5 Questions for Nancy Jane Moore

I met Nancy Jane Moore originally at one of the readings for the sponsors of Borderlands Bookstore.  Turns out, she is also one of my sisters in Broad Universe, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.

In addition to The Weave, published by Aqueduct Press, Nancy Jane Moore is the author of a number of short stories and novellas. Her novella Changeling is available from Aqueduct and her collection Conscientious Inconsistencies was published by PS Publishing. Ebooks of her work are also available through Book View Café. She holds a fourth degree black belt in Aikido and teaches empowerment self defense. A native Texan who spent many years in Washington, DC, she now lives in Oakland, California, with her sweetheart and his cats.

The Weave brings us a first-contact story in which humans, seeking to exploit the much-needed resources of a system inhabited by creatures they assume are “primitive” and defenseless, discover their mistake the hard way. Human Caty Sanjuro, a seasoned marine and dedicated xenologist, and native Sundown, a determined astronomer, struggle to establish communication across the many barriers that divide their species: at first because they share a passionate interest in alien species, but finally because they know that only they can bridge the differences across species threatening catastrophe for both sides.

Did something in the real world inspire The Weave?

In a sense, it goes back to a childhood experience at the planetarium at Texas Tech, when I asked a question about other life in the universe. The grad student who was running the show said, “There’s no such thing as aliens.” I was ten and even then I knew that was ridiculous. There must be all kinds of life in the universe, some of it with intelligence and consciousness. Whether we’ll ever meet other life is a different question, but one that’s fun to play with.

The other inspiration for this particular story was the invasion of the Americas by the Europeans and the ultimate destruction of many civilizations. My human explorers are as greedy in some ways as the conquistadores, but while they pride themselves on being more humane than that, they do not have much respect for the Cibolan (the aliens) civilization. However, while the Cibolans don’t have human technology, they have a system of telepathic communication which gives them the capacity to defend themselves and protect their world.

I was also tired of both stories about evil aliens and those about humans destroying alien cultures, so I wanted one where not only was neither side the bad guys. Neither side was all-powerful.

What is your favorite scene in the book?

In truth, it’s probably the prologue, in which both a human child and an alien one tell their respective parents, with great seriousness, that some day they’re going to meet aliens — and the epilogue, in which those two children, now adults, are taking steps to become true friends. There’s a lot of adventure in between, but while I love adventure, the sweetness of that connection gets me every time.

What was your writing process like as you wrote The Weave?

As with most everything I write, my process started with just writing until I figured out what was going on, and then revising a lot. I did go off for a week to a cabin in the country and worked on it all day every day, which got it to the point where there was enough book to work with. Another key experience came after I’d finished an early draft. I saw a call for short stories and realized that a back story for my main character, Caty Sanjuro, would fit that anthology. I wrote it and sold it, then realized it belonged in the novel, too.

What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?

Two things: First, it got a good review from Locus and ended up on their recommended reading list for 2015. Secondly, it was included in SFWA’s science fiction story bundle, which got it to a lot more readers.

What do you have planned next?

I’ve just finished a novel that grew out of my short story “A Mere Scutcheon,” which itself came from wishing there were swordswomen in The Three Musketeers. It’s out at a publisher now and I have my fingers crossed. I’m working on a novel inspired by Joanna Russ’s “When It Changed” that includes a generation ship, artificial intelligence, and a certain amount of Aikido.

You can pick up a copy of The Weave on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PFawKM.

Check out Nancy’s Amazon page: https://amzn.to/2rAp0Sy.

Or read her blog: bookviewcafe.com/blog. She posts on Thursdays.

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Horror Bites

My friend Emerian Rich has a new book out. It’s called Horror Bites and she has this to say about it:

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present our top 14 contestants in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. The included stories, scripts, and poems are the result of the hard work and dedication these fine writers put forth to win a book contract. Some learned they loved writing and want to pursue it as a career for the rest of their lives. Some discovered they should change careers either to a different genre of writing or to a new career entirely. Whatever lessons came along the way, they each learned something about themselves and grew as writers. We hope you enjoy the writing as much as we did.

 HorrorAddicts.net continues our Horror Bites series with a bundle of new fiction by our Next Great Horror Writer Contestants.

Featuring work by:

  • Jonathan Fortin
  • Naching T. Kassa
  • Daphne Strasert
  • Jess Landry
  • Harry Husbands
  • Sumiko Saulson
  • Adele Marie Park
  • Feind Gottes
  • JC Martínez
  • Cat Voleur
  • Abi Kirk-Thomas
  • Timothy G. Huguenin
  • Riley Pierce
  • Quentin Norris

With introduction by Emerian Rich.

Just 99 cents at Amazon.com

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A sneak peek inside…

A VAMPIRE AND A ZOMBIE
by Abi Kirk-Thomas

Submitted for the Poetry challenge, Episode #141

 

I shall tell you a tale of a romance most deluded,

Between a zombie and a vampire and nothing else included,

They once came together during the end of the world,

The vampire was a man and we think the zombie was a girl,

 

He tried to attack her, but all she did was groan,

He bit her rotten skin, all she did was moan,

He pulled back and frowned, looked at her dry-bloodied face,

Flicking the maggots off, she was the last of the human race,

 

She had no toes and half of a head,

She was the only body to keep him warm in his bed,

And although she craved no blood, nor food, or sleep,

He made up his mind, for her he would keep,

 

They went for long walks. Rotting corpses did they pass,

They played with dead dogs, birds, cats it was a blast!

Then every evening, they sat and stared,

At the crumbling city around them, which they could never compare,

 

During the day he did nothing but rest,

She watched over his body, she loved this the best,

Throughout the night they would stare in each other’s eyes,

And when she lay in his arms, they would watch the star-speckled skies.

 

On his three-hundredth birthday, she gave him a flower,

He asked her where she found it, and she showed him a tower,

And there within its dank and moldy beams,

Were a small carpet of forget-me-nots, he’d seen on old movie screens,

 

He told her that flower was part of his past.

“I will not forget you and our love even till the last,”

She wished she could tell him, how much of him she did adore

He kissed her soft lips and she prayed she could have more.

 

He knew the life of a zombie was dire,

They had no purpose like he had as a vampire,

He was to kill all humans and to suck them all dry,

But now it was the two of them, there was no one else to die…To read more, click here.

 

Author: Abi Kirk-Thomas: I’m Abi and I live in the UK and I studied as a theoretical archaeologist in Wales. I live with my husband and my 2-year old chocolate Lab called Adam. I’m currently studying massage therapy. I love reading horror and I dabble from time to time in poetry.

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HorrorAddicts.net

for Horror Addicts, by Horror Addicts

Listen to the HorrorAddicts.net podcast for the latest in horror news, reviews, music, and fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net Press

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Tales for the Camp Fire charity anthology

Coming this May from Tomes & Coffee press is Tales for the Camp Fire, a benefit anthology I edited which will raise money for survivors of last year’s devastating wildfire in Northern California.

The preorder link will be coming soon, but for now, here’s the cover image and Table of Contents!

In the Face of the Fire | Loren Rhoads
California’s Worst Natural Disaster | Chad Schimke
Cooking with Rodents | Nancy Etchemendy
The Ninth Skeleton | Clark Ashton Smith
The Wolf Who Never Was | John McCallum Swain
The Quarry | Ben Monroe
Seven Seconds | Erika Mailman
The White Stuff | Gerry Griffiths
Still Life with Shattered Glass | Loren Rhoads
Fable of the Box | Eric Esser
Ada, Awake | L.S. Johnson
Graffiti Sonata | Gene O’Neill
John Wilson | Clifford Brooks
River Twice | Ken Hueler
Leaving the #9 | E.M. Markoff
Folie à Deux | Ross E. Lockhart
Unheard Music in the Dank Underground | Sumiko Saulson
Mukden | Sean Patrick Hazlett
Little Pink Flowers | Roh Morgon
Road Kill | Jeff Seeman
The Relic | Crystal M. Romero
The Twins | G. O. Clark
Vivified | Chad Schimke
The Patron | Anthony De Rouen
My True Name | John Claude Smith
You’ll Never be Lunch in This Town Again | Dana Fredsti

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5 Questions for Meriah Crawford

Meriah Crawford is another of my sisters in Broad Universe, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.

Meriah Lysistrata Crawford is an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as a writer, editor, and private investigator. Among her publications are short stories in several genres, essays, poems, a variety of scholarly work, and the co-written novel The Persistence of Dreams, released in 2018. Meriah has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program and a PhD in literature and criticism from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Her work as a PI, spanning over fifteen years, has included investigations of shootings, murders, burglaries, insurance fraud, auto accidents, backgrounds, counterfeit merchandise, patent infringement, and missing persons.

Her new book is The Persistence of Dreams:

It is 1636: five years after a West Virginia town from the year 2000 arrived in Germany in a flash of light, altering the course of history. Now, down-time master artist Daniel Block is troubled. No mention or proof of his name or lifework, of which he has long been proud, made it through the Ring of Fire; it’s as if he never existed. What can a talented and proud artist like him do, to make sure this new world remembers him long after he’s gone?

Daniel develops a plan to make himself one of the greatest artists the world has ever known, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to see his dreams fulfilled…even if it means risking himself, his wife, and his children.

Intent on changing his own history, Daniel journeys to Grantville to learn about these Americans and their wild and outrageous art forms. But while there, he runs afoul of the up-timers’ strange attitudes—and the law. What follows upends seventeenth-century art, threatens the emperor, and changes Daniel and his family forever.

Did something in the real world inspire The Persistence of Dreams?

Yes! That’s one of the cool things about working with alternate history. You start with reality and then get creative. The reality my co-author Robert Waters started with is the world of the 1632 series started by Eric Flint. (The basic premise is that a section of West Virginia six miles in diameter is transported from 2000 to 1631 Germany, in the midst of the Thirty Years War.) Then we found a real artist from that era, Daniel Block, and asked ourselves, what happens when a truly talented and ambitious artist learns that even art historians don’t know his name? We were also inspired by a few tiny historical fragments indicating that Block had a difficult life involving drunken fights and fraud, and we added in modern art styles, a tragically fractured family, and political intrigue.

What is your favorite scene in the book?

The first section of the novel finds our artist, Daniel Block, accused of inappropriate behavior with a young woman whose portrait he’s been commissioned to paint. The police are involved after the teenager’s father sees Block’s painting and is horrified—not just by the apparent nudity, but by the bizarre mix of traditional and modern art styles, which he absolutely loathes. Block later sets the damaged painting out by the trash, feeling as though his efforts are failing. Then, through a window, Block sees a neighbor looking at the painting. To his amazement and great pleasure, she’s touched by it and takes it home with her. It’s a small moment, but a lovely one that gives Block much-needed hope that he’s on the right track with his art.

What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?

Co-writing can be anywhere from amazing to a total disaster. I’ve been so pleased at how well Robert and I write together. In some cases, we each take on specific characters who we come to know or like, but for the most part, we simply trade the manuscript back and forth, editing the other’s work and adding two thousand or so words each time. We also take time when we can (which is rarely, since we’re both busy and don’t live very close to each other) to sit down and hash out plot ideas and issues. We typically begin a project with at least some kind of outline. As we go, we sometimes do a bit of battle, but the work is completed faster and in better condition because there are two of us focusing on it. And of course, there’s a lot of research as we go to make sure we’re being as accurate as we can be in reproducing the world of the 1630s in Europe.

What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?

Robert and I won a prize, which we were both very honored to receive, for one of the stories that makes up part of the novel!

What do you have planned next?

I recently submitted an alternate history story set in the late 17th century in England, about a lighthouse builder, a great storm, and the hat-making industry. That story should be out in Those in Peril from Theogony Press in early 2019. I’m also working on a mystery novel (in revisions now), as well as books about point of view and the second person.

You can get a copy of The Persistence of Dreams from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PIsvQQ.

Other places to learn more about Meriah’s work:

Website: http://www.meriahcrawford.com/

Blog: http://www.meriahcrawford.com/?page_id=9

Meriah’s Amazon page: https://amzn.to/2PGdmiO

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5 Questions for Kaylie Lanshaw

Tiffanie Shaw — one half of Kaylie Lanshaw — is a member of the Flint Area Writers, the writers group that taught me to write when I lived in Michigan.  I met her at a book signing at Barnes & Noble in Flint after we shared a table of contents in the writers group’s anthology Out of the Green.

Tiffanie has her degree in Mental Health, specializing in Child Development with a minor in Early Childhood Education. She puts her degrees to work in her young adult and new adult fantasy writings, though she has been known to venture off into other genres.

When she isn’t working or spending time with her two children and husband, she is jotting down what the voices in her head are saying. Those voices are plotting out Bound in Blood and Shadows, the dystopian series about the fall of the United States and the coming out of hidden species who have lived among us for years.

Here’s how she describes the first book in the series:

After a civil war twenty years earlier decimated the United States’ economy, the crumbling nation has enough to deal with. When the King of a hidden people steps into the light and the monsters of legend turn out to be more than myth, the disintegrating nation is presented with a whole new set of issues.

Prince Endymion wants to get away. Away from the father who abandoned him as a child. Away from the new Kingdom-State he thought could make everything better. So when his cousin Prince Aldis, heir to the throne, assigns him to a part of the Coexistence Project called the Human Transfer Program, it’s just one more obstacle to fleeing.

But peace is never as easy as war. One misstep could send the two nations spiraling into a conflict that the no-longer-United States might not survive.

Did something in the real world inspire Double-Edged War?

There wasn’t one real thing that inspired the book, really. There was talk about places like Detroit needing to file bankruptcy and I wondered what would happen if some government official decided the best way to handle the United States losing money would be to sell states. From there, my fantasy-riddled mind wondered about the supernaturals buying said states.

What is your favorite scene in the book?


It’s hard to pick just one part of the book that is my favorite, moreso since it’s really two books and both are good. If I had to pick though…it would be the moment Endymion realized that he liked Kaelin. It’s a quick thought that sparks the whole thing. I know with that one little thought, Endymion can move toward a better life. Sure, not all at once and not instantly, but without that first thought, I know where he would have ended up.

What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?

This started out as a short story for a creative writing class. I thought of this idea about a human going to a vampire school to prove there could be peace and wanted to write it from the vampire’s point of view. My classmate, Kayla, liked the idea and said she would love to see it from the human’s side. After a lot of talking and convincing our teacher, she got the ok to do so. Having two different stories that are really one taking place in twenty pages is not easy. Trust me when I say we used up every inch of those pages. (I think some of our classmates were a little irritated with that too. LOL). But we made it work and we loved it.

It took us a few months after class was over to expand it, but once we got into the world, we were hooked. We wrote this book along with several side stories, even some stuff that will happen ten years after these books. It was loads of fun and the story has changed since the first twenty-page draft, but totally for the best.

What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?

We didn’t have huge goals for sales. We heard stories of indie writers selling a handful here and there, but sales being hard. I don’t know about Kayla, but when our sales numbers started coming in… I was shocked. We sold out of the paperbacks that we ordered before the first shipment even arrived at the house. Kindle went even faster. It was an amazing feeling. I mean… that and our first review. That was awesome, too.

What do you have planned next?

I am working on the second book in the series Brink of War with my co-author, Kayla Langmaid. (We published under the name Kaylie Lanshaw.) I am also working on a collection of short stories called Knowing. And my own novel, Mine, which is a LGTB romance. You can find all the updates and information for upcoming books on our website: http://www.boundinbloodandshadows.com/blog.

You can get your own copy of Double-Edged War at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Qx3KMz.

You can check out all of Kaylie Lanshaw’s books at https://amzn.to/2EwMG2T.

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