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Cover Reveal: ‘The End Was Not the End’ Fantasy Anthology

The End Was Not the End

It ain’t over till the last dragon sings.

Cover reveals are a thrill. Aside from the edits, the bio, the signing of contracts, they’re the bit that makes a writer get goosebumps because it’s all REAL and you can see it.

This cover for the upcoming ‘The End Was Not the End’ fantasy anthology from Seventh Star Press is by the award-winning Bonnie Wasson, and I love the colours. The idea of a skull reduced to chewing on tree roots makes me feel indefinably sad.

A big thanks to Joshua Leet, Stephen Zimmer and the Seventh Star Gang for including me in the anthology.

Mythology High Series to get an outreach campaign to English teachers…

Ah, some nice news on a fragile morning after excessively celebrating the return of an Esteemed Niece from Australia.
The glorious Buzz Books have announced signing me to their MYTHOLOGY HIGH series. The first story in the trilogy, SEAL GIRL, will be available as a one-off stinger, and then POOKA and the third story will be available as a collection and then included as a volume with Jammie Kern‘s first three stories in the series.

Excitingly, the Mythology High series is undergoing an outreach campaign to English teachers. Proactive work like this is why Buzz Books are so darned exciting, almost as exciting as actual bees. Incidentally, Buzz Books, you’re looking quite marvellous today. Did I tell you you look good in that hat? I did?

That’s because IT’S TRUE.

It’s really worth joining WINGS, their social readers’ club. You get special discounts and access to competitions, although with stories that are so nicely priced you hardly need the discounts.

Top 10 Female Fantasy Writers

I was hugely gruntled to find out that not only are there some really good female fantasy writers out there, there are also more than ten.

A lot, lot more than ten. Oh my days, so many more than ten.

Literally  the only way I could deal with my shame for only including ten of them in this article was to try to fob people off with a joke about bears.

Check out The Top Ten Female Fantasy Authors on the fantastic, feminist book site For Books’ Sake. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment and let people know!

They call her Flipper…


So I sent the YA story SEAL GIRL (think Celtic Myths crossed with Mean Girls) to the honey-tasty Buzz Books for their Mythology High series, and they accepted it. And I am truly grateful, because it was written bespoke for them and I’m not sure which other publisher would say “yes, we would like to take a story about a high school swim champion with Type IV syndactyly”.

But they did take it. And they said “will you do some tweaks please to make it a stronger ending?”

And I was all like “Ma’am, yes Ma’am.”

And they liked the tweaks. And then they said “would you maybe like to do a trilogy of reworked Celtic myths?”

And I was all like “Ma’am, yes MA’AM”.

For prospective YA authors, here is the link to the Buzz Books submissions page:

Buzz Books Submissions

Buy TIMELESS YA or only £2.66

The new YA historical romance anthology TIMELESS (Pugalicious Press, ed. Joyce Shor Johnson) is out to buy on eBook for only £2.66 (or $4.22 if you’re from the US)!

Buy from UK Amazon: eBook (£2.66)
Buy from US Amazon: eBook ($4.22)

As a contributor I’m biased, but these beautiful stories have an eerie fairytale quality about them when you put them together as a whole, and although they feature young people falling in love the storytelling itself is very adult, very sophisticated. Timeless, yes.

A reworking of the Scheherazade tale that portrays the young storyteller as a gutter-thief down on her luck.

A reworking of an old German tale about a young woman who has to weigh up her love for a poet, her standing in the village and her need for freedom.

A LIGHT OF VICTORY by Jennifer Carson
If your love for a highwayman is eternal, then eternal is what it is. Put a candle in the window, and all will be well…

A prisoner fears to leave the walls of the notorious French prison because of his love for a ghost who is bound to the Bastille’s stone walls.

STELLA’S HERO by Kristine Carlson Asselin and Ansha Kotyk
A Victorian seamstress gets into trouble for falling from a boy from Chinatown when racial segregation is very much prevalent in society.

A mute boy undergoing experimental treatment in a sanitorium discovers that he can speak with the doctor’s son via thoughts and dreams. Very subtle steampunk.

IT LIES BENEATH by Magda Knight
The superficially beautiful city of Victorion is run on lode, steam, pride and the labour of diggers down in the Pits. Challenged to locate a mysterious underground threat, Ellie Darkbrow must find a way to survive.

Post-apocalyptic horror story accepted for anthology…

Fear me.

Siren’s Call Publications are a delightful trio of ladies. Kalla Monahan loves the zombies in a possibly quite wrong way, Nina D’Arcangela is a taphophile with a suspiciously excellent surname, and editor-in-chief Kate Munroe has a taste for wine as red as her hair. She’s picky. When it comes to wine, I’ll reach with equal gusto for redheads or blondes.

My thanks go to them for accepting KNOCK KNOCK, WHO’S THERE for their upcoming post-apocalypse anthology, Carnage: After the End.

Having a taste for the dark side (The Mist? The Road? Children of Men? Ooh, yes please), I envisioned a bright and ridiculous world full of dinosaurs and King Arthur’s knights and party dresses and beach balls. And then I bleached all the colour out of it and made it as cheery as Children as Men.

Thank you so much for accepting the tale. x

YA Steampunk story published in TIMELESS

Why do they call it jumping the gun? I’ve no intention of jumping a gun. Evading sounds a better bet to me. Oh, wait. The whole ‘gun to start a race’ thing. Yeah. I remember now.

Anyways… I am absolutely THRILLED to get ‘It Lies Beneath’ published in this awesome antho by Pugalicious Press. They’re a small indie press, and SO classy. They ooze class. And magic. And joy. And really, really good things that have no business oozing.

The reason I’m jumping the gun is that the anthology will be published as an eBook next month: As soon as it is I’ll pop the link up.

Odd fact of the day: After writing this story I took a writing holiday in a seaside cottage with no internet and wrote it into a book. It took a week. Somewhat surprisingly, the book has ended up… rather wonderful. So long as you like dark, strong dystopian YA with social punch and a strong female heroine. And shovels. So… many… shovels.

After several chats in an utterly non-business capacity with several agents they’ve almost managed to convince me that LISTEN TO ME IT’S GOT LOADS OF SHOVELS IN IT is not, apparently, a valid example of a Unique Selling Point. Nor is enthusiastically pointing out that it’s got an amputation in chapter three.

The short story (and the novel) both had the working title of ‘love shovel’. Which isn’t as filthy as it sounds.

The novel is called JABBERWACK, and that is the best title of all.

Steampunk story published in CONQUEST THROUGH DETERMINATION

Buy this book on Amazon UK (paperback)

I love writing Steampunk. Everyone is different, but although I love the romance of dirigibles and sumptuous frocks, I can’t help thinking the Victorians were gloriously complicated – like us, but with better hats. So “Dreamer, Wake Up, Wake Up” is a story about a grumpy old lesbian independent newspaper editor who finds herself in an Australian colony. What happens to an Empire that runs on steam when there is no water? And what is the secret of the snake god worshipped by the first aboriginal Australians?

Pill Hill Press are a really fun small press who create books you enjoy holding in your hands, and I look forward to writing for them again.

DARK MATTER sci-fi short story published in Defenestration Magazine

A poo meteor would be so beautiful… until it landed

Click here to read DARK MATTER for free online

It all started with a Facebook entry. Again. What if, I said to my FB friends, you discovered that a meteorite was heading towards Earth that was made entirely of poo? It was something that had been on my mind for some time. I was worried about it. Now that I’ve put the awful thought in your head, you may start worrying about it too…

What THEY said was a whole bunch of really, really interesting science about exactly what would happen if a poo meteor crashed into the Earth. They’re smart, those FB friends.

So it got turned into a short sci-fi story called DARK MATTER, published in Defenestration Magazine.

And now that I know exactly what I’d do if a giant poo meteor fell to Earth, I don’t have to worry anymore!

YA story YENNY’S RUN wins competition

Click here to read YENNY’S RUN for free online

We’re often warned against hurling our over-ripe, squishy trunk stories against the clean white walls of the publishing industry. So dirty. Don’t do it.

However, when it comes to short stories, there’s nothing wrong with delving into your trunk and seeing if there’s anything in there that’s still firm and edible.

You just have to remember that writers change and grow, and a story written seven years ago shouldn’t be sent out with the desperation of a mad cat scrabbling on the porch roof to be let in. It should be read through with your new eyes, tempered and polished. If it spurs you to cast the story back in the trunk and write a new one, so be it.

Today, an old trunk story – YENNY’S RUN – won a fantasy writing competition at The Tavern’s Vault. Huzzah! While I’m not terribly proud of writing genre fantasy fiction with cat assassins, I’m glad to see that dear old Yenny got to run, after all.

I won $25 , for which I am grateful. I have decided to keep my day job, and hope the money won’t change me. As a publisher myself, I’m thrilled they dug into their pockets to offer anything at all.

Shannon A Thompson

You need the world, and the world needs good people.

one bow...

Malena Lott Putnam | storyteller. strategist.

D.E. Atwood

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Kip Wilson Rechea

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Sarah Hans

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