List of Reviews

As I was filling out an application for a 2018 local author event, I was asked to give any reviews that were not just Amazon.com, etc., and rediscovered the reviews that Marc Schuster (also known as Zapatero!), of Small Press Reviews, had given me. So, I thought, since I have nothing else to post right now, I thought I’d post a list of recent reviews, one of which is from my editor. These are not Amazon.com reviews.

www.fpdorchak.com

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Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Metaphysical, Paranormal, Reincarnation, Reviews, Short Story, Spooky, To Be Human, UFOs, Writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

New Work and Inspiration From Another Time

Decisions. (© 2016, F. P. Dorchak and Jan C J Jones)

Decisions. (© 2016, F. P. Dorchak and Jan C J Jones)

Several years ago I’d started work on a brand-new novel and shelved it to work Do The Dead Dream? I’ve since picked it up and begun re/working it. I won’t give its title…I always keep that secret until just before releasing it. But I’d been struggling with it, much like I had with Psychic. Though I have about 30K words, some of those will be outright removed, and a lot is being changed. But I am working on it daily.

A few years ago (2015), on a solo trip to my dad and stepmom in upstate New York, I’d reread Slaughterhouse Five. I’d done so in preparation for the novel I’m working on now (let’s just call it the “Work In Progress,” or “WIP”). I wanted to see if I could try some different methods for what I usually do in my work…and I’d rediscovered the coolness of Vonnegut’s work. As it turns out, I’m rereading it again, since it took me longer than planned! Since December I’d been trying to find that damned book and it wasn’t until yesterday (Saturday) that I’d found it. I’d looked everywhere. I think the Tralfamadorians had been messing with me, because I looked everywhere I’d already looked. It had to be there, I constantly told myself, had to. And, well, it—finally—was.

I loved the author intrusion into the novel, among other things. So as I began rereading, I’d finally had my epiphany about how to structure my new novel—and once that hit me, the writing (at least as of yesterday…) began to flow like crazy. I’m a little apprehensive of starting again, because I again hit a knot-of-a-spot and wonder if I again sit down to write if the words will again flow-like-crazy. But it’ll all work out. It always does. Many writers—even seasoned writers—feel the same way…or worse. I confess that over the past few years, after writing (not publishing) my last novel, which was Psychic, I have questioned myself. And as the intervening years increased, I’ve questioned myself even more. I mean, the past thirteen years I’ve only been dealing with rewriting. Re-releasing. No new novel work, though I’d created a few short pieces. And now I’m intruding upon novel-writing time with this post.

Yeah. I’m not scared.

But I’m also trying to figure out how I want to proceed forward with promoting my work. I like not being on Facebook anymore. It was such a Time Suck (again, I’m sure the Tralfamadorians are involved…). Sure there were collateral advantages to it, but I got into it purely for promoting my books, and only a handful bought my work from my time on Facebook, so the P&L for staying on Facebook was not in my favor. I do, however, enjoy what I’m currently on: my WordPress blogs, Twitter, and Instagram. Pinterest is also a bit of a waste, but I’m keeping it for no-action discovery purposes. That’s what I’ve learned it’s only real purpose is for someone like me, though I have yet to discover any benefits from it. I do note, however, that a TON of hair stylists love to pin one particular image I have over every other image in my Voice board. I can’t figure it out now, but at one point I’d found out how many times this one image has been grabbed, and it an incredible amount of times MORE than any other image.

Yet, still, no sales spikes from Pinterest. But…I leave it. I’d deactivated it once, but thought, eh, it’s not hurtin’ anybody, I’ll just reactivate it. I’d had some fun with it in the past with a virtual friend, but I think I scared her off! She no longer sends cool Hallowe’enie pins to me anymore, I’m sure, because she feels I might kill Pinterest again (yeah, you know who you are, my friend! ;-] )!

And so it goes.

To get back to this new work of mine, after finding my paperback of Slaughterhouse Five, I’d found my structure, and I love it! It is quite experimental, and not unlike Vonnegut’s author intrusion, but I’ve added my own spin to it, and think it’s pretty cool what I’m trying to do. I hope the rest of the reading public does, too, but it will be at least a year or three before it is done. That is my average on writing books: two – three years. I hope to create a few more short stories in the interim, but a new book is at least that far away. Unless my writing has really improved and I get far more done than I expect to. I’ve been doing a combination of outlining and actual writing to see if that helps at all. So far, I think it’s just stalling the inevitable organic writing I do…but it’s all heading in the same direction: forward.

So, I hope you’ll all continue to follow me as I create this book, deal with my writing angst (which I’d never had before in all my years of writing, which amounts to some 51 years worth), and occasionally post about it. It’s an exciting project about someone who helps people transition when they die. And it severely breaks traditional story structure and POVs and all that. Will continue to mess with Time and your head. And I do hope that the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. will help me out in writing it. I’d be so damned honored. I already have another “ethereal” seeming to help me out…and that character is in the book itself. A little teaser:

Know this: “In the end there is only the beginning.”

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And The Stories Live On….

A good friend of mine who loves my work, Edie Scott, inspired me to write this post.

Her and I had been e-mailing about writing, and she told me a very cool thing that really had me feeling good: she said that she reads and REreads my work! She’s already started Do The Dead Dream?, but has read all of my books and published short stories multiple times!

Wow.

That had me realize that the work I’ve created and moved on from continues to live and breathe and operate in the imaginations of readers like Edie. She went on to say that she loves to discover the different layers to the stories on those rereads…and how there were things she’d missed the first or second time around, and later discovered on additional reads.

I mean, that is so damned cool! I can’t tell you how thrilling that was to hear!

Edie and I go way back, have known each other some 25 or so years, and she is a huge reader of all books, all genres. So to hear something like that is mind-blowing. I keep telling her that she’s just saying that because we’re friends—and after I recover from the psychic haymaker she throws, she tells me emphatically no, that is not the reason. She tells me that my books are (in my word:) thinky. That I like to challenge and bring those challenges to readers. I thought Voice would turn her off, but she gets that it’s more than just a story about a guy falling in love with a voice in his head. Edie is of devout religious faith, and she got past the gnarly sex scenes I’d written as a matter of necessity to the story. She freaking got that (and she is not the only one, let me just say, other good friends—who are also writers—like Joyce Combs [my editor], Karen Lin and Aaron Michael Ritchey also get that, but my non-writer friend Edie inspired this post, and I’m focusing on readers, here). She got that it wasn’t about the sex…it was about so much more…and yes, there are various levels of layers to the story. When I first wrote Voice I didn’t want it to be my first publication, because I didn’t want people  to think I wrote “porn.” It is emphatically not “porn.” Porn is written to sexually excite, and I did not write that book to do that. I wrote it because of the underlying story. The sex scenes were necessary to all of the characters’ downfall and redemption. Instead of violence…I incorporated sex…and people seem to be far more embarrassed and vocal about graphic sexual situations than they are about violence, and that is disturbing to me.

Of all the free copies of Voice I distributed last year, I have not found one, single review. Not one comment from anyone anywhere about the story. Why is that? Had they just not gotten to it? Was it because I wrote about characters masturbating versus having sex? Had that so offended everyone? Yet we have all these violent and dark stories and programs out there that people flock to. Are people really far more tolerant of graphic violence than graphic sex? And can they not see beyond the sex for the rest of the story?

When I’d decided to take on that story…and make it public…I wrestled with these ideas…but ultimately decided the story was powerful enough…that there would be readers out there who would get it, and get past the single-handed sex (pun intended). And I was right. But more so, apparently, there are more readers (at this point) who are too offended or embarrassed or whatever about the sex scenes to say anything about the book.

Yet Fifty Shades of Grey is a big hit.

Or is that in my small circle of readers—my readership—are shocked that I—me–wrote such a book? A book that is a huge departure from my normal output? Even Edie pointed that out. I’d also taken on the story to branch out…to immerse myself into a definite level of discomfort to expand my writing ability. I admit to continually reevaluating whether I should remove that book from public, and I continue to come up with the same answer: no. It is a powerful story, and soon others will also and hopefully come to appreciate that. And Voice will continue to live and breathe and operate in the minds of readers like my friend Edie, who reads and rereads….

I am thrilled to think that stories I have written so long ago (one story from Do The Dead Dream? is from 1978) will continue to live on in the minds of others. Sure, I’ve thought about that over the years, but this concept really hit me this week during the e-mail exchanges between Edie and me, and a bunch of discouragement and angst I’d just gone through. Thank you so much, Edie!

So…after the dismal sales-to-date of all my work, including my most recent Do The Dead Dream? anthology, which I thought would do far better than it has, I am brightened by this conversation. I had so much fun creating all of my stories…bringing them to light. And I hope they will continue to find a continued readership and live on in their imaginations much like they did with me.

Happy New Year everyone!

Posted in Books, Leisure, Metaphysical, Paranormal, Reincarnation, Short Story, Space, Spooky, Technology, To Be Human, UFOs, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Merry Christmas To All!

Merry Christmas! (© 2017 F. P. Dorchak)

Merry Christmas! (© 2017 F. P. Dorchak)

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, however it is celebrated in your lives!

And thank you all for your support this past year!

F. P. Dorchak

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Do The Dead Dream? Review–By The Editor

Do The Dead Dream? (© 2017, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Do The Dead Dream? (© 2017, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Below is the heartfelt review of my editor on Do The Dead Dream?, Joyce Combs. It was so kind of her to do this, and she did it in the comments section of Marc Schuster’s Small Press Reviews review. I must add that while Joyce and I worked on this book, she started calling me “ghoulishly romantic”! I must admit, I kinda like that!

Thank you, Joyce, for doing this–as well as all your incredible help in the creation of the anthology! And thank you, Marc, for allowing me to use her comments in your review on my site.

Review, by Joyce Combs, editor, Do The Dead Dream?

First of all I think Marc’s review of DTDD? tells the whole tale in a nutshell…this collection is deep. And, yes, scary. It’s also gruesome and gory at times. I was his proofreader (he graciously designates me as editor) and needed to read these several times…which in most cases was no problem…and many cases was life enhancing each and every time…but a few of them gave me the creeps at best and nightmares at worst.

So many unexpected twists and turns occur in these stories; “Red Hands” comes to mind because I was not expecting, at all, where it ends up based on where it began. On it’s surface you’ll find it a great metaphysical mystery, but at its core is an invitation to be open to new interpretations of the unexplained and that which defies explanation. The macabre love stories are among my favorites. Frank has some unique takes on romance in this collection that are heart warming and heart breaking…and all, I could tell, were heartfelt. He must have a soft spot in his heart for unconditional love along with the strange spot in his mind for conditional weirdness…a really cool combination as it turns out.

The collection begins with “The Wreck,” which is outlined so well in Marc’s review. I LOVE this story…I LIVED this story each time I read it…and I read it more times than was necessary from a proof reading standpoint because the experience was palpable; and the conclusion was life altering from a metaphysical standpoint because he condensed much of the material I’ve been studying all my life into a few brilliant passages.

There are many stories in this collection that show we are often times our best when faced with the worst…one of these, “Broken Windows,” is my very favorite from Do The Dead Dream? I related to it on a personal level as it took the protagonist on a journey back to childhood trauma, then opened a doorway to catharsis and closure and forgiveness.

Frank…let me thank you publicly for seeking me out to assist with the delivery of your collected short stories. I gained more than I gave.

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Do The Dead Dream? is now an eBook!

Do The Dead Dream? (© 2017, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Do The Dead Dream? (© 2017, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Hot off the presses: my anthology is now available as an eBook!

Click here to access it on Amazon!

Thanks for your support!

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Writing ON My House

This literally just happened minutes ago, and I had to write it up!

A childhood friend had reminded me about something that I had done when I was a kid back in Lake Clear, New York. And that fact that she had remembered it absolutely blew me away! The Facebook messaging went like this:

Julie: I was just talking to my son about Lake Clear your family and now you being an author… Wasn’t your first masterpiece written ON your house (literally)??
Me: HA!
Me: How did YOU know that?!
Me: Yes, I joke about that now and then….
Julie: Remember I used to play at and around your house with your sister.

 

But, yes, I really had done that!

I do not know what had possessed me, but it was probably your basic Kid Logic–applied to a creative type (writer, in this case)–but one day I up and picked up a number 2 pencil and began to write a story on the side of our Lake Clear house that was painted yellow! I wrote it  around a couple sides, again, if I remember correctly. Not sure it I made it all the way around the house, at this stage in my life. But it was a couple of outside walls!

My dad…was not amused.

Dang it, but man, I wish I’d written that story down somewhere! How priceless a moment that was! How fricking hilarious! My dad made me erase the entire thing and clean off the house, of course, but, geez, how perfectly perfect for a writer-kid to do something like that!

So, thank you so much, Julie, for making my day by mentioning that to me! Ha! Though I’ve thought about it off and on over the many, many years since, it’s quite jaw-dropping to hear something like that from another non-family member!

You…are priceless!

Posted in Books, Comedy, Fun, To Be Human, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments