Friday, 23 October 2015

Hallowe'en Stories on Sunday!

Cute picture by v-collins on Deviant Art!
I'm going back to Pinhey's Point on Sunday, from 11-4, to tell scary stories!  Audience appropriate scary stories, so yes, you can bring your little ones!

There will be ghosts, and carnivals, and owls and, um, I haven't figured out my set yet. But it'll be cool!  Storytelling should be every hour, so come on out, enjoy the pumpkin carving and classic Hallowe'en pranks this Sunday, and listen to some stories!

More info here.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Can*Con - Paper Airplane Contest Rules!

WARNING: I SCREAM AT YOU IN THIS POST AND I DO NO APOLOGIZE.

Back by popular demand, the paper airplane contest shall once more wreak havoc upon CAN-CON. I've been asked mutliple questions by citizens: what shall I bring?  Do we need our own band aids?  A change of clothes? To sign a waiver?

Well, here are your answers: BRING ONLY YOURSELVES!

I've also received questions on the rules.  Some of you poor souls didn't make it last year.  So, here are the rules:

THE ONLY RULE IS TO FEAR ME!!!!

That's it.  Bring yourselves only, and be prepared to earn your way to even just folding the paper airplaine.

THIS IS NOT FOR THE WEAK!

It is for the strong.

BUT WAIT!!

I've been asked if people, whom I shall now refer to as show-offs, can bring a pre-constructed plane. I've pondered it and decided that I shall graciously accept to allow show-offs to bring pre-made planes within the competition grounds.  

BUT YOU MUST EARN YOUR RIGHT TO FLY. 

An even harsher skills competitions will be demanded of those who bring a pre-made plane.  If you only bring the supplies and build it on site, I shall be less harsh with my demands.  Slighly.

HOW DO YOU WIN?

I've been asked that, especially considering all of the fine prizes I make available.  Fine, fine prizes. 

YOU MUST BE THE BEST!

That's how you win.  And I define best based on my daily whim. 

... If this contest doesn't sound like a good time, I don't know what is! 

SEE YOU THERE.  8pm. Saturday evening.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

GUEST POST: KT Bryski's New Novel!

*Editorial note included at end of post.*

Hi! I’m KT Bryski—Canadian fantasy author and podcaster and writing comrade of the ever-lovely and talented Marie Bilodeau. She’s welcomed me to her blog with a few questions. Simple questions, she said. Easy questions. Nothing to worry about. Not at all.

I’m not nervous. Not at all.

*eep*

What’s your current project?
That’s…that’s it? Wow, okay. Well, my new novel Heartstealer is a historical dark fantasy. When Sara Wolfe’s husband disappears in a northern backwater village, she doesn’t quite believe the story she’s told. She travels north to find him, quickly becoming embroiled in the village’s old hurts and older magic. The curtain between worlds is thinning, and if Sara doesn’t find her husband soon—well, the ghosts aren’t the only ones stalking the night.

What colour is your novel?
The cover’s mostly blue…

No, what colour does it feel like?
Oh. Deep, deep blues and purples, maybe hints of deep orange. The colour of a late October twilight.

Very poetic.
Thank you.

So if you could eat anything in Heartstealer, what would it be?

Monday, 19 October 2015

NEW BOOK! Eye of Glass, set in Ed Greenwood's Hellmaw!

I'm super thrilled to announce that I'm part of the The Ed Greenwood Group (TEGG), a revolutionary publishing venture by the creator of Forgotten Realms himself!

My first book, set in his new Hellmaw realm and already written, will be coming out in February 2016! Hellmaw is a dark world, where ruthless daemons stalk our streets, seeing humanity as little more than cattle.

And then, there's my character, who's by far the quirkiest character I've ever written. You'll get to meet her a bit more later on, but for now, I can tell you that book 1, Eye of Glass, is the first of six books, for my longest series yet!

Here's the book copy:

Following a slight misfire with a prank (on a cop, involving herself as the dead body), Jaeda finds herself confined to a small room, with only a TV as company. Relaxing will help her regenerate her mostly missing body, but that's entirely too boring for her liking. Besides, she has better things to do with her time, like becoming a model.

But when her guardian and keeper vanishes, Jaeda has to move quickly to avoid capture and save herself, her guardian, and her new human pets. Regenerating will simply have to wait.



It's going to be a fun and wild ride.  Make sure to check out the rest of the Hellmaw lineup and meet Jaeda in February!


THE "BODYLESS" SERIES, BY MARIE BILODEAU
Set in the Hellmaw world

Eye of Glass (Feb. 2016)
Lips of Blood (Feb. 2018)
Shoe of Bone (Feb. 2019)
Hand of Knives (Feb. 2020)
Flesh of Decay (Feb. 2021)
Spine of Steel (Feb. 2022)

More announcements soon!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Being Thankful For Writing

I'm thankful for writing today, on Thanksgiving Day.  So many memes on Facebook say that writing is like pulling out your own eyes and eating them (along those lines, anyway), but I don't believe that.

I'm thankful for writing because of the worlds it opens up to me, some with rolling hills ablaze with magic, others with distant star systems to explore.

I'm thankful for the characters I meet, and their stubborn refusal to stay passive, for the heartache their deaths (sometimes) bring, for their joys and successes, for the bumps and hills they climb to reach The End.

I'm thankful for story, for that thread that runs neatly through fiction, weaving a tale that helps make sense of the world around us, with its pain and confusion and powerlessness.

I'm thankful for my laptop, my coloured pens, my coiled notebooks, my desk and my comfy chair, for being that conduit for conveying ideas to words on a page.

I'm thankful for the friends I've made thanks to writing, for the people who have become like family, for those I'd call upon during bad days or to share my greatest joys.

I'm thankful for the community that gets words, that loves them as much as I do, and that meets online or in-person to share that love.

I'm thankful because I know that, in another time or another place, I wouldn't have even learned to read and write, and even if I had, I might be too terrified or too busy surviving to put word to page.

I'm thankful because I know that writing can be hard, it can be confusing, it can be downright frustrating and make you feel kind of ill. But it can also bring the greatest joys, successes and the best damn day dreams.

I'm thankful because I know that I choose to write, and that I can write, and that I live in a world with so many options for getting my words out there that I just want to hug all of publishing and all of writing and hold it close forever.

I'm thankful for words.

And I hope you are, too.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Friday, 18 September 2015

I'm a book! Check me out!

This year, during Ottawa's Nuit Blanche, I get to be a book!  At the Human Library!!!  I don't think I've been this excited since I sold my first book!

It's tomorrow night (Saturday the 19th).  I'll be there from 10 pm until 1 am, and people can "check me out" for 20 minutes (as in a book in a library checking out, not as in a skeevy guy in the Market checking out, which is what every other Saturday night in the Byward Market is like).  Want to chat with me about writing, storytelling, creating, business of writing, life in general?  Well, here's you chance to get me to actually focus for 20 minutes!  It's unheard of!  Come on out!

Details below:

In collaboration with Nuit Blanche Ottawa+GatineauAOE Arts Council is proud to present, for a third consecutive year, its Artist Human Library.

On the night of this arts and culture celebration, 18 artists (books) will be available to talk one-on-one and answer any questions visitors may have about their art, influences and life. The Artist Human Library was created as an opportunity to establish bonds between the artistic community and Ottawa/Gatineau residents.
The Human Library promises unique encounters with local artists who will transport guests into their world of creativity and inspiration.

Date: Saturday, Sept.19, 2015
Time: 7 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Location: George Street in the Byward Market (see 018 on the Nuit Blanche map)

Monday, 14 September 2015

Planet X Podcast: Already at Episode 14!

We're already at episode 14 of Planet X Podcast! Time flies by! Thanks to everyone here who's been following along with the podcast. Jay OdjickKen Bonnie and myself appreciate it!
This week, I personally got to review Night of the Living Deadpool (insane fun). Jay talks video games and Ken gives the rundown of all the upcoming genre TV (well, until mid October. And only some of it, because there's a lot more than one podcast can hold! What a world we live in).
Also, Jay asked Ken and I to pitch a movie to a random title he made up. Mine was for Anacondangerzone. Listen if you'd like to hear my pitch - it may not be what you think (I like to switch things up).
Thanks for all of your support!

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Great Serialization Experiment, Part 3 - Writing and Cookies!

The last post on lessons learned from writing Nigh is up over at Black Gate Magazine!  I talk writing and cookies. (The two most important component of serializing a novel.) 

Cookie Monster approves of this blog post.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Chatting about Writing over at Planet X

Last week was slow for geek news, so Jay Odjick, Ken Bonnie and I chatted writing over at Planet X Podcast!  Check it out if you'd like some inspiration or ideas! The second half of the episode is filled with writing tips and stories.  We're also on iTunes and Soundcloud.


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Great Serialization Experiment, Part 2

Check out my Black Gate post where I chat about numbers, business and Power Rangers. (All very important factors in serializing your own novel.)

Strike a pose. It's Serious Morphing Time.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

How Good Are You at Hustling?

I'm late with yesterday's post because I took the weekend off.  I actually took it off, without work or social media, not even writing. I went to visit some friends I've been meaning to spend quality time with, and I had a great time!

Stinky Car is Angry Melty Car.
Then, on my way home, the car in front of me on the highway swerved a bit, then a lot, and bounced up. I took my foot off the gas, but a car hugged my car butt so I wasn't about to hit the brakes. The cause of the leading car's distress soon became my own - a tractor-trailer had lost the rubber from its wheel, and it now bounced toward me. To my left was a car, and to my right a ditch. I wasn't following closely so I managed to move as far right as possible before striking the tire. It hit under the driver's side, thunked my whole car up and then bounced off the highway. (The rude butt hugger got away clean. Road Karma, don't fail me now!)

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Announcing The Wizard and the Dragon!

I've had the pleasure of performing in several shows with Nicole Lavigne, including at an Arthurian legends show at the Tea Party. We had a lot of fun preparing our stories, and agreed that we could push the material much further. I'm pleased to announce that the Ottawa Storytellers have given us that opportunity by welcoming us to their National Art Centre's Fourth Stage lineup! 

Our show will be on January 21, 2016! I'll post updates here, including when the tickets are on sale! Join us for this fabulous journey into history, legend and prophecy.


The Wizard & The Dragon
Coming to the NAC's Fourth Stage in 2016! 
Legendary King Arthur and his mentor the wizard Merlin still cast an enduring spell. Drawing on the original texts of Geoffrey of Monmouth, 1100 to 1155, and Lord Tennyson, The Idylls of the King, Nicole Lavigne and Marie Bilodeau, accompanied by the eclectic musical talents of Jason Sonier, journey into this tale of darkness versus light to explore the role of prophecy and fate in the lives of these two fascinating mythic figures. Let the enchantment begin!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Serialization: Part 1 of 3

Are you thinking of serializing your own novel?  I'm sharing some of my thoughts and experiences from serializing Nigh, from why I did it, to some technical lessons, and of course the most important part - how to adapt your story so that it works as a serialized piece.

This is the next part of the writing life series, although it's hosted over at Black Gate Magazine. Check out this first post!  

Friday, 7 August 2015

GUEST POST: What's In A Name? Changing Perspectives

Continuing on our little impromptu series, here's the perspective of an upcoming writer. Nicole Lavigne is very active in the community and she's hardworking and very ambitious. Keep an eye out for her name, coming in bookstores everywhere soon, I've no doubt!  

Speaking of names (ha), I was stunned to learn that my SF Signal blog post had made such an impact on her, especially knowing that she tends to think things through. This is a perfect example of how what we do now, as authors, can impact future authors. Small ripples in a large ocean. But every little bit makes a difference. Words are power. We're authors, so let's reclaim that power. (Damn it.)


I've wanted to be a writer for pretty much forever (aside from that blip in grade one when I wanted to be a French teacher) and for all that time the name that I envisioned on those future book covers was N.L. Lavigne. My reasons for imagining my initials instead of my first name though had absolutely nothing to do with the bias against women writers that everyone is talking about. Not because that issue didn't exist but ten year-old me wasn't aware of it. It was only in the last couple of years that I even started to think about the outside perception of what name I choose to publish under.


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

GUEST POST: Names Have Power

Following my blarghing about female authors hiding their gender in pseudonyms, I wanted to get some different thoughts on the whole thing. I invited Sheena McNeil, Editrix-in-Chief of Sequential Tart, avid reader, burgeoning fiction author and just all around awesome individual, to share her thoughts on the matter. Thanks for sharing, Sheena!   

I love reading stories that touch on that theme. There's usually magic and / or magical beings involved (dragons, demons, sorcerers, etc.), and knowing someone or something's true name allows one power over them / it. In this case, names are personal, not just because they belong to the character, but because it allows a deeper level of interaction with that character -- and usually not in a good way. True names were kept secret because the use of it could allow control over the named. Sometimes, true names can be shared with someone (usually one person -- a soul mate) and shows the ultimate trust. Doctor Who keeps teasing us with this (and I hope they continue to, because the mystery adds to the character). Parents know how to use the power of a name (or at least they did when I was growing up); if they used your full name (including the middle name), you were in trouble and / or need to do or stop doing something immediately. Using your full name means they're serious, and attempting to avoid whatever it is will lead to unpleasant consequences. It was a way to rein you in.

Yes, people suck. And names get judged. So what are you gonna do about it?

We judge gender, ethnicity, even the style of the book and writing just by looking at the author's name. This is nothing new - it's not like humanity is known for its non-judgmental ways. There are bars somewhere out there, on tiny planets with giant telescopes aimed our way, where multiple-armed universethropologists study how complicated we make everything (they're in bars because they're more enlightened, which discourages them and ergo encourages them to drink).

A recent Jezebel article, Homme de Plume: What I Learned Sending my Novel out Under a Male Name, has been making the rounds. Okay, I won't say that these articles/studies/constant reminders that ya, being a female writer has its unique challenges, don't suck. Because it isn't awesome enough already to get creepy e-mails from dudes about how, even though they've not read me, they won't because I'm probably a better lay than I am a read. (I doubt they're experts in either those subjects, quite frankly.)

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A Year Later, I'm Still Standing (Mostly)

Life isn't an adventure. It's an experiment. A glorious experiment, with more variables than can be controlled, too little time to try even a pinch of the possibilities, and so many deviations that we don't even have a good comparative baseline. The only certainty is the final outcome. So don't just spice your life. Throw some freaking explosive chemicals into the mix and see what happens.*

A year ago, I left my gainful full-time employment for a slew of reasons. But mainly I wanted to try full-time creation as my main breadwinner.  It was a tough decision, and one that I've only regretted a few times (the only way you don't give up a full-time salary and not regret it is if you're independently wealthy, I've learned).

But, overall, it's been worthwhile.  I honestly believe that we can make art a viable career option. I'm currently experimenting to see if I can personally make it work. I haven't chatted much about this decision on my blog. For me, writing is a very personal process, and this entire journey has often left me feeling unbalanced, teetering from terror to elation. It's dizzying.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Riverfest at Pinhey's Point!

Join some fun and sun on Sunday, August 9, and come out and hear some stories!  I'll tell some pioneering, seafaring and generally Canadian-ing stories, all with flair and fun and twists, of course! I had the chance to tell ghost stories at Pinhey's Point last year with Ruthanne Edward and Kathryn Hunt, and the site itself is just so beautiful.  Make sure to check it out, for Riverfest or just to wander!

I'll be telling on the hour, every hour, from 10 until 3 (3pm being the final set of the day).  Each set will be about 20 minutes, so plan accordingly. And yes, my stories will be completely appropriate for families. Woo!

Find out more about Riverfest and Pinhey's Point Historic Site

I told a story of rats taking over a lighthouse in the ruins of the old summer kitchen, by a bonfire, while sipping hot apple cider. Until we were rained out, which really worked for this story and so I pretended it was totally planned. BWA HA HA ! Picture courtesy of Pinheys' Point. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Kingston and Orillia!

This coming Saturday (July 25), I'll have the pleasure of being *everywhere!*  Well, in two places, anyway.

I'll start the day at the inaugural Limestone Genre Expo, in Kingston, Ontario. This looks like a fantastic event, and I highly recommend it.  I'll be at the following:

10:00 am - 11:00 am
FANTASY PANEL
Moderator: Derek Newman-Stille
Panelists: Violet Malan, Kit Daven, Marie Bilodeau, Jen Frankel, Alyssa Cooper

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
STORYTELLING
Stories from Beyond the Veil: The End is Nigh
This is your chance to catch the show that accompanies the books.  Don't miss it!  

I'm leaving Kingston by 3:00 at the latest, so make sure to see me in the Atrium if you want to pick up any books before I screech my tires out of the parking lot and head to the Leacock Summer Festival in Orillia, Ontario!

8:00 pm
Leacock Museum
SF Readings with Robert J. Sawyer, Robert Charles Wilson and Marie Bilodeau!

Come out and party!  This event will be great, too!

See you on the road!  

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Real Reasons Behind Unpoppable Bubble Wrap (Be Warned. And Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.)

It was with great concern that I read this seemingly innocuous article: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/revamped-bubble-wrap-no-longer-pop-able-2015-07-02.  Great concern.  So much concern, in fact, that I wrote a letter about it.  Hopefully it will not be a letter without reply  In this case, no reply may just be the most frightening reply of all.


Dear Leaders of the World:

It was with fear and dismay that I read that new bubble wrap is unpoppable. This concerns me so deeply that I felt compelled to write to you. All of you.

First of all, have you considered the implications of this?  Bubble wrap is well known to be a healthy and drug-free stress relief technique. By removing the Joy of the Pop (TM*), you are in fact making this nation, all nations, more dependent on drugs.  If we dig deeper, would it be revealed that this endeavor holds ties to the pharmaceutical industry?  Would it, Leaders of the World? 

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Once Upon a Time, There Were... Endings

The final installment of what Black Gate Magazine called "the first great serialized novel of 2015" is now available! Nigh 5 concludes the story of Alva Viola Taverner, Hector Henry Featherson and everyone else who joined them on their journey of survival through the faerie-apocalypse.

If you've been waiting for the series to end before picking it up, now is the time! Book 1 is available as a free ebook at most online retailers, so check it out if you haven't yet.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey. Nigh was a labour of love and I'm very happy to share the final part with all of you I'm also a little heartbroken to see it end, as I loved spending time in this horrific yet heartwarming world.

Is this the end of Nigh?  I somehow doubt it.  Stay tuned for more updates and, if you enjoyed this journey, please review and recommend the books. I appreciate your support and enthusiasm!  

Until next time! 


The world didn’t end. 

It shifted. Adapted. Changed. 

Everything Alva Viola Taverner has ever understood or known is gone. She’s a mechanic in a world of magic and faeries, where gears long ago turned to rust and dust. Only one thing now matters: surviving long enough to save those she considers her family. 

But when the world itself is destroyed by the fairy tale, can there be a happily ever after? 


Amazon.com  *   Amazon.ca  *  Kobo  *  Nook  *  iBooks

Monday, 22 June 2015

Introducing Planet X Podcast!

When someone awesome like Jay Odjick approaches you to propose a new project, you say yes without even asking for details. Well, I did, anyway, and I certainly have no regrets!

Jay wanted to chat pop culture and geek news on a new weekly podcast, including comic book picks, movie reviews, TV and video game news... all coated in bad jokes and cool music.
 
He also brought on board Ken Bonnie, a past reviewer for Rue Morgue.  I didn't know Ken before this, and I'm glad Jay introduced us. Much like Jay, Ken is just the right combo of smart and funny, and the three of us hit our stride right away!

Episodes 1 and 2 are widely available, including on iTunes.  Our cyber-home is here, but follow us wherever you get your podcasts from!  We'll endeavour to post every Sunday evening/Monday morning to start your week off right (that's totally a thing)!

Hope you'll give us a listen!  See you on Planet X!


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Storytelling at Glowfair

Back for its second year, Glowfair is a huge festival that takes over Bank Street in Ottawa over the course of two days. This year, I'm extremely happy to announce that I'll be telling some stories on both days!

Kids Storytelling, Friday, June 19
7 pm - 7:30 pm
Lisgar and Cooper, Kids Zone
I'll be telling stories for children, so fun stuff with singing and rhymes and probably a fluffy animal or two. And definiely space spiders, because space spiders.

Family Storytelling in the Enchanted Forest, Saturday, June 20
11:00 am- 11:45 am 
2:00 pm - 2:45 pm 
5:00 pm- 5:45 pm
MacLaren to Gilmour
I'm telling stories in an Enchanted Forest!  That's definitely a first, and I'm very excited.  These will be family appropriate, so I won't be killing anyone off.  We're definitely going to have fairy stories and maybe more space spiders, because space spiders.

Come on out and enjoy this wonderful festival! They have lots of great acts, activities and shows. Check out their full schedule!

Oh, did I mention that it was all free to attend?  Pretty sweet deal.

See you there!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Thank you, Ottawa!

For the second year in a row, ChiSeries Ottawa is nominated for the Aurora Awards*!  As one of the co-chairs, my name appears on the ballot, along with Matt Moore and Nicole Lavigne (two of my favourite people).

Some quirks have developed over time at ChiSeries Ottawa, possibly because its three chairs are rather quirky (which I believe is a prerequisite to becoming a ChiSeries chair).  Our fundraiser consists of a hat story (which is some of my favourite storytelling), and two fundraising goals. When Goal 1 is reached, Matt wears the hat for the night. When goal 2 is reached, he uses the hat picture as his Facebook profile picture for the month.  (Public humiliation is always great for raising funds. Thanks, Matt!)

Hunting for non-wool hats that fit both my head and Matt's is an art form that has led me across Canada and the United States. But seeing how great Matt looks in those hats makes it all worthwhile.


Last night, to celebrate our second nomination, we had a great lineup of readers.  OKAY THEY WERE BOOKED BEFORE WE WERE NOMINATED. But damn they're good writers, so we'll pretend it was all planned. Check out Kate Story, James K. Moran and Melissa Yuan-Innes - you won't be disappointed!

Roomy and I also got excited and decided we'd make little cupcakes to celebrate the nomination. Then we decided cupcakes would be a lot of work.  Then we thought: everyone loves brownies! And people expect a hat story at ChiSeries.

We combined those concepts to make little Matt Heads.

Nothing says yummy cuteness like chocolatey heads of your friends!
At first, I thought it was hilarious.  I giggled as we made Matt Heads wearing little fez hats (I tried to find a fez btw. Really tough thing to do last minute).  Then I started feeling guilty as I made little dead Matt Heads with bleeding hat wounds.

X marks the spot of dead Matt Heads.
But Matt likes zombies, so I figured that'd be okay. We made angry Matts, happy Matts, lovey Matts and Dead Matts.

Then, as a thank you to all our dedicated audience for the nomination, we fed them Matt Heads.

... In retrospect, that might have been a bit wrong.

It's a  Matt eat Matt kind of world.

Thank you all for your support! As Matt mentioned last night, it's Nicole's first time on the ballot. She's excited.  Make Nicole's Aurora dreams come true by voting for *her*.  Don't let her become old multiple Aurora-nominated foggies like Matt and I, having being in the presence of multiple Aurora Awards (mostly Hayden Trenholm's**) and yet having never won one.  

Don't let the Nicoles of this world suffer.

Look at that happy face! Why would you want to destroy that smile?  WHAT KIND OF A MONSTER ARE YOU???
* Vote for us! CAN-CON is also on the ballot. They are also awesome. Vote for them if not for us! :P Go, Ottawa!  

** I'm pretty sure Hayden invites us over some days just so he can sit in front of his shiny Aurora Awards, slowly sipping red wine as he gauges our expressions of disappointment. I don't mind because he gives us red wine, too. If I had a bunch of shiny Aurora Awards, I imagine I'd do the same thing. Except I'd add a disco ball for lighting effect.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Anime North Schedule!

Roomy and I are off to Toronto for Anime North! If you're there and would like to chat writing, storytelling or just, you know, chat, you can find me here:

The Co-Creative Process 
Friday at 2000 (8:00 pm) in Ottawa (International Plaza) 
Working as part of a creative team to meet your deadlines without ending up dead! 

Collecting: When is Enough Too Much? 
Saturday at 1400 (2:00 pm) in Ottawa (International Plaza) 
A frank discussion about managing a collection, including budgeting, defending your collection, and letting go.

Paper to eBooks 
Saturday at 1500 (3:00 pm) in Ottawa (International Plaza) 
An apparently simple change, but everything changed. A panel of authors reveal the far reaching implications of this new distribution channel. 

Business of writing 
Saturday at 1600 (4:00 pm) in Ottawa (International Plaza) 
So you wrote it. Now how do you make money with it? How could you keep doing so and make a livelihood from hitting your keyboard? 

Help! I've run out of space! 
Saturday at 2300 (11:00 pm) in Ottawa (International Plaza) 
Let's talk about curating, displaying, and enjoying a collection.

I'll also be at Roomy's panels, playing technical support. Check out her schedule.

I just noticed that all of my panels are in the Ottawa room.  Ha ha! That's awesome. And fitting.

Hope to see you there!

Final Cover Reveal! The End of the End is... Nigh.

Coming soon, the end of the saga that became a bestseller in Canada, the U.S. and Italy! 

The flames ignited on the cover of book one break into embers, ashes and smoke on the cover of book five. And so all good (and terrifying) things must come to an end. Don't miss the ending of the fairy tale that ended our world!

"The First Great Serialized Novel of 2015." - Black Gate Magazine



Nigh - Book 5

The world didn’t end.

It shifted. Adapted. Changed.

Everything Alva Viola Taverner has ever understood or known is gone. She’s a mechanic in a world of magic and faeries, where gears long ago turned to rust and dust. Only one thing now matters: surviving long enough to save those she considers her family.

But when the world itself is destroyed by the fairy tale, can there be a happily ever after?

Cover Art by Kerri Elizabeth Gerow and Design by Designs by Lynsey.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Nigh 4 is Now Available!

I could not be more proud of this book, partly because I KICKED FAERIE BUTT TO GET IT OUT! This is the fourth of a serialized novel. The fifth is coming out in just three weeks, and I can't wait to share the end with you. Remember: Once upon a time, there were no more happy endings.


_____
With the hopes of the faerie realm turned to dust, Alva Viola Taverner and Hector Henry Featherson strike the final blow to the veil between worlds, shattering it and returning them to the human realm. 

But one hundred years has passed for humanity, and things have changed. The world awaiting them now bears larger teeth and sharper claws, and it hungers for much more than their lives.
_____


Since this book was released slightly off schedule, I'm holding a $0.99 sale this weekend! Every Nigh book will be on sale until Monday, so catch up this weekend if you can!

Buy links will be updated as they come up! Woo!

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
GooglePlay
Kobo

Thursday, 30 April 2015

THE FAERIES HAVE STRUCK!

I giggled when I noticed that Amazon seemed to think Nigh should be categorized in Biographies & Memoirs.  I write a convincing faerie-apocalypse, I told myself.

WELL IT'S NOT FUNNY ANYMORE!


Because it might be true.  

Nigh 4 has been struck with a string of unfortunate events that slowed down production.  Instead of releasing a sub-standard product (gasp!), we'll finish it off right and release it soon. 

Obviously the faerie-pocalypse is a thing the faeries don't want you to read about, especially as we're just about to step back into our world in Nigh 4. FEAR NOT!  I will bring you all the tips you'll need to survive this calamity!  Or I will show you how to die terribly but with some sort of dignity (maybe).  

You're welcome.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this!  Keep an eye on my blog for updates and sign up for my Newsletter if you'd like purchasing links sent directly to your inbox (check the right-hand column to sign up).

In the meantime, here's a bit of a preview!  FIGHT ON!

“By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung.”
 -- William Collins, Ode Written in the Year 1746


Up above, the sky shattered.
Like falling stars, the gray tumbled down around them, shimmering into a light so bright that Alva’s eyes watered. But still she kept them open and looked through her tears. This wasn’t something she was willing to miss.
The falling patches from the sky crumpled and melted into the ground, joining the purple and green stars below them, swirling together to form a new pattern.
The world stilled. The stars stopped moving. The tiniest sound, from her breath to Hector’s coat shifting with his small movement, was amplified tenfold and echoed, as if they were caught in an endless chamber.
The floor trembled and Hector’s grip tightened on her hand. The stars from below swirled up, around them and through them, tiny electric shocks coursing through her body. The stars exploded, splattering glittered light everywhere.
The fragment of light set fire to invisible walls, green and purple flames dancing in a non-existent breeze. Al heard the Pete-Not-Pete cry out in fear behind her, and she forced herself to keep facing forward.
The flames grew wider and licked the air around her, but they did not burn her.
“The veil is fading,” Hector said.
Bits of flames erupted from the larger columns, floating away as embers, before burning out, dissipating with the fading light.
As the flames vanished, night grew in intensity. For one second, as the last flame burnt out, Alva stood in complete, smothering darkness, and she feared that this would be her end.
This was where they would be trapped forever, until they perished slow, agonizing deaths.
But then a crack appeared before her. And behind her. Around her, everywhere, cracks appeared, bright rainbows at first and then gray like a mirror.
The cracks joined one another, crisscrossing in wild patterns all around them.
And then the walls shattered.
Alva felt the ground solidify under her feet. The daylight hurt her eyes, but she forced herself to look.
And to see her world as it stood before her.
A world much the same, yet completely different.


--- to be continued ---

Friday, 17 April 2015

Cover Reveal for Nigh 4

In Nigh 4 we move from apocalypse to post-apocalypse, where the dangers are still very real and even more unpredictable.

Catch up on Nigh now before the next installment releases on April 30!  Nigh closes in May with Nigh 5. But will there be a happily ever after in this faerie apocalypse?



And all four books so far, in a neat little row...



Woo! 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Off to BC!

For the next ten days, I'll be on Vancouver Island doing lots of awesome stuff!  Public events include:

Friday, April 17 to Sunday, April 19
The Odyssey
Nanaimo, BC
Because telling this once at the National Arts Centre wasn't enough!  I get to dive back into Homer for some more exploration. This time, I'm doing Chapter 18, the Beggar in the Palace, and it's a fun chapter. I can't wait to tell it!
Check out the full event details. If you're around, don't miss it. It's a worthwhile experience.

Friday, April 24
Stories of Nigh
Parksville, BC
This is it! The launch of the full show that accompanies the serialized novel. I premiered some of it at Ad Astra this weekend, but this one is the full set. BUT, no worries - I'll be touring this in Ontario in the fall.  With special surprises.
Check out the event details here!

Saturday, April 25
Writing Workshops!  
I'll be giving a workshop on social media for writers, and one on increasing tension in your story. You can attend both for a special price, and it's all super cheap.  So come on out and let's get our smarts on!
Check out the event details here.

Thanks to Marva Blackmore for organizing this whole tour and billeting me, to fellow writer Derek Künsken for being silly enough to agree to drive me to the airport at stupid o'clock tomorrow morning, and to Roomy for making sure the house doesn't explode while I'm away (chances of it not exploding are much higher when I'm away, but still!)

See you again soon, Ottawa! BC, here I come!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Tonight in Peterborough!

Come say hi and get a copy of Nigh 1! I'll be reading from Nigh, of course.

Cheers!



Thursday, 26 March 2015

Nigh 3 is available!

This is it! Halfway point, in what early readers are calling the darkest installment yet!

Pick up a copy!  Spread the word!  Eat some confetti!  No wait, don't eat the confetti.  But throw it around! Make it sparkly confetti for extra points!

WOOOO!



Alva Viola Taverner never thought she would reach safety, especially not in a world so different than her own fractured one.

But sometimes, safety can be the most dangerous blessing of all.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Stories of Nigh Show Preview

Nigh 3 is coming out tomorrow! I'm so excited!!!

*launches confetti rocket*

Nigh 3 is the midpoint of the serialized novel. Well, sort of. BWA HA HA HA!


Part of Nigh is an experiment in mixing art forms. The whole premise comes from the old faerie stories, which were told from generation to generation.

Hence, the books will be supported and enhanced by a storytelling show, even though you don't need to hear it to enjoy the book, and vice versa. I'm premiering this show in BC next month, and I've been hard at work over the past few months developing it.

IN THE MEANTIME, I'll send parts of it out - the parts that directly relate to characters in Nigh. I have plans for these stories. I'm still ironing them out, but they're ready to be shared.

If you want to hear a bit of the upcoming show Stories of Nigh, sign up for my eNewsletter.   I'll send links out that way. It's going to be informal, because I'm an informal teller that way.

*ducks at exploding confetti rocket*

The newsletter will go out Friday, so don't miss out!

*dances and cackles madly in confetti*

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Extroversion Explosion

If you've ever met me in person and even if you aren't an extremely astute person, you may have noticed that I definitely possess a strong penchant for extroversion. I'm not necessarily about all crowds all the time (though it is easier to get away with tripping people this way), but human interaction works out for me.

Funny thing is: working from home as a writer means that YOU STAY ALONE WITH YOURSELF ALLLLL DDAAAAYYYY LOOONNG!  (I know - weird, eh?)

Almost eight months ago, I'd practically pounce my very introverted Roomy when she got home. We have a French door separating our foyer from our house. I'd stand on the other side waiting for her to cross.  I probably looked psychotic.  I can assure you she looked frightened and a little bit sad.

I learned to curb the crazy extrovert and wait for her to come to me. Like a gazelle. I'd hold out my twitching hand with some chocolate (keeping fingers flat so as not to get bit), and see if she'd come to me. Sometimes, she's bounce upstairs in a flurry. Other times, she'd come over. 

IT WAS UNPREDICTABLE BUT MY EXTROVERSION IS PREDICTABLE!

I invited friends over, but then I became less productive. I met my writing buddy Linda Poitevin once a week for coffee, and almost burst with extroversion every time (sorry, Linda). I wanted to get out of my head so bad at times that I'd go chat up random people in the mall. I'd call up my bank just to say hi. The people at my Internet provider don't even pick up anymore.  I'm like a mad flurry of activity on social media.

And this, people, is me playing it cool.

Part of learning to be a full time writer, aside from mastering routines and time management, is learning to know more about myself. I always *knew* I was an extrovert, but since I had daily contact with people, it never struck me how much I needed that regular human interaction.

Thing is, it's actually impacting my writing. I get an energy from people that I can't duplicate on my own, and that energy goes into the writing. So, basically, I'm learning that I'm better for regular interaction.

Hu.

No one told me that in writing school. Wait, I didn't go to writing school. What do I know.  Still, not wanting to ignore clear signs of growing insanity, I'm going to be helping out on a part-time basis at a local arts organization. I'll get to chat with people and have regular interactions again.

Best part of working in any organization is that people are paid to stand each other.  Brilliant, no?  

I'm very excited by this opportunity. I'm still part of a vibrant community while getting out a few days a week. I've already reworked my routine so word count will stay up.  I'm actually thinking it might increase, but that remains to be seen. 

It's interesting to discover a whole new level of insanity that I didn't even know existed, and to learn about where my inspiration comes from. I feel like I'm figuring out where the sizzling energy of writing comes from, at least for me.

Then I can bottle it and drink it at will!  HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!  (Soylent Green Beverage. Be the most human you can be.  Bwa ha ha ha ha!)

... I know, I know, I need to get out more.  I know! Believe me.  I really know.

And I am.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Ad Astra Schedule!

Parté time in Toronto!

FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015

Storytelling Show: Stories of Nigh
9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Room: Markham B

Come hear stories of the darkest faeries, from old folklore to the current day. Step into this faerie circle and you'll never be the same again... (PG)

Podcasting After Dark 2: Kaiju Boogaloo
10:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Room: Newmarket
With Adam Shaftoe, Kate Heartfield, Matt Moore
A critical deconstruction of gender, racism, sexism, and ableism in Warhammer 40K, peeling back the layers rather than genuflecting to the static fan culture that WH40K has built up over the years.

Late Night Slash Fiction Readings
Time: 11:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Panelists: Michael Matheson, Leah Bobet, Angela Keeley, Simon McNeil, Adam Shaftoe, Kris Ramsey, Beverly Bambury, Kari Maaren, Marie Bilodeau, David Blackwood (Other panelists welcome.)

Note from organizer Michael Matheson: The end time on this panel is an approximation. This one goes as long as the panelists and the audience feel like running it. Also, this panel is alcohol enabled and welcoming. BYOB. (Though some will be provided by yours truly.) All readings will ideally be no more than 500 words. (It’s good in theory, we’ll see how that holds up.)
Late Night 18+ Slash Fiction reading – exactly what it says. BYO Fiction, brain bleach and sense of humour. Viewer discretion is 200% advised.


SATURDAY, APRIL 11, 2015

CAN-CON PARTY
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
There will be caffeine and a tar pit of chocolate where you can dip dinosaur cookies! Ha ha ha ha! Celebrate the circle of life as you get sugared up.

When the Gods Run Amok: Ancient, New and Urban Mythology
Time: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Room: Markham B
Panelists: Chadwick Ginther, Doug Smith, Kelley Armstrong

Urban fantasy gives us the chance to play around with our archetypal fairy tales and mythology. We can bring the gods down to our level and we get to bring magic into the everyday. Why is this so compelling?


SUNDAY, APRIL 12, 2015

Reading: Marie Bilodeau & Geoff Gander
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Room: Whitchurch

We're fun.  Come on out!

Fairy Tales: Rewriting Grimm, Anderson and Aesop Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Room: Richmond A
Panelists: Alisse Lee Goldenberg, Anne Bishop, Charles de Lint, Ellie Di Julio

Fairy Tales have been through the press a few times - they've gone from dark and twisted to Disneyfied and back again - they see-saw between "kid friendly" and "dear sweet Satan I am never sleeping again". Fairy Tales are every where, they are archetypal and they inform our lives from childhood on. Why do we cling to them and what do we want from them?

Friday, 20 March 2015

No rest for the Weary or the Wicked....

Nigh is reaching its halfway point with Nigh 3, which will be released next Thursday!

Have you had a chance to catch up on the faerie-pocalypse, yet?  Alva and her friends had a rough time so far (faeries are MEAN!), and survival is not guaranteed.

Book 3 is a departure (which I won't spoil), where safety could prove the most disastrous blessing.

Here's the cover, with a sample below!  THERE WILL BE TREATS FOR MY E-NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS NEXT WEEK!  Consider yourself warned. Sign up now.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Water trickled through the crack in the windshield, reflecting twilight. Despite the sun, it glittered with darkness. Alva Viola Taverner looked at it with a strange disconnect, counting the drops as they fell on the dashboard and slid, still glittering, out of the bright sunlight.

Her head chimed with music from distant flutes. And bells.

She watched the water drip down the dashboard, down. She was leaning back on her seat. Her head hurt, but the sounds seemed to keep the pain at bay. She couldn’t move her arms, her body shrouded in the fatigue of an interrupted deep sleep.

The water dripped off the dashboard. Like a diamond tear it fell, then landed on her jeans. It stayed perfectly round against the blue denim, then smoke started to form, wisps of dark glitter.

Pain struck like a sledgehammer, shattering the pleasant numbness and silencing the music in her head. She shot up, screamed and threw open Percival’s door in an attempt to escape more dripping water. Another drop narrowly missed her leg, sizzling on Percival’s floor mat.

Her leg, head, heck, her entire body hurt. Her breath exploded out in short bursts and the sun burned her eyes. She knelt and lowered her head, afraid she would throw up. She closed her eyes and focused on her breathing, slowing it down, trying to still her mind and body.

Each gasp came coated with a different scent. Lilies of the valley. Lavender. Cotton candy. Cookies. Alva re-opened her eyes but kept her head lowered, cold realization numbing her hands.

She wasn’t in her world, anymore.
_______________________________________________________________________________

(Ooooooooo!)

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Nigh 1 is available in PRINT! MY FIRST HARDCOVER! *swoon*

In the tradition of fairy tale books, Nigh 1 is now available as a beautiful hard cover edition, with special hand drawn art inside (by Kerri Elizabeth Gerow, the artist who did the cover art).  You can order your copy online or get one from your bookstore (go nuts and encourage them to get them in if they don't stock it!)

If you do buy one, send me a note about it and I'll gladly mail you a signed bookplate.  Or, find me at a convention!  

I'll be at Ad Astra next, and I'll definitely have copies with me.  Check out where in the country I'll be in April.  I got exhausted just updating April, so I'll update the rest later. 


Here are some links where you can order the hardcover edition:

And look at some of the pretty art!


The end is NIGH!

If you haven't read the book, this looks romantic.
The FEELS!