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Showing posts from 2012

"Broken World" Audio Edition Out Now!

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Yes, that's right; the audio book edition of "BrokenWorld {Omnibus}" is now available for purchase at Audible.com, Amazon and iTunes. It is, of course, narrated by the confoundingly talented Wayne Farrell, who lent his vocal skills to the audio book version of "The End of the World" so brilliantly earlier this year.
So spread the word and grab a copy for yourself and all of your friends and family, your neighbors, vague acquaintances, complete strangers, and...well, just about anybody, really. In nationwide taste tests it's been proven to be the audio book most ears prefer listening to, so start hammering that "Buy now with 1-Click ®" button right away! And let's face it, what's better than a few well-chosen MP3s to pad out those Christmas stockings.
It's available for $6.95 on Audible.com, or you can pick it up on Amazon for the ridiculously generous discounted price of $6.08. And, of course, if you feel like trying a 30-day free trial …

Broken World Audio Edition

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Yes, that's right! Broken World will soon become available in audiobook format. The three darkly humorous dystopian stories that make up Broken World will be narrated by the mind-bogglingly talented Wayne Farrell, who used his extraordinary talents to such great effect on the audio edition of The End of the World.
I've already heard a sample of what Wayne's been up to with this book, and I can tell you it's going to be a fantastic finished product.
So, with the holidays coming up, don't forget to put a few audiobooks of mine on your wish list, because nothing says "Christmas" more than dark, disturbing visions of a world in decay!
Ho, ho, ho!

And The Winner Is...Me!

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Yes, in case you haven't heard, I have been awarded the "Worst Blogger of the Year" award! It was pretty much a given, since my nearest competitors were nowhere near the level of "Worst" that I was. You could say I was in a class by myself.

The award was presented in a private ceremony, by me, to me, in front of my dusty computer. I gave a short 'thank you' speech to myself and then thought about blogging about it, suddenly felt very lazy and decided against it (until now, obviously).

The truth is I've been incredibly busy lately doing that thing that writer's are supposed to do - writing. Just not on my blog, for which I feel very ashamed. I had stated previously that I was now going to be blogging a lot more often, when in fact the opposite has occurred. My intentions were good, but...well, we all know what the road to hell is paved with.

I promise I will do better in the future.

And look out for the upcoming release of my new short comedy ada…

Surfacing

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Gosh, it feels like an eon has passed since I last blogged, so I wanted to drop in and give a few updates. I've been going through some major life transitions over the past few weeks (all good), which have disrupted my normal ebb and flow to quite a large extent. On top of that, I've had a couple of medical issues that I've needed to get sorted out. This included a "tenotomy" on my right elbow this week for lateral epicondylitis, or what used to be called "tennis elbow". (I should disclose that I haven't actually picked up a tennis racquet since I was about 15-years-old...with very good reason.)
Interesting, then, that I choose to exert it by writing a blog post just two days into my recovery. But, then that's just me, I guess. Logic, practicality and I have always had something of an uneasy relationship.
Speaking of odd relationships, I also wanted to let you know about the new book I'm working on. This is an adaptation of my one-act play…

New Release: Broken World

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I've just released my latest collection "BrokenWorld" on Amazon, which consists of three darkly humorous dystopian short stories set in a world gone wrong. Are these tales a harbinger of the future of our planet or a testament to what's already taken place? Perhaps they're both.
I hope you'll check it out and decide for yourself...
Broken World: Three strange and darkly humorous dystopian tales of a world gone wrong:

Cafe Grotesquerie

In a broken world there exists a strange and sinister eating establishment unlike anything known or imagined - referred to in some quarters as Cafe Grotesquerie - where only the most discriminating and well-connected are privileged enough to enter its doors and devour its dark delicacies. Once inside, however, status still reigns supreme, and for one particular couple - Audrey and Aubrey - a hunger for power proves far more desirable than anything on the menu. But when confronted by a supercilious sommelier, the suspiciou…

Release Day!

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Yes, the day has finally arrived! The End of the World audiobook edition is now available for sale at Audible.com (and soon to be available on iTunes and Amazon). Narrated by the outrageously talented Wayne Farrell (seriously, he could make the online Yellow Pages sound fascinating).
So if you or someone you know enjoys listening to audiobooks, grab a copy of The End of the World, sit back, and let Wayne take you along on a journey unlike any other.
And right now Audible is running a promotion on over a thousand titles, so there's another reason to head on over there!

Brilliantly Bad Starts

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There's a great article in the Guardian Book Blog today, highlighting some of the winning entries for the The Bulwer-Lytton award for brilliantly bad starts.
Here's the classic inspiring opener from the contest's namesake:
“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
Do check out the article; it's especially worth it to read this year's winning entry.

Keeping Up With...

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The Joneses. Yes, the third and final story in my "Broken World" trilogy will soon be completed, so in the meantime here's a peek at the book cover. Think of the tree as representing the tree of life...but in a broken world.
This one is all about the travails of parenting. The Joneses, you see, didn't have much of a clue about just what they were taking on in their rush to "adopt" Ali and Omar. And mistakes, as we all know, almost always have to be paid for.
More to come...

Father performs "Let it Be" to raise funds for his 11-month-old's cancer bills

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Yes, today's post has nothing to do with books or writing and everything to do with a little 11 month old boy named Noah.

I hope you'll forgive me going off topic today, but I came across this on Boing Boing and was very touched by it, so I'd like to do my part in helping spread the word.

I've attempted to embed the video below, but in case it doesn't work, please click on one of the below links to find out more.

I'll let Noah's father, Mike, take it from here:
Dear Friends and Supporters, On July 5th, 2012, my 11-month-old son, Noah, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Please consider giving in support, as well as helping spread this link. The proceeds from your contribution will go towards getting Noah the best care possible, as well as helping keep our family afloat while we focus on little Noah’s treatment and comfort. Anyone who contributes will receive a downloadable audio version of this rendition. A special thanks to Jesse, and everyone …

Broken World 2: Foreign Bodies - Out Now!

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The next installment from the Broken World collection is out now! Foreign Bodies is a darkly humorous dystopian short story that is part political commentary, part dark satire.
Foreign Bodies is adapted from the stage play I wrote of the same name, way back in 2004, which was originally produced in New York by Emerging Artists Theatre in the spring of 2005. At the time I wrote it there was a conflict going on that I was deeply opposed to and had been since before its inevitable onset. The play was intended as a futuristic, blackly humorous vision of the result of this conflict, where the spoils of war were likely to blow up in your face. Interestingly, though, my dark vision of a future where people vacation at hotels located in war-torn areas of the world has now seemingly come to pass to some degree, which, in case you didn't see it, you can read about here.
Anyway, here's a little more about Foreign Bodies:
Victoria and Max have just arrived at their hotel, La Guerre Sans F…

The End of the World: Audio Edition Coming Soon!

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I'm pleased to say that an audiobook edition of The End ofthe World will become available for purchase sometime over the next couple of weeks at Amazon.com, Audible.com (a subsidiary of Amazon), and iTunes. It's being narrated by the scandalously talented Wayne Farrell, who is turning in such a great performance of all the characters in the book. This is no small feat, either. As well as characters of different ages and genders, he's also had to contend with a number of different accents. Wayne, though, has more than risen to the challenge, giving each character its own distinctive voice without ever drifting into the realm of caricature. Hearing his readings of each chapter as they've been completed has almost been like hearing the book again for the first time.
From books on tape, to audio CDs, and now MP3 downloads, audio editions of books have for a long time now enjoyed a significant following. They're great for listening to when taking a long car, bus, train…

Foreign Bodies

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The next story in my Broken World collection will be Foreign Bodies, the cover of which I'm revealing here. This is the second of my darkly humorous, dystopian short stories that depict a world gone wrong, a world gone mad, a world that is broken.

Part political commentary, part dark satire, Foreign Bodies should be published and available in the Kindle Store sometime over the next two weeks. Stay tuned!

More Grotesquerie

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The original stage play version of Cafe Grotesquerie has just been published by Smith & Kraus in their anthology The Best Ten Minute plays 2011. As you may know, I recently adapted the play into a short story as one of the Broken World collection I'm putting together. I hope to have the rest of those stories, and the complete collection (or omnibus edition) out over the next few weeks.
I'm also going through some changes and transitions in my private life (all good), which has resulted in me not being very present around here or much of anywhere lately. This situation will continue for a little longer, and then when the dust has settled, I'll be back with a vengeance.
And since I'm shaking things up and reconfiguring some things in my life right now, I've decided that this would also be a good time to redesign the blog, so if you happen by here sometime over the next few weeks and think that you've come to the wrong place, don't worry - it's only a…

New Release! Broken World 1: Café Grotesquerie

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Yes, it’s a new book release! Broken World 1: Café Grotesquerie is a darkly (pitch black) humorous dystopian short story and is the first release from the forthcoming Broken World collection. A very special thank you to my phenomenal beta reader in helping me get this little tale fit for print!
I do hope you’ll check it out. It can be found here in the U.S and here in the U.K.
There’ll be another release from this collection very soon, so if you enjoy this, please stay tuned!

What's the Meta?

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I'm pleased to announce that my short play "What's the Meta?" will be included in the upcoming tenth edition of the Bedford/St.Martin’s textbook The Bedford Introduction to Literature. I'm very honored to have a work of mine included in such a respected (and best selling) publication, which is written and edited by the noted scholar and author Michael Meyer.

After all of my recent immersion in the frontier world of ebooks, it makes for a lovely counterpoint to have a work of mine included in a great big, hardcover, 2000+ word tome!
"What's the Meta?" is one of eight short plays in my recent collection "The Meta Plays" and was originally published by Smith & Kraus in the anthology "2009: The Best 10-Minute Plays for 2or More Actors (Contemporary Playwrights Series)".
The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing, 10/e, by Michael Meyer is tentatively scheduled for release January 2013.

Paperback Editions Now Available in Europe

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I'm very pleased to announce that very soon all of my books that are currently available in paperback editions in the U.S. will also be available in paperback in the U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
I've made most of my books available in paperback form where feasible, as I know there are many people who - quite understandably - still prefer to hold a physical book in their hands and read from paper pages rather than screens. I completely get that, and that's why, in the U.S. at least, I've been diligent in making sure hard copies were available for those who want them.
But now, I'm happy to say, they will also be available in Europe, too. Actually, I just checked and it looks like most of them are already available on the Amazon U.K. site. Perfect!

Schism now in Audio Book Edition

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Well, with all of the activity surrounding the release of A Mouth Full of Ashes, I forget to mention something else quite significant that happened just recently. At long last the Audio CD edition of Schism was finally made available for purchase. It's narrated by the frighteningly talented Peter Bishop and is available on Amazon (through Audible.com), directly from Audible, as well as iTunes.
Reaction to the book since its launch back in November has been interesting, to say the least. People either seem to love it or hate it. Almost nothing in between. It seems to be rather polarizing and I'm not sure why. I think part of the problem lies in the big free promotion the book had back in March, which resulted in many thousands of downloads. Free promos can be great at helping to get your work out there, but inevitably your book will fall into the hands of those who are not your target audience, and who, when/if they get around to reading it, are most likely not going to like i…

I’m Interviewed on Cents-ible eReads today

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Yes, those fine folks over at Cents-ible eReads – the eBook site that discriminating readers prefer in taste tests all across the country – have featured me in their author spotlight today. There’s also a sound clip of me reading from my latest book release A Mouth Full of Ashes. Head on over there now and discover this great – and rapidly growing – site for yourself. It’s definitely one to bookmark for both readers and authors.

Release Day! 'A Mouth Full of Ashes' is now published!

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Today my new novella A Mouth Full of Ashes became available for purchase on Amazon's Kindle store. The book is something of a departure for me, so I'll be interested to see what sort of reaction it gets. The description is below. If you have a Kindle or Kindle App and would like a free copy, I'm gifting copies to the first 10 people who'd like one. Just send me your email address to info[at]andrewbiss[dot]com.
Overview:
A young student is brutally raped and murdered. Her parents, Tom and Christine, are now confronted with the daunting task of processing their grief and attempting to come to terms with the horror that befell their child. The paths they take in doing so, however, couldn't be starker in contrast. Christine has withdrawn into a deadened world of suppressed rage and bitterness that has left her incapable of seeing beyond the terrible tragedy that has visited her. Her husband, Tom, on the other hand, has taken the unusual step of publicly announcing his …

A Mouth Full of Ashes

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In a few days from now I’ll be releasing my new book “A Mouth Full of Ashes” and I’d like to share with you how this story came about.
A couple of years or so ago, I came upon a news story that grabbed my attention in a way that many others don’t. It involved a murder, but of course we read about murder, death, and all manner of tragic events on a daily basis. We read them, lament them, and then move on. This one, however, had a different angle to it that gripped my imagination.
In a small town somewhere in the Midwest (I believe) a young pastor was delivering his Sunday sermon to his congregation. A young man with no associations to either the town or the pastor drove into town that morning, walked into the church and shot the pastor dead in the middle of his sermon. It was one of those inexplicable, mindless, random and tragic events that defy reason. The pastor was married and had two young girls who would now grow up without a father.
Fast forward just a week or two later (if that) a…

Coming Soon!

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Attack of the Text Zombies!!!

You know, I almost look back fondly now at the dawn of the cell phone zombies. When they first started popping up on sidewalks/pavements everywhere, I truly thought the decline of civilization had begun in earnest. Every time another of them would pop up, cell phone glued to the head, walking in random circles and speaking at someone on the other end in a voice at least 30 decibels too high, a little part of me died inside. You could even have argued that the cell phone zombies were actually turning me into a zombie. Each time one of those babbling, demented, pigeon-like apparitions appeared, chipping away at yet another layer of polite society, my soul became just a little more calcified.

What a difference a few years can make. I now look back upon those times with an affectionate smile, awash as they are in tones of sepia and memories of a simpler way of life. An age of innocence, you might say.

Now...now we live in the dreaded age of the text zombie, and this creature is far,…

To A or not to A?

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I'm currently hard at work on my latest book, which has the working title of either "A Mouth Full of Ashes" or "Mouth Full of Ashes", depending on how I feel that day. This has become one of those things that I find enormously burdensome. To include the "A" or not include the "A". I'm currently leaning towards including the "A". But that's right now.

It's a difficult book to write in some ways, because - as much as I love and am very connected with the characters and the storyline - it requires me to delve into a very dark place every time I revisit these characters. Coming home after a hard day's work and diving into someone else's personal hell isn't always easy.

Maybe I should just turn on the TV and relax with an episode of "The Real Housewives of...

Or maybe hell is just a relative term.

Incidentally, should hell be capitalized? Heaven always is. And let's face it, they're both pretty big. I…

Author's Lament

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Author Eloise J. Knapp, the niece of one of my fellow KBers, has put together a little Youtube video entitled "Author's Lament: 5 Emotional Stages of a Bad Review". She'd asked that it be shared around and I'm more than happy to help do just that as I think it's hilarious and rather brilliant.

Yes, negative reviews, 1 star reviews, they are, unfortunately a part of a writer's life. They come with the territory...that territory being the land where you'll never please everybody, no matter how much you wish that were possible. Sometimes, your work will end up in the hands of someone who is not part of your target audience (especially true when doing giveaways or low price promotions), and when that happens...well, it's often not pretty.

Here's part of a 1 star review I recently read on Amazon: ""None of the characters were likable, there was no character growth, and it rambled." What was this particular critique aimed at, you ask? I…

Gender Genre Bender

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Conventional wisdom (which, from my experience, is usually anything but) has it that writers should write in one genre and stick with it, gradually building an audience who enjoy that particular genre and who will eagerly await each new release, all the while knowing exactly what to expect. And of course, this does work very well indeed for the Stephen Kings and John Grishams of this world. But that same "wisdom" would have it that to do otherwise is sheer folly, confusing your readers at best, angering them at worst, and making brand building nigh impossible.

This thought has troubled me in the past, not least because not only have I never written in strictly one genre before, I also don't think I ever could. But I have come to the conclusion that, for me at least, this will not be a problem, despite the dire warnings from above (the above paragraph, that is, not the Almighty).

Everything I have ever written or ever will write comes from a point of inspiration that has (o…

A Facelift For Your Anniversary?

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It may not be the most romantic gift for an anniversary - although The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills would probably disagree - but that's what I've given The End of the World. Yes, it's been almost a year (on Monday, to be exact) since it was published, and I decided to celebrate it by giving it a makeover.

That book's cover has never been a simple thing for me. When I first started out I really didn't have any idea what I was doing. Then I learned the rules of what you were "supposed" to do. Then I threw out the rules and did what I wanted to do, which is what you see here.

The difficulty in trying to find the right cover for the book is as difficult as trying to categorize it. I generally list it as a contemporary fantasy, which, by strict definition of the genre, it essentially is. However, most books in that genre are nothing like The End of the World. But trying to place it somewhere else is nigh impossible, as it simply doesn't fit anywhere pr…

To Hell in a Handbasket

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"Going to hell in a handbasket", "going to hell in a handcart", "going to hell in a handbag" and "sending something to hell in a handbasket" are variations on an American alliterative locution of unclear origin, which describes a situation headed for disaster without effort or in great haste.

That's from Wikipedia, and it's where I'm probably going (not Wikipedia, in case there was any confusion), since my New Year's resolution was to post more often about real life matters and shill my books far, far less.

But you know, the thing is, I've always maintained that rules were made to be broken. Is that an out? I guess it depends on your definition of it. Or your definition of "it" as Uncle Bill used to say.

Either way, "Hell in a Handbasket" is also the name of the latest album from Meat Loaf, and since he sold around 43 million copies of "Bat Out of Hell"...well, no arguing here.

Ereader News Today's Book of the Day is...

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The End of the World! Yes, it's getting a little limelight today courtesy of Greg at Ereader News Today. It also has the book trailer up on the site, so if you haven't seen it yet, please head on over there by clicking here and check it out!

Kindle Fire Department: The End of the World: Today's Kindle Book of the D...

Kindle Fire Department: The End of the World: Today's Kindle Book of the D...: Wildly imaginative and breathtakingly surreal, The End of the World from award-winning author Andrew Biss will give you a once-in-a-lifeti...

Listen with Mother? Hmm...not quite.

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Good grief, I can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged! The fact is, I've been so busy lately that I've barely had time to catch my breath. Even my extensive newspaper reading (The Guardian) has been heavily curtailed, just giving myself enough time to catch up on the eurozone crisis, the atrocities of the pencil-necked Bashar al-Assad, and Baby.

But, for the moment at least, I have a little breathing space, and so I'm trying to catch up with everything that got a little sidelined recently.

The most exciting news is that the audio version of Schism will soon be available for discriminating shoppers everywhere. It's narrated by the shockingly talented Peter Bishop, and will be available for purchase in the next few weeks at Amazon, Audible.com and iTunes. It may not be 'Listen with Mother' material - a bit too, er...gritty, shall we say? - but quite honestly, that old poster is just as disturbing, if you ask me. It looks like some nightmarish…

Do You Have an Embarrassing Odour?

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If you don't, you can get one for just 99c (or about 64p) in the Kindle Store. Yes, that's right, another short story release from the upcoming collection Strange Tales of the Curiously Uncommon is available now. Don't delay!

The complete collection should be released before the end of the month, or early February at the latest.

Now, one of my New Year's resolutions was not to shill my books so much on my blog, so having gotten that out of the way...

Random thoughts:

As of the 15th day of this New Year, we've had 22 murders here in the fair city of Philadelphia. We average around the same number of murders as there are days in a calendar year, so we're off to a bad start. To give some kind of comparison, London, with an urban population of around 8.5 million people has an average of 171 murders a year. The urban population of Philadelphia is about 0.5 million. Yes, it's that bad. There's a reason we have acquired the unfortunate nickname of Killadelphia.

L…

It's Alive!

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Yes, it's my first post of 2012 and despite my resolution to shill less often with my posts, I'm starting off the year by doing just that!

Well, in this case I sort of have too, as this is a new book release. Yes, A Stunning Confession is finally live in the Kindle Store! It's a quirky, darkly humorous short story taken from my forthcoming collection "Strange Tales of the Curiously Uncommon". Here's an overview:

As Ron and Jan made themselves comfortable on their sofa, they thought they were settling in for just another quiet night in front of the television. But beneath the surface of this seemingly benign evening of domestic routine, each was withholding a guilty secret from the other, and on this particular evening one of them found they could contain themselves no longer.

Questionable paternity, a murderous child, artificial insemination - all of this paled in comparison to the evening's final, sensational revelation!

I hope to have the complete collectio…