Jen has toiled away in television news, just waiting for a big break.
Welcome to one of the December 27th stops on the blog tour for The Anchor by Kevin R. Doyle with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to check out other stops on this blitz for alternate excerpts, reviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
I’ve noticed something the last year or so that’s becoming a bit of a concern. It’s something having to do with my writing that bubbles up every now and then, most recently just this week, and I’m somewhat peeved about it.
In short (pun intended), it seems I can’t write short stories anymore.
Bit of background. When I first started tapping the keys, all the way back in 1986 on my mother’s electric typewriter, my intention was to write only short stories. I had no interest in anything else. After experimenting with three or four different genres, I settled on the horror field and got to work. Even at that young age, I was aware enough to know that I’d never make a living writing short stories, but that was okay. It was what I wanted to do, and I went about doing it.
I tooled along for a while, crafting stories, sending them out to the so-called “little” magazines, and got to the point where two or three times a year one would appear in print.
One year, just as I entered graduate school, I had four stories come out in various ‘zines.
Things continued on along that route, working as a teacher, publishing a couple of stories a year, fending off questions from family and friends as to when I’d start writing novels and “make real money.”
(If only they knew the ugly truth, right?)
But I resisted all that because, again, I was only interested in crafting my short horror stories and ambling on down the road.
Then, some years back, my work started getting longer. To novelette length, then novella, and eventually short novel. My ideas became more complex, and before I knew it, I was working on actual novel-length material. The first handful never saw publication, of course, but that didn’t bother me because that whole time I was still cranking out my shorts. I’d even gotten to the point where some of my stories were being reprinted in newer outlets, so I saw myself as having the best of both worlds.
Now we come to the present day. Not to brag, but next spring will see my tenth book (one e-book novelette and nine novels) released in a little over ten years. (Though I still haven’t latched on to that “real money” that everyone used to bug me about.) I have two different series of mystery novels out and humming along, with two more due to one of my publishers in the next two years.
All well and good. Except . . .
I’ve become so accustomed to working in longer forms that I find it almost impossible now to craft a short story. I’ve written a grand total of one original short in the last two years. It was good enough to, so far, to see publication twice, but we’re still talking one story in two years.
Over that same time frame, I’ve sat down probably twenty times to bore down on a new short, only to find that after a page or two the idea dries up, my attention wanders, or I realize it was a lame idea to begin with.
I’m counting my blessings that the fiction well hasn’t really dried, as to date I’m still moving apace with more novels on my slate, which is probably a good problem to have. But every now and then, such as last weekend when I sat down with an idea for a new short story only to have it shrivel up inside of five pages, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to get back to comfortably doing the only type of fiction that, in the beginning, had been my sole intent.
Guess only time will tell.
About the Book
by Kevin R. Doyle
Published 15 November 2022
Page Count: 326
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The Anchor: Jen has toiled away in television news, just waiting for a big break. And at the same time she finally gets a shot at the promotion opportunity she’s waited years for, head anchor for the nightly newscast, an unseen, shadowy man is desperate for her to notice him. When messages and well wishes don’t do the trick, her mysterious admirer intends to do anything necessary to make Jen a success and snare her attention, even if it means attacking her fiancé and killing off her competition.
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The door slammed shut. Hiram took a step back and turned sideways on the porch. He wasn’t too worried about anyone else coming through that door but wanted to keep an eye on the strip of sidewalk that ran alongside the house. The small wire gate in front of it had rusted so much that he doubted anyone could sneak up that way, but you didn’t have to open the gate to reach an arm around the corner and pop off a shot.
Prepared to wait ten minutes or so, typical posturing by the kind of lowlife in the house, it surprised him when less than thirty seconds went by, and the door opened again, this time all the way and with a huge man standing in the frame.
And this had to be Sammy, no doubt about it. From the description Derek had given him, the dude in the doorway could be no other.
Big. Not just big but massive. Somewhere around six-six, the guy looked to tip the scales at close to three hundred and fifty pounds. The gym shorts and tank top he wore revealed that a lot of what had once been muscle was now either gristle or pure fat. White, crinkly stretch marks mapped themselves across his chest, and he carried a complete triple chin.
The sheer enormity of the man lent him an air of extreme danger.
“You the one I’m expecting?” Sammy asked, his voice a deeper baritone than Hiram could remember ever having heard.
“If you mean did Whitlow send me, yeah. Mind if I come in?”
The big guy spent some time considering that, his brow puckered in concentration. Hiram, beginning to wonder if he’d walked into some kind of setup, felt ice drops slithering up and down his spine.
“I guess so,” Sammy said, “though I can’t say I like your looks.”
Deciding not to reply to that, Hiram shook his head as the big guy turned and walked back into the house, leaving Hiram to open the screen door himself.
Once inside, they stood in the middle of a living room full of tattered, mismatched furniture, including three different couches crammed along one wall, filled with an even dozen people, all black men.
Hiram took a couple of deep breaths, hoping that the knowledge Whitlow had sent him was enough to keep these thugs in line.
“You got the stuff?” Sammy asked while the rest of the men stared holes into their visitor.
“Not on me, obviously, but close by. You got the cash?”
Sammy did his best to stare him down, but Hiram had been glared at by some of the roughest guys in the South. He squared his shoulders and matched the big guy stare for stare.
It took something like twenty seconds, but seemed a lot longer, before the big guy made a quarter turn to his right and gestured to one of the brothers behind him.
Less than a minute later, Hiram stared down at three suitcases stuffed with bills–tens, twenties, and fifties.
“No hundreds?” he asked.
“Search all the way through if you want,” Sammy said, “but Whitlow’s instructions were clear enough. Nothing big enough to catch anybody’s interest.”
Hiram nodded and continued staring at the cash, wondering if in some way he could make his way out of Riverside, with all that money, without Whitlow knowing.
“You waiting on somethin’?” Sammy asked.
Hiram shook his head and brought himself back to reality.
“No,” he said. “Sorry about that. Why don’t you come with me? Let’s bring these cases, and we’ll go get the product.”
The men standing around tensed up, and Sammy took a step backward.
“I ain’t going anywhere with you, man. I know you’re outnumbered, but if you came by yourself, that’s your problem. These cases ain’t leavin’ here until we get our stuff.”
Hiram sighed. He’d told Whitlow it wouldn’t work, but the man had insisted he give it a shot.
“Okay,” Hiram said. “I’ll be back in about twenty minutes. But just to make sure there’s no confusion, I’m coming back with four other guys.”
A mumble ran through the group, and Sammy’s eyes narrowed.
“You’ll still outnumber me about three to one,” Hiram said. “What’s the big worry?”
Sammy turned and looked at the men arrayed behind him. One or two nodded; one shook his head; and the rest remained motionless.
Sammy turned back to Hiram.
“Okay, cracker. You got twenty minutes. Hell, I’ll even make it an even thirty. But if you aren’t back with our stuff by then, don’t even bother coming back.”
Hiram breathed deep. Once upon a time, being called cracker twice in one day would have sent him flying at someone, regardless of how big they were.
Maybe he was finally maturing.
“Fine,” he said. “Just make sure that money’s all still here when I come back.”
About the Author
A high-school teacher, former college instructor and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of numerous short horror stories. He’s also written three crime thrillers, The Group, When You Have to Go There, and And the Devil Walks Away and one horror novel, The Litter. Recently, he’s begun working on the Sam Quinton private eye series. The first Quinton book, Squatter’s Rights, was nominated for the 2021 Shamus award as Best First PI Novel. The second book, Heel Turn, was released in March of 2021, while the third in the series, Double Frame, is due out March of 2022.
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Night to Dawn Magazine and Books LLC will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|Dec 26||Literary Gold||–|
|Dec 27||All the Ups and Downs||Westveil Publishing|
|Dec 28||Paws.Read.Repeat||Hope. Dreams. Life… Love|
|Dec 29||Sandra’s Book Club||Iron Canuck Reviews & More|
|Dec 30||Fabulous and Brunette||–|
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Comments on “Author Guest Post with Kevin R. Doyle: The Anchor”
I love the cover! The artwork is amazing.
When publisher first showed me the rough draft of the cover art, I wasn’t too sure as it looks quite a bit different from most of my other works. But the more I focused on it the more I like it. It really does feel kind of distinctive.
I am a fan of Kevin R. Doyle, along with my husband. We both read his books.
Thanks a lot. The support is appreciated. Hope you continue to enjoy. A new one, Clean Win, is coming out in March.
Thanks for hosting!