My Panels at SL Comic Con FanX 2016: Gaining Writer Resilience, Writing Tough Topics for YA, and Going Beyond Steampunk Goggles

Cindy Grigg Profile Comic Con 2016

SL Comic Con FanX 2016 is upon us! Here’s what I’m promoting and where I’ll be.

First of all, this is my first time having a booth, so look for my boutique press Misch Masch Publishing in Artist’s Alley, with CrankLeft. Our address is Teal 3. Come say hi!

I’m promoting three books:

First, the Peacock Lavine and the Aetherian Fates of Nott series, about an immortal Valkyrie who lives among mortals in Regency London.

logo-moko-b

“A Norse Steampunk and Urban Fantasy Rollick and Tussle Through an Alternative Regency Iceland, England, and the Afterlife”, Peacock Lavine and the Aetherian Fates of Nott includes notes of Jane Austen’s day but with airships, societal hermits, Luddites, and of course, Norse supernaturals.

And yes, it’s okay to go Regency rather than Victorian and still be steampunk because the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century.

This has been incredibly fun to write, and it definitely covers a lot of ground, so it may need to be your next adventure novel.

Please note that you may want to preview this book before sharing it with your mature MG’s. It’s pretty tame but does reference violence (Valkyries are Shieldmaidens and this is during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, plus Ragnarok!), sex (that it happens, not a play by play), and garden variety swears. The protagonist is 18 years old, but she’s lived in a compound so she’s both figuring out who she is and where she fits in the larger world. For that reason, both MG and YA readers may relate.

BUY THE FRIST BOOK ON AMAZON

 

Here’s Contestant #2!

Psychopomps or “guides of souls” are those entities who escort the nearly or newly dead to an afterlife realm.Psychopomps Cover 20

A TEENAGE GIRL’S FIGHT TO SAVE HER NEWBORN BROTHER FROM THE PHANTOM OF DEATH WHO SEEKS TO STEAL HIS SOUL

Little Bundle of Death by BEN LANE HODSON  

A PIRATE’S REDEMPTION FROM INFERNUM TO AETERNUS WITH THE GUIDANCE OF A SEA REAPER MERMAID

The Sea of Ghosts by RAYCHEL ROSE

A CORPSE DUSTER’S INITIATIVE TO OUTPROGRAM DEATH

Mobile Dusters by E.W. FARNSWORTH

A BRITISH SOLIDER’S ESCAPE FROM LIMBO AFTER HIS VALKYRIE GUIDE GOES ROGUE

 The Resurrectionist’s Kiss by CINDY GRIGG

… AND MORE!

 

BUY THIS TITLE ON AMAZON

 

The third book is for writers, detailing how I speak my drafts rather than typing them, which has helped me be active by going on Writer Walkabouts, increase my daily word count, and more. A total lifestyle-changer, whether you write fiction or non-fiction!

I include a system of drills that are hopefully fun, as they incorporate works of classic literature.

Once you master this skill, you will feel like you’re working with eight arms and an octopod’s evil genius mind!!

The Productive Authors Guide to Dictation Full Cover E 2.png

Note: This is a new cover for the print version. The eBook features a previous cover until early April. Same content either way.

BUY THIS TITLE ON AMAZON

 

Panels!

Friday March 25, 2016 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm


150G



 

Check out this main Panel Programming Page for more details, and have a wonderful week!

Psychopomps (Shepherds of the Dead) Available in Digital or Print

Happy October 1st! Autumn is hands-down the best season of the year. Time for spooky, paranormal, and otherwise haunting reads!

My short story “The Resurrectionist’s Kiss” is featured in an anthology that is now available in print as well as e-book format.

Check out Psychopomps: Shepherds of the Dead on Amazon

Psychopomps Inline Social Final C 440 Width

The anthology also features stories by Ben Lane Hodson (Author), E. W. Farnsworth (Author), Raychel Rose (Author).

So if you are looking for a way to check out our work while celebrating autmumn and Halloween, this would be a good way to do that!

Author Raychel Rose put together this awesome book trailer. Enjoy!

Action, Austen, Alice, and More: Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 Recap #SLCC15

SL Comic Con Cindy-Grigg-1030x832Writing is often wonderful but just as often, it’s a total slog, so I love the opportunity to step back and attend conferences or conventions.

This past weekend, participating in panels at Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 was a blast and I enjoyed meeting so many writers and readers. Here’s a recap!

First off, we broke a world record, no big deal…

Second, a bunch of you signed my email list for editing information but if you took a card instead, here is a form where you can please send me your email. We’ll be in touch soon.

My favorite panels to observe included one for Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans, one about voice acting, and another about a really inspiring project for children facing difficult challenges: True Heroes, featuring Shannon Hale, Brandon Mull, Ally Condie, Jennifer A. Nielsen, Adam Sidwell, and others, with photography by Jonathan Diaz.

True Heroes

As for the panels I participated on, here’s a quick run-down:

IMG_2820Writing Action – I loved being on this panel alongside amazing authors Aaron Lee Yeager, Eric James Stone, Larry Correia, Robert J. Defendi, Frank Morin, and Charles E. Gannon. I was able to share a few things I’ve learned from writing my character in Piccadilly Valkyrie, Kára, an immortal who confronts her complex relationship with violence and self-defense, and who trains to be a bare-knuckle boxer when exiled to live among mortals in early 19th century London.

IMG_2886Tea Time with Miss Austen – I loved meeting Shannon Hale,
author of Austenland, awesome podcasters Lola Binkerd and Emma Fyffe, and fellow authors Mette Ivie Harrison, Shallee McArthur, and E.B. Wheeler.  We explored why Austen is still relevant today and I believe our consensus was that if she was born in our day and age, she would be writing an awesome t.v. series with the likes of Tina Fey.


Psychopomps Pram Full Cover 20150 Years Down the Rabbit Hole (Through the Looking Glass / Lewis Carroll) – It was a pleasure meeting my fellow panelists Jessica Day George, Nathan Croft, Benjamin Tilton, and I particularly enjoyed sitting next to Frank Beddor, author of The Looking Glass Wars series, who inspired me with his awesome, intensive sourcebook on the topic. He is definitely an author who does his research! During this panel I was able to contribute a bit about Mischmasch, Carroll’s ‘self-published’ periodical among friends and family and the inspiration for the name of my boutique press Misch Masch Publishing. Check out our latest anthology, just in time for the Halloween season. Psychopomps: Shepherd of the Dead features several tales about those beings who may escort us into the next life.

Digital (e-Book) or Paperback

Finally, please consider joining my social media channels to the right, or at least browse through them so you can see the fun cosplay!

Author E.W. Farnsworth Shares His Inspiration for “Mobile Dusters”, As Featured in PSYCHOPOMPS: SHEPHERDS OF THE DEAD

It is my pleasure to have author E.W. Farnsworth guest posting on my blog today. He is one of several authors who has contributed to an anthology I am excited to be a part of.Psychopomps Pram Full Cover 20

You can pick up Psychopomps: Shepherds of the Dead on Amazon, including his story “Mobile Dusters”, which expresses a post-apocalyptic interpretation of who guides us toward death–computers, aliens, and our own thwarted humanity!

At least, that’s my interpretation of his story. Here are his thoughts on the genesis of his idea for “Mobile Dusters” and how he developed the story:

E W Farnsworth ENGEL
I first wrote three stories about the post-apocalyptic landscape developing from my intensive research on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.  Those thee stories became part of the setting for the end chapters of E. W. Farnsworth’s novel, Bitcoin Fandango, which was published in March of 2015.  Researching the continuing conflict in Eastern Ukraine unearthed the introduction of mobile crematorium units by Russia to destroy the physical evidence of their contribution to the mayhem there.  The haunting image of those all-devouring units led to my “mobile dusters” that have a much broader significance than the current conflict when they are used worldwide more generally in an End Times scenario.  Most have forgotten what the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction means for all of us, even in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.
 
At the same time as I wrote about Eastern Ukraine as a metaphor, I was writing five other stories about how brave and determined people would probably have to adapt to survive a similar post-apocalyptic scenario if it were transposed to the United States.  Those stories, centered around a daring, brilliant and beautiful heroine named Nitrous Belle were published inSweat, Steel and Cruise Control Anthology of Horrified Press in the UK last month.  In E. W. Farnsworth’s “Launch of the Spaceship Arcturus,” Nitrous Belle and her cohorts help the heroes and heroines break through the southern US border and make it to the launch site.
 
All of these stories formed the background for other E. W. Farnsworth End-Time stories positing humankind’s inexorable revulsion from technology, particularly Artificial Intelligences.  This led to a sequence of stories about how advanced technology would survive the coming holocaust.  E. W. Farnsworth is now working on an epic poem, The Voyage of the Spaceship Arcturus, about the future of humankind when humans, avatars and artificial intelligences must work together to instantiate a second Eden after the Chaos Wars bring an end to life on Earth.  His story, “The Resurrection Team,” is about what happens after the spaceship has left Earth.  The hero Gabriel leads the team to a horrific discovery about the corrupt leadership after the End.
 
It may help to know that for many years (and continuing till today) I have led teams to develop AI for classified programs for the US military and I have been for many years a student of the biblical Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation, Wagner’s Ring Cycle, particularly Gotterdamerung, and Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus, so my factual and biblical/mythical bases for my stories is fairly sound.
 
Not least, as an admirer of the works of Edgar Allen Poe, particularly but not exclusively, “Masque of the Red Death,” which Psychopomps short story I first encountered in my very early teens, I naturally also drew from such dark speculative literary currents as were created by William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Neal Stephenson’s apocalyptic Snow Crash, both of which posit human agents of Apocalypse John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained are the backdrops and inspiration for Farnsworth’s Voyage of the Spaceship Arcturus.  So too are Augustine’s City of God and Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queen.  In a strange way, Albert Speer’s Memoirs feed into the nexus of influences.
 
I sincerely hope we can avoid the consequences of what we are doing to ourselves. I’m not sure many literary critics understand that technology can be the way out of the destructive, pseudo-deterministic path humans (not deities or devils) we have laid out for ourselves.  I think we have relied too much on theology as a cop-out for being responsible for our outcomes.
 
– E. W. Farnsworth Gilbert, Arizona September 12, 2015

 

Find more blog links for this project at the official Misch Masch Publishing site for the anthology –  Pscyhopomps: Shepherds of the Dead.

Get your copy of Psychopomps: Shepherd of the Dead on Amazon

Psychopomps Pram Full Cover 20

Have a wonderful week! And for those of you going to SL Comic Con, I’ll see you there…

My Panels for SL Comic Con 2015: How to Write Action, Tea Time with Jane Austen, and the Impact of Alice in Wonderland!

I absolutely love being involved with SL Comic Con and next week’s 2015 event looks to be as killer as ever.

Here’s the run-down of my panels and such!

SL Comic Con Cindy-Grigg-1030x832

Psychopomps Pram Full Cover 20

I have two books coming out right around this time so it’s a bit of a whirlwind how that’s all worked out, but I can’t wait to share both of these.

One is an anthology called Psychopomps, so it is a collection of  speculative fiction short stories by me and three other authors: Raychel Rose, E. W. Farnsworth, and Ben Lane Hodson. In it, we also include our favorite classic short stories on the topic of ‘Shepherds of the Dead’, so you can’t go wrong! Even though you’ll of course like our stories, you’ll also get timeless but sometimes overlooked tales by luminaries such as Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, H.P. Lovecraft, and E.F. Benson (available on Amazon).

Picadilly Valkyrie 60 overlay

The other is the first novel in my series Peacock Lavine and the Fates of Nyx, about an immortal Valkyrie who creates a new identity as a social enigma influencing change in regency era London, when she’s forced to live among mortals (available October 2015).

“A Steampunk and Urban Fantasy Rollick and Tussle Through an Alternative Regency Iceland and England”Piccadilly Valkyrie (Book 1 in the series) hits notes of Jane Austen’s society but it also encompasses lower elements, societal hermits, Luddites, and of course, Norse supernaturals.

 The coolest thing about these conventions is learning from others, so my goal in participating on panels is to give back and hopefully share anything that might be helpful, interesting, or entertaining to either readers or writers.

Why I’m on this panel: In my novel Piccadilly Valkyrie, my main character learns the basics of 18th century bare-knuckle boxing.

Friday September 25, 2015 1:00 pm to 1:50 pm

Some of the biggest challenges writers face involve fast-paced flurries of action, big explosions, and keeping track of whose limbs are where – all without the help of a visual aid. Writing action is a serious undertaking and shouldn’t be done without adult supervision. Luckily, we’ve assembled a team of adults to help guide you through the process.


Room 255C

Larry Correia
Robert J. Defendi
Charles E. Gannon
Cindy Grigg
Frank Morin
Eric James Stone
Aaron Lee Yeager

So if you’re going to SL Comic Con, let me know or come up and say hello.

Check out my SL Comic Con Profile Page  or this main Panel Programming Page for more details, and have a wonderful week!

Be a Beta Reader or Listener for Piccadilly Valkyrie

I ‘m excited to be finalizing work on my next novel PICCADILLY VALKYRIE and am looking for some scathingly-honest beta readers!

If you love any of these genres, you will likely enjoy this book: Urban Fantasy, Odin/Thor mythologies, Regency, Victorian, Paranormal, Adventure, Steampunk, and Romance.

If you’re wondering whether all that is a strange combination–it is! Here’s the cover and an early version of the back cover blurb follows:

Picadilly Valkyrie 60 overlay

Peacock Lavine is an enigma making waves in London with her uncanny ability to empower the disenfranchised of society while also gaining influence among the social elite.

She is herself disenfranchised, from the Icelandic compound where she was raised to be one of Odin’s Valkyrie–immortal Swan Maidens who weave Fate on ancient looms. Valkyrie also fly their Faxi (cloud horses) onto mortal battlefields to recruit the bravest warriors for death and an afterlife as heroes called Einherjar. The Einherjar get to battle and feast in Odin’s great palace Valhalla in preparation for the great immortal battle of Ragnarok.

But Peacock developed differently than her fellow Valkyrie, propelling her into a series of choices about how she will survive exile from Odin’s realm, live among mortals, and discover a use for her blossoming identity as a very different type of Valkyrie. Her adventures among London’s low- and high-society lead her to confront mortal conventions as well as Odin’s role for Valkyrie in the afterlife, as eternal bearers of mead for the Einherjar while never engaging in battle themselves.

Peacock’s own ideas pitch her into a fight against the mortal and immortal forces that would keep her powerless against something she is still struggling to believe in–her own Fate.

I’d be grateful for your honest feedback on the first few chapters of PICCADILLY VALKYRIE or the whole thing. Whatever you have time for! I expect to be send this out to beta readers in early August.

A few other things you might be concerned or curious about:

  • PICCADILLY VALKYRIE is a YA book, which to me means it’s for anyone above the age of about 12. The main characters are between 16 and 30 years old.
  • Sex is referenced as something that happens but it is not detailed in the prose.
  • Violence features more readily than is typical for regency novels. While it features the fun ballrooms and such of Jane Austen stories, PICADILLY VALKYRIE also takes readers into the underprivileged, lower-class, and criminal sides of early 19th-century society, including boxing and gambling dens, prisons, and other gritty scenes. It is also about Valkyries (Death Maidens) who recruit from mortal battlefields so its wider scope includes things like Luddite rebellions and the Napoleonic Wars.
  • The book’s main themes are challenging: pacifism versus war, fate versus free will, women’s and men’s roles in mortal and immortal paradigms, disability, privilege, religion, industrialization versus artisanal craftsmanship, being raised feral ;), and more .

Hopefully, this helps you gauge whether it’s something for you. I’m pretty sure it is! I’ve had a blast writing it and love where it has taken me.

The following link takes you to a bit more detail about what to expect from beta reading and a quick sign-up form.

– SIGN UP TO BE A BETA READER HERE – 

Thanks, and have a wonderful week!