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Sword and Sorceress 32

The latest anthology in the long-running Sword and Sorceress series is out today. I am very happy to be a part of this one.

My story, “Royal Daughters,” is a historical fantasy tale set in the tumultuous border country of Scotland during the infancy of Mary Queen of Scots. It’s a standalone story, but it also gives a glimpse into the setting of my novel-in-progress.  The story takes place about twenty years before the events of the novel.

Here’s a link to the Amazon.com page. Hope you enjoy this collection!

Cover and ToC for SWORD & SORCERESS 32

Coming November 2!

Eighteen tales of magic and mayhem, in plenty of time for the holidays. If you really want to run with the Formidable Women theme, you could pair this with the Hath No Fury anthology that’s coming out the first of December.

My story, Royal Daughters, is a blend of fantasy and historical fiction, set in Scotland’s border country during the infancy of Mary Queen of Scots.

Table of Contents

Women’s Work by Pauline J. Alama
Hostages of Honeycomb by Marian Allen
The Sound of the Moon by Robin Wayne Bailey
Finding Truth by Lorie Calkins
Wight Nights by Steve Chapman
Royal Daughters by Elaine Cunningham
Unexpected by Suzan Harden
Save a Prayer by Mercedes Lackey
Sky, Clouds, and Sonam by Catherine Mintz
Shaman’s Quest by Kevin L. O’Brien
Authority Figures by Michael H. Payne
The Girl from Black Point Rock by Deborah J. Ross
Till the Cows Come Home by L.S. Patton
Deadly Questions by Jonathan Shipley
The Nature of Wraiths by Dave Smeds
Add a Cup of Terror by Michael Spence & Elisabeth Waters
A Librarian in Distress by Rose Strickman
Expiration Date by Julia H. West

New pub date for HATH NO FURY

This anthology, which features stories of kick-ass female characters, was funded by Kickstarter and expected to come out in mid 2017.  Is has been delayed several times and was just rescheduled for release on December 1.  Here’s why:

The publisher, Ragnarok Publications, merged with Galaxy Knight Games, and the company is going through management change and reorganization. Things seem to be settling down, and I’m fairly confident that the new pub date will happen.

August writing summary

This month was mostly about the novel-in-progress. The highlight, however, was attending Gen Con for the first time in a decade. I met lots of interesting people, touched base with friends old and new, signed some books, played some games, and talked about various Secret Projects.

August summary:

Publications: 1
Submissions: 2
Acceptances: 2
Rejections: 1
Projects currently in circulation: 3

Work in progress:
  • Writing Draft Zero of a historical fantasy novel
  • A Mythos-themed novella, still in brainstorming stage
  • Awaiting editor’s notes for a short story solicited for a shared-world anthology

Publications:

  • Winterhexe, a German translation of the Pathfinder Tales novel Winter Witch, was published by Feder & Schwert.

Submissions: 

  • “Family Matters,” a new flash fiction story, submitted to a webzine
  • “The White Tunic,” a story published in 2013, submitted to a reprint anthology

Acceptances: 2

  • “The White Tunic” was accepted for publication in a fantasy reprint anthology by Digital Fantasy Press. I’d submitted it last month to their horror anthology; this, apparently, was a better fit.
  • A review of A King’s Obsession, a historical novel by Allison Weir, was accepted and scheduled for publication in Renaissance Magazine, issue #112

Rejections: 1

  • “Dead Men Tell No Tales” did not make the final cut for a ghosts & pirates reprint anthology.

Completed in August:

  • Wrote and submitted “Family Matters,” a flash fiction story (800 words)
  • Wrote “Turning Characters into People,” an article about the writing process, to be published on my Patreon.
  • Wrote 7 blog posts for this website, including two longer articles on the topic “Setting as Character.”

Writing related:

  • Attended Gen Con 50, participated in 11 panels, the Candlekeep seminar, and the Worldbuilder’s Party charity event organized by Patrick Rothfuss.
  • Working on a Patreon account, which is still in the planning stage.

Books read:

  • Focus by Daniel Goleman
  • Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax, by Dorothy Gilman

Books reading:

  • The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science, by Norman Dolge
  • How the Mind Works, by Stephen Pinker
  • The Private Lives of Tudor Women, by Elizabeth Norton

Literal Illusion

“Lorelei,” a historical fantasy tale that takes place near the Rhine in pre-Roman times, has been published in a new reprint anthology.


Table of Contents:

Half-Dime Adventure – Don Webb
Cry Havoc – Julie Frost
Lorelei – Elaine Cunningham
These Walls of Despair – Anaea Lay
Lady of the Plagues – Elena Gomel
The Seventh Trap – Adam Knight
How Fox Fixed the Sky – Stephen Case
The Well – Gregory L. Norris
Found Things – Gerri Leen
The Heart of a Diamond – Lillian Csernica

 

April writing update

April was an odd month. There was a lot of writing going on, but you wouldn’t know it from the summary below. A couple of small projects I’d hoped to finish were pushed back into May (or possibly beyond.)  On the bright side, I am very enthusiastic about the new novel, which will be the most ambitious story I’ve written since Evermeet, and considerably longer. I’m in learning mode, trying new things and submitting to new markets, and that’s a very exciting process.

Publications: 1

  • Renaissance Faire and Culture Magazine, Vol. 21 #3, Issue #109. A review of Edward IV, England’s Forgotten Warrior King: His Life, His People, and His Legacy by Anthony Corbet.  I was surprised to receive the “scribe’s copy” of this issue, as I’d submitted this review about a year ago and by now, I’d assumed it had been declined.

Submissions: 4

  • Wrote and submitted two short stories, on spec.
  • Submitted a previously published story to a podcast magazine.
  • Submitted “Synthetic Sanctity” to Market #4. (Persistence!)

Acceptances: 0

Rejections:  2 (or possibly 4)

  • “Synthetic Sanctity” was declined by Market #4. I got some very good feedback from two Trusted Readers, and am going to do a substantial rewrite before sending it out again.
  • The reprint story I sent to a podcast magazine was declined. This was a first step into audio for me (not counting the audiobook versions publishers have done of my backlist.) I’ve started listening to podcasts, and I’m going to practice recording my work-in-progress to make sure a story works for the ear. Lots to learn!
  • Not all rejections are definitive. Many publishers don’t respond at all unless they accept a story or article, so there comes a point at which writers have to call a submission’s “time of death” and turn off the life support. This month I’m pulling the plug on two essays written and submitted back in December. It’s always possible to be surprised a few months later, as in the Renaissance Magazine review, but in these two cases, it seems unlikely.

Work in progress:

  • First draft of an on-spec fantasy novel.
  • Revising a non-fiction ebook on habit acquisition.
  • Awaiting editors’ notes on two short stories submitted in March.

Projects in circulation: 3

After wiping the two essays off my submission slate, I have just three short stories out in the world–the two new ones submitted in April, and a story submitted to a reprint anthology.

Writing related:

  • Sent the graphic novel version of my Forgotten Realms story “The Great Hunt” to the winner of the March contest held on the Facebook group Forgotten Realms Archives
  • Ran a contest for April in Forgotten Realms Archives with two audiobook versions of Winter Witch as prizes.

By Faerie Light: One review and two ideas

As a child, I read incessantly. One of the series that caught my imagination featured “the Littles,” a family of tiny humans who lived in the walls of a typical family house. Their size created significant challenges, as well as a new and intriguing way to view the world.

This notion has stuck with me over the years, and it’s the basis for “The White Tunic,” a story in this anthology. A young farmer strikes a bargain with a tiny fey warrior, who promptly takes him up on it. Before you know it, he has been seriously downsized.

In this review, the writer suggests using this notion in RPG campaigns. Since many of the people who read my stories are also gamers, this was something I had in mind while writing.  Shrinking your player characters would give them an interesting way to experience the world and their place in it.

Another idea, and something I do frequently when I’m out hiking, is to envision yourself the size of a bird or chipmunk and imagine what the world would look like from that perspective. This draws your focus to the environment in a way that you generally don’t experience when you’re moving through it as a human. The forest floor becomes more detailed and nuanced and important, the canopy both closer and more vast.

I’m fond of “The White Tunic,” mostly because it so clearly defines one of my primary storytelling values: Stories are all about possibilities, experiences, and seeing life–and perhaps yourself–a little differently than you did before.