Mist: A New Novel from Thurston Howl Publications

Almost ten years ago, a fourteen-year-old girl started writing a book. Today, that book was published.

Mist Front Cover

Mist is a young adult fantasy novel about shapeshifters, elemental magic, and being the change you wish to see in the world. I am proud of what it has become, and I am grateful that these characters chose me to tell their story.

Thank you to Thurston Howl Publications for helping me make this dream a reality. Thank you to my family and friends who read and critiqued this manuscript and encouraged me to keep working on it. Thank you to the divine power that runs like a silver thread through the universe and connects us all. And thank you, dear reader, for being part of my dream.

You can get a copy of Mist here. I hope you enjoy it!

ROAR Volume 8

ROAR8

ROAR Volume 8 is now available! It is a PG-13 anthology of short stories featuring anthropomorphic animal characters, centered around the theme of “Paradise.” From the editor, Mary E. Lowd:

“Paradise can be the stark natural beauty of our own world; it can be the connections we have with the people we love; it can be a moment in time. Paradise can be a place we’re seeking or a place that we didn’t realize we already had until it started to slip away. It can have a dark side. Even shining science-fiction utopias can come with a price.

Read this book and take a journey through eighteen different visions of paradise—beginning with the personal and natural, traveling through the societal and technological, and all the way out to the supernal and divine. A great book can heal you when you’re hurting, give you an escape that you desperately need, or even rekindle a lost spark of hope.

Let this book be a small piece of paradise for you.”

My own story in the anthology, “When Pigs Fly,” is about a pig with a big dream. Check out a print (https://furplanet.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=905) or ebook (https://baddogbooks.com/product/roar-volume-8/) copy of ROAR Volume 8 today!

The Science of Meow

Meow Kitten Feline Cat Animal Face Stray Outdoor

As a wildlife biologist, I’ve gotten to be involved in a lot of cool research. Here is a paper some colleagues and I published in Current Zoology earlier this year about feral cat vocalizations. Fun fact: you can make a visual representation of a sound using a graphic called a spectrogram. If you’ve ever wondered what cat sounds look like, you should check this out! Visual classification of feral cat Felis silvestris catus vocalizations | Current Zoology | Oxford Academic https://academic.oup.com/cz/article/doi/10.1093/cz/zox013/3056230/Visual-classification-of-feral-cat-Felis

Thank You for Your Stories

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Some of you may have seen my previous post about receiving rejections as a writer. In recent days, I have seen what rejection is like on the other side of the fence.

I just became an editorial assistant for the ezine Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. As part of my duties, I have to craft decline notices to certain authors after the editor has chosen to turn down their stories. I give them a short critique expressing what did and didn’t work for our team, summarizing the views of the various editors, editorial assistants, and first readers who have read and commented on the story, and notify them that their work has been declined.

As you can imagine, this is a delicate and rather difficult task. We strive to be as polite, open, honest, and encouraging as possible through the messages we send to writers, letting them know what we liked about their work as well as what we didn’t, in the hopes of giving them a boost and pointing them in the right direction to grow and improve their writing. Even so, as I submit a decline notice, I can feel in the back of my mind the sadness and disappointment I myself have sometimes felt after receiving a rejection in my inbox.

So this is my love letter to all the writers struggling to make their voices heard. I just wanted to write a little note to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories with people like me. It is a privilege to read your words, to get a glimpse of your dreams.

Whether or not your work is accepted by whatever publications to which you submit it, whether or not it is understood and liked by the editors at those publications, take heart. You are doing a brave thing just by trying. Creating something uniquely your own, in an age of passivity and consumption, is an act of courage. Submitting your work to complete strangers is an act of courage. Responding to setbacks and disappointments like rejection with resilience, hard work, and an even greater determination to improve and succeed is an act of courage. It makes me smile to know that there are people like you in the world, out there trying their best.

Thank you so very much for your stories. I wish you the best of luck.

Love,

Amy

The Supreme Archvillain Election

Hi friends,

The Supreme Archvillain Election is out now! In this anthology of connected short stories, supervillains created by eight different authors are vying for the position of Supreme Archvillain! Who will win?

My own supervillain is a middle-aged woman called Entropurse who loves Chihuahuas, sunsets, Beauty and the Beast, and sowing chaos wherever she goes. Here is an illustration of her by my coauthor Amanda Postman.

Entropurse

You can check out the anthology here: https://www.amazon.com/Supreme-Archvillain-Election-Den-Warren/dp/1546378251/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1494888612&sr=8-1&keywords=Supreme+Archvillain+Election

Thanks for your support!

SHARKASAURUS!

Hi friends!

Fossil Lake IV: SHARKASAURUS! is out now! This dinosaur-packed, shark-infested anthology features my short story, “Hungry,” about the moral dilemma of an anthropomorphic shark, and my poem, “Bite Marks,” about old wounds that never quite healed. You can get it as a paperback through Amazon or as an ebook through Smashwords. Sink your teeth into it! https://fossillake.wordpress.com/fossil-lake-iv/

Thanks for your support! ♥

Where Dreams Take Us

As a speculative fiction writer, I do a lot of dreaming—about spaceships, mythical creatures, and more. I often wonder whether the stories I weave from these dreams really make a difference to anyone else.

But the lives of all people on our planet are interconnected. Thus, the work each one of us does—even if that work is just scribbling stories in isolation—could have a profound impact on someone else’s life one day—and hence, on the world.

Here are two real-life examples:

Mae: Mae, an African American girl, grew up on the south side of Chicago in the 1960s. She watched a science fiction show called Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry, and a character named Uhura inspired her to reach for the stars. In 1992, Mae Jemison blasted into Earth’s orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, becoming the first woman of color in space.

Jane: A British girl named Jane used to climb a beech tree at her family home, and from up in that tree she read the Tarzan novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. She daydreamed about life in the forest with Tarzan and the apes. Many years later, Jane Goodall became the most renowned chimpanzee researcher in the world.

Did Gene Roddenberry know that Nichelle Nichols’s character on his show would be a role model for the first female African American astronaut? Did Edgar Rice Burroughs anticipate that his adventure novel series would inspire a young girl to become a groundbreaking primatologist? No. These two writers both just dreamed their own dreams and wrote them down, and that spark caught on in the hearts of others and became a flame that changed the world.

What about you? What are your dreams? And where will your dreams take you?