Where do I start? Probably with a huge huge shout-out to CreateNSW who made travel to WFC Baltimore possible by awarding me the Artist Quick Response Travel Grant.
This is the first time I’ve gone to World Fantasy with any assistance, and it lifted a whole lot of stress and allowed me to concentrate on networking, learning, making new friends and connecting with old ones. Another first for me this time was having my publisher front and centre. I owe a huge debt of gratitude and respect to Tricia Reeks, CEO of Meerkat Press for everything she did, and is. Finally, it was such a joy to reunite with my agent Matt Bialer and my brother-from-another planet Seb Doubinsky who is also part of the Meerkat family. I don’t want to write too many spoilers here because of a forthcoming article at LitReactor.com, but yeah, hi-jinks did ensue.
Here are some of the pictures, but they don’t tell the whole story. This is the convention that keeps giving for sure, in terms of friends, colleagues, and inspiration. I sold books. I connected with new readers. I read new work by some talented people. I panelated with, um, Alliete de Bodard. I drank a teensy bit too much with Ms Warren and Mr Jeffrey Ford. I slept way too little. Can’t wait to go back.
Last Friday was release day for Aletheia. Seemed like it would never happen and then when it did, it felt like I always mostly knew it would. I hugged a bunch of folks in the book’s acknowledgments page, people who made the book both necessary and possible either in terms of what they mean to me, or what they did to get the book into shape, and often both. Right off the bat now and always, there’s Matthew Bialer, best agent in the world, period, and also Joe Mynhardt from Crystal Lake Publishing, who took on this big project and kept it on track and who is yawping it from the rooftops with all the barbaric power of the independent publishing groundswell carrying so many of us hysterically uncategorizable authors into hearts and minds. And my family, John, Jack, Isabella and Troy—they also get to see their names twice. And they also know why.
I have an essay on writing place, in this craft omnibus, Writers on Writing, titled “I Am Setting.”
In great company, with contributors such as Kevin Lucia, Tim Waggoner, Lucy A. Snyder, Jasper Bark, Mercedes Murdock Yardley and many more. Available in the usual formats. Always appreciate any reviews or comments on Goodreads/Amazon.
Thanks to the good people at Crystal Lake Publishing.
With stories from Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Paul Tremblay, John F.D. Taff, Lisa Mannetti, Damien Angelica Walters, Christopher Coake, Josh Malerman, Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, Amanda Gowin, Richard Thomas, Maria Alexander, Stephanie M. Wytovich and Kevin Lucia. With a foreword by Cemetery Dance magazine founder Richard Chizmar.
Here is an early review. and another one here, singling out Mercedes M. Yardley’s story, “Water Thy Bones,” as “one of the high points of the collection, an odd sort of tale that explores the beautiful side of horror – which, as it turns out, is bone deep (not skin deep). It wasn’t only an interesting story, but and interestingly told story.”.
Looks like a collection that’s going to make quite a splash, makes me proud to be a very recent addition to the Crystal Lake family. Here’s where you buy it.
This on Goodreads from Keith McCleary. It’s my blog, so I can brag if I want to – here’s the whole damn review. Thanks to Mr McCleary for taking the time. For getting it so completely. Please click the link to check him out.
Matt E. Lewis described this as “Under the Skin meets Mad Max with a sprinkle of The Road,” which is funny not because any of those references really occurred to me, but because when I was reading I also couldn’t help but attempt to process the story by way of combining things I already knew. I think what I came up with was “Species meets Netrunner with a sprinkle of Nicholas Sparks,” and since Matt’s references are much cooler you should listen to him, but the result is actually sort of the same.
So: an alien creature is sent to Earth to save its species by finding the perfect mate, and takes the form of a woman who kicks a lot of ass. The world she travels through is, by turns, either a pre-apocalypse or post-cyberpunk version of San Diego, which has become an urban sprawl called Spill City. She is driven by lust so deep that it’s tearing her body apart. There’s a lot of men in her life, but she’s looking for The One With The Perfect Horn (which is exactly what you think, because yes, it matters). The men she follows have their own stories– some bigger, some smaller. She lives in a trailer park and rescues an orphan and fights with the alien godmind in her head and tries, most of the time, not to be a horrible person despite not being a person at all. Read more