Monday, August 30, 2021

Where Gregory L Norris Writes

 Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!



Where Writers Write is a series in which authors showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where the authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen. 




This is Gregory L. Norris. 


Raised on a healthy diet of creature double features and classic Science Fiction TV, Gregory writes for national magazines, short story anthologies, novels, and the occasional episode for film and television. Norris writes The Day After Tomorrow series for Anderson Entertainment in the U.K. based on the Gerry Anderson NBC made-for-TV movie, which he watched and loved as a boy, and worked on Paramount’s Star Trek: Voyager series as a screenwriter. Norris lives at the Outer Limits of New Hampshire’s North Country in a century-old house called Xanadu with his giant rescue cat and emerald-eyed muse.






Where Gregory L Norris Writes



Often, I joke with friends that if my Writing Room had a sofa, coffee pot, and bathroom, I’d never leave it. I sit here in the heart of Xanadu, my century-old New Englander on a hill in New Hampshire’s North Country. My home office, much like writing, was a dream I envisioned long ago the summer after I turned fifteen and took my first step into the much larger universe to be explored by living a literary life.

 Xanadu—named after the 1980 roller disco musical about a place where dreams come true—had sat neglected and vacant for two years before my late husband, Bruce, and I toured it on a frigid December afternoon in 2012. Four months later, we closed on the house and moved in, and Bruce began a fierce renovation schedule, including the downstairs bedroom with the antique wide-pine floors. He took this room apart, restored everything, painted it in beachy blue (considered the most productive color for a creative space), and, on a Saturday in March that felt like the best Christmas of my life, we moved all of my furniture, boxes of manuscripts, artwork, and family treasures into my new and forever Writing Room. I plan to haunt the space long after I’m gone.

 My writing room—where I’ve penned more than 500 of the total 1564 works of fiction of my career, including my novel Ex Marks the Spot (Woodhall Press, September 2021)—is my favorite place on this planet. I have others on other planets and realms, but since we’re here to talk about writing spaces, I’ll stick to the big room with the tall ceiling that beckons to me every morning after I wake upstairs either to the feline alarm clock or the one operated by my muse.



The room boasts two enormous glass-front cases, both containing my archives of published clips—every novel, short story, magazine, DVD, or VHS tape containing my work. One entire wall is covered by autographed photographs of celebrities I’ve interviewed or gotten to rub elbows with over the course of my career—all of my childhood icons, in fact, from having grown up on a healthy diet of creature double features and classic Science Fiction TV. Two four-drawer lateral filing cabinets contain all of my longhand first drafts in designer file folders—early on, I realized I wasn’t manila. Another bookshelf is filled with old press passes, press kits, and swag from events I’ve attended. The wall above the filing cabinets is devoted to awards I’ve won, including the Spinetingler’s Best Book of the Year, the Small Press Writers’ and Artist’s Award for Year’s Best New Writer, and my Honorable Mention in 2016’s prestigious The Roswell Awards in Short Science Fiction Writing. A letter of recommendation from the creator of Star Trek:Voyager hangs on that wall. My favorite award is the hand-drawn certificate my mother presented to me in 1982 on the night of May 28th when she hosted a party for high school friends to celebrate the completion of my 100th work of fiction.




 At the center of the room is my desk, a sturdy though beat-up relic from childhood. My desk was our family’s old kitchen table. When I revealed to my mother that I wanted to be a writer, only a writer, and requested a desk for Christmas, I returned home from school one afternoon to discover that she’d transformed a corner of my old bedroom into a writer’s studio. There was our old table, brought up from the basement, along with a cup filled with pens and my first file cabinet, one of those made from sturdy cardboard. I’ve written at this desk now for 41 years. It still bears ink stains from my fountain pens, some of those marks four decades old.

 In January 2020, my husband died of Supranuclear Palsy, a cousin to Parkinson’s with a hunger like ALS that is always fatal. I pledged to him and myself that I would never sell this house, which he loved and which I do as well—I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. 2020 was also the year of the pandemic. I decided to treat “shelter-at-home” like “writer-in-residence” and, with the help of the muse and our rescue cat, Daisy, channeled my grief into one of my most productive years ever.  At home, I traveled to Antarctica, Moonbase Alpha, Atlantis, solved murder mysteries, fell in love, and was reunited with Bruce in the pages of Ex Marks the Spot.


 
Every morning, I enter my Writing Room with coffee and seriousness of purpose and, on most days, experience the pure, timeless joy of living my dream. Daisy normally loafs on the “Starry Night” rug at my side, a loyal companion who would perform light filing duties but for the absence of opposable thumbs. I love my muse, my Writing Room, and the writing life.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Indie Ink Runs Deep: Seb Doubinsky

 


We're happy to help Meerkat Press support the release of their latest title Paperclip by participating in their blog tour. And if you're at all into winning free stuff, they're running a giveaway where you can potentially win a $50 book shopping spree.

Click here to enter!




Every now and then I manage to talk a small press author into showing us a little skin... tattooed skin, that is. I know there are websites and books out there that have been-there-done-that already, but I hadn't seen one with a specific focus on the authors and publishers of the small press community. Whether it's the influence for their book, influenced by their book, or completely unrelated to the book, we get to hear the story behind their indie ink....


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Today's ink story comes from Seb Doubinsky, as he celebrates his latest release Paperclip, out now with Meerkat Press. 




To me literature has always been like writing on human skin, and a good writer is someone who works like a talented tattoo artist. The bad writer, well, same thing, but in reverse. What’s more, books, like tattoos, age. Some well, some less well. It’s the way of all things. This is the first tattoo I got, in 1996, in Aarhus, Denmark. I designed it myself, taking my inspiration in Aztec iconography. “Tristessa” is the title of one of my favorite books by Kerouac. It was then, it still is.

Tattoos, like good books, are for life.

 

The tattoo above signifies “Husband” in Japanese, or so I’ve been told. When we got married, my wife and I decided that we didn’t want wedding rings but tattoos. She’s got “Wife”. Or so she’s been told.

In any case, it’s the same language, and we’re still together.

The magick of ink.


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Released August 17, 2021

Dystopian | Noir | Speculative Fiction



ABOUT THE BOOK: 

In New Babylon, leader of the Western alliance of the city-states, armament mogul Kurt Wagner has a secret dream: to build a space station to save mankind. Little does he know that he is the target of competing plots involving geopolitics and black magic. In the background, a film director with a political conscience, a bodyguard with a secret mission, a driver with an occult hobby and a talking bird are trying to make sense of their world, hoping to see their wishes come true—which they will, but not in the way they expected.

BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

Seb Doubinsky is a bilingual writer born in Paris in 1963. His novels, all set in a dystopian universe revolving around competing cities-states, have been published in the UK and in the USA. He currently lives with his family in Aarhus, Denmark, where he teaches at the university.


Monday, August 9, 2021

Dark Factory's Guide to Books & Booze



Time to grab a book and get tipsy!!!


Books & Booze challenges participating authors to make up their own drinks, name and all, or create a drink list for their characters and/or readers using drinks that already exist. 



BOOKS & BOOZE with Dark Factory’s Ari Regon (and Kathe Koja)

 

 

Dark Factory is a dance club: three floors of DJs, drinks, dancing, and state of the art customizable reality. And Dark Factory is Kathe Koja’s new novel, in collaboration with indie powerhouse Meerkat Press, bringing together Kathe’s award-winning writing and her experience in live immersive events. The book hits print (and ebook and audio) in 2022, but the story has already started at https://darkfactory.club/

Ari Regon is the club’s star floor manager and party guru. Come and join him for a tour of the club, and a drink! Or two.

 



Dark Factory’s a total nightlife experience, everything that you see and hear and feel, it’s all totally customizable. I’ve been working here, doesn’t feel like “work” but I’ve been here since the very beginning, and the party just keeps getting better. We have power users who come every weekend, some of them come every night, one of our lead dancers started out as a power user. And DJs from all over the world—You can leave your bag there, just click that Lock It tab, the red tab, right.

 

We’ll grab a tiara for you in a minute, you like Y? The techs are rocking those glitch flowers tonight, gold and dirty pink, touch one and it turns into fireworks. And we’ve got the onbody interactives too, you want to feel more, you can, just scroll the menu and turn it up. People put together some wild experiences, it can get pretty crazy sometimes, pretty sexy. Last night we had a threesome up in the graffiti room, and they—Anyway. First let’s get you a drink. On the house, to celebrate your first time at the Factory.

 

There are bars on every floor, so—The mix lab? No, wish I could but it’s actually hush-hush in there, the mixologists are always putting together some cool new beverage. Their newest thing, we’re taking it live this Friday—don’t tell yet, but they’re calling it the 24 Karat, tequila with real edible gold, gold shimmer dust on the rim with the salt, are you salty? Or how about a Shot of Heaven? That’s mainly gin and Creme Yvette—Creme Yvette, it’s a liqueur, it smells like violets, sweet but not too sweet. Flowers, more drinks should have flowers . . . My own favorite? Right now it’s the BPM, Irish whisky and espresso with a little chocolate, it smooths you out and wakes you up at the same time.

 

Do I love it here? Fuck yes, I—Why do I love it? Because it’s where I want to be, all the time, it’s—That beat, hear it? Third floor DJ’s starting up, let’s go. You ready for that tiara, now?

 

[Due to Dark Factory internal policy, the actual recipes for the 24 Karat, Shot of Heaven, and BPM are proprietary.]

 

 


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Audio Series: The Only Living Girl in Chicago

 



Our audio series "The Authors Read. We Listen."  was originally hatched in a NYC club during BEA back in 2012. It's a fun little series, where authors record themselves reading an excerpt from their own novels, in their own voices, the way their stories were meant to be heard.



Today, Mallory Smart hangs with us, reading a couple excerpts from her forthcoming novel The Only Living Girl In Chicago, which releases August 24th from Trident Press. Mallory is a Chicago-based writer and is the Editor-in-Chief of the publishing house, Maudlin HouseShe also talks about music and literature on the podcast Textual Healing, and horror movies on the podcast, That Horrorcast.





                   Click the soundcloud bar below to hear Mallory Smart read two excerpts from her novel. 











What The Only Living Girl in Chicago is about:

Zoe Clark is back in Chicago, and she already wants to run. But she can never turn her back on her monstrous hometown again. Grief, technology, isolation, and emptiness keep her up at night. Or maybe it's the coffee. Her brain feels like a mosquito trapped in amber, ready to be found in 65 million years by an enterprising paleontologist. Full of anxiety, humor, philosophy, and grief, The Only Living Girl in Chicago is a stunning coming-of-age novel, a later bloomer's bible in constant, dizzying motion.