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 🙂
Today I’m taking part in the launch party for Simon Kewin’s YA fantasy novel Hedge Witch. The party actually started yesterday, but I’m promised it won’t be held against me that I’m a day late to the festivities 🙂
Fifteen year-old Cait Weerd has no idea she’s being sought by the undain: sorcerous creatures that feed off the spirit of the living. She doesn’t know they need her blood to survive. She doesn’t even know she’s a witch, descended from a long line of witches. Cait Weerd doesn’t know a lot, really, but all that’s about to change.
At Manchester Central Library she’s caught up in sudden violence. In the chaos she’s given an old book that’s been hidden there. Given it and told to run. Hide the book or destroy it. The book contains all the secrets of the undains’ existence. They and their human servants want to find it as much as they want to find her.
Cait learns the fates of two worlds are at stake. Just what she needs. Along with definitely-not-a-boyfriend Danny, she has to decide what the hell to do. Run, fight or hope it all goes away.
It’s only then she learns who she really is, along with the terrible truth of what the undain have been doing in our world all this time…
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 ~
Last year Milo James Fowler hosted an event where he gave away stories every Friday in October. This year he’s invited some of his friends to come play too. I am pleased to announce that I am one of those participants 🙂 Who else is playing along this year? Check it out, in addition to myself and Milo the following people are all also giving away goodies each Friday:
I’m also hosting a raffle to give away a grab bag full of awesome. This bag is guaranteed to have a proof copy of my book Aphanasian Stories and a copy of Niteblade’s special poetry issue:
There will also be all sorts of other goodies. There may be books, pens, postcards, download codes for other books, candy, handicrafts, bookmarks… you just never know what I’m going to toss in there. I promise though, that when you open up this grab bag it will be the same sort of adventure as when you would dump out your candy bag after trick or treating 🙂
I’m also going to give away a copy of the latest issue of Niteblade Magazine. If we have lots of entries I will give away more than one copy… let’s say one copy for every ten people who enter. So the more people who enter the more issues I’ll give away. And you can enter to win in several different ways (plus, you can earn one entry every day just by tweeting about the giveaway). Good luck!
Now that you’ve visited me, downloaded your copy of Blodeuwedd & entered for your chance to win my Grab Bag of Awesome, be sure to head over to Milo’s blog for directions to the other people giving away fun things. You don’t want to miss out 🙂
I first “met” Simon over at Write 1 Sub 1 and then from there I began to follow his blog. He is stopping by today to talk about his newest release, a YA steampunk novel titled ENGN. I was lucky enough to win a copy of ENGN from a giveaway over at Librarything and though I’m only about 25% of the way through right now I’m really enjoying it. Because of that (and also because he’s just a genuinely nice guy) I was more than happy to open up my blog for him today.
Thank you for coming by Simon 🙂
Finn’s childhood in the valley is idyllic, but across the plains lies a threat. Engn is an ever-growing steam-powered fortress, that needs a never-ending supply of workers. Generation after generation have been taken away, escorted into its depths by the mysterious and terrifying Ironclads, never to return.
The Masters of Engn first take Finn’s sister, then his best friend, Connor. He thinks he, at least, is safe – until the day the ironclads come to haul him away.
Yet all is not lost, Finn has a plan. In the peace of the valley he and Connor made a pact. A promise to join the mythical Wreckers and end Engn’s tyranny.
But now on his own, lost and thwarted in the vastness of Engn, Finn begins to have doubts. Is Connor really working to destroy Engn?
Like any book, Engn is constructed from words. But certain words are more important than others – and some were crucial to the novel, helping me to imagine the world of the novel as well as some of the people within it. Two obvious examples are “naphtha” and “Ironclad” – both good, steampunky words. These, and a few other words like them, allowed me to envisage the vast, steam-powered machinery that is Engn.The process is an entirely rational one, I’m sure, words triggering associations and connections in the brain. But it feels like something magical, as if these simple words are summoning the beings and settings into existence. “Line-of-sight” was another one: I heard the phrase somewhere as I was working on early versions of the novel, and suddenly I could see this communication network, all these telescopes flashing messages around like a steampunk internet. Again, these became essential to my imagining of the novel. Whether or not they would actually work in our universe…
People, too, were sometimes born out of words. The obvious example is Mrs. Megrim, who started out as just that word, nothing more, but who became perhaps my favourite character in the book. A megrim is an old word for a migraine. I came across it somewhere and immediately imagined a scowling, black-clad woman who won’t stand for any nonsense. But who – without giving anything of the story away – has a lot more going on beneath the surface.
Perhaps the most significant word, of course, is the title itself. “Engn” is pronounced like “engine” (at least in my head), because it’s the name of a vast machine. But it also has that strange abbreviation as if worn away by long use, or as if parts have been lost, so that it barely makes sense now. Because that’s how it is with my machine: it’s been working for a long time in one form or another, its original form and function altered or lost (or is it?) A simple, odd four-letter word that, once I’d thought of it, had to be used. Again it felt like an invocation. With the word Engn in my head I could suddenly see the great machine stretching across the horizon, pumping away, smoke rising over those towers and wheels, the people crawling in and around it like ants.
Words are wonderful things. The simple act of spelling out a few letters can work magic…
Simon Kewin – Biography
Simon was born and raised on the misty Isle of Man, but now lives and works deep in rural England. He divides his time between writing SF/fantasy fiction and computer software. He has had around fifty short stories published in a variety of magazines and anthologies, along with a similar number of poems. He has a degree in English Literature from the Open University.
He is currently learning to play the electric guitar. It’s not going that well, frankly.
He lives with Alison, their two daughters Eleanor and Rose, and a black cat called Morgan to which he is allergic.
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
Who 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.