Apologies for dropping out of things lately: insanely busy trying to catch up. Lots of ways to entertain you, however. Example: read this wonderful review of Drag Noir that came out when I was literally on my way out of the country. Thanks, Plenitude Magazine and Latonya Pennington. The process of finding your audience can be slow, but when you do find them it’s so gratifying.
If you’re interested in crime writing at all, check out this issue of TEXT magazine: Crime Fiction: The Creative/Critical Nexus, edited by Rachel Franks, Jesper Gulddal and Alistair Rolls. I am very happy to have my close analysis of Dorothy B. Hughes’ The Expendable Man [PDF download].
But you want pictures, right? The whole album can be found here, but let me show you a glimpse of this amazing city (click pictures to embiggen). And there’s still the manuscript exhibit to upload!
How is it possible that I was interviewed on Manchester radio and never once mentioned The Fall?! Not sure, but I had a great time talking with Hannah Kate, whom you might know from Hic Dragones as well as her radio interviews. Last week she had Ramsey Campbell on, so be sure to check out her other interviews.
Tune in today at 2pm UK / 9am NY for Hannah’s Bookshelf on North Manchester FM (if you’re in the area) or listen online wherever you are! Find out how I juggle my pseudonyms, what I’m up to next, why I love #FolkloreThursday and what three books I’d want to have on hand for the apocalypse. Be sure to let Hannah know what you think.
I’ll be the guest tonight at 6pm (11pm UK) on the live radio broadcast of Speculative Fiction Cantina, sponsored by Writestream Radio and hosted by S. Evan Townsend. You can call in and ask questions! I’ll be sharing the mic with Laurel A. Rockefeller, who writes the Peers of Beinan series and promises she will do some singing. I think I’ll read from the forthcoming Blood Moon, which is the second in the Breton Lais series from my alter ego, Kathryn Marlowe. It’s based on Bisclavret, the tale of the werewolf knight, so I think I’ll read the opening chapter where he glories in being a wolf. The first Breton Lay is of course Knight of the White Hart based on Guigemar. I’m attempting to stay very true to the original tales while expanding them to novel length yet keeping Marie de France‘s breathless pace. As the reviews say:
“A great beginning to new a new series. An interesting and intriguing tale of true love, the meaning of love, sacrifice, a Knight’s honor, magic,and, yes, romance. Intense and emotional at moments. The setting is interesting, with Knights, Medieval Romance,a bit of magic, a battle for love. The characters are intriguing, as well, as will capture your heart. I will follow this series to it’s conclusion. A sweet romance with a few twists and turns.”
“At once with the high romance and idealistic notions of medieval knighthood – this is a tale replete with the grandeur of nobility and the steadfast resolve of a Knight who has to learn his lesson the hard way; that Love is not merely a fancy for the Tales but a cause worth hardship and sacrifice.”
“A masterful storyteller Marlowe delivers her story will skill, wit and clear delight. Also it starts with jousting, which is never a bad thing!! I am telling you nothing more than that, go discover it for yourself!”
Me and the Cap’n and the Rev are still here to lead you into the unknown waters of 2014 (as captured in deft strokes by Vincent Holland-Keen). I don’t know about you, but January has flown past for me. It’s about the time that resolutions begin to flag. Time to reassess. What’s working? What isn’t? What needs to be done? What can be discarded?
It’s useful assess periodically, but be frank with yourself. What do you need? Man does not live on bread alone and woman neither. How are you feeding your creativity? Habit is a useful tool. Be mindful which ones you create.
I’ll say it again: Take up the flag of audacity and dare to be bold. Dream big. No one else can make the dreams in your head reality: dare, fail, pick yourself up and dare some more. And have a blast doing it.
Let 2014 be audacious.
Out now after last week’s unexpected glitch!
Introducing the world of Constance & Collier
It’s London in the Jazz Age: the times are fast and the women faster. Constance Wynne Hare has men eager to throw themselves at her feet—so why does she pine for the one man who takes her for granted?
A new novella from Tirgearr Publishing that kicks off the slightly racy (but never rude!), madcap adventures of a young woman with more money than sense and the sensible woman who pulls her bacon from the fire more times than she can count. It’s a dash of P. G. Wodehouse with the breathless pace of Winifred Watson and a whole lot of lively shenanigans with the Bright Young Things of the Big Smoke.
And next? Monte Carlo and The Big Spin!
An excerpt from The Big Splash:
“Constance, I am preparing a luncheon, you could not have called at a more inconvenient time.”
“Mother, I’m desperate!” Constance wailed. “Miss Emery has bolted.”
“Oh, Constance, not again.” Her mother’s disapproval seemed to snake right through the telephone cord to admonish her. “Why can you not keep servants?”
“I have had the cook for three months now,” Constance said with some tartness.
“Only because you never eat at home,” Mrs. Wynne Hare countered, successfully silencing Constance for the moment. “Whatever shall you do now?”
Constance pouted. “I rather hoped that you would have some motherly advice.”
“You know what my advice will be, Constance. Stop behaving like a raving lunatic and be a sensible girl. Marry a nice young banker and settle down in the country.”
Constance winced. It wasn’t so much that she didn’t anticipate the use of the phrase. This phrase formed the foundation of Mother’s perennial advice, after all. But the words had been delivered with such a ringing attitude of certainty that her own will wavered if but for a moment.
An ordinary girl would have quailed before the commanding maternal tone. Constance, however, was no ordinary girl. What a robust constitution and plenty of parental latitude in the past had not provided, a generous trust fund account finished off. This proved a freedom one would not easily relinquish.
She tried another tack. “How on earth could I snag a banker if I don’t even have a lady’s maid to call my own?” Check, Constance added silently.
Her mother’s sigh sounded suspiciously like defeat to Constance’s ears. “Well, I suppose that is true enough,” her mother said.
“Of course it is! Now whatever shall I do? I don’t think the agency will give me another so soon.”
“You appear to have been born most undeservedly under a lucky star,” Mrs. Wynne Hare said after a minute pause. “Miss Vanbrugh’s lady’s maid has recently left her employment.”
“You mean Mrs. Baird’s employment.” Constance corrected her mother.
“Indeed,” Mrs. Wynne Hare’s tone indicated clearly she did not appreciate the correction. Constance winced. She would pay for the slip later. “In fact, her marriage rendered the position no longer suitable, it seems. Collier has an abhorrence of working for married ladies.”
“Collier?” Constance tried to conjure an image of the person in question and found herself unable to recall a thing about Miss Vanbrugh’s lady’s maid, which spoke well on her behalf. The ones you noticed often provided unpleasant shocks. A good lady’s maid should be as flattering as a well cut chemise and just as unobtrusive.
“Yes, Collier. I must say it seems the height of irony that all of her charges seem to end up married rather sooner than expected.”
Constance could not help but notice how the glow had returned to her mother’s tone. Check for the other player this time. This peculiarity of habit or luck on the part of the lady’s maid did not bode well for the acquisition, but Constance was in a bind. “Well then, can you phone and have her sent around? Things are a shambles here and I am meant to be lunching with Mr. Wood in less than an hour!”
“I do not approve of that young man,” Mrs. Wynne Hare sniffed. “He is decidedly louche.”
“I know, Mother, but until I can snag a suitable banker, I do enjoy amusing myself with the likes of Mr. Wood.”
“Your inability to ‘snag a banker’, as you vulgarly put it, may be due entirely to the amount of time you are seen gallivanting around town with the likes of Mr. Wood.”
“I need the strong guidance of a good lady’s maid,” Constance countered with surprising smoothness, which impressed and cheered her no end. “Do please ring Collier and send her around, there’s a dear, Mother.”
“Well, all right.” Her mother sighed with the requisite weariness.
“Heavens, I am going to be most horribly late for lunch.”
“Oh, Constance, when is that not the case?”
“But what should I do to occupy myself while I’m waiting?”
“Can you not read a book or something?”
“Mother, be serious,” Constance said, her eyes wide with shock.
“For heaven’s sake! Take a bath, Constance.”