Holy Crap we got a Cover!!

by Dan Stout in

I couldn’t be happier to share this incredible cover with the world. I mean, c’mon: just look at it. It’s got FACE MANDIBLES!!

Titanshade front cover LOW RES.jpg

Carter's a homicide cop in Titanshade, an oil boomtown where 8-tracks are state of the art, disco rules the radio, and all the best sorcerers wear designer labels. It's also a metropolis teetering on the edge of disaster.

Chris McGrath’s art is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the team at DAW Books did an amazing job of capturing the grit and decay that permeates the city of Titanshade.

The cover will be popping up soon in places like Goodreads and Amazon, (where it's already available for pre-order).  And of course it will be available in bookstores, libraries, or whatever your favorite story-swapping location might be.

Every day brings us closer to the March 12th, 2019 launch, and I’m continually stunned by how much fun (and work) each step of the process is. Whether you’re new to Titanshade or have been following along since the beginning: Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and sharing in the story!

If you want to make sure you get all book-ish updates as they happen, be sure to click on that Mailing List link.

by Dan Stout

Week 5 of #Debut19Chat

by Dan Stout





Day 26

Currently reading: QUEENPIN, by Megan Abbott. A brilliant, calculating gangster. Her protege. And the male fatale who carries destruction behind sorrowful eyes. I could quote my favorite lines, but I'd just end up re-typing the whole thing.


Day 28

Currently working on the sequel to TITANSHADE. 

My *completely unrelated* side project is screaming obscenities at my computer monitor while rocking back and forth in my chair, fingers clawing at my tear-stained cheeks.

Day 30 

Other places to find me!

Web:  DanStout.com 
Mailing List:  bit.ly/2PRYL5k 
BookBub: bookbub.com/profile/dan-stout
Curious Fictions: curiousfictions.com/authors/34-dan-stout
Twitter: @DanStout
Patreon: patreon.com/DanStout 
IG:  instagram.com/danstoutwriter/ 
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/7938095.Dan_Stout
Amazon: amazon.com/author/danstout 
Butt: InChair

If you're local to Columbus, OH, you can also find me teaching the Story Structure & Business of Fiction class at the Columbus Idea Foundry!

Day 31:
Final Day!
Thanks to everyone in #DebutAuthors19 - so great to learn more about the amazing debut authors of 2019! TITANSHADE's cover art hasn't been released yet, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon.
And it's also on Goodreads.

by Dan Stout

Learning my Lines: Earning the Emotional Beat

by Dan Stout in ,


One of the most powerful tools available to writers is to read and study the work of those who have gone before. For me, hand copying and examination can reveal the techniques of another author and help me advance my own craft. I've written up some of these observations to share with other readers & writers.


Okay, I recently read Edgar Cantero's Meddling Kids. There's SO MUCH great stuff in this book, but today I want to highlight one passage in particular that jumped out at me, and see if we can peek under the hood to see why it works.  


"Tomorrow, Tim, we'll be in Blyton Hills. You know what that is?"
She scratched his head, their eyes locked and perfectly level, and Tim listened closely.
"You've never been there, but your great-grandfather had. It's the best place in the world," she told him. "A very little town in a valley filled with summer homes, not like those shitty plastic suburbs, but with cute gardens and really old trees, where not yuppies, nor rednecks, but real nice people live. And all around it, in every direction, and the green mantle of woods, miles and miles of... adventure."
Her sight, and Tim's, and strayed into the stars.
"Mountains to climb and creeks to cross in every spot. Swamps where you can build rafts, and caves to take shelter in when it rains, and old mills and barns where hand-wringing bad guys think of their plots, and lakes with monsters, and haunted houses where pirates used to live."
She paused. Tim nose-prodded her like she was a music box that had stopped playing.

This section comes after a lengthy road trip, in a bit of a narrative pause, as the main characters have assembled and are about to enter into the next phase of their story. It's certainly Cantero talking to the audience, as much as it's about the characters expressing their own sense of wonder.

The interesting thing is why is works so well. This direct stating of fact and theme is pulled off because the characters have gone through so much heartache and trouble to get to this spot. The speaker, Andy, in particular has been through a lot, and has been the primary driver in reuniting the gang and returning them to their childhood haunts. She's picked up physical and emotional scars getting this far, and her moment of reflection (with Tim, a dog, who can't speak or judge) feels like a reward to her and the reader, while also serving as a promise of where the story is headed next. 

It's this sense of earned honesty combined with wonder and anticipation that makes this section sing. Truthfully, I'm not even sure it will seem striking if you haven't seen it in the context of the full book. 

But it damn well works if you have.



Edit:  Interestingly, Jason Sheehan chose the same excerpt to lead his NPR review of Meddling Kids.

And for another Meddling Kids review, check out this one from Sarah Hans


by Dan Stout

Week 1 of #Debut19Chat

by Dan Stout


I'm excited and proud to have my novel Titanshade coming out in 2019, and I'm consistently astounded by the quality of the other debut works I've seen. 

As a way to get to know each other and to put us in touch with readers, a group of 2019 Debut Authors have banded together to answer a series of questions on social media. 

Here are my responses for Week 1.


1) Introduce yourself

I'm Dan Stout, and I write quirky noir fiction of all flavors, from gritty crimes to magic-rich worlds and even shakedowns on a middle-school playground.

I'm very excited to be part of #DebutAuthors19 & #Debut19Chat ! My fiancee and I have 2 ridiculous mammals: Greta & Pixar.




2) Introduce your Novel

TITANSHADE is a noir fantasy thriller set in an oil boomtown where 8-tracks are state of the art, disco rules the radio, & all the best sorcerers wear designer labels. 
It's Men In Black meets Chinatown, it's ridiculously fun, and I can't wait to share it with everyone!


3) Your Journey: Years, Tears, Cheers

#Debut19Chat Day3 The Journey
In 2014 I lost my job during the holidays. I sent out resumes by day & stocked shelves at Toys'R'Us till 6am to pay the bills. I'd had a total of two stories published, w/no prospects for more. Out of the blue, I received an email from Nat Sobel.

He'd enjoyed one of my stories, & offered to look at my first chapters if/when I had a novel. He made no promises, but that gave me something to latch on to. Every night I listened to podcasts on craft as I organized Transfomers & Monster High displays, & every day I kept writing.

Today, I'm represented by Sobel Weber, and TITANSHADE comes out from DAW Books in March. I wrote my book, but it's my agent & my editor, my fiancee & friends, and all the other writers forming a support network who helped see it to completion. And that definitely includes the folks in #Debut19Chat!


4) How has your Life Changed

The biggest change is that I wake up so damn excited to start the day. 
Writing to contract comes with its own set of challenges, but man... there's nothing like the feeling of opening your eyes and knowing that today you'll get to tell a story.

by Dan Stout

Guest Blog: Researching Recent History

by Dan Stout in


Delighted to announce that I have a guest post up at Catherine Schaff-Stump's "Fantastic History" blog. 

When I started writing TITANSHADE I found out that turning up the details that would sell a specific era was trickier than I expected. Check out my guest post and get a glimpse into the weird and sometimes frustrating world of researching 1970s era nightlife and police procedures.  

Researching Recent History 

Huge thanks to Catherine Schaff-Stump for letting me share this story!

by Dan Stout

"Sin Titulo" in the June issue of Intergalactic Medicine Show

by Dan Stout in

My story "Sin Titulo" is in the latest issue of Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show

It's about summer, friendship, teenage crushes, and a devil in a ten-gallon hat. 

I like this story quite a bit, and I'm glad to share it with a wider audience. And I'm even happier that this gorgeous illustration by Nick Greenwood is accompanying it. 

Hop over to IGMS to read a preview, and subscribe to read the full story and a year's worth of episodes!

Illustration: Nick Greenwood

Illustration: Nick Greenwood

(If you'd like updates whenever a new story goes live, click here to join my mailing list.)

by Dan Stout

Columbus Arts Fest Reading

by Dan Stout in

Arts fest 2018.JPG

Thanks to everyone who braved the intimidating clouds and made it to the Columbus Arts Fest in time to see an aging nerd read a story.

Public readings are still new to me, and I find them to be a strange blend of fun and deeply terrifying. Kind of like getting on a poorly-maintained fair ride operated by a carnie with meth teeth.

by Dan Stout