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Don’t read Indie?

Published June 10, 2015 by admin

I’ve started the unthinkable this week. I’m hardcore trying to organize my life. This may not seem like much, but those who know me know that this is the equivalent of me training for the olympics or attempting to fly to the moon with the power of my own arms. Of all the Virgo traits in the world, organization is the one I don’t have.

I’ve been doing things in mini-sweeps for the sake of my sanity, which brought me to my closet and bookcase yesterday…which got me thinking. I read. A lot. I don’t tend to obsessively buy books, preferring the library, but I’ve noticed an odd trend in my habits. I have my bookcase full of nostalgic stuff, my favorites, etc. I have a box in my closet filled with titles that won’t fit in my bookcase. Then I have the stacks from the library. Beyond the stuff I love that I’ve read, I have a lot of titles that I’ve picked up in recent years that I haven’t touched in favor of library stacks.

The thing is, it seems that I’m subconsciously making the choice to go after big-press titles over small press or indie. Which seems hypocritical, which is why it fascinates me. There are just as many big press titles that I’ve hated as there are small press, and I’m just as hesitant to buy an unfamiliar big press title. However, I am noticing that I don’t buy many books at cons anymore. As much as I believe in supporting authors, it gets expensive,and, quite honestly, I’ve been burned by blindly buying from people at cons. Which sucks because I feel like I should like things, but if I can’t it feels strangely personal. I feel horribly guilty. It’s partially why I don’t do official reviews here – it’s a conflict of interests and I want to maintain the friendships I have.

Still, though, I don’t like to waste money, so why am I putting off the small press/self-pub titles I own? Is this an overall trend? On FB I’m part of book groups and it looks like certain genres have tons of people buying self-pub/small press titles, people who are amazingly loyal to those authors and vocal, which also frustrates me because I haven’t gotten to that level yet. Is it a genre thing? Something else I’m missing? Some weird karma for my own reading choices?

I don’t consciously make the decision, though I do think I’m at the library more than I am digging through my closet or personal stacks (to be fair I’ve had some things piled in front of those, which also doesn’t help my case, but still). There are small press authors I truly love. Is it a competition thing? I don’t know. It also makes me wonder what the general public’s feeling on these titles is.

Is a book a book equally? Are you going to give it a chance no matter where it comes from? My grandmother used to buy stacks of books from thrift stores and garage sales without prejudice, so does it matter for you if a title comes from a convention or a book fair instead of a big franchise store or the library?

I’m curious – is there something that would make you choose one or the other, or do the things that make a title weak (bad presentation, bad writing, etc) nonexclusive to the type of publishing it goes through?

I’d love to get opinions on this. I’m going to try to make an effort to go through more of my stash, though admittedly I have a few stacks of things I really, really want to read at the moment before I get there. Which makes me wonder if I’m putting up walls, which gives me artistic guilt. Do I have some selective creative ADD? I want to support people. Is giving an author money enough, or is it nothing if you’re not actively talking about their titles, making sure you read things right out of the gate? It makes me shudder to think that most people who’ve bought my books possibly haven’t read them. There goes the whole point of my creative life, my dream, and yet here I am turning around doing it to others, and I hate that. I want to use the excuse that there are only so many hours in the day, but is that fair? I don’t know.

What about you? Do you choose books based on a certain company/type of publication? Do you care where it comes from? Do you think there is a certain favoritism in the general public when it comes to choosing titles to read, or is it just that bigger houses can market better? Tell me your thoughts and let’s figure this out!

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TCM Presents: A Chimerical World Anthology

Published May 25, 2014 by admin

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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!

 

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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

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 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. 

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SSP Spring Fling: Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Published March 27, 2014 by admin

And of course the Spring Fling wouldn’t be complete without the Writer’s Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy! This is not only a great title, but an important one. You’ll find all sorts of essays by some amazing authors in here to give you a well-rounded view of what it means to write genre fiction.

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Kindle     Nook         Kobo

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy is a collection of essays and interviews by and with many of the movers-and-shakers in the industry. Each contributor covers the specific element of craft he or she excels in. Expect to find varying perspectives and viewpoints, which is why you many find differing opinions on any particular subject.

This is, after all, a collection of advice from professional storytellers. And no two writers have made it to the stage via the same journey-each has made his or her own path to success. And that’s one of the strengths of this book. The reader is afforded the luxury of discovering various approaches and then is allowed to choose what works best for him or her.

Featuring essays and interviews with:
Neil Gaiman
Orson Scott Card
Ursula K. Le Guin
Alan Dean Foster
James Gunn
Tim Powers
Harry Turtledove
Larry Niven
Joe Haldeman
Kevin J. Anderson
Elizabeth Bear
Jay Lake
Nancy Kress
George Zebrowski
Pamela Sargent
Mike Resnick
Ellen Datlow
James Patrick Kelly
Jo Fletcher
Stanley Schmidt
Gordon Van Gelder
Lou Anders
Peter Crowther
Ann VanderMeer
John Joseph Adams
Nick Mamatas
Lucy A. Snyder
Alethea Kontis
Nisi Shawl
Jude-Marie Green
Nayad A. Monroe
G. Cameron Fuller
Jackie Gamber
Amanda DeBord
Max Miller
Jason Sizemore

This edition also includes several full page illustrations from award-winning artists Matthew Perry and Bonnie Wasson

Interviewed by Lily Byrne

Published December 3, 2013 by admin

I’m incredibly behind, as is evident by the fact that I haven’t had a chance to talk about a really insightful set of interview questions I was given last month. Lily Byrne  interviewed me at the end of October, and we talked about Lost in the Shadows, my background, my writing process, future projects, the works. She asked some great things, and I hoped I replied with even a small amount of dignity, since it was during the time of year where I was just trying to stay sane (did I mention she’s brave? heh).

Thanks again to Lily Byrne for taking the time to interview me.

Everyone be sure to check out the results here!

 

Feel the Fire II Contest!

Published November 30, 2013 by admin

It’s back, bigger, and better than ever! Seventh Star Press is reprising it’s Feel The Fire contest from last year, where you could win a Kindle Fire HDX, a $50 Amazon giftcard, a variety of softcover and e-book titles, Imaginarium passes, and so much more! For full details, see below:

FeeltheFireIIContest

Welcome to Seventh Star Press’ Feel the Fire II Contest!  Easy to enter, easy to get a lot of entries, and you can win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon.com gift cards, print and eBook bundles and even passes to Imaginarium 2014!

Feel the Fire II is brought to you by Seventh Star Press, Imaginarium 2014, and Tomorrow Comes Media!

Feel the Fire II Prize List

Grand Prize:  

1 Kindle Fire HDX  (USA/Canada only.  If winner lives outside these countries, a $225 Amazon Gift Card will be substituted)

2 Runner Up Prizes

$50 Amazon Gift Card

2 Softcover Bundles

(US/Canada only. If winner lives outside these countries, the Mega eBook bundle will be substituted instead)

Includes all the following titles! 11 Trade Paperbacks in all!

From Seventh Star Press:

Redheart by Jackie GamberBrotherhood of Dwarves by D.A. Adams

Angelkiller by H. David Blalock

Overkill by Steven Shrewsbury

Virtual Blue by R.J. Sullivan

Four Til Late by Eric Garrison

Chronicles of Ave by Stephen Zimmer

The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill

The God Killers by John F. Allen

From Blackwyrm Publishing:

The Man in the Box by Andrew Toy

Man-Made Troubles: The Five Minute Frankenstein, by the BlackWyrm Bullpen. Nine authors were given exactly four pages to write original short stories related to the Frankenstein mythos.

10 Mega eBook Bundles (ePub or Mobi)

Includes all the following titles! 43 eBooks in all!

Redheart by Jackie Gamber

Brotherhood of Dwarves by D.A. Adams

Angelkiller by H. David Blalock

Overkill by Steven Shrewsbury

Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul by Steven Shrewsbury

Virtual Blue by R.J. Sullivan

Fate of the Red Lotus by R.J. Sullivan

Four Til Late by Eric Garrison

Chronicles of Ave by Stephen Zimmer

Hellscapes by Stephen Zimmer

The Exodus Gate by Stephen Zimmer

The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill

The God Killers by John F. Allen

Poseidon’s Children by Michael West

The Wide Game by Michael West

Skull Full of Kisses by Michael West

And these anthologies:

Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword from editor James R. Tuck

Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery from editor James R. Tuck

Perfect Flaw from editor Robin Blankenship

The End Was Not the End from editor Joshua H. Leet

Southern Haunts from editors Alexander S. Brown and J.L. Mulvihill

Vampires Don’t Sparkle from editor Michael West

Plus:

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy from editor Michael Knost

Also includes a host of titles from our friends at Blackwyrm Publishing!

Albrim’s Curse by Trevis Powell

Bleeding Edge: Cyberpunk Short Stories by Ramsey Lundock

Branwen’s Garden by Brad Parnell

Burning the Middle Ground by L. Andrew Cooper

Dark Halo by Christopher Kokoski

Dream Stone by Valerie Drake

Gemini’s War by Amy McCorkle

Immortal Betrayal by Paul Lewis

Incarnate by Lawrence Weill

Iron Fist Velvet Glove by Gary Yeagle

Legends of Darkness by Georgia Jones

The Man in the Box by Andrew Toy

Nakba: The Civilizing War by Jason S. Walters

The Order of the White Guard by Wendy and Bryan Schardein

The Rainbow Connection by Ian Harac

Seasons of Death by Marlene Mitchell and Gary Yeagle

The Thieves of Genesis by William I. Levy

Vine: An Urban Legend by Michael Williams

Water Vamps by GL Giles

The Wisdom of Weng Shu

And:

Lost in the Shadows by Selah Janel and S.H. Roddey

12 Large eBook Bundles (ePub or Mobi)

Includes all the following titles! 30 eBooks in all!

From Seventh Star Press

Redheart by Jackie Gamber

Brotherhood of Dwarves by D.A. Adams

Angelkiller by H. David Blalock

Overkill by Steven Shrewsbury

Virtual Blue by R.J. Sullivan

Four Til Late by Eric Garrison

Chronicles of Ave by Stephen Zimmer

The Boxcar Baby by J.L. Mulvihill

The God Killers by John F. Allen

Poseidon’s Children by Michael West

And these anthologies:

Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword from editor James R. Tuck

Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery from editor James R. Tuck

Perfect Flaw from editor Robin Blankenship

The End Was Not the End from editor Joshua H. Leet

Southern Haunts from editors Alexander S. Brown and J.L. Mulvihill

Vampires Don’t Sparkle from editor Michael West

Plus

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy from editor Michael Knost

and from  Blackwyrm Publishing

Dark Halo by Christopher Kokoski

Dream Stone by Valerie Drake

Gemini’s War by Amy McCorkle

Immortal Betrayal by Paul Lewis

Incarnate by Lawrence Weill

Legends of Darkness by Georgia Jones

The Man in the Box by Andrew Toy

The Order of the White Guard by Wendy and Bryan Schardein

The Rainbow Connection by Ian Harac

The Thieves of Genesis by William I. Levy

Vine: An Urban Legend by Michael Williams

Water Vamps by GL Giles

And

Lost in the Shadows by Selah Janel and S.H. Roddey

2 winners will each receive 2 free passes for Imaginarium 2014 

($110 value.  Substitution of Mega eBook Bundle is allowed if you cannot make the convention September 19-21 in Louisville, KY)

2 winners will each receive a free pass for Imaginarium 2014

($55 value.  Substitution of Large Bundle is allowed if you cannot make the convention September 19-21 in Louisville, KY)

20 winners will be able to pick 4 eBooks of their choice from the SSP catalog (ePub or Mobi format)  

Any anthology, novel, novella, or eBook short story from SSP!

Additional Contest Notes:

This contest uses the RaffleCopter system where you can earn extra entries merely by liking the Facebook pages or following the Twitter accounts of various authors and some bloggers.  We encourage you to get as many entries as possible and discover from wonderful new authors in the process!

To access the Rafflecopter and enter the contest, go here!

or click the banner at the top of the page

– contest details originally posted on http://www.seventhstarpress.com

FREE E-books from Grant-Day Media!

Published November 29, 2013 by admin

Everyone likes free books, and if you’re looking for a present for the bibliophile or horror fan in your life (or something for yourself), then you need to take a look at what Evil Jester Press and Hidden Thoughts Press are offering this weekend!

 

**FREE EBOOKS FOR YOU THROUGH SUNDAY–FROM EVIL JESTER PRESS AND HIDDEN THOUGHTS PRESS! **

To celebrate Thanksgiving, Grant-Day Media is giving away many of our Evil Jester Press and Hidden Thoughts Press ebook titles. So, all you need to do is purchase any of our books, let us know, and the Evil Jester himself will email you some free ebooks. Buy 1 print book from either EJP or HTP and get 2 ebooks…FREE. Download an ebook, get 1 free. Starts today and runs until this Sunday 11:00PM EST!! And a huge thank you for your continued support for Evil Jester PressEvil Jester Comics, and Hidden Thoughts Press.

http://eviljesterpress.com/main/

http://hiddenthoughtspress.com/main/

 

And because I don’t want the wicked little guy to come after me, I want to add that to get your free e-books, all you need to do is email the Evil Jester at cday3067@hotmail.com to let him know what you purchased.

The Star Chamber Show debuts Wed Nov 27 at 9pm EST!

Published November 26, 2013 by admin

I realize I’ve been pretty quiet lately, but that’s only because there’s a lot going on…a lot of cool stuff, that is. Since one of those projects goes live tomorrow (Wed, Nov 27), I figured that it would be the smart thing to announce that one first.

I’m going to be part of a host group for an indie book podcast! I’m excited, a little terrified, but really thrilled to be a part of this crew (and I’m super stoked about our first guests!) All the pertinent info is below, so be sure to tune in!

The Star Chamber Podcast Announced! James R. Tuck to be First Guest!

The Star Chamber Show Goes Live November 27!

Next Wednesday, November 27th, at 9pm EST, the Star Chamber Show makes its debut.  The weekly podcast will feature an array of topics and segments primarily focusing on the world of creative writing, publishing, and authors.  It will also be covering the convention circuit, especially the new Imaginarium Convention set to take place in Louisville Kentucky next fall.

The show will be hosted by a team of five authors, S.H. Roddey, Michael West, Selah Janel, Stephen Zimmer, and Alexander S. Brown, in a format that will feature all sorts of guests, from authors to publishers, editors, screenwriters, and even musicians!  There will be plenty of opportunities for call-ins from the listening audience.  With The Star Chamber Show, expect the unexpected!

For the debut episode, the first featured guest is none other than James R. Tuck, author of the popular urban fantasy Deacon Chalk Novels, and editor of the double-volume Thunder on the Battlefield anthologies.  James will be stopping by to have an extended chat with the hosts about all of his latest happenings, next year’s Imaginarium 2014, and who knows what else?

Also being featured is the show’s first guest from the world of book blogging, Babs Hightower of Babs Book Bistro, who is also an author who writes Historical Romance under the name of Morgan Kincaid.

The Star Chamber Show is a project of Seventh Star PressImaginarium, and Tomorrow Comes Media.

To keep up with the show and guest announcements, be sure to “Like” The Star Chamber Show on Facebook and Follow The Star Chamber Show on Twitter, in addition to bookmarking the main page for the show.

– press release originally posted at http://www.seventhstarpress.com