Deviatus interviewed me for his podcast a couple weeks ago, and that episode is online now. Yay!
We talked about haunted hospitals (the book and the concept), paranormal experiences, research, I forgot where Mount Fuji was (I wish I was joking about this one. I’m going to blame it on nerves…). It was a good time. You can check it out here:
So you know that thing when you’re happily reading submissions for the fifth book in a series and you realise that though you thought you’d done a round up post about the blog tour you held to celebrate the fourth book in the series you didn’t? No. Well, that must be nice.
Because I know exactly how that feels.
So bear with me–even though this was several months ago, I’m going to make this round up post. Because these blog entries? They are pretty spectacular. If you haven’t seen them already, they are definitely worth a look!
Sirens Blog Tour Recap
June 28, 29th and 30th
“Of Sirens and Sorrow” three part mini-series by Amanda Kespohl
Usually, in the lifespan of a new anthology, this is about the time I’d do a report from the slush pile to let people know what I’m seeing, or not seeing. To help provide some insight for submitters into what there’s too much or too little of. I can’t really do that with this one because there haven’t been enough submissions yet to really get a grasp on it.
I decided to use Submittable to manage submissions for Equus rather than accepting them via email for two big reasons. The first was that I expected to get a lot of submissions to this anthology. More, I figured, than Sirens had received. I know a lot more people who write about horses and their mythological kin than I do sirens, I reasoned. Also, this is going to be the last Magical Menageries anthology so I thought that might inspire an influx of submissions from people who wanted to get in the series before it was done.
The second reason I moved to Submittable for this one is that it allows me to read the submissions blind. That removes any potential bias I might feel while reading work by people I know. And given that some of my friends have used fake names and brand new Gmail accounts to submit to me in the past–because they wanted to be sure their story got in (or didn’t) solely based on its own merits–I thought that would appeal to people.
Perhaps I made a mistake switching to Submittable. If so, it’s too late now–I’m committed.
When I worried aloud about the number of submissions I’d seen to date my husband was like, “You say that every time, you know.”
I got this far in my blog entry, then popped over to Submittable to see how many submissions I’d received so far. I blinked, read the number again and then I checked how many submissions Sirens had by this stage in the process and laughed. Turns out my husband was right and my anxiety was more about me than the actual numbers. Right now I’m on track to see similar submission numbers to what I saw for Sirens–and those are good numbers.
I always get anxious I’m not going to see enough stories, and that anxiety peaks right about now and starts to come down in a couple weeks as the submissions snowball toward the final month submissions are open.
So what, aside from my own anxiety, can account for my inability to see trends in the slush pile? I don’t know for sure, but at a guess I’d say it’s just that there aren’t any trends. Every story that has come in so far is pretty distinct. Most of them have a really strong voice and interesting takes on horse and horse-like critters. There’s a lot of awesome world building and a lot of different equine types. My shortlist is pretty small right now, but none of the stories on it have the same theme, voice or tone. They are all fantasy stories but that’s about where the similarity ends, and let’s face it, ‘Fantasy’ is a pretty big umbrella, amirite?
What can I offer, then, as some sort of guidance for what to send? Uh. Not much beyond the kind of advice I’d have given before I jumped into the slush:
Make sure you have a strong opening–grab my attention in the first paragraph. I’m not going to try and tell you how, there are millions of ways to do it, but do it.
Ensure your story contains a solid ending. Over the past couple years I’ve started seeing more and more stories that don’t ‘end’ so much as they ‘stop’. Don’t do that.
Resolve or change something over the course of the story. If nothing or no one has changed from the start of the story to the end it is really unlikely to work for me.
Probably not super helpful, right?
Well, look at it this way–the door is wide open for you to craft your best Equus story.
Please do. And send it my way before the end of November 🙂
I’ll pop back here with an update in a month or so, and hopefully that time I won’t end up crossing most of it out before I press ‘Publish’ 🙂
It’s release day for The Impending Possession of Scarlet Wakebridge-Rosé!
Welcome to the blitz for S. L. Saboviec’s latest release! Just in time for Halloween, pick up this tale of a supernatural menace, strained family ties, and unavoidable destiny:
Scarlet Wakebridge-Rosé, busy executive and less-than-stellar mother and wife, has a problem that only an exorcist can solve. Except she’s not precisely a devout Catholic parishioner any longer, and to gain assistance from the Church means telling a whopping lie of omission.
Fortunately, she discovers Father Angelo Ambrosio, whose commitment to helping the afflicted means he’s willing to overlook the things Scarlet prefers to keep hidden. Unfortunately, his sordid past keeps him under a microscope with the bishop, who’s not so liberal in his views.
But the demon harassing Scarlet is relentless. It makes its motives clear: in a previous life, she struck a bargain, promising it her body on her fiftieth birthday. Now, she and Angelo must unravel the mystery surrounding her forgotten past in order to stop the possession by next week or risk losing her to the depths of Hell forever.
This stand-alone novel set in the Fallen Redemption universe extends the series to modern day. Enter a world where humans reincarnate, demons interfere in daily life, and the currents of fate carry us all to our destinies.
Samantha grew up in a small town in Iowa but became an expat for her Canadian husband, whom she met in the Massive Multi-player Online Role-Playing Game Star Wars: Galaxies (before the NGE, of course). She holds a B.S. in Physics, which qualifies her to B.S. about physics and occasionally do some math for the sci-fi stories she concocts. Her dark, thought-provoking science fiction & fantasy contains flawed, relatable characters and themes that challenge the status quo.
Her short fiction has appeared in AE and Grievous Angel, and her debut novel received an honorable mention in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.