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Days of the Dead Blog Tour - How We Fell Apart by Gail Z. Martin



Days of the Dead Blog Tour - How We Fell Apart by Gail Z. Martin



How We Fall Apart

By Gail Z. Martin

Do we go out with a bang or a whimper?

In our near-future post-apocalyptic adventure series, Wasteland Marshals (co-written with Larry N. Martin), that's the key question.

Simultaneous nuclear strikes to the world's capitals set of a chain reaction of events that unmakes modern civilization. The governments are gone, financial markets have cratered, the power grid is unreliable, and the secondary effects of the nuclear strikes have drastically remade the world survivors face.

Lucas Maddox and Shane Collins are the last two US Marshals in the Pennsylvania/West Virginia/Maryland territory. Not only do they deal with troublesome humans, but they've also got their hands full with the supernatural creatures that have ventured out of the shadows with the retreat of technology. The survivors band together in different enclaves, and Shane and Lucas move from group to group, fending off highwaymen, opportunists, and the occasional werewolf and feral experimental robot.

We envisioned the Wasteland Marshals series as being 'Boondock Saints meets The Walking Dead." I love the tension between technology and magic. I'm intrigued by the ways people might respond to the collapse of civilization and how they could revive old ways of doing things. In Lucas and Shane's world, the people with the best survival skills included folks from Renaissance festivals, the Society for Creative Anachronism, the Amish, historical reinactors, living history museums, universities and libraries. Those groups are the bulwark of retaining modern knowledge and reviving low-tech ways for humanity to survive and rebuild.

I'm intrigued by the idea of what remains when we strip away our technology and modern conveniences, and how we rediscover and reinvent old ways enable us to rise from the ashes. I'm also interested in what cultural essentials we take with us--the myths and legends (TV shows, comics and pop culture), the key memories of the way things were 'Before' and the stories we choose after the world goes to hell, about who we were.

My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with brand new guest blog posts, giveaways and more! You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Get all the details about my Days of the Dead blog tour at www.GailZMartin.com





Wasteland Marshals
Wasteland Marshals 1
Falstaff Books, July 2019
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 126 pages

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - How We Fell Apart by Gail Z. Martin
The world ended. Then things got tough.

Shane Collins and Lucas Maddox were US Marshals before. Before the world ended. Before civilization crumbled. Before Shane developed strange powers. Before there were monsters.

Now they’re still Marshals, but they ride through the wreckage of what once was the United States, helping the ragged groups of survivors they find survive against the challenges of a world gone insane, and the people who still want to exploit others. Because as long as there are people, there will be predators.

And as long as there are predators, there will be men and women who stand against them. Lucas and Shane are two of those men.

Wasteland Marshals launches a new post-apocalyptic fantasy series from Gail Z. & Larry N. Martin, who brought you Spells, Salt, & Steel.





About the Author

Days of the Dead Blog Tour - How We Fell Apart by Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Inheritance, Vengeance, Convicts and Exiles, and Assassin’s Honor. Together with co-author Larry N. Martin, new books include Spells Salt and Steel: Season One, Night Moves (Spells Salt and Steel #5), Wasteland Marshals and Cauldron: A Joe Mack Shadow Council Archives Adventure. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series.

Find her at www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on www.Facebook.comWinterKingdoms, at www.DisquietingVisions.com blog, on www.Pinterest.com/Gzmartin and on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin. She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign www.HoldOnToTheLight.com. Never miss out on the news and new releases—newsletter signup link http://eepurl.com/dd5XLj

The Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour - Supernatural Vigilantes by Gail Z. Martin


The Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour - Supernatural Vigilantes by Gail Z. Martin


Supernatural Vigilantes

By Gail Z. Martin

Lonely highways wind through dark forests filled with old secrets, hungry creatures, and the restless dead. In the towns and cities, demons, curses and deals with the devil mean a hunter’s work is never done.

In Sons of Darkness, the first book in my newest urban fantasy series, demon-hunting former priest Travis Dominick works with the misfit psychics of the Night Vigil to fight supernatural creatures and malicious paranormal activity. When a series of disappearances, suicides and vengeful spirits cause havoc and death along a remote interstate highway, Travis teams up with former special ops soldier and monster-hunter Brent Lawson to end the problem with extreme prejudice.

The Night Vigil series is set in Western Pennsylvania, an area full of legends, lore and mysterious monsters. It’s a state undercut by so many miles of coal mines, no one actually knows where the shafts all run. Tragedies haunt its history—mine disasters, railroad wrecks, legendary floods, industrial explosions, and battlefields from the three biggest wars fought on US soil. No wonder the dead can’t rest.

The next book in the series, C.H.A.R.O.N., comes out later this summer. CHARON is a secret government agency devoted to cleaning up supernatural problems and hiding the evidence. They’ve wanted Brent to join them for a long time, and he keeps slipping out of their grip. But when a new threat arises, one that might be of CHARON’s own making, can Travis and Brent fight the danger on their own terms, and still keep their freedom?

Meet the Night Vigil. The run-down convenience store, the all-night diner, the last-ditch shelter, or seedy motel, the redneck bar and the emergency room, and all the other places open on the graveyard shift—they’re Hell’s hunting grounds, full of easy marks and desperate souls, prey for evil things out there in the dark.

We keep the Vigil, looking for the ones who can still be saved, the ones who aren’t too far gone. We’re the misfits and the muck-ups, unwanted by Heaven or Hell, given one last chance to atone for all the mistakes and missed chances, the pain we’ve caused others and ourselves, the good things we were afraid to do, and the bad things we embraced with open arms. We work the night shift because that’s when evil walks. We’re the clerk in the all-night liquor store, the server in the 24-hour diner, the long-haul trucker who only drives at night, the counter person in the convenience store, the dog shift nurse. We recognize the evil when we see it, and we use the skills we honed with blood and fire to stop it, whatever it takes.

Unfinished business ties us to the mortal world, to make atonement, find absolution, satisfy retribution, get things right. You won’t find a sorrier group of halfway house heroes. No illusions left—about ourselves, humanity, or what’s really out there in the darkness. Just a purpose, to go down fighting the good fight. Because this is our last chance.

One final chance to make it right, the thin red line of humanity against the evil that goes bump in the night, your best hope to make it through the hour of the wolf.

Look for Sons of Darkness in ebook and paperback wherever online books are sold, and watch for CHARON, coming soon!





Sons of Darkness
A Night Vigil Novel 1
SOL Publishing, November 5, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 280 pages

The Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour - Supernatural Vigilantes by Gail Z. Martin
We are the Night Vigil.

The run-down convenience store, the all-night diner, the last-ditch shelter, or seedy motel, the redneck bar and the emergency room, and all the other places open on the graveyard shift—they’re Hell’s hunting grounds, full of easy marks and desperate souls, prey for evil things out there in the dark.

We keep the Vigil, looking for the ones who can still be saved, the ones who aren’t too far gone. We’re the misfits and the muck-ups, unwanted by Heaven or Hell, given one last chance to atone for all the mistakes and missed chances, the pain we’ve caused others and ourselves, the good things we were afraid to do, and the bad things we embraced with open arms. We work the night shift because that’s when evil walks. We’re the clerk in the all-night liquor store, the server in the 24-hour diner, the long-haul trucker who only drives at night, the counter person in the convenience store, the dog shift nurse. We recognize the evil when we see it, and we use the skills we honed with blood and fire to stop it, whatever it takes.

Unfinished business ties us to the mortal world, to make atonement, find absolution, satisfy retribution, get things right. You won’t find a sorrier group of halfway house heroes. No illusions left—about ourselves, humanity, or what’s really out there in the darkness. Just a purpose, to go down fighting the good fight. Because this is our last chance.

One final chance to make it right, the thin red line of humanity against the evil that goes bump in the night, your best hope to make it through the hour of the wolf

When a series of disappearances, suicides, and vengeful spirits cause havoc and death along a remote interstate highway, demon-hunting ex-priest Travis Dominick teams up with former special ops soldier and monster-hunter Brent Lawson to end the problem with extreme prejudice.





CHARON
A Night Vigil Novel 2

The Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour - Supernatural Vigilantes by Gail Z. Martin





About the Author

The Hawthorn Moon is the annual summer blog tour for Gail Z. Martin, and features guest blog posts, giveaways, surprises, excerpts and more on blogs worldwide. Find the master list of posts and goodies at www.GailZMartin.com


Bonus goodies!

Read a copy of my Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy short story Catspaw for free: https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/UAjd6 and check out my epic fantasy Ascendant Kingdoms short story Reconciling Memory here for free: https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/JQorl


Giveaway!

Enter for a chance to win a copy of The Splintered Crown and Convicts and Exiles http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9751c04221/?


The Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour - Supernatural Vigilantes by Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin
Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Convicts and Exiles, Spells Salt and Steel Season One, Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, Sons of Darkness, and Assassin’s Honor.

The Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour - Supernatural Vigilantes by Gail Z. Martin
Larry N. Martin
She is the co-author (with Larry N. Martin ) of the Spells, Salt, and Steel/New Templars series; the Steampunk series Iron & Blood; and a collection of short stories and novellas: The Storm & Fury Adventures set in the Iron & Blood universe. She is also the co-author of the upcoming Wasteland Marshals series and the Joe Mack Cauldron/Shadow Council series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Series include Witchbane, Badlands, and Treasure Trail.


Join our Shadow Alliance street team so you never miss a new release! Get all the scoop first + giveaways + fun stuff! Also where I get my beta readers and Launch Team! https://www.facebook.com/groups/435812789942761


Find me at www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin, on www.Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at www.DisquietingVisions.com blog, on www.Pinterest.com/Gzmartin, on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin, and BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/gail-z-martin. I’m also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign www.HoldOnToTheLight.com. Never miss out on the news with my newsletter http://eepurl.com/dd5XLj.

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Vaughan - You Ask Why I Write


Please welcome Elizabeth Vaughan to The Qwillery. Fate's Star, Prequel to the Chronicles of the Warland, was published on April 3rd.



Guest Blog by Elizabeth Vaughan - You Ask Why I Write




So, you ask why I write.

I write because I breathe.

I write because I can, because somehow I have been given a gift and I must not waste that gift, no matter how much I doubt myself or my abilities.

I write because there is nothing better than hearing from a reader that I made them laugh, or cry, or kept them up until the wee hours because ‘I could not put the book down’.

I write for that reader who wants/needs to escape this reality for a while, and shelter in a story.   For I believe that this gift, this spark is given by God, and that power flows through my words to that reader.   And I hope, I pray, that reader finds comfort in my words, strength in my characters, insight in my stories. I may never know how my words will effect someone, but God knows.   [Although I have noticed that while the Lord God, King of the Universe gave me the gift, He doesn’t show up to do any of the typing.]

There is a version of the Tempest starring Helen Mirren, filmed in Hawaii.   (Bear with me here).   In it, she plays a female Prospero, Prospera, Shakespeare’s sorceress.   In the first scene, she is standing on the edge of a cliff, summoning the tempest, wearing a wonderful cloak and holding a staff.

‘I have bedimm'd the noontide sun,
call'd forth the mutinous winds,
And `twixt the green sea and the azured vault
Set roaring war . . .    By my so potent art.’

That’s me when I write.   I am Prospera, the all-powerful, all-knowing sorceress, standing at the cliff’s edge, over-looking the sea.   Lightening flashes from my finger-tips as the sky obeys my every whim.   Earth and Sea and all the elements of Nature bow before me.   Characters live and die, and live again at my command, if I wish it so.   I raise my staff, and with a mere gesture the world bends to my every whim as the power flows through me . . . .

And then my cat jumps on the keyboard, the buzzer signals the dryer is done, and the smoke alarm goes off because I forgot dinner in the oven.   With a thump, I am back in this mortal realm with nothing more than words on the page . . . . and tears of joy in my eyes.

Because this is the closest I will ever come to wielding true magic.

That is why I write.





Fate's Star
Prequel to Chronicles of the Warlands
Birch Cove Press, April 3, 2018
eBook, 470 pages

Guest Blog by Elizabeth Vaughan - You Ask Why I Write
Five years before the events in Warprize and Destiny’s Star . . . .

Her family dead, her home destroyed, all she has left are her wits and her songs . . . .

When the flames of civil war rage across the Kingdom of Palins, Warna of Farentell has no choice but to flee to the neighboring Barony of Tassinic. The daughter of a wealthy merchant, raised to run a noble house in the hope of a good marriage, she watches her future burn with the rest of her homeland.

Elven Lord of a human Barony, betrayed and attacked by those he thought to trust . . . .

Verice of Tassinic has suffered the wounds of war, knowing loss and betrayal at the hands of those he trusted most. He buries himself in work and duty, behind emotional walls as high as those of his castle, rather than risk more pain. While dealing with a kingdom in political and economic turmoil, he 'rescues' Warna only to discover that the helpless human woman is anything but. Before he knows it, she is deep within the defenses of his heart, forcing him to confront his grief, his distrust, and the scars of his past . . . and maybe even steal his heart in the process.





About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Vaughan is the USA TODAY Bestselling Author of Warprize, the first volume of The Chronicles of the Warlands. Her father introduced her to sci/fi and fantasy, and she’s never looked back. She loves fantasy and romance novels, and has played Dungeons and Dragons since 1981, both table-top and the online game. The Chronicles of the Warlands stretches over eight books, with more to come. The latest in the series was Warsong, 2018. Beth also has a number of short stories published in various anthologies.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @eavwriter

The Jötunn War: First Peek! by Ian Stuart Sharpe


Please welcome Ian Stuart Sharpe to The Qwillery discussing The Jötunn War which is being funded on Kickstarter right now!



The Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart Sharpe




The Jötunn War: First Peek!
by Ian Stuart Sharpe

How would you describe the Jötunn War?

The Jötunn War is our latest addition to the Vikingverse, the first of a four-issue graphic novel series and a companion piece to the All Father Paradox.

If you’ve read the novel, it adds some more depth and detail to the worlds-spanning war that concludes the novel. And if you haven’t, it makes a perfectly good jumping off point to explore.
The premise is simple: what if the Vikings never lost? What would the modern world be like if Norse laws, appetites and mythology had shaped it instead of Christianity?

Fast forward through 1000 years of alternate timeline and you come to the Jötunn War - a point in time analogous to the Great War, or World War 2. There are all kinds of social pressures that irk Great Powers, like the Emancipation of the Serfs or the Russian Revolution, the Scramble for Africa and the Rise of Nationalism. The Viking Empire is no different: while the pace of progress has been accelerated (Vikings didn’t burn their scientists as witches…), when the thralls rebel, turning to the artifice of Norns to help them escape their bondage, the Natural order is thrown into chaos, causing a war that rages across the Nine Homeworlds for decades. The comic shows the last gasp battle for Utgard, the last stronghold of the Jötnar.



The Jötunn War is your first comic, coming just months after the All Father Paradox novel. Do some of our favourite characters make an appearance?

Over the course of four issues, you’ll see all kinds of familiar faces, some drawn from the novel, some from real life. Of course, this is Gest’s story and told from his POV. There is something of the Eternal Champion about him, because of his immense longevity - down to a Norn’s curse in the cradle – he has seen the whole swept of history and now stepped up for the decisive battle. Along the way, he is joined by Alviss Presterleah and Njall Armstinnr – two great 1960s icons in our world, whose names easily translate back into Old Norse. In the Vikingverse blurb, we often talk about the storied heroes of mankind being drawn into the Vikingverse in new and brutal guises - those two are an especially long way from the All-American idols we know and love.

Of course, in later episodes, you get to see other major characters as the Battle for Utgard continues but we won’t reveal all of those just yet…



Did you find writing a comic easier than the novel?

History is full of titanic battles, from David vs. Goliath to the Axis vs. Allies, but The Jötunn War is literally as big as it gets. There is a kind of visceral urgency to the comic form, you can have fun that you can’t easily manage in a novel.

I used to storyboard documentaries and TV spots in my days as broadcast Producer. It was surprising how similar the two things are, and once I got started, it all came to life quite quickly. In actual fact, because the whole script – descriptions, directions and captions – is only 3000 words per issue, it is the artists who bear the real burden! The real challenge became helping Dev design a Drakkar that looked like it could fly, or an infantry helmet that makes aesthetic sense for a future Varangian. I’m excited that he has captured the vision so clearly.

Norse mythology is a fascinating lens through which to take a view of the world – and I have heard at readings and conventions what a compelling idea it is. But not everyone has the time to read 90,000 words, and so a comic is a better start to their journey.

What the two forms do have in common is the resonance of the Old Norse quotes. Whether drawing from the wisdom of the Hávamál or reciting a skaldic poem about battle, the words have a real impact.



The Jötnar themselves, why did you choose to portray them that way?

In a word where Christianity has been put to the Viking sword, there are no angels or devils, but combatants will always strive to demonize the enemy. It’s how you motivate the populace to back a war – feed them fear and loathing. I liked the idea of turning that on its head, of having the nightmares of Norse mythology come back to haunt the Empire.

One interesting thing about the word Jötunn is that it doesn’t really mean giant – in the Old Norse orthography, it is much closer to words like consume, gluttony and voracious. I wanted to make the rebellion an existential, primeval, devouring threat – not just Vikings in white helmets. The sagas are clear that the Jötnar take many forms, some as beautiful as the dawn, some as hideous as - well, Týr’s nine-hundred headed grandmother is a good example (She is mentioned in Hymiskviða if you want to read more about her).



And the Kickstarter has already funded? Congrats!

Everyone involved is hugely grateful for the support and attention we’ve attracted. The Kickstarter funded after the first week, which means we can print the first issue. Our stretch goals include the ability to fund the printing and distribution of the second part, which is raring to go. So, if you like the cliffhanger built into the first episode, and you’ve got a taste for the Vikingverse, you’ll want to make sure to help us get further into the story!





The Jötunn War

The Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart Sharpe
A war as old as time, where fate itself hangs in the balance. In the Vikingverse, the Norse rule the stars with restless fleets and an iron will. But when the thralls rebel, turning to the artifice of Norns to help them escape their bondage, the Natural order is thrown into chaos. The Jötunn War has been fought across the Nine Homeworlds to contain the threat, a battle against the stuff of ancient nightmares, red in tooth and claw, Jötunheim is the rebellion's last redoubt, an indignity the Empire plans to cleanse with flame and fury. The Jötunn War. Go big or go home in a body bag.

Kickstarter Link





About Ian

The Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart Sharpe
Ian Stuart Sharpe was born in London, UK, and now lives in British Columbia, Canada. Having worked for the BBC, IMG, Atari and Electronic Arts, he is now CEO of a tech start up. As a child he discovered his love of books, sci-fi and sagas: devouring the works of Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and George MacDonald Fraser alongside Snorri Sturluson and Sigvat the Skald. He once won a prize at school for Outstanding Progress and chose a dictionary as his reward, secretly wishing it had been an Old Norse phrasebook. The All Father Paradox is his first novel.



Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @vikingverse

Twitter @IanStuartSharpe






About Outland Entertainment

Outland Entertainment was founded as a creative services company in 2008 by Jeremy Mohler. Since then, Outland has worked for a wide variety of clients across the world. Outland specializes in assembling creative teams and managing projects. Contact them via their site form or go to www.outlandentertainment.com.





The Novel

The All Father Paradox
Vikingverse 1
Outland Entertainment, October 9, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 414 pages

The Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart Sharpe
What if an ancient god escaped his fate…and history was thrown to the wolves?

Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard, hellbent on studying the thousand-year-old Viking memorial there. But when things start changing and outright disappearing, Michaels realizes there is more to this old man than meets the eye. Now, Michaels finds himself swept up in an ancient god’s quest to escape his destiny by reworking reality, putting history—and to Michaels’s dismay, Christianity itself—to the Viking sword. In this new Vikingverse, storied heroes of mankind emerge in new and brutal guises drawn from the sagas:

A young Norse prince plots to shatter empires and claim the heavens…
A scholar exiled to the frontier braves the dangers of the New World, only to find those “new worlds” are greater than he imagined…
A captured Jötunn plants the dreams of freedom during a worlds-spanning war…
A bold empress discovers there is a price for immortality, one her ancestors have come to collect…

With the timelines stretched to breaking point, it’s up to Churchwarden Michaels to save reality as we know it…

Guest Blog by Brian Kirk - The Long and Winding Road Between Books


Please welcome Brian Kirk to The Qwillery. Will Haunt You is published on March 14th by Flame Tree Press.

And please join The Qwillery in wishing Brian a Happy Publication Day!



Guest Blog by Brian Kirk - The Long and Winding Road Between Books




The Long and Winding Road Between Books

by Brian Kirk

My debut novel, We Are Monsters, sold fast, and I’ll admit that experience warped my expectations. I pitched the book to my editor of choice, submitted the manuscript upon request, and received an offer about three weeks later. This publishing business is a breeze!

Ha. Haha. AHAAHHAHA (Chokes to death on hubris, gets resuscitated) ha.

Not so much.

I finished the manuscript for my second novel before We Are Monsters was released. This was back in July of 2015. My plan was to query agents and take a run at the Big Five publishing houses. And that’s exactly what I did. Signed with an agent in November of that year, and started putting together a submission plan for a novel titled The Sun Is a Tangerine.

But then something happened that I didn’t expect. My idea for that novel morphed and expanded into something bigger and more complex. Not just in content, but format as well. It became more of a multi-media experience incorporating virtual reality technology than a traditional book, and my agent wasn’t sure how to sell it. So I decided to pull the project, and part ways with my agent, until I could figure out what to do with it. That process took about a year, and brought me no closer to a second publishing contract.

During that time, I was contacted by an acquisitions editor for an emerging horror publisher known more for its films than fiction, asking if I had any manuscripts to submit. The Sun Is A Tangerine wasn’t right for them—it’s more sci-fi than horror—so I offered to pitch new ideas. I pitched several ideas, and wrote a 50-page sample for my favorite one, which is what would become Will Haunt You. They loved the pitch (woo-hoo!), and gave me notes on the manuscript they wanted me to write, requesting a first look when it was done. Yes, back in the fast lane! (Or so I thought).

Will Haunt You took me about eight months to write, edit, have beta-read, reworked, etc. But I finished and was eager to submit the final manuscript. Unfortunately, the email address I had on file no longer worked, and I soon learned that the principle involved in the project had moved on to another place, and that this place wasn’t the right market for my new book. That potential deal was dead in the water.

But the editor had been so enthusiastic about the book, this should be a slam dunk, right? Wrong. While the book was intriguing enough to land me several phone calls with new prospective literary agents, they were all interested in my next book, deeming this one “too unconventional” for their traditional publishing contacts. (Note: anyone who has read Will Haunt You will emphatically agree.)

At this point we’re nearing two years after the release of my debut novel and I’m not any closer to getting a second book sold. But, looking back, those two years might be the most valuable of my early career, because they helped me clarify my goals as a writer, and provide clear direction for how I want to move forward.

Our society defines success in financial terms. That’s hard conditioning to break. And it was this misguided desire to maximize my financial return that drove me to pursue the Big Five publishing houses in the first place. But the Big Five publishers, by and large, aren’t interested in the fringe, unconventional, horror-trippy-weird-shit that I feel compelled to write. They mostly want something that looks familiar—and has a proven track record—whereas I strive to write stuff that feels new, and hasn’t been tried before. Taking those risks might excite me creatively, but they tend to frighten executives responsible for the financial security of a company.

And that’s okay. Because, fortunately, there are editors out there who are willing to take on fringe, unconventional, horror-trippy-weird-shit. Know where you’ll find them? Working for indie publishers like the one I recently signed with, Flame Tree Press.

Nearly four years have passed since the release of my first book, and I’m cool with that, because that time helped me to better understand who I am. A fiercely independent author who will write whatever my strange heart desires whether I get paid for it or not.

If you’re a fan of unconventional fiction, I encourage you to seek out indie publishers. That’s where you’ll find some of the most inventive material between produced today. And it’s the square pegs like me (hopefully like you) that help keep them alive.

My second novel is titled Will Haunt You, and it’s a book created by a mysterious figure who preys upon the people who read it. I published its prequel as a creepypasta-style story that was serialized online. None of this would be possible without indie publishing, and for that I am sincerely grateful.

Read the creepy-pasta prequel to Will Haunt You here: The Story of OBSIDEO.

Guest Blog by Brian Kirk - The Long and Winding Road Between Books

And if that doesn’t scare you away, here’s where you can buy the book.





Will Haunt You
Flame Tree Press, March 14, 2019
Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 240 pages

Guest Blog by Brian Kirk - The Long and Winding Road Between Books
You don’t read the book. It reads you. 

Rumors of a deadly book have been floating around the dark corners of the deep web. A disturbing tale about a mysterious figure who preys on those who read the book and subjects them to a world of personalized terror. Jesse Wheeler—former guitarist of the heavy metal group The Rising Dead—was quick to discount the ominous folklore associated with the book. It takes more than some urban legend to frighten him. Hell, reality is scary enough. Seven years ago his greatest responsibility was the nightly guitar solo. Then one night when Jesse was blackout drunk, he accidentally injured his son, leaving him permanently disabled. Dreams of being a rock star died when he destroyed his son's future. Now he cuts radio jingles and fights to stay clean. But Jesse is wrong.

The legend is real—and tonight he will become the protagonist in an elaborate scheme specifically tailored to prey on his fears and resurrect the ghosts from his past. Jesse is not the only one in danger, however.

By reading the book, you have volunteered to participate in the author’s deadly game, with every page drawing you closer to your own personalized nightmare.

The real horror doesn’t begin until you reach the end. That’s when the evil comes for you.





About Brian

Guest Blog by Brian Kirk - The Long and Winding Road Between Books
Brian Kirk is an author of dark thrillers and psychological suspense. His debut novel, We Are Monsters, was released in July 2015 and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a First Novel.

His short fiction has been published in many notable magazines and anthologies. Most recently, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, where his work appears alongside multiple New York Times bestselling authors, and received an honorable mention in Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year compilation.

During the day, Brian works as a freelance marketing and creative consultant. His experience working on large, integrated advertising campaigns for international companies has helped him build an effective author platform, and makes him a strong marketing ally for his publishing partners. In addition, Brian has an eye for emerging media trends and an ability to integrate storytelling into new technologies and platforms.

While he's worked to make this bio sound as impressive as possible, he's actually a rather humble guy who believes in hard work and big dreams. Feel free to connect with him through one of the following channels. Don't worry, he only kills his characters.

Website  ~  Twitter @Brian_Kirk

Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - The Trials of a Trilogy


We are thrilled to welcome Jack Heckel to The Qwillery. The Darkest Lord, the 3rd novel, in the fabulous Mysterium Chronicles, was published in digital format on February 26th by Harper Voyager Impulse.



Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - The Trials of a Trilogy




The Trials of a Trilogy
Jack Heckel

Fantasy stories, and particularly epic fantasy stories, seem always to spawn not a single book, but a series of them. In the end, as with all things in epic fantasy, you can probably blame Tolkien for the fact that no one seems to be able to tell a fantasy story in a single go. And the problem only seems to be growing. While Tolkien was satisfied with three volumes, with the not insignificant proviso that each volume is actually divided into two books, modern authors often stretch their stories far beyond three, and in some cases into double digits. The Saga of Fire and Ice is at five, with at least two more on the way, while The Wheel of Time series clocks it at a whopping 14 mega-books, not counting the Prologue, which is itself an entire separate book. In fact, in many cases the role of any individual epic fantasy novel seems to be setting up the next fantasy novel in the series.

So, when we decided to write a comedic take on the epic fantasy genre a trilogy seemed inevitable. In fact, for The Mysterium Chronicles there being three novels is one of the jokes. Let’s face it, we did title them The Dark Lord, The Darker Lord and The Darkest Lord after all. But in committing ourselves (tongue-in-cheek) to a trilogy we didn’t really know what we were getting into. It turns out it’s a lot harder to tell a continuous and coherent story that spans three volumes and over thousand pages than it might sound.

The problem we ran into, and which is obviously not unique to us, is how to maintain tension in each book when your audience knows there is more to come. This issue is particularly pronounced in the dread SECOND book, which is inevitably a bridge between the table setting first novel and the climactic third. Some authors—cough, cough, George R.R. Martin—solve this problem by being “unpredictable”. But, when you’re writing for comedic effect, indiscriminately killing off characters isn’t really an option.

Instead, we decided to address the issue head on by having the characters openly discuss the possibility that they were in trilogy and what that would mean. What we found in “going meta” is that once you let the audience in on the joke that there will be another book after this one and another one after that you can have a great deal of fun with what might have otherwise been a narrative drag. Early in The Darker Lord we have our protagonist ex-graduate student/magus, Avery Stewart, address what must be the most important point for anyone that finds themselves trapped in a fantasy trilogy:
I wanted to argue, but had to admit that everything that had happened since my return to Mysterium pointed to a number of unfinished story lines. I wrapped my arms around my body trying to ward of the cold and grasped for something positive to say. “Well, I suppose the good news is that even in a worst case scenario we are thirty-three percent through the narrative and no one important has died … yet.”

                                                                               -The Darker Lord
Well said.





The Darkest Lord
The Mysterium Chronicles 3
Harper Voyager Impulse, February 26, 2019
     eBook, 384 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, April 2, 2019
     Mass Market Paperback, 528 pages

Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - The Trials of a Trilogy
In the epic conclusion to Jack Heckel’s whimsical fantasy series, Dark Lord Avery Stewart must join the Company of the Fellowship in a frenzied war against Moregoth and the corrupt forces of Mysterium. . . and destroy the magical artifact fueling the interworld chaos

In The Darker Lord, Avery Stewart learned a terrible truth about Mysterium: the home of his beloved university and the reality-center of the multiverse is not the world he thought it was. The true Mysterians, innately endowed with the power to manipulate reality, were displaced eons ago by the subworlders with whom they shared their magical teachings, and written out of the reality pattern of their own world. For years they have lived in exile in the subworld of Trelari, shielded from the Mysterian pursuit led by Moregoth and the Sealers. That is, until Valdara, the warrior queen of Trelari, reopened the subworld to the rest of the multiverse and challenged the Mysterium to a final showdown.

One year later, a violent war of worlds drags on, and Avery can’t help feeling that all of this is his fault.

But the good news (if you can call it that) is that Avery might hold the key—literally, a key—to ending the suffering and saving Trelari. For Avery possesses the Reality Key, a magical artifact with the power to bend reality to one’s will, often to the immediate detriment of entire worlds. . . and, if it falls into the hands of the Mysterian forces, much more. To protect his friends, save Trelari, and bring order to Mysterium, Avery will need to do the unthinkable: travel to the heart of Mysterium, destroy the Key, and rewrite Mysterium’s reality pattern to restore balance to the multiverse, once and for all.





Previously

The Dark Lord
The Mysterium Chronicles 1
Harper Voyager Impulse, November 1, 2016
     eBook, 464 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, December 27, 2016
     Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages

Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - The Trials of a Trilogy
In this hilarious parody of epic fantasy, a young man travels into a dark and magical world, where dwarves, elves, and sorcerers dwell, to restore the balance between good and evil

After spending years as an undercover, evil wizard in the enchanted world of Trelari, Avery hangs up the cloak he wore as the Dark Lord and returns to his studies at Mysterium University.

On the day of his homecoming, Avery drunkenly confides in a beautiful stranger, telling her everything about his travels. When Avery awakens, hungover and confused, he discovers that his worst nightmare has come true: the mysterious girl has gone to Trelari to rule as a Dark Queen.

Avery must travel back to the bewitched land and liberate the magical creatures . . . but in order to do so, he has to join forces with the very people who fought him as the Dark Lord.



The Darker Lord
The Mysterium Chronicles 2
Harper Voyager Impulse, July 24, 2018
     eBook, 464 pages
Harper Voyager Impulse, September 4, 2018
     Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages

Guest Blog by Jack Heckel - The Trials of a Trilogy
The second novel of Jack Heckel’s Mysterium series, The Darker Lord follows beleaguered former Dark Lord Avery Stewart as he is forced to take up his cloak and his Imp once again and travel the doors between realms in order to keep the fabric of the universe intact. More or less intact, anyway.

In The Dark Lord, Avery had an epiphany about the Mysterium. Only now he can’t remember what it was, no matter how much coffee he drinks or how many times he reads the novel published from his notes. What he does know is that he has become the most famous mage in the multiverse, and no one is happy with him. His fellow mages are upset at his rapid promotion, Dawn and Eldrin are tired of him spending his days on their couch watching bad TV, and Harold the Imp won’t talk to him.

Luckily, things can always get worse. And they do when the Administration’s enforcer, Moregoth, arrives at the first lecture of the semester to apprehend two of Avery’s new students for undoubtedly sinister reasons. In a fit of foolishness and heroism, Avery defies the university and flees with his friends into subworld. There, he reunites with his former allies from Trelari and thus begins a frantic race through the multiverse to escape Moregoth.

But as Avery’s amnesia begins to fade, he realizes his loss of memory is no accident, that he is caught in a conspiracy as terrifying as Mysterium University’s Student Records Building—and that his friends might not all be on his side.





About Jack

Jack Heckel’s life is an open book. Actually, it’s the book you are in all hope holding right now (and if you are not holding it, he would like to tell you it can be purchased from any of your finest purveyors of the written word). He is the author of the Charming Tales series and The Dark Lord. Beyond that, Jack aspires to be either a witty, urbane, world traveler who lives on his vintage yacht, The Clever Double Entendre, or a geographically illiterate professor of literature who spends his non-writing time restoring an 18th century lighthouse off a remote part of the Vermont coastline. More than anything, Jack lives for his readers.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @JackHeckel

Days of the Dead - Monsters and Mayhem in the Modern World by Gail Z. Martin


Days of the Dead  - Monsters and Mayhem in the Modern World by Gail Z. Martin

Monsters and Mayhem in the Modern World

By Gail Z. Martin

It’s been a busy year for saving the world, at least in our neck of the woods. Restless ghosts, renegade demons, and even a persnickety kelpie have threatened havoc, only to be dealt with by our unsung urban fantasy heroes. (You’re welcome.)

Days of the Dead  - Monsters and Mayhem in the Modern World by Gail Z. Martin
Tangled Web is the third Deadly Curiosities novel, and this time, Teag Logan is the target of an ancient evil. When a malicious weaver-witch awakens the spirit of an ancient Norse warlock and calls to the Wild Hunt, Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren—and all their supernatural allies—will need magic, cunning, and the help of a Viking demi-goddess to survive the battle and keep Charleston—and the whole East Coast—from becoming the prey of the Master of the Hunt.

I love revisiting the Deadly Curiosities gang in Charleston because the city and its history provides such a rich setting and so much legend and lore to build on. For me, creating believable modern-day mayhem begins with drawing inspiration from the ghost stories and history of the setting. Those tales stick around generation after generation because they resonate with us on a deep level. One of the most fun parts about writing, for me, is taking that existing history and legend and tweaking it, just a bit, to build a story.

Days of the Dead  - Monsters and Mayhem in the Modern World by Gail Z. Martin
Close Encounters is the fourth novella in the new Spells, Salt and Steel series, co-written with Larry N. Martin. Our mechanic and monster hunter hero, Mark Wojcik, has his hands full keeping his corner of Northwestern Pennsylvania cryptid-free. Over the course of the novellas, he’s fought off a Japanese monster armed only with a carp, taken out the ghost of a Nazi saboteur with a grenade launcher filled with holy water, gone mano-a-mano with the pissed off ghost of Mad Anthony Wayne, and helped his friend, Donny the defective werewolf, find true love.

Larry and I are from Northwestern Pennsylvania, so writing a series based on the haunts, tall tales and creepy stories we grew up with is all kinds of fun. I’ve also learned a lot about the area that I didn’t know, and it’s so exciting when research reveals the perfect plot twist or spooky location! The Spells, Salt and Steel series is comedic horror, a little different from my usual urban fantasy. That means our goal is to get you laughing, then take you into a dark basement and give you a good scare!

Days of the Dead  - Monsters and Mayhem in the Modern World by Gail Z. Martin
Sons of Darkness (coming in early November) is the first in my new Night Vigil series, set in and around Pittsburgh. Demon-hunting former priest Travis Dominick works with the misfit psychics of the Night Vigil to fight supernatural creatures and malicious paranormal activity. When a series of disappearances, suicides and vengeful spirits cause havoc and death along a remote interstate highway, Travis teams up with former special ops soldier and monster-hunter Brent Lawson to end the problem with extreme prejudice.

We lived in Pittsburgh for ten years, so the city remains a favorite with me. It’s an old city, so there’s a lot of history to hijack and twist for fictional purposes. Because it was a city of immigrants, there’s so much folklore that came across with the workers who then adapted it to their new home. It makes for very rich source material!

Find out about all the supernatural chaos that didn’t make the news because our intrepid heroes stopped it from happening! I’m already cooking up more havoc as I plan for next year’s crop of new books!


My Days of the Dead blog tour runs through October 31 with brand new excerpts from upcoming books and recent short stories, interviews, guest blog posts, giveaways and more! Plus, I’ll be including extra excerpt links for my stories. You’ve got to visit the participating sites to get the goodies, just like Trick or Treat! Get all the details about my Days of the Dead blog tour here:

Book swag is the new Trick-or-Treat! All of my guest blog posts have links to free excerpts—follow the tour and grab them all! Enjoy this excerpt for Sons of Darkness!
https://www.ascendantkingdoms.com/books/sons-of-darkness/sons-of-darkness-excerpt/

Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway to win a Kindle Prize Package with a free copy EACH of — Tangled Web, Assassin’s Honor, Salvage Rat, The Dark Road and Sons of Darkness! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9751c04215/?

Let me give a shout-out for #HoldOnToTheLight 2018, back for more with new authors and fantastic new posts! 150+ genre authors blogging about their personal struggles with depression, PTSD, anxiety, suicide and self-harm, candid posts by some of your favorite authors on how mental health issues have impacted their lives and books. Read the stories, share the stories, change a life. Find out more at www.HoldOnToTheLight.com





About the Authors

Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, Badlands and the upcoming Lucky Town.

Larry N. Martin is the author of the new sci-fi adventure novel Salvage Rat. He is the co-author (with Gail Z. Martin) of the Spells, Salt, and Steel/New Templars series; the Steampunk series Iron & Blood; and a collection of short stories and novellas: The Storm & Fury Adventures set in the Iron & Blood universe. He is also the co-author of the upcoming Wasteland Marshals series and the Cauldron/Secret Council series.

Find them at www.GailZMartin.com, on Twitter @GailZMartin and @LNMartinAuthor, on Facebook.com/WinterKingdoms, at www.DisquietingVisions.com blog, on www.Pinterest.com/Gzmartin and on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/GailZMartin. She is also the organizer of the #HoldOnToTheLight campaign www.HoldOnToTheLight.com Never miss out on the news and new releases—newsletter signup link http://eepurl.com/dd5XLj

Guest Blog by Amber Fallon - I am Woman, Hear me Write


Please welcome Amber Fallon to The Qwillery. Amber is the Editor of Fright Into Flight which was published on September 4, 2018 by Word Horde.



Guest Blog by Amber Fallon - I am Woman, Hear me Write




I am Woman, Hear me Write

“Women are too sensitive to write anything really scary.”

“There just aren’t that many women writing horror fiction.”

“The problem is that women just aren’t submitting their work.”

Do these statements sound as absurd to you as they do to me? Because in my opinion, all three of the above are basically crazy talk. And yet, all three are direct quotes from people who’ve either said them to me in person or made comments on my social media. People truly believe these things! The question is… why?

I have some opinions on that, and a lot of them have to do with what we, as readers, hold up as our standard of a “good story”. For years, the most significant, widely read, and recognized authors in the fiction realm, and especially within the horror genre, have been heterosexual white men. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t hundreds, if not thousands, of truly talented and remarkable white men out there… but it is to say that they’ve had a lot dominance, historically speaking. That kind of saturation can have unintended consequences… things like the majority of readers using similar points of view as hallmarks for a good piece of fiction. That can mean that other points of view can become disorienting and uncomfortable, and thus “not good”, when really, it’s just a matter of exposure. Think of a picky kid eating nothing but chicken nuggets for years… then someone offers them a plate of broccoli. Of course it’s going to seem weird and maybe even “gross” to them… but given time and a few chances to try it, they might decide they like broccoli. The same goes for fiction.

Ask most readers to name a woman horror writer, and you’ll get similar answers: Mary Shelley or Shirley Jackson. Two remarkable women, to be sure, but just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.

Some of the best, most powerful, most haunting horror fiction of the past decade has been penned by women. From the horrific-yet-beautiful prose of Livia Llewellyn to the powerfully brilliant, brutal words of Chesya Burke, from the brave, nuanced, and incredibly poignant stories from Hillary Monahan to the raw, sinuous, and ultimately unshakable imagery of Kristi DeMeester, plus dozens and dozens more in between, women have stabbed their flag deep into the heart of the horror genre.

Don’t believe me? Go pick up a book by Mary SanGiovanni or Sephera Giron. Or, if you’re really daring, and you’ve got the stomach for it, something by C.V. Hunt or Jessica McHugh.

Women are out there! We are writing horror fiction! We’re submitting, we’re publishing, we’re doing our best to spread the word and share our stories with as many people as we can reach.

To that end, I’ve edited an anthology called Fright Into Flight. All female authors, connected by the theme of flight. Some of these tales are visceral, gut wrenching, and terrifying, others are quiet, slow burning, and haunting. I’ve done my best to showcase a wide range of stories so that pretty much anyone can find something they’ll enjoy within these pages.

I hope you’ll consider picking up a book by a female author, especially one you haven’t read before. Creating a base of readers who demand diverse stories can only benefit the genre as a whole.





Fright Into Flight
Word Horde, September 4, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 246 pages

Guest Blog by Amber Fallon - I am Woman, Hear me Write
From the earliest depictions of winged goddesses to the delicate, paperwinged fairies of the Victorians, from valiant Valkyries to cliff-dwelling harpies, from record-setting pilots to fearless astronauts, women have long since claimed their place in the skies, among the clouds and beyond.

Word Horde presents Fright Into Flight, the debut anthology from Amber Fallon (The Terminal, The Warblers), in which women take wing. In these stories connected by the unifying thread of flight, authors including Damien Angelica Walters, Christine Morgan, and Nadia Bulkin have spread their wings and created terrifying visions of real life angels, mystical journeys, and the demons that lurk inside us all. Whether you like your horror quiet and chilling or more in-your-face and terrifying, there's something here for every horror fan to enjoy.

You're in for a bumpy ride... So fasten your seatbelt, take note of the emergency exits, hold on to your airsick bag, and remember that this book may be used as a flotation device in the event of a crash landing.





Fright into Flight TOC

Floating Girls by Damien Angelica Walters

I Did it for the Art by Izzy Lee

Wilderness by Letty Ann Trent

The Silk Angel by Christine Morgan

Cargo by Desirina Boskovich

Consent by Nancy Baker

Bruja by Kathryn Ptacek

I am No Longer by Nancy Kilpatrick

Faceless by Shannon Lawrence

Every Angel by Gemma Files

Cosmic Bruja by Leza Cantoral

With the Beating of Their Wings by Martel Sardina

Deathside by Allyson Bird

Thlush-a-lum b Rebecca Gomez Farrell

The Fallen by Pamela Jeffs

And When She Was Bad by Nadia Bulkin





About Amber

Guest Blog by Amber Fallon - I am Woman, Hear me Write
Amber Fallon lives in weird cave in a small town outside Boston, Massachusetts that she shares with her husband and their two dogs. A techie by day and a horror writer by night, Mrs. Fallon has also spent time as a bank manager, motivational speaker, produce wrangler, and apprentice butcher. Her obsessions with sushi, glittery nail polish, and sharp objects have made her a recognized figure around the community.

Amber's publications include The Terminal, The Warblers, TV Dinners from Hell, Daughters of Inanna, Nasty!, Dead Bait 4, Sharkasaurus, So Long and Thanks for All the Brains, Here Be Clowns, Horror on the Installment Plan, Zombies For a Cure, Quick Bites of Flesh, Mirror, Mirror, Operation Ice Bat, Painted Mayhem, and more!

For more information, visit her blog at www.amberfallon.net!

Guest Blog by Carina Bissett: Counting Beans


Please welcome Carina Bissett to The Qwillery. Carina's story "A Seed Planted" is found in Hath No Fury, an anthology published on August 23, 2018 by Outland Entertainment.



Guest Blog by Carina Bissett: Counting Beans




Counting Beans
by Carina Bissett

          Although there has been a renaissance of fairy tale retellings over the last decade, it isn’t the first time these stories have undergone a surge of popularity. In fact, my first experience with retellings occurred when I discovered a copy of the fairy tale anthology Snow White, Blood Red in my favorite used bookstore. Within those pages, I was introduced to the work of such notable writers as Tanith Lee, Charles de Lint, Gregory Frost, Jane Yolen, and Neil Gaiman. Edited by luminaries Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow, this series spanned six collections of tales that went back to their roots as stories told by adults for adults. I was hooked.
          As I child, I devoured books, but the one I kept returning to was a double-sided volume in The Companion Library series (1963), which featured Andersen’s Fairy Tales on one side and the Grimm Fairy Tales. As an adult, I turned to Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber (1979), which influenced a generation of feminist poets and feminist fantasy writers including my new heroine Terri Windling. I continued backwards moving through the familiar tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen to those told by Charles Perrault and Oscar Wilde. And then, I discovered the 17th century Parisian literary salons, where literary fairy tales were created from the fragments of oral tradition combined with literary influences such as medieval romance and classic myth.
          The term “fairy tale” actually comes from the English translation of the phrase conte de fée, which was coined in the French salons to describe the rise in popularity of these magical tales written with adult readers in mind. To my immense delight, I stumbled upon a whole host of gifted female writers who worked to encourage women’s independence from the gender barriers of the time. This included such writers as Madame d’Aulnoy (The White Cat), Henriette-Julie de Castelnau (Bearskin), Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier (The Discreet Princess), Catherine Bernard (Riquet of the Tuft), Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force (Persinette), and Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (Beauty and the Beast).
         In the past, I had attempted to tackle fairy tales in my voice, but they never quite worked. Just when I was ready to toss the notion of rewriting fairy tales for good, a few things happened in quick succession that lead to a dramatic shift in my approach: the publication of by Michael Cunningham’s literary fairy tales in his collection A Wild Swan and Other Tales (2015); the release The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales (2015), which were originally collected by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth in the 1850s, and the publication of an obscure academic paper “Comparative phylogenetic analyses uncover the ancient roots of Indo-European folktales” published in Royal Society Open Science (2016).
          In his collection of literary fairy tale retellings, Michael Cunningham created a cast of characters that we know intimately—are fragments of ourselves and others, fragments many of us prefer not to face. Of all the stories in the collection, “Jacked”—a contemporary take on “Jack and the Beanstalk”—was the one that captured my interest the most as a deft and detailed commentary on the single parent, only child plight so prevalent among middle-class Americans. Cunningham stays faithful to the original plot in “Jack and the Beanstalk,” but then modernizes it with a series of witticisms of a sarcastic nature: “The mist-girl tells Jack that everything the giant owns belongs rightfully to him. Jack, however, being Jack, had assumed already that everything the giant owns—everything everybody owns—rightfully belongs to him” (26). Personally, I’ve never been particularly fond of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” And, after reading the story, I was left with the feeling that Cunningham wasn’t in love with the original fairy tale either, which is why he pushes the unlikeable character to even further extremes.
          When the Royal Society Open Science released the 2016 academic paper “Comparative phylogenetic analyses uncover the ancient roots of Indo-European folktales,” a few things clicked into place for me. Researchers Sara Graça da Silva, a social scientist/folklorist with New University of Lisbon, and Jamshid Tehrani, an anthropologist with Durham University, conducted a phylogenetic analysis on common fairy tales, which suggests that many of these stories have origins reaching back thousands of years. For instance, “Jack and the Beanstalk” can be traced back nearly 5,000 years ago when Western and Eastern Indo-European languages split. However, it wasn’t until the 1730s that the first literary version of “The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean” appeared on the scene. It made a brief reappearance in the early 1800s, but didn’t really garner much attention until Joseph Jacobs included a version of the tale in his collection English Fairy Tales (1890).
          Seeing as I’ve never liked “Jack and the Beanstalk,” I decided to rewrite it to suit my own taste. My fascination with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” and the connection of Hawthorne’s character Beatrice to the poison girls in Hindu mythology provided a platform for my science fantasy retelling “A Seed Planted.” I decided to focus on the familial relationships in this piece about a dutiful, yet jealous daughter and the scientist who created her and her sisters as weapons. In the original draft, the science fiction elements were muted. However, under the guidance of my mentor Elizabeth Hand, it took a decidedly different turn as I worked to balance the early draft’s fairy tale components with scientific elements. I added a futuristic ecological angle and a dash of Arthurian legend, turning “Jack and the Beanstalk” upside down while retaining connections to the original story cycle.
          I’ve since sketched the stories of the other sisters introduced in “A Seed Planted,” which has led me down a path of self-discovery, a place where old tales provide only the barest of foundations to build upon. I think I tend to shy away from opportunities that will only come to fruition if I am willing to write from the hard places. I think it’s a fine line to walk, but I also think that this is why fairy tale retellings continue to evolve as a popular framework with which to view the world we live in. It isn’t just the more obscure tales that need to be told; it’s the true tales. It’s up to the writers to find new ways to reflect the deepest, darkest parts of themselves through the comforts of the familiar.





Hath No Fury
Outland Entertainment, August 23, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 550 pages

Guest Blog by Carina Bissett: Counting Beans
Mother. Warrior. Caregiver. Wife. Lover. Survivor. Trickster. Heroine. Leader.

This anthology features 21 stories and six essays about women who defy genre stereotypes. Here, it’s not the hero who acts while the heroine waits to be rescued; Hath No Fury’s women are champions, not damsels in distress. Whether they are strong, bold warriors, the silent but powerful type, or the timid who muster their courage to face down terrible evil, the women of Hath No Fury will make indelible marks upon readers and leave them breathless for more.





About Carina

Carina Bissett is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of speculative fiction and interstitial art. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast (University of Southern Maine) and has studied with such popular writers and poets as Elizabeth Hand, Nancy Holder, David Anthony Durham, Theodora Goss, Ted Deppe, Cara Hoffman, and Cate Marvin. Her short fiction and poetry has been published in multiple journals including the Journal of Mythic Arts, Mythic Delirium, NonBinary Review, Timeless Tales, Enchanted Conversations, and The Horror ‘Zine. Her work can also be found in numerous anthologies including Hath No Fury, an anthology where women take the lead. She fosters her passion of fairy tale and folklore through creative non-fiction including her research work at the Mythic Imagination Institute and contributions to the three-volume set American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales: An Encyclopedia of American Folklore.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @cmariebissett
Days of the Dead Blog Tour - How We Fell Apart by Gail Z. MartinThe Hawthorn Moon Blog Tour - Supernatural Vigilantes by Gail Z. MartinGuest Blog by Elizabeth Vaughan - You Ask Why I WriteThe Jötunn War: First Peek!  by Ian Stuart SharpeGuest Blog by Brian Kirk - The Long and Winding Road Between BooksGuest Blog by Jack Heckel - The Trials of a TrilogyGuest Blog by J.S. Breukelaar: Writing Speculative FictionDays of the Dead  - Monsters and Mayhem in the Modern World by Gail Z. MartinGuest Blog by Amber Fallon - I am Woman, Hear me WriteGuest Blog by Carina Bissett: Counting Beans

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