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New Release – We Are Not This Charity Anthology

October 30, 2016 Leave a comment

51rxx8jz1xlI’m happy to announce that my story “Trapped” is included in the newest release from Falstaff Books, “We Are Not This: Carolina Writers for Equality Charity Anthology.” Proceeds for this anthology go to Time Out Youth, Equality NC, and Queen City Theater Company.

This book is important to me and not only because my story is in it. Sit back and I’ll tell you a little story.

Once upon a late March afternoon in 2016, the North Carolina legislature decided that Charlotte’s inclusive stance regarding trans people using bathrooms consistent with their gender expression was a step too far in the direction of progress and equality. In reaction, a bill was introduced to the house in a special session and pushed through in a shocking burst of activity otherwise unknown in government process. Before the sun set, Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill into law.

But why is everyone so up in arms about HB2? Isn’t it meant to protect? (Read it here)

It depends on who you ask. Advocates for the bill insist it is designed to protect “women and children” against specifically male sexual predators masquerading as women to invade the privacy of public bathrooms and victimize them in that space.

But, it really doesn’t, and the bill does more than that.

The bill is a reaction to the idea of inclusion and equality recognizing trans people as people of their expressed gender identity instead of biological sex. It codifies discrimination and inequality in a way that is harmful to our fellow human beings and citizens. But despite the focus of the media and the conversation about this bill, it doesn’t ONLY target the LGBTQ community. It touches EVERYONE by preventing cities and counties from setting a minimum wage and by establishing definitions of protected classes and changes the way charges of discrimination can be adjudicated when the discrimination claim is based on race, religion, color, national origin, biological sex or disability. Originally, the bill removed the ability for claimants to pursue the charges in state court, but was amended. Charges of discrimination can now be pursued in state courts, but changed the statute of limitations from 3 years to 1 year (source).

But why is this important? Is it really about the bathrooms?

No – this law makes it possible for someone to be fired simply for being gay or transgender and limits the recourse against discriminatory behaviors. (source)

Take that in. North Carolina businesses can legally fire someone for sexual orientation or gender identity.

Legal codification of discrimination is something I cannot ignore. I have spoken out about it, I have communicated with my representatives and senators, I have signed petitions and made donations. Contributing to this anthology is another way I can do something to help those who are affected by North Carolina’s reprehensible HB2 “Bathroom Bill.”

I commend John Hartness at Falstaff Books for driving the development of this anthology and for his outspoken stance against this bill. I’m honored to be included with so many awesome authors to show that We Are Not This, and that we will not tolerate hate.

Get your copy digitally now. Print editions coming soon.

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Janus, on the Cusp of the New Year

January 4, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m a little late with this first post of the year, but I’ve been writing it in my head since Sunday and I haven’t stopped long enough to write it down until now. This is the time of year when we all (in varying degrees of consciousness) honor the Roman god Janus and take a look back over the previous year, and look forward into the new one. We straddle the divide between what has already come to pass and the potential of the future. Some make resolutions, and at one time, I would have been one of them. Since it is far too socially acceptable to break resolutions (just wait until the late January/February commercials start hitting the air to see this mentioned over and over), I don’t make them. I’m not saying that I don’t set goals or that I don’t do everything I can to see them to their completion, but I don’t consider them “resolutions” and I don’t worry about “breaking” them.

Last year, I set a goal for myself to get through a list of 25 books recommended in the Horror Writer’s Association book, On Writing Horror. I dubbed the list The 25 Book Challenge. Here is the list:

  • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley (ended up reading it twice, because I didn’t realize it was on my list for school)
  • Dracula – Bram Stoker
  • The Ghost Pirates -William Hope Hodgson
  • The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James
  • Burn, Witch, Burn – A. Merritt
  • To Walk the Night – William Sloane
  • The Dunwich Horror and others – H.P. Lovecraft (Since I have read quite a bit of Lovecraft, I’m taking the liberty of substituting a the dream cycle anthology I bought a while back)
  • Fear – L. Ron Hubbard
  • Darker Than You Think – Jack Williamson
  • Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber
  • I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
  • Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
  • Richard Matheson: Collected stories 1-3
  • Hell House – Richard Matheson
  • The October Country – Ray Bradbury
  • Something Wicked this Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
  • The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
  • Falling Angel – Wialliam Hjortsberg
  • Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
  • The Stand – Stephen King
  • Watchers – Dean Koontz
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  • Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural – edited by Wise and Fraser
  • The Dark Descent – edited by David Hartwell (got about 1/2 way through this)
  • The Essential Harlan Elllison: A Fifty Year Retrospective – edited by Terry Dowling

All in all, not too bad considering I read several other books NOT on the list (for what they were and my thoughts on EVERYTHING I read, take a look at my What I Read in 2011 page). I made it through 35 books plus a couple I started and didn’t finish and that includes a semester of school and writing my behind off. I think it was a success, even though I didn’t get through everything I planned.

I even got my first fiction piece published! The Unbidden was released as an e-novella by Post Mortem Press this summer and is available on amazon.com on Kindle, through bn.com on Nook and through the iBookstore. For those without a nifty gadget, it’s also available on Smashwords in pdf or html formats that can be read on any computer.

This year, I’m going to be doing the school thing as aggressively as I did last year, so I don’t expect to make it through another 30 books, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try like hell! My intent is to finish the list from last year, add a dash of King, a splash of non-fiction and then turn my focus to Lovecraft. Seeing as how it’s an apocalyptic year and all, the auspicious year might actually herald the coming of the elder gods and I’d rather do my research and be prepared, if you know what I mean…. 😉

Here’s the 2012 Reading List:

  • The Ghost Pirates -William Hope Hodgson
  • The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James
  • Burn, Witch, Burn – A. Merritt
  • To Walk the Night – William Sloane
  • Darker Than You Think – Jack Williamson
  • Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber
  • I Am Legend – Richard Matheson
  • Richard Matheson: Collected stories 1-3
  • Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
  • The Dark Descent – edited by David Hartwell (the remainder)
  • 999 – edited by Al Sarrantonio (the remainder)
  • Dreams of Terror and Death – HP Lovecraft
  • The Watchers out of Time – HP Lovecraft
  • Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos – HP Lovecraft (and others)
  • The Road to Madness – HP Lovecraft
  • The Horror in the Museum – HP Lovecraft (and others)
  • Book of the Supernatural – edited by Stephen Jones
  • The World Without Us – Alan Weisman
  • Book of the Supernatural – edited by HP Lovecraft
  • Lovecraft Unbound – edited by Ellen Datlow
  • The Dream World of HP Lovecraft – Donald Tyson
  • Danse Macabre – Stephen King
  • Supernatural Noir – edited by Ellen Datlow
  • Dan Simmons – Song of Kali
  • Necronomicon – Donald Tyson
  • Alhazred – Donald Tyson
  • 11/22/63 – Stephen King
  • Inheritance – Christopher Paolini
  • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making – Catherynne M. Valente
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

It’s an ambitious list, but gotta keep pushing or you’ll never get anywhere. Reading almost makes me feel like Vince Nasco from Watchers – with each book, I absorb the life force of those words…only they go on to create more.

But enough of this for now. I have writing to do and pages to read, and only 3 weeks left before school starts again. No time to spare!

“The Unbidden” now available on Amazon!

June 20, 2011 2 comments

I love writing that title. I could write it over and over! But that would be a waste of blog space. My horror novella “The Unbidden” is now available for Kindle through Amazon.com.

Check it out!

A tornado rips through a quiet town, destroying resources, knocking out power, cutting off communications with the surrounding area and unearthing ancient tunnels long relegated to children’s boogeyman stories. Lucy Wickersham finds herself uprooted from her childhood home, relocated for her “protection,” and installed as the town historian to chronicle the rebuilding by the self-appointed head of the reconstruction, Aaron Plummer. If the forced relocation by the idealistic Plummer wasn’t strange enough, the children of the town are disappearing, and the sudden appearance of Mio, a young child who speaks only Spanish, forces Lucy into the role of guardian and protector. Mio seems to have answers he can’t articulate about the menace in the dark and may be the answer to saving the rest of the children. Can Lucy save herself from Plummer’s designs, protect Mio and uncover the secrets that will put The Unbidden to rest once again?

When you’ve finished reading it, if you can spare the time, please leave a review. When you are writing your review, remember – if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. You can send those comments to me. 😉

An Exciting Announcement

June 18, 2011 7 comments

A lifelong journey begins with one step. The lifelong career of a writer begins when a child first holds a crayon and draws a clumsy letter for the first time.

I am absolutely THRILLED to share with everyone this milestone in my journey and career. My first published piece of fiction, a horror novella entitled “The Unbidden,” has been released as an e-book by Post Mortem Press. Here’s the cover art:

Coming Soon to your favorite e-reader!

A tornado rips through a quiet town, destroying resources, knocking out power, cutting off communications with the surrounding area and unearthing ancient tunnels long relegated to children’s boogeyman stories. Lucy Wickersham finds herself uprooted from her childhood home, relocated for her “protection,” and installed as the town historian to chronicle the rebuilding by the self-appointed head of the reconstruction, Aaron Plummer. If the forced relocation by the idealistic Plummer wasn’t strange enough, the children of the town are disappearing, and the sudden appearance of Mio, a young child who speaks only Spanish, forces Lucy into the role of guardian and protector. Mio seems to have answers he can’t articulate about the menace in the dark and may be the answer to saving the rest of the children. Can Lucy save herself from Plummer’s designs, protect Mio and uncover the secrets that will put The Unbidden to rest once again?

“The Unbidden” is already available on Smashwords and will be available on Amazon.com early next week. It will be available through other platforms including Nook, iBookstore, Kobo and Diesel in the near future.

Thank you to everyone who put up with my long periods of silence while I scribbled my heart out, who slogged through rough copies to provide feedback, line edits and spelling corrections, and for those who benevolently kicked my ass with encouragement when I got frustrated. I’m very excited about my partnership with Post Mortem Press and getting this story out there to the world, and I’ll admit that I squealed and danced in my chair like a kid on the last day of school when the cover art was posted to my Facebook page. I think I’ve passed the hyperventilation stage and am enjoying staring at my own name in digital ink on my Kindle!  What an awesome weekend!

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