Writer’s Block

Well, I’ll be honest: I’ve started and trashed three blogs so far, and I’m no closer to a successful attempt. Sometimes, the words just don’t flow. It happens to all writers. And while I could keep banging away at it (I’d eventually come up with something passable…I was a journalist after all, so the writing gets done on deadline no matter what), I do have a company to run.

So instead, I think I’ll just give you a link to a free story to read. Given all the headlines about the FBI and the President lately, it’s timely, too.

Click here to read Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “G-Men,” which is her Free Fiction Monday offering this week. It’s an alternative history story about secrets and politics and the lengths people will go to preserve both.

And if you like it, you might want to pick up The Enemy Within, which is the full novel that “G-Men” eventually turned into. That is available in ebook, trade paperback and audiobook. Click here for more information.


Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Making the Most of Moving

Moving. The thought of it makes me shudder. I’ve often joked that it would be simpler to just set everything on fire and start over.

But, you know, that’s expensive, and I’m kind of attached to some of my stuff. OK, a lot of my stuff. So, that’s just not an option.

That sentiment comes from moving a lot, I think. Not as much as some, of course. Military families, for example, move all the time. But I had my fair share of location upheaval in my youth. I lived in six different towns and residences by the time I graduated high school. Two different states. Four different school systems. Again, not as much change as some, but enough to be a bit unsettling.

After high school, and before moving to Lincoln City, I lived in ten different places (in five different states). Lincoln City is the place I’ve lived in the longest. I’ve lived in my house for 12 years (if you don’t count the 10-month period where I moved out of my house only to return to it three moves later, but that’s a long, complicated story…)

As you can see, I have some experience with moving. And I can say with some authority that it’s hell. I can count on pretty much four to six months of lost productivity (except for the moving thing).

Which is why I’m so amazed at the latest project Dean Wesley Smith has embarked on.

Dean and his wife, Kris, are in the process of moving to Las Vegas. They’ll still have a home base here, but much of their time will be spent there, and they won’t need their rather large house here anymore. And so Dean is in the midst of dismantling said house to complete the move.

And because he’s Dean, he decided to throw in a writing challenge for good measure. Thirty short stories in thirty days.

Did I mention he’s moving???

Well, he’s on day nine already and going strong. Oh, and he’s writing a nonfiction book while he’s at it called How to Write 30 Short Stories in 30 Days While Moving.

If I’ve learned one thing in my six years running this business, it’s that when Dean sets his mind to something, it usually gets done.

If you want to follow along from the start of this adventure, click here to go to Dean’s first blog post about it. He posts a new blog every day with an update.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a ton of new covers to do…

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Cats Riding in Cars

We had quite the adventurous cat week here at WMG. But first, some background.

On the publishing side of the business, we are decidedly cat people (and based on the sales of our cat-related fiction, many of you are, too). Every single publishing employee has at least one cat. Most of us have two or more. And that leads to a lot of cat-person bonding.

So, when one of us has a cat in distress, we all feel their pain.

For example, Dean drove the cats from the Rusch-Smith household from Lincoln City to Las Vegas on Tuesday to join Kris in their new digs. If you’ve never driven that far with cats, let me tell you it’s one of the more stressful things one can do.

When it came time to load the cats in the car, Gwyneth and Josh headed over to help. Once everyone was settled, Dean started the drive of great distress.

But they all made it safely, thank goodness, and Dean is still in one piece, so mission accomplished. Now comes the cat-adjustment-to-new-home period. But by the end of this week they should be right as rain.

Meanwhile, I had scheduled a dental cleaning for one of my cats that morning (I have a pair of 14-year-old brothers and an unrelated 12-year-old male Maine Coon). Sydney and Truman (the brothers) don’t act at all like they are 14, but the fact is that they are, so I worry more now than I did about procedures that require anesthesia. But Sydney’s bloodwork came back great (he has the numbers of a toddler cat, the vet said) and he made it through the procedure just fine. I dropped him off at home and headed back to work.

Not 10 minutes later I got a text from my husband, John, saying Truman hurt his back leg. Truman. Not Sydney. Confused, I rushed back home.

As we hurried off to the vet (who got us in 10 minutes after we called, thank goodness), we tried to piece together what happened. Sydney had been wandering around the house a bit disoriented. John heard a hiss, a thump, and a yowl, then Truman came limping around to the living room from the stairs and lay down unable to move further. Our best guess is they had a tiff (not uncommon when one cat comes home from the vet) and Truman tried to jump on the banister but missed and fell awkwardly on the stairs.

Whatever happened, it became apparent from the first X-ray that Truman had broken his back leg. Badly. His right hind femoral bone was in pieces.

Lincoln City is a small town, so no one here could handle that kind of injury. Our vet sent us to Portland to an emergency vet, who then sent us on to Vancouver, Wash., because the Portland clinic didn’t have an orthopedic surgeon available soon enough. Truman needed surgery ASAP if there was a chance of saving his leg. (And once again, it was Gwyneth to the rescue, coming over to sit with Sydney as he recovered from his anesthesia while we were 2.5 hours away.)

I won’t go into all the gory details but amputation and euthanasia were all on the table as potential outcomes at one point.

Thank goodness, Truman is as healthy as his brother and the surgeon (who was amazing) successfully repaired the break with a long bone plate, 17 screws, and a surgical pin.

Truman is back home and has begun the long recovery process. At least 6 weeks in human time (that’s like four months in cat time).

Thus concluded our cat adventure-filled spring break.

I hope your week was decidedly less traumatic.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Our New Promotions Page!

Those of you who follow this blog regularly know that I like to tell you when you can save money on our books. I like a good deal, and I figure you do, too. Seems like good business to help you stretch your hard-earned dollars farther.

The problem with doing that on a blog, though, is that it’s up for a week and gone. So, if you miss the blog that week, you might miss out on the deal.

Hence the new Promotion page on the WMG Publishing website. We’re still fiddling with the design a bit, but the information is there. This is the page where you can find information about free books, discounts, limited-time bundles, and anything else we can think of to save you money on our books.

At the moment, we’ve got two active promotions going on.

First, all of our boxed sets are part of a special 40% off promotion through Kobo.

Second, WMG has two books in a current Storybundle—the Femme Fatale bundle, curated by O’Neil De Noux (a Pulphouse Fiction Magazine contributor, by the way). Here’s what he had to say about this bundle:

“The Femme Fatale, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is ‘An attractive and seductive woman, especially one who will ultimately bring disaster to a man who becomes involved with her.’ The Urban Dictionary gives this definition, ‘A woman with both intelligence and sex appeal that uses these skills to manipulate poor helpless men into doing what she wants. May cause death.’

“I am curating a new Femme Fatale bundle for StoryBundle, a terrific collection of ten outstanding novels by some phenomenal writers. As always, at StoryBundle, you name your own price – whatever you feel the books are worth, and a portion of the proceeds goes to charities Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now.”

Death Takes a Partner: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel by Dean Wesley Smith and The Perfect Man by Kristine Kathryn Rusch are included in this bundle, which ends in less than two weeks. Click here for more information.

And don’t forget to bookmark our new Promotions page.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: The Luck of the Irish

My mother’s side of the family is Irish. Very Irish. Irish Catholic. Last name of O’Shaughnessy. Ancestors immigrated to America via Ellis Island during the potato famine. You get the picture.

So, St. Patrick’s Day was a pretty big deal growing up.

Nowadays, it’s one of the few times of year I channel my Irish heritage. (I’ve always been more drawn to my Spanish heritage.) But I still wear green and eat corned beef and cabbage and wash it down with a Guinness.

My daughter, on the other hand, is obsessed with Leprechauns. As in catching one. Last St. Patrick’s Day, she devised a trap to do so. It failed, of course. This year, she’s planning to improve on her trap plans.

Throughout the year, she tries to find the end of rainbows, just in case.

Now, if I could figure out a way to reward her dedication to the cause with a real Leprechaun, I would. But we all know how this ends.

Poor Nola. She doesn’t like corned beef or cabbage, and she’s too young for Guinness. But by the time you read this, I’ll have cheered her up an early dose of Easter candy.

And for you, dear readers, a wee bit of Irish luck. Click here to download a free copy of Kristine Grayson’s “Cosmic Balances, Inc.”

Keep some of your hard-earned gold but act fast, because, like rainbows, this free offer won’t last long (one week, in fact).

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

For the Love of Bookstores

I love bookstores. Always have.

But it’s funny the specific memories that stand out. I remember being in junior high school and discovering the Sweet Valley High series, scanning the shelves for the latest release. They published those on a rapid schedule, but certainly not as fast as I could read them. (Remember back when you only knew what books were available by going to the store?) And I remember being in high school (when I developed a deep love for Shakespeare and Wordsworth, among others), browsing the classics shelves of the B. Dalton in the Bridgewater Mall.

I’m not sure exactly when the trend of putting coffee shops and bookstores together started, but I discovered them when I was in college. I had developed a taste for coffee while spending time in Madrid and although the American version of café au lait didn’t hold a candle to Spanish café con leche, it was lovely to have a warm mug of sweet, creamy coffee while I sat reading. The aroma of roasted beans mixed with paper and leather to create what seemed a most literary perfume.

Bookstores feature prominently in my life, obviously. I witnessed the rise and fall of Borders. I started shopping at Amazon.com in 1999. I’ve watched more independent bookstores come and go than I can count.

I even fantasized about running my own bookshop/coffee house one day.

But I thought my imagination was where that particular daydream would stay.

Until recently, when WMG bought a bookstore.

And not just any bookstore: one founded by the great Sheldon McArthur (after he sold the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles and “retired”).

Now, WMG can not only sell the books it publishes online and in brick-and-mortar bookstores, but we can sell them in our own bookstore…and we can sell lots of other books, too.

Like books from your favorite Fiction River and Pulphouse authors, for example.

But first, we could use a little help.

Our bookstore, North by Northwest Books in Lincoln City, is well-loved but well-worn. The building that houses it has sat in the harsh coastal air for many years, and it needs work. So, we’re running a Kickstarter to jumpstart the repair process. Our first goal was to raise enough funds (our goal was $5,000) to remodel an unused room in the bookstore to expand our offering of indie books. We hit that goal in less than 48 hours. And we’ve already hit our first stretch goal, too! Plus, we made Kickstarter’s “projects we love” list on it’s very first day.

But now, we’re working on our next stretch goals. The more we raise, the faster we can achieve all of the renovations needed to expand our selections and modernize our ordering systems. Here’s a video we made about those stretch goals.


Plus, we’ve got some very cool rewards, including bags of books, writing workshops, and even the option to buy books to donate to libraries or schools throughout the continental US.

You can read all of the details here. But you’ll need to act fast. The Kickstarter ends at 9:33 p.m. on February 28.

So, thank you to all of our current and future supporters. We couldn’t do this without you.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.