Crickets Sing for Naomi: A Release

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OMG. I’m so excited to announce that my Southern Gothic fantasy short story “Crickets Sing for Naomi” is up on PodCastle!

I’ve been listening to EscapeArtists Inc.’s podcasts (PodCastle for fantasy, Escape Pod for sci-fi, PseudoPod for horror, and most recently Cast of Wonders for YA.), for ages now and it’s such and honor to have one of my stories accepted there.

The story is read by the golden-voiced Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, one of the editors for the podcast. She’s done a wonderful job with the voices and the nuances of tone and enunciation. Which isn’t easy when all three speaking characters are women.

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The idea for “Crickets Sing for Naomi” was born when I lived in an apartment in Northern Virginia. For some reason, crickets were everywhere–the sidewalks, the stairs–and they followed me around. At least they seemed to. So much so that one of my friends started calling me a cricket shaman.

As for the title of the story, it’s based on the song “Crickets Sing for Anamaria”, the English-language version of “Os Grilos” (“The Crickets”), written by Brazilian musicians Marcos Valle and Paulo Sérgio Valle.

Head on over to PodCastle and listen to the story for free. While you’re there, have a little nose around at their other stories. I’m sure you’ll find a lot to enjoy.

PodCastle

Truancy: A Release

With yesterday being Juneteeth,–yes, I’m late– it was a perfect day for Truancy Mag to release the latest issue of their small, indie and not-for-profit literary microzine. Its theme is #ownvoices, folktales and traditional stories from the African continent and diaspora.

Behold the gorgeous cover by Salim Busuru, an artist from Kenya, who is passionate about Africa and it’s progress. He also lets his studies of Africa inspire the comic and gaming projects he is pursuing with Avandu studios, where he is Creative Director.

Truancy cover art
Image from ‘Mrembo wa kwetu’ (Swahili for: Our Beautiful Girl From Home)

 

Inside this issue you’ll find an editorial by editors Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali and Troy L. Wiggins, along with fiction and non-fiction by V. H. Galloway, Mame Bougouma Diene, R.S.A. Garcia, Zina Hutton, and me!  Best of all, it’s free to read online!

The release of this issue  is bittersweet for me.

I found out it will be Truancy’s last issue. Nin HarrisEditor-in-Chief and Founder/Creator of the Delinquent’s Spice & Truancy Creative Projects, is passing on the baton of featuring the stories of marginalized people. From her commentary on Twitter about the subject, when she started Delinquent Spice around 2010, there were almost no venues for the stories of marginalized people..

Nin goes on to say that she feels she can end the Truancy/Delinquent Spice project in peace as there are venues to take up the mantle of getting these stories told. Among the places she recommends are: FIYAH Literary Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, Anathema Magazine (work by queer POC/Indigenous/Aboriginals), Arsenika, Rambutan Literary (work by Southeast Asians from all over the world), and Mithila Review.

So get your stories out there!

But first, read Truancy Issue 4. And check out the back issues of Truancy and Delinquent Spice free online.

 

 

 

 

The Food of Writing

I’ve decided to challenge myself to write more short fiction. Flash fiction to be exact.

If you’re not familiar with it, flash fiction means super brief stories–shorter than short stories, even. Flash can be as short as 140 character tales posted on Twitter, also known as twitterature.

The maximum length of flash fiction is highly debated among publishers and writers, some say it’s 750 words, others say it can be as long as 1,500 words in length. That decision is up to who’s publishing it, but flash fiction is a unique experience until itself–for the reader and the writer.

Author and voice actor Jack Wallen invited me to participate in his flash fiction challenge If Music Be the Food of Write where he provides a song (and it’s lyrics) as inspiration for the participants’ writing.

The first song was “Rotten” by The Naked and The Famous, which prompted me to write “Better or Worse” last week. Listen to the song and read the fiction.

This week is my story, “The Second Oldest Profession,” inspired by Broods’ song “Freak of Nature.”

Check out the links and read some free flash fiction written by me and some great authors who are also challenging themselves to let music feed them.

 

 

 

13 Dark: A Fiction & Art Project

Are you ready for a journey into the dark? 

I’ve been asked to be a part of an amazing project.

13Dark (stylized to †3Dark) is a unique project that will showcase both written and visual artwork of some of speculative fiction’s greatest creatives.

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All of the work will explore the sacred and profane, the holy and damned, the beatific and the demonic. Think of the kind of subtle supernaturalism and religiosity of something like True Detective, or Craig Clevenger’s story “Act of Contrition” from The New Black.

 

Who are the writers?  Established names including Richard Thomas, Moira Katson, Veronica Magenta Nero, and Christa Wojciechowski as well as newer voices such as Matthew Blackwell, Andy Cashmore, Samuel Parr, Tomek Dzido, Anthony Self, Ross Jeffery, Jamie Parry-Bruce and Tice Cin. And myself, of course.

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The aim is to release 13 unique short stories monthly, in digital and paperback form, accompanied by custom artwork from Shawn Langley, and with cover artwork by grandfailure. These editions will be beautifully produced, melding the visual and written elements, offering unique insight into our world, and the darkness it holds.

Each story will be edited and have a foreword written by editor Joseph Sale. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of something colossal. Joseph has put together a YouTube video for 13 Dark, where he talks about the project and why he quit his job to bring his vision to fruition.

Here’s the Kickstarter link. Check out the amazing rewards, including magazine subscriptions from Gamut and Storgy, custom designed artwork, and professional editing for your novel or novella! Then share, and donate if you can. Talk about the project on your social media channels.

Keep up with new releases, artwork, and how we’re doing on Facebook and Twitter.

Oh, are you wondering what my story is about? (It’s scheduled for release in January 2018.) I have some ideas, but it isn’t written yet, so feel free to leave me a comment if you want to throw out a suggestion.

FIYAH Lit Mag: A Publication

It’s here!

Yes, the date is April first, but this is no Fool’s joke. I have a story published in FIYAH, magazine of Black Speculative Fiction!

(Excuse me while I do the Running Man. *Cough* Thank you.)

I did a review on this blog of the first issue: Rebirth, and you can read that here. Not sure if I should review an issue in which one of my own stories appears, but you’ll get my thoughts on the issue soon enough…

Issue Two is themed Spilling Tea. We’re talking literal beverages and we’re talking figurative “T”– you know: telling the truth, no matter how challenging that might be.

First of all, let’s get into this cover:

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Gorgeous, isn’t it? And the authors in this issue are no joke, either.

Maurice Broaddus

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

Russell Nichols

Christopher Caldwell

Wole Talabi

Barbara L.W. Myers

Eden Royce <—That’s me! 

I’m so honored to be included in this issue alongside such phenomenal authors. Grab yourself a copy of FIYAH’s second issue, Spilling Tea. Also, check out the Spotify playlist that goes along with the issue. And their indie author spotlight featuring Constance Burris.

Oh, you want to know what my story’s about? Well, FIYAH’s editors, Justine Ireland and Troy L. Wiggins, came up with the perfect way to summarize “Graverobbing Negress Seeks Employment” in all its Southern Gothic glory:

Wanted: one negress to find a certain lost cargo. Welcome to a Charleston of the past filled with a very necessary magic.

And that is what FIYAH is bringing to you with this magazine — necessary magic, necessary stories, and a time when the sound of our voices is very necessary.

February Wrap up and Contest Winners

Yes, I know it’s already seven days into March.

But I had a short vacation and am just now getting back to my routine. As such, I’m finally talking about all of the February/Black History Month/Women in Horror Month goings-on. And announcing the winners of my 28 Black Women in Horror History blog series giveaway (in collaboration with Graveyard Shift Sisters) for the most engaged participants.

But first, some catch-up posts.

The Wicked Library podcasted two of my Southern Gothic horror short stories,”Hand of Glory” and “Homegoing”,  in a spot called Southern Fried Horror, featuring the vocal talents of Samantha Pleasant Lebas. Not to mention the custom artwork:

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The Wicked Colonel by Steven Matiko

 

I chatted with Katara Johnson on her Blag Talk Radio show Katara’s Cafe in February about writing, my inspirations and what it’s like to be a black woman in horror.

February also brought features with me on Gwendolyn Kiste’s blog, Jack Wallen’s blog, SK Gregory’s blog, and even wrote an original flash story for Nina D’Arcangela’s blog.

Spook Lights II, Forever Vacancy, and Syocrax’s Daughters also hit the shelves.

A few amazing moments in the month are when I was interviewed by Cinedump and Google+ about my Southern Gothic horror and my 28 Days of Black Women in Horror History series.

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Now on to the giveaway winners!

Amy Kelly – Colors in Darkness tote and Voodoo Dreams by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Sumiko Saulson – Voodoo Dreams by Jewell Parker Rhodes and Beloved by Toni Morrison

Lori Lopez – signed copy of Spook Lights

Dahlia DeWinters – signed copy of Spook Lights

Each of these winners above shared, reblogged, commented, and in general shouted about the posts featuring these 28 authors. (Some of them are on the lists themselves.)

A huge thank you to everyone who interacted with the 28 Black Women in Horror History series! Just because it’s now March doesn’t mean you can’t still share the work of these phenomenal authors.

Day 26: Paula D. Ashe

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Originally from Ohio, Paula D. Ashe resides in Indiana with her wife and is a professor of English at a community college while working on the dissertation for her Ph.D. She’s described herself as a writer of dark fiction, a black lesbian feminist, horror nerd, comic book geek, pet mom, and  general shit-starter.

Authors who’ve influenced Ashe’s raw and beautiful work include Clive Barker, Elizabeth Massie, and Toni Morrison. Her award winning dark fiction has been published in several anthologies and been recommended for nomination for the Bram Stoker award. She has also had the distinction of making honorable mention on Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Horror list–twice.  She also had stories appearing in Serial Killers: Iterum and Hell. Her stories have also appeared in the heavy metal horror collection, Axes of Evil II (2015) and the third installment of the Horror World Press series, Eulogies III (2015).

She is also one of seven contributing writers to the 7 Magpies project, the first horror film anthology written and directed by African-American women.

Ashe has said her favorite of her stories is The Mother of All Monsters, because so far, it’s the only story her own mother has really enjoyed. In Mother, an Indiana community is torn apart by the abduction and murder of three little girls. One mother is faced with the undeniable truth about her son and must choose between protecting her beloved child or punishing the monster he may have become.

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For more about Paula, check out her website,  and follow her on Twitter.