Back to Class, and Other Tidbits

It’s been snowing most of the day here. I guess I got a little bit spoiled with all the unseasonably warm weather over the holidays, to the point where I’m mildly offended when it dares to turn cold and snow in January. On the other hand, it’s hard to be too upset about such things while our Australian friends are going through such a terrible, terrifying experience. Perspective.

In any event, it’s a brand new year, the start of the 2020s, and what better way to start the year off than to plunge into writing?

For some, getting started is the toughest road block to overcome. But fear not, I’m here to help. The next installment of Crafting the Short Story launches on January 27th, and it’s a great way to get inspired and get writing. Or for those who already have something written and are looking for the next steps, there’s An Introduction to Publishing on March 21st (one day workshop). Follow the links for more information, or drop me a line with any questions.

There are lots of other great courses offered at the College of Extended Learning. Even if writing isn’t your thing – and perish the thought! – have a look at some of the other stuff they have to offer. Odds are good you’ll find something interesting and informative.

In other news, James Fisher at the Miramichi Reader did a review of Terror in High Water this past week. You can check that out here. Many thanks for the exposure and kind words. Incidentally, if you’re thinking of buying a copy you can click the Amazon link at the bottom of his review, for which he receives a small commission at no cost to you.

In the coming weeks, look for an interview I did with Allan Hudson at the South Branch Scribbler. Allan’s a great interviewer who likes to dig below the surface a little bit, and it was a fun and thought-provoking process that I really enjoyed. I’ll let you know when it goes live.

I try not to ramble on about High Water too often, so the regular reader doesn’t tune out. I did want to say that it has gotten a few more reviews lately, which is awesome. If you’ve read it and wouldn’t mind taking a few minutes to leave a review, just know that it’s greatly appreciated. Just follow these links to Amazon, Goodreads or both. Every little bit helps spread the word and get more copies into the eager hands of new readers.

Want to receive updates and all the latest musings directly to your inbox? Go to my contact page here, enter your name and email, and add something to the comment box so the system knows you’re not a robot, and bada-boom, you’re the first to know when a new blog post is published.

More news and notes as they unfold. As always, thanks for reading.

-JP

 

 

The Year That Was

The year is winding down rapidly – time for one last post before we roll over into the 2020s. As a sort of recap I thought I’d take a look back at 2019 as it unfolded from my perspective. As it turns out there’s quite a lot to review!

The biggest news, for me at least, was the release of Terror in High Water. I can’t say enough how pleased I am with how it turned out, and the kind words and support I’ve received. It’s widely available on numerous platforms in paperback and ebook.

My story, The Grand Finale, appeared in the Deadly Bargain anthology. It too was well received, and I’m proud of my inclusion in its pages.

The Canadian Dreadful anthology was next. This was a learning experience that contains a version of my story, The Sound of Passing Traffic.

Speaking of learning experiences, this fall saw the debut of my new course, An Introduction to Publishing. It’s a one-day seminar that’s a sort of companion piece to my Crafting the Short Story course. Both are offered through UNB’s College of Extended Learning and will continue into 2020 and beyond.

High Water has drawn interest locally in a few ways. A signed copy was included as part of a prize package offered by Fred-E-Scene, which is a showcase of local news, business, arts and leisure, and more. It’s a great resource that I highly recommend for anyone in or around the area.

I recently did an interview with Allan Hudson, founder and driving force behind the South Branch Scribbler. It was a cool experience in which we discussed a variety of topics. You’ll be able to check out in the coming weeks – I’ll keep you posted there.

Another “I’ll keep you posted” item is my first foray into children’s horror. Mother Ghost’s Grimm is a multi-part series focused on horror (age appropriate, obviously) for young children. Volume One, which includes a number of my friends, released earlier this month. I’ve got a story called The Little Ones in the forthcoming Volume Two, in which I’ll share pages with many other friends and my better half, Sheryl. She’s got a new release as well, an all-Canadian anthology called Creatures in Canada. It’s got a great author list and lots of cool stories. Worth a look!

Lastly, even though it won’t see the light of day until well into the new year: I’ve sent my second novel, Seventeen Skulls, to my publisher just before Christmas. It’s far too early in the process to divulge any more than that, but as with everything else on the horizon, I’ll keep you posted.

Have a safe and Happy New Year. Thank you for your support and all the cool experiences. See you on the other side!

-JP

Winter All-Purpose Post

Today’s post is a bit of a catch-all, as I bring you up to speed on some of the things going on in my chilly little piece of the world.

First, Terror in High Water is rolling along and getting some positive feedback. I’m grateful for the kind words and all the attention it’s been getting. Watch for reviews, spotlights and interviews, and more in the New Year.

As an aside, books make great Christmas gifts. For those unable to flee south and escape Old Man Winter, well… it’s always hot in the little Texas town of High Water.

Speaking of Terror in High Water, it recently received its first five-star review. You can read it here. I’ve also added a page on my site dedicated solely to High Water, which you can check out here.

The Fred-E-Scene holiday wishbook was released right on schedule and received with much enthusiasm. Thanks to the management and staff for being so cool to work with.

Also – and I’m sorry I didn’t know about this earlier – 13 Horror Street made High Water their Scream of the Day on release day.

Another first for me: I get to share a table of contents with my better half! I mentioned this briefly before, but I figure it bears repeating as we creep closer to the launch date. To recap:  it’s a slight departure for me, but we’ve delved into the world of children’s literature: horror edition. Presenting the Mother Ghost’s Grimm anthology. Here’s a little peek at the cover art. Sheryl and I will appear in volume 2.

Little Ones

Fun stuff. Looking forward to this cool project.

More to come later. Stay warm, stay safe. Talk to you soon!

– JP

 

Shop Local!

As I alluded to yesterday, the Fred-E-Scene Holiday Wish Book is live and running as of today. In case you missed my post, this is a showcase of small and local businesses, artists, musicians, restaurants, and more.

Beyond the wish book the site – which counts its views in the missions, I might add – is a wonderful place to keep up on what’s going on in and around the greater Fredericton area. There’s even a section that features such things as literature, where they reviewed Terror in High Water in October. When they asked me to participate in this, I was more than happy to do so.

Here’s the link to the Wish Book. And here’s the link to the authors’ section. Happy browsing!

-JP

Holiday Spotlight

Fred-E-Scene is an excellent showcase for, as they put it, “everything Fredericton”. They’ve got all kinds of stuff regarding the greater Fredericton area, with their fingers on the pulse of the arts, music, shopping, and other pursuits. It’s a pretty great site that boasted over 1.5 million views this year. Go have a look, you never know what might interest you over there.

One of the cool things they do on this site is their annual Holiday Wishbook. It’s a great way to showcase local vendors and businesses, and get seen by an awful lot of eyes. They put a lot of emphasis on supporting local business – which I fully endorse and agree with – and this year, I’m thrilled to say that I will be included!

It goes live tomorrow, I’m told. I’ve skimmed through, and am pleased to report an impressive list of things to browse. My little corner will feature my latest novel, as well as the writing courses I offer through the College of Extended Learning at UNB. I’ll update with a link and pics and such when it goes live. But for now…

…Here’s an early, sneak-peek look at the wishbook. I encourage you to visit early and often. Hopefully you’ll find something in there that jumps off the page at you. I must say, there’s a pretty nice list of contributors this year. Hat’s off to the good folks at Fred-E-Scene for putting this together and helping to shine a well-deserved light on the local business community!

-JP

Buy a Book, Leave a Review

It’s been a week since Terror in High Water hit the market, and the buzz is growing slowly but steadily as word gets around. The idea that my book is out there being read by friends and strangers alike is amazingly cool. I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about it. An inexpensive and effective way to do that is to write a review.

Reviews sell books, there’s no doubt about it. Word of mouth is, far and away, the best advertising a book can receive. It doesn’t cost anything, only takes a few minutes, and goes a long way toward exposing good books to potential readers. Here are a couple of readers’ comments:

“…takes the reader on a dusty ride that shows you the path to redemption can be something you would never expect in such vivid colours of suspense and conflict.”

 

“As the reader is taken on the suspenseful journey you can picture the town, its citizens and the anxiety.”

If you’ve read Terror in High Water and enjoyed the journey, it would be wonderful if you could pop over to Amazon (or Smashwords, or wherever you purchased your copy) and leave a nice review. Let others know it’s worth stepping into 19th century Texas for a glimpse at that little town of High Water. I would certainly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!

-JP

The Day After

I woke up this morning to my social media feeds letting me know that a ton of people wanted to wish me a happy birthday. It’s always a pleasant surprise, and I appreciate it very much. Thank you.

This year it’s an extra special celebration, as it comes just one day after the release of my first novel. I know I’ve spoken a lot about this in the last little while, and I’m doing my best not to overload you. I just have a few new points to make this morning and then I’ll leave you in peace for the day.

As of last night there is now a dedicated page to High Water, where I’ll add related cool things such as videos and reviews. Feel free to take a look, it’ll be updated periodically.

You can get posts and updates emailed directly to you by adding your email address here.

In addition to Amazon – where it’s doing rather nicely, I might add – my novel is also available directly from World Castle’s ebook store. You can find all of the World Castle titles here, often at lower prices than other platforms.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge FNAC which, for those who don’t know, is a retailer based in France that happens to sell books, including mine.

By far the best advertising is happy readers. There’s no substitute for a personal endorsement, whether through word of mouth, Amazon reviews, or just telling others you think would enjoy something you’ve read. If you’ve read and enjoyed Terror in High Water, thank you. Please consider giving it a nice review. Or tell a friend. Or both.

-JP

 

High Water

Welcome to High Water, Texas. Here in the 1830s, it’s a tiny hub for cattle ranchers in the middle of the vast, arid south Texas landscape. Things are usually pretty quiet in High Water. But not today.

Today, there’s a new sheriff in town. He’s known as The Man. He’s brought some of his friends with him. And things are about to get very interesting.

Introducing my novel, Terror in High Water. The reviews are already starting to creep in. Here’s a very nice one from JJ Carrier:

Terror In High Water is not your grandfather’s Louis L’Amour western, but a chilling 1830s period tale of a living hell, derived from the creative mind of acclaimed horror author Joe Powers. He takes a fresh look at the genre so prevalent, and popular, in the industry in 2019 in this page-turner and takes the reader on a dusty ride that shows you the path to redemption can be something you would never expect in such vivid colours of suspense and conflict. The book will remind the reader of such previous classics as DC’s Jonah Hex and Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter, but it spins that familiar scenario on its head via the various twists he puts his characters, and the reader, through. But be warned, as you delve deeper in the novel you may have to go back to it time and time again once you finish it to remind yourself that if you believe in legends on both sides of the coin of good and evil, and hate and love, this tome might prove it 10 times over.

Terror in High Water is available in paperback and kindle on several platforms, including Amazon , with more to come.

-JP

New Territory

It’s a delicate balance, this writing thing.

Writing is, pretty generally, an intimate thing; a solitary act of creation the artist agonizes over for days, weeks, months, or even longer. All to create something (hopefully) amazing, which they must then reveal to the world. This is where it gets interesting. The writer emerges from their den, blinking at the sudden brightness, and approaches the world holding their new creation aloft.

All of this to say it’s been a busy couple of weeks, and a lot of you have probably noticed my increased social media presence. One of the ways I do that is by posting more frequent updates here, a process that makes me slightly uncomfortable. “People have already heard all of this before,” I say. “How many times do they want to hear about this stuff before they just tune out?” Keep it fresh by talking about new stuff, I answer myself. Fair enough.

So with Terror in High Water‘s release just over a week away I’ve been doing my best to get the word out. Pre-orders can be made through Amazon, but just today I also discovered that it’s available on Smashwords and, to my surprise, FNAC.

What the heck is FNAC? you may ask. Fair question. I asked that very thing myself earlier. Turns out, FNAC stands for Federation Nationale d’Achats des Cadres, and is a retail chain, a sort of Amazon-like thing founded and based in France. So having learned that I thought to myself, well, that’s pretty damn cool. And it is.

So that’s just a quick update on some cool new stuff in the days leading up to the official release. As always, thanks for reading and following along. If you want these updates sent right to your inbox, enter your email address and click the “follow” button.

Until next time!

-JP

All the New Things

It’s been a very good couple of days here, and I wanted to share some of what’s been going on with you.

A quick update, hot on the heels of the excitement of my novel’s debut: Terror in High Water is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Only in Kindle for now, but it will be available in paperback.

In the spirit of back to school week, the fall session of Crafting the Short Story kicks off on September 23rd – coincidentally, launch day for Terror in High Water. A busy day ahead!

In addition, beginning this fall we’re test-driving a new course. It’s sort of a companion piece to the short story class but can also stand alone. It’s called An Introduction to Publishing, and the name says it all – this is a crash course on some of the basics involved with the publishing industry. This is largely being offered due to feedback and suggestions from those who have taken the short story classes. It’s a single session course where we’ll get together on a Saturday afternoon and have a discussion about publishing.

Last but not least, this week I spread my wings a little bit and expanded into… children’s books? Yes, as unlikely as it sounds, I’ve written a story that will appear in an anthology for kids. Details to follow, but for now (and for the second time this week) here’s a sneak peek at the cover art:

 

Mother Ghost's Grimm

Fun stuff! I’m pretty happy about the idea of writing for kids, even if it turns out to be just a one-off event. The coolest part, at least for me, is the fact that I will be joined in this collection by my wife, Sheryl. For those who don’t know, Sheryl is my de facto in-house editor, and quite a talented writer to boot. Sharing pages with her is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. This winter (hopefully in time for Christmas!), we’ll get to do that.

I know, a lot to process and take in for one day. I’ll leave it there for now, and bombard you with more interesting tidbits as they unfold.

– JP