I used my personal column in today's paper to discuss my fiction writing - rather than the usual discussion of local public affairs - so I thought I'd cut and paste it here for the benefit of the followers of this blog:
Last year, I signed a contract for a reprint collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories. The book came out right at the end of the year."Fantastic Texas" rounded-up a dozen stories set in Texas and published in various publications from the U.S. to Australia to England. It's been well received. One magazine wrote:"Lou Antonelli is a journalist and thus has a journalist's simple and clear style of writing; he is easy to read. His voices for his characters are delightfully idiosyncratic. You will not find any conceptually mind-blowing stories here, nor any literarily exciting fictions but you will find 140 pages of the best kind of ‘popcorn' fiction or beach reading, and this is a good thing. These are all enjoyable and perfect examples of well written SF in a sort of 1950's mode."As a writer who so far has only published short stories, I never had the status of having a book published. "Fantastic Texas" solved that issue, and it has also afforded me the opportunity to do book signings.
I started the rounds Feb. 6 here in Mount Pleasant, and since then I have visited Tyler, Longview, Marshall, Paris, Greenville, Waxahachie and New Boston. I also peddled copies at the various literary conferences I attended this year, in Dallas (three times), Tulsa, Houston and Austin. I will be back in Tyler again this Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble for another signing (my previous visit was to the Hastings there).A few months ago, another small press publisher put out the word, through the appropriate genre sources, that he was open to book proposals. Although "Fantastic Texas" is, well, fantastic, after it came out I realized its virtues as a showcase for my fiction was limited by its theme.I pitched - and sold - the new publisher on a 20-story collection, which would be, in effect, The Best of Lou Antonelli, and came up with the snappy title "Texas and Other Planets".It's in production now, and I look forward to it coming out, hopefully in time for Christmas (what a great stocking stuffer!). "Fantastic Texas" came out too late last year to make the Christmas gift-giving season, but I have hopes for "Texas and Other Planets".
This second collection runs the gamut from my first story ever published - in the summer of 2003 - to a story in a magazine out right now called Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD) called "Dispatches from The Troubles", an alternate history set in South Texas.That story, by the way, is my 50th to be published.Almost all fantasy and science fiction authors - unless you're a legend like Ray Bradbury or Harlan Ellison - eventually write novels, and I'm no different. I have expanded my short story "The Witch of Waxahachie" - which is in both collections - into a full-length book, and it is currently on the desk of an editor in New York. Fingers are crossed.