14 April 2013

Foxy Pirates!

Did I mention I'm going to be in this?
Coming soon from the ever-so-awesome Fox Spirit Books, an anthology of piratey goodness with faaaaabulous flash fiction from (in no particular order).... 

Emma Teichmann – Silvermelt
Jenny Barber – Past Lives
Christian D’Amico – Insurgent
Den Patrick – Becalmed
Kit Marlowe – Black Ethel’s Beast
Francesca Terminiello – Plunder
T.F.Grant – Geronimo
Chloe Yates – Leave the Pistol Behind
Rahne Sinclair – No Quarter
Margret Helgadottir – Nora
K.C.Shaw – Skyway
Ruth Booth – The Real Deal
Catherine Hill – The Trouble with Daydreams
Asher Wismer – True to the Song
S.J. Caunt – X Marks the Spot
Rob Haines – Pieces of 2^3

Not sure when it's coming out, but it'll be available from Amazon and Wizard's Tower Books in multiple formats.  I'm very excited.  ;-)

Ancient Wonders: Shannon Connor Winward

Continuing the author-palooza for Ancient Wonders - here's Shannon Connor Winward!

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I’m an American author and poet. Most of what I create is speculative – some sci-fi, fantasy, and what’s been called “mythpunk” – though I write a little bit of everything. On my blog I talk about real life: the writing process, the emotional ups and downs. I chronicle my experiences raising a child with special needs, because I feel there’s a lack of information and empathy for families who have to go through this, and it’s my way of contributing to a larger conversation. I like to write about what touches me, what fascinates me. A lot of my stories deal with death and madness, but not in a macabre sense. I like to explore liminalities.

What inspired you to write Passage? 

I minored in anthropology as an undergrad, with a special interest in the Celts of Britain and Ireland. I was writing a thesis on Celtic death rituals, which is largely speculative due to a scarcity of archaeological evidence. I came across a discussion of how the Celts may have used the monoliths as a means of connecting themselves psychologically to the landscape, since they had emigrated there, and places like Newgrange and Stonehenge predated their culture considerably. I became so distracted with the idea that I wrote “Passage” instead of what I was meant to be working on. I scribbled it in the middle of my research notes.

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

I’d love to visit Great Britain in the Iron Age – though, to be honest, if the Doctor came to get me, I wouldn’t be picky.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

I feel a closer kinship to ancient religions than to modern ones, at least in a spiritual sense. Our ancestors were more intimately tied to nature and her cycles, and that is reflected in their sacred sites.

What do you have coming out next?

I have poems due out in various magazines, all TBA, and I’ve been invited to participate in some local fiction anthologies. Right now I’m working on a sci-fi story inspired by Egyptian mythology and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and a modern-day fairy tale about a wicked librarian. I’m also working on my second novel, an urban fantasy, and my first poetry collection. I publish updates and links to my work on my blog.

[Shannon Connor Winward's writing has appeared in many venues including: Pedestal Magazine, Flash Fiction Online, Strange Horizons, Illumen, This Modern Writer [Pank Magazine], Hip Mama Zine and the anthologies Twisted Fairy Tales: Volume Two, Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy and Spectacular: Fantasy Favorites. Her poem "All Souls' Day" was nominated for a 2012 Rhysling Award.]

The Alchemy Book of Ancient Wonders is available in paperback and ebook formats from multiple retailers - see the anthology page here for linky links!   

07 April 2013

Ancient Wonders: James Brogden

Aaaaand today we have Ancient Wonders author James Brogden under the spotlight!

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write?

I'm based in the Midlands; grew up in Australia and instantaneously fell in love with the UK as a teenager because of the dense layering of history, myth and legend that exists underfoot everywhere you go. I like to write urban fantasy – which is to say, horror without the clich├ęs. Fantastical elements intruding upon everyday lives.

What inspired you to write “If Street”?

Robert Holdstock, mostly. I love the Mythago Wood books, which are very firmly rooted in the countryside, and have always been curious about what would happen in an urban setting, with all those ancient track ways buried under tarmac and concrete. I've also been researching Sutton Park for another novel, so the place was already stuck in my head. 

If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go?

I'd go to Hadrian's Wall. Not only to see and appreciate the engineering, but also to get that sense that you are really on the edge of the world, that beyond this point there is no law or civilisation as you understand it. When my family moved to England we lived in the Borders, north of the wall, in the kind of place you got posted if you'd really annoyed someone back in Rome. I'd like to talk to them and ask them what that was like – but they'd probably tell me that they're just soldiers doing their jobs and to sod off.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes?

That sense of common humanity which goes beyond time and place. We went on a family trip to Hadrian's Wall one Easter and saw that there was monument to the fallen soldiers of the legions who had been posted there, and it was exactly the same kind of monument you see today in small country villages, and it struck me how similar their feelings and experiences must have been to those of the men and women who are currently posted in, say, Afghanistan. I love old Iron Age hill forts for the same reason. It's mind-blowing to stand in a hut circle three thousand years old and know that here was the place where they cooked their meals, here was the door where a child probably looked out for his friends first thing in the morning. That kind of thing.

What do you have coming out next?

Couple of things: a story called “The Remover of Obstacles” in Anachron Press' anthology Urban Occult, and a second novel, Tourmaline published by Snowbooks, out in July.

[James Brogden was born in Manchester, grew up in Australia, and now lives with his wife and two daughters in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, where he teaches English. His short stories have appeared in the Big Issue, the British Fantasy Society’s Dark Horizons, Gears Levers Volume One, and his first novel, The Narrows, has just been published by Snowbooks. When he's not writing, or trying to teach children how to, he gets out into the mountains exploring the remains of Britain's prehistoric past and hunting for standing stones. Fortunately they don't run very fast. ]

The Alchemy Book of Ancient Wonders is available in paperback and ebook formats from multiple retailers - see the anthology page here for linky links!  

02 April 2013

Ancient Wonders: Peter Crowther

Today's Ancient Wonders interviewee is the legendary Peter Crowther!

Tell us a little about yourself, and what you like to write? 

My real weakness in reading is horror and ghost stories and the kind of SF stories that are filled with awe and wonder ... such as Bradbury, for example. Stephen King is the main man for me simply because of his characterisation. Sure, the stories are good -- well, there's an occasional so-so one but, with the sheer quality of his writing, you can pretty much forgive him anything -- but it's the depth of detail in his backgrounds as well as his foregrounds that puts the guy above anyone else writing today. And just to set my stall fully out, I've read several thousand books ... with faves being the late Robert B Parker, early Updike, Richard Ford, all the classic SF and horror books (and I do mean all), stuff like Wodehouse, early pulps (Prather, Thompson, Goodis and so on), Fitzgerald and on and on and on. What do I like to write? Pretty much the same as what I like to read. I wrote a story called “Tomorrow Eyes” simply because I really wanted to write something Runyonesque, a story called “The Incredible Multiplicity of PhaedraLament” because I wanted to emulate Clarke's White Hart, and so on. So I guess it's the attraction of speaking in a specific voice that attracts me.
What inspired you to write “Gandalph Cohen and the Land at the End of the Working Day”? 

I loved Spider Robinson's tales set in Callaghan's Crosstime Saloon and I've long fancied having my own barroom for the telling of tall tales. “Gandalph Cohen” was the first of them; there are three more, each of them following the same formula ... Jack Fedogan playing jazz on the bar's PA system, the regulars sitting around a table chewing the fat or telling jokes, and a stranger coming into the bar with a “story” to tell or re-enact. There's a nice story concerning these stories and Dave Brubeck ... but I don't want to bore you so I'll tell it another time. Catch me at a convention and ask me about it sometime.

 If the TARDIS could drop you off to any one site in its heyday, where would you go? 

I've always wanted to go back to the late 1950s and go knock on the door of our old house (I was born in 1949, 4 July). I love the idea of my mom or dad opening the door and asking if they could help me while, behind them, this wide-eyed nosy kid stands watching me from behind them, an open book or comic hanging from his hand. And I'd like to go to a US city of that period, with a wad of dollars in my pocket so that I could buy copies of great comic books for just a dime apiece. I wrote a story along these lines called “The Doorway in Stephenson's Store” -- if you read it then please do bear in mind that it was written and published some five years before Stephen King unveiled 11.22.63.

What appeals to you most about ancient sites/landscapes? 

Just seeing the way things used to be. Rightly or wrongly, I am fascinated by (and attracted to) the past. Can't get enough of it.

What do you have coming out next? 

 Just a few stories here and there, and then my long-threatened mainstream novel Thanksgiving ... currently standing at 110,000 words and waiting for the final spurt…

 [Peter Crowther is the recipient of numerous awards for writing, editing, and as publisher of the hugely successful PS Publishing (which includes Stanza Press, the Drugstore Indian mass market paperbacks, PS Visual Entertainment and PS Art Books). As well as being widely translated, his short stories have been adapted for TV on both sides of the Atlantic, and collected in The Longest Single Note, Lonesome Roads, Songs of Leaving, Cold Comforts, The Spaces Between the Lines, The Land at the End of the Working Day and the upcoming Jewels in the Dust. He is the co-author (with James Lovegrove) of Escardy Gap and The Hand That Feeds, and has also written the Forever Twilight SF/horror cycle. He lives and works with his wife and business partner Nicky Crowther on England’s Yorkshire coast.]

The Alchemy Book of Ancient Wonders is available in paperback and ebook formats from multiple retailers - see the anthology page here for linky links