Feline Friday

So here’s a fine looking feline from my story “Cats Go to Valhalla.”

I really dig how this turned out! The artist, Katie Glauber, totally captured the essence of the kitty named Fairweather. I won’t say more about why I love this smirking cat for spoiler-rific reasons, but I’m so glad Swashbuckling Cats editor Rhonda Parrish commissioned illustrations for the anthology launch.

Check out Swashbuckling Cats: Nine Lives on the Seven Seas available now from Tyche Books!

Write on!

Swashbuckling Cats Launches Today!

Are you ready for Nine Lives on the Seven Seas?

I hope so, because Swashbuckling Cats launches today! To celebrate, I thought I’d write a bit about my story “All Cats Go to Valhalla” and give you some of the tale’s secret origin.

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Confession the first: I am not a cat person. I used to be. Before I had to live with one. I loved cats until I had a roommate with one. Then things changed. Now I guess you could say I admire the little jerks as impressive murder machines I’m glad I don’t have to share my home with.

Why the hell would I write a cat story then? Well, I happened to be on Twitter when Rhonda and her publisher at Tyche Books started joking about this anthology (this is neither a huge surprise or coincidence, I am…often on Twitter), and so I joined in the fun, tweeting silly cat GIFs, not really thinking an actual open call would happen. But when it did, since I’d been egging it on, I offered up my metaphorical axe.

Viking Cat

(Also, I also happened to have made a whiskey bet with a writing friend about which of us would sell five stories to Rhonda first. (This became story number four for me.))

The first thing that came to me for “All Cats Go to Valhalla” was my protagonist’s name. I’d had a note about a character called Kills-the-Sky in my miscellaneous writing folder for ages, but hadn’t found the right personality to attach it to, or the right story to use it in. (Fun side note: Kills-the-Sky is also the name of my Tabaxi Ranger in an online game of Curse of Strahd with some writing pals.) I couldn’t shake the image of that axe-wielding viking kitty though, so I knew I’d make the story Norse mythology based, and if I was writing a Norse myths story, why not make it a part of my Thunder Road universe?

The next part of the story to arrive was the title, which was unusual for two reasons. First, I don’t typically care for pun titles. Second, the final title is usually the last thing I type in a story, watching the end of submission window growing closer while I mutter, “fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.” It was kind of refreshing to have it locked from the near the start of writing.

The plot came from a line in one of the Thunder Road books about vikings coming to North America to bury their nightmares, which had been my attempt to tie stories of Newfoundland Old Hag sleep paralysis to the myths of maras. Having the first spur of the plot, I took some historical elements, such as an article I’d read about vikings travelling with cats on their ships, and I went for it, figuring if I tried to plan too much that the cats would just have their way, anyway.

I decided not to make my viking cats anthropomorphic because I figured real cats, stuck at sea, would have its own tension even before I started throwing monsters and gods at them, and, as an added bonus, I’d be able to fit the story more neatly into my Thunder Road ‘verse. Years and years ago, I’d really enjoyed Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams, so that probably influenced me too. Finally, I pulled up lots of images of Norwegian forest cats to cast my characters, and started following Black Metal Cats on Twitter for inspiration. This story ended up a bit darker than I thought Rhonda might want, but it was the story in my head, and anyway, there’s some humour in there. And, obviously, things worked out. Rhonda liked “All Cats Go to Valhalla” enough to buy it for the anthology.

I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

Viking Cat 2

Mother of All Dragons Christmas Craft Show

Farnsworth_Good News

With the demise of C4, Kari-Ann Anderson’s Mother of All Dragons Christmas Craft Show looks like a great opportunity to get some nerdy gifts for people on your holiday list if you’re in or around Winnipeg. And I’ll be there selling books! I’ll also some art prints and short story greeting cards perfect for Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

From the organizer:

​Mother of All Dragons Christmas Crafts Show is a unique event forthe Holidays. It is a Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Steampunk and Pop Culture themed Craft Show right here in Winnipeg. This year there is 60 tables of crafters, vendors, artists and so much more!!! I do hope you will come out and join us for a fun filled Saturday. Please stop by again as we will be updating from now till the show. We will be showcasing all of our wonderful crafters, vendors and artists. Also check out the website https://mofdxmascraftshow.weebly.com

Hope to see you there, Saturday November 2nd from 11am- 3pm at the Winakwa Community Centre, 980 Winakwa Road! Admission is free.

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Where to Find Me at Central Canada Comic Con and a Fun Announcement!

So another Central Canada Comic Con has come to Winnipeg, and that means I want to have something new on my table.

But what is it?

IT’S BOOKS!

Fine, not really a surprise, but I’m excited.

Announcing Wolf and Wing: A Thunder Road Collection!

Return to the world of the Thunder Road trilogy in this first collection of tales from award-winning author, Chadwick Ginther. 

Two ravens are drawn into solving an unusual murder. A descendant of Loki faces threats from his estranged family. Dodging werewolf hunters brings a wolfish giant an even more implacable foe, and an unexpected ally. In Wolf and Wing, myth and monsters collide with modern-day Winnipeg once more, so gear up and get ready to hit the wilder side of Thunder Road before the road hits back.

Wolf and Wing contains the following stories: “Runt of the Litter,” “Murder Mystery,” and “On the Hunt.” “Runt of the Litter” originally appeared in OnSpec; “Murder Mystery” and “On the Hunt” are original to this collection. And of course, for you trickster fans out there, Wolf and Wing includes a new entry in Loki’s Guide to Norse Mythology.

I had a blast getting this collection ready for print. It also gave me a chance to work with two of my favourite freelancers! Samantha Beiko did the edits on the stories and the book’s interior layout and design while Clare C. Marshall did my cover layout design. I can’t recommend these two highly enough. If you want to make a book, talk to Sam or Clare.

Come and find me in Writer’s Row at Booth A241.

Music Monday: Acquainted With The Wind By Steve Earle

I’ve been listening to a lot of Steve Earle again. Steve Earle usually gets me thinking of my Thunder Road series as there’s a lot of Earle songs on my writing playlist. Maybe it’s because I’ve been writing a couple of new Thunder Road short stories, or because Kevin Madison has done a couple new pieces of Thunder Road art, but Ted’s been knocking at my creative door again lately. If I ever write another Thunder Road novel starring Ted Callan, dollars to doughnuts, this is my Chapter One title.

I’m the ramblin’ kind
No matter where I roll everybody stands aside
Lets me rumble down the road aint got a lot of friends
But I’m acquainted with the wind and we’re travelin’ along

Write on!

New Thunder Road Art!

Once again, my pal Kevin Madison has come through with a sweet piece of Thunder Road inspired art. This one was done as to celebrate what would have been Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday (note the Kirby Krackle around Ted’s fist) and I love it.

This will pair nicely with the “Ted versus Minnesota” story I’m working on (working title. Most Ted related stories start off as Ted versus until I find the right song to pair with story).

Thanks, Kevin!

Write on!

Scatter The Foals To The Wind Excerpt

It’s launch time for Equus. Enjoy a teaser taste of my story!

Scatter the Foals to the Wind

My mom always said, “Michelle, never trust a short man. They’ve always got something to prove.”

Most of her advice hadn’t stuck, but that tidbit had; one reason most of the guys I’d dated had been the size of vikings. The latest was a bruiser of a redhead named Ted. More tattoos than a biker. Mouth like a sailor. Smoked like a chimney. Mom would’ve hated him, 6’4” or not.

We’d had a few dates. I’m sure he’d made the same plans for tonight I had.

He’d come over to my condo and made me dinner. We were having a toke on my balcony, the air was brisk, but warm for a Winnipeg November. He had one arm around me and the other pointed up at the stars, toward the constellation of Orion.

“So there was this giant, name of Veggbyggir,” he said. “And he had this horse, big strong bastard went by Svaðilfari. Could tow a fucking mountain.”

The story of the myth behind the stars had a practiced feel, as if this was something he said to all the girls. It was also wrong. The “horse” constellation he’d pointed to had been Taurus.

“Veggbyggir and Svaðilfari were tasked with building a wall around Asgard—that’s the home of the Norse gods—in only three seasons or they won Freyja—the most beautiful goddess in Odin’s court—and the sun and moon besides. And they’d almost done it. So Loki had to stop them.”

Practiced or not, wrong or not, it was working. I wanted to hear where his story went. “Wait? Isn’t Loki a bad guy?”

“You know Loki?” Ted’s eyes caught the starlight and he laughed.

“Not personally,” I said. “Who won?”

“Not the giant,” Ted said. “And not Loki.”

I took a deep toke, held the smoke in my lungs for a three count, and passed the joint back to Ted as I exhaled. “How’d Loki manage to stop them?”

“He turned into a mare and lured the stallion away.”

“Classic honey pot,” I said.

Ted laughed. “Right?”

“So why’d you say Loki lost? Sounds like he had the last laugh.”

Ted shrugged. “He came back pregnant with an eight-legged horse son.”

“Bummer,” I said. “Which constellation is Loki? Where’s he hiding?”

He stopped pointing at the stars to pull me close, and I figured he was going to kiss me, so I closed my eyes, leaned in, and over the balcony I went. As I tumbled ass over tits, his grin flashed; a crescent that glowed bright as the moon.

***

Equus is available in print or e-format from the vendors below: