I once again checked on the status of the story and the new editor had no record of it. So I resubmitted it.
Third time's the charm!
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
"While sexuality is clearly part of each story, the stories are primarily good crime stories and feature the traits that readers of crime fiction writer Michael Bracken know and love. This very adult collection isn’t for everyone, but if you are okay with adult themes and situations, this collection is a very good one."Read the entire review at Kevin's Corner.
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Monday, June 04, 2012
My short stories have been published in nearly every genre; in anthologies, magazines, and newsletters; electronically, in print, and in audiobooks; in several countries and in a couple of languages.
And I have contracts stretching a few months into the future, so there's a glimmer of hope that this incredible run will continue for a while longer.
Sunday, June 03, 2012
Saturday, June 02, 2012
"[...] she pulled the phone plug out of the wall."Three paragraphs later:
"She ran to the phone, dialed her father's phone number, but got a busy signal."She shouldn't have gotten any kind of signal. The phone's not plugged in.
Friday, June 01, 2012
When eleven men return to their college alma mater for homecoming forty years after graduation, do they dare reveal the long-held secret that binds them to one another?
Learn more here.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
There have been changes, but are they significant?
So let's review. I'm an established writer with almost 1,000 short story sales, author of several books published by small presses, and editor of five crime fiction anthologies. I'm not well known, but neither am I a beginner.
I released my first title for Kindle--a romance novella titled Unbridled Love: A Romance with Horse Sense--in April 2010. Since then I've released 13 additional titles--one novel, two novellas, six short story collections, and four freestanding short stories. The titles have been released under my name and under the pseudonym Rolinda Hay.
My bestselling title is the one I released first. As of the end of April, Unbridled Love has sold 480 copies. Released in April 2011, my second-bestselling title is Sex, Violence & Half a Million Dollars, a collection of erotic crime fiction stories previously published in men's magazines, with 18 copies sold as of the end of April. Sales for other titles range down to a low of two for "Pick," a short story released September 2010. (My newest release, Love in Short Order, has only been available for a few days and stats for this title are not included.)
I'm currently earning more than $100 each month from sales of these titles, though the bulk of that income is from sales of Unbridled Love. (Note: I don't give work away so these sales figures represent actual sales, not freebies.)
I enrolled several of my titles in KDP Select. So far only one title has been checked out. Interestingly, it was a short story and I earned more for that check-out than I would have earned if I'd sold that copy.
I've also released two of these titles--Unbridled Love and Memories Dying--through Smashwords. I don't have actual sales figures handy, but my total earnings from Smashwords, as of the end of April, was $104.58. The bulk of the income was generated by sales of Unbridled Love.
The income I receive from self-published Kindle titles encourages me to continue adding titles as time permits, but does not yet come close to the income I earn from sales to traditional (and non-traditional) short story markets. I have not yet written anything specifically for self-publishing. Everything I've released has been previously published (thus generating additional income) or has, at least, made the rounds of my regular markets (thus generating some income rather than sitting in my filing cabinet and generating none).
The income I receive from Smashwords indicates that I should make an effort to release more titles through Smashwords, and I intend to as time permits.
So, significant changes? No.
But things are definitely looking up.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
About "Chalkers," Tipple says, the story
"...works on all levels and is a good one."Read the entire review here.
About "News Flash," he says
"...this short story is a powerful read with a certain sad inevitability to it."Read the entire review here.
Also available from Untreed Reads, "Lost Soul."
Monday, May 28, 2012
It's a literary story about a police officer, so I submitted it to a literary journal. Though I don't often submit my work to literary journals, I have been published in a few.
Love in Short Order is the latest title I've released as Rolinda Hay. It's currently available only from Amazon for Kindle. Learn more here.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
"It truly warrants a place near the top of the Top 10 Resources for Writer."Read the entire review here.
"'Reprieve' steers perilously close to snuff fiction, while delivering the most original story of the bunch. Author Michael Bracken envisions a hired killer who fails to take his shot when the sight in his rifle scope is of two men f*cking. The killer's trigger finger is necessarily diverted to his own anatomy."*I've not included a link to the review site because it is NSFW.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I'm not exactly sure what to call this one. There's a bit of blackmail, but it isn't a crime story, and there's erotic content, but it isn't erotica. Regardless, it's in an editor's hands now.
So here's what I want from editors:
1. Respond to my submissions promptly, especially if you asked me to contribute to your project.
2. Notify me when you accept or reject my submission. If you can't use the story I sent you, maybe someone else can.
3. Edit carefully and let me see review your work. I'm easy to work with and most of the time you catch errors and make good suggestions. I appreciate that.
4. Send me galley or page proofs to read prior to publication. I will proofread and return them promptly, correcting errors and only rarely suggesting or requesting a change.
5. Pay me promptly. This is how I feed myself. Let me choose when I start my next diet.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
After signing away his soul for fame, wealth, and women, an accountant for the mob goes missing, and a sexy demon hires private eye Mark Cain to find him.
Here's how it begins:
The statuesque redhead pushed into my office without knocking and I looked up from the newspaper I had spread across my desk. I’m usually a breast man but the redhead’s backside caught my attention first.
“Nice tail,” I said.
She flicked it once. Then she dropped an eight-by-ten glossy on my desk.
“We had a contract,” she explained. “He skipped.”
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Confessions are a unique form of women's fiction. They aren't romances, though they are often romantic. They aren't erotica, though some are quite sensual. And they aren't chick lit, though they are clearly written for and about contemporary women. What they are, are compelling stories about real women facing real problems.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rolinda Hay, under her own name and several pseudonyms, has been a leading confession writer for several decades, with more than two hundred confessions published in Black Confessions, Black Romance, Intimate Romances, Intimate Secrets, Intimate Story, Jive, Modern Romances, Secrets, True Confessions, True Experience, True Love, True Romance, True Secrets, and True Story.
Spicy Confessions 4 is currently only available for Kindle at Amazon.com.
Order your copy here: Spicy Confessions 4.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Saturday, April 07, 2012
Sunday, April 01, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
These days most of the fiction I write is on assignment, on request, or to meet the requirements of a specific anthology or periodical. This story isn't one of them. This story is one of the rare stories I wrote with no specific market in mind. I wrote it because I thought the idea too good to let languish in my idea file.
Alas, it languished in my to-submit file for six months before I stumbled across an anthology looking for exactly this kind of story. Though it took nine months from submission to acceptance--I submitted long before the deadline, and then the deadline was extended--the story sold to the first editor to see it.
So, a gamble followed by a long wait ended with a good result.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
"Chalkers by author Michael Bracken is a study in self-preservation and the horrendous acts it can lead to. This short story also examines the different ways individuals choose to deal with the ramifications that occur when living with extreme guilt."Read the entire review at Ro-Always Inspired.
Purchase "Chalkers" from Untreed Reads.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
This year is beginning the way last year ended, with me selling stories faster than I'm writing new ones. If I don't increase productivity, I'll soon run out of stories to sell!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
This may be the first time I've ever spoken about writing and editing non-fiction; I usually speak about writing fiction. What I realized when I gave my presentation is that the basic information is the same.
My favorite line of the day: A good magazine article begins with a query letter and ends with a check.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Friday, February 03, 2012
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Friday, January 06, 2012
73 acceptances (vs. 59 in 2010)
28 rejections (vs. 72 in 2010)
82 short stories published* (vs. 51 in 2010), 4 articles/essays published (vs. 2 in 2010)
I completed 52 short stories (vs. 42 in 2010).
I completed (to final draft) 180,200 words of short fiction (vs. 144,930 in 2010).
That's an average story length of 3,465 words (vs. an average of 3,451); the shortest story was 1,400 words, the longest was 6,100 words.
I completed and submitted an average of 1 short story each week (vs. an average of .81 each week in 2010).
(I only track completed short fiction word counts, not words written for incomplete projects, nor words written for other forms of writing.)
Editing: Up 2.3%
Fiction (not novels): Up 133.54%
Non-Fiction (not books): $0
Royalties (from all books and, beginning in 2010, from Kindle self-published short stories and novels): Up 663.22%
Seminars/Teaching: Up from $0
Salary: Down 3.46%
Overall gross income: Up 8.52%
I could have and should have written more, but the past few months my productivity has declined while my attention has been elsewhere.
Even though my gross income increased, expenses also increased so I’m no better off.
*I may update this information later; I’m confident that I’ve had additional stories published but have not yet received my contributor copies.