Interfictions goes online

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Another new development for 2013 is that Interfictions, the anthology series that Delia Sherman launched first with co-editor Theodora Goss and then with me as co-editor of the second volume, will be moving into an online incarnation, including poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and hybrids forms.

Fiction editors are myself and Meghan McCarron.

Nonfiction and poetry editor is Sofia Samatar.

Submission guidelines and the submission portal can be found by clicking here. 

But here’s the skinny: We’ll be open for submissions in the month of February. Two issues will appear online annually, Spring and Fall. We’re paying 5 cents a word for fiction, 3 cents a word for nonfiction (preferably 9n the 2000-4000 word range) and poetry honorariums of 20 dollars per poem.

Interfictions was originally published in anthology format, and included work from writers like myself, Theodora Goss, Catherynne Valente, Jeffrey Ford, M. Rickert, Alan DeNiro, Vandana Singh, William Alexander, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Brian Slattery, and Lavie Tidhar.

interfictions2The second volume of Interfictions was an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year.

Send us your best work, your strangest work, your most uncategorizable work, to consider.

We’re in the midst of putting together a fantastic first issue that will release in spring of 2013. See you soon!

 

 

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One for Sorrow AKA Jamie Marks is Dead

I have good news at the end of 2012. My novel One for Sorrow‘s film rights have officially been sold, and filming will begin shortly in the new year, from what I understand. This has been a long-term project for the director/script writer and the production company he has assembled since he first optioned the rights several years ago. To be honest, most book-to-film options never come to fruition, and I knew that from the beginning, so I never got my hopes up that I’d see my book truly made into a movie, and remained grateful just that there was someone out there who had read the book and resonated with it so greatly that he went so far as to pay money to option the right to make it, and to continue renewing the option until he had a production company in place to make it happen. Now, I’m kind of dumbfounded that it’s really going forward.

Here’s what I can tell you so far:

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The director and script writer is the really well known fashion photographer Carter Smith. On top of fashion photography, he’s also a filmmaker who won a Sundance Film Festival Award for Best Short Film in 2007, for a film called Bug Crush. After that short film, he directed his first feature length film in 2008 called The Ruins, based on the novel by Scott Smith, for DreamWorks.

 

imgres-1Hunting Lane Films, from what I understand, will be producing the film version of One for Sorrow.  They’ve done movies like Half Nelson and Blue Valentine most recently.  The executive producer on the film is John Logan, who wrote the script for movies like Hugo, Any Given Sunday, and Gladiator (!!!), who also won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play for Red, the Broadway play about painter Mark Rothko.

With a crew like this, I feel like the book is in good hands.

They are most likely going to change the title, however, to Jamie Marks is Dead .  There will also be some slight changes to the novel’s version of the story, but a film based on a novel is never the same thing as a novel–they’re adaptations–so I’m looking forward to seeing how the story of Adam McCormick and Jamie Marks and Gracie Highsmith plays out in this film version of the book.

I’m not sure who all they have cast yet, but I’ve been privy to hearing about possibles, and if I can ever confirm who will be in it for my readers, I’ll be certain to update here on my website as soon as I can.

However, I’ve been shown auditions by some of the hopefuls, which were incredible, and have also seen what seems like thousands of photos from location scouting. It seems they’ll be filming in several different upstate New York locations, small towns and rural villages around the Sleepy Hollow area, which somehow seems appropriate, this being a ghost story and all.

This has been something I’ve been sitting on for so long now, so I’m really excited to finally be able to announce it! I can’t wait to see what Carter makes of my story. It will be interesting and fun to be in the reader/viewer’s seat in these circumstances.

2013, here we come!

The Next Big Thing

I was tagged by Charles Tan to take part in The Next Big Thing meme, which occurs every Friday, in which writers talk about their next book project. It’s an interesting meme, though the questions seem more pointed toward novels than any other kind of book, so I’ve tweaked some of the questions to better answer them for my next book, which is a full length short story collection. Some of the writers I’ve tagged at the end of the post for next week write poetry, not short stories or novels, so I hope they feel free to tweak this meme toward their own ends too!

So here’s my next big thing:

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What is the working title of your next book?

I have something better than a working title for my next book. I have an actual title! It’s a full-length collection of stories, not a novel, though this meme seems made for novelists. I’m going to tweak the questions liberally to make them more open-ended for writers of various kinds of books, not just novels.

The collection’s title is:  Before and Afterlives

 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

A really novel-oriented question again, though there are short story collections that ARE conceived of first as a concept, and then the stories are written to fit that concept. Angela Carter’s brilliant collection of rewritten fairy tales, for instance, The Bloody Chamber, was written with the concept in mind.

But there are also collections that come together in different ways. Some by theme, some by voice, some by a shared setting between the stories. In my case, the stories in Before and Afterlives were written over a period of decade, the first decade of my career as a writer, and though they were not written with a specific theme or style in mind, after I had written a good number of them, I noticed that I had been working with what must have been unconscious obsessions.  Hauntings, mainly. Sometimes ghosts, sometimes imaginary friends, sometimes children who have vanished but continue to exist. Though the other previously unconscious obsession I had in writing these stories was the concept of turning points—the hinges in our lives where suddenly a door opens, and we walk through into a life quite different from the one we’d been living.

When both of these obsessions were realized, the collection was easy to put together, and the title for it came after I understood how they were all bound together by the themes of hauntings and turning points. Before and Afterlives was conceived in a process of discovery, which is my usual mode of operation.

I like to surprise myself.

What genre does your book fall under?

I might have already answered this in the description of how I conceived of the collection, but briefly: it’s a mixed genre collection. In this book you will find supernatural tales, dark fantasies, a few forays into science fiction, and contemporary fantasies (I prefer using the term contemporary fantasy to urban fantasy because some of my stories take place in urban settings, and others take place in rural settings.  Occasionally I write from suburban settings as well. Urban fantasy is just too limiting a term, I think.)

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Since there are 17 stories in this collection, with many characters in them. I can’t possibly answer this question without going a little crazy, I think, so I’m going to pass on this one.

I’ll say this, I guess:  If I were to pick out someone to play the part of Rose in the first story, “What We Know About the Lost Families of — House,” it would be Lana Del Rey.

Yes, Lana Del Rey. The story is about a young woman who falls in love with a house haunted by the history of the families that have lived in it over a hundred years, all of whom came to terrible ends. As long as Lana would act as troubled and unnerved as she does in many of the videos for her music, she’d be a great Rose.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Again, very easy to synopsize a novel, but a collection of stories is a different beast. How about a one sentence description from my publisher about the book:

These are tales of relationships with unearthly domesticity and eeriness: a woman falls in love with a haunted house; a beached mermaid is substituted for a disappeared daughter; the imaginary friend of a murdered young woman stalks the streets of her small town; a mother’s teenage son is afflicted with a disease that causes him to vanish; a father exploits his daughter’s talent for calling ghosts to her; and a wife leaves her husband and children to fulfill her obligations in the world from which she escaped.

Is it cheating that he used semi-colons?  Nope. He just knows how to use semi-colons.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This is kind of an odd question, as these two things are separate things. The book will NOT be self-published. I DO have an agent, though an agent is different from a publisher. They sell your books to publishers. The book will be published by Lethe Press.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Another novel-oriented question. Since these stories were written over a period of slightly over ten years, I have to say it took about 11 years to complete the draft of this manuscript. How’s that for a long-term project?

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is a good question. The books I would compare it to would be other mixed genre collections of speculative fiction like Joe Hill’s Twentieth Century Ghosts, or Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners. Jeffrey Ford’s collection Crackpot Palace.  M. Rickert’s Holiday. Jonathan Lethem’s collection from an early part of his writing career, The Wall of the Eye, the Wall of the Sky. Theodora Goss’ collection, In the Forest of Forgetting.

You should read all of those collections, by the way.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Each of the stories has their own inspiration, which is difficult to list here, but I’ll say I’m inspired by people in my life who have marked me in some way, family and friends and people I’ve been in love with.

I’m inspired by places where I’ve lived or where I’ve spent a significant amount of time, too.  In this collection, some of those places are the beach towns of southern California, the small rural town where I grew up, Kinsman, Ohio. The nearby post-industrial cities of Warren and Youngstown, Ohio. Pittsburgh. San Francisco. The Allegheny Mountains.

And I’m also inspired by other writers like the ones whose collections I’ve compared this one to. Along with them, writers like Shirley Jackson, Angela Carter, Graham Joyce, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin (oh how I am inspired by Ursula K. Le Guin!). Jonathan Carroll. Carol Emshwiller.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Many of the stories inside it have won or been finalists for awards like The Nebula Award, The James Tiptree Jr. Award, the Spectrum Award, and have been reprinted in a variety of Year’s Best anthologies, like those edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror), Jonathan Strahan (The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year), Steve Berman (Wilde Stories) and Stephen Jones (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror).

So in essence, a lot of people have thought many of these stories were something people should read. I hope you do read the book when it comes out on March 18, 2013. And I hope you agree.

Thank you!

And in the tradition of tagging other writers for this meme:

Nin Andrews

Colleen Clayton

Karen Schubert

Richard Bowes

Alan DeNiro