Day 16: Sumiko Saulson

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Sumiko Saulson is a novelist, poet, and artist from Los Angeles, California now living in Oakland, California, who by age 19, had two self-published books of poetry. She is the Oakland Art Scene reporter for the Examiner.com and also a lead vocalist in the alternative rock/crossover band, Stagefright, that combines gothic and alt rock influences with reggae.

Saulson has penned several novels– Solitude (2011), Warmth (2012), Happiness and Other Diseases (2014), Somnalia (2015), and Insatiable (2015). Many of her short stories have been published online or with presses large and small, including Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales From the Lake Volume Three. In 2016, she won the Horror University’s Scholarship from Hell, given by the Horror Writer’s Association.

She has also compiled a non-fiction book collection of author biographies and interviews called 60 Black Women in Horror (2014), which she is currently in the process of updating the book to add at least another twenty writers.

Her short story anthology Things That Go Bump In My Head (2012), has something for just about any horror lover–a few old-fashioned scares, a ghost story, and dark humor. You can also find her work in the Colors in Darkness anthology of horror featuring characters of color, Forever Vacancy.

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Learn more about Sumiko on her website and follow her on Twitter.

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Day 9: Tlotlo Tsamaase

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Tlotlo Tsamaase hails from Goborone, Botswana. She is a writer of fiction, poetry, and architectural articles and winner of the 2014 Black Crake Books prize.

Her work has appeared in TerraformAn Alphabet of Embers, and The Fog Horn.

“I Will Be Your Grave” was nominated for this year’s Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award in the long poem category after much debate as to if it was “speculative enough.” To me, there is no question that this dark surrealism–with its images of death, graves, and bone–fits into the horror category.

Her poem, “Constellations of You” is a haunting and challenging piece on racial identity and lack of self-love. Tsamaase’s narrator has absorbed the media’s and pop culture’s messages that their skin color and dialect made them less. And ashamed, sought to become more acceptable, even though those long-established standards of language and beauty will never allow that to happen.

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Read her poems “I Will be Your Grave” and “Constellations of You” on Strange Horizons.

Find more of Tlotlo’s work on her website and follow her on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Day 4: Linda D. Addison

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Linda D. Addison is a poet and writer of horror, science fiction, and fantasy currently living in Arizona. In 2001, she became the first African-American to win the HWA Bram Stoker award® for superior achievement in poetry for Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes. She has since won the award three additional times, including one for her poetry and short story collection How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend (2011).

Addison has also published over 300 poems, stories, and articles for such publications as Essence Magazine and Asimov’s Science Fiction. Ms. Addison is a founding member of the writer’s group, Circles in the Hair (1990) and is the poetry editor for Space & Time Magazine.

She is also one of the editors for Sycorax’s Daughters, an anthology of horror fiction and poetry written by black women.

In her collection How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend, her poetry is moody and melodic; the meter weaves a dimly lit path and you feel compelled to follow. The verse itself is seductive, almost playful—the picture of elegant disturbia. The prose included in the book is a combination of sub-genres, and you get a taste of homespun magic along with science fiction-laced Gothic horror. Buy it here.

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For more information about Linda, such as her full bibliography and schedule of events, please visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

 

Sycorax’s Daughters: A Release and an Appearance

Sycorax’s Daughters the Horror Anthology of fiction & poetry by African-American women, edited by Kinitra Brooks, PhD, Linda D. Addison & Susana Morris, PhD is coming February 2017 from Cedar Grove Books.

In June 2015, editors Brooks and Addison contacted African-American women authors–including me–and poets based on their creative talents in writing about women, race, sexuality, and/or speculative fictions, asking them to consider the vast possibilities that interweaving black women and horror can express.

Brooks, Addison, and Morris are of the contention that peoples of the African diaspora encounter elements of horror on a weekly or even daily basis. Each week, millions of black folks go to church or religious practice and are possessed by the Holy Ghost or ridden by the orishas and loas—what is this if not an Africanized manifestation of spirit possession, a common horror trope?

Sycorax’s Daughters is an opening salvo of what is hoped to be a burgeoning field of black women’s creative horror fiction. There are also plans for a companion volume of new critical horror scholarship by black feminist scholars.

Thought provoking, powerful, and revealing, this anthology is comprised of 28 dark stories and 14 poems written by African American women writers. Tales of what scares, threatens, and shocks them will enlighten and entertain readers. The works delve into demons and shape shifters from the historical to far future imaginings. These pieces cover vampires, ghosts, and mermaids, as well as the unexpected price paid by women struggling for freedom and validation in the past.

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Contributors include: Tiffany Austin, Tracey Baptiste, Regina N. Bradley, Patricia E. Canterbury,  Crystal Connor, Joy M. Copeland, Amber Doe, Tish Jackson, Valjeanne Jeffers, Tenea D. Johnson,  R. J. Joseph, A. D. Koboah, Nicole Givens Kurtz,  Kai Leakes,  A. J. Locke, Carole McDonnell,  Dana T. McKnight, LH Moore, L. Penelope, Zin E. Rocklyn, Eden Royce, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Andrea Vocab Sanderson,  Nicole D. Sconiers,  Cherene Sherrard,  RaShell R. Smith-Spears,  Sheree Renée Thomas, Lori Titus, Tanesha Nicole Tyler, Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, L. Marie Wood, K. Ceres Wright, Deana Zhollis

Sycorax’s Daughters is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Several in person events are planned for this important release, including the book’s debut at Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue Research Library on February 25th March 18th from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. I’ll be there, along with I won’t be able to make it, but you can chat with many of the other authors and editors who’ll be there to sign books and speak about the project.

Support Books By and About Strong Women

The publishing game can be a challenging one, especially for indie publishers. I’ve had work published with several independent publishers over the years, and many of them–for various reasons–are no longer in existence.

One company that is doing it right is Spider Road Press, an indie publishing company with a mission to publish and promote literature by and about strong women. (Don’t worry guys; you don’t have to be a female writer to be published with Spider Road, but you do need to write strong female characters.)

Founded in 2013, in Houston, Texas, Spider Road also focuses on publishing fiction about women from diverse backgrounds. To make things even better, they donate 5% of the proceeds from our book sales to women’s shelters and veteran’s groups.

But as I mentioned, the publishing game can be tough, especially when it comes to funding for indies. Many times income from sales doesn’t always cover all of the press’ needs. So Spider Road has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to fuel their 2016 projects, which include a novella collection and a flash fiction contest. But there are only seven more days to contribute.

Cover for "In The Questions", the poetry collection which features my poem "Prescription Refill".   It's available only by supporting Spider Road Press' fundraising project.
Cover for “In The Questions”, the poetry collection which features my poem “Prescription Refill”.

One of the prizes you can choose for donating is a copy of the poetry collection, In The Questions, available only by supporting this Indiegogo campaign.  Enjoy poems by established poets such as Shae Savoy, Catherine Edmunds, Andrea Barbosa & Teresa Mei Chuc, as well as emerging poets such as Karen Marinaccio, Eileen Brunetto, Melissa Algood and Gay Yellen.

Some other nifty prizes are an exclusive, personalized portrait by artist Genevieve H. Smith, one of the artists featured in In the Questions and an editorial consult with Spider Road’s editor-in-chief to make your short story the best that it can be.

Any amount helps. You can read more about Spider Road Press and donate to their Indiegogo campaign here.

Dark Gothic Resurrected: A Publication

I am pleased to announce that I am the first (first!!) short story in the Summer issue of the award-winning Dark Gothic Resurrected magazine.

It was wonderful to work with author and artist Cinsearae Santiago. She is super talented and also adds graphic designer, editor, jewelry crafter, and publisher to her list of achievements.

Here’s the cover (and Cinsearae designed it):

Is that my name on the cover?   *Peeks, rubs eyes* It is!
Is that my name on the cover?
*Peeks, rubs eyes*
It is!

 

In addition to short stories, art, and poetry, the mag has interviews with authors and filmmakers, and the fascinating column of Ask Mambo.

The magazine is available in print or on Kindle, so show some love and support for small press publications!

Also, take a peek at her Etsy shop for creepy dolls and one of a kind jewelry and accessories.