Two great new reviews of The Tattered Lands!

Hey everyone, just a quick pit stop to tell you of two great reviews for The Tattered Lands:

From Tor.com:

In Barbara Ann Wright’s The Tattered Lands, young alchemist Vandra is not living up to her potential. An expert on syndrium, the magical substance that powers the ring of pylons that keep back the threat of the tattered lands and their form-twisting mists and contamination from the last of the human-inhabited world, her first experiment to transmute other substances into syndrium worked. But none of her subsequent experiments have worked since. When one of the pylons fails—a failure that puts her entire society at risk—Vandra is sent by a politician acquaintance to investigate in secret. Accompanied by her younger siblings, twins Fieta and Pietyr, she sets out… and on the way her path crosses with the seelie (for which we may as well read “elf”) Lilani, daughter of the last seelie queen, and youngest of her race. Lilani is fascinated both with humans and with the pylons, believing that the future of her people is linked to them both, and she finds it easy to become fascinated with Vandra as well—a fascination that’s soon reciprocated. But furthering their acquaintance is complicated by politics, intrigue, and a conspiracy that spans both their peoples: a conspiracy that wants to bring down all the pylons and let the tattered lands have full reign.

This is a fun, entertaining novel. The characters are interesting and appealing, and Wright deploys plain, unadorned prose to good effect. I enjoyed it, and if you’re looking for light and fun, this is definitely a good bet.

 

From Publisher’s Weekly:

Wright’s postapocalyptic romance is a fast-paced journey through devastation. In an ambiguously described world that may be ours or another, most of which has been taken over by a dangerous mist, humans and the magical folk called seelie are forced to come together to save what little land is left. Ten magical pylons protect humans from the mist-covered “tattered lands.” When one pylon stops working, the humans fear the mists will kill them or turn them into dangerous monsters. Alchemist Vandra is sent to find out whether it can be fixed. The situation’s worse than she thought, and she encounters seelie princess Lilani, who wants to convince her own people to help fix the pylon. As they try to broker peace, threatened by those who fear human-seelie collaboration even more than they fear the mist, the two women slowly fall for each other. Plenty of action, surprises, and magic will keep readers turning the pages.

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ArmadilloCon 2018 and a reading at Malvern Books

Hey everyone, it’s time again for ArmadilloCon! I’ll be there all weekend, Aug 3-5, but if you want to stalk me especially close, here are my panels:

Friday the 3rd at 9pm: Horror: What We Love & Why: Ghosts, gothic, splatterpunk, vampires, weird. There are many types of horror. In this session, we’ll ask our panelists to tell to us about the kinds of horror they write, the kinds they like to read, and to suggest favorite horror books and writers.

Saturday the 4th at 10am: The State of the Star Trek Franchise: Is Star Trek Discovery worthwhile? What changes does it make to the universe, and are those changes problematic? And in the far future, are we excited or horrified by the prospect of a Star Trek movie directed by Quentin Tarantino?

Saturday the 4th at 11am: The Fine Art of Moderating a Panel: How do you get ready to moderate a discussion at a convention? How do you run an excellent discussion? If needed, how do you manage panel participants and listeners? How do you bring out the best in the people on your panel? Come, learn, and share ideas!

Saturday the 4th at 3pm: Autographing in the Dealers Room

Saturday the 4th at 4pm: The Writing of the Snark: The Art of Writing Humorous Fiction:Tips and techniques for writing humorous fiction.

Saturday the 4th at 7pm: Reading

Sunday the 5th at 12pm: Can’t You Just Google It? Research Techniques for Writers: What kinds of research do our panelists do when building worlds and stories?

Whew. I’m gonna be busy.

But not too busy to read at Malvern Books on Aug 9!

Hope to see you there!

Release Day and a Sale!

Hi, everyone! Boy, it’s been a while. Things have been hectic as hell around here lately, but today is cause for celebration. Happy release day to Children of the Healer, the third book in the Godfall series:

With the Storm Lord dead, Cordelia Ross and Simon Lazlo return to Gale, to normality, but when they find the populace poisoned by the drushka, it’s clear the aliens must be dealt with before life can be anything near normal. In the north, Patricia Dué takes control of Gale’s mine with Jonah, the servant she created in Dillon Tracey’s old body. She thinks controlling the humans’ only source of metal will bring her power, but her past won’t be banished so easily.

Amidst the chaos and conflict, a prophet predicts that true calamity is still to come, and the only way to stop it may be a murderous widow looking for revenge. As factions splinter and reconnect, the fate of Calamity lies uncertain, and even the prophets can’t see every ripple on the horizon.

And if that’s not enough, there’s a flash sale over at Bold Strokes Books! You can catch up on all my titles, including the Godfall series, for a limited time!

There’s no trailer yet. (I know, I know.) One of the reasons why is because I’m moving, I’m branching out into freelance copywriting and editing work, and I’m getting divorced. So, you have to forgive my lateness because if you don’t, you’re a monster.

Also also also, I’ll be at ConDFW the weekend of February 16, 17, and 18. I’ll post the final schedule as soon as I have it. Feel free to come see me there and buy me several hundred drinks. Thanks.

I hope you enjoy Children of the Healer. If you don’t, you’re also a monster.
j/k

Come One, Come All to ArmadilloCon!

But first, you can get House of Fate RIGHT. NOW.

That’s right! The wait is over. Head on over to the BSB webstore, and you can get a paperback or ebook copy. BSB sells ebooks in all formats, compatible with all ereaders! And if you spend $25 or more, you can use the code TEN% to save 10%! How cool is that!

Still not convinced? Read the excerpt on the House of Fate BSB page, then get back to me. I’ll wait.

Cool, now that you’ve ordered House of Fate for everyone you know, let’s talk ArmadilloCon! It’s this weekend, August 4-6, at the Omni Southpark hotel in Austin. Here’s where you can find me:

Friday, August 4, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM in the Southpark room: Timeless vs. Tired Tropes in SFF How to make tropes work for you. What works and what doesn’t and why.

Saturday, August 5, Noon-12:30 PM in the Conference Center: Reading

Saturday August 5, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM in the Southpark Room: LGBTQA+ Alphabet Soup & Sci-Fi/Fantasy LGBTQA+ in speculative fiction, both characters & behind the scenes, how SFF is a perfect medium for it… and how hacks take advantage of the tropes

Saturday, August 5, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM in the Southpark B  Room: You have a great idea for a story — Now what? Ideas are everywhere. Most writers have more ideas than they know what to do with. How do you take your awesome idea and build it out into a short story or a novel?

Sunday, August 6, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM in the Dealers’ Room: Signing

Sunday, August 6, 3:00 PM-4:00 PM in Southpark B What is this thing Called Plot?:And how is it done right — and wrong?

You have no excuses for missing me at this event. I’m gonna be EVERYWHERE. So come on out and see me! I’ll have books. I’ll have swag. We’ll talk nerdy to each other.

Who’s in?

 

We’re coming for you, Chicago.

That’s right, next week is the annual GCLS conference at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare in Chicago! It’s five full days of lesfic writers talking about what they do best. There will be presentations, keynote speeches, panels, readings, and BOOKS! Seriously, you can get so many books there. Books that you can’t get anywhere else. Like…

That’s right! If you attend the GCLS conference, you can get House of Fate a whole month early! Before the freakin’ trailer is even out! You too can get the book I call, “A must read!” It has been called, “Something people will be interested in,” and “Hey, cool cover!”

Seriously, tho, the blurb:

Judit has one duty: to guard the chosen one, he who will unite two warring, star-spanning houses in marriage. Simple, if she wasn’t already in love with the bride-to-be. As far as anyone knows, Annika has been raised to be the perfect bride and future matriarch. Secretly, she’s an assassin ordered to usurp the chosen one’s mind and kill anyone who gets in her way.

When the political landscape shifts, murders and abductions threaten to tear the galaxy apart. Judit and Annika race to uncover the source of the strife. It must be someone powerful and bold enough to risk throwing whole star systems into ruin, someone who could change destinies and bring two lovers together, if they survive.

(Psst, if you can’t GCLS this year, House of Fate also available on the BSB site.)

BUT IF YOU CAN GCLS (and I highly recommend it) I’m going to be all over this conference, y’all.

On Thursday, July 6, from 8:30 – 9:20am, I’m doing a presentation called The Art of the Fight in room O’Hare #1

Whether you have two characters engaged in a bare-knuckle brawl or a shoot-out involving many players, this presentation will help writers successfully navigate writing a combat scene. Learn the difference between realistic and fiction fighting, how to judge a character’s level of combat expertise, what language to use to make a combat scene pop, and how to pace the scene so that readers are always immersed in the action.

Come watch me totter around on painkillers and tell you how to kick people’s asses. In fiction, of course. Mostly.

On the same Thursday, July, 6 from 2-3 pm, I’m moderating a panel called Not Your Mama’s Paranormal in room O’Hare #4

Thinking outside the box is what the paranormal and fantasy genres are all about.  But what does it take to stand out in a world already populated with werewolves, shapeshifters, and wizards. What’s next?

I will endeavor not to embarrass or my lovely panelists. Or maybe I will…

Also on Thursday, July 6, from 4:10-5 pm, I’m participating in Romance Mad Libs in room O’Hare #4

Join us for a new panel game from GCLS! Romance writers test their quick-witted response ability when given some of our most interesting romance vocabulary—submitted by the audience members.

This is going to be a laugh riot. The words, “quivering love mounds” will probably get used.

Then, on Friday, July 7, from 9:50-10:50 am, I will be reading in O’Hare 5 from House of Fate. So you can run out and buy that afterward.

Finally, on Friday, July 7 from 5:30-6:30 pm, I will be participating in the massive Author Autograph Session in the vendor room. Get all your books signed and enter to win an awesome contest from Bold Strokes Books.

Contest rules:

Introducing the BOLD STROKES BOOKS at GCLS 13th Annual Conference Author Signing Contest! WIN TEN BSB BOOKS OF YOUR CHOICE! We’ll be distributing these postcards at the Author Autograph session on Friday – while you’re getting your books signed, collect at least ten of these authors’ signatures on the card, put your name and email address on the card, drop it off with Barbara Ann Wright, and we’ll pull a winner out of a hat.
Ann Aptaker, AuthorJulie BlairDena BlakeMelissa Brayden Donna K. Ford Catherine Friend Anne Laughlin D. Jackson Leigh Jeannie Levig Erin McKenzie Laydin Michaels Tina Michele Martha Miller Lisa Moreau Jaycie Morrison Lesléa Newman Radclyffe Aurora Rey Juliann Rich KC Richardson Fiona Riley Justine Saracen Cass Sellars Nell Stark Holly Stratimore Carsen Taite Shelley Thrasher M. Ullrich Ali Vali Missouri Vaun Jessica L. Webb MJ Williamz Barbara Ann Wright

So, with all this and more, you’re totally coming to the conference, right? Please? I need someone to lead me around. Or push me around in a wheelbarrow. Now where am I going to get a glittery wheelbarrow on short notice? Hmm.

My Cancer Week

As some of you may know, a few weeks ago, I had bladder surgery. Everything went okay, but while operating, my doctor spotted a tiny mark on my bladder. Like, teeny tiny. Less than half the size of my pinky nail. It was a spot rather than a lesion. Still, she wanted to check it out, and it was so small that when she tried to biopsy it, she just took the whole thing.

It looked like nothing, but it was cancer. Malignant, angry, fuck-off cancer.

If left to its own devices, it might have killed me. Bladder cancer is sneaky. Doctors often don’t spot it until it’s already well on its way to killing you. And they usually spot it because of blood in the urine. But I have kidney stones, so that wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow for me, let alone a red flag.

Like the grandpa in “The Princess Bride”, I feel like I should tell you that I don’t get eaten by the eels at this point. I’m okay. They checked the rest of me, and I’m cancer-free. To help us both calm down, here’s a chicken that looks like it’s wearing pants that it made itself:

So, now that we’re breathing, they checked the rest of me for cancer but found none. And now I will get regular checks on my bladder for the rest of my life. But for a week or so, I had cancer. I didn’t tell anyone but my family. I’m sorry if anyone’s feelings are hurt because I didn’t include them. It doesn’t mean we’re not close. I felt like if I said it too loudly, it would come back.

My fears don’t really listen to me when I tell them they’re ridiculous. Maybe someday, they’ll learn.

I know this is some heavy shit. To help you catch your breath again, here’s my dog Polly in a Wonder Woman cape:

Got your wind back? Okay.

I’ve had lots of thoughts since my cancer week. There were a couple agonizing waiting periods between tests. There have been lots of feelings. Do I feel lucky? Yes. Extremely. Was I scared? More than a little. But having a chronic pain condition already prepared me a bit. I didn’t have to go from zero to cancer. I was already “sick.” A very irrational part of me was happy. Why? Because the part of me that’s always looking for a reason behind my various illnesses thought, “Great! Cancer is probably the cause behind my RA, my anxiety, and my PCOS. And when they get rid of that, all those other problems will go away!” I also fantasized that I wasn’t really overweight but had a fifty pound tumor, and when they removed it, I would have the body of my dreams…

Like I said, irrational.

Did the whole experience change me? I still haven’t decided. Living every day like my last isn’t really possible, not when it’s not actually the last. I mean, the dishes still have to get done. I did decide that if I didn’t have much time left, I would spend quite a bit of it writing because I have so much more I want to say. And if I don’t finish the Godfall series before I die, several people have threatened to come after me in the afterlife, sort of like a reverse haunting. No one wants that.

Time for another pic. Here’s my mom’s cat being zen:

Ah, so soothing.

I am happy I don’t have to go through cancer treatments. Not yet, at least. Hopefully never. I am happy that I get to live more, to write more, to love and be loved more.

I had cancer for a week. Does that make me a survivor? I think I always was one, just not in a cancer-y way. That feels important to say.

Also important: I’m going to see Wonder Woman tomorrow night.

What are you looking forward to?

Two Big Cons, Two Chances to See Yours Truly!

Hey gang, on April 28-30, come see me and all the great guests at HavenCon in Austin!

And on May 12-14, I’ll be appearing at Houston Comicpalooza!

You can find the schedule for HavenCon here, but in case you’re dying to know just where you can find me:

Friday, April 28th at 11:00am, I’ll be leading a talk on LGBTQ characters as villains.

Saturday, April 29th at 11:00am, I’ll be give out some tips and tricks on Worldbuilding.

And all weekend, I’ll be rocking a Guest of Honor table so you can buy books and talk about life. Maybe there will even be some prizes. You have to come to find out!

The full schedule for Houston Comicpalooza isn’t up yet, but all the Guest bios are here. Boy, am I in some rare company! And here’s where you can find me:

On Friday, May 12th at 4:00pm, I’ll be on a panel called “Not Your Grandpa’s Fantasy.”

On Saturday, May 13th at 11:30am, I’ll be on a new type of panel, a fan roundtable, and we’ll be discussing fantasy.

On Saturday at 2:30, it’s another fan roundtable about science fiction.

Also in May, on the 16h, I’ll be at the Women With Pride Book Club talking about Coils at 7pm!

Now, come on, you can come see me at one of these, right?