CONTRIBUTORS: PAGE THREE

Our main goal here at The Kyanite Press is to uplift indie voices. We hope to discover new talent, work with established authors, and create a truly unique and cutting-edge journal. Please check out our contributors and support them by visiting their websites, following them on social media, and purchasing a copy of The Kyanite Press!

“The Thing Inside” – Sep/Oct 2018
“3 Morton Place” – Halloween 2018

Enkelli Arn Robertson is a speculative fiction author who tells the truth by writing lies.  He enjoys spending time in his own worlds, which he sometimes invites others to visit. He is an avid student of military history; which often informs his writing. He is also a tabletop gamer with interest in numerous role playing games and miniature war games.

 

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Hardboiled detective stories, fantasy, military sci-fi, horror, and historical.

Who are your favorite authors?
H.P Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I love writing crime fiction. Something about building a mystery and allowing a character to solve it is very satisfying.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
Exploring new worlds and visiting places that I couldn’t visit otherwise.

Follow A.A. Rubin’s writing on the
Movie (P)Review Show

and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

He is also on Deviant Art!

“Darkness My Old Friend” – Sep/Oct 2018

A. A. Rubin’s fiction has appeared in publication such as Pif Magazine, Serious Flash Fiction, and Scriveners Pen. He was named a Fiction War Finalist for his story The Substance in The Shadow. His graphic novel, Night Prowler: In The Crosshairs is scheduled for released next year. Rubin holds a BA in Writing/Literature from Columbia University and an MA in Teaching of English from Teachers College Columbia University. A mild-mannered writer by day, he wanders the streets at night as a vigilante crime-fighter. He lurks in the shadows, behind the curtain of night, waiting for the proper moment to strike.

 

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Most of my writing is either really funny or really dark. In addition to SFF, I also write literary fiction and comics. My first graphic novel is scheduled to be released by Golden Bell Studios later this year.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Tennyson wrote, “I am a part of all who I have met.” All authors, I believe, are influenced by “all who they have read.” My influences include Terry Pratchett, Charles Dickens, Kurt Vonnegut, JRR Tolkien, Frank Miller, Bruce Springsteen, all of the Romantics, Neil Gaiman, Shakespeare, and Franz Kafka.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Most people face a choice between love and security. Modern society pushes us toward choosing security, to choose the rational over the emotional. My work advocates for the opposite, for the choice of love and the acceptance of truths beyond what we can prove rationally.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
There is a magic in the speculative that allows us to access truths we cannot consider in a purely rational setting. Shakespeare knew this, as did Homer, Emily Bronte, and even Dickens. There is something about SFF that lends itself to the bigger philosophical and moral questions.

P T Ryan cropped

You can find out more about P.T. at his website and follow him on Twitter.

“Wide Open Parking Spaces” – JAN/FEB 2019

P. T. Ryan was born and raised on the North Coast of Ohio and has been a high school Math teacher. He is currently applying his talents in the world of casino security. An avid reader since an early age, he is now trying his hand on the other side of the page, hoping to give back some of the enjoyment he has received for so long.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Long stories or series, such as “The Stand,” or Asimov’s Foundation stories. They draw you in and won’t let go for quite some time are a favorite. Anything imaginative and thought provoking.

Who are your favorite authors?
Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Stephen King, and I am a late-comer to the party with Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
“Dune,” by Frank Herbert. Herbert wove together religion, ecology, biology, politics, and several other subjects to create a world where it was hard to tell if I was reading a novel or watching a documentary.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
In speculative fiction, the author creates a world and invites others to join them. That world may work like ours, it might not. The author has thoughts and ideas and is willing to share, to entertain and give readers something to think about.

Salamone

You can find out more about Vincent on his Website and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

“Sabanäe” – JUL/AUG 2019
“Sinseeker” – Autumn 2019

Artist. Metalhead. Gamer. Cinephile. Frontman of a black metal karaoke band. Iguana-enthusiast. Undefeated champion of the 2012 Hussian School of Art Mortal Kombat 9 tournament . . . These are a few of the titles Vincent Salamone would apply to himself if you asked him to write a bio. He’s also a voracious lover of stories in all their forms, and has been creating his own since he first got a typewriter as a child. Currently, he is working on two novels (a sci-fi romance, and an action-thriller) and a menagerie of short stories. Sabanäe marks his first published work.

Who are your favorite authors?
Homer, Richard K. Morgan, H.P. Lovecraft, S.D. Perry, and Christopher Paolini.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I’m a big action/fantasy/sci-fi movie fan, and love writing about soldiers and dystopi-as, corporate or otherwise, high-tech futures and ancient, dark pasts, while trying to construct an emotional, human experience and interesting worlds centered around complex women characters struggling against self and society.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
The Odyssey, which is a masterpiece and my favorite book. Paolini’s Inheritance Sa-ga, which inspired me to start writing in the first place. Then there’s Richard K. Mor-gan’s Altered Carbon trilogy, which floored me with its world-building and charac-ters, and serves as my biggest mentor with my own writing.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
I derive my messages and themes from my characters, who tend to face battles from within, struggling with broken pasts or harsh presents, and from that has come two re-curring messages in my work. 1. everyone has demons to face, and 2. who we were before doesn’t define us now.

J.D. Sanderson

You can find more of J.D’s work on Amazon and Goodreads, and can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

“Choice” – MAY/JUNE 2019

J.D. Sanderson lives in central South Dakota with his wife, daughter, and mini poodle, and has been a science fiction fan since the age of five. Whether he’s penning a novel or a short story, J.D. is always looking for a new and original way to look at the genre. When he’s not writing, you can find him chasing around his little girl, walking his dog, or watching movies with his wife.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?

Characters and stories can have a life of their own if you let them. I like to see how things grow. I wing every story I do, whether it’s a short story like “Choice” or a full-length novel. I want to see where it’s going to end up. If you give your characters room to breathe and let your fingers do the dancing, the results can be fantastic. I have a feeling I’ll always work within the sci-fi universe. The possibilities are only limited by ones imagination.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?

The Ganymede Club by Charles Sheffield is one of my favorite books of all time, followed quickly by Richard Adams’ Watership Down. I’m also a huge fan of David Weber, Keith Laumer, Frederik Pohl, and Robert A. Heinlein. 

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?

I guess that would be that there will be hope for us in future, no matter what the circumstances may be.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?

Speculative and science fiction are great ways to aim the lens on us and our culture. Some people use it to see how we deal with adversity. I like to use it to see how we deal with and look at culture. The possibilities are literally limitless.

C. L. Schneider cropped
JR Swiger Photo cropped

Learn more about C.L. at her website, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.
You can also connect with J.R. on Twitter.

C.L. Schneider is a multi-award-winning author of adult epic and urban fantasy, including The Crown of Stones Trilogy and The Nite Fire Series. Born in a small Kansas town, she currently resides in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley Region with her husband and two sons.

Learn more about C.L. Schneider and the worlds she creates at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, subscribe to her newsletter, and join her Street Team. Connect with her on social media, where she is often found chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.

J.R. Swiger is an up-and-coming indie author of speculative fiction. He lives in Tennessee with his beautiful wife and daughter. He is a Game of Thrones junkie who aspires to one day grace the New York Times Best Seller List.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
My favorite reads are adult, dark, character driven stories that twist and turn, and aren’t afraid to push boundaries. I’m drawn mostly to epic and urban fantasy, horror, and thrillers, but I also enjoy sci-fi and a good mystery. Action and characters with attitude are a must!

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I enjoy writing about flawed characters and tragic anti-heroes. My favorite stories to develop are those heavy on worldbuilding and creature creation. I love crafting fight scenes, from intimate one-on-one engagements to epic battles.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
One of my primary early influences was C.J. Cherryh. Her books taught me so much about character development. Later, I discovered (and devoured) the works of Jim Butcher and Simon R. Green, which effectively improved my 1st person writing and helped infused a modern voice into my epic trilogy.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
It’s all about making the impossible possible, about taking the unreal and making it genuine. I love being able to spark emotions while feeding someone’s imagination. Speculative fiction also provides an opportunity to bring awareness to real-world problems, fears, and social issues, by infusing them into a safe, imaginative setting.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I gravitate to sci-fi and fantasy. The genre is just so diverse. Whether it’s dark, urban, traditional or paranormal, the genre itself has evolved along the same path as music. There really has been no better time to be a writer, or a reader for that matter.


Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Currently, I’m working on a project tentatively titled Candlelight. The premise revolves around what might lie on the other side of the Bermuda triangle. The story is heavily influenced by shows like the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. I’ve been collaborating with C.L. Schneider on a dark fantasy Viking epic, Under Her Black Wings. We also hope to write more about Tanic and Raiza.


Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Writing is art. Art should make you feel something, whether it’s hatred, love, or fear. If I’m making you feel, then I’m doing my job. Reading should be an escape from the mundane.


What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
Speculative fiction is the evolution of the genres I grew up with. Ironically, I think I’ve been writing speculative fiction all my life. For those of us who like to throw convention out the window, speculative fiction gives us a wonderful platform.

You can find out more about Max at maxshephard.com.
You can also find him on Twitter and Reddit.

“There are Strange Things Afoot on Locust Street” – Halloween 2018

Max Shephard is an author, entrepreneur, part-time philosopher, and attorney who’s recently come to the conclusion that anger is an evolutionary mistake and that Zach Morris was a total asshole. When he’s not lawyering, writing, or spending time with his wife and three kids, he’s usually walking the thin line between incredulity at almost everything he reads in the news and ignoring it all completely to tend his own garden.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Stories that have that familiar ring of truth to them, the kind you remember in the dark as you’re trying to shut your brain off for the night and you wonder if something like that could really happen, and if it did, how you would handle it.


Who are your favorite authors?
William Faulkner, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman,

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Creepy stuff. Figurines coming to life to murder their owners, bodies that just won’t stay dead, and serial killers that leave manic, rhyming notes. The hidden horror in the basement and the secret that small, salt-of-the-earth town is hiding.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
I like being challenged, surprised, and scared, and speculative fiction delivers those things.

stafford

You can find out more about Jabe on his website.
You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

“Other Side of the Line” – Jan/Feb 2019

Jabe Stafford’s wanderings have taken him to the UW-Madison Writer’s Institute and the Write-By-The-Lake Retreat. He writes with the Middleton Creative Writers, where stories about house pet ghostbusters and drunk demons abound. The storytellers and artists he’s worked with are fantastic and deserve the best, over and over again. He’s earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from UW-Madison, a Teaching Certification from Edgewood College, and worked as a martial arts instructor with a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Stories that entertain and teach new things at the same time. Urban fantasy, sci-fi, YA, epic fantasy, and anything with mythological figures or sarcastic animals = the best brain food. Novels by Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne bring lots of laughter, and the world needs more of that.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Bees, police procedure, and alchemist serial killers. Guest blogs about lovable villains are a blast to write. Urban fantasy/contemporary fantasy, demons and angels at the Down South Lounge, and martial arts woven with science fiction round out my writing addictions.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Stardust by Neil Gaiman and the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling enchanted me in college. After adventuring in their worlds, I told myself, “I want to write stories that sweep people off their feet like that.”

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Find the best way you know to help others, then do that. Banish apathy. Learn. Improve. Self-care matters, and so does being open and willing to change. Balance those and keep writing.

Follow Matthew on Twitter and Facebook.
Access exclusive content from Matthew on Patreon!

“Prisoner Zero” – Sep/Oct 2018
“Squish” – Halloween 2018

Matthew Standiford is a Retired Army Veteran who enjoys writing when he’s not being the Ringmaster to his three children circus. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English and has also been published in Shotgun Strange Stories. He is also finally working on a novel.

 

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I like to read horror, thrillers, and science fiction. I honestly enjoy all genres but these are the three that will make me interested in a book right away.

Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Thomas Harris, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
S
tephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” is my all-time favorite book and I like how the town and the Marsten House are characters themselves. I read that book in 6th grade and by time I finished it I knew writing was what I wanted to do.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
I like making things up. Anything goes in speculative fiction. You can use the real world or a new made up world as an empty sandbox, and throw whatever you want into it.

You can find Michael on Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads.

“Hide and Seek” – Halloween 2018

Michael Subjack was born in a small town in Western New York. He enjoys good cigars and going on hikes with his dog Rosie.

Michael currently lives in Los Angeles.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Anything that catches my interest when I’m scrolling through the Kindle Store.

Who are your favorite authors?
Within the last year, I’ve been reading a lot of Joe Hill’s work, as well as Karin Slaughter’s.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Stephen King, Richard Matheson, H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Michael McDowell, and Rod Serling.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Life is hard but if you’re one of my protagonists, it’s only going to get worse. Much, much worse.

tavenor

Find out more about C.D. at his website.
You can also find him on Twitter, Bookbub, and Amazon.
Finally, check out the Two Doctors Media Collaborative Welcome Page

“For the Empire” – Autumn 2019

C. D. Tavenor is a public interest environmental attorney by day, science fiction and fantasy author by night. His stories explore the human condition, both through technological and magical perspectives. He’s particularly interested in writing climate fiction moving forward.

When he’s not writing or editing, Tavenor loves playing board games, going for runs, and drinking the occasional whiskey. He lives in Columbus with his wife, Kim, and their cat, Ophelia (who is the best cat in the world, no question).

Editor’s Note: My cats question this. -B.K. 

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I write both fantasy and science fiction, and my currently published novels (First of Their Kind and Their Greatest Game) are starkly different from For the Empire. Though, you may detect a few themes that resonate within both stories, especially regarding identity.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Le Guin and Asimov most influence my approach to writing. It’s funny, because I’ve only ever read The Left Hand of Darkness from Le Guin, but it made that significant of an impression on my writing. William Gibson and Phillip K. Dick have significantly inspired my writing.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
The stories we tell influence the way we view the world, so I believe authors have an opportunity to inspire meaningful change within their audiences. There are always multiple worldviews at play in both narrative and in the real world. I hope my words present readers with those alternatives.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
Through speculative fiction, authors present an alternative reality mirroring our own, using the differences to annunciate the similarities; it’s an open sandbox easy to dive into . . . but incredibly hard to master. Creating a new world? Easy. Making that world matter? Near impossible. I love the challenge.

Find out more about Charlie’s literary competition at Rejectedmanuscripts.org and on Twitter.

“The Social Web” – Sep/Oct 2018

Charlie Taylor is a Canadian who teaches English at universities and high schools in Taiwan, where he lives with his wife, Vicky, and two small children, Jamie and James. He holds Bachelor of Journalism and Master of Education degrees. In his free time he runs a literary competition for previously-rejected manuscripts. He has traveled to almost 60 countries, has hitched over 10,000 rides with strangers, and he once ran for mayor of Ottawa.

 

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I do not have a favorite genre. As a flawed human, I like stories that reinforce my personal worldview. The editor in me likes stories that are spelled correctly and punctuated well. As a father, I cannot read any stories where bad things happen to little children.

Who are your favorite authors?
There are far too many to list here. I just finished reading a translation of a really gripping book called Elegy of Sweet Potatoes by Tehpen Tsai. Some other writers I admire are Tom Robbins, George Orwell, Roald Dahl, Mordecai Richler, Ben Elton, Hunter Thompson, and Stan and Jan Berenstain.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Ninety percent of what I write is academic non-fiction, so writing fiction is like eating dessert. I enjoy anything that does not require end-notes and citations. I particularly like recording whatever my subconscious has worked up during the night and delivered, more or less fully formed, to my conscious mind.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
I do not have one particular message. Hopefully readers can take something meaningful to themselves from different stories. I hope to entertain first and foremost, and if something I wrote gets somebody to re-examine reality from a new and slightly unconventional perspective, then that is great.

Find out more about Céline at celineterranova.com.
You can also follow Céline on Twitter and Facebook.

“Sealed Bid” – Sep/Oct 2018

Céline Terranova is a Belgian writer living in London, UK. Always an avid reader, she wrote her first story when she was 11. She honed her writing skills with fanfictions published successfully online. Since then, she has worked on short stories, screenplays, non-fiction books and novellas in both French and English. She is now finishing her first YA dystopian novel, Healers.

 

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Dystopian worlds are what interest me the most. I’m finishing a novel in a dystopian London riddled with disease. I also write non fiction books, and I enjoy writing for other media: I’ve recently finished the script of a short film and my next project is a fiction podcast.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Like many people, J.K. Rowling was a huge influence. Philip Pullman, Tolkien, Orson Scott Card, and before that Pierre Bordage and Alexandre Astier (both French) have all impacted me. Recently, I’ve discovered Pierce Brown and it’s been quite an influence too.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
What. I’m trying to pass on is a message of hope. You’re not alone, you’re not broken or a freak, things can be grim now but they’ll work out, don’t trust easily but trust fully when you do.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
Speculative fiction gives me a freedom that you don’t usually have with other genres. I find that it’s easier to talk about difficult subjects if I write then in a science fiction setting, because it’s not as direct and doesn’t trigger the reader’s inner censor.

Find out more about Alexander at alexanderwrites.com.
You can also follow Alexander on Twitter and Facebook.

“Madness at Miracle Mile” – Sep/Oct 2018

Alexander Thomas is an author, game designer, dog lover, karaoke enthusiast, and all around nerd. You may know him from his work on roleplaying games including Mutants & Masterminds for Green Ronin and New Millennium Games, as well as Quantum Black. Madness at Miracle Mile is a fantasy noir short story set within the same universe of his debut novel The Magician’s Sin.

 

Who are your favorite authors?
Charles Dickens, Jim Butcher, George R.R. Martin, Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, H.P. Lovecraft, Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith, J.R.R. Tolkien, Alan Moore, Homer, Jack Kirby, Bill Finger.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I am constantly writing super hero fiction but also products for super hero and horror roleplaying games. I design villains, I create adventures, and I am a prolific convention and home Game Master. I love to write noir, fantasy, science fiction, and horror when I can.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
A Tale of Two Cities really showcases the sort of protagonist I identify with in my writing and reading: the Byronic hero. I love deeply sardonic, broken men who learn how to be something better during the story. The Hobbit is my favorite adventure story and Superman comics/graphic novels are my super hero inspiration.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
The main message I seek to convey through my work is the role of power in society and the responsibilities of those who possess it. My current work in progress: The Magician’s Sin, also starring Anson, has a number of characters who each have different opinions on this subject. I also want to showcase men with different types of masculinity, rather than just the toxic, macho version we see so often.

tkacz

You can find out more about Carlos on his blog, and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

“Other Emptiness” – JUL/AUG 2019

Carlos R. Tkacz is a teacher and writer from California. When he isn’t teaching English to students that couldn’t care less or lost in a sci-fi world of his own making, he’s probably traveling around looking for small rocks to climb.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I love stories that seek to better understand humanity, whether in the future or in the past. This takes me from the classics, in which I am fairly well-read, to science fiction, which I have loved since I was a child. I basically like anything that makes me rethink my experiences out in the real world. I like stories that challenge my ideas.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
I also do some writing about rock climbing. I have been climbing for 10 years and have had some work published in The Project Magazine, a digital climbing magazine aimed at a more thoughtful view of the sport.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?While I don’t really have a message in my work, there are themes I like to consider, explore, and complicate. The main of these is the human experience and how that has and is changing. I like to consider possibilities and then imagine big questions surrounding those possibilities, trying to track down what life would be like under whatever circumstances it is I imagine.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
I think it is the way speculative fiction allows you to imagine new ways of being. One of the flaws we all have, I think, is that we tend to think our way of being, by social structure and historical time frame, is the only way of being. Of course, this always proves wrong, and I like that speculative fiction makes the folly of that assumption so obvious.

Watt, Kim cropped

You can find out more about Kim at her website; and you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
She also moderates her own Facebook Group!

“Coffee, Cake, and Ghoulettes”
Winter Digest 2018

Kim Watt writes funny, magical books that leave you smiling. They’re about tea-drinking, mystery-solving dragons, and ladies of a certain age joining the Apocalypse on their Vespas. They’re about friendship and loyalty and lifting each other up, but most of all they’re about how very wonderful life and people (of all descriptions) can be.

Originally from New Zealand, Kim currently lives in France with a very understanding SO and the Little Furry Muse, who inspires the ruder cats in her stories. She reads a lot, writes a lot, and consumes far too much tea and cake to be healthy.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I adore anything that mixes today’s world with a little magic. I’m also a big fan of hapless heroes, snarky magical beasts, and anything with a good sense of humour.

Who are your favorite authors?
Terry Pratchett for smart, funny social commentary disguised as fantasy; Neil Gaiman for captivating writing; Christopher Moore for outright bonkers stories, and Diana Wynne Jones for clever, funny, feel-good stories for any age.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Once upon a time I used to write straight horror, but these days my monsters tend to be misunderstood and my vampires very unimpressive (or cats. Really). I also dabble in a little very non-technical sci-fi, such as rubber duck apocalypses and the rise of the cyber-cats.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
That the world is not as bad as it seems, because most people are, at their hearts, exceptionally wonderful and capable of amazing things. That friendship matters, and so do tea and cake. And that one should always expect magic.

Nicholas Wells - cropped

You can find out more about Forest on his website.
Connect with Forest on Twitter and Facebook.

“Vul’s Lake” – MAR/APR 2019

Forest Wells is an author with a deep passion for all things wild canine, as well as pro football, hockey, and e-sports. He likes to call himself a “master of emotion” when it comes to writing, though time will tell if he deserves the title. Forest has authored a short story, as well as several poems, all published in the 2015-2017 editions of the “Wolf Warriors” anthologies, and he hopes to release his first stand alone novel in Spring of 2019. He currently lives in his home town of Thermal, California.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?

Anything that has a journey to tell and/or emotion to share. My bread and butter is making the reader feel something, and touching them in that special way only good writing can.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?

There isn’t any one. I’m a bit of a sponge. Everything I’ve ever read/seen/played, it’s all in there like a fully stocked kitchen. Each story requires different influences to tell their tale the way it needs to be told.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?

Not that I’m concious of, though that doesn’t stop any of my stories from having one any way. Espeically when they have one in mind, but don’t tell me. That’s what I get for letting the, have a mind of their own.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?

Building worlds, creatures, tech, whatever I want, and seeing them come alive. I get to let my imagination run wild, which leads to some really amazing journeys, places, and people/creatures that I desperately want others to enjoy as much as I have.

CF Welsh

You can find out more about C.F. on her website, The Angry Goblin blog, her InPrettyPrint blog, and on Deviantart.

“The Human Network” – JUL/AUG 2019

C.F. Welsh (Carmen) holds degrees in creative writing, web design, and art education. Her clips include short stories, illustrations, essays, fanzine/e-zine articles, a genre anthology, and the odd comic strip, as well as in print literary journals. Carmen is an official member of FWG (The Furry Writers’ Guild) and IWWG (International Women Writers Guild). Her official website, Tabber the Red, is after her feline warrior and inspired six publications. Carmen is Tabber the Red’s webmaster. Her list of publications is on The Angry Goblin Blog. Carmen’s official art portfolio is found on Deviant Art under the profile ‘CopperSphinx’.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Epic quests, young adult adventures, slice-of-life, romance (contemporary), fairy tales, world/culture mythologies, illustrated children’s books, and historical fiction.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
Writer’s craft essays, nerd and geek-related pop culture, furry/anthropomorphic, love stories, epic fantasy, school-related stories from the perspective of educators/students, research articles, and humor.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
As much as I enjoy alien invasion films, I’m an optimist and idealist at heart. The stories when the aliens wish to help us, or we help them are few and far between. I have a lot of hope and try to convey such in my stories.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
The fact that an ‘outrageous premise’ can give probable solutions, give more questions, that such stories were once ancient civilizations’ mythologies. And with so much craziness in the world, speculative fiction somehow makes sense as well as order from chaos.

werby, olga

You can find out more about Olga on her website, and you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.
You can also find more of her work on Amazon.

“The Soil of My Ancestors”
Winter Digest 2018

Olga Werby has a Doctorate from U.C. Berkeley with a focus on designing online learning experiences. She has a Master’s degree from U.C. Berkeley in Education of Math, Science, and Technology. She has been creating computer-based projects since 1981 with organizations such as NASA (where she worked on the Pioneer Venus project), Addison-Wesley, and the Princeton Review. Olga has a B.A. degree in Mathematics and Astrophysics from Columbia University. She became an accidental science fiction indie writer about a decade ago, with her first book, “Suddenly Paris,” which made the long list of 2016 James Tiptree Jr. Award.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
What if? That’s the question that drives speculative fiction. Writers try to understand and explain the world by pushing limits: the limits of social justice, the limits of human heart, the limits of scientific progress. Fiction lives within the walls of reality. Science and speculative fiction leaves reality behind.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I particularly enjoy hard science fiction or fiction based on relatable human emotions. I like books that make me think, that I will remember for many years to come, that evoke strong emotions. I like books that make me look at an everyday occurrence in a new light, from a different perspective. I cry at sad stories, and I want my tears to be earned.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Orson Scott Card and Brandon Sanderson in particular have taught me how to structure a story to make it addictive; how to conjure up characters that delight or terrify; how to weave words together to make them easy of the tongue and fun on the mind. These are all very difficult to learn. So I read, I think, and slowly or so slowly, I get better.

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Science fiction allows the reader to experience the world through the eyes of another. The saying “we live a thousand lives when we read” goes to the heart of empathy. We walk in the shoes of the story’s heroes. That’s enormously powerful. That’s the way to master compassion. It’s also a way to teach difficult scientific concepts. After all, human brains evolved to remember stories.

You can find out more about Keith at www.keithwillisauthor.com.
You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

“Have a Nice Trip” – Halloween 2018

Keith W. Willis managed to sneak out of Berry College with an English degree. He resides in upstate NY with his wife Patty, who graciously proofreads his stories even though she doesn’t like fantasy. Keith’s interests include reading, camping, and cutthroat games of Scrabble. He began writing seriously in 2008, when the voices in his head got too annoying to ignore. He also manages a group of database content editors at a global information technology firm to support his writing habit. His published books include TRAITOR KNIGHT and DESPERATE KNIGHT. His work-in-progress, ENCHANTED KNIGHT, is projected for publication in 2019.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I’m a pretty eclectic reader. I consume a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, but I also love classic and cozy mysteries (Stout, Taylor), some romance (Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series is a particular favorite), and quite a bit of YA (Brenda Drake, K.L. Young). Plus British humour (P.G. Wodehouse!!!).

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about?
My primary genre is swashbuckling fantasy/romance. I love having a bit of fun with classic fantasy tropes. For example, the only reason my hero gets out of the first chapter of Traitor Knight alive is that the dragon he must fight comes down with a case of hiccups.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
P.G. Wodehouse, Terry Pratchett, and Michael J. Sullivan. And of course the fabulous S. Morgenstern. If you must ask who the latter is, you’re not my friend…
[Editorial Note:  I agree.  -B.K.]

Do you have an overall message you wish to convey with your work?
Not really. My stories are written with no message in mind, but primarily are designed to entertain. Most of my work features main characters who don’t themselves particularly seriously; a lot of light-hearted adventure; a dash of witty banter and romance; and a dragon with a case of hiccups.

Follow Cassondra on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can find her books on Amazon, with links in her bio to the right.

“A Sympathetic Relationship” – Sep/Oct 2018

Cassondra Windwalker’s poetry, short stories, and essays have been published in numerous literary and art books. Her novel Parable of Pronouns is available now, and Bury The Lead will be released September 2018. She writes from the coast of Alaska with the help of a tolerant husband, a scaredy-dog, and a ghost cat.

 

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read? My favorite stories combine elements of the fantastic – which I consider far more real than plastic life – with serious philosophical questions. I delight in the absurdity of truth and the pedantry of magic.

Other than what we see here, what else do you enjoy writing about? Poetry is my first and primary art form, and of course likewise the most penurious and unpublishable. Other than that, anything with an angry edge and a sense of humor.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences? Oh, gosh. So many…Poe, Hemingway, Pyle, Stewart, Heaney, L’Amour, Tolkien, Chadwick, Lang, Shakespeare, Heinlein, Lawhead…and most everything else in the library.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest? Speculative fiction often addresses head-on the questions that other fiction dances around. It goes straight to the heart of the human condition and breaks down the reality of the soul, whether that soul is housed in a dragon, a computer chip, or what the rest of the world considers a person.

You can find out more about Cecily at Cecilywinter.com.
You can also follow her on Twitter.

“Serial Chill” – Halloween 2018

“The Murder Boutique” – MAY/JUN 2019

Cecily Winter lives in Massachusetts with a husband and assorted dependents. She earned a PhD in literature and a couple of MAs and taught college English for some years. Secretly, she longed to be a writer. So far, she has published a body of academic work and three short stories—romantic, geeky, and ghostly. Under submission now are GIRL IN THE CHEVROLET, a romantic suspense novel, and THE TRIBUTE, a sprawling historical fantasy. WIPs include a YA utopian fantasy and a spoofy noir romp. What she needs most are more time and a sharper brain.

What are your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I devour of kinds of stories, from literary fiction to crime fiction to high fantasy.

Who are your favorite authors?
My current faves include Tana French, Laini Taylor, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, David Mitchell, Nick Harkaway, Paulo Bacigalupi, and Lou Berney. I’ve also steeped myself in the prose and poetry of Faulkner, Shakespeare, Ariosto, Spenser, Marquez, and Christie.

What books and/or authors would you count among your primary influences?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez who inveigled me into a PhD program and Edmund Spenser, an amazing wordsmith.

What is it about speculative fiction that draws your interest?
The possibility that justice exists.