A lot of us look forward to summer – it’s heat, long days and lazy days in the garden/yard. Of BBQ’s, beaches and the open road. This , of course, depends on the continent you live on and the weather cycles. I am not a heat person and like to stay at 22°C degrees with a breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay. They absolutely love my English blood, here in Canada.
I wrote this poem a while ago about impending summer.
Summer, you are long awaited
Through snow, sleet and rain, your heat and blasting glory
Pull us through.
Memories of sea and sand, camp fires and BBQ gatherings
Pull us through.
Green lushness, long days and outside chores planned
Pull us through
Then you are here – Summer – our darling
Flowers are planted, friends and family gather and lawns cut
Garden furniture released from storage and nature’s sounds surround
Vacations, road trips and splashing in the pool
Long awaited, now enjoyed.
We love you Summer.
This summer there will be road trips to look forward to based on a new contest for Go East. Linda and I have already collected stickers from two routes and will explore new places over the summer months. Our first trip was ambitious driving two routes in one long day (15 hours to be precise!), so now we have planned stop overs for the remaining routes. Making it much more leisurely and giving us the ability to explore more.
The other trip we are taking includes one of the areas included in the adventure game, but for another reason. We are hosting and presenting for When Words Collide. This is an annual event and is virtual this year. We have booked an isolated cabin on private land beside a lake. The perfect writing and relaxation retreat, as well as a great dog walking venue.
I have received the last editing workshop comments and will be diving into the next round of revisions of book one in the Delphic Murders, An Elusive Trail, in the coming weeks. I am excited for this project and hope that you will enjoy the stories once they are published.
A beautifully told story centering around a particular house during two different time periods. Barbara has expertly woven the two story lines and the inhabitants lives together. The core of the novel centers on the real life of a intriguing woman, Mary Treat. Someone history should take notice of and celebrate.
You will see me interviewed for my book launch of The Commodore’s Gift as well as reading from my writers group new writing prompt book. P.S. I left it with a teaser LOL
Now this event is behind me, I will be waiting on reviews for The Commodore’s Gift but also making plans for my new project. Yes it is never ending!
I have decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month again this November and will be tackling another new genre – detective/crime. An idea popped into my head for a three book series covering three female detectives in three different cities. Apart from the Rython novellas, this will be my first book series. I;m looking forward to the challenge.
If you have not heard of NaNoWriMo it is a frantic 30 days of writing to achieve 50,000 words! Yep in the month of November. This will be my tenth year. I only missed 2017 since 2009. It is
Hay-men, mommets, tattie bogles, kakashi, tao-tao—whether formed of straw or other materials, the tradition of scarecrows is pervasive in farming cultures around the world. The scarecrow serves as decoy, proxy, and effigy—human but not human. We create them in our image and ask them to protect our crops and by extension our very survival, but we refrain from giving them the things a creation might crave—souls, brains, free-will, love. In Scarecrow, fifteen authors of speculative fiction explore what such creatures might do to gain the things they need or, more dangerously, think they want.
Within these pages, ancient enemies join together to destroy a mad mommet, a scarecrow who is a crow protects solar fields and stores long-lost family secrets, a woman falls in love with a scarecrow, and another becomes one. Encounter scarecrows made of straw, imagination, memory, and robotics while being spirited to Oz, mythological Japan, other planets, and a neighbor’s back garden. After experiencing this book, you’ll never look at a hay-man the same.
Featuring all new work by Jane Yolen, Andrew Bud Adams, Laura Blackwood, Amanda Block, Scott Burtness, Virginia Carraway Stark, Amanda C. Davis, Megan Fennell, Kim Goldberg, Katherine Marzinsky, Craig Pay, Sara Puls, Holly Schofield, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek.
“Introduction” by Rhonda Parrish
“Scarecrow Hangs” by Jane Yolen
“Kakashi & Crow” by Megan Fennell
“The Roofnight” by Amanda C. Davis
“Skin Map” by Kim Goldberg
“A Fist Full of Straw” by Kristina Wojtaszek
“Judge & Jury” by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
“Waking from His Master’s Dream” by Katherine Marzinsky
“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
“Two Steps Forward” by Holly Schofield
“Only the Land Remembers” by Amanda Block
“If I Only Had an Autogenic Cognitive Decision Matrix” by Scott Burtness
Direct library or bulk purchase available through World Weaver Press (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for rates).
Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for nearly eight years now (which is like forever in internet time) and is the editor of several anthologies including Fae, Corvidae, Scarecrow, and B is for Broken. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been in dozens of publications like Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012) and Mythic Delirium. Her website, updated weekly, is at rhondaparrish.com.
Andrew Bud Adams was raised by spider-men and turtle ninjas and ronin rabbits, who are now helping raise his own children. “The Straw Samurai,” inspired by them and the Japanese folk tale “The Tengu’s Magic Cloak,” is one of his first published retellings. When not wandering between fantasy villages or teaching college writing, he can be found on Twitter @andrewbudadams.
Whenever grownups asked young Laura Blackwood what she wanted to be when she grew up, she said “Published!” That dream finally came true—Black Birds is her first story to see print. Laura currently lives and works in Edmonton, Alberta, and tinkers with many more writing projects than is considered wise or healthy.
Amanda Block is a writer and ghostwriter based in Edinburgh, UK. A graduate of the Creative Writing Masters at the University of Edinburgh, she is often inspired by myths and fairy tales, frequently using them as a starting point to tell other stories. Amanda’s work has been featured in anthologies such as Modern Grimmoire, Stories for Homes, and World Weaver Press’ Fae. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Chapter One Promotions Short Story Competition. Amanda is currently working on her first novel. She can be found online at amandawritersblock.blogspot.co.uk.
Scott Burtness lives in Minnesota with his wife, Liz and their English Staffordshire-Boxer, Frank. He has it on good authority that he possesses all of the requisite parts to be considered human, and sincerely believes he’s taller when measured with the metric system. Scott’s debut novel, WISCONSIN VAMP, is available on Amazon.com. When not writing horror-comedy romps or sci-fi adventures, Scott enjoys bowling, karaoke, craft brews and afternoon naps. Follow him on Twitter (@SWBauthor). Don’t follow him down dark alleys.
Amanda C. Davis has an engineering degree and a fondness for baking, gardening, and low-budget horror films. Her work has appeared in Crossed Genres, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and others. She tweets enthusiastically as @davisac1. You can find out more about her and read more of her work at amandacdavis.com. Her collection of retold fairy tales with Megan Engelhardt, Wolves and Witches, is available from World Weaver Press.
Megan Fennell is a court clerk, cat owner, and writer of strange tales, currently living and working in Lethbridge, Alberta. Although loving magpies to the point of having two of them tattooed on her, it was the Danish myth of the Valravn that held her corvid-like attention span for this anthology. Her stories can also be found in Wrestling with Gods: Tesseracts 18, Tesseracts 17, OnSpec Magazine, and the charity anthology Help: Twelve Tales of Healing.
Kim Goldberg is an award-winning writer and author of six books. She is a winner of the Rannu Fund Poetry Prize for Speculative Literature and other distinctions. Her speculative tales and poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including Tesseracts 11, Zahir Tales, On Spec, Urban Green Man, Dark Mountain, Imaginarium, Here Be Monsters, Switched On Gutenberg and elsewhere. Her seventh book, Refugium, about people living with electrosensitivity, will be released in 2015. She lives in Nanaimo, BC, and online at PigSquashPress.com.
Katherine Marzinsky is a writer and student currently residing in New Jersey. She attends Kean University, where she is working toward an undergraduate degree with a major in English and a minor in Spanish. Her previous work has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, A Cappella Zoo, Cease, Cows, and The Inanimates I story anthology.
Craig Pay is a short story author and novelist. He writes speculative fiction (usually). His short stories have appeared with a number of different magazines and anthologies. He is represented by John Jarrold. Craig runs the successful Manchester Speculative Fiction writers’ group. He enjoys Chinese martial arts and many other hobbies. You can visit him at craigpay.com.
Sara Puls spends most of her time lawyering, researching, writing, and editing. Her dreams frequently involve strange mash-ups of typography, fairy creatures, courtrooms, and blood. Sara’s stories have been published in Daily Science Fiction, The Future Fire, GigaNotoSaurus, Penumbra, World Weaver Press’s Fae anthology, and elsewhere. She also co-edits Scigentasy, a gender- and identity-focused spec fic zine. On Twitter, she is @sarapuls.
Holly Schofield’s work has appeared in many publications including Lightspeed, Crossed Genres, and Tesseracts. For more of her work, see hollyschofield.wordpress.com.
Virginia Carraway Stark started her writing career with three successful screenplays and went on to write speculative fiction as well as writing plays and for various blogs. She has written for several anthologies and three novels as well. Her novel, Dalton’s Daughter is available now through Amazon and Starklight Press. Detachment’s Daughter and Carnival Fun are coming later this year. You can find her on Twitter @tweetsbyvc, on Facebook Facebook.com/virginiacarrawaystark.
LauraVanArendonk Baugh 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 animal trainer, a costumer/cosplayer, a dark chocolate addict, and a Pushcart Prize-nominated author with a following for her folklore-based stories and speculative fiction. Find her at LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com.
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. Now a mother of two little tricksters and their menagerie of small beasts, she continues to conjure bits of fantasy during the rare spell of silence. Her fairy tales, ghost stories, poems and YA fiction have been published by World Weaver Press (Opal, Fae, and Specter Spectacular), Far Off Places and Sucker Literary Magazine. Follow her @KristinaWojtasz or on her blog, Twice Upon a Time.
Mr. Yegpie the magpie, tweets as @YegMagpie on Twitter
Jane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America”(Newsweek) is the author of well over 350 books, including OWL MOON, THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC, and HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT. Her books and stories have won an assortment of awards—two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Award, a Caldecott, the Golden Kite Award, three Mythopoeic awards, two Christopher Medals, a nomination for the National Book Award, and the Jewish Book Award, among many others. She has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is also the winner (for body of work) of the World Fantasy Assn. Lifetime Achievement Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association Grand Master Award, Catholic Library’s Regina Medal, Kerlan Medal from the University of Minnesota, the du Grummond Medal from Un. of Southern Missisippi, the Smith College Alumnae Medal, and New England Pubic Radio Arts and Humanities Award . Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates. Her website is: http://www.janeyolen.com.
I started writing in the 1980s, but gave it up for family and fun. Then I got bored one winter, at 48 years of age, plus I had technology that surpassed anything in the 1980s. This one is a trunk novel today. It was a western steampunk story with ice age mammals running around.
My newest book is called Will O’ the Wisp. It’s the story of a teenage girl coming face to face with an ancient family curse.
How did you come up with the title?
Will O’ the Wisp is a natural phenomenon, that has become a cryptid. It is a mysterious floating light. People all over the world made up legends about them, so I did too.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?
My first two novels are trunk novels that nobody will ever see. I have five books available on Amazon.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I can firmly answer no. I read to escape, and believe there are others out there like me. My stories are pure entertainment.
How much of the book is realistic?
The story takes place in the 1970s, and I went to great lengths to make sure it was an accurate reflection. (Anyone remember Quisp cereal, Montgomery Wards, International Harvester?) my main character, Patty, is fifteen. She has a love/hate relationship with her mother. She also has to face a few teenage coming of age moments. That part is realistic.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
They are not. I created the characters and tried to really get into them.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m sure every author would. I believe there is a time to stop picking at it and set it free. I’m very happy with this story, and the reviewers appear to be too.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
This story is suitable for young adults. Not all of my tales are, but your own teenagers can enjoy this one too.
What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?
I’m really happy with the climax in this one. It stitched together some supernatural elements with a coming of age moment and a big dose of fear. It just worked out really well.
What is your favorite theme/genre to write?
I write speculative fiction, and don’t limit myself to one corner. My stories are science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. Will O’ the Wisp is a paranormal story.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
We never really think about it, but if a topic doesn’t interest me I won’t force a story. There are too many things that do interest me to worry about it.
What book are you reading now?
As I type this, I’m between books. I have Beginning of a Hero, by Charles Yallowitz up next on my iPad. I may start it by the time this posts. I just finished Maplecroft by Cheri Priest.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, and I’m loathe to name names. If I forget someone, I’ll hurt someone’s feelings. These are all indie authors, and I’m really cheering for them.
Do you see writing as a career?
In some kind of dream world, sure. The realities of the 21st Century are that I have a full time job. An FTJ with paid vacation, insurance, and retirement.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully, continuing to do the things I love. At 64 I expect to still be working, and putting out books.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
There is a huge learning curve here. I learn and adapt, just like anyone else. It’s part of what appeals to me about writing. Perfection cannot be attained, only improvement.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
No. I like everything I’ve ever written. I’m a better writer today than I once was, but I still like my characters and stories.
What book do you wish you had written?
What is your best marketing tip?
I wish I had one. Marketing is just so foreign to me. I think the best thing I can do is to write my next book. There is stability in volume, provided the product is good.
What genre is your next project? What is it about?
My next book is another paranormal piece with science fiction spicing. It’s about social media gone horribly wrong.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I released Will O’ the Wisp yesterday, (as I’m typing this out). I’d rather focus on that. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written so far. I’d really appreciate it if your readers would check it out.
Some of you may know I’m in the midst of working with an illustrator for my upcoming children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue. Each chapter will have a drawing of the animal or event that is within the narrative. I count myself lucky to know my artist from within my writing group. Not only is he the current President but a good friend. Joe McKnight’s pencil drawings are similar in style to Bernie Brown’s wonderful pictures. This is the reason I choose him, I want realistic drawings of the animals. As most of the internal pictures are completed, my thoughts have turned to the cover. I have a specific image in mind, which will reveal the woodland sprites home, however I am not including an image of the sprites, I want the children to imagine them.
When we work with an artist it is paramount to have good communication and be able to describe the ‘vision’ we have for the illustrations. With Joe, I can have face to face discussions as well as email communication and have supplied him with sketches/images to assist him. When I worked with Matty McClatchie on Rumble’s First Scare, we only had the option of email as he was in Australia and I was in Canada. His style is wonderfully stylized and suited Rumble’s world so well. We frequently underestimate the power of technology but this is proof it can work to our advantage. No matter where our artist may be situated we can work together to create our ideal images.
With a cover we must take into account the initial response of our potential readers and ensure it has its own style. Ask yourself:
Does the cover reflect the story?
Is it eye catching?
Does it reflect the genre?
As you can see from these revised covers for the Harry Potter saga, covers can evolved.
It is interesting how much more ‘action’ there is in the new covers and the style is more dramatic. Understand you can change your cover at any time – feedback from readers is important in ensuring the book cover encourages more people to purchase it. You can have a re-launch, an anniversary re-issue or upload a new cover for an e-book. Just because your book is published doesn’t mean you should forget about it. Constant promotion and revision will keep it fresh and engage new readers.
A cover is an important part of any book and time should be spent in creating it. Here are some useful tips for cover design: