Category Archives: General

The Weird Wild West Kickstarter


Several friends of mine are involved in a new Kickstarter project called The Weird Wild West. It’s an anthology with multiple tales of a West that never was, with aliens, magic, and maybe a little steampunk. Sounds like a rollicking good time. The link to the Kickstarter page is here. If nothing else, go and check it out, especially the video narrated by Misty Massey, and see what they’ve got going on!

See you later, pardner,


A Shout Out to We Geek Girls


As many of you know, I spent 14 hours on Facebook on Monday, 12 Jan 2015, running the Online Launch Party for my debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle. One of the guests that hung out for most of the day was my new friend, Candice Carpenter from We Geek Girls, a cool website that caters to all things geeky, especially books and authors. As I was finishing up doing research for the new book tonight (yesterday now), I saw that she had sent me a link to their blog. I followed the link and found that she has written a blog about her experience at the party yesterday as well as created a master list to many of the authors at the party she was able to meet.

A link to the blog is here.

Thanks to Candice for hanging with us most of Monday and for doing this. On Facebook, I plan to tag all the authors mentioned here so we can send some love in the direction of We Geek Girls as well. Candice is going to read 50 books this year, so let’s give her our support!

Candice, thanks for being a part of my big day! See you around the interwebz!


Doctor Seuss meets Doctor Who

I found these while perusing the book of Face this morning and thought they were charming and funny. For your viewing enjoyment, Doctor Who’ss!doc1




And all the little Who’s gathered and sang!




The Night Before, The Anticipation, and… a Contest


So, it’s the night before the launch party for my debut novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle, at Park Road Books in Charlotte. All 125 books are nestled at the store, waiting to be pored over by the throngs of people that plan to attend tomorrow. (Throngs, I say! Throngs!) The poster of the cover is framed and on a tripod by the store’s main door. My swag is neatly stacked inside the top box. All three pens are tested for adequate inkage. I know what clever turn of phrase I intend to write above my scrawled signature hopefully 125 times tomorrow.

The pieces are in place. The board is set. Let the game begin.


Meanwhile, I’ve learned how exciting seeing an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper pinned to a clip board can be…




And now, for the contest. Already posted on my Facebook wall, but putting it here as well. Welcome to “Mussorgsky Selfies, The Contest!” (Trademark Pending) To any readers, take a picture of yourself reading The Mussorsky Riddle and post it to your wall, tagging me and yourself. I will put all the pictures in my “Mussorgsky Selfies” album and on Feb 1st I will pick one at random and also my favorite, and each person will get a free ebook copy of the book sent to your phone. If the winner already has an ecopy, they can donate their win to someone else, or exchange for an ebook copy of Chronology, the 2015 Curiosity Quills Anthology which has a short story by yours truly, my very first attempt at steampunk.

So, that’s all for now! The book launch is in 14 1/2 hours, and I am beat. To bed with me, but not before inserting my very own selfie…


Good night, world, see you on the flip side!


October Update

So, September was a pretty busy month and my poor little blog has been neglected for another month. I hope everyone enjoyed my little pun themed celebration of my 100th post two days ago. I’ve been hard at work, both saving lives and stamping out disease at the day job and pounding away at Operation: Ghost Story by night. So today, in lieu of Mussorgsky Mondays tomorrow, an update post, as lots of stuff is going down in the next few months.

First, The Mussorgsky Riddle has an official release date: 12 Jan 2015. Just three short months. I couldn’t be more excited and can’t wait for all of you to be able to check out my debut novel. Sometime in the next month or so I’ll let you all have a look at the cover designed by the lovely and talented Polina Sapershteyn, but that must remain a secret for the moment, so here’s another shot of Baba Yaga’s hut to whet your appetite in the meantime…


Second, as stated above, Operation: Ghost Story (not the real title, I’m being clever) is done. My critique group is finishing up with it and my awesome agent, Stacey Donaghy, has already given it the green light (after I rewrite the last 10K words or so… 😉 – what can I say, when she’s right, she’s right… Hope to start shopping this one around in November. Can’t wait to let you all know a little more info on this sekrit projekt of mine! Here’s a little hint, though…


Third, I love ellipses…


Next, a quick review of upcoming short story publications to be on the lookout for:

“Flight of the Pegasus” – my first steampunk story, due out in November 2014 in the Curiosity Quills Press Annual Anthology called Primetime: Chronology. Here is the interior cover for my story done by the amazing Ricky Gunawan:


From Emby Press in the next few months look for “Middle Ground” in The Dark Monocle, “Midnight Screening” in Reconstructing the Monster, and “None So Blind” in Deep Sea Monster Hunter – Leviathan. I’m also about to start my next Gabriel O’Connor, Immortal Monster Hunter story for the sequel to Blood Trails called Revolver. Really enjoy working with Miles Boothe over there. Check out his website by clicking on his logo below.


Lastly, the answer to my mysterious Facebook status update from a few days ago. In an effort to promote The Mussorgsky Riddle, I am working to hit a few of the east coast sci-fi/fantasy conventions and as of this moment, I’ve been accepted as a guest at two thus far. Come find me at:


27 Feb – 1 Mar 2015 in Roanoke, VA



29 -31 May 2015

with hopefully more to follow.

A good friend of mine predicted that 2014 was going to be a good year for me and so far her prediction has been on target. Be on the lookout here for announcements about the Mussorgsky launch party as well as book signings in NC, SC, GA, and VA for 2015.

That’s all for now! Have a great week everyone!


P.S. Lest I fail to mention the best thing that has happened to me in the last couple months, allow me to post this cryptic picture…

Nightingale (blue-throated)

My 100th post – A pun-fest! (This surprises you why???)

My new plan? I’m going to open a restaurant…


In a little town in southern Georgia…


Where the dress code is…


And all the waiters wear…


And we serve the best…


Rumor has it this guy is giving the news report…


Whose favorite scene from Star Wars is…


And who just covered the news story of a race between these two guys…


What do you think? I can’t decide which of these puns is my favorite, but right now it’s a several way tie!

Dragon*Con, Book Fairs, and Editing… Oh, the Editing

So, it’s rare that I take more than a few days off at a time, so when I had a 10 1/2 day break from 28 Aug at 4 pm until 8 Sep at 8 am, I took full advantage of it.

For starters, I and several of my closest friends made our annual pilgrimage to Atlanta on Labor Day Weekend for Geek Mardi Gras. That’s right… Dragon*Con, AKA 70-80,000 people, most in costume from your favorite movie / tv show / comic book / video game / anime / lunch box / etc. for the whole weekend.


Selfie with Jay and Margo at Soby’s

Started on Thursday night with a nice dinner in Greenville, SC at Soby’s followed by a delicious dessert at Underground Coffee.




Peanut Butter Pie at Underground Coffee













Friday morning, we drove in from our hotel in northern Georgia to begin the festivities. Just the people watching is worth the trip.


Baby Ghostbuster, right up there with baby R2D2 from last year




A warrior woman with very ineffective battle armor…













The hotels are magnificent, and none moreso than the Marriott. Though, for sanity’s sake, stay at the Westin…


Looking up at the Marriott


Looking down at the Marriott. Yes, that’s Gandalf the White… Funny, he wouldn’t let anyone pass…














I got to hang out with my good friend, Scully, who writes for The Backstage Beat, joined me for most of Friday afternoon and evening. Always great to see her when I hit Atlanta. We toured a couple host hotels (this thing fills 5 hotels, plus rooms in many others for guests), checked out the shops, toured the famous peeps a bit, and as above, did a ton of people watching. Her article is available here at The Backstage Beat – called “7 Tips on How to be Successful at Dragon*Con with photos by yours truly!


DK and Scully

Friday night was dinner with all my peeps and Scully got to join us before rejoining her family. Good pub food before our resident writers who actually are convention guests, namely John Hartness and A.J. Hartley, had to run off to do panels. The rest of us? General merriment!


Awesome people

I can’t stress enough. The main thing is hanging out with your people. Got to see Nicole, Robyne, Aaron, Jay, Margo, John, A.J. Scully, Ernie, Kathleen, Terry, Asher, Anna (no de la Torre pics, darn it…) Kevin, and made lots of new friends. That’s what this is all about.


DK and Kev


Aaron, Jay, and DK













Saturday morning, you might run into the Doctor at Starbucks….


6, one of the best costumes I saw…

Then, there’s the parade. Literally tens of thousands of people along a few blocks of Atlanta. Spartans, the Batmobile, female KISS, they’re all there…


Lined up several stories up for the show


This costume is where it’s at… at.


Holy 1960’s, Batman!


This… Is… Sparta!


Crowd of thousands as the Parade disperses







Give me a KISS…


















And a bit more people watching…


I totally wanted this outfit when I was six.


Hey! Who turned out the lights?














Some freaking awesome Kabuki??? costumes


Yes… That’s BatManuel.


Some Duck Tales cosplayers…

Somewhere in there I saw Lou Ferrigno, Gil Gerard that played Buck Rogers back in the 70’s, and sang the theme song to Land of the Lost  with Will from Land of the Lost, 40 years after the fact. Shopped till I dropped. Went to tons of cool panels where I learned way more than I wanted to about Sasquatch genitalia. Checked out tons of cool art and even bought a couple of neat prints I really need to get framed and hung. But most importantly, as I said, this was a great weekend with good friends.


My tribe

Mr. Burns daughter

Mr. Burns daughter

Jean Simmons

Jean Simmons



I have no idea

I have no idea

Blue Steel

Blue Steel

The Thinker

The Thinker























Sooooooo, after the awesomeness of Dragon*Con, what in the world did I do next?

Well, while in Atlanta, I managed to edit around 12,000 words of Operation: Ghost Story, my current Work In Progress. Over Monday through Friday of last week, I managed to edit the other 30,000 words, and have the WIP pretty much done except the Epilogue. I know, I know, Epilogues… but when you see this one, you’ll understand. We’re getting close on this one. Here it comes, Stacey!!!

So, caught up on rest and editing for the first time in many moons, I headed up to Winston-Salem for the Bookmarks Book Fair and got to meet three of my compatriots from Curiosity Quills and purchased their books as they were melting in the NC heat. Great to meet Ryan Hill, Krystal Wade, and Elsie Elmore. Maybe we can all hang out in Winston-Salem next year for the event! Also, I got to take my nieces, Katelyn and Olivia out as well as meet Matthew, Lara, Madeline (Rose) and Luke (Captain Jack) for lunch after the event. Great times, and good call on the Mellow Mushroom, Olivia!


Ryan Hill, Krystal Wade, Elsie Elmore


Curiosity Quills! Represent!










The rest of the weekend was spent hanging with family. Got to take dad out for a great steak at Texas Roadhouse Saturday night and see all the extended family on Sunday evening for our annual summer get together. Great to see everyone. Feel free to send me pictures you might have and I’ll add to this blog.

So, all in all, a fantastic 10.5 days off. Back to Mussorgsky Mondays next week! We’re getting closer every week to  the release The Mussorgsky Riddle. Cover reveal coming soon! Four more short stories coming out in the next 6-12 months. Gala coming up in October. 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year.

And with that, it’s well past midnight! See you all on the flip side!

All best, Darin

A day long awaited…

template 8

Came home tonight to a beautiful thing: the final version of the cover for The Mussorgsky Riddle. Thanks to Polina Sapershteyn for the fantastic job she did. I cannot, unfortunately, reveal the cover as yet, but I wanted to share my excitement with all of you. One step closer!

Plan to reveal the cover soon, but for now, Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks by Modest Mussorgsky as illustrated by Natasha Turovsky to celebrate this incredible milestone.

All best, Darin

Mussorgsky Mondays – Hear ye, Hear ye


So, it’s been another three weeks. Still catching up and enjoying the summer, but wanted to keep everyone up to speed on all the goings on in my little world.

#1 – We have a date! Well, sort of. Curiosity Quills has named 12 Jan 2015 as a “proposed” release date for The Mussorgsky Riddle. This is a Monday, which seems quite appropriate, don’t you think? All the edits and proof reading are in and the big thing we are waiting on (that I am waiting on, especially, with bated breath, even) is the cover.  This is currently in the very capable hands of Polina Sapershteyn, a graphic designer in New York City who went so far as to read the manuscript to ensure she captured the right flavor of the book. Her design is intriguing and I can’t wait to see a more finished version of her idea. Till we have a cover, however, all dates will remain in the “proposed” category.

#2 – My story, “Midnight Screening,” was officially accepted into Emby Press’s anthology, Reconstructing the Monster tonight. I will have four stories in Emby Anthologies hopefully by the end of the year, if they are all out before January 1st. Pretty exciting time to be a monster hunter.

#3 – I also have a short story coming out in CQ’s annual anthology. “Flight of the Pegasus” is my first foray into steampunk, but hopefully won’t be my last.

#4 – Work continues on my new project, code named “Operation: Ghost Story.” All but the last chapter is done and I am going through the critiques of my alpha readers/critique group finally after being busy with edits on MR for several months. This story is shaping up quite nicely. I had promised it to my agent by my birthday, but that ship has sailed, so now I’m aiming to have it in before Labor Day. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers… 😉

#5 – Lastly, trying to get something together for Dark Hall Press’s Techno Horror Anthology. Just started tonight. It’s got a little bit of a 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe. We’ll see how it turns out…

And now, a little something from my man Modest. Here is Mussorgsky’s, A Tear, for your listening pleasure.

All best, Darin



Mussorgsky Mondays – Another year…

MI0001141288Today is my 43rd birthday. It’s funny. I neither get terribly excited about birthdays anymore, nor do I bemoan them. I simply recognize them for what they are. A signpost. You have travelled this far, and still have (hopefully) far to go. The last year has been filled with many triumphs and joys, some defeats and tears, but overall the year of “Life, the Universe, and Everything” has treated me well.

To celebrate my birthday, which happened to come on a Mussorgsky Monday this year, I decided to put a little something special on today’s blog. The link below will take you to a one hour presentation on Pictures, both the original piano per Mussorgsky and the orchestral arrangement per Ravel, all told through the lens of the Chicago Symphony and their conductor at the time, Sir Georg Solti. What makes this a real treat, however, is that Solti interrupts on the video with vignettes about each of the movements, effectively breaking down this masterwork into its various components and explaining what makes it work and why we are still listening to it over a hundred years after it was written. His insights into the music are quite enlightening and make this video a great companion piece to my upcoming book, The Mussorgsky Riddle.

Please enjoy Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony as they play Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

All best, Darin

Sir Georg Solti plays, conducts, and explains Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition