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Women in Horror: Michelle Scalise

WiHM11-GrrrlWhiteMy guest today is Michelle Scalise. Her poetry punches hard and all the more wrenching for its reality.

When did you discover poetry and who/what influenced you?

I was taught dull, unrelatable poems in grade school but when I started high school I discovered Edgar Allan Poe on my own. “Annabel Lee,” in particular, made me obsessed with the art form. My work now is influenced by everyone from Charles Baudelaire to Sylvia Plath to Anne Sexton.

Why do you write poetry?

Besides poetry, I also write short stories but I can express myself and my life through poetry in unique ways. I love the way poetry lets a writer play with the sounds of words and the rhythm they make to create an image and feeling.

What do you think is the most difficult aspect in writing poetry?

The most difficult part of writing is getting the feeling across to the reader but leaving enough room for them to relate to a poem in their own way.

MISTY WAS AN UGLY DOLL

When she grew weary
stubbing out cigarettes
on the old lady,
who paid dearly for
adopting a sewer rat,
Mama would come for me.

She’d lift me onto the stepping stool.
It didn’t help to beg and weep,
humiliation was a sound for the weak.

With giant antique sheers,
She’d chop off my hair muttering,
“Pretty girls are blonde like me.”

Upstairs in the shadows,
a box with my favorite doll
“Beautiful Misty” it read in bold print.
But they were wrong,
her hair was red
and grew long with the turn of knob.

Misty cried when I cut her locks.
I had no mercy for a toy that lied.

Sometimes Mama slapped too hard
but I couldn’t make Misty bleed.
So I colored bruises on her cheeks.
Now she’s dead inside like me.

## from Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning

Do you explore particular themes? What are they and why?

scalise bookMy latest collection, DRAGONFLY AND SONGS OF MOURNING (LVP Publications 2019) is about the death of my husband, novelist Tom Piccirilli, of cancer. Most poets who write in the horror genre use death a lot but this is personal. It was also the only work I’ve ever done that was painful to write. My last collection THE MANUFACTURER OF SORROW (Eldritch Press) doesn’t have a theme. I am always writing about scarred childhoods and turning the image of mothers into monsters. That’s my way of fighting back at my past. Both of my short story collections also contain poems.

What is it about dark (speculative) poetry that you think attracts people to read it?

Life is dark and awful for everyone at times. There is something soothing about reading a poet one can relate to.

WORDS HE REMEMBERED

He couldn’t see her anymore
Morphine shuttered his eyes
And cobwebs hung from his lashes
But he heard her whispering
And her prayers became a chapter
On the white walls of his cell.
Words dripping from the ceiling
To languish on the cracked linoleum floor.

His writing was his hunger.
Words black as the poison inside him
Spun into strings of sentences.
Both the horror and the beauty
He longed to type.

Ideas drowning in an IV bag.
Page after page
Streaming from his brain
Too quickly to catch.
He cried watching them fly away.

But he didn’t grieve his own loss,
She’d do that for him.
It was the stories
He’d forgotten to tell
That ran like deer in the mountains
Through the silence he’d leave behind.

## from Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning

What projects (publications) are you working on or have coming up?

I have started something new but it won’t have an actual theme, at least so far. When I go back I may discover something similar running through the poems.

Is there anything else you would like to say about horror or poetry?

My love for horror began when I was a little girl. I would watch old horror movies with my father. He died young but his memory is always in my work.

Since 1994, Michelle Scalise‘s work has appeared in such anthologies as Unspeakable ScaliseHorror, Darker Side, Mortis Operendi I, Dark Arts, The Big Book of Erotic Ghost Stories, Best Women’s Erotica, and such magazines as Cemetery Dance, Crimewave, Space and Time, and Dark Discoveries. She was nominated for the 2010 Spectrum Award, which honors outstanding works of fantasy and horror that include positive gay characters. Her poetry has been nominated for the Elgin Award and the Rhysling Award. Her fiction has received honorable mention in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Her fiction collection, Collective Suicide, was published by Crossroad Press in 2012. In 2014, Eldritch Press published a collection of her poetry, The Manufacturer of Sorrow in paperback and ebook. It became a bestseller in the women writers category on Amazon. In May of 2019, her latest collection of poetry, Dragonfly and Other Songs of Mourning, was published by Lycan Valley Press. It has made the preliminary ballet for the Bram Stoker Award. Michelle is an active member of the HWA and the SFPA.

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Women in Horror: Kyla Ward

WiHM11-Scalples-whI was fortunate to see Kyla Ward perform her poem at Stokercon last year in a gothic frock coat. She has been shy to mention but her books have poetry have been nominated for Stoker Awards as well.

When did you discover poetry and who/what influenced you?

I remember my parents reading me poetry like T. S. Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and Sir Walter Scott when I was very young indeed. I assume it stuck—indeed, altered part of my brain.

Why do you write poetry?

I write poetry because I can’t help it. Sometimes I get an idea and that idea can only come out in rhyme or a very particular rhythm. I write a lot of formal poetry because that’s what the idea seems to require, the support of that particular structure. Is this strange? It sounds strange to me.

The Grove

No temple stands within the walls of Rome
to she who is Dis Pater’s palatine.
The cypress branch outside the shuttered home
denotes a grove beyond the Esquiline
where ash sequesters souvenirs of dread—
the greater bones may well resist the flame—
and all the earth is rancid with such dead
as left the future neither wealth nor name.
Her votaries both winged and fanged compete
with witches for the choicest scavenging.
The foulest odours mingle with the sweet
of spices flung in hasty offering.
No image of her overlooks this place,
yet all who die will recognise her face.

## Originally published in Mythic Delirium 4.4 and subsequently collected in The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities. It is the first part of the triptych “Libitina’s Garden”

What do you think is the most difficult aspect in writing poetry?

BookTo my mind, the challenge of poetry is marrying structure with language and meaning—meaning, in this context, can be a mood or impression, rather than an obvious message. All writing needs to do this, but poetry—formal or free—is especially prone to being warped by the pressure of structure. Inappropriate or awkward words slip in, that obey scansion but occlude meaning or sound ugly and jarring. To my mind, the best poetry sounds natural when spoken, only somehow better. It flows so well that the true ingenuity of it goes largely unnoticed: you simply know that it is beautiful.

For the author, this way lies madness.

Do you explore particular themes? What are they and why?

I wouldn’t have said I explored particular themes, except that when it came time to assemble each of my collections, there they were.

The Land of Bad Dreams (P’rea Press, 2011) is more or less two halves, one representing dreams and the other a reality that through the poetic medium comes to seem equally fantastic. The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities (P’rea Press, 2019) on the other hand… well, I did consciously set out to write a contemporary danse macabre based on the medieval model. It was only when I came to assemble the other poems that I realised how much of everything I had published since the previous book concerned the mythology of death in one form or another.

In Greek mythology, Death (Thanatos) and Sleep (Hypnos) are brothers. So I suppose, thus far in my career I have treated them both and should now move on to something more lively.

THE CELEBRITY

DEATH

A willing partner here at last!
Whose hand is smooth, whose step is fast.
Such earthly angels, once deceased,
routinely find their fame increased!
As amber, each iconic scene
preserves your carapace pristine.
Eternal glory somewhat flat
but not a whit less real for that.

THE CELEBRITY

Your words should consolation bring
and yet they have a hollow ring,
for moulded by a thousand hands
my guise but answered the demands
of press and public: all they see
is all the use they made of me.
Their compliments like razors strewn
along the path I trod so soon.

## Originally published in The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities. It is a single entry in The Macabre Modern

What is it about dark (speculative) poetry that you think attracts people to read it?

When I dip into the dark fantastic, when I read Ann K. Schwader or Bruce Boston, it’s to ward bookrefresh my mind. Reading poetry is a brief yet absolute break from humdrum thoughts and everyday rhythms, and I’m not the kind of person who holidays on beaches. I’m more one for subterranean caverns, shadowed canals, the crumbling interior of castles and tombs, and echoing galleries of old world art. So too in my choice of Poe and Rosetti, Clark Ashton Smith and Leah Drake Bodine. Is this what other people derive from dark poetry, including, perchance, my own work? I couldn’t possibly say! What I do know is that, upon a time, ekphrasis—that is, describing a visual artwork in a poem—was considered a valid means of preserving the memory, the sensations experienced by the viewer during her contemplation (consider Shelley’s “On The Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery”). In this way, even people who had never seen the painting could appreciate something of its impact. Perhaps it is the same for these internal visions.

What projects (publications) are you working on or have coming up?

The release of a collection generally means poetry takes a back seat for a while. I have short stories and novellas to finish before returning to the current novel. The poetic part of my brain will resume ticking soon enough.

Is there anything else you would like to say about horror or poetry?

Some people may see a paradox in the idea that a poem should be beautiful even when the subject is the horrific conditions in an overfilled cemetery, or the suicide of an unhappy actor. It appears that I do not. As is the case in Shelley’s poem, mentioned above, I feel there is a beauty particular to horror and macabre subjects that deserves exploring. Sometimes, the contrast serves to accentuate the horror. But some things are that much more frightening when they are beautiful, they become alluring, and even comforting. For me, this is where the true horror lies.

Ward picBased in Sydney, Australia, Kyla has produced short fiction. articles and poetry, including Stoker, Ditmar, Australian Shadows and Rhysling nominees, and won one-third of an Aurealis Award for her co-written novel, Prismatic. Her poem, “Revenants of the Antipodes” in the HWA Poetry Showcase V, won the inaugural Australian Shadows award for horror poetry. Her most recent release is the dark poetry collection The Macabre Modern and Other Morbidities, in 2019 from P’rea Press. An actor (most recently in the immersive true crime experience Deadhouse – Tales of Sydney Morgue) and occasional playwright, she has travelled widely and rhymed adventurously. Her interests include history, occultism and scaring innocent bystanders, all of which come together in her current night job—a host with the world-famous Rocks Ghost Tours.

kylaward.com/
https://klward.dreamwidth.org/
Preapress.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5283016.Kyla_Lee_Ward

 

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Women in Horror: Amanda Crum

WiHM11-Scalples-wvAmanda Crum is my next poetry guest for Women in Horror Month. I’m not the only one who thinks she’s talented. See for yourself and enjoy her poem as well.

When did you discover poetry and who/what influenced you?

I started writing poetry as a kid, but I always disliked the rhyming kind that was so prevalent in children’s writing. I loved Shel Silverstein because his use of language was so different to me. He was writing for the daydreamer kids like me.

Why do you write poetry?         

Poetry is a way to pull all the best words from the atmosphere and play with them. I love that. I love that it can tell a story or just a fragment of one.

What do you think is the most difficult aspect in writing poetry? 

For me the most difficult part is getting organized, because I have so many ideas that it’s hard to distill them all into something cohesive.

From my book of horror poetry, Tall Grass, which made the preliminary ballot for a Crum coverBram Stoker Award nomination this year. “Sheets On A Line” is inspired by Dolores Claiborne.

Sheets On A Line

It comes to you as you hang the last piece,
knuckles cracked and bleeding
in the glacial air:

there are no borders too hard to fracture,
only cages with keys.
You’ve been hemmed in,

wary and circuital,
but even the cons at Shawshank
can’t be held forever.

There’s no weapon forged
that could do the job cleanly,
but these hills whisper

with every wave that breaks cliffside.
They say that opportunity is
veiled inside their curves,

that the sun holds shadows to her breast
that are yours for the taking.
Your eyes rove east to west,

regarding the line of billowing white sheets
laid out like a ligature across the landscape.
They twist in the wind, content to stay secure

even if it means dodging brutal currents,
but now you can see how easy it is
to break the pins and set them free.

##

Do you explore particular themes? What are they and why?

I like to get into the motivation behind things, and I tend to write a lot about grief and facing mortality because those are things that are on my mind a lot. With my latest book of poetry, Tall Grass, I took a look at a lot of famous horror characters and tried to get into their minds a bit. What was Dolores Claiborne feeling when she first thought of a way out of her abusive marriage? I want to look at the stories and characters that shaped us through a different lens.

What is it about dark (speculative) poetry that you think attracts people to read it? 

So many of us are living with anxiety, we’re waking up to awful news everyday, and the thought of getting lost in beautiful language and stories that carry us away is too good to pass up.

What projects (publications) are you working on or have coming up?   

I’m working on a full-length horror novel, and it’s my first attempt at something like that so it’s exciting and terrifying. I want to do it right!

Amanda Crum is a writer and artist whose work has appeared in publications such Crumas Eastern Iowa Review, Barren Magazine, and Corvid Queen, as well as in several anthologies such as Beyond The Hill and Two Eyes Open. Her books of horror poetry, The Madness In Our Marrow and Tall Grass, have both made the preliminary ballot for a Bram Stoker Award nomination. She is also a nominee for the Best of the Net Award and the Pushcart Prize. Amanda currently lives in Kentucky with her husband and two children.

https://twitter.com/MandyGCrum

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2904138.Amanda_Crum

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Women in Horror: Zoe Mitchell

WiHM11-Scalples-wvThe scalpel design for Women in Horror Month may be an apt logo for my next guest. You will see how Zoe Mitchell deftly wields the charge edge of language to expose another layer of meaning.

When did you discover poetry and who/what influenced you?

I was quite young when I started reading poetry, I loved Roger McGough when I was little – I was obsessed with a book of his called Mr Noselighter about a man with a candle for a nose which, looking back, is mildly horrific but at the time I just loved the sound and rhythm of the words and what they added to the story. When I was a teenager I went through a phase where I would read Ted Hughes’ Crow poems over and over, and later I loved listening to Simon Armitage on the Mark and Lard show on Radio One. Other teenagers go through phases with bands, I did it with poets – and I’ve never looked back.

Why do you write poetry?

I write poetry to make sense of myself and the world. The creativity and various forms give me different ways to explore ideas, process experiences and communicate something that seems difficult to share in other ways.

Shiv

Some women are born to work with knives.
Just as some must sing or stir their words, you

will stand behind them in the dark, their guilty
secret. They need the smallest eye you can cut

from a creature, they need the bloody shanks
to fill their blackened pots with magic.

They’ll say your arched back lacks music.
Your shoulder rotates to penetrate an innocent

or petty accuser on their behalf but they will not
let you dance. They can’t cauterize their disgust

at the ominous shapes you offer up to moonlight.
Your liberty lives only in the darkest corners

everyone else wilfully ignores. You’ll live your life
forever behind a half-open cupboard door –

everyone knows you’re there but no one wants
to acknowledge your steel. The words of women

cut deeper than the most pitiless dagger. And yet,
while men fret over herbs and muttered curses,

you can shatter bone. You will know your sisters
from the blood under their fingernails. Like you,

they have the soul of a surgeon, the eyes of a butcher.
Imagine the stealth of a mother with a sleeping child:

if you unearth our stories to anyone, she will advance
from her kitchen and cut out your tongue.

##

What do you think is the most difficult aspect in writing poetry?

Finding the form for each poem can be a challenge – although it’s always a joy when it emerges. When I start writing I never have any idea of the form or even of where I want the poem to go, so the first stage I just have a mass of scribbled text and then as I start editing and refining I usually get a sense of what the poem is really about and from there, the form starts to become clearer and I can start chipping away.

Do you explore particular themes? What are they and why?

I am fascinated by folklore and mythology, so that comes up a lot. I think those old stories have so much to teach us still. My debut poetry collection, Hag, features stories from Roman and Celtic mythology as well as witches and ghosts. I’m not quite sure of the “why” other than it is what interests me and what sparks my imagination. I think the overall theme of my book is survival – through heartbreak, destruction or despair – and it connects those ancient stories to modern lives as a way to express resilience. Although the poems often speak in the voices of supernatural creatures, my focus in the end is on what that tells us about our humanity.

What is it about dark (speculative) poetry that you think attracts people to read it?

Zoe- hag

Hag, nominated for a Stoker Award in poetry

I think it’s for the same reason that people write it – to make sense of the world. The element of fantasy provides a way to explore feelings and challenges that are otherwise difficult to address. After my Dad died, I wrote a long poem about an evil ghost train designer who made a ghost train to another dimension – if you’d asked me to write directly about my grief, I don’t think I could have faced it but I felt safer exploring those ideas in a fantasy world. In fact, at the time I didn’t realise how much I was processing my loss through the poem, I thought I was giving myself an escape and it was only later that I could see what I was doing. For readers, myself included, I think it’s the same thing – an escape in some ways, but also a chance to consider subjects and emotions that can be challenging to face head on. I think also there’s just the love of stories and language, how that sparks the imagination, and poetry can intensify that.

What projects (publications) are you working on or have coming up?

At the moment I’m working on a creative PhD about witches in women’s poetry. I’m studying female poets who have written as or about witches and I’m creating my second collection which is all about witches and powerful women. As a female writer, it’s a liberating topic and it gives you a huge breadth of subjects and scope to explore everything from politics to love. I love the mischievous quality of witches, which allows me to play with form and language. I have a year to go before I finish my PhD so that’s my primary focus, and in the meantime I keep sending out the poems I write to magazines to see if I can get my witches to wreak a little havoc!

Hex

You carry all the eyes
that ever saw a horror
or glanced upon a mirror

and bristle with ears
to catch every whisper
that insists it is about you.

You scent the trail
of smoke, lick the grit
of something rotten.

Everything that goes inside
your mouth is stirred
with sex and violence –

simmering chastity too.
Everything that touches
your insides follows you.

Each stained organ
is accumulating infection,
proof that you are animal.

You are made of skin
and trapped within,
pulled apart and screaming

for someone to rip out
the gristle of your heart.
Your body is a hex bag

and all the things inside
make up this curse:
you, wherever you go

##

Is there anything else you would like to mention about poetry and horror?

I have long kicked against this idea that horror – and any genre fiction or poetry – is somehow lesser than other literary forms. I like to think things are changing for the better now, and I think perhaps horror is finally getting the recognition it deserves because the themes are so appropriate for the sometimes terrifying times in which we live. I would say to anyone who was thinking of studying creative writing but afraid that they can’t write what they love, or that horror wouldn’t be taken seriously by a university, that it’s not been my experience at all. In more than one instance, my tutor has pushed me to make my poems darker and creepier, so you won’t be expected to write in a certain style or genre. I don’t think you need any qualifications to write, but it’s certainly helped me gain some confidence and the experience has transformed and improved my writing to the point where it’s now a career.

WitchZoeZoe Mitchell is a widely-published poet whose work has been featured in a number of magazines including The Rialto, The London Magazine and The Moth. She graduated from the University of Chichester with an MA in Creative Writing and was awarded a Distinction and the Kate Betts Memorial Prize. She is currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester, examining witches in women’s poetry. Her first collection, Hag, won the Indigo-First collection competition; it was published in 2019 by Indigo Dreams Publishing and is on the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in a poetry collection.

You can order Zoe’s collection here: https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/zoe-mitchell/4594569914

Find out more about her writing on her website: www.writingbyzoe.com 

Or drop her a line on twitter and say hello: @writingbyzoe

 

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Writing: 2015’s Year in Review

I’m a bit late with this, so imagine where I’m going to be with my taxes this year. I’m recapping last year’s writing accomplishments. I managed to complete a novel that’s taken far too many years and it’s off making the rounds.

speculative fiction, fantasy, horror, SF, Years Best

From left to right: Burning Maiden, nEvermore! Tales of Murder, Mystery and the Macabre, Playground of Lost Toys, Second Contacts, New Canadian Noir, (front) On Spec Summer, Best of Horror Library, Imaginarium: Best of Canadian Speculative Fiction, and Blood in the Rain

Last year was very busy. How busy? What do all the books in the picture above have in common? Why, I’m in them all. The biggest project was Playground of Lost Toys and I’m pleased to say that Ursula Pflug and I (co-editors) are nominated for an Aurora Award in Best Related Works for the anthology, published by Exile Editions.The books to the left and right are nEvermore! Tales of Murder, Mystery and the Macabre, and Second Contacts are also nominated. My story “Asylum” is in the first and “Scar Tissue,” written with Rhea Rose in the second.

Burning Maiden Vol. 2 published three of my poems, “As I Sleep,” “Medusa” and “Tea Party,” and On Spec published my poem “The Hedge Witch” along with an interview of me, which actually came out in January though it says summer 2015. Those weren’t the only poems: “Visitation: Leda’s Lament” was in the HWA Poetry Showcase, “the moon: Fever Dream” was in Pantheon magazines Nyx issue, “Morrigan’s Song” was in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #24, “Persephone Dreams: Awakening” was in Eternal Haunted Summer’s summer issue, and “I Dreamed A World” was published at Polu Texni. This last poem is also nominated for a Rhysling Award (SF Poetry Association) in the long form category. (Clicking on any story or poem title will take you to the actual piece.)

toys, childhood, nostalgia, fantasy, SF, fiction, short stories

Playground of Lost Toys is available through Amazon published by Exile Writers

 

Other stories included three reprints: “The Book With No End” (which made it to the Stoker award longlist in 2014) was reprinted in CZP’s Imaginarium 2014: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. And “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” (honorable mention in the Year’s Best Horror) was republished in Best of Horror Library I-V. In Blood in the Rain, a collection of erotic vampire fiction, my story “Hold Back the Night” was reprinted. This story had also been shortlisted for several awards and received two honorable mentions in the Year’s Best anthologies.

A couple of online stories appeared in Black Treacle with “Shaping Destiny,” and “Symbiosis” in the Scottish Shoreline of Infinity #1. “Pears and Swine” an erotic noir story appeared in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir.

So, yes, it was a very busy year. On top of that I wrote 33 new poems for a collection contest, only to find the publisher had been sucked into a vortex and disappeared. Now I’m shopping that around as well.

This year has started out busy and successful and I have several more projects brewing but I’ll save these for another post.

 

 

 

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Writing, Readings and Cons, Oh My!

ChiSeriesVancouverPoster-web-2014This weekend is VCon, Vancouver’s SF and fantasy convention. I haven’t gone in a few years but I will be attending this year and will be on a panel about Finding Your Muse, tomorrow at 1:00 pm. I have a reading at 7:00 pm where I will read from a story that was long listed for the Stoker Award. And on Saturday I will be on a panel about the role of religion in speculative fiction. If you’re not doing anything come on down and experience the breadth and depth of convention fun.

I should also mention that my poem “Family Tree” has come out in the collection They Have to Take You In, edited by Ursula Pflug. “The Collector” came out earlier this year in Cemetery Dance. My story “Pearls and Swine” will be coming out in the New Exile Book of Canadian Noir, and Our Lady of Redemption, plus an article “Universal Monsters” will be out in Nameless Magazine sometime in the near future. And check out this interview with me at the Reality Skimming blog, by Christel Bodenbender.

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, I host the Vancouver ChiSeries. The Chiaroscuro Reading Series started in Toronto and is held quarterly in Winnepeg, Ottawa and Vancouver. I have a great lineup of authors. You can attend for free, listen to the readings, peruses the books for sale and ask questions of the authors. The Cottage Bistro is a nice little venue at Main, near 28th St. and offers drinks and food as well Easily accessible by bus and lots of street parking. Now read below to see who is coming.

SF, free readings, Vancouver, ChiSeries, CZP

Paula Johanson is a writer, teacher and editor.

For over twenty-five years, Paula Johanson has worked as a writer, teacher and editor. Among her twenty-nine books on science, health and literature for young adult readers the most recent are Love Poetry: How Do I Love Thee? (Enslow Publishers), Fish: The Truth About The Food Supply (Rosen Publishing), and the science fiction anthology Opus 6 (Reality Skimming Press). Twice she has been shortlisted for the Prix Aurora Award. An accredited teacher, she has written and edited curriculum educational materials. Recently she completed an MA in Canadian Literature at the University of Victoria.Twitter: @ PaulaJohanson

publsihing, ediucation, SF, writing, Canadian authors

Lynda Williams teaches, writes and is starting a publishing company.

Lynda Williams is the author of the ten-novel Okal Rel Saga and publisher of Reality Skimming Press. Lynda holds two post graduate degrees, manages an e-learning team at SFU and teaches part-time for BCIT in introductory web development. She is also editor for the Collidor project to create an SF web app magazine. http://okalrel.org/reality-skimming/

Alma Alexander’s life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer who currently shares her life between the Pacific Northwest of the USA (where she lives with her husband and two cats) and the wonderful fantasy worlds of her own imagination. http://anghara.livejournal.com https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alma-Alexander/67938071280

Secrets of Jin Shei, fantasy, ChiSeries, CZP

Alma Alexander is the duchess of fantasy, or maybe a lost nation.

Come out and meet some of the writers, and chat with us. We’d like to see more of a community that appreciates SF, fantasy and dark fiction. The next ChiSeries after this one will be in January so this is the last one of 2014. Starting at 7:30 pm.

And one more thing, Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles are editing an anthology called nEvermore! It’s an homage to the glorious, Gothic style of the master, Edgar Allan Poe, bringing Poe-inspired fiction into the 21st century. nEvermore! brings together mystery writers (who already include a slash of the supernatural in their writing) and dark fantasy/horror writers (who currently slip across the shadows and touch on the mystery genre).

It’s crowdfunded to support the authors and has some great perks. Some rare Poe stamps, four one-of-a-kind mini Poe coffins, steampunk Poe necklace, glass tile magnets, the book and more perks to come. And for writers who want to join this anthology, there is a contest. Only three stories will be selected to join the other authors in this anthology. Check out Descent into the Maelstrom for contest and writing rules.  Personally I would love any of the perks. It’s an awesome concept and worthy of supporting on several fronts.

About the editors: Caro Soles is best known for founding the Bloody Words Mystery Conference to highlight Canadian mystery writing. She received the Derrick Murdoch Award from the Crime Writers of Canada, was short-listed for the Lambda Literary Award, and inaugurated the Bloody Words Mystery Award several years ago.  She has published 11 novels and many short stories and has edited several mystery anthologies. 

Nancy Kilpatrick is an award-winning author and editor known for her dark fantasy/horror and mystery stories.  She has published 18 novels, over 200 short stories, 6 collections, 1 non-fiction book, and has edited 14 anthologies.  She has worked for major publishing houses and small presses and some of her fiction has been translated in several foreign languages.  Poe’s works have been a lifelong passion and she is thrilled to have this opportunity to create an anthology that honors this exceptional author of style and genius.

So check out the crowdfunding perks and sign up to get yourself some special Poe stories and items. And come out to VCon and to the ChiSeries readings. You can’t get too much of a good thing. October is the official month of bats and pumpkins and things that go bump in the night and slither quietly by day.

 

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