For the past couple of months — since my interview with The Ginger Nuts of Horror, to be exact — I’ve received a few e-mails from people asking about my Weird Western novella, Deadstock.

In the interview I revealed that Deadstock is, in actuality, a Black Lands story, a fact that has confused some people as I’ve never mentioned this before.

The truth is, I only revealed this information because Jim Mcleod at Ginger Nuts of Horror happened to ask me, seemingly out of the blue, if there was a connection between Deadstock and the Black Lands. I’m not sure why he asked the question — perhaps Jim has some sort of psychic ability he hasn’t told me about — but I can tell you I gave serious thought to not answering it.

Why? Because while Deadstock is indeed a Black Lands story, it does not feature my supernatural detective Felix Renn and there are no overt references to the Black Lands.

The reason I never mentioned this before is because I wanted Deadstock to stand on its own without piggybacking on the success (however meager it may be) of the Felix Renn stories. I also didn’t want to take advantage of readers who might expect more of a connection to the Black Lands-verse than there actually is.

The connection is there, I can assure you, and it will become more apparent in the Deadstock prequel, Zero Fill, and especially in the sequel, Land of the Never-Rising Sun (a title that probably reveals more about the connection to the Black Lands than anything else).

So does that mean readers be left out of the Black Lands loop if they don’t read Deadstock? Absolutely not.

Of course, it is my opinion, extremely biased though it may be, that reading Deadstock will add to the overall enjoyment of the Black Lands series as a whole.

It goes without saying that I’m excited to see my first book published later this year. But I’m even more excited that it’s being done by a quality (and Canadian!) press like ChiZine Publications.

So, as a member of the Chi-family, I was very happy to hear that ChiZine recently announced an agreement with HarperCollinsCanada for book distribution in Canada and digital distribution worldwide.

I was also happy to hear that after much demand, ChiZine is now offering a subscription service. I’ve been to conventions with ChiZine, I’ve hung out at their table in the dealers room, and I can personally attest that this is something people have wanted for a long time. 

So if you sign up now you’ll get all of the incredible books CZP will be releasing this year, including my own collection, Every House Is Haunted. (Yeah, yeah, it’s a shameless plug, but just a little one!)

Speaking of which, if follow me on Twitter, or if we’re friends on Facebook, then you know the editing process on my book has recently begun. My editor is Helen Marshall, a talented author in her own right, and she’s been an absolute delight to work with. I’ve never had a problem with people criticizing my work, especially if it serves to make it better, but there’s a special kind of creative reaction that takes place when you work with someone who truly gets what you’re trying to do. Helen gets it, and her revisions and suggestions are nothing less than spectacular.

Folks, I don’t mind saying, when it comes to this book, I think you’re in for a real treat.

A couple of new reviews have rolled in over the past week or so. The first is for Deadstock and it comes from the fine folks over at Sonar4 Landing Dock Reviews:

A highly recommended read for fans of ghouls, zombies and old west supernatural tales and not as graphic as one would expect. Kudos for the writer. 

Read the full review.

The other review is for “Black-Eyed Kids” and it comes from Gef Fox at Skull Salad Reviews:

Whoa Nelly, this one was a dark treat to read. The first two books certainly had their fair share of sinister vibes, but there was more–how do I put it?–rollickingness. No that’s not right. Maybe sardonic tone is what I mean. Felix is the kind of guy who will let his world-weary side shine through. This time around there isn’t a lot of room for that, because his life is in imminent danger even more than the last two times. The story is the most intense of the three with a threat that Felix comes to believe he can’t defeat. Everything plays out really well with an episodic quality I’ve come to expect and appreciate from Ian’s work.

I think this would have to be Ian’s strongest effort yet of the three novellas published so far, which bodes well for future iterations, including a Felix Renn novel that’s apparently in the works. If you enjoy gritty urban fantasy, this should be right up your alley.

Read the full review.

Thanks to both reviewers for the kind words, and for taking the time to read (and review) my work!

Random Writing Quote

"Book-buyers aren't attracted, by and large, by the literary merits of a novel; book-buyers want a good story to take with them on the airplane, something that will first fascinate them, then pull them in and keep them turning the pages."
Stephen King

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