Article: Not written by me but worth a read: Ten Commandments of Social Media.
Article: Not written by me but worth a read: What do Editors do?
Award Nomination: My Shadowrun short story, “Locks and Keys,” from the Shadowrun Returns anthology has been nominated in the Best Short Story category for the Scribe Awards! Woo-Hoo!
Sale: I’ve sold my short story collection, Apocalypse Girl Dreaming, to Evil Girlfriend Media. I’m quite pleased with this.
Convention: I’m just back from Norwescon. As usual, I’m doing my list of ten. Seven of these are true.
1. I may or may not have met a person legally named Peter Pan.
2. I may or may not have had a panic attack at the Bless Your Mechanical Heart release party.
3. I may or may not have been randomly offered a condom.
4. I may or may not have signed so many books my arm hurt.
5. I may or may not have gotten a hangover.
6. I may or may not have plotted mayhem with Seanan McGuire.
7. I may or may not have convinced an artist to sell me a painting that was not for sale.
8. I may or may not have gone to bed by midnight each night of the convention.
9. I may or may not have been mistaken for someone else.
10. I may or may not have plotted murder at a Vorpal Games meeting.
Just a quick reminder, my latest anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media, BLESS YOUR MECHANICAL HEART, is out in the wild now and is getting awesome reviews. Cover art by Larry Dixon. There are some really awesome stories in this one.
I just love this cover.
REVIEW: My anthology, Coins of Chaos, was reviewed by The Nameless Zine. They liked it.
INTERVIEW: Sarna.net interviewed me about The Nellus Academy Incident.
ARTICLE: FlickFilosopher wrote an article about the TARDIS Little Free Library I have in front of my house.
COVER REVEAL #1: The Future Embodied anthology has revealed its final cover by the amazing Galen Dara. This has my story, "The Bathory Clinic Deal," in it.
COVER REVEAL #2: Evil Girlfriend Media reveals the cover for my anthology, Bless Your Mechanical Heart. The cover art is by the wonderful Larry Dixon!
COVER REVEAL #3: Baen Books has revealed the cover of my anthology, Shattered Shields, co-edited with Bryan Thomas Schmidt, by the talented Todd Lockwood.
I absolutely win the cover art game this week. I am happy dancing all over the place.
Is this not awesome? Larry Dixon talks about the artwork here. BLESS YOUR MECHANICAL HEART will be released in mid-April and will be available at Norwescon 37.
Interview: New Interview with me from Muse Hack.
TOC: SF Signal lists the table of contents for Shattered Shields, the military fantasy anthology from Baen Books edited by me and Bryan Thomas Schmidt. It will be released on 4 November 2014.
TOC: I’ve finished the story selection for Bless Your Mechanical Heart anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media and am in the process of writing up and sending out the story contracts. However, keep your eyes peeled on the EGM website for the official TOC and all that.
Cover art: New book cover for The Nellus Academy Incident, my YA Battletech novel and the story of how it came to be.
Open Call: Reminder that Apocalypse Ink Productions is open for linked novella queries for modern day dark speculative fiction.
Before I get into stuff. A couple of notes:
First, while I was at Convolution, I was quoted in an Examiner article about the convention. And they even got a picture of me smiling and looking tired. I enjoyed Convolution quite a bit. (Warning: the website is cluttered with ads.)
Second, I’ve got my first COINS OF CHAOS anthology review. It’s from Bitten By Books and the anthology got four tombstones. Not bad. Not bad at all. I can forgive them not getting my last name right.
I’m home from my last convention of the year. Really, I shouldn’t have gone to it but no use worrying about that now. I really am busy. But, at the same time, I know I can handle it. It just seems harder right now having just finished a ton of travel. Part of it is me fighting with the outline of KWC#4. Part of it was everyone asking me what all I still need to do this year.
I’ve looked at my list due by the end of the year and it is fine. I will just need to do a lot of head’s down work. There is actually not a whole lot to stress about. Plus, no more conventions again until April. Yay! (Yes, I have some travel but it is all FUN travel.)
I’m still completely in love with crocheting. I’ve discovered that crocheting at conventions is a great conversation starter if you're downstairs in the lobby waiting for someone. And it is a great way to decompress upstairs in the hotel room after a very loud party. This fourth cat blanket is actually looking like a blanket and not a mutant yarn thing. I’m pleased with myself.
So. Things left to do this year:
1. Finish Colonial Gothic: Roanoke supplement.
2. Read and select all stories for the unannounced anthology. Begin edits
3. Finish Karen Wilson Chronicles #4 outline and begin.
4. Finish over all polish of THE NELLUS ACADEMY INCIDENT book.
5. Submit various manuscripts to awards/various people by request.
See? Nothing too onerous.
Shannon Page is an author I have worked with off and on for years. She’s a consummate professional and I’m really looking forward to reading this anthology.
On the Crafting of An Anthology
Witches, Stitches & Bitches—A Three Little Words anthology, from Evil Girlfriend Media.
Three little words...three simple, innocent—well, okay, maybe not so innocent—evocative words.
When Evil Girlfriend Media publisher Katie Cord asked me if I wanted to edit one of her “Three Little Words” anthologies, I jumped at the chance. I love editing, and hadn’t had much chance to do it professionally. Better still, she let me choose which of the three I wanted to take on. Now, nothing against zombies or vampires, but I knew at once that the witch book was the one for me.
I’ve always identified with witches. I was born on Halloween night, so people delighted in telling me I was a little witch before I even knew what that meant. Of course, I went through a period (like so many girls) when I’d have much rather been a fairy princess; but I eventually got over that and embraced my intrinsic witchiness. I’m writing a series of novels starring a young witch in San Francisco (the Nightcraft Quartet, which begins publication next year with The Queen and The Tower). Even my LiveJournal handle has the word “witch” in it.
So that was a natural. But stitches and bitches? Not as much of a connection there. That’s okay, I figured; let’s see what stories come in. I imagined needlepoint and revenge fantasies.
But wow! Authors are creative! (I know: not exactly earth-shattering news.) I got such a flood of marvelous stories filled with so much imagination, I looked forward to my email inbox every day. We had knitting and surgery and zombies stitching on new limbs. Devious and clever women; bitchy witches; female dogs. And we even had needlepoint and revenge fantasies—but nothing like what I’d imagined.
I received nearly three times as many stories as I needed to fill out the collection—not bad for the very first offering of a brand-new publishing company, paying nowhere near professional rates. I read every story that came in, even the ones where I could tell from the start that they weren’t a good fit. I wanted to see where each story ultimately ended up. I wanted to be surprised—and, a few times, I was. To me, a good anthology is like the perfect smorgasbord: a little of everything; something for everyone. That’s why I like more open-ended themes; they give the authors room to explore, to show off that marvelous creativity of theirs.
Then came the painful process: winnowing them down. I had to reject some really good stories, including stories from friends...including stories I’d specifically requested from friends. (Fortunately, my friends being good people, they forgave me.) But I knew I wanted to put together the strongest group of stories possible. I selected for length and tone and style and subject matter. I wanted balance, and variety. As I mention in the book’s introduction:
“The sixteen stories collected here range from light to dark, fun to disturbingly spooky, and everything in between. We have retellings of fairy tales, modern edgy fantasies, stories of delicious revenge. We have romance, and some broken hearts. We even have a few tales by male authors, just to be inclusive.”
And when all was said and done...I think we ended up with an awesome book. I hope my readers agree!
I’m about to run off to a long family reunion / vacation thing. So, me on the internet might be scarce. Though, I always have Twitter and my phone. The cat / house sitter has the usual instructions to text me daily cat pictures and to spoil them rotten. In the meantime, here’s a link round-up: an interview, an announcement, a photo, a release!
First up, I was interviewed on Jim Knipp's blog.
Rogue Games has announced my book, Colonial Gothic: The Lost Colony.
David Mitchell and his brother did a horror photo based on my In a Gilded Light collection story “Finishing Touches.”
And a reminder that my Coins of Chaos anthology is released on Oct 15 while I'm away.
The quieter I am online, the more heads-down I am on a project. I’ve been working my butt off, knocking projects off my list left and right. Mostly, it’s been KEYSTONES, Karen Wilson Chronicles book 3 and Shattered Shields, a Baen anthology I’m co-editing with Bryan Thomas Schmidt. I’m on the final push of the anthology. After I finish that, I’m going to be working on Colonial Gothic: Roanoke.
There’s also a couple of things I’m working on that are under NDA that are super exciting but definitely not sharable right now. Someday. Hopefully someday soon. I’m pretty jazzed about one in particular that’s come about because I was the GoH of GothCon 2013. Sometimes, I live in a state of total, constant amazement.
I’m also doing things like volunteering with the HWA and also volunteering at the local Boys & Girls Club on creating/running their haunted house. It’s not writing work but its good work nonetheless.
With Lily shifting to her own amazing, awesome work, I did hire a new minion—Chris Ward—who will be referred to as The Minion or Chris or Chris the Minion depending on my mood at the time. Pretty happy about this. He will be working for me and for Apocalypse Ink Productions.
Now that it is October, the month of All Hallows Read, I’d like to recommend a couple of scary books for you.
IN A GILDED LIGHT by me. It gave the first five reviewers nightmares.
FAMISHED: THE FARM by Ivan Ewert. Gentlemen ghouls from the creation of the US.
DARK HARVEST by Norman Partridge. A wonderfully creepy book.
AMERICAN ELSEWHERE by Robert J Bennett. It’s very much like Stephen King meets Lovecraft. So worth a read.
Charity: CALLER UNKNOWN by ME is included in the BUNDLE OF HOLDING +5 to benefit Defenders of Wildlife and the Wikimedia Foundation. Only three days left to get an awesome bundle of ebooks and help out two charities.
Announcement: "Dreams of a Thousand Young" will be in Jazz Age Cthulhu. Yes I know I'm late on posting this.
Funded: The Sheynan trilogy by Dylan Birtolo, to be published by Apocalypse Ink Productions, has been funded. New stretch goals have been plotted out.
Kickstater: Broken Eye Books has a kickstarter that now includes a critique from me: $75 level - BROZEK CRITIQUE: Everything included in the WEIRD LOVE reward, plus you receive a critique from Jennifer Brozek of either a story up to 5,000 words of text or a novel synopsis and query. 1 of 2 is already taken.