New Pub: “Matters Of Scale” released by Inkstained Succubus Press!

Matters of Scale cover

I’m thrilled to announce that my novelette, “Matters Of Scale”, has been published as a stand-alone work by Inkstained Succubus Press! The issue is available for purchase here, and I encourage y’all to check it out! Here’s a synopsis of the story to whet your appetite:

Moshel has hidden himself away for years, trying to keep the emotions of others from driving him mad. It’s in mechanics alone that he can find relief, the reliable tick of clockwork his escape. It’s only when he meets his counterpart, Tovah, that he realizes all may not be as it seems in his world, and there may be a way to change it. It’s all a matter of scale.

First, many thanks to the lovely folks over at Inkstained Succubus. I was thrilled to work with them again! I wrote this story as a response to a call Inkstained put out for steampunk short stories about a year ago, and when I hear steampunk, I think clockworks, and when I think clockworks, I think about the Semadran elves in Aerdh, my secondary fantasy universe. And no Semadran elf is more Seamdran than Moshel Atoosa’Avvah.

Moshel was formally introduced in my debut novel, Resistance but I have been writing him as long as I have been writing fiction. Moshel is the very first character I fleshed out on my own, and his is the very first novel that I wrote by myself. It was terrible–maudlin and overwrought, and it will never see the light of day. But I cut my teeth on him. Over and over. And he’s evolved as I have evolved.

In his formal introduction in Resistance, readers meet Moshel as a middle-aged man, someone who knows himself well, who has figured out who he is and what he wants. He still has room to grow, to surprise himself, but he is a man in control of himself. In “Matters Of Scale”, Moshel is not there yet. He is young yet, just barely out of adolescence, and still grappling with the weight of his own mind. In Resistance, Moshel is an almost paternal figure for Shandolin–gracious and supportive and competent. But he wasn’t always like that. He chides her for being brash, but I’ve written him so long…I know Moshel. I know he had a brashness, once, too. And I saw a call for steampunk, and thought about clocksprings, and then I thought about Moshel, but young and out of control and struggling.

I’m glad this episode in Moshel’s history has come to light. I wonder what other bits and pieces of him have yet to surface.

RESISTANCE Cameos

Resistance CoverYou can purchase Resistance here directly from Inkstained Succubus (support small presses!) or here from Amazon.

Resistance is set in the secondary fantasy world of Aerdh, which to date is where most of my writing is set. I consider myself a digressive writer; by that I mean that my ideas for new stories are inspired by the one’s I’ve already written or am currently writing. The stories I write become nest, tangled and interrelated. One way this happens is by cameos.

Sometimes when I’m writing a minor character springs to life. Sometimes, they demand their own stories. This is, actually, how Resistance was born: Inkstained Succubus put out a call for self-rescuing princesses, and I knew a pair of tertiary characters who’d appeared in a few unpublished works of mine were due for their moment in the spotlight. I wrote a short story—“Proof”—about them. The anthology I wrote “Proof” for didn’t pan out, but Inkstained Succubus did me the great honor of requesting that I give Shandolin and Rivna and even brighter spotlight: their very own novel.

Maybe you’ve read Resistance and maybe you’d like to see more of some of these characters. Due to my digressive writing style there’s only a handful of people in the book who only appear there.

A Tale of Rebellion, a series of novels I’m currently mired in the middle of, features some pretty prominent cameos from our friends in Resistance. These books are just a couple of years after Resistance, and there is a meaty section in the first book, Extraction, which takes place in the City of Mages. There, we meet again Shandolin, Rivna, Moshel and even Velo and Po. Kel plays a prominent role in Extraction, appears again in its sequel (The Incoming Tide) and is shaping up to be a major character in the third book in the series (The King and His Makers).

Some characters even have their own short stories all to themselves. Moshel Atoosa’Avvah is the lead in “Matters of Scale”, a short story of mine currently in submission and open to beta readers. Rivna’s father, Pahvo, gives readers a glimpse of what life is like from his perspective in “Blue Flowers,” a short story included in Crossed Genres’ Fierce Family anthology.

Even the City itself appears again. For insight into what the City of Mages looks like quite a few years after the events of Resistance, you could check out “The Other Side of Town,” currently available to read for free over at Redhead Ezine.

Happy reading!

RESISTANCE Excerpt #4: The Schoolhouse

Resistance CoverThis is an excerpt from my novel, Resistance, out now from Inkstained Succubus Press! You can purchase Resistance here directly from Inkstained Succubus (support small presses!) or here from Amazon.

Shandolin stepped inside the Semadran schoolhouse. The lobby was cavernous. She could see all the way up to the spire seven floors above her. Staircases wound around the lobby up and up and up. Strategically placed windows flooded the lobby with natural light. Doe suspected it would have been equally well-lit at night, too. Ensconced on the walls were dozens of small clockwork lanterns.

Moshel leaned against the railing of one of the twin staircases flanking the room. His face, as usual, was carefully expressionless, but Doe could see in the tension of his body that he was not pleased to see her.

“Come with me,” he said.

Shandolin followed without a word. He led her down, into the bowels of the schoolhouse, into the dark and wet of the water wheel room. The water wheels were made of white stone, and they moved with a whisper. They were ghostly, the flashing white of the stone sometimes visible and sometimes hidden behind a translucent wall of rushing water. The room was as wide as the building itself. The strange configuration of space, broken as it was by the wheels and dark but for the flashes of naked stone, made the place eerie.

Moshel didn’t help matters. He had been in front of her, leading her, but while her attention was distracted by the water wheels, Moshel had moved to her side.

“Shandolin,” he said, and his voice echoed around the chamber.

Doe jumped. She landed against the wall, which was slick from the ambient water in the room, and clutched at her chest.

“You scared the shit out of me.”

“How dare you threaten the caretaker?” Moshel asked, but it wasn’t really a question. There was an iciness in his voice he’d never used with her before.

Her anger rose to a boil in the space of a second. “How dare I? How dare you,” she said, shoving him back with both hands with all the force she could muster. “How dare you hide away like your friends and fellows don’t need you. How dare you make that woman turn me away instead of having the balls to do it yourself.”

Moshel was quiet for a second. “I should have turned you away myself, that’s true.”

RESISTANCE has a home!

inkstainedsuccubuslogo

Hey folks! I’m happy to announce that Resistance will be published by Inkstained Succubus press! I am honored to be part of their community of authors and super excited to be working with them on my debut novel! We are currently in the editing process, and Resistance is projected to be released in February 2014.