Hello and welcome once more to all our little neck of the woods. Sorry we’ve been gone for a while but there were strange things afoot. See, this big, bright, yellow thing came out of nowhere and sat in the sky for hours at a time! It scared the socks right offn’ our feets, it did! The snow melted, and the thing decided to stick around, and someone told us it was something called the “sun” but we still think that’s a made up thing from some fantasy novel.

Anyway, we’re back and we’ve got news from the Lake (which is mostly water again and not completely frozen over) and we can’t wait to share our news of the world.

Today, in the View . . .

Pulling Back
ePub Transition
Discord
INKubator
Where Does it Fit?
A Note on Anthologies from Tyree Campbell
Convention Suggestions
New Contact Point
New Releases
Upcoming Projects

Pulling Back

First and foremost, there were a few reasons we didn’t do a View from the Lake last month. One was a bit of a lack of news. There wasn’t much going on, no real events happening, and things were essentially status quo. The other reason is that Karen and I were – once again – spreading ourselves way too thin. We all work hard here at Alban Lake, but Karen and I are the newest members, and we haven’t yet learned our limits. So, we keep pushing, keep reaching, and eventually we over do things a bit. So, we’re going to close down our Patreon for now, and pull back from a few other projects that we’ve been trying to work on, while also keeping up with the steady stream of great submissions we’re both responsible for. This should help us do a better job, as well as help all of you all around. We’ll get back to those other projects we were working on, and we’ve set what we see as more reasonable goals instead of “ALL THE THINGS ALL AT ONCE!”

What can we say? We’re excited to do our jobs. We love being a part of Alban Lake, we love the people we’ve met, and how we get to help people. We’re learning as we go, and we think we’re getting better all the time. According to you guys, we seem to be doing okay. So, thanks for the support, and keep on keeping on. We know we will.

ePub Transition

Speaking of learning as we go, thanks to some help we are now able to do ePub books for the site. This means that all the things available for download on the Infinite Realms Bookstore will soon be ePub format instead of PDF. This means it will be easier to read on all your devices, as well as look a bit nicer in the long run. We have a LOT of things ready for digital download so it will take a while to get it all finished, but currently our newest things are ePub, as well as Digitally Disturbed. If you have already bought a digital copy of something and have your receipt or an email address we can check, we’d be more than happy to email you a copy in ePub instead of PDF when it’s ready. You already bought the thing, let us give it to you in a better form if you’d like it.

Discord

It’s been a spell since we’ve mentioned that we have a Discord server.

https://discord.gg/77eAyeg

For those not in the know, it’s sort of a chat service/live forum. We have different channels for all your questions related to our various publications, as well as a general chat and even a place to vent about rejections from us or others. It’s a great place to meet other authors, poets, and artists, as well as others in the business; including Karen, myself, and some of our other editors and talk to them directly. It’s fun, friendly, and open, and it’s where we met some very awesome people we want to introduce you to.

INKubator

When we were looking for ways to create a community, one of the people that reached out to us suggested Discord which has turned out to be wonderful. The most helpful and awesome people we’ve met on Discord have been people from the INKubator community. They are writers and editors, authors and poets who have been through all kinds of different submission standards and have been published in numerous places as well as rejected from numerous places. They’ve helped us not only figure out some better ways to format our eBooks (which is why we’re now able to do the ePub) but have also been wonderful, warm, welcoming, and just plain incredible people. Because of them we’re working on a new magazine for next year that will have no genre restrictions, and will be a collaboration between their group and ours. We’re hoping it will take off but we never can tell. Experiments are fun, though, and working with these guys will make it all the better.

If you’re interested in learning more about them, or even joining their Discord server, go check them out here.

Where Does It Fit?

One of the biggest complaints we’ve heard since joining Discord is that different publishing companies have different submissions standards, different genres, and more. Finding a home for your work can be just plain annoying. To remedy that problem – at least at Alban Lake – we’ve made a new email for you to send things to. Bill will be reading the submissions – short stories and poems, we still have a proper place for novels and novellas – once a week on Fridays and giving his advice on if it’s publishable with us, and if so, where to send it. He’ll only be able to get through a certain amount each week as he still has other responsibilities, but if he keeps it to once a week, no one should have to wait terribly long for a response and some help finding their way. We’ll put this on our submissions page as well, but for now, send your email queries to [email protected]

Please, unless it’s poetry, one submission at a time in our normal format. We want to help but we need a bit of help as well.

A Note on Anthologies from Tyree Campbell

On several occasions I’ve been asked questions regarding our activities for the rest of the year, with specific attention toward anthologies. At the present time we have just a few that are open to submissions, including Suddenly, Cows, Catacombs, Dream-Realms of Cthulhu, and Midnight in the Witch’s Kitchen.

The following list is presented so that you may begin the creative processes of your stories. Most of these anthologies will be of the “publish when full” variety, which means you may want to get your entries in early. They will also follow our typical word count/length standards.

Without further ado, then…

POTTERS FIELD 7

This is the seventh volume in this best-selling series. It features tales based in some way on unmarked graves, and suggests that the deceased might be in the mood for a bit of payback. We’d rather not see any zombie stories. Yes, one or two stories might fit. But there is so much zombie dreck out there these days that we find it boring.

The editor for this one will be Robert J. Krog. As he also edited PF6, you might want to avail yourself of a copy to see what he likes. You can find them here.

We’re hoping to open this in mid-summer. Be ready.

COSMIC CRIME

This one wants SF or fantasy detective stories, with crimes that occur as the result of some aspect of science fiction or fantasy. You can do hard-boiled, you can do Columbo-type, you can do something else entirely, but again we’re looking for character development, conflict, suspense, and even a twist at the end. Yours Truly is editing this one. We’ll probably post guidelines on 1 May or 1 June. Better break out the pencil sharpeners.

A BLACK FLAG AND A STAR TO GUIDE

That’s the working title at this point; it is subject to change. What we want for the anthology is SF or Fantasy Pirate tales. No Caribbean or Errol Flynn ripoffs, please. Writers are supposed to create, so create already! And don’t be locked in on pirates. Smugglers would work just as well. “Flying Dutchman” concepts might be interesting.

The aforementioned Robert J. Krog will edit this one, with an assist from me. Guidelines late summer. Don’t wait for them, though: start writing.

TERROR IN THE COGWHEELS

This one will be steampunk. Crossover stories, as with SF, fantasy, pirates, dirigibles, and so forth, are also encouraged. I haven’t selected an editor yet, but it will be someone with experience in the field, as a writer and an editor. Guidelines before summer begins… at least, that’s the plan. Be ready.

THE CAFÉ OF THE STARRY NIGHT

Again a working title. A couple years ago we did an anthology with stories inspired by Van Gogh’s painting “The Night Café.” The title of the anthology was, interestingly enough, The Night Café. This time, we’re using a different painting as inspiration. SF and Fantasy, please, and if there is a psychological twist to it, so much the better. I edited the previous one, with the help of a young lady who has gone on to bigger and better things. I plan to do this one as well, but will probably assign an editor to assist. Guidelines in a month or two, but don’t let that slow you down.

HIRAETH

Basically, “hiraeth” is a longing for home, but it can be extended to mean a longing for something that never was, or never could be. The Irish Tír na nÓg is somewhat similar to this, an Otherworld that is difficult to reach. The term can be found in Dana Scallon’s song, “The Far-Off Place,” to which it refers. (The song is in a movie called Flight of the Doves, and can be found on YouTube here) In these senses, then, hiraeth applies to stories in SF and Fantasy, and to interstitial works.

At the present time, the concept for this publication is under discussion, and it would be premature to announce specific details. We probably will open as an anthology, but if there is enough support and stories (and a limited number of poems), we might make this a regular publication. We’ll know more by June. However, our Outposts of Beyond wouldn’t mind such stories… hint.

Okay, then! That’s what we’re looking at. Get those stories started!

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled chaos…

Convention Suggestions

We’re still trying to find the right balance of conventions to go to. We’ve already had one fall through this year – they simply didn’t have enough room for us. So, if you would like to go to a convention FOR Alban Lake, contact Karen at [email protected] and we’ll see what we can do to help. This is a great opportunity for all of us and we’ve already had some people ask questions about doing this, and now we have some answers.

If you know of conventions coming up, even next year, that are within around 6 hours of central Iowa, also let us know at the same email. We’re looking for great ways to get out and represent your work as well as finding new avenues and new authors.

New Contact Point

You guys… OMG… WE GOT A PHONE! WE HAVE A BUSINESS PHONE! A phone, specifically for BUSINESS. FOR ALBAN LAKE!!!!! *wild squee!!!!!*

*clears throat*

Since we are industry experience, and of course, highly qualified and respectable people, we wish to inform you that we have a phone line specifically for Alban Lake and Infinite Realms. Feel free to call or text us at this new number: 515-357-8910.

We greatly appreciate your patronage.

As we write this (6 am central/standard time), the phone is still on the way to us so if you’re seeing this message you will need to wait a little bit for us to get it activated. As soon as it is, this message will change.

New Releases

We’ve got a bunch of them this time!

Upcoming Projects

This list keeps growing with every new author and we could not be more proud.

Kitty Through the Looking Glass by Christina Sng
Sigimmortal by Tom Waguespack – Any day now
Methuselah’s Memoirs – June 2019
Gypsy Sweetheart – July 2019
Twilight Patrol – August 2019
Souljar of Fortune – September 2019
The Slixes – September 2019
Judas: America Bound – October 2019
Specious Skies – November 2019
Sycophant – December 2019
Red Shoe Adventure Club – December 2019

Well, that’s it. That’s all the news that’s fit to print for Alban Lake. We’re starting to enjoy this “sun” thing. Maybe it will stick around for a while instead of SNOWING IN THE MIDDLE OF FREAKIN’ APRIL!!!!!!!

We’re not bitter. Just cold.

See you next time, gang. And, as a tribute to those who inspired us – keep it real, True Believers.

All the best,

Karen Otto
Managing Editor

and

Bill Otto
Creative Director

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