Rick Novy Talks About The Princess

Remember how Rick Novy (editor of the 2020 Visions anthology) was writing up a brief piece on each person in the anthology and why he picked their story? Well, today is my day and Rick says some very lovely things, both about me and “Pocket Full of Posey”. I won’t spoil it for you — Click on over there and check it out.

I always love hearing the whys and wherefores behind stories and the reasons editors choose them. One can never have enough insight.

There’s your challenge for the day — go be insightful!

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Cover for Shroud #9

The cover for Issue #9 Beautiful art by Tom Brown! Design, layout and editing by Danny Evarts. It’s creepy and gorgeous all at the same time. And green, which is my favorite color, so no complaints from me. No sirree Bob.

The funny part is that when I first saw the cover, my eye immediately landed on Lon Prater‘s name. Dear Lon is a longtime friend and fellow Codex Writer. He’s a brilliant poet and not-too-shabby cake chef. He shares another ToC with me this year — in the Dark Faith anthology.

And the first thing I thought was, “That darn Lon gets his name on the cover of the Shroud magazine OF COURSE. Figures I don’t even get a mentio–”

And then I saw the right-hand side of the cover.

Ah. Oh. Uh-huh. Nevermind.I’ll shut up now.

But I still can’t wait to check out what Lon’s got. I’m a big fan.

You can purchase Shroud issue 9 directly from their website (pick up a subscription), or keep an eye on your local newsstand!

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B&D Available on Smashwords

You kids and your newfangled contraptions…

Thanks to a dutiful Google Alert, I am happy to report that Beauty & Dynamite is available on Smashwords. Check it out here — it lets you read the first bunch of pages for free (score!), but you have to pay (thank you) a mere $2.99 to read the rest. No fancy reader needed; it will display right on your desktop. Voila. Magic.

Looks like you can pick up Harlan County Horrors as well. What a bargain!

(okay…does one “pick up” a book if one downloads the electronic format? Grumblegrumble whippersnappers.)

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2020 Visions ToC

Rick Novy has posted the Table of Contents for his 2020 Visions anthology:

1. Mary Robinette Kowal – Birthright
2. Sheila Finch – The Persistence of Butterflies
3. Randy Henderson – A Shelter for Living Things
4. Jason S. Ridler – Showing Light
5. Ernest Hogan – Radiation is Groovy, Kill the Pigs
6. David Lee Summers – The Revelation of Thought
7. Jeff Spock – Teh Afterl1fe (This is not a typo – Rick)
8. Emily Devenport – If the Sun’s at Five O’Clock, It Must be Yellow Daisies
9. Cat Rambo – Therapy Buddha
10. Jack Mangan – Dead Rookies
11. David Boop – Organ Cloning While You Wait
12. Spencer Ellsworth – The Black Plague of Our Generation
13. Gareth L. Powell – The Bigger The Star, The Faster It Burns
14. Alethea Kontis – Pocket Full of Posey
15. Alex Wilson – Nervewrecking
16. David Gerrold – Time Capsule 2120: Actual Comments from Lunar Tourists

I *just* missed making the lucky 13 slot!  I couldn’t be more honored to be in this amazing company of writers. Aren’t familiar with their names? That’s okay — over on Rick’s blog he is spotlighting one author a day for two weeks. (Week one is already posted.) He talks about the author, who they are, and a little bit about their story (without being spoileriffic). It’s a great way to gear up for the publication!

More updates (cover, release date, etc) as events warrant.

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Contributing to the Lunacy of Minors

Back in July, a bunch of Apex authors received an email from Jason Sizemore outlining another one of his crazy schemes. He was all excited, jumping up and down (one can imagine), frothing at the mouth (one supposes), and going on and on about how great this e-anthology he’s come up with is going to be. He’s offering nickles for reprints and dimes for originals, but it’s going to be available almost instantly for pennies. The stories have to be horror, just horror, no other constraints. It will be a great avenue for promoting Apex and her authors (I always think of that Alien Head as the Queen) and please send Jason something by the end of the month, thanks.

I chuckled as I closed the email and set it on the back burner. I write fairy tales and dark fantasy and the occasional ghost story, but I’ve never just written horror. Hmmm.

I told the Fairy Godfamily about Jason’s email on the way to the beach for the 4th of July weekend. I heard a similar “Hmmm” from Ariell in the backseat. She and I had previously discussed doing a collaboration. Perhaps this might be the venue? I told her I’d forward her the details when we got home. Perhaps we could think of something.

Two days later, Ariell and Kassidy and I were lying on sandy beach towels in massive amounts of pain, having been stung by stupid jellyfish. Tomo, who skedaddled when we spotted the first jelly, was attempting to distract us with a story of some girl in high school who got crapped upon by a seagull and was called an unfortunate name (think “craphead”, only worse) for the rest of term.

“We could write a story about a boy who gets crapped on by a seagull and then kills everyone who laughs at him,” I thought aloud. “A summer teen slasher short story. Why not?”

“You could kill all the kids from Awesome Porch,” offered Kassidy, who is never at a loss for victims.

“I could write the death scenes,” said Ariell, who knows my weakness when it comes to writing. I just don’t get gory.

“We’ll call it ‘Life’s a Beach,'” I said. I pulled out my little yellow notebook and we all decided who should die and how. Ariell took the notes and emailed me the death scenes when we got home. Then she hounded me for days asking if I had finished the story…because Ariell knows all my weaknesses when it comes to writing.

I finished it. For her. We read it aloud to Kassidy, who approved. We sent it off to Jason and crossed our fingers. He responded, highly amused at what we’d done and said it would be perfect for the anthology.

The last time I spoke to Jason, he didn’t even have a title for the anthology yet. I guess he got one quick — Apexology: Horror — as well as a cover, ’cause it went on sale yesterday. Go on, order it. Support Ariell’s first professional sale! For only $2.99, you download a .zip file with all the epub fonts and pdfs your little heart desires. Scanning the ToC, I’m not sure which stories are originals and which are reprints, thought I recognize a few. All I can tell you is, if you’re up for a silly teen slasher story, the one Ariell and I wrote is definitely worth $2.99 all by itself.

Thanks, guys. And congratulations Ariell!

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Poetry and the Padawan

So here’s what happened:

Rich Ristow put together a poetry chapbook called These Apparitions, containing poems written in the style of Ezra Pound or William Carlos Williams. He accepted submissions and completed the chapbook…and then the project moved to a different publisher (Needfire Press). With the move to Needfire came a bonus: the book will now be available on major websites (like Amazon) and not just the publisher’s site. It also came with a caveat: the chapbook needed to be 20 pages longer to meet Needfire’s publishing requirements.

My lovely friend Kevin Lucia was already part of the poetry chapbook. When he found out about the need for more content, he sent the word out to those of us in his address book who might be inclined to participate in such a venture.

The pay was minimal, but poetry has always been a love of mine, so I figured: What the heck? Give it a shot! I scribbled something down, Rich got back to me quickly with his comments, and we worked to make an acceptable poem out of my concept. It was a wonderful experience…and one I thought would be fabulous to share with Ariell Branson — my student, Padawan, and co-author of “Life’s a Beach” (more on that later). I encouraged Ariell to submit to the chapbook, for the experience if nothing else. (Rich is very generous with his feedback.)

What emerged was far more than I expected. That damn girl’s a natural…it kid of makes me sick. She’s a breeze at cover letters, she shrugs at rejection, and when Rich gave her guidance and asked her to write another poem she did. TWICE. He accepted her third entry. I didn’t even help on that one. She did it all by herself.

So THAT’S what happened.

I am proud to say I will now be sharing a ToC with Kevin Lucia AND Ariell Branson, along with a laundry list of many other talented genre poets. These Apparitions will be released in September or October. It’s not up on Amazon yet, but keep an eye on the Needfire website for updates. I’ll also be posting the information here as soon as I know it.

Hip, hip, hooray! Thank you, Kevin. And congratulations, Ariell!

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My PW Star, in the flesh

Here’s the review in full.

They got my name, the title, and the ISBN right this time. AND a star. I really couldn’t be happier.


AlphaOops: H is for Halloween

Alethea Kontis, illus. by Bob Kolar, Candlewick, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3966-2
In a raucous follow-up to AlphaOops! The Day Z Went First, chaos ensues when the letters of the alphabet put on a disorderly stage production about Halloween. Z insists that H kick things off, and the letters show off their costumes–G is a goblin, V a vampire–except for B, whose buccaneer and blackbird ideas are stolen by P (a pirate) and C (a crow). The letters appear in correct order along the bottom of the pages, but with a surplus of witty asides, the emphasis is on fun. Ages 4–8. (July)

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Dragon*Con Schedule

My schedule is light this year, which is kind of nice. Means I get to do more walking around and sightseeing. Woohoo!

Also, don’t forget, I’m always in the parade Saturday morning at 10am, walking with the Sherrilyn Kenyon Vampire Squad. What we vampires are doing AWAKE at 10am is another discussion entirely…

Title: Interview With Sherrilyn Kenyon
Description: An hour with the author of the “Dark-Hunter” and “The League” series. There will be a special appearance by Kinley MacGregor.
Time: Sat 04:00 pm Location: Regency VI – VII – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel

Title: Dragon*Autographs
Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: M301 – M304 – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)

Title: The Beast Within
Description: Werewolves and other shapeshifters.
Time: Sun 08:30 pm Location: Cairo – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

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Princess Star

We’re back from the weekend and I’m tired and achy again, and the post office still isn’t delivering our mail and the Internet is down again (what is the matter with you, FIOS? You’re usually so awesome! This is madness!).

But I don’t care, cause I got a starred review in Publishers Weekly. I’ll post a copy of it when I’m not blogging from my phone. It runs this week, so look it up if you can get your hands on a copy.

I have wanted a starred review my whole life. I came so close with the first Alphaoops…and here I am! Squeeeee!

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LEGENDS 4 Now Available for Preorder

It’s here! It’s here! Well…almost.

Click here to preorder Legends of the Mountain State 4: More Ghostly Tales From the State of West Virginia.

It’s an honor to be in this anthology — reportedly the last in Michael Knost’s successful West Virginia regional ghost series. My story is called “Blue & Gray and Black & Green” and is based on the haunted residence of General Jenkins, also known as Green Bottom.

This is a ghost story of a different color for me (ha! No pun intended, but it’s hilarious just the same) as I had certain limitations. I could not refer to any persons living or dead (with the exception of General Jenkins, obviously, and even that only in passing or obscure reference). There is also a considerable LACK of information on Green Bottom on the internet (beyond a couple of paranormal investigators and those who have copied & pasted from their observations). To make matters worse, the US Army Corps of Engineers shut down Green Bottom a few years ago for renovations, and it’s still not open, so GOING to the actual site and taking a tour was also out of the question.

Luckily, my Google-Foo is strong, and I uncovered an obscure brilliant archaeological video special all about the house. I took notes frantically, like a mad collegiate edging for a 4.0. While I could have written the story without it, being intimate with the long history of the house and the surrounding area made the story–and the characters–all the more real for me…and hopefuly, will for the reader as well.

So how is this story different? It is not your typical haunting. Instead it asks: Who haunts the haunts? The story gets the first part of its title from the area’s well-known and colorful (!) Civil War history. The second part of the title refers to Green Bottom herself, and the black, malevolent presence that has infested its walls…

I am super excited about this anthology (this has been the Year of Anthologies, hasn’t it?). Woodland Press is taking pre-orders now and books will ship by Oct. 18th, 2010, the same week as the national release of “Legends of the Mountain State 4” at the West Virginia Book Festival, Oct. 16 – 17th, held at the Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, WV. Be sure to preorder a copy…and at the very least, click through to check out my awesome ToC (table of contents, Mom) mates.

It’s never to early to get your scare on!

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