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.

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“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.

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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!

 

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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!!

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

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Panels!

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


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

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!

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!

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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).

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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!

Extended Deadline: Short Story Submissions for ‘Shepherds of the Dead’

I’m excited to announce that because a few projects have been rearranged, I’m extending the deadline for submissions to an anthology coming out Fall 2015: PSYCHOPOMPS: SHEPHERDS OF THE DEAD.

I’m really excited about the scope of this book. Here’s more detail on the project and theme if this is a new idea for you: PSYCHOPOMPS: SHEPHERDS OF THE DEAD.

Basically, a psychopomp is any escort into the afterlife, from the Grim Reaper to angels and beyond.

Below is the latest mock-up for the cover. Still playing with fonts and such but hopefully this helps you capture the vision of this book:

Psychopomps Pram Full Cover 20

Note that the original mock-up was designed with contributing authors on the front but we may go with something more like this. Just wanted to mention this in case not having your name on the front is a deal-breaker for you.

All names will be prominently displayed on the back cover and as mentioned earlier, selected stories will include complete bio’s linking back to your author sites and whatnot.

The new deadline is July 31, 2015.

Hopefully this gives a few of you a bit more time. I figured I’d offer the extra time window since I can.

I hope you’ll send in a story. New authors welcome!

Call for Story Submissions: PSYCHOPOMPS (An Anthology)

I am excited to announce Misch Masch Press‘ first anthology, which will be published this fall.

If you are a writer (or aspire to be), I hope you will send in a story for consideration. Here are all the sordid details!

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What Are Psychopomps?

‘Psychopomp’ is a real term (I did not make it up!) and refers to any being, creature, or essence which escorts the dead or dying into an afterlife.

Think of these as shepherds of the soul, for example. While many stories in this anthology will necessarily skirt the fantastical and the macabre by dealing with various faith or myth traditions about death from throughout the world, others may deal with entirely new or made up paradigms. I am excited about the breadth of the topic!

Genre Overview

The mood of this anthology is spooky and provocative but not heinously gory, sexually explicit, or anything else annoying.

This anthology comprises a breadth of speculative fiction genres including Paranormal, Sci Fi, Steampunk, Fantasy, and Horror.

Form and Word Count

We are primarily looking for short stories but if you have works in another form, feel free to message us through our form on the MischMaschPress.com site.

Word Count: 3,000 – 10,000 words

If this interests you, please find more detail on this official PSYCHOPOMPS Anthology Description page. Submissions are due by July 31, 2015. 

Will Contributors Get Royalties?

Important: Please read these Misch Masch Press Anthology Submission Guidelines.

For example, at this time, Misch Masch anthologies are not a paying market–meaning if your story is accepted, you will receive no royalties. Basically, Misch Masch is paying for the super awesome cover art from Consuelo Parra, the professional editing, the marketing, and everything else in production so all fundraising for the project and proceeds will funnel back into the Misch Masch machine. That way we can create more cool anthologies! We hope to evolve into a paying market for future anthologies.

However! You will get your name on the cover, contact information and bio printed in the header of your story, access to promotional materials, a free copy and access to as many more as you want to order at cost, and the benefit of building your writing portfolio and circle of contacts with other authors.

We Will Also Be Looking At…

Also, preference will be given to those writers with an online presence. This is something most writers do anyway. We are interested in this because your online platform helps us represent you as a contributor to our book, and quite frankly, it helps us promote the book.

So if you’re just starting out, by all means still send us your story but just know that as we make final selections, your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other online feeds that feature your writing interests are taken into account.

I’m totally excited about this project. I hope you’ll check it out and send in your story!