Things You Didn’t Know About The Wild West

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

One week in, and the Weird Wild West Kickstarter is not only 22% funded, but was named a Staff Pick on the very first day! It’s going to be a great book – we have amazing writers lined up to craft stories for you – and if we can manage to fund for the second volume, we’ll have more stories by even more great writers!

Today I thought I’d entertain you with some interesting bits of information about the Wild West. This might be your chance to win at Jeopardy! Or even more likely, one of the following wacky facts might spark your ideas enough to get a story started. Did I mention that there’ll be open submission slots in The Weird Wild West if we fund successfully? There will be, so share the link with your friends!

 

Whiskey had a number of names during the days of […]

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The Weird Wild West

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

Back in the summer, while standing in the hallway after a raucous session of Live Action Slush (it’s a panel we do – loads of fun and definitely something you should check out if you come to ConCarolinas next year) Emily Leverett, Margaret McGraw and I were talking about weird westerns. Ideas were flying fast and furious, and all of a sudden, before we really had a chance to think about it, the three of us were agreeing to edit an anthology of western fantasy stories. Over the next few months, we approached publishers and writers until we found one we were happy with – Danielle Ackley-McPhail, of eSpec Books. The quickest way to get the ball rolling seemed to be trying a Kickstarter to fund the project, so we had photos made, arranged pledge rewards and stretch goals from our committed authors, created a video and built the site. […]

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Lisa Mantchev: On Character

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My background is in theater, so when I start a new writing project, it’s like casting a play. I settle down in an auditorium chair, clipboard in hand. Characters turn up for the audition, read a few lines, and get assigned roles and relationships. Divas and ingénues and leading men and stagehands and technicians mill around my mental space which, at the beginning, looks like that empty stage with a ladder and a bare light bulb on a stand.

The tricky bit is the fact that I don’t have a script for them. Not just yet anyway. So I follow them to the Green Room, eavesdropping on their conversations and thoughts. Of course all of them want to be the star. They all want their name in lights. They want… oh, they want. And they must want whatever it so much that they might just push the leading lady down […]

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Home From Atomacon

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

I was fortunate enough to be a guest at Atomacon last weekend in Charleston SC. It was the second year for this con, and I was happy to see that attendance increased by a noticeable margin. (It would be way cool to see some of you guys there next year!)

I appeared on several panels, one of which was “Ten Things That Will Make An Editor Stop Reading”. It was based on things we covered during the Live Action Slush panels at ConCarolinas (for those of you who weren’t there, we asked people to submit the first page of their work without their names attached. David, Faith and I listened while one of our intrepid readers read the work aloud. As we heard something that would make us stop reading, we raised our hands. Once all three hands were raised, we stopped the reading and discussed what we felt needed […]

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Christina Henry — A BOOK IS BORN

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It’s finally here – the release of the final book in the BLACK WINGS series, BLACK SPRING.

In the autumn of 2008 I had a vague idea about writing a book about a grim reaper. I’d assumed the protagonist would be male, but other than those two facts I knew nothing about the story. Then I heard Maddy and Beezle talking in my head, and suddenly the plot just unfolded organically. There was a whole world – the Agency, Maddy’s job as an Agent of Death, her missing fallen angel father, her other dark family ties, and Beezle’s identity as a gargoyle, home guardian, and lover of all things fried and crunchy.

I wrote the first book just hoping I would be able to sell it. I never thought I would have the opportunity to write seven books in the series. I’m so grateful to everyone who has read and […]

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Jagi Lamplighter: All About That Spook, ‘Bout That Spook. No Terror!

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My youngest son has a longstanding problem with nightmares. So he has learned to avoid things that might spark them. He will not walk through a modern bookstore, unless either he’s mapped out a safe route to the kids section that passes through language tutorials and books on auto repair, or I am there to cover his eyes. He knows I am also not a huge fan of horror and gore, and nowadays, many Halloween displays are quite horrific.

So it has been quite a challenge to make it clear to him why I love Halloween so much. I tried to explain:

Me: “I love the parts of Halloween that are creepy and spooky, but not scary or horrific. There are a lot of movies like that.”

Son: “Like what?”

Me, thinking: “Well, Arsenic and Old Lace.”

Son: “What’s that about?”

Inexplicably, I totally failed to convey the humor of […]

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Pantheons and Pantsers

Lucienne DiverLucienne Diver

The absolutely fabulous Faith Hunter offered to let me step in today, so I typed up my post over the weekend, hoping my stream of consciousness screed would actually form a coherent posting come today. Well, you’ll all have to be the judge of that. But it’s so funny coming on the heels of Christina Henry’s wonderful blog yesterday, which I read thinking, “Yes. Yes! Oh, thank goodness I’m not alone.” It’s no wonder I adore her too! Anyway, without further ado, here are my thoughts about:

Pantheons and Pantsers

You’d think a bunch of ancient gods talking in your head would have a lot more decorum than Donkey from Shrek jumping up and down yelling, “Pick me! Oh, pick me!”

You’d be wrong.

The toughest thing about writing a series is knowing where to start and winnowing down all the many ideas flying around in your head to what […]

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