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Archive for the ‘Despumation Press’ Category

Well, we’ve moved into the new house, and so far, it’s been great. There’s still a ton to do, but now that we’re here and don’t have to drive three hours every day, it makes it a lot easier to keep up with, oh, I dunno, the rest of my life.

Update-wise, I suppose the biggest update is that I’m no longer with Nightscape Press. We gave it about six months or so and concluded that our approaches/style/technique–whatever you want to call it–just wasn’t meshing. Which was entirely a possibility. If you’ve never really worked together in that capacity, you don’t know until you do it, and really, I think we’re all glad we discovered and acknowledged it sooner rather than later. Something like that can stretch out and then grind ugly until everything just shits the bed. This way, everyone’s still friends and no one’s feelings got hurt. I sincerely wish Nightscape all the best, and you can bet you’ll still see me posting about their new releases and such here.

Despumation, my metal fiction journal, has been going great. Now that things have settled down a bit and time has opened up, I’m getting back to reading submissions and doing what I need to do there. That’s really going to pick up in the next couple of weeks. I’m expecting to get some author interviews up on the site, so definitely look for links to those here when that happens.

HoWCrownToday, actually, I managed to finish a couple of big projects. First, I finished a first pass of Mara Valderran’s Heirs of War: Crown of Thorns. I edited Mara’s first in this series, Heirs of War. She’s been lovely to work with–the ideal editor’s writer. She doesn’t take edits personally and understands that I’m not trying to pick on her–we’re all here for the same thing: to make this book the best book it can be. And I think the reason she doesn’t take it personally is, frankly, because she’s knows who’s really in charge. It’s her. I think some writers forget that sometimes. I’m not her publisher; I’m her editor. She can tell me to hit the road whenever she wants. The other thing, too, is that…Mara’s a pro. If she’s got a weakness, she faces it head on and works to strengthen it. And her strengths, she works to make stronger. If you’re not doing that as a writer, you may as well pack it in. So, I’m glad, today, to have gotten to a point where this book is one step closer to getting into the hands of the readers Mara attracted with her first book (Mara is a marketing machine). You can expect to see this available October 13.

LNWYWSThe second project I finished today was an illustration that will accompany a piece in Michelle Kilmer’s upcoming collection of short stories, flash fiction, and poems, Last Night While You Were Sleeping (Michelle gives it a mention here, among other things–go look at what she’s got going on). Look at that cover–isn’t it lovely? I love it. She’s got a good eye, and I’m excited to see/read this when it comes out on October 31st in paperback.

I’m most excited, though, about returning to my own writing. I’ve got a few plans for the first Stevenson novel that I can’t really go into right now, but once that ball is rolling, I’m so very ready to get back to writing the second Stevenson novel. *taps head* Most of it’s up here. Most of it. Well, some of it, but most of the general idea–where it’s going. Up in the ol’ noggin’. And now I’ve got a little time to get back to the 13,600 words that have been sitting lonely, waiting, waiting…I’m coming, Louis. I’m coming. Keep yer ‘stache on.

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I’d have better post titles if I updated more often, I think.

So, very busy (shock and dismay!). My yoke-fellow (I’ve decided to refer to my husband as “yoke-fellow” from now on, because it sounds right) and I joined his family on a river cruise in April, down the Danube. We went through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. This would need its own separate post to tell you about all the wicked-cool things we saw and did. So, here’s a picture.

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The view from the ruined castle in Durnstein, Austria.

We also bought a house. Back to the city we go, because the “country”…well, it sucks. Or, the people suck. Some of the people suck. Enough to ruin it in general.

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The stairs in the foyer.

This house…is amazingly cool. It’s big (we need big, not for kids, but because we work at home, so…space is good for not going insane). We got it for a steal, and because of that, there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done (and we’re chipping away at it). That said, though, when it’s done…it’s going to be amazing. Original woodwork, five beautiful fireplace mantels, separate little “butler’s kitchen” (which is cute), built-in cabinet in the dining room. And that staircase. I mean, look at it. Lots of work (carpet’s already off those stairs!) and it’s wonky (it’s old, whatchagonnado? 1913), but it’s going to be home. Now, if we can just get it livable, get out of this house, and sell this thing, we’ll be set.

I’ve been doing very little writing. Well, with thee above…it’s been tough. I’ve also been doing work on my lit mag (which I’ll get to), trying to fit in work for my other press (which I’ll get to), and various other things. But, there’s this…

FreeSnake Poems

 

Free Snake Poems About Snakes: Let’s Do This is available, right now!

I also managed to get a piece up over at Andrea Reads America (which is a fantastic idea, fantastic blog…I highly recommend it). It’s a creative nonfiction piece called Black Bull.

In Nightscape Press news, we’re happy to announce that our very own Rena Mason took home the Bram Stoker Award recently for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. Her winning novel? The Evolutionist.

EvolutionistLast but not least, the first issue of Despumation went live today. In print only, for the moment, but it’ll only be a moment. We’ll get the Kindle version up very soon. After that, hopefully other eBook distribution channels.

Desp#1CoverPreviewDespumation champions fiction that explores the diverse themes metal music customarily addresses using language to evoke the feeling of listening to the music. This issue includes stories inspired by Dio, Voivod, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Meshuggah, and Candlemass, plus stories and poems inspired by the metal scene, metal sounds, and metal concepts.

Get ’em while they’re hot! Tell your friends!

 

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Yea, yes, I know–how am I supposed to build a effective author platform if I never update my blog? I know. I won’t. And so, yes, I must update this more often. But I’ve had a good excuse, at least. I have been stupid busy. Agh, I know, aren’t we all? We are all so very, very busy. Okay. Okay! I suck. That is my excuse. I suck. But I have been busy. Really.

Well, I’ll start with my biggest and most exciting news.

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After much thought and negotiations, I have joined Robert Shane Wilson and Jennifer Wilson as a partner/editor over at Nightscape Press, for whom I had been doing some editing work. This is an exciting opportunity and I’m very much looking forward to working with them and helping make NSP the best little genre press out there. And, let’s face it, they’re already pretty great. They got two nominations and one win for a Stoker in Best First Novel last year, and this year they’ve (we’ve?) got another nomination in the same category. Stephen Graham Jones’s “Interstate Love Affair” (from NSP’s Three Miles Past) won This Is Horror’s 2013 Short Fiction of the Year last month. Must be doing something right.

So, that’s big news.

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I’m also pulling things together for the first issue of Despumation, which is shaping up nicely. As of today, I have a bunch of submissions to read through. I am expecting to have enough stories accepted to be able to roll them over into the second issue, which is nice. I’m still working on some interior artwork, and the photo I’ve got from Rachael Deacon is going to make a sweet cover, which I will preview at some point. We’re shooting for a May 30th launch date. (And hey, if you dig metal and you write, then we’re open for the upcoming issues–send that shit in).

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I’m expecting the Winter volume of the Monsters and Monstrous journal, which contains an excerpt from my Stevenson/Werewolf novel, to be out any day now. They sent me a pdf not so very long ago and it’s looking rather good. But the excitement doesn’t end there. I just got news yesterday that the conference associated with this journal, aptly named the 12th Global Conference: Monsters and the Monstrous, accepted my paper proposal! It went a little something like this:

“Mutual Monsterization and the Meaning of Monstrosity in Metal Music”

When metal music became self-aware, there existed a mutually beneficial popular-monsterization/self-monsterization relationship between the mainstream and the music: society demonized bands to maintain the status quo and bands demonized themselves to boost their popularity among those outside the status quo, sometimes as a step toward eventual integration into the mainstream. In addition, there is another, more ethereal form of self-monsterization among metal bands that derives from what could be described as the band’s initial biosphere—a combination of the music, attitude, intention, and environmental background of the band as an amalgamated functioning entity. It is this more “spiritual monstrosity” that connects fans to the music.

In the case of extreme metal, all popular- and self-monsterization is based on the bands’ musical instrumentation, vocals, lyrics, and appearance. Little-to-no attention is paid by the entertainment industry to that difficult-to-define “spiritual monstrosity.” Ultimately, in terms of financial “success” (which primarily denotes a band’s apex), the only way for an extreme metal band to “make it” is to allow itself to be scrubbed of the monstrous identity it self-generated and allow itself to be re-shaped through the PR mechanisms of their record companies in terms of what mainstream culture considers a “safe,” popular monstrosity: edgy enough to satisfy the teens who listen to it, but socially harmless enough so that authority figures don’t feel too threatened. This process seems, in all cases, to kill that core, inherent monstrosity that defines extreme metal at its elemental base, causing friction between hardcore fans and fans whose attraction to the band is based more on trendy aesthetics than the essence of that “spiritual monstrosity.” I intend to explore the struggle between these forms of monsterization in extreme metal and how they define or destroy “true” metal.

Aaaand, now I have to write it. So, there’s that and then I’m off to Oxford for it toward the end of July. It’s been a while since I’ve given an academic paper. I will try not to be too pedestrian (or throw up on myself).

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As for writing, I am slowly working on a Free Snake Poem for the soon-to-be award-winning FREE SNAKE POEMS ABOUT SNAKES event, which I regretfully cannot attend, but hope to have my free snake poem read in my absence. If you live in Pittsburgh, or near it, I strongly suggest you attend this destined-to-become-a cult event.

Otherwise, I’m working on the second Stevenson adventure novel, working toward something memoir-ish, and working on getting as many novel rejections as possible before someone finally accepts the first RLS novel. Not to mention accumulating rejections for short stories (Who’s with me? *high five!*). I have no complaints, really.

Add to this our house-hunting, the eventual pack-and-move, and then getting this place on the market ASAP. We’ve got a trip to Florida this month (oooo, in just a couple weeks, actually) and then a Danube cruise toward the end of April (both are family-visiting/spending-time-with trips). Then the Oxford trip in July (but that’s bidness). Yeah, busy. Productive, but busy. I need to update this blog more often. We’ll see about that…

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We’re about to wrap up October here in a little bit, and that means Evil Girlfriend Media‘s anthology Roms, Bombs, and Zoms will be launching. November 1st, kiddies. Think about getting your hands on it so you can read my story, The Second Battle of Gettysburg.

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Also happy to announce that Global Interdisciplinary Research Studies‘ journal, Monsters and the Monstrous, has accepted an excerpt of my novel, (tentatively titled) Of Wolves and Donkeys: RLS’s Untold Journey Through the Cevennes. From their home page:

Monsters and the Monstrous is a biannual peer reviewed global journal that serves to explore the broad concept of “The Monster” and “The Monstrous” from a multifaceted inter-disciplinary perspective. The journal publishes work that seeks to investigate and assess the enduring influence and imagery of monsters and the monstrous on human culture throughout history. In particular, the journal will have a dual focus with the intention of examining specific ‘monsters’ as well as evaluating the role, function and consequences of persons, actions or events identified as ‘monstrous’. The history and contemporary cultural influences of monsters and monstrous metaphors will also be examined.

This is very cool for a number of reasons. The first is the obvious–publishing is always a treat. But I have a special place in my heart for the M & M journal, as it is the journal that stems from the interdisciplinary conference by the same name. As a sophomore during my undergrad, I actually gave a paper at their 6th Global Conference at Oxford, under my maiden name, Meadows. That feels like an awfully long time ago, so it’s pretty neat to have a piece get into the journal all these years later. If you’d like a few samples from the novel, head on over to my Goodreads author page; I’ve got a few excerpts up.

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In terms of Despumation Press, I’ve decided (because it’s still early enough to do so) to change from book publishing to journal publishing. Although I’ve got experience with both (or maybe because I do), a literary journal is really what I need to be doing. Maybe somewhere down the line I’ll expand into books, but I’m happy and excited to put out what I hope will be a quarterly journal. I’m expecting pieces from a handful of authors whose work I’ve always admired and I expect the first issue to be rather nifty. That’s right…nifty. It’s a perfectly metal term. Okay, it’s not, but…whatever. \m/\m/ If you’re a writer and you’re reading this, please swing on by our submissions page and see if it’s something you’d like to try. In the meantime, I’m anticipating a series of ecstatic story/essay acceptance announcements in the coming weeks and months.

Otherwise, I’ve recently finished a marathon manuscript editing phase (not my work, the work of others), then took a break to take care of some things here at home that required a little time and effort (hey, I even had a birthday–hello, 39!), but today is a Me Day. I have pumpkins to carve (it’s not too late!) and some Halloweeny activities to indulge in this evening. Tomorrow, it’s back to work–on my own manuscript. And then, I don’t know, I’m toying around with maybe taking on NaNoWriMo this year. I kind of forgot about it, but I might have something rolling around up in the ol’ noggin’ that I can vomit out over the course of the next month. We’ll see…how about you? NaNoWriMo for you?

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This is pretty dang cool. Despumation is being featured on Decibel Magazine‘s Tales from the Metalnomicon (written by the lovely and talented Shawn Macomber). Big thanks to Shawn for making me sound cool. And…submit!

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This was fun. Did a little Q&A with Sally Dreskin at Les Femmes Folles. Go check it out! And thanks, Sally!

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So…life has been complicated since I last posted. Our beloved Moggy had to be let go on June 24th, as his leukemia finally caught up with him. Almost six years was much longer than the 2-3 years vets gave him, so we can’t complain, although we miss him terribly.

MoggSpook

That said, there is always a silver lining, or in this case, two linings, one black and one grey. The day we took Moggy to the vet’s, there were two cats that had been abandoned there the night before. We had to wait a month to make sure any bits left over from Mogg’s leukemia were indeed gone, but about a week ago, we brought home Aud the Deepminded (black) and Gudrun (grey). Good, strong viking women. They’re adjusting well, and so are we.

LadiesontheCouchIn addition to that, we’ve been having issues with our neighbors, with whom the township has sided, and now we are forced to enter into litigation. I won’t go into the details, but I assure you, it’s absolutely not how we want to spend our time and money, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

These things have been stressful and distracting, but I have, nonetheless, been productive. Been doing a lot of editing. Happily working on Stephen Graham Jones‘s ‘Sterling City’ for Nightscape Press.

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But the most exciting news I have is that I’ve started a press. Here is our mission statement:

In fiction, Despumation Press seeks to champion writing that explores the diverse themes metal customarily addresses using language in such a way as to evoke the feeling of listening to the music. In nonfiction, Despumation Press seeks to produce books and essays on an assortment of unique and fascinating topics from within and around the metal ethos.

So, we’re open for submissions. Books in the works are a collection of nonfiction mosh pit stories along with a handful of essays on the pit, a collection of short fiction based on metal songs, and we’re on the look out for our first novel/novella. I have some other projects in mind, but this is a start and we’ll see where we go from here.

Please check us out, and share our links wherever you might find them (Facebook, Twitter). We’re listed on Duotrope, for those who like to go through there, but we need all the word of mouth we can get. That said, we’re expecting to be featured over at Decibel magazine’s Deciblog in ‘Tales from the Metalnomicon” at the end of the month, and that’s pretty dang cool.

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