12/21/2018 - WINTER SOLSTICE

Winter officially arrives at 4:23 PM today (Central time) and tonight is thus the longest night of the year. On the plus side, the days are getting longer. On the minus, there was a plan to have some sort of new holiday story for you this year, and it simply didn’t happen, and because I’m intimately familiar with the pipeline, I can tell you there’s none in the works. 

What I can report is that if you were someone interested in the cheaper trade paperback edition of SHADY ACRES but a) still wanted a signed copy and b) didn’t live in the greater Houston area, I have a limited number available through this very website - they’ve just been added as an option on the BUY page. You will NOT get one before Christmas - the days are getting longer, but not THAT much longer. But if you order, I’ll get it in the mail in and around holiday revels.

 There’s otherwise nothing particularly newsworthy to report - stories go out, rejections come in, stories go out again; the second Robillard novel (SEVEN FISHES) is undergoing a revision to tweak some things that need tweaking before it goes over to my editor; the start of the third Robillard novel (HONEY LOVE) has been shelved and may or may not emerge as the third Robillard novel. It may become the eighth. Or jam up the file cabinet. The only thing certain about writing is rewriting. And in a fit of pique, an opening to the sixth Robillard novel, GLASS I, was laid down on paper before bed as it occurred to me, before it vanished into the abyss again. Sometimes, you don’t belly up to the bar in Brigadoon at your own peril.


Officially on sale for a week, the signed/limited hardcover edition of SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES is a shade over 60% sold out. I’m not saying ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ but it’s selling quicker than expected. If you’ve been considering it, copies are in stock and available by either clicking the banner above or going to the brand-new BUY page.

In a related story, the trade paperback edition has FINALLY been approved for distribution. You can order one RIGHT NOW at Lulu.com, (which is actually my preferred provider, given my cut with Lulu for each copy sold is about seven times greater than with ANY OTHER 3rd party provider from whom you’ll ever be able to order it) by clicking the link above. It will take several weeks yet to populate to other distributors’ sites. Lord knows if it will ever populate to Amazon. I’m not going to lose sleep over that.

In addition, over on the BUY page you can also order a signed copy of the trade paperback directly from me. The BUY page is a brand-new work-in-progress, mainly because of multiple fulfillment channels (me, distributors) and multiple formats (hardcover, trade paperback, and e-book.) But there, you’ll find more info about the book, formats, and ordering, plus links to a couple of other currently in-print items with newer stories that may not be collected for another ten years.


Today’s new blog post is a little different - a real-life mystery with a call to action and audience participation, revolving around a pair of 90-year old journals discovered in a second-hand bookstore in Houston. And you might even win a book in the process, because who doesn’t enjoy a game of chance? I hope you’ll hop over to the blog to dive in on “The Lost Diaries of Florence Baumrucker”


Meanwhile, it’s back to work on the third Robillard novel this week and fashioning the framework for things to do in the coming year, which I don’t need the I Ching to tell me is going to be a season of change. Back before the holidays!


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 - two weeks from today - will see the publication of my first story collection, SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES. The book will be available in three formats:

- a general trade paperback containing 21 stories, plus an introduction and story notes ($15)

- an EPUB formatted e-book ($2.99)

- a hardcover first edition, signed and numbered, limited to fifty copies worldwide and containing five additional old, odd, and uncollected pieces in a bonus section titled IT CRAWLED FROM THE TRUNK! ($25)

AS YET I have no sales links for the trade paperback or e-book. As the book populates through sales channels, I should be able to better point you to where you can purchase either of those online. A small number of signed copies of the trade paperback will be available through the website for those who want their book defaced, something Amazon has yet to learn to offer on demand. Details to come.

The limited hardcover is ONLY available through this website. You can place your order beginning TODAY, November 6, by clicking the banner at the top of this page OR by clicking here. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

The table of contents for the book:

    The Golem-Maker of Buchenwald

    Good Bait

    The Sinking Tomb

    The Last Ride of the Hole In The Well Gang

    Dial ‘C’ For Consultant

    The Jail In Shinjuku Ward

    Lorem Ipsum Donald

    Ark of the Revenant

    Fear #7

    Every Hero An Hombre, Every Wolf A Clown

    To The Devil, A Goat

    One Man’s Famine

    The Shaman In Relief

    Shady Acres

    Erin Beiber’s Wild Ride

    The Trapdoor


    Physicians’ Ball

    In Days of Auld Cheil’s Crime

    Bobby Boxster in Eight Measures


The limited hardcover edition includes everything in the trade paperback, plus an additional section titled "It Crawled From The Trunk!" with material covering the formative years from high school to my first professional sale:

    In Need of Mental Help (1983) 

    Pals (1988)

    Waiting For…Godot (an unproduced short film script) (2000)

    Mister Eddie (2006)

    Linus On The Savanah (1997)

It’s going to be a squirrelly two weeks here on the home front, but the good kind, not the kind that steals ten pounds of peaches off your tree.


In other publishing-related news, a dead-trees edition of PULP MODERN containing “The Great Unknown” (which gets a call-out in the review on the UNLAWFUL ACTS blog) is now available via Amazon here

And finally, my story “The Floor Is Lava” leads off the October 2018 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly, which can be purchased here.


While SHADY ACRES continues to move towards publication (official announcement is in the works, cover reveals coming soon), the astronomical calendar compels a sneak preview.

SEASONS IN THE ABYSS, the 2011 flash fiction anthology built around the four seasons, edited by Jack Burton and published by Blood Bound Books, had three stories of mine within its covers. One of these was a tale for the autumnal equinox about two kids with some livestock and a plan. Presented for one thematic day only over in the blog before it goes to live within the pages of SHADY ACRES, I hope you take a couple of minutes to enjoy “To The Devil, A Goat”.

UPDATE: Aaaand the 24 hour clock has run out. But you can read “To The Devil, A Goat” again in a couple of months, when SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES drops from Midnight-to-Three Publishing.

7/25/2018 - FRESH BLOG

After about a dozen false starts, I’ve posted a Harlan Ellison memorial in the blog today. It’s hefty, but it feels good to share. Thanks, Harlan. And as you once told me, be good, and if you can’t be good, at least be smart about it. 

Read “Clearly, Harlan Ellison Is To Blame (A Love Story)”


On June 28th, writer Harlan Ellison died. I’m still trying to find the proper words by which to remember the man who crafted some of the finest short stories of the 20th century, and the man who called me his friend. If I can figure out how to say what I want/need to say, you’ll see it in the blog soon. If I can’t, well, there are a ton of appreciations out there if you want to understand who he was. I’d start with Carol Cooper’s in the VILLAGE VOICE.  And if you want to delve into his work, it’s a lot easier to find thanks to the Internet than it was when I was first seeking it. Google and give him a read.

Speaking of reads, the Kindle version of PULP MODERN magazine Volume 2, Number 3 - with my story “The Great Unknown” in the lead-off slot - is available now via Amazon if you’re a Kindle person and enjoy crime fiction. Dead trees version of the issue is still in the works. Watch this space for further developments.

Work has slowed on the upcoming release of SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES - real-world intrusions and the like - but as yet, it’s still on track to release this year. Maybe in time for Christmas. It’s a perfect opportunity to support an independent writer AND a reader you like.

6/14/2018 - NEW NEW NEW!

Item the First: NEW COLORS! 

You might notice the white-on-black, grim, dark, misery-besotted theme of the previous incarnation of the website has become a blue-sky blue. This is kinda the shade my office has been repainted as part of the ongoing renovation, and it’s the sort of cool blue that I find soothing. So when it came time to bring the site into its new design digs (using Sparkle now instead of the late and only slightly lamented iWeb) I figured it was also time to give it a more cheerful facelift that reflected the current status. There will inevitably be kinks to be worked out (for example, blog posting is NOT intuitive thus far) but I already like the place more. Like my office.

Item the Second: NEW STORY! 

My flash fiction piece “Time of Reflection” is today’s story from Daily Science Fiction. It’s a bit of SF creepiness that won’t even take a coffee break to absorb, so I encourage you to click below to give it a read:

Item the Third: NEW SALES!

Two additional stories have been picked up for publication later this year. Bards and Sages Quarterly (which previously published “One Man’s Famine”) has accepted my tale “The Floor Is Lava” for publication this fall; and Pulp Modern accepted the gritty crime story “The Great Unknown” for an upcoming issue. 

In the midst of juggling the business of subs and resubs and sales and new stories, work also continues on SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES, which continues moving towards publication. There should be some sort of official announcement of a firm publication date soon. I can tell you there will be both trade paperback and ebook versions available, and contents are firming up for the projected limited hardcover release (26 lettered) with a little extra for people who like cloth-covered boards. As usual, more as I know it. 

1/10/18 - NEW YEAR, NEW WORK 

Working on novels and collections is a time-consuming process. In performing a year-end review, while I produced 73k of second Robillard mystery novel, and got a LOT of the front-end heavy lifting done for SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES, my short story submission numbers were anemic - 8 subs in 12 months, two of which are still sitting in slush piles as of this morning. Then I went back a year (the year I spent drafting some stories, but largely knocking out the first Robillard novel) and saw one story, subbed and rejected twice. Hmm. If we’re talking Publish or Perish, I’m dyin’ here.

So I dumped a LOT of coal into the boiler - not so much a resolution (because why resolve to do something when you can cut to the chase?) as a good old fashioned Nike-style ‘Just do it‘ - and turned the final screws on a bunch of stuff I’ve been working on for the past 12 months, and BAM, eight stories went out the door in three days. So the first nine days of the year, submission-wise, have already matched the raw numbers for 2017. Two more, and I’ll have matched the last two years. While probably not a sustainable pace given upcoming non-writing real-world projects (the back room isn’t going to renovate itself, and the bus with the home improvement gnomes doesn’t seem to stop nearby), a new story every couple of weeks to join the rotation would be something to aim for. Meanwhile, SEVEN FISHES (Robillard 2) continues to cool like a pie on the window sill before I go back and find all the warts; HONEY LOVE (Robillard 3) has been fully outlined and the flow of the plots and subplots broken out so they can be woven together in a proper pace(no start date for the first draft yet); and the first layout proofing pass of SHADY ACRES began in December (aaaaaall the nonstandard formatting was swallowed by my antique version of InDesign) and resumes later this month; and another half-dozen stories are stewing. So maybe I’ll have more to update the three people and two-dozen bots who read this site about as the year unspools.  Not a resolution. More of a wish-list item.

12/12/17 - ‘TIS THE SEASON

In what I intend to be a holiday tradition (much like the trials of St. Charles Brown, patron saint of blockheads), my gift to you is a new, free piece of seasonal fiction. It’s live now in the blog, and it’s on the gentler side of near-future fantasy than ancient evils, sinking ships, and general darkness. It might even be fun. I hope you read, enjoy, and share if you’re so moved, “The Girl Who Plugged In Christmas”. But don’t tarry - on the 12th Day of Christmas, it’ll disappear in favor of the Valentines Day candy.

As the year winds down, work continues on multiple fronts. In the midst of holiday prep, I’m working on some cover concepts for SHADY ACRES (yeah; I’m going to trouble your eyes with my finger painting. Hell, that’ll probably be more unnerving than anything in the book) and bashing out drafts of other things. The idea is to keep the pipeline full. I hope I’m better at it than the Keystone people.  No matter how you celebrate, I hope you have a marvelous holiday season. 


2017 is never going to go down as a gem in my book. Broad strokes behind the scenes include multiple losses in the family, being ground zero for Hurricane Harvey’s Houston visit, a cat on medication for several months, and a variety of other bits and pieces.

That said, it’s been a productive year while I was running silent. The second C.T. Robillard mystery novel, SEVEN FISHES, has finally been whipped into shape and forwarded to my editor, while half of the proofreaders’ notes have been received for the first, MURDER HOUSE. The third--working title HONEY LOVE--has been outlined and will probably kick off in the new year, unless the iron gets hot. Meanwhile, my story collection SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES moves ahead. While nothing is final, it’s shaping up to include 23 stories, one previously unpublished, and should be available in hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook. As with anything forthcoming, all details subject to change, but as its release gets closer, you’ll probably be wishing I’d shut up about it.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to subbing and finishing off stories in the current ‘to do’ pile--things like “The Finca Vigía Banned Book Cockfight”, “A Souvenir of Your Visit to World War III”, “How To Speak To Monkey”, “The Great Unknown”, and a few others. Long-form is fun, but there’s something exciting about the targeted narrative strike and the short, sharp shock. 


Someday soon, he said, there will be a more proper news update on things like the status of the second C.T. Robillard mystery, SEVEN FISHES; and the progress so far on the SHADY ACRES collection. But for right now, there a HALLOWEEN FREEBIE in the offing for your reading pleasure, a shortish (about 1,800 words) excursion in a hearse titled “Headcount” that you can find in the blog. But if you want to read it, read it soon - the story will only be online for a few days. Aaaaaand it’s gone. But there might be a stocking-stuffer in December. Please check back soon! 


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I’ve been quiet: the tumult of the election season; laying low and working on projects both writing and not; holiday revels; and a small five day romp through Paris. And suddenly, it’s a scant handful of days from the new year, so let’s close out some old business: + My horror flash “Fear #7” appeared just in time for Halloween, over at Stupefying Stories Showcase. It’s still there  and a free read, so go here if you want a chill or two. + I’ve added to the blog an essay originally published on my Doug Lane Writes account on Facebook in November concerning Donald Trump and the casual notions of violence against reporters among some of his supporters. Revised slightly from its original appearance, “ROPE. TREE. JOURNALIST.” can be found  in the blog . + AND FINALLY - NEW STORY! FREE TO READ NOW! Earlier this year, sometime between the death of David Bowie and the death of Prince, I sat down with the notion of how we traditionally depict the old and new years as, respectively, a withered old man and a shiny new baby, and began mulling the notion of a malevolent old year refusing to step aside as it worked its own agenda year upon year. What’s emerged as 2016 has unfolded has been cathartic to lay down, weaving Roman mythology with (thanks to Robert Burns) a wee Scottish twist. Though it’s still a work in progress, with this especially rotten week that’s seen the loss of Carrie Fisher and George Michael and Richard Adams and now Debbie Reynolds, all tumbling like hellish dominoes, I wanted to put the story to the ether. Perhaps an invocation for better days, perhaps an offering to eldritch forces, perhaps a toast to kicking ass on a year that’s overstayed its time -- like the holidays, it’s here for a limited time. Happy New Year! [Sorry... you missed it. DJL]


On the plus side, I finally upgraded to a new MacBook with a stronger battery and more modern software. On the minus side, the discontinuation of iWeb means finding yet another new software package within which to compose and maintain the web page on the new laptop, while the old one now has one job on this ship.  In the interim between hither and yon, a few things happened. In July, “The Golem-Maker of Buchenwald” appeared in ABYSS & APEX, a free read at their website. The first C.T. Robillard mystery, MURDER HOUSE, is down to final proofing, and I hope to get proofreaders packed for bear in the next week or so. The first draft of the second, working title SEVEN FISHES, is nearing completion. If I’m a gambling man, I’d say I’m 10k words from the finish line. Then it will rest a bit while I outline the third. And in between it all, the usual mix of story/submission/noodling.  And maybe, just maybe, I can get down to one machine for the entire works. Lord knows it would make that occasional blog post easier to load. 

Previously on DOUG LANE WRITES…

Hardcovcer limited (left) and trade paperback


Ooooh… retro!