With a Little Help from My Friends

Spring is here. Bursts of activity and creation, from outdoor events to the bright shiny new work of authors, publishers, and all those types that bloom in the sunshine, full of new work and bright words.

Writers and their affiliates (from presses to magazines to podcasts) get hell on the Internet for self-promotion – and a lot of the time, GAWD, rightly so – but sometimes friends are friends, and the PSA/The More You Know message of this post is that when no one is looking, and for no other reason than being good people, this group of miscreants and snake oil salesmen will unblinkingly throw sponsorship money to a 9 yr old in Southern Ohio for an event at his elementary school. And one will blink, and think how lucky, to have “networks” that are more than that word, associates and peers that are friends.

Selflessness is supposed to be its own reward, but here’s my kid kicking some ass at the Ninja Dash obstacle course/fun run. He was sponsored by Booked. Podcast (Livius Nedin and Robb Olson, Thunderdome Press (Mike Gonzalez), GAMUT Magazine (Richard Thomas), his friend Elijah Kasper (from PLT days), Kay & Allen Hayes, and Heather & Jeremy Barker. They expected nothing from him, but he wore a sponsor shirt with all their names.

Thanks to your generosity, my son gets to smash a pie in the face of his favorite teacher on the next-to-last day of school

And yes, since you asked, that green glitter shirt-lettering was all destroyed when I washed it, and the inside of my washing machine looks like a disco.

Happy summer!! And thank you for being a part of my life!!

Menacing Hedge Five Year Anniversary



Menacing Hedge Summer 2016

Summer 2016 marks 5 years of Menacing Hedge, and I’m happier than happy to be a part of this family. The Summer Edition is full of good stuff – check it out, while we keep reading for Fall. ❤


‘Radium Girls’ at Sylvester Memorial Wellston Public Library



There are two main reasons I like the Wellston library:


1. The Summer Reading Program – below is my kid, today, leaving the Pool Party with his sack of goodies – they gave them PRIZES. And a PARTY. Just for reading books and attending programs to see Mr. Molecule, The Turtle Lady, animals from The Columbus Zoo… Oh yeah, it was a real chore, let me tell ya. So first off, if you’ve got a kid in grades K-5, take them to the Summer Reading Program next summer. You want them to grow up thinking books and learning are cool, right? Because they ARE, right?



2. Sneaky Book Placement – I snapped the photo below while my son was watching magic tricks. DO YOU SEE THAT? That’s Victor Hugo, discreetly above Stephanie Meier (Meyer? Am I supposed to pretend to care?) in the Teen Paperback section. George Orwell was there, too. It was genius. One sneeze, and a lost tween could accidentally grab something worthwhile! These librarians impress me….



Alright, so let’s get to the point, to the scary part.

Karen Davis, whom I suspect may be the head honcho, asked if I’d like to do an event/reading at this here library. She “discovered” me AKA decided to be kind to me when I was embarassedly (I know that’s probably not a word) and rapidly emailing friends to look at their copies of Radium Girls to find the ISBN so someone could request the book be carried. I received an email from her not long after. I was both shocked and flattered. And terrified. So I was three things, not both things…

Anyway. I’ve never been in front of an audience for anything like this for longer than ten minutes. Always part of a group, part of a larger event. Always with the advantage of tossing back a couple drinks first. And I don’t even drink! It’s just, you know, exposing that little bit of your soul to people that makes a little alcohol helpful before sliding onto stage…

Karen, I promise not to drink before this event!

It’ll last about an hour. I’ll probably read a story, and talk about writers in the area, and storytelling in general -because face it, Appalachians are natural storytellers. We’ve all got stories. We’ve all got history. I just happen to write stuff down. There will be cookies, prizes for Q&A and discussion participants, three paperback copies of Radium Girls as door prizes just for showing up, and books to buy if anyone is so inclined.

I’m really excited about this, so come hang out for an hour.

At the very least, you’ll get a cookie.


‘Radium Girls’ and Appalachian Storytelling

Featuring Amanda Gowin

Wednesday, August 13th at 6pm

Sylvester Memorial Wellston Public Library

135 E. Second St. Wellston, OH 45692

Radium Girls teaser pics – post #1

Think of them like trading cards! Pretty little pictures with snippets of the stories, overlaying photos of my friends and I – just scattering these to the wind, tossing them about on Twitter and Pinterest. More teaser pics to come, more news to come. The cover is in the works and the novella (the Final Puzzle Piece) is almost where I want it…..




Radium Girls and the “Hush Release”

Radium Girls is my upcoming collection from Thunderdome Press, set for release late this spring, no later than my 35th birthday on June 5th. It will include short stories both previously published and unpublished, a couple of co-written stories with friends, some flash, disguised truth, an email or two, and a novella called The Pink Manatee. It will be a patchwork of photos and genres.

I’m excited! I want to hold this book in my hands, shake it in my teeth, imagine it poking from between couch cushions, from under mattresses, gathering condensation rings on end tables, covered in underlines with ink, pencil, crayons, dog-eared, loved.

But the idea of promotion makes me twitch like my 5lb dog. Information on the progress of Radium Girls, and how to buy once it is available will be easy to find, but I’m going to try things -this “promotion” thing – a quieter way. Sometimes it’s easier to filch an honest piece of conversation than to re-shape thoughts. Below is a copy/paste from an email to a friend (that I’m leaving anonymous because it seems the polite thing to do!):

“I’m ‘inventing’ something new to promote Radium Girls, which is basically the freedom to not over-promote it or pressure people to promote it. I’m going to call it a “Hush Release” and will feature no events, no giveaways, no Facebook and Twitter over-saturation, no asking to link share or pms, Dms or emails informing people and asking them to spread the word, no huge release date, no build-up, no plays for reviews. It WILL feature a steady but unobtrusive sharing of information about the book itself, the leaving of all online stories that are in the collection STILL online, links, pictures, information on how to buy, but absolutely no BANG POP WOW LOOK AT THIS HEY HEY LOOK AT THIS. I feel pretty good about it. Going to do a blog post about the collection, and about the Hush Release approach, on Tuesday, with a couple pictures and links to online stories I might include. My hope is that the IDEA of a Hush Release will catch on with people, or at least be a breath of fresh air whether they buy the thing or not. I refuse to stress about it. Being totally honest with myself I realized it’s why I was dragging my feet to finish the whole thing. The release was actually putting me off it, the idea of jumping into that promotion machine. That’s a horrible way to feel about releasing a collection – and my first collection! So I’m just skipping all that so I can enjoy it!! What do you think?”



“Burnt Tongues” Table of Contents



Books & Booze (one of these things i like more than the other…)

A couple weeks ago, the lovely ladies of Books and Booze had me on for an interview – coffee and Nyquil were consumed. Llamas and novels were discussed. Check it out here!


Thanks, Renee and Jessica!!


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