ashnistrike: (Default)
I'll be at the OutWrite DC queer literature festival this coming Saturday. I'm on:

Love and Other Monsters: A Speculative Fiction Reading - 12 PM - Craig Gidney, Steve Berman, Rahul Kanakia, and Ruthanna Emrys

Beyond Gender in Speculative Fiction - 4 PM - Don Sakers, Craig Gidney, Rahul Kanakia, Michael M. Jones, Ruthanna Emrys, Lemur Rowlands, and Akiva Wolberg

The whole thing is free and takes place at the DC LGBT Center. In addition to the festival itself, I'll be joining the Outwrite Author's Corner panel at the Ask Rayceen Show, Wednesday night 8/2 (so probably tonight, by the time most of you read this), at the Human Rights Campaign. (I am definitely there even though not confirmed before the Facebook post went up. I checked.) In addition to geeky authors, there will also be a poetry slam and burlesque, making for a truly variable variety show.


Then the weekend of August 18th, I'll be in Providence for Necronomicon! I'm on:

Saturday 8/19, 10:30-11:45AM: LOVECRAFT REVISIONS – Grand Ballroom, Biltmore 17th Floor

They are the Rodney Dangerfields of Lovecraft’s work: the dreaded revisions! Consisting of stories edited and often completely rewritten by Lovecraft, they tend to be overlooked by many readers and scholars. Yet, Lovecraft’s work on his client’s stories elevated many of them from mere hackwork to excellent examples not only of his own prose and ideas but his philosophy as well. Hear why our panelists say that these revisions should not be passed over as ‘minor’ works.

Panelists: Peter Cannon (Moderator), Ruthanna Emrys, S.T. Joshi, Leslie Klinger, Steve Mariconda, Anne Pillsworth


Saturday 8/19, 6-7:15PM: THE KING IN YELLOW & ROBERT CHAMBERS – Omni 1

Thanks to a resurgence of interest via popular culture, this long-forgotten writer is better known than ever before. But what EXACTLY is “The King in Yellow” and why is it important? This panel discusses Chambers’ trail-blazing book, what effect it’s had on Lovecraftiana (if not Lovecraft himself) and weird fiction, and why it is gaining more readers today.

Panelists: Ruthanna Emrys, Alex Houstoun (Moderator), Rick Lai, Joe Pulver


Sunday 8/20, 4:30-5:45: THE FUTURE OF WEIRD FICTION and NECRONOMICON-PVD – Garden Room, Biltmore 2nd Floor

Join our panel of experts as they discuss the most vital Weird Fiction of today and the direction they see it moving towards in the future. The panel concludes with some thoughts on this year’s convention and future plans…

Panelists: s.j. bagley (moderator), Sam Cowan, Ellen Datlow, Ruthanna Emrys, Michael Kelly


John Jude Palencar, who painted the gorgeous cover for Winter Tide, will be the Artist Guest of Honor. No guarantees, but it's just possible there may be a sneak preview of the Deep Roots cover, which I'm not allowed to post yet but is likewise gorgeous.

There are plans for a reading as well--I thought we finally had a time nailed down, but it turned out to require co-location and/or time travel. That would only be possible if I were an ancient eldritch horror with powers beyond mortal ken, which of course I am definitely not.

ashnistrike: (Default)
 Winter Tide is out in the world and making friends. The Hugos are almost puppy-free. And my town passed the first of two votes to become a sanctuary city in a landslide. I'm having a pretty good day.
ashnistrike: (Default)
Winter Tide comes out on Tuesday, and I should be all over book promotion. But it turns out that having a book coming out in a couple of days is no ward against cramps and fussy toddlers; my motivation has collapsed into a pile of goo.

As a proper market-y person I should remind you that you'll be able to find the book at your favorite local indie store or online megavendor, and that preorders and first-week sales are the lifeblood of debut novels. I should also let you know that I'm launching at East City Books in DC on Wednesday and reading at the Power Plant Barnes and Noble in Baltimore on Saturday, April 8th. I should definitely share a selection of quotes from reviews, or at least tell you about Paul Weimer's lovely piece on the Barnes and Noble site that praises WT's "Lovecraft Family Values."

But what I really want is to do something fun, preferably something that will get my brain into gear and help me warm up for looming edits on Deep Roots. (Having a book coming out in a couple of days is also no ward against deadlines for the next one, alas.) So I'll tell you what: it's time to play Ask My Characters Anything. Rules:

1) You don't have specify which character you're addressing, although you can if you want. No guarantees that if you ask one character a question, another won't answer. 

2) No spoilers except for character name and existence. Characters will be from the Innsmouth Legacy universe but may not actually appear in Winter Tide. (There are some extremely gregarious Outer Ones in Deep Roots, who wish everyone would stop calling them Mi-Go.)

3) Men of the air can only answer questions about the 20th century and their own reasonably accessible history; people who expect a significantly longer lifespan can answer questions well beyond that. Yith can answer questions about anything.

4) This being All Fools Day, answers may not be accurate. Especially if an accurate answer would be a spoiler, or require me to nail down events several million years in the future.



ashnistrike: (Default)
 I've spent much of today sorting through e-mails, setting up filters to make the flow of suggested actions a little less overwhelming, making phone calls, and starting to get a bit overwhelmed. But look what just came in!

Winter Tide box


I have been waiting for this box since I saw Back to the Future in the theater, which is exactly as long ago as you think it was (unless you're my age, which, sorry, it was probably longer). It is a box full of books which I wrote and were printed and are now books. They are shiny and beautiful, and several of them have places they need to go that are not my house, but for now I'm an authorial dragon sitting on my hoard.

They've updated the cover quote from the ARC, because Seanan McGuire said extremely nice things:



For everyone trying to squint at that, it says: "This is Wicked for the Cthulhu Mythos: never quite contradicting, but dancing through the shadows and dredging up beautiful things out of the deep."

And it will be in stores in less than a month!
ashnistrike: (Default)
Winter Tide comes out April 4th!  I'm so excited to share it, and also feel a bit like hiding under the bed.

If you're in the DC area, I'll be holding a launch party at East City Books the night of April 5th. There will be a reading, traditional Innsmouth feast food, and an assortment of knitted and stuffed eldritch abominations. If I'm nervous you may catch me hugging a shoggoth.


ashnistrike: (lightning)
For Deep Ones, darkness is safety and comfort, the longest night a time of revelation. Honoring the hope of safety, comfort, & revelation, I’m giving away an ARC of Winter Tide for Winter Tide. Share your favorite made-up holiday tradition by 9PM on the 22nd, & I'll pick an entry at random (from here and from Twitter) to get a Winter Tide ARC.

There may also be Deep One recipes tucked into the package, because it's dark and cold & people need feeding.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
"Try to go to a lot of cons," my editor says. "Twist my arm," I say. In 2017, you can probably find me at:

Arisia (1/13-1/16, Boston) - In college, this was the one we saved up for all year. Now they have child care. The general rule is that I will go to any con that has child care and is compatible with my schedule/budget, even if co-parents are actually watching the kids. Because that is a thing that should be encouraged. In this case, the kids are in fact coming along, because the entire household is coming along, because this is the one we used to save up for all year in college.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference (2/8-2/11, DC) - Because I got invited to pinch-hit on "The Infinite in the Finite: One Hundred Years of H.P. Lovecraft's Legacy." The programming looks awesome. Among other things, this is the one where Daniel Jose Older is doing the "Writing White Characters" panel.

Fogcon (3/10-3/12, San Francisco) - Tentative, because budget. But I've been hearing awesome things about this con for years, and they have child care.

April book launch mysteries - Tentative because we're still trying to make all the puzzle pieces fit together. There will almost certainly be a launch party in DC. There may be something at Lunacon (4/7-4/9, Westchester NY). If Lunacon happens, there may be an appending event in New York. The universe is inherently chaotic and unpredictable.

Wiscon (5/26-5/29, Madison) - I haven't been back to my home con in three years--way too long! They have child care! A Lovecraftian Girl Cooties party, featuring me and best co-blogger Anne M. Pillsworth, and anyone else we can dragoon all our wonderful co-conspirators, is in the works.

Readercon (7/13-7/16, Boston) - I've been hearing so many good things about this one, too.

Necronomicon (8/17-8/20, Providence) - Because of course.


Nothing planned past August, so far. The universe is inherently chaotic and unpredictable.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
I'm now a little under halfway through Deep Roots, the sequel to Winter Tide. I'm learning things. For example, that writing around a toddler is harder than writing around a pregnant wife who sleeps a lot. Who knew? And that I need to write something new every day, even when prior-book edits intervene, because the ease of getting started the day after a 50-word day is noticeably better than the ease of getting started the day after a 0-word day.

Publication changes my writing process, both because of the practicalities of the editing cycle, and because I've learned things from writing and editing the first book. Winter Tide isn't my first completed novel--it's my 3rd--but it's the first where I've had to go beyond making a few cosmetic changes based on beta reader feedback. Structural edits have always scared the hell out of me. I couldn't see how to fix a lopsided plot or a lack of foreshadowing, or how to stitch in and rip out entire threads of plot or theme. I could get away with that--right up until a book was accepted for publication. I owe Carl and Cameron endless gratitude for demanding those changes, and then holding my hand through several rounds of them.

The structural changes that Winter Tide needed weren't even major, relative to some I've heard about. The overall plot is still essentially what it was at the beginning. I added a few scenes and changed a few lines, but didn't have to cut any characters or subplots. The climax is the one I wrote originally. But the things I did have to do were scary for me. And having done them, I now know that I can. The end result is that I'm now much more willing to follow the way of the Crappy First Draft. I can take risks I wouldn't have before, when I assumed I'd be stuck with any roads that veered off cliffs. This is probably annoying for my alpha reading wife, who's dealing with in-line notes like <add a better transition here> and <people have faces, describe them> and <have Charlie do something or cut him from this scene entirely> in lieu of semi-polished prose.

Meanwhile, in the galleys, I'm learning that I really like to repeat words. One of the major things we did during line edits was to fix places where I'd enjoyed a piece of vocabulary so much that I used it three times in a paragraph. (Lovecraft never had an editor to catch these, thus the ever-amusing "cyclopean" count.) We must have fixed a couple hundred instances of this problem. Now, going over the galleys... I'm finding even more of these. My only theory is that the Great Old Ones really like repetitive words, and demand them of their scribes as tribute.

Road map:

    Structural edits = Foreshadow this ending; make this threat scarier, turn up the volume on on your themes
    Line edits = Make this paragraph comprehensible, cut half your cyclopeans, did you mean this dialogue to sound like flirting
    Copyedits = Did you mean discrete or discreet, argue about hyphens, I don't care whether or not you capitalize Archpriest but be consistent
    Galleys = Oh Great Cthulhu how did I miss that

...with a sprinkling of "fix this anachronism" throughout, because historical fantasy is hard and 1949 is a strange country.

ARC Winner

Aug. 28th, 2016 10:10 am
ashnistrike: (lightning)
@linsilveira on Twitter wins the ARC. Some of these monster questions are inspiring; there may be drabbles in the offing if I can find five drabbly minutes between editing and drafting on Deep Root. So basically next time I'm blocked because my aliens won't talk politics to my point of view character. 
ashnistrike: (lightning)
I haven't posted for a while, have I? *Looks around, dusts off surfaces, surreptitiously wipes hands*

But look what came in the mail today!

Winter Tide ARCs

I'll come up with clever plans for the rest later, but for now I just want to share my delight at finally having actual books, made of actual matter, with my name on John Jude Palencar's spiffy cover. So here's the deal. Between now and a deadline of Whenever the Baby Goes to Bed tomorrow night, tell me your favorite monster, and something you wish you knew about them. I'll pick an entry at random to receive an ARC.

Fine print: I'm posting to Twitter as well; it's the same ARC and the same contest on both platforms. I'm willing to ship anywhere, but if you're overseas it may arrive on the very slow boat. Or quickly, but very wet and delivered by someone with gills.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
Things I've done over the past two days:

  • Bounced a lot

  • Gotten congratulated a lot, and been pleased by the number of people who seem to think this is good news for them rather than for me

  • Been pleased and a little worried by the various prayers to Nyarlathotep, Cthulhu, and Mother Hydra for the book's success. I'm pretty sure that's not the scale these guys work on...

  • Been terribly distracted by Miriam learning to wave

  • Jotted down ideas, way too far in advance, for publicity swag (Esoteric Order of Dagon Temple Fund cookbook outtakes; flyers for events at Miskatonic...)

  • Jotted down ideas, way too far in advance, for a post-launch party at Wiscon 2017 (salted chocolate and caramel, tome exchange, probably can't afford to feed everyone sushi...)

  • Been terribly distracted by the possibility of alien megastructures 1500 light years away. Tried to convince myself that weird comets and dust-free planetary collisions would also be awesome. Tried to figure out whether 1500 years is long enough to finish building a Dyson cloud.

  • Been very grateful that I ended up with a publisher who works ridiculously quickly.  Twenty-seventeen is a long way away, and to imagine my state of mind with the usual time frame of novel sales and publication is not to be borne.  I know a lot of people who've managed it; I remain deeply grateful that Carl is as impatient and deadline-driven as I am.

  • Found out which characters my editor ships.

  • Repeated to myself: "Before novel acquisition, carry water, chop wood; after novel acquisition, carry water, chop wood" as I wash dishes, feed the baby, and clean wildly in preparation for this weekend's visit from my in-laws.

ashnistrike: (lightning)
Winter Tide, the first Aphra Marsh novel, will come out from the Tor.com imprint in early 2017.  The sequel, which has a working title of Deep Roots, will follow a year later.

I'm beyond excited and amazed to finally be able to make this announcement.  And I'm very grateful to my agent, Cameron McClure of the Donald Maass Agency, and to my editor Carl Engle-Laird, for making this happen.  We all look forward to sharing the next part of Aphra's story.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
David Steffen, of Diabolical Plots, is kickstarting an anthology of the 2014 Hugo long list.  It's already funded at the basic level, covering the short stories, and is a couple hundred away from including the novelettes--including "Litany of Earth" as well as awesome things like Alaya Dawn Johnson's "A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i."

In the service of creating a proper Hugo Reading Packet for 2014, I'm offering 3 custom sonnets or sestinas for $50 backers, each coming with both paper and e-versions of the anthology.  At the same level, you could instead get one of Sam Miller's sketches of an animal of your choice working at the occupation of your choice, or you could pay a little more and get story critiques, custom audio books, and spiffy art prints.

David asked me for a reward description.


Not Exactly Shakespeare

It isn’t Shakespeare: I’ll admit as much;
They’re what I write when I’m not up for prose.
The forms of old are comfort food that shows
The tired writer hasn’t lost her touch.

But though these poems are nothing like the sun,
They might give hazy thoughts a form and shape,
Or make you laugh: give sharpness to a jape;
All poems have purpose, else they lie unspun.

I could compare your love to summer nights,
Abstract your dissertation so it scans,
Or villainous, declaim your cunning plans:
I’ll write an ode to whatever delights.

Still, I reserve the right to add my spin,
So trolls beware: the bard will always win.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
M woke up crying at 6 AM Sunday morning. After I finally got her back to sleep, I checked my phone and discovered rather more Twitter mentions than usually appear in the midnight to 6 AM window, or indeed in a single day.  I had some trouble getting back to sleep!

Many thanks to everyone who nominated "Litany of Earth" for a Hugo, and everyone else who said they would have voted for it given the opportunity.  It would have been part of a pretty sweet ballot, and I would have thoroughly enjoyed losing to Seanan McGuire's "Each to Each" or Kay Ashante Wilson's "The Devil in America."  (I still need to read Crosshill's story, and shall.)

New plan: Support E Pluribus Hugo, and write even more kick-ass, rocket-worthy stuff in the future.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
New Cthulhu 2, which reprints "The Litany of Earth" and many other fine stories, is out. B read the cover upside down across the table, and asked me, "Why does it say 'more percent weird'?" And I had to admit that while it did not, in fact, say that, it would have been an appropriate and delightful description.  (He got the rest of it right--pretty good for a 6-year-old reading upside down.)
ashnistrike: (lightning)
"The Litany of Earth" will be reprinted in Paula Guran's New Cthulhu 2: More Recent Weird, due out in April.  The full table of contents makes for delightful company:

The Same Deep Waters As You, Brian Hodge
Mysterium Tremendum, Laird Barron
The Transition of Elizabeth Haskings, Caitlin R. Kiernan
Bloom, John Langan
At Home With Azathoth, John Shirley
The Litany of Earth, Ruthanna Emrys
Necrotic Cove, Lois H. Gresh
On Ice, Simon Strantzas
The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward, Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
All My Love, A Fishhook, Helen Marshall
The Doom That Came to Devil Reef, Don Webb
Momma Durtt, Michael Shea
They Smell of Thunder, W. H. Pugmire
The Song of Sighs, Angela Slatter
Fishwife, Carrie Vaughn
In the House of the Hummingbirds, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Who Looks Back?, Kyla Ward
Equoid, Charless Stross
The Boy Who Followed Lovecraft, Marc Laidlaw


I'm supposed to be proofing my own story, but keep reading everyone else's instead.  Deep One fans are going to be happy--I count at least three such stories aside from mine, and I haven't finished reading yet.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
It's 5 AM, and that's a draft.

Mr. Earbrass is also conscious of the fact that he has let his inbox get kind of out of hand during the last couple of weeks.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
Good: The rest of the Aphra novel is basically outlined, and I know most of what happens...

Bad: ...except for the climax, currently listed as "and then they do a thing."

Good: I like writing by the seat of my pants, and if I thought I knew what the climax looked like I'd be wrong anyhow.

Good: I've finished writing the annoying-but-necessary transitional bit before sh*t hits f*n for the rest of the book.  (Annoying to me, hopefully not annoying to readers.)

Bad: I've looked over how long scenes have taken on average, so far, and have counted up remaining scenes, and that's a longer book than I thought.  Which means either busier writing nights, or a busier editing season--because Baby M's birth date is not going to be affected by whether I've finished my other big projects.

Good: I find deadlines very motivating.

Fingers crossed.
ashnistrike: (lightning)
Things I've successfully learned today:  40s car models, history of "first aid" as a thing that exists, how a man could end up separated from his family at the start of the WWII Japanese American internment.  I already knew that George Takei was awesome, but am reminded of it as I go through his autobiography. Clear, honest, unadorned descriptions of his time at Rohwer and Tule Lake, along with historical context and some serious blunt truth on the things you miss when you're four.

Things where I have failed at search: Can anyone recommend good resources on civil rights and interracial dynamics in late 40s Massachusetts?  I'm looking for fairly practical stuff: how much trouble will this character (who is African American) have getting into libraries, restaurants, or stores?  How segregated are most settings?  How much fuss are bystanders likely to make about an obviously interracial group wandering around?

Any insight into how people in the northeast would slot a Japanese American woman into those laws or cultural restrictions would also be awesome, but that may be something I'll need to try and infer from experiences in New Jersey.

The past is another country.  A country that is deeply fucked up.

Profile

ashnistrike: (Default)
ashnistrike

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     1 2
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 11:00 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios