Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Night of the Living Cliche (Guest Post by Victor Catano)

Hey all!  I've known today's guest for some time through our mutual publisher, Red Adept, where I've known him to be clever, genial, entertaining, and overall my most recent man crush.  I'm very pleased to bring him by the blog today to introduce to all of you.  Let's meet him briefly and then jump right into the guest post.

About Victor Catano

Victor Catano is the author of TAIL & TROUBLE, the first book in a series of urban fantasy adventures. He lives in New York City with his wonderful wife, Kim. When not writing, he works in live theater as a stage manager, light designer, and technical director, working mainly with dance companies. His hobbies include coffee, Broadway musicals, and complaining about the NY Mets and Philadelphia Eagles. (Well, less about the Eagles these days.) If you need a seat at a coffee shop, he will actually move for you if you show proof of purchase of his book.

You can find him on Facebook, his website, Twitter, BookBub, and Goodreads.

Guest Post

I’m going to set a scene for you, one that I’m sure most city dwellers are intimately familiar with,

It’s early morning. You duck into the local Starbucks to get a cup of joe to wake you up and get you on your way to work. Or maybe it’s lunch time and you want to recharge. Or maybe you’re meeting a friend over coffee at the end of the day.

You scan the room and look for an open table, but there are none to be found. You just want to sit down and enjoy your latte, but every spot is taken. Why? Why is this happening, no matter the time of day or night? Who is occupying these seats? Who is hogging all the comfy chairs?

You know who. An army of wannabe writers with rolled up sleeves, goatees, serious looks on their faces, and nursing that coffee into its third hour.

Including me.


Yes, I am confessing to being that most annoying of writerly cliches - The Coffee Shop Scribe. And, yes, I have a goatee and often a serious look.

I am not apologizing for it, mind you, because it WORKS.

I wrote the bulk of my first novel, TAIL & TROUBLE (available now at fine e-book retailers everywhere!), in a coffee shop. Specifically, the Einstein Bagels on Dr. Phillips in Orlando, right behind the Universal Studios park. My wife works at the park seasonally, and when I came down from snowy New York to visit her I got into a routine. I’d drop her off, then circle back to the coffee place. I would then proceed to abuse their free coffee refill policy while I pecked out a chapter or two of the book. Then, I’d reward myself with roller coasters. (They really help to rattle those ideas out of the brain)

I find I write so much more effectively at a coffee shop. Maybe it’s the smell of the roasted beans in the air. Maybe it’s looking at fellow writers. Maybe it’s the fact that my cat and dog can’t jump on me and demand treats and attention when I try to write. (You try writing when an eight pound bundle of cuddles jumps on you and licks your face repeatedly.) Maybe it’s the fact that a coffee shop seems to put a time limit on me so I spend less time dawdling online - obsessively checking my Amazon rankings and the rankings of every other author I know and comparing them - and more time actually writing words.

And when I was stuck on my latest novel, a sequel to TAIL & TROUBLE named THE WINTER OF OUR DISTEMPER (coming soon to e-book retailers everywhere!), I went to my local coffee shop, plopped myself down, and wrote. And it worked. I finished the draft just as the sop announced it was closing time.

So yes, it’s my fault that you and your Tinder swipe can’t get a table during your pre-hookup date. No, I’m not moving. I have a half an ounce of cold coffee and grounds in my cup still. That’s good for another half hour at least.



When Gabriel’s witch girlfriend doesn’t return from her latest trip, he gets on the road and heads out to find her. Sheila's coven is secretive and distrustful of Gabriel, so the only help he has is Sheila's familiar, a bulldog named Orson, who is psychically linked to both of them.

In Florida, they walk right into an elaborate plan to steal Orson. A mysterious wizard named Yareth is behind the plot, and he may also know where Sheila is.

Gabriel and Orson will have to fight for their lives as they navigate around all the magical roadblocks to force Yareth’s hand. They won’t give up until Sheila is safe.
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