The Rest of 2019…

I definitely should have stuck with my plan to do quarterly updates. But you probably know how it goes by now and have come to expect (and adore?) this kind of feast-or-famine communication from me. Here’s what I’ve been up to since the Spring 2019 update.
[Updated with new photos!]

StokerCon 2019

StokerCon is always a good time, but this year was especially fun owing to the reading and panels on my schedule. So, without further ado, I present, What I Did at StokerCon 2019…

I did a reading!
I was incredibly honored to share a reading slot with Shirley Jackson Award Winner and StokerCon 2019 Guest of Honor Kaaron Warren. She read from “The First of Many Shudders,” which was recently published in The Unquiet Dreamer: A Tribute to Harlan Ellison (PS Publishing) and which was, of course, so SO good–I still think about it regularly. Also, go check out her new novella, Into Bones Like Oil.

Kaaron Warren.

For my part, I read a horror story inspired by my time working in hotels and in travel publishing…and I didn’t die from nerves. Actually, during this reading, I discovered that I really enjoy doing readings. Who knew! I don’t know if it’s the therapy kicking in (finally) or one of the delightful  zero-f*cks-to-give side effects of aging, but I had a truly wonderful time and I hope the folks in the audience did too (even though, let’s be real, I was the one thing standing between them and a legend).

Photo by Douglas Peyton.

I also moderated two panels!
Kicking off the weekend, Coming-Of-Age Horror In The Era Of Netflix–a full house with my delightful, insightful, and wonderful panelists, Kyla Lee Ward and Tom Deady. I have zero pictures of this one, to my eternal regret. (I’m sorry, all!)

*Unrelated to this panel, Kyla also stepped in as a pinch hitter during Bedlam Hall: An All Female RPG Game, GM’d by Karen Bovenmyer, and featuring Joanna Nelius, Lee Murray, Kaaron Warren, and Kathleen Kaufman. Easily one of my favorite “panels” of StokerCon–and by far the funniest–I would 100% subscribe if these ladies made it a regular event on YouTube (or whatever the kids are watching these days…it’s TicTac, right?).

The Bedlam Hall family: Lee Murray, Kyla Lee Ward, Kathleen Kaufman, Karen Bovenmyer, and Joanna Nelius. Not pictured: Kaaron Warren.

My second panel of the convention, Writing Horror For Kids and Teens, was another standing-room-only event, no doubt because we had Lucy Snyder, Gaby Triana, Daniel Kraus, Jonathan Maberry, and Josh Malerman all on the same stage! Someone posted a great shot of this on FB, but I want to get official blessings before I link to it. Thanks to Mark Matthews, I have a picture proving this dream panel happened (at least in this timeline/dimension). I may be biased, but I thought these peeps packed a lot of great insight and advice into a mere 50 minutes. Also, this was just a whole lot of fun. I don’t think anyone recorded it, but if so, I will add a link.

Photo by Mark Matthews. Left to right: It me! (N.R. Lambert), Josh Malerman, Daniel Kraus, Jonathan Maberry, Gaby Triana, and Lucy Snyder.

Thanks to everyone at StokerCon 2019 for an amazing weekend! Looking ahead, I’m planning to attend StokerCon UK in 2020 and will post my schedule here once I have it.

Artist-In-Residence at Fire Island National Seashore

Hot on the heels of StokerCon, I left for a two week residency at Fire Island National Seashore, courtesy of the U.S. National Park Service. I’ve got a detailed post here, but for the tl;dr set: it was an incredible experience, both as a writer and as a human who loves this planet. During my time there I started a new novel, revised a novel-in-progress, and wrote several new short stories. (So productive! Who was that person and how do I get her back?) I also got *really* into bird watching, dabbled in being a morning person, and collected approximately ten million balloons from the beach. (Seriously, #banballoons forever, peeps.)

The folks at FINS were amazing and supportive, and really made sure I enjoyed every minute of my residency. If this sounds intriguing to you, please consider applying for a 2020 residency at Fire Island or check out one of the many other NPS residency programs.

In the bungalow at Watch Hill. Photo by NPS.

Summer Dark Reading

Later in June, literally days after (reluctantly) returning from my residency, I took part in the Summer Dark reading series, hosted by the Horror Writers Association’s New York Chapter. On a lovely New York City summer evening (with requisite 3000% humidity), Steven Van Patten, Carol Gyzander and I read creepy stories in a gorgeous little gem of a garden–the appropriately named, Oasis Community Garden. If this sounds like something you might have enjoyed, fret not! The Summer Dark reading series will be returning in 2020, so keep an eye out for updates from HWA-NY.

Photo by Carol Gyzander.

Short Fiction NEWS

In case you missed it, Fireside Quarterly‘s Winter 2020 issue is shipping now and includes my story, “The Words I Starved For.” I’m in especially excellent company in this issue, so if you’d like a copy, it’s not too late to subscribe!

Cover art by Carlota Suarez

Cover art by Carlota Suarez.

***

New Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has a pub date and a new title! Look for Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, which will include my story, “Tag, You’re It.” I’m guessing we’ll have cover art soon and I’ll do a separate post when we do. Don’t worry, I will never shut up about this anthology. Never.

Other writing news

For my day job, I worked on a few new magazine projects this year, including editing for PBS’s Secrets of the Dead (available now!) and writing for Entertainment Weekly’s The Ultimate Guide to the Office (February 2020). For more news from the freelance realm, visit my other site, wordcenary.com.

Coming Up in 2020…

Plenty of tears, anxiety, and insomnia!
JK, JK!
(Not kidding at allllllll!)

Seriously. Please make sure you are registered to vote.  You can check via vote.org or through your local board of elections.

If you are registered to vote (YAY!), consider volunteering to help others vote in upcoming elections. Rock the Vote, Carpool Vote, and When We All Vote offer lots of ways to volunteer, including by hosting voter registration events or offering rides on election days. There are also opportunities to volunteer with your local election board.

If you are not registered to vote, please register to vote. Do it now.

If you’ll need an absentee ballot, plan ahead.

Generally speaking, let’s just all try to do a better job taking care of each other and the planet we share in the new year (and beyond).

Happy 2020, all!

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 in Factor Four Magazine!

Cover Art:
“Sunset City” by Holly Heisey

Hey-ooo! I have a new story out this week! “The Half-Life of a Broken Heart” is in Issue 2 of Factor Four Magazine. You can read it online (with a subscription) or get Issue 2 as a stand-alone in print or digital formats (additional retail links below).

This story means a lot to me–it’s one of my most personal, even though it doesn’t involve any actual personal details…it’s kind of hard to explain. I’m so excited it’s out in the world and in such fantastic company (seriously, fantastic)–I hope you’ll check it out soon!

Also, since this is a story about loss and grief*, please consider donating to RAICES Texas to help alleviate some of the grief we’re currently inflicting on children here in America.


Print:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

E-Book
Amazon ~ Smashwords ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Subscriber Download

*and since I can’t do anything these days without also trying to chip away at some of the actual horror out there…

So Many Metaphorosis Updates

I have a bunch of updates from Metaphorosis Magazine, so I’m grouping them together–fun and efficient!

First up, Metaphorosis‘s talented editor, B. Morris Allen, has collected together all of the January 2017 stories into one fine-looking Kindle edition. The January 2017 issue includes my story, “Business As Usual,” which, unfortunately, becomes relevant again every 1.2 days or so.

If you’re interested in reading all the stories published by Metaphorosis in 2017, check out Metaphorosis 2017: The Complete Stories available on Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle editions.)

To my delight, “Business As Usual” was also selected for Metaphorosis‘s Best Vegan Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2017 anthology, available in print and Kindle editions. All the stories in this collection are meat-free and excellent–check ’em out!

Finally, if you enjoyed “Business As Usual” in any of its appearances, I encourage you to support Everytown or March for Our Lives.

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.