- DreamHaven Books, Comics and Art now has signed copies of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and Silver Moon: A Wolves of Wolf's Point Novel!
- Sent off books to the Hennepin County Library to see if they'll pick them up for the catalogue (they requested them at the Queer Voice Book Fair) and Quatrefoil Library now has a copy of Out of This World. They'll have the new edition of Silver Moon soon too!
- Emily L. Byrne is doing a week long fundraiser for the terrific sex ed website, Scarleteen. Comment on her blog post and she'll make a contribution at the end of the week.
- Knife's Edge and Out of This World are on sale at Smashwords this month for 50% off.
- I added another panel to my Worldcon 75 schedule and will update when I have the finalized details, got a reservation for a Tom of Finland Walking Tour of Helsinki (scheduled opposite the Hugos, alas), scheduled an LGBT history walking tour of Reykjavik, scheduled more stuff in more places, because yay!
- Started work on Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon again.
- Sold an Other Me reprint (details coming soon).
- Turned in a blog interview for Queen of Swords Press, which should be up soon.
- Finished some pitches for a new gaming tie-in project, about which more soon if one gets accepted.
- Foot problems, migraine, annual ear infection - all in the last couple of days.Whee.
- Bookseller Dave Christenson was able to rehome some books for me, which is great! More shelf space and some trip cash (and check out the rest of his catalogue!)
- Our accountant is dealing with the weird IRS letter saying we didn't claim something, something which is clearly recorded on our tax forms.
- Went to a MN Lynx game on Thursday - they beat the L.A. Sparks in a tight and excellent game.
- Went to Park Square Theater last night and saw Better Off Dead: A Nero Wolfe Mystery, which was quite entertaining.
Last week, I was interviewed by author Heather Rose Jones for her Lesbian Talk Show podcast. we had a fund discussion about my work and historical inspiration. That should go live in August. In the meantime, check out her blog and her show.
Last night, I read with a bunch of other authors at the annual Queer Voices Pride Month reading at the Minneapolis Central Library, sponsored by Intermedia Arts, the Hennepin County Library and Augsburg College. This year, there was a resource and book fair, along with the reading. The traffic and mass transit deities conspired to keep our crowd smallish, but the readings were very good, I sold a few books and I got interviewed for the KFAI Radio show Fresh Fruit (airing soon). I made the evening for one of my editors by reading from the magazine he edited (Raymond Luczak, Callisto), which was fun. I also got some nice feedback on the story I read from the audience and the ASL interpreters, which was very cool. One of the great things about last night's reading was the diversity of voices: over half the authors were authors of color, several authors were trans or genderqueer and at least one publicly identified as having a disability. More than one author identified as Muslim American. And the singing was lovely. I also got to see some friends, so I would definitely count the event as a success.
In upcoming events, Rachel Gold and I will be reading together at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis in September and I'm talking to Quatrefoil Library and DreamHaven about possible events later on this year. Speaking of DreamHaven, I just typed up my first Queen of Swords Press invoice for them: they'll be carrying Silver Moon (new edition) and Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories as of tomorrow evening! If you know an indie bookstore that might be interested, please send them our way. I'll be posting a bookstore contact to the web page in the next day or two here.
I've also got some new writing projects in the offing. And there's still time to pledge my Patreon for this month (proceeds going to the Southern Poverty Law Center).
And on a more fun note, I'll be at the Twin Cities Antiquarian Bookfair on Friday, shopping for books. Book dealer (and all around swell guy) David Christenson will be selling from books from the Lundoff Collection as well as some of Jana's fine bindings and boxes so be sure and stop by the Fairgrounds to check things out. I'm also hoping to do a Lark Toys run with friends, to be followed by 2 days of writing, with only minimal editing and other tasks. Fingers crossed that works out!
Indie bookstores and libraries can order it through Ingram. I'm working toward selling it directly via the Queen of Swords Press website, but we're not there yet.
Speaking of Queen of Swords Press, I just got an acceptance from the Twin Cities Book Festival for October so be sure and look for us there. I'll also have print copies of Silver Moon and Out of This World next week (6/27) at the Queer Voice Pride Month Reading and Book Fair at the Minneapolis Central Library.
Our Pride Month StoryBundle is still chugging along and we've raised nearly $1000 for Rainbow Railroad so far! 9 more days to go.
Other than this, life is a bit of mixed bag. Mystery Foot Pain turns out to be arthritis, which is very annoying. I'm nursing things along but will have to skip going to Pride because I need to get everything settled down before Helsinki, etc. The current round of house projects have wrapped up so now we're on to planning the next ones. I have some fabulous friends, and there we have it. Off to bed now in hopes of getting a decent night's sleep/
Queen of Swords Press will be tabling and I'll be reading at the Queer Voices Pride Month Book Fair and Reading at the Minneapolis Central Library on 6/27. They're doing some great programming this month!
The print edition of SILVER MOON is in progress and is going to be purty! And I should have an announcement on the StoryBundle soon. I also got a bio request for the Helsinki Worldcon Program so fingers crossed for panel assignments. In Sirens Conference news, Nivair Gabriel and I have submitted a round table proposal. I'm also waiting to hear back Diversicon and World Fantasy and have other events in the offing.
In other news, weird foot pain is weird and will get medical attention soon, new toilet is glorious and some day, if it stops raining, there will be new asphalt by the garage. Also, hoping to go back to writing new fiction REAL SOON NOW.
See you at WisCon?
Then my life went to hell in a handbasket for a while. The planned sequel got sidetracked. I broke up with my previous publisher due to irreconcilable differences. Hurricane Mom descended, with the resulting impacts to time, money, energy and sanity. I nearly signed a three book contract for a different series, which got planned out with proposals and all, and then didn't happen because the publisher imploded. Plus, you know, stuff.
Fast forward to 2017, when the world is falling apart, but my personal universe is limping along, so far. I've finally gotten the small press that I've been working on for the last two years off the ground. Queen of Swords Press is about to release its third title; I'm working my way through my backlist (1 novel, 90 short stories, etc.) as well as some stories and books that haven't been released yet. Once I understand a few things a bit better, I'll open up to some submissions and we'll see how it goes. Starting with my backlist enables me to do some fundraising at the same time that I promote my own writing and learn how to do some stuff. So it works out all around, hopefully.
Which brings us back to SILVER MOON. So this was my first published novel. Hell, it was even my first completed novel. I developed it from an earlier novella and I pantsed like a wild thing through it. I had some great ideas, some not great ideas and some "I'm totally getting back to this" moments that never happened. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in miscellaneous problems, some of which got called out in reviews and discussions with readers (my sincere apologies for the more egregious issues). What's new in this version? There's a new cover by Terry Roy (who I heartily recommend). It's about 3300 words longer than the original. I changed a character name and a couple of scenes. I fixed typos and added more description and hopefully, more depth and much better transitions. Is it still basically the same story? Yep. Did I add smoking hot sex scenes between Becca and Erin? Nope. That wasn't the story I set out to write and shoehorning them into this book wouldn't have worked. On the bright side, now I have the outline for BLOOD MOON, the long-intended sequel, in my head and will be getting back to it forthwith. There's a third book that I'm contemplating as well. So, basically, things are going to back to where they should have been in late 2012, only I've written a lot more since then and am arguably a better writer. I completed a different novel in the meantime and have done a bunch of writing on another, so there'll be more books soon.
And we'll see how things go from there. Many thanks for the folks who believed in me and my werewolves and have been encouraging me all along! You rock!
Also, I should note that the ebook versions of both SILVER MOON and OUT OF THIS WORLD; QUEER SPECULATIVE FICTION STORIES will be featured in a Pride month Storybundle featuring works by Melissa Scott and other fine writers so please stay tuned for updates.
Barnes & Noble
IBooks - search on my last name in the iTunes store.
Overdrive for Libraries - Hennepin County Library has copies available for check out and your local library can order it in too!
Queen of Swords Press info:
Note that Queen of Swords press now has 2, count 'em 2 titles out! With a first print edition and a new version of Silver Moon on the way!
Twitter - @qospress
Queen of Swords Press has a monthly newsletter that you can sign up for on the website.
Twitter - @clundoff
Facebook (as me), also as Author/Editor Page
Me, as Emily L. Byrne, AKA erotica and erotic romance writing Me:
Facebook Author page
Emily's booklist is also available on my Goodreads profile above.
Most of Queen of Swords Press blogging will likely be out here for a bit. I'm still getting my proverbial ducks in a row.
Queen of Swords Press publishing achievements:
- Found a new way to lock myself out of the website, after figuring how to successfully hack the WordPress database to fix the first problem. Yay. This impacts me, but not visitors, FYI.
- Submitted both books to the Rainbow Book Awards
- Contacted OutlantaCon about advertising
- Hired a contract book publicist
- Put out a second book
- Produced the monthly newsletter (sign up at the website)
- Tonight: learn how to set up a print book for IngramSpark
- Wrote and submitted a flash fiction piece to a contest
- Finished and sent out my first Patreon post of the month
- Began heavy revising and updating of LGBTQ SFFH history posts for new Queer Sci Fi column on the topic
- Prepped for reading tomorrow night at DreamHaven Books
- Tried to get on more programming at an upcoming con
- Made progress on SILVER MOON edits, as well as other editing project. SILVER MOON is getting revised but not will not be a completely new book,FYI
- Books and Beer Pop-Up Bookstore event on May 11, 5-9PM is officially a go! More details coming soon. Lake Monster Brewing, "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors" style event.
Apart from that, working on new stories and getting stuff moving along for Queen of Swords Press (Emily L. Byrne's new collection Knife's Edge comes out soon). There'll also be a new print edition of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories coming soon. I also just got interviewed for the Skiffy and Fanty Podcast and that'll get posted soon. And I've added a Tea and Ghost Stories Reading at Bingley's Tea Room in Minneapolis in April. More updates coming soon!
Currently watching When We Rise around getting other things done. On the one hand, there's too much going on. On the other, holee shit, they're doing this on primetime for a mainstream audience with kissing and everything. So, thanks, ABC. This is kind of cool and I'm really glad to see it.
- Another box of miscellaneous writings, papers, tshirts and ledgers from Grassroots Books in Iowa City off to my archive at the Tretter Collection at the University of MN this week. For those less familiar with my past, I lived in Iowa City, IA for 9 years before moving to Minneapolis. While there, I picked up an M.A. in Feminist Anthropology, spent time in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, worked at the archeological field school, worked scoring standardized tests, worked as a research assistant for independent scholars like Elsa Chaney and Deb Fink, opened and ran a feminist/LGBT/progressive bookstore called Grassroots Books for 2 years, contracted walking pneumonia, closed the store and went on to attend an accelerated semester of law school at the U. of Iowa. Then I dropped out to write, then ended up as as one of the cofounders, then the Director for a year, of the Iowa Women's Music Festival. I also volunteered at a ton of other things so my queer/feminist/miscellaneous activism collection is fairly large. And will soon be researchable, with more coming.
- Queen of Swords has a newsletter! And if you sign up at the website by 3/15/17, you will be entered in a random drawing for some fabulous prizes (folks already signed up will be automatically entered). Plus, all the latest QoSP news! Winners will hear back by 3/17/17. (Queen of Swords will not sell your name or use your information for any purpose other than sending you the newsletter for as long as you want to be a subscriber.)
- Respectable Horror has a glorious cover!
- I've decided I want to start a Patreon for the combined purposes of doing good deeds and giving my actual writing more structure and deadlines. I'm finalizing the description, et al and will try and post it this weekend. More updates coming soon.
1st new story of 2017 finished and submitted! It's an Emily L. Byrne story, an erotic retelling of "Beauty and the Beast." More news as I have it.
Today, Jana and I are celebrating our 23rd anniversary by going to a multimedia choral performance about the life of Civil Rights pioneer, Bayard Rustin. Really looking forward to this!
Speaking of civil rights, we're going to the Women's March on 1/21 in scenic St. Paul. Contact me if you'd like to join our group and head over on the light rail. D.C. looks like it will be amazing and there are so many local marches, it's going to be pretty epic. And that's not including all the events leading up to the inauguration of the Kremlin's Employee of the Month. Fight back however you can and hang in there - we're all going to need each other.
Speaking of which, I have some fannish signal boosting to do. Here's the thing: if we can't help each other out now, we're going to be seriously screwed in 6 months. Boost, kick in whatever you can and boost some more. A lot of little donations get to the same goal as one big one, just saying.
Bryan Thao Worra - famous award-winning Laotian-American poet, current President of the Science Fiction Poetry Society, former local pro and fan, erstwhile guest at Twin Cities conventions, editor, publisher, writer and...currently homeless and couch-surfing. Please kick in what you can.
Lou Hoffman - founder/organizer/sustainer of the Bisexual Organizing Project and the BECAUSE Conference, coordinator of WisCon's Annual Sign Out autographing session for authors and fans and all around great gal is having health issues at the same time that one of her sons is dealing with some new serious health problems. Please donate here. Elise Matthesen, jeweler extraordinaire, is donating part of the proceeds from her jewelry sales this weekend too.
Jen Riehm - local fan and artist, participant at CONvergence and Anime Detour, is currently homeless with her mom and their cats. Both of the humans are disabled and need some cash ASAP to stay in interim housing while they figure out better options. If you won't donate for the people, do it for the adorable kitties. It's way too cold to be living in your car right now in Minnesota.
Today was an all Queen of Swords Press, all the time day. While migraine-wrangling.
So what did I achieve?
Well, I GOT A NEW BOOK OUT! I'm a tad excited about this because it has taken forever, at least by my standards. I've been working on the Press for nearly three years now - classes, legal and financial planning and set up, edits, more planning, more classes, cover art, edits, more edits, learning new software, meetings, more meetings, more stuff - so to finally unleash something upon the unsuspecting populace is glorious.
What's actually available right now:
- Review copies in various ebook formats. If you review ebooks and would like one, let me know.
- Amazon, bless its heart, decided to release the book early, so it's for sale now. I probably unchecked the preorder box on setup and didn't notice, so it won't go up on other sites and in other formats until later on in the week (official release is supposed to be 1/6/17). This is just as well because I ran into a snafu with Smashwords so I'd like to get that resolved before stuff appears.
- Queen of Swords Press now exists on Twitter (@QoSPress), Facebook (www.facebook.com/queenofswordspress/) and has a mailing list signup on the website (www.queenofswordspress.com). Website is still getting updated and cleaned up so maybe give it a day or two for my web person to finish before signing up.
- More formats and more availability (see above). I'll also look into an account on Weightless Books and see when they start adding new publishers again.
- Finalized website with buy links, etc. See above.
- Possibly sales direct off my website, but I need to doublecheck some things on that first.
- Print edition of Out of This World, if all goes well. But likely another couple of ebooks first (two by Emily L. Byrne forthcoming) and plan a print edition for my first convention of next year, which will likely be WisCon in May.
- More books! So much stuff in various stages of completion! I want to write all the things! And never sleep again! Oh wait, that won't work...
So, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories.
The cover is by KaNaXa, known for her fabulous book covers for many well known romance publishers and indie authors. And the stories themselves? This will be a mix of my fantasy, horror and science fiction with queer protagonists. Some of these were collected in my now out of print single author collection, A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories. It's worth noting that A Day at the Inn is on the Sirens Conference of Women in the Fantastic Reading Challenge for 2017, so I'm going out on a limb and guessing that some folks liked it. It was never very widely read, however, so I'm hoping this one goes a bit further. Other stories in here are long out of print and/or never collected anywhere before. Several stories were award finalist or got honorable mentions in Best of lists and such so I like to think this is some of my best short fiction work. I hope you think so too. Stay tuned here or on my Facebook Author/Editor Page or on the email list that you will soon be able to sign up for on my shiny new Queen of Swords Press website (I'll link when we've got a few things set up).
Table of Contents:
Great Reckonings, Little Rooms
The Egyptian Cat
At the Roots of the World Tree
A Scent of Roses
At Mother Laurie’s House of Bliss
Spell, Book and Candle
A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace
Apart from that, I'm embarking on a new editing project and have just heard that the Secret Project has gone up to the next level, so I expect that to start soon, if all goes well. I'm trying to get a few stories out the door and dig in on the novel edits, which were moving along but have stalled due to time conflicts. Queen of Swords should have a website update as soon as I fix an email problem and get signed up for MailChimp. Author contract template is almost done too and I plan on getting ISBN numbers next weekend. More bulletins soon.
On the level of things that are not specifically about me:
- The MN GOP, ever eager to have more trainwrecks of their very own, is attempting to get a transphobic bathroom panic bill through the Legislature. Check the Outfront MN site for your rep's and senator's contacts and let them know how you feel about this b.s. Remember that even if Dayton says he will veto it (and he will certainly try), that these efforts have a horrible effect on queer kids and that the number of suicide attempts goes up every time one of these monstrosities gets put forward so let's make sure they can see that lots of folks are on their side.
- North Carolina. Shit. Where to begin? If you want to help folks there, I recommend Equality North Carolina, the ACLU of North Carolina or Lambda Legal as excellent places to start. If you live there (or have disposable income for donations), I recommend any and all opponents of the elected officials who endorsed this.
- Author Veronica Harnish (Car Living When There's No Other Choice) wrote a powerful piece for VOX earlier this month on ending up homeless three times and living in her car with her cat due to the crappy job market, no housing and a lousy safety net. She's got a Go Fund Me and what I think is a current Crowd Rise page going and I believe that's she's still facing homelessness, so the Crowd Rise is to help her get a used RV which would be much safer and better for her and her kitty. Or you could buy her book, thus giving her ongoing income. Give it to everyone you know who thinks we don't need a safety net or that it'll never happen to them or any other person you think needs it.
- Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency is working on a new film project on women smashing stereotypes. It looks terrific and there's only 9 more days on the fundraiser here.
- Women's Month Reading at the Tretter Collection at the Elmer J. Anderson Library at the University of MN. Annual event cosponsored with the Quatrefoil Library, Saturday, March 26th, 1-4PM. I'll be reading with Rachel Gold, Jessie Chandler, Judith Katz, Ellen Lansky, Pat Schmatz and MB Panichi.
- AlterConf Minneapolis at Lead Pages. April 9th, 11-4PM. Valerie Lockhart and I will be doing a presentation on making tech workplaces more accessible.
Queen of Swords Press:
- Tweeking the author contract
- On the waiting list for a P.O. Box
- Got the email working
- Website is mocked up but waiting on new version of the logo and some text before I link
- Next up, more Quickbooks, short collections, post for submissions, get ISBNs and start formatting fun. It is moving, it's just slow.
Day job, rolling downhill. Other stuff, in progress. More bulletins soon.
- Had new author photos taken and should have final ones later on this week
- Started vetting the author contract for Queen of Swords Press (written by my IP attorney, for those curious).
- Got the manuscript for a new mentoring/editing project that I'll be doing with a local author.
- Met with my biz attorney for more LLC setup.
- Started estate planning.
- Met with my new accountant and started the adventure that is Quickbooks.
- Finished a blog post for Emily L. Byrne's first Best Lesbian Erotica appearance.
- Sketched out proposals for sekrit new project.
- Wrangled day job and more day job. And migraine and more day job.
- Class prep for my Loft Literary class this weekend. Find out tomorrow if it carries.
But we're not here to talk about dread and worries today. Today, we are writing and working on stuff and making progress on freelance editing and novel edits and such. Progress, especially finishing any of the above, will be glorious, glorious, I say!
So, writing update is minimal. But Queen of Swords Press update is impressive. In the last few weeks, I've gotten a business bank account, done some excellent networking with another writer about software and social media solutions that I need to check out, worked with my web designer to mock up a website and acquired Quickbooks. I get to meet with my new accountant tomorrow to get the latter set up, and my small biz lawyer to get a few more things finalized in two weeks. I have contract templates to review and very nearly have a new email address for the Press. So things are moving, which hopefully means that writing and editing will be picking up steam too. Progress!
"About Queen of Swords Press:
Queen of Swords is an independent small press, specializing in swashbuckling tales of derring-do, bold new adventures in time and space, mysterious stories of the occult and arcane and fantastical tales of people and lands far and near. What does that actually mean? It means we like all of the following: swashbuckling tales with female protagonists, people from wide-ranging cultural and racial backgrounds having adventures in outer space, LGBT and/or Q characters engaged in magic and swordplay and historically-flavored stories that reflect diverse casts of characters doing interesting things.
Submissions: Queen of Swords Press is not open to unsolicited submissions at this time."
So what does that mean? Good question, long answer. But in the interests of brevity and perhaps, wit, I’m hoping to publish steampunk, Gothic horror, alternate history, mannerpunk, space fantasy, space opera, historical mysteries with fantasy elements and likely things I haven’t thought of yet. Will there be an erotica/erotic romance line? Yes, though it will be limited and likely to be invite only for the foreseeable future.
Does the Press plan on releasing anything tarot-related? Honestly, no. The Queen of Swords is my card. She is ambitious, capable, smart, honest and clever, all things that I strive to be. Taking on her name and aspect has a fair amount of symbolism for me as a result. But I am no expert on the tarot and do not expect to be set up for publishing graphics, so no decks or books about tarot symbolism or anything of that nature.
Length of works: Novels and short story collections, to start with. I’d like to try crowdsourcing some anthologies (which often don’t pay for themselves otherwise), but that’s down the road a piece. But we can always talk.
Will I be open to lesfic (the current lesbian romance genre) and m/m? Eh. I’m interested in stories that break the mold and I think there are a number of perfectly lovely publishers who will wax more enthusiastic about books that fall squarely into those categories. I really want to see LGBTQ and ace and genderqueer protagonists having adventures of the types described above, but would prefer those adventures to have romantic subplots if the story requires them, rather than being primarily romances. That said, I anticipate exceptions and changes as things move forward.
“Waxing enthusiastic” is the key here. I’m funding the Press out of pocket to begin with, with all that goes along with that (no advances, slow ramp up, etc.). Consequently, I want to be pretty enthusiastic about anything of yours (or mine, for that matter) that I publish. That said, I anticipate discovering all sorts of things along the way and there will be things that I do just to learn how to do them and missteps and bold new adventures that go in completely unanticipated directions. And some things that go exactly as planned, because I have that kind of brain.
I have a tentative plan of opening up to ideas, not full proposals, in the next few weeks. I’m open to hearing about reprints if you have full rights to them. We’re ironing out a publishing contract soon and once the website is up (anticipating by February), I should be able to post some terms. I anticipate that it will be squarely within industry standards. I anticipate having a functioning email soon. Other stuff is zipping along briskly so I should have regular bulletins on the press status going forward.
So what else would you like to know about Queen of Swords Press, LLC.?