Scenes from a Launch:

When the Sky Comes Looking for You launched Wednesday, October 19th at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg. This was my first book event in three years. So … how did it go?

Well.

It was a blast!

I spent most of the day of the event getting mentally and physically prepped, and trying to remember that I used to do this stuff all the time.

I always carry multiple pens in my notebook, but because I wasn’t sure where my usual batch were in their ink cycle, I doubled up. Each of my books gets a little doodle when I personalize it, in addition to the signature, and I doodle in a different colour for each book. (I also tend to edit using the colours, and write in my notebook in black). I only needed to change my black pen once during the signing, but I’m still glad I was ready.

The other major decision pre-launch was which belt buckle to wear. I joked that I should wear the scorpion in case there was a power failure, as in addition to being HUGE, it glows in the dark. And then there was a power flicker during the Q&A! What are the odds?

Walking into McNally Robinson to see my poster up on the upcoming events wall.

My signing table, ready to go.

A close up view of the signing table and poster.

Shortly before launch, I ended up going with the bison buckle, an heirloom gift passed down from a friend of my father.

John Toews, events coordinator extraordinaire, gets the ball rolling by introducing the host for the evening, my friend and online journalist and instructor, Dan Vadeboncoeur.

Dan introducing yours truly.

I’m reading from “No Sunshine in Hel” the final story in When the Sky Comes Looking for You.

Dan and I having a lively Q&A. There were some great questions from the audience, also.

Signing stock at the end of the night.

A huge thank you to everyone who came out in person, or watched the livestream on YouTube. It was fantastic to see you all again. If you missed the event, you can check it out here:

Write on!

The 2022 To-Read List: September

The September reading list is rolling in a little bit late as I’ve been getting ready to launch my new short story collection, When the Sky Comes Looking for You.

Since one of my writing goals was to read more, I thought it would help to keep track of what I knocked off Mount Tsundoku. Here’s as good a place as any to post what I’ve read to keep me honest, and what I thought of each book immediately after finishing.

I’m changing how I build my to-read stacks in 2022. This year, each stack of five will have to include at least two books by women, one non-fiction book, one book by an author I know personally, and one anthology (I’m making a conscious effort to read more short stories this year). Previously my goal was for each to-read pile to contain at least one book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one book by a woman, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. Creating those piles from my own shelves was starting to get tricky after two years, and I still plan on trying to read through books I’ve already purchased as much as possible. I’m going to add at least one book from the library by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author for every stack I build to continue trying to diversify my reading.

The library has become my go-to for keeping up on what’s going in comics, so I’m sure there’ll be a number of graphic novels (and roleplaying games I backed on Kickstarter) that jump the queue and end up in the piles from time to time as well.

Combined an ambitious pile of holds from the library with a few things from the home shelves to meet my reading goals:

The Night Parade by Scott Ciencin, Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien, Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph, Air: Sylphs, Spirits, & Swan Maidens edited by Rhonda Parrish, Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant, Servant Mage by Kate Elliott, Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire, Lore Olympus Volume Two by Rachel Smythe, Graveneye by Sloane Leong, Four Faces of the Moon by Amanda Strong, Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palimotti.

Pathfinder: The Inner Sea World Guide by Paizo Publications: Information on the Pathfinder core setting of Golarion. Some of this reads a little creaky to my current game setting sensibilities, but those elements are much rarer than in many other game worlds, and my understanding is that many of those points have also been addressed in setting material for the new edition of the game. I quite enjoy Golarion as a kitchen-sink-style game setting. There’s so much potential for adventure in this world (though, sadly, I’ve never played in Golarion, and rarely play Pathfinder) and it would be fun to use in pretty much any edition of fantasy RPG like D&D.

Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander: First in her cozy mystery series. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as the Sloane Krause beer-themed cozies, but it was still really good. I’ll continue reading this series.

The Night Parade by Scott Ciencin: A Forgotten Realms D&D tie-in novel from back in the day. Part of the Harpers series, and one I’m pretty sure I somehow never read despite it releasing when I was reading every D&D novel I could find. Sadly, this one wasn’t to my taste.

Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien: First in a new to me cozy series, it was fun enough, and I’ll probably continue reading the series.

Lore Olympus Vol. 2 by Rachel Smythe: Loving this! Gorgeous colours and a fun take on Greek mythology.

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant: A novella explaining what really happened to the Atargatis, the ship lost at sea that is inciting incident for Grant’s Drowning in the Deep thriller. A fantastic fast-paced addition, and a fun read even having read Drowning in the Deep first.

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey: The Hunt for Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palimotti, Chad Hardin, Alex Sinclair, Paul Mounts, Enrica Eren Angiolini: I really enjoyed the main story written by Palmiotti and Conner, and have always dug Amanda Conner’s art. The bonus short story, taken from Harley Quinn Black, White, and Red, wasn’t to my taste, even if Chad Hardin’s art was gorgeous.

Servant Mage by Kate Elliott: First work of Elliott’s that I’ve read, an author I’ve been meaning to check out for a long time. I enjoyed this novella. Not sure it gives a true sense of what Elliott can do with her longer series. I’ll have to check one of those out sometime soon.

Graveneye by Sloane Leong, Anna Bowles: A graphic novel with a great black, white, and red colour palette. A fantastic creepy house story.

Four Faces of the Moon by Amanda Strong: An Indigenous graphic novel showing the some of the history of the Metis people through members of the creator’s family. The book spun out of the stop motion animated film by Spotted Fawn Productions. A wonderful book, now I need to check out the film. Highly recommended.

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire: Another Wayward Children novella, this time returning to the story of Jack and Jill and the Moors. This series continues to surprise and delight.

When the Sky Comes Looking For You: Short Trips Down the Thunder Road by Chadwick Ginther: But wait, he’s named like my name! I was doing page proofs, and technically speaking this is the first time I’ve read this book as a book (and I actually read the whole thing at least twice). Many of the stories were previously published and the new ones were completed independently of one another. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Air: Sylphs, Spirits, & Swan Maidens edited by Rhonda Parrish: The third of Rhonda Parrish’s Elemental anthologies. My Thunder Road story “Golden Goose” is in this one (which I didn’t read, but in a weird bit of timing, I hit the page proof stage of When the Sky Comes Looking for You where “Golden Goose” appears at roughly the same time) as its spot in the anthology. I really enjoyed this one. Stand out stories for me were “Faery Dust” by Mark Bruce, “The Whippoorwill” by Kevin Cockle, “Research Log ~~33” by Rowena McGowan, and “The Sky Thief” by Elise Forier Edie. Of those, I think “Research Log ~~33” was my favourite of the anthology.

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph: My read for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Despite occasional blocks of text from the actual Indian Act, which are pretty dense and tangled legal speak, this is a very accessible read. It’s also a necessary one, describing twenty-one ways in which the Indian Act has controlled and oppressed Indigenous Peoples since its inception. The hardest thing to learn for me was probably that there were voices in Canada as early as 1907 calling out the conditions in the schools, and that the advice for change was actively ignored and opposed. It’s not surprising, really, but still was difficult to read so starkly. I wish I would have learned some of this in those Canadian history courses I took in school. As it was, I’d never even heard the term residential school until 1996, after the last one had closed, and didn’t learn what they actually were until years later. Joseph also includes several appendices detailing terminology, a residential school chronology, the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, a classroom discussion guide and resources for additional reading for educators, and finally quotes from John A. Macdonald and Duncan Campbell Scott you may not have heard before. An excellent resource.

I did it! finished everything on the September read pile! You know what that means: my spoopy reading stack for October!

My Spoopy Month Reading Pile! A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, Suicide Stitch by Sarah L. Johnson, Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge, Dead North Edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Fangs by Sarah Anderson, My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, Dracula by Bram Stoker (Illustrated by Jae Lee), Yours Cruelly, Elvira by Cassandra Peterson

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Here’s what I read in June.

Here’s what I read in July.

Here’s what I read in August.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.

When the Sky Comes Looking for You Launches Wednesday, October 19th!

Hey folks!

When the Sky Comes Looking for You, the latest book in the Thunder Road series, is launching at McNally Robinson Booksellers Wednesday, October 19th at 7pm. I’ll be in conversation with Dan Vadeboncoeur, and I think it’ll be a really fun evening.

Can you believe it’s been ten years since Thunder Road published?

What the hell? Where did the time go?

Ahem. Anyway. It’s been a wild ride, and I’m thrilled to be back in the saddle with another book in the series that’s given so much to me over those ten years.

Please read the book store’s page on attending events, particularly this bit:

Before arriving at the store, please complete the Manitoba COVID-19 screening tool and do not come to the event if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. If you are experiencing any symptoms, you may still participate in the event by watching it from home on YouTube.

This is a hybrid event, so if you can’t make it, or you don’t feel safe attending public events, you can watch on YouTube, and if you reach out to the McNally Robinson, I’d be thrilled to sign or personalize a copy for you while I’m there. It’s been a few years now since I’ve done a book event, so while I hope to see you on the 19th, most of all, I want you to stay safe and healthy!

What do you do after you save the world?

Surtur may have fallen but the creatures of Norse mythology still walk the world of humankind, and some still want it to burn.

Nightmares stalk, dragons devour, and past ravens come home to roost. Tricksters, norns, and giants face off against new heroes and old favourites from the Thunder Road Trilogy. When the Sky Comes Looking for You expands the world of Thunder Road, collecting ten magic and myth filled tales, including the Prix Aurora Award winning “All Cats Go to Valhalla” and three new stories from acclaimed author Chadwick Ginther.

Welcome to the next trip down the Thunder Road.

Contains the stories: All Cats Go to Valhalla, A Door in the Rock, Murder Mystery, Runt of the Litter, Eating of the Tree, Ballroom Blitz, Scatter the Foals to the Wind, Far Gone and Out, Golden Goose, No Sunshine in Hel.

Preorder now!

The Cover has Landed!

When the Sky Comes Looking for You: Short Trips Down the Thunder Road has a cover, and it is great!

What do you do after you save the world?

Surtur may have fallen but the creatures of Norse mythology still walk the world of humankind, and some still want it to burn.

Nightmares stalk, dragons devour, and past ravens come home to roost. Tricksters, norns, and giants face off against new heroes and old favourites from the Thunder Road Trilogy. When the Sky Comes Looking for You expands the world of Thunder Road, collecting ten magic and myth filled tales, including the Prix Aurora Award winning “All Cats Go to Valhalla” and three new stories from acclaimed author Chadwick Ginther.

Welcome to the next trip down the Thunder Road.

Contains the stories: All Cats Go to Valhalla, A Door in the Rock, Murder Mystery, Runt of the Litter, Eating of the Tree, Ballroom Blitz, Scatter the Foals to the Wind, Far Gone and Out, Golden Goose, No Sunshine in Hel.

I can’t wait to see it displayed with the trilogy! When the Sky Comes Looking for You launches October 19th at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg.

Preorder now!

The 2022 To-Read List: August

Since one of my writing goals was to read more, I thought it would help to keep track of what I knocked off Mount Tsundoku. Here’s as good a place as any to post what I’ve read to keep me honest, and what I thought of each book immediately after finishing.

I’m changing how I build my to-read stacks in 2022. This year, each stack of five will have to include at least two books by women, one non-fiction book, one book by an author I know personally, and one anthology (I’m making a conscious effort to read more short stories this year). Previously my goal was for each to-read pile to contain at least one book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one book by a woman, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. Creating those piles from my own shelves was starting to get tricky after two years, and I still plan on trying to read through books I’ve already purchased as much as possible. I’m going to add at least one book from the library by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author for every stack I build to continue trying to diversify my reading.

The library has become my go-to for keeping up on what’s going in comics, so I’m sure there’ll be a number of graphic novels (and roleplaying games I backed on Kickstarter) that jump the queue and end up in the piles from time to time as well.

Still nibbling my way through the stacks from July.

From the library:

Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala, Spear by Nicola Griffith, Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire, The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty.

From the to-read stack:

Murder on the Home Front by Molly Lefebvre, The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas, The Witch Hunter by Max Seeck, The Shadow Over Portage and Main edited by Keith Cadieux and Dustin Geeraert, Flight Risk by Cherie Priest.

Spear by Nicola Griffith: A retelling of Arthurian legend through a specifically Welsh, queer, and disabled lens. I absolutely adored it. Griffith’s writing was lush and evocative, and felt much like I was having a fairy tale read to me.

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells: Moar Murderbot! I’m going to be sad when I’ve finally caught up on this series. Fortunately for me, Martha Wells has written a bunch of fantasy novels that will be waiting for me to add to the read pile next.

Inferno by Jonathan Hickman, Valerio Schiti, David Curiel, Stefano Caselli, R.B. Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto: Hickman’s swan song on the Krakoa era of his X-Men run. As a long time X-Men reader, Inferno has a lot of nostalgia for me, so I was a little put off with this book’s use of it as a title, but it wasn’t a bad story. I’m still not 100% sure that I’ve enjoyed Hickman’s architecture for the X-Mex corner of the Marvel ‘verse, but it has been interesting.

The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas: Didn’t finish this one. It was written in four parts, I believe, what looked to be individual novellas linked by the central vampire character, but it wasn’t to my taste.

Dungeons & Dragons Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel: An anthology of adventures loosely tied to a fantastic hub location. I loved the first module as a potentially non-lethal introduction for a party, dealing with a disagreement at a popular night market. Many of the individual adventures are not to my personal taste but all of them have something interesting that I could use in a homebrewed campaign. The art is gorgeous, and I think this is one of the cooler books Wizards of the Coast has put out in years.

Dungeons & Dragons Spelljammer: Adventures in Space: Consists of three separate hardcovers in a slipcase, a full colour double sided map, and a DM screen. One for players featuring new options, ships, and information on the hub setting, the Rock of Bral, one book of monsters, and a short adventure book. I love that the player facing material is in its own book and that the adventure is separated from the monster book. I do wish the Rock of Bral material wasn’t present in the Adventurer book, or that, at the least, the DM secrets were elsewhere so you could give the players the book without having to say: “Don’t read the setting material.” That said, I’m not sure where those secrets would go in this set as they don’t really belong in the adventure. Also, some of the material, including a very racist portrayal of a heritage of people known as Hadozee, has already been replaced with erratta. While I really enjoyed reading most of the set, and I want to get it to the table, I am still uncertain the price point is justified by the amount of material you get.

Call Me Nathan by Catherine Castro, Quentin Zuttion, translated by Evan McGorray: A French graphic novel about a young person’s realization they are transgender. I like reading non-North American comics from time to time as they have different panel structures and art styles than I’m used to. This one was really good.

The Witch Hunter by Max Seeck: Translated crime fiction from Finland. Not sure it stuck the landing at the end for me, but well drafted characters and cracking pacing. I’d read more of Seeck’s work in the future.

Star Wars Bounty Hunters: War of the Bounty Hunters Vol. 3 by Ethan Sacks, Paolo Villanelli, Arif Prianto, Jesus Aburtov, Edar Delgado: The hunt for Han Solo continues. Set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. A fun Star Wars adventure with decent likenesses of the main heroes.

Brave New World by Matt Forbeck: A superhero roleplaying game from the archives. A little too US-centric for me, but that’s a feature not a flaw of this one. The game has a simple but good dice mechanic and power profiles that cover most of the basic hero archetypes, but there’s not quite enough customization for me. Still, I had a lot of fun playing this shortly after it was first released many, many (many) moons ago.

9 Lives to Valhalla by Gem Room Games: Viking cats! A recent Kickstarter reward. A simple enough ‘zine style game, with great art. I’d love to get this to the table sometime.

The Wreck of the Murderous by Gem Room Games: A module adventure for 9 Lives to Valhalla. Looks like a fantastic intro to the game.

The Shadow Over Portage & Main edited by Keith Cadieux and Dustin Geeraert: An anthology of gothic and horror stories inspired by Winnipeg. I believe the stories by Joanna Graham and Richard Crow were my favourites in the collection. I also adored Jonathan Ball’s introduction: “There Is a Thing That Should Not Be, So We Must Be in Winnipeg” which should totally be on the sign at the city’s limits.

Murder on the Home Front by Molly Lefebure: Not quite what I was expecting (should’ve read the back copy more closely!), as I had assumed it was a biography by a modern writer, rather than a memoir from the ’50s that had been republished. Still, it was an interesting view into the war-era Britain and its crime scene.

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Here’s what I read in June.

Here’s what I read in July.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.

The 2022 To-Read List: July

Since one of my writing goals was to read more, I thought it would help to keep track of what I knocked off Mount Tsundoku. Here’s as good a place as any to post what I’ve read to keep me honest, and what I thought of each book immediately after finishing.

I’m changing how I build my to-read stacks in 2022. This year, each stack of five will have to include at least two books by women, one non-fiction book, one book by an author I know personally, and one anthology (I’m making a conscious effort to read more short stories this year). Previously my goal was for each to-read pile to contain at least one book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one book by a woman, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. Creating those piles from my own shelves was starting to get tricky after two years, and I still plan on trying to read through books I’ve already purchased as much as possible. I’m going to add at least one book from the library by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author for every stack I build to continue trying to diversify my reading.

The library has become my go-to for keeping up on what’s going in comics, so I’m sure there’ll be a number of graphic novels (and roleplaying games I backed on Kickstarter) that jump the queue and end up in the piles from time to time as well.

Finished my previous to-read stack just before June ended, so a new month meant a new reading pile!

Murder on the Home Front by Molly Lefebvre, The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas, The Witch Hunter by Max Seeck, The Shadow Over Portage and Main edited by Keith Cadieux and Dustin Geeraert, Flight Risk by Cherie Priest.

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire: The third volume in McGuire’s Wayward Children novella series. This one delves into a nonsense realm when the daughter of a character who died before becoming a mother pops into the school looking for help. One thing I’ve enjoyed about this series is that McGuire seems to keep avoiding doing the thing I expect to see next.

Be Like a Crow by Tim Roberts: A solo RPG I backed on Kickstarter. An interesting read, and a game that uses a deck of cards for its random prompts and resolution. I don’t really play solo RPGs, but I love crows so I failed my saving throw on this one. It was an interesting read, but I doubt I’ll get it to the table.

Flight Risk by Cherie Priest: Read this as an Advanced Reading Copy. I love this psychic travel agent cozy series! Really enjoyed book one, and book two was no different. I hope Priest writes many more with these characters!

Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala, Spear by Nicola Griffith, Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire, The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty.

Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala: Second book in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen cozy series. I think I enjoyed book one and getting to know the main characters a little bit more than this follow up, but it was still a very enjoyable restaurant-themed cozy.

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire: A Wayward Children novella, this one tells the story of Lundy and the Goblin Market. I’d read a short story by McGuire earlier this year set in the Goblin Market which ended up being some good background for this novella, everything unspoken was laid out in that story, which definitely coloured my read. Not sure how I would’ve felt about this one without reading that story first, but I did enjoy both, and I think the short story enhanced my read of the novella.

Mazes by Chris O’Neill: A Kickstarter reward I’ve been waiting to check out for some time. It has a super interesting dice mechanic where every character class has one die associated with it, and rolls that one die to resolve everything. A very rules-lite system that does a few things I don’t necessarily agree with. Not sure it’s a game that I’d enjoy running, but I’m hoping to get to play it.

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty: The final volume in Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy. I’m so glad I kept going with this series! It’s been a long time since I’ve finished a series. I think it ended perfectly.

Savage Worlds Rifts: The Tomorrow Legion Player’s Guide by Pinnacle Entertainment: I don’t have a huge background with Rifts. I’ve made up a few characters here and there with its original Palladium rules system but I’m not sure if I ever actually played any of them. I did really enjoy my last game experience with Savage Worlds though, and I think the system will work well to run the world of Rifts where super high technology, powerful magic, and monsters face off on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The inclusion of the Tomorrow Legion as a conceit to give a reasoning for a party of super powerful characters to travel and work together is a great, if, for me, overly militaristic, solution.

Savage Worlds Rifts: Game Master’s Handbook by Pinnacle Entertainment: Everything you need advice-wise to run Rifts for Savage Worlds. Lots of tables, charts, and adventure seeds. I’m highly unlikely to run Rifts, but there was a lot of good background information that could inform character creation.

Savage Worlds Rifts: Savage Foes of North America by Pinnacle Entertainment: Pretty strictly a monster book, but also good information and adventure seeds for some of the power groups in the Rifts for Savage Worlds ‘verse.

Yes, Roya by C. Spike Trotman, Emilee Denich, Kelly Fitzpatrick: An erotic graphic novel set in the 60s commercial art world involving a trio of lovers. Sexy, fun, and features gorgeous art and colours.

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Here’s what I read in June.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.

2022 Mid-year Check In

So…here were my writing goals for the new year:

  • Finish my grant project (this is the big one. I made some progress in the back half of 2021, but this will have my focus for much of the first half of 2022. I have a significant number of short stories to finish drafting for this to be done, but work is ongoing, if slowed by the pandemic.
  • Finish another secret project which I can’t talk about yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as the contract is signed. It’s damn near there! One story left to draft and then some revisions down the pipeline. Hope to be able to announce it soon.
  • Draft and submit a novella, either the one I outlined in 2021, or another piece.
  • Keep my reading momentum. Since I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done, I’m setting a realistic goal of 50 books and 50 short stories read in 2022.

Pretty manageable, mostly. But that was sort of the plan. I wanted to actually set some achievable goals for 2022. Here’s how I’ve been doing:

  • Finish my grant project (this is the big one. I made some progress in the back half of 2021, but this will have my focus for much of the first half of 2022. I have a significant number of short stories to finish drafting for this to be done, but work is ongoing, if slowed by the pandemic.
  • Finish another secret project which I can’t talk about yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as the contract is signed. It’s damn near there! One story left to draft and then some revisions down the pipeline. Hope to be able to announce it soon.
  • Draft and submit a novella, either the one I outlined in 2021, or another piece.
  • Keep my reading momentum. Since I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done, I’m setting a realistic goal of 50 books and 50 short stories read in 2022.

I’m so close to finishing the grant project! And am on pace to do so on deadline. Only one story left to draft and then I just have to write up my report and tally the budget to finalize the project. I’d like to revise at least a couple more of those drafted stories over the summer too. We’ll see.

That secret project is done (drafting and substantive edits, anyway. Copy edits and page proofs are still incoming, but neither should take too long. And guess what? The secret project is more short stories! Also, it’s not so secret anymore! The announcement happened a couple weeks ago.

This fall will mark the 10th anniversary of the release of Thunder Road, and I thought a Thunder Road themed short story collection would be a fantastic way to celebrate the milestone. Fortunately, Ravenstone Books agreed! Read a bit more about the book here!

I’ll let you know more about When the Sky Comes Looking for You as soon as I can!

I haven’t started work on that novella yet. Once I’m done drafting the grant stories, I might tuck into one of the two ideas I have outlined.

Maybe I should’ve set a more ambitious reading goal…I’ve already blown past my book and story goals (I almost read 50 short stories in May alone). I’ve basically doubled my reading goals halfway through the year. I won’t get into all the details here, I’ll save the breakdown for my annual reading round up, but some excellent stories and books have been read, and I’m excited to see what jumps out at me in the back end of the year.

One thing I’ve noticed about my writing as I’ve been focusing on short stories is that the short stories are coming a little easier. This may be a factor of my different approach this year. More and more I’m going off of short snippets that were the inciting incident, or only a concept and just sitting down and writing a little bit every day until I have a first draft. Which I suppose sounds like a perfectly reasonable way to write a story, but it’s not the way I’ve usually written them. Previously, I’d stitch together bits and bobs that had no other home but felt like the might fit together. I won’t say that approach didn’t work, as I sold a lot of those stories to the markets they were intended for, but it sure was inefficient. Multiple passes reorganizing the quilt of pieces until a story took shape, and gradually stitching them together on hard copy after hard copy, building them up a little more each time writing more and more connective tissue each time, and cutting almost as many words as I wrote. I’m not saying I’ll never write a story that way again, but I think it came from a space of being tired and not wanting to waste words that already existed. I should know by now that there are always more words, there will always be more words, so get them down and fix them later rather than obsessing over trying to “save” old words I’d basically forgotten I’d written.

I think this new method of drafting has been working. So far this year I’ve drafted and submitted one story (I’ve been trying to figure this one out since I published Tombstone Blues), revised and resubmitted three stories to editorial directive, and completed nine first drafts of stories that are readable, if not ready to submit. I finished revising my first piece of flash fiction in almost a decade and submitted it to a dream venue. Among those newly drafted stories are some genres and styles I don’t typically write, so I hope they’ll find a good home. I also have at least one more short story to finish for an anthology to which I was invited to contribute.

What else has been going on in 2022, writing-wise?

Short story sale! I sold “The Empress of Marshmallow” to Pirating Pups: Salty Sea-Dogs and Barking Buccaneers! This is my seventh story sale to Rhonda Parrish. “The Empress of Marshmallow is set in the Thunder Road ‘verse, and I think makes a fun companion piece to “All Cats Go to Valhalla.”

I still really want to get back to writing novels, y’all, and I’ve got a few ideas poking around the edges of my brain, but for now, 2022 looks like a year of short fiction. If I hit all my goals early, I hope to reward myself with starting a new novel, or returning to an old novel draft as a stretch goal for the year.

So, all things being equal, I feel pretty good about how the year has gone so far reading and writing-wise.

Write on!

The 2022 To-Read List: June

Since one of my writing goals was to read more, I thought it would help to keep track of what I knocked off Mount Tsundoku. Here’s as good a place as any to post what I’ve read to keep me honest, and what I thought of each book immediately after finishing.

I’m changing how I build my to-read stacks in 2022. This year, each stack of five will have to include at least two books by women, one non-fiction book, one book by an author I know personally, and one anthology (I’m making a conscious effort to read more short stories this year). Previously my goal was for each to-read pile to contain at least one book by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author, one book by a woman, one non-fiction book, and one book by an author I know personally. Creating those piles from my own shelves was starting to get tricky after two years, and I still plan on trying to read through books I’ve already purchased as much as possible. I’m going to add at least one book from the library by a BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ author for every stack I build to continue trying to diversify my reading.

The library has become my go-to for keeping up on what’s going in comics, so I’m sure there’ll be a number of graphic novels (and roleplaying games I backed on Kickstarter) that jump the queue and end up in the piles from time to time as well.

June’s first to-read stack has a few things left over from May.

Hell Fire by Ann Aguirre, Spelunking Through Hell by Seanan McGuire, The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi, Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James, Water: Selkies, Sirens, & Sea Monsters edited by Rhonda Parrish.

I’ve almost made my way through my previous recent RPG reading stack. Which means it’s time for a new stack to start trickling in soon!

Recent roleplaying games to arrive: Dungeons & Dragons Rime of the Frostmaiden, Ravenloft When Black Roses Bloom, Sly Flourish’s The Lazy DM’s Workbook, The Black Hack Box Set, Marvel Multiverse Role-playing Game, Basic Fantasy, The Dragon Prince Tales of Xadia.

A library stack of goodies (I had to return Exit Strategy as book three didn’t arrive in time for me to read the series in sequence. This is what I get for trying to plan things).

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw, Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, Step Aside, Pops! by Kate Beaton, Shang-Chi Vol. 2 by Gene Yuen Yang, Die Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw: I’ve really enjoyed some of Khaw’s short fiction, especially their Hammers on Bone novella. Stylistically, I didn’t find this novella as interesting as Hammers on Bone, but it was still creepy as hell, with razor sharp prose, and well worth the read.

Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles: I picked this up because I was interested in the Kickstarter running for a game based on the comic series. Loved Gillen’s world and how he integrated RPG tropes. Normally I’m not a fan of painted art in comics, but I loved Stephanie Hans’ work on this (and yes, I backed the DIE RPG Kickstarter). Gillen’s essays in the back matter on the origins and reasoning for the series are also really interesting.

Step Aside, Pops by Kate Beaton: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection. Grabbed this on a whim from the library while I was there to pick up another hold. I remember really enjoying Hark! A Vagrant when I read it years ago and this book was no exception.

Shang-Chi Vol.2: Shang-Chi vs. the Marvel Universe by Gene Luen Yang, Dike Ruan, Tríona Farrell: An excellent follow up volume. I really enjoyed Ruan’s visuals and Yang’s take on Shang-Chi.

Another library stack.

Giant-Size X-Men, Die Volume 2: Split the Party, X of Swords.

Giant-Size X-Men by Jonathan Hickman, Russell Dauterman, Alan Davis, Ramón Pérez, Rod Reis, Matthew Wilson, Carlos Lopez, David Curiel: A collection of stories highlighting individual X-Men. It was fine, the book just didn’t highlight any of my personal favourite X-Men. Can’t win ’em all.

Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters edited by Rhonda Parrish: An anthology of water-based stories, the final volume in Parrish’s Elemental series. Fair notice, Rhonda has bought several of my stories, and one of them “Midnight Man versus Carrie Cthulhu” is included in this collection (No I did not reread my own story). I think Water is probably the element that I have the least personal connection to. “The Diviner” by Catherine MacLeod and “The Man Who Speared Octopodes” by Davide Mana were probably my favourite pieces in the collection.

X of Swords by Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu, Sunny Gho, Tini Howard, Pepe Larrraz, Marte Gracia, Leah Williams, Carlos Gómez, Israel Silva, Benjamin Percy, Viktor Bogdanovic, Matthew Wilson, Vita Ayala, Matteo Lolli, Edgar Delgado, Zeb Wells, Carmen Carnero, David Curiel, Ed Brisson, Rod Reis, Gerry Duggan, Phil Noto, R.B. Silva, Nolan Woodard, Mahmud Asrar, Stefano Caselli, Joshua Cassara, Guru-eFX: This was a heckin’ chonker, as the kids say. 23 issues of X-Men comics in one volume! It’s actually pronounced Ten of Swords, but never let the X-Men not put their favourite letter in a title some way. Styled around a Tarot-themed tournament between the X-Men and mutants from another world, there was a lot to follow, lots of new characters introduced, but I really enjoyed this storyline.

Hell Fire by Ann Aguirre: I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’ve read this one before, but that could just be because I read the first volume and a novella in the series so long ago. It was fun to read some Urban Fantasy again, and I love Aguirre’s writing.

The Dragon Prince Tales of Xadia Roleplaying Game by Cam Banks and Dan Telfer: I love the Netflix series. The book is gorgeous. Fantastic art, and just really well produced. I also appreciate that the game created some new characters for this book, and most of the art relies on those characters rather than the ones from the cartoon, which makes it easier to feel like you will belong in this world as a player. Is it weird to say the book is really well indexed? Given how unfamiliar I am with the Cortex system that Tales of Xadia uses, that will definitely come in handy if I ever run the game.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire: The second book in the Wayward Children series. This one tells the tale of Jack and Jill’s time in the moors. Full of vampires and mad scientists, so of course, a really fun read.

Die Volume 2: Split the Party by Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans, Clayton Cowles: Another gorgeously illustrated volume that plays with the tropes of roleplaying games, and a surprising connection to the Brontës. I’m really digging this series.

The Black Hack by Gold Piece Publications: A great stripped down version of a Dungeons & Dragons style roleplaying game. The box set comes with tons of goodies. The book itself is full of useful random charts and things that could be of use regardless of which edition of the game you play. The art inside is fantastic, the only decision I didn’t really agree with was presenting the female wizard character topless, which felt like an unneeded throwback to early days of the industry. However, that minor complaint aside, I really want to get this one to the table. I loved the stripped down mechanics, and I think this system will be more in my wheelhouse as a gamemaster than some of the more rules-heavy editions of the D&D.

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi: It’s been a while since I’ve read any of Scalzi’s work, but I really enjoyed his Old Man’s War series. This might be my new favourite book of his, I mean, it’s got kaiju, so definitely up my alley. Fun, breezy, and so goddamn funny. The book does take place over the COVID-19 pandemic, so if you don’t want that in the background, fair warning.

X-Men: Hellfire Gala by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Edgar Delgado, Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, Russell Dauterman, Lucas Werneck, Sara Pichelli, Frank Martin, Matthew Wilson, Sunny Gho, Nolan Woodard, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti, Chris Claremont, John Bolton, Glynis Oliver: A collection of various titles in the X-Men side of the Marvel universe. The gala itself is a bit of a political powerplay by the mutants, and features some of the Avengers, Doctor Doom, and the Fantastic Four, but is ostensibly about introducing who the new team of X-Men will be.

Crossplay by Niki Smith: A fun erotic graphic novel following a group of cosplay friends who are exploring their gender and sexuality. I stumbled across it while searching for graphic novels on the library website and the cover was striking enough to add it to my list.

Rayguns and Robuts by Planet X Games: A fun little ‘zine that I backed on Kickstarter a while back. Well illustrated, and system neutral, so it could be used in any Golden Age or pulp style sci-fi adventure game. I don’t tend to run or play a lot of those, so I think it will be of limited use to me at the table, but it was well put together.

Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D. James: I didn’t finish this one. I found it very dry, which is partly because so many of the references are British writers whose work I’m either not familiar with, or have heard of but not read. I think I wanted more of a discussion about writing detective fiction, than a detailed history of the British arm of the genre.

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells: Book 3 in the Murderbot Diaries series. I accidentally checked out Book 4 of the series by accident, or I tried to get them both at the same time and Book 3 arrived well after I’d returned Book 4 unread. But I’m glad I waited. This was a great entry in the series. Really looking forward to seeing what my favourite rogue SecUnit gets up to next.

Call of Cthulhu: The Arkham Gazette Issue 0 by Bret Kramer: Somehow showed up at my door when I ordered another Call of Cthulhu module from DriveThru RPG (and so did volumes 1-4). Interesting historical background of New England to use in your Call of Cthulhu campaigns, along with some scenarios and characters you can drop in. I don’t have any plans to run Call of Cthulhu anytime soon, but some of my friends really enjoy the game, so I might pass these on to them to use.

Here’s what I read in January.

Here’s what I read in February.

Here’s what I read in March.

Here’s what I read in April.

Here’s what I read in May.

Check out my roundup of my 2021 reading here.

Check out my roundup of my 2020 reading here.

When the Sky Comes Looking for You: Short Trips Down the Thunder Road

The news is out!

I’m super chuffed to be able to announce this expansion to the Thunder Road Trilogy. More details to follow soon, but in the meantime, the official press release is below!

Photo credit: Ashley MacLennan

Turnstone Press is pleased to announce the upcoming fall 2022 release of Chadwick Ginther’s new short fiction collection, When the Sky Comes Looking for You: Short Trips Down the Thunder Road, scheduled to be released under Turnstone’s Ravenstone Imprint.

Come along for another trip down Thunder Road. It has been 10 years since Ted Callan’s fateful encounter with a roomful of dwarves and his world exploded with gods and monsters, giants, witches, and more.

In this anniversary collection, When the Sky Comes Looking for You expands upon the Thunder Road trilogy with a series of short stories, both loved and brand new, from acclaimed author Chadwick Ginther.

Chadwick Ginther is the Prix Aurora Award nominated author of Graveyard Mind and the Thunder Road Trilogy. His short fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, his story “All Cats Go to Valhalla” won the 2021 Prix Aurora Award for Best Short Story. He lives and writes in Winnipeg, Canada, spinning sagas set in the wild spaces of Canada’s western wilderness where surely monsters must exist.

Established in 1998, Ravenstonean imprint of Turnstone Press, publishes some of the most exciting mysteries, thrillers, cli-fi, and speculative fiction in Canada.

Rights inquiries about When the Sky Comes Looking for You should be directed to rights@turnstonepress.com.