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Queen of Swords (@QoSPress)
We have our first #awardwinner@clundoff's SILVER MOON just won a silver in the Best Lesbian Fantasy category of the…

Very, very pleased! This is Queen of Swords Press first award-winning book and my second time winning an award from the Rainbow Awards (previous was for the anthology I co-edited, Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic). Happy dance for an otherwise crappy Thursday!
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 The new edition of SILVER MOON made Book Riot's list of 100 Must-Read Bisexual Books for Bisexual Awareness Week! I am very, very happy about this, not surprisingly. 

And now some background, for those just tuning in. The first version of MOON was released in 2012. It appeared at just the right time to be entered in the first Bisexual Book Awards and the Goldie Awards for Lesbian Lit.  It finaled in both, which was nice, if less nice than winning. Did I set out to deliberately write a middle-aged bisexual female protagonist? Not deliberately. I wanted to write about coming out at middle age, questioning your identity, menopause and werewolves, as you do. I started writing and getting my work published back before indie publishing and a lot of discussions about identity and orientation happened.

Writing a 'bisexual' book was, for most of my early writing career, equivalent to saying, "I'd like no recognition or sales for this book that is not nonfiction or erotica, thanks." Hard to find publishers, no awards, very, very few reviews, very difficult to find an audience. Which is how the first edition of SILVER MOON got slotted into "lesfic," which is short for "lesbian fiction." This is not a bad thing, but it runs into a common genre convention that all "lesfic = romance." So my little book about questioning and changing and finding yourself and turning into an awesome werewolf was not sufficiently romantic for the lesfic market, but too romantic for the fantasy or horror markets. It did okay despite this, but I have some scathing reviews from people who expected a different sort of book. 

Fast forward to this year and I had the chance to make some very necessary updates to the original book and re-release it. Re-releases are not popular with book awards or reviewers so there are still some significant challenges. Also, when you release a book into Smashwords, Ingram, etc., your choices are "gay" or "lesbian," not "considering bisexuality" or equivalent. But it seems to be finding some of its people and for that, I am very grateful.

Artistic bitterness, because I promised! So 7 books, 90 or so short stories, several juried awards, most of them queer-specific, articles and so forth should make me semi-famous, right? Sometimes! And yet! I'm literally looking at two upcoming events in my own city where I've been passed over as a guest. Deliberate malice? Probably not. But I'm too old/too female/too small press/too whatever, so somehow my work doesn't count and I spend a fair amount of time as an "also ran."

Some fun stories: when MOON first came out, I did a reading with a hot young lesbian author and local bi conference organizers very enthusiastically and purposefully ignored me and invited her to come and perform at the conference.


Not too long thereafter, I had a contretemps with a con com member from an unrelated con when I asked why my number never came up for writer GOH. I was offered a quid pro quo arrangement in which I could be writer GOH...if I slept with that person. It was not, of course, clearly laid out that way, but after I politely refused, I strongly suspect that the person they did ask for the next year was not asked to put out for the privilege. So, good times. I don't talk about the bad stuff as a rule because I'm a "living well is the best revenge" kind of gal, but yes, weird crap happens to me too. This kind of stuff, the publications that are looking for a specific "own voice," just not mine, which then turn around and choose a writer who riffs off my work, and all that other fun stuff, does sting, and I won't deny that.


But you know what? Someone thinks my work is good enough to put on a list of "must-read" books, I got some lovely fan mail from an unexpected source about some of my nonfiction, I'm working on a couple of new books and I've got some upcoming opportunities that I'm excited about. Take that, brain weasels and bad crap! And thanks, lovely Book Riot reviewer, for giving some great tools to combat the "why do I keep doing this to myself?" blues.

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 I am ridiculously pleased about this! SILVER MOON just got an Honorable Mention for the Rainbow Awards. If I'm remembering correctly, this is the equivalent of "finalist" in its category, but can be an end state. I'll find out in December. I will also note that the original version didn't final for this award so I'm feeling even better about the new edition. 😃 The Rainbow Awards, thanks to Elisa and company, raise thousands of dollars for LGBTQ+ groups every year and I'm a former judge, so I know how much work goes into this. Really lovely way to start my Sunday!

Also, back in June, I was part of a StoryBundle that raised a nice chunk of change for Rainbow Railroad, an organization that helps get imperiled LGBTQ folks to safety around the world. This week, they announced that thanks in part to all their recent donors, they were able to rescue 31 queer Chechen men and bring them to safety in Canada! Huge thanks and much love to everyone who helped make that possible!
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Silver Moon: A Wolves of Wolf's Point Novel, is back in print! As noted previously, there are some changes from the original edition: new cover, new subtitle, character name change, the new version is longer and so forth. The story has not been changed nor have the main characters. It's available in all ebook formats. In print, it's available from
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/

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SILVER MOON is going to be in print again! Release date is 6/16/17 and Terry Roy has done another amazing job on the interior. Seriously, this and Out of This World are some of the prettiest small press books I've ever seen (even if I do say so myself). I highly recommend her work!

The Pride Month StoryBundle is moving along nicely - it's raised over $500 in the first couple of days for Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian nonprofit that helps LGBTQ+ folks around the world escape persecution. We've got another 18 days to raise some more money though, as well getting some good books out in the world. Please check it out and boost if you're not inclined to buy (or even if you are!).

Apart from this, it's been a bit of a rough weekend. Back spasms that started on Friday afternoon, plus migraines and continued foot pain (I'm getting it checked out this week) and a truly hellacious storm front moving through town meant that I missed Equality March and Rally in St. Paul. The weather was bad enough that they called it on the March, but did hold the rally. It looked like fun but it's likely just as well as I stayed home. Overall, it's been a weekend of whittling away at the giant To-Do list; I'm thinking I need to look at carving out a weekend a month to work on stuff because it's the only way I'll make progress. We'll see if I can swing that.
Apart from that, I did get to go see Wonder Woman earlier this week and I loved it. Now to see if I can get one or two more things done before I fall asleep.

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My menopausal werewolf novel, SILVER MOON, originally came out in 2012. It got some decent reviews, including one in Publisher's Weekly. It debuted at WisCon and John Scalzi let me do a Big Idea post the weekend of the con and a lot of people bought it ("a lot" by small press standards). I talked to a number of book clubs, got on several podcasts and got generally kind responses. The book was a finalist for the first ever Bisexual Book Awards in the Speculative Fiction Category and a finalist for the Goldie Awards for Lesbian Literature in the Science Fiction and Category.

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.
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Silver Moon is a @goldencrownls Goldie Award finalist for SF/F/H! #lesfic #sff #awards

Which makes it my 5th book to final for these particular awards (2 winners thus far). All in all, a lovely way to start my Tuesday. :-D
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Woke up this morning to learn that The Rainbow Reader review blog had named "Silver Moon" to the year's best reads list, and gave it the spontaneously created "Maude Findlay Best Menopausal Storyline in Lesbian Fiction" Award. I love a reviewer with a sense of humor -

The rest of the week has included going to the Queer Voices Reading Series with author Rachel Gold on Tuesday. Heard some interesting pieces and got to enjoy Rachel's company at Barbette afterward, so a fine time all around. Last night, Jana, Mr. Matt and I were off to the Minneapolis Institute of Art for an evening of Tudor munchies, wandering Shakespearian actors (from the Cromulent Shakespeare Company) and an all female band called "L'Assassins." Because really, how could we skip this? :-)
The Tudor munchies were excellent - I particularly enjoyed the gooseberry and gooseberry tart from Patisserie 46. Now I just need to find a local source for gooseberries; I bet they make excellent jam. L'Assassins were a bit too rockabilly for me but were pretty entertaining while wandering about looking at the art. One of the actors was someone we'd seen in a couple of shows so I trotted up to her and told her how much we had enjoyed her performance in...a show she hadn't been in! Sigh. Fortunately, I did remember the other shows we'd seen her in and she was very gracious about it ("oh thank you! I wish I'd been in that one." :-) And we'll be seeing her onstage again next weekend when we go to Hardcover Theater's Christmas Ghost Stories show at Bryant Lake Bowl. We never did find the Tudor recipe swap, but ended up leaving the museum gift shop with a CD of music inspired by the Battle of Trafalga (because I'm a Regency nerd. What can I say? :-) and a cookbook of Reniassance recipes for the modern kitchen. Should be entertaining.

In any case, here's wishing everyone a delightful series of holidays and a wonderous 2013 to come!
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Werewolf blogger David Jon Fuller highlights 2012 werewolf fandom, including a shoutout for "Silver Moon."

I've been enjoying Rachel Deering's "Anathema" and looking forward to reading "Wolf Girls" - all definitely worth checking out. I also want to track down the new werewolfish movie, "Jack and Diane."
As for Howl Con, it's a tempting thought for next year. :-)
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Which would be the Advocate's feed for women. I'm so very pleased - huge thanks to Diane Anderson-Minshall for featuring different writers (check out Lee Lynch's excerpt right before mine) from several different publishers. :-D

And in totally unrelated news, the house next door to ours is up for
sale. We would love to have neighbors that we liked again, it's been awhile. So far, we've been running about 50/50 on love/hate relationships with a string of renters and some of the "likes" have just been too quiet to be noticeable.  At any rate, please spread the word if you know anyone who's looking.

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This time on the topic of marketing Silver Moon, complete with what I did by way of planning and all that good stuff, on author and editor Deborah J. Ross' blog. Deborah is the author and editor of numerous Darkover-related works as well as lively swashbuckling tales in her own universes (check out the Lace and Blade books that she edited). Once you've marveled at my guest post ("What? She has more to say about that book? Really?"), check out Deborah's serialized version of her novel Jaydium.

In other news, am home with a migraine and lingering clogged ear, though the infection has cleared up. Bleah. Posting during the intervals when my head will let me. More ice...

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Got a nice surprise this morning - the writing site Red Room ( is featuring Silver Moon as a title to be read today. Not sure how long they keep it on that list but very pleased that it got selected (they tend to weight toward literary novels).
I also just finished a new guest blog on marketing and promoting my first novel - just waiting to hear back from the owner of said blog to make sure we're good to go before I plug it. Right after I sent that in, I saw my sales figures for the first half of the year, which were decent but not as high as I hoped. If I compare them to the last half of 2011, they're very close. If I compare to the first half of 2011, my books are doing much better. The difference being that Night's Kiss sold like the proverbial hotcakes last year, not so much this year. Moon is doing better than Kiss did per month, though. But like most authors, I tend to hope that massive amounts of work put into publicity = direct impact on sales even though I know better and I know it takes awhile (and sometimes, never happens). What I am seeing is big increase in library catalogues which include Moon (17 at last count as compared to 9 libraries with Hellebore and Rue) and nifty things like the Red Room list and the news that it will be included in Hannah Kate's new scholarly study of female werewolves (also check out her new anthology of female werewolf stories - In any case, word of mouth is a huge help, so if you liked the book, please tell your friends.

And remember that my wolf conservation fundraiser is still going on:
I going to change the terms so that if you donate, you get to pick from amongst the prizes. I'll do a drawing if more than one person wants the same thing.



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I woke up to a nice review of "Silver Moon" at Lambda Literary Reviews this morning and am, by and large quite pleased.

What follows is general commentary, not specific or unique to this review, which I think is a perfectly nice review and which I will be thanking the reviewer for in a few minutes.

I will admit to some frustration about the need expressed here and elsewhere for all genre books with LGBT or Q characters to be romantic and/or erotic. If you write genre, it seems like it has to contain these elements to sell, to be seriously considered for awards, to get glowing reviews. And I gotta ask - are we nothing more than our sexual identities? Not everyone comes out of the closet in a blaze of glory and falls madly (and successfully) in love with the first other queer person they meet. I realize that's the ideal but it feels like there was more leeway a few years back for telling stories that were about a range of queer experience, possibly even not romantic things. One of my all time favorite books is Ellen Galford's "The Fires of Bride," which is, in part, about falling out of love with a person and in love with a place. It's a brilliant book. But I suspect it didn't sell worth a damn and it certainly didn't win any awards. I'm not sure that it would have been published by most of the current LGBT publishers and that strikes me as a damn shame (Firebrand Books did a bunch of risk-taking terrific books like this one, well worth tracking down). Personally, I have a hard time reading the more formulaic queer romances but I understand why other folks find them comforting and appealing. But I don't think they should be the only stories out there, not by a long shot. I want me some nuance and I hope that's what I'm writing.
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It has been about 6 weeks since Silver Moon came out and it has been a whirlwind, much of it quite fun and a fair amount of it fairly exhausting. I knew I was going to be really, really busy but this was well beyond what I anticipated. It doesn't help that in my head, I'm still 35 or so and can just roll with no sleep, lots of travel, a stressful day job and a huge amount of publicity. It's tougher as you get closer to 50, just saying.

So here's the recap of what's been going on so far:
I started well before the book release. ARCS turned up at the beginning of April. I contacted over 25 review sites, book blogs, radio shows, podcasts and related events, and did a Goodreads giveaway. This is not including the venues Lethe contacted.
In late April, Silver Moon and A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories were nominated for the
2012 Over the Rainbow List.
On April 28th, Publisher's Weekly reviewed
Silver Moon and said nice things.
May 2, I did a guest blog for the Skiffy and Fanty Show on "Writing Silver Moon and Menopausal Werewolves."
May 8th, I was interviewed by author Tracy S. Morris - "Menopause and the Single Werewolf: Ten Questions with Catherine Lundoff, Author of Silver Moon"
May 19th, I was on the road and reading in Chicago at
Women and Children First Bookstore.
May 22nd, I was reading in Milwaukee at
Outwords Books, Coffee and Gifts.
May 23rd, I was
interviewed by blogger David Jon Fuller on As You Were: Metal. Mayhem. Monsters for #Werewolf Wednesday.
May 24th, my
Big Idea post on Silver Moon ran on John Scalzi's Whatever.
May 25th, I was at WisCon doing a book release at the Outer Alliance Party.
May 26th, I was still at WisCon, doing a reading with Outer Alliance.
June 4th, I was a guest on the Skiffy and Fanty Show
Podcast, talking about modern influences on fantasy.
June 5th, I read from Silver Moon for the Broad Universe Broadpod
Podcast for Pride Month.
June 16th, I was at the
GCLS Conference moderating a panel on lesbian shapeshifters.
June 21st, I did a release reading with author Jessie Chandler at
Magers & Quinn Booksellers.
June 23rd, I did a panel on...something at
4th Street Fantasy.

Silver Moon was reviewed on several book blogs and zines, of which the most recent was at
Out in Print.
I am currently finishing up a guest blog post for
Beyond Romance and will need to record a new podcast reading for Broadpod, this one from A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories, this weekend. Then it's CONvergence, a week off, then Write On! Radio. Then 2 weeks off, then Diversicon. And eventually Worldcon and the sundry other things I've committed to.

Huge thanks to everyone who's hosted me and bought books and said nice things so far. It's made it all very worthwhile and giving me enough energy (kind of) to make it through the next few events. But next time I have a first novel out, I'm taking 2 months off from work to promote it. :-)

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You know those reviews that just make your week (if you're a writer)? "Silver Moon" just got one like that at Out in Print. :-D
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Publishers Weekly mentioned Silver Moon AGAIN today, this time in the article Small Towns, Big Sales: Focus on Romance 2012. Am feeling very, very fortunate. I must admit that in my head, Silver Moon is sort of a cousin of paranormal, rather than setting up shop there, but I'm totally open to some crossover. Then again, it ended up in the Paranormal/Horror category for the Rainbow Awards, while A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories is in SF/F, so we'll see how that goes.

In other publication news, Obsession: Tales of Irresistible Desire, edited by Paula Guran, will be out from Prime Books this week. It includes my story "The Snake Woman's Lover," which is not an LGBTQ story and is in the dark fantasy/verging on horror vein. The TOC for this book is...let's just say it's an honor to be chosen: Leiber,Lee, Cadigan, Constantine, Poe, de Lint, and it just keeps going on into squee meltdown. Follow the link to see them all and the very striking cover. :-D

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At Whatever -

It's been really interesting to do so many guest blogs about "Silver Moon" back-to-back like this. I'm having to think a lot more about my writing process and how to explain it to other people than I've ever had to do before. I think that in the next week or so, I'll try and come up with a coherent post on the good and bad sides of that, but for now, yay, Big Idea! :-D

And we are safely arrived at The Concourse. WisCon coming up.


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