Matt Mayr

mmMatt Mayr

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Bad City – post-apocalyptic science fiction

Quick description: In the violent world of post-apocalyptic South Town, Eli Baxter is king, ruling from the thirteenth floor of his building while henchman do his bidding. Simon Gray, a talented young thief, now disillusioned with South Town, is desperate to escape with the woman he loves. As he plots their journey north, glimpses of his childhood in South India and Northern Ontario reveal the world as it once was, fueling his desire to break away. But when he’s handed a new job, one that will make Eli untouchable, Simon realizes that escape – and transcendence to love and a peaceful way of life – might be harder than he thought.

Dark, atmospheric, and gritty, Bad City is the debut novel by Matt Mayr and was a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.

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Brief biography:
Matt Mayr grew up in a small mining community north of Lake Superior, where he learned to hunt and fish from a very young age. He holds an Honours English Degree from York University, and attended the Humber School for Writers mentorship program twice. He has traveled extensively in India, Nepal, and South America, trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp, and paddling deep into the Amazon Basin. He lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter where he is working on his next novel.

Links to buy Matt’s book:
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
Amazon
Kobo
iTunes

Matt’s promo links:
Facebook
Twitter
EDGE

What are you working on now?
I am about half way through the first draft of a literary fiction that takes place in a Northern Ontario logging town. If all goes well, I’ll have it ready to submit to my agent by spring.

Matt’s reading recommendation:
Milky Way Repo by Michael Prelee is a blue-collar science fiction story, also available from EDGE Publishing, under the EDGE Lite Imprint.

Randy McCharles

Today’s Reading Recommendation is an author living in Calgary who I have known for several years. In fact, I met Randy McCharles at a talk I gave at the Calgary Public Library when he was the first person to buy a copy of my (very) recently released eBook! I wanted to give Randy an extra shout-out here at the beginning of his promotion because, as is typical of him, he has been very humble in answering my questions regarding his non-authorial accomplishments in the Calgary writing community. For instance, Randy conceived and has become the Grand Poobah of the extremely successful annual conference, When Words Collide, that dares to promote and celebrate authors, books and writing of ALL genres. This year’s conference takes place next weekend, Aug. 8-10, and it sold out in record time, long ago, so even if you happen to be in Calgary you won’t be able to attend unless you’ve already registered. However, keep this conference in mind for next year – it’s a good one, and is growing with every new year! Now, here’s Randy to tell you about the authorial side of his life!

Randy McCharles Randy McCharles

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Necromancer Candle – Contemporary Fantasy

Quick description: The Necromancer Candle is a collection of 3 contemporary fantasy novellas that combine mystery and humor. Everyday people face ancient evils while dealing with modern relationship troubles. Emotions run from horror to despair to anger to laughter. Enjoy the ride!

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Brief biography:
Randy McCharles is active in Calgary, Alberta’s writing community with a focus on speculative fiction, usually of the wickedly humorous variety. A multiple Aurora Award-winner (Canada’s most prestigious award for speculative fiction), Randy’s fiction can be found in various publications from Edge Press, CreateSpace, House of Anansi, Reality Skimming Press, and Year’s Best Fantasy 9 (David Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer, ed). Randy’s 2014 titles include The Necromancer Candle (Edge Press) and Capone’s Chicago (CreateSpace). In addition to writing, Randy organizes events for readers and writers including the When Words Collide literary festival, A Taste of Local Authors reading series, and the Rocky Mountain Writers Retreat. Randy also teaches courses for writers at the Alexandra Writers Centre.

Capone's Chicago

Links to buy Randy’s book:
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy

Randy’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

What are you working on now?
I work on multiple projects at once. Much Ado About Macbeth is a contemporary fantasy in its final draft. When drama teacher Paul Samson decides to put on a High School production of Macbeth, he forgets that it isn’t just The Scottish Play, it is The Cursed Play. And Paul soon learns just how cursed. After grappling with his principal, the PTA, his family, and his students, he must contend with witches, ghosts, and skeletons from his past. The show is destined from the outset to end badly, but no matter how desperate or dangerous circumstances become, Paul cannot cancel the play. Theater has but one rule and one rule only: the show must go on.

In earlier stages is A Connecticut Gumshoe In King Arthur’s Court. Sam Sparrow was a bad cop and a worse private detective. But when he is miraculously whisked away from certain death at the hand of hoodlums, only to find himself working cases in King Arthur’s Court, it may just be the chance he needs to address his trust issues while at the same time proving himself worthy of his elusive idol, Sam Spade.

Randy’s reading recommendation:
I just finished Plague by C. C. Humphries, a brilliant historical mystery set in black plague London.

Randy McCharles was previously featured on Reading Recommendations, Jan. 23, 2014, as collaborating member of The Apocalyptic Four.

Donna Glee Williams

Donna  Molly cropped Donna Glee Williams

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My fantasy novel The Braided Path was released on March 15, 2014

Quick description: Envision a world that is a wall. There’s no North or South, East or West. There is only upworld and downworld, held together by a single path—until that world and its cliff-dwelling society are torn apart by an earthquake. That’s the setting for my 78,000-word multicultural literary fantasy, The Braided Path, a parable about what happens when three characters set out to find the limits of their world, and of themselves. Len Rope-Maker is a widowed mother who lives on a narrow terrace of this world—Home Village—from which the one path leads above and below. Most youths quickly learn the upper and lower limits to which they can travel, but not her son Cam. He shows promise of growing into a Far-Walker, one of the rare few whose work is to carry goods and news to distant villages, up and down the cliff that is all his people know. Torn between his hunger to climb and his love for his sweetheart, Fox, Cam sets off to find the top of the world—and discovers that his vertical reality has another side, where the world is slanted, many-pathed, complex, and baffling. Meanwhile, as a premature child is born and the path breaks in two, Len and Fox quest in opposite directions. All three will find new love and new lives, testing and surpassing their own boundaries as they seek the bottom of the world and a way to braid their divided paths back into one.

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Brief biography:
I was born in Mexico, the daughter of a Kentucky farm-girl and a Texas Aggie large-animal veterinarian. I’ve been a lot of places; now, I live in the hills of North Carolina, but I stayed the longest in New Orleans and still call it home. These days I earn my daily bread as a dream and creativity coach and by leading seminars on writing, the Universe, and everything, but in the past I’ve done the dance as turnabout crew (aka, “maid”) on a schooner, as a librarian, as an environmental activist, as a registered nurse, as a teacher, and for a long stint as a professional student. The craft society of The Braided Path owes a lot to the time I’ve spent hanging out in villages in Spain, Italy, Israel, Turkey, India, and Mexico.

Links to buy Donna Glee’s book:
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy website
Amazon Worldwide – eBook
Amazon US – paperback
Amazon Canada – paperback

Donna Glee’s promo links:
My website, about as low-tech as the world of my novel, has links to some of my stories that are available to read for free at various online sites like the wonderful Strange Horizons, PodCastle, and PseudoPod.

Donna Glee’s video introduction to The Braided Path

I can be contacted through the website, or readers can connect with me through Facebook or LinkedIn (as Donna Glee Williams). If your book group or school would like to arrange for a phone or face visit, please reach out to me and I’ll do my best to make it happen.

What are you working on now?
I’m working with super-agent Richard Curtis, looking for a home for my second novel, DREAMERS, about a young dream-oracle trapped in a life not of her choosing. A bigger marketing challenge I need to spend some time with is TIME AT THE CENTER, an odd little allegorical fantasy—think Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Little Prince, The Man Who Planted Trees, or Tolkien’s Leaf by Niggle. On the new writing front, I’m working on the discovery draft of a quest tale about a young girl who is born into an aboriginal culture that trains trees. Because of an unexplainable poison that is pouring down from above their world, Pynpoi climbs the cliff up to the plains of the ancestors to face the dead of her people and demand an explanation, but finds herself facing instead a complex world of real, living people who are more alien than the ancestors could ever be. I’m also preparing to do some scouting this summer for a long-time dream: To lead some writers and aspiring writers on a writing/hiking safari in Scotland. I’m talking with fellow fantasy-writer Sarah McGuire (author of the forthcoming VALIANT, a fabulous retelling of “The Brave Little Tailor”) about teaming up for this. If any readers are interested in this kind of creative adventure, they should get in touch with me and I’ll put them on the list to hear from us as soon as we get the details together.

Donna Glee`s reading recommendation:
Because I’m trying to find a publisher for an odd little book, Patricia Lee Gauch recommended that I take a look at Algonquin’s The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. Amazing. It baffled me, at first, how the author managed to make the story of a woman’s relationship with a snail so riveting. The more I thought about it, the more it seems that the emotional power of this book lies in the way the story she tells explicitly (about the snail) also conveys an implied story (about a woman’s tragic loss of her ability to live her life). I’ve also been knocked sockless recently by Room. The narrative point of view in this astonishing book is so eerily alien that it almost feels like science fiction, although it’s contemporary realism. I loved discovering John Green: Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and especially The Fault in Our Stars. (Never neglect an author because they write for “young adults” and you’re an “adult”.) The Fault in Our Stars touched me especially because, as a pediatric nurse, I knew many young cancer patients and I’m grateful to Green for putting some of their stories out in front of us, with honesty and humor.

Oh, boy—you asked for a book or an author, and I’ve gone on and on. That’s the risk in asking writers about books, I guess.

Janice Blaine

Janice_photo_formatted Janice Blaine

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Urban Green Man Anthology (co-editor/illustrator/designer)
Genre: Urban Fantasy Anthology from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

Quick description: The Urban Green Man is a collection of 31 short stories and poems from an international cast of authors that explore the myth of the Green Man in contemporary society. Edited by Adria Laycraft and Janice Blaine. Introduction by Charles de Lint.

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Brief biography:
Janice Blaine is an Aurora nominated artist working out of Calgary, Alberta. Throughout her career, she has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from pre-production animation to design and illustration of children’s books. She is co-editor and illustrator of The Urban Green Man Anthology, and her illustrations have appeared on the covers of numerous books and magazines. Her most recent illustrated book, The Funny Farm written by Gordon R. Perry, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best Book in the Children’s Interest category. She currently works as the Production Manager of EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.

Links to buy Janice’s book:
Urban Green Man website
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing catalogue

Janice’s promo links:
Painter’s Block Studio website
Urban Green Man Anthology website

What are you working on now?
I’m currently illustrating several self-published children’s books which are due to be released later this year. I also have ongoing personal paintings that I post in progress on my website at the following link:
http://www.paintersblock.com/worksinprogress.htm

Janice’s reading recommendation:
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Janice’s co-editor on The Green Man Anthology, Adria Laycraft, was previously featured on Reading Recommendations.

Michael J. Martineck

Michael_photo Michael J. Martineck

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Milkman, science fiction.

Quick description: Nations are extinct. The world works for one of three companies. There are no codified laws, but murder is still bad for the bottom line. That’s why everyone’s looking for the Milkman.

Milkman

Brief biography: Michael’s latest novel is The Milkman (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy). His last novel, Cinco de Mayo, was a finalist for the 2010 Alberta Reader’s Choice Award. He has written for DC Comics, several magazines (fiction and non-fiction) the Urban Green Man anthology and two novels for young readers. Michael has a degree in English and Economics, but has worked in advertising for several years. He lives with his wife and two children on Grand Island, NY.

Links to buy Michael’s book:
EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing – eBook and Print available

Michael’s promo links:
Website

What are you working on now?
EDGE Publishing likes The Milkman so much, they’ve asked for another novel set in the Free World. I’m thinking this will be a set of three.

Michael’s reading recommendation:
Suzanne Church’s new collection, Elements, is a treat. Spooky, thought-provoking and so frequently laugh-out-loud funny. She finds a rare balance. (Suzanne was previously featured on Reading Recommendations.)

Sagan Jeffries (pen name for Ed Lukowich)

Author Color Ed Lukowich, I write under the pen name Sagan Jeffries

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Trillionist – genre is futuristic science fiction

Quick description: The Trillionist is not yet a word in Webster’s dictionary. It is the word ‘trillion’ with the suffix ‘ist’ on the end. A Trillionist is ‘a being or entity which is a trillion years of age.’ In the Trillionist novel, a young man named Sage Rojan is born with vast knowledge, only problem is that he doesn’t know where this knowledge came from or why he possesses it. Along his journey to find his real self, he uncovers and discovers incredible secrets about our universe – its age and its origin. Then, in a self-centered act, he tries to use his powerful gifts to race his Planet Tidon through its technological age – only to end up threatening his planet and solar system with obliteration. In a last ditch effort, he looks for help from outside of his planet.

Trillionist Use Lighter

Brief biography:
Ed Lukowich (pen name Sagan Jeffries) lives in Calgary and was born in Speers, Saskatchewan. The pen name is partly from Ed’s sci-fi hero Carl Sagan (1980’s author of Contact and Cosmos novels). Ed is a former World Curling Champion and an Olympian (he published four books on the sport of Curling in the 1980-1990’s) who has now reinvented himself from the sports world to the world of sci-fi writing. The Trillionist is his first novel and he has utilized QR codes in the novel which enable a reader with a cell phone app to go directly to his website where the reader can learn more about the science in the novel. Ed’s second book based on Universe Theory will be published in January 2014.

Links to buy Ed’s book:
Print Edition In Stores: Chapters-Indigo-Coles
Print Edition In Stores in Calgary: Curler’s Corner at Calgary Curling Club; Pages Books on Kensington; Owls Nest.
eBook and Print Edition On Line:
Amazon Worldwide
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million

Ed’s promo links:
Website
Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy
Facebook
Linkedin
Twitter

What are you working on now?
My new science book (Universe Theory Book) to be published and released in January 2014.

[Author’s first name] reading recommendation:
I like Contact by Carl Sagan. It is realistic sci-fi.

Jennifer Brozek

JennBrozek1 Jennifer Brozek

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Coins of Chaos anthology – Shared world horror from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.

Quick description: 17 stories about cursed Depression Era art called hobo nickels. Each coin carries with it pain, suffering, and death. Each story tells the tale of how a victim either escaped or succumbed to the coin’s curse. The anthology is a shared world anthology and spans decades.

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Brief biography:
Jennifer Brozek is an award-winning editor, game designer, and author. She has been writing role-playing games and professionally publishing fiction since 2004. With the number of edited anthologies, fiction sales, RPG books, and non-fiction books under her belt, Jennifer is often considered a Renaissance woman, but she prefers to be known as a wordslinger and optimist. Read more about her at her website.

Links to buy Jennifer’s book:
Amazon Worldwide – eBook and paperback
Barnes & Noble – paperback
EDGE SFF Publishing

Jennifer’s promo links:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

What are you working on now?
I just turned in a Shadowrun novella called Doc Wagon 19 and my Battletech YA webseries, The Nellus Academy Incident, has been packaged up as a novel. Finally, Keystones, the third book in the Karen Wilson Chronicles will be coming out in April 2014. On the anthology side of things, I’m finishing up Bless Your Mechanical Heart anthology for Evil Girlfriend Media and I’ve turned in Shattered Shields anthology for Baen Books, co-edited with Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

Jennifer’s reading recommendation:
I very much enjoyed American Elsewhere by Robert J. Bennett, The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe, Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire, and Devil Said Bang by Richard Kadrey

The Apocalyptic Four

253460_10151030239276603_469225808_nThe Apocalyptic Four
– AKA Eileen Bell, Randy McCharles, Ryan McFadden and Billie Milholland

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Our latest release was The Puzzle Box — a collaborative contemporary fantasy novel.

Quick description: It is a box that you can hold in the palm of your hand – but the contents will change your life forever. There is no simple way to open it: no hinges, locks, or clasps. To some, its six surfaces gleam like polished gold. To others, it appears dull and tarnished like a forgotten antique. For every person, solving the box will be different, with life-altering consequences.

“I have a great gift for you. Now I ask you: what do you want? What do you really want? You don’t have to tell me. It already knows.”

Albert Mallory, a down-on-his-luck archaeologist, begins to discover the true secrets of the Puzzle Box as revealed through four tales belonging to the the previous owners. As each story is told, the mystery of his own life slowly unravels until he is left with the biggest question of all: What’s Inside?

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Brief biography:
Eileen Bell has written most of her life (usually as an antidote to whatever day job she had) and has had short fiction published in magazines and several anthologies, including the double Aurora Award-winning Women of the Apocalypse.

Recently, she and three other writers had a collaborative novel, The Puzzle Box, published through EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. In 2014, she will have her own paranormal mystery, Seeing the Light, published through Tyche Books.

When she’s not writing or editing or thinking about writing, she’s living a fine life in her round house (even if it is in a perpetual state of renovation) with her husband, two dogs, and a gold fish.

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Randy McCharles is active in the Calgary, Alberta, writing community with a focus on speculative fiction, usually of the dark and humorous variety. In 2009 he received Canada’s most prestigious award for SF & F, the Prix-Aurora Award, for the novella Ringing in the Changes in Okotoks, Alberta which appeared in Tesseracts 12 (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing) and was also reprinted in Year’s Best Fantasy 9 (David Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer, ed). Additional short stories have appeared in Tesseracts 11 & 16; as well as in the Urban Green Man, Okal Rel Opus 2, and Okal Rel Opus 6 (Absolute XPress).

In addition to writing, Randy chairs the When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers.

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Ryan McFadden is an award-winning fantasy/SF author living in London, Ontario, who happens to be a full e-reader convert, and now uses those powers to help code books for publishers and authors.

His novella, Deus Ex Machina, was part of the Aurora-winning Women of the Apocalypse released in 2009. His recent publications include stories in Evolve 2, When the Villain Comes Home, Blood and Water, and Expiration Date. He is busy working on his next project in the always popular Neo-Noir Supernatural Crime Thriller category.

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Billie Milholland is a Western Canadian writer of fiction and non-fiction. Non-fiction titles include They Came and North Saskatchewan River Guide. She has had short fiction produced on CBC Radio, articles in Harrowsmith Magazine, children’s fiction in Chickadee Magazine, flash fiction in Seven Deadly Sins. A novella in Aurora-winning Women of the Apocalypse (Hungersnot). Short Fiction in Ride the Moon Anthology (Small Seven’s Secret)

Facebook
Twitter

Links to buy The Apocalyptic Four’s book:
Amazon Worldwide – eBook and paperback
Kobo – eBook
Chapters/Indigo – paperback

What are you working on now?
Right now, we are all working on individual projects.

Eileen Bell’s first “on her own” novel, Seeing the Light, will be launched in late 2014.
Randy McCharles’ novel Capone’s Chicago will be available spring 2014. His collection of three novellas, The Necromancer Candle, will be available August 2014.

Eileen’s reading recommendation:
Eileen’s reading Reamde by Neal Stephenson and she’s enjoying it immensely.

Suzanne Church

color headshot 2012 googleSuzanne Church

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My story, “Fun Sucker” appears in Urban Green Man published by EDGE SF&F. My collection Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction will be released from EDGE in spring 2014.
urbangreenman_COVERQuick description:
“Fun Sucker” is a twitter feed of the gods. I tried to imagine an urban version of the Green Man, who had a cell phone in his hand and a Prius and Blue Box in his garage.

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Elements contains over 20 Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror short stories, including several new to the collection.

Brief biography:
Suzanne Church juggles her time between throwing her characters to the lions and chillin’ like a villain with her two teenaged sons. She writes Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror because she enjoys them all and hates to play favorites. Her award-winning fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Cicada and On Spec, and in several anthologies including Urban Green Man and When the Hero Comes Home 2. Her collection of short fiction, Elements will be released in the spring of 2014 from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.

Links to buy Suzanne’s book:
Urban Green Man

Suzanne’s promo links:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

What are you working on now?
I’m working on the publicity for Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction, that was published in spring of 2014 from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.

I’m shopping two novels, Flight and The Magic Storm.

I’m always submitting short stories as well.

Suzanne’s reading recommendation:
Thunder Road by Chadwick Ginther

Adria Laycraft

2012 bio pic Adria Laycraft

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Urban Green Man, an urban fantasy anthology from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy

Quick description: Urban Green Man is a collection of short stories that explores the idea of the Green Man myth brought into modern times … what would happen if he woke and saw what we’d done to the planet?

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Brief biography:
Adria Laycraft is a grateful member of IFWA and a proud survivor of the Odyssey Writers Workshop. She co-edited Urban Green Man, which launched in August of 2013. Look for her stories in Tesseracts 16, Neo-opsis, On-Spec, James Gunn’s Ad Astra, Hypersonic Tales, DKA Magazine, and In Places Between. Author of Be a Freelance Writer Now, Adria lives in Calgary with her husband and son.

Links to buy Adria’s book:
Urban Green Man Website

Adria’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
The Write Initiative

What are you working on now?
I am writing a novel about a young woman who is psychic and fighting it. She just wants to be normal – until her sister is burned to death in a bullying incident gone completely wrong.

Adria’s reading recommendation:
Michelle Sagara’s Silence is a fabulous read, and I’m looking forward to the sequel, Touch.

Adria’s co-editor on The Green Man Anthology, Janice Blaine, has also been featured on Reading Recommendations.