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Spellbinding Reads for Young Adults

August 1st, 2023

Header image by Sierra Koder via Pexels This summer, I’ve been trying to relax—a concept I’m still learning to wrap my head around, admittedly—but one way I’ve decided to do that is to read a bunch of witchy, supernatural middle-grade/ YA graphic novels that bring me joy and make me smile. I wanted a who-will-take-me-to-prom dilemma or does-the-cute-barista-girl-like-me kind of problem.

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When a Town Rallies Around Censorship: Dispatches From The Culture War Frontline

July 31st, 2023

Photo by Markus Spiske via Pexels I know I’m in for an interesting night when an older woman breaks off from a prayer circle as I approach the line waiting to get into the Town Council meeting, and I see it’s my former landlord. Imagine every stereotype fed to you through basic cable reality shows about well-to-do Southern ladies, right down to the dyed blond hair, and you’ll see her.

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How and Why I Built a Bookselling Monster

July 27th, 2023

Writing books is fun. Selling them, THAT SUCKS. For the littler authors among us, it's pathetic. It feels like you’re pushing copies on friends and family too nice to say no, maybe a handful of other writers, and when it comes to reaching a wide audience of people who don’t write themselves and don’t have a biological connection to you, it’s hard to escape the gross feeling of asking someone to spend their hard-earned money on your book about a paranormal investigator who’s terrible at his job.

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Storyville: Depression as Catharsis in Your Fiction

July 26th, 2023

Today we are going to talk about depression and how writing and filtering those emotions into your fiction can be cathartic. But before we get into this, obviously, if you are in a crisis state, and are suicidal, or are hurting yourself, please get help. I do not want you taking on your depression in your fiction if it’s going to backfire or trigger you. Let's continue.

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Timeless Advice: Truths Too Good for TikToks and Tweets

July 21st, 2023

Imagine Ray Bradbury drunk flame trolling on Twitter. J.R.R. Tolkien stitching a TikTok video to dunk on a reviewer that one-star reviewed The Silmarillion. Agatha Christie starting a private Discord Server just to make fun of industry professionals.  We have set the bar really low these days. 

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The Novels of Warhammer 40,000: Where to Begin?

July 20th, 2023

Maybe you’ve seen a rad space marine figurine on a friend’s desk, or stumbled across one of the many books featuring the massive armored warriors on the cover, and your curiosity has been sparked. What is Warhammer 40,000? What are these giants fighting about? You want to know more, and I’m here to tell you there is a lot more to know.

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B.S. Johnson Deserves Better Than Being Forgotten

July 19th, 2023

Photos by Peter Derk When this column started, it was mostly about the unusual formats B.S. Johnson used to tell stories: cut-outs mid-story, shuffled chapters, and other oddities. This was an idea I pitched before I knew Johnson died by suicide. Whenever you look into a writer who died by suicide, when you know how the writer’s story ended, you look at his work through his ghost, a barely-there image that hovers over each page.

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Storyville: Stop Pulling on Threads

July 14th, 2023

One of the most destructive things you can do when working on a short story (or novel, which is even worse) is to continuously pick at your work, pulling on threads that eventually cause your story to come undone. Don’t do that—obviously. So, what do I mean by this, what does that look like, and then how the hell are we supposed to edit our work, Richard? I have some thoughts. Maybe it’ll help.

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So You've Decided To Attend A Professional Conference: An On-The-Ground Report Of Stokercon 2023 (Part 2)

July 12th, 2023

Photos via the author Previously, I talked about three things for those new to the whole professional conference game. 1: Remember that everyone’s an introvert, 2: the aphorism cons really happen at bars is true, and 3: FOMO is bullshit.  Before I wrap this up, I did want to explain the difference between professional conferences and other cons. 

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Fears and Voices: "The Screaming Child"

July 10th, 2023

My new novel, The Screaming Child, published by Ghoulish Books, is a novel that mixes mystery with horror. It’s a story told from the point of view of a woman named Eleanor, a mother trying to go on with her life after her 12-year-old son has vanished. Perhaps he was murdered, perhaps kidnapped. The police are investigating. To keep herself busy, Eleanor leaves the city for a distant rural area to finish a book she is writing about an explorer.

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