Saturday I sat down at the computer and decided to do something I’d never done before – write, edit and publish a short story all in one day. I had the kernel of an idea for a short story with the Black Knight boys (& Sabrina), and thought I could probably get it into decent short story length, but there wasn’t nearly enough there for a novel.
For those interested in definitions, most people count flash fiction as under 1,000 words, a short story as 1,000-10,000 words. Some folks put the cap at 7,500 words on the high side, but I usually stick with 10K just because it’s easier. Then you get into novellette (10,000-25,000 words) or novella (up to 50K words) and novels (over 50,000 words, but that’s been drifting higher lately). My figures may be low for a lot of people who write 150,000 doorstops, but I write shorter books, so I’m going to skew in that direction. And it’s my blog, get over it.
So I sat down and wrote a short story about a movie night interrupted by catastrophe, because everything in the lives of these characters is interrupted by catastrophe. It took me about 4-5 hours to write, then a couple more hours to create the cover. Yes, I realize the cover looks very simple. Once I got Illustrator running, found a photo I liked on istockphoto.com, set up an account and bought the photo, it only took me about 20 minutes to do the cover. Then I decided I didn’t like it, so I had to go back to searching and find a new photo, buy it and twiddle with it for a little while to get the very elementary cover that you see below.
I never claimed to be a graphics guy, and I know that it’s not a great cover. That wasn’t my intent. My intent was to get a short story from Point A to Point Z (available for purchase) in 24 hours. And I managed the parts that were in my control in about 10 hours. Then I uploaded it to Amazon and Barnes & Noble (except for the cover on BN, which is still goofy – I said I wasn’t a graphics guy) and watched a little TV before bed. When I woke up in the morning the story was available for purchase on Amazon, so mission accomplished!
It’s just a quick little read, about 20-25 print pages or about 6,000 words. It doesn’t reveal any backstory that isn’t in the books, and falls between Back in Black and Knight Moves in the chronology of the world. My hope is that I can knock out about one of these each month (and I have a list of short story ideas, so I’m lined up to do several over the next few months) and keep people happy in between novels. And if it makes a little money, that’s great. Once I have five of them, I’ll collect them at $2.99. Then when I have ten, I’ll collect those for $6.99 or $7.99. All just another way of attracting readers and getting embedded in the social consciousness. 🙂
So if you’ve enjoyed the other Black Knight books, here’s a heads up that more stories are coming. I’ll likely get to editing on Knight Moves this week, and then we’ll see how that goes. I have a long writing weekend planned for 4th of July weekend, so hopefully it’ll finish up by then.