Publishing Notes: New story in MIXED UP, edited by Nick Mamatas & Molly Tanzer

Mixed Up

Mixologists and Fabulists are going to be thrilled with this new anthology from Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (and Flash Fiction) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (and Reader), published by Skyhorse Publishing, is a lovely new gift book that pairs fantastic fiction with annotated and updated recipes. Even better, it’s now shipping out WAY early from Amazon.

My story, “Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne,” riffs on the French 75. It’s about Hannah Höch, friendships strained by adulthood, and of course, public drinking.

And, man, in addition to having an excuse to write about all of that, I am honored to be sloshing about with these other amazing contributors:

• Maurice Broaddus
• Nick Mamatas
• Jim Nisbet
• Jarret Kobek
• Benjamin Percy
• Libby Cudmore
• Dominica Phetteplace
• Gina Marie Guadignino
• Tim Pratt
• Elizabeth Hand
• Robert Swartwood
• Cara Hoffman
• Jeff VanderMeer
• Carrie Laben
• Will Viharo
• Carmen Machado

If you enjoy pouring over great stories while decadent booze pours into you, order your copy here now.

Appearances: Hemingway Days — “Voices, Places, Inspirations,”– literary readings on July 19th, Key West, FL

KWAHS
Source: Hemingway in Key West online exhibit of The Key West Art & Historical Society. http://www.kwahs.org/exhibitions/ernest-in-key-west

Next week, I’m heading down to the Southernmost part of the US to participate in the 37th annual Hemingway Days!

There are a lot of events throughout the week, and I am excited to be part of Wednesday’s evening readings alongside some of Florida’s best! Because speculative fiction isn’t exactly associated with Hemingway, I will be doing a mini-presentation on how his interest in pulp, crime, and action, alongside other aspects of craft, inspired some facets of my fiction. If you are in the Keys for vacation or for Papa festivities, please come by and say hi!

Here are the details, and you can find out about the rest of the events here:

7:30-10 p.m. “Voices, Places, Inspirations.” This evening of readings features authors Chuck Ball, Selena Chambers, Mandy Miles and Terry Schmida — plus a highlight appearance by Ted Geltner, author of “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews.” Presented by Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County, the event also includes a “meet the authors” reception. Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St.

I am also excited to be near water. I haven’t traveled too much this year, and so I am ready to take it all in:  the Symposiums, the literary pilgrimages, the Daiquiris, and of course the beauty of the Straits.

CALLS FOR SUBMISSION: Electric Lit, Lovecraft Ezine, & Hemingway Days

Some other great stuff has been going on in #CFSBOOK land in addition to the great event I had at Midtown Reader in Tallahassee.

 

June, Lovecraft eZine Review

EZine
Selena Chambers Delivers Sharp Prose in Calls for Submission” was written by Acep Hale, and ran on Lovecraft eZine on June 8.

In June, Calls for Submission received another glowing review from Lovecraft eZine’s Acep Hale, who calls it: “the showcase of a writer with a deliberate and considered world view, intensely honed craft, and a calculated message. My only hope is the next work I read by her is of novel length.” I hope so, too!

This review is very thorough, touching on all of the stories, and hits on many points and intentions I had hoped readers would enjoy. It’s also the first time I’ve ever been compared to anyone in hip-hop, which is unexpected and also really fucking cool. I’ve always been humbled to find myself compared to a lot of awesome people in the past, but Ghost Face Killah alongside Gabrielle Wittkop, Leonora Carrington, and Francesca Woodman all in one swoop blows my mind!

Many thanks to Mr. Hale, Mike Davis, and Lovecraft eZine for giving Calls for Submission the attention and space!

 

July, Electric Lit Interview

Electric Lit
The Weird World of Selena Chambers” was written by Adrian Van Young, and ran on Electric Literature on July 6th.

Last week, an interview with Adrian Van Young went live at Electric Lit! In its introduction he calls Calls for Submission “a creepy-sad, smart and courageous collection that stimulates the intellect while inexorably pulling and pulling the heartstrings.” In addition to the collection, we discuss “reclaiming literary territory, “the female glance,” being a hot-weather Goth, Florida weirdness, and the non-intersectionality of literary circles.”

This is sort of a first. I did plenty of interviews in the past when I was promoting The Steampunk Bible, but they always focused on the artists and makers we featured in that book. I’ve never really had to discuss myself or my own work up until this past few months and I have to say it is way different and more difficult to do that than to discuss the work of others. In the few instances I have been interviewed about my own work, usually the person has never read me, and that is even harder…BUT, in the case of Adrian Van Young, not only did he come prepared, he put the screws to me in the best of ways. When we finished the interview, conducted via email, I was left empowered by more knowledge of myself and my work than going in. That’s testament to an excellent interviewer, and I am very grateful to Mr. Van Young for his thorough questioning and conversation, and for Electric Lit for the space and support!

 

UPCOMING APPEARANCE:  July 18 through July 23rd, Hemingway Days (reading and rumming)

KWAHS
Source: Hemingway in Key West online exhibit of The Key West Art & Historical Society. http://www.kwahs.org/exhibitions/ernest-in-key-west

Next week, I’m heading down to the Southernmost part of the US to participate in the 37th annual Hemingway Days!

There are a lot of events throughout the week, and I am excited to be part of Wednesday’s evening readings alongside some of Florida’s best! Because speculative fiction isn’t exactly associated with Hemingway, I will be doing a mini-presentation on how his interest in pulp, crime, and action, alongside other aspects of craft, inspired some facets of my fiction. If you are in the Keys for vacation or for Papa festivities, please come by and say hi!

Here are the details, and you can find out about the rest of the events here:

7:30-10 p.m. “Voices, Places, Inspirations.” This evening of readings features authors Chuck Ball, Selena Chambers, Mandy Miles and Terry Schmida — plus a highlight appearance by Ted Geltner, author of “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews.” Presented by Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County, the event also includes a “meet the authors” reception. Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St.

I am also excited to be near water. I haven’t traveled too much this year, and so I am ready to take it all in:  the Symposiums, the literary pilgrimages, the Daiquiris, and of course the beauty of the Straits.

RECAP: CALLS FOR SUBMISSION at Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, June 16, 2017

SignTwo weeks ago was my book release party for Calls for Submission. And, as usual, I’m blogging about it in a totally timely manner. The delay in posting doesn’t diminish how amazing of a night it was! My book had been out for exactly a month by the evening of the reading, but it didn’t feel REAL until I arrived at Midtown Reader and found my books on the New Arrivals table.

 

IMG_5173That was when it finally hit me:  Holy crap, I made a thing. This thing. This beautiful, weird little thing.

And that was just the first of many pleasant surprises. Friends I hadn’t seen since high school were there, and since we were all the types to forget about going to reunions, it was lovely to get to see everyone’s faces and catch up (albeit way too briefly!) on the past 17 years. My mother and brother were there, too, and I think Mom especially enjoyed seeing how all of us kids had grown up.

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After some cupcakes and wine, owner Sally Bradshaw gave a wonderfully warm welcome and introduction, and I babbled way too much about the Florida Gothic before diving into “Dive in Me,” a Gothic tale set basically in Tallahassee, and co-written with my small times bud, Jesse Bullington, whose mother was also in the audience!

Book book

My friend was really kind enough to take pictures for me, and she did a pretty excellent job documenting the night. But there is one photo that never was taken, and it was what I saw after I read the concluding line.

“Dive” is almost too long for a reading, and every other time I’ve read from it, I have usually had to stop right when the getting was good, or jumble a lot of stuff together. But I read it from start to finish that night, about 20 to 25 minutes total, and when I began I was already intimidated that all the seats were mostly full. But when I finished reading and looked up, all seats were taken, and the store was full of standing friendly faces I hadn’t seen come in while performing! I’m glad I didn’t noticed, or else I might have froze and blown the whole thing. Heh.

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I signed ALL the books and we pretty much cleaned house. While signing, many people told me they hadn’t visited Midtown Reader yet, and they had fallen in love with the store as much as I had. This, probably, more than anything else really felt great because after having gone without an independent bookstore for, well, basically, ever, I really want Tallahassee to come out and appreciate what Sally and her wonderful staff are creating for us. This is the lodestone of a strong literary community, and since it’s opening in November, I have already noticed the difference Midtown Reader is making here.

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Check out that banner in the back! My publisher, Pelekenisis, sent it special delivery from California and it really was a special touch and showcased the cover art well, which was a real hit.

I received many compliments on Joan Horne‘s cover, which was really cool because Joan is also a Tallahassee-native and long-time bud. While she is doing her kick-ass thing in L. A., it felt like having her there with me. I felt that way about Molly Tanzer, too, who wrote the Intro for Calls for Submission, and of course, my “Dive in Me” co-author, Jesse. I realized that night that I was carrying around a lot more of Tallahassee in my little book than I realized, given not only the material of some of the stories, but just the love and involvement it got from close childhood friends. And the fact that even more family and friends, like Lisa, Jesse’s mom, came out to help me celebrate this crazy achievement was one of life’s rare joyous feelings that I am grateful to get to experience!

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Because most of the time you feel like you are doing this in a vacuum. It’s easy to think no one takes you seriously or cares about what you do in the shadows, but thanks to Midtown Reader, my beautiful friends and family, and the new friends I made that night, including staffers Darrell and Reid, I realize that I had that all wrong. And I am humbled and grateful for the love and this community!

THANK YOU all for coming out, buying books, and helping me launch this bizarre baby into the world! THANK YOU Midtown Reader for throwing one heck of a shindig! XoXo

And if you are reading this from Tallahassee and haven’t been to Midtown Reader, yet. Get thee to the bookstore! (They may still have a signed copy or two of Calls for Submission, left, you never know).

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Appearances: Book Release Party at Midtown Reader

Hey Tallahassee! Wanna party? Then come join me this Friday, June 16th at Midtown Reader to celebrate the release of my debut collection Calls For Submission!

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Midtown Reader is delighted to be hosting Selena Chambers to read from, discuss. and sign copies of her debut collection, Calls for Submission, this Friday, June 16th, from 5:30 to 7 pm. Details here.

From 5:30 pm to 7 pm, I will be reading from and discussing the book, as well as signing copies. There will be some fun Selena/Pelekinesis swag-bag giveaways, cupcakes and other refreshments, and the glorious atmosphere of one my favorite places in Tally.

This event is Free and open to the public.

It’s a real honor to get to celebrate this occasion at Midtown Reader and in my hometown. Thank you all for the support, and I hope you all will come by! It should be a pretty great weird time.

Calls for Submission Book Release Party is Friday, June 16th, from 5:30 to 7 pm at Midtown Reader. Midtown Reader is located at 1123 Thomasville Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32303. For further details, please check out the event page here.

 

CALLS FOR SUBMISSION: The First Fortnight

About two weeks ago, Calls for Submission was released by Pelekinesis. I made a nifty comic, did some guests posts, and have enjoyed some really nice reviews at Goodreads, Amazon, and This Is Horror. Here’s a recap of what all has happened:

Friday, May 5, Calls for Submission received its first review at Goodreads (and at 5 stars, to boot), courtesy of Plant X Publications founder Michael Adams (Thank you, Michael!).

He writes: “A nearly flawless debut collection. Evocative, lyrical prose combines with realistically flawed and complex characters in a pleasing variety of settings, historical and modern, to become a book that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

You can read the rest of the review here or at Amazon.

Read More

Ann VanderMeer on CALLS FOR SUBMISSION

17917211_1494939143881552_7421868425875040407_oSo, this one is going to get a bit personal, so bare with me.

I am very lucky to live in the same town as Ann VanderMeer. She lit a torch with her lit zine, Silver Web, that illuminated experimental and weird writing here in Tallahassee (and everywhere) that counteracted the academic literary presence that looms from the local universities. For years, she was a mystery to me. I’d see issues of Silver Web on the racks of my favorite used bookstore Paperback Rack (R.I.P.) and marvel that this was all happening in my proverbial backyard…way out in the dark beyond. Who was this Ann Kennedy? What was she like?

Tallahassee being Tallahassee, I eventually got to meet Ann, now VanderMeer, and better yet, got to learn and work with her when I started collaborating with her husband Jeff  on The Steampunk Bible. Even though her torch had exploded into the sun-like body of work with her editorship at Weird Tales, and seminal anthologies The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, The Time Traveler’s Almanac, and Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, Ann took the time to talk to me like a neighbor and a friend who just happened to be into the same bizarre stuff. She talked to me like a peer and made me feel like a real writer.

I learned a lot from her during that time, and felt bolstered to pursue my fiction and be more public with it. Thanks to the encouragement of both she and Jeff, I was honored to have my first professional sale with them for “Dr. Lambshead’s Dark Room,” which appeared in their Dr. Lambshead’s Cabinet of Curiosities. (Jeff is taking his Lambshead history into the YA world with a newly sold trilogy The Adventures of Jonathan Lambshead).

So…perhaps this is way more personal than a professional thing about a book should be…but I can’t help it. When I met Ann, not only did I gain a mentor, but a friend, someone who embodies everything I ever wanted in a cool, older sister. That is why I am blabbering on because it meant the world to me that she approved of this work, because she knows what is off these pages as much as on them.

Thank you, Ann!

SPEAKING OF BACKYARD:  Tonight in Tallahassee, Jeff will be appearing at an event from Midtown Reader and The Tallahassee Democrat celebrating his new, tour de force, Borne. Ann will be joining him to interview him and help present the book. It should be a great night, and if you are in the area, definitely check it out.

Here’s info about the event, if you are in the area:  Jeff VanderMeer-Borne!

Publishing Notes: Book Notes at Largehearted Boy

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This is my mixtape to the world that never jammed with me…or something like that. Actually, it’s a playlist for my collection, Calls for Submission, which came out last week. Each tale has its own song and in turn its own story.

I had a blast with this one. In some ways, the playlist had formed itself while I worked on the stories over the years. In other ways, a new serendipity formed as brand-new songs, like Chagall’s Sappho would send me back into “Remnants of Lost Empire” and created a more appropriate soundtrack than the music I had used while drafting. I also feel more connected with the work being able to reminisce on their creation in a way that wasn’t solely about words, but about evocation and feeling in a Schopenhauer-way.

I’ve been a longtime reader of Largehearted Boy since its early days, and have always viewed it as the epitome of what a blog can actually achieve with focus and citizenship. Just like LitHub felt like taking communion, having a playlist on Largehearted Boy is a wonderful and rare moment of self-actualization–HOLY CRAP I PUBLISHED A THING!

So, just to go back to riffing on Emmy D, I guess that does make this my mixtape to the world that I hope will take a listen and read back to me.

A thousand thanks to David Gutowski for giving me the space to jam literary with everyone!

You can check out my Book Notes to Calls for Submission, and access the playlist, here.

___

“From the dazzling mind of Selena Chambers, we are treated to fifteen provocative stories. Whether in collaboration with other writers, or on her own, her voice shines brightly through each tale.  Although these stories have an underlying darkness within them, they are still gloriously illuminating.”–Ann VanderMeer, co-editor of The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories and Sisters of the Revolution.

CALLS FOR SUBMISSION can be ordered from the publisher directly: Pelekinesis,

But it is also available from SQUARE and SPD and the following locations:

Prefer an ebook? Yes m’am, we can do that:

Liked what you read? Please leave a review at Amazon & Goodreads! Or share on your social network. The hashtag for the book is #CFSBOOK. You can find me and Pelekinesis on Twitter and Instagram at: @BasBleuZombie & @Pelekinetic.

 

RELEASE DAY: CALLS FOR SUBMISSION now available from Pelekinesis!!! Here’s how you can help!

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IMPORTANT LINKS:

CALLS FOR SUBMISSION can be ordered from the publisher directly: Pelekinesis,

But it is also available from SQUARE and SPD and the following locations:

Prefer an ebook? Yes m’am, we can do that:

Liked what you read? Please leave a review at Amazon & Goodreads! Or share on your social network. The hashtag for the book is #CFSBOOK. You can find me and Pelekinesis on Twitter and Instagram at: @BasBleuZombie & @Pelekinetic.

Thank you, again!