blogs

All posts in the blogs category

Author Interview: Sean Taylor

Published March 6, 2015 by admin

One day I hope to be as cool as Sean Taylor. That is the mantra by which I live my life.

Seriously, Sean is an awesome guy, a talented writer, and a great friend of mine. I’ve been doing roundtables at his blog for a long time, so it’s finally time to deliver some payback. I’m always interested in writers that work in areas that aren’t my strong points, and his work in pulp and comics has had me fascinated for years. I’m still trying to keep up with him and learn from his experience, and talking to him at conventions is always fun. He’s also a great dance partner, if you don’t mind him dropping you on the floor.

So bringing back the infamous SJ author interview, here is the incomparable Sean Taylor!

SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?

Sean: I’m a notoriously outliner. It comes from my comic book scripting. When all I wrote was short stories and didn’t care too much about the word count, I could always ignore that plotting voice inside my head, but the first time I tried that with a comic book script, I got to page 20 and realized I still needed 10 more pages to tale before page 22. So, I focused then and there on becoming a better plotter on the front end of a story.

Once my plots are in place, then it’s off to Starbucks to make the magic happen. I write better at the ‘Bucks because I can simulate the office experience when I’m there. I can stop and chat with the baristas or I can “close my door” (with earbuds and Global Chill on Pandora) and hunker down to work. I need the constant mix of social and private when I write. Weird, I admit.

SJ: Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?

Sean: As cool as that would be, sadly no. My quirkiest habit when writing is probably something boring like blogging in the middle of writing time. I’m pretty boring when I’m writing. But to be fair, I’m pretty when I’m not writing too.

SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power? 

Sean: I love the muse. I like to sleep with her as often as I can (thank you, Mr. Gaiman). I plan for my writing time, but I like to keep myself free for sudden inspiration too. I usually have my USB stick on me so I can write whatever the muse hits me with, whether I’m at home, at Starbucks, at work, visiting my family, etc.

SJ:bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?

Sean: My muse would look like Knockout from DC comics most of the time, a gorgeous redhead with big muscles who would beat me up whenever I got distracted and make me focus again. At other times, when inspiration was rolling and I wasn’t having to pull teeth to get words out, she would look like old-school Poison Ivy, because, deadly redheads are not just sexy, but cool too.

SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?

Sean: Oooooh. That would have to be “Once Upon a Time” from my Show Me a Hero collection. It’s about a superhero mom who may or may not be the cause of her son’s leukemia. And only her archenemy can save her son. I won’t give away the ending, but it’s a story that shows me over and over again what the true power of being a hero is.

SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?

Sean: Action/adventure. Hands down. Besides, I tend to sprinkle bits of literary tidbits into my genre writing anyway.

SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?

Sean: The biggest downside is that it’s a difficult job to pull off as a full time career, unless you’ve “been discovered” and have access to promotion dollars and the general public at large. There are way too many ideas and not nearly enough hours in the week to devote to them. I wish we had the old model from the past where artists were supported by patrons and lived in castles with nothing to do but paint and write and be shown off at parties.

(note from SJ: if anyone figures out how to go back to this, please feel free to contact me…)

SJ: If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?

Sean: If I had to be stuck, I’d pick the world of Rick Ruby. I think I was born in the wrong time anyway, and the days post the Jazz Age just really resonate with me. Sure, times were tough, but I’ve lived most of my adult like in a recession anyway, so I could handle that as long as there was someone like Evelyn to sing the blues away and Edie to take my calls.

If I had to put a loved one in a story, that would be tough because my wife prefers cozy mysteries and Jane Austen. Sadly, I don’t she’d find much happiness dwelling in any of my work.

As for an enemy, I think the world of Zombies vs. Robots would be a fitting end. How’s that?

SJ:Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?

Sean: If there is a sure-fire recipe, I haven’t found it. At this point, I’m still waiting to be discovered after all my hard work and networking and marketing so I can be another of those 20-year veteran “overnight” sensations.

What’d I’d prefer to find is a sure-fire recipe for groundswell, grassroots marketing.

(Note from SJ: Word.)

SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?

Sean: Go for it. But don’t get cocky. And when you realize this gig is a lot of hard work, stick with it. Or get out. The rest of us will need the room and the market share.

SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.

Sean: The “genre I write.” That’s funny considering how many genres I actually write. I guess if I have to pick the one that most defines me at this point it would be adventure writing (although that easily covers noir, hardboiled, pulp, horror, sci-fi, and superheroes). As for defending it, that’s easy. It’s the literary language of the common man and woman. One look at the best-sellers will show you that. People want escape, adventure, when they read, and my kind of writing is always ready to meet that need.

SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?

Sean: He took the genre and elevated it. I know that’s hoity-toity of me, and makes me a bit of an elitist snob, but it’s what I want. The heart wants, and so forth.

SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!

Sean: How ‘bout if I just list a few of the thinks I have coming up this year. I did the math the other day and realized that I’ve been so busy that if I stopped writing today for at least six months, I’d still have 10 stories coming out this year in collections. Among them:

“A Tree Falls in a Forest,”The Ruby Files Vol. 2 (Airship 27)
”The Face of the Yaun Gui,” Asian Pulp (Pro Se)

“The Hubris of Gods,” Black Pulp (Pro Se)

Spy Candy #1: The Dead Man Wore Stockings (Pro Se Signature Series)

“Gatsby,” The New Deal: Masks and Mutants (Pro Se)

“The Truth Will Set You Free,” Hookerpunk (Dark Oak)

“Not So These City Beasts,” Capes & Clockwork #2 (Dark Oak)

 If people want to keep up with my work and what’s coming up, they can visit me at my Writer’s blog, Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fisted Action, at http://seanhtaylor.blogspot.com. From there, they can link out to all my other digital homes on the web, from Facebook to Twitter to my official website.

 ***

Big, big thanks to Sean for coming on here, and for all the help and support through the years!

Night Owl Reviews Winter Booklovers Contest!

Published November 10, 2014 by admin

So I know I don’t have to ask if we all like books, right? Of course we do, especially now that it’s getting cold and it’s all fun and cozy to curl up with a good read before bed or during a lazy afternoon (so I’m told. I have no idea what the concept of a lazy afternoon is, but I’ve heard it’s lovely).

So if I tell you there’s a chance to win gift cards so you could just get all the fun reads you want, you’d be into that, right?

Yeah, I know, I’m speaker of the obvious. It’s part of my charm.

What this really translates to is that Night Owl Reviews is doing their Winter Booklovers Contest from Nov 10-Dec 10 (right in time for holiday shopping, too)! Check out the site, go to the rafflecopter, and enter to win some truly fantastic prizes in Amazon Gift Cards.

You can enter to win here! 

Or you can hit the graphic in my sidebar while the contest is still going on!

And, of course, be sure to check out all the awesome books by the authors who are participating!

Hot summer bash giveaway

Published August 13, 2014 by admin

So, to perk things up a little bit….

I’m taking part in a giveaway with a bunch of other talented authors from several different genres. Like urban fantasy? Like romance? Like speculative fiction? Like just plain good ol’ stuff to read? Like a big fat amazon gift card?

Aha, now I have your attention…

I’m one of the authors taking part in the Hot Summer Bash. You can find out how you can win and who all’s involved by checking out this blog post and obeying the almighty rafflecopter.  No sunscreen or bug repellent involved! it’s that easy!

So check it out and spread it around!

Available again! Mooner

Published June 28, 2014 by admin

It’s back it’s back it’s back! I’m so very excited to have Mooner back in print through Mocha Memoirs Press. Not only did it give me a chance to tighten up parts of the story, but I’ve also been able to include a glossary of Lumberjack Vocabulary, as well! For those who aren’t familiar with the title, this is my take on historical vampire fiction via 1800’s lumber camp life. It combines my love of history, my love of vampires, my love of creepy, slow-burn stories into something that I’m really quite proud of. So let’s take a look, because it’s my blog and I can totally do that.

 

Mooner72dpi

Kindle         Nook      MMP Store

Like many young men at the end of the 1800s, Bill signed on to work in a logging camp. The work is brutal, but it promised a fast paycheck with which he can start his life. Unfortunately, his role model is Big John. Not only is he the camp’s hero, but he’s known for spending his pay as fast as he makes it. On a cold Saturday night they enter Red’s Saloon to forget the work that takes the sweat and lives of so many men their age. Red may have plans for their whiskey money, but something else lurks in the shadows. It watches and badly wants a drink that has nothing to do with alcohol. Can Bill make it back out the shabby door, or does someone else have their own plans for his future?

And now, let’s have an excerpt since it’s been so very long…

Nancy shuffled back towards the bar, casting a wary look over her shoulder. “Red, he’s back,” she breathed as she scooped up another tray and fled to the other side of the room. Upon closer inspection the youth realized that it wasn’t a pile of something. It was a figure draped in a patchwork of skins then cloaked with half-torn, moldy furs. Most who passed his way quickly avoided him, though whether it was because of his odd looks or his smell it was hard to say.

Red hissed through his teeth and ran a sweating hand through his thick, flame-colored mane. “Tom Haskins,” he mumbled under his breath for the benefit of those crowded around him.

“I thought he lived on the edge of town,” Jack replied, equally low, and glared down the length of the bar.

“He tried to start a dry good store and it didn’t go over too well. He had it in his mind that he could make up his loss with fur, though he ain’t no trapper. Moved out to the woods weeks ago and comes into town every so often to hang round and get his fix. Just when I think he’s finally died out there he comes round again.”

Not once did the saloon proprietor take his eyes off the body hunched over a table. Every breath made his ragtag cloak shudder and every moldy hair on him quivered.

“You want me to kick him out?” Jack offered, already shifting his weight.

“Nah, let him warm up at least. He doesn’t do much; just pesters everyone for drink now that he can’t afford it for himself. Give him time and he’ll be up to his tricks.”

Bill couldn’t stop staring. The pile of sloughed animals slumped as the man’s head rose. His skin was a cold gray and stretched taught across his face and hands. His hair had all but fallen out, but what was still left of it hung in clumps of long, ragtag strands that were paler than dried straw. His thin-lipped mouth was open and he sucked in air in painful, erratic pants.

“Look at ‘im! Actin’ like a piglet pulled away from its ma’s teat!” Big John sneered. “I bet his clothes are fulla maggots!”

“It’s too cold for maggots,” Ben snorted. “His clothes are thin. Wonder how the hell he stands bein’ out in the woods in weather like this.”

“We do it,” Bill muttered.

The recluse’s head jerked at the sound of his voice. The young man immediately snapped his mouth shut.

“Yeah, but we’re used to it! And younger’n he ever was!” John’s voice was purposefully loud and it carried the haughty tone that won him admiration from the other loggers. “He’s durn crazy, that’s why he don’t notice. All that time on your own turn you yaps, man?”

Tom’s head very slowly shifted towards them and Bill shuddered. There were days he’d survived the logging camp and the extreme conditions by willpower and prayer alone, all the while wondering in the back of his head what it would be like if he didn’t have even that. Looking at the vagrant, he knew.

Ben was cursing behind them. “I saw him not more than a month ago and he didn’t look like that. Solitary life don’t turn a man in that short a’ time! Maybe he’s got rabies or fever ‘n’ ague.”

Tom’s eyes sat so far back in his skull that it was impossible to tell what color they were, though they harbored a steady, unsettling gleam. They roved over the huddled group, searching hungrily for an easy mark. Bill’s heart plummeted to his boots when the hollow glitter locked onto him. He was suddenly as cold as he was when a seventh-year blizzard hit. All the frustrations and hell he’d endured since joining the logging team, all his good intentions and reasons, all that he was trying to move forward to swelled and jumbled together in a brief, howling wind of thought. The two distant stars in Tom’s eyes were the only thing that pegged him as a stable man in his otherwise rotting and dozy appearance.

All around the little group the saloon’s weekend life went on. The distant sound of swearing and dice clattering across the floor mixed with discordant harmonies and a half-hearted mouth organ. But in the area by the bar, all was muffled and still. It was like the snows had come without warning over the forest, smothering everything in their path with chilled silence. Bill shuddered and out of the corner of his eye he noticed Red do the same.

“You want I should knock his ears down, Red?” John’s bravado was the sudden yell that knocked the snow from the treetops, for good or ill. He had the relaxed look of a man who’d been in his cup just enough to throw caution to the wind. “I’ll toss him out and give ‘im a case of smallpox he won’t forget!”

“Leave be, John,” the barkeep muttered. His hand never stopped wiping down the bar and though his head was tilted down to his task, his eyes were set on their target across the room.

“What…what you want me to do for a drink?” At first it didn’t register that Tom had actually spoken. His voice was high and reedy and cracked the way the thinnest ice along the river did.

“Pardon?”

“What you want me to do for a drink?” His lips cracked when his mouth moved. A thin trail of spittle dripped off his lower lip and was quickly caught up by the tip of the derelict’s seeking tongue. The distant gleam in Tom’s eyes burned as his mouth formed the last word. Otherwise, it was hard to say how he’d made it into the saloon; he looked more than a little dim.

The rustle of skirts made Bill look behind him. Nancy had come around once more and was sliding her empty tray on the bar with more hesitation than usual. “Don’t you boys take the bait. Last time he came in here he swallowed a handful of live spiders. I’ve seen him gulp down tadpoles and minnows, too.”

“Why?” Bill breathed, though the word was a vague whisper in his own ears.

“The woods didn’t make him picky, that’s for certain,” Nancy muttered.

“I’ve seen him bite the heads off rodents, and even a chicken. The body still wriggled for a good minute after,” Red agreed. “When he says he’ll do anything, he means it.”

John’s rugged, dirty face lit like a beacon that was up to no good. “Will he now?”

The vagrant scratched himself somewhere under the skins and let himself be regarded by the knot of loggers.

“Whatever you’re planning to do, leave be!” Nancy hissed. “Red, can’t you just pour him somethin’?”

“If I do that for him I’ll end up startin’ a riot.”

“Then we’ll settle this like men,” John breezed, rolling up the sleeves of his mackinaw to show the lines of scars received as proof of his time on skid road. “So what, exactly, will you do for a shot of ol’ Red’s firewater, huh Tom?”

***

What, indeed, heh.

Also, feel free to check out some blog posts relating to horror and  Mooner that I’ve done lately.

A post talking about the different sorts of vampires that I like in fiction and film, with some recommendations is here 

A post talking about how family vacations, a love of vampires, and my love of history warped me for life can be found here

And, slightly related, I’m talking about being a woman and writing horror here

TCM Presents: Hero’s Best Friend

Published June 18, 2014 by admin

HerosBestFriendTourBadge (1)

 

I’m really happy to be a host for this book. I love interesting anthology topics, plus today’s post is by an author who is not only an up-and-coming talent, but a friend of mine! First, though, you know the rules! Let’s check out the book…

HerosBestFriendCover1200X800

 

Print      Kindle

How far would Gandalf have gotten without Shadowfax? Where would the Vault Dweller be without Dogmeat? And could the Beastmaster been the Beastmaster without his fuzzy allies? Animal companions are more than just sidekicks. Animals can be heroes, too!

Found within are twenty stories of heroic action that focuses on the furries and scalies who have long been the unsung heroes pulling their foolish human buddies out of the fire, and often at great sacrifice-from authors both established and new, including Frank Creed, S. H. Roddey, and Steven S. Long.

Whether you’re a fan of Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Science Fiction, or just animal stories in general, this is the anthology for you!

So sit back, kick your feet up, and find out what it truly means to be the Hero’s Best Friend.

Featured in Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions:

Joy Ward: “Toby and Steve Save the World”

Frank Creed: “Dusk”

Cassie Schau: “The Hunter’s Boy”

Steven Donahue: “Grit”

Jason Cordova: “Hill 142”

Herika R. Raymer: “Dook”..

Essel Pratt: “Brothers”.

Lisa Hawkridge: “Ezra’s Girl”.

S. H. Roddey: “Look What the Cat Dragged In.”

Steven S. Long: “The Wolf Sentinel”

Laura Anne Ewald: “Memorandum”

Cindy Koepp: “The Hat”.

Ian Hunter: “Scarheid in the Glisting”.

Steven Grassie: “The Masterless”.

David Wright: “Wind of Change”

Renee Carter Hall: “The Emerald Mage”..

Nick Bryan: “The Violet Curse”..

Lillian Csernica & Kevin Andrew Murphy:

“The Restless Armadillo”.

Douglas J. Ogurek: “Stuck on the Squigglybounce”

Sheila Deeth: “Passage”

***

And now, check out Herika R. Raymer, author of “Dook”!

***

Hello, Herika R Raymer here. Lately I have been referring to myself as a “speculative fiction bookwright, because I hope to get a book right”. Play on words yes, but for whatever reason the term “bookwright” appeals to me. It would figure that it is supposed to be more of a joke than a real term. Still, I like it – so I am using it.

What do I write? Right now, short stories mostly. I am hoping to get a singular work out, or at least submitted, before the end of the year. Looking promising, but it will take work to have it ready by the self-inflicted deadline. Recently I was delighted to be informed that a short story of mine, “Dook”, had been selected for Scott Sandridge’s anthology Hero’s Best Friend. Knowing that the theme was about the unsung sidekicks of the spotlight figures, it was encouraging to know that my story – written about ferrets – had made the cut. Incidentally, that is where the title “Dook” comes from: it is their laughter.

Why did I think of ferrets? Well, I knew that the first animals to be submitted would be dogs and/or cats and I wanted to write about another four legged friend. Instantly I remembered a friend of mine, whose namesake I used with permission (Amber), who had ferrets. I recalled their play and their movements, the amusing noises they made, and some of the stories she told about them. Clever creatures, I decided to do a bit more research on them. The stories I read were adorable and hilarious, and all gave me the general idea I needed to mold the ferrets of my tail – er tale. Amber and her ferrets were the protagonists, now to just give them a villain to thwart. It was a short story, so I make the motivation to overcome relatively straightforward – greed.

Want to know more? Please feel free to read the story and find out who Amber and her clever companions are trying to outwit.

Herika R. Raymer grew up consuming books – first by eating them, later by reading them. Her mother taught her the value of focus and hard work while her father encouraged her love literature and art; so she has been writing and doodling off and on for over 30 years. After much encouragement, Mrs. Raymer finally published a few short stories and has developed a taste for it. She continues to send submissions, sometimes with success, and currently has a collection of stories in the works. She is the Assistant Editor for a science fiction magazine and Lead Editor for a horror magazine. A participant of the voluntary writer/artist/musician cooperative known as Imagicopter, Herika R. Raymer is married with two children and a dog in West Tennessee, USA.

Her website is at: herikarraymer.webs.com
Her Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Herika-R-Raymer-WriterEditor/218450834882572?ref=ts&fref=ts

ScottSandridge

About the editor: Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.

 Twitter:

https://twitter.com/scottmsandridge

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/smsandwrites

Website/Blog:

http://smsand.wordpress.com

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5772749-scott-sandridge

 

 

Giveaways, guest posts, reviews, and all the rest

Published May 27, 2014 by admin

Wow, it was a busy start to the week yesterday! Time to catch everyone up before we move on to fun stuff today. I’ve got reviews, guest posts, a giveaway…it’s time to break it down (I feel like there should be a joke here, but I have no idea and my brain keeps strict joke and pun hours and is not having it at all).

Bitten by Books – I’m part of the Six Year Blogaversary giveaway, specifically day six, major prize 2. You could win a $20 Amazon gift card from me, signed books from Jim Butcher (I KNOW!), Alexandra Ivy, Lara Adrian, and some fun author swag. Share the link and be sure to enter to win!

Witches, Vampires, and Me Oh My – This blog is run by my friend Crymsyn Hart and she graciously allowed me to terrorize it with a guest post introducing Olde School and the ins and outs of Kingdom City. If you haven’t gotten into the title yet and want a brief introduction, this is the place to get it!

SpecMusicMuse – Scott Sandridge had me here yesterday, as well (I know, I don’t know when I got so fancy, either!). Not only did he give Olde School a wonderful, insightful review, but he has an interview where we talk about the conception of Kingdom City, how I navigated the character of Paddlelump, and, of course, music. Find out why he says “I enjoyed reading Olde School so much that I nearly forgot that I was reviewing it. The story pulled me in and refused to let me leave.” And I am totally putting that on a sampler at some point.

Manic Readers – Talking about the book here, as well. I go into a little bit about why I’ve put together the elements I have for the title, and delve a little bit into my love of folklore. Good, good stuff from a great blog for authors.

 

So be sure to check all those out (I’ll wait), and I’m sure someone Kingdom City-ish at some point will be along to put something fun up.

 

 

 

TCM Presents: A Chimerical World Anthology

Published May 25, 2014 by admin

AChimericalWorldBadge

 

I’m really excited to host this particular tour. I absolutely love faeries and tales of their worlds and antics. I grew up on faerie tales, fell in love with Irish folktales in my tweens, and have consumed work by artists like Brian Froud with a fervor. It brings me great pleasure to tell you about these books, so I’m going to get right to it!

 

TalesoftheSeelieCourt1200X800

Print           Kindle

The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the first volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Seelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the “good” faeries. But “good” and “evil” are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.

Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Seelie Court, from authors both established and new, including George S. Walker, Eric Garrison, and Alexandra Christian.

But be warned: these faeries are nothing like Tinker Bell.

Stories Included in Tales of the Seelie Court:

“Extra-Ordinary” by BC Brown

“Dead Fairy Doormat” by George S. Walker

“Taggers” by Christine Morgan

“Wormwood” by Alexandra Christian

“The Harpist’s Hand” by Steven S. Long

“Sanae’s Garden” by Chantal Boudreau

“Mark of Ruins” by SD Grimm.

“Birdie’s Life at the School for Distressed Young Ladies” by JH Fleming

“Cultivated Hope” by Jordan Phelps

“Seelie Goose” by Eric Garrison

“I Knocked Up My Fairy Girlfriend” by Brandon Black

“The Body Electric” by Sarah Madsen.

“The Last Mission” by Cindy Koepp.

“The Beggar-Knight & the Lady Perilous”

by Matthew A. Timmins.

“The Filigreed Lamp” by Edward Ahern.

“Keys” by Michael M. Jones

“Like a Sister in the Proper Court” by Lisa Hawkridge

“Gnome Games” by Saera Corvin

“The Goat Man’s Garden” by Marten Hoyle

TalesoftheUnseelieCourt_Cover1200X800

Print    Kindle

 The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the second volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Unseelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the “evil” faeries. But “good” and “evil” are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.

Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Unseelie Court, from authors both established and new, including Michael Shimek, Deedee Davies, and Nick Bryan.

But don’t be surprised if these faeries decide to play with their food.

Stories included in Tales of the Unseelie Court:

“In Plain Sight” by Rebecca Leo

“The Wunderhorn” by David Turnbull

“Treehouse” by Kim Smith

“I’ll Watch Over You” by Angeline Trevena

“The Enemy of my Enemy” by Deedee Davies.

“Maestro” by Nicholas Paschall

“Prey of the Boggart” by Rony Blechman.

“Fear of Little Men” by Mike Pieloor..

“Faerie Stories and the Bean Nighe” by Carmen Tudor..

“Gifts” by Michael Shimek..

“Djinn and Tonic” by S. Clayton Rhodes

“The Bet” by Jodi Ralston…

“The Fool and his Money” by Nick Bryan

“The Yielding” by J. A. Ironside.

“The Tamer of Beasts” by Doug Blakeslee..

“The Last Sword of Barrow Thorns” by Matthew A. Timmins

“The Rose and the Dragon” by Steven S. Long

“The Brothers Doran” by John A. McColley

“Wonderland” by Stephanie Jessop

***

I got the chance to interview my bud Scott Sandridge about these anthologies, so I’m really excited to see what he has to say.

SJ: First off, why faeries? What attracts you to the world of the Good Neighbors enough to want to do a two volume anthology set about them?

SS: Why not? :p

 Okay, now for the long answer. Stephen Zimmer contacted me about editing an anthology for Seventh Star Press, so I pitched a few theme ideas. Among the ideas I pitched was an anthology about animal companions (Hero’s Best Friend) and what I had originally planned to be a flipbook anthology about faeries from both Courts. Out of the half dozen ideas I had pitched, he liked those two so much that he asked me if I was crazy enough to edit two anthologies at the same time. And just like a crazy madcap, I said yes.

 But I received so many great stories about faeries that there was no way I could fit all the stories I wanted into a single volume, so we decided to toss out the flipbook idea and go with a two volume set instead. And that’s why we have Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.

 SJ: Did you grow up reading about the Folk? What are some of your favorite stories or classic themes involving them?

 SS: When I was a kid, my sister and I took turns reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream out loud, and I was hooked on faeries since. My sister’s mom, who I called Mammy, had the most awesome collection of Shakespeare plays and fairy tales books around (and I’m not talking about the Disney stuff, either; although, we had the old cartoons of those to watch, too).

As a side note, Mammy also had the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and a bunch of art books and science books (and read ALL of it), and yet she was also a Christian fundamentalist. So people who say fundamenalists are ignorant, dumb and illiterate don’t know who the heck they’re talking about. A person’s belief system has nothing to do with a person’s I.Q. [/end random rant that came out of nowhere]

I always enjoyed the magical “otherness” found in faeries of all types, whether they be the classic elves, dwarves, and goblins or the phookas and unclassifiables. You never can quite predict what they’ll do.

 SJ: It seems as if there’s been a re-awakening in the interest of faeries within the past twenty or thirty years or so, especially among artists like Brian Froud and authors like Holly Black. Why do you think this subject matter is so timeless? Is there still room for more tales of the Folk, or is all the mainstream interest drying up the reservoir, as it were?

SS:I think it’s because we see a lot of ourselves in the Folk as well as a lot of what we wish we could be and hope we never become. There’s something about them that’s both alien and familiar all at the same time. And I don’t think the wellspring will ever dry up entirely, for they are the product of pure imagination and creativity. Their shapes and forms might change with the times, but their core essence is everlasting.

 SJ: What draws you to the editing process? As an author, I definitely know the importance of strong editors, but it’s not a role that I’m necessarily drawn to, personally. What’s the allure?

SS: Originally I never set out to be an editor. I only wanted to be a writer. But after selling a few short stories to Double-Edged Publishing’s webzines (specifically The Sword Review; Dragons, Knights, and Angels; Ray Gun Revival; and later Mindflights), Johne Cook asked if I’d like to be a slush reader for RGR, and since I don’t know how to say no….

One event lead to another and through some unforeseen circumstances I found myself at Fear and Trembling Magazine as their managing editor for four years. It was at that time I caught the editing bug.

There’s a good feeling that comes with being able to find a gem in the rough and to work with an author in polishing that baby up so the world can see it. Finding already polished gems, of course, is a lot less work. Lol!

SJ:  Is the process of editing an anthology more or less difficult or fun than editing a regular novel?

SS: I don’t know if there’s a difference in difficulty, after all you still have to make sure all the spelling and punctuation is correct at the end of the day, but the process is different. With a novel, you’re working with one author unless it’s a collab, but even then it’s two authors at most. With an anthology, you’re working with multiple authors at the same time.

SJ: What can readers expect from the stories in this collection?

 Faeries. Lots and lots of faeries: from elves to trolls to everything in between, prankish faeries, vindictive faeries, and even the occasional nice ones. And we span across different genres, from fantasy to sword & sorcery, “fairy tale” type stories, and even some science fiction and cyberpunk. Oh, and Horror.

SJ: Since the books are divided into stories of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, who do you think would come out ahead in a modern battle between the two? Do you think each court would be pleased with the volume paying tribute to them?

That’s a tough call. Both Courts sport some pretty tough contenders, and even Seelie can be ruthless when they wish to be. But the Unseelie never fight fair, so they’d have the advantage on that end.

 I hope both Courts are pleased. Angering one faerie is bad enough. I would hate to anger them all….

 Wait. What was that in the dark creepy corner? OH SHI–!

***

Yep. I know that final sentiment well from writing in those realms. At any rate, be sure to check Scott out at all his links, and definitely check out the books! And for all the courts, well, If we shadows have offended…and all that <g>

ScottSandridge

Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court. 

Twitter

 Facebook

 Website/Blog

 Goodreads