Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Writer by Any Other Name?

Although fantasy and science fiction are my favorite genres, I also like to read mysteries, especially cozy mysteries. It's probably not surprising that I've come up with an idea for a cozy mystery series. I'm trying to do more worldbuilding and plotting with this project, but even before I write the first word, I also have to consider the marketing aspect. Should I publish these stories under my own name or a pen name? Traditional thinking has always been that you need different pen names for different genres so readers can distinguish them. However, this doesn't seem to be too much of a concern for indie writers. Honestly, I have enough trouble doing social media and marketing for one name; doubling it would make it even harder. Book covers and blurbs do a better job of signaling genre than names, and I would put different books on different pages of my website.

Do you use a pen name, or have you thought about it? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Third Flatiron Best of 2019 Now Available!

I mentioned a couple of months ago that my short story, "Specimen 1842," had been selected for Third Flatiron's Best of 2019 anthology. This anthology is finally available, though currently only as an ebook on Amazon. It's free if you're in Kindle Unlimited or only $2.99 if you're not. Here's the cover, and below is the description from Amazon:

Third Flatiron Anthologies presents fourteen of its best speculative fiction stories from the year 2019. Contributors include Tom Pappalardo, J. D. Blackrose, Brian Trent, Bruce Golden, Mack Moyer, Arthur Carey, Maureen Bowden, Edwina Shaw, Elizabeth Beechwood, Evan A Davis, K. G. Anderson, Philip John Schweitzer, Sandra Ulbrich Almazan, and Samson Stormcrow Hayes. Edited by Juliana Rew.

I'm still waiting to get my copy, but I'm looking forward to reading it. Here's hoping you check it out too.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Letters to Psyche--A Valentine's Day Read

Looking for a short story to read for Valentine's Day? How about one told by the God of Love himself? This short story of mine actually features two famous couples: Cupid and Psyche, and Romeo and Juliet. Here's the blurb:

When the Greek god Cupid visits Verona, he foresees no problems uniting the Montague and Capulet families. But when Elisabeth Capulet and Giovanni Montague's love ends in tragedy, Elisabeth places a powerful curse not on just the families, but Cupid himself. Unable to visit his wife Psyche, he sends her letters detailing his efforts to undo the curse. Can the two of them save another generation of lovers, or will Cupid and Psyche be forever parted?

You can buy it as a stand-alone short story for $0.99, or get it as part of Ordinary Wonders: A Fantasy Short Story Collection, for $2.99. Both links are universal.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

IWSG: The Art Behind the Story

January sure seemed like a long month, didn't it? Here's hoping February will be better. Let's get the month off to a good start with the Insecure Writer's Support Group. You can learn more about them on their website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed. Our hosts for February are Lee Lowery, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Jennifer Hawes (no link available), Cathrina Constantine, and Tyrean Martinson.

Our question for this month is Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

I've been wracking my brain for a while, and all I could come up with is a writing assignment from seventh or eighth grade. I don't remember the details very well, but the photo was of a dark hallway. I wrote a story about walking through my school at night, and I think my dog made an appearance at the end (I think I was looking for her, though I don't remember why she would have been at school.) Since I graduated from school, I assumed I finished the assignment.

Most of my story inspiration these days comes from either anthologies or exploring established characters and worlds. Occasionally, I do find photos that deserve to inspire stories or be book covers. One of them was posted to Twitter in December; I saw it on my Facebook feed. It's a pair of brides, one in a purple/gray dress, the other in white, each facing outward while holding swords one-handed and clasping their free hands behind their backs. If you haven't seen the photo, check it out at the link; it's gorgeous. Since this photo was part of their actual wedding, I won't share it here. It would make a great book cover, however. You can follow the pair on Twitter at Bisexuals of the Blade. Perhaps someday that photo will inspire me to write a story about a pair of bisexual women in a similar pose but with different weapons. (I already know who they would be, though I'm not sure if that scene fits their story.)

Have you found art more inspiring than I have? If so, feel free to discuss it in the comments.

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