(I’m In) Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe!

Very excited to finally be able to announce that my story “Midnight Man versus Doctor Death” will be appearing in Tesseracts Nineteen: Superhero Universe edited by Claude Lalumière & Mark Shainblum. This will be my second time dinging the Tesseracts bell, and my second time in one of Claude’s anthologies. I love selling to the same market again. It helps one feel like the first time wasn’t a fluke.

This sale also means a lot because superhero comics were my gateway to reading way back when. Between wishing I could draw better and playing various superhero roleplaying games, I have created more superheroes and supervillains than I can easily remember, so it’s a thrill to have one out there in the world officially.

I do hope readers will like Midnight Man (obviously), as the story ties into a couple of my other works-in-progress.

Here’s the complete list of contributors:

John Bell ~ P.E. Bolivar ~ Kevin Cockle ~ Evelyn Deshane ~ Marcelle Dubé ~ Chadwick Ginther ~ Patrick T. Goddard ~ Kim Goldberg ~ Geoff Hart ~ Sacha A. Howells ~ Arun Jiwa ~ D.K. Latta ~ Michael Matheson ~ Bernie Mireault ~ Luke Murphy ~ Brent Nichols ~ David Perlmutter ~ Mary Pletsch & Dylan Blacquiere ~ Jennifer Rahn ~ Corey Redekop ~ Alex C. Renwick ~ Jason Sharp ~ Bevan Thomas ~ Leigh Wallace ~ A.C. Wise

Write on!

Behind the Scenes of The Last Good Look

I’ve liked crime fiction almost as long as I’ve liked fantasy. So I’m really chuffed that my story “The Last Good Look” was selected to be included in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir.

New Canadian Noir Cover

One of my writing mentors was fellow Ravenstone author, Michael Van Rooy, who passed away far too soon. You should do yourself a favour and check out his Monty Haaviko crime novels (An Ordinary Decent Criminal, Your Friendly Neighbourhood Criminal, A Criminal to Remember) they are all great reads.

100616-MichaelVanRooy-03.jpg

(Photo Credit: Janek Lowe for the Winnipeg Free Press)

Michael has always been a huge inspiration to me, but was especially when it came to “The Last Good Look”.

Earlier in my writing career I was selected to be the Emerging Writer-in-Residence at the now sadly defunct Aqua Books. Michael had also been one of the Writers-in-Residence there. While I was writing in my office, which had been his office, and trying to finish up the as-yet-unsold Tombstone Blues, I had an idea for a rough-and-tumble troll tough guy.

And so Neelak (Neal to his friends) Trollborn, Wizard of Runes was born. I wrote the first four pages of his story and before long, Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues had sold to Ravenstone, and so I had to set Neal aside.

But I never forgot him.

When Claude Lalumière and David Nickle put out the call for submissions I was so excited to have the reason to figure out the rest of Neal’s debut story. He surprised me a lot, Neal did.

Every good noir also needs its femme fatale. Neal found his in one of my coworkers at the time: artist, photographer, and model, Holly Halftone.

I’ve rarely so blatently stolen someone’s appearance, so I asked Holly if she was okay being written into the story and thankfully she said yes. I had used “Halftone” as a temporary name in the text while I was drafting, thinking I’d eventually come up with something I liked better, but nothing else worked as well, and so Holly got to be a double inspiration on that particular dangerous lady.

Holly Halftone by Alexa Lachuta photography

(Photo Credit: Alexa Lachuta)

Pretty stoked to have this one in print. I hope you enjoy it.

Fellow New Canadian Noir contributor, Corey Redekop, interviewed Keith Cadieux and I about our stories (as well as a bunch of the other authors) over on his blog.

It’s still a long way off, but the Manitoba boys in the anthology, me, Keith and Corey will be doing readings at McNally Robinson Booksellers May 27th. I hope I’ll see you there.

Write on!

One Month Left To Nominate For The 2015 Prix Aurora Awards

While I had my head down to finish Too Far Gone, nominations opened for the Prix Aurora Awards (and a whole mess of other awards too–though it’s the Auroras that are most likely to impact ’round Thunder Road Way).

There is still a month left to nominate, and if you’re so inclined, here’s what I did in 2014:

  • New Year’s Day: Published by Ravenstone, January 2014, eligible in the “Short Fiction” category
  • Runt of the Litter: Published in the Spring 2014 issue of On Spec Magazine, eligible in the “Short Fiction” category
  • A Simple Twist of Fate: Self-published October 2014, eligible in the “Short Fiction” category
  • A Taste of the Other Side: Published in Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls, October 2014, eligible in the “Short Fiction category
  • While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks: Self-published, December 2014, eligible in the “Short Fiction” category
  • Co-Chair/Artistic Director ChiSeries Winnipeg with Samantha Beiko: “Fan Organizational” category

Eligibility lists are here:

Please also consider the people that helped me create in 2014.

On Spec Magazine is eligible in the “Best Related Work” category.

Spring2014_frontcover_outer

Kevin Madison’s work during his “Thunder Road Trip” art blog read of Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues, is eligible for “Best Fan Related” category

Tombstone Blues Thor and the Dead.finished

Thunder Road Einherjar Finished

Runt of the Litter Grim and Loki.finished

Ted and Ravens

Ted Callan

and the cover and interior illustrations he did for “A Simple Twist of Fate” are eligible in the “Artist” category.

TR ASTOF Cover Finished

I’d also like to give a shout out to Scott Henderson in the “Artist” category for his stunning illustration of Tilda as a valkyrie from Tombstone Blues.

TILDA_VALKYRIE_C copy

Scott also has a graphic novel that’s eligible this year: The Chronicles of Era.

Chronicles of Era

Check out the awesome sketch he drew in mine:

DSC_2001[1]

If you’re a member of CSFFA, please add eligible works to their data base, please nominate, please vote. The more involvement there is in the award from folks who care about Canadian speculative fiction, the more meaningful the award is.

Instructions on how to nominate are available on the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association’s site. But why should you vote? Ottawa author Matt Moore wrote an excellent blog post on why we should participate in the Aurora Awards. The more people that participate, and the more they care, the more these awards will matter.

I still haven’t put my ballot in, so if you know of something from 2014 that absolutely shouldn’t be missed, drop me a line and I’ll add it to my to-read pile.

Thank you, and write on!

A Few Things Make A Blog Post

I meant to have at least a couple of other posts up by now, but I’ve been fighting the cold from hell (Hmmm, hell or Hel?) the last week. Here’s a few things that haven’t turned up on the blog yet:

A little while back I was interviewed by Jonathan Ball about writing process and why I choose to make my writing goals public.

On Monday, I received my contributor copy of The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir!

New Canadian Noir Comp Copy

The Last Good Look Title Page

It is a beautiful book. I haven’t read every story yet, but really enjoyed the tales by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Corey Redekop, Keith Cadieux, Kelly Robson, and Alex C. Renwick.

Corey Redekop is kindly collecting short interviews about our stories on his website. My answers should be up some time next week.

And finally, there was a very cool review of my Thunder Road ‘verse story “Runt of the Litter” over at Speculating Canada. “Runt of the Litter” originally appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of On Spec Magazine. Thanks for the continued support Derek Newman-Stille!

Write on!

Gears & Growls and New Canadian Noir Covers

Some news about a couple of anthologies I’ve contributed to:

It’s been a long time coming, but Beast Within 4: Gears & Growls releases soon, Halloween, to be exact, which I love. This was my first steampunk story and my first anthology invite (thank you, Jennifer Brozek!) so I’m pretty excited to see “A Taste of the Other Side” in print.

Here’s the cover!

Gears & Growls

Full cover including the copy.

Gears & Growls full cover

Jenna Fowler’s wonderful illustration of my protagonist! See more of Jenna’s work here.

jennafowlertasteoftheotherside

And while this probably isn’t the final cover, here’s a teaser to give you an idea of the feel that The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir is going for. This anthology is edited by Claude Lalumière and David Nickle and includes my story “The Last Good Look.”

New Canadian Noir Teaser Cover

I’m very excited to get to share a TOC with a bunch of cool folks like Colleen Anderson, Keith Cadieux, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Corey RedekopAlex C. Renwick, and Kelly Robson.

Write on!

Upcoming Events

Some fun stuff on the horizon:

Central Canada Comic Con!

I’ll be sharing some space with GMB Chomichuk, Samantha Beiko, Ryan Roth Bartel, and assorted other awesome folks in Artist’s Alley. Come on down to Booth 328 and say hi. I’m also debuting a new illustrated Thunder Road ‘verse short story illustrated by Kevin Madison (who did a series of  “Thunder Road Trip” illustrations)! “A Simple Twist of Fate” will be limited to a 200 copy print run, so you know what they say: buy early and buy often.

Other friends of Thunder Road that will be in Artist’s Alley include: AP Fuchs (#829), Burst Books (#823), Donovan Yaciuk (#316), Kari Ann Anderson (#116), Keycon (#910), Lovern Kindzierski (#425), Nyco Rudolph (#532), Scott A. Ford (#621), Scott Henderson (#324), and Sierra Dean (#724).

NaNoWriMo is kicking off November 1st. I won’t be participating in NaNo this year (I know, I know, it was on my goals for the year, but I still have two NaNo novels waiting to be edited and rewritten properly and a contracted book to finish and hand in) but the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and the Writers’ Collective have asked me and Samantha Beiko and Chris Rutkowski to pop by their NaNoWriMo kickoff and do a reading and give some words of inspiration.

Saturday, Nov. 1st from 6 – 10 p.m.
The Manitoba Writers’ Guild and The Writers’ Collective have combined forces to help you get your novel started off right! November is National Novel Writing month. The guild has offered up their office (218-100 Arthur Street) for writing space, coffee, and inspiration. At 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 authors will read from their fiction and offer words of inspiration!

6:30 Chris Rutkowski 7:30 Samantha Beiko 8:30 Chadwick Ginther

World Fantasy Convention WFC is one of my favourite traveling cons. I missed it last year, as Brighton just wasn’t in the cards, but Toronto 2012, Columbus 2010, and Calgary 2008 have all ranked among my favourite conventions ever, so I have high hopes for this year. Hope to see you there!

Novel Writing Club: In collaboration with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, the Winnipeg Public Library will be hosting a novel writing club to offer emerging novelists the opportunity to work with a mentor for a seven month period. At monthly meetings, a facilitator will meet with participants to address their concerns, provide inspiration and advice, and offer ideas and suggestions. The objective is for all participants to complete the first draft of a novel by the last meeting in June.

The program is intended as an opportunity for writers who are prepared to commit to monthly meetings. Applications are open to those who have not participated in WPL’s critique circles during the past year. There is no charge to participants.The novel writing club will be facilitated by Chadwick Ginther (That’s me!).

Tuesdays, 6-9 p.m. November, 25, December 16, 2014, and January 13, February 10, March 10, April 7, May 5, and June 9, 2015. A wrap-up event presenting an opportunity for writers to read aloud from their work will be scheduled for June.

Interested writers are encouraged to complete the application and submit it via email to critiquecircle.wpl@gmail.com starting November 1, 2014. Applications will be accepted until November 14, 2014. For more information, please call Millennium Library Reader Services at 204-986-6779

Write on!

Join Me For Novel Writing Club At The Millennium Library!

With thanks to the Manitoba Writers’ Guild for asking me, and the Winnipeg Public Library for hosting, I’m very excited to say I’ll be chairing a novel writing club starting in November!

From the Manitoba Writers’ Guild newsletter:

NOVEL WRITING CLUB: CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
In collaboration with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Winnipeg Public Library will be hosting a novel writing club to offer emerging novelists the opportunity to work with a mentor for a seven month period. At monthly meetings, a facilitator will meet with participants to address their concerns, provide inspiration and advice, and offer ideas and suggestions. The objective is for all participants to complete the first draft of a novel by the last meeting in June.

The program is intended as an opportunity for writers who are prepared to commit to monthly meetings. Applications are open to those who have not participated in WPL’s critique circles during the past year. There is no charge to participants.
The Novel Writing Club will be facilitated by Chadwick Ginther.

Chadwick Ginther is the author of Thunder Road (Ravenstone Books), a fantasy in which the larger-than-life personalities and monsters of Norse mythology lurk hidden in Manitoba. His short stories have appeared in On Spec, Tesseracts and the Fungi anthology from Innsmouth Free Press. His reviews and interviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, The Winnipeg Review, and Prairie Books NOW.
Meetings will take place at Millennium Library, Carol Shields Auditorium on Tuesdays, 6-9 p.m.

November 25, December 16, 2014 and January 13, February 10, March 10, April 7, May 5, and June 9, 2015. A wrap-up event presenting an opportunity for writers to read aloud from their work will be scheduled for June.

Interested writers are encouraged to complete the application and submit it via email to critiquecircle.wpl@gmail.com starting November 1, 2014. Applications will be accepted until November 14, 2014.

*Applicants must be available for all scheduled meetings.
Participants will be selected based on factors including:

  • strength of the submission

  • a two sentence idea pitch

  • timeliness of the application

Questions? Please call Millennium Library Reader Services at 204-986-6779.

Alberta Mini Tour!

I’m heading back to Alberta to do another round of research for Too Far Gone and I thought I’d tack a couple events on, since I was already around. Hope to see you either in Calgary or Edmonton!

Here’s where I’ll be:

Friday August 8th – Sunday August 11th: When Words Collide.

  • Saturday 1 PM RPG Storytelling: [panel discussion with Brandon Sanderson, Chadwick Ginther, Ron Bender, Dave Gross] RPGs or Role-Playing Games make up a huge chunk of the gaming industry. Part of what makes them so popular is the rich storytelling that players experience as they solve problems and learn secrets through the game. Our panel of RPG storytellers and players discuss what draws them to the gaming life.
  • Saturday 2 PM Why Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Is So Popular: [panel discussion with Margarita Gakis, Melodie Campbell, Aspen deLainey, Sandra Wickham, Chadwick Ginther] Urban Fantasy has grown large enough to be its own major genre. Indeed, many publishers have created imprints just for Paranormal or Urban Fantasy. What is it about these subgenres that are so attractive to today’s psyche?
  • Saturday 8 PM Autographs: Festival Guests are joined by 50+ authors
    Drop by between 8 PM – 9 PM to meet the authors and get your books signed. This session is open to the public, so tell your friends.
  • Sunday 4 PM On (Writing) Vacation [panel discussion with Randy McCharles, Patrick Swenson, James Van Pelt, Chadwick Ginther] Writing retreats, with their focused time and space, can inspire and rejuvenate authors and are as accessible as you want them to be. Panelists discuss their experiences and the rewards reaped from attending writing retreats.

Check out all of the programming being offered here:

Thursday August 14th at 7pm: Reading and Signing Tombstone Blues at Audreys Books in Edmonton. 

Write on!

A Few Questions About Writing

My northern Manitoba colleague, Lauren Carter, author of Swarm, tagged me recently and asked me to take part in a blog tour happening in the literary community across Canada. The gist of it is that I’m assigned four questions and then invite two other writers to join in. Here goes:

What am I working on?

I have a number of projects on the go right now, most notably the third book in the Thunder Road Trilogy, which you should see in Fall 2015. I’m also polishing up some short stories set in the world of the trilogy to keep you all occupied until next year.

In addition to my Norse Myth-influenced work, I’m editing the first book in an entirely new urban fantasy series, trying my hand at comic book scripting, and co-hosting and organizing the Winnipeg arm of the Chiaroscuro Reading Series with fellow author Samantha Beiko.

How does my work differ from other works in its genre?

Since my series is influenced by Norse myth, I’m not retelling the big ending of that myth cycle–Ragnarök, the Fate of the Gods–in the Thunder Road universe, that fate has already been dealt. In the Marvel Comics take on Thor, Ragnarök has happened at least three times, but what struck me as a myth fan was how interesting the stories that came after were to me. When Ragnarök is on the table, that is the only place the story can go. It’s inevitable. Having that great battle in the past also allowed me to avoid “ruining” any stories people might have loved from the sagas. They are there. They happened. My only caveat to this is that in my books, Loki survived his prophesied death (because if anyone could weasel his way out of his fate, it would be him).

Another notable difference is probably my use of Manitoba as a setting–not a place most people think of when they think of magic. I’ve read very little fantasy that uses Western Canada (and Manitoba in particular) as a setting, and I think there’s a lot to left to be said in this part of Canada.

Why do I write what I do?

I love juxtaposing the magical and the mundane and the Urban Fantasy genre is great at that. I grew up with old Tarzan and Lone Ranger stories, so adventure was set in my bones from an early age. When I went to listening to stories to reading them, comic books were my gateway (and I still read them) and I went from those to Lord of the Rings and Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasies. I can’t imagine wanting to write anything else. Fantasy allows me to write anything, and unlike my more realistically inclined writing colleagues, I get to have dragons and robots too.

How does my writing process work?

Barely. Ba dum bump.

But seriously…

I am what is usually referred to as a “pantser” (as in I write by the seat of my pants). No plotting, no outlining. For me, writing is a lot like driving at night: the headlights allow me to see just enough to keep going, even when I can’t see my destination.

I’m a huge music fan (all of the chapter titles in Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues are taken from songs) and I also write to music, so it has seeped deeper into my process. One of the first things I do when I’m starting a new story is make a large playlist of songs that feel like how I want the story to feel. As I write and listen, I winnow them down to about twenty or so that form my book’s playlist. That soundtrack also happens to be an emotional outline of how I want the book to feel.

There are exceptions to this. The third book in the trilogy turned out to be something I couldn’t “pants”. I had built up the architecture of the series, and wrote certain scenes as they came to me while drafting the first two books. Because I wasn’t entering the world fresh, by necessity it required a bit more of a structured approach to writing than I am accustomed to. Not a bad thing, just not usually my thing.

Next up, author and illustrator, GMB Chomichuk and author and Valkyrie Books proprietor, Samantha Beiko!