Thursday, June 23, 2016

'Gate Time: a short tale of terror': the video

From my YouTube channel: a reading of my short story, 'Gate Time': This is a short story about a frequent business travel who sees ghosts in airports:

"Josh Gardner spent a lot of time in airports. That territory came with a job in software sales. As a sales rep for EntroSoft, Josh was responsible for three dozen corporate accounts in eleven states. Every week it was the same routine: airports and hotel rooms and rental cars. But EntroSoft’s commission structure was decent; and Josh preferred living out of a suitcase to being stuck in an office all day, like so many other working schmucks. It was still work—but work with a certain degree of freedom. 
Not that there was no monotony involved. Flying often meant hours stranded in an airport, waiting for a connecting flight. When the flights lined up poorly, a layover could last as long as three hours. 
The key to staying sane during a long layover was knowing how to entertain yourself. He had that problem solved. Airports were a great place for people-watching. Josh was in his early thirties and still single, so most of his people-watching involved people of the female persuasion. (And women always dressed to the nines when they flew.) But airports offered human novelties of every gender, age, and creed: foreigners babbling in incomprehensible languages, oddballs peddling flowers and handing out pamphlets, and so many businesspersons like himself. 
Josh was not shy about talking to strangers (how could you be, and survive in sales?); and he occasionally struck up a conversation with someone who might prove influential in the next deal, or even the next job. It could never hurt to pad your Rolodex. 
So Josh was not particularly taken aback when the man in the navy uniform spoke to him out of the blue.....

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Short fiction for YouTube: "The Girl She Used to Be"

I'm in the process of adapting some existing an new short fiction for YouTube. This is an older one, entitled, "The Girl She Used to Be":

Description: Thirty-five years after her unexplained disappearance, Jim's old flame, Allison, has returned. But she is not the girl she used to be...

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Writing thrillers in the age of Islamic terrorism: Frederick Forsyth

Forsyth, who has been around a long time, has written several top-notch thrillers that focus on the war against Islamic terrorism. (I especially liked The Kill List.)

On a related note: Remember that my long short story, "The Caliphate" is free for a limited time.

Gate Time: a short tale of the supernatural: FREE June 11th on Amazon Kindle

A young software salesman discovers that ghosts make frequent appearances in American airports. 

Get "Gate Time" for FREE today on Amazon Kindle:

Friday, June 10, 2016

"The Caliphate" FREE through June 13th on Amazon Kindle

What happens when a terrorist group uses nuclear blackmail to establish an Islamic republic in a Western city? That is the question asked in "The Caliphate". 

This is one of the first short stories I ever wrote. It was written after 9/11, but before the rise of Islamic State.

FREE through June 13th on Amazon Kindle.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Horror fiction and the power of concision (writing)

'The Conjuring 2': Bigger, Longer, and Unholy 

“The most telling aspect of The Conjuring 2, the gonzo sequel to the 2013 horror smash, is that it's 133 minutes long. A running time like that is a rarity—The Exorcist, at 132 minutes, may be the strongest analogue—because the genre draws intensity from concision, and its dread-soaked mysteries are not so easily sustained over time.”

I haven't seen the The Conjuring 2 yet, so I can’t comment on the movie. But there is a telling line in the above review excerpt, whether you’ve seen the film or not.

Horror fiction is difficult to sustain over the long haul, for all but the most skilled practitioners of the craft. The best horror works typically fall in the range from the short story to the novella in terms of length.

Note that neither Poe nor Lovecraft ever wrote anything that could properly be called a novel. Even Lovecraft’s longer pieces (At the Mountains of Madness comes to mind) would be classified as novellas.

Charles Dickens: 2/7/1812 - 6/9/1870

Today is the 146th anniversary of Charles Dickens's death. (Please see my Twitter feed for several informative articles about him, written by others especially for the occasion.)

On the subject of Charles Dickens, I highly recommend Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens: A Life. This is a thorough, but highly readable biography of one of the greatest authors in the English canon. 

Some of Dickens's novels are long slogs by today's standards (i.e. Barnaby Rudge); but his better books (A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield) are as entertaining today as they were in the 19th century.

FREE today on Amazon: Gate Time: a short horror tale

FREE today!

Amazon description:

Do the dead communicate with the living at airports? Traveling software salesman Josh Gardner had never been afraid of airports---until he discovered that some of his fellow travelers were not what they appeared to be.

Whatever it takes to get people to read (books, Internet)

I have very mixed feelings about this one. Whatever it takes to get people to read, I suppose.

I also suspect that the equivalent for heterosexual men—which would be something along the lines of “hot chicks reading”--would be too controversial in these politically correct times.

Perhaps I can start my own Instagram account along these lines: ‘Bald Middle Aged Men Reading’. 

Who knows, it may just go viral.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New Mac purchases (personal update)

Although I am in many ways the antithesis of the stereotypical Apple user, I made the switch to Apple products 6 years ago. This was after Windows automated updates had killed two of my PCs in as many months. For a brief while, I suspected that Bill Gates harbored a personal vendetta toward me.

I bought my first iMac in October of 2010. I was still using that machine as of yesterday.

Recently, however, that 2010-model year, 27-inch iMac has been overheating. I decided that 6 years constituted a fair life span for a heavily used computer. It was high time to put that machine out to pasture.

So yesterday I went to my local Apple store in Cincinnati. I purchased a new 21.5-inch iMac with an upgraded processor, and an 11-inch MacBook Air, pictured below. So far at least, I'm in love with both of them.

And those are not the only changes. Although I've been using Apple hardware for more than half a decade, I had stuck with Microsoft Office out of---I don't know--a sense of attachment, perhaps? (Microsoft has long made a version of Office for Mac users.)

But Microsoft now charges subscription fees for Office, and the very comparable iWork applications come free with every new Apple. I therefore decided to ditch Office in favor of iWork.

Pages is obviously the most relevant iWork application for a writer. Over the past 24 hours I've been using Pages for all my writing needs. 

Once again, I'm glad I made the switch to Apple products.

I found that all of my in-process MS Word documents converted seamlessly to Pages files, with no discernible changes in content and/or format. The Pages interface, once you get used to it, is every bit as user-friendly as the MS Word interface. Also, since Pages was designed specifically for the Mac, it should be less buggy. (MS Word occasionally crashes on the Mac.)

If you're a Mac user anyway, I would say that the switch to iWork is a no-brainer. Microsoft made the decision even easier with its decision to move to a subscription model for Office.

Monday, June 6, 2016

FREE Kindle books, June 7th and 8th

Summer is here. If you haven't read The Maze or Our House, you can get them for FREE on Amazon Kindle June 7th and 8th.

The Maze

A seemingly ordinary office complex opens up a world of horror and wonder for three software company employees.

Our House

A young couple discovers that their dream house comes with an obsessive former owner...and a twenty-year-old mystery.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Eleven Miles of Night FREE on Amazon Kindle: June 3rd, 4th, 5th

Amazon book description:

“Jason Kelley is a young, struggling filmmaker looking for his first big break. When the semi-famous cable television ghost hunter Simon Rose approaches him about a freelance project, Jason is understandably thrilled. 
He isn’t fazed by the fact that his assignment is a walk down the Shaman’s Highway, an eleven-mile stretch of rural Ohio roadway that is reputed to be haunted by malevolent spirits, hellhounds, and demonic forces. Jason is an agnostic in regard to the supernatural. 
He isn’t prepared for the reality that awaits him on his walk through eleven miles of night—nor the more human violence and heartbreak that he will face along the way.”

Hellhounds...a terrifying covered bridge...a spooky rural setting in Ohio that won't quit...

Jason Kelley, a young man who has something to prove (and something to gain) by braving eleven miles of night...

Terrence Coyne, another young man with a vengeful agenda

And, of course, the women who love them...for better or worse...

Sample reader reviews:

"Scary and Good!!!! I really enjoyed reading this book - it actually had a very good plot and I'm leaving it on my Kindle so I can reread it later on. I do that with books I really like.
The book uses the concept of ghost hunting and a haunted road to put a new spin on the horror novel. Trimnell does a good job of exploring the psychological motivation of his characters and brings in threats both supernatural and human. I found some of the scenarios truly creepy. Overall, a fun horror read." 

"This was a well written supernatural horror novel. It pulled me in quickly and kept me riveted the whole time. Believable characters, excellent pacing, nice writing. I am not familiar with Edward Trimnell, but if he is another one of these indie/newbie authors, he is a hundred times better than what is typical for those, and they should all look to him as an example for how to do it."

 "It kept me on the edge of my seat and I had to finish! Excellent writing."

 "This was one of the most gripping horror books I have ever read, and it will be one I keep on hand to re-read again and again. I was literally hooked after the first chapter. The story line was original, the characters believable, and the ending unexpected. For anyone who is looking for a fast-paced story for a dark and rainy night, THIS is the one!" 

 "I really enjoyed this book! A young film student gets a great opportunity to work for a well-know "ghost buster". He's promised $2,000 if he will walk down the Shaman Road alone at night, a road reputed to have excessive paranormal activity, and film what he sees. Jason takes the job and begins his eleven mile walk. Spoiler alert: an encounter on the bridge literally made my scalp crawl! Does Jason make it to the end? You'll have to read the book to find out. If you enjoy horror stories that give you the chills and makes you turn on that extra light at night, you'll like this one!"