Spotlight: Marlena Frank

Introducing Marlena Frank who has recently signed her young adult dark fantasy filled with werewolves and horrifying thrills entitled The She-Wolf of Kanta with RCP. It is slated for release in April of 2018 under the imprint Legion. Rebecca Treadway will handle cover design. Editing, map-making, and more will soon be underway. For now, get to know Marlena Frank as an author.

 

 

 

 


Synopsis:

The Huntress Becomes the Hunted

Mercy has always dreamed of becoming a werewolf trapper like her father. In Kanta, one must learn how to survive one way or another. A dark-skinned, blue-eyed young beauty, Mercy understands that she brings out the beast in monsters and men. When a routine werewolf delivery turns into a vicious assault from a pair of human traffickers, Mercy’s life changes forever. Somehow she must endure in a dangerous city where women and werewolves are hunted.


1. First, tell us a little about yourself. When did you want to become an author? What inspires you to do what you do? Who are you?

I’ve always enjoyed telling stories. When I was very young I started writing them, and that turned into fanfiction that I did for fun. College came and I turned away from writing for almost a decade, until I rediscovered it again in 2010. I wrote a fantasy story on a whim and got it published. That’s when I knew I was hooked.

Outside of writing, I’m very active in the Atlanta cosplay community. I got involved two years back, met some great friends, and have been a regular con-goer ever since. I mostly cosplay anime characters that I love or admire. Our group has even started making CMVs (cosplay music videos), usually with a dark flair. At my day job, I work in IT, but that’s not as much fun to talk about.

2. What are some quirky and or unique aspects about you and your writing?

I’ve always been drawn to monsters. My mom used to put on horror movies while my two sisters and I got ready in the morning, so I was exposed to a variety of horror. Sometimes it was dark and gruesome, sometimes cheesy and funny, but always entertaining. I’ve been drawn to werewolves since as long as I can remember, and they seep into my work often.

Regarding myself, my house is decorated in all sorts of fantasy and horror memorabilia. Some guests get nervous when they see the mantelpiece covered with human skull replicas, or come across my sister’s animal skull collection. Our living room has classic horror movie posters like The Raven and Army of Darkness staring down on the guests, and Han Solo adorns the space above the most comfortable chair. Most of our friends have just grown used to it, but some guests are put off by how much fandom merchandise we collect, including Batman, Disney, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and various anime that we enjoy.

3. RCP “was founded in 2016 to showcase quality fiction, diverse stories, and unexpected protagonists.” What does that mean to you?

To me, this means shining a light on voices that might not normally get the attention they deserve, whether it be due to race, gender, or socioeconomic level. In my story, there are plenty of male characters who could have taken the spotlight. They all have legitimate story arcs that I could have chosen to explore, but I went with Mercy instead. She was someone who might be easily overlooked in a typical fantasy book, but I felt she had a powerful story to tell of her own. She has the odds stacked against her from birth and she has to work hard to claw out a piece of existence for herself. To me, I think that’s both powerful and inspiring.

4.What do you think makes a great young adult dark fantasy story? How do you think your piece The She-Wolf of Kanta fits into or varies from that description?

A good YA dark fantasy story requires two major aspects: the coming-of-age of a teenager and an inexplicably dark world that the poor teen is stuck in. Coming-of-age is thrown around often when talking about YA, but I think a main theme is transformation. What this really means is the way the teen must learn to grow up, whether that be due to a relationship, violence, abuse, or something simple like moving across the country. The dark world is fairly self-explanatory, but what it typically means is a world that nobody would actually want to live in until the hero changes it for the better (if they can).

In The She-Wolf of Kanta, Mercy is thrown into an unforgiving world where people are regularly hunted by werewolves. She’s doubly unlucky by being female since women seem to be targeted more by werewolves. On top of that, her father even wishes that she was a boy instead, and considers her sex a curse. As the story progresses, she encounters more and more dangers that she must somehow survive. This fits in well with the concept of a YA dark fantasy. I chose not to include a romantic subplot, which are common in YA novels, because Mercy is too concerned with trying to survive.

5. How has writing affected your outlook on things? Has it made you take chances or see things in a different light?

When I went to college, I never thought that I would ever write seriously again outside of the occasional fanfiction. I considered my love of it a lost part of my life. When I submitted my first short story on a whim back in 2010 and it actually got published, I thought maybe I’d give it another chance. That was when the floodgates opened, and suddenly I was writing like mad.

In college, I worked on my Computer Science degree, which engulfed me for a good seven years. When I finally emerged, I had forgotten what it was like to read for fun. Since I started writing regularly, I finally gained the motivation to attend writing conventions, be part of writer groups, and in the past few years have started seeing myself as an author. It took some time to realize that and adopt it as part of my identity. Allowing myself to write again helped rekindle my love of it and allowed me to enjoy it even more after such a long hiatus.

6. What are you most excited to share when it comes to The She-Wolf of Kanta? Ex). The world, the characters, a specific scene?

I’m most excited about an aspect that will probably be the most controversial. The enslavement of the werewolves within Thomas’ mill is painful to read about, but it’s also revealing of the nature of the town and its lack of humanity. Werewolves by definition can’t choose how they lose their humanity; however, others can. Werewolves are still, essentially, people. Yet, Thomas and others forget this because they no longer recognize them as humans. This cycle happens often in history: it’s easier to justify torture and enslavement when people are seen as animals.

7. Finally, do you have any advice and or tips for aspiring writers out there, especially women?

It’s easy to excuse writing as a non-essential part of life and put other things ahead of it. I often hear other women say that they simply cannot find the time, which, though understandable, also means that it’s not a priority in their life. Carve out whatever time you can to write, even if it’s only thirty minutes each day. Don’t listen to people who try to convince you that it’s a waste of time. Only you are capable of telling your story, and there’s no way to tell how well it will be received if you never write it.

Cover Reveal: Old Hollow by Ambrose Stolliker

Audiobook

ISBN-10: 1-946024-19-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-19-0

eBook (ePub Edition)

ISBN-10: 1-946024-18-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-18-3

ASIN: Coming Soon!

Release Date: February 27th, 2018 (February/April of 2018)

Synopsis:

Spring, 1865. The Southern armies are close to defeat. Union Cavalry Commander Philip Sheridan has loosed his scouts into the Virginia countryside in search of an opportunity to intercept and destroy Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Rebel army and bring the war to an end.

One such scout is Captain Benjamin Lawson, a man haunted by the burden of command and the scenes of senseless slaughter he has endured at places like Antietam and Gettysburg. His sole desire is to see his men survive the final days of the terrible conflict that has engulfed the country for five bloody years. On a dark, rainy night, Lawson’s party of scouts stumbles into a large group of Rebel cavalry. All Hell breaks loose. Two of his men are killed outright, and Lawson, Sergeant Jordy Lightfoot and Corporal Emil Boyd barely manage to escape into a thick forest.

There, Lawson discovers that the young corporal has been gravely wounded. Determined not to lose yet another man under his command, Lawson heads for a small, out-of-the-way town called Old Hollow in the hopes of finding a doctor who can help the dying boy. What he finds instead is far more terrifying than anything he has witnessed on the battlefield. Soon, he and his men are in a fight for their lives against a twisted preacher who has struck a diabolical covenant with an ancient, unspeakable evil.

Cover Reveal: Object Relations by Rebecca Lee

 

Trade Paperback

ISBN-10: 1-946024-06-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-06-0

eBook (ePub Edition)

ISBN-10: 1-946024-07-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-946024-07-7

ASIN: B0716RHFHS

Release Date: May 9th, 2017 (May/June of 2017)

Synopsis:

Object Relations Theory: A form of psychoanalytic theory postulating that people relate to others in order to develop themselves.

Through long divisions of interpretation, words sectioned into sentences. Uncomfortable, they bunched together, worried their independence lost. Together, all the words decided they should be bound in unison forever. Their books stain the beliefs that we continue to hold.

Hex Gunslinger: A Weird Western Anthology

Announcing Radiant Crown Publishing’s upcoming anthology of weird western tall tales in the Subterranean Series, Hex Gunslinger!

SUBMISSIONS WINDOW

January 1st, 2018- March 1st, 2018

Anything submitted outside of this window will be deleted unread.

THEME

ISBN-10: Coming Soon

ISBN-13: Coming Soon

Hex Gunslinger is an upcoming anthology of speculative, mysterious, and romantic weird western tall tales! Framed as an unearthed secret library years after the civil war, each story should hold the ethos of western expansion beginning in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase, and ending around the 1850s not necessarily restricted to a North American audience. Do not take manifest destiny as a mantra to live by. Shape a world with all the magic and mystery of the frontier without letting the ugliness of conquest be consumed with fantastic whimsy. We want wide open plains where violence ruled, underground movements brewing with tension, and the Wild Wild West in all it’s beauty and madness. Bring us your stories marking the age of the gold rush, injustice, genocide, mass immigration, transcontinental railroads, vigilante justice, telegraphs, outlaws, gunslingers, slick talkers, setting suns, and the impending civil war that would rip a nation apart. Deadline February 1st, 2018 11:59 EST.

INSPIRATION

Preacher (TV)

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Jonah Woodson Hex (Comic)

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RIGHTS SOUGHT FOR FICTION

  • Non-exclusive archival rights as long as the website(s) hosting the work are online
  • If an audiobook is produced, payment is $0.01USD per word for non-exclusive electronic audio rights
  • First world electronic and print rights in English with exclusivity for 8 months from the date of publication

Please query if anything listed is of concern. Here is a good explanation of what this entails.

LENGTH & GUIDELINES

SHORT STORIES: 1001 to 7,499 words. Paid $0.01USD per word.

NOVELETTE: 7,500 to 17,499 words. Paid $0.01USD per word.

NOVELLA: 17,500 to 40,000 words. Paid $0.01USD per word.

SPOTLIGHT SHORT STORY: 1001 to 1500 words. One story involving a person of color serving as an officer of the law (officially or unofficially) as a central element of the plot. Paid $0.02USD or $0.03USD per word.

All payments made through PayPal. Please note that these are not professional rates. Fiction can only be resold as a reprint after publication. Decide if you want to take this payment scheme or submit to another market.

HARD SALES

  • Poorly formatted and edited work
  • Works above the word counts and/or untitled
  • Overtly racist, sexist, violent, etc. works without adding value overall

ABSOLUTE NO

  • Fanfiction of any kind
  • Excerpts out of a novel
  • Taboo elements (rape in all forms, incest, pedophilia, etc.) in almost all cases

OF INTEREST

  • Pushing the boundaries of genre and form
  • People of Color, disabled people, women, LGBTQIA, and other marginalized groups at the forefront
  • Pulp fiction, Weird Western, Cattlepunk, Southern Gothic, Folkloric Monsters, Occult Magick, Slipstream, Cowboys & Aliens, and so on

SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES

Where?

Email?

  • The subject line should read HEXGUNSLINGER: CATEGORY : TITLE (WORD COUNT) ex). HEXGUNSLINGER: SHORT STORIES: Super Story (1001)
  • A short cover letter is required. Please include your legal name, pen name (if relevant), contact information, recent publications/awards (if any), and a bio of 50-150 words. Interview questions will be sent to accepted authors. A photo of you is required if accepted as well

Format?

  • Submissions should be attached in the email as a .rtf, .doc or .docx
  • Shunn’s manuscript style for fiction required (double-spaced, 12 pt standard font, page numbers, etc.)

Courtesy?

  • Reprints encouraged!
  • Translations into English are welcome
  • Up to two submissions in total allowed
  • Simultaneous submissions to other markets are accepted! Alert RCP immediately should your work be accepted somewhere else (congrats in advance!)

RESPONSE TIME

Currently around two months after submitting. Do not query before then. We do not send out notification We will try to answer all submissions with an acceptance or rejection letter.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Any personal information collected (including but not limited to your name, address, email, social media links, and pen name) is held in strict confidence and not shared with anyone else unless compelled by law or in the event threats are leveled against the staff.

If a third party contacts RCP interested in an author’s or artist’s work, the author/artist will be contacted first to ask permission to share details.

LEGALESE

By sending us your work you understand and agree that:

  • You are the original creator and copyright holder of the work submitted;
  • You are not prohibited by any prior agreement from the transfer of exclusive electronic & print rights in English, first world translation rights into English, reprint rights, and/or non-exclusive audio rights to the work;
  • All information submitted is accurate and truthful; and
  • You accept sole responsibility for any false statements upon rights not disclosed.

If you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian will sign your contract and accept your payment on your behalf. Finally, if accepted here and then republished, you are required to add the title of this anthology as your previous place of publication.

 

TRACK YOUR SUBMISSION

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thegrinder

 

LAST UPDATED: April 2, 2017

Spotlight: A. M. Deese

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Introducing A. M. Deese who has recently signed her young adult fantasy novels Ignited, slated for release in 2018, and Submerged, slated for release in 2019, with Radiant Crown Publishing. Desiree DeOrto Designs will handle cover design. Editing, map-making, and more will soon be underway. For now, get to know A. M. Deese as an author and the world of the Dance of the Elements series.


Synopsis:

“Jura imagined it sounded like rain.”

Juggling death is nothing new for seventeen-year-old Jura, daughter of the First of the Thirteen, successive rulers of the Republic of the Sand Sea. However, when a blood chain ensnares her father, she is thrust into the seat of power and forced to rule her elders. Jura must track down her father’s assassin and balance a country on the verge of collapse. To find the Prince of Shadows and uncover the truth, Jura puts her trust in Tylak, a former slave accused of stealing from the Everflame—a man she once condemned to death. In a world where water is currency and enemies lurk around every corner, Jura will use her wits or risk igniting a world war.


1. First, tell us a little about yourself. When did you want to become an author? What inspires you to do what you do? Who are you?

I’ve never wanted to be anything else. My aunt (who is only 8 months older than me) learned to read before I did and I remember being insanely jealous of the skill. I wrote my first story when I was around four or five years old. It was about dinosaurs. I’m pretty sure my grandmother has that yellow legal pad floating around somewhere.

2. What are some quirky and or unique aspects about you and your writing?

Well, when I get consumed by a scene it’s hard to think of anything else, I must write the scene down immediately! However, I don’t plot out my stories, I prefer to let the characters tell me what to say. Unfortunately, I’ve found that the characters don’t always know what’s best for the plot. Whenever I find myself stuck in a scene I go outside and pace around my deck, usually while on the phone with my (oh so patient) sister. I’m trying to get better at outlining but I fear it will always be a struggle for me.

3. RCP “was founded in 2016 to showcase quality fiction, diverse stories, and unexpected protagonists.” What does that mean to you?

I think in today’s world it is increasingly important to share diversity in fiction. We’re so fortunate to live in a world that can share information faster than it takes to whisper Google. I think readers are ready to meet unique characters who are a departure from the genre stereotypes. I find it easier to connect with protagonists with realistic flaws; no character is purely good or heroic and no character is purely evil. Ignited has several different points of view and readers discover its world through the eyes of characters from varying characters each with their own unique outlook on the plot.

4. What do you think makes a great young adult title? How do you think the first two books in your four book series Ignited and Submerged fit into or vary from that description?

If there is a formula for what makes a great young adult title I’d like to know it! I suppose what makes a title great is in its ability to clearly and quickly excite the reader and hint toward the book’s plot. I hope Ignited and Submerged give the reader a sense of action and excitement as well as give hints toward its plot.

5. How has writing affected your outlook on things? Has it made you take chances or see things in a different light?

Writing has given me a wider perspective, I tend to look at things from different points of view because I love diving into the minds of two differing characters. I also think it has affected me in the sense that everything is a story to me. I see or hear something and my natural reaction is what if

6. What are you most excited to share when it comes to Ignited and Submerged? Ex). The world, the characters, a specific scene?

I’m probably most excited to share my world. As a child, a favorite game of mine was “pretend.” Pretend I’m a unicorn, or pretend the ground is lava, pretend I’m a wizard… I suppose I never grew up in that way, I enjoy the process of creating a unique new world and sharing that vision with others. I hope the world of Ignited is a new experience for my readers. I want them to be intrigued by the mysteries of the world and lose themselves in its exploration. Although, I do also have a soft spot for a few of my characters, Kay already has a spin-off series dancing in my head.

7. Finally, do you have any advice and or tips for aspiring writers out there, especially women?

Don’t listen. Don’t listen when someone tells you you’re not good enough or when you receive a rotten rejection letter. Don’t listen to the inner guilt at the hours you spend writing (when you could be a better daughter, wife, mother, etc) Don’t. Listen. And never give up.

Fragile Chaos: The Realm of the Gods and Goddesses by Amber R. Duell

Gods of Old

Long before the world came into existence, there lived three Old Gods. But, as they began to fade, they regretted never having created anything worthwhile and feared being forgotten. With the last of themselves, they created a pantheon of six siblings that would do what they never had:

Ebris to guide the siblings.
Drea to create a world teaming with life.
Brisa to rule the unpredictable seas.
Leander to help souls find their place in the afterlife.
Astra to aid in matters of the heart.
Theodric to steer the living through their conflicts.

Ostran War

For thousands of years, the mortals worshiped their gods and goddesses, but with each generation, fewer believed in their existence. Ebris, like his creators, feared being forgotten, and pushed his siblings to do more for their worshipers. Drea, Brisa, Leander, Astra, and Theodric went along with their brother’s requests out of respect for him, but everything changed when Ebris ordered the continuation of the Ostran War.

Theodric began the conflict to reward the Ostran Emperor by extending his territory, but with every victory meant to end the war, Ebris forced Theodric to press forward until the entire east was embroiled in the bloody conflict. It wasn’t until the mortals assumed the war was a sign the gods had abandoned them that Ebris ordered its end.

Ebris ripped Theodric’s power away, calling him reckless and impulsive. None of the siblings dared stop Ebris for fear he would turn on them next. But, while no one crossed Ebris, the ordeal ruined their trust of one another. The gods and goddesses began to work as separate entities instead of one, and it wasn’t long until the disconnect caused mortals to turn away from their creators completely.

The 2017 Kármán Liminality (100km) Chapbook Prize Winner

The 2017 Kármán Liminality (100km) Chapbook Prize winner is Larissa Douglass! Her chapbook, Dark Palace and Other Poems in Tarnished Mirrors, will debut next year. Stay tuned for more updates.


BIO: Larissa Douglass’ debut collection Ink of the Palimpsest will be published soon. While studying history at the University of Oxford, Ms. Douglass has published several poems and pieces of short fiction, including “Blind Silvester,” anthologized in Cyberwit’s 2017 volume, The New English Verse.

Gods and Goddesses: Theodric 

Realm of Theodric, God of War

A dirt path led away from the circular stone temple at the edge of Theodric’s realm, winding through a grassy field, and up a hill. A gray stone mansion at the top was surrounded by a circular wall. Passing under the entryway, the packed dirt gave way to fine black gravel that circled the interior courtyard. Turrets capped the corners of the twenty-eight room mansion.

Most of the rooms were covered in dust, and used for storage. Two bedrooms and a bathroom were used on the second floor by Theodric and his advisor, but the war room was occupied most frequently. High windows covered the back wall with seats beneath each. On either side of the doors hung an array of weapons—swords, guns, throwing knives—and, to the right, maps were tacked from the ceiling down. Books and scrolls lined shelves. The war table stood useless in the middle of the room. Theodric moved the colored glass pieces across the black base out of habit now instead of necessity.

Even in times of peace, Theodric was preparing for the moment that harmony shattered, but without his full power, he was no longer able to see things like he needed to. Hundreds of spies were scattered across the world to keep him updated. Three hundred male sacrifices were left living inside the outer wall. A sacrificial bride had never made it out of the main chamber of the temple.

Behind the mansion stretched a wide forest. Animals were no longer present, but a small brook laced through trees. Upstream, a waterfall spilled over the edge of rocky cliffs, filling a pool and feeding the brook. A mountain range began at the edge of the tree line, and didn’t stop until it reached the Between—a dark abyss holding the six god and goddess realms together. The threat of being banished into the nothingness was usually more than enough for Ebris to keep everyone in line.