Posts Tagged ‘Spiders’

Alma shivered despite the warm night air.  She did not like spiders.  Where she had been brought up, on the high, dust-filled Castilian plateau, her father a soldier, they had a saying:  Kill a spider and it will bring rainstorms.  Her summers of girlhood, sweating — as she did now — in that land’s furnace heat, had been spent seeking and killing as many of the eight-legged creatures as she could find, yet never once did it bring the rain’s coolness.

So who is Alma?  She is the lead in my story “Dust,” originally published in my first collection STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE (Dark Regions Press, 2001) and now reprinted in Pole to Pole Publishing’s RE-ENCHANT (see November 21, et al.), which just arrived in paperback form in the computer cave mailbox on Saturday past.  (So I’m a day or two late posting this.)  It’s a lovely book, but you’ve seen the cover.  So here’s a little extra as well.

“Dust” is the second tale in the contents so, should you go to RE-ENCHANT’s Amazon page and click on the cover picture there to open its contents, you’ll find not just front matter and the first story but the first six pages of “Dust” as well.  Try it:  Press here.  It’s a nice introduction to the story and if intrigued by what you read, well, you are on the Amazon page (or a click away to get out of the sample) where it can be ordered.  Or should you prefer to see “Dust” in its original home, while STRANGE MISTRESSES is technically out of print and with some copies going for premium prices, the last time I looked a few copies were still on its Amazon site at list price or less, which can be found here.

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Sometimes we authors stand towards the end of the line, which is okay — the paying customers must be served first.  It’s sort of like musicians at a banquet, that you yourselves get fed in the kitchen, but the food’s still good and unlike the guests, when you’re in the hall you get paid for the gig.  So too with books, while copies have been available for buyers on Amazon and elsewhere since middish October, today the word came from Pole to Pole Publishing that authors’ copies of RE-ENCHANT (see October 18, et al.) should be received in print form by the end of the month, along with a link to the e-book edition to download right now.

RE-ENCHANT is the second of four books (so far?) in Pole to Pole’s “Re-Imagined” reprint series to be published, the first of which, RE-LAUNCH (cf. October 16, et al.), also has a story of mine, “The Game,” in it.  Both books can be ordered from Amazon or, for links to other vendors as well, those interested in RE-ENCHANT may also press here.  My tale in this one is second on the contents list (generally considered a prized position), titled “Dust,” and takes place in Spain, about two maidens at a party, one of whom loves gambling while the other hates spiders.

The word is out!  Grim fairy tales.  Dark magic wielders.  Threatening urban legends.  Crows.  A wishing ring.  An ensorcelled forest.  These stories and more bewitch and frighten in RE-ENCHANT.  Wander the dim-lit paths of enchantment conjured by 18 tales from an international roster of authors.  Featuring fiction from Nancy Springer, Darrell Schweitzer, Don Webb, Alma Alexander, James Dorr, Jude-Marie Green, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Gregory L. Norris, Kelly A. Harmon, April Steenburgh, Robert N. Stephenson, Christine Lucas, Kai Miro, E. E. King, Mattie Brahen, Ace Jordyn, Hans Christian Andersen, and W.R.S. Ralston.  RE-ENCHANT takes readers down twisted walkways to discover strange and magical places, people, and creatures.  This is the second of Pole to Pole Publishing’s all-reprint anthologies, for fantasy this time, with my story in it called “Dust,” a saga of witchery, Spanish ladies, and . . . spiders . . . originally published in my collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE (cf. July 8).  The first of these with my science fiction story “The Game” was RE-LAUNCH (see October 16, 11, et al.) which, just received, has been a pretty good read so far so I’m looking forward to this one too, for more information on which, or to order one can press here.

Well, I do seem to be doing okay with the Pole to Pole folks this year having placed two stories with them already, “The Blade of Gudrin” in RE-QUEST and “The Game” in RE-LAUNCH on February 2 and 4 respectively (cf. also June 1, et al.).  These are two in a series of reprint anthologies coming out from Pole to Pole Publishing, and more are planned.  Thus a subsequent call:  Pole to Pole Publishing is seeking short, re-print fiction for the RE-ENCHANT anthology to be published in late 2018.  RE-ENCHANT will join our previous submission calls (now closed) for RE-LAUNCH and RE-QUEST in the Re-Imagined Series of anthologies.  RE-ENCHANT requires dark stories and myths about faeries or faerie-like creatures.  And to which, as it happens, I responded.

Today, Sunday, the email came from Editors Vonnie Winslow Crist and Kelly A. Harmon:  Thank you for sending “Dust” for Pole to Pole Publishing’s RE-ENCHANT anthology.  We appreciate the chance to read it, and have decided to accept “Dust” for inclusion in the anthology.  Your contract and additional information will be sent to you soon. “Dust” is a story originally published in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE, concerning two maidens and a fairyland-like castle in Spain . . . and spiders.

Also for the writers among us (as with the posting two items below) might I note that RE-ENCHANT, along with another new companion volume, is still open for submissions through August?  For more information on both press here.

Speaking of Eldritch Press, which we met in the post just below as sponsor of the HWA’s new Dark Poetry scholarship, they also, of course, publish books themselves.  One of which has been mentioned just yesterday on their Facebook site via press owner Michael Randolph:  “Update to OUR WORLD OF HORROR Anthology.  All submissions have been answered.  If you have an outstanding response from us, check your bulk folders, 10500300_1450045741918910_1992919603849645277_nyour Email accounts that no longer exist, behind your ears and let us know if we have not gotten back to you.

”Final tally was 1374 submissions with 31 (roughly, we’re all tired) submissions being chosen, plus poetry.  Final word count should be roughly 100,000. . . .

”We had enough to fill a few anthos and passed over seasoned pro’s simply because we liked a different story better or the theme fit perfectly.

”We will be releasing a final TOC next week, minus the solicited stories we are waiting on.”

Well, the whole statement can be found by pressing here.  But to the point, yesterday evening my email was graced by Chief Editor Kevin Knowles:  “James, we are inquiring if your story ‘Spider Heat’ is available, if so we’d love to include it in OUR WORLD OF HORROR anthology.”  So it’s been five months, but they’d said their response times might be slow (and this is one where I’d sent the submission well before deadline).  And, as I sent back in the wee hours of a mildly snowy morning (first real snow of the coming winter, though we’d had some flurries around Halloween!), you bet “Spider Heat” — a summer story itself, set in Memphis Tennessee — is available and, at a good pay rate to boot, happy and anxious to be in its new home.




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