Tag Archives: simon kewin

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:

D is for Dinosaur cover reveal

dino500x750

For the fourth installment of Rhonda Parrish’s Alphabet Anthologies, contributors were challenged to write about dinosaurs. The resulting twenty-six stories contain widely different interpretations of the dinosaur theme and span the spectrum from literal to metaphoric.

Within these pages stories set in alternate histories, far-flung futures and times just around the corner, dinosaurs whimper and waste away, or roar and rage. People can be dinosaurs, as can ideas, fictions and flesh. Knitted dinosaurs share space with ghostly, genetically engineered and even narcotic ones.

Teenagers must embrace their inner dinosaurs in order to find peace and belonging, a dying woman duels a God in a far future city that echoes aspects of our past, an abused wife accompanies her husband on a hunt for an ancient power and finds more than she could ever have imagined and a girl with wonderful magical powers stumbles across the bones of a giant long-dead lizard. And so much more!

Features stories by Alexandra Seidel, Pete Aldin, Beth Cato, Michael Kellar, Cory Cone, Simon Kewin, Samantha Kymmell-Harvey, C.S. MacCath, KV Taylor, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Michael B. Tager, Gary B. Phillips, Michael M. Jones, L.S. Johnson, Brittany Warman, Hal J. Friesen, Megan Engelhardt, BD Wilson, Michael Fosburg, Jonathan C. Parrish, Suzanne J. Willis, Lynn Hardaker, Amanda C. Davis, Andrew Bourelle, Sara Cleto and Jeanne Kramer-Smyth.

This cover was designed by Jonathan C. Parrish using original artwork by Janice Blaine.

D is for Dinosaur will be available in February 2017. In the meantime, don’t forget to add it to your ‘Want to read’ shelf on Goodreads and LibraryThing!

 

Why I Wrote “Safe Waters” for SIRENS…

Sirens Blog Tour

Why I wrote Safe Waters for the Sirens anthology.

Simon Kewin 

In short, I didn’t.

Or at least, not completely. Writing’s a funny thing: sometimes the whole story is magically there and it’s simply a matter of setting it down. This is always great because there’s no effort involved. Or, at least, there isn’t until an editor casts an eye over what you’ve written and starts with the corrections…

Sometimes, though, writing is like chasing a shadow by moonlight. You get a glimpse of what you’re trying to achieve, you can nearly reach it … and then it slips out of your grasp. The damn thing refuses to reveal itself. Oh, you can try forcibly pinning it to the page, hammering out a proper middle and ending, but very often that results in a lifeless, unsatisfying product. Worse, it gives you a story which isn’t the story you know you really want to write.

One of the things I’ve learned as a writer is the value of setting things aside and moving on. Sometimes the subconscious continues to work and you wake up with the story in your mind one morning, fully-formed and visible. Or you might forget about a piece completely, perhaps never to return to it.

That was roughly what happened with Safe Waters. I wrote the opening five hundred words or so several years ago, but the middle and the ending remained elusive. They were there, I knew, lurking in the unlit depths, but I couldn’t see them. I even moved the document to my “Going Nowhere” folder (oh yes, there are lots of monstrous things in there) and moved on.

And then I saw Rhonda’s call for submissions for her Sirens anthology and everything clicked into place. I could see the whole story and where it had to go. It seemed to me the story could fit in very nicely; it was about sirens, but in an upside-down, unusual-setting sort of way. I thought it had a chance, so I finished the tale and sent it off.

To my immense satisfaction, Rhonda liked it.

There’s a lot to be said for simply keeping on writing and seeing what comes out sometimes, but I think the opposite can be true, too. If a piece isn’t working, choose to set it aside.

It’ll still be there waiting when you hear the siren’s call…

Simon Kewin is the author of over 100 published short and flash stories. His works have appeared in Nature, Daily Science Fiction, Abyss & Apex and many more. He lives in England with his wife and their daughters. The second volume in his Cloven Land fantasy trilogy was recently published. Find him at simonkewin.co.uk.


SIRENS -- cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

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Chimeric Contributor: Simon Kewin

It’s kind of become a tradition that I interview the contributors to my anthologies and share those interviews on my blog. It’s also kind of become a tradition that it takes me a very long time to get them all posted. I plan to continue the first tradition but I’m hoping to avoid the second. Just to be different.

We’re continuing the Chimeric contributor interviews today with Simon Kewin. I’ve been working with Simon for so long I’m not even sure where our professional relationship began, but I’m extremely pleased that it did. Not only is Simon’s work in all three alphabet anthologies, he also has a story in my forthcoming Sirens anthology 🙂

 

C is for Chimera-Interview

What letter were you assigned?

F

Did you struggle with the letter you were given?

Everything fell into place quite nicely. I had a few ideas for a story, but given the letter and the theme, there was really only one story I could write.

What was your favourite idea for the ‘word’ to use in your title that you didn’t use?

One early idea was to write a story about a slightly rubbish superhero called Fishmonkeyman. Quite pleased I didn’t go with that idea in hindsight.

What kind of chimera is your story about?

Without giving too much away, my chimera isn’t one made up of body-parts from wildly different species; I’m using the word more in its biological than its mythological sense.

What, other than the letter you were assigned, helped inspire your story?

My story references another quite well-known story, and it was thinking about that – the author’s original intent and where it was left – that gave me a way in to my tale.

Lion, goat or snake–which are you more like?

Umm, tricky. If I had a choice I’d probably go for the lion – although as a vegetarian, that’s probably not going to work out that well…

If you were going to be magically transformed into a chimera composed of three different creatures, what would you want them to be?

Can I include wise and all-powerful aliens entities from beyond space? Failing that, I’d go for something that could fly, something that could swim and something that could lie around in the sun. Eagle/dolphin/lion would do…

What if it wasn’t limited to creatures? What three things would you want to be composed of?

An artifical biomechanical body capable of hosting a human mental matrix whilst being inifinitely repairable and modifiable would do nicely.

Unrealizable dreams have been called chimeras. Taking the ‘unrealizable’ part out of the equation, what is one of your fondest dreams/goals?

I’m quite keen on the idea of immortality. Probably not going to happen, but it would be good…

Can you share a short excerpt from your story?

There were things he needed to understand, too. Questions that needed answers. Whose fingers did he slip into the fish’s mouth to break its spine and end its suffering? Whose muscles sawed at the ice to open up access to the water? Whose eyes did he see the world through? Whose brain, even, thought these thoughts, asked these questions? Who were they, all the poor, broken wretches that were him? Young or old? Male or female? He could tell from his external appearance that young, strong men made up a large part of his anatomy. But his organs? His inner workings? He didn’t know.

He didn’t know who he was.

 

Simon Kewin is the author of over 100 published short and flash stories. His works have appeared in Nature, Daily Science Fiction, Abyss & Apex and many more. He lives in England with his wife and their daughters. The second volume in his Cloven Land fantasy trilogy was recently published. Find him at simonkewin.co.uk.

Cover art and design by Jonathan C. Parrish

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Sirens Cover and Table of Contents

Here she is, the much-anticipated cover and table of contents for the fourth of my Magical Menagerie anthologies: Sirens!

SIRENS -- cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

Cover by Jonathan C. Parrish

Sixteen siren songs that will both exemplify and defy your expectations.

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.

Table of Contents:

Siren Seeking by Kelly Sandoval
The Fisherman and the Golem by Amanda Kespohl
We Are Sirens by L.S. Johnson
Moth to an Old Flame by Pat Flewwelling
The Bounty by Gabriel F. Cuellar
The Dolphin Riders by Randall G. Arnold
Is This Seat Taken? by Micheal Leonberger
Nautilus by V. F. LeSann
Siren’s Odyssey by Tamsin Showbrook
Safe Waters by Simon Kewin
Notefisher by Cat McDonald
Experience by Sandra Wickham
Threshold by K.T. Ivanrest
The Fisherman’s Catch by Adam L. Bealby
One More Song by Eliza Chan
Homecoming by Tabitha Lord

Coming July 12, 2016

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D is for [Drum Roll]

It’s time to announce the theme for the next Alphabet Anthology. I am really stoked about this one. Like, really, really stoked. I’ve been looking forward to the D anthology since I first decided to do this anthology series–in fact, more than once Jo has had to talk me out of releasing books out of alphabetical order because I was impatient to get to D.

So what is the theme?

Well, Demons seemed like a good fit–a collection of dark and diverse stories would be a lot of fun but not quite as fun as–

Dragons. Dragons seem the obvious choice, right? I mean, I love dragons. I used to collect them, I even have a dragon tattoo. And there’s no doubt that dragon stories could be diverse in theme, voice and tone… but dragons were actually kind of too obvious. Plus I have a vaguely dragony anthology in the works and I don’t want to duplicate efforts. Much. Still gargantuan reptilian creatures are pretty amazing and so I am excited to announce that–

 

D is for Dinosaur

–because c’mon! How cool is that?

The dinosaur theme will be interpreted in a wide variety of ways for this anthology but my authors assure me that there will, indeed, be at least a handful of prehistoric critters within its pages. I’m super stoked!

Speaking of those authors, contributors to this anthology include some veterans to the series and some new faces too. In no particular order, story contributors to D is for Dinosaur are:

~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Pete Aldin ~ Beth Cato ~ Michael Kellar ~ Cory Cone ~ Simon Kewin ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ C.S. MacCath ~ KV Taylor ~ Laura VanArendonk Baugh ~ Michael B. Tager ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ Michael M. Jones ~ L.S. Johnson ~ Brittany Warman ~ Hal J. Friesen ~ Megan Engelhardt ~ BD Wilson ~ Michael Fosburg ~ Jonathan C. Parrish ~ Suzanne J. Willis ~ Lynn Hardaker ~ Amanda C. Davis ~ Andrew Bourell ~ Sara Cleto ~ Jeanne Kramer-Smyth ~

Janice Blaine will be contributing the artwork.

D is for Dinosaur will be coming out in 2017 but you can pre-order the third installment in the Alphabet Anthologies series, C is for Chimera right now.

Ice Fair

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All month long I’m going to be hosting the posts of other people as part of my 2015 Giftmas Blog Tour. All the guest bloggers are welcome to write about anything they’d like so long as their post touched on a December holiday in some way, no matter how tangentially. The blog tour extends beyond my blog as well, and I will do my best to link to each external post from the blog tour’s main page and share them on social media using the hashtag #GiftmasTour.

But wait! There’s more!

We’re also giving away a whole whack of prizes (check out the list here) which you can enter to win using the Rafflecoper code below. Whatever December holiday you celebrate (or don’t) winning a stack of books will make it better!

Ice Fair

by Simon Kewin

This is an edited extract from Witch King, the third volume in the Cloven Land fantasy trilogy, a book I’m currently working on.

In the land of Andar they don’t have Christmas, but they do have Midwinter festivities. For three days between the end of the old year and the start of the new, the old rules are set aside and people celebrate the turning of the year with lights and games and joyous – even wild – celebrations.

At the city of Guilden, if the winter is cold enough, they have an Ice Fair on the frozen river An. It’s a place that isn’t really a place, being on the river, as well as a time that isn’t really a time, being the gap between the years. For that short period, control of the city is handed over to a Lord of Misrule and there is much merriment and craziness.

In this scene the heroine, Cait, a girl from our world, is in Andar attending the Ice Fair. She is deeply troubled and unable to enjoy the festivities. A terrible threat hangs over the city, and indeed all of Andar, because an invasion is coming across the frozen river. The nightmares from people’s fireside tales are coming. The problem is that most of the people are having far too good a time to listen to her dire warnings…

The following day, a procession of fire snaked its way across the ice from Guilden. A long procession of revellers walked onto the ice, many carrying smoking torches that filled the night air with scents of pine-resin and honey. Everyone was muffled up in layers of wool and fur, but their eyes were bright, reflecting the thousand lights of the torches and lanterns of the Ice Fair.

The people walked toward a line of unlit bonfires, rising like a small mountain range to one side of the bay. Each district of Guilden built their own fire, a competition to discover who could create the biggest and the most outlandish effigy for the top. The crowds cheered as the Lord of Misrule walked down the line, setting each bonfire alight. Flames licked up the sides of them. Some were truly enormous, fifty or sixty feet tall. More than one was crowned with an effigy of the Doge in a golden chair, but others had exaggerated monsters that were, perhaps, their builders’ idea of the undain.

Cait stepped back from the fires as they flames took hold, the raging yellow lighting up the faces of the assembled crowds. It was strange and troubling to be surrounded by so much merriment. She wished she could enjoy it. Wished she could lose herself in the fun and forget what was coming.

There had to be thousands on the ice now, people of all ages. A hubbub of voices filled the night air: shouts, laughter, the occasional scream. She wondered if they were screams of delight or terror. Each time, she thought it had to be the start of the attack, but each time it turned out to be nothing worse than drunken revellers chasing each other.

She walked through the fair, past jugglers keeping four, five, six flaming torches in the air, past stalls selling roasting chestnuts and meat from spit-roast animals. There seemed to be very little trouble, although occasionally a laughing youth weaved headlong through the crowds, pursued by some shouting, red-faced merchant.

She walked farther still, through swept drifts of snow that crunched and cracked beneath her feet. The crowds began to thin out and the stalls become more scattered. Overhead, the stars blazed down in the cold air, reflecting so perfectly in the swept ice that it felt like she was walking through the air, depths beneath her and gulfs above. She reached a line of iron braziers. In the distance, guards paced about for warmth, no doubt wishing they were having fun at the fair like everyone else. A chill wind had picked up, making Cait’s cheeks sting. She had to be nearly beyond Guilden Bay, out on the river proper, its vast waters surging beneath her feet.

She turned to survey the scene behind her. The twinkling lights from the fair and, beyond, the houses and palaces of Guilden, windows all glowing with candle fire. Some of the black powder had been salvaged for a firework display. Bright globes of stars blossomed over the scene as rocket after rocket was launched into the sky. She could hear the whoops and roars of delight over the background jumble of voices.

She turned away again. Westward, apart from the stars, it was fully dark. She walked for ten more minutes, alone on the ice, until she saw the line of bobbing, twinkling torches moving across the ice toward her. At the same moment, the mournful cry of warning horns from the sentries wailed through the night air…

 

 

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Fractured Friday: Simon Kewin

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…

 


I don’t remember where I met Simon but it might have been from Write 1 Sub 1. Maybe? I may not be clear on that, but I am clear on this–Simon’s stories are awesome 🙂 I’m proud to include his work in both A is for Apocalypse and B is for Broken 🙂

Interview With Simon Kewin

What letter were you assigned? J

Please share a short excerpt from your story:

“You stayed true, though,” she said. “Those promises we made to each other that day at Hong Kong Station.” A wicked smile crept across her features. “And the ones we whispered the night before in this cramped little hab room. You remember?”

Of course he remembered. “You can’t be here,” he said again. “We’re on a wrecked alien spaceship in the Kuiper Belt, not at Hong Kong station. That was all a long time ago. You’re not Avi. None of this is possible.”

What is the thing you’ve most regretted breaking? When I was, like, four years old I broke my brother’s toy spaceship. Just after he’d received it. On Christmas Day.

Have you ever broken something and not been saddened by it? Can you tell us about that? Fast, every day.

If you could break one law and get away with it consequence-free, what would it be? Something that brings huge financial gain. Then I could spend my days writing. From my Caribbean villa.

Do you have any rules for yourself, a code of some sort, which you’d never break? I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 30 years, so eating meat would be one.

Never ever? A couple of times in that period I’ve eaten nibbled on some dead creature’s cooked remains, generally to try something new that someone said I should. It didn’t give me a change of heart.

Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely? The ideas came pretty freely. Although, actually, I posted on my blog asking for ideas, and the inspiration for the story I wrote came from someone’s suggestion.

What was your favourite idea you didn’t use? My contribution to A is for Apocalypse was science fiction, so I quite wanted to do a fantasy story for B is for Broken. Which didn’t work out, but I was playing with the idea of a Jack-in-the-Green story for a time.

What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story? The image in my head of this vast, weird, alien spaceship floating ghost-like in the void. That and breaking my brother’s toy spaceship when I was four…

 


 

Simon KewinSimon Kewin is the author of over 100 published short or flash stories. He lives in England with his wife and their daughters. His cyberpunk novel The Genehunter and his fantasy novels Engn and Hedge Witch were recently published. Find him at simonkewin.co.uk.

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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:
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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 ~

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.

 

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