Halloweenapalooza 2017!!!

My dear friends, HALLOWEENAPALOOZA 2017 IS HAPPENING!!!!

I made my fundraising goals which means that, thanks to all you beautiful folks, I get to have my very own vendor table at this fantastic event!

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I am so grateful for all the financial help. I’ve spent a lot of the donations already on getting some books to sell, as well as incidentals like picture frames to hold my informational posters/flyers, getting stuff printed, etc. I still have a LOT to do, but I’m so AMPED to do this event! My first author table eeeeeeeeeee!!!!

The table is primarily to promote the horror anthology My American Nightmare (where “We Kill the Skull Man” appears) but I’ll have a few special Amelia Kibbie things as well. Here’s what I’m selling:

  • candy cauldrons — adorable decorative cauldrons stuffed with an assortment of Halloween goodies including candy blood and eyeball lollipops!
  • adorable black kitty cat bookmarks
  • My American Nightmare t-shirts
  • Stickers
  • syringe pens with “blood” inside!
  • Copies of Humans Wanted, a sci-fi anthology where my story “A Second Zion” appears.
  • Anything else I think would sell that I grab between now and then!

I’m also doing a raffle. All you have to do is put your name on my emailing list or like my author page on Facebook, and I’ll enter your name in a drawing to win a prize! First prize is a copy of Humans Wanted, second prize is a copy of My American Nightmare, and third prize is a signed copy of one of my short stories (your choice of story).

Last but not least, my editor sent me a zombie cutout for selfies! Free zombie selfies and trick-or-treat candy of you come and visit.

I know my people are from the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids/Mount Vernon area, but if you’re looking for something to do on October 14th from 11:30-8 (with fun stuff after!) please come check out Halloweenapalooza. Click here to see ALL of the amazing events they’re offering for you to enjoy some spooky fun!

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SPECIAL THANKS to the following folks who made this event possible:

Jenna Voss

Laura Gray

Ben Clayton

Adam Bell

Jan Scharnberg

Holly Berg

Rachel Salazar

Leigh Joseph

Jon Eves

Azzura Nox

 

PS: My short story “The Kitchen at the End of the World” was accepted into a post-apocalyptic anthology called Enter the Rebirth. Check it out!

 

I am Awash in AWESOME ANTHOLOGIES!

Pre-orders and author copies of Humans Wanted (a sci-fi anthology my story “A Second Zion” appears in) are out!!! When mine came in the mail I had to squee a little bit. When my sister-in-law asked me to sign her copy I was pretty much having a crap attack. My very first author signature in a book containing my words!!! It was a pretty singular and amazing experience.

So, if you didn’t get a chance to pre order your copy, Vivian, the editor, will have everything settled with Amazon sometime in August. Of COURSE I’ll let you know when copies are available to the general public.

I have just started the joyous reading of the rest of the stories in this incredibly inspired anthology. If you’re tired of reading about how humans are crap in most sci-fi universes, this is the book for you.

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OMG THAT IS MY NAME

Also we have a cover and a release date for the ebook-only anthology My American Nightmare which features my story “We Kill the Skull Man.” I adore it and can’t wait to read everyone else’s story. Probably be up all night shakin’ in my booties because they’re so spooky!

This collection comes out on HALLOWEEN! (muahahahaha)

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Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

 

Wizards in Space

You guys.

I can’t find the words to tell you how unbelievably excited, honored, and humbled I am to appear in Issue #2 of Wizards in Space Literary magazine. My story “Our Lady of the Crossroads” is featured, and tells the tale of a teen witch in the ’90s who summons Hecate to deal with her Health teacher, who happens to be a demon cast out of Hell.

Like don’t get me wrong, it’s a good story, but… daaaaaaammmnnn. My piece is surrounded by some incredible, incredible goddamn work.

My personal favorite has to be “The Land of Rough Draft” by Brenna Harvey. If you are a fantasy fan of any stripe or caliber, you absolutely must read this piece. I found it breathtakingly clever, laugh-out-loud funny, and emotionally devastating simultaneously. “The Land of Rough Draft” tells the story of Ventin, the stereotypical manly-man fantasy hero, the chosen one meant to fight the evil sorcerer Elthumath and rescue the blonde and perfect princess. However, the story reads literally like a “rough draft” of a fantasy novel someone is writing as they slowly wake up to the fact that their story is full of gender and ethnic stereotypes, and tired, disheartening tropes of high fantasy. The characters and stories change as the invisible author comes to understand how to write a much better story. Here are some choice excerpts:

“Ventin had an uncertain leadership role in this army. he often made passionate motivational speeches to his men before deadly battles against unbeatable odds. But he also snuck away for a great many entertaining side adventures without a noticeable impact on the organization or discipline of his troops. Whatever his official authority level, Ventin attended a great many strategy meetings held in large, luxurious tents… he stabbed a great many expensive daggers through the yellowed maps and into the rough wooden tables to emphasize just how righteous his fury was. Where he bought the daggers, none could say”

This description of Ventin’s sidekick character, Kimbo-Limbo: “Kimbo Limbo’s description portrayed him very emphatically as a black man, in language both fetishizing and smugly self-congratulatory. Kimbo Limbo had been added to the story under the misguided assumption that any appearance of a person of color in literature is necessarily a progressive, anti-racist move.”

Ventin says at one point, “I have therefore successfully couched stereotypical, oversimplified, homogenized depictions of non-Western cultures in admiring language.”

“Which obviously absolves you of all racism,” said Kimbo Limbo.

“Obviously,” said Ventin.

My favorite character is the villain, Elthumath, who is described thusly: “As a shortcut to imply the Dark Lord’s villainy, everything about his appearance, from his intricate glam rock eye shadow to his luxuriously tailored robes, suggested gleeful and unapologetic gender nonconformity.”

I could go on and on and on. But I won’t, because YOU SHOULD READ IT! Oh my God, please just buy a copy and read it. I’ve never read anything this savagely funny that also made me so, so sad. Because I love Tolkien, but he is the biggest a-hole of them all when it comes to this stuff.

And truth be told, this piece is making me look SO HARD at my own fantasy novel in the works, Harvest of Ash. I’m writing it to be feminist, but I fear to look at my work through Harvey’s critical lens. Because fantasy needs to change, and we need stories that embrace the world we live in now, not some romantic ideal of Medieval life which clearly sucked for 90% of the population at the time.

“The Land of Rough Draft” is just ONE of so many fantastic, illustrious, and wondrous pieces in this lit mag. If you’re a fantasy/sci-fi fan, and believe in reading progressive pieces about identity and representation that really make you think, this is the lit mag for you. Buy it. Buy it! DO IT NOW!!

It will make you go:

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I’m Appearing in a Science Fiction Anthology!

The most fantastic news!

The first science fiction story I ever wrote will be featured in the anthology Humans Wanted, and will appear in print and ebook format!

You can check out the kickstarter page here and pre-order your copy!

Here’s a description of the concept behind the anthology:

When going somewhere dangerous, take a human. 

Humans are tough. Humans can last days without food. Humans heal so quickly, they pierce holes in themselves or inject ink under their epidermis for fun. Humans will walk for days on broken bones in order to make it to safety. Humans will literally cut off bits of themselves if trapped by a disaster. 

You would be amazed what humans will do to survive. Or to ensure the survival of others they feel responsible for. 

That’s the other thing. Humans pack-bond, and they spill their pack-bonding instincts everywhere. Sure it’s weird when they talk sympathetically to broken spaceships or try to pet every lifeform that scans as non-toxic. It’s even a little weird that just existing in the same place as them for long enough seems to make them care about you. 

But if you’re hurt, if you’re trapped, if you need someone to fetch help? You really want a human.

I jumped at the chance to submit to this because it’s true — in this era of dystopian future themed literature, it seems humans are the worst thing to ever happen to the universe. So why not create an anthology where authors showcase what humans have to offer the future?

I read a great article in Smithsonian last year about the dystopia trend, and how some science fiction writers are fighting back by offering optimistic visions of the future. After all, art imitates life imitates art, am I right? If we want a brighter future, we need to start teasing it out in our speculative fiction. That’s why I’m a Trekkie. I believe if we shape things right, we can have a better tomorrow.

My story, “A Second Zion,” tells the tale of Rani Okalivi, a kick ass Kurkani mercenary who is very dismayed to learn that her new team has three squishy, pathetic humans. Humans: famous throughout the galaxy for destroying their planet through unstoppable industrialization and, more unforgivably, race war, causing what was left of the population to flee to the stars. Will they be an asset to the team sent to save the child of a galactic diplomat, or will they betray her as they betrayed their own world? Buy the book to find out!!

I am absolutely thrilled to be accepted, and I can’t wait to get my copy.

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Well, aside from this major news, there hasn’t been much going on. A few rejections, but they’ve been rolling off me like unsupervised kids off a trampoline. I’ve submitted a couple of things, and written a chapter of my SUPER SECRET writing project. Also for over a year now I’ve been plugging away at a book I’m calling Our Liberties We Prize. This weird little book is a collection of short stories that retells notorious events from Iowa history from a different perspective (think the Villisca Axe Murders through the eyes of the murderer) or from a cosmic weird detached 1st/2nd/3rd person. Many of the stories play with the idea of time and space being spongy. People and things and energies fall through all the time and nobody ever sees the holes. I have no idea where this work is going, but I keep having ideas for it, so I guess we’ll keep going.

On a side note, nothing kills my writing energy faster than being WAY TOO FULL. This post has been shortened for you by Zombie Burger…