Off to StokerCon!

We head off early in the morning before the sun comes up. I’ll be trying to keep my blog updated… but no promises. It will be a busy next week!

The awards banquet will be live streamed on YouTube, and I’ll try to share the link when I have it.

Follow me on Instagram | Facebook | and Twitter for updates.

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Free “Bitter Suites” for StokerCon Weekend

Final countdown! Bitter Suites will be free at Amazon all weekend to celebrate being selected as a Bram Stoker Awards® finalist.

Thursday we head to StokerCon 2019 in Grand Rapids to celebrate the finer side of horror, and Saturday is the awards banquet. It will be live streamed and I’ll be sharing the link here and on Facebook when available.

Bitter Suites will be free for Kindle from Thursday, May 9, 2019, 12:00 a.m. PDT until Monday, May 13, 2019, 11:59 p.m. PDT. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the software for your tablet, phone or computer here.

 

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Conversation Overheard: Author Attitude Matters

Image by PourquoiPas from Pixabay

I was at an event hosted by our local library the past weekend and I overheard an enlightening conversation between two librarians:

Librarian One: Did you get to meet all the authors you were hunting and get your books signed?

Librarian Two: Almost… I didn’t get books from _______.

Librarian One: Oh yea… I really wanted to meet her but I never found her.

Librarian Two: I don’t wonder why. She blew in like she was some kind of rock star, did a minimal signing and left again. I tried to talk to her when she was setting up but she was pretty unfriendly.

Librarian One: Well, dang. I’m glad I didn’t get a chance to get her books.

Librarian Two: Yea, I was going to buy three or four I don’t have, but now that I know what she’s like in real life I’m a not fan anymore. There’s too many other good authors to read that appreciate us… like ________! Did you meet him? I blew my book budget on everything he had. Can’t wait to review them!

I really don’t have to say much about this—the message is clear. An unfriendly writer lost two readers that day, minimum, and all the sales and reviews that may have come from it. And even worse? They weren’t just any readers, they were librarians, the most wonderful and influential readers of all. Every reader is a treasure, but librarians are professional readers and should be treated as such. I feel bad for what this author lost.

I do get it. Book signings can be overwhelming. Many authors are introverts, so our batteries tend to run dry from too much conversation. She could have been having an emergency, a bad day or her sugar was low. Regardless, the cold shoulder she gave her readers that day has already resulted in missed opportunity.

Just a reminder to us all that readers are what build us. We have to always treat them with appreciation regardless of how we feel. Yes, we go through a lot of hoops to do book signings, but so do they to come and support us.

It’s just the golden rule.

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Unboxing R.A. Smith’s Shadow’s Lament ARC

So proud of my husband, R. A. Smith! He just received the ARC for his first book, Shadow’s Lament, and it looks fantastic! Shadow’s Lament is a 200k word dark fantasy full of exotic peoples, places and situations.

The plot is complicated but not confusing with plenty of emotion texturing the adventures of Thorn and his compatriots as he searches for his lost friend Milia… and himself.

Here’s a short video of him opening his box of ARCs and seeing his book for the first time…

Follow him on Facebook  | Follow him on Instagram!

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Volunteering at LitUp Festival

Today I’ll be spending a few hours with teenagers at the LitUp Festival at the North Independence Library. Just another example of why libraries are so vital to the communities they serve.

Young readers and writers are some of my favorite people—looking forward to an afternoon to talk about books. Thank you to the Mid-Continent Public Library for providing opportunities like this.  

The LitUp Festival is an all-day event that brings Kansas City-area teens and bestselling authors, screenwriters, poets, and illustrators together in conversation.

LitUp will include keynote presentations by bestselling authors Gayle Forman and Jacqueline Woodson, panel discussions YA authors and authors, writing and illustrating workshops, a poetry slam, refreshments, fun activities, and book signings!

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New Tool: Linktr.ee

Who has time to write and social media? It’s a bit of a conundrum. Up front it looks like we can either spend hours on social media with less time for writing or spend hours on writing with less social media. Too much one way and we have nothing worth sharing, too much the other and we find ourselves entertaining crickets.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to streamline your social media and I just discovered a new tool for Instagram this morning: Linktr.ee. I have to credit DreamForge Magazine with finding Linktr.ee first. Check out their Instagram profile here.

Instagram is a powerful social media tool, but until I found Linktr.ee I was limited to one link on my profiles. I linked to my blog and hoped people could navigate where they want from there. Linktr.ee allows you to use your one link more effectively by turning it into a page of simple buttons.

This is wonderful for a few reasons:

  1. You can change your Linktr.ee links as your needs change without changing the link.
  2. You can send people anywhere—a product page, your other social media, an article, YouTube, website… anywhere you can link to.
  3. Linktr.ee is easy to use, free and updates instantly.
  4. The free version has some nice custom options.

I set up Linktr.ee profiles for both of my Instagram accounts: spaceandtimemag and angela_yuriko_smith. Not much has changed on either profile, but you can see from the screenshots that I’ve gained a whole new level of connectability without investing a lot of time.

Now when I share a photo I can point out “Details in my profile link.” I can easily swap out links as well, so if something temporary but exciting happens (a link to livestream the StokerCon banquet comes to mind…) I can add that link for as long as I need it.

Here’s the screenshots to show how the link looks on the profile pages. Let me know if you try Linktr.ee and how it works for you. Any good ideas? Share them in the comments.

Finally, you can find Linktr.ee here.

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Scary Month of May

Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

My goal for this year is to submit my work to more outside publications. I’ve gotten spoiled with self-publishing. Time to get out in the community and stack up those rejection notices… and get my name out there more.

So far, so good. I’ve submitted nine pieces in 2019. Five were accepted, one rejected and three are pending. I started keeping track finally so I can hold myself accountable and know what’s in play.

Right now everything is paused while we prepare for StokerCon. Mr. Smith will be attending with me this year and will have a few ARCs of his soon-to-be-released Shadow’s Lament available.

What’s happening in May:

May 9—12 I’ll be at StokerCon, Grand Rapids, MI.
♦Friday, May 10 at 11 a.m. I’ll be a panelist at Writing to Prompts: Prose, Poetry, and Sources of Inspiration moderated by Marge Simon and with fellow panelists Karen Bovenmyer, Michael Bailey, Linda D. Addison and Michael Arnzen.
♦Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. I’ll be moderating the panel Writing Just Enough: The Novella along with panelists Ellen Datlow, JG Faherty and Usman Mlk.
♦Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. is the highly anticipated Bram Stoker Awards® Banquet. I’m thrilled that Bitter Suites is a Bram Stoker Awards® finalist in the Long Fiction category. I will also have the honor of presenting the Bram Stoker, along with Michael Arnzen, for the poetry category.

May 13 I will be in Pennsylvania to meet Scot and Jane Noel, publishers of DreamForge magazine on my way to New York City where…

…May 15 I’ll be meeting the Grand Patriarch of Space and Time, Gordon Linzner. We will be doing magazine things and (I hope) getting plenty of time to explore NYC. That evening I’ll be honored to be a fly on the wall at KGB Bar listening to poetry and prose read by some of the best writers around.

In the early hours (technically May 16) I’m thrilled to be a guest on Hour of the Wolf with Jim Freund. Freund’s guests on the show have included speculative fiction writers such as Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C Clarke, Lester Del Rey, Samuel R. Delany, Thomas M. Disch, Joe Haldeman, Frank Herbert, Christopher Lee, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frederik Pohl, Baird Searles, Norman Spinrad, Kurt Vonnegut, Gahan Wilson, Roger and Zelazny.

Hour of the Wolf can be heard over 99.5 FM in the NY metropolitan area, on wbai.org, and can be viewed on Facebook Live. I’ll be sharing here when I can. I’m not going to pretend I’m not excited and impressed by this opportunity. I am.

May 16 after the show I’ll be heading out of the city to meet up with former S&T publisher Hildy Silverman. More magazine things and lunch! Afterwards I’ll be driving to Browns Mill’s, NJ to visit The Community News, first newspaper I ever worked for and to hunt for the Jersey Devil. I’ll also be having dinner with Jason Pippen, my first editor ever. On to Baltimore to visit Edgar Allan Poe’s grave again on my way to see my grand kids, my oldest daughter and her husband and, hopefully, a dear old friend.

Submissions for Space and Time issue #134 will open June 1.

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N’tl Poetry Month Poet Round Up

National Poetry Month may be ending today, but I’m just getting started. Everyday is a good day to celebrate poetry. “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar,” said Percy Bysshe Shelley, in A Defence of Poetry and Other Essays.

Today, meet the wonderful poets that have “lifted the veil” in issue #133 of Space and Time magazine. S&T has been sharing issue #133 poets on their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the last few weeks. Here they all are in one spot (aside from the magazine, of course!)


Linda D. Addison

First up, Space and Time magazine’s poetry editor Linda D. Addison—you can read her column “Word Ninja” (a favorite regular feature) on page 22 of issue #133. S&T is thrilled to have Linda curating the poetry selections.

“Linda D. Addison born in Philadelphia, PA is an American poet and writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Addison is the first African-American winner of the HWA Bram Stoker Award®, which she won four times for her collections Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes (2001) and Being Full of Light, Insubstantial (2007) and How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend (2011) and Four Elements (2014). In 2016 Addison received the HWA Mentor of the Year Award and in 2018 she received the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award.

She has published over 300 poems, stories and articles and is one of the editors of Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing), an anthology of horror fiction/poetry by African-American women which is a HWA Bram Stoker finalist. Catch her latest work in anthologies Cosmic Underground (Cedar Grove Publishing), and Scary Out There (Simon Schuster). Addison is a founding member of the writer’s group Circles in the Hair (CITH), and a member of HWA, SFWA and SFPA.”


Jose Quintero

Meet poet Jose Quintero from issue #133 with “Go See the Junkman” (page 9).

“Jose Quintero is a high school English and drama teacher who has just started writing poetry ever since his wife passed with cancer 4 years ago. His first collection of poetry he called, “The Butterfly Collection,” in memory of his wife. His poetry covers a wide spectrum of topics; including, love and romance, fantasy, grief and mourning, and spiritual poems. At present, he directs, acts, and performs in one man shows of biblical characters.”


Claire T. Feild

Meet poet Claire T. Feild from issue #133 with “Dinosauric” (page 48).

“Claire T. Feild has had 435 poems and 7 creative nonfiction stories accepted for publication in 134 different print journals and anthologies such as, The Tulane Review; Freshwater; Ghostlight; Alabama Views and Words; The Muse;Spillway; Poeming Pigeons;Jelly Bucket; The Carolina Quarterly; Slipstream Press; The Horror Zine Magazine; ThePath:A Literary Magazine;Big Muddy:A Journal of the Mississippi Valley; and Literature Today (Volume 5).

Her first poetry book is Mississippi Delta Women in Prism. Her next poetry collection is Southern Women:The1950s. Her third poetry collection is Indigo Blues (Origami Poetry Project). Her first nonfiction book isA Delta Vigil: Yazoo City,Mississippi,the 1950s. Her second nonfiction book is Mississippi Delta Memories. “


William Shaw

Meet poet William Shaw from issue #133 with “A Prophecy” (page 1).

“William Shaw is a poet, blogger, and critic from Sheffield, England. His writing has appeared in Star*Line, The Martian Wave, and Doctor Who Magazine. His first book, The Black Archive: The Rings of Akhaten is forthcoming from Obverse Books. You can find him online atwilliamshawwriter.wordpress.com or on Twitter @Will_S_7″


 

Meet poet Todd French from issue #133 with “#1” (page 1).

“Todd French is a resident of Fountain Valley CA married with three daughters. He wrote and co-wrote two television scripts for the MTV Animated series Aeon Flux (3rd Season 1/2 hour episodes 1995).

His short fiction and poetry has appeared in Space and Time Magazine, Hadrosaur: Tales of The Talisman, Devolution Z, Disturbed Digest, The Night Cafe’, Flesh and Blood Magazine and Mindmares.”


Lily Tierney

Happy National Poetry Month! Meet poet Lily Tierney from issue #133 with “Think Bank” (page 1).

“Lily Tierney’s work has appeared in Harbinger Asylum, Veil: Journal of Darker Musings, The Stray Branch, Illumen Magazine, Polu Texni, and many others. She enjoys reading and writing poetry.”


Terrie Leigh Relf

Meet poet Terrie Leigh Relf from issue #133 with “Revisiting the origins of language” (page 25).

“Terrie Leigh Relf is a lifetime member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association and an active member of the Horror Writers Association. She lives in Ocean Beach, an eclectic beach-area community in San Diego. In addition to being a poet, Relf is also a fiction author, editor, freelance writer, and a writing coach.

A poem she collaborated on with Kendall Evans, “Our Minds Are Jewels of Uncertainty,” has just been nominated for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award. She is the poetry editor for Tales from the Moonlit Path and is on staff at Alban Lake Publishing where she assists with special projects, which includes being the lead editor and contest judge for the somewhat quarterly drabble contests.”


Christina Sng

Meet poet Christina Sng from issue #133 with “The Last of Us” (page 25).

“Christina Sng is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A COLLECTION OF NIGHTMARES (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared in numerous venues worldwide and received nominations in the Rhysling Awards, the Dwarf Stars, and honourable mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and the Best Horror of the Year. Visit her at http://www.christinasng.com/ and connect on social media @christinasng.”


Meet poet Holly Lyn Walrath from issue #133 with “The Space Between Us” (page 26).

“Holly Lyn Walrath’s poetry and short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, Liminality, and elsewhere. She is the author of Glimmerglass Girl (Finishing Line Press, 2018). Find her on Twitter @Hollylynwalrath or at www.hlwalrath.com.


Lisa Timpf

Meet poet Lisa Timpf from issue #133 with “Long Gone” (page 9).

“Lisa Timpf is a retired HR and communications professional who lives in Simcoe, Ontario. Her speculative poetry has appeared in Star*Line, Dreams and Nightmares, Liquid Imagination, Outposts of Beyond and Mobius.”


Roh Morgon

Meet poet Roh Morgon from issue #133 with “Fading” (page 34).

“Roh Morgon dreams up her dark tales while driving through California’s Sierra Nevada foothills. But it’s her time spent in more remote locales—the soaring peaks of Colorado, the windswept plains of Wyoming, the mysterious Carpathian Mountains of Romania—that provides the settings for her stories.

Roh’s best known for her vampire series The Chosen, which includes the novels Watcher, Runner, and the upcoming Seeker: Book III of The Chosen; and the related 1840s historical horror novella The Last Trace and the corporate horror novella The Games Monsters Play.

You can find Roh online at www.rohmorgon.com,https://www.facebook.com/RohMorgonWriter, and Amazon.”


John Reinhart

Meet John Reinhart from issue #133 with “oops” (page 9).

“John Reinhart can be found ruminating in the fields of Maine under the full moon. He writes heart-shaped poems in blood on clear nights and has exhibited a series of invisible portraits of ordinary people inspired by traditional Russian icons.”


Robert Beveridge

Meet poet Robert Beveridge from issue #133 with “Free” (page 26).

“Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in New American Legends, Toho Journal, and Chiron Review, among others.”


 

Meet poet K.B. Kofoed from issue #133 with “Ode to Freeman Dyson” (page 25). A multi-talented creative soul, K.B. Kofoed is also responsible for S&T #133 cover and poster art!

“Karl Kofoed describes himself professionally as wearing two “hats.” One is that of an Art Director and Designer who has worked for advertising agencies and in television as art director and scenic designer. He operates a freelance business from his home called MEMORIES RESTORED, where he specializes in high end archival photo and document restorations.

His other professional hat is that of a science fiction illustrator and writer. He began this page in his life with the Galactic Geographic feature he illustrated and wrote that appeared in Heavy Metal magazine from 1979 to 2004. This work culminated in the 2003 publication, The Galactic Geographic Annual 3003, a “coffee table book from the future” published by Paper Tiger/Sterling books in Britain which is still available on Amazon. He illustrated Mr. Bill in Space with Walter Williams, and has done many book covers and interior illustrations for Asimov’s Magazine, Analog and Space & Time Magazine.

Karl’s five novels are available on Amazon from Baen eBooks: Deep Ice, JOKO, and his sci-fi trilogy Jupiter’s Reef, Farthest Reef, and Infinite Reef.

Karl and his wife Janet, a talented and popular jewelry designer, live in eastern Pennsylvania and are well known in the east coast science fiction community.”


Terran L. Randolph

Meet poet Terran L. Randolph from issue #133 with “Vase of Water, My Soul’s Remedy” (page 48).

Terran L. Randolph has been a poet over 30 years and started slam poetry in Bend Oregon 20 years ago before going on to start the largest poetry slam in Arizona’s history along with poets like Aaron Johnson Christopher, Lane Noraz, and poets taught through high schools from Arizona to Oregon. Four books with art by Joann Lundberg and Three Albums on soundcloud.com/manifest-destiny-4


John Philip Johnson

Meet poet John Philip Johnson from issue #133 with “Mer-love” (page 23).

“John Philip Johnson is a science fiction writer with credits in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Apex, Mythic Delirium, Space and Time, Daily Science Fiction, and elsewhere.

He is working on his second comic book, “Yellow Mars,” with Bob Hall and other artists, due out late 2019. His ambition is to become a gamer, thus landing the trifecta of nerd culture: SF — comics — games.”

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Creepy Reading with Ladies of Horror Prompts

Bela Lugosi once said “It is women who love horror. Gloat over it. Feed on it. Are nourished by it. Shudder and cling and cry out-and come back for more.” The Ladies of Horror can agree with that. We’ve produced another line up of dark flash fiction and poetry on Nina D’Arcangela’s Spreading the Writer’s Word blog.

I’m sharing these a little different this month. I thought it would be interesting to compare how each image inspired different work. Rather than list the ladies in order of post, this time I’m grouping them with their image prompt.

Here’s what’s gone up so far in May:

Bitter Ash
by Naching T. Kassa

Monkey Man
by Elaine Pascale

The Coming and Going of It
by Kim Richards

The Gloves
by Terrie Leigh Relf

Abandoned Ritual
by Suzanne Madron


Murder on Rosehill Lane
by Ashley Davis

Sanatorium
by Ela Lourenco

Heavens Door
by Marge Simon

Shinigami
by Tawny Kipphorn

Tell Our Story
by K.R. Morrison


Salty Air
by Sonora Taylor

Baby
by Scarlett R. Algee

Rain
by Rie Sheridan Rose

Sympathy for Monsters
by Angela Yuriko Smith

Voyeur
by Lydia Prime


The Sitting Room
by Lori R. Lopez

Elegy to a Medium
by A.F. Stewart

The Old Man in My Dreams
by Melissa R. Mendelson

Head Trauma
by Bailey Hunter

Tea for Two
by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

There will be more posts in early May… we still have:

04/30 – Elizabeth Smith
04/30 – Tiffany Mok
05/01 – Leah McNaughton Lederman
05/01 – Kathleen McClusky
05/02 – Sheri White
05/02 – Lisa Lane
05/03 – Heather Roulo
05/03 – Stacey Turner
05/04 – Asena Lourenco

The Ladies of Horror are a diverse group of women dedicated to writing darker things. Each month we write a story or poem based on a photo Nina sends us. We do it for practice, to share ideas… and because this is how we play.

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How Good Writing is Like BDSM

Mr. Smith and I were discussing how to keep a reader hooked this morning over coffee, and I likened good writing to BDSM.

For anyone who doesn’t know, BDSM is an acronym for a specific type of erotic play that may involve any of the following: bondage, dominance, submission and masochism

A good writer, I said, knows how to keep the tension up, even in the lull. The writer’s task is to take control of the reader—keep them on the edge of breaking.

A good writer owns the reader from the first sentence. The reader cracks the book, and the writer cracks the whip. Every good writer should seek domination over their readers.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much the reader/writer relationship is similar to what I understand about BDSM. Submissives say there is freedom in someone else calling the shots.

“For a few hours of play I can lose control in a safe environment. I can be at someone’s mercy and not take charge, and there’s nothing more liberating than that,” says one unnamed sub in an interview with Sarah Brown.

Substitute “reading” for the word “play” in that quote, and it’s what every writer wants to hear about our work. We seek to transport readers to a place where they can experience any horror safely.

I say horror, but I’m not limiting the BDSM reader/writer relationship to my own favorite genre. Every writer must exercise strict control of the reader no matter what genre. Romance writers create a world where no one worries about STDs and pregnancy. Passion is paramount and justifies all logic. Science fiction and fantasy… don’t get me started.

I’m not advocating every writer I know to run out and purchase a latex gimp suit. I’m not even saying how any of us should write. I’m simply making a connection, albeit a colorful one, about the craft of scribbling for fun and profit.

The stereotypical writer is often seen as a socially awkward individual, but get us between the (paper) sheets and find out who’s boss. I may have to get a riding crop for my writing room as a reminder.

(Note: I’m no expert on BDSM, so no private messages about morality or invites, please and thank you.)

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