Tag Archives: books

Tesseracts 17 Interviews: Claude Lalumière

anthology, speculative fiction, SF, fantasy, Canadian authors

Tesseracts 17 will be out this fall with tales from Canadian writers that spans all times and places.

Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast (Canada has three coasts) is due out in October, from Edge Publishing. It features stories and poetry by Canadians and  those living in Canada. Edited by Steve Vernon and me, we were lucky enough to end up with at least one piece from every province and territory (Canada has three territories) except for Nunavut.  I’m doing short interviews with all of the authors over the next few months, so stay tuned to find out a little bit more about the authors and their pieces. The anthology begins with British Columbia, where Claude Lalumière was living at the time, and opens with his story “Vermilion Wine.”

CA: “Vermilion Wine” opens the the Tesseracts 17 anthology. Steve and I were immediately impressed and swept in by the mystical, mysterious feel of this piece. How did you come up with the idea of Venera, a shadow city to Venice, and is this anything like other mythical cites, such as  Shangri-la, Avalon, Bette Noire or Brigadoon?

writing, speculative fiction, fantasy, Tesseracts, Sf, Canadian authors

Claude Laumière is the author of many stories and has edited 12 anthologies including, Edge’s Tesseracts 12.

Claude:  I first conceived of Venera during my first visit to Venice in 2006. I was tremendously seduced by the sensuality of the place. I had just visited the (now defunct) Museum of Erotica (upon which is based the similar museum featured in “Vermilion Wine”) and Venera popped into my head while riding the vaporetto — the Venetian waterbus. I wasn’t consciously trying to come up with anything, but surrounded by the water and by the architecture of Venice, Venera started to take shape in my mind. Bits of Rome and Barcelona — both of which I also visited for the first time in 2006 — also contributed to the tapestry of Venera. “Vermilion Wine” was written during my third trip to Italy, in spring 2012. Venera is not so much kin to those mythical lands you mention, but more of a thematic hybrid of Ursula Le Guin’s Orsinia and J.G. Ballard’s Vermilion Sands, with perhaps echoes of Arthur Byron Cover’s strange future from his related novels Autumn Angels and An East Wind Coming and of Michael Moorcock’s End of Time society.

CA: Obviously, mythical lands have fueled human imagination for centuries. What do you think draws us to them? Are they all Edens or are some Hells?

Claude: Neither. I think it’s the romance of the unknown — that there might still be places in the world left to discover. That we can never know everything or everywhere.

CA: Will we see other Venera stories or are you done with this idea?

 Claude: Actually, I’m working on a book-length mosaic of stories about Venera. The project is called VENERA DREAMS, and “Vermilion Wine” is the fifth episode to appear. Venera first appeared online in “The City of Unrequited Dreams” in Chiaroscuro #43 (January 2010); it next showed up in “Vermilion Dreams: The Complete Works of Bram Jameson” in Tesseracts 14, then a third episode, “Xandra’s Brine” was published in the Dagan Books anthology Fish; more recently, “The Hecate Centuria” appeared online at Three-Lobed Burning Eye #23 (May 2013). There’s more on the way, too, but I can’t talk about those yet. I maintain a page on my website about the progress of the VENERA DREAMS project: http://lostmyths.net/claude/?page_id=1978

Claude Lalumière (lostmyths.net/claude) is the author of two books: the collection Objects of Worship (2009) and the mosaic novella The Door to Lost Pages (2011). He has edited or co-edited twelve anthologies, the most recent of which is Super Stories of Heroes & Villains. With Rupert Bottenberg, Claude is the co-creator of the multimedia cryptomythology project Lost Myths (lostmyths.net). Originally from Montreal, Claude is now something of a nomad.

3 Comments

Filed under Culture, entertainment, fantasy, myth, Publishing, Writing

Writing: Demographics of Tesseracts 17 Part III

anthology, speculative fiction, SF, fantasy, Canadian authors

Tesseracts 17 will be out in October, with tales from Canadian writers that spans all times and places.

I’m sorry that I’ve been so busy that I’ve had little time to write. In about a month I’ll be on my way to Europe and before that, Tesseracts 17 will be released. We’ll be doing a promo interview session on Bitten by Books so stay tuned for more information there. Plus, a reading is scheduled at Bakka Books in Toronto on Oct. 19 and David Jon Fuller, one of our authors will be reading at the Chi Reading Series in Winnipeg on Oct. 9.

Now, I’ve spent a great deal of time working out the demographics of Tesseracts 17, mostly because I was curious. Should I edit another anthology I would track from the beginning. Here I’ve tried to map the genres of the submissions. This is the most subjective list of all. One, I didn’t track all of the stories  so I may not remember what the story is about from the title and the notes. On top of that, every reader and writer will see a story differently. Is a zombie story a horror story, a science fiction story or fantasy? In fact, it can be any of those and sometimes more than one. And I don’t remember all of the stories that well, so the table has an added inaccuracy.

I found as I was starting to list the stories that I couldn’t just say “fantasy.” That’s far too broad a genre umbrella, so I started to list what type of fantasy.  Some of these are tropes more than genres. Was it fairies or mind control or shape shifting?  What about the steampunk wendigo story? Fantasy and SF or just fantasy? And yes there were a few themes that showed up more than once. While the wendigo stories could fit under the subgenre of mythic creatures, they are a specific type of beast, like zombies and vampires, and because there was more than one, they deserved their own heading. Interesting to note, of the three specifically Canadian mythic beasties (wendigo, sasquatch, ogopogo–and there may be more I don’t know about. Maybe Steve can fill in others from the opposite coast) only wendigo appeared in the submissions. ,You, dear reader, can add up the numbers yourself, because yes, I’ve probably spent over a dozen hours on all of the demographics.

This table could have been bigger or smaller. For instance, tales involving gods got shoved under mythic beings/other creatures. I didn’t single out the three tales that involved wine though you’ll read Claude Lalumiere’s tale of wine in the anthology. There were Western flavored tales and hillbilly talk, several brutish husbands with chickenshit wives (these were too cliche), cartoons, historical/alternative histories, Jewish and Asian fantasies, dragons, winged cats, chickens and cows. Yes, even vengeful cows. We do have a historical fantasy with Patricia Robertson’s beautiful tale, and a couple end of the world stories. If anyone is interested I will break down the stories in the anthology into the genres I think they are. It would be interesting to see how Steve would classify them.

The table is read from the left column first. So if I thought a story was predominantly bizarre or metaphorical with a dollop of descent into madness, it went in the left-hand spot for bizarre. If I thought it was descent into madness with a dollop of bizarre it would go into the left-hand spot for madness. Rhea Rose’s story fits in that second category. I’ve colored the table to differentiate the categories: yellow=SF, green=fantasy, blue=horror. So Rhea’s story is colored horror.

WordPress is not easy for inserting tables and spredsheets,  so I’ve attached it. Click on  Genre chart and you’ll be able to see the list. Remember, the numbers won’t match the original demographics because I didn’t include the poems, nor about 35 stories where I couldn’t remember if they were SF, horror or fantasy.

I’m done with the demographics and will be starting to put in short interviews with the authors that will probably span the next few months. I’d like to say I’ll get two in a week but it all depends on time. So in the meantime, enjoy the demographics and look for Tesseracts 17 in October.

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, fairy tales, fantasy, horror, myth, poetry, Publishing, science fiction, Writing

Writing: Romances, the Pride and the Shame

writing, novels, writers, authors, Harlequin, romance novels, writing and working

Making fun of Harlequin covers is a favorite past time of some, and could be one reason my friend doesn’t want it known she wrote romance novels.

I’ve was talking to a friend of mine who in the distant past wrote and sold several novels to Harlequin. She did this at a time in her life when she was a single mother of two  and was trying to support them while putting herself through school. She is an artist who does beautiful paintings now.

Now the interesting thing is that Harlequin is viewed by some as low brow and by others as prestige. Low brow because we’re just reading those trashy romances and if you write a trashy romance, well, you’re not a real writer. Prestige because Harlequin pays quite well, is a successful publisher and you’ve written for Harlequin. Perspective, you see. I have another friend writing and trying to sell romances right now and she thinks it’s a great thing to do.

Harlequin as a publisher is one of North Americas more stable publishing houses. Writers tend to be paid fairly well because Harlequin has a high sell-through. Although the stories might be a paper chick flick and perhaps formulaic in the guy and gal always get each other in the end, there is a lot of range in their romance novels these days from mildly titillating to downright penetrative, in all senses of the term. Harlequin has been branching out as well into fantasy and other genres, whether werewolves, vampires or some other creature that goes bump in the night and indeed they still must go bump. I did sell one story to a Harlequin fairy tale anthology and of course it was romantic and/or erotic.

The Romance Writers of America is not only a well-attended association of writers and would-be writers but also brings in top agents and writers to local conferences. I know several people who have joined the RWA just for these aspects, even if they do not write romance. Basically romance today is not your mother’s romance.

So, this conversation with my friend was quite interesting. I present it here, edited because she does not want her name revealed. In fact I have never ever been able to find out what name she wrote under and I’m only one of a few people who even know she wrote romances.

No, I don’t care if folks think of me as what I am. ;D ….. I mean that’s how I caught my beloved D by being wild and lascivious, isn’t it?

Well that’s a lie…at least the part about me not being embarrassed about people really knowing who I am. Just so you know…I do not tell anyone the name I wrote under because I did it for the money…and only the money for my girls. When I do speak of my writing it is mostly because I really want the person I’m talking to , to understand that I really do understand the pressures of creating something salable, like a story or a book…for a paycheck.

My writing was an act of desperation. I wrote like an East End drug addicted prostitute whores herself. I

writing, juggling work, writing romance novels, Romance Writers of America, Harlequin romances

My friend juggled a job, going to school, raising two girls and writing romance novels. Creative Commons: Misty de Vries, Mercator

had  two kids to feed and  I needed to earn more money. I had no child support and a barely above min. wage job. I started writing  after work when the girls were in bed, I wrote on the bus going to work, lunch breaks at the store, I wrote on a scribbler, took it home and then wrote it up of the typewriter later that night (yes, she did all this before computers). Being dyslexic, it was like slavery. I had to concentrate so hard even when I was utterly bagged. I had no grace, no time to muck about and, God help me, if I screwed it up because then  my children would go without. So I wrote what I knew would sell and did it as quickly as I could type up the pages. I could not think of another way to earn enough money to look after T and K. I was so tired all the time my writing could not be the least jot original. I was caught between the rock and the hard place with no help. My family would not help me. I had shamed them with my divorces. My mother cut me off, not that she had ever supported me but she made it clear, as she said, I had made my bed …. If I was broke, it was my fault. As a solution I turned to writing because it was  something I could crank out while being at home with my children.

My writing is not something of which, I was ever proud. That is not to say I am not proud of the accomplishment of using my wits to take care of the girls.

I am.

But I was  not  nor ever will be, a  writer. I was, by  some miracle and a short period of time,  an adequate hack, which is something else entirely.

Also It was not a happy time for me. And the whole writing thing is forever tainted in my mind with all of that  desperate hungry  unhappiness.

A few years ago when my health took a little turn I tried writing again; but this time I tried to write stories I might want to read. I tried a lot, then some more… I tried and tried.

I went back to drawing.

So at last, I will get to the  point, I will enthusiastically pass on my recommendations. And for your piece of mind. I will also run them through the spell checker… so they won’t think an idiot wrote them. Don’t you love computers!

Talk about stress! A part of me wishes I had never said anything or agreed to  your request.

So… to the issue at hand. There were 5 in all.

She has her reasons for not feeling she was a writer, and she feels her novels were not very good. I’ve never read them (or any Harlequin) for that matter, so I don’t know the quality. However, I told her that she was an inspiration…because she wrote, and finished several novels and sold them. That in itself is a great accomplishment. I know because I’ve been working on my second novel for ten years! I plan on finishing it by April because it’s getting ridiculous. So while my friend feels she was a hack who wrote to survive, I wish I could write as a full-time job. These days it’s even harder to sell something because there are so many more people writing and computers and the internet made it easier. But I’ll still hold my friend in high regard, even if I never find out what she wrote or what name she wrote under.

3 Comments

Filed under Culture, entertainment, life, Publishing, Writing

Writing Update: The Collection Progresses

I have actually been too busy to write here but I thought I’d toss in an update on what’s been transpiring.

Deadline for voting in the Aurora Awards closes on Monday, July 23 so if you’re Canadian and would like to vote you can go here. There is also a voters package that contains the works being nominated. Since you pay $10 to vote (unless you already paid to nominate), then you can consider it a purchase of several novels, short, stories, art works and poems. My poem “A Good Catch” is nominated in the poetry category and the awards will be given in Calgary at the When Words Collide convention, which I will be at.

I have a week left to finish my story for Masked Mosaic. It’s been a bit of a struggle so I’m not sure how successful I’ll be. But mostly my time has been taken with formatting and getting my collection of stories ready for putting on Smashwords, for ereaders and then for print. If you’re interested in a print copy, send me a message and I’ll let you know when it’s ready and the cost.

The collection will be called “Embers Amongst the Fallen” and will include sixteen stories, two of them new. Wayne Allen Sallee has written a lovely blurb:

“Anderson is an enigma. Many of her stories evoke the tense subtleties of Shirley Jackson, but then I go on to another story and it breathes of Richard Matheson or the late Ray Bradbury. Few people can pull off the whipsaw of terror to wonder and back, but Colleen makes it way past easy.”

Wayne is a “5 time finalist-Stoker Award-First Novel, Collection, Novella, Novelette, Short Story.” East Coast, dark fiction writer Steve Vernon is writing an introduction for the collection as well so I feel very honored that these people, along with Sandra Kasturi of CZP who proofread it, have agreed to be part of it.

Polu Texni has bought another poem, “Mermaid,” which is written in the style of a villanelle. I’m not sure when it will be up on the site. Now, on to the process of self-producing a book.

books, publishing, collection, reprints, ebooks, Smashwords, writing, book production

Creative Commons: Ninha Morandini

Smashwords is for ereaders and once you have your book formatted they will make it readable for different readers and send out a catalog. You have to meet their formatting guidelines and produce a cover. I have a friend working on one right now. There is a giant book that can be downloaded for free that is the Smashwords style guide. Interestingly enough, it has formatting issues in rtf, but is okay in PDF. It’s written for those who are not even that familiar with using Word. I’m pretty much an expert (though the stupid Office/Word 2007 sucks big time and annoys the hell out of me) so I’m finding the book a bit tedious in some sections. I have to glean through though because some information is buried and some not so clear.

I have got rid of most of the marks and spaces that they require but I also have one story with footnotes and I still have to determine how to make sure those show correctly. I’m presuming once I get to the submission part that I’ll get to review before it goes to the vetters (they send it back if  there are formatting errors). It’s that part that could slow down my release date of Aug. 1.  I’m more than half way through the formatting and just waiting for the intro (and to complete my acknowledgements) so I hope by this weekend I’ll only be dealing with getting the cover art finalized.

It’s been an interesting process and I’ve been working on a few erotic stories to put up as well. Formatting one story is much easier than the book but I’m learning some things when doing this. Stay tuned for the release of my first collection.


			

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, erotica, fantasy, horror, Publishing, science fiction, Writing

Writing News: Sales and Nominations

writing, Aurora Awards, speculative fiction, poetry, fantasy

Creative Commons: Drew Coffman, flickr

The Chizine Reading Series will host a reading of the Friends of Merril shortlisted contestants in June. This is in Toronto and while I hope to be there in the fall for the World Fantasy Convention, I won’t be attending this reading. Maybe they can skype us in. My story, “The Ties That Bind” was one of nine shortlisted but not a winner. And speaking of being shortlisted.

I waited to put this out so that it coincided with the official notice for the Aurora Awards. For the second year, I have made it onto the nominating ballot in the poetry category. My poem, “A Good Catch” (still up at Polu Texni) is eligible to win the award. I have a one in five chance. Last year I was the only west coast poet, with the rest being in Toronto and all writers I know. And while I don’t know where Heather Dale lives, I am up against some of the same nominees: Carolyn Clink, Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall. And besides Heather, we’re all part of ChiZine Publications. Yes, it is a small world. And ChiZine Publications has done well in the novel category with four of six authors being published by CZP. Voting begins April 16 and goes to July 23. If you’re Canadian and have paid the $10 registration, you can vote.

On top of that I’ve just signed contracts for two stories, which I sold on April 1 & 2. If only all months (and days) were like this. “The Brown Woman” will be in the inaugural issue of Third Flatiron Publishing‘s e-anthology, due out in June with a theme of environmental disaster. This might be the first full-on e-reader style story that I’ve sold. That story has undergone many rewrites and point of view switches.

The story, “The Book with No End” will be out in Bibliotheca Fantastica, an anthology about magical books. Dagan Bookswill put

writing, anthologies, speculative fiction, books, fantasy, poetry, SF, Aurora Awards

Creative Commons: Eric Guiomar

this out sometime this summer. This story is about power and skin. In fact, when I look at many of my stories, they involve some aspect of skin. Even the Brown Woman involves the changing of a skin. It seems to be a theme I keep exploring. After all, skin is one of the largest organs in the body. Yes, it is an organ and considering the area it covers it’s very versatile in holding us together, maintaining our temperature and protecting us from environmental intrusions.

While it’s great to have several stories coming out, I’m by no means getting rich. That’s a work in progress indeed. Below is the full list of the Aurora nominees.

BEST NOVEL – ENGLISH

Enter Night by Michael Rowe, ChiZine Publications
Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism by David Nickle, ChiZine Publications
Napier’s Bones by Derryl Murphy, ChiZine Publications
The Pattern Scars by Caitlin Sweet, ChiZine Publications
Technicolor Ultra Mall by Ryan Oakley, EDGE
Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada

BEST SHORT FICTION – ENGLISH

“The Legend of Gluck” by Marie Bilodeau, When the Hero Comes Home, Dragon Moon
“The Needle’s Eye” by Suzanne Church, Chilling Tales: Evil Did I Dwell; Lewd Did I Live, EDGE
“One Horrible Day” by Randy McCharles, The 2nd Circle, The 10th Circle Project
“Turning It Off” by Susan Forest, Analog, December
“To Live and Die in Gibbontown” by Derek Künsken, Asimov’s, October/November

BEST POEM / SONG – ENGLISH

“A Good Catch” by Colleen Anderson, Polu Texni, April
“Ode to the Mongolian Death Worm” by Sandra Kasturi, ChiZine, Supergod Mega-Issue, Volume 47
“Skeleton Leaves” by Helen Marshall, Kelp Queen Press
“Skeleton Woman” by Heather Dale, Fairytale CD
“Zombie Bees of Winnipeg” by Carolyn Clink, ChiZine, Supergod Mega-Issue, Volume 47

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL – ENGLISH

Goblins, webcomic, created by Tarol Hunt
Imagination Manifesto, Book 2 by GMB Chomichuk, James Rewucki and John Toone, Alchemical Press
Weregeek, webcomic, created by Alina Pete

BEST RELATED WORK – ENGLISH

Fairytale, CD by Heather Dale, CD Baby
The First Circle: Volume One of the Tenth Circle Project, edited by Eileen Bell and Ryan McFadden
Neo-Opsis, edited by Karl Johanson
On Spec, published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society
Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales, edited by Julie Czerneda and Susan MacGregor, EDGE

BEST ARTIST (PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR NOMINATIONS)

(An example of each artist’s work is listed below but they are to be judged on the body
of work they have produced in the award year)

Janice Blaine, “Cat in Space”, Cover art for Neo-Opsis, Issue 20
Costi Gurgu, cover art for Outer Diverse, Starfire
Erik Mohr, cover art for ChiZine Publications
Dan O’Driscoll, “Deep Blue Seven”, cover art for On Spec magazine, Summer issue
Martin Springett, Interior art for The Pattern Scars, ChiZine

Fan/Volunteer Award Nominations

BEST FAN PUBLICATION

BCSFAzine, edited by Felicity Walker
Bourbon and Eggnog by Eileen Bell, Ryan McFadden, Billie Milholland and Randy McCharles, 10th Circle Project
In Places Between: The Robin Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest book, edited by Reneé Bennett
Sol Rising newsmagazine, edited by Michael Matheson
Space Cadet, edited by R. Graeme Cameron

BEST FAN FILK

Stone Dragons (Tom and Sue Jeffers), concert at FilKONtario
Phil Mills, Body of Song-Writing Work including FAWM and 50/90
Cindy Turner, Interfilk concert at OVFF

BEST FAN ORGANIZATIONAL

Andrew Gurudata, chair of the Constellation Awards committee
Peter Halasz, administrator of the Sunburst Awards
Helen Marshall and Sandra Kasturi, chairs of the Chiaroscuro Reading Series (Toronto)
Randy McCharles, chair of When Words Collide (Calgary)
Alex von Thorn, chair of SFContario 2 (Toronto)
Rose Wilson, for organizing the Art Show at V-Con (Vancouver)

BEST FAN OTHER

Lloyd Penney, letters of comment
Peter Watts, “Reality: The Ultimate Mythology” lecture, Toronto SpecFic Colloquium
Taral Wayne, Canadian Fanzine Fanac Awards art

1 Comment

Filed under art, Culture, fantasy, horror, poetry, Publishing, science fiction, Writing

What’s in a Name?

Creative Commons: Eric Guiomar

I once, at the earlier end of my writing career, asked an instructor and author if it mattered what my last name was, in terms of positioning on the bookstore shelf. He gave me a look askance and probably thought I was an airhead. But it was in fact a valid question…to some extent. I spent many years ordering books for a SF and fantasy bookstore. The A’s always are near the top and the Z’s are near the bottom of the shelves. But after that, it really depends on how tall and wide the shelves are and whether people arrange the books left to right or top to bottom. So in the long run, yes a person at the bottom of the shelf may sell a little bit less, but in the end it will depend on the story and the popularity of that author.

The other thing I always wondered about was my name in general. It’s a pretty generic name. There are tons of Andersons and several famous speculative Andersons such as Poul and Kevin. So perhaps if I had a unique name it would stand out. But more, if I could design the perfect author name for dark and specultive fiction, what would I choose?

I always said that if I wrote romances I would go by Felicity Meadows. The author names are sometimes stately, sometimes evocative of beauty or nature or virtues. I  have met people with the last names Lethe and Styx, two of the rivers you encounter on your way to the Greek underworld. How great it would be to have such a name and write dark stories of spirits and hidden realms.

Well in the world of speculative fiction, here are a few names. Brian Hades, owner of Edge Publications. I call him Mr. Hell. Then there  is Mort Castle, Gabrielle Faust, Wrath James White, Chad Savage. It’s not like these names will make someone a better writer, editor or publisher but you have to wonder, were they born to it? Was it their destiny to end up in the speculative and dark fiction field? Or did they change their names? I’ll be attending the World Horror Convention at the end of April and I think I’ll ask these people about the unique aspects of their names. I know Brian Hades was born with the name but what about the others?

I’m sure there are other unique names for writers. And not that it will make you write better or sell better but I’d sure like a name like once of those. From the not quite generic Colleen Anderson who sometimes writes under the family name of Calligari, made famous by Edgar Allen Poe.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, horror, people, Writing

Writing: Sunburst Awards & CZP

A little Friday update on some things Canadian and some things writerly.

The Sunburst Awards is Canada’s equivalent of a high end literary award but for speculative fiction. As with meny things, especially culture, which the federal government decided isn’t very important, they are hoping to continue giving this award but need donors. Here is a little youtube piece with excerpts by a few Canadian authors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQuBSrUkAo0

And Chizine Publications has a little animation up for People Still Live in Cashtown Corners, by Tony Burgess, which is receiving good reviews. I find the little bear creatures somewhat disturbing, but then I get that way when things are too cutesy. Gah, death by sugar coating. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hfVFkjUwZU

Chizine Publications http://chizine.com/chizinepub/ is going strong and watch for a new web design for the online magazine Chizine in the new year. Other than that, rewriting continues and slush reading. A note to the wise; don’t slur the intelligence or the nationality (and get it wrong) of your slush reader. You’re bound to be banned from ever submitting again. Just sayin’.

Leave a comment

Filed under art, Culture, entertainment, fantasy, horror, Publishing, science fiction, Writing

ChiZine Publications Update

ChiZine Publications continues to get good reviews on the books that they are publishing. It’s very important for selling books and selling more of them to spread the word about publishers and authors. The best is when the publisher has a massive budget, but even so they only designate so much money to marketing and advertising and big names will get more because it brings in more revenue.

There are many ways to market and some of the ways are social media (Facebook, Twitter, websites), bookstore displays, attending conventions, doing readings and signings and of course alerting the media through press releases and review copies. Reviews can get a fair amount of attention and helps the writing world as well as the readers know about trends and authors and the genres out there.

So here are some of the reviews (and a pre-order):

You can check out all ChiZine Publications books at: http://www.chizine.com/chizinepub/

Leave a comment

Filed under art, Culture, entertainment, fantasy, horror, news, people, Publishing, Writing

Chizine Publications: New & Upcoming

cinematographer Michael LeBlanc, Brett Savory, and director Bruce McDonald

I’ve joined the slush readers for ChiZine Publications, which is not the same as Chizine the online mag, but they are related. I’m already an assistant poetry editor for Chizine, but I’ll now be reading submissions to the publishing arm CZP. http://chizine.com/chizinepub/ I haven’t got my batch o’ manuscripts to read yet and haven’t even sent in my pic and bio but I’m on the team.

So,in the grand flurry of getting more goods on the books being published, and coming on board, I’ll list here what’s happening. CZP has been getting good reviews as a publisher and for their authors so I’m proud to join the team. I’ll also be going to the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas next spring, representing myself and supporting the Chi team.

  • Tony Burgess’s book Cashtown is being promoted with a book trailer. This great piece was directed by none other than Bruce MacDonald of Hard Core Logo, Pontypool, and This Movie is Broken fame. Take a look: http://tinyurl.com/26ssg3u

There is a review of People Live Still in Cashtown Corners at  http://justinelewkowicz.com/blog

  • Sarah Court, by Craig Davidson has made it to the #8 spot for bestsellers at Horror Mall in the digital category for September. And here it is as a featured title on Wowio. http://www.wowio.com

Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi are the masterminds behind CZP and I’m honored to be joining their team as CZP continues to pull in great reviews and stellar writers. So drop on in to see what’s coming out in the realms of dark fantasy, SF and horror.

1 Comment

Filed under Culture, entertainment, fantasy, horror, news, poetry, Publishing, Writing

In the Magpie Tradition: Collecting

Magpie from Wikipedia

I grew up in Alberta where magpies were a predominant bird, much like crows are here in Vancouver. Magpies are raucous and bold and like bright things, much like crows. And they are related to the family Corvidae, which includes crows and ravens. We commonly said in our family, oh she’s like a magpie when someone collected or kept shiny things. But it also came to refer to anyone who collected items.

And really if we, as human beings, have something in common with the family Corvidae it is indeed our love of shiny things, as well as being collectors. It’s as much part of human nature as it is of crow nature. People collect shoes, jewellery, books, music, electronics, figurines, matchbook covers, baseball cards, paintings, plants, pictures, buttons, cars, women, men, countries. You name it, someone somewhere collects it.

And I am no exception. I collect a few things such as jewelery, clothes and books. But having always been an avid reader, and being a writer, I collect books, to a degree. And sure the internet is bringing about more digital media and books but there is something different in having a big picture book than scanning through pics on a computer monitor or the weensy screen of a phone. And many of us who love reading, love to hold a book and feel the paper. I haven’t had a chance yet to try the Kindle or any other electronic, hand-held reading device and it could be I like it. I tend to read my books so that they are not dog-eared and the spines are not bent. I treat them like religious relics, usually.

But I collect more than just books. I collect comic books. Yes, I am that rare breed, a woman who reads comics. My love of comics started as a child where there were probably only a dozen comics like Thor and X-Men and were read and re-read by me and my siblings. I forgot about them until I was in my 20s and one Christmas my boyfriend stuck some in my stocking for fun. I started reading them again and started subscribing.

And then I took the big plunge and worked in a comic book store for quite a few years. This has given me various skills and interests and at the height of my comic collecting I even bought two of certain first issues, but I usually only bought comics that I was interested in reading. And then I left the store and the comics changed as they always do. I would bag and box the comics and the boxes built up. Eventually a friend who had room in her basement agreed to store my comics; that include eight long boxes and three short boxes totally about 4,000-5,000 comics. There they lanquished until I completely forgot about them.

I continued to read and buy comics and do to this day but only a very few titles. One day, this friend contacted everyone who had stuff out of sight, out of mind in her basement and said she was tired of storing other people’s junk, and rightfully so. I was faced with all these comics that I haven’t looked at in many many many years, and no place to put them. So I started this weekend in going through those boxes and seeing what’s there. Most of them are not alphabetical with Avengers and Batman in one box and X-Men and Warlord in another box. No, there are a few issues of each in each box because as I read them I filed htem as I went. This has meant sorting each box but I’m not going as far as sorting all boxes at once. That’s just too many.

Some of the titles I used to collect (and that I’ve found so far) are: Dreadstar, Dalgoda, Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, Corum, Nexus, Mister Miracle, Miracle Man, Animal Man, Justice League (including Europe, America and International), Teen Titans, Love & Rockets, Nausicaa, Crying Freeman, Lone Wolf and Cub, Uncle Scrooge, Mickey and Donald, Terminator, Airboy, Strontium Dog, Watchmen, Groo, Shadow, Elektra, Flesh and Bones, Omaha, Swamp Thing, etc. And that’s only a few of the titles in those boxes. OMG

As is often the case, we collect some things for a short period (like marbles when I was a kid and you can search my blog on marble and the games of childhood) or forever, like books. However, even though I still read comic books, I don’t really miss all of these. I must catalogue and sort them and then try to sell them. And this is the price of collecting. Some I’ll sell for a song but a few might just be worth something so I have to go through them all and that is going to take time.

Leave a comment

Filed under art, consumer affairs, Culture, entertainment, memories, Publishing