Writing a book in one day! (Sort of)

So on Wednesday, whilst brooding over my lack of productivity through the entire house-move kerfuffle, I came up with a perfectly silly idea for a novelty book, or as they are called in the trad publishing trade, ‘non-book’. I told my Gentle Editor, Wendy S. Delmater, the idea. She thought it was amusing enough to put in some effort and try it on a dog. We agreed to confer online Friday afternoon.

So today, beginning at about 12:30 p.m. Frozen North Standard Time, I started furiously typing any old gag that would fit the idea. The beginning and ending were easy. Filling out the middle took a little longer. About 4:00 I began formatting the text in InDesign, and at 7:03 precisely I sent the PDF to my beta reader, the talented and cover-designer-ly Sarah Dimento. She is not a dog, but she does have two cats, and no disapproval being met with from that quarter, I have decided to throw the thing out there and see what happens.

I call it Writer’s Block: An Insider’s Guide.

It begins with ‘This page intentionally left blank’, and goes on from there. If there is a way of not writing books that I have failed to mention in its voluminous pages, I will eat the hat that I haven’t got.

Warning: This book will not tell you how to cure writer’s block. At best, it will give you some of the kind of company that misery loves, and maybe a few laughs. But perhaps that’s enough.

New release: WHERE ANGELS DIE, Episode 1

Now live on Amazon in a country near you:

Episode 1 of Where Angels Die

Buy your copy for the trivial price of 99 cents (U.S., Canada), 99p (U.K.), or €0.99 (Eurozone), or the equivalent in your local dosh.

‘A demon is the spirit of a bad idea. The Taken are just its victims. If they kill you, you lose. If you kill them – you lose. The only way to win is to kill the idea itself. That’s where we come in.’

Enter Revel Enfield: paladin, exorcist, Knight of the Covenant of Justice.

Every enemy is hidden.

Every friend can be turned.

Even the Angels of Life can be killed.

This is his war.

[Read more…]

Cover design: Your feedback, please?

Good news, everybody!

The formidable and talented Sarah Dimento has delivered the all-but-final cover design for Where Angels Die, based on my rough concept and rubbishy layout.

I always feel embarrassed when taking cover ideas to Sarah, because something about her puts me in mind of Edna Mode from The Incredibles: ‘This is a hobo suit, dahling, you can’t be seen in this, I won’t allow it!’ But she has a rather nifty way of turning those hobo suits into eye-catching book covers.

The current idea is to release each episode of Angels under separate cover, and then bundle them as a fix-up novel later. To minimize the amount of design work required, we have it in mind to reuse the same design with different background colours (and, of course, episode titles). The design follows the jump below.

[Read more…]

Here comes another one: STYLE IS THE ROCKET in paperback

Order your copy!

With this latest release, all my books are now available in print editions from CreateSpace, except The End of Earth and Sky. That one will have to wait until I have a press-quality map ready. I plan to re-release it (with map) along with The Grey Death, some time later this year, if I am able to work regularly. We shall see.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Keep spreading the word!


Now available from Amazon!

(And a handsome volume it is, too, apart from a slightly anorexic quality about the cover model. Thanks again to Sarah Dimento for her design.)

Get yours today! Confound the Curators of Culture! Flabbergast the professional critics! Hoist the Jolly Roger! (A close relative of the model, by the way.)

In other news, work continues on the Superversive essay collection, and Where Angels Die (‘the Orchard of Dis-Pear’) is once again growing and taking form. It was unfortunate that I wrote the first chapters of the ‘Orchard’ just as my parents were dying; the pain of those memories, I think, discouraged me from taking the project up again. I am very glad to be able to return to work on it.

My thanks to all who left comments on the ‘Suggestions’ post. Your continued interest in all of my work bears me up and gives me hope and courage.


At long last, it’s here!

My long-promised collection of essais, Style is the Rocket, is going live today, exclusively on Amazon. It contains nine pieces that have previously appeared on this blog:



Style is the rocket
The drudge and the architect
The immersive writer
Sturgeon’s law school
Heinlein’s rules vs Amazon’s game
Clock share: Writers vs the competition
Why I write

Plus ‘The Emperor’s new prose’, a revised and updated version of a piece from 2006, and the all-new and exclusive ‘Quality vs quality’.

Buy the ebook of Style is the Rocket on Amazon today!

Get yours for $2.99 U.S., or an equivalent amount in your go-to currency.

For those who prefer to eschew electrons, a handy paperback edition will be on sale within a few days.

In other news, The Worm of the Ages and Other Tails has been our most successful ebook launch so far, thanks partly to signal boosts by L. Jagi Lamplighter, John C. Wright, Ben Zwycky, Anthony Marchetta, Wendy S. Delmater, and others. Your help in spreading the word is deeply appreciated. Yr. Obt. Svt. is touched and honoured.

So what happens next? I have several projects on the go, including another essai collection, two pieces of short fiction, and (just possibly) a collection of pieces by our Evil Alter Blogger, H. Smiggy McStudge. Keep watching this space!

THE WORM OF THE AGES, now in paperback!

While I was formatting and uploading The Worm of the Ages and Other Tails, I did the necessary work to lay out the paperback edition in InDesign. The approval process at CreateSpace takes a bit longer, because human eyes and brains have to be involved: colour prepress work for book covers is still an art as well as a science. That, too, has now been completed, and I am pleased to announce that The Worm of the Ages is already available in a print edition.

Click on the cover image below (or in the right margin of this page, if you’re viewing on a PC screen), and choose the ebook for $2.99 U.S. or the trade paperback for $6.99.


Our thanks and blessings to all those Loyal Readers who have already purchased the ebook!

Next up: Style is the Rocket, coming to you in June!


A slight change of plans: Since The Worm of the Ages and Other Tails is ready for release now, and Style is the Rocket isn’t quite yet, we have chosen to publish Worm immediately.

Click here to buy the ebook of The Worm of the Ages and Other Tails!

The Worm of the Ages is the first short story collection by Yr. Obt. Svt., Tom Simon. It contains five stories which have previously appeared on this blog—

The Worm of the Ages
Droll’s audition
Magic’s pawnshop
A case of vengeance

And as a bonus, a new story, ‘The wrongs of the matter’, never before published in any medium. Buy yours today! Be the envy of your friends and the puzzlement of your neighbours!

For the time being, Worm will be sold only through Amazon. That means you can borrow it through Kindle Unlimited, which I heartily recommend you do if you are a subscriber. I get paid either way. You can acquire it for the trivial price of $2.99 in U.S. greenbacks, or an equivalent amount in the dosh of your own country. Available wherever Amazon sells books.

Fan art by James Asher

A milestone, if not a headstone, in the career of Tom Simon, Small-Time Fantasy Writer:

Yesterday, via email, I received my first ever piece of fan art, with permission to share. James Asher has illustrated a scene from Lord Talon’s Revenge, reproduced (at low resolution) herewith:

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The ebook of Death Carries a Camcorder has just gone up for sale at Amazon.com. Our 3.6 Loyal Readers should be warned that all the essais in the book have previously appeared in this space, but I am making them available in ebook form to reach a slightly different readership. Other ebook retailers will be added soon, and a print edition is in the offing.

Get yours here for $2.99.

(And thank you all for your support!)