Sunday, December 23, 2012

Official Launch of Cover Designs by Kayla Curry!

Alright, I'm ringing in the New Year with an Official Cover Designs by Kayla Curry Launch Party on New Year's Day!

During that day I'll be taking concepts from anyone who needs a cover. So if you are publishing a book soon or even a short story, pitch me your cover concept from now until New Year's Day in the comments field below. I'll pick at least one to do for free!

I'll also be on twitter, talking about cover design and art throughout the day. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Direction

Well it seems that there isn't much interest for the flash fiction challenges, so if I do not receive any flash fiction pieces this month I will be turning this site into a base of operations for my cover art and a few other small projects.

If I do get some flash fiction pieces for the December challenge, I will have to figure out if it is worth it or not for me to put time and energy into the challenges. That will depend on the number of flash fiction pieces I get if I get them.

So, thank you to Thomas Winship and Jacob Donley for being the only two to ever enter these challenges, you guys are awesome and your flash fiction is too!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December Challenge

December is a "Bad Writing" challenge.

Sometimes we need to get some bad writing out of our system before we can get on with the good writing. That is what these Bad Writing Flash Fiction Challenges are for.

Write a Flash Fiction piece that is 500 words or less that fits the "Bad Writing" prompt. Bad writing in this case does not mean bad grammar, poor spelling and horrible punctuation. Bad writing in this case just means these stories aren't meant to be good stories. All stories that follow the prompt will be posted for voting.

The prompt for December is to write the worst love scene you can think of.

When submitting your flash fiction, submit story, with your name and links to any sites you want posted with your story including author website, links to books, link to your blog, links to facebook and twitter, and any others you can think of.

Send all of these in the BODY of the email. I will not open attachments unless I know the sender personally or request them. The email to send these to will be They are due by December 31, 2012 at 11:59pm.

Winners will receive web badges, feature interview with links to their website, books and social medias, a feature on the Winners Page and one book chosen by the author to be featured on the side panel, along with some twitter promoting.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Excuse us while we regroup!

Sorry, everyone who actually visits this site. The November challenge will not be posted. I am in the process of regrouping. I will post a challenge in December which will have a deadline of December 31st. We didn't get any entries for the October challenge to create the most cliche flash fiction piece, so I can't post any stories. I'm taking this month off to regroup and figure out how to drivemore people to the site so we can actually have challenges with contestants!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Challenge for October

Just a reminder: this month's challenge is a flash fiction piece that is just for fun! It's a "Bad Writing" challenge so write down your most cliche plot in 500 words or less! Remember "Bad Writing" in this case does not mean bad grammar, puntuation, and spelling. Think wacky, not tacky.

Send in your submissions by October 31st at midnight to pepperpress (at) hotmail (dot) com!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Author Interview: Jacob Donley

Interview with Jacob Donley

Tell me a little about yourself . . .

I'm from Central Illinois. I grew up on a farm with my 3 brothers and my sister. I've done the drive a tractor, pulling a plow through the field, bail hay, and show pigs and steers thing; So, I've done the real farmer thing. I grew up with it. I'm from a really small farm community that I didn't appreciate as much as I should have. I'd love to move back there some day soon. I was really big into sports and played football, basketball, and baseball all through high school, and I even played a year of football at Monmouth College. But, eventually, I moved on and graduated from Illinois State University with my Bachelor's degree in English. Currently, I'll be finishing up my Master's degree in Psychology in May '13.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

I enjoy the creation more than anything. I love being able to think up characters and these fantastical worlds that they live in. It's like reading your favorite book everyday, except you decide where they go and what they do.

What do you enjoy most about reading?

Reading is slightly different than writing. I think it is being able to explore someone else's world. Wanting to know what happens next but not being in control of that is just as fun as knowing where they're going to go. You fall in love with the characters and where they live and don't want to see that end.

Who was the most influential person in your life when you were younger?

I would have to say my grandparents. I spent a lot of time up at my grandpa and grandma's farm growing up (my dad's parents). I also did a lot of horseback riding with my mom's parents while I was growing up. We would spend two weeks every summer camping and horseback riding. It was some of the most fun I've ever hide in those two places, my grandparent's farm and horse back riding/camping.

Who is your favorite character of all time? Which book(s) did they come from and who wrote it?

Drizzt Do'urden is probably one my favorite characters of all time. He is a character of R.A. Salvatore's. He is the star in a lot of books from him. He is a dark elf that turns away from the evil ways of his people and goes to the surface to find a new life.

Why did you pick revenge as one of the themes for your flash fiction piece?

Revenge is one of the most powerfully passionate responses that a human can feel. Revenge is fueled by hate and can drive men/women to insanity; it can drive them when everything else fades away. It is the perfect response to the situation I created in "What a Piece of Jerky?"

Jacob Donly is a poet and author. He is hard at work perfecting his first novel, Shindarin Rising, but in the mean time you can check out his short stories and poetry:

Short stories:
Chronicles of a Rock Troll: New Beginning
Tracer's Lament
To Kill a King (The Worlds Traveler)

A Memory Road

For Pepper Press flash fiction challenges, he has written:
What a Piece of Jerky! (2012 Horror Flash Fiction Challenge)

Links to Jacob:





Friday, October 12, 2012

Author Interview: Thomas Winship

Interview with Thomas Winship

Tell me a little about yourself . . .
I’m a native New Yorker, living a little over an hour north of New York City. I have a BS in Business and an MBA in Management. I recently changed careers; after fifteen years in Corporate America—specializing in organizational development, talent management, and training—I moved into academe, where I now serve as MBA Director for a local college. I also teach courses in English Composition, Communications, and Business. And I write, of course …

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

There is no way to do justice to the feeling of creating something from nothing, except perhaps when you share the thing you created with other people and they enjoy it. Readers, in particular, are amazing. It’s pretty incredible to realize that I arrange words on paper (or in pixels) and strangers choose to read them.

What do you enjoy most about reading? 

Everything. The magic. The mystery. The unknown. The feel of a book in my hands. The excitement of opening to the first page and realizing that I'm about to embark on a brand new journey. I often explain my love of reading in similar ways: I don’t leave the house without a book. I go to Disney World and read while waiting in line. I do not have a DNF pile. When I was a child I used to sneak into the hallway after bedtime to read by the nightlight. The list of things I would rather do than read is very short. Very, very short. If left to my own devices—by which I mean stratagems, not data or other personal devices—I would read every moment while awake and play audio books while asleep. As it is, I try to read every day … although I don’t always live up to this while I’m writing.

Who was the most influential person in your life when you were younger?

My mother. For many reasons. High on that list is that she's the smartest person I've ever known, but she encouraged success without demanding it. Most importantly, she was a voracious reader who passed along her passion for the written word. 

 Who is your favorite character of all time? Which book(s) did they come from and who wrote it?

Wow! A tough choice, because there are so many characters I love. I guess I’ll cheat and say it’s a tie between Ridley Pearson’s Lou Boldt and Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhymes. Both characters have appeared in a number of books (although Pearson owes us a Boldt novel).

Why did you pick revenge as one of the themes for your flash fiction piece?

I didn't set out to use revenge (not I didn't seek revenge ... which is a horse of another color), but as the story came together, revenge just kind of slid neatly into place--like it was meant to be there all along! And, although the old saying claims that revenge is a dish best served cold ... I say that revenge lacks meat without heat. LOL That's pretty bad, but I've seen worse!

Thomas Winship is the author of the Vaempires series which include (so far):
Vaempires: Revolution
Vamepires: White Christmas
Vaempires: Zombie Rising (Coming Soon)

For Pepper Press flash fiction challenges, he has written:
Steak Special (2012 Horror Flash Fiction Challenge)

Links to Tom:

Amazon Author Page

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Broken Poll

Okay, I don't know what happened to the poll, but it broke or something and just completely disappeared, so I'll be featuring both Thomas Winship and Jacob Donley here in the next few weeks. Be sure to read their stories though, they are awesome!

Don't forget to enter the next challenge! This month is a "Bad Writing" contest. This can be in any genre, write the most cliche story you can in 500 words or less. Remember that "Bad Writing" in this case does not mean bad grammar, punctuation, ect. It is more for bad plot and bad characters. Think wacky--not tacky.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Entries: Read and Vote!

Take a look at the entries for the first Pepper Press flash fiction challenge!

As a reminder, the contestants were to write a flash fiction horror piece 500 words or less following the prompt: Somehow include cannibalism with oblivious diners (meaning a person or people who don't know they are eating human flesh).

Read both of them and vote for your favorite!

Steak Special by Thomas Winship

What a Piece of Jerky! by Jacob Donley

And now for this month's challenge! This month is a "Bad Writing" contest. This can be  in any genre, write the most cliche story you can in 500 words or less. Remember that "Bad Writing" in this case does not mean bad grammar, punctuation, ect. It is more for bad plot and bad characters. Think wacky--not tacky.

Submission Guidelines

Submission and Voting Calendar

What a Piece of Jerky! by Jacob Donley

What a Piece of Jerky! by Jacob Donley
I paused with the piece of half eaten beef jerky to my mouth. I felt like I was in the movie Alive. My plane has just crashed. Josh stood in the doorway with a big grin on his face.

“Tim, how are ya?”

“I’m doing ok. Just waitin’ for the host to show up.”

“Wait no longer. I have arrived.”

“You’re the host?”

“That’s right. I made some good stock market moves in the last five years.”

“Huh, whadoya know. Last time I saw you, you were workin’ the counter at Fat Burger, flippin’ me off.” I looked closer and could see the tailored suit now, the slicked back hair. He reminded me of a member of the Family in a bad mafia movie.

“It’s good to see you’re enjoying the snacks.”

I looked down at my beef jerky. “Ya, it’s not bad. The taste is a little different, but it does the job.”

“Well, as for the middle finger, I don’t hold grudges. It wouldn’t have worked out between me and her anyway.”

“Good, I’ve thought about it over the years, and it was bad taste.”

The smile on his face had actually gotten bigger since entering the room. He seemed to walk with a swagger. The clumsy teenager was gone, and the cocky businessman walked in those shoes now.

Josh reached into the small bowl of jerky and took a big bite out of the meat. He let out a small sigh. “It’s the best jerky I’ve ever had. I made this myself. I found the recipe in France of all places, such exotic foods there.”

“Sounds kind of artsy fartsy to me. It tastes ok though.”

“Good, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. It’s made from some of the most delicious meat in the world. Jerky is probably not the best way to serve this dish, but it works on short notice.”

“Oh really, what is it made of?”

“The woman that you stabbed me in the back with…my Ex.”

I looked down at the jerky. I looked up to see a miniature bat flying at my fac…

Like Jacob Donley's flash fiction? This is his first crack at it. He's also a poet and is working on finishing up his first novel, a fantasy titled Shindarin Rising. Check out what else he has going on at the links below!


Steak Special by Thomas Winship

Steak Special by Thomas Winship

Just as she had done, every Friday night, for the past five years, Katie delivered a rare steak to Principal Wilkins.

And, just as he had done, every Friday night, for the past five years, Principal Wilkins grabbed Katie’s ass and squeezed.

Katie hated Principal Wilkins more than she had hated any man, with the exception of her father, for running away and never looking back, and her stepfather, for doing what stepfathers ought not do.

Wilkins ate at the diner every weeknight. He always ordered the special. Friday’s special was always steak—“blood red ‘n’ rare,” as he liked it—with a side of slaw. It was the cheapest steak dinner in the county. Had been for the last twenty years.

Tonight, Katie was going to modify Wilkins’ steak special. She’d wind up in jail for it, no doubt, but that no longer mattered. She’d wind up there as soon as her mama found her stepfather’s butchered body—what was left of it, at least—cooling on the kitchen floor.

Principal Wilkins removed his paw so he could test his steak, but Katie stood at his side as if chained. The one time she had walked away before being released, the old bastard had exploded from his chair, sweeping the contents of the table onto the floor with one hand, while reaching out and grabbing her black ponytail with the other.

He had yanked the ponytail so hard that the back of Katie’s head had been sore for a week. Upon hearing the commotion, Pudge, the diner’s owner, had stormed out of the kitchen. He’d taken a long, hard look at the floor, Principal Wilkins, and the tears of pain streaming from Katie’s green eyes, before ordering Katie to clean the mess up and informing her that the damages were coming out of her check.

Katie had cleaned the floor, noting the rest of the diner’s occupants looking at her with accusations in their eyes.

She had never walked away again.

Wilkins sliced the steak in half and separated the sections. Blood oozed from the meat to pool on the cheap plate. It reminded Katie of the way the blood had oozed from her stepfather’s gut after she thrust the knife into it.

The bastard had been too fat for the knife to hit anything vital, forcing Katie to spend a bit of time slicing and carving into him before he died. She had almost been late for work, but it had proven inspirational.

Katie had decided to serve Wilkins one final steak—a special steak—before doing him like she’d done her stepfather. But now that the adrenaline had worn off, her arms were too weak.

Instead, she pulled the knife from her back pocket and forced Wilkins from his chair. She sat down, slicing off a piece of steak.

It was the gamiest steak she’d ever eaten. In fact, it didn’t taste like steak at all. Even the blood tasted wrong.

Katie ate it anyway.

Like Thomas Winship's Flash Fiction?  Check out his other works including Vaempires: Revolution, Vaempires: White Christmas and coming soon Vaempires: Zombie Rising!

Here are some links to him and his work!


Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Genre Flash Fiction Challenge #1

Genre Flash Fiction Challenge #1: Horror

The first Flash Fiction Challenge genre is Horror! To compete simply write a story up to 500 words in the Horror genre following the prompt:

Somehow include cannibalism with oblivious diners (meaning a person or people who don't know they are eating human flesh). Get creative and happy writing!

Email your submission to pepperpress (at) hotmail (dot) com.  See the Submission Page for more details on what to include in your submission.

Due by 11:59 pm eastern time on September 30, 2012.

Winners receive a web badge, feature interview on this blog, feature spot on the Winners Page, and if the winner has a book published a link to that book on Amazon on the right panel for at least three months.

Submissions are voted on by the general public for the first 15 days of the following month right here on The Pepper Press blog!