Happy Birthday, Fox Spirit Books!

HB Fox Spirit

A big happy birthday to Fox Spirit Books! Two years old already and so many many books out there, including several I wrote, edited or contributed to in some way. Under the insightful guidance of the fearless Adele Wearing, the Muse who Kicks You in the Face®, the collection that kicked things off — Tales of the Nun and Dragon — has been followed by a wealth of gorgeous, genre-ending volumes that have in common both the little fox head logo and a commitment to excellence — from the hand-picked list of authors, through the rigorous editing process (we love you, Daz, even when we’re cursing ;-)), through the detailed process of formatting by the wonderful Handebooks, until at last they are wrapped in the beautiful covers designed by fabulous artists like S. L. Johnson, Sarah Langton, Daniele Serra and Vince Holland-Keene.

So raise a glass, look back to see how far we’ve come — and jump into the future!

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
           ~ Arthur O’Shaughnessy

 Be sure to sign up for the Fox Spirit Books newsletter to keep abreast of things and drop by the Facebook page or follow Aunty Fox on Twitter today for the celebrations and give me something to sing about!

All the Fox Spirit titles I’ve been part of so far (click on the image to go shopping) — more soon!

Time Slips

Birthdays are best in PRINT!

A week without a blog post from me? In that time I have:

  • graded all my courses
  • traveled from upstate NY to Dundee
  • had a lovely birthday

I spent yesterday being pampered by my sweetie. He and Allan sang me awake with a present of series seven of Doctor Who which I had missed altogether, so I watched the whole thing yesterday! Now I’m ready for the Xmas special. I had a chocolately pirate cake which was just wonderful. Allan and I built things on Minecraft, including a maze that was so convoluted you couldn’t actually get through it.

My favourite part is riding around in the mine cart on a pig with a saddle. Simple joys!

So with the birthday and all the timey-wimey goodness of Doctor Who, it’s hard not to feel a little wistful at how quickly it all flies by. As I think this I hear in the back of my head the Fall song, “Bill is Dead”. It might sound a bit morbid from the title, but it’s not for me. Whatever might have been intended by the song (and far be it from MES to mislead anyone in an interview, right?) the verses swing from dissolute disappointment to surprised joy. The chorus comes across as tinged with both sarcastic irony and genuine hope:

These are finest times of my life
This is the greatest time of my life
This is the greatest time of my life
These are the biggest times of my life

I can’t help but makeover the mantra my own way (that’s the thing with creations: once you loose them on the world, they take on lives of their own). We spend so much time regretting the past, or worrying about the possibilities of the future. All we really have is now. Sometimes that now is wonderful, sometimes it is horrible — usually it’s somewhere in between. But it’s all we have and we really need to make the most of it. It doesn’t always mean conquering the world, but it means being honest with yourself and thoughtful about what matters to you. When you discard the unnecessary, it’s amazing what you can do in a short time.

But be honest with yourself: what do you want to accomplish? What are you doing now to make that happen? I asked my freelance writing class how many of them planned to continue writing now that the semester (and my ‘writing is hard work so you have to love it’ theme) was over. Maybe a third raised their hands. I expect it will be even fewer who actually carry through with it. People like the idea of writing; unlike painters, professional athletes and oh, let’s say shark hunters, folks assume they could do your job if they had the time. Because they possess the rudimentary ability to make sentences, they assume that’s the same as writing. Guess what? The average sentence has as much relation to writing as my stick figures do to Turner or Fini.

Here’s the secret to writing: you write. You ‘make time’ for everything else (or don’t — as is the case of many things you find out don’t matter that much: cleaning, watching a lot of television, ‘shopping’ which seems to be defined as wistfully walking around malls gazing at things you don’t really need but the advertising convinces you that you want). Let the things you make time for be precious: the people you love, the beauties of this world, creating something — anything — should be the heart of it.

But if  you do make time for things that matter, you’ll find the days are much better.

Allan's Giant Pig Chair: a glorious monument to whimsy

Allan’s Giant Pig Chair: a glorious monument to whimsy

Oops — and I forgot! I’m also featured in the December BroadPod, reading from Owl Stretching along with Jean Marie Ward, LC Hu, Julia Rios and Justine Graykin.

Albacon and On

We know where the real conversations happen…

This past weekend I attended Albacon, the local speculative fiction con. It’s always a great opportunity to catch up with friends and meet new ones. There are so many changes in publishing — and so much anxiety about the changes — that there was a significant amount of soothsaying and bet hedging going on at all the panels. In the midst of one late panel I got a text from Bertie telling me he was chatting with Wallace Shawn at the Gossip Girl final wrap party.

(-_-) Always one up on me!

Debi dressed us in saris Saturday night; we had late readings both Friday and Saturday night. I yammered on a variety of panels:  publicity, publishing and how crazy it all is now, humour in spec fic, and the hilariously titled ‘Details’ panel for which we were given no details as to what it was supposed to be about.

Oh, irony!

I ran out on Saturday to the Sisters in Crime meeting (and managed to bring the president, Kay, back to Albacon — here’s to reaching across genre lines!) so I could meet Alice Loweecey, who was speaking about her series of mysteries featuring an ex-nun (a role she knows from the inside out). Not only was she an absolute delight — I bought her books on the assumption that they will be as much fun as she was — but she had a Barbie doll dressed as a nun as a door prize! Guess who won? So if course I had to add her to the folks found reading Tales of the Nun and Dragon.

Alice Loweecey’s nun reads Tales of the Nun & Dragon

Busy busy busy: trying to get Weird Noir to roll out by Halloween. Fingers crossed! Henry Rollins tonight in Albany with Maryann and Mick. And Alessandra reminds me, it’s Saint Crispin’s Day:

Thanks to the folks who made Albacon fun.

And don’t forget!

Grab a badge for your website

Shiny Cover Art

Owl StretchingIt’s a bit of an embarrassment of riches this month, continuing on into the first week of October. I’m behind on press releases and promo items because 1) it’s the beginning of the semester and it’s INSANE! and 2) I added to the madness with the whole throat infection/blood poisoning thing and 3) not all of them were supposed to come out at the same time, so —

I’m not complaining! As Mae West put it, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”

So here’s the full wraparound cover of Owl Stretching, which will be out officially on Monday the 17th, though it may take a few days for them to ship to stores. Ask your book store or library to order it. 🙂 As you can see, Storm was able to incorporate the “Shamans vs. Aliens” tagline into the cover art, which pleased me immensely. Doesn’t Ruby’s art look amazing?!

Speaking of amazing, there’s also a fantastic cover the fabulous Queen of Everything, AKA S. L. Johnson, has created for Chastity Flame, the sexy spy trilogy that’s launching with Tirgearr Publishing (who are also releasing my dark fantasy collection Unquiet Dreams in October). More on this next week, with a proper launch and all. But dig that smashing cover! The whole trilogy will share this cool design. I can’t wait to see the others.

And don’t forget! The absolutely wonderful collection from Fox Spirit Books, Tales of the Nun & Dragon is already out. I’m still shaking my head that Adele could bring this idea to fruition so quickly — and in such a gorgeous package. Everything about the design of this book is just lovely including Vincent Holland-Keen’s stunning cover. The conception of anthology as a pub worked out so well. As Alasdair Stuart writes in the introduction, “This isn’t an anthology, it’s a conversation.” He also says some rather blush-inducing things about me: “Kate’s work is always measured and elegant and is frequently very, very funny and her sense of humour runs pleasingly dark here.”

Wow. So wonderful to be part of this. Here’s to the power of surrounding yourself with inspiring, creative people doing wonderful things.

Tales of the Nun & Dragon OUT NOW!

Tales of the Nun & Dragon available now!

And I couldn’t be happier! Features my medieval tale, “The Price” and a bunch of terrific writers.

Adele says, “It’s launch day and a few sharp eyed folk noticed it went on sale on Amazon yesterday. Well, the book is now officially out there and here are some buy links:

Nun & Dragon from Wizards Tower , Amazon UK , Amazon Com .

Our previous releases are also not only available from Amazon but for those of you who prefer to buy indie, Wizards Tower have psychological horror Shadows, unusual zombie novella Oasis, and the thriller Requiem in E Sharp, all by Joan De La Haye.

Don’t forget our Pirate flash fiction to win a ltd ed paperback copy of Nun & Dragon and the chance to submit to the future ‘Bushy Tales’ collections is open until September 19th 2012. Up to 1,000 on pirates and piracy to ‘adele @foxspirit dot co.uk’ titled ‘Pirate Flash’.

To keep up to date with Fox Spirit sign up for our quarterly newsletter.”

See Vincent Holland-Keen’s full wrap around cover for the book in its full glory!

Nun & Dragon — and Pirates!

I’m pleased to present:

Nun & Dragon Press Release

I am delighted to announce that the long anticipated first volume in the ‘Bushy Tales’ anthology series ‘Tales of the Nun and Dragon’ will be available as an ebook via Amazon from Monday 10th September and Wizards Tower Press within a few days.


‘Tales of the Nun & Dragon’ features twenty three stories by a mixture of well-known and new authors who offer up a delightful blend of genres. There are zombie dragons, latex nuns, trips through time, nunsploitation and some unusual fantasy tales and fables. The book also features internal illustrations by artist Kieran Walsh.

The full line up of writers is available now at www.foxspirit.co.uk

There will be a very limited edition print run available later this year, prior to all the Fox Spirit books being made available as print on demand from Lulu.

An early review is available at ‘Tony’s Thoughts’ http://iuchiatesoro.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/tales-of-the-nun-and-dragon-edited-by-adele-wearing/

And Harry Markov has taken a sneak peek at some of the art work over at ‘Through A Forest of Ideas’ http://throughaforestofideas.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/art-tales-of-nun-and-dragon.html


To celebrate the launch of ‘Tales of the Nun & Dragon’ and in honour of International Talk Like a Pirate Day we are running a small contest.

Between now and the 19th September 2012 we will be taking open submissions of flash fiction (up to 1000 words) on any interpretation of the subject of pirates and piracy. The three best stories will be posted on the Fox Spirit website and their authors will receive a hard copy of Tales of the Nun & Dragon once it becomes available. They will also be invited to submit for a place in one of the two Bushy Tales anthologies planned for early 2013, ‘Tales of the Fox and Fae’ and ‘Tales of the Mouse and Minotaur’.

Competition entries must be sent as a pdf or word doc, to adele@foxspirit.co.uk and titled ‘Pirate Flash’. Any entries over the 1,000 word limit will not be considered.

The ‘Bushy Tales’ anthologies are invitation only and produced on a profit share basis.

For more information on ‘Tales of the Nun and Dragon’ or any of our other published and upcoming titles please explore our site.

Profiled at Eden Baylee’s Blog & News

I am profiled over at Eden Baylee’s blog today. Drop by and say hello to find out what lurks inside my mind lately. I suppose it’s the usual sort of thing, but Eden has some interesting questions that I have not had in an interview before, so maybe you will learn a few new things about me.

I sent back the page proofs of Owl Stretching last night. I’m just the worst at finding those last minute errors. I get caught up in the story and forget to check for errors, argh. Let’s hope that the careful eyes of Sharon and Storm have caught the most egregious errors. Any that remain are my fault alone. I was pleased to find that I still enjoyed the story. It has been so long since I actually finished writing it that I found I had forgotten a lot. Of course there are jokes that only a few people will get, but the I think the undercurrent of constant surveillance and the jaded audience are even more apparent now than they were when I was writing it. Yet so much of my life has changed since then; the acknowledgements capture those changes. And yes, there is a Ruby cover forthcoming; fingers crossed it’s just as gorgeous as her work for Pelzmantel.

I’m working away on White Rabbit. Not sure I can say much about it at this point but it remains fun and interesting, and while I’m sure that I know where it’s going, there are a lot of surprises along the way, so that’s a good thing. Writing the occasional short thing in between, but mostly in this for the long haul for as much of the time I have left in Scotland.

Alas, it grows short. And no, not sure what I’ll do once I get to the States. Sorting it out soon.

I have a few reviews lately over at A Knife and A Quill. Drop by and check them out.

Tales of the Nun & Dragon, out soon — and now with music!

We said good-bye to Steve Browne yesterday; his memorial was held at their place in Berne. Maryann told me that Mary had more people offering remembrances, songs and stories than they could accommodate in the service, so a friend was filming all those who wanted to speak or perform. I went to the Howff and thought of Steve and those who loved him and how we would all miss him. Good-byes are always difficult.