It turns out, lots of readers want stand-alone short fiction — short stories, novelettes, even novellas, which are basically short novels. They like being able to finish a story in a single sitting, as well as the conciseness and jewel-like precision of short fiction. I’ve been bringing out some of my best, most recent, in this format.
“The Poisoned Crown,” will be out on June 1 and is available for pre-order here.
The king is dead, long live the prince, but not for long if his stepmother the Queen Regent has anything to say about it. So he appeals to the one person he can trust, his father’s best swordswoman and secret lover. Venise wants nothing more than to bury herself in her grief at the king’s death, but her conscience will not allow her to abandon the young man who is so like his father. The only question is whether the two of them can stand against the Queen Regent’s black magic.
I hope you enjoy it! To whet your appetite, here I read the opening.
In news with no political connotations whatsoever, I recently was featured on a talk show called Writers Corner Live with Bridgetti Lim Banda and Mary Elizabeth Jackson. They run a very polished operation and were great, welcoming hosts. I had a lot of fun talking to them about various aspects of writing novels and producing audiobooks. You can view it right here, or visit the Writers Corner Live page on Facebook.
Here’s the YouTube link to the interview if it’s not displaying properly for you.
Dragon Con Virtual is underway this weekend! As a scheduled program participant for the torpedoed-by-pandemic real-life con, I was asked to shoot a two-minute video greeting about why I love science fiction and Dragon Con. It’s probably up on their site somewhere, but blast if I know where, so I’m posting it here.
In the course of shooting the video, an imp appeared in the corner of my screen during one take. Where’d she come from?? It wasn’t my best take, but the imp was too charming not to keep. So here’s the Outtake—with Imp:
Following the Boston Pops musicians-at-home tribute to COVID-19 first responders, I was blown away today by this solo performance at home by the New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinetist Anthony McGill, of “America the Beautiful”—beautifully and subtly re-tuned to convey Mr. McGill’s sorrow and anger at racial injustice. Watch and listen to it on a device with good sound; it’s worth it. McGill ends the piece with… well, I’ll let you watch and see.
McGill’s statement inspired this haunting and inspiring rendition of Sebelius’s Hymn from Finlandia, by music students and faculty from four different music schools, all taking two knees in protest of injustice.
The story appears on NPR’s Here and Now, with an interview by WBUR radio’s Robin Young. The interview is well worth a listen:
Could you use some uplifting music for these strange and distressing times? Couldn’t we all? Here’s the Boston Pops Orchestra performing a special edition of “Summon the Heroes,” by the incredible John Williams, in honor of COVID first responders everywhere. This was recorded before the stress of the pandemic was compounded by the specter of racism, but if anything I feel even more keenly the need for a bit of uplift. Continue reading “Summon the Heroes!”…
Toward the end of April, as people began to plan WisCONline — the virtual WisCon — I got a notice that my academic paper for the con had been accepted and that they wanted a video presentation.
About the same time, I saw that Story Center was offering an online class in using WeVideo. Although I took one of their classes in digital storytelling about four years back and learned the basics of WeVideo, I had a lot of gaps in my knowledge since I hadn’t done any new videos.
I decided to sign up for the class with the goal of making a video for WisCon. That way I could do something besides a talking head of me reading the paper.
There were two problems with this plan. First, the 15-minute presentation would be considerably longer than the usual 2-3 minute videos Story Center works with.
Second, the paper wasn’t written yet. Once WisCon decided to cancel the in-person convention, I hadn’t expected them to want a paper. Also, in my previous academic papers for WisCon, I had still been putting the final touches on the paper the day of the presentation.