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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…


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

My Report on Limestone Genre Expo

On July 23rd and 24th, I visited the beautiful city of Kingston, Ontario for Limestone Genre Expo. (@limestonegenre on Twitter)

The first iteration happened last year, as a one-day event. This year, the organizers doubled down, making it a two-day event.

I hunkered down in the Dealers’ Room for most of the event, so I can’t say that I caught all the panel action, but here’s what the schedule had to offer:

Packed rooms of enthusiastic attendees listened and participated in topics from “Queering the Fantastic” to the Evolution of the Young Adult Market to “The Feminist Journey in Genre Fiction”.

Robert Runte from Five Rivers Publishing generously offered an hour for authors to pitch their works — a highlight of the event for many.

Readings were scheduled on both days, featuring Guests of Honour David Nickle and Vicki Delany, as well as authors Nancy Baker, Rob Brunet, Alyssa Cooper, Kit Daven, Janet Kellough, Tara Wyatt, and OnderLibrum author Marie Bilodeau.

The following workshops offered varied seminars on the craft of writing:

Guest of Honour Nina Munteanu taught The Ecology of World Building
Derek Newman-Stille taught Writing the Senses
Rob Brunet taught Setting as Character
Mary Sullivan and Ann Lethbridge taught How to Write Romance Novels and Find Your Market

I intend to keep this convention on my radar from now on, especially considering my newly-formed Kingston connection.

THE PLAN – AKA 2016 Writing Resolutions

At the beginning of 2015 my writing resolutions were:

1. Create a writing plan, and execute the plan to meet my word goals for the 3XN novels.

I have been focusing on this task, first and foremost. Hellmaw: Your World is Doomed launched on October 31, 2015 from Onder Librum and I can now talk freely about this project. I’m writing a trilogy in Hellmaw, called The Dagger of Sacrados  Trilogy. The first book, Soul Larcenist  will be released this month, in late January 2016. I’m just over 50K into the first draft of the second book, Soul Poison  and aim to have the book out to Beta readers by February 1st. The third book, Almost Soulless  will be finished by August 1st. In between I’ll write a standalone YA novel for another Onder Librum book in the Pony Island universe and complete the main draft by April 1st.

2. Edit and submit to market ALL of the new short stories from 2014.

A summary of the state of my 2014 short stories:
“Black is the Source of Her Smithing” – has 4 more rejections, bringing the total to 6 and is out at a market right now.
“Beneath a Cloak of Fear” – has 2 rejections. Since it’s not genre, I haven’t been as aggressively marketing this one.
“Papa and the Steam Rifle” – I sent this story to its intended market. They asked for edits but I didn’t have the time for them. So my Stop-Watch Gang colleague, Stephen Kotowych made the edits and it’s now being marketed as a collaboration. So far, mostly thanks to Steve’s enthusiasm, it has 10 rejections and is out at a market right now.
“Mr. Ice” – I changed the name of this one, sent it to its intended market, and it was rejected. I’m not much of a superhero author, so this one likely will never be submitted again.

3. Write, edit, and submit to market at least 1 ADDITIONAL short story, adding to the requirement as I’m invited to anthologies.

Done! I wrote “Slaughter-Greedy” for an invitation anthology.
I wrote about half of “Proof of Love” for another invitation anthology, and hope I can squeeze the time to complete it in early 2016.

4. Pursue grants in the spring and fall.

Epic fail. I did not submit any grant proposals in 2015.

5. Aim for the sub-a-week challenge with my existing inventory, but allow for a low goal of 30 submissions when the 3XN work takes priority.

Done! I made 56 submissions in 2015, including delivering Soul Larcenist  as well as submitting the galley proofs.

6. Use National Novel Writing Month to sprint for the final 3XN goals of the year.

Done! This year, I spent most of November behind the goal line, but hit 50,000 words with one day to spare. I now have about 35,000 words to go on Soul Poison. I posted a very math-intensive summary of NaNoWriMo activities year-by-year.

7. Write a minimum of 300 NEW words every day.

Epic fail. I fell off this bandwagon after my knee surgery in April and never climbed back on.

8. Do my best to get ELEMENTS on ballots during award season.

Done! Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction  was nominated in the Best Related Work category of the Aurora Awards and two of its stories, “Soul-Hungry” and “Jelly and the D-Machine” were nominated in the Best Short Fiction category. Although I didn’t win, “Jelly and the D-Machine” was included in 2 best-of anthologies:

Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction 2014  from Twelfth Planet Press and
Imaginarium 4  from ChiZine Publications.

This year I sold one new short story, The Patent Bagger to AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Issue #20, Fall 2015.

I sold 3 reprints – the two sales of Jelly to the best-of anthos above, plus “Free Range” to the brand new magazine The Singularity.

What else happened in 2015?

I had knee surgery at the end of April. The surgeon repaired two meniscal tears, one below the kneecap and one above. He also “cleaned up” the underside of the kneecap. I didn’t get back to “normal” — I still use my cane to walk, but the pain is better than before the surgery and I’ve made a conscious decision to not return to physiotherapy. I posted more details about the knee on my Phoenix post.

That leads me to my writing resolutions for 2016:

1. Accomplish THE PLAN:

THE PLAN

2. Finish “Proof of Love” and submit, if time permits.
3. Pursue grants in the spring or fall.
4. Aim for the sub-a-week challenge with my existing inventory, but allow for a low goal of 30 submissions considering the tight deadlines of THE PLAN.
5. Treat every month like it’s NaNoWriMo, especially JAN, FEB, MAR, MAY, and JUN.

I’ve spent enough time on these resolutions. It’s time to start writing…