Evolution – Natania Barron

Natania Barron is a multi-talented amazing human. She’s a mom, a writer, an audiobook narrator, and a badass cover designer. She is responsible for the covers for Wothwood, Into the Mystic, 85 North, and a bunch of upcoming Falstaff Books releases. Go buy her shit!  Wothwood: Where did you come up with the idea? It’s pretty corny, but the seeds of Wothwood were planted in a dream. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty vivid dreamer. I tend to dream on an epic scale, and I’ve slayed a few dragons in my time. This was different, though. In this dream, a son was mourning […]

Amazing Grace – Chapter 7

This is the latest chapter of a new novel that I’m serializing here. I release a new chapter every Monday. If you need to catch up, you can CLICK HERE.  Chapter 7 I walked over to the ghost and tried to speak to her without it being obvious to the dozen people standing behind the police cordon a dozen yards away that I was talking to empty air. It’s not an easy task, but it’s one that I have somewhat mastered over the years. “What’s wrong, sweetie? You look like somebody just ran over your dog.” I realized as soon […]

Evolution – Nicole Givens Kurtz

Nicole Givens Kurtz is awesome on so many levels. She’s a mother, a writer, and a publisher, and an all-around cool person. She sent me an awesome essay – so I’m very happy to run this as the first Evolution post.  Weird Westerns are a sub-genre of speculative fiction. I was first introduced to this sub-genre when I lived in the Southwest and attended MilehiCon. While there, I met David B. Riley and his publishing company, Science Fiction Trails. He and Laura Givens were working on an anthology of weird westerns. Excited by the idea of creating a diverse populous in […]

Manuscript Format Guidelines and Why We Care – A Letter from an Editor

As a lot of folks here know, in 2016 I started a small publishing company, Falstaff Books. As such, I look through a fair number of manuscript submissions. I don’t read all of them at first, there’s a team of slush readers that do that. But I sometimes poke my head into the slush pile, and I read everything that gets kicked up the food chain to me. That means I see some truly interesting things done with formatting of documents. Despite the fact that we publish pretty clear submission guidelines on our website (click the big red button that […]

Busy Couple of Weeks

Hey folks, how’s it going? It’s the beginning of con season here, which means it’s stupid busy. I spent a fair chunk of Friday packing boxes of books (yes, in between episodes of Iron Fist, which I enjoy, but not as much as I loved Luke Cage) for SC Comicon next weekend. I’ve got several appearances and signings coming up in the next few weeks, and I’d love to see you at any or all of them. Actually, maybe not ALL of them. That might be a little creepy, and I might have to wonder if you don’t have anything […]

Amazing Grace – Chapter 6

This is chapter 6 of a serialized novel that I’m working on. I post a new chapter each Monday. To catch up on previous chapters, you can click HERE.  Chapter 6 I followed the sheriff in my truck, but the closer we got to the scene, the more my heart just sank further down toward my toes. I wasn’t sure when we turned off onto Highway 9 out of town exactly where we were going, but the second we turned left onto Black Bottom Road, I felt sick to my stomach. “This is where she did it, ain’t it?” Jenny […]

Amazing Grace – Chapter 5

Chapter 5   Sheriff Dunleavy leaned back in his chair and looked at me, one of those long, steady looks that men do when they think they’re being all serious, but really all they’re doing is trying to figure out what box to put you in now that you have done escaped the one they thought you were supposed to fit into all nice and neat. I’ve known men like him all my life, and it’s better to just let them sit and “process things” and figure out what they’re going to say, then go on about your business and […]

Evolution – the beginning

Free Publicity for Writers!   I’m gonna start a new feature on this here website, entitled “Evolution.” This will tie into my Writer’s Journey podcast, except here writers will be able to talk about where a story came from.   So if you’re a writer with a published book or short story, self-published or otherwise, you can send me an essay, no more than 1,000 words (500-800 is preferable) about where a story came from.   Please email the essay, along with a bio, photo, buy links, and cover image (don’t make those photos huge!) to john AT johnhartness.com. I’ll […]

Living with Bipolar – a #HoldOnToTheLight post

People sometimes ask me how I’m so productive, how I manage to turn out a novella every month, plus run a publishing company, and do a couple of podcasts each month, and attend an average of 1.5 conventions each month, and do all the other shit I do. The answer is – productivity through mental illness. No joke, no bullshit, I am mentally ill and that is how I get so much shit done. When I am able to do anything at all. I self-diagnosed myself with depression when I was a teenager. I didn’t go see a doctor, or […]