ReaderCON 28

This is my Readercon 28 (2017) Conference update.  The latest posts are at the top, so start at the bottom to get the full picture. 

No. I don’t know why I do it that way. 

Sunday, July 16th 11:05 PM

Final thoughts-Readercon was the first writing conference I ever attended, starting 8 years ago. I have met so many inspirational people, made so many friends. The Con is changing–and that is a good thing. There were many more younger writers in attendance this year than I remember from years past. There were a few more panels on horror this year–a testament to the resurgence of that genre.  Multiple writing groups were reciting their art (and I want to join them all), and overall there is a greater sense of inclusiveness.  It’s not perfect, but it is better.

I think the management team has done wonders with their code of conduct and safety regs. in the years since the “troubles” and I hope Readercon will continue to enforce its stated safety policies.

Above all, continuing the thought-provoking conversations and ideas brought up in literature is the fundamental joy of this conference for me. In the nearly ten years I’ve been attending, I feel personally that I’ve grown and learned…and continue to ask questions.

My late father used to say “every day you learn something is a good day.”

Before I close the post for 2017, I wanted to say a special thanks to a couple people who make Readercon amazing for me every year. My Guinness pal, Glenn Skinner, along with Melissa Burkart and Deanna Rice. The most wonderful James & Kathy Morrow, who have been mentors and an inspiration for some time, and Scott Edelman who is charming, funny and full of energy.

This year especially I loved chatting with Liz Hand, Paul Tremblay, Peter Straub, John Langan, Eric Mulder, Cam Roberson, The Boston Speculative Fiction Writers and the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers…

So many others.

I missed a few people who couldn’t make it this year–namely Peter Dube, Yves Meynard and Allen Steele specifically.

I know I’m waxing on ad infinitum, but when I finally hit “post,” it means the end of ReaderCon 28.

“All Good Things,” I guess…

Bring on Readercon 29. See you at Boskone 55 and StokerCon2018…

Peace,

RBWood

Sunday, July 16th 11:05 PM

7:35 PM Munching on the traditional post-ReaderCON Chinese takeaway, my lovely wife by my side, it’s time for the final notes for The last day of Readercon…

Grimlight: Life after Grimdark Martin Cahill (leader), John Kessel, Alena McNamara, Nnedi Okorafor, Wes RistGrimdark stories in fantasy and science fiction openly deal with themes of abuse, war, pain, and death. These themes can be used to revitalize one-dimensional genres in which heroes have unrealistically easy adventures, but over time, readers may nd that all the destruction and misery becomes debilitating or boring. Grimlight fiction, a term coined by Emily Wagner in late 2016, strikes a balance between acknowledging life’s sorrows and finding sources of optimism. Guest of Honor Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death and Max Gladstone’s Craft sequence certainly don’t shy away from the bleakness and tragedy of life, but the characters and readers can stare into the heart of the bleakness and still come out with hope. This panel will examine stories that balance pain with cheer and perhaps take a stab at constructing a first draft of a grimlight canon.

An interesting panel discussion that–instead of drafting a definition of “Grimlight”–came up with a total of five nuanced genre’s within the Grimdark umbrella. I still feel that these genre definitions are applied “after the fact” by some marketing dude somewhere…I think writing is a product of the times. Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence, for example, was a direct result of the fear felt during the “Great Recession” of the last decade.

Shirley Jackson Awards

(From the SJA Website): In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.

NOVEL

Winner: The Girls, Emma Cline (Random House)

Finalists

  • Foxlowe, Eleanor Wasserberg (Fourth Estate-UK/Penguin Books-US)
  • I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Iain Reid (Gallery/Scout)
  • Lily, Michael Thomas Ford (Lethe)
  • Mongrels, Stephen Graham Jones (William Morrow)
  • The Wonder, Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown)

NOVELLA

Winner: The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com)

Finalists:

  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com)
  • Maggots,” Nina Allan (Five Stories High)
  • Muscadines, S.P. Miskowski (Dunhams Manor)
  • The Sadist’s Bible, Nicole Cushing (01 Publishing)
  • The Warren, Brian Evenson (Tor.com)

NOVELETTE

Winner: “Waxy,” Camilla Grudova (Granta))

Finalists:

  • “Andy Kaufman Creeping Through the Trees,” Laird Barron (Autumn Cthulhu)
  • “Angel, Monster, Man,” Sam J. Miller (Nightmare Magazine)
  • “Breaking Water,” Indrapramit Das (Tor.com)
  • “The Night Cyclist,” Stephen Graham Jones (Tor.com)
  • “Presence,” Helen Oyeyemi (What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours)

SHORT FICTION

Winner: “Postcards from Natalie,” Carrie Laben (The Dark)

Finalists:

  • “Animal Parts,” Irenosen Okojie (Speak, Gigantular)
  • “The Apartments,” Karen Heuler (Other Places)
  • “Postcards from Natalie,” Carrie Laben (The Dark)
  • “Red,” Katie Knoll (Masters Review)
  • “Things With Beards,” Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld)

SINGLE-AUTHOR COLLECTION

Winner: A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer Press)

Finalists:

  • Almost Insentient, Almost Divine, D.P. Watt (Undertow)
  • Furnace, Livia Llewellyn (Word Horde)
  • Greener Pastures, Michael Wehunt (Shock Totem)
  • We Show What We Have Learned, Clare Beams (Lookout)

EDITED ANTHOLOGY

Winner: The Starlit Wood, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe (Saga Press)

Finalists:

  • Autumn Cthulhu, edited by Mike Davis (Lovecraft eZine Press)
  • The Madness of Dr. Caligari, edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (Fedogan and Bremer )
  • Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories, edited by Kelsi Morris and Kaitlin Tremblay (Exile Editions)
  • An Unreliable Guide to London, edited by Kit Caless and Gary Budden (Influx Press)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARD to Ruth Franklin in recognition of the biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life.

Congrats to all the winners & finalists!

Sororal Friendships in Fantasy Greer Gilman, Naomi Novik, Julia Rios (leader), Tui Sutherland, Fran Wilde.

One of the central relationships in Guest of Honor Naomi Novik’s novel Uprooted is between the heroine and her best friend. Agnieszka and Kasia were raised together and have a deep bond that is explored throughout the novel. This depiction of female friendship is unusual in fantasy fiction and gave rise to much discussion (and no small amount of fan c from fans who either wanted to see more of the friendship or felt it ought to have been a romance). This panel explores sororal friendships in fantasy and the ways they can alter or comment on familiar tropes such as the maiden in the tower and the questing band of brothers.

Kaffeeklatsch – James Morrow & Steve Berman

It’s always good to see Jim and to hear about his latest and greatest works in progress (he had read from Lazarus is Waiting just the other day). However, the ‘klatsch became a serious discussion of gender tropes and marginalized people (with via skin color, sexual orientation, what have you)in the industry. This stemmed from the announcement of the “13th Doctor” to be played by Jodie Whittaker and the subtle inference of lesbianism in the recent “Wonder Woman” movie. Passions blossomed in this discussion. As a Heterosexual white middle-aged male, it was inferred that I could not understand nor celebrate the diversity in both the BBC choice of Doctor nor the lake of a sexualized Wonder Woman. However, as neurologically challenged, handicapped person, I certainly have experienced significant bias and marginalization first hand in the past two years. No, I’ll never know what it’s like to be a gay man nor a woman in a society that seems to negate both, but as a writer, I feel I have to at least try and understand these feelings and my friend’s perspectives.

Needless to say…it was a lively discussion. And I never got my Jim Morrow books signed.

Saturday, July 15th 10:40 PM (Saturday Part 2)

10:40ish PM The evening is done as is day 3. I can not believe the con is almost over at this point. A couple panels and a marvelous group reading to report on, so let’s get to it!

A Technology Not Traveled Inanna Arthen, John Chu, Chris Gerwel, Jeff Hecht, Sioban Krywicki

Alternate history and historical fantasy often engage with technologies that once seemed like the way of the future: airships, clockwork, mechanical computing. There’s a certain dreamy wonder around many modern depictions of early industrial inventions. Why are we fascinated with what became technological dead ends? There are many magical fantasies where wizards can’t use computers; is this a different expression of the same anxieties about modern gadgets? Is there really a possible timeline where clockwork became ascendant while electronics never took off, or is it all just an excuse for some gorgeous cosplay?

Deep Time Glenn Grant, Jeff Hecht, Sioban Krzywicki (leader), Tom Purdom, Vandana Singh, Ian Strock

With so many planets discovered in “habitable zones” around other stars, why haven’t we encountered evidence of other civilizations? Could it just be a matter of scale? Civilization is short, while space and time are vast, so perhaps we simply haven’t overlapped with alien civilizations yet? The universe is vastly old and we’ve only been able to detect some possible forms of transmissions from other civilizations for less than a century? Alistair Reynolds has explored the idea that the slowing of time at relativistic speeds could enable civilizations to meet one another. Panelists will discuss this enticing possibility and what we might find in the far, far future.

REALLY interesting discussions around time travel, relativistic speeds, impact on societies and the definition of ‘civilization.’

Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers Group Reading

Marcy Arlin, Adanze Asante, S.A. Chakraborty, Teri Clarke, Randee Dawn, Elliotte Harold, Puloma Mukherjee, Bradley Robert Parks, J.M. Plumbley, Cameron Roberson, Sam Schreiber, Essowe Tchalim, Marcus Tsong

 

 

 

 

12 snippets in an hour. An incredibly wide range of story beginnings, and I wanted to hear how they all ended! A very active group that makes me miss New York. They are also the producers of the most marvelous Kaleidocast which they are running a kickstarter for their second season

 

Saturday, July 15th 1:55 PM (Saturday Part 1)

1:55 PM Going to try and breakup the notes for day into a couple of parts so it makes it a bit easier and (quite frankly) I’ve been invited to have a few adult bevies with a couple horror writers whose work I enjoy.  It’s always nice to find folks with the same irreverent sense of humor you employ on a daily basis!

But that’s pretty much true of all the people I hang out with at ReaderCON…and my wife’s wit and jokes fit right into that mold as well.

But I digress.  Here’s a bit about the morning:

The Life-Changing Magic of Outlining Your Novel. Daryl Gregory, Elaine Isaak (leader), Yoon Lee, Mark Oshiro, Terence Taylor

Developing a novel outline can be nearly as complex a process as writing the novel itself. Our panel of plotters will discuss the many techniques they’ve used for developing the skeletons of books, and consider which outline creation skills and tools lend themselves to particular genres and styles of writing. Hybrid methods of outlining and making decisions on the y will also be discussed.

This was an amazingly fun panel, for a) a dry subject and b) 10:00 AM. And it wasn’t all “Scrivener is great go buy it!”

One of my difficulties post-strokes has been the organization and mapping out of complex plotting. Short stories up to 6 or 7k words is one thing. Whereas I used to be able to keep all the elements of a 100k novel in my head, my brain just doesn’t work that way anymore. So I’m finding whatever workarounds I can to makeup for the damaged noggin.

I wasn’t disappointed. Yes, Scrivener was discussed. So was the use of MS Word (with macros) and MS Excel. But Mind-mapping, the “Snowflake method” and even the old fashioned use of index cards to create pert diagrams were discussed. I have a lot of notes and things to try once I’m back home.

Reading – Scott Edelman

I’ve enjoyed Scott’s work since I was old enough to really pay attention to the writing credits on Marvel comics. His writing is descriptive and fun, and his storylines are very interesting and many times surprising. He read (and then signed a copy for me) from his latest zombie collection of novellas called Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them. He read from the first story in the collection (Only Humans can Lie) which is the story of Tim, owner of a vegan restaurant in a small southern town during the beginnings of the zombie apocalypse.

It’s always good to see Scott, and I know he recorded a few episodes of his podcast Eating the Fantastic (no, it’s not a zombie podcast) while at ReaderCON. He interviews various writer’s during lunch, breakfast or other meal. I know he was chatting with James Patrick Kelly…and another show with George RR Martin is around the corner as well.

Kaffeeklatsch – Paul Tremblay

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the closet I’ve ever been to a hangout-klatsch. Paul was relaxed, despite and evening of hoops and chats that ended around 3:00 AM. We discussed his upcoming book The Four which he read from yesterday, some of the thoughts and insight from bothHead Full of Ghosts and Devil’s Rock and Vampires with fangs coming out of their eyes (in fairness to Paul, that last bit was John Langan’s fault).

 


 

Friday, July 14th 11:50 PM

Wow. It’ll be past midnight when I finally get to bed. Eighteen hours of personal ReaderCON goodness to report on so let’s get to it:

6:00 AM Dear Alarm Clock: Suck it.

5:50 AM The Caffeine is racing through the system. Showered. checked into social media and will write for a couple hours. Finalizing my selectionsfor the panels, readings and kaffeeklatsches  I will be attending. Thinking about a few people I won’t see at the con this year for various reasons–miss them (Peter Due, Yves Maynard, Allen Steele, Mike & Anita Allen, Shira & Adam Lipkin).

But there will be others to see…and new friendships to make. The Thursday night program is the free portion of the convention. Friday morning is when things really get moving in earnest.

One more sip of coffee, double-check to see if I’m wearing pants…ready!

1:55 PM Holy time warp Batman! That went fast. A bit of what the morning events were:

The Politics of Villains. Maria Dahvana Headley (leader), Darcie Little Badger, Hillary Monahan, Naomi Novik, Cameron Roberson, Gregory Wilson.The villains of speculative fiction (and fiction in general) often reflect the biases of their times. Race, sexuality, disability, and gender have all been and continue to be used as shorthand for evil; some supposedly villainous physical traits, such as hooked noses on witches, have been around for so long that many modern authors don’t even realize they’re rooted in bigoted stereotypes. In response, some authors have deliberately created villains who stand in for oppressive power structures. This panel will dig into the concept of a villain, a person who embodies evil or wrongness, and discuss whether it can ever really be separated from the writer’s culture-infuenced understanding of which categories of people are most likely to be villainous.

As you can imagine, the talk of this panel (and of the con so far) surrounded our current political environment. Really interesting discussions of “Rich White Guys” (who are the current favorite villains) verses the signifiers and stereotypes of the past.

Reading – Paul Tremblay

I like Paul very much. He’s a native to the Boston area, an educator and a connoisseur of fine beers. And he writes scary shit. What more could one ask? He read from his upcoming book The Four. I finished Devil’s Rock about a month ago…He has a way to build a “subsonic” type of tension into his books that grows into terror slowly…inevitably. From the snippet we heard, sounds like The Four will be a wonderful read!

Reading – Gregory Wilson

Was really excited to see Greg. He has the second book of his Gray Assassin Trilogy coming out (The first of which was Grayshade), and I was hoping he would read a bit of book two. I was delighted when he read from the first bit of Renegade! He and I chatted a bit about academia and he wished me well with the MFA starting in the fall. He–like many others I met through out the day–had asked hoe my health was doing. It’s always amazing to me how writers of any level and notoriety seem to be genuinely good people. Greg also has a podcast called Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans, which I highly recommend you check out.

Our DystopiaSusan Bigelow (leader), Cameron Roberson, Tui Sutherland, Gordan Van Gelder, Sabrina Vourvoulias.

Since the election, many on the left have been calling attention to George Orwell’s 1984 as a missed warning. Guest of Honor Nnedi Okorafor said in a radio interview that she believes Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Sower is a more appropriate dystopia for our current climate. Orwell’s Animal Farm, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and other books have also warned of surreal authoritarianism. Do they map to our current world or are we projecting? What other books have warnings for us that we might heed?

I’ll be that many of you can guess the main topic here…but I wanted to attend specifically because I’m taking a course this fall in Dystopian literature and i wanted to hear the recommended works that the panelists would have. I wasn’t disappointed as I’m now armed with a few more gems to add to my studies beyond what’s mentioned in the course description. The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Uglies by Scott Westerfield and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We were discussed as well.

7:05 PM Writing this at the start of my 7:00 panel…so I’ll be quick.  A Kaffeeklatsche, more readings and a meeting with a few of the Boston Speculative fiction writers is next…

Kaffeeklatsch – Elizabeth Hand

It’s no secret that adore the writings and the humor of Elizabeth Hand. Liz is one of the reasons I chose to go for my MFA, as she works with the MFA program for  Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. We and a few others sat down for a chat and discussed, among other popular concerns, the environmental impacts and her with with the US Government on the story and planing for megafires of the future. Google it. It’s terrifying.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, this would lead to the piece Liz would use for her reading later. We discussed the “hinted at supernatural” in her Case Neary series and upcoming works.

Reading – James Morrow

Like Liz, Jim has been a major influence for me over the years. He agreed to be one of my references for my MFA application (something I found out just this weekend from his wife Kathy that he almost never does) and has kicked me in the backside when I needed it. He is one of my favorite literary writers and Shambling Towards Hiroshima is still one of my books I love to reread every few years. I thought he might read from The Asylum of Dr. Caligari this year as it was just released, but I was in for a different treat when he pulled a few pages from his upcoming Timetraveling story Lazurus is Waiting. Filled with his normal wit and satire, for 30 minutes Jim delivered his patently dry, sophisticated wit to the audience.

One note…I went up and spoke to him afterwards, thanking him again for his reference, when he asked me to sign a copy of Offbeat: Nine Spins on Song. He new it was the first story I had published after my strokes.

Having one of your heroes ask you for an autograph is kind of amazing…and incredibly humbling.

Reading – Elizabeth Hand

Liz read to us a captivating short story called “Fire,” from a recent collection of short stories and essays of the same name. Based on Liz’s real-life experience as a participant in a governmental climate change think tank, it follows a ragtag cadre of scientists and artists racing to save both civilization and themselves from fast-moving global fires.

Reading – Boston Speculative Fiction Writing Group Andrea Corbin, Gillian Daniels, Eric Mulder, Emily Strong, Rachel Zakuta

Five members of this local writing group read stories in progress (or about to be published). An eclectic range of tales entertained the audience–from a necromancer trying to us her magic to get the NYC subway system up and running in a post Cthulhu world, to an alien world birthday trip and a purple “muppet-like” alien. Good, crazy group and I was delighted to speak with a few of them, including the president of BSFWG Lyndsay Ely. The seem funny, smart and very nice and I might have the opportunity to join this group in the future, so stay tuned.

Also, they provided snacks.

The Commonalities of Magic and Science. Erik Amundsen, David Bowles, Rosemary Kirstein, Naomi Novik (leader), Nnedi Okorafor

Specialized and secret fields of knowledge create barriers to understanding and can become mechanisms of cultural control. They can also be foundations for resistance. They can support or destroy communities and instill gratitude or resentment. All these things could be said of both magic and science, and the wielders thereof. The tradition of pitting magic and science against each other goes back to Tolkien’s anxieties about industrialization, but today’s speculative works have moved beyond it to recognize that the two can coexist and are often used similarly as metaphors. We’ll examine Guest of Honor Naomi Novik’s mix of historical technology and dragons, Guest of Honor Nnedi Okorafor’s mix of futuristic technology and sorcery, and other successful amalgamations and integrations.

It was wonderful to finally have the opportunity to see and hear this year’s GoH Need Okorafor speak! I lively discussion of fantastical magic and sciences and how they could be used in various societal situations for good or ill.

11:55 PM That’s it..I’m done for the day. Haven’t checked this portion of the post for typos etc., but maybe tomorrow.  It’s been amazing so far…tomorrow should be even better!

 

 


Thursday, July 13th 10:30 PM

This is the second year I’m actually staying at the conference. I spent two days packing and unpack then repacking. See, this year I brought some books I want to get signed.

Along with a dozen copies of Off Beat: Nine Spins on Song to dole out. If you want one, give a shout out in the comments or find me during the Con.

The ex-Marine Uber driver with the semi-automatic strapped to his waist very kindly helped me load and unload his Infinity. And he didn’t shoot me, so the day started pretty well.

Pictured: My Gear and Books. Not Pictured: “Jorge” and his Beretta.

Got settled in, had dinner with Glenn Skinner, and am typing up some notes from  the two free panels I attended this evening before bed.

No, I do not believe any of the panelists were armed.

Footsteps in the Dark: The Sensory Range of Horror. F. Brett Cox (leader), John Langan, Darcie Little Badger, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Paul Tremblay.

 

Horror is frequently thought of as a visual medium, and is often adapted for film and television. However, other senses are vitally important to the development of horror stories, and the experience of fear for the reader. Consider Josh Malerman’s Bird Box, which erased sight for the main characters, or the pounding in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Consider also the recent uptick in films with disabled characters, such as the Deaf writer in Hush and the blind antagonist in Don’t Breathe. This panel will explore these and other works of multisensory horror, and address how writers can create vivid horror experiences for readers.

This was a lively panel discussion about sensory range in horror–Josh Malerman’s Birdbox (the story of supernatural entities driving people mad and to suicide if they see them–the reader follows survivors who wear blindfolds) was discussed briefly with more emphasis on Shirley Jackson’s most marvelous The Haunting of Hill House. The point was made that only two senses can bee utilized in movies (sight and sound) while all five can be used in the written narrative. Patrick Susskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murder  and The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Up for a 2017 Shirley Jackson award for best novella) were also referenced.

Highway to the Weirder Zone. Samuel R. Delany, Max Gladstone, Maria Dahvana Headley (leader), Chandler Klang Smith, Marissa Lingen.

Surrealism, magical realism, paranormal romance, and other genres of the weird have different methods for getting the reader to suspend disbelief and acclimate as the roses rain down and the protagonist turns into a cockroach. Can authors of less-weird science fiction and fantasy borrow those tricks to ease reader’s dislocation, or is dislocated exactly what a reader should be? Are there different approaches that work for a phantasmagoria of ideas or a phantasmagoria of sensory impressions? And what problems arise from applying the assumptions and techniques of one genre or subgenre to another?

This intro evening to ReaderCON was a marvelous starter and tiny taste of what is to come. Back up in the room now after saying hello to some old acquaintances, eating a meal, and enjoying time at the bar with an old friend…Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

 


 

Reflecting the week before ReaderCON 28

Next week is ReaderCON 28.

It’s amazing how quickly a year goes by.

In the picture above, there are seven badges–seven years since I started on this writing journey. First as a hobbyist, more recently taking the curveball life gave me and turning it into something new and marvelous.

My first ReaderCON (Readercon 21) is sort of my starting point for my writing exploits. I had no idea what I was doing back then. Still don’t, but I’m learning all the time.

So before the conference each year, I like to take stock of where I am as a writer, refresh the short & long term goals and reflect on the generally positive things that have happened since last year’s (and my first) ReaderCON.

First, I’ve published six short stories since last year’s conference. Ink Washed Cat as a part of the Once Upon a Cursed Time anthology, Poison Pen in The Unforgiven Anthology, The Glass Bauble in Christmas Nightmares, Thanksgiving in the Park as a part of Off Beat: Nine Spins on Song, and Fine Print–a story I wrote for Richard Thomas’ Contemporary Dark Fiction class was picked up by Sick Lit Magazine a couple months ago.

I currently have nine stories out for submission…wait. Eight. Just got a rejection from Apex. I’ll put it in the file with the other 2 dozen.

Second, I’ve been accepted by Emerson College into their MFA program for Popular Fiction…and they threw a lot of money at me to attend. The online program is for three years, but I’m going to finish it in two.

2014-07-11_10.04.52Third, while I’m only up to short stories at this point…I have ideas for full-length novels.  Continuations of my series (I plan on revisiting the first book as a task for my MFA and using that as a stepping stone to seek out the right agent), and a couple new ideas rattling around. More on those at a later date.

2012-07-15_11.41.08Fourth, I continue to meet some amazing, talented writers in the past year who are more than willing to not only read/critique my stuff, but help with general writing craft tips and shoulders to lean on occasionally. Specifically I’m talking about Richard Thomas, Becca Borawski Jenkins, S. L. Coney, Dona Fox, Matthew Munson, Emmett Spain, Maria Haskins, Eden Baylee and Bill Kirton among many, many others.

Most importantly, the limitless support of my partner and best friend, Tina Lampropoulos.

IMG_1754I think that is a lot of wonderful things to focus on, don’t you? Writing continues my rehabilitation post strokes…and I’m learning work-arounds for this cognitive functions that have been permanently lost.

It has been a hard few years–but I am blessed. Something I’ve very recently come to understand and embrace.

Which brings me full circle to ReaderCON.

meandjimI will be seeing and catching up with friends I’ve made through the years at the con. There are amazing panels that I’m planning on digging into. There is a stack of books I want to get signed.

There is fiction to read.

My normal daily updates will be posted as usually. Look for them to start next Thursday (July 13th).

Until then,

Peace, love and hair grease.

RB


Past ReaderCON Posts:

ReaderCON 27

 ReaderCON 26

ReaderCON 25

ReaderCON 24

ReaderCON 23

ReaderCON 22


 

The Word Count Podcast-Episode 67

Four stories and six guests this week! That means we have two tag-team stories for your listening pleasure!

Plus a regular “Word Count Irregular” and a returning Irregular!

It’s ALL so exciting!

The prompt for this merry month of June was:

This was a shot from the Jones Beach Theater on the south shore of Long Island. As a LI native, I spent many a summer evening was spent enjoying concerts here in my youth.

A reminder that we are looking to increase the number of likes on the show’s Facebook Page, so hope on over there and tell you friends about us (use the #WordCountPodcast hashtag).

We have a cracking good show this time around. As always, it’s FREE to download and listen  via iTunes or Libsyn. Here is an embedded player, if you prefer:

 

 

So to Episode 67 (“Concert at the Beach in June”), shall we? Our guests this month:

Cameron Garriepy “The Comeback”

Cameron Garriepy is a rock star in her own car. Even when her 4th grader rolls his eyes. In April of 2015, Cameron released Damselfly Inn the first full-length novel in her Thornton Vermont series. The sequel, Sweet Pease is coming in October from Bannerwing Books.

 

Eden Baylee & Bill Kirton “In Two Minds” 

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton—a psychological mystery/suspense called STRANGER AT SUNSET. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her novellas are available on Kindle Worlds.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.

Website: http://edenbayleebooks.com

Blog: https://edenbaylee.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/edenbaylee

Twitter: @edenbaylee

Before taking early retirement to become a full-time writer, Bill Kirton was a lecturer in French at the University of Aberdeen. He’s written stage and radio plays, short stories, novels, skits and songs for revues, and five non-fiction books aimed at helping students with their writing and study skills. His five modern crime novels, Justice, The Darkness, Shadow Selves and Unsafe Acts are set in north east Scotland and his historical crime/romance novel, The Figurehead, is set in Aberdeen in 1840. The Darkness won the silver award in the mystery category of the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards and his spoof mystery, The Sparrow Conundrum, was the winner in the humor category.

He’s published a novel for children called The Loch Ewe Mystery, and his latest publication is a satirical novella about online gaming and the real and virtual worlds.

He’s had radio plays broadcast by the BBC and the Australian BC.  His short stories have appeared in many anthologies, including three of the CWA’s annual collections, and one was chosen by Maxim Jakubowski for his 2010 anthology of Best British Crime Stories. It’s also been optioned by a film company in Los Angeles.

He’s been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

Website: www.billkirton.com

Twitter: @carver22

 

Jack Gwaltney & John McCaffrey – “The Love of the Last Tycoon

Jack Gwaltney was born in Virginia, went to the University of Virginia and lives in New York, fortunate to perform as an actor on stage, television and in film. Collaborating with John McCaffrey is one of the wisest things Jack does. Thanks to The Word Count Podcast!

 John McCaffrey grew up in Rochester, New York, attended Villanova University, and received his MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. He is the author of The Book of Ash and Two Syllable Men. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

 

Maria Haskins – “A Song for Hugo”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and certified translator. She writes speculative fiction and poetry, and debuted as a writer in Sweden. Since 1992 she lives in Canada, just outside Vancouver, with a husband, two kids, and a very large black dog.

Website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mariahaskins

 

The #wordcountpodcast Episode 67 is now open for submissions!

The new format this year seems to be going over pretty well. Certainly our #WordCountIrregulars seem to enjoy writing for the new visual prompt.  And the advanced format for the show seems to be going over well with our listeners.

We would love more in the way of both authors and listeners.

Because the #wordcountpodcast is a free show, and due to the fact that I have thus far self-funded the show, we have a small but loyal following. The “loyal” stems from the quality of the stories my wonderful author friends (the “irregulars”) contribute each month.

If you are reading this, we would love to hear from you, either with a story submission or via social media. We have a Facebook Page that we have a goal of reaching a thousand likes this year. So give it a like or share it with your friends. The more listeners and contributors we have, the better the shows will be. Perhaps we can get those pesky advertisers to notice us–I will gladly trade some advertising space to receive monies to pay our authors!

There are nearly 400 original stories at this point—all free for your listen pleasure, all we ask is for people to help get the word out. Click the link:

The Word Count Podcast Facebook Page

So, then. Episode 67.

Our prompt is the picture below and the month of June:

“Summer Concert at the Beach”

What happens next, dear sinners, is entirely up to you!

All submissions are welcome!

If you want to listen to past (free) shows, the links below will take you to them:

LIBSYN

or

iTUNES

There are sixty-six shows available right now!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 67 “Summer Concert at the Beach”

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Friday 30 June 2017 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story based on the picture above and the month of “June.”

Do NOT exceed SEVEN minutes.

As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU, a friend or multiple friends reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT ONLY, and please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail or contact me for a Dropbox link.

Your submission MUST also contain the following:

• Your pen name
• Your latest bio (DO NOT ASSUME I HAVE YOUR LATEST)
• Links to your website(s) – Include your personal site, Facebook Fanpage etc.
• Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
• A photo of you I can use for the show notes
• At the end of your recording, please add “This is author of and you’re listening to The Word Count Podcast.”
• Permission to use your recording in the podcast.
• PLEASE Make sure you have included ALL ARTIFACTS I have asked for. Do not assume I can “Get your picture from the internet” or can “Pull your bio from your web page.”

Send your file to me@rbwood.com (or via the dropbox link I can provide) by 30 June 2017. You can also e-mail me with questions beforehand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.

***NOTE: I will NOT accept stories that are discriminatory in ANY WAY (whether it be by race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.) or that include rape. ***

Peace

The Word Count Podcast-Episode 66

I took the shot above while on a ferry in Boston Harbor near Georges Island. It was chilly that day–typical of late spring in New England. So I thought it would make a great visual prompt (along with the month of May) for this episode of the #WordCountPodcast.

And the Irregulars came through beautifully.

With regard to the competition for episode 65…I received no entries. Zero. I want to thank Bill Kirton for coming up with a delicious story idea to try out  this new twist in the show.

Perhaps we should do something different to build our audience.

Be that as it May (Month of may–get it?), we have a cracking good show this time around. As always, it’s FREE to download and listen  via iTunes or Libsyn. Here is an embedded player, if you prefer:

A reminder that we are looking to increase the number of likes on the show’s Facebook Page, so hope on over there and tell you friends about us (use the #WordCountPodcast hashtag).

Onto the show!

Show Notes:

Bill Kirton – “The Island”

Before taking early retirement to become a full-time writer, Bill Kirton was a lecturer in French at the University of Aberdeen. He’s written stage and radio plays, short stories, novels, skits and songs for revues, and five non-fiction books aimed at helping students with their writing and study skills. His five modern crime novels, Justice, The Darkness, Shadow Selves and Unsafe Acts are set in north east Scotland and his historical crime/romance novel, The Figurehead, is set in Aberdeen in 1840. The Darkness won the silver award in the mystery category of the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards and his spoof mystery, The Sparrow Conundrum, was the winner in the humor category.

He’s published a novel for children called The Loch Ewe Mystery, and his latest publication is a satirical novella about online gaming and the real and virtual worlds.

He’s had radio plays broadcast by the BBC and the Australian BC.  His short stories have appeared in many anthologies, including three of the CWA’s annual collections, and one was chosen by Maxim Jakubowski for his 2010 anthology of Best British Crime Stories. It’s also been optioned by a film company in Los Angeles.

He’s been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

Website: www.billkirton.com

Twitter: @carver22

Maria Haskins – “Hungry Beasts”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and certified translator. She writes speculative fiction and poetry, and debuted as a writer in Sweden. Since 1992 she lives in Canada, just outside Vancouver, with a husband, two kids, and a very large black dog.

Website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mariahaskins

Jack Gwaltney & John McCaffrey – “The Power and the Glory

Jack Gwaltney was born in Virginia, went to the University of Virginia and lives in New York, fortunate to perform as an actor on stage, television and in film. Collaborating with John McCaffrey is one of the wisest things Jack does. Thanks to The Word Count Podcast!

John McCaffrey grew up in Rochester, New York, attended Villanova University, and received his MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. He is the author of The Book of Ash and Two Syllable Men. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

C. Thomas Smith – “Darlings”

C. Thomas Smith is the author of hundreds of short stories (99% have never left his hard drive) and over half a dozen unpublished novels (50% cowardice / 50% self-doubt). He is a fan of common sense, free speech, noticing the truth in the absurd and caffeine. He sort of likes cats. He lives in Ireland with his partner, two and a half children, a mortgage and a cat he doesn’t trust.

At present, Chris is writing a series of novels (adult dark comedy set in medieval Ireland that may include a token Leprechaun) and editing a second series (Dark Fantasy). Along the way, he hopes not to starve to death or be mauled in his sleep by a shifty-eyed cat.

Website: www.infinity-forge.com

Twitter: @KRSTVR

Eden Baylee – “The Fury of Poseidon

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton—a psychological mystery/suspense called STRANGER AT SUNSET. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her novellas are available on Kindle Worlds.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.

Website: http://edenbayleebooks.com

Blog: https://edenbaylee.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/edenbaylee

Twitter: @edenbaylee

R.B. Wood – “Calliope”

R. B. Wood is a technology consultant and a writer of Speculative and Dark Fiction.  His first novel, The Prodigal’s Foole, was released to critical acclaim in 2012.  Mr. Wood is currently working on multiple stories and his MFA (Emerson College Class of ’19).  Along with his writing passion, R. B.  is host of The Word Count Podcast – a show that features talent from all around the globe reading original flash-fiction stories.

R. B. currently lives in Boston with his partner, Tina, a multitude of cats and various other critters that visit from time to time.

Around the web:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon’s R.B. Wood page

The #WordCountPodcast episode 66 is NOW open for Submissions!

I can’t believe it’s May already! Where did the time go?

On the personal writing front, I’m working feverishly to tweak four short stories all with submission dates in the next 30 days or so. I’m plowing through all the college requirements so I can hit the fall semester running, and I’m prepping for Readercon in July.

Along with those things, life stuff (like finding mold in the house, getting that sorted, having a new roof put on and visits from my children and my father-in-law, ongoing rehab) is happening, as it does for all of us. It’s gonna be a busy rest of year.

That all being said, I’m enjoying reading the Dark Tower series by Stephen King and rereading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. And, of course, I have episodes of the #wordcountpodcast to devise.

Which brings me to the true purpose of this post. We’ll be opening up Episode 66 for submissions this weekend. But first, if you wouldn’t mind, give the show’s Facebook page a like, and get your friends to check it out as well. There are nearly 400 original stories at this point—all free for your listen pleasure, all we ask is for people to help get the word out. Click the link:

The Word Count Podcast

So, then. Episode 66.

I’m supplying the picture this time around. I took this off a boat in Boston harbor near Georges Island where the missus and I go a few times a year with friends.

I feel this picture has many stories to tell, so I ask out Irregulars (as well as any aspiring writers who would like to join us) for their own take on this scene. Include the month of May as well.

What happens next, dear sinners, is entirely up to you!

All submissions are welcome!

If you want to listen to past (free) shows, the links below will take you to them:

LIBSYN

or

iTUNES

There are Sixty-five shows available right now!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 66 “May in the Harbor”

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Friday 26 May 2017 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story based on the picture above and the month of “May.”

Do NOT exceed SEVEN minutes.

As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU, a friend or multiple friends reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT ONLY, and please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail or contact me for a Dropbox link.

Your submission MUST also contain the following:

• Your pen name
• Your latest bio (DO NOT ASSUME I HAVE YOUR LATEST)
• Links to your website(s) – Include your personal site, Facebook Fanpage etc.
• Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
• A photo of you I can use for the show notes
• At the end of your recording, please add “This is author of and you’re listening to The Word Count Podcast.”
• Permission to use your recording in the podcast.
• PLEASE Make sure you have included ALL ARTIFACTS I have asked for. Do not assume I can “Get your picture from the internet” or can “Pull your bio from your web page.”

Send your file to me@rbwood.com (or via the dropbox link I can provide) by 26 May 2017. You can also e-mail me with questions beforehand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.

***NOTE: I will NOT accept stories that are discriminatory in ANY WAY (whether it be by race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.) or that include rape. ***

Peace

The Word Count Podcast-Episode 65

Cool picture, isn’t it?

This was donated for the Episode 65 prompt by Bill Kirton, one of our dear Word Count Irregulars. And SPEAKING of Bill Kirton:


COMPETITION ALERT!!

There is a mystery to solve at the end of Bill’s story. Solve it, e-mail your answer to me (me@rbwood.com), and you will be put in a drawing to win a $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD!

Competition ends May 26th, 2017!


The Picture above and the month of April. That is the basis for four new stories’

The duo of John McCaffrey & Jack Gwaltney return as do Maria Haskins, Eden Baylee and the aforementioned Bill Kirton.

Feel free to download and listen to the latest show (or previous shows) via iTunes or Libsyn. Here is an embedded player, if you prefer:

 

A reminder that we are looking to increase the number of likes on the show’s Facebook Page, so hope on over there and tell you friends about us (use the #WordCountPodcast hashtag).

Onto the show!

Show Notes:

 Jack Gwaltney & John McCaffrey – “The Man Who Was Thursday

Jack Gwaltney was born in Virginia, went to the University of Virginia and lives in New York, fortunate to perform as an actor on stage, television and in film. Collaborating with John McCaffrey is one of the wisest things Jack does. Thanks to The Word Count Podcast!

John McCaffrey grew up in Rochester, New York, attended Villanova University, and received his MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. He is the author of The Book of Ash and Two Syllable Men. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Maria Haskins – “Magpies and Moonshine”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and certified translator. She writes speculative fiction and poetry, and debuted as a writer in Sweden. Since 1992 she lives in Canada, just outside Vancouver, with a husband, two kids, and a very large black dog.

Website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mariahaskins

Eden Baylee – “The Cottage Life

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton—a psychological mystery/suspense called STRANGER AT SUNSET. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her novellas are available on Kindle Worlds.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.

Website: http://edenbayleebooks.com

Blog: https://edenbaylee.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/edenbaylee

Twitter: @edenbaylee

Bill Kirton – “The Coming of Night”

Before taking early retirement to become a full-time writer, Bill Kirton was a lecturer in French at the University of Aberdeen. He’s written stage and radio plays, short stories, novels, skits and songs for revues, and five non-fiction books aimed at helping students with their writing and study skills. His five modern crime novels, Justice, The Darkness, Shadow Selves and Unsafe Acts are set in north east Scotland and his historical crime/romance novel, The Figurehead, is set in Aberdeen in 1840. The Darkness won the silver award in the mystery category of the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards and his spoof mystery, The Sparrow Conundrum, was the winner in the humor category.

He’s published a novel for children called The Loch Ewe Mystery, and his latest publication is a satirical novella about online gaming and the real and virtual worlds.

He’s had radio plays broadcast by the BBC and the Australian BC.  His short stories have appeared in many anthologies, including three of the CWA’s annual collections, and one was chosen by Maxim Jakubowski for his 2010 anthology of Best British Crime Stories. It’s also been optioned by a film company in Los Angeles.

He’s been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

Website: www.bill-kirton.co.uk

Twitter: @carver22

 

 

Life Finds a Way

It has taken me nearly 18 months to make peace with the fact that my brain has permanently, and irreversibly changed.

It has also taken me 18 months to realize how truly blessed I am because of the changes.

Weird. I feel blessed because of  30 strokes.

Well, I’m still around. And I have most of my physical abilities. My cognition when it comes to things like strategy, numbers and logic has been annihilated, however. And I gave up my car and driving for the time being.

Blessed. Truly.

I can no longer do the work I’ve been doing for thirty-two years. That career has been shattered. I won’t lie to you, I was in a pretty bad funk about that fact. But life finds a way.

I started writing again in rehab back in November 2015 at the insistence of one of my therapists.  I could barely walk or speak, let alone hold a pencil.

I hated her for making me write, back then. My first journal entry was three words, scrawled almost illegibly:

“Fuck this shit.”

Now? Eighteen months later? Well, let me quote Stephen King:

 “Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.”

And so it goes.

Last Friday, I was surprised and shocked to receive an acceptance letter to Emerson College–to their MFA program in Popular Fiction writing. They also threw a massive scholarship at me, to which I am eternally grateful.

The application was a bit of a lark–and like everything else lately, I had a load of help with the admission process. My wife, who is the most exquisite human to ever walk this earth, has been at my side–always encouraging, always helping.

I received four brilliant references from wonderful authors who I both respect and admire ( Matthew Munson and Dr. Bill Kirton from my show The Word Count Podcast, my friend, instructor and mentor, Richard Thomas, and World Fantasy and Nebula award-winning author, James Morrow). I submitted samples of my published work and an essay (the story of my writing rebirth after surviving trauma).

Four days after submitting my application, I was accepted.

This has been the culmination of recovery, acceptance, and a desire to take this “new cognitive me” out for a spin.

For all those who have helped me, I am forever in your debt. Know that I will do you proud during this next adventure.

Welcome to the class of ’19, you brain-damaged old man. You are truly blessed.

 

The #WordCountPodcast Episode 65 is Now Open for Submissions!

For April, the picture selected for our prompt was from our own Bill Kirton, Word Count Irregular par excellence.

But before revealing the prompt, I must beg you all to get your friends to like the #WordCountPodcast Facebook page. I’ll be posting some new content there shortly, exclusively for fans of the show who liked the page.

Telling you what I’ll be posting would be playing fair. Stay tuned!

But here’s the link to the page. Spread the word won’t you? We have a goal of 1000 likes this season!

The Word Count Podcast

So, then. Episode 65.

 

Bill sent in the following:

I thought it was beautiful, a little haunting, and perfect for writers to sink their teeth into. You must also use the month of April in your setting.

What happens next, dear sinners, is entirely up to you!

Thinking of writing something for the show? Please do! All submissions are welcome!

If you want to listen to past (free) shows, the links below will take you to them:

LIBSYN

or

iTUNES

There are Sixty-four shows available right now!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 65 “The Woods in April”

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Friday 28 April 2017 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story based on the picture above and the month of “April.”

Do NOT exceed SEVEN minutes.

As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU, a friend or multiple friends reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT ONLY, and please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail or contact me for a Dropbox link.

Your submission MUST also contain the following:

  • Your pen name
  • Your latest bio (DO NOT ASSUME I HAVE YOUR LATEST)
  • Links to your website(s) – Include your personal site, Facebook Fanpage etc.
  • Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
  • A photo of you I can use for the show notes
  • At the end of your recording, please add “This is <state your name> author of <state your work(s)> and you’re listening to The Word Count Podcast.”
  • Permission to use your recording in the podcast.
  • PLEASE Make sure you have included ALL ARTIFACTS I have asked for. Do not assume I can “Get your picture from the internet” or can “Pull your bio from your web page.”

Send your file to me@rbwood.com (or via the dropbox link I can provide) by 28 April 2017. You can also e-mail me with questions beforehand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.

***NOTE: I will NOT accept stories that are discriminatory in ANY WAY (whether it be by race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.) or that include rape. ***

Peace

OFF BEAT: Nine Spins on Song

Inspired by favorite songs, nine fantasy and science fiction authors spin tales of adventure, intrigue, mystery, and horror.

I love release days!

And I adore the authors at Wicked Ink Books.

Last year, after WIB’s award-winning anthology TICK TOCK was released, the seven authors opened up submissions for their next anthology. I submitted my story, Thanksgiving in the Park inspired by the Guns ‘n’ Roses song November Rain.

Months of edits, proofing and communications later, you can now read what we have all been working toward.

I hope you will pick up a copy–and look into other works by these talent folks.

A little blurb about each story

  • A boy follows his girlfriend’s suicide note to its disturbing conclusion.
  • A man must pass on an ancient curse of immortality before his time finally runs out.
  • Two lost beings fight for life, for each other, and to find a way home.
  • A serial killer from the future, banished to present day, must control her homicidal urges in order to survive.
  • A thief and a sex worker find their paths unexpectedly entwined in ways that threaten both of their lives.
  • For a caged girl, one hand gives, but the other takes away all she’s ever known.
  • To gain their freedom, quarreling townsfolk must find a way to cross a bottomless ravine.
  • A man interrupts a monster at work and is determined to entertain the creature long enough to stay alive.
  • When his father’s ghost appears, a businessman is forced to reflect on his life.

The eBook is available right now at AMAZON, and the paperback will be available shortly.

In the meantime, here is a bit about my 8 compatriots:

Calypso Kane

Calypso Kane lives in the cooking heart of Texas. She writes fantastical fictions about the fey, the fanciful, and the fiendish. Her short stories have been published in anthologies such as The Odd and the Bizarre, Strange Little Girls, and Her Dark Voice 2. Between submissions she enjoys picking absently at her own stories, hibernating, and telling herself she’ll get around to her growing tower of unread new books eventually.

 

Corinne O’Flynn

I am a native New Yorker living in Colorado, and wouldn’t trade life in the Rockies for anything. I love writing fantasy and mystery, and experimenting with short fiction. I am a self-proclaimed scone aficionado, a professional napper, and I have an entire section of my kitchen devoted to tea. When I’m not writing, I can be found hanging with my husband and our kids, playing board games, knitting, reading, or binge watching some fabulous shows (while sipping tea).

A.G. Henley

A.G. Henley is a contributor to Wicked Ink Books’ anthologies, OFF BEAT: Nine Spins on Song and TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time, and the author of the Brilliant Darkness series. The first book in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a Library Journal Self-e Selection and a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award. A.G. is also a clinical psychologist in Denver, Colorado. She promises not to analyze you… much.

Sue Duff

Sue Duff was born in Chicago, IL but grew up in Phoenix, AZ. She dreamed of dragons and spaceships before she could read and combines Fantasy and SciFi in her breakout series, The Weir Chronicles. When she’s not saving the world, one page at a time, she’s walking her Great Dane, getting her hands dirty in the garden or cooking up something delicious in her kitchen.

Wendy Terrien

Wendy Terrien received her first library card at age two, and a few years later started writing her own stories. Her debut novel, The Rampart Guards (February 2016), earned a Kirkus starred review and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2016. The novel is a #1 regional bestseller, and is the first in her intriguing urban fantasy series.

Wendy graduated from the University of Utah (go Utes!) and transplanted to Colorado where she completed her MBA at the University of Denver. She focused her marketing expertise on the financial and technology industries until a career coach stepped in and reminded Wendy of her passion for writing. Wendy began attending writers conferences, workshops, and retreats.

She regularly participates in two critique groups and is the Secretary of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and a member of Pikes Peak Writers. In 2014, Wendy was a finalist in the San Francisco Writer’s Contest.

Wendy lives in the Denver area with her husband, Kevin, and their three dogs: Maggie, Shea, and Boon. All of her dogs are rescues, and Wendy is passionate about promoting shelter adoptions. If you’re in Colorado, you may even be able to spot her by her “Adopt a Shelter Pet” license plates.

Kristi Helvig

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy writer. You can find her musing about space monkeys, Star Trek, and other random topics on her blog. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, kids, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.

Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor is the indie author of ASCENDANT, winner of the 2014 Colorado Book Award and a Library Journal National Self-e Select title; MIDHEAVEN; THE EXQUISITE AND IMMACULATE GRACE OF CARMEN ESPINOZA, and her latest release, and RWA RITA Finalist, AFFECTIVE NEEDS.

She obtained her BA in psychology and sociology from the University of Colorado, Denver, and her Ed.S in school psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. In addition to writing, she works as a school psychologist and teaches at Regis University in their MFA program.

She lives with her husband, two children, three dogs, and two tortoises in Denver, Colorado. She loves to travel and spends probably too much time on the interwebs planning trips. When she’s not planted in front of her keyboard, she likes to watch movies on Netflix, camp, read, do jigsaw puzzles, hike, drink tea, snow ski, swim in the ocean, watch people, eat peanut butter, run miles to nowhere on a treadmill, troll bookstores, stare into the abyss, and worry that she should probably be writing instead.

Shawn McGuire

Colorado-based author Shawn McGuire started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid. She couldn’t wait for the next installment to come out so wrote her own. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then. Her young adult novels deal with harder issues—dating violence, death of a family member, bullying, and teen suicide. Since those topics can be hard to handle, she infuses a good bit of humor as well because she believes that laughter can help you get through just about anything.

Writer of Things. Podcaster.