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Jim Butcher Interview Links

Jim Butcher Interview Links published on 3 Comments on Jim Butcher Interview Links

This is a new kind of post for us. As you may know, a part of The Butcher Block’s goal is to 1) compile and transcribe interviews with Jim Butcher, and 2) earn our own interview with the author. Here is the so-called “table of contents” for that goal, starting with the most recent and continuing on further back.

FALL 2015

This one does not have new Dresden information, but since a lot of us are aspiring writers, this is writing advice gold:

October 12, 2015 Author Stories Podcast with Hank Garner

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Interviews from The Aeronaut’s Windlass Tour:

Several of these interviews contain a lot of information about The Aeronaut’s Windlass (as they should). We look forward to someday analyzing the crap out of the Cinder Spires, but we will have to wait until several more are published. If you have not yet read it, you are in for a treat. In almost every interview, he mentions how much fun he had writing it, and it shows. It’s breathless, breath-taking, fun, and generally any positive adjective you can think of.

October 02, 2015 The Aeronaut’s Windlass Tour – Petaluma
Interview and Transcript

October 02, 2015 The Aeronaut’s Windlass Tour – Google
Google Interview and Transcript

October 01, 2015 The Aeronaut’s Windlass Tour – Skokie
Interview and Transcript

September 22, 2015 Reddit AMA
Reddit AMA – Dresden Information

September 21, 2015 DRAGON*CON!
Interview and Transcript!

SPRING 2015

April 12, 2015 Easter*Con
Interview and Transcript

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Does The Butcher Block have a chance at scoring our very own interview?

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Book Spotlight: Shadows Collide by Dan Levinson

Book Spotlight: Shadows Collide by Dan Levinson published on No Comments on Book Spotlight: Shadows Collide by Dan Levinson

Shadows Collide cover

About This Book

The Orion Psi Corps is in shambles, the dead still being counted. And though Orion’s retaliation has begun, Calchis isn’t finished yet.

New Axom City—that’s where Nyne Allen has taken refuge in the wake of his desertion from Orion. Soon, it will become a battlefield, as forces from both sides barrel toward a collision that will change the world forever.

Meanwhile, in the Far East, Aaron Waverly learns the truth behind the red-robed man, and discovers a destiny that might one day spell the end of the world as he knows it.

Excerpt

1.

JANE DOE

Date Unknown

Location Unknown

 

1.
JANE DOE
Date Unknown
Location Unknown

The air was on fire.

As the blaze embraced her, she raised her hands, shielded her eyes; the billows of flame engulfed her as she screamed her defiance. The world blinked shut, like an eye closing, and when it opened once more, she saw faces, murmuring alarm. She tried to tell them they should leave her be, let her die in peace, her body still ablaze as if subsumed in the inferno. Yet before she could speak, wings of darkness enveloped her, carried her into oblivion.

When she surfaced again, she saw glaring lights.

She lay upon a gurney, moving swiftly through florescent-lit halls, the acrid stench of burned hair like a halo around her. Again, faces peered at her, their voices a low babble, distorted, as if through a tunnel. When a sudden movement jarred her, she howled, her vocal cords raw, like pulverized meat. Even the air rushing by tormented her.

What had happened?

She glanced about, eyes rolling, unable to move her head. A sign loomed above: Burn Ward. Another jolt shook her, and an animal sound escaped her throat as she lapsed again into unconsciousness.


She awoke in a white, sterile room, and for a moment thought she was somewhere familiar. But the hospital room was only an echo of a place she couldn’t quite recall, the memory slipping from her like sand through a sieve. She shifted in her bed, gasped, and only then looked down at her arms and hands, covered in bandages, the rest of her hidden beneath a thin, tan wool blanket. She could feel where those bandages compressed her flesh, chafed her raw throat, her belly, breasts, legs, and feet.

To her left, she saw a morphine drip, but could not reach it, the effort of moving her arm more than she could bear. She tried to cry for help, but now her voice came only in croaks and whimpers. She was trapped in her scorched body, no one to help her, while machines and monitors mocked her with ceaseless beeping.

A male nurse walked by the room, peered through the door’s glass pane, and she met his eyes, silently begging him for aid. He ran off, and for those next interminable minutes, each second seemed to her a test of will simply to exist. An inner voice told her to be strong, that she could make it through this, and she clung to it, the vague notion that she could endure all that she had. Mentally, she counted, One, two, three, four, five, those numbers like a life raft, though she did not know why.

At last, the doctor arrived—an austere, dark-haired man in a white coat, his eyes gauging her behind silver-framed glasses. She could read the pity on his face. “My name is Dr. Shipley,” he said. “You’ve been involved in a very bad accident. I don’t mean to alarm you, but you’ve suffered third degree burns over sixty percent of your body. Do you understand?”

She tried to nod while her mind processed. An accident? Of course. How else could she have ended up like this?

“How’s the pain?” Shipley asked. “I can increase the painkillers if you—”

“Hurts,” she rasped, her voice like sandpaper.

Shipley adjusted the morphine. “Your esophagus is damaged, from inhaling superheated air. I’ll ask a couple more questions, but keep your answers to one or two words. After that, no talking. Okay?”

She nodded again as the painkillers entered her system, making her woozy.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

She opened her mouth to reply, then closed it, the answer elusive. The pain had so consumed her that, until now, she hadn’t realized the details of her life were whispers and shadows lurking in unseen corners of her mind. She couldn’t remember her name, nor the accident, nor anything else. She choked back a sob, the force of it stabbing at her injured body.

“You don’t know?” Shipley asked.

Feebly, she shook her head.

“Well,” Shipley said, “given the trauma you’ve been through, it’s not unheard of. Unfortunately, when you were found, you had no identification, and your hands are too badly burned for us to take fingerprints. But don’t worry. When you’ve had the chance to recover, I’m sure it’ll come back to you.” He offered her a reassuring smile.

She knew he was trying to comfort her, and so restrained the urge to tell him to go fuck himself. Don’t worry too much? What kind of advice was that?

“Is the pain still bad?” he asked her. He fiddled with the drip again, and the room grew hazy, indistinct, before she could manage a word.

When she opened her eyes, the room was dark, all shapes indistinct save the colors on the monitor feeds. Burning, throbbing blanketed her. She rolled her head to the side, saw that the window shade lay slightly open, revealing the lights of an unfamiliar city—the greens and reds of traffic signals, the whites of far-off windows, the myriad colors of illuminated billboards. She had no idea where she was.

Despairing, she wept, and as the grief shuddered through her, it ignited her body anew, though she could do nothing to stem her tears. “Why?” she murmured. What sin had she committed that she was being punished so? “Why did this happen?” She didn’t care that she was not supposed to speak, for hearing her own voice reassured her; it was an anchor, even if it was a whisper.

And that was what she had become, she realized. A shadow of her former self.

A whisper.

 

About the Author

51tHGgkCExL._UX250_Dan Levinson is a NY-based writer of speculative fiction. Trained as an actor at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts, he also writes for the stage and screen. He grew up immersing himself in fantastical worlds, and now creates them. In addition to the Psionic Earth series, he is also the author of the upcoming YA fantasy novel The Ace of Kings, first book of The Conjurer’s Cycle.
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Author Links

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

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Interview: Tim Marquitz, writer of ZILF!

Interview: Tim Marquitz, writer of ZILF! published on No Comments on Interview: Tim Marquitz, writer of ZILF!

About the Author

11146109_776005002517862_703355410499549462_nIf you aren’t reading the books of Tim Marquitz because you haven’t heard of Tim Marquitz, you should probably know that you no longer have that excuse. You’re looking at his face right now. Look at it. You saw his name up in that title. It’s right there in damned bold font. I made it bold myself. You’ve now heard of Tim Marquitz.

Tim Marquitz is the author of the long running Demon Squad series, the Blood War Trilogy, co-author of the Dead West series, as well as several standalone books, and numerous anthology appearances including Triumph Over Tragedy, Corrupts Absolutely?, That Hoodoo Voodoo that You Do, Widowmakers, At Hell’s Gates 1&3, Neverland’s Library, Blackguards, SNAFU Survival of the Fittest, Future Warfare, and Hunters (Cohesion Press), In the Shadow of the Towers (Night Shade), and Unbound (Grim Oak Press).

Tim also collaborated on Memoirs of a MACHINE, the story of MMA pioneer John Machine Lober.

Tim is co-owner and Editor in Chief of Ragnarok Publications.

He’s a damned magician is what he is. If you’ve been burned before by having to wait years for the next book in a series, he’s the balm for your burn–apply liberally.

We have been fortunate to secure an interview with Tim on the kick-off date to his Kickstarter campaign for the novel ZILF!.

Author’s Links

Ragnarok Publications
Webpage
Twitter
Facebook

About the Kickstarter

Join Ashford Dane as his post-apocalyptic existence is thrown into chaos by the sudden arrival of a ZILF!

Yeah, you know what I’m talkin’ about. If not, look it up. I’ll wait…

Comfortably situated at the end of the world Ash stumbles across a group of soldiers traveling through his neighborhood and meets Vix, the hottest pseudo-corpse since Lily Munster. Lonely, and mostly bored off his ass, Ash invites them to dinner only to have uninvited guests show up for a nibble. A cannibalistic nibble, that is, and these guys like their meat burnt.

Ash’s home and a lifetime of supplies go up in flames and he’s forced to flee with the soldiers. Nowhere else to go he joins their mission: To hunt down the only scientist capable of saving Vix from the horrible infection that threatens to turn her into a full blown zombie.

Things just go downhill from there, hordes of zombies standing between them and their goal. But hey, if they succeed maybe then Ash’ll stand a chance of escaping the dreaded friend zone.

Like the Demon Squad novels, ZILF! will be jam-packed with crazy action, adventure, and excitement, as well as chock full of witty one liners and topical humor (likely requiring some kind of cream) with all the zombie tropes turned on their decayed little heads in fun and interesting ways.

The plan is to have Carter Reid, that guy from the Zombie Nation and the cover artist for the Demon Squad novels since book three, whip up an awe-inspiring cover that, not only will I be proud to showcase, but that YOU’ll be super stoked to stare at endlessly, wishing you were standing right there with Ash and Vix. On top of that, Carter will craft five scenes from ZILF! to be included in the book in black and white. (I will post pictures of Carter’s ZILF! art as soon as I have something.)

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Interview

Galleywampus (GW): How did your idea for a zombie comedy take shape?

Tim Marquitz (TM): As I often do, I found myself scrounging for fun zombie entertainment, something in the vein of Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead. Sadly it’s rarer than you think. Anyway, while I was searching I started thinking about the standard zombie tropes and imagining what a fun zombie romp would include. Then it hit me that I could simply write my own and get exactly what I wanted. So I started brainstorming and came up with my protagonist, Ashford Dane (a nod to Evil Dead.) As soon as I envisioned him my brain immediately kicked into gear and I knew just who I needed to play as a foil against Ash’s nerdy, LARPing self: a hot zombie.

GW: What can you tell us about your protagonist, Ashford Dane?

TM: Ash is your stereotypical gamer/LARP nerd. He lives alone, no girlfriend, no prospects, but he’s fairly well versed in hitting things and knows all the zombie lore from years of role playing. As such he was ready when the end of the world came along.

GW: What does ZILF mean? I mean, obviously, it couldn’t possible mean, uh…

TM: That’s exactly what it means. Zombie I’d like to …. That said, ZILF isn’t erotica, it’s comedy, however juvenile.

GW: Who would make the sexiest zombie?

TM: I have to say Keira Knightley. She’s beautiful and she’s halfway to being a skeleton already yet she still looks amazing. Another step toward the undead wouldn’t hurt her a bit.

GW: You’re about to take out some zombies. You put on your gigantic earphones and flip on your Walkman: who is playing? In other words, best music to play while killing zombies.

TM: For fun I’d turned on Carcass and blast Reek of Putrefaction. I think “Maggot Colony” would be the perfect complement to zombie killing.

GW: Zombies: Fast or slow?

TM: I prefer the visual of the slow zombie but my preference would be to mix them up, give the good guys a bit of a challenge by never knowing which ones they’ll be facing down.

GW: How has writing this novel differed from your other works, like Demon Squad or Clandestine Daze?

TM: It’s actually much closer to my Demon Squad stuff than Clandestine Daze. The humor is lowbrow and it’s a little off the wall. That said, the idea was to play more into the idea of normal people battling against the apocalypse than the Demon Squad, the power levels way different. This is more a traditional zombie romp in scale but if you like the DS books you’ll find plenty to enjoy here, the pacing and action and visuals all there.

GW: What is the best part of Kickstarting a novel? What’s the hard part?

TM: You know, I’ve never Kickstarted a novel before. This is something new for me. Ultimately though, I think Kickstarting it provides me with a bunch of opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise. The ability to include fun interior art pieces and to create merchandise and actually include the readers in the book make this way more fun than me slapping down a bunch of words by myself. Also, from a marketing perspective, it seems like the idea could break down a few doors and get the book out to a wider audience.

The hard part is all the preparation and fulfillment. I’m no longer just writing a novel that I publish right after. I now need to create all the rewards and write the extra bits and pieces if the stretch goals are reached. Then I need to organize everything and get books and rewards out to people quickly. There’s a whole lot more to the process than my normal way of doing things.

GW: What are you working on next?

TM: I have a couple projects I’m working on. The first is a comedic dark fantasy novel entitled War God Rising. Like ZILF it’s fun and action-packed and off the wall. Then there’s my Tales of a Prodigy novel, which stars my eunuch assassin from the Neverland’s Library, Blackguards, and Unbound anthologies. It’s way darker and more serious than ZILF or WGR but I’ve been wanting to write that one for a while now. After that I have a monster novel I’ve been invited to write.

GW: Thank you, Tim.

Lost in Lovecraft: Two Anthologies of Weird Horror

Lost in Lovecraft: Two Anthologies of Weird Horror published on No Comments on Lost in Lovecraft: Two Anthologies of Weird Horror
This is a totally normal picture of myself and my totally normal baby. Nothing to see here, move along.
This is a totally normal picture of myself and my totally normal baby. Nothing to see here, move along.

What was I thinking? Seriously. I agreed to review a pair of Lovecraft anthologies, nearly back to back.

My brain has been bombarded by some twisted, disturbing tales. There were some standouts in each anthology, and I will mention these.

I’ll be writing a separate review for each anthology, highlighting what I felt were the strengths of each grouping. I will not be comparing the two to each other overmuch. They really are unique from one another–each has a distinct tone, brought about by the excellent editing skills of Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles (She Walks in Shadows from Innsmouth Free Press) and Kat Rocha (Whispers from the Abyss from 01 Publishing).

Full disclosure: I’m an H.P. Lovecraft virgin. After reading what happens to virgins in these books, I’m sort of okay with that. I hate that I haven’t read the material that inspired these tales. Sure, I’ve played some tabletop games, observed South Park’s quite obviously accurate representation of Cthulhu, and even own a shirt with Cthulhu as the greater of the evils for the 2016 election. I’ve become accustomed to the culture without reading the tales. That hasn’t changed recently, but I feel that I have a much better grasp of the mystique of the Mythos.

 

She Walks in Shadows

She Walks in Shadows Cover

Released 10/13/2015 by Innsmouth Free Press.

This is a dark book. A dark, disturbing, terrible book. I enjoyed it immensely. Of the two publications I’m reviewing, this one is willing to dig more deeply into taboo subjects. Rape and torture frequent these tales, and left me queasy.

All of the stories, illustrations, and the cover were created by women. It was edited by women.

On the one hand, this book is a triumph for women who have been told that women just don’t do Lovecraft. According to Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles, co-editors of this work, “The first spark was the notion, among some fans of the Lovecraft Mythos, that women do not like to write in this category, that they can’t write in this category.”

On the other hand, ignoring, if you must, the gender of the writers, this is a hell of a compilation of stories.

Some of my favorites were some of the darkest. I can’t go into every story here, because I have a totally normal, non-possessed child to hug in the morning and I like to sleep, so I’ll pick a few of my favorites and pull a Reading Rainbow and tell you to go read it yourself, you rapscallion. That’s what Burton says, right?

I really enjoyed “Turn Out the Light” by Penelope Love. The pre-note states that this is “A re-imagining of the life and death of Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft.” This story finds a gentle lens for Lovecraft, despite the content matter. The disordered narrative works perfectly for the tale of Lovecraft’s childhood and his mother’s institutionalization and death. A bit of darkness, of Lovecraft’s Mythos, enters the otherwise real events.

Nadia Bulin’s “Violet is the Color of Your Energy” is not for the faint of heart. The first paragraph is a winner:

Abilgail Gardner Nee Cuzak was sitting on the bathroom floor, thinking about the relationship that mice in mazes have with death, when a many-splendored light shot down from the stars like a touch of divine Providence.

This opening line really does reflect the rest of the story in intriguing ways. This one really bothered me, which is probably a good thing. Abigail Gardner, her children, and her husband start this tale out perfectly normal, and by the end of the tale of weird corn, insanity and plenty of deaths Spoilers can be highlighted within the parentheses (if the deaths of children at the hands of their own parents bother you, as well as a dead dog, don’t touch this one) we are left with a blunt, hard ending. My heart hurt during and after this work. I had to set down the Kindle and do some story-planning to get my mind right. This story is written expertly, and I’ll keep my peepers open for other works by Bulin.

Molly Tanzer’s “Cheerleading Squad” took a delightful tone shift from the prior works in the anto. It features some Christian cheerleaders, is set during the early 1990s (I think, based on DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince reference) and featuring an H.P. Lovecraft character via the gender-bending (or is she>) Asenath who returns from summer with a whole new look and attitude. (I used Google). I felt like the story used some expectations of the genre to turn our perceptions upside down.

Whispers from the Abyss

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Released 10/11/2013 by 01 Publishing.

I think I received a copy of this book because a second installment just peeked over the horizon. It certainly doesn’t hurt to remind people, “Hey, Whispers from the Abyss was pretty good, and wouldn’t you like another helping of sea monsters, demonic beings and Old Gods?” Well, yeah! Why not?

While there were a great many stories here, and the serious ones are also entertaining, My favorites in this anthology were generally humorous. The stories are often short.

“Iden-Inshi” by Greg Stolze has an intriguing voice to it. It’s dark, grows progressively darker, and ends down a deep, deep well of darkness.

“My Friend Fishfinger by Daisy, Age 7” by David Tallerman is short, but there is a fun bit of dark irony to it. Look, just don’t trust these fishy people, okay kid?

“The Decorative Water Feature of Nameless Dread” by James Brogden was humorous. I enjoyed the couple listening to a radio program in which a caller is trying to get help identifying a strange creature that has encroached upon his property. Just a little Deep One is all.

Erica Satifka’s “You Will Never be the Same” felt like a dark science fiction tale: an episode of Doctor Who, maybe, or a short, Lovecraftian version of This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman. I wanted to know more about the world that gave birth to the events of the story. Yes, there’s the Lovecraftian Mythos, but there’s something else there, too: a ship traveling across dangerous space and the madness therein.

Also available:

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From Goodreads: The WHISPERS FROM THE ABYSS anthology series returns with more H.P. Lovecraft-inspired fiction created for readers on the go. Contained within are 25 spine-chilling tales by Laird Barron (The Imago Sequence), Cody Goodfellow (Spore), Greg Stolze (Delta Green), A.C. Wise (Future Lovecraft), John Palisano (Dust of the Dead), John C. Foster (Dead Men), Orrin Grey (Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts), Dennis Detwiller (Delta Green), Chad Fifer (The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast), Konstantine Paradise (Coven), and many more. Now come, begin your slow descent into madness…

This can be purchased at Amazon, and other book retailers.

Tourist in Comicbooklandia 2: Backmatter Matters

Tourist in Comicbooklandia 2: Backmatter Matters published on No Comments on Tourist in Comicbooklandia 2: Backmatter Matters

No Mercy coverI used to be an English teacher. In fact the change in my work identify has been so recent that I had a very difficult time typing that very simple declaration. Having worked in education for fifteen years, I have made tons of friends in a variety of professional contexts. My circle of friends is mostly comprised of readerly types who can eloquently persuade me to pick up a book. One such friend posted a picture on her Instagram about Issue 2 of No Mercy by Alex De Campi, Carla Speed McNiel, and Jenn Manley Lee. She mentioned the creators, telling them that she couldn’t wait for the next installment.

That was all it took. I went to the comic book store and picked up issues 1 and 2. The women behind this book know what they are doing with the story: diverse group of teenagers in a foreign land leaving us with cliffhangers. They also know what they are doing with the backmatter, the extra stuff that single issue buyers get in the back of the comic.

In addition to the standard note to the reader and letters from readers, No Mercy runs an emoji recap contest.

I repeat: an emoji recap contest.

Brilliant, right?!

nunIt is obvious that everyone can appreciate emoji recaps of comic books, but it seems odd to enjoy letters to the creators in the back of comic books given the easy access I have to various forums out there filled with readers discussing comics. Just because I can easily navigate to a forum does not mean that I can easily devote time to reading all the content. I love that the internet offers opportunities for all to be heard. However, when I don’t have time, I do enjoy reading a curated list of letters to the creators. Often the creators answer questions posed in the letters. I love this reminder that there is a community of people out there who love comic books enough to write and send letters.

This backmatter does not make it into trade paperbacks. The only way to get the content is to purchase single issues. Fantastic backmatter means I am more likely to purchase single issues. My favorite backmatter generally involves essays. Two books on my pull list provide both amazing letter sections and essay content: The Fade Out and Bitch Planet.


The Fade Out from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is perfect reading for a girl like me: a girl who likes watching Turner Classic Movies, a girl who named her son after a titan of hardboiled detective fiction, a girl who loves voiceovers in movies. I read the first four issues of this one in trade paperback, but starting pulling immediately thereafter. I discovered in Issue 5 the best letters and essays. The writers invite the readers to send in answers to questions such as “Who is your favorite actor from the 1940s. The responses from the readers have helped me create a list of movies from the 1940s to watch in the future. The backmatter essays are about actors from the 1940s. We’ve already established that I love Turner Classic Movies. These essays are sort of like when Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz provide background on the movie that is about to be shown on TCM.


Bitch Planet from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro also have essay content in addition to the letters. Since Bitch Planet is a “women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation riff,” the amazing essays are on feminism and feminist issues. The letters often feature readers expressing gratitude that a story of non-compliant women is being told. There are not many spaces where I get to see feminism have a space to breathe. Feminism is often discussed online, but when everyone gets to comment, it becomes a battle. This is not a battle space; it is a safe space.

maxresdefaultI would be amiss to neglect the backmatter in from the new Archie series by Mark Waid.

The new Archie comic is amazing. It is charming and up-to-date. I honestly am surprised by how much I like it. It feels like a fresh story about teenagers. The backmatter called “An Introduction to Classic Archie” is written by Mark Waid. After each issue he present an old Archie story from the 1940s. The juxtaposition of 2015 Archie with early 1940s Archie is fun for readers who value all things vintage. I appreciate Waid’s commentary to help guide my reading of the classic story that follows. And the classic story brings treats in the form of hilarious fashion and slang.

Comic books with backmatter are a treat. A reader gets a serialized story, fantastic art, interesting essays, a reminder of community, and the occasional fun contest. If you are lucky, emoji are involved.

Book Blitz, Interview, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Falling in Deep Collection

Book Blitz, Interview, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Falling in Deep Collection published on No Comments on Book Blitz, Interview, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Falling in Deep Collection

fallingindeep

Falling in Deep Collection

by Various Authors
Release Date: September 21st 2015

Summary

A huge collection of fourteen unique mermaid tales with over 900 pages of enchanting stories from award-winning and best-selling authors.

From mermaids to sirens, Miami to Athens, dark paranormal romance to contemporary stories with steam, the fourteen award-winning and best-selling authors of the FALLING IN DEEP COLLECTION are bringing you mermaid tales like you’ve never seen before. A note to the reader: these are some steamy tales, and there are some steamy encounters in the excerpt below.

Table of Contents

“Scales” by Pauline Creeden
“Ink: A Mermaid Romance” by Melanie Karsak
“Of Ocean and Ash” by A. R. Draeger
“Deep Breath” by J. M. Miller
“At the Heart of the Deep” by Carrie Wells
“The Mermaid’s Den” by Ella Malone
“The Water is Sweeter” by Eli Constant
“The Glass Mermaid” by Poppy Lawless
“An Officer & a Mermaid” by Blaire Edens
“How to be a Mermaid” by Erin Hayes
“Cold Water Bridegroom” by B. Brumley
“Immersed” by Katie Hayoz
“Siren’s Kiss” by Margo Bond Collins
“To Each His Own” by Anna Albergucci

Falling in Deep Collection is on sale for $0.99 through September 28th

Interview

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Author of “Ink: A Mermaid Romance” – Melanie Karsak

1. What is your favorite mermaid story or myth?

When I was a teen, I fell in love with the Slavic/Russian novels written by C. J. Cherryh, including her work Rusulka. Rusulka is the story about a drowned girl who becomes a haunted spirit. Rusulka are prevelant in Slavic myth. They are often depicted as spirits, but sometimes they appear as nymphs or water sprites. I was really inspired by Cherryh’s Rusulka character.

2. What was the inspiration for your mermaid novella?

I moved to Florida about five years ago, and I was really inspired by all the sights on the coast. We’ve taken trips to Miami on a few occasions. I enjoy the architecture, but dislike the vibe of the city. It’s the same vibe Ink feels when she is there (sorry, Miami). I live on the Space Coast, not far from NASA, and I love this area. We are close to Cocoa Beach which has the feel of a “once-happening” place. There is a quaint charm to its faded, sea-side glory. I adore Cocoa Village, a quaint downtown area. There are lovely little shops and old oak trees with Spanish moss. It was the perfect setting for Ink’s eventual rendezvous with a good friend.

3. Cast your characters. If your novella was made into a movie, who would play your main characters?

Ink is hard to cast, but I would probably choose someone like Megan Fox.

For Hal, I would definitely cast Jason Momoa. Because, well, Jason Momoa.

4. What was most challenging thing writing about mermaids?

The world building! Oh my gosh, it took me forever to figure out just how “under the sea” functioned in terms of a society. There was nothing to go from so I just made it all up! It took a lot more time and brain-power than I expected.

5. Ursula or Ariel?

Ursula’s attitude with Ariel’s looks. Ariel is too “I need a man” for me. Ursula is too “I need power” for Ink. But they both have good qualities.

I actually really love cecaelia, mer-octopus like Ursula. They play an important role in Ink.

6. What else should we know about your novella?

There are alligator shifters and nyotaimori (Google it). I now know way more about alligator mating calls than a normal person would find useful. Don’t judge me by my Google searches.

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Excerpt

from “The Mermaid’s Den” by Ella Malone

I made my choice quickly and left in the middle of the night. I swam south, feeling the water warm slightly as I approached the Massachusetts coast. Familiar with the area from years of fishing there, I knew Southern Point and slid myself onto the rocks. I sat there in the cool, late-summer air, feeling the briskness of the sea breeze and a slight sting of the spray against my newly formed legs.

Developing legs was always a sensuous experience to me. I watched my scales turn from their bright, inky blue to a honey color as they bleached before my eyes. Then they slowly turned smooth moments before my ankles separated and my toes lost their webbing. I felt supple and exotic as a human. I held a mystery that no one else knew or shared.

Legs also reminded me of Diana. We would find a beach free of humans and lie together, kissing and touching in the sand as our bodies transitioned from mer to human. Our tails would slowly change from beautiful fins to strong, elegant legs.

Diana moved slowly with me. None of her rapid, curt movements existed in our meetings. Those motions belonged to her royal self, not the one we shared. With me she lingered in her own skin, her hands in mine, our lips caressing necks, shoulders, and breasts.

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