Writing Like I Used To: A Guest Post By Julie E. Czerneda

It was my pleasure to host Julie E. Czerneda when she launched her fantasy debut A Turn of Light, and I’m so glad she wanted to come back to talk about her return to science fiction, This Gulf of Time and Stars!

This Gulf of Time and Stars releases November 3, 2015. Learn more about the series and author below, and please welcome Julie E. Czerneda!

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Music Monday: “Daughter Of My Sins” By Chris Hadfield

A reader sent me this song over the weekend, saying that it reminded them of reading Thunder Road, and I’ve been listening to it constantly since.

Now I don’t know if speed can help me
But I’m going fast as a man can
The sun goes down, darkness surround me
Her shadow lies upon this land

I surely hope that you can find me
There when I reach my journey’s end
We’ll talk of love and ties that bind me
And then I’ll end up here again

Pretty cool tune, Xanthe. Thanks for sharing it with me!

Write on.

Central Canada Comic Con & Creative Colleagues

I can’t believe that C4 (Central Canada Comic Con) is only a week away!

It’s definitely going to be a mad dash to that finish line to get everything done I’d like to have done beforehand, and an even madder weekend during the con. But I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Because I love working with friends. And I’ll have a lot of them at this convention.

First off, Prix Aurora nominated artist (for his work on a live blog of his reading of the Thunder Road Trilogy), and illustrator of my 2014 C4 project, A Simple Twist of Fate, Kevin Madison will be at C4 for the first time in Artist Alley. He surprised me on Thanksgiving with this piece:

Ted with Ravens

Love it! Check out more of his work.

Samantha Beiko is the illustrator of a couple of my other projects that’ll be debuting at C4 in addition to being a top-flight editor and author. Sam’s a triple threat, and the real deal.

Here’s a taste of her work:

Ted New Year's Eve by SM Beiko

Samantha will also be at C4 as her alter-ego: Valkyrie Books, a bookstore that until now, has existed only in her imagination. She’ll be selling the latest speculative fiction goodies, as well as a selection of titles by local authors (including yours truly).

I love having a table around GMB Chomichuk, it’s such a good vibe and good energy. We finally got to work together, putting a little story bindup of Lovecraftian Madness together called Shared World. We each contributed a story and Gregory brought his wicked art sensibilities to the cover and interiors. Gregory talked about how the project came together on his blog last week, and how he blames me, but Samantha Beiko made the craziness possible. Thanks also to Silvia Moreno-Garcia for writing us a kickass introduction.

Our first (hopefully of many) Valkyrie Books Secret Editions: Shared World!

SharedWorldposter1

The third (but definitely not last) of my Scott Henderson commissions just arrived. Scott did a killer Thunder Road illustration after reading the book, and I loved it so much I asked him to do a Tilda drawing to celebrate the publication of Tombstone Blues.

Here’s what he cooked up for Too Far Gone:

TOOFARGONE_INK

This is just the inks, to see the full colour amazing, you’ll have to come by my or Scott’s tables at C4. I fucking wept to see it. Also, sorry for all the stuff that happens to you in Too Far Gone, Edmonton.

Finally, speaking of creative colleagues, Dave Gross hosted me on his blog’s Creative Colleagues feature! Send him your clicks please.

Write on.

Loki’s Guide To Norse Mythology: The Goat

The Goat

The Goat

A.K.A. Ted’s 1968 GTO.

A 1968 GTO was the first car I remember thinking was cool.

But that’s not the only reason why Ted drives one. Ted is a stand-in for Thor in Thunder Road, he received not only the power inherent in Thor’s hammer Mjölnir, but the Thunder God’s ability to control the weather. I didn’t have to look far for other touchstones that I wanted to make between Ted and Thor. Thor had a chariot pulled by the goats Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstur. And, the GTO is often referred to (and not just by Ted) as “The Greatest of All Time.”

So how could I pass up calling Ted’s chariot The Goat?

1968_pontiac_gto-pic-11898

Ted’s car was a dark brown, not black, but I think you can still get an idea of the car from this photo, and why, if I ever get my hands on one, I’ll never, ever let a trickster ride shotgun.

Write on!

I’m In Grimdark Magazine Issue #5!

Grimdark Magazine Issue #5 has gone on sale, which means my Fungi story “First They Came for the Pigs” gets a second kick at the can.

GDM 5 COVER SMALL

That cover looks great, and I’m very excited to be a part of this ToC.

And in an incredibly Winnipeg thing to happen, I have the pleasure of sharing this issue with friend and fellow Winnipeg author, David Annandale. Something about our freezing winters or summer mosquitoes must make grimdark an obvious niche for us.

The fine folks at Grimdark even made a trailer for the issue!

Write on!

 

Loki’s Guide To Norse Mythology: Winnipeg

Winnipeg

One great city (to write about).

It was Winnipeg’s slogan, “Heart of the Continent”, that made me want to use the city as the centre of a return to a world of magic.

When I started writing Thunder Road it was going to be set in Winnipeg (and Manitoba) largely because I live here, so it cut down on my costs for a book I had no idea if someone would want to publish, but that I desperately wanted to write.

But I do love my home, and I think it makes an interesting setting. While it may not quite have the concentration of Icelandic or viking stuff that the town of Gimli does, it’s still here. Laxdal road, and Valhalla apartments (Edmonton has them too, more on that later) among them.

When your book deals with the goddess of the dead coming to town, it’s natural to think of every building that is supposed to be haunted, and pretty much every old building downtown Winnipeg is rumoured to be haunted. So that’s where I got a lot of my set pieces for Tombstone Blues. But there are also a few that have mythological significance. The “secrets” of the Knights Templar were big news at the time of writing Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues, as well as their potential connection to the Freemasons. The Manitoba Legislature is full of Masonic symbols, but there are lots of Greek, Roman and Egyptian references too. Winnipeg’s iconic symbol of The Golden Boy was modeled after a sculpture of the god Mercury.

I read up on a bunch of locales that I wasn’t familiar with, and then as the story found its shape I settled on using the ones that resonated most with me. The old Masonic Temple (which I remember best as a Mother Tucker’s restaurant, but it’s been a bunch of other things since. It’s also currently vacant, which allowed me to remake it exactly as I wanted) that became the nightclub, Spectres, The Hotel Fort Garry, the Manitoba Legislature and Union Station.

When I was writing in Winnipeg, I tried to choose neighbourhoods that had strong character attached to them, that I felt would come through on the page even for folks who don’t live here. Every city has its own version of Osborne Village, where night clubs, and restaurants, and tattoo shops all meet. Wolseley and its towering elms, old houses, and granola crunch was chosen because of how much it would irritate Ted to live there, as much as the beauty of neighbourhood.

And the city mostly survived Ted’s tenure as guardian.

Mostly.

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Write on.