Ad Astra 2019 is Almost Here!

Hello Everyone!

The sun is shining, the heat is melting us all, and of course, your favourite writer friend has been busy, busy, busy! There are some new appearances in the works that I will announce later this month, and I am also gearing up to go to TNEO, the Odyssey Workshop’s incredible alumni event, but before that…

It’s Ad Astra Time Again!

Now, anybody who has read this blog for any length of time will know how wild I am about Ad Astra. Every year I go, and every year I have a great time and find a lot of great new friendships and of course, piles of books.

This year, I will be at the Renaissance Press booth signing The Face in the Marsh along with my wonderful colleagues MJ Lyons and Eric Choi, who will also be selling and signing copies of Murder at the World’s Fair and We Shall Be Monsters. I will also be on a lot of panels. Check ’em out below.

11:00 am Sat- Research Before You Write- Vaughan West

I think that there are going to be some really solid research tips for new writers on this panel. Research is literally my day job, so I’ll be sharing my best tips for web searching and other accessible sources.

1:00 pm Sat- Get an Editor!- Vaughan West

A panel of writers will speak about how to handle editing and work with editors. This should be excellent information for anyone who is wondering what the process looks like or how an editor can step up your game.

2:00 pm Sat- He don’t know talkin’ good like us- Oakridges

Writing dialect can be such a divisive topic among writers and editors, and I can’t wait to see how our panel tackles this one. I’m expecting to learn a thing or two from the others, as well!

8:00 pm Sat- Writing Animals in Speculative Fiction- Markham B

This is one of my babies. I absolutely love writing dogs and other pets, and I think it is such interesting territory to explore. Plus, I’ll be speaking a little about the re-release of Distant Early Warning. 😉

10:00 pm Sat- 2019- Is this the Peak?- Oakville

Omg you have no idea how much I love just doing straight up fan panels. With all of the franchises ending this year, what will come next? Will anything?

1:00 pm Sun- Empowering Marginalized People Through Horror- Oakville

It’s just me on this panel right now so I’m calling out to any POC, LGBT folks or folks with disabilities who might like to join in. Comment if interested! No experience/prior knowledge necessary, just interest.


New Articles and Podcasts This Week

Lately the news has just kept rolling in. Things are happening so fast that I’m having to condense them in digest form, which is super cool and exciting. Let me break down what is new with me this week.

Guest Blog on Nicholas Kaufmann’s The Scariest Part

This week, I had the opportunity to answer the question ‘What was the scariest part of The Face in the Marsh?’ The answer could be something in the story itself, or an aspect of writing the book that was extra scary. My answer was a little bit of both! It was a great writing prompt that really made me think about what fears I was channeling when creating this work.

Read it here!

Interview on The Gernsback Machine: An Amazing Podcast

If you want to hear in-depth interviews with some interesting folks working in speculative fiction today, you should really check out this new podcast from Amazing Stories. There have been some great guests so far, and now I get to be part of the line-up. I’m talking to long-time friend and editor of Amazing Stories Ira Nayman about inspiration, why and how I became an author, and the benefits of my unusual career path.

Enter The Gernsback Machine!

I’ve got even more appearances and interviews in the works, so the next couple of months should be jam-packed with more updates and fun. Until next time, friends!

Just in Time for Pride Month…

I’ve got an article up on’s blog talking about five horror novels that move beyond the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope! This is a topic that is near and dear to me, as I think that horror as a genre has such liberating potential for people beyond the mainstream, but can also end up subtly reinforcing the cultural norms it questions if we’re not careful and deliberate in our storytelling.

I read a lot of excellent books to come up with this succinct list of five titles, but I think that the books that ended up on the list would be a great addition to anyone’s to-read shelf. If you’re looking for some exciting stories, or want to round out your Pride reading list, then check it out.

And, if you want extra points, send me your list! I am always looking for more LGBT-positive horror fiction.

Check Out This Great Review of The Face in the Marsh!

When you put a book out into the world, you never know how people are going to receive it. I think that the best authors realize that this is out of their control beyond doing the best job that they can in the production process. That is why it is so thrilling that my first formal review is so positive! Big thanks to A.E. Siraki for taking the time to read my book and write such a great article.

And if, by chance, you have read the book and want to leave your own review, please drop by Amazon and let me know what you thought. Every review, good or bad, helps authors stay visible to folks that might like their work.

Giant News Post 05/29/2019

With the book launch growing ever closer, a lot is going on. Rather than make roughly five bazillion individual posts, I thought I would round up the highlights. First of all…

I was on the radio!

Last Friday, I got to chat with Kristin from I Heart Hamilton about the creative process, how I arrived at horror fiction as a genre, and the importance of local content in fiction. It was a great conversation, and it is free to check out at the link above. Thanks again Kristin for a fun chat!

Limestone Genre Expo

Next, I am super looking forward to this weekend because I get to travel to fabulous Kingston Ontario for the Limestone Genre Expo! After coming in early to enjoy some retail therapy and chill time in one of Ontario’s prettiest cities, I’ll be hitting the Expo, getting to see the newest work from some of Canada’s most exciting genre voices and talking about the work and legacy of Shirley Jackson. You don’t have to read this blog long to realize that I love convention season with all my heart, so I’m eagerly awaiting this kick-off event.

Book Launch Poster

Yeah, yeah, I know, I already plugged the book launch. But this poster is too good not to share. Look at this beauty! Thanks to Nathan Caro Frechette for putting this together.


Five Totally Unbiased Reasons Why You Should Pre-Order The Face in the Marsh

Well, maybe they are a little biased. I love my book babies. Look at that face down there below this paragraph! How could you not love that face?

Okay, it’s a creepy face, but it’s still my baby.

Reason #1: It’s #ownvoices writing to the max.

If you’re looking for a genuinely frightening horror experience that stems from the real experience of LGBT people, especially those with non-binary attractions such as the Bi community, this is the book for you. I’ve written it to center Bi experiences in the world and bring the reader into our fears, rather than projecting society’s fears onto us. It’s also great if you’re looking for mental illness rep or authentic Canadian stories. Which brings me to point #2…

Reason #2: It’s Canadian as Fuck.

Oops, I said a swear. But that’s because I need you all to realize how distinctly Canadian this book is. We’re talking, you could walk out your door and meet these people. And I personally think that I got some good pondering in on the nature of our wilderness and it’s combined beauty and mystery.

Reason #3: It’s Genuinely Scary.

Am I supposed to say that? Oh well, I’m saying it. It’s a pretty freaky book. It kept several of my editors up nights, and not because they were behind deadline. The original concept came from a vivid nightmare that sent adrenaline coursing through my veins. You too could share this experience for the low, low price of a pre-order!

Reason #4: Pre-Orders Help Me and Other Authors Keep Writing.

Publishers and other industry professionals view pre-orders as a good measure of a book’s initial success, and so good pre-orders help us keep creating. If you’re at all interested in this book, just pick it up. I won’t hold it against you if your to-read pile is a mile high. So is mine. I’ll be just as happy to hear from you in two years when you get around to reading it, but the pre-order helps me now.

Reason #5: Do I need to bring up that face on the cover again?

You don’t want to disappoint her, do you? It might not be a terribly lovable face, but I doubt it’s one you want to disappoint. *creepy spacey gaze*

Just kidding. Pre-order the book, y’all!


Come to My Launch!

I want to invite all of my readers to come and join us at Glad Day Books in Toronto on Saturday, June 8th at 6:00 pm for an evening of readings, conversation and fun in honour of my book, The Face in the Marsh, and Murder at the World’s Fair by MJ Lyons.

This… is not going to be your typical book launch. For one thing, Glad Day is a beautiful venue with a sitting area and cafe, and it’s going to be super comfy. For another, there will be readings and books for sale of course, but there will also be interesting conversation, and some as-yet-unannounced surprise guests to help us ring in the arrival or our two books.

You want to be there. Trust me.