Announcing Grimm, Grit and Gasoline

I am stoked to announce that World Weaver Press and I will be teaming up to publish a brand new series of anthologies! Whoot whoot!

The series name is named ‘Punked Up Fairy Tales’. As the name implies, each anthology in the series will be filled with twisted fairy tales. If all goes well there will be a steampunk fairy tales anthology, and a cyberpunk fairy tales anthology, and a solarpunk fairy tales anthology… you get the idea 🙂

The very first volume, Grimm, Grit and Gasoline, will be a dieselpunk and decopunk fairy tales anthology!

 

GRIMM, GRIT, AND GASOLINE: An anthology of Dieselpunk and Decopunk Fairy Tales

Open for Submissions: August 1, 2018 – September 30, 2018
Expected Publication: mid-2019
Story Length: up to 7,500 words
Payment: $50 per story*
*We may run a crowdfunding campaign to increase author payments. Watch for updates.

 

Dieselpunk and decopunk are alternative history reimaginings of the WWI and WWII eras beginning with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and ending before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I’m looking for tales with the grit of roaring bombers, rumbling tanks, of ‘We Can Do It’, the Great Depression and old time gangsters or the glamour (real or imagined) of flappers, Hollywood starlets, smoky jazz, elegant cars and Radio City Music Hall.Plus fairy tales.

For example: a ‘mend and make do’ take on the Elves and the Shoemaker, a trench warfare version of The Emperor’s New Clothes, or Hansel and Gretel as Bonnie and Clyde. The possibilities are limitless.

Original fairy tales are welcome, as are retellings. If you choose to retell a familiar favourite, make sure your story offers something new and interesting. I’d rather see stories that reflect the long history of fairy tales as social commentary than those which simply tell the same story with a different setting.

And while dieselpunk tends to be focused on North America and Western Europe, this anthology needn’t be. I am open to stories set all over the world, and would love to see ‘Own Voices’ stories.

***

I’m super stoked but this one is going to require some patience — submissions won’t open until August, and the resulting anthology won’t be out until mid-2019.

On the plus side, if you’re an author that gives you lots of time to think up, write and polish your submission and if you’re a reader I have lots of other books coming out between now and then to keep you busy so the waiting isn’t too painful 😉

Cover Reveal: Mrs. Claus

Cover design by Sarena Ulibarri

When you think of Mrs. Claus, do you imagine a quiet North Pole homebody who finds complete fulfillment in baking cookies, petting reindeer and crafting toys alongside elves? How about a magic-wielding ice goddess, or a tough-as-nails Valkyrie? Or maybe an ancient fae of dubious intentions, or a well-meaning witch? Could Mrs. Claus be a cigar-smoking Latina, or a crash-landed alien? Within these pages Mrs. Claus is a hero, a villain, a mother, a spacefarer, a monster hunter, and more. The only thing she decidedly is not, is a sidekick.

It’s Mrs. Claus’ turn to shine and she is stepping out of Santa’s shadow and into the spotlight in these fourteen spectacular stories that make her the star! Featuring original short stories by Laura VanArendonk Baugh, C.B. Calsing, DJ Tyrer, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Kristen Lee, Randi Perrin, Michael Leonberger, Andrew Wilson, Ross Van Dusen, MLD Curelas, Maren Matthias, Anne Luebke, Jeff Keykendall, and Hayley Stone.

 

Reserve your copy now!

Paperback — $12.95

Direct from the publisher

Electronic book — $0.99!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

 

Did you catch the part where the ebook version is less than a dollar if you order it now? Because deals don’t get much sweeter than that, do they? The price goes up upon release so you’ll want to reserve your copy now. Don’t wait 🙂

P.S. Subscribers to my mailing list got to see this cover a couple days ago and pick the subtitle (Thanks, Hal!) so if you’ve not subscribed yet, maybe you want to change that? 😉

Sirens Blog Tour Recap

I’ve hosted several blog tours over the years and made the same mistake with several of them — I didn’t post a recap blog post at the end of the tour. I think recap posts are important because they bring all the links together in one handy place for people who are discovering the blog tour after its over and so I’m working backward and creating those posts for past blog tours that are without. The very first tour to get a schmexy new recap post is Sirens: The Blog Tour.

Sirens are beautiful, dangerous, and musical, whether they come from the sea or the sky. Greek sirens were described as part-bird, part-woman, and Roman sirens more like mermaids, but both had a voice that could captivate and destroy the strongest man. The pages of this book contain the stories of the Sirens of old, but also allow for modern re-imaginings, plucking the sirens out of their natural elements and placing them at a high school football game, or in wartime London, or even into outer space.

Featuring stories by Kelly Sandoval, Amanda Kespohl, L.S. Johnson, Pat Flewwelling, Gabriel F. Cuellar, Randall G. Arnold, Micheal Leonberger, V. F. LeSann, Tamsin Showbrook, Simon Kewin, Cat McDonald, Sandra Wickham, K.T. Ivanrest, Adam L. Bealby, Eliza Chan, and Tabitha Lord, these siren songs will both exemplify and defy your expectations.

I love this anthology, so to celebrate and help spread the word about its release I hosted a contributor-centric blog tour. These were the stops:

Niteblade Logo

Cover Reveal: The Continuum

I love this cover!

How can you not love this cover?

As you can see this lovely cover is for Wendy Nikel’s forthcoming time travel novella, The Continuum, which I had the pleasure of acquiring and editing for World Weaver Press.

The official description for The Continuum is:

Elise Morley is an expert on the past who’s about to get a crash course in the future.

For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency’s ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn’t abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.

But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she’s got more to worry about than just the time-space continuum. For the first time ever, she’s the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.

Does that intrigue you? Of course it does 😉

The book isn’t available for pre-order yet, but you can add it to your ‘Want to Read’ shelves at Goodreads and trust that I will keep you updated on news about it as we progress toward its January 23rd release date!

There’s also a Goodreads giveaway (US only)… but you don’t like free books, do you?

Oh. You do?

Well then.

Enter here to win an early review copy.

Good luck!

When Words Collide 2017 Recap

What. A. Weekend.

I’m not going to even attempt to give a blow-by-blow accounting of When Words Collide because I couldn’t possibly. Not only would this post be impossibly long but my over-stressed memory is so bad these days that I would absolutely forget something or somebody and that would make me sad.

In fact, even while I was at the con if people asked how my weekend was going I would usually say “Ask me on Tuesday”. This weekend was fantastic, but simultaneously a bit overwhelming (which, really, is kind of my theme for 2017).

Well, it’s Tuesday so let me just say, my weekend was fantastic 🙂

First of all there was this:

"Believe" by Barbara Tomporowski

This year has been hard. I severely over-scheduled myself and the stress of that, coupled with dealing with some non-work things and a slight depression has taken quite a toll on me. I’m not going to go into details about that (that’s a topic for a different blog post) but, yeah, it’s been difficult. So when Barbara gave me a copy of this photograph which she’s entitled “Believe” along with some incredibly encouraging and supportive words I cried. It means more to me than I can put in words to have someone say, “I see what you’re doing. Great job. Keep it up. And also, are you okay?”

I’ll be framing this photo and hanging it over my desk.

Thank you Barbara.

<3

And a special thank you also to Ellen who provided similar but different validation to my work and additional incentive to keep on keepin’ on. With your incredible energy, enthusiasm and propensity for thinking out of the box I can’t wait to see what you create in the years to come.

Ever since I launched Fae at my very first WWC it’s been a sort of tradition for me to launch each new installment of the Magical Menageries there. Equus was no different.

I mean, it was different, but we launched it there just the same 😉

This is what our panel looked like. Well, to be honest Megan looked a wee bit different in person than she does in that photograph. I can’t imagine why…*

We have, from left to right, Hal J. Friesen, Susan MacGregor, C.S. MacCath, M.L.D Curelas , Sandra Wickham, V.F. LeSann (Leslie Van Zwol and Megan Fennell, Pat Flewwelling, Chadwick Ginther and Cat McDonald.

In addition to Equus contributors there are two D is for Dinosaur authors included in that rowdy bunch.

The reading was awesome and included flying cellphones, yeehaws, accents galore, laughs and tears. I am so lucky that I get to work with such amazing people.

And then this happened:

I’ve never won a short story contest before, I was pretty stunned and kind of floated through the rest of the day in a weird state of shock.

In Places Between is a short story contest organized by the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association that is dedicated to the memory of Robyn Herrington. In fact, the dedication on the associated anthology which contains all the stories that were finalists in the contest says:

Dedicated to the memory of

Robyn Meta Herrington (1961 – 2004)

Who believed so passionately in paying it forward,

She still is.

I never met Robyn but after winning the contest dedicated to her memory I spent some time with Barb Galler-Smith learning about her. She sounds amazing and I can only hope people speak so highly of me once I’m gone as they do of her. Thank you, Barb, for sharing some of your memories with me.

Before the con was done I had one more panel. This one was with Mark Leslie where we talked about collaborative publishing and how Haunted Hospitals came to be. The panel turned into an interesting discussion between Mark, myself and the audience and was a lovely way to end the programming.

The next day was time to come home, and on the drive back to Edmonton with S.G. Wong she helped me unknot a really annoying characterization problem for a novel that’s been collecting dust on my desk for years. Now, I’m really excited to re-write the thing over the three day novel weekend (I’m not officially registered), which is a much better state of mind than the ‘What am I going to write? What am I going to write?’ one I had been in before that. So yay!

Overall it was an awesome weekend, made so by many, many people (most of which aren’t listed here by name because if I did this blog post would be far too long). If you organised, volunteered or attended When Words Collide thank you for helping make it an amazing weekend.

See you next year!

 

 

*Just guessing here but it might be because she’s a brat…

My WWC Schedule

When Words Collide is kinda my jam. Technically apparently it’s a ‘Festival for Readers and Writers’ but I just call it my favourite convention, and I go every year.

There is a ridiculous amount of programming at WWC. I’m not kidding. There are twelve separate programming tracks, and it’s not like there are three real program tracks and a whole bunch of filler. Nope. All of these tracks are packed full of awesomeness so I wanted a bit more time to take it all in. So this year my schedule is a bit more laid back than on previous years 🙂

Friday

1pm — Live Action Slush: Early Bird Edition (Fireside)

Bring the 1st page of your short fiction manuscript to be anonymously read aloud and
receive comments from our editors.

This was the first ever panel I was on (at WWC or any convention ever) and it was so much fun I ask to be put on it every year.

5pm — Blue Pencil Session (Heritage)

Bring the first page or two of your manuscript (max 1000 words, typed, double-spaced) for
1-on-1 feedback from an editor.

These are booked ahead of time and I’m fully booked already (though there is usually a wait ist you can get on in case someone cancels). If you are one of the people coming to see me it’s a really good idea to send your work ahead of time so we don’t spend all our time together with me reading.

Saturday

11am — Equus Book Social (Fireside)

Whether winged or at home in the water, mechanical or mythological, the equines that gallop through the pages of the Equus anthology span the fantasy spectrum. From steampunk-inspired stories and tales that brush up against horror to straight-up fantasy, one theme connects them all: freedom. Join several contributors (and a couple special guests)
as they read short excerpt from their stories.

This is going to be awesome. I’m just sayin’…

12pm — Tyche Books Presents (Fireside)

Tyche Books introduces new books for 2017. Join the editors and attending authors for teaser readings and Q&A.

Okay, so I’m not actually ON this panel, my book from Tyche is a 2018 title, however since this panel immediately follows the Equus panel I can’t see any reason why people shouldn’t just hang around and watch it too 😉

4pm — Edge Publishing Presents (Fireside)

I’ll be talking briefly about the upcoming Tesseracts anthology that Greg Bechtel and I just finished putting together. Mostly, however, there will be readings from Edge authors 🙂

8pm — Autographs

I will be taking part in the mass autograph signing as will many Equus and D is for Dinosaur contributors so if you have a copy of either anthology this is the best place to collect a whole bunch of signatures 🙂

Sunday

2pm — Featured Author (Edge Publishing booth in the Vendor Room)

I’ll be spending an hour hanging out at the Edge Publishing booth in the vendor room. Last time I was the Featured Author I managed to wrangle two other people (Cat McDonald and Sandra Wickham) into joining me so we had a trifecta of awesome featured authors, so who knows what this year will hold? Swing by to talk about, well, whatever you wanna talk about. It’ll be fun 🙂

4pm — Collaborative Publishing (Fairview)

How HAUNTED HOSPITALS was born, created and developed (inspiration, origin story, how we divided the book up, and tools we used). This workshop provides insights on how to successfully collaborate on a writing project.

Haunted Hospitals wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for When Words Collide. Mark and I talk about it specifically and also more generally about collaboration 🙂

If you’re going to be at When Words Collide I hope to see you there! And please don’t be shy, even if we’ve never met before if you see me, please come up and say hi 🙂

D is for Dinosaur Countdown Sale

D is for Dinosaur is on sale, but it’s not just any kind of sale, it’s a countdown sale! That means, for today and tomorrow the book will be 99 cents. Following that you’ll be able to pick it up for $1.99 for a couple days before it returns to its regular low price of $2.99.

To get the best deal you need to act quickly, but honestly, even at $2.99 this huge anthology is a steal!

Get Your Copy Now!

Haunted Hospitals

Haunted Hospitals is officially out this weekend and the timing really could not be any better. You see, When Words Collide is next weekend and really, that’s where this all started.

A couple years ago I met my co-author, Mark Leslie, at WWC. I was sitting with him and a handful of other people at a table after the autograph session had concluded and I said, “You know, I live near a haunted hospital.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

We had several discussions via email and an in-person meeting at the next year’s WWC and slowly the plan for a book about haunted hospitals began to take shape.

And tomorrow that book is officially going out into the world!

I keep saying ‘officially’ it comes out tomorrow because last weekend I actually spotted a copy of it out in the wild — on the shelves at a local Chapters. Of course I squeed (like a total professional) and snapped some pictures.

I did leave it as I’d found it, spine out, on the shelf. So give me some points for that, anyway 🙂

This was my first foray into book length non-fiction and though it was incredibly challenging it was equally rewarding. I owe my co-author, Mark, a huge debt for showing me the ropes and demonstrating incredible patience as he answered question after newbie question. It’s been a huge adventure.

An adventure that continues even now.

The first review of Haunted Hospitals came out in the Sudbury Star and was then picked up by the National Post.

“If paranormal phenomena are going to occur, what better place than in a hospital?” noted Parrish in the book’s introduction. “Day after day, the most extreme of human experiences play out within the walls of hospitals. The most intense emotions are experienced again and again. Birth. Death. Trauma. Suffering. If paranormal activity is tied to energy or emotions, hospitals are the perfect petri dishes in which to culture it.

“Furthermore, if human spirits are trapped on this earth by trauma, disturbance or unfinished business, again, what better location than a hospital to forge the chains that hold them here?”

Read the full review here.

And yesterday I was a guest on J’lyn Nye’s show on 630 CHED here in Edmonton. That was my first ever radio appearance and I was super nervous. People have said nice things though, so I guess I hid it reasonably well. I thought I talked too much and stammered but you can judge for yourself if you’re so inclined. For the next week the show will be archived here at the 630 CHED Audio Vault. For the show I was on you’ll want August 3rd at 3pm 🙂

Mark and I will be at When Words Collide next weekend (August 11 – 13 at Delta Calgary South) to talk about Haunted Hospitals and how it all came together. There will be copies available there and we’ll be happy to sign them, however tickets are sold out. But fear not! Even if you can’t attend this year’s WWC you can still get a copy of Haunted Hospitals.

It should be available at your favourite local bookstore and/or library (and if it’s not you can usually ask them to order it in) or you can totally pick it up online!

Haunted Hospitals Online:

Direct from the Publisher

Amazon

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

(Note: Some of these links might be pre-order links until the book officially comes out)

Check it out and let me know what you think! And, if you have a scary, spooky or eerie hospital story of your own I’d love to hear it. Share it in the comments or drop me an email 🙂

Freedom

To celebrate and raise awareness of Equus‘ release, some of the anthology contributors participated in a group interview. I sent them all several interview questions and they sent their responses. Instead of sharing one person’s interview each day, however, I’m going to share one question and everyone’s responses 🙂

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered going with a Braveheart-type graphic for this one, but I resisted* 😉

Today’s question is…

Once the anthology was done and I was re-reading it for copyedits it occurred to me that though the stories were tied together by the equine theme, of course, they also had one other theme in common–freedom. Is that something you were consciously thinking about as you wrote your story?

“Hennessy and Peregrine’s battle for their freedom was always part of the plot, but certainly not the foundation of the concept! We both think it’s really cool that they all have a freedom theme though!”

V.F. LeSann

author of, "Riders in the Sky"

“I’m a total pantser, so I don’t tend to think about theme until after I have a draft of a story I want to tell, but once I had that draft, freedom was something I considered in my rewrites. Michelle’s theme song while I was writing was Van Halen’s “Unchained.””

Chadwick Ginther

author of, "Scatter the Foals to the Wind"

“Although it wasn’t what I was consciously thinking about when I wrote it, I find a lot of my stories are about freedom. The search for freedom to be is an intrinsic part of what it means to be alive. Well, it is for me.”

Angela Rega

author of, "The Horse Witch"

“Huh! I wasn’t consciously thinking about freedom, no. Which is sort of sad since one of my characters is a slave…”

K.T. Ivanrest

author of, "Lightless"

“I’m not surprised. I think a lot of people see horses as symbols of freedom.

As for me, freedom’s all I think about.”

Cat McDonald

author of, "The Last Ride of Hettie Richter"

“Yep! I actually have a passage where Demy’s thinking of the freedom she felt when she was on Foxy’s back, and how her motorcycle gives her some of that freedom back. Demy’s definitely still in pursuit of freedom in a lot of ways–freedom from her past, freedom from her sorrows, freedom from magic. Of course, we see how that works out for her. :D”

Stephanie A. Cain

author of, "To Ride a Steel Horse"

“Sort of. It was in the DNA at the time. I wrote this story in October 2016, literally the same week a certain American presidential candidate was caught on tape confessing to molesting women. The horror and nausea of that time period (that still hasn’t ended) is in Eli. I was also watching 70s films about fast cars and escaping from prison, too (specifically “Jackson County Jail”) and reading Bruce Springsteen’s biography, and being impressed by this overwhelming feeling — that the only thing that matters, politically or otherwise, is freedom. And I think every election cycle feels like that is on the line, no matter where you fall politically. All of that is in Eli.”

Michael Leonberger

author of, "Eli the Hideous Horse Boy"

“In an odd way, yes. The last book in my Tattooed Witch trilogy was published in December, 2016. In tone, the trilogy tends to be passionate and dark, exploring themes of love and death, in particular. I wanted to free myself from that – to write something much lighter – Ladies Day was the result. As writers, we all write what we are. I have a dark, passionate side, but I also adore the ridiculous. I had fun coming up with what I thought were silly ideas and scenes. I had been doing a lot of research on the Edwardian period for my upcoming novel. The Edwardians were all about having a good time, if we take King Edward VII, who was quite the playboy, as an example. Throw horses and the Edwardians together, and you have the Ascot. Mix in outrageous hats, snobbery, the marriage market, and cheating duchesses for fun. Add a dollop of magic. Why not?”

Susan MacGregor

author of, "Ladies Day"

*by ‘resisted’ I mean I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out how to add Braveheart face paint to the horse in the graphic at the top of the page before surrendering and just getting on with things 😉

If you haven’t done so already, be sure and pick up your copy of Equus today, maybe if it sells enough I’ll make enough money to buy some graphic design lessons 😉

…just kidding, that’s totally not what I’d spend the money on, but buy the book anyway LOL