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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Publication Notes: CALLS FOR SUBMISSION Pre-order Updates

Yesterday was fun! I learned on Facebook that pre-orders of CALLS FOR SUBMISSION seem to be shipping out a bit early, and are showing up in the wild! I am so excited for everyone to read this, and if you have already pre-ordered, thank you so much and I hope it is enjoyable!

My own author copies also arrived, reminding me that there have been a few developments I’d like to share.

She Arrives
CALLS FOR SUBMISSION  will be released by Pelekinesis on May 15th.

In addition to ordering directly from Pelekinesis, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION is now also available from SPD and the following locations:

If you prefer an ebook:

If you are in Canada, it is also available at Chapters/Indigo. (h/t to Alexis for letting me know!).

While the official release date isn’t until May 15th, it is possible those who pre-order hardcopies might receive their copy sooner, but it isn’t guaranteed.

TO REVIEWERS AND INTERVIEWERS:  I still have a few ARCs available. If you are interested in reviewing CALLS FOR SUBMISSION, drop me a line at: LeFilleHST@gmail.com, or hit me up on Facebook or on Twitter @BasBleuZombie.

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!

Publishing Notes: 2016: The Year in Review

Reading! Writing! Editing! Yay!  As far as I can recall, this is what I was up too this year in publishing:

Fiction

Last Session

“The Last Session: The Facts in the Case of Clarissa Collyer.” Dunhams Manor Press Limited Edition Chapbook.

Longest fiction written to date. A whole novelette! Hot dang, I will conquer you yet, novel. This is a riff on Poe’s “Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” but through the exploration of a mother-daughter relationship estranged by adolescence and cancer, and of course Emo. I got some nice reviews and comments on this one, and I dare say the creep/cry factor is dialed to 11. Many thanks to editor Jordan Krall on letting me give this one the chance to breathe.

“The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour.” Reprint for WORDS zine, Hex Publishers. 

This anti-Orientalism Steampunk tale set in Turkey originally appeared in Sarah Hans’ STEAMPUNK WORLD (Alliteration Ink). I was stoked to give the Şehrazat another avenue and be a part of Hex Publishers’ weekly magazine WORDS. There is a lot of great FREE stuff over there–stories by Nisi Shawl, Jason Heller, E. Lily Yu, and Alvaros Zinos-Amaro–so if you haven’t checked them out, you are missing out. Thank you for the opportunity, Josh Viola!

“Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne.” MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (AND FLASH FICTION) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (AND READER), edited by Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. Skyhorse, October 2017.

I am proud of this story for several reasons.

First, to be in anything edited by Nick and/or Molly has been on my goals list for a while, and many thanks to them for liking and accepting the story!

Second, all I really ever want to do is write fiction about cocktails, in this case the French 75.

Third, I’d been reading a lot of and about Hemingway this year, and had been toying with the Iceberg idea–something like “Hills Like White Elephants,” but from only women’s perspectives. Pair this with the constant ostracizing of women who don’t want to have children ever (by women), or define their being by their sexual prowess, or dream of fairy tale love to be complete–you got “Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne.”

Fourth, I had no idea what was coming in November, so I feel this was sort of a preamble for whatever changes to my writing that may bring. Read More

Publishing Notes: Interview, Tales of Mythic Adventure

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Courtney Love plays William Tell as Joan Vollmer in BEAT.

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Chaosium V.P., Michael O’Brien to discuss Joe Pulver‘s CASSILDA’S SONG, which they published, and my story therein, “The Neurastheniac.” Both the anthology and my story have been nominated for a World Fantasy Award.

For those new here, CASSILDA’S SONG explores the feminine side of Robert Chambers’ (no relation) KING IN YELLOW, and features an all ladies table of contents. My story, “The Neurastheniac” is about Helen Heck, a failed beat/confessional poet/alchemist/junky, and what she uncovers from a series of trespasses through the abandoned suicide chambers (as mentioned in “The Repairer of Reputations”) during the 60s. It gets weird.

It’s a quickie–around ten minutes–and I discuss my influences for the story [Joan Vollmer, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Billie Holiday, Courtney Love (who incidentally plays Vollmer in the 2000 film BEAT)] and my love for mystic junkies like William S. Burroughs.

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Selena Chambers plays at writing in CASSILDA’S SONG.

I haven’t done a speaking gig in a while, and I have forgotten how strange it is to hear one’s own voice. It’s even stranger to hear the topics my voice are discussing.  Not to dwell, but I sound shellshocked, and perhaps I am. Surreal? Oh, yes. In the best way.

Michael also sat down with my awesome editor, Joe Pulver, and artist Steve G. Santiago, who did the stunning cover. (I had no idea that image was photo manipulated!) So, yeah, some good behind the scenes stuff, here.

CASSILDA’S SONG is available in print and as an ebook.

Many thanks to Michael and the folks at Chaosium for the time and attention. Links below:

Interview with Joe Pulver.

Interview with moi.

Interview with Steve G. Santiago.

 

 

What does “Quiet Horror” mean? Five Horror Writers Weigh In–Lovecraft eZine

This one fell through the blogging cracks for some reason. Nonetheless, this roundtable curated and conducted by Acep Hale is a great vehicle for showing how nuanced the horror genre is, but also how many voices are out there improvising it.

I was honored to be part of the “Quiet Horror” panel with Kristi DeMeester, C.M. Muller, Nathan Carson, and Mehitobel Wilson.

“The Neurastheniac” is a World Fantasy Award Finalist for Short Story

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Awesome cover for CASSILDA’S SONG designed by Steve G. Santiago.

I’ve blinked a thousand times and the words haven’t changed, so…guess what?  I’m a World Fantasy Award Finalist for my short story “The Neurastheniac,” which appears in Joseph S. Pulver, Sr’s  CASSILDA’S SONG (Chaosium), also a WFA finalist for best anthology.

CASSILDA’S SONG explores the feminine side of Robert Chambers’ (no relation) KING IN YELLOW, and features an all ladies table of contents. My story, “The Neurastheniac” is about Helen Heck, a failed beat/confessional poet/alchemist/junky, and what she uncovers from a series of trespasses through the abandoned suicide chambers (as mentioned in “The Repairer of Reputations”) during the 60s. It gets weird.

All of the stories in here are beautiful, visceral, and each one unforgettable–just check out this TOC if you don’t believe me:

“Black Stars on Canvas, a Reproduction in Acrylic” by Damien Angelica Walters
“She Will Be Raised a Queen” by E. Catherine Tobler
“Yella” by Nicole Cushing
“Yellow Bird” by Lynda E. Rucker
“Exposure” by Helen Marshall
“Just Beyond Her Dreaming” by Mercedes M. Yardley
“In the Quad of Project 327” by Chesya Burke
“Stones, Maybe” by Ursula Pflug
“Les Fleurs Du Mal” by Allyson Bird
“While The Black Stars Burn” by Lucy A. Snyder
“Old Tsah-Hov” by Anya Martin
“The Neurastheniac” by Selena Chambers
“Dancing The Mask” by Ann K. Schwader
“Family” by Maura McHugh
“Pro Patria!” by Nadia Bulkin
“Her Beginning is Her End is Her Beginning” by E. Catherine Tobler & Damien Angelica Walters
“Grave-Worms” by Molly Tanzer
“Strange is the Night” by S.P. Miskowski

If you haven’t gotten your hands on this collection, yet, why not do so now? You can order on Amazon or directly from Chaosium’s site.

Congratulations to Herr Pulver, all of my Sisters of Carcosa, and the other stellar nominees!

For a writer, I feel language evading me to describe the emotional similacrum of awe, wonder, gratitude, humility, and encouragement I have been feeling. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and while I acknowledge this energy is ephemeral, I am harnessing it to fuel the next story, and the next after that.

Many thanks to the Judges for nominating this story. (!!!)

Numbers of the bEast: xChambers

Collage_Pulver_xPulverToday is Numbers of the bEast, a lovely blog-o-sphere tribute honoring/roasting/ultimately celebrating the King in Yellow himself, Joesph S. Pulver, Sr.

Joe is one of my favorite writers, editors, and people all around. A bridge between the symbolist, beat, and weird movements, Joe wields words on the page like Jackson Pollock and I can’t think of anyone else writing right now that utilizes space akin to Mallarmé and Apollinaire.  How does he do it? I think it’s all in the mustache, whose magical wonders I tried to unleash in this Cindy Sherman-esque tribute. I’m not really sure it works, after editing these portraits, I tried my hand at the Selectric II and all that kept coming out was:

~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~~~

Thanks to Mike Griffin and John Langan for asking me to play and help celebrate xPULVER!

Love ya, Joe!

EDIT:

After the fact, I figured no one wants to go backwards for the individual images, so I have included them below  for the bEast’s (and the viewer’s) convenience.

Also, be sure to check up the round-up from Mike Griffin of all the Numbers of the bEast, and Joe’s lovely thank you note here.

xPortrait of the bEast #1:

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xPortrait of the bEast #2:

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xPortrait of the bEast #3:

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xPortrait of the bEast #4:

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Fermentation Lounge Reading: Featuring Molly Tanzer with Jesse Bullington & Selena Chambers

So Molly Tanzer has written this AMAZING weird-western called VERMILION (Word Horde Press). It was released last April and has been blazing trails of both the critical and selling-like-hotcakes paths. If you don’t believe me, check out NPR’s review here.

Anyway, it just so happens Molly Tanzer will be in Tallahassee (if you didn’t know, she’s got roots here, y’all!) this week and is having a book-release bash at Fermentation Lounge, May 12, at 7 pm. She’ll be reading from the book, while giving Jesse Bullington and I a tiny-bit of limelight with short readings of our own.

If you happen to be in the area, we’d love for you to come by, experience some weird lit, drink some brews, and help us toast Molly and Lou Merriwether into the glory hours. Details and updates can be found at our Facebook event page here.

Fermentation Lounge is located at 415 All Saints Street #113., Tallahassee, FL  32301
Fermentation Lounge is located at 415 All Saints Street #113., Tallahassee, FL 32301

Reading: This Weekend in Atlanta

I am crawling out of my hermit crab-shell this weekend, and will be rolling into Hawtlanta to tangentially participate in the World Horror Convention. And by tangentially I mean via pool and/or bar-conning as well as a special group reading with friends: Jesse Bullington, J. T. Glover, Orrin Grey, and Molly Tanzer. While I haven’t quite pinned down what I am reading, I am leaning towards “Descartar,” which is part of Jason V. Brock’s THE DARKE PHANTASTIQUE anthology, nominated for Stoker Superior Achievement in an Anthology, so that seems pretty approps. The location is TBA, at the moment, so if you are at #WHC, or just in the Atlanta area, and want to check us out, follow the Facebook event here.

Readings by Jesse Bullington, Selena Chambers, J. T. Glover, Orrin Grey, and Molly Tanzer.
Readings by Jesse Bullington, Selena Chambers, J. T. Glover, Orrin Grey, and Molly Tanzer.