Appearance: The 2019 Outer Dark Symposium–Atlanta, Georgia

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 5.28.45 PMI am pleased as punch to announce that I will be a guest at this year’s OUTER DARK SYMPOSIUM in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s been an evolving and wonderful conference, with each year outdoing the other, and I was sorry to have missed last year in CA. I was honored to be at the first one, and looking forward to reconnecting to old friends, and making new ones. Will I see you there?

What is especially exciting this year is this: “This year we’re beyond excited to welcome our largest line-up yet, 40 of the most dynamic authors, editors, artists, publishers, and scholars in Weird fiction today. As with The Outer Dark podcast, our goal is to foster conversation and community among a diverse slate of program participants–inclusive, safe and welcoming to women, LBGTQ+, and writers of color. Returning to Atlanta allows us again to involve SOBSF/BlacktastiCon organizers Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade. And sponsor support from Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s Innsmouth Free Press is helping us bring World Fantasy Award-nominated Mexican author Gabriela Damián Miravete.” (This is a huge deal. Don’t believe me, here are some of her stories online here and here.)

In order to fund this conference, Scott Nicolay, Anya Martin, and Melanie Crew are holding an Indiegogo with some pretty insane perks–signed Hellraiser memorabilia, rare and out-offprint chapbooks, and bundles by your favorite Weird authors. (They also make an amazing program book, with exclusive art and such. When I went in 2015, Yves Tourigny illustrated my piece on Leonora Carrington’s “Down, Down, Down.” This year it features original cover art by Liv-Rainey Smith!

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I was happy to donate a few books and some services: currently, there are a few copies of my first Dunhams Manor Press limited-edition chapbook, Of Parallel and Parcel, which was sold out in 2014, and has a run of 50 copies. You can also get this chapbook in a bundle with an ARC of my short story collection, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION. All signed and personalized!

I’m also offering some Tarot reading services. Tarot has become an important creative tool for me, and I love sharing its power with friends and colleagues, so I’m doing two kind of readings for Outer Dark fans and supporters. For $25, you can get a personalized email reading with images, or for $50, you can get a 60-min Skype session with me, plus follow-up email with a write-up and images.

Of course, I know there are other things needing your money, but if you had just $5 to spare in support, that would be of great help and will get you some swag and a shout-out in the program book.

If you are unfamiliar with THE OUTER DARK, here is more info quoted from their Indiegogo page:

“The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is the world’s only conference focusing on contemporary Weird fiction, film and art. The third annual symposium will gather more than 40 writers, artists, filmmakers & editors on March 22 and 23, 2019 at Silver Scream FX Lab and Hotel Indigo-College Park in Atlanta, GA. Hear all the readings and panels on The Outer Dark podcast, which airs on This Is Horror, reaching thousands of listeners who are readers of Weird and speculative fiction.

“GUESTS/PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS: Mike Allen, Gregory Norman Bossert, David Bowles, Jesse Bullington, Nadia Bulkin, Selena Chambers, Gerald Coleman, Nancy A. Collins, Milton Davis, Kristi DeMeester, Kurt Fawver, John Foster, Chris Gavaler, Fiona Maeve Geist, Craig Laurance Gidney, Larissa Glasser, Orrin Grey, Edward Austin Hall, Lynne Hansen, Brian Kirk, Gwendolyn Kiste, Marc Laidlaw, Ian McDowell, Violette L. Meier, Gabriela Damian Miravete, Sunny Moraine, Shane Morton, Balogun Ojetade, Liv Rainey-Smith, Zin E. Rocklyn, Eric Schaller, Jeff Strand,  Damien Angelica Walters, Brookelynne Warra, Michael Wehunt, Lesley Wheeler, Gordon B. White, Lisa Yaszek.

 

 

Appearance: Tattered Cover Colfax, Denver, CO, Wednesday, Dec. 5th

I’m packing on up for my flight to Denver tomorrow. I’m really excited to be visiting the area again, and finally visiting the famous Tattered Cover bookstore in Colfax, Denver.

I will be there Wednesday, December 5th celebrating the release of MECHANICAL ANIMALS: TALES AT THE CRUX OF CREATURE AND TECH with my co-editor Jason Heller, and contributors Stephen Graham-Jones, Molly Tanzer, and Carrie Vaughn. It’s going to be a really great reading with signings to follow, and if you are in the Denver area I hope you will come by and say hi!

Event page with details: https://www.tatteredcover.com/events#event-id-144273

 

Happy Book Release Day to MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (and Flash Fiction) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (and Reader)

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I know this may look familiar, but while bookstores and contributors have been receiving copies early, today is the official release date for MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (and Flash Fiction) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (and Reader).

Mixologists and Fabulists are going to be thrilled with this new anthology from Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. Published by Skyhorse Publishing, MIXED UP is a lovely new gift book that pairs fantastic fiction with annotated and updated recipes.

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

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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!

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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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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.

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“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.

 

Paul Tremblay on Calls for Submission (PLUS UPDATES)!

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN:  My debut collection, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION, will be released May 15th (but you can pre-order from Pelekinesis now, if you’d like). That isn’t that far away, and to get pumped for the big day, I will be showcasing the awesome blurbs the collection has received. Every author that we queried has influenced me in some vital way, and as a thank you and token of my gratitude for their time and effort, I’ve written a little about each person and what their work has meant to my work.

So there are about 7 days left! In the past week or so, a few developments have occurred. First, more ordering options–including e-book versions–of Calls for Submission were made available. You can view them here.

Since then, Amazon announced it’s new diss to living writers, and I would like to personally urge you to purchase from Pelekinesis directly, or through Powell’s or your local indie bookstore. On those latter two, you may have to request a special order through the store and wait a hot minute, but ultimately you would be helping to defend working artists and contributing to a healthier literary community.  Plus, that would be helping me out too. However you want to do it, many thanks again to those who are pre-ordering!

Speaking of indie bookstores, I am excited to finally announce that I will be reading and discussing Calls for Submission at Tallahassee’s brand new and baller Midtown Reader.  That event will occur on June 16th at 5:30 pm.

Oof, and this was suppose to be about blurbs! It is, it is, my friends. Today’s blurb comes from the man who has single-handedly made Stephen King afraid of the dark:  Paul Tremblay!

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You all know Paul Tremblay as the best-selling rock star of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rocks, but I first became hooked when I found a copy of The Harlequin and The Train at a friend’s house. My friend had already done the interactive bits, so that aspect was spoiled for me, but I got to see the final outcome, and it was just a light bulb for me.

The whole concept of an interactive text like this–mixing play with narrative responsibility and transparency–was just one of the coolest thwartings of how we read and consume mysteries. And it was one of the first contemporary examples of how to thwart and play within genre I’d come across. Something I needed badly at the time. Unfortunately, the experience is lost to a time and a place, as it was a limited edition of 400 copies and isn’t readily available now. But, believe me, the subversion of tropes and pop culture and all sorts of other surrealistic-punk principled goodness permeates in Ghosts and Devil’s Rock (which just came out in paperback). If you haven’t read Paul yet, rectify that now.

 

Richard Gavin & Orrin Grey on CALLS FOR SUBMISSION

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN:  My debut collection, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION, will be released May 15th (but you can pre-order from Pelekinesis now, if you’d like). That isn’t that far away, and to get pumped for the big day, I will be showcasing the awesome blurbs the collection has received. Every author that we queried has influenced me in some vital way, and as a thank you and token of my gratitude for their time and effort, I’ve written a little about each person and what their work has meant to my work. 

This week features very kind words from two masters whose work I’ve both adored for several years: Richard Gavin, a master of mysticism and the macabre, and Orrin Grey, the master of teratology and the new Gothic.

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I am the one who is in awe! I don’t throw around the word mystic loosely. I learned last week that in some literary circles, being termed mystic is anathema. But, man, when I say mystic in regards to an artist, that refers to a very select chosen few (chosen as in not by me, but some higher calling):  Leonora Carrington, William Burroughs, William Blake, Remedies Varo, Percy Shelley, Frida Khalo, Edgar Allan Poe (you balk? Go read Eureka, fool!), etc. You’ll notice those people are all dead. Well, Mysticism, like Poetry, belongs to a dying breed. But there are still a few out there navigating the unseen seas, among them:  Alex Grey, Carrie Ann Baade, and Richard Gavin!

To me, Richard Gavin’s writing is in direct correlation with the darker aspects of Sublimity and Dark Romanticism, all of which often intersects at very strange, mysterious, and alchemical topographies. In his latest collection, SYLVAN DREAD: TALES OF PASTORAL DARKNESS, he explores these topographies, as well as the lies we have told ourselves about Nature to ignore what might be beyond the veil beyond human civilizational presumptions. It was one of the collections that really stuck with me last year. To learn more about his work, please visit his website here.

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Just as Richard Gavin has opened my eyes to the mystical possibilities in writing Weird and speculative fiction, Orrin Grey has brought me more sympathy and understanding to our relationship with monsters. Be it primordial beasts or a B-movie zip-up costume, works like NEVER BET THE DEVILPAINTED MONSTERS, and the non-fiction collection MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT, explore teratology to its fullest, while also staying in commune with the Gothic traditions of Edgar Allan Poe and M. R. James. Check out his skeletal perambulations at his website:  Who Killed Orrin Grey?

Many thanks, Richard and Orrin, for the time and for the words!

Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. on CALLS FOR SUBMISSION

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We’re in the final countdown! In a month, my debut collection CALLS FOR SUBMISSION will be out in the world doing whatever debut collections do (hopefully be read?). And I am doing all the things writers do to try to make that happen (witchy moon spells?).

Seriously, though, so far, it has been going pretty good, and I am very excited about the upcoming date. I am humbled to have received wonderful blurbs from among my favorite writers working today. I am “over moon” to have the above from Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., editor of The Madness of Dr. Caligari and the World Fantasy Nominated Cassilda’s Song. He is also author of A House of Hollow Wounds (which includes some madness of its own in the way of Mallarmé that is sooo good!) among many more great works. You can find more out about Joe here!

Other blurbers include Kat Howard, Livia Llewellyn, Richard Gavin, Ann VanderMeer, Paul Tremblay, Nick Mamatas, and Orrin Grey! As you can see above, my publisher at Pelekinesis, Mark Givens, has made these beautiful blurbs into nifty memes, and I will start unveiling them over the next few weeks. I am also working on some Guest Bloggage and a few local events in Florida, so please stay tuned for developing news and the official book launch May 15th!

If you’d like to get your orders in early, the paperback is now available for pre-order at the Pelekinesis website, and I understand an e-book option will soon follow. And I don’t really know what else to say at the moment, other than a HUGE thank you to everyone who has taken the time to support and encourage this project!