Sixty-five swings (or never give up on a story)

Warrior Wisewoman 3 coverI have a "new" story, entitled "A Bird in the Hand," in the upcoming anthology, Warrior Wisewoman 3, due out this month. See right for the beautiful cover.

I include quotes around "new" because I wrote this story fourteen years ago, the second story that I ever wrote (so if you do track this one down, please be gentle). I'd actually sold this story a couple of times in the past, but those markets both folded before the story was published.

For any short fiction writers out there, there is a lesson here. Despite the mounting pile of rejections and the frustrations of two close calls, I kept the story in the mail (or email), and was finally rewarded with a sale to a respected anthology series. How many times did I keep it in the mail?

Sixty-five. That's right. Sixty-five swings and a miss (not counting the two phantom sales) before it found a real home and saw the light of published day. This is my record for rejections before a sale, breaking my previous high (set last year on a story written the same year as this one) by ten.

If any of you have read my story "Spirit Dance," this is another tale about the Heroka, my race of shape shifters, and the Tainchel, the shadowy covert government op that hunts them. An early review states "a very interesting turn-around story, in which our expectations are upended at the last minute. ...a good read, and sadly, far too relevant to our own present world."

A new collection! In France!

I've been approached by Benoît Domis of DreamPress regarding a publishing a collection of my fantasy stories in France. We're still working through the details, but it would be published sometime in 2011. More info to follow. Benoît was formerly the publisher and editor of the excellent French dark fantasy magazine, Ténèbres, in France, which published two of my Heroka shapeshifter stories, "Spirit Dance" and "A Bird in the Hand." Check out their great covers here.

Readings in Edmonton in May 2011

Assuming that the nice people at the Edmonton Public Library get their requested Canadian Council grant funding, I'll be doing two readings in Edmonton the weekend of May 27-29, 2011. One of the readings would be on Sunday May 29 at EPL's monthly Writers' Corner (these take place the last Sunday afternoon of the month), and another would be at the Strathcona County Library, a very short distance from Edmonton, on either the Friday or the Saturday. More details to follow in January once we hear about the funding request.

The Aurora Awards: Thirty Years of Canadian SF

The Aurora Awards coverWell, I'm a tad late with this update, but I'm way behind on updates in general.

I'd blogged earlier about having my first story, "Spirit Dance," picked for this excellent anthology that celebrates the depth and range of Aurora Award winning short stories over the three decades since the award was first presented in Halifax in 1980.

The anthology includes work by James Alan Gardner, Isaac Szpindel, Eileen Kernaghan, Daniel Sernine, Robert J. Sawyer, Julie Czerneda, Élisabeth Vonarburg, Candas Jane Dorsey, Yves Meynard, David Nickle, Karl Schroeder, Edo Van Belkom, Hayden Trenholm, Laurent McAllister, and of course, myself, with an introduction by Jean-Louis Trudel.

It's wonderful to be included with so many fine Canadian authors, but it's also fun to be in there with so many friends and mentors who have links to my writing.

Julie Czerneda has purchased stories from me wearing her editor hat. Rob Sawyer, along with Carolyn Clink, was the guest editor who originally purchased "Spirit Dance" for Tesseracts6 in 1997. Yves Menard did the translation from Parisian to Quebec French when the story would later appear (as "La Danse des Esprits") in the fine Quebec magazine, Solaris.

The Canadian SF&F community is a small one! This is a great sampling of the best of Canadian speculative fiction, and I heartily recommend that you check it out. From Nanopress in Montreal.

"By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" selected for DragonCon

By Her Hand movie poster"BY HER HAND, SHE DRAWS YOU DOWN," the short film based on my story of the same name, is an official selection of the 2010 DragonCon Independent Film Festival!!! DragonCon is a huge 4-day genre convention with over 50,000 attendees spread over 4 hotels in Atlanta, complete with its own film festival. Congratulations to the cast and crew! Here's a list of the BHHSDYD's upcoming film festival appearances so far:

  • DragonCon Film Festival, Sept 3-6, Atlanta, GA
  • Killer Film Fest, Nov 12-14, Foxboro, MA
  • Dark Carnival Film Festival, Nov 19-21, Bloomington, Indiana

Here are some reviews of the original story:

"...a haunting variant on the vampire legend with an understated and brutal ending."—Publishers Weekly

“...delightfully creepy...about a young woman who is driven by a mysterious hunger to sketch people and steal their life force as her horrified lover looks on.”—Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Assoc.

"I was reminded of the tone of some of Harlan Ellison’s best work..." —The Fix

“...a title that rules. ...psychic vampirism, creepy street performers, the horrors of small coastal towns. And Smith took the story somewhere that surprised me. The twist is sustained.”—Tangent Online

Check out here for the complete story behind the movie, including a trailer, photos from the shoot, and some very cool sketches used in the film.

CHIMERASCOPE available in multiple ebook formats

Chimerascope coverAll ChiZine Publication titles, including my new collection, Chimerascope, are now available in several popular ebook formats through a number of online retailers, including Amazon (Kindle), Crossroad Press (PDF, MOBI, and EPUB), and Wowio (PDF). And they're all DRM free!

ChiZine co-publisher Brett Savory:

"From the beginning, we've been plugged in digitally. We used Twitter and Facebook to reach out to fans and they responded. We think e-books will grow, and grow fast, as mobile devices like smartphones and things like the iPad become the way people consume digital entertainment. And though some say there are risks of piracy, we're not using DRM technology, which we see as getting in the way of our user's ability to enjoy our titles."

To order Chimerascope in paperback or ebook format, check out the ordering links here.

Talking about "Radio Nowhere" on the radio

Campus Chills anthology coverThanks to Mark Leslie (friend, fellow writer and editor of the most excellent anthology, Campus Chills), I recently had the chance to join Mark via telephone when he appeared in the studio on the syndicated "Night Fright" Radio Show talking about CAMPUS CHILLS with host Brent Holland.

The show also features fellow Campus Chills contributor, Nancy Kilpatrick, as well as Brent reading part of a hot "adult content" scene from Sephera Giron's story.

I've also had a couple of recent interviews around my new collection, Chimerascope, including a podcast interview with Joseph Planta on, and an interview with me in my local Markham paper, the Markham Economist & Sun.

You can find links to all of these interviews and more on my Interviews page.

"By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" Movie Trailer

I've written earlier on the indie film based on my short horror story "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down" by director Anthony Sumner of TinyCore Pictures. Anthony has finished the post-production work and is now ready to submit the film to festivals. The film will also be coming out as part of a horror movie DVD called "The Gallery of Fear." You can check out the official "By Her Hand..." web site for festival schedules, info on the cast and crew, and news and updates. Anthony has also posted the movie trailer there as well.


Help fight cancer -- support the Ride for the Cure

My friend and fellow creative person, Mici Gold, is currently training to bicycle over 200km over two days in the "Ride for the Cure" event in June. Mici has to raise $2,500 to be allowed to ride, and she needs your support. If you'd like to help make a difference for people suffering from cancer or whose families have been impacted by cancer, please consider supporting Mici in her ride by donating online here. Mici and everyone affected by cancer will thank you!

Last Chance to Enter Free Giveaway Contest for CHIMERASCOPE

Update: Contest closed April 9, 2010 Here's your last chance to enter the free giveaway contest for Chimerascope on Goodreads, the social networking site for book lovers. Here's the link to enter the contest. You have to be a Goodreads member, but that costs nothing, and if you love books, you'll enjoy this site. The giveaway contest ends shortly after midnight on April 9, so enter now for a chance to win one of two free copies.


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