Whoops, the week got away from me. I'll allow this one transgression, since it was Christmas. And since it's already Thursday, I'll just wait and cover both weeks in one shot before the weekend's out... sorry....
- Daniel G. Keohane
- (pronounced Ko-Hane)
- Dan is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Plague of Darkness, Solomon’s Grave, and the critically-acclaimed Margaret's Ark. Writing as G. Daniel Gunn, he released Destroyer of Worlds and the novella (written with L.L.Soares) Nightmare in Greasepaint (Samhain Publishing),. His short stories have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, Apex Digest and many more. He and his family live in New England.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Didn't feel like a huge volume writing-wise. Did a couple of drafts further into "Ray Gun." Need to finish the on-screen edit I'm in the middle of then start printing off and paper-edit. Hopefully this week it'll get done.
Finally wrote my part of the ongoing "Deux Ex Machina" written with Ellen, Joyce, Andrew and Mom (see last week's post)... Andrew pointed out, however that I'd aged a character from 2 to somewhere around 8... so I had to modify it a bit. It's in my sister Ellen's lap now.
Got my author copies of Solomon's Grave - the Italian edition called il Segreto di Salomone. Can't read a word of it... wait... I got these week before last. Did I already say this? Anyhow, looks good. No "about the author" or photo or anything, which is probably wise if they want to sell any copies.
What I did get in the mail was the book we put together for my nephew Sean (see last week). Came out very nice - if not a little small. Still, he'll enjoy it.
Quick shout-out to Ellen and Nancy who hosted a little Christmas soire for all us brothers & sisters and in-laws etc last Friday!
OK, and though I haven't sent out a Dan News email update in a while, if you're trudging through this blog you get first dibs on the official announcement - Solomon's Grave will soon be published, next year I'm assuming but don't know for sure, in Germany, in German -- Deutsch -- by Otherworld Verlag (http://www.otherworldverlag.com). They're the publisher of the German editions of Brian Keene's novels, which is pretty cool, as well as my buddy Mary Moore (aka Morven Westfield). So, that's the news. Nothing new yet on it. When I know, you'll know.
Anything else writing-wise? No... productively it didn't feel like a whole lot. Hopefully this coming week - of course it's the week before Christmas... but must keep writing.
Happy 15th birthday this weekend to my son Andrew and 12th birthday today to Amanda! We saw Eragon Friday night - they did well in keeping with the book, however they limited themselves to only an hour and a half so they skipped a lot. Still, acting-wise, overall, a 6 out of 10, not great but didn't stink like poopie, special effects an 8, writing - for what they ahd to go by and time limitations a 7, I guess.
Anyway... well, no, too late in the evening to wax poetically about my life, I'm afraid. Maybe another time. Been running through quite a large variety of things to say, doing this has been very cathartic, but I should go.... sometimes it feels we're so sequestered along in this Big Bad World that we think no one would be interested in out little corner anyway, and for the most part no one's really interested in my little corner of our little corner of this Big Bad World. Everything that I was, I am no longer, what I want is obviously not in the Big Plan, I suppose, but who knows? I've never been a patient man in some ways, too patient in others. I'm a melting sliver of ice in someone else's drink and sometimes I just feel like shouting out my right to live before I'm swallowed up...
Weather's been clear this week. Of course, it's early in the month. Strange weather, mid-forties, upper fifties today. New England in December. But calm skies. I've decided that weather is fairly predictable, though, like those storms that start raging in off the Atlantic in the late summer, early fall, smack Florida upside the head now and then. If it becomes predictable, then it can be dealt with, no?
Where was I? No idea.
Friday, December 08, 2006
OK. A lot of jagged little pills in the road to literary fame this week, but I managed a few key things:
First off, finished my nephew's book for Christmas. Janet edited it, and I made the changes, having to modify the ending. It's still pretty cute, though, but at least now it's more technically accurate - that is, if you understand Pokemon physiology. Janet finished the cover. The whole thing came out pretty nice (see prior entry for more details) - on screen at least. I used www.lulu.com to package it as a paperback book. Problem was, minimum page count for the binding is 100pp, and the book was only 52 (big font, small pages). At Herself's suggestion, I added extra pages to the end with lines so Sean can write his own story after. Ordered a printed copy of Sean and Ash vs The Robot!, now we wait....
Finished the 3rd draft of "Ray Gun" today at lunch. Still a bit long, though. About 5300 words. Need to trim it down, but I've got about 4 or 5 more drafts to do it so still in good shape.
I'm late, however, with another bit of writing. My son Andrew reminded me my 3 weeks are up to write my part of a multi-author round robin story written by me, my sister Ellen, her friend Joyce, Andrew and my mom (Marilyn). I'm going to have to apologize profusely to everyone, but I should really finish Ray Gun more before switching gears. Makes my brain hurt. The story - called "Dues ex Machina" is coming along quite nicely. Mom threw us a curve in her last entry, but I know what I'm going to write, though. Just have to do it....
Oh, and I got my author copies of the Italian edition of Solomon's Grave (il Segreto di Salomone). Hardcover, full color cover embossed. Nice looking book. Don't know how it came out, since I don't read Italian, but, still.... it's a good start. Life can be interesting. I wonder if anyone's reviewed it?...
One country down....
...one more coming soon. Germany - but looks like it might be another week or so until I can make the official announcement (unless they do on their site, then all bets are off). There were some valid contract issues which have been brought up and corrected and are being sent back to Italy, then to me in the US for Ye 'Ol Initials... we have time, though. Patience, young padawan.
My yard has a lot of trees that have fallen. It'll take time to clean them up, use them for something productive, like warming the house. They fall every now and then. Sometimes we hear them, sometimes we don't. The woods are full of surprises, but if it's where you live, you handle it. And we will. One tree, one branch at a time. Now that winter's coming, having enough firewood is important, having enough heat to sit back together and enjoy each other's company is important. Probably the most important thing in the world. There are five of us. There has to be enough wood for all of us. And there is, or there will be, once we tackle some more of those trees....
We watched a couple of movies recently. The Red Violin - watched over a few nights - excellent, excellent film. Not sure if it's foreign or not, I think so, French, but there's also English, German, Italian.... definitely turn on subtitles for this one, the languages change pretty quickly. The only "name" in the movie is a very refined Samuel L Jackson, and though he was quite good in the overall story arc, everyone was brilliant. In flashbacks, it details the history of a particular violin through generations. Brilliant Film.
Also - Janet got me a set of Film Noir movies for our anniversary in October (our 18th, if you're curious). This weekend we watched The Long Night starring Henry Fonda. 1947. Another great movie. Usually dark, murky films in B&W can be hard to watch late at night when you have three kids and need to go to bed soon, but this kept our interest. Another flashback film, but well acted, and great sets. Highly recommended.
On the telly, Heroes continues to amuse us, intelligent if a bit left-field, but fun, especially the tale surrounding Hiro, the time-bending Japanese gentleman and his buddy. "Save the cheerleader, Save the world....". And of course, The Dead Zone continues to be well-written and acted, very King-ish, and fun to watch (Netflix, season 2 currently). We're hoping come 2007 that Lost gets its act together. The brilliant series has been floundering a bit lately. Maybe if they didn't kill off so many of the best characters this season it would have a chance... still, lots of talent remaining who've been all but ignored this season.... it's such a great show, it's worth doing, just use them, folks, use them....
Time to go. No karate tomorrow. Now that the high school religion class I teach (and Andrew attends, though he has a different teacher) is done until February, he can go to the Monday ha-yah classes... nice to be able to sleep in tomorrow.... still, lots to do, lots to do... how's that line go? Miles to go before I sleep.... miles to go....
Sunday, December 03, 2006
To the writing:
Finished the revisions I'd wanted to make to "Living by the Highway" and sent it out finally. Thanks to Nick Mamatas (if that was you) for the suggestions. I still think this'll make a great prologue for a new novel....
Finished first draft of new story "Ray Gun." This has been started before, with a young boy as main character (heretofore abbreviated as MC), felt wrong, halfway through I scrapped it and made the MC an eighty-five year old man - named him Hank Cowles - Hank and his wife Phyllis were MC's in my very first novel (said novel currently on cinderblocks in the back yard but someday... someday...), but characters from the book keep making cameos everywhere - especially Herr and Frau Cowles. Hank's a foul-mouthed octogenarian who discovers something wondrous and deadly... anyway, finished the draft Saturday, working on the revisions. This story - here I go again, Michelle :-) - really kicks ass, if I do say so.
Janet read through my draft of the story I wrote for my nephew, I need to enter her suggestions in. Andrew, Amanda and Audrey have done their illustrations - Janet did a rough draft but hers is going to be the cover so she wants to do it again. Hopefully we'll be done tomorrow... Christmas is looming...
OK, on the novel front - the news about Germany needs to wait until the next entry. The editor got the contract from my agent in France, but I haven't gotten the official word yet - so next time I'll give all the yadda yadda on it.
Anything else before I turn off the light and go to sleep....? Nope. Lots of things coming up this week to try and attack my writing time - I'm going to need to be creative. I didn't work out much last week, ever time I tried I was floored by these very bizarre headaches. Hopefully that won't happen this week. I've actually managed to build up some actual form, and it's all going to seed soon if I don’t get off my butt - or my head in this case. Speaking of which, the pony tail's back, hair creeping over the shoulder, but it's going to all get hacked off.. well, most of it... tomorrow probably. Another midlife crisis averted.
...until the end of the week, be good.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I need to do something with this blog to justify its existence, so what I'll begin to do here is once/week at a minimum, post updates on what I've worked on, finished, what have you, with my writing. Sprinkle in some personal notes, news, and kangaroo blood, and see what happens. It'll keep me honest, and get back to a writing theme. I'll report on this week later, let's cover last week....
OK, finished the final draft of the total rewrite of Plague of Darkness. It's pretty damn dark, especially as the story progresses, but I'm happy with it. I'm also quite happy to say it's finally OFF MY PLATE! AT LAST!!!! Time to move on... but first:
Special thanks to everyone who's been such a help with Plague since its inception:
Janet Keohane, of course, first line reader extraordinaire, and as always Fran Bellerive and Mark Lowell, the other points of my proofreading triad.
Karen Heath of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Holden who was invaluable with information on how her world works when I first began the project.
Chantra Prum for sitting with me for an extended rap session as we worked out the Khmer (the language of Cambodia) translations throughout the manuscript, and Joe and Sharon DiFranza for bringing us together.
Rev. Dr. Clayton Morris, from the main offices of the Episcopal Church in New York City, who was kind enough to answer my questions one day over the phone.
The folks at the Olive Branch bookstore, then later my beloved Providers of a Small Decaf, Black, at the coffee shop in the Borders in Northboro - the former where I wrote the first draft when it was going to be a Christian novel, the latter during the massive rewrite when it became, hopefully, more secular and mainstream.
And last, but far from least, Dave Long of Bethany Books who, though he said "no" (rightly so) to the original draft, had some very good personal comments on where a possible rewrite should go.
A quick side note to Dave - it must be hard being an editor sometimes, especially when it's for such a big house. You never quite know where someone's coming from. Sometimes it's obvious, but at other times, as in my case, there more going on under the surface. Dave runs a very cool blog called Faith in Fiction (http://www.faithinfiction.blogspot.com/), where he does a nice job blending the CBA (religious) with the secular (mainstream, non-CBA) markets regarding books, writing, etc. I was an active visitor here and the related message board for a time. After I sent the original version of Plague to Dave - in retrospect that version was pretty bad, to be honest, a watered down, Dan wrote this? piece of fluff – he naturally said "no," but had good comments. Not long after, I disappeared from sight. I've wanted to write to him ever since, to explain that I didn't pop from existence because I was pouting, honest. In truth it's a long story no one will ever hear (so don't bother asking), but in short, the bottom fell out of the world. Now, a year later, the storm's passed, lots of trees and birdhouses down, but the mess is cleaned up and everyone has survived. Happy ending all around... though with the storm's aftermath, everything's changed.
For the better or worse? I'd say the better, overall. More and more every day, in fact. In regards to my writing, since this is supposed to be a writing blog, I'm more convinced - better. Though my agents are marketing Solomon's Grave, Margaret's Ark and now Plague of Darkness as mainstream suspense novels, Sara Camilli, my US rep, still holds out the possibility these could be marketed to the CBA market... and they could, I suppose. But I'd rather see how the commercial markets takes to them first.
Still, looking at the titles above, my books have always a religious theme to them to some degree - for Solomon it's the Ark of the Covenant, for Margaret it's the Great Flood, and Plague's title is self-explanatory. I think there's a MASSIVE market in the mainstream for good, solid novels, horror/suspense/thriller - call it what you will - that also deals with faith in some way. Faith of varying extremes is so ingrained into our lives since children, we connect to these themes with the same enthusiasm and interest as the most commercial themes - it's just people shy away from it, thinking it's not cool or something. To those people all I can say it grow some balls and be yourself. You'd be surprised how others will be impressed.
My next novel may be a pure horror ghost story (the novel version of my recent short story "Living by the Highway"), but what keeps gnawing at me is to tinker with my humorous Wails & Gnashing and even stronger to begin the science fiction novel Plague of Locusts... both of which have at least some religious theme to them... not a lot, but it's there, I mean, look at the titles... :-)
OK, so give me an inch and I take 6... it's my blog. I was supposed to talk about last week - well, now that Plague's out in the cold cruel world, I'm setting my sights for the next few weeks on finishing up a bunch of short stories in various states of almost-done-ness. Currently I'm polishing a story I don't intend to sell - a story for my nephew Sean for Christmas which Janet and the kids will illustrate. Then back to revising the ending of "Living by the Highway", finishing "Ray Gun" and "The Bridge", and hopefully wrap up work on a short story writer Michael Arruda and I have been tossing back and forth for a couple of years, currently called "Leap". That one feels almost done....
I've got a couple of stories out there now, waiting. We do a lot of that as writers - waiting - always be working on something new so you don't pay attention to the waiting - the ticking clock will drive you mad...
Anyway, I'll try to send something here Friday to talk about anything new that happened, but after today's entry...
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Sometimes you just need to watch a baby laugh to remind yourself that life can be happy, if you just let it be. We all need to be reminded of this. So, to the point, check this video out, and smile a little:
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I temporarily turn over my blog to my brother Paul Keohane. He and my sister Anne Murphy recently headed up a team for the annual 50-mile MS Challenge Walk on Cape Cod. You can visit their page at: www.wheelsandheelsagainstms.com
Hero [heer-oh] n: a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for brave deeds and noble qualities
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “hero”? Do you think of fictional figures such as Superman, Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalker battling evil forces? Or do you think of actors like Schwarzenegger and Stallone, whose characters come to the rescue on the big screen?
I know where my mind goes. It thinks back a few weeks to three special days at the Cape. I see hundreds of walkers lacing up their sneakers and joining in the fight against Multiple Sclerosis. I think of the many who badly limped into the medical tents. And, despite nasty blisters and fully bandaged legs and ankles, they continued onward, determined to complete their 50-mile journey.
I think of the hundreds of crew members who lined the routes. I see men and women on bicycles and motorcycles who rode alongside us, shouting words of encouragement and making sure we were safe and hydrated. There are people at the rest stops cheering us on and keeping us fed, laughing, smiling and motivated. I think of the medical staff and the massage therapists donating their time and energies to keep our feet patched up and our worn muscles loose.
I think of my sister Anne and her hand-pedaled bike. Despite two very warm days (a big negative to those with MS), she powers forward with a smile and a determination I will not soon forget. Anne, you are definitely my hero.
I think of Day 3, when we changed into our final shirts for our triumphant march into the Hyannis Village Green. Red shirts now surround me, symbolizing those who are currently battling MS. These are the same folks who were laughing and chatting with us throughout the 50 miles -- those who, despite their affliction, walked courageously alongside their now blue-shirted companions.
Finally, I think of all of you. I think of the high price of gas throughout the year. I think of all of the bills that need to be paid every month and the many places your money could have been spent. And then I think of donation after donation that were mailed to us or given to our team online. I think of a lofty goal of $14,000 that was not only passed but shattered (we are well over $15,000 and counting!).
You are true heroes of this event. You are what make our efforts matter. Your incredible generosity is what makes it possible for the MS Society to continue their research and to provide those with MS their many valuable services. Anne spoke often throughout the weekend of how thankful she was that these services are available to her.
Our 2006 journey may be over but the battle against MS continues on. But thanks to heroes like you, I know that it is a battle that one day we will win. On behalf of myself, Anne and the rest of Wheels and Heels Against MS, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Over this past weekend I learned that the Horror Writers Association members voted me in as one of their new trustees, along with Ellen Datlow, John Pelan and Del Howison. We join Mary San Giovanni and Steve Wedel the Trustee board (at least, I think that's all of us <g>). Basically this means we serve as an advisory board, working to reach consensus on whatever business or professional matters come up in the HWA. I'm looking forward to it - it's all done via e-mail (I hope), which makes things a lot easier. Gotta love modern technology, eh? My fellow trustees are some pretty heavy hitters in the biz, so wish me luck. I'll do my best not to suck at it.
Special thanks to fellow writer and HWA member Lauran (L.L.) Soares for twisting my arm to give it a shot. Anyway, what's the worst damage I can do in three years… yikes….
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
...and although I didn't win, my story made the short list of finalists,
aka the Honorable Mention list. It's the next best thing, I guess. :-) I'm trying to decide where the story, "Living by the Highway", would best be sent to next. Interesting thing about this one - years (and years...) ago, I wrote a story with this same title. It never sold, and if you ever read it you'd understand why. Still, I loved the concept that the moniker alludes to, so recently I wrote this new piece - completely different story, just the same title. It's pretty moody, more along "literary" lines than my "boom! slam! Ahhhh!" type of story. It was written over the course of many late nights in what I've recently dubbed my 'blue period". Anyhow, if you're an editor, I'd be happy to send it along.
The complete results of the Chi-Zine (http://www.chizine.com) contest are as follows (the rest of this post taken from editor Brett Savory's newsletter):
1st place: "Spectral Evidence" by Gemma Files
2nd place: "Deer's Heart" by Leah Bobet
3rd place: "The Virgin Butcher" by Brenna Yovanoff Graham
"Seems Only Right" by Matthew F. Riley
"The End of the World, on CNN" by Sunil Sadanand
"Painting Walls in the Town of N---" by Stephanie Campisi
"Cockatrice Girl Meets Statue Boy" by Willow Fagan
"Living By the Highway" by Daniel G. Keohane
"The Confession" by Chris Miller
The rest of the top 15:
"Rat Catcher's Lane" by Jay Caselberg
"Behind the Third Door" by Fiona Coward
"The Girl in the Pond" by Robert Davies
"A Quiet Business" by M. Kate Havas
"Sherlock's Opera" by Lou Kemp
"All the Colours of the Rainbow" by Lisa A. Koosis
There were 307 submissions---the most by far in any of these contests to date, so big thanks to the judges: Ellen Datlow, Craig Davidson, Neil Gaiman, Brian Hodge, Jay Lake, and William Smith.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Hi, everyone. Just a couple of quick notes as I head into work (aka "the day
I'm going to be a guest again on our old friend Gardner Goldsmith's talk
radio show "Against the Grain" TODAY at 12:30 pm, on WNTK Talk Radio which can be found on two dials if you live in New Hampshire: 1010 AM, and 99.7 FM. They also - I believe - have streaming on the web at
I have the covers of the Russian and Italian version of SOLOMON'S GRAVE on
my website (www.dankeohane.com). I haven't got a bigger picture of the
Russian one but click on the Italian (for which the title's been changed
slightly) for a larger image.
OK, have to run. I promise a more robust dispatch next time, but wanted to
get the WNTK note out there....
Monday, April 10, 2006
I should focus on the kids this week, I think. They never get enough air time. Everyone's pretty busy, though:
A Big Congratulations to my son Andrew, who turned in his freshman science project in physics and did his presentation already. Andrew worked extremely hard on this one. We even put together a DVD of all the experiments. A lot of hours, a lot of work, so it's great I'm sure to have that off his shoulders. Nice job, Andrew. We're both very proud. On top of all this he's still hard at work at karate. He's currently a purple belt, soon to be trying out for... blue, I think... :-)
Amanda (11) is working hard as well, putting in at least 8 hours a week at school rehearsing for the musical School House Rock! being put on with many kids from her grade and older. This is shaping into a pretty professional little production. This, on top of her flute playing, girl scouts, and what not.
Audrey (almost 9) just had a big day yesterday when both families came up for an early Easter celebration and celebrating Audrey's pending birthday celebration. She's also starting her softball practices, joined the junior track, is practicing with the Brownies for a play of her own soon (she's going to be a tree! Is that cool or what?).
We couldn't be a prouder Dad or Mom. They're great kids. Busy, and great.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Yesterday we took the kids to Lowell, MA, for the International Curling Championships. It's funny how many people I've said this to have said, "Wow, I was seriously considering going to that." It was fun, the US trounced Japan, but unfortunately the other team we were routing for, Ireland, got trounced by Finland... no, Denmark. Sorry. Wasn't a huge crowd at the Lowell Auditorium, but we were all grouped together to have a festive couple of hours.
The weekend before Jan & I did our usual jaunt over to Clark University in Worcester, in particular to their Cinema 320, saw a great film called Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. Excellent film, very touching. Came at a good time, too. Nice story of widowed woman trying to find a new life in London and her relationship with a young musician.
On the writing side, check out my homepage if you'd like to see a small image of the Russian version of Solomon's Grave. Pretty cool cover. It should be released sometime this month or next in Russia.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Hi, everyone. I know, it's been a long time since I last wrote any update on the writing world. Sorry about that. A lot has been going on, with the writing, but nothing I could report as official until recently. Big news, too, just a little different than I'd imagined it would happen. Still, good news is something the world needs, especially these days, so without further ado:
My novel SOLOMON'S GRAVE will soon be published. Over the past few months, I've gotten an agent - located in Milan, Italy, and two offers from publishers (both contracts signed, just waiting for some final paper-moving between the publisher and agent). There is one catch - you'll still have to wait a while before you can actually read it. The reason: one publisher - Alpharet Publishing, out of St. Petersburg, Russia, will be publishing the novel in their country sometime this year, possibly by summer, translated into Russian. The second, Edizioni Il Punto d'Incontro out of Vicenza, Italy, will be publishing Solomon's Grave in Italy, again translated but this time into Italian, later this year or early 2007. My agent netted this latter deal and negotiated the contract for me with Alpharet, and has done an incredible job with both. So, the good news that I'm soon to be an international author. :-) The catch is unless you read Russian or Italian, you won't be able to curl up at night with the puppy and actually read it. Not yet.... Still, it's very cool that the book will be finding an audience. We're now working with a co-agent in the United States who is marketing the book to US publishers. If things happen on that front (the "home front," I guess you could call it), I'll let you know. Still, two countries down, quite a few to go!
A special hello to everyone I saw, or missed, at Boskone a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to Priscilla Olsen and company for extending an invitation to me to be a guest.
And a special (belated) thanks to Gard Goldsmith who had me back on his radio program "Against the Grain" at his new station WNTK (99.7 FM / 1020 AM) out of New Hampshire at the end of 2005. It was a last minute visit so I missed the chance to get a quick bullet out to you on this. Sorry about that.
We've also been working full steam ahead on finishing the basement. Most of the framing is done, and now we're trying to track down an electrician. I've been slowly posting photos on the website (www.dankeohane.com) - click on "Basement".
On a personal note, so many close friends and family have been struggling with illness, lately. If you have any extra prayers you could send out for Jim Kokernak, Gale Torgersen, Roger Blain, Jeanette Gunn, Pat Gilbert, Barbara Jones and Matthew Passarella, it would be greatly appreciated, and for anyone else I might have missed.
Thanks. I promise I'll try to stay in touch more often.