Waltzing Matilda…

May 26, 2021 at 11:47 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , )

I’m making my first appearance in an Australian anthology. My horror short story “I Have no Beef with You” appears in Colp Underground, now available on Amazon. This is Colp’s ninth collection and is described as an exploration beneath the surface presented by ts authors. So grab a torch and venture in…

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Coming Soon!

April 21, 2021 at 12:38 pm (writing) (, , )

This contains my short story “Stitches in Time”.

-Chantal

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What Have I Been Up To?

May 3, 2020 at 10:38 pm (Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

Content on my blog has been lacking for some time now. Aside from sharing the odd promotion or review, things have been quiet. I have had a couple of short stories published, but my writing had been mostly set aside thanks to other things in my life.  Work, family and unexpected events had left me without much creative energy to write, submit, blog or socialize, so I set things aside and promised myself I would come back when things changed and life let up a little.

I have to laugh at that idea.  Life not only did not let up, it threw a huge Covid curve ball.  Normal is a long way off – but now I feel the need to get back to doing some of the things I used to do just to restore some semblance of normalcy, no matter how little.  I may be working from home surrounded by family, and I may not be able to go swimming or play jugger, but there are things I can do.  I sent off my taxes last week.  We planted our backyard garden today, I will be catching up on overdue e-mails this week and I will be returning to a regular writing, blogging and submission schedule.

I think the hardest thing for me in all of this – and I appreciate the fact I have it easy compared to many people – is that as a serious introvert who has spent years trying to counter my nature in order to leave my house and socialize and work with people on a daily basis, the foundation I’ve built for that is failing.  Other people are desperate to leave their homes while I’m worried how hard it will be for me to go back to going into work five days a week and not stay home all weekend.  I had almost completely conquered my social anxiety but social distancing has sent it roaring back.  I’m supposed to avoid people and I’m not sure how exactly I’m going to get back to not avoiding them when this is over, years of effort suddenly reversed.  I know most extroverts won’t be able to understand that, but it is a thing.

On a positive note, I’m happy to see that some of the anthologies I have appeared in this year are doing well.  Pulp Sci-Fi from the Rock has had positive reviews.  No mention of my short story, “A Sticky Situation” yet, but praise for the anthology as a whole is out there: https://www.amazingstories.com/2020/05/clubhouse-review-pulp-science-fiction-from-the-rock-an-anthology-from-newfoundland/

I also have stories in a free ebook offering from Engen Books  – From The Rock Stars:

“With COVID-19 in full swing and the world in isolation, we thought of no better time and way to show our thanks than to offer this collection of short fiction for free during the course of the crisis, and at no more than cost for the print book. Please enjoy these stories at no cost, and we hope that the worlds they bring you to is a brighter one.” 

Lastly, among my recent acceptances/publications is a short story called “Buzzkill” that will be appearing in the animal-based apocalypse anthology Welcome to the Alpaca-lypse.  This is a fun and frightening series of tales that should be widely available soon :

The end is nigh…or is it neigh? Humans might be an apex predator, but plenty of animals have the ability to end the world as we know it. Bunnies, cats, dogs, and alpacas might all seem cute at first glance but just wait until they let loose and cause an apocalypse the likes of which you’ve never seen before.”

That lovely quirky cover art, by the way, is thanks to the efforts of Jason Meents.

So that, in a nutshell, is what I’ve been up to lately.  Now it’s time for me to go update my other pages and you’ll hopefully see me here again soon.

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Hamthology Is Here!

April 26, 2019 at 11:18 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , )

The Hamthology paperback is live on Amazon! It’s been a long wait, but it’s ready for consumption.
More than fifty works of poetry, prose, and visual art on the theme of ham sandwiches come together in this anthology, spanning genres from fantasy and science fiction to mystery, horror, romance, erotica, and more. The Hamthology is the greatest collection of ham sandwich literature in the history of humankind.
And, it contains my short story, “Let Me Finish.”
Paperback copies:
 If you want to pick up a paperback copy for yourself or others, now is the time to do it!  It can be here.
Kindle copies:
 If you want to pick up a kindle copy for yourself or others, now is the time to do it!  It can be here.
If you do pick it up and enjoy it, please leave a review.

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Dystopia from the Rock – A “Rock”ing Success!

February 21, 2019 at 2:57 pm (Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

 

The latest anthology offering from Engen Books, Dystopia from the Rock, is now available.  You can find it on Amazon (Amazon.ca here in Canada) and it has already achieved best-selling status in sci-fi rankings. My story in this anthology, “Cash Grab,” is my second appearance in a “…from the Rock” anthology – I also have a story in Chillers from the Rock, “Territory” – and I have submitted to their latest call (fingers crossed.)  Engen has been a strong supporter of genre writers in Atlantic Canada and their anthologies feature a variety of authors, both new and established.  I highly recommend checking out this book, with all its local charm and flare, and their other offerings as well.

But don’t just take my word (I’m biased, of course.)  Here’s an objective review that also supports what I’ve been saying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrSwIjnJLFI&t=9s

 

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Summer Update – A Reading and More

August 24, 2018 at 3:21 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , )

I know I’ve been quiet this summer, but as usual, increased hours at work, outdoor activities and my garden has forced me into a bit of a blog hiatus. I do have a few things to mention.

Coming up this weekend, Sunday the 26th to be exact, I’m participating in Hal-Con’s reading series at the Halifax Central Library. The readings start at two in room 301 and I’ll be sharing an excerpt from “The Hack-Jack Prospect,” a cyberpunk fairy-tale mashup that was originally published in the Young Adventurers: Heroes, Explorers & Swashbucklers from Intrigue Publishing. Room. This will be the second session and this one is with guest, Elaine McCluskey. If you can make it, I hope to see you there.

My noir superhero story, “Amnesty” is now available in print in Crimson Streets #3. My horror story, “Scuttle” is akso available in the Abandon anthology, both released earlier this year.

And perhaps for future reference. I may be participating in as many as three presentations/panels ar Hal-Con proper this year. I’ll only be atteding on the Sunday, so we’ll see how things work out.

More news in the fall…

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Guest Blogger: Adrienne Garvin Dellwo

May 8, 2018 at 2:39 am (Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

I”m happy to host a fellow writer who delves into the realm of the superhero story.  She has a few things to share about character development:

Some characters come to life in just a few words while others remain as thin as the paper they’re printed on. What makes the difference?

You can analyze the writing and learn a lot about description, dialogue, etc., but a key element of creating great characters is something you don’t see on the page. It has to do with how well the author knows the character.

In my upcoming superhero novel, The Hero Academy, I had to create a lot of characters and find effective and efficient ways to communicate them to the reader. Going over notes from someone who read an early draft for me, I noticed she kept commenting on a particular character. She loved the way he talked, his mannerisms, his attitude. He wasn’t even one of the primary characters, just a classmate of the protagonist. I knew right away why he seemed so vivid to her—he’s based on my son. I’ve known that guy for 16 years.

That proves a point you hear authors make a lot: you have to know far more about what you’re writing than ends up in the book. Building a world? You may never talk about the economy, the history of a region, or the particular lilt of the local dialect, but if you don’t know those things yourself, the world will be less believable. The reader feels a writer’s lack of knowledge and enjoys the story less because of it.

No matter your approach to creating characters, before the manuscript is anywhere near ready for an audience, you’ve got to know who those people are. Some writers get in-depth with their main characters before they start writing, creating character profiles, building backstory, even creating inspiration boards. I don’t do any of that. It’s not wrong, it’s just not what works for me. I prefer to start out with a rough idea and then let the characters take shape as I write.

My method does lead to more work in the second draft, but it also gives me some flexibility. Some of my best characters start out incidental, such as Misty Michaels, an intern in The Hero Academy. I needed someone for the brilliant neuropsychologist to bounce ideas off of, and at the beginning, I believed the doctor was the important character.

Before long, though, I found Misty more interesting and realized she could play a significant role in the story’s climax. As important as she became, though, she’s still in relatively few scenes and I knew she was underdeveloped.

Then came a call for stories. A group I’m part of, the Pen & Cape Society, was putting out its fourth themed superhero anthology, The Good Fight 4: The Homefront. It didn’t take long for me to decide I wanted to write Misty’s backstory. I had a vague idea about some deep, dark secret in her past, and I wanted to know more about it and see how it played into who she became later on.

I wrote Misty’s story, “Impulses,” and it made it to publication before the book. Homefront, which explores the day-to-day life of superheroes, came out May 1. (It’s full of great stories—you want to read it!)

After “Impulses,” when I revisited Misty’s scenes in The Hero Academy, I found it easy to add all kinds of new depth to her character because I know her better. I know why she hid her powers. I know why she went into medicine. I know the struggles that shaped her. I even know why she always carries too much stuff, which leads to lots of jostling medical charts and spilling coffee. It’s not all in the book. It’s not all in “Impulses,” either, and it doesn’t need to be. I know her better, so the reader will understand and, I hope, relate to her better.

A full 90 percent of an iceberg is under water, and you don’t need to go scuba diving to appreciate the beauty of what you see above the surface. So when creating characters (or worlds, or whatever), remember that what you put on the page is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Much more is beneath the surface, and that’s the foundation. Without all that down there as support, nothing floats.

Many thanks to Adrienne for sharing her wisdom.  You can find out more about Adrienne and her books at her website.

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March News – Chillers and More

March 19, 2018 at 3:42 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

February was a busy month, and I’ve been tackling some short story and editing deadlines.  Normally I try to offer up something for Women in Horror month, but it got away from me.  I’m hoping to make up for that a little in March – not that things look like they’ll be any less busy.

I’m happy to announce the upcoming release of my horror tale “Territory” in the Engen anthology Chillers from the Rock. The contributing authors hail from Atlantic Canada and the cover showcases some eerie artwork.  It is currently available for pre-order (links posted below) and actually made it to bestselling status in a few categories before release!

I’ll be back at prepping a couple of items for submission (and then I have to work on my taxes) and I have a couple of reviews to write up, but I hope to get at least one more post in before month’s end.

Here are those links:

Canada

Kindle

US

Kindle

Paperback

 

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Staying Motivated

January 9, 2018 at 1:31 am (writing) (, , , , , , )

My January submission blitz is going exceptionally well and I’m meeting my monthly editing goals. Only a week into the month, I had already completed 17 submissions (now 18) out of 31 and completed 8 chapters of editing. The only thing I haven’t met yet are my writing goals for the month.  I can thank a genre writers group for getting this far already and they may have also offered up a writing challenge to serve as a motivator for my writing.

I’m going to try completing the Ray Bradbury 52 stories in 52 weeks challenge.  I’m a week behind because I just found out about it, but I fully intend to make that up at some point in the 52 weeks.  In any week that time might be an issue, I’ll shoot for some micro-fiction.  Since I’ve had successful sales with them in the past, they seem like a worthy endeavour.  If anyone wants to suggest themes, I will add writing the micro-fiction to those themes as part of the challenge.

I should have an anthology announcement for you soon as the editor e-mailed they will be sending along edits for review shortly.  I’m pretty excited about this one and look forward to the anthology’s release.  I’ll let you know more as soon as I can.

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Anthology News

September 27, 2017 at 3:10 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

I’m waiting on a few stories coming out shortly, but I do have a couple of things to note for September.

The first is that The Year’s Best Body Horror 2017 Anthology (pictured left), which contains my short story, “Wrigglers,” is now available for pre-order.

The second item of note is that Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty, containing my short story ,”Better,” is now available in paperback format.

I also have three submitted story “maybe”s awaiting final judgement.  Fingers crossed for me there. I’ve had acceptances with both publishers involved in the past, so there’s hope for me yet.

More to come, very soon…

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