Scarecrow Hangs by Jane Yolen Kakashi and Crow by Megan Fennell Only the Land Remembers by Amanda Block Skin Map by Kim Goldberg Waking from His Master’s Dream by Katherine Marzinsky A Fist Full of Straw by Kristina Wojtaszek Judge and Jury by Laura VanArendonk Baugh The Straw Samurai by Andrew Bud Adams Black Birds by Laura Blackwood Edith and I by Virginia Carraway Stark Scarecrow Progressions (Rubber Duck Remix) by Sara Puls Truth About Crows by Craig Pay The Roofnight by Amanda C. Davis Two Steps Forward by Holly Schofield If I Only Had an Autogenic Cognitive Decision Matrix by Scott Burtness
I love this lineup and I cannot wait to share it with the world 🙂
(Titles and such are subject to change right up until publication, of course)
A Murder of Crows by Jane Yolen Whistles and Trills by Kat Otis The Valravn by Megan Fennell A Mischief of Seven by Leslie Van Zwol Visiting Hours by Michael S. Pack The Rookery of Sainte-Mere Eglise by Tim Deal The Cruelest Team Will Win by Mike Allen What Is Owed by C.S.E. Cooney Raven No More by Adria Laycraft The Tell-Tale Heart of Existence by Michael M. Rader Sanctuary by Laura VanArendonk Baugh Knife Collection, Blood Museum, Birds (Scarecrow Remix) by Sara Puls Flying the Coop by M. L. D. Curelas Postcards from the Abyss by Jane Yolen Bazyli Conjures a Blackbird by Mark Rapacz Seven for a Secret by Megan Engelhardt Flight by Angela Slatter
You are going to love this book.
(Titles and such are subject to change right up until the day of publication of course)
Editor-in-Chief of World Weaver Press, Eileen Wiedbrauk, recently announced her Pushcart nominations for 2014. They were:
“From a Stone,” Eric Choi, Far Orbit
“Starship Down,” Tracy Canfield, Far Orbit
“Queen of Lakes,” L.S. Johnson, Fae
“And Only The Eyes of Children,” Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Fae
“Ten Ways to Self-Sabotage, Only Some of Which Relate to Fairies,” Sara Puls, Fae
“The Wicked Child,” Elise Forier Edie, Krampusnacht
Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees, but an extra big yay for the authors whose stories were in Fae. I’m so stoked for L.S., Laura and Sara. Their stories are fabulous, and it’s awesome to see them receive a little extra recognition.
This week for Fae-tastic Friday we’re going to do something a little different. For the month of December I invited friends and readers to share their favourite winter holiday traditions here on my blog. Fae contributor, Laura VanArendonk Baugh is one of the people who took me up on that offer. For Fae-tastic Friday this week, let’s learn a little bit about how she celebrates Christmas:
Our Annual Christmas Movie
by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Nearly every year of my life, my immediate family has gathered on Christmas Eve, invited friends and pseudo-adopted family, eaten ourselves silly on shrimp and brownies and cheese balls and red and green M&Ms, and watched It’s a Wonderful Life.
“That old hack of a film? Really?” you ask.
If you asked it silently to yourself, read on, and I’ll explain. If you asked aloud, there’s the door over there. We don’t argue about It’s a Wonderful Life.
No, it’s not a perfect film, and yes, it’s been parodied so often that many people can’t see the original story for itself any more. That doesn’t matter. If you need a fresh perspective, go look at the complete miniature village of Bedford Falls all lit and sparkling near the tree. “Merry Christmas, movie house!”
It’s a story about a man enslaved to duty, bound to his family by love and his job by honor, feeling trapped and resenting not the people but the circumstances. It’s about finding the delightful and unexpected in the commonplace, where the girl you ignore on the street everyday can be the gorgeous girl of your dreams when you finally notice. It’s about giving up your youthful dreams and yet finding joy in the life you’ve made.
And it was allegedly Jimmy Stewart’s favorite film, too, and who can argue with that?
It was a relative flop, fairly unknown until its copyright expired and it became cheap fodder for television stations seeking seasonal filler — a miracle both in script and real life. The film slipped around the contemporary Hays Code (that #*&%@! Potter never gets punished), provided the names of friends Bert and Ernie for generations of happy Sesame Street fans, and managed to make a hero of a man who screamed at his children while smashing the house.
It’s good for writers, that way — we see George Bailey save his brother’s life (losing his hearing) and the life of an unknown boy (taking a beating in front of the girl who likes him), give his college funds away, give his honeymoon funds away, and save the town’s only independent financial institution at the cost of his own dreams, so by the time he’s breaking stuff and shouting, we’re on his side, because we know what it costs him.
But who cares about story technique? We’re watching the movie. And it means Christmas lights and carols and food and friends and family, and while I’m not usually bound to tradition, this is one tradition I refuse to give up.
And if any philistines watch the colorized version, I shall banish them to Potter’s Field (the best-named housing development ever, I suspect).
There are other Christmas and seasonal movies I love, too, but It’s a Wonderful Life is our family’s signature film.
Laura was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth or developed motor skills, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she had become a behavior analyst, an internationally-recognized and award-winning animal trainer, a popular costumer/cosplayer, a chocolate addict, and of course a writer. Find her at www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com
Over the coming weeks I’m going to be sharing interviews I conducted with some of the contributors to Fae, and since alliteration is fun, I’m going to do it on Fridays and call them Fae-tastic Fridays. 🙂
This is the first of those interviews, where I asked questions of “And Only The Eyes of Children” author, Laura VanArendonk Baugh.
Laura VanArendonk Baugh’s Interview
What was the inspiration for your Fae story?
I’d been reading some months before on modern slavery, how there are about 29 million enslaved people today – not pinned by student loans or other things sometimes described as slavery, but real, captive, bought-and-sold slaves, used for forced labor or the sex industry. About 2 million of those are kids in the commercial sex trade. (See www.ijm.org for more information and ways to help fight modern slavery.)
Meanwhile, I saw a delightful production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at our local repertory theater, and they had a lot of fun with the fairies. Jennifer Johansen, who played Titania, is one of my favorites, and her portrayal stuck in my mind, blurring Shakespeare’s Fairy Queen with the strength of other characters Jen has played.
The opening concept – immortality was evolution’s biggest mistake – had been in my idea file for years, waiting for an opportunity.
And then I over-dosed on dark chocolate and everything was a blur, and when I came to, “And Only the Eyes of Children” had happened.
Was this your first foray into writing fairy stories?
Sort of. I haven’t written much with traditional Western fae, but I’m definitely not new to folkloric fiction. My Kitsune Tales series is set in old Japan and revolves around the youkai there, sort of the equivalent of our fairy and monster collections.
Can you tell us a bit about the specific type of fairy creature in your story?
I departed a bit from traditional lore. Robin is half-Fae, an oddity resulting from the Fae’s (usually fruitless) attempt to breed. We’re given to understand that human-fae offspring are relatively rare and often carry a heavy biological penalty. Robin has to work at bit harder at many Fae skills, such as the use of magic, but it’s possible.
What is your favourite type of fairy, and why?
If I may go back to the Japanese youkai, Eastern fae, there are a lot of fun creatures from which to choose, and most are so very different from our own fairies. (An enormous disembodied foot which falls through your ceiling in the middle of the night and demands to be washed? A friendly household spirit made entirely of cast-off kitchen utensils?) But one of the most popular, and a personal favorite as well, is the kitsune, a shape-shifting fox.
In western lore, the Other is usually easy to identify. But kitsune can take the form of a human, or even of a particular human you know well. And they may be benevolent or quite malicious, while they appear to be like us. So many possibilities!
Outside of your own writing, who is your favourite fairy character? (ie: Tinkerbell, Puck, etc.)
Ooh, a fun question!
I’m not sure I can say she’s my favorite, because I don’t think I like her, but I’m fascinated by Jim Butcher’s take on Queen Mab in The Dresden Files. And of course I’m not alone in thinking of Disney’s Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty as an iconic and delightfully scary fairy.
And allow me to end this interview with a short excerpt from Laura’s story. You’re welcome 😉
From And Only The Eyes of Children by Laura VanArendonk Baugh (161 words):
I’m one of the rare half-breed freaks myself, though not of the type to get an OMG!!!1! photo on the internet. No, I’m lucky enough to pass on a human street – which conversely means I’m pretty unlucky on what passes for a street in the Twilight Lands. So I tend to spend most of my time here.
Exactly here, in fact. This is a good place for us. What, you don’t think of Indianapolis as being a particularly supernatural city? That just means we’re keeping under the radar. I know, New Orleans and Chicago and places get all the arcane press, but think for a second. Indianapolis has two affectionate sobriquets: “the Crossroads of America,” for its prominent location on first the National Road and later several interstates, and “the Circle City,” for its efficient, nearly ritual, circle and grid layout.
Crossroads and circles, people, right in the advertising. If you can’t find the Fae in that, I can’t help you.
I love writing conventions. I’ve only been to a few, but every time I leave feeling exhausted, but also invigorated, inspired and motivated.
During his pre-convention marketing workshop Mark Leslie spoke about serendipity and creating the opportunity to make connections by attending things like conventions and festivals. The whole time he was talking about it I was just nodding along with him. Every time I’ve attended a convention-type-thing I’ve met new people and made new friends and connections. Attending When Words Collide last weekend was no exception.
I met Laura VanArendonk Baugh and Adria Laycraft who have stories in Fae, Leslie and Megan who I’ve connected with online for what feels like forever but is actually closer to a few months, people I share tables of contents with, publishers who’ve believed in my work enough to include it in their titles, local writers who I somehow hadn’t managed to connect with before and lots of other new people (readers, writers, editors, marketers… the list goes on and on…).
And I got to re-connect with people who I only get to see at events like this.
Also? I got to have conversations like these (vagueified–which should totally be a word–anonymized and paraphrased):
Him: Can I see your tattoo?
Me: Blah blah blah… as you can see I like corvidae. In fact, I’m editing an anthology called Corvidae, and a companion anthology entitled Scarecrow.
Him: I have a scarecrow story, how would I send that to you?
Me: I’ve always wanted to write a book about THIS THING which totally falls into the same category as a lot of your work but I lack the expertise and there never seems to be enough time in the day.
Him: Do you want to write it together?
Me: Uh, lemmethinkaboutthat–YES^
Friend: Oh my god! After that panel where part of my story was read I was approached by a publisher and asked to submit!
(Note: When awesome things like this happen to your friends, it’s almost as cool as when they happen to you. It’s amazing to be there in person to help them celebrate.)
Me: I can’t wait to read your book, when does it come out?
Her: *tells me*
Me: I don’t know if I can wait that long. Do you need blurbs? If I like it as much as I think I will…
Her: Oh, that would be great. I hate asking people for blurbs!
Awesomesauce Editor, after reading & marking up the opening to Hollow^: I like this. I really like this. Close your eyes and listen to this *reads my (edited) story back to me*
Me: Wow. I didn’t know I could write that well!
Post on Facebook: Rhonda! The dealer’s room is sold out of copies of Fae, do you have any more?^
A couple different people (!!): Rhonda Parrish? I’ve heard of you… (and they didn’t mean in a bad way LoL)
Me, right before my first panel ever in life: Dude, I’m really, really, really nervous.
Fellow Panelist, who is awesome #1: Come sit over here beside me.
Me, after being on my first panel ever in life: Oh man! I made it through and I’m pretty sure I didn’t even say anything stupid! (my goal for every panel was just not to say something stupid. I think I only failed once LoL)
Fellow Panelist, who is awesome #2: You were great. Hugs!
My point? Conventions rock. I’ve never regretted attending one, and I had an especially awesome time at When Words Collide. Such a good time, in fact, that I’m already registered to attend it again next year. Maybe I’ll see you there?
^more on this later or much later as is appropriate given the subject
World Weaver Press and I are going to host an official cover reveal for Fae on May 21st. In addition to showing off our fantastic cover, we’ll also be hosting a giveaway of several copies (through Goodreads).
Meet Robin Goodfellow as you’ve never seen him before, watch damsels in distress rescue themselves, get swept away with the selkies and enjoy tales of hobs, green men, pixies and phookas. One thing is for certain, these are not your grandmother’s fairy tales.
Fairies have been both mischievous and malignant creatures throughout history. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. Fae is full of stories that honor that rich history while exploring new and interesting takes on the fair folk from castles to computer technologies and modern midwifing, the Old World to Indianapolis.
Fae covers a vast swath of the fairy story spectrum, making the old new and exploring lush settings with beautiful prose and complex characters. Enjoy the familiar feeling of a good old-fashioned fairy tale alongside urban fantasy and horror with a fae twist.
With an introduction by Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman, and all new stories from Sidney Blaylock Jr., Amanda Block, Kari Castor, Beth Cato, Liz Colter, Rhonda Eikamp, Lor Graham, Alexis A. Hunter, L.S. Johnson, Jon Arthur Kitson, Adria Laycraft, Lauren Liebowitz, Christine Morgan, Shannon Phillips, Sara Puls, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek.
If you’d like to participate in the official reveal, please leave a comment to this blog post before May 17th (short notice, I know) and I’ll send you all the information you need by the 19th. Otherwise, just be sure and check back here on the 21st for the official unveiling of the cover and information about how you can enter to win a copy for yourself!
ETA:A friend asked me to explain a bit about what ‘hosting the reveal’ meant, for those people who aren’t familiar with the jargon. Basically, right before the day of the official reveal I will send out a copy of the cover image, a description of the book, links for the Goodreads giveaway, excerpts and all that sort of fun stuff to everyone who signs up to host the reveal. Then, on the day of the reveal all the hosts will post a blog entry with the cover image and whatever other bits of the book information they want to share.
People who don’t have a blog don’t need to sign up, but they can absolutely help still by spreading the word on social media, voting for the book in polls and entering to win the giveaway.
This is a blog hop. Each participant in it is meant to blog about their writing process… I’m going to be faking it a bit because, frankly, I don’t have a writing process LOL I’m getting a little ahead of myself, however. Because hop is chain/train-like in style. I was one of three writers invited by Kristina Wojtaszek to participate and I in turn invited a few writers. Kristina posted her blog last week, and the people I invited will blog next week. So the chain goes on, and on, and on… 😉 Before I start talking about myself and my, ahem, “writing process” let me tell you a little bit about Kristina, since she’s the one who invited me to play along 🙂
Kristina Wojtaszek grew up as a woodland sprite and mermaid, playing around the shores of Lake Michigan. At any given time she could be found with live snakes tangled in her hair and worn out shoes filled with sand. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management as an excuse to spend her days lost in the woods with a book in hand. She currently resides in the high desert country of Wyoming with her husband and two small children. She is fascinated by fairy tales and fantasy and her favorite haunts are libraries and cemeteries. Follow her @KristinaWojtasz or on her blog, Twice Upon a Time.
I met Kristina when she submitted a story to Fae. A story, titled Solomon’s Friend, which I accepted. It was a pleasure to work with Kristina on edits and all the other minutiae that come with anthologies. I’ve not yet read her longer works (Kristina’s page at World Weaver Press) but Opal is on my TBR list and I liked her short story, Cinder, in the Specter Spectacular anthology from WWP.
Now, though I could keep talking about Kristina, I’m actually supposed to answer some questions about my writing process. Let’s give it a go, shall we?
1) What am I working on?
So many things. No really. Maybe that’s part of the reason I don’t have a writing process — I absolutely fail at single-tasking. I wish I didn’t. I wish I could focus on one project at a time, but that doesn’t seem to be the way my brain works. I’m pre-scheduling this blog post, so when it goes live it may not be 100% accurate, but as of the time of my writing this I am working on:
Editing the stories for A is for Apocalypse (almost done!)
Revising a Canadian apocalypse story (no where near done)
The first draft of my YA horror novel (almost done!!)
Poems for a collaborative project (spec)
Writing a ‘setting the mood’ scene for a collaborative short story (horror)
Copyediting a small collection of my reprints I’m going to self-publish.
Short story for a pen name project
Actually… that’s it for writing/editing projects which are super active right now. O_o Might be a new record, actually LoL I’ve also got a wish list of sorts of a bunch of stories I want to write, but either I haven’t quite figured them all the way out yet, or haven’t found the time to sit down and get ’em done. That list obviously doesn’t count things like Niteblade, promoting anthologies I’ve edited, paperwork, blogging challenges (I start one tomorrow), etc. etc. But it gives a pretty good idea of the files currently open on my computer.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, it’s mine, isn’t it? That sounds kind of like a lame or a smart ass answer, but it’s the best I’ve got. Everything I write is informed by what makes me, me. By my past, my present, my favourite words, my strengths, my weaknesses…
Interestingly, I think for a long time I was handicapping myself. One of the things I do best is write description, but for years I’ve been cutting it out of my work because of the idea ‘if it’s not absolutely necessary, cut it’. Which is silly, when I think about it now… but there you go.
It’s always a learning process, right? The stories I write today are going to be better than the ones I wrote yesterday. The anthologies I edit this year are likely to be stronger than the ones I edited last year… it’s just how it goes. The novel I’m working on right now is still a work in progress, and very much a first draft, but it has loads of description in it — and I love it. That’s subject to change, of course, but right now I feel like it’s the thing I’ve written which most closely shows who I am as a writer. I can’t wait to share it 😉
3) Why do I write what I do?
Two reasons, I think. First, because it’s what I would want to read, and second, because it is what interests me. I guess those things are almost the same thing… but not quite.
4) How does my writing process work?
Uh… I don’t really have one. I used to try to force myself to do things one way all the time, but that resulted in long periods where I wasn’t “blocked” but I wasn’t writing either. Now I do whatever it takes to get the words on the page.
Ideally, I prefer to write all my first drafts longhand, on my bed (the picture to the left is a pretty accurate representation of how that goes LoL). Because I type far quicker than I can write, forcing myself to slow down really helps me refine the words as they are coming out of my brain and onto the page. Afterwards, when I transcribe them from book to computer it’s an opportunity to do another edit without really editing. I let the story/poem/novel rest for a while either before or after transcription, and then it’s time to revise the hell out of it. I do most of my revisions on the computer, but when a project is super important to me I print it out and edit the hard copy, then transcribe those edits back into the computer again. I know I should do this with all my work because it produces a far better project, but honestly? My printer’s not doing so well these days and I feel bad for all the dead trees >_<
So that’s my ideal process. In reality though, like I said, I do whatever it takes to get the words out. Sometimes that means using Write or Die on kamikaze mode with a low tolerance (so it will start deleting my words if I stop writing them), sometimes I go to the university my husband teaches at and hide out in an empty room where there are no distractions and no excuses for not getting words done. Sometimes I complain on twitter for two hours about how I should be writing but I’m procrastinating instead, then I get so tired of my own whining I just shut up and write. Whatever it takes, man. That’s my process — whatever it takes.
Well, enough about me 🙂 I’ve invited a few of the other contributors to Fae to participate in this blog hop. Next week, April 7th, you’ll be able to read posts from:
Laura was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame her childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth and unable to walk, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she had become a behavior analyst, an internationally-recognized and award-winning animal trainer, a costumer/cosplayer, a chocolate addict, and of course a writer.
Laura writes historical and fantasy works as well as non-fiction in the art and science of behavior and training. Follow her exploits at www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com.
Rhonda Eikamp grew up in the heart of Texas, fell in love with words and languages and moved to Germany. Her story-writing started with a Nancy Drew novel written at the age of ten, but only really took off after 1996, with stories in venues such as Space & Time and The Urbanite. Since rebooting in 2012, she has published stories in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, The Colored Lens and Daily Science Fiction. She lives with her husband, two daughters and a cat, and spends non-writing time translating legal texts for a German law firm or photographing the idyllic places of her youth on trips back to the States.
Beth Cato’s debut steampunk novel THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER will be released by HarperCollins Voyager in September 2014. She’s originally from Hanford, California, but now resides in Arizona with her husband and son. Her short fiction, poetry, and tasty cookie recipes can be found at http://www.bethcato.com.
L.S. Johnson lives in Northern California. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in such venues as Corvus, Interzone, and Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. Currently she is working on a novel set in 18th century Europe. She can be found online at traversingz.com.
Alexis A. Hunter revels in the endless possibilities of speculative fiction. Short stories are her true passion, despite a few curious forays into the world of novels. Over forty of her short stories have been published, appearing recently in Kasma SF, Spark: A Creative Anthology, Read Short Fiction, and more. To learn more about Alexis visit www.idreamagain.wordpress.com.
Shannon Phillips lives in Oakland, where she keeps chickens, a dog, three boys, and a husband. Her first novel, The Millennial Sword, tells the story of the modern-day Lady of the Lake. Her short fiction has been featured in Dragon magazine, Rose Red Review, and the upcoming anthology Fae from World Weaver Press.
Because, go big or go home, right? 🙂 I hope you’ll pop by these ladies’ blogs next week. I certainly will be 🙂
It’s been quite a journey since World Weaver Press and I first announced that I’d be editing an anthology of fairy stories. Fae has grown from a vague idea to a solid manuscript over the past few months and become even more amazing than I’d hoped. We have seventeen fantastic stories that are going to blow you away.
Allow me to share the table of contents from my forthcoming anthology, Fae:
These stories run the gamut from high-tech to old-fashioned and will sweep you away to settings as varied as modern day Indianapolis, the American civil war and mystical medieval kingdoms. They have, as I requested in my call for submissions, lush settings, beautiful prose and complex characters, and come this summer, if you’re a fan of fairies and folklore, you are going to fall in love with this book.