All That Is Dark and Beautiful




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!



Allow Me to Buy Your Love with Free Books in Honor of Sunshine!

Last night I discovered two things:

1. Goodreads has an author stats page thingie

2. LOTS of people have Radium Girls marked on their “To Read” shelves.

So! The only thing to do is come up with a plan to gently shove Radium Girls over to allllll the “Currently Reading” shelves. Summer is coming. There’s no reason my glowing green baby shouldn’t be on your tablet or in your tote bag, ready and waiting when you reach for some good words.


In honor of so many well-intentioned readers, and the upcoming One Year Birthday of Radium Girls, I talked to my lovely friend and publisher Mike Gonzalez, and…

Here’s the Plan

From May 5th through June 5th we shall hand out e-books like candy. As a show of good faith and even better intentions, all you need to do is TAG ME in a photo of ANY OTHER copy of a paper publication I’ve been in that you already have in your possession. Doesn’t matter where – post in the comments here, or tag me or Thunderdome Press on Facebook, or Twitter: @mandajoon (me) or @monkeywright (Mike Gonzalez) or @ThunderDomeMag (the Press), or on Instagram: @mandajoon (me). I don’t care if it’s actually even a pic of you with RG, we’ll still collect your email address and give you an ebook to pass on to someone else!

Here’s the List

Post a pic of ANY of the following with a tag:


Burnt Tongues

Radium Girls

The Booked. Anthology

Cipher Sisters



Warmed and Bound

And! When that giveaway is over it’ll officially be my birthday and we’ll give away some paperbacks, too! And and! There will be a 4-day Free Radium Girls for Kindle weekend. I want these stories in your hands!

Last year when we were getting Radium Girls together I really didn’t want to do any…um, well, promotional work, so I didn’t blurb-hunt or really advertise or whatever, but since the release I’ve gotten a lot of cool reviews and whatnot, so I’ve collected that and shall put it here, in a “Don’t Take My Word for It” section:

Praise for Radium Girls:

“These stories glow in the dark.”
– Craig Clevenger, author of The Contortionist’s Handbook and Dermaphoria

“I loved it, that’s for damned sure. Radium Girls is a great book.”
– Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike and Cry Father

“Her work exists in the rarified air only found at high altitudes…Gowin unfolds a series of portraits of exquisitely flawed and powerful characters.”
– Kelly Boyker, author of Zoonosis, editor of Menacing Hedge

“Gowin is the tornado, lifting the flotsam of society and spinning it around and around until it lands just south of Kansas where magic and colour are just beyond reach.”
– Craig Wallwork, author of The Sound of Loneliness and Quintessence of Dust

“Radium Girls puts beauty in places you probably shouldn’t find it and makes the reader question the norms they’ve come to accept.”
– Livius Nedin and Robb Olson, The Booked. Podcast

May your Spring and Summer be be full of sunshine and words. Thanks for letting me be a part of it!


A New Year, In Photos


What We Need Is More Phooootoooos….


Video: Amanda Gowin at Sylvester Memorial Library

the video!!! took forever to get this mess uploaded. i realize it’s an hour long, but at least stick around long enough for the church fire anecdote… plus i read a story. mainly i ramble. but i think it turned out pretty well! 

‘Trotlines’ in Menacing Hedge, Spring 2012

the Apocalypse is probably not going to be nearly as exciting as we hope. even if there ARE zombies.

my take on that:

also, Menacing Hedge is awesome in general. You can download the whole Spring Issue for Kindle/Nook etc. check out this cover:

Menacing Hedge Spring 2012



Appalachian Acumen in ManArchy Magazine

ManArchy Magazine launched yesterday, and somewhere in all the comedy and cleverness i managed to weasel in a column of my own – i now have a place to dump all that  have learned about Appalachia and white trash etiquette!

link to Manarchy Mag’s main page:

link to my column:

picture of my hair as of New Year’s Day:


appalachian girl

the next door neighbor is nuts with the chainsaw this morning. thinking that, next i thought: they all have chain saws. all the neighbors. and rifles, and large dogs, and nascar parephenelia, above-ground pools in the summer and yellow spots leftover from these in the fall. large clunky windchimes, potted plants on the front steps, bird feeders, well-worn shovels, perfected methods of keeping raccoons out of the trash. vegetable gardens. in most cases, a couple of horses. in some, a pair of ducks or llamas. a prescription or two in the cabinet they’re not proud of. a network than runs like a private party line so a web of roads and connected properties know if there are robberies in the area, down to the possible make and model of the vehicle.

listening to the chainsaw, i finally hit ‘we.’ for all my writing, philosophizing, open-minded ways, i spent most of the summer barefoot in a sundress, and my toddler has stained dale jr. shirts scattered through the house. eric took down the pool this weekend, i put yellow walmart mums on the front steps near my two foot metal skeleton winchime and called us decorated for fall. we have TWO large dogs. birdfeeder, chainsaw – rifle AND stun gun on the top shelf of the closet. two horses. a helpful prescription. ‘strangers’ (not ‘of the neighborhood’) knocked on our back door, as opposed to the front, near dark last week; everyone around us now know what they look like – and we know the week before a house down the road was robbed near dark.

they’re nitrite free angus beef, but my kid loves hot dogs. he says ‘mee-ulk’ for ‘milk.’ i complain about the increased ratio of crap food as opposed to apple butter & church food booths at the apple festival, and mutter about crystal meth ruining the town. raise my arm straight up if a car passes while i’m in the yard, without even looking, the universal hillbilly wave. so does my husband. so does our son.

my husband and i met on a horse farm, breeding in the spring of 2006, and recently drove to kentucky to get tattoos together (not matching, but still). we sort of want a four-wheeler, or a motorcycle, but not until the cars are paid off.

my grandparents – on one side was a carpenter/tobacco farmer and homemaker with six kids; on the other side a smalltown police chief and homemaker with three kids.

target-shooting is fun. burgers on the grill are great. shoes in the summer suck. the best corn in the world is from your neighbor’s garden, brought smiling in an armful by a truck driver in oakley glasses with a ponytail whose wife will bring you a tin of sugar cookies around christmas. the best morning event is watching for the school bus, a good evening is one in which the ducks next door sneak over for a visit. nothing makes a kid happier than a swing hung from a tree in the front yard.

my husband can lift me over his head – i took his last name without blinking. he mows the lawn and i wash the dishes. i love bluegrass, it vibrates in my belly and makes me remember being little, or makes killing for love sound sensible.

someday i will do a counterpoint, a contrast sketch, but on this first day of autumn with the leaves just touched with color, the aussie sleeping on the porch, chainsaw still going at the neighbors, i might just sit here a bit longer with my feet bare, watching the munchkin crash matchbox cars, and enjoy my own strange blood.

“REDNECK” origins:   “The United Mine Workers of America (UMW) and rival miners’ unions appropriated both the term redneck and its literal manifestation, the red bandana, in order to build multiracial unions of white, black, and immigrant miners in the strike-ridden coalfields of northern and central Appalachia between 1912 and 1936.  The use of redneck to designate “a union member” was especially popular during the 1920s and 1930s in the coal-producing regions of southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and western Pennsylvania, where the word came to be specifically applied to a miner who belonged to a labor union….Clearly, the best explanation of redneck to mean “union man” is that the word refers to the red handkerchiefs that striking union coal miners in both southern West Virginia and southern Colorado often wore around their necks or arms as a part of their informal uniform.” (nice thumbnail sketch appropriated from Wikipedia)

and because Hazel is frickin awesome: