Friday, July 13, 2012


A few things on this Friday the 13th:

Black Tupelo, my complete short-story collection is now available for 3.99.

Also available:  Dark: Volume One 

And:  Dark: Volume Two 

 .99 each

Black Tupelo contains all of the short stories (but not poems) from Dark: One and Two, plus Max Under the Stars.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I've talked about this before, but I really wanted to use a pen name for The Orchard. At the very least, Anne Frasier, but even better would have been something entirely new. The name I came up with was my grandmother's last name of Ahlberg.  So I was thinking Terry Ahlberg.  I saw using a pen name as a way of telling my story without exposing people who wouldn't want to be exposed. But both my editor and agent felt very strongly about my using my real name, and other people in the business were adamant about using real locations. 

Now, coming up on the one-year anniversary of  the release of The Orchard, I will say that I feel even more strongly that it should have been published under a pen name due to the exposure it's received.  Way back when I was hoping to use something other than my name, my agent said nobody from my old life would even know the book existed anyway.  And both my editor and agent's argument was that it was nonfiction and nonfiction should be published under a writer's real name. I totally understand that, but I don't see a problem with publishing nonfiction under a pen name.  In fact, I think it could prove a good idea in many cases.  And a little mystery is never a bad thing.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Phyllis has been a book lover...well, I'm guessing her whole life.  I've known her online for years and years, and she knows her stuff and has ALWAYS BEEN a big, big, big supporter of authors.  A few years ago she decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of opening a bookstore. Yes, the economy wasn't great, but many of us have come to that place in our lives where we decide it's now or never.  And we dive in because not doing it is no longer an option.  That's how it is with pursuing dreams.   Coincidently, Phyllis and I both pursued our dreams at the same time. She dove in and opened a bookstore, and I dove in and wrote The Orchard. 

But the economy continued to slide, and print books... Well, we know how it's going with print books. And I once did a signing at a bookstore that was surrounded by road construction, practically required a hardhat, and seemed in danger of falling off a cliff. The place was deserted because of course nobody could get there.  So I'm kind of imagining the same scenario with Phyllis's store. These construction projects are business killers. I see that all the time in Minneapolis and St. Paul.  But anyway, Phyllis ended up turning that open sign to closed.  Temporarily. She plans to find another (cheaper) location, and also plans to narrow the focus of the store. I think this is a doable plan, with more of a focus on local authors. This seems to be a successful formula for many bookstores.  But anyway, she's set up a funding campaign similar to Kickstarter.  Check it out and please pass the word.  We need our indie stores, and we need booksellers like Phyllis who love books and love to talk about books and love to share books.


 I've been going through my short stories, and I came across this piece of flash fiction written for The Clarity of, maybe six or seven years ago?  

                                                           Midnight Road

            The strange object loomed above them.  “I wonder what that is,” Fontaine said.   But he didn’t really care.  It was silly to dwell on such things.
            “See those wires?”  Mary pointed.  “I heard they used to carry some kind of power.”   She slapped a pair of patched jeans against a rock.
            “My grandmother says that, but she’s nuts.”
            Mary nodded.  “Crazy as a full moon in June.”
            “Nutty as a nut tree.”
            Fontaine threw the last of the wet clothes into his basket and got to his feet.  “My grandmother refused to go through the mental cleansing.”  There, he’d finally voiced his family shame.
            “My mother says it’s vulgar to cling to memories.”  Mary stood and picked up her basket.   “A cleanse a day keeps the sorrow away.”
            The sun rises in the East.  All children turn toward the sun.   Fontaine turned.  “A cleanse in time saves a mind.”
            The darkening sky reminded them of the impending loss of light.  Side by side they hurried home, their shadows stretching and shrinking, bending and folding across the midnight road.