Thursday, December 13, 2018

Mari Lwyd

I have a few more updates to do over the next few days, but here's a quick announcement:

My story "Mari Lwyd" is going to be in Neon Druid: An Anthology of Urban Celtic Fantasy!

What's Mari Lwyd, you ask? Only the creepiest and most awesome Christmas tradition ever!
Here's a great article about it, but the gist of it is this: it's a Welsh tradition where a horse skull visits your house and sings at you, and you have to sing better than it, then everyone has a snack and you go on to your neighbor's.

Yes, really.

In my story, it's a little more sinister... Three grown children come home for their first Christmas since their parents died, expecting to inherit the "role" of the terrifying Mari Lwyd just as they became Santa Claus. Because it was always just a game, right?


Read more about the anthology here!

Monday, December 10, 2018

I'm Autistic

I've talked about this on Twitter a lot, not sure if I've mentioned it here or not, but I've recently found out I'm autistic.

I'm not officially diagnosed because there are a lot of systemic barriers to adults getting diagnosed (the nearest accessible facility with someone who takes my insurance is over an hour away and it would be several appointments) but my therapist is confident enough to say the label is mine if I want to claim it. And I do.

I think it explains a lot of my behavior as a child, and why I have so much trouble connecting with people. It's not me being difficult on purpose or not trying hard enough, like some people have accused all through my life. My brain is just not wired the way people expect it to be.

I debated whether to put it in my bio because I know there will be people who won't like it being there. There will be people who insist I am just being difficult, and people who will treat me differently because of it. On the other side, there will probably be people who will tell me that they support Autism Speaks and will argue with me when I try to tell them that most autistic people consider that organization to be a hate group (I don't want to go into it now, but if you do a search for "Autism Speaks doesn't speak for me" you'll get the autistic view).

Some of these people might be friends and family, and it's scary that I might not know the real them until I show them the real me. And that it could cause tension between myself and people who I thought cared about me.

But I don't want that kind of people in my life, so I put it in my bio because I'm not going to hide who I am to make them comfortable.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Blog Tour!

On December 19, I'll be sharing a free story as part of Rhonda Parrish's Giftmas event to raise money for the Edmonton Food Bank. It's got fighting robots in it! Go here to donate, see who else is sharing stories (one of them is my friend Lizz!), and enter a raffle to win, among other things, a signed copy of Jack Jetstar's Intergalactic Freakshow!


Speaking of which, I'm up to my armrests in blog tours and guest posts. Here are a few of them. More to come:

Find out who I would invite to a dinner party:

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Jack Jetstark's Intergalactic FreakShow is Published!!!!!!

Today I am proud to announce that my novel Jack Jetstark's Intergalactic FreakShow is published!


In the coming days, I'll have some guest posts and interviews talking more about the book, so I'll leave this announcement short. I will say that preorder sales have been great and I'm so honored that everyone is as excited about it as I am. Huge thanks to my editor Sarena Ulibarri and everyone at World Weaver Press for taking a chance on this book.


Monday, December 3, 2018

FreakShow Character Introduction: Diantha

Two quick things before we get to the main event.

Schreyer Ink, publisher of the alien anthology Children of the Sky which contains my story Artist Unknown, is going out of business.
Children of the Sky will be out of print at the end of the year, so be sure to get your copy soon!

And more about this soon, but Rhonda Parrish is raising money for a food bank, and she also has a free raffle! I've donated a signed copy of Freakshow...

Now to the reason you came...


Every Monday, I'm introducing a character from my debut novel, Jack Jetstark's Intergalactic FreakShow, which comes out tomorrow! Today's character...




Jack's first love, Diantha has gone from a poor citizen of a moon ruled by the evil VesCorp to the leader of VesCorp itself. But is she changing their corrupt ways, or has she gone over to the other side?


Diantha is a freak, a descendant of people who were genetically engineered to have superhuman abilities when they hear a certain song. She is a chameleon, changing her skin to blend in with the background and render herself invisible. She also adapts her personality to fit her situation, making it hard to tell whether she's being sincere.


Most of my characters were inspired by lyrics from American Pie. Diantha is an amalgamation of a lot of lyrics. She's the queen, the girl who sang the blues, maybe the jester and the devil, too. But her name is Latin for "carnation," as in the "pink carnation and a pickup truck."


Diantha is perhaps the most important character in the book, because it's her song that triggers the abilities in the other freaks. She sings it every night through the radio so Jack knows she's safe, and when she doesn't sing it one night, he knows she's in trouble and that kicks off the plot.


Whether she's the villain or just the target of the true villain's assassination attempt, I won't spoil. It might even be a little bit of both, depending on who you ask.


In my mind, Diantha would be played by Jaime Murray, who played Helena on Warehouse 13.


Preorder here and add it on Goodreads!

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Good, the Bad, and the Utahraptor is Published!

Jurassic Park is my favorite movie, has been ever since I was five. Yes, I was way too young to watch it. I don't know what my parents were thinking, but other movies I loved at that age include Tremors and Jaws, so... clearly I was not a normal child.

But back to Jurassic Park. I love dinosaurs. Like, I was that annoying kid who wouldn't play with a plastic allosaurus because it had the wrong number of toes. So a movie where they eat people? Fun!

I practically wore out my VHS, I can still quote large chunks of the movie, and I think Dr. Malcolm might have been my first crush. On second thought, it might have been Princess Jasmine. My point is, I loved the movie and its sequels.


However, being a dino-nerd, I knew it was not without its faults, especially regarding my beloved raptors.

For one thing, real velociraptors were the size of turkeys. The big ones like in the movies are more similar to utahraptors or deinonychuses. They also had feathers, damnit.

But I gave the movies a pass because we were only just discovering feathers when the first movie was made, and while they did discover utahraptor during production (if I remember correctly), the idea of a larger raptor had already been proposed in the scientific community and they thought it would be a subspecies of velociraptor. So, fine. I accepted it.


Then they announced Jurassic World.

Yes! A chance to correct their mistakes!

[insert disappointed sigh here]

Look. I love these movies with all my heart, but they made three mistakes with the new movies:

1. Wrong species of dinosaur

2. No feathers

3. Chris Pratt did not ride a raptor like it was a pony


Yeah, okay, maybe that last one isn't a scientific inaccuracy, but it was definitely a mistake, and I have taken it upon myself to correct these errors. So, without further ado, I would like to proudly present my dinosaur western, free to read and listen to on Cast of Wonders...


The Good, the Bad, and the Utahraptor

(narration by Sandra Espinoza)

Monday, November 26, 2018

FreakShow Character Introduction: Lily

Every Monday from now until December 3rd, I'm introducing a character from my debut novel, Jack Jetstark's Intergalactic FreakShow! Today's character is...




Lily is Jack's pilot. She's bold and sexy and not afraid to show off, but this confidence doesn't always extend to the rest of her life.


Lily is a freak, a descendant of people who were genetically engineered to have superhuman abilities when they hear a certain song. She grows wings and performs as an angel, though she refers to herself as an owl.


Most of my characters were inspired by lyrics from American Pie. Lily is the "angel born in Hell." Researching this phrase led me to Lilith, the Biblical mother of demons who was sometimes associated with screech owls (the Latin name of which, "Megascops, is referenced in her full name, Lilimeg Ascops). Before American Pie fixed my plot, though, there was a character that sort of became Lily, who was a lionfish-inspired mermaid. A minor character named Holly was given that description instead.


At first glance, there's nothing "wrong" with Lily. She's just a sexy bird who sometimes sleeps with men she hardly knows so they'll fall in love and buy her things. But the jewelry they give her is just a bonus: she enjoys toying with them, making them fall in love so she can break their hearts. She knows it's messed up, but it's just the way she is, and she would never do it to someone she cares about.


In my mind, Lily would be played by Elizabeth Banks.


(There was, briefly, a version of Lily that ACTUALLY ate men and spit them out, which I think was a reference to how owls eat things whole and spit out pellets full of mouse bones? But I gave the violent tendencies to Merulo instead. Thank. God.)


(I also want to stress that, despite everything I just said about Lily, the sexual content in the book is very minimal. Nothing more than a kiss happens on the page, her using men is only alluded to, and while its clear that Jack finds her very attractive, I don't think I describe it in any more graphic detail than saying her curves make his cheeks feel warm.)


Preorder here and add it on Goodreads!


Come back next Monday to meet the final character, Diantha!