Cover art by Carlota Suarez

New Story at Fireside: “The Words I Starved For”

Cover art by Carlota Suarez

Cover art by Carlota Suarez.

Wow…and I thought publishing a story during an inauguration was difficult! In all seriousness, I hope you and yours are safe and well and that you’re doing everything in your power to flatten the curve. If you can spare money or supplies, please consider helping others in your community. As I mentioned in a previous post, local food banks need money, food, and household basics, find one here, here, or here; or support World Central Kitchen in their relief efforts.

Okay, so today’s the day! My story, “The Words I Starved For” is out on Fireside Fiction. Even though this is technically a ghost story, at heart, it’s also a deeply personal one. So writing it, submitting it, and publishing it, all felt slightly-to-entirely terrifying at times. But I was lucky to have the supportive company of many fine people (including my wonderful therapist!) along the way…

First up, big thanks to the Draft Zero writing group, which at the time included Frances Rowat, Beth Tanner, Asha Bardon, and Shannon Fay, who are all incredible writers and you should read their work immediately.

Also, special shout-outs to Allison Escoto, Karen Bischer (preorder her book!), and Richard Shealy who lent their years of professional experience to me while working on this story.

Of course, last but not least, heaps of gratitude to Fireside’s Pablo Defendini and Chelle Parker (and everyone at Team Fireside), to Daniela Acitelli who narrated the audio version (available on podcast apps and libsyn), to Winter 2020 issue artists Kieu Vo, Carlota Suarez, and Omar Gilani, to Julia Rios who acquired this story, and especially to Dominik Parisien, who edited it. Thank you, all!

I hope you’ll take a few moments to read (and share) “The Words I Starved For.” Also, please consider supporting another very cool project from Fireside, Puestes pa’l Futuro on Kickstarter. Even if you can’t back this project, you can help by spreading the word!

Be well and be kind, all!


If you’d like the Winter 2020 print edition of Fireside Quarterly, I believe you can still get one by subscribing here. To purchase the digital edition of Issue 77, click here.

Cover Reveal: Don’t Turn Out the Lights

I started this post 18 years ago, i.e., Wednesday. Things here in the U.S. (and abroad) have changed dramatically since then, so before we talk about this awesome cover, a brief message:

If you are in an area affected by COVID-19 (and even if you’re not…yet), please actively practice social distancing to the best of your ability. Also, if you can spare money, food, or household basics, please consider donating to a local food bank (find one here, here, or here) or to World Central Kitchen.

Okay, back to our previously scheduled programming:

I’m super excited to share the cover reveal for Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, edited by New York Times bestselling author, Jonathan Maberry, with illustrations by Iris Compiet, and (a creepy AF) cover design (and hand lettering!) by Laura Mock. Obviously, it’s completely perfect…and wait till you see the interior illustrations! Last week, I got a sneak peek at the art Iris Compiet did for my story, “Tag, You’re It” and it is terrifying in the best possible way–I can’t wait for it to give you all nightmares!

That’s all for now–thank you for taking a moment to share this little spot of joy with me! Please be safe and be well.

If you’d like to pre-order* Don’t Turn Out the Lights, take your pick: 
HarperCollins
Books-A-Million
IndieBound
B&N
Amazon

*and/or “preorder;” it seems the world hasn’t landed on a preferred spelling for this redundant phrase.

Art by Kristine Scheiner.

Women in Horror Month Reading at KGB Bar

I know I’m taking a risk calling this early–what with an extra day in the month an all–but the absolute highlight of my February was the opportunity to read at KGB Bar with the New York Chapter of the Horror Writers Association to celebrate Women in Horror Month.

Photo credit: Jim Freund

Photo credit: Jim Freund

I was thrilled to join Randee Dawn, Amy Grech, Carol Gyzander, Barbara Krasnoff, and K.E. Scheiner at the KGB podium on February 12th. [Updated to add…] I wrote more about the evening over on the HWA-NY site (in a post that includes lots of additional pictures) so be sure to check that out.

Photo credit: Lorraine M. Escoto

Photo credit: Lorraine M. Escoto

But before you go, please enjoy the (impressive af) talents of artist Kristine Scheiner, who sketched all the readers (and our emcees, Carol Gyzander and James Chambers) that night. Also, be sure to check out Kristine’s shop on etsy.

Cover art by Carlota Suarez

Sneak Peek at Fireside Quarterly Winter 2020

Cover art by Carlota Suarez

Cover art by Carlota Suarez.

The Winter 2020 issue of Fireside Quarterly, which includes my story, “The Words I Starved For,” begins shipping soon! It’s not too late to subscribe for Winter 2020, plus a whole year’s worth of incredible writing and art from Fireside.

This issue, edited by Dominik Parisien, with stories acquired by Julia Rios, also features cover art by Carlota Suarez and work from Taimur Ahmad, Annika Barranti Klein, Amy Griswold, Veronica Brush, Vajra Chandrasekera, Sam Kyung Yoo, nwaobiala, H. Pueyo, Michael Robertson, LH Moore, Mike Loniewski, Hal Y. Zhang, and Nibedita Sen, as well as illustrations from Kieu Vo, Carlota Suarez, and Omar Gilani.

I’m delighted to be included among all these talented authors, poets, and artists. As for my contribution to this issue…”The Words I Starved For” is, in many ways, a story that has taken me years to tell. It’s a ghost story that also happens to be some of my most personal, belly-baring writing, and I am hella excited about it being out in the world. I hope you will subscribe, read, and enjoy!

 

 

All Kinds of Updates: Spring 2019

There is much to discuss and I keep intending to do individual posts, but work-work has been intensely busy this year and there just hasn’t been time. (In addition to writing fiction, I also run a freelance copywriting and work-for-hire business–so get in touch if you have an upcoming project you’d like to discuss! Yay, self-promotion-within-self-promotion! Incepromotion??? Probably!)

In order to get to everything before it is covered in the ash and brimstone of this dark and relentless timeline, I’m trying something of a round-up/newsletter¹ format.  Let’s see how it goes…

In case you missed it, I have a story coming out next year in NEW SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK! It’s a tribute anthology to the classic series by Alvin Schwartz (which featured those incredibly iconic and nightmare-inducing illustrations by Stephen Gammell), and is edited by Jonathan Maberry (who has been delightful to work with). I don’t have an exact pub date yet, but it will be out sometime in 2020 from HarperCollins Children’s Books.

Speaking of horror-related things, I’ll be at StokerCon again this year! I’m doing a reading and a couple of panels, both involving the intersection of horror and the YA reader/horror fan. Please stop by and say hello if you’ll be there too.

Looking further ahead, I’m thrilled to be a 2019 National Park Service Artist-in-Residence this summer. As an AIR, I’ll have two glorious unplugged, uninterrupted weeks of writing at Fire Island National Seashore in New York. For those unfamiliar with New York’s geography, Fire Island National Seashore is a gorgeous, coastal park on a section of Fire Island, which–according to the Native Land app, (support them here)–occupies the traditional territory of the Unkechaug. (If you’d like to learn more about the Unkechaug, check out this recent episode of WSHU’s “The Full Story,” in which Unkechaug Indian Nation chief, Harry Wallace, discusses efforts to preserve Native American culture.)² I love our national parks system–they were formative for me growing up and I’ll be writing lots more about this incredible opportunity as my residency draws closer.

Even further ahead–as in, sometime in 2020–Fireside Magazine, one of my very favorite fiction magazines, will be publishing my story, “The Words I Starved For,” and I don’t think I could be more excited. Fireside recently announced some editorial changes, so there’ll be more news and a longer post to come, including details on the issue and editor, but for now a deep and heartfelt thank you to departing editor, Julia Rios, for believing in this story–all the heart emojis!

What else is new(ish) and of note, you might ask? Or not. I’ll still tell you!

  • I recently taught a writing workshop for kids at the Center For Fiction‘s gorgeous new space. We had a lot of fun and I hope to host similar workshops in the future, so stay tuned…
  • Check me out on Curious Fictions, a site which features short fiction (mostly reprints) and posts from some of your favorite authors. If you love short stories, definitely take a look around.
  • I’ll be reading at Summer Dark, on Friday, June 28th at 6:00 p.m.

² For additional reading, check out (and support!) Jeremy Dennis’s excellent resource, On This Site.

¹ Back in olden times (the mid-naughts), when I worked in online marketing, newsletters were all the rage. “Newsletter! Newsletter! Newsletter!” the people cried in joy. Then Twitter and Facebook stomped in, newsletters lost traction, and in the new world of social mediocrity, the people just cried. But now, in the toxic wake of those sites, it seems like newsletters are staging a comeback–just in time for the apocalypse and possibly thanks to the Patreon model, which may also be floundering I hear? idk. I didn’t board that particular train, not having that kind of platform at the time (or really ever) and now it seems like there isn’t any point and–to complete the metaphor–that maybe the Patreon train has left the station. I should probably join Patreon. We’ll see. Maybe we can all try this app called Real Life. But it would have to be spelled without vowels, right? RLLYF? Is this app’ening? Where’s my hoodie and TED Talk and IPO?

³ I know these footnotes are out of order, but honestly, an ambling tangent about newsletters doesn’t deserve top billing.

My StokerCon 2019 Schedule

I’m excited to be attending StokerCon again this year. The organizers have outdone themselves with programming options and I’m delighted to be a part of the following events:

READING
Saturday, May 11th
11:00 a.m.
Winchester Room
It is my extreme pleasure to be reading with Shirley Jackson Award Winner and StokerCon 2019 Guest of Honor Kaaron Warren. She has a fantastic line-up for StokerCon, so be sure to check it out.


PANELS
Coming-Of-Age Horror In The Era Of Netflix
Thursday, May 9th
6:00 p.m.
Berkey Room
with Kyla Lee Ward and Tom Deady.

Writing Horror For Kids and Teens
Friday, May 10th
2:00 p.m.
Grand View Room B-C
with Lucy Snyder, Josh Malerman, Jonathan Maberry, Daniel Kraus, and Gaby Triana.


Also, be sure to check out the other wonderful and talented members of the Horror Writers Association’s New York Chapter, who will be representing our fine state (and chapter) all weekend long.

(I’m not sure how to do a) 2018 Awards Eligibility Round-up (but I tried)

Obligatory (but a first for me) year-end awards eligibility post. I’d be delighted if you’d read and consider these stories for your Bram Stoker/Nebula/World Fantasy/Hugo/Campbell Award nominations and recommendations.

When the Slipling Comes to Call
Horror/Dark Fantasy
PseudoPod | March 2018 | 3,000 words

Reviews for “When the Slipling Comes to Call”

“[A] wickedly entertaining and chilling horror story with the texture and richness of fairy-tales and folklore.”
Maria Haskins, author, translator, and B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog columnist

*Also included in Maria Haskins’ 2018 Recommended Reading List!

“Unholy wow is this story amazingly creepy and fantastic! It oozes dread and atmospheric horror and will make you not want to sleep (or look outside your door) for a long, long time. Loved it!”
Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, author and 2016 Nebula Award finalist

“A beautiful dark fantasy episode.”
Sideshow Toys, “10 Scary Podcasts To Freak You Out This Fall

The Half-Life of a Broken Heart
Science Fiction
Factor Four Magazine | July 2018 | 1,300 words

Thank you for your consideration!

New Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

I’m incredibly, ridiculously, completely-dead-and-looking-down-at-my-body-from-above excited* that my short story, “Tag, You’re It,” will be included in the forthcoming anthology, NEW SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK.

This collection, edited by the inimitable Jonathan Maberry, will be published by HarperCollins in 2020 and is a tribute to the original series, which was (perhaps obviously) highly influential in my development as a reader and a writer.

The full list of contributors, adapted from Jonathan Maberry’s announcement:

NEW SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK

1. Alethea Kontis is a New York Times Bestselling author, princess, fairy godmother, and geek, authoring of over twenty books and contributor to over thirty more.
2. Amy Lukavics is the author of The Ravenous, The Women in the Walls, and Daughters unto Devils, which was selected as a YALSA 2017 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.
3. Aric Cushing is the multi-award winning author of the young adult novel, Vampire Boy, and the co-writer and lead actor of the feature films The Yellow Wallpaper and There’s No Such Thing as Vampires.
4. Barry Lyga is the author of the New York Times bestselling I Hunt Killers, and more than a more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels
5. Brendan C Reichs is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Nemesis and its sequel Genesis, and co-author of the six-volume New York Times bestselling Virals series
6. Brenna Yovanoff is the New York Times Bestselling author of five novels, including The Replacement and Places No One Knows, as well as numerous short stories.
7. Catherine Jordan is an author of horror, dark fiction, and articles for her hometown–facilitates writing courses and has been an award judge.
8. Christopher Golden is the New York Times bestselling author of ARARAT, SNOWBLIND, and many other novels, the co-creator of the cult favorite comics series BALTIMORE and JOE GOLEM: OCCULT DETECTIVE, as well as being a screenwriter, editor, podcaster, and lecturer.
9. Courtney Alameda’s debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal.
10. D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. As an author, his ten-volume book series: Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space became a New York Times #1 bestseller.
11. Gaby Triana is the author of Wake the Hollow, the Haunted Florida series, Summer of Yesterday, an ALA Best Paperback, and Cakespell, a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick.
12. Gary A. Braunbeck, is the author of To Each Their Darkness, creator of the acclaimed Cedar Hill Series, including In Silent Graves, and 7-time recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award.
13. James A. Moore the award winning, bestselling author of over 45 novels, horror and science fiction and fantasy alike.
14. Jamie Ford, New York Times best-selling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
15. Joanna Parypinski, college English instructor and writer of horror fiction published in Nightmare, Black Static, Haunted Nights, and more.
16. John Dixon’s first two books, Phoenix Island and Devil’s Pocket, inspired the CBS TV series Intelligence and won back-to-back Bram Stoker Awards in the Young Adult category
17. Jonathan Auxier is a New York Times bestselling author of strange stories for strange children. His haunted house story, The Night Gardener won the ILA Book Award, the TD Book Prize, and was named a Best Book of 2014 by Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, and NPR.
18. Josh Malerman is the author of Goblin, Unbury Carol, and Bird Box which is a major motion picture starring Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich.
19. Kami Marin Garcia is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels, which have been published in 50 countries and 38 languages. Kami is also the author of five solo novels, including Bram Stoker Award nominated novels, Unbreakable and Unmarked (The Legion series), Broken Beautiful Hearts, The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos, and her forthcoming graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven for DC Ink.
20. Kim Ventrella is the author of the middle grade novels Skeleton Tree and Bone Hollow.
21. Laurent Linn is the author of Draw the Line, which is a New York Book Show winner for Young Adult Illustrated Novel. Laurent is a professional art director for Young Adult books, and a Board Member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
22. Linda D Addison, award-winning author of four collections, including How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend, the first African-American recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award and recipient of the 2018 HWA Lifetime Achievement Award.
23. Luis Alberto Urrea, Edgar Award winner, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and best-selling author of The Devil’s Highway and Into the Beautiful North.
24. Madeleine Roux is the New York Times bestselling author of the Asylum series, which has sold into eleven countries around the world and whose first book was named a Teen Indie Next List Pick, and the House of Furies series.
25. Margaret Stohl is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twelve books as well as Mighty Captain Marvel for Marvel Comics.
26. Michael Northrop is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle-grade adventure series TombQuest and other books for kids and teens. His first graphic novel, Dear Justice League, comes out in May 2019 from DC Zoom.
27. Micol Ostow is the bestselling author of The Devil and Winnie Flynn, an illustrated paranormal mystery and BookRiot quarterly selection. Her haunted house novel, Amity, was recommended by Buzzfeed, The NYPL, and School Library Journal as a favorite horror novel of 2014
28. N.R. Lambert is a pop culture writer and HWA-New York Chapter author whose work has been featured on the award-winning horror podcast, PseudoPod.
29. R.L. Stine is the internationally best-selling creator of Goosebumps and Fear Street.
30. Sheri White is an HWA member who has had many short stories published in the small press.
31. Sherrilyn Kenyon, #1 NYT & International bestselling author of the Dark-Hunters, Nick Chronicles and League series.
32. Priya Parmar’s debut novel Vanessa and Her Sister was a New York Times Notable Book, was praised by Vanity Fair, Elle, Oprah.Com, Entertainment Weekly, and People Magazine.
33. Tananarive Due is a bestselling author, and The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient, as well as a “New Voice in Literature Award” at the Yari Yari Pamberi conference co-sponsored by New York University’s Institute of African-American Affairs and African Studies Program and the Organization of Women Writers of Africa.
34. Tonya Hurley is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the ghostgirl series (Little, Brown) The Blessed Trilogy (Simon & Schuster) and Feathervein (Macmillan 2019.)
35. T.J. Wooldridge, author of spooky kids’ novels and poetry, is the child-friendly persona of Trisha J. Wooldridge,
36. Zac Brewer is the bat-loving, coffin-couch-owning New York Times bestselling author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, 2008 YALSA Quick Pick for Young Adult Readers, and winner of the 2010 Truman Readers Award and 2012 Nevada Young Readers Award.


*Also, incredibly excited to read this collection–I mean, look at this TOC–holy forking shirtballs!

New Story on PseudoPod!

I’m so excited for everyone to check out my new story, “When the Slipling Comes to Call,” which is up now at horror fiction podcast, PseudoPod.

Brilliantly narrated by M.K. Hobson and Tina Connolly, “When the Slipling Comes to Call,” is my first story-turned-podcast and finally hearing it on PseudoPod–the song is a real song now!–is an actual daydream come true. Seriously, ask my crit group! Speaking of, a hearty round of virtual high-fives to those wildly talented folks (Asha, Beth, David, Frances, and Shannon), as well as to my stoic first and final readers (Jon and Allison)–thank you, all!

Also, big thanks to Rebekah McKendry and David Ian McKendry, the fantastic hosts of this episode, as well as to producer Chelsea Davis. Finally, super extra special thanks to Artemis Rising 4 guest editor, Karen Bovenmyer, and associate editor Shawna Borman, for making all this possible. Now, go listen!

If you like what you hear, consider supporting Escape Artists by donating here or subscribing via Patreon so they can (fingers crossed) buy more of my stories. If you don’t like what you hear, consider supporting Escape Artists by donating here or subscribing via Patreon so they can buy different stories.

Also, read more about this episode’s wonderful cover art!

Coming Soon: Escape Artists’ Artemis Rising 4

Escape Artists revealed the absolutely GORGEOUS cover for Artemis Rising 4 today and gah! did I mention it is gorgeous? As if I wasn’t already ridiculously excited to be part of PseudoPod’s Artemis Rising 2018 line-up, this pushed me into all-the-Kermit-arms-times-infinity territory.

The artist behind this year’s cover is the exceptionally talented Geneva Benton. I’ve swooned over Benton’s work for FIYAH in the past, so I was especially delighted to see her art featured here as part of this event.

If you’re wondering, Artemis Rising is “a special month-long event across the Escape Artists podcasts featuring stories by women and nonbinary authors in genre fiction” and you can check out previous years’ stories via the Escape Artists’ archive.

Escape Artists podcasts are all FREE to enjoy (and they pay their writers professional rates). If you like FREE (and also like writers and artists to get paid), consider supporting Escape Artists by donating here or subscribing via Patreon. While you’re doing smart things with money, be sure to check out Geneva Benton’s shop for prints and tees featuring her incredible art–I recommend these fetching tees with the Artemis Rising 4 illustration. Also, be sure to take a look at Benton’s current Kickstarter for her forthcoming storybook, Allie & Gator.