Shock Totem’s Debut Issue

The gorgeous cover art was designed by Robert Høyem (  I want to hang it on my wall, it’s so amazing.

Table of Contents
* Editorial
* The Music Box, by T.L. Morganfield
* ‘Til Death Do Us Part, by Jennifer Pelland
* One Foot in Darkness: An interview with John Skipp, by John Boden
* Murder For Beginners, by Mercedes M. Yardley
* First Light, by Les Berkley
* No Superheroes Here: An interview with Alan Robert, by K. Allen Wood
* Complexity, by Don D’Ammassa
* Mulligan Stew, by Brian Rosenberger (Poetry)
* Strange Goods and Other Oddities (Reviews)
* Below The Surface, by Pam L. Wallace
* Slider, by David Niall Wilson
* On a Hellish Road: An interview with William Ollie, by Michell Howarth
* The Dead March, by Brian Rappatta
* Thirty-Two Scenes From a Dead Hooker’s Mouth, by Kurt Newton
* Howling Through the Keyhole (Author Notes)

So here it is!  It’s a beauty.  I didn’t have any input in the debut issue, and I’m terribly excited to see what the final thing looks like.  The cover art is gorgeous.

Ken, the editor, is giving away 200 copies of Shock Totem at NECON.  I’m torn between being excited (Yay!  I bet a lot of those copies will actually be read!) and feeling some trepidation.  Because…I bet a lot of those copies will actually be read.  By writerly folks.  With opinions.  I’m not intimidated by the idea of my story not being liked, because I know that writing is wonderfully subjective, and my gallows humor won’t float everybody’s boat.  I’m just hoping those who don’t like it won’t knock themselves out telling the world how awful it is.  I was on a forum about classic novels, and a post said, “The story obviously should have ended like this,” and went on to butcher the novel in painfully horrific detail.  That hurt me.  If you write the story, you can end it any way you want.  But…oh wait…you didn’t.  Button it, then.  😉

For WIP Wednesday:  My demon novel’s word count actually diminished.  I wrote about 4000 more words, and then ripped several chapters out.  Tough to do?  Oh my yes, but it was so worth it.  With Sprite completely eliminated from the story, I have something clean and streamlined to work with.  A painful amputation with glorious results.  The story is fresh again.  I’d really better give it a name.

19 Comments on “Shock Totem’s Debut Issue”

  1. Call it The Painful Amputation. But, wait, aren’t they all? How about My Demon Novel: A Novel About Demons? Redundant? Okay, how about Planet of the Demons? Moby Demon? Man-maDE MONster? Get it? Too artsy? Sorry, I guess I can’t help you.

  2. Ugh, it’s worse than those people who take a psych class and then go around analyzing everyone/point out their “dysfunction.”

    But never their own. Miraculously, the most critical people are usually perfect in every possible way. Especially in their own minds.

  3. Hi Mercedes! I’m sharing the ToC with you! (My story is Below the Surface)

    Um… will have to vote for Moby Demon! You can’t lose with a story like that!

  4. That cover’s a bit different from the final. The ST font color is more yellow, and we changed interviews to conversations. You’ll see why.

    John Skipp has one answer that’s nearly two pages long. I have a damn question/ramble to Alan Robert that’s like three paragraphs long. So yeah…conversations seemed more appropriate.

    I should update that image on the site. Later, though.

  5. Haha, TT! I’ll edit it for you. I have the power!

    Thanks for the nice comments, you guys! Barry, you’re absolutely right: it’s a stunning cover. They picked well.

    Hi Pam and David! I’m glad you stopped by. I can’t wait to read your stories. 🙂

  6. When you come up with a title you have to make sure that it’s alliterative. Everyone knows those are the best titles. ha.

    Congrats, Mercedes.

  7. So stoked! All I can say is, I’m just glad it’s getting out there. Sure, some people won’t like it–just like there are plenty of people who thought transformers 2 was the best movie ever.
    The point is, you’re getting exposure and eventually someone will find your work and be able to “DO” something with it. (i.e. go tell a big name agent to fall at your feet)
    the mason

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