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.

Distant Early Warning Adventuring Again in 2020

I am not shy about my history as a self-published author, or about my experiences running my own publishing company. I will tell anyone that I have a lot of things to be grateful for from my experience in that time that helped me to be a better professional, and very few regrets.

I say few regrets, not no regrets. There was always one book that I wished I could have given a better push, had more resources to work with and had gotten into more hands. That book was Distant Early Warning. Due to various factors, including a lot of unforeseen complications around its launch, I never felt like I could give this book the audience it deserved on my own. When it eventually reached the third round in a prestigious contest, I felt even more strongly that I wanted to find a publisher for it.

That is why I am so pleased to announce that Distant Early Warning will be published by Renaissance Press in 2020. I am so pleased that it will be given new life with a new publisher, and that more people will be able to experience the book and (hopefully) its sequels.

My New Article is Up at *Insert Subplot Here

Today, I answered Victoria Feistner’s writing prompt, asking ‘What do you wish people would ask you about writing at parties other than what you’ve sold/how your career is?

My answer delved deep into my experiences and career path, and may even spawn a sequel. In the meantime, check out the first instalment!

Everybody Needs a Strategy…

…at least if they’re going to get through NaNowriMo.

In defiance of the gremlins in my head that tell me that writing about the process of doing NaNoWriMo will jinx things, I thought I would at least share that I plan on doing Camp NanoWriMo this July. I’ve got some delightful buddies to take the journey with: the unconventional and ever-magnetic M.D. Dragon, and Victoria Feistner, myth crafter extraordinaire, who I have published and, God willing, will publish again. M.D. and I have even made our own little cabin– the Creepy Campers.

If there is one thing that past NaNos have taught me, however, it is that cameraderie and public postings in the name of ‘staying accountable’ are not terribly great motivators for me. In fact, extrinsic motivation gets me nowhere fast. The funny thing is, I have definitely written 50k words in a month before. It was just never during NaNo. Now, that’s easy enough to write off in November because Christmas is coming and things are getting busy. But July is nothing but time and sun and watching people’s dogs while they go on vacation. It’s prime writing season.

The good news is that I have figured out a strategy that works for me. Over the past six months or so, I have been working really hard at reclaiming my professional work ethic and getting consistent daily word count in. That has meant a lot of trial and error, listening to myself and my motivations, and learning how I actually work best rather than how I tell myself I work best. And the answer I came to, is that

I work best in a total vaccuum.

That’s right. No critique. No discussion of how things are going. No comparison, and absolutely no scrutinizing my word count every two seconds to figure out if I have made the goalpost for the day. I set down a time to write, and then I put my butt in the seat and write until that time is done. I do not criticize what I write. I do not compare how I write or how much I write. I get totally short circuited by comparison with others and outside opinions. I have to set aside a time, be quiet, and listen to the little voice that sings in my heart.

In my life, often listening to my own heart was let’s say, heavily de-incentivized by those around me. I think a lot of people have the same experience growing up. In my case, I responded by becoming a perfectionist and an approval addict. But my inner writer cannot be an approval addict. She has a voice to speak with, and because I have not always given her the time and attention she needs, she cannot yet compete with other voices speaking over her.

For me, writer’s block is the paralysis of ‘everyone is doing better than you so why try’ and ‘if you write this people will see how terrible you really are’ and ‘nobody really wants to listen to someone like you anyway’. I kick the butts of those overly loud voices in my head by cultivating quiet. I play flowing, meditative music to carry all of those thoughts away so I can focus. I ground myself and remember that no matter what gets done or remains undone, no matter whether I am a success or failure, I am enough.

Because I am enough. And this month, I am going to kick NaNo’s butt. I’ve already done the rehearsals, and now it’s time for opening night.