Graveyard Shift Sister: L.C. Cruell

Talking to artists gets me inspired.

No matter the medium — books, film, paint, digital — speaking with these artists and hearing what keeps them doing what they do drives me forward.

One person whose drive always impresses is L.C. Cruell. (I can’t imagine how she gets it all done.) I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cruell on her 7 Magpies project, a horror film anthology written and directed by Black women, feating a slew of talented authors and directors. It’s still in progress, but I wanted to talk more with her about her ideas, her motivation, and her experience.

You can read the entire interview this amazing filmmaker on Graveyard Shift Sisters.

cemetery-tales

 

While you’re at it, check out some of the trailers for her films:

31 the web series – www.youtube.com/31theseries

I Need You Trailer – https://vimeo.com/97681128.

Cemetery Tales Trailer – https://vimeo.com/158551687

Advertisements

And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe: A Review

I love short stories.

I love beautiful, touching horror.

So it stands to reason that I love Gwendolyn Kiste’s work.

I’ve been reading her short stories in various publications for a while now, and I always get this little thrum of anticipation when I see her name as byline. Now, JournalStone has published a full collection of her stories and it is what you need to escape. To delve into another world and lose yourself… just for a while.

One of the things I enjoy about the collection is that it’s horror that’s decidedly pro-woman and girl. In these stories, we have voices and take action — we drive the story forward in these dark and lingering tales.

Head on over to The Horror Review to read the full review of And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe.

Ane her smile

Graveyard Shift Sister: Rebecca R. Pierce

I’ve noticed a trend with my recent posts: there haven’t been many.

Usually, I’m pretty consistent with posting to this blog, but lately, I’ve been focusing on writing. Which is a good thing in the long run, but my contact with the outside world is suffering.

Time to catch up. I’ll be making a flurry of posts to bring the blog back up to date, then going forward…

Well, I’d better not make that promise.

I’ll just leave you with the link to my review and interview with the wonderful Rebecca R. Pierce on Graveyard Shift Sisters. While GSS’s tag line is: Purging the Black female horror fan from the margins, we celebrate the work of all women of color who love horror.

RebeccaPierceBooks.JPG

2016: Wrap Up and What I Wrote

2016 is almost over and I’m sorry to say I haven’t had a lot of my work published this year. I was concerned about this and I wondered where the days had gone and what I’d actually done with my time over the past 12 months.

Turns out, I did more than I’d thought.

I put together Spook Lights 2, a follow-up to my Southern Gothic horror short story collection, Spook Lights, which is featured as a recommended read on Graveyard Shift Sister’s Black Women’s Horror Studies course. At this moment, it’s a fictional course, but I’d love to see it come to fruition one day. I plan to release Spook Lights 2 in February 2017.

1471283288121-grace-strained-to-hear-the-grainy-singsong-words-of-the-figure-in-front-as-they-floated

I was asked to submit stories to two separate anthologies, both of which were accepted, both of which have publication dates that are TBD—to be determined. *Wails*

I had a story accepted into Sycorax’s Daughters, an anthology of horror fiction and poetry written by African-American women and edited by Kinitra Brooks, PhD, Linda D. Addison & Susana Morris, PhD. I’m honored to be included among the amazing writers here and the book will be out in February 2017.

I polished up my NaNoWriMo novel from 2015, a YA southern Gothic/magical realism story about the niece and nephew of a Carolina witchdoctor who begin learning the trade. I also managed to finish another NaNo project for 2016, which I did alongside FIYAH Lit Mag‘s November writing challenge, an adult Southern Gothic mystery with a splash of romance.

cyocxyguaaa0ohf

 

Dirge Magazine published two interviews I did with two amazing musicians and I think they’re both some of the best writing I’ve done. The first was with M. Lamar—you may recognize him from his appearance on Orange is the New Black, where he played the part of his twin sister, Laverne Cox, pre-transition. His music is soul-searing and for me it’s the soundtrack of Southern Gothic. I came away from that interview more inspired than I ever have been.

EdenRoyce_SpookyLights

The second was with Azizaa Mystic, songwriter, singer, vodoushie, witch. Speaking with her was like chatting with someone I’ve known for years and it solidified the bond between the vodou of Ghana and the hoodoo/root magic of the Carolinas, where much of the inspiration for my writing comes from.

 

Speaking of hoodoo and root, I write an article for Horror Addicts “Misconceptions About Southern Conjure” that has been shared on Tumblr and has over 207 notes as of my last count, many of the shares by hoodoo practitioners.

Finally, something I wrote that you can read is a piece of flash fiction, “Parcel Post.” This short tale is about a woman who has to deliver a package in an area that has…shall we say, a sinister reputation. It’s published in Spider Road Press’ Approaching Footsteps, a collection of four suspenseful novellas written by women. The flash fiction part of the collection is comprised of stories by the winners of Spider Road’s flash fiction contest and by the two judges—the wonderful Kathryn Kulpa and myself. Spider Road Press is fantastic to work with and donates 5% of their proceeds from all titles to charities, which address the issues of sexual assault, supporting American veterans, empowering youth and fighting hunger at home and abroad.

approaching-footsteps

This year I went to a lecture on the Oxford University campus in May, where I got to meet one of my favorite writers, Jewell Parker Rhodes. She was sharp, funny, and sweet and more than willing to sign my copy of her novel, Voodoo Dreams. They say to never meet your heroes, but I’ll always remember meeting Jewell, and how she told us about of the best and worst times in her life and shared how they shaped her work.

While in Oxford, I also got to meet Nuzo Onoh, whose work in African horror I’ve been reading for a few years now. Nuzo, a British-African writer uses her personal experiences living in war-torn Nigeria, formerly the Republic of Biafra to create vivid, visceral tales of horror.

Graveyard Shift Sisters has also published several of my interviews with women of color in horror and fantasy, like Abiola Bello, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and filmmaker Moesha Bean. The most amazing thing that happened in my writing career happened this year. I was awarded the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Diverse Worlds grant, intended for work that best presents a diverse world. Winners were chosen by a jury of SLF staff members. Grants are made possible by contributions from Ellen Wright (Senior Publicist, Hachette Book Group) and Faye Bi (Publicist at Simon & Schuster). I’m so thrilled to have received this honor and I hope to use it to catapult my work forward in 2017, where I hope to have more work available on this year-end list.

Here’s wishing all of you a Happy and Productive New Year!

Banshee Books -A Co-op of Women Writers

Banshee Books

Self-publishing can be a challenge. Okay, it’s hard. To not only write the book, but get it edited, obtain the right cover, the right formatting–for print, for Kindle, for Smashwords, they’re all different– all without breaking the bank. So sometimes you need support.

I’m proud to be a part of Banshee Books, a co-operative of female, female identifying, and queer writers founded by British horror author Carmilla Voiez. Writers will self-publish their works, but this group offers support, guidance and promotion throughout the process.

In addition, members will read and review one women-friendly and/or trans-friendly book per month. This time around, we’re reading Lilith’s Brood by Octavia E. Butler. (Re-reading for me.)

Interested in joining? To be accepted all works must have an intersectional feminist theme. New members will be agreed by a majority vote of existing members, but all members agree to support and help promote each other’s work.

Stop by the Banshee Books website to learn more.

Graveyard Shift Sister: Tonya Liburd

The Graveyard Shift Sister feature is back for 2016!

First up this year in this interview series is Tonya Liburd.

Tonya is an editor, author, and champion of people of color as fiction creators. I spoke with her about people of color behind the scenes in fiction and publishing, creating from a place of pain, and using your heritage and history in your writing.

As I’m sure several people who read this feature are creators themselves, I also asked her what publishers are tired of seeing. (There’s also a link to where you can submit your uber creative story as well!)

Loretta_Devine_004
The phenomenal Loretta Devine in Urban Legend.

Read the entire review and interview on the Graveyard Shift Sisters website.

Cinched – A Release

It’s been a busy year for me, full of amazing experiences. I managed to get my short story collection Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror out this year, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get anything else out.

But I have!

I’m happy to announce that my short horror story “Basque of the Red Death” is in the multi-genre anthology Cinched: Imagination Unbound available now from Falstaff Books. (And it’s the first story in the antho!)

Cinched book cover
Contains my short story “Basque of the Red Death”. Yeah, you read that right.

 

This collection runs the gamut from steampunk to horror, from steamy romance to weird western, from victorian thriller to contemporary bondage. But they all feature the corset in some way.

My story was inspired by Poe’s classic short story “Masque of the Red Death”, but I’ve set the tale in the South and given it a few additional horrors. If you haven’t read Poe’s original tale, read it for free here.

Then check out Cinched: Imagination Unbound on Amazon for some twisted tales.

Featuring stories by:
John G. Hartness
Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin
Misty Massey
Emily Lavin Leverett
Kimberly Richardson
Sarah Joy Adams
MB Weston
Herika Raymer
Dave Harlequin
RD Stevens
Andrea Judy
Nico Serene
Eden Royce <–That’s me!