“An Ivory Christmas” is a part of a NEW Holiday Anthology, Gifts of the Magi!

gotm-cover-final100aToday, I can finally share the BIG news about the NEW ORIGINAL collection of holiday stories co-edited with my good friends R.J. Sullivan, E. Chris Garrison and me.

The anthology is called Gifts of the Magi: A Speculative Holiday Collection and features new tales by our friends and ourselves, most of whom have series’ in progress, and feature a story set in the world of that series. And yes, I have a new story in this collection.

Ivory Blaque has returned in a brand-new short story titled “An Ivory Christmas”, which takes place on Christmas Eve!

While out shopping for a last minute gift for Malik, Ivory stumbles upon an open case involving missing children. She must use all her abilities, along with some otherworldly help, to find the children, put an end to the monster responsible and return the children safely to their parents.

Gifts of the Magi is a first time endeavor for me, as I co-edited the anthology and also ventured into indie publishing under a new brand, in a co-partnership between R.J., Chris and me, called SFG Publishing. It’s our first attempt at supporting a local charity and all monies go to Indy Reads Books in support of  their good work.

Besides a new story by me, you’ll find a new Rebecca Burton/Blue Shaefer tale by R.J., a new story set in Chris’ Tipsy Fairy Tales / Road Ghosts world, and stories set in several of my favorite worlds, created by authors Chantal Noordeloos, David Jobe, Katina French, Debra Holland, an awesome standalone story by A.D. Roland and many more!

Copies will be sold at Indy Reads Books and are available online at Amazon print and ebook versions.

Click here to learn about the December 4 book signing at Indy Reads Books Indianapolis, with the editors and several of the authors present.

But don’t let me keep you from finding out more. Click here to read the official announcement with full details and the preorder link to get yours!

INCONJUNCTION SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY CONVENTION 2014 IS THIS COMING WEEKEND!!!

Inconjunction Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention 2014 is being held on the east side of Indianapolis, this Fourth of July weekend! It’s an awesome local event celebrating all things within the speculative fiction realms. This year I’m attending as part of the Speculative Fiction Guild (SFG) and we’re hitting the con in a big way.

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We’ll have a vendor’s booth with all of our titles, where I’ll be selling and autographing copies of my debut novel,  The God Killers. Convention pricing is $15.

Also at the SFG booth: RJ SullivanMatthew Barron and Eric Garrison. Directly next to us is SFG member Crystal Leflar, who’s running her OWN vendor booth as event marketer for Nightscape Press, so check out their array of titles along with her own books.

The WONDERFUL folks who throw Inconjunction (the Circle of Janus) has the SFG hopping in panels this year and we’re glad for it!

This will be my second appearance at Inconjunction, first time with a novel to sell/promote and I’M VERY EXCITED to attend!

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Here’s my panel itinerary:

Friday, July 4th
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8 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 and 8: Analyzing the History of the Comic Book Movie with: RJ Sullivan and Mike Suess.
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Saturday, July 5
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11 am–Indianapolis Ballroom D: SFG Writer’s Workshop: Point of View: Why it’s Better to Have One with: the SFG: RJ, Eric, Matt, and Crystal, plus Rosemary Laurey

1 pm–Room name coming: Discussion on genre television, title forthcoming: with RJ Sullivan.

3 pm–Indianapolis Ballroom D: Modern Fairy Tales with Eric Garrison, Crystal Leflar and Rosemary Laurey.

4 pm-Grand Ballroom 7-8: Making the Jump to a Series with RJ Sullivan and Mike Shepherd.

5pm-Grand Ballroom 7-8: Comic Book Movies: Live Action and Animation with RJ Sullivan and Mike Suess.

7 pm–Harrison Room: SFG Writer’s Roundtable: Making the most of local settings in genre fiction with The SFG:  RJ, Eric, Matt, and Crystal.

10 pm–Grand Ballroom 7-8: Candlelight Horror Reading with RJ Sullivan, Crystal Leflar and Jeff Seymour.
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Sunday, July 6
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11 am-Indianapolis Ballroom B: This Year’s Comic Book Movies with Mike Suess.
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While you’re there, check out James Barnes of Loconeal Books, local filmmaker Kate Chaplin of Karmic Courage Productions, and check out the show by Five Year Mission.

I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!

 

 

 

BURNING THE MIDDLE GROUND BLOG TOUR WITH L ANDREW COOPER

Burning-CoverRev3Title: Burning the Middle Ground

Author: L. Andrew Cooper
Publisher: BlackWyrm
ISBN: 978-1-61318-138-6
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 330
Available @: Amazon and Barnes & Noble

LAndrewCooperToday I have the pleasure of Spotlighting in my blog, writer L Andrew Cooper! His debut novel is titled, “Burning the Middle Ground.”

L Andrew Cooper is a writer at BlackWyrm Publishing, a publisher of fine speculative fiction. Cooper is a fresh new voice and rising star in the speculative fiction world.

Biography:

L. Andrew Cooper thinks the smartest people like horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. Early in life, he couldn’t handle the scary stuff–he’d sneak and watch horror films and then keep his parents up all night with his nightmares. In the third grade, he finally convinced his parents to let him read grownup horror novels: he started with Stephen King’s Firestarter, and by grade five, he was doing book reports on The Stand.

When his parents weren’t being kept up late by his nightmares, they worried that his fascination with horror fiction would keep him from experiencing more respectable culture. That all changed when he transitioned from his public high school in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia to uber-respectable Harvard University, where he studied English Literature. From there, he went on to get a Ph.D. in English from Princeton, turning his longstanding engagement with horror into a dissertation. The dissertation became the basis for his first book, Gothic Realities (2010). More recently, his obsession with horror movies turned into a book about one of his favorite directors, Dario Argento (2012). He also co-edited the textbook Monsters (2012), an attempt to infect others with the idea that scary things are worth people’s serious attention.

After living in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California, Andrew now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he teaches at the University of Louisville. Burning the Middle Ground is his debut novel.

Burning the Middle Ground is a unique blend of horror and dark fantasy which takes place in a  a small Southern town being ripped asunder by a supernatural conspiracy.

Five years after tragic murders divide Kenning, Georgia along religious lines, Ronald Glassner, a web journalist from New York, arrives to write a book about the tragedy’s sole survivor, Brian McCullough. Homicidal house pets, enucleated corpses, and menacing apparitions soon help Ronald understand that there’s something much bigger going on in Kenning, something connected to the town’s First Church and the imposing Reverend Michael Cox. With Brian, Brian’s girlfriend Melanie Grayson, progressive preacher Jeanne Harper, and police officer Winston Beecher, Ronald embarks on an investigation that takes them all into a nightmarish plot that will change the entire country.

I thoroughly enjoyed L Andrew Cooper’s modern take on the Horror/Dark Fantasy hybrid genre he produced in Burning the Middle Ground and I’m sure you will also! As a writer, I’m  honored to be in a position to spread the word about such a talented storyteller.

You owe it to yourself to check out Burning the Middle Ground, it’s definitely a treat to be had!

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THE HISTORY OF BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION WRITERS

FIRST IN A WEEKLY SERIES FOR FEBRUARY 2013!

BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION WRITERS     In the spirit of celebrating Black History Month, I’m dedicating my weekly blog posts to honor the accomplishments of black writers with a look into their work and contributions to the writing profession. I will be tasking myself with reading the work of one black author per week and reviewing their work as a blog post. These posts are meant to be educational, insightful and inspiring. In addition, I will be writing a post exploring blacks in a particular genre. The first post in the series will focus on the history of black writers in speculative fiction!

Within the various genres of speculative fiction, blacks are an even larger group of minorities than they are as a whole within society. And while the collective of black speculative writers is small, I believe that their voices are huge and resonate within the black fan community as a growing demographic.

Of black speculative fiction writers, some of the most popular to come to mind are Octavia Butler, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due and Charles R. Saunders. However, the roots of blacks in speculative fiction go back much farther than them.

One of the foremost U.S. black political leaders of his time was Martin Delany (1812 – 1885). In 1859, Mr. Delany published Blake, or the Huts of America as a serial in the Anglo-American Magazine. The novel dealt with an alternate history where a successful slave revolt in the Southern states led to the founding of a black country in Cuba. Unfortunately, the novel remained unfinished. Noted black speculative fiction writer, Samuel R. Delany (no relation), has described it as being about as close to a Science Fiction style alternate history novel as you can get.

Another noted early black speculative fiction writer was Charles W. Chesnutt. He wrote folkloric Hoodoo stories and published a collection called The Conjure Woman in 1899, which is the first known speculative fiction collection written by a person of color.

Most people don’t associate W.E.B. Dubois with speculative fiction however, he wrote several science fiction short stories including, The Comet which depicted a world where the only survivors of an apocalyptic event were a black man and a white woman. This marks the first post-apocalyptic fiction work where an African American appears as the subject.

By the 1920’s, African writers began publishing works of speculative fiction, which because of the social climate of the time, received very little if any attention.

In 1920, Thomas Mofolo (1876 – 1948) of South Africa published his novel, Chaka which was written in Sotho. The novel presented a magical realist account of the life of Shaka the Zulu king.

Another African novelist, Jean-Louis Njemba Medou wrote Nnanga Kon, a 1932 novel which covered the first contact between white colonialists and the Bulu people. In Cameroon, where Medou hails from, the novel became so popular it is the basis of local folklore.

In 1945, Makonnen Edalkaccaw, an Ethiopian writer, penned the story of Yayne Ababa in Amharic. It is noted as an early work of Muslim science fiction and depicts the adventures of a teenage Amahara girl who was sold into slavery.

In the years that followed, have been graced with a growth in the number of blacks writing stories and novels in speculative fiction which includes: Charles R. Saunders, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, Octavia Butler, Maurice Broaddus, Nisi Shawl, Brandon Massey, Zaji, Milton Davis, L.A. Banks, Balogun Ojetade, Chesya Burke, Wrath James White, Valjeanne Jeffers, N.K. Jemisin, Talitha McEachin, Paul West, Alicia McCalla, Thaddeus Atreides, Brandon Easton, Xavier Moore, Seressia Glass, Hannibal Tabu , Sheree Thomas, Nalo Hopkinson and Nnedi Okorafor to name but a few.

Despite what’s displayed on the bookshelves of large chain bookstores, there are plenty new and emerging black speculative fiction writers who are making their mark and raising the various genres to another level. I encourage fans of speculative fiction, beginning with the readers of this blog to support these writers and help to give the genres a shot in the arm and to be representative of various cultures and subcultures throughout the US and the world. Modern black speculative fiction writers now cover a wide range of genres including: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and Horror however, two emerging sub-genres to appear have been Sword & Soul and Steamfunk which predominately feature characters of color.

I challenge my readers to put aside a couple of hours each week and pick up a book written by a black author during Black History Month. I encourage you to start by checking out the works of the above mentioned authors, as you’d be broadening your horizons and expanding your minds, which are two components of reading I find most admirable. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did!

FRIDAY’S BLOG POST: A review of Zaji’s novel, “When We Were One.”