Tag Archives: c.s. maccath

Fractured Friday — Interview with C.S. MacCath

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory HokeFor the next several weeks I’ve decided to call Fridays ‘Fractured Friday’ and use them to share news, contributor interviews and excerpts from B is for Broken.

B is for Broken is the second title in the Alphabet Anthologies series. It follows A is for Apocalypse and will in turn be followed by C is for Chimera. Each story in the series is associated with a letter of the alphabet and is titled in the letter is for word format. What’s more, just to keep things nice and complicated, the story’s title isn’t shared at the beginning but at the end so that you can guess at what it might be while you read.

On that note, even though the story titles could be considered spoilers because of how the book is formatted, for the sake of simplicity if the author has chosen to post their title publicly somewhere else (their blog, Facebook, wherever) I am going to include it in my posts. If they haven’t revealed that information, though, I’ll list the story titles as Letter is for…

With twenty-six stories and twenty-seven contributors I ought to have plenty of material for loads of Fractured Fridays to come. And you might think I’d have a difficult time deciding where to start but it took me far longer to come up with a broken-themed alliteration than it did to pick what to post first. It had to be C.S. MacCath’s interview.

Ceallaigh’s novelette, C is for Change really anchors this anthology. In part that’s because it’s twice as long as the next longest story in this collection but it’s also because of how just straight-up awesome it is. C is for Change addresses the theme of broken on several levels while tackling some really big issues, building a magical new world and introducing us to incredibly three-dimensional characters. I can’t say enough good things about this story, I freaking love it! Check out the excerpt in Ceallaigh’s interview below and you’ll get a sense of why 🙂

 

Interview with C.S. MacCath

What letter were you assigned?
C

Please share a short excerpt from your story:

“Three nights, maybe less,” I told the man; a grandchild clinging to his neck, another clutching a trouser leg and watched his mouth fall slack with fear. “And we can only make ten trips up the mountain a day, for people and supplies, both. So the Kandunar Warmaster wants you to run, if you can.” The terrified silence of the crowd broke like window glass, and a torrent of questions began to pour through. I gripped the folds of my robe, novitiate blue, and wished for the authority of white. “There’s a ferry at the river mouth that can take you across to the islands…”

“The Vele can swim!” This from the pot-bellied farmer who supplied our potatoes. Andu…Ando… I had only met the man a few weeks ago. Nervous hands twisted the reins of the gelding beneath him.

“Yes, but the Muto Vele cannot,” I assured him. “They forget everything but violence when the Muto Qeyunar fix them into mounts. Andro, take your horse and go. Don’t leave him to wander in the place this valley is about to become.”

A middle-aged woman stepped onto the lip of the lift, and it rocked into the cliffside with a crunch. A speckled chicken clucked from the crook of her arm. She kissed the crimson comb of its head and declared, “Henny hates to see people fight.” Her tunic and trousers, too fine for the fetor of her flesh and the cluster of lice in her bushy red hair, were streaked with greasy bird droppings. “Something happens inside, and she can’t control it.”

“Why does she get to go up first?” A pregnant woman pointed her belly at the lift as if to assert her claim to a place aboard. “We’ve got little ones and old peo…”

“How would a twiggy boy like you know what the Muto Vele can do?” Andro interrupted again, his voice cracking over the question. The gelding whinnied and shied.

This was authority – and shame – I possessed in abundance, and they could only be wielded together. With a shrug, the heavy sleeves of my robe fell to the sash at my waist. Andro stammered a prayer, and a few in the crowd cried out, but the middle-aged woman spread her fingers and traced the trenches of blackened scar across my chest from shoulder to hip.

“The claws,” she murmured, her touch warm and unflinching. “They cut through everything, like a folded blade.” Her eyes followed the sheer face of the mountain into the low-hanging clouds. “We might not be safe up there.”

What is the thing you’ve most regretted breaking?
A promise to myself that I would move to Ireland and make my home there someday. Then again, I’m not dead yet, so that path might still lie ahead of me.

Have you ever broken something and not been saddened by it? Can you tell us about that?
I burned two Clarion 2006 tee shirts in a Samhain (Halloween) bonfire a couple of years ago along with a box of items that represented negative experiences from which I wished to be cleansed. They made a lovely fire.

If you could break one law and get away with it consequence-free, what would it be?
Grand larceny, but then I’d also have to wear a leather jerkin and live in a Renaissance Faire village so I could be the thief my Skyrim character wishes I was.

Do you have any rules for yourself, a code of some sort, which you’d never break?
I’m vegan, so I oppose the exploitation of animals for medicine, food, clothing, entertainment and other purposes.

Never ever?
No ethical position is perfect, and there are many situations where it isn’t practicable to be vegan. For instance, there are animal ingredients in automobile tires and other ubiquitous household items. That said, I make a conscious effort to avoid these things wherever possible.

Really? Isn’t there something which could make you break it?
If my life were at stake, yes, I would absolutely take the life of another sentient being. However, I should stress that this hypothetical situation would be an extreme one where there was no other option but to take that life or give up my own.

Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely?
This story fell out of me like a long-held confession, and I love it with all my heart.

What was your favourite idea you didn’t use?
I wrote a 13,000-word story. I solemnly promise you that I used each and every one of my favourite ideas.

What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story?
A few years ago, I met a man at Canadian Tire in Nova Scotia who had a service dog with him. I asked if I could pet the dog, and he said that I could. We struck up a conversation, and I learned he was a former Canadian soldier suffering from PTSD. He volunteered a great deal about his illness; how he came to suffer from it, the limitations it placed upon him emotionally, and the way it affected his marriage. It was as if all the usual shields we put up between ourselves and strangers were missing in him, and he knew it, and he chose to go about in the world a shieldless ambassador for other soldiers suffering from PTSD.

He was a good one. We must have talked for two hours; I was waiting on a car repair, so he and the dog sat with me. I never saw him again after that day, and I don’t even remember his name, but I’ve never forgotten what he shared with me. So while I’m not and never have been a soldier, and while I don’t think my story remotely conveys the brokenness or the resilience I saw in that man, I hope it respectfully illuminates (however faintly) the issue of PTSD among soldiers and first responders.

 


 

C.S. MacCathC.S. MACCATH is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry whose work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, Mythic Delirium, Murky Depths, Witches & Pagans and other publications. Her poetry has been nominated twice for the Rhysling Award, her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and it has also received honorable mention in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection. You can find her online at csmaccath.com.

~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~

B is for Broken is available now at:
Smashwords
Kobo
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

And add it to your shelves at Goodreads

B is for Broken

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory Hoke

Broken people, broken promises, broken dreams and broken objects are just some of the ways these 26 fantastic stories interpret the theme of ‘Broken’. From science fiction to fantasy, horror to superheroes the stories within these pages cover a vast swath of the genres under the speculative fiction umbrella.

Featuring original fiction by:

~ Brittany Warman ~ Milo James Fowler ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Sara Cleto ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Megan Arkenberg ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Simon Kewin ~ Beth Cato ~ Cory Cone ~ Cindy James ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Michael M. Jones ~ Steve Bornstein ~ BD Wilson ~ Michael Kellar ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ Marge Simon ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Pete Aldin ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Lilah Wild ~ KV Taylor ~

Available now at:
Smashwords
Kobo
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

And add it to your shelves at Goodreads

After months of hard work I’m incredibly excited to announce that B is for Broken is live and available for purchase! This anthology is the second in the Alphabet Anthologies series and because the theme was broader than the first (A is for Apocalypse) the stories are even more diverse in regard to genre, style, voice and theme than before. We’ve got retold fairy tales, robots and spaceships, superheros, minotaurs, second world fantasy and so, so, SO much more. The story length ranges from flash fiction to an incredible fantasy novelette from C.S. MacCath (trust me, you don’t want to miss this one).

Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing contributor interviews, excerpts and even (once it’s complete) a ‘Broken Story‘ to try and tempt you into picking up a copy but if you enjoy speculative fiction I don’t think you can go wrong with this anthology. I’m biased but it really is packed full of awesome.

“This collection is a massive and magnificent assortment of truly enjoyable stories. There is simply no way to read this book  and not find a story you can connect with or love. This is the book to have in your travel bag. In it you are sure to find a tale to fit any mood. Each time you open it, a new adventure begins.”

Anita Allen, Assistant Publisher/Editor, Mythic Delirium Books

Also? We’re holding a Facebook party to celebrate the release and you’re invited 🙂

C is for Chimera

It is with an extreme amount of pride and pleasure that I’m announcing the theme and contributors to the third in the alphabet anthology series. I hope you’ll be as excited as I am about… dun dun DUN:

C is for Chimera

In case you’re thinking, “Uh, a whole anthology of lion/goat/serpent creatures?” that is not the only definition of the word 🙂 I’ve got my fingers crossed for at least one lion/goat/serpent creature in the anthology, but check out this definition and then tell me you can’t see the potential for a hugely diverse collection of stories:

Definition of CHIMERA (From Merriam-Webster)

1: a capitalized:  a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail
b:  an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts
2: an illusion or fabrication of the mind; especially :  an unrealizable dream <a fancy, a chimera in my brain, troubles me in my prayer — John Donne>
3: an individual, organ, or part consisting of tissues of diverse genetic constitution

Synonyms
fantasy, conceit, daydream, delusion, dream, fancy, figment, hallucination, illusion, nonentity, phantasm (also fantasm), pipe dream, unreality, vision

Near Antonyms
actuality, fact, reality

Other Genetics Terms
hermaphrodite, plasticity

Our contributing authors are also diverse and write in a wide variety of styles and genres within the broader categories of science fiction, fantasy and horror. You’ll notice some familiar names from the first two books in this series (A is for Apocalypse and B is for Broken) as well as a few new additions. Anthology contributors (in no particular order) are:

~ BD Wilson ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Pete Aldin ~ Beth Cato ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Marge Simon ~ Simon Kewin ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ KV Taylor ~ Sara Cleto ~ Michael M. Jones ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Milo James Fowler ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Megan Arkenberg ~ Michael B. Tager ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Steve Bornstein ~ Lilah Wild ~ Amanda C. Davis ~ Megan Engelhardt ~ Michael Kellar ~ Brittany Warman ~

Yuletide, Goth Music and Biscotti

Yuletide, Goth Music and Biscotti

by C.S. MacCath

I love Yuletide; the presents, the homemade things, the parties. My husband Sean and I buy or make an ornament for each other every year, and I bake things of various complexity (I make a mean vegan biscotti – recipe below). This year, we’re also hosting an all night Yule party on the winter solstice, which I hope will become an annual tradition now that we’re settled in Cape Breton.

I also love Yuletide Carols, the more fantastical-sounding the better. In addition to my library of traditional songs sung by masters like Bing Crosby, I have albums by artists like Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Blackmore’s Night, Jethro Tull, and Nox Arcana. This last band put out an album called Winter’s Knight several years ago, which sounds like it ought to be played at full volume in a crumbling, gothic church in Transylvania. It’s beautimous, and if my husband should ever tell you it makes him want to plod around the Yuletide tree in a self-flagellating ennui, you should definitely ignore him.

Seriously, the band’s Veni, Veni and Carol of the Bells are not to be missed, so I’ve linked them for you below:

Veni, Veni Emannuel
Carol of the Bells

Now for that biscotti recipe!

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Vegan Cranberry Almond Biscotti

2 ¾ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
5 Tbs. orange juice plus ½ cup
4 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup sugar plus 2 Tbs.
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sliced almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl.

2. Whisk together 5 Tbs. orange juice and cornstarch in bowl; set aside. Beat 1 cup sugar, remaining 1/2 cup orange juice, oil and extracts until fluffy. Beat in cornstarch mixture, then flour mixture. Fold in cranberries and almonds.

3. Shape into 2 logs on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake 35 minutes, or until light brown. Cool 15 minutes on baking sheet. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Return slices to baking sheet, and bake 15 minutes more. Turn the cookies, then bake them a final 5-15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

That’s all I haz, except to wish everyone who reads this the merriest of holidays! May the Yuletide season bring you joy, and light, and love.

From a Grey and Chilly Cape Breton,
Ceallaigh (C.S. MacCath)

 

~*~

This month on my blog I’m sharing holiday traditions, mine and other people’s as well. This is one of those posts, you can find the first, entitled Giftmas Cards (and subsequent ones) by visiting the main page, here. Happy Ho Ho!

This Year’s Pushcart Nominations

2015CoverHomeEvery year I talk about how difficult it is to choose which works to nominate for the Pushcart Prize and that’s because each year it gets harder. This year I was saved from truly heartbreaking decisions by two things:

  1. Eileen Wiedbrauk is nominating from Fae which meant I only had to pick from within Niteblade & A is for Apocalypse
  2. Alexandra Seidel, the poetry editor at Niteblade helped me make the poetry-based decisions.

In the end I nominated three works from A is for Apocalypse and three works from Niteblade.

From Niteblade Magazine we nominated:

  • The Bitter Gourd’s Fate by Anne Carly Abad (June 2014)
  • Godfather by Megan Arkenberg (March 2014)
  • Bird Girl by Beth Cato (March 2014)

From A is for Apocalypse I nominated:

  • F is for Finale by Suzanne van Rooyen
  • N is for Nanomachine by C.S. MacCath
  • U is for Umbrella by Damien Angelica Walters

Congratulations, ladies. And good luck!

All. The. Things.

When I looked at the list of things I wanted to signal boost this week I actually felt a little dizzy. “How the hell am I going to fit Twitter, Facebook and blog posts for all those things in without sounding like a social media spam-bot?” I wondered.

Then I got smart and decided to just put all the things into one big blog post. Yay!

Firstly, check out this character portrait:

Bayne -- Artwork by Danica Parrish

This is Bayne.

He’s a half-incubus swordsman who figures prominently in many of the stories I’ve written set in Aphanasia (Sister Margaret, Lost and Found and the forthcoming Shadows — which is subject to re-naming LoL).

Bayne is also the character I will be playing with at the Character Death Matches at Pure Spec next month and he’s also the only character from those stories who hasn’t been on a book cover… so didn’t have a portrait.

My daughter, Danica, felt bad for me as she watched me struggle to find a stock image I could crop, Photoshop or otherwise fake to fit my character and she drew this portrait for me 🙂 He looks a little younger in this than he is in the stories I’ve written about him thus far… but I’m taking this as a sign that perhaps I ought to write some stories about a younger Bayne… someday.

Anyway, I’m super lucky to have such a talented kid who is willing to draw character portraits for me. Thank you, Danica! He’s awesome and I love it 🙂Aphanasian Stories by Rhonda Parrish

As I mentioned, Bayne features strongly in Aphanasian Stories. If you haven’t read Aphanasian Stories and you like straight-up fantasy, have I got good news for you.

This week I’m participating in #CreepyFreebies. As part of that I am giving away copies of the most recent issue of Niteblade and I’m running a raffle to win a copy of Aphanasian Stories.

However… there’s this t-shirt I wanted (Roots of Remedy) but my Paypal account was a bit short, so I spontaneously decided to put Aphanasian Stories on a super big sale — 70% off (Coupon code: VG96R at Smashwords — click here) to try to top it up a bit*.

That made me feel bad for having Aphanasian Stories as the raffled off item, so I’ll also be throwing in a copy of White Noise for whoever wins. And if you win and you already own a copy of Aphanasian Stories, I’ll give you something else instead. Because.

I’m not just doing CreepyFreebies though. I’m also taking part in #CoffinHop2014 🙂 This is a super fun little system where rather than interviewing one zombie author a day, Julianne instead asks several of us one question each day. The posts are pretty short too, which in today’s world full of constant distractions, seems like a good thing. So far the posts have included:

But wait! There’s more!

White Noise -- Art and cover design by Jonathan ParrishI was interviewed by Virginia from StarkLight Press recently to celebrate the launch of White Noise. It’s not a very long interview, only about six questions worth, but I really think it gives a lot of insight into what’s going on in my skull. If you’re even a little intrigued, it’s a quick read that ought to satisfy some of your curiosity. You can check it out here:

An Interview with Rhonda Parrish | Starklight Press

Annnnnnd there’s only a few days left to get your submissions in for Scarecrow and Corvidae. Our deadline is Halloween, which is my 10 year anniversary so you can bet I won’t be sitting at my computer watching midnight come around so I can officially cut off submissions, BUT if your work isn’t in my inbox by the time I get up on Saturday I won’t be able to consider it.

Related to anthologies, at the World Weaver Press hosted #SFFLunch last week we announced the subject matter for my next WWP anthology:

Sirens

When submissions open (in 2015) I’ll be looking for siren stories to fill its pages 🙂

Lastly, I think. I will be attending World Fantasy Convention next month, as will several of the authors from Fae and A is for Apocalypse. I’ll post another reminder nearly the time, but just as a head’s up, C.S. MacCath will be having a reading where she’ll be reading from her A is for Apocalypse story, N is for… on Thursday afternoon (plus I’ll be reading part of it with her, so be sure to come by to watch me shake in my boots) AND Adria Laycraft will have a reading Saturday evening which will feature her story from Fae, Water Sense.

Whoot!

Unrelated to this post at all, but I have noticed that my website is running slowly these days. I’m in the process of moving domains over to a new host as they come up for renewal so please bear with me until that process is done at which time things should speed up significantly.

 

*Great plan except that the Smashwords quarter comes at the end of December LOL Oops. #brainfart

A is for Apocalypse One Question Interview #2

A is for Apocalypse edited by Rhonda Parrish, cover design by Jonathan ParrishIt’s zombie month here on my blog (to celebrate the launch of Waste Not (And Other Funny Zombie Stories). One thing about zombies is that they are often paired with the apocalypse in fiction and movies and it just so happens I’ve edited a book full of apocalypses recently. You may have heard about it. It’s called A is for Apocalypse. There aren’t a whole lot of zombies in A is for Apocalypse, but there are some, so while this link is a bit tenuous, it is exist 🙂

During the process of our cover reveal for A is for Apocalypse some of the contributors participated in what I called “One question interviews”. We didn’t get a chance to share all of the answers to those interviews during the reveal, so instead I’m sharing them here on my blog. Along with a short excerpt from the book.

The excerpts I’ve chosen are one from U is for… by Damien Angelica Walters and X is for by Jonathan Parrish. I picked those two in particular because they are nearly completely opposite one another when it comes to theme, voice and writing-style. I figured that was a good way to show the immense degree of diversity in the stories in this book. Unfortunately for the spirit of the month, neither of them have zombies. Sorry. >_<

 

Excerpt from X is for… by Jonathan Parrish (contains profanity):

Cyrus is getting louder and his eyes more yellow. Little scabs around his eyes and his nose and always that dirty snot on his lip. I close my eyes because it makes them hurt to look at him, think about how I wish I was in the woods with bears, feeling flesh yield to my fangs and the blood and—holy shit am I hungry. And still I can feel his breath and I can’t open my eyes because then I’ll see him and fuck that. I want to get away, away from the next past and the fucked up now and the no future and find a hole and live in it with maybe an animal pal and we’d be a super awesome team at being awesome.

One Question Interview #2:

As a contributor to this anthology you are privileged to have been able to read a proof copy of it already. Aside from your own story, which one is your favourite? No spoilers, please 🙂

Michael Kellar – “U is for REDACTED” got to me early on, and ended up being a perfect little glimpse of what would be important when facing the end of the world.

Marge Simon – That’s really, really a hard question to answer. But I’m picking Damian Angelica Walters’ moving “U is for REDACTED”. It reminded me much of one of my top favorite dark sf stories, “Testament”.

Sara Cleto – I’ll admit that I haven’t read through the entire anthology yet (it will be my reward when I finish this semester’s grading!), but I adore Brittany Warman’s story- as always, her images are haunting, powerful, and full of wonderful folkloric resonances.

Beth Cato – I loved R. It’s one of the longer stories in the anthology, I think, and it’s a unique take on events leading up to the apocalypse. The whole vibe is creepy and gritty.

Brittany WarmanI sadly haven’t gotten a chance to read the whole proof yet but I know that all the stories in it I’ve read so far are amazing! I’m so honored to be a part of it :).

C.S. MacCath – I confess I have only skimmed the anthology as yet, but Beth Cato’s and Damien Angelica Walters’ stories fairly sang with emotion, and Gary B. Phillips has written a nicely-executed piece of humour.

You can add A is for Apocalypse to your Goodreads shelves by clicking here or sign up below to get notified when it is available 🙂



Also, bonus points if you vote for A is for Apocalypse on the Listopia list of books about Apocalypses and Dystopias If I’m super lucky and people have voted before you, we may even be on the first page! LoL (That link goes to page two)

A is for Apocalypse One Question Interview #1

A is for Apocalypse edited by Rhonda Parrish, cover design by Jonathan ParrishIt’s zombie month here on my blog (to celebrate the launch of Waste Not (And Other Funny Zombie Stories). One thing about zombies is that they are often paired with the apocalypse in fiction and movies and it just so happens I’ve edited a book full of apocalypses recently. You may have heard about it. It’s called A is for Apocalypse. There aren’t a whole lot of zombies in A is for Apocalypse, but there are some, so while this link is a bit tenuous, it is exist 🙂

During the process of our cover reveal for A is for Apocalypse some of the contributors participated in what I called “One question interviews”. We didn’t get a chance to share all of the answers to those interviews during the reveal, so instead today and Monday I’m going to share them here on my blog. Along with a short excerpt from the book.

The excerpts I’ve chosen are one from U is for… by Damien Angelica Walters and X is for by Jonathan Parrish. I picked those two in particular because they are nearly completely opposite one another when it comes to theme, voice and writing-style. I figured that was a good way to show the immense degree of diversity in the stories in this book. Unfortunately for the spirit of the month, neither of them have zombies. Sorry. >_<

Excerpt from U is for… by Damien Angelica Walters:

My father and I used to stargaze when I was only a few years older than Millie. He taught me the constellations, patiently pointing at each one until I could recognize the shapes without his help.

They were a link to something bigger, something more, but no longer. Now Orion’s Belt mocks me with its precision; Cassiopeia with her beauty, a beauty that will remain even when no one’s left to see.

Once a comfort, all of them, now my enemy.

One Question Interview #1:

In choosing a theme for this, the first of a series of anthologies, I considered and rejected a great many “A” words. Tell us about your favourite word that begins with the letter A.

Alexis A. Hunter– As an author — ‘acceptance’ has a beautiful ring to it. As a sci-fi writer — ‘apex’ is particularly engaging. In general — ‘angel’ is one of my favorite words, because they’re one of my favorite ‘creature types’ to play with in stories. Plus I have a thing for wings and feathers.

Michael Kellar – My “A” word would be arachnid. I’m a spider person. (You could consider this when you get to “S is for…”)

Damien Angelica Walters – My favourite word that begins with the letter A is anathema. It rolls off the tongue like a whisper, hiding its dark meaning in pretty syllables.

Marge Simon – Alliteration because it’s a beautiful word. Sorry if it doesn’t connote anything bad, like assassin. 😉

Simon Kewin My favourite A word is (possibly) Archaeopteryx. I love the shape of the word. It’s exotic and fantastical and ungainly all at the same time – a little like the creature itself. It derives from the Greek archaeo (ancient) and pterux (wing). So, “Ancient Wing”. Archaeopteryx is a lovely illustration of the forces of evolution in progress; it’s a snapshot of a species in the process of changing from dinosaur ancestor to modern avian descendent. Here was a creature with a bony tail and teeth and feathers. And claws on its wings. I’d love to have seen one…

Sara Cleto – My favorite A word is amethyst, a purple-violet quartz often used in jewelry (particularly at Renaissance Faires!) As a little girl, I was obsessed with the color purple, and my mom’s amethyst jewelry was the subject of much fascination- I was sure the stones had some sort of magical property, and I seem to recall trying to do spells with them… And now, in my old age, I’m deeply amused by their purported ability to prevent excessive intoxication.

Beth Cato – Tricky question since my absolute favorite word begins with B. For A words, I have to say I like “anaphylactic.” It’s morbid, I know, since the meaning is a severe allergic reaction, but I like the word because it has a cool poetic rhythm.

Suzanne van Rooyen – This is really tough to answer! There are so many great words starting with A like analogy, allegory and awesome! But I think my favourite is actually a name. Atreyu. Atreyu – the character from The Never Ending Story – was my first major crush as a kid and that film was such a huge part of my childhood. If I ever have a son one day, his name is going to be Atreyu.

Brittany Warman – The first of my favorite words that begin with A that I thought of was “aurora” – not only is it frequently the name of the princess (or her daughter) from “Sleeping Beauty,” a favorite fairy tale of mine, but it was also my very first online screen name! I just love the concept and the way the word flows off the tongue too. It seems to convey mystery, beauty, and strength to me.

C.S. MacCath – My favourite ‘A’ word is ‘atonement’, because unlike ‘forgiveness’, it places the onus for righting a wrong where it belongs; upon the head of the person who committed it. If we were socialized to atone as much as we are already socialized to forgive, we might learn to be more careful with one another.

 

You can add A is for Apocalypse to your Goodreads shelves by clicking here or sign up below to get notified when it is available 🙂

 



 

B is for Broken

It is my pleasure to announce the next title in the series of anthologies which begins with A is for Apocalypse.

B is for Broken

Featuring original fiction by:

~ Beth Cato ~ Cory Cone ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ Marge Simon and Michael Fosburg ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Michael Kellar ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Sara Cleto ~ Pete Aldin ~ Milo James Fowler ~ Gary Phillips ~ Lilah Wild ~ Jonathan Parrish ~ BD Wilson ~ KV Taylor ~ Simon Kewin ~ Gabrielle Harbowy ~ Steve Bornstein ~ Brittany Warman ~ Cindy James ~ Brenda Stokes Barron ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Megan Arkenberg ~

While I got to pick the theme I have no control over how the contributors handle it, so as you can imagine I’m as excited as you to see the results! Nothing is set in stone just yet, but I’m aiming for a Spring 2015 release 🙂

 

A is for Apocalypse

What do you get when you take 26 amazing writers, assign them a letter of the alphabet and give them complete artistic freedom within a theme? In 2014 we’ll find out with the release of the first of a series of anthologies:

A is for Apocalypse

A is for Apocalypse is going to be filled with 26 apocalyptic stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) by incredibly talented writers whose diverse styles and preferred themes leave no doubt that this collection will have something for everyone. The writers who are contributing to this collection are:

~ Brenda Stokes Barron ~ Marge Simon / Michael Fosburg ~ Milo James Fowler ~ Beth Cato ~ Simon Kewin ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Sara Cleto ~ Kenneth Schneyer ~ KV Taylor ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ BD Wilson ~ Ennis Drake ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Michael Kellar ~ Cindy James ~ Brittany Warman ~ K.L. Young ~ Pete Aldin ~ Cory Cone ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Lilah Wild ~ Jonathan Parrish ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Steve Bornstein ~

Next Big Thing

I try to blog every week, but lately it’s been difficult to keep my mind on writing-related stuff so when Linda Bloodworth invited me to to participate in The Next Big Thing blog train I agreed. Inretrospect that may not have been the best decision, because my current WIP is in very early stages, but I’ll answer the questions as best I can.

What is the working title of your book?

We’re currently calling it Hollow Children. I say ‘we’ because I am writing it and Danica is illustrating it.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

To paraphrase Neil Gaiman, I made it up. In my head. I’m sure I could come up with half a dozen influences for this story, but that would only touch on the obvious ones. The truth, of course, is that I just made it up. I combined dozens of thoughts and images, brainstormed with Danica and asked myself a lot of questions  and I came up with the very skeletal idea for this book. It’s fleshing it out that is going to be tough part.

Oh. As part of the brainstorming process Dani picked the image you see to the left there to be used as our cover picture sure we decide to self-publish this story. It definitely helped conjur up some ideas and lent a feeling to the story.

What genre does your book fall under?

Um. Yes. I’m not sure. We’re aiming for YA horror but it may end up more on the paranormal end of the spectrum. We’ll have to wait until the first draft is done to find out for sure, I think.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t know. I suck at this game. For what it’s worth, I never pick actors/celebrities to represent my characters physically for me either. I suspect these two things are related 😉

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When her younger sister starts acting weird and disappears into the haunted hospital across the street it’s up to Morgan to rescue her and save her broken family at the same time.

Huh. That’s actually not terrible for something I came up with off the top of my head LoL

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Are those my only two options? LOL

I don’t know what is going to happen with this book. I need to finish writing it before I can worry about selling it. I would very much like to see it published with Danica’s illustrations though, which might make it more suitable for self-publication (I have no idea how difficult it would be to find an agent willing to sell a YA book with illustrations by an amateur artist but I imagine it’s not the easiest thing in the world) but… we’ll see. For the most part I prefer to have a publisher other than myself behind my work.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’ll let you know when it’s finished LoL

Haunted Hospital, a photograph by Rhonda ParrishWho or What inspired you to write this book?

This question is remarkably similar to “Where did the idea come from?” The answer is, no one inspired me to write this story. The what of it is that Danica and I wanted a project to work on together and this the one we decided to do. It’s not anymore complicated or exciting than that, I’m afraid. The process of creating it may be, but we’re not deep enough into it for me to know for sure yet 😉

That being said, I was inspired to include the haunted hospital that is just a few blocks from our home as one of the most important settings in the novel because, c’mon, it’s a freaking haunted hospital. How could I not?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Danica is a fantastic artist and her pictures will keep you turning the page just to see them. What’s more, Morgan is a sympathetic character who most people will be able to relate to and will really want to succeed in her mission.

And now I’m supposed to tag five people. The problem is, when I asked for volunteers to be tagged on Twitter and Facebook no one raised their hand LOL I know the posts got out there because I had one maybe and a couple ‘I’m not working on a novel right now’s but not a single yes. So. Here’s the deal. If you want to be tagged leave me a comment and I’ll tag you otherwise, um… here, in no particular order, are some of my favourite bloggers you could check out.

Beth CatoSimon Kewin ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Milo James Fowler

Enjoy!