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Storming the ConFusion 2019

My schedule for this weekend’s Storming the ConFusion 2019

Saturday, January 19th
10:00AM – 11:00AM Improv Flash Fiction  Panelists: Jackie Morgan(M), Mur Lafferty, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, and Suzanne Church   [Southfield]

Sunday, January 20th
2:00PM – 3:00PM Women Over Fifty as Leaders, Mentors, and Heroes in SFF  Panelists: Diana Rowland (M), Suzanne Church, Jeannie Szarama, Sarah E. Gibbons, and Teresa Nielsen Hayden   [Dearborn]

Click here for the full ConFusion 2019 Schedule


It’s National Novel Writing Month Again

I’ve been super-busy this November, once again participating in NaNoWriMo.

I don’t have the stamina I used to, with respect to NaNoWriMo. I tried and didn’t make it to 50,000 words in 2014 and 2017. I didn’t even participate in 2016. I did jump back onto the ride this year.

Unfortunately, my hands get sore after a long day of writing, so I’m mostly doing updates on Twitter, because it’s so much faster than a blog post.

Find me on Twitter @canadiansuzanne, which is also my NaNoWriMo codename.

If you’ve signed up to participate in the gruelling glory, feel free to add me to your list of writing buddies.

Review of “Brendan’s Way” by Matthew Bin

“Brendan’s Way” is a true page-turner Science Fiction novel. From the moment that the main character, Brendan, boards the Imram to begin his three-month journey to a new world, his every moment is filled with confusion and novelty. As he explores the bustling market, the corridors of the Ring, and the confines of his curtained cubicle, he meets a legion of unusual characters, all travelling in the bowels of the ship, a modern-day vision of steerage on the epic ocean liners of the past.

To earn a ticket on the Imram, Brendan agrees to pose as the husband of Neala, a sharp and secretive woman with plans of her own. The more he gets to know her, the less he understands his fictitious wife.

Before leaving his Irish home, Brendan dabbled in activism by enlisting in the Farmers’ Collective. It wasn’t a union, more of an organized local group with ties to a distant national assembly, its members trying to find better ways to bargain for fairer grain and fertilizer prices. But on the voyage, many clandestine groups exist, all with their own agendas, all somewhat aware of one another’s presence, and all trying not to get caught since justice means a one-way trip through an airlock.

Bin paints a foreign, bleak, and dangerous vision of the journey, including the ugliness of once-a-week shower access, the bland putty-like cubes of rations, the flea-market-by-day and vice-den-by-night crush of the market, and the warm yellow lemony drink offered for free in the common room. The deeper I dove into the story, the further I was engulfed in Bin’s complex microcosm of society, feeling as desperate as the protagonist to unearth the truth.

Bin deftly keeps the reader engrossed by his interpretation of future-Earth, so similar to the one we all know and yet as foreign as a new-found land. Whether you’re a fan of mysteries, science fiction, or adventures, you’ll enjoy “Brendan’s Way” from the first page to the last.

New Year, New Look

 

Since the e-book of my novel, “Hellmaw: Soul Larcenist” is no longer available for sale, I decided to update the look of my website.

Enjoy the visit. I’m going to open up the comments, after a long era of them being closed.

Let me know what you think…


The Halloween Phoenix Returns

image of a phoenix tattooRoughly two years ago, I mused about being a phoenix. To quote that post, “Like the mythic phoenix, (remember Fawkes in the Harry Potter books) I have burst into flames, reduced to a pile of ashes.” And, like Fawkes, it was about time for me to do it again. I suppose it’s partly the impending NaNoWriMo that is encouraging me to revisit this blog.

Where the Hell did I Go?!

I’ve been stuck. Lost. Down a rabbit hole. Hiding under blankets. Eating my feelings. All of the above.

Being truthful about mental illness is difficult, especially when I was deep in the dark places. In the fall of 2016, I hit my emotional rock bottom. I withdrew from society, experienced cycles of insomnia and over-sleeping, and ate dump-truck-loads of my feelings. After weeks of crying every day, I took everyone’s advice and visited my doctor who prescribed anti-depressants.

It took weeks to get the dose right, but eventually I found relief. I began to emerge into the world, and perform tasks I’d been too distraught to face. At that point, I could not write, partly because I wasn’t strong enough to face the “truths” that are authorial requirements, and partly because the anti-depressants affected my concentration and short-term memory.

In March, I found the strength to make some tough changes to get my life back on track. I dabbled in a group-therapy endeavor, and I started to count my calories. I scoured YouTube, Stitcher, and experimented with various meditation apps, in search of the most useful guided meditations to help me with my journey.

Since March, I’ve lost roughly thirty pounds. I can’t thank my older son enough for buying me a Fitbit for my birthday, which not only helped with the weight-loss journey, but has also encouraged me to get walking. I love my Fitbit, because it’s the first weight-loss/health-improvement app/device that uses encouragement rather than bullying. This weight-loss has helped me to feel better, physically and emotionally, and has helped my knee to get significantly better. I still drive around with my cane in my car, but I rarely use it.

That’s right. You read that correctly. I RARELY USE MY CANE!

What a journey! Remember, in that last blog post, I wrote, “I’ve come to the emotional conclusion that I will never be ‘better’ in the true sense of the word. The cane will be a permanent accessory.”

Now I can do things for myself again, including mowing my own lawn, shoveling my own driveway, and cleaning my own house. I even bought a snow-blower, something I’ve been afraid of for years.

Two years ago, I also began the process of updating my will. That endeavor ground to a halt when I learned that without a divorce, my will would not be as binding as I wanted. So I abandoned the will upgrade, and focused on moving ahead with the divorce, again!

Taking charge of this huge aspect of my “old life”, combined with the aforementioned changes, helped me to journey to a new, happy, content, calm place. So much so, that I’ve begun the process of reducing (and possibly quitting) my anti-depressants. Suddenly, I have feelings again. And, most importantly, I NEED TO WRITE AGAIN.

The icing on the cake … drumroll … I’m divorced!  This status became official on October 20, 2017. Time to plan a party.

But first, enough blogging. I need to sketch an outline for my NaNoWriMo novel. I know, I left it until the last minute.

Expect posts about my progress throughout November.

It’s Time to Nominate for the Aurora Awards

Hello fans and friends!

Hellmaw: Soul Larcenist is eligible to be nominated for an Aurora Award, an annual Canadian Science Fiction/Fantasy award. The category of eligibility for the book is: “2016 – Best Novel – English”

There are 2 reviews of Hellmaw: Soul Larcenist at the bottom of the book’s Amazon page, just click here and scroll down.

I also published 2 short stories this year which are also eligible to be nominated. Their category of eligibility is: “2016 – Best Short Fiction – English”

The stories are:

“Lost Flesh” which appeared in the anthology Lazarus Risen, Edited by Hayden Trenholm and Michael Rimar, Bundoran Press, Nov 2016.

And

“Dallas’s Booth” which appeared in the anthology Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media Groups Inc., August 2016.

We authors find it difficult to choose a “favourite” story, but if cornered I would suggest “Lost Flesh”. Unfortunately, I am unable to place a free story on my website this year.

I would be honoured if you would take the time to read Hellmaw: Soul Larcenist either through your local library, or: As an ebook or audiobook from Amazon

Or as an ebook from Kobo

The (physical) trade paperback and hardcover copies of the book are much harder to find. I have copies, so if you’re going to be seeing me, remind me to bring along a copy.

Click here for a full list of links to all eligible works in ALL CATEGORIES

Anyone who is either a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen can submit a nomination form for the Aurora Awards. You may select up to 3 nominees in each category. All selections will be given equal weight.

The CSFFA charges a membership fee ($10) to nominate OR to vote. Everyone who becomes a member will be emailed a packet of the five finalists in each category, (once they’re chosen) so you’re essentially getting many books for $10!
Click here for more information, and/or to nominate

The top five works in each category with the most nominations will be placed on the final ballot.

All nominations, on-line or mail-in, must be received by 11:59PM ET May 6th, 2017.

Thank you for your consideration…Suzanne

Suzanne’s ConFusion 2017 Schedule

It’s been a while since my last post! But I’m back, just in time for the beginning of the 2017 convention season.

ConFusion takes place at the Sheraton in Novi, Michigan from January 19-22, 2017. Click here for the full ConFusion Schedule

Friday, January 20
5:00PM – 6:00PM Haven’t We Been Here Before?  Why is New England such an attractive setting for the horrific? Panelists: Michael Cieslak, Suzanne Church, Lesley Conner, Joe Hill, and Mallory O’Meara [Keweenaw]
8:00PM – 9:00PM All Things Onder and the Ed Greenwood Group (TEGG)   Panelists: Suzanne Church (M), Gregory A. Wilson, Elizabeth Shack, Deanna Laver, and Brandon Draga [Petoskey].

Saturday, January 21
4:00PM – 5:00PM Autograph Session   Come and get your books signed! [St. Clair]
6:00PM – 7:00PM Readings  Suzanne will be reading from her Hellmaw fiction. Panelists: Suzanne Church, Sarah Gailey, and Gregory A. Wilson. [Keweenaw]

Sunday, January 22
12:00PM – 1:00PM Here’s What They Did to My Baby!   Authors tell the tale of the publishing process from their perspective. Panelists: Patrick S. Tomlinson (M), Cameron McClure, Suzanne Church, Jim C. Hines [St. Clair]
1:00PM – 2:00PM Romantic Leads   What makes a good romantic lead? Panelists: Courtney Schafer (M), Sara Dobie Bauer, Suzanne Church, Seleste deLaney / Julie Particka, Amal El-Mohtar, Gail Carriger [Leelanau]

I hope to see you at the con!