Second Draft

Get “Bitten by Books” Tomorrow!

Posted in Promotion, Shameless by Jill Snider Lum on Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It is time… surrender yourselves to the literary chomp of the Horror genre!  Tomorrow, the 3rd of March, from 12:00 noon until 12:00 midnight (and hopefully the 4th of March as well), I and my fellow Tesseracts Thirteen authors will be participating in an online question-and-answer session on the paranormal book review website Bitten by Books. There’ll be a contest, and discussions, and you can leave questions online and check back later to read our answers to them.

To get 25 entries to the contest when you visit the event and ask a question, RSVP here. Don’t forget to mention that you sent an RSVP when you’re asking your question, to ensure your 25 entries.

Hope to see and talk with you there!


My Evolving Career

Posted in Promotion, Shameless by Michael Skeet on Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My latest story is officially available for purchase as of yesterday. EDGE has published Evolve, a triffic vampire anthology edited by Nancy Kilpatrick (no stranger to vampires she) and containing an interesting variety of modern tales of the undead.

My piece is called “Red Blues” and it is, I blush to admit, not the first vampire story I’ve had published. (That would be “Chains,” from a now out-of-print Barnes & Noble anthology called 100 Vicious Little Vampire Stories.) I would be disingenuous if I said I was a big fan of the vampire ethos—and don’t get me started on Twilight, please—and “Red Blues” was written almost in opposition to the perception of vampires as hot and sexy.

Call it “pre-emptively written,” because I actually wrote this story more than a decade ago, and Evolve isn’t the first time I’ve sold it. First time it’s actually made it into print, though. (A long story, and perhaps someday I’ll elaborate.) There’s certainly sex in this story, but the vampire itself is not sexy, if that makes any sense to you. Hell, buy the book and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The official launch of the anthology is happening at this year’s World Horror Convention in Brighton, England, and I deeply regret that I had to cancel my appearance there. (Too much upcoming pain at my day-job; better you shouldn’t ask.) On the other hand, given my generally pathetic performance when it comes to promotion, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that I leave this work to others. Perhaps I’ll send a sock-puppet in my stead…

Long time, no post…

Posted in Collaboration,Promotion, Shameless by Jill Snider Lum on Sunday, February 14, 2010

… ’cause life is what happens when you’re making other plans.  Darned inconvenient, life.  But it beats the alternative; and here we are again, still working on our novel, in addition to the other novels we’re each working on separately, and the short-story idea I’m toying with, and various other projects and general being-alive things.  And you’ll be hearing from us most every day now, whether you want to or not.  <rubbing hands together and giggling maniacally>

So… about our collaborative novel.  Michael and I recently figured out the details of what’s going to happen in the last third or so of Demon Gate, a subject we’ve both been brooding on for some time.  We both knew pretty much what was going to happen, mind you, but now we also know how, which is a different matter entirely.  One of the things I like best about collaborating is the fact that when I’m out of ideas, my collaborator is likely to have one, and vice versa.  At any rate, knowing about the rest of the book will facilitate finishing the first draft… and there will be much rejoicing.  And then we get to start in on the edits.

We both have some good independent news, too.

Michael’s short story “Red Blues” is coming out in EDGE publication’s new anthology Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, coming out in March.  The book will be launched at the World Horror Convention in Brighton, UK, if you’re planning to attend.  Michael can’t be there, but some of the other featured authors will be attending.  Whether or not you’re at the convention, “Red Blues” is a damn fine story, so you ought to check it out.  Visit the Edge website for more details.

For myself, I’ll be participating in an online question-and-answer session on the 3rd and 4th of March, on the paranormal book review website Bitten by Books. You can leave questions for me and other Tesseracts Thirteen authors, and we’ll log on periodically and answer them.  I’m just as curious about some of my fellow contributors’ answers to the questions as I am about what we’ll be asked.  Feel free to look in; it sounds like fun.

See you tomorrow, life permitting.  Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day!

Little Dancing Ego

Posted in Promotion, Shameless by Jill Snider Lum on Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I am quite startled, and madly gratified, to see that the Publishers Weekly web book review speaks remarkably highly of “A Patch of Bamboo”, my story in Tesseracts Thirteen.

My little writer’s ego — okay, my overwhelming, gigantic writer’s ego — is doing a happy little dance.

Yet More Shameless Promotion: Tesseracts Thirteen is out!

Posted in Promotion, Shameless by Jill Snider Lum on Wednesday, September 2, 2009

EDGE Publications has just announced that Tesseracts Thirteen, the latest in this anthology series and the second volume in which my work appears, is now on sale, at bookstores and via Amazon.  Go get yerself a copy — it’s a good book, with lots of creepy, scary, well-crafted horror stories in it, proving we Canadians can be just as frightening as anyone else.  Even me, sometimes.

ISBN information:

Tesseracts 13
Trade Paperback
ISBN-10: 1-894063-25-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-894063-25-8
6″ X 9″
336 pages

Also, there’s going to be a book launch for Tesseracts Thirteen on Saturday, 12 September, 3:00pm ’til Whenever, at Bakka-Phoenix Books, 697  Queen Street West, Toronto.  Some of my fellow contributors and I will be there to sign books and chat, and there’s a whole store full of good books (besides ours) for you to check out.  I hope to see you there!

Back from WorldCon, and busy as all get-out…

Posted in Collaboration,Promotion, Shameless by Jill Snider Lum on Friday, August 14, 2009

Since Michael’s tied up at work (odd metaphor, that), and I’ve got a little more time in between trying to get work, I wanted to write a little something about WorldCon before the headless-chicken thing gets too dramatic.

I think I enjoyed this year’s WorldCon more than any of the other five I’ve attended — well, except the one in Japan.  (Hey, it was in Japan!  What’s not to love about that?) Our families had a fine time as well; apart from the convention itself, Montreal is a beautiful city, and Schwartz’s serves the best smoked meat this side of — I don’t know, Smoked Meat Heaven or something.  And the 40-member spider colony on the hotel windows was really cool, though I realize that wouldn’t be everyone’s thing.

The Cecil Street panel and kaffeklatsch were my first experience of both (either?  Whatever).  We were all pretty amazed that so many people attended, and I hope the resulting discussions were helpful to everyone interested in creating or attending a writers’ group.  Lord knows we talked enough, which would argue some enthusiasm about our subject.

The panel on collaboration went well, and I stopped being nervous after hearing the experiences of the other panelists.  (Does everyone get nervous before doing panels?)  One poor guy had collaborated with someone who only contributed one paragraph to their story.  Tricky business, this.

Edge Publications gave a swell book-launch for Tesseracts Thirteen, which comes out this fall and is full of really creepy stuff.  I read part of “A Patch of Bamboo” without mucking it up too much, and the other five authors present read excerpts from their stories as well.  They all scared me a lot, indicating an accomplishment of objective.  Srsly, they were all diverse and well-written.  Is good book.

Let’s see, what else?  Michael’s panel on history was a success; it was very well-received and standing-room-only.  Everyone enjoyed his reading, too, which was scheduled for a disgustingly early hour on Sunday morning — I will leave him to talk more about these things.  Along with Jenny Blackford and Ann VanderMeer, both of whom I found a pleasure to meet, I told ghost stories in dim light for the children in the Kids’ Program, and had to tell my son not to interject remarks regarding continuity (good think I like him so much…).  I went to parties, met new people, re-encountered old friends, had a fine time studying my fellow humans  (mwa-ha-ha)… and when I get more of that time thing, I’ll maybe write more.

Time.  Yeah, that.  Want more of that.

More Worldon stuff

Posted in Promotion, Shameless by Jill Snider Lum on Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Cecil Street Irregulars’ kaffeklatsch is a go, thanks to the organizational genius of Jannie Shea, and Michael and I will be among the participants.  We’ll be in the Palais de Congres, room 512C, at 11:00am.  Sign-ups are available on Thursday, but even if you show up at the ‘klatsch without pre-registering, they’ll let you in as long as there’s space.  The audience is limited to 40 people.  The Irregulars are a talented group of writers, and a dashed nice group of people.  Come and chat; it’ll be fun.

At the Edge Publications booth on Friday at 2:00pm, I will be among those signing copies of Tesseracts Thirteen, the latest volume of this long-running Canadian anthology.  From there we move on to the book launch, as you can see in the following announcement from Edge:

Tesseracts 13 Launch

Tesseracts 13, the latest in the Tesseracts anthology series from Edge, will be launched at Worldcon/Anticipation in Montreal.

T-13—the only all horror/dark fantasy anthology in the acclaimed series—is edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell. It features 23 dark, original and exciting stories, introductions by the editors, and a comprehensive history of Canadian horror and dark fantasy by genre expert Robert Knowlton.

Come join us:

Friday, August 7th

3 to 5 pm

Montreal Delta Hotel,

777 University Avenue

Suite 2815

This book isn’t out until the Fall, but you can buy copies of it at WorldCon and have them signed by attending contributers, including David Nickle, my fellow Cecil Streeter.  Here’s the information about the book, from the Edge webpage, and a look at the cover:



Tesseracts Thirteen invites you to delve into literature’s shadowy side!

This, the newest and most unusual of the popular and award-winning Tesseracts anthologies, utilizes the mysterious and bewitching number ‘thirteen’ to explore a new realm of innovative, thought-provoking and disturbing fiction. Award-winning authors and editors Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell have unearthed twenty-three stories of horror and dark fantasy that reflect a mélange of Canada’s most exciting known and about-to-be known writers. These eerie-genre tales range from the unsettling to the sinister. Inside you will find stories featuring:

The young, but not always innocent — ghosts; multiple births; comic book characters come to life

Romance gone terribly wrong — curses; mournful spirits; bringing back the dead

Creepy and twisted realities — mummies; windigos; post apocalyptic Canada

The authors in Tesseracts 13 span the country, from east to west coast, applying a particularly Canadian stamp to a classic and revered genre. Contributors include: Kelley Armstrong; Alison Baird; Rebecca Bradley; Mary E. Choo; Suzanne Church; Kevin Cockle; Ivan Dorin; Katie Harse; Kevin Kvas; Michael Kelly; Jill Snider Lum; Catherine MacLeod; Matthew Moore; Silvia Moreno-Garcia; David Nickle; Jason Ridler; Gord Rollo; Andrea Schlecht; Daniel Sernine; Stephanie Short; Jean-Louis Trudel; Edo van Belkom; Bev Vincent

Expert-in-the-field Robert Knowlton provides a fascinating and detailed overview of the history of horror and dark fantasy writing and publishing in Canada.


Do come to the book launch and buy a copy, talk to us, let us sign things for you.  The book is good horrifying value for money.  For all I know, the signatures may be horrifying, too.

WorldCon 2009 — our schedules

Posted in Promotion, Shameless by Jill Snider Lum on Monday, August 3, 2009

Michael and I will both be attending Anticipaton, the 2009 World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal, Quebec.  It runs from Thursday the 6th of August through  Monday the 10th.  If you’re going to be there and you’d like to attend any of our panels, here’s when we’ll be doing what, and where.


Thursday 7:00pm 1hr
Room P-511CF
That was the Noughties, That Was
Carl Fink, Helen Gbala, Michael Skeet,
S.C. Butler, Virginia O’Dine
We’re four months off the end of a decade
– time for a retrospective. What were the
best sf/fantasy novels of the last ten years?
What will the decade be remembered for?

Friday 11:00am 1hr  Room to be announced
Cecil Street Kaffeklatsch
(time of event is tentative)

Friday 6:30pm 30min  Exhibit hall, 2nd floor
Autograph Signing
Michael Skeet, Kathryn Smith, Sherwood

Friday 9:00pm 1hr
Room P-511
Cecil Street Irregulars; A Canadian
Writers’ Group

Cory Doctorow, Douglas Smith, Karl
Schroeder, Madeline Ashby, Michael
Skeet, David Nickle, Jill Snider Lum,
Sara Simmons, Allan Weiss
The Cecil Street Irregulars writers’ workshop
is not its official name; it does not
meet irregularly, nor does it meet on or
anywhere near Cecil Street. It is, however,
one of the longest-lived of current writers
groups. Collectively the current and former
members have published numerous novels,
short stories, plays and poems; all continue
to insist (at least publicly) that they look
forward to the regular experience of having
their work sand-blasted by their fellows.

Sunday 10:00am 1hr
Room P-513B
Writers Who Have Collaborated:
Playing Well with Others

Jack Skillingstead, Jody Lynn Nye,
Michael Skeet, Lezli Robyn, Jill Snider
Lum, S.M. Stirling, David Nickle
Writers who have collaborated talk about
their experiences. Warning: War Stories

Monday 9:00am 1hr
Room P-522A
Author Reading
Matthew Rotundo, Michael Skeet, Richard

Monday 10:00am 1hr
Room P-513B
How much History does an SF
Writer Need to Know?

Mary Turzillo, Michael Skeet, Connie
Willis, S.M. Stirling
Those who don’t study history are doomed
to repeat it. Writers talk about whether
writing about the future requires a solid
knowledge of the past.


Friday 11:00am 1hr  Room to be announced
Cecil Street Kaffeklatsch
(time of event is tentative)

Friday 2:00pm 3hrs
Edge Publications Booth (Dealers’ Room), and then Delta Suite
Tesseracts Thirteen Book Launch/ Reading
My story “A Patch of Bamboo” appears in this thirteenth volume of the
Tesseracts anthology series of Canadian SF and Fantasy.  This year’s
theme was horror… more about this later.

Friday 9:00pm 1hr
Room P-511
Cecil Street Irregulars; A Canadian
Writers’ Group

Cory Doctorow, Douglas Smith, Karl
Schroeder, Madeline Ashby, Michael
Skeet, David Nickle, Jill Snider Lum,
Sara Simmons, Allan Weiss
The Cecil Street Irregulars writers’ workshop

Saturday 7:00pm 1hr
Room P-510D (Kids Programming)
Ghost Stories
Ann VanderMeer, Jenny Blackford,
Adrienne Foster, Sarah Smith, Jill Snider Lum
Come listen to some ghost stories! Sorry,
no campfire (but we can dim the lights).

Sunday 10:00am 1hr
Room P-513B
Writers Who Have Collaborated:
Playing Well with Others

Jack Skillingstead, Jody Lynn Nye,
Michael Skeet, Lezli Robyn, Jill Snider
Lum, S.M. Stirling, David Nickle
Writers who have collaborated talk about
their experiences. Warning: War Stories

Sunday 7:30pm  30min  Exhibit hall, 2nd floor
Autograph Signing
Jean Lorrah, Frank Ludlow, Jill Snider Lum,
Pat Lundrigan

The collaboration panel was Michael’s idea, and also features our fellow Cecil Street member, David Nickle.  Michael will be moderating that one, and I’m looking forward to hearing other people’s experiences of collaborating on fiction projects.  Anticipation isn’t going to lack for programming; there’ll be some very interesting stuff, and the kids’ programming track looks like a blast.  Hope we’ll see you there!

Come on in, they said. The water’s fine, they said.

Posted in Promotion, Shameless by Michael Skeet on Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hi. I’m Michael, the other half of this authorial tag-team. I can’t say that I’m unaccustomed to public speaking or anything, but I’m definitely not accustomed to this new-fangled Inter-tubes thing. I had a website, once. It was dead several months (mine host left town, having forgotten about me) before I noticed.

But that’s neither here nor there. Everyone I know says that blogging is fun for the entire family, so I’m here having been persuaded that I’ll really enjoy myself. <looks offstage> Oh, all right. Ahem. What I Did on My Summer Vacation. <ducks> Okay, okay. Who I Am and Why I’m Here.

I have been writing my entire adult life, in one form or another. Besides my fun in radio I have worked as a newspaper reporter, columnist and critic, a magazine writer and a movie critic on radio and (briefly disastrously) television. Since the mid-nineties I have made my living in the software business, writing manuals and other technical documentation.

My fiction career began in 1986, thanks in part to Phyllis Gotlieb (who bought the first SF story I ever wrote) and has proceeded in fits and starts since then. I won the Aurora Award for short fiction in 1992 (okay, technically I shared it with this guy, but this is about me, isn’t it?) and followed that one with another the following year for editing the anthology Tesseracts 4. Over the years I’ve published some stories and made some very good friends and tried to learn how to write novels.

Jill has already explained about “Beneath the Skin” and the novel that is emerging from that. My main reason for allowing myself to be persuaded to participate in this blogging project is that I want there to be a record, of sorts, of how this collaboration developed and progressed. And progressing is what it’s doing, as of this weekend.


Posted in Promotion, Shameless by Jill Snider Lum on Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hello!  <sets cocktail glass on table,  sits down on chair, and looks at you>

Well… here we are.

I’ve got here first, so I’ll introduce myself.  I am Jill Snider Lum, and Michael Skeet and I have begun this blog because we’re collaborating on a novel.  A couple of years ago we wrote a novella called “Beneath the Skin” which was published in Tesseracts Thirteen, an anthology of Canadian fantastic fiction.  We had such a good time of it that we decided to write a novel after that, telling about what followed for the characters in the novella.  We’re halfway through it, and by the time we’re finished, it’s going to be a really good novel, with strange supernatural Japanese creatures in it, and interesting human characters who have to deal with them.  “Blog!” everyone told us.  “You guys should blog!  Go on, blog, right this minute!”  So we’re doing it.  Two heads are better than one for this sort of thing, as long as they’re on separate necks, with separate bodies attached to them; otherwise I imagine the conflict of sharing a torso and legs would be just too irritating for practicality.

As for who we are… well, my husband and I have been hanging out with Michael and his wife for nearly 19 years — though I’m the newcomer to the group, as my husband has known the two of them for closer to 25 years.  So who we are is, friends.  We all in turn hang out with the same bunch of people, whom my husband refers to on his blog as “the usual suspects”.  We see each other several times a week at various social gatherings and at the Cecil Street writers’ group, of which I’ve been a member for the past three years, and which Michael helped found 22 years ago.  (You will gather from this preponderance two-digit numbers that none of us are tweenies anymore, for which I feel profound gratitude.)

Michael will certainly add more about who we are.  As for me, I have been a gemmologist, an insurance appraiser, an historical interpreter, a janitor, a COBOL programmer, an office administrator, and I’m working my way into technical writing.  Through everything else, I’ve always written fiction.  So who I am, I suppose, is a writer.  Which means that I’m somewhat egotistical and not especially sane; and there’s nothing wrong with that.