The Burning Day and Other Strange Stories is a queer short story collection from across the full spectrum of speculative fiction, from heart-felt fantasies, to wrenching science fiction, to creepy horror. There is something here for everyone, and I found myself drawn to the lovely imagery and all-too down-to-earth stories found within.
On this summery Sunday, I’m excited to celebrate this collection’s release with author Charles Payseur as he talks about putting The Burning Day together, short story crafting process, and more.
The Taking of Jake Livingston tells the story of the eponymous medium, hunted by the ghost of a teen who committed a mass shooting years before. This book is the kind of scary where I read bits of it through splayed fingers. Jake is one of my new favorite horror protagonists, and all I wanted for him was a happy ending and some peace. The prose is atmospheric and horrifying while also touching on less supernatural fears like being a bit of an outcast and the only Black kid in a private school.
Today, I’m thrilled to celebrate author Ryan Douglass’s debut day with an interview about the process of crafting this spooky read. XOXO, Sierra also put together a debut box with a finished copy of the book and related goodies. Check it out here.
Cinders of Yesterday is a worthy entry into the collection of “let’s explore family trauma through magic and girls kissing.” The town of Dawson, Maryland is haunted by not only a necromancer named Spectre, but the sealed-away magic of Emilie Lockgrove’s family. Dani Black seeks revenge for her partner and a way to put the villain down for good. With a common goal and mutually beneficial abilities, the two team up for some supernatural hunting and perhaps more.
Author Jen Karner swings by on her debut day to talk about this spooky, queer debut featuring necromancy, bisexual disasters, a cute medium, and your new knife wife.
In The Ship of Stolen Words, Sam found himself relying a little too much on the word, “sorry.” Goblins had stolen it to help fuel their airships, along with its synonyms. Sam will stop at nothing to get his favorite word back through a whimsical adventure featuring goblins and pirates (I mean, prospectors) and learning the importance of meaning what you say.
A week after release, author Fran Wilde stops by the blog to talk about the process of bringing this heartfelt story to life, including her experience writing stories across markets and genres.
Sorrowland tells the story of Vern, an albino Black teen who escapes a cult, gives birth to twins in the woods, and is haunted by ghosts from a past that might not immediately be her own. This book covers so much ground, has so many layers. There is horror, there is fantasy, and a brilliant voice at the heart of it all. I’m thrilled to have gotten a chance to talk to Rivers about how fae put all the pieces together.
In Defekt, we return to the terrifying furniture store LitenVärld to find out what happened that made Derek get sick, in advertently causing the events of Finna, and the project afterwards. What unfolds is a darkly humorous adventure of Derek meeting his doppelgängers, sentient, carnivorous furniture, and a whole bunch of self-discovery. Author Nino Cipri stops by the blog on this fine release day to talk about how this sequel came to be, the evolution of the story, and the things they’re enjoying.
Touraine returns to the country of her birth with the colonizing force who took her in the first place and made her a conscript. After saving the royal Luca from an assassination attempt, she finds herself fighting more diplomatic battles, especially as the rebel forces want to use her as a mediator between them and the colonists. Riveting and multi-faceted, The Unbroken truly has everything: espionage, a ball, flirty language tutoring, a queernorm world, a nuanced depiction of a rebellion against an empire, and an exploration of identity and its complexities in the context of colonialism.
I’m so excited to have author C.L. Clark on the blog to talk about what inspired the world-building, their road to publishing, and even an entire list of books to read next.
Award-winning scientist Evelyn Caldwell never expected that her husband would steal her research and create a clone of her that’s the complete opposite. Then the cheater kicks the bucket, and it’s a domestic thriller about abuse and recovery featuring near-future science. In today’s interview, author Sarah Gailey stops by to talk about the process behind The Echo Wife, including the original setting, bits of research, and vaguely what we can look forward to next.
Three tight plots weave into one neat, fairy-tale-esque package in Karin Tidbeck’s latest, The Memory Theater. From tea parties that never end, to the danger of names, to a theater troupe performing memories, this novel has all the trappings of something gothic and atmospheric. Author Karin Tidbeck stops by the blog to talk about the drafting process, the evolution of the story, and putting together the short play at the very end.
The Witch’s Heart is a heartfelt, gut-wrenching, and romantic retelling of the story of Angrboda and Ragnarok. It features new views on favorites from Norse mythology (my person faves being Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungadr) from the point of view of a figure usually cast as a villain. In this interview to celebrate her release day, author Genevieve Gornichec talks about the way she explored the trials and tribulations of Norse gods and gave them a modern sensibility all her own.