Five Days Left to Enter “Fairytale Day” Goodreads Bundle Giveaway

February 26 is International Fairytale Day, so what better day for Craig and I to give you a pile of books and stories by a plethora of authors that cover the spectrum from horror to crime to magic realism to noir to mystery to comedy to love story, and everything else you can think of?

Click the link below to enter: the pile of books includes not only the only 3 hard copies of Serious Moonlight thus far in existence, but also The Sound of Loneliness signed by the author Craig Wallwork, Quintessence of Dust signed by the author Craig Wallwork, Radium Girls signed by the author Amanda Gowin, Gutted: Beautiful Horror signed by (one of) the author(s) Amanda Gowin, as well as the Booked. Anthology!

And, Serious Moonlight, our short story duet, will include brand new bonus flash stories from both of us in these print copies.

Escape. Make a bed of these books and roll around in other worlds, while on break from making this world a better one.

Fairytale Day “Serious Moonlight” Goodreads Giveaway Bundle (click)

Edmund Dulac

Edmund Dulac

 

(All proceeds from Serious Moonlight go to International Medical Corps)

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2016 Scares the Shit Out of Me

 

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Seriously.

It’s only the 2nd day of the year, nice easy Saturday night full of peppermint candy, Lana Del Rey and sleeping dogs.

Last night was Sherlock’s ‘The Abominable Bride’ (which was better than all of S3 put together, and I loved S3), and this afternoon was ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ with my almost-8-yr-old son in his Darth Vader sweatshirt and my cool-as-hell hubby (and it was GREAT! I was afraid to hope, after the prequels). So. I’m high on Moriarty and Chewbacca.

The year ahead lies sprawled in an almost impossible glowing light. These Lite Brite blips of things to come, and they seem too good to be true:

  • the first edition of Menacing Hedge I’ve worked on as full-fledged co-fiction editor with my incestuous sibling Craig Wallwork, out pretty much anytime – and conspiring with the beautiful crew there
  • more and more unbelievable announcements about the Gutted:Beautiful Horror anthology – just a lil ole book coming out this year with me in it….AND Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Paul Tremblay, Damien Angelica Walters, Richard Thomas…that’s not even all!! It’s just too hard to type out all the names, and they’re not even DONE with the ToC!
  • AWP LA, which I guess is some sort of “conference” or something, but whatever – I’ll be spending April Fool’s Day in California with the crew that welcomed me into the bosom of ‘Warmed and Bound’ nearly five years ago, only that crew times ten…ocean and bowling and books with some of the best people I’ve ever met or am about to
  • Tentative plans for a vast and ambitious family vacation that, worst case scenario, would take place next summer instead of this one
  • Tentative plans to finish a semi-vast and very-ambitious linked short story collection surrounding the concept of Frankenstein’s Monster and the freedom from the burden of chronological memory…that, worst case scenario, will be completed next summer instead of this one (it would take some massive laziness to drag out an entire extra year)
  • Jewelry – Jewelry!! Work!! They call it work, I call it a kitchen and laboratory full of adoptive family, gems, and magic lasers and elf-sized tools. They let me hang out there, and talk about movies and gold and life, and pay me for it…
  • my son and I have started the Harry Potter series, a mere two hours ago, and he’s into it
  • Richard Thomas has extracted a promise for a story from me for Gamut, which seems like something I should have to fight to get into
  • Craig Clevenger wants to podcast with me for a couple guest episodes of Booked.
  • My sister is going to give me another niece or nephew – another minion for my son!

Can I just stop there, and take a breath?

My fear is justified, yes?

Because this is my life, and I want to deserve it. I want to deserve the people and the love and the pictures in my brain and the roof over my head and the happiness,

and I don’t want to take a breath, or cough, for fear I’ll wake….

So, before I do, in this world now I want to say: I love you all. I appreciate you all. You’re heavy and light and wispy and warm in your love and support and confidence and laughter and conspiratorial smiles. My family, my friends, my work family, my writing , my reading compadres, my Sherlock-fiends, my fellow mothers of beautiful strong babes, my ladies in the shadows that whisper to me that I’m good enough.

Thank you. By the Stars and the Moonlight and the magic of breathing, I wish you all as beautiful a 2016 as you’ve made possible for me, just by being a part of my life.

-Amanda

 

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(Magical Shiny Shoes to dance through the year)

All That Is Dark and Beautiful

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imageimageimageimageAutumn goes fast!! Sometimes it’s too full to keep track in words and posts, so here’s a quick cram session of all the things wonderful and a bit unbelievable that happened along with crunching leaves, bonfires, trick-or-treat, PTO Vice Presidency (shut up), soccer season, Apple Festival, a NINE YEAR Wedding Anniversary, a new legit job at A.L. Terry Jewelers, Back to the Future Pt 2 celebrations, reading amazing stories at Menacing Hedge…. you get the idea, things are booming!! In the midst of all that, there’s also this:

MORE!! At Booked.

Halloween means the annual Spookedtacular, and this year was a two hour NyQuil and beer fest of The Final Girls, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, urban legends, serial killers, and sincere love and vitriol splattered in all directions between Robb Olson, Livius Nedin, Jesse Lawrence and myself. Is a Christmas special coming, with the four of us? You bet! AND! At the beginning of 2016 while Robb and Liv take a Disney Cruise (or whatever it is they do when they can’t record) Craig Clevenger and I will be holding down the Booked. fort and co-hosting an episode ourselves. It should be hot. But more on that later! Click HERE to be taken to the Spookedtacular 2015,

Pantheon Magazine Winter Edition

A little sad, sweet piece of mine has been accepted at the lovely Pantheon Magazine. “Orphans” will appear in the “Hestia” edition. It’s a beautiful publication and I’m honored I’ll be found in its pages!

UPDATES for ‘Gutted: Beautiful Horror’ Table of Contents

If you don’t know what the anthology is about, click HERE to find out a little more about the depths of darkness and beauty coming from Crystal Lake publishing in 2016. It was incredible enough when I learned Neil Gaiman was on the roster, along with authors John F.D. Taff, Brian Kirk, and (one of my own) Richard Thomas – who needs a shout-out and huge thanks for tossing my name their way – THEN editors extraordinaire Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward announced on Halloween that along with all of us, Clive Barker will be including a story. It’s a bit surreal at this point, and I can’t wait to hear who’s announced next!  My story, “Cellar’s Dog,” is gangly and bizarre and pretty in its own way, and I’ll be forever grateful the editors could see what I saw when that black dog walked into those headlight beams.

So there you have it. The leaves are barely gone and already the Autumn is so full of goodness, I’m not sure where to go from here! Up? Or maybe I’ll just swim awhile. Float. Hug my lovelies and enjoy the laughter and the warmth. I think this is the top.

Thank you all so much for reading!

Amanda

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Awful Big Talk for Such a Little Thing…

From an email to a friend, and honestly how I feel about This Thing We Do…

“But what if no one ever recognizes your efforts? That’s a distinct possibility. It doesn’t make the things you do of less value, or the work you’ve done in vain. Fame and appreciation are just matters of timing and luck with sometimes-talent added, based on whatever the pop culture climate is into at the moment. Picasso was appreciated in his lifetime and Van Gogh was not. But that doesn’t make Van Gogh’s work less amazing. And there are thousands of Picassos and Van Goghs that we’ve never heard of, and just because their paintings only hang in someone’s house or the canvases are stacked in a closet somewhere, that doesn’t mean the work wasn’t worth making, or breaking themselves into pieces for. Because it’s still worth it, because we can’t help it. That’s all there is to us, making things. You’ll itch under your skin if you don’t write stories, and you’ll just take up cooking or buy a bedazzler and put sequins on things. And in a few years you’ll catch yourself with a notebook of half-scribbled stories. Because it’s just what you are. You make things. You have to shrug and accept it. Even if you give up the marketing side, and submitting side, and just do it because it’s what you do. That second part – the whore part – is really unimportant in the actual scheme of making things.

So there’s your lesson for the day. You don’t ever have to submit shit if you don’t want to, ever again. Buy a fireproof trunk and seal all your work, finished and printed and also on various types of hard drives, in the trunk. Let someone else sort it out later. Focus on making it. Or take a break and make things when you damned well feel like it. Compulsion can also be euphoria.”

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A Seriously Big Day

So.

I’ve had a lot of good news recently.

Let’s jump right in!

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In 2016, Crystal Lake Publishing is releasing an anthology called “Gutted: Beautiful Horror” that editors D. Alexander Ward and Doug Murano describe as “A series of stories that explores the tension between beauty and horror, wonder and terror, sorrow and transcendence. It’s a book of scars, regret and loneliness. But through it all, it’s a book where hope can still exist and beauty can still thrive.” They’ve only made a few Table of Contents announcements – four names thus far, to be exact, and they go as follows:

Neil Gaiman (you read that right)

Brian Kirk

John F. D. Taff

ME! YES, ME!!

The story they accepted is my much-labored-over, genre-crossing, over-long and painfully dear to me “Cellar’s Dog.” It clocks in at over 6k words and involves Appalachia, hounds, drugs, myth and the tiny glimmer of hope for redemption. I couldn’t be prouder that it’s this story out of everything I’ve written that will be included alongside these incredible people. And I can’t WAIT to find out who else will be in the book.

And! AND!

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Artwork by Brian Despain

The beautiful people over at Menacing Hedge are bringing me on as a Fiction Editor to sift and slush with Craig Wallwork, which is kind of like being asked to come over to best friend’s house to play as your JOB. I love Kelly Boyker and I love Craig, and it’s incredible to be helping choose the short fiction for a journal I submitted to with crossed fingers!

I’ll begin reading now-to-soon-ish, so send us your best!! The Fall Issue will be up soon with more specifics…

So.

I guess I’ll go to sleep, and see if this is still true in the morning.

Seriously, Autumn 2015, I frickin’ LOVE you….

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Well Hey, September

And in a blink, summer disappeared!

It’s cool, though. I’ve been selling jewelry and being Mom, and as the leaves get crinkly and the toads disappear I’ll slide back into my writer-bubble and my skin will feel settled again….

Speaking of!!

The last week I’ve had a good run.

Firstly, Kevin Catalano did an article for Entropy Magazine about 25 Badass Female Short Story Writers, and BOOM! I was in there. Click the link to the article for sure, because all these females kick some short story ass and there are links galore to their stories for proof of their prowess, including to my story “Teetotaler.”

5 + 20 Female Short Story Writers You Should Be Reading RIGHT NOW

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And then today I sorta accidentally found out my story “The Line Forms on the Right” from the Burnt Tongues anthology (edited by Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Rhomas and Dennis Widmyer, Medallion Press) was Long-Listed for the Best Horror of the Year, Volume 7, edited by Ellen Datlow. Not only were some of my bestest and most favorite writing peeps on the list, but also the likes of Caitlin Kiernan and Etgar Kerat! I fully realize there are a lot of names on there (it’s called a ‘long list’) but that’s just more good company to be in. Check this out:

Full Rec List – Best Horror of the Year,Volume Seven, edited by Ellen Datlow

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And of course get the ACTUAL REAL VOLUME SEVEN, it’s obviously amazing. As is Burnt Tongues, which had SEVEN stories on the long list!! The link for BT is in the Links tab above.

I’m a happy girl!!

More news to come, but we’ll talk about that in October. For now, I’ll leave you with a little Bobby Darin – the song that inspired my story in Burnt Tongues, and one of my favorites of all time.

Love to you all!! ❤️

 

 

I Forgot Stuff

So, Radium Girls is 99cents on Kindle and $9.99 for Paperback through the rest of May, but I forgot that I didn’t already do a blog post about it… So here it is! Click that pretty green book to the right of this post and it’ll take you there.

Also, to add to the promotion that I forgot to follow-through with (this can be further explored in my previous post under the confession about my lack of ambition – once the creative act is over, it’s really hard for the Push to hold my attention span, hence not doing any of this last year), I collected a bunch of pretty words from people. Ben Whitmer gave me some which immediately began transforming themselves into a story which isn’t finished, but will eventually see the light of day. For now, the beautiful words:

Radium Girls is like a midnight visitation from the ghost of that corpse you thought you had buried out under the honeysuckle, the night your brother told you that thing about your mother. It’s a brilliant collection, word by perfect word.
– Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike and Cry Father

Ben and I share the same hometown. Which is really odd. He (along with several other amazing writers I know) makes me better, because I have to live up to that confidence in my ability to line up words.

To share this post, I also know today that Leah Rhyne‘s self-published Jo just got picked up and is becoming Heartless, Richard Thomas just released Disintegration, Letitia Trent is coming out with a new book but I don’t know anything else about it because I found out about it on my weekly Twitter-check last night and she was mid-ramble about many things and probably doesn’t think anyone read all those tweets but I totally did, Tracie Morell‘s book of poetry Matilda’s Battle Waltz comes out in June (I always feel pretty dumb about poetry, but Tracie transcends the “getting it” idea of poetry and just goes right for your guts), Stephen Graham Jones has been granted his werewolf-book wish has come true and Mongrels is Big News for next summer, and of course Exigencies is coming up on June 19th. There’s other stuff but it would require use of search engines and maybe even pen and paper, and that’s a lot of work to put in for what is essentially a catch-up post.

And I write these little…capsules, little punchy paragraphs sometimes, where I try to distill a distinct sensation or feeling. Usually I just store them in documents and pull from them for story prose, but I sent one that seemed particularly apt to the Response column prompt in Nailed MagazineSKIN – and I’ll be damned if I didn’t sorta kinda just get a poem published. Click this – and keep in mind the magazine’s called Nailed, if that’s not your thing, then don’t click – mine’s at the bottom: Response: SKIN – Nailed Magazine Editor’s Choice

I hope anyone who reads this had a fantastic weekend, and is kicking their summer off with sunshine and sloth. I’m going to eat leftover grill-food, fold laundry, and continue to avoid shoes. Happy beginning-of-summer!

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