Timeless Lust Release Party Chat Log


May 26, 2016

Hi folks, I’m D.M. Atkins, publisher at ForbiddenFiction. Myself, Lon Sarver (editor) and Nola Bee (promotions) will be hosting today’s chat in celebration of our newest anthology, Timeless Lust in the Ancient World.

05/26 14:08D.M. Atkins

Timeless Lust” has eleven stories by eight authors, most of home will be dropping in for some part of the chat time.

05/26 14:08Lon Sarver

Hi, I’m Lon Sarver. I edited many of the stories in Timeless Lust.

05/26 14:09Nola Bee

Hello! I’m Nola and helped coordinate the tour!

05/26 14:09Mina Kelly

Hi! I’m Mina Kelly. I wrote Never Before Touched by Cupid, which is an m/m/m real person fic, about Virgil, Horace and Propertius.

05/26 14:10Mina Kelly

I’m a Latin geek

05/26 14:10Annabeth Leong

Hi! I’m Annabeth Leong. I wrote The Snake and the Lyre (based on the myth of Orpheus), Andromache’s Prize (about the aftermath of the Trojan War), and Hunting Artemis (in which the famously virginal goddess makes love to a worshiper through a surrogate).

05/26 14:11D.M. Atkins

Great! Could you each tell us more about your writing?

05/26 14:12Annabeth Leong

I studied classics in college, and a lot of my writing has been about making erotic use of that background material.

05/26 14:12Annabeth Leong

I get a lot of pleasure out of thinking about how the people at my very conservative school would react to what I’ve done with my education.

05/26 14:12Lon Sarver

Moo hoo ha ha

05/26 14:13D.M. Atkins


05/26 14:13D.M. Atkins

Your “Icarus Bleeds” reads like a classic!

05/26 14:13Annabeth Leong

I studied Ancient Greek, translated parts of Sophocles and stuff like that, so I feel like I’ve got a solid foundation for my very dirty stories.

05/26 14:13D.M. Atkins

Only hotter.

05/26 14:13Annabeth Leong

Oh, thank you so much! It’s great to be among people who appreciate this stuff.

05/26 14:13Annabeth Leong

Really, I think this is a good use of my education.

05/26 14:13Annabeth Leong

I know people here would agree.

05/26 14:14D.M. Atkins


05/26 14:14Lon Sarver

Brainy porn. It’s what we do.

05/26 14:14D.M. Atkins

Smart smut!

05/26 14:14Mina Kelly

I studied Latin at school, and took it for my foreign language module at university. Classical educations are surprisingly useful in the modern world, aren’t they?

05/26 14:14Mina Kelly

05/26 14:14Annabeth Leong

05/26 14:14D.M. Atkins


05/26 14:15Annabeth Leong

Mina, we should have some sort of Latin vs Greek showdown.

05/26 14:15Lon Sarver

Classical language rap battle?

05/26 14:16Annabeth Leong

haha I’m not sure my education is quite that fresh in my mind. Freestyling is definitely beyond me.

05/26 14:16Mina Kelly

I only remember scraps of actual latin now, but I do remember “Dar mihi osculum”, which is “give me a kiss”.

05/26 14:16Annabeth Leong

oh nice! Relevant clip!

05/26 14:16D.M. Atkins

So much fun listening to two of my favorite writers talk!

05/26 14:17D.M. Atkins

Both of you manage to write such a variety of sexualties and places.

05/26 14:18Mina Kelly

The great thing about short stories is the capacity to experiment.

05/26 14:19Mina Kelly

I find launching into a whole novel in w pairing/group that you’re unfamiliar with is very daunting, but in a short you know you can try it out and see if it fits.

05/26 14:19Slave Nano

I think I’m in? I’ve just logged into web ffp website.

05/26 14:20D.M. Atkins

Welcome. Introduce yourself to readers?

05/26 14:20Slave Nano

Yes, I’m now logged in under my author name. Hi I’m Nano I wrote the story the Nemesis Bird in the anthology.

05/26 14:21Nola Bee


05/26 14:21Lon Sarver


05/26 14:22D.M. Atkins

So, while Nano and Kelly have a story each in this anthology, all three of you have multiple stories with us. I think Lon can speak to how much we enjoy getting to know authors over multiple works.

05/26 14:22Lon Sarver

Well, it’s easier than getting to know them over single works.

05/26 14:23Lon Sarver

There is something to getting into a comfortable groove in a particular author’s style. Everybody’s got their own voice, and that gives a unique feel to the work.

05/26 14:24Lon Sarver

It also helps to find the places where a story needs work–the voice doesn’t ring true.

05/26 14:25Slave Nano

It’s quite interesting working with editors who are proactive in trying to develop a story.

05/26 14:26Annabeth Leong

It’s wonderful! That’s what I got used to as a journalist, and it’s been way too rare since I started writing fiction. I really appreciate that sort of development.

05/26 14:26D.M. Atkins

Our editors work with us because that’s what they love doing.

05/26 14:26Lon Sarver

Well, that, and the shock collars.

05/26 14:27Annabeth Leong


05/26 14:27D.M. Atkins

And Lon Sarver has a particular nack for short works.

05/26 14:27Lon Sarver

Even if they don’t always stay short…

05/26 14:27Slave Nano

The editing process was challenging with this story because the published version is quite different and much longer than the original. Not necessarily better or worse but different, if you know what I mean. Original submission was much simpler

05/26 14:28Lon Sarver

Sometimes, when you handle a short story, it just gets long.

05/26 14:29Mina Kelly

With Cupid, it was all about Lon reining me in on my desire to go full geek on it and include every other poem I’d studied at uni

05/26 14:29D.M. Atkins

I think the anthologies are a fun way to inspire folks, to get them thinking about different types of stories. So far, Annabeth has been in every one!

05/26 14:30Annabeth Leong

It has been a fun streak!

05/26 14:30Lon Sarver

We appreciate streaking at ForbiddenFiction

05/26 14:30Mina Kelly


05/26 14:30Annabeth Leong


05/26 14:31Annabeth Leong

As far as editing goes, Lon is downright uncanny at spotting every place where I chicken out in my writing

05/26 14:31D.M. Atkins

Lon and Rylan are both good a urging authors not to hold back from where the story is going.

05/26 14:32D.M. Atkins

One of the experiments of ForbiddenFiction is to see if we can raise the bar on quality without holding back on what scares us.

05/26 14:33Lon Sarver

It goes back to being true to one’s authorial voice. Moments where one is shoehorning in an unnecessary classical reference, or when one is backing away from a tough spot, don’t sound right in my head when I read them.

05/26 14:34Lon Sarver

Backing away feels flat, emotionally. It’s like the tension drains out. So when a story that’s been tight suddenly goes slack, I know we’re missing something.

05/26 14:34Annabeth Leong

Huh, it’s really interesting to hear how that feels as a reader.

05/26 14:34Lon Sarver

Which is where I need to shove the author face-first into the hard to write spots.

05/26 14:35Annabeth Leong

When you point those spots out, I always recognize them, because they’re where I started thinking, “People will think I’m really screwed up if I actually write that.”

05/26 14:35D.M. Atkins

And I can tell when someone has “pulled their punches” on the action.

05/26 14:35Lon Sarver

In a gentle and respectful way, of course.

05/26 14:35Mina Kelly

It’s funny, because I can totally spot that when I’m reading, but I still struggle when I’m writing.

05/26 14:35Mina Kelly

(I think part of me just hopes I’ll get away with it, so I don’t point it out to myself)

05/26 14:35Mina Kelly

It really shows the importance of having a good editor by your side

05/26 14:35D.M. Atkins

It’s takes courage to write brave stories.

05/26 14:35Lon Sarver

This is where editors are useful. One is often too close to one’s own work.

05/26 14:35D.M. Atkins

And oh, hell, do Lon and Rylan both push me.

05/26 14:36Lon Sarver

That, and who wouldn’t want a good editor on hand? We’re great fun, swell folks, fine additions to any party.

05/26 14:36D.M. Atkins

[Just don’t go to the movies with us if you need quiet.]

05/26 14:36Slave Nano

That’s so true about being too close to your own work.

05/26 14:37Mina Kelly

Proofreaders are also useful too

05/26 14:37Lon Sarver

It gets hard to tell what’s on the page and what hasn’t made it out of your head.

05/26 14:37D.M. Atkins

Since we’re talking about historical, I think that’s even trickier. What challenges to you face in trying to be true to the historical period and yet reach a modern audience?

05/26 14:38Annabeth Leong

I think there’s a tone question. I prefer work that’s not too ornate, but a spare style reads very modern.

05/26 14:39Annabeth Leong

I want to describe with language that’s as clean as possible, but not knock the reader out of the time period by sounding like a journalist.

05/26 14:40Slave Nano

I think there’s a balance to be achieved with writing in historical contexts. You need enough to make it sound authentic without going into so much detail you lose your reader.

05/26 14:40Jess Lea

Excuse me butting in, but what a great point about the importance of tone. It’s such a challenge with historical writing, even down to what slang to use and how to handle dialogue.

05/26 14:41D.M. Atkins

Welcome Jess, another author in Timeless Lust.

05/26 14:41Jess Lea

Thank you! What a great collection it is.

05/26 14:41Slave Nano

I come from an interesting perspective because my career was as an archivist where the authenticity of the document was the most important thing. It’s strange that as a creative writer you can be a lot looser with the truth!

05/26 14:41Lon Sarver

I think that Nano and Annabeth are, in their writing, good examples of handling historical fiction in different tones.

05/26 14:42Lon Sarver

Nano’s authorial voice evokes the feel of writing from the period. Annabeth’s is more modern. But they both work.

05/26 14:43Jess Lea

I guess it’s also about creating the ‘internal’ world of your own story and keeping that consistent and believable – no leaping from ornate Victorian language to modern slang in one page!

05/26 14:43Slave Nano

That’s partly comes from that background I think. I’ve read 17th century documents, 18th century letters so it’s about trying to capture that voice.

05/26 14:44Mina Kelly

Yes, I think consistency is key. You can have a period set novel with modern slang as long as the whole thing is written in that way, so the reader is in on the joke with you.

05/26 14:44Lon Sarver

True. A more formal modern English works well for the semi-omniscient narrator in a historical piece. Still easy for modern readers to read, but less likely to trip over inappropriate colloquialisms.

05/26 14:44Slave Nano

Yes, I agree about consistency of tone an language.

05/26 14:45Jess Lea

One of my favourite historical novels as a kid (actually my introduction to historical writing) was Catherine Jinks’ Pagan’s Crusade, which uses inventive, irreverent and hilariously crude expressions throughout – but it’s consistent and fits the character perfectly. I guess tone is also a question of what image of the character you’re creating in the reader’s mind.

05/26 14:45D.M. Atkins

Shorts are such a brilliant form when done well. I wish that they had more appreciation in the publishing world.

05/26 14:46Jess Lea

I wonder if shorts are actually the future of the publishing world?

05/26 14:46Annabeth Leong

I love them as a reader, too. Most of my reading is shorts and short story collections.

05/26 14:46Slave Nano

With shorts you only need to throw key elements – you don’t have to build a whole world.

05/26 14:47Jess Lea

They can also sit nicely alongside novels about the same characters, while allowing for more fun and flexibility – see Steven Saylor’s novels and short stories of ancient Rome.

05/26 14:47Annabeth Leong

nice point, Jess, and I think that’s gotten really popular to do

05/26 14:48D.M. Atkins

We have a successful bunch that are part of larger novel series, especially look at Lynn Kelling and Alicia Cameron’s works here.

05/26 14:48Lon Sarver

From a business standpoint, shorts don’t do as well. They’re an excellent form, but unless you’re publishing a magazine (and there are, what, only 3 of those left?) or an anthology, they’re a smaller segment of the market than I’d like.

05/26 14:49D.M. Atkins

Cameron even did an AU of one of her novels. A “what if” if went differently for the characters novella.

05/26 14:49Slave Nano

My current work in progress is a character I used in a short story that I’m using in a book length work.

05/26 14:49Annabeth Leong

re cameron: wow, that’s a really clever trick

05/26 14:49Lon Sarver

The “supplementary material” angle is good for shorts.

05/26 14:49Jess Lea

I wonder about the future of shorts through e-readers and in downloadable form though? Arguably some people may prefer to pay a more modest fee for something they can read on their phone during a train journey (say) – that’s where shorts have such potential.

05/26 14:49D.M. Atkins

All of her short stories have done well because novel readers wanted more of those characters.

05/26 14:50Lon Sarver

A lot of the short stories I see in many modern collections are “established author writes short with established character” stories

05/26 14:50D.M. Atkins

If Amazon wasn’t sabotaging them, I think they would do better.

05/26 14:50Lon Sarver

There is that

05/26 14:50D.M. Atkins

It’s why anthologies like this can be so important. They aren’t penalized by Amazon and they allow readers to find new authors.

05/26 14:51Slave Nano

You say shorts don’t do so well – I’m curious about your business model. You obviously invest a lot of time in your stories but what kind of return to you get on them.

05/26 14:53D.M. Atkins

We’ve been devoted to the model that not all good stories will make money but that having a range of stories is important to being a good publisher.

05/26 14:53D.M. Atkins

And one can’t always tell which ones will. Our two best selling shorts are not the ones I would have guessed.

05/26 14:53Slave Nano

Ok, that makes sense.

05/26 14:53Lon Sarver

Shorts also allow readers to try out a new author, without committing to a longer work

05/26 14:54Jess Lea

The industry is changing so fast, too, so it’s important that these innovative approaches are tested out – traditional publishing models seem to be in trouble…

05/26 14:55D.M. Atkins

Yes, we don’t know if our model will be long term successful. But we wanted to push the industry to work on quality. While self publishing has opened up markets, it is often at the expense of good writing.

05/26 14:55Jess Lea

And it places pressure / expectations on writers which not all would wish for.

05/26 14:55Jess Lea

Self publishing, I mean.

05/26 14:55Lon Sarver

Shorts are also good for experimentation. If you want to know if this one thing will work, you can make that the core of the story without having to write 90,000 words around it.

05/26 14:55D.M. Atkins

And not every author should also have to know all the technical side of publishing.

05/26 14:56Mina Kelly

Shorts are also good because they’re all core; you don’t have to work on subplots etc

05/26 14:56D.M. Atkins

Yes, Mina, your Little Night Swimming is a very good example of that.

05/26 14:57D.M. Atkins

And one of the better selling short stories.

05/26 14:57Lon Sarver

I like to tell folks that a short story is, at heart, one or two characters and one conflict.

05/26 14:57Lon Sarver

Anything that doesn’t help explain one of the characters or go directly to the conflict is extra

05/26 14:57Jess Lea

Shorts give people the chance to work to a different structure, too; in some ways it’s like setting up a joke with a punchline.

05/26 14:58Lon Sarver

Yeah, but hopefully not too obviously.

05/26 14:59Annabeth Leong

I also think there can be different moods. Some stories have a punchline. Others diffuse into a certain sensation. And more…

05/26 14:59Jess Lea

There’s such flexibility with shorts.

05/26 15:00D.M. Atkins

And their are dark themes that a better handled by shorts because readers don’t have to be in that dark place too long in order to process it.

05/26 15:00D.M. Atkins

One of the things we struggle with longer works on is not making the dark so dark that the reader abandons the story.

05/26 15:00Jess Lea

Short stories also lend themselves particularly well to erotic writing, I think.

05/26 15:00Annabeth Leong

As a writer, it’s also hard for me to live for a very long time in a dark place

05/26 15:01Annabeth Leong

I think it’s an important place to go, but it’s nice to come up for air

05/26 15:01D.M. Atkins

With longer works we have to teach writers how to ease back to give readers a chance to breathe, but without breaking the tension. It’s not easy.

05/26 15:02Annabeth Leong

makes sense. As a reader, I do sometimes put books down because they’re too tense. I feel bad when I do, because often the issue is that the writing is really great—so great that I can’t breathe

05/26 15:02D.M. Atkins

And we do it with the anthology too. I don’t know if you realize the stories are ordered by mood.

05/26 15:02Jess Lea

Maybe that’s why some of the finest horror / scary stories seem to be shorts?

05/26 15:02D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:02Slave Nano

I can write in a dark place but keep it separate from my real life – maybe I’m lucky!

05/26 15:03Annabeth Leong

Oh, this is really interesting about the story order. Can you say more about that?

05/26 15:03D.M. Atkins

I wish I could show you the chart that Siolnatine makes of each anthology. She color codes them by up, down, and neutral.

05/26 15:03Jess Lea


05/26 15:04Slave Nano

I hadn’t picked up on that.

05/26 15:04D.M. Atkins

Then we try to order them starting on a pretty up beat story, going dark and then ending up. But also trying to not put the same author twice in a row.

05/26 15:04Lon Sarver

She describes it as kind of like arranging an album. Keeping the tone and the beat flowing, but not getting too samey.

05/26 15:04Slave Nano

Oh god, what colour was my story?!

05/26 15:04D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:04Lon Sarver

I couldn’t possibly comment.

05/26 15:05Jess Lea

Just so long as none of them were coloured “beige”. I’m sure they weren’t!

05/26 15:05Annabeth Leong

The standards here are way too high for beige

05/26 15:05Lon Sarver

We try not to publish beige

05/26 15:05Slave Nano

Or magnolia!

05/26 15:05D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:06D.M. Atkins

Konrad’s stories have the darkest though.

05/26 15:06Annabeth Leong

Yeah! I knew you had something special with Konrad when I read Glad Rags. I am not easy to disturb…

05/26 15:06D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:07Jess Lea

Apologies for heading off early, folks, but thanks for inviting me to take part in this; it’s been a really interesting discussion and a great anthology!

05/26 15:07Annabeth Leong

Lovely to chat with you, Jess!

05/26 15:07D.M. Atkins

Great having you with us both in the anthology and the chat!

05/26 15:07Mina Kelly

I’m bowing out as well, but it’s been lovely to be here. ta ta!

05/26 15:07Slave Nano

Bye, nice to cha with you.

05/26 15:08Slave Nano

Bye Mina.

05/26 15:08D.M. Atkins

Night to those leaving us…

05/26 15:08Annabeth Leong

Bye to Mina as well!

05/26 15:09Lon Sarver

The rest of us will just suck down more caffeine and keep going.

05/26 15:09Slave Nano

Coffee! I’m on red wine!

05/26 15:09D.M. Atkins

So, yes, back to what we were saying. The moods of stories in an anthology can be important to manage. We try to give it a mood arc similar to that of a novel in the rising tension to finale.

05/26 15:10D.M. Atkins

It’s funny that it hasn’t come up before in chat.

05/26 15:10Annabeth Leong

It’s always cool to get behind the scenes info

05/26 15:11D.M. Atkins

One thing interns always remark on here is how much there is behind the scenes that no one realizes.

05/26 15:11Slave Nano

I’ll go back and look at the anthologies in a new light now.

05/26 15:11Annabeth Leong

I notice that a lot of publishers do a thing I call “the back room”—shoving the weirder stories into the back of a book. Sometimes I start anthologies from the middle because they’re often more interesting that way.

05/26 15:11Annabeth Leong

I am guessing you don’t hide your weird stuff in the back, though.

05/26 15:11D.M. Atkins

I’m sure other anthology editor have their methods. Even when I edited nonfiction, I tried to always end on a positive note.

05/26 15:12D.M. Atkins

No, we don’t. We try to balance it all out so it feels more natural to read.

05/26 15:13Lon Sarver

There would be nothing in the front.

05/26 15:13Annabeth Leong


05/26 15:13D.M. Atkins

Playful Dramatic Painful/Brutal Sad/Horrific Playful Ambivalent Twisted Passionate/Sweet Love/Hate Brutal Hopeful

05/26 15:13D.M. Atkins

That’s the listing of the stories.

05/26 15:13Annabeth Leong

Ohhh cool

05/26 15:13Slave Nano

I like it!

05/26 15:14Slave Nano

Am I the painful/brutal then. Lol.

05/26 15:14Annabeth Leong

opening up the toc and mapping now…

05/26 15:14D.M. Atkins

As ranted by Lon and Siol.

05/26 15:14D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:14D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:15D.M. Atkins

Yep. And none of this is an insult, it was the perceived mood of the piece.

05/26 15:15Annabeth Leong

One thing I like is that it’s such a broad spectrum

05/26 15:15Annabeth Leong

That’s what erotica ought to be—exploring all that sort of territory

05/26 15:15Annabeth Leong

I got into this for the psychological interest of sex, the way it reveals the deepest secrets about people.

05/26 15:16D.M. Atkins

And it shows in your writing. I love it when writers can take us places we are afraid to go but are still curious about.

05/26 15:17Slave Nano

I got into writing erotica because of the psychological tension of submission and domination.

05/26 15:17Slave Nano

It came out of personal experiences that gave me something I needed to express

05/26 15:18Annabeth Leong

I think psychological interest/tension is the source of most of the turn on once one is over the cheap thrill of seeing unusually dirty words on the page

05/26 15:18D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:19Slave Nano

Agreed Annabeth. You can describe stuff but underpinning it is what’s in people’s heads

05/26 15:19D.M. Atkins

[Guests reading, you can ask us questions. Authors, please log in so we see your names.]

05/26 15:20Annabeth Leong

When I write sex scenes, the main thing I focus on is characterization

05/26 15:20Annabeth Leong

I think the eroticism comes naturally out of that

05/26 15:20D.M. Atkins

Yes, the desires and fears of characters is so potent.

05/26 15:20Lon Sarver

It’s the difference between eroticism and porn

05/26 15:21Lon Sarver

It’s the difference between Ikea sex scenes (insert tab a into slot a, repeat) and scenes with characters having sex that are important to them.

05/26 15:21Lon Sarver


05/26 15:21Annabeth Leong

Right! I once heard someone describe writing a sex scene as similar to doing a jigsaw puzzle. I couldn’t disagree more strenuously

05/26 15:22Annabeth Leong

Oh no! Not TV Tropes! I’ll never come back.

05/26 15:22Slave Nano

IKEA sex scenes, what a great image. I’d be hopeless – I can never follow their instructions!

05/26 15:22Lon Sarver

Moo hoo ha ha

05/26 15:22D.M. Atkins

LOL – *reaches for inhaler*

05/26 15:22Annabeth Leong

IKEA erotica would be better if it came with meatballs

05/26 15:23Slave Nano

And pickled herrings.

05/26 15:23D.M. Atkins

I’ve seen red herrings…

05/26 15:23Lon Sarver

Nothing is better with lutefisk. Nothing.

05/26 15:23Annabeth Leong


05/26 15:24D.M. Atkins

Meanwhile, Nano and Annabeth, you two are also fantastic at strong female characters. Want to talk about that a bit?

05/26 15:24D.M. Atkins

It’s something we don’t see enough of in submissions. It’s why we have a call specifically for it.

05/26 15:26Slave Nano

Well, I guess that goes back to what inspired me to write. I was inspired by an amazingly imaginative dominatrix. My first attempts at creative writing were to contribute to the scenes she created and it grew from there. So, yes I write a kick-ass female lead!

05/26 15:27Natasha Neil

Hi everyone, I’m a little late to the party, but glad to be here.

05/26 15:27D.M. Atkins

Welcome. It’s a drop in party!

05/26 15:27Slave Nano

Hi Natasha.

05/26 15:27Annabeth Leong

It makes me sad to hear there’s not enough of it in submissions. It’s not something I think specifically about. I want all of my characters to be as human and fully realized as possible. I think strong female characters (and a variety of types of female characters) come naturally from a process like that.

05/26 15:27Annabeth Leong

And hi Natasha!

05/26 15:27Lon Sarver


05/26 15:27D.M. Atkins

Thank you Annabeth!

05/26 15:28Lon Sarver

One would hope that good female characters would proceed naturally from good characterization in general.

05/26 15:28Lon Sarver

Unfortunately, sexist bias and stereotypes are often invisible to the authors that have them, and are all too common in erotica.

05/26 15:29Lon Sarver

They even sneak into m/m erotica, where one of the male leads is (effectively) the “girl” in a standard het romance schtick.

05/26 15:30Natasha Neil

I agree that strong female characters are really important across all genres.

05/26 15:31Annabeth Leong

In erotica I think there is a weird thing that can happen too where stereotypes sometimes get fetishized, and it’s hard to know how to deal with that honestly. Like, maybe extremely “feminine” behavior is a turn on. How do you write that so it’s not being treated as a stereotype and people can get off on it while also being, you know, people.

05/26 15:31Annabeth Leong

Or so the stereotype part of it is honest.

05/26 15:32D.M. Atkins

We’ve been also trying to take that on in our upcoming anthology Breaking Gender – where we focus on transgender and non-binary characters.

05/26 15:32Annabeth Leong

yeah, this question explodes my mind in that context, both in writing and in life

05/26 15:32Annabeth Leong

Like if I want to present masculine at a party and that makes me feel powerful, what does that mean? I have a lot of feelings about that, feminism wise, and yet I get an undeniable rush from it, too

05/26 15:33D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:33Annabeth Leong

To get back to Timeless Lust, I wanted to address that with Andromache and Briseis in Andromache’s Prize

05/26 15:33D.M. Atkins

And in a f/f context, wearing a suite or tux usually meant more women noticed me.

05/26 15:33D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:34Annabeth Leong

So, Andromache has dealt with the aftermath of the Trojan War by becoming a warrior woman

05/26 15:34Annabeth Leong

and that is cool, and Briseis is into it the way she was into Achilles

05/26 15:34Annabeth Leong

But I really didn’t want that to devalue Briseis, like she’s not as cool because she’s femme

05/26 15:34Annabeth Leong

So I made an effort in that story to show the important role that Briseis is playing as a femme, that her softness has great value, too.

05/26 15:34D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:35Lon Sarver

There’s an angle where one way to combat the stereotypes is to have a variety of well-drawn female characters across the catalog of stories.

05/26 15:35D.M. Atkins

And people of color.

05/26 15:35Lon Sarver

Another angle is to make sure that the narrator, if not the characters, are aware of the roles being played and that they *are* roles, and not What Must Be

05/26 15:36D.M. Atkins

So far, I’m very please by the variety of characters of gender, sexual orientation, and race in our short stories. It’s more of a struggle for the novels.

05/26 15:37Natasha Neil

I really appreciate the variety.

05/26 15:38D.M. Atkins

Oh, while I have you three here, do you want to talk about the role mythology and religion has in your stories?

05/26 15:40Slave Nano

Yeah, the Nemesis Bird openly draws on the Tales of the Arabian Nights. During the editing process another mythological strands was added with the introduction of the tale of Inanna and the Huluppu Bird.

05/26 15:40Natasha Neil

For me, Greek mythology has been really inspirational. I read something that summarized all the Greek myths as Zeus saying, “I’m going to put my dick in that.” and everyone else saying no. (I don’t remember the original source.) but it seemed really appropriate.

05/26 15:41Natasha Neil

I really want to re-read the Arabian Nights.

05/26 15:41Annabeth Leong

I’d love to find a good translation of it!

05/26 15:41Annabeth Leong

Any recs, Nano?

05/26 15:41Natasha Neil

That was my question too!

05/26 15:41Natasha Neil

I actually tried listening to one on Audible and it was not very good.

05/26 15:42Slave Nano

It is amazing. I love the way it weaves story cycles together, something I tried to doin my story. Stories within stories. I have a 3 vol hardback version of them all! I’ll go to the book shelves and check the translation – back in a mo!

05/26 15:45Slave Nano

Yeah, the version I have is translated by Malcolm C Lyons and is published by Penguin. I believe it’s a modern translation so is more explicit than the Victorian translations. There’s a whole lot of erotica in there!

05/26 15:45Annabeth Leong

Ah, that’s awesome! I had one when I was younger, but it was clearly, er, edited.

05/26 15:45Annabeth Leong

To answer Dany’s earlier question:

05/26 15:45Annabeth Leong

Stories from mythology and religion often leave me with a burning question. Say, why is Orpheus not supposed to turn around while rescuing Eurydice? I try to aim those stories at those question points. Those are the places that challenge my faith if I’m a believer, or give me a sense that there’s hidden knowledge in what’s been left out. The Snake and the Lyre is my effort to fill in the question I mentioned above, sort of along the lines of the Jewish tradition of midrash.

05/26 15:48Natasha Neil

There are so many interesting questions like that too. I love trying to figure out the reasons that could have once been and that I can think of now.

05/26 15:49Slave Nano

Mythology is important to me because it provides a tool for interpreting the world – all ancient civilizations had their mythologies. They help people understand their world.

05/26 15:49D.M. Atkins

I know that Siol is a religious studies scholar and always volunteers to work on the covers for mythology or religious themed stories.

05/26 15:50Lon Sarver

In many ways, the stories a culture tells are the lexicon it has for making meaning of their lives.

05/26 15:50Slave Nano

Yup, I think that’s very true.

05/26 15:51Lon Sarver

And we, in exploring the stories of other cultures, are following in that great tradition of the English language: Following other languages into dark alleys and mugging them for loose words.

05/26 15:51Annabeth Leong

haha what a vivid way of saying that

05/26 15:51Natasha Neil

So many loose words and worlds to be mugged.

05/26 15:52Slave Nano


05/26 15:52D.M. Atkins

Now you see why I love working with Lon!

05/26 15:52Lon Sarver

It has its drawbacks (cultural appropriation is very tricky to handle), but it’s effectively what we’re doing with it.

05/26 15:52Lon Sarver

Finding concepts in other cultures’ myths for things we experience, but don’t quite have the right words for.

05/26 15:53Annabeth Leong

yeah, I think because Greek myth is so much part of the Western tradition of literature, the cultural appropriation thing feels different to me there than it would with, say, Native American mythology

05/26 15:53Natasha Neil

That’s a really good point, but I feel okay about it in the ancient world in a way I wouldn’t in the modern world. –and the rest of what I was about to say is what Annabeth said.

05/26 15:54Slave Nano

I can see that. Greek mythology is engrained in so much – just look at the visual arts.

05/26 15:55Lon Sarver

I have a friend who rebuts claims that adopting images and tropes from Germanic mythology isn’t really cultural appropriation because Germanic peoples (including English-speakers here) have been exporting Germanic culture at gunpoint for centuries.

05/26 15:55Natasha Neil

Greek mythology is a huge part of western culture–and that’s one thing that’s so compelling about it.

05/26 15:56Lon Sarver

And yet, what we have from that tradition is what the Romantics and the Renniasance folks thought the Church thought the Romans thought the Greeks thought.

05/26 15:56Annabeth Leong

Haha that’s a really good point, for sure

05/26 15:57Annabeth Leong

It’s interesting to think of that in the context of the experience of translating, when you realize that even your Greek-English dictionary is an act of interpretation.

05/26 15:57Slave Nano

Germanic and English culture are entwined to me. Anglo-Saxon/Vikings and Norse mythology are part of English culture. I know a lot of people who would call themselves heathens and specifically follow a path based on Norse mythology.

05/26 15:57D.M. Atkins

Including at least one staff member here.

05/26 15:58D.M. Atkins

Most of our staff identify as some variety of Pagan and/or Heathen.

05/26 15:58D.M. Atkins


05/26 15:59Slave Nano

That’s another strand to my writing – when I’m not doing filthy femdom erotica! I’ve had stuff published in a Pagan literary mag called Eternal Haunted Summer.

05/26 16:01D.M. Atkins

My story in our Divine Desire anthology, “Crossed Rose” was written for and dedicated to Exu.

05/26 16:01Slave Nano

Have you ever come across it. It’s edited by Rebecca Buchanan?

05/26 16:02D.M. Atkins

These days I don’t read many magazines. I used to read Green Egg and others.

05/26 16:03Lon Sarver

I’ve never actually run across that magazine.

05/26 16:03Lon Sarver

Is it web only?

05/26 16:03Slave Nano

Yes, it’s only on the web.

05/26 16:04D.M. Atkins

The other sets of “mythology” that works well is the fairy tale. Wicked Fairy Tales is still our most popular anthology and we are planning a follow up called “Into the Wicked Woods.”

05/26 16:04Lon Sarver

Ah, found it. https://eternalhauntedsummer.com/

05/26 16:05Annabeth Leong

That will be awesome to see a follow up to Wicked Fairy Tales! I for one will never be tired of reading fairy tale retellings. It is amazing how many takes there can be on the same base story.

05/26 16:05Natasha Neil

I like “Into the Wicked Woods.” Great title.

05/26 16:06D.M. Atkins

So, we’d love to see more stories for that one. We have a handful now.

05/26 16:06Annabeth Leong

Nice! Good to know!

05/26 16:06D.M. Atkins

The idea of course is to focus on the consequences of the fairy tale.

05/26 16:07Slave Nano

Sorry guys – I’m gonna have to bow out now. It’s getting late over here in UK! It’s been fun, great to chat and meet co-authors. Bye.

05/26 16:07Annabeth Leong

nice to chat with you, Nano!

05/26 16:07D.M. Atkins

Good night to you Nano. Thanks for joining us.

05/26 16:07Natasha Neil

Good night!

05/26 16:08D.M. Atkins

And we are expecting a couple more folks dropping in soon, as well.

05/26 16:09D.M. Atkins

Natasha and Annabeth, what other tales, myth or literary, would you want to take one?

05/26 16:09Annabeth Leong

Well, when we were talking about Into the Wicked Woods just now I was having Rapunzel ideas

05/26 16:09D.M. Atkins

Oh, nice one. Yes!

05/26 16:10D.M. Atkins

Especially the older, less Disney versions.

05/26 16:10Annabeth Leong


05/26 16:10Natasha Neil

That’s funny, I was thinking about Rapunzel too. I think we have similar interests.

05/26 16:10Annabeth Leong


05/26 16:10D.M. Atkins

We can have more than one.

05/26 16:10D.M. Atkins

Because even if you do the same original, they will be completely different.

05/26 16:11Annabeth Leong

Yeah, that is absolutely true

05/26 16:11Natasha Neil

I wasn’t thinking about writing anything… I just had the image of Rapunzel in my mind.

05/26 16:11Lon Sarver

Hair bondage?

05/26 16:11D.M. Atkins

We already have two very very different Goldilocks for that collection.

05/26 16:11Annabeth Leong

For me, I’ve always been really fascinated by the stuff at the beginning of the story. I like promises, oaths, consequences, etc.

05/26 16:12Natasha Neil

I was just reading something about women in towers…

05/26 16:12D.M. Atkins

Like Harry Potter under the stairs, I’m always disturbed by what would happen to someone raised like that.

05/26 16:12Annabeth Leong

Yeah, an important question

05/26 16:13Natasha Neil

That’s why it has to be magical or else it is really disturbing.

05/26 16:13D.M. Atkins

When I was a teen, my mother had a collection of feminist retellings of traditional fairy tales.

05/26 16:13Annabeth Leong

oh, do you remember the title? I think I had that book, too

05/26 16:13Lon Sarver

Oh, magical is no excuse for it not being disturbing.

05/26 16:13D.M. Atkins

No, but I’ll email you if I find it. I remember the girl in the tower made choices rather than had them forced on her.

05/26 16:14Natasha Neil

That’s great–I’ve been looking for something like that. I was making up a weird version of Cinderella to tell my LO.

05/26 16:14Annabeth Leong

Yeah, my memory of it is that it was cool, and felt really surprising and revolutionary at the time

05/26 16:14D.M. Atkins

I have all my mother’s feminist books but don’t know if she kept that one.

05/26 16:14Natasha Neil

I’d love to find a good feminist fairytale book.

05/26 16:14Konrad Hartmann

hi hi hi

05/26 16:14Natasha Neil


05/26 16:15Lon Sarver


05/26 16:15Annabeth Leong

Konrad has arrived just in time to expound on Lon’s point that being magical is no excuse for something not being disturbing Hi! Glad to see you!

05/26 16:15D.M. Atkins

HI Konrad. Welcome to the party. Here are your cookies, but be careful about the Koolaid.

05/26 16:15Konrad Hartmann

Hello, Natasha, Lon, Annabeth, DM!

05/26 16:15Konrad Hartmann

never too much koolaid

05/26 16:15D.M. Atkins

We were just discussing retellng of myths and fairty tales.

05/26 16:16Konrad Hartmann

I’m trying to digest the magic comment

05/26 16:16Annabeth Leong

Probably unfair of me to drop that on you with no warning

05/26 16:16D.M. Atkins

With you it’s always disturbing, we understand that.

05/26 16:16Konrad Hartmann

so, magic is an excuse for being disturbing, yes?

05/26 16:16Lon Sarver


05/26 16:16Konrad Hartmann


05/26 16:16Natasha Neil

Actually, I have to go–nothing to do with the koolaid, the conversation or the company.

05/26 16:16Annabeth Leong

lol, nice to see you, Natasha!

05/26 16:17Lon Sarver

No, above, the effect of imprisonment and isolation on characters like Rapunzel and Harry Potter should be disturbing.

05/26 16:17Lon Sarver


05/26 16:17D.M. Atkins

Thank you for joining us and for your story, Natasha!

05/26 16:17Konrad Hartmann

bye, Natasha!

05/26 16:17Annabeth Leong

It’s funny how I’m like, oh, the guy whose writing always totally disturbs me! Hi Konrad! Virtual hug!

05/26 16:17Lon Sarver

And it was said that “it has to be magical if it’s not going to be distrubing”

05/26 16:17Natasha Neil

Nice talking with you all!

05/26 16:17D.M. Atkins

Yeah, Konrad has the record for hitting the most of the publisher’s squicks.

05/26 16:17Konrad Hartmann

Sorry I didn’t get in sooner, nice talking to you

05/26 16:17Lon Sarver

And I said that magic is no excuse for not being distrubing. In that even fantastic stories should take the real emotions of people into account.

05/26 16:18Lon Sarver


05/26 16:18D.M. Atkins

And we were talking about the consequences of fairy tales, something the “Into the Wicked Woods” anthology will be about.

05/26 16:19Konrad Hartmann

Like what?

05/26 16:19Annabeth Leong

We were talking about Rapunzel. Long-term effects of tower imprisonment. Also, the promises her parents make and the way those consequences would be felt

05/26 16:20Konrad Hartmann

Also, she becomes pregnant without knowing what that is

05/26 16:20Konrad Hartmann

you know in the first version, the stepmother is called something different, I think a fairy

05/26 16:20D.M. Atkins

In some versions of Sleeping Beauty too.

05/26 16:21Konrad Hartmann

Sleeping Beauty is pregnant?

05/26 16:21D.M. Atkins

For the pregnant

05/26 16:21D.M. Atkins

Yes, the prince does more than kiss her…

05/26 16:21Konrad Hartmann

I see

05/26 16:21Annabeth Leong

yeah I’ve seen versions of sleeping beauty where what wakes her up isn’t a kiss, it’s delivering the babies and having them begin to nurse

05/26 16:21D.M. Atkins


05/26 16:21Annabeth Leong

And now you could do a lactation focused sleeping beauty retelling!

05/26 16:21Konrad Hartmann

did you ever look at that system that categorizes fairy tales and traces them back to their origin?

05/26 16:22Annabeth Leong

Yes! I love looking at that thing.

05/26 16:22Konrad Hartmann

that is a brilliant idea, Annabeth

05/26 16:22D.M. Atkins


05/26 16:22D.M. Atkins

And yes, to that idea.

05/26 16:22Konrad Hartmann


05/26 16:22D.M. Atkins

I really want to see you two tackle some of the fairy tales. Eerie stuff.

05/26 16:23Annabeth Leong

The lactation idea is really worth thinking about… (Going to go think about that for sure)

05/26 16:23Konrad Hartmann

Oh, I’m just into the first English translation of the first edition of the Grimm stories

05/26 16:24Konrad Hartmann

yeah, lactation seems like a natural point of entry (lack of a better term) into the stories. Like it seems somehow congruent in theme

05/26 16:24D.M. Atkins

And it’s one we haven’t seen in the collection yet.

05/26 16:25Annabeth Leong

It is really working in my head

05/26 16:25Annabeth Leong

And Konrad, are you talking about the new Zipes translation?

05/26 16:25Annabeth Leong

I love that

05/26 16:25D.M. Atkins

Happy to inspire folks to write! LOL

05/26 16:25Annabeth Leong

That is a big part of these release parties for me

05/26 16:25Annabeth Leong

They are energizing

05/26 16:26Konrad Hartmann

oh, I’m not sure, but it has this really cool Scherrenschnitte (sp?) illustrations

05/26 16:26Konrad Hartmann

like the paper cutting art

05/26 16:26Annabeth Leong

I think that’s the one…

05/26 16:26Konrad Hartmann

the last story I read was about the husband and wife living in a pisspot

05/26 16:27Annabeth Leong

There’s another retelling one could only do for Forbidden Fiction

05/26 16:27Lon Sarver


05/26 16:27Konrad Hartmann

speaking of Scherenschnitte, there’s an old animation of Cinderella done in that format

05/26 16:28Konrad Hartmann

there are some really interesting one’s like the girl who finds her brothers out in the woods and has to convince them not to murder her

05/26 16:28Konrad Hartmann

or the frog prince

05/26 16:28D.M. Atkins

You have a gold mine of stories to work with.

05/26 16:28Konrad Hartmann

what exactly does the frog intend to do in bed?

05/26 16:28D.M. Atkins


05/26 16:28Konrad Hartmann


05/26 16:29Annabeth Leong

The convince them not to murder her story sounds like it has your name all over it, Konrad

05/26 16:29D.M. Atkins

We had A version of the Frog Prince in the Wicked Fairy Tales collection.

05/26 16:29Konrad Hartmann

I know, haha

05/26 16:29Konrad Hartmann

I have to revisit that

05/26 16:29Konrad Hartmann

who wrote it?

05/26 16:30D.M. Atkins

Berg… just a moment to look up.

05/26 16:30D.M. Atkins

Claryssa Berg

05/26 16:31D.M. Atkins

Called “Demon in the Well”

05/26 16:31Konrad Hartmann


05/26 16:31Konrad Hartmann

Annabeth, tell us about your stories in the new anth

05/26 16:32Annabeth Leong

What would you like to know?

05/26 16:32Konrad Hartmann

this is why I am a bad interviewer (say some stuff)

05/26 16:32Annabeth Leong


05/26 16:32Annabeth Leong

So, I have three in this one.

05/26 16:33D.M. Atkins

Please each of you list your stories again for readers.

05/26 16:33Annabeth Leong

The first is Andromache’s Prize, which is about the aftermath of the Trojan War, and focuses on Briseis and Andromache

05/26 16:33Annabeth Leong

(both of whom always fascinated me so much in the Iliad)

05/26 16:33Konrad Hartmann

OK, so you’re mostly drawing from the Iliad from that one

05/26 16:33Annabeth Leong

The second is The Snake and The Lyre, which is my attempt to answer the question of why Orpheus is told not to look back while rescuing Eurydice from the underworld

05/26 16:33Annabeth Leong

— yes, mostly from the Iliad. A little, thematically, from The Trojan Women

05/26 16:34Annabeth Leong

The third is Hunting Artemis, which is about desire that can’t be fulfilled and efforts to bridge it as much as possible (involving a threesome of sorts with Artemis)

05/26 16:34Annabeth Leong

How about you, Konrad?

05/26 16:35Konrad Hartmann

well, Lot’s Sin is from the Bible, though I’m blanking out on what book

05/26 16:35Konrad Hartmann

and Arena Breed comes from information about Carnuntum in the ancient Roman empire

05/26 16:35Annabeth Leong

[I think Lot is in Genesis]

05/26 16:36D.M. Atkins

Both Mina and Konrad had Roman themed stories.

05/26 16:36D.M. Atkins

And Konrad was the only one to take up our challenge of the Bible as one other sources for this.

05/26 16:36Konrad Hartmann

I am somewhat surprised that no one did an M/M gladiator story

05/26 16:36D.M. Atkins

I was disappointed no one did.

05/26 16:37Annabeth Leong

05/26 16:37D.M. Atkins

Maybe in the future.

05/26 16:37Annabeth Leong

Yeah, the cool thing is hopefully there will be many more interesting collections!

05/26 16:37Konrad Hartmann

I am embarrassed by my lack of knowledge of classical lit

05/26 16:38D.M. Atkins

I know Konrad and I are still working on our dragon stories.

05/26 16:38Konrad Hartmann


05/26 16:38D.M. Atkins

Mine is finally in edits.

05/26 16:38Annabeth Leong

oooh yeah dragon book!

05/26 16:38D.M. Atkins

We need more dragons still.

05/26 16:38Konrad Hartmann

mine was supposed to be a short 3K story and it just keeps pulling me in. There is an end in sight though

05/26 16:38D.M. Atkins


05/26 16:38D.M. Atkins

Mine is around 15 K.

05/26 16:38Annabeth Leong

that is nice when you can at least see where you’re going

05/26 16:39Konrad Hartmann

Mine is set in an educated guess as to what neolithic Wales was like

05/26 16:40Lon Sarver


05/26 16:40Konrad Hartmann

I’m, at this point, using Welsh-like names, although that’s arguably anachronistic since it’s pre-Celtic, I think; however, it’s not identified as the region in the story

05/26 16:40Konrad Hartmann

but pre-metallurgic anyway, if that’s a word

05/26 16:41D.M. Atkins

Ah, a good example of the issue we talked about earlier, how to tell a historical story but make it for a modern audience.

05/26 16:41Annabeth Leong

Yeah, this is sounding really cool

05/26 16:42D.M. Atkins

Mine is more fairy tale like with an alternative origin for dragon that is based on “protection magic”.

05/26 16:42Konrad Hartmann

I guess one question is, how to make an innovative story without deviating too far from the source

05/26 16:42Konrad Hartmann

oh, an origin for all dragons?

05/26 16:42Annabeth Leong

DM yours sounds cool as well. I’m interested in this protection magic idea

05/26 16:42D.M. Atkins

Yes, the dragon needs to still be recognizable to the reader. Oh, mine, just the origin for that world.

05/26 16:43Konrad Hartmann


05/26 16:43D.M. Atkins

In mine, it’s told from the dragon’s pov.

05/26 16:43Konrad Hartmann

very nice

05/26 16:43Konrad Hartmann

oh, there was a really creepy, somewhat erotic dragon story I read years ago, forget the author

05/26 16:44Konrad Hartmann

the dragon lived in a mine in a small coal town, and had this evil human henchman called the Chicken Man who would extort things from the townsfolk, set in modern day

05/26 16:45D.M. Atkins

Cool. This one starts with your “traditional human sacrifice” but turns out to be a bit of mistranslation problem.

05/26 16:45Konrad Hartmann

“Are these pulsing things supposed to come out of the humans?”

05/26 16:45Konrad Hartmann

“Is it broke now?”

05/26 16:46D.M. Atkins


05/26 16:46Annabeth Leong


05/26 16:46D.M. Atkins

The other night I had a dream that involved a giant snake. And I thought of you, Konrad.

05/26 16:46Konrad Hartmann

haha, really?

05/26 16:46Annabeth Leong

What a compliment!

05/26 16:46Konrad Hartmann

I know!

05/26 16:46D.M. Atkins

Well, I saw one of those snake penis with two heads things…

05/26 16:47Konrad Hartmann

Is that something that is common?

05/26 16:47D.M. Atkins

In some snakes, it’s the norm.

05/26 16:47Konrad Hartmann

You say one of those…

05/26 16:47Annabeth Leong

I once read an SF story about a lizard person with two tongues and it changed my life forever

05/26 16:47D.M. Atkins

Look it up. Weird science facts.

05/26 16:47Annabeth Leong

oh, was that off topic? lol

05/26 16:47Konrad Hartmann

oh, so some snakes have a double-headed penis?

05/26 16:47D.M. Atkins


05/26 16:48Konrad Hartmann


05/26 16:48Annabeth Leong

This is why SF erotica is so worthwhile

05/26 16:48D.M. Atkins

Annabeth, seemed on topic to me.

05/26 16:48Annabeth Leong

05/26 16:48Konrad Hartmann

what was the lizard tongue story?

05/26 16:48Annabeth Leong

I can’t remember the name. I just remember how fascinated I was with the story

05/26 16:48Annabeth Leong

It was just one paragraph in something otherwise non-erotic. It was one of those root experiences

05/26 16:49Lon Sarver

These are some good recommendations.

05/26 16:49D.M. Atkins

Real life weird things inspire me a lot.

05/26 16:50Konrad Hartmann

When I was a kid, we were told that dinosaurs were reptiles. Now that they aren’t, it makes me reconsider dragons. That is, do you see dragons as reptiles?

05/26 16:50Annabeth Leong

Oh, that’s a really interesting question

05/26 16:50Annabeth Leong

I’m really into feathered dragons

05/26 16:50D.M. Atkins

Wow, yes, that would be something to think about.

05/26 16:50Konrad Hartmann

In my current story, they are scaled, but don’t seem very reptilian

05/26 16:51Annabeth Leong

You could also go Mayan with that–feathered serpent

05/26 16:51Konrad Hartmann


05/26 16:51Nola Bee

for some reason that brings to mind a dragon with a feather boa….

05/26 16:51Annabeth Leong

haha hi Nola!

05/26 16:51Nola Bee

Hi again! I’m popping in and out here

05/26 16:51Konrad Hartmann

Hi Nola!

05/26 16:51Nola Bee


05/26 16:52Annabeth Leong

It’s exciting to virtually meet my recent social media taskmaster

05/26 16:52D.M. Atkins

Nola has been with us for a year. Her internship is nearly done but we are trying to recruit her to stay as staff.

05/26 16:52Konrad Hartmann

for the dragon story, I randomly picked a country. I sometimes have to pick things randomly, or I get lost in rabbitholes

05/26 16:52D.M. Atkins

She gets all our jokes.

05/26 16:52Nola Bee


05/26 16:52Konrad Hartmann

definitely recruit

05/26 16:52Annabeth Leong

The Timeless Lust launch and tour is one of the most coordinated I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been really impressed, Nola.

05/26 16:53Konrad Hartmann

me too

05/26 16:53Nola Bee

Wow thank you! This has been a lot of fun for me!

05/26 16:53Konrad Hartmann

and I’m soi disroganized right now, I feel bad

05/26 16:53Konrad Hartmann

mispelled that, damn

05/26 16:53Nola Bee

To be able to work with all of you on your different stories has been so much fun!

05/26 16:53Nola Bee

05/26 16:53Konrad Hartmann

same here

05/26 16:53D.M. Atkins

She and I have had the chance to really work together to develop the promotional plan here.

05/26 16:53Annabeth Leong

It’s been nice to do a promotional plan that’s really focused on interesting supplemental content

05/26 16:53D.M. Atkins

And we have ideas we haven’t even got to implement yet.

05/26 16:54Nola Bee

It was fascinating to read about the background of all the pieces

05/26 16:54Annabeth Leong

It’s cool. It makes me feel good about sharing stuff on Twitter and my blog. I’m normally protective about that. I don’t want to sound like a broken record to anyone. This has produced a lot of fresh stuff.

05/26 16:55Konrad Hartmann

supplemental content is great. I always think of all the side stuff associated with a work or genre

05/26 16:55D.M. Atkins


05/26 16:55D.M. Atkins

All of bounced ideas around for questions, etc.

05/26 16:55Konrad Hartmann

protective about stuff you haven’t released, yet, Annabeth?

05/26 16:56Annabeth Leong

Well, that, too, Konrad. But I meant that I don’t like being told to share lots of redundant things through my social media.

05/26 16:56D.M. Atkins

Nola had the fun job of trying to wrangle eight authors.

05/26 16:56Annabeth Leong

Some publishers seem to expect to have the right to take over my stuff like that.

05/26 16:56Annabeth Leong

I’m sure wrangling eight authors was super hard! It was one of the things I found impressive!

05/26 16:56Konrad Hartmann

like the people who carpetbomb Twitter with the “new” book that’s been out five years?

05/26 16:56Annabeth Leong

that’s exactly what I mean, Konrad.

05/26 16:56Nola Bee

Lot’s and lot’s of emails

05/26 16:57D.M. Atkins

These days each book brings lots of different angles to explore. It’s fun to put the social into our process.

05/26 16:57Annabeth Leong

Also, since I wrote some of these stories quite some time ago now, it’s been interesting to get the chance to revisit them through a new lens. And also to reconnect with the other authors and stuff.

05/26 16:58Konrad Hartmann

I like the idea of a work having depth and, I’m trying to word this, interactive content outside of the story

05/26 16:58Konrad Hartmann

nerd alert, but when I was a kid, you could save proofs of purchase for limited edition action figures, and it always seemed so cool

05/26 16:58D.M. Atkins

Both other authors and even non-author readers love to hear more about the ideas and struggles behind the stories. We will be including that more in the future as well.

05/26 16:59Nola Bee

The blog tour is a really great way to get all the stuff that didn’t make it into the story out there

05/26 16:59Konrad Hartmann

there’s usually a lot more that didn’t when you think about it

05/26 16:59D.M. Atkins

We’re going to be asking for “author’s notes” on all stories now so that we can help promote anthologies in the future.

05/26 16:59Annabeth Leong

That’s cool.

05/26 17:00Konrad Hartmann

my main problem in writing right now is rabbitholes

05/26 17:00D.M. Atkins

It’s a race right now to see which anthology is next.

05/26 17:00Annabeth Leong

Which anthologies are likely?

05/26 17:01D.M. Atkins

Three multi-author ones are: 1) Victorian/steampunk, 2) Breaking Gender, 3) Dragons, 4) Into the Wicked Woods, and 5) clergy.

05/26 17:02Annabeth Leong

What’s the racing aspect?

05/26 17:02D.M. Atkins

As for solo anthologies, Konrad and Jacquiline Brocker are both up.

05/26 17:02Konrad Hartmann

the steampunk one I about halfway finished. It’s quite dark but I’m afraid that some of the elements may be too derivative of Mieville’s remades

05/26 17:02Konrad Hartmann

ooh, we are?

05/26 17:03D.M. Atkins

An anthology wins to be next when it has a story and word count high enough to make a print book as well.

05/26 17:03Annabeth Leong

ah, interesting

05/26 17:03D.M. Atkins

We’re about half-way on most of them.

05/26 17:03Annabeth Leong

Konrad, Mieville is popular for a reason. And I’m sure you’ve got your unique stamp on anything you do

05/26 17:03Konrad Hartmann

well, thanks, Annabeth

05/26 17:03D.M. Atkins

Yes, Konrad, don’t let it hold you back.

05/26 17:04Konrad Hartmann


05/26 17:04D.M. Atkins

With recent events, I’d really like to get Bending Gender out sooner than later.

05/26 17:04D.M. Atkins

Breaking Gender

05/26 17:04Annabeth Leong

on breaking gender, that really makes sense

05/26 17:04Annabeth Leong

FFP was way ahead of its time when that call first went up

05/26 17:04Annabeth Leong

I am hearing so much more about being genderqueer now

05/26 17:05D.M. Atkins

I’ve been GC for a very long time.

05/26 17:05Konrad Hartmann

it’s just that you know how when an element from what you read gets into your head, it’s so hard to write independently of that. What I have isn’t as fantasy as Mieleville, but I guess it’s mainly the mechanical mixture of humans and machines that is similar

05/26 17:05D.M. Atkins


05/26 17:05Annabeth Leong

makes sense that you would be dialed into the need for the book

05/26 17:05D.M. Atkins

Typos and me. Sigh. (Almost type em.)

05/26 17:06D.M. Atkins

I was/am the editor of three nonfic collections, including Looking Queer.

05/26 17:06Annabeth Leong

ah, cool

05/26 17:06Konrad Hartmann

we were talking about doing something with Sinikka-like characters for Breaking Gender

05/26 17:06Annabeth Leong

@Konrad I bet it would look less similar to someone else than it would to you

05/26 17:07Annabeth Leong

[re Mieville]

05/26 17:07Konrad Hartmann


05/26 17:07D.M. Atkins

The idea of Breaking Gender are stories about Trans and GQ characters that don’t fall into the the usual “tranny tropes” used in erotica.

05/26 17:07Annabeth Leong

that will be refreshing

05/26 17:08Konrad Hartmann

sorry, it’s Bending Gender or Breaking?

05/26 17:08Konrad Hartmann

Breaking, right?

05/26 17:08D.M. Atkins

Most the stories submitted for it so far don’t see the distinction. “Breaking Gender.”

05/26 17:08D.M. Atkins


05/26 17:09Konrad Hartmann

what are the usual tropes?

05/26 17:09D.M. Atkins

“Bending Gender” is the common phrase, so Breaking Gender was going beyond that.

05/26 17:09D.M. Atkins

I’ll turn you over to the trope master to explain that. Lon?

05/26 17:10Lon Sarver

We’re looking for deconstructions of gender more than cross-gender. It’s not enough to put man in woman’s clothes, let’s dynamite the idea that “man” and “woman” are essential categories, or the only possible categories.

05/26 17:11D.M. Atkins

A good example so far is Olivia Stone’s “Slow Surrender.” The POV character is a “drag queen” but doesn’t fall into the sexist stereotype of being submissive, but is a top.

05/26 17:12Konrad Hartmann

well, with artificial humans (or whatever) the possible configurations are endless

05/26 17:12D.M. Atkins

Yes, so if it challenges the normal gender stereotypes while doing that, then you have it.

05/26 17:12Lon Sarver

Bring on the three-sexed alien species who adopt a human into their triad! Shape-shifters who mix-and-match parts and defy all roles! Androids who are built to look like one or the other, but insist that they’re not even human, much less limited by human gender roles!

05/26 17:12Lon Sarver

Or, perhaps, that’s my spin on it.

05/26 17:13Konrad Hartmann

sounds right

05/26 17:13Annabeth Leong

I love your spin on it

05/26 17:13D.M. Atkins

Part of what I’m looking for int he collection is a POV from the usually objectified character instead of making them on object again.

05/26 17:13Konrad Hartmann

or, when you consider possibilities in bio engineered changes, new forms could be developed

05/26 17:13D.M. Atkins

From the sexbot’s POV for example might be a way to look at it.

05/26 17:14Annabeth Leong

POV makes all the difference, so often

05/26 17:14Annabeth Leong

I recently edited an anthology about hackers. I got SO many sexbot stories, and only one where the sexbot was a real person.

05/26 17:14D.M. Atkins

Yes. Almost all the stories about transgender people do not use a POV that see them as persons.

05/26 17:14Konrad Hartmann

I didn’t know that

05/26 17:15D.M. Atkins

Exactly, Annabeth

05/26 17:15D.M. Atkins

So Breaking Gender stereotypes about non-gender conforming people/entities, would be one way to word it.

05/26 17:15Lon Sarver

I am so sick of weeding stories that treat trans folk as disposable tranny-fetish objects out of the slush pile.

05/26 17:15Annabeth Leong

I bet

05/26 17:16D.M. Atkins

That’s what’s taking so long with that book.

05/26 17:16D.M. Atkins

Most people don’t get it.

05/26 17:16Konrad Hartmann

so all tend to be a non trans protag having adventures with trans folk

05/26 17:17Konrad Hartmann

like it sounds kind of touristy

05/26 17:17D.M. Atkins


05/26 17:17D.M. Atkins

And it’s something that really pisses off most trans and GQ folk.

05/26 17:18D.M. Atkins

So time to show that TG/GQ characters can have wonderful erotic stories too.

05/26 17:18Konrad Hartmann

now I’m trying to think how many of my stories involve normie protags interacting with The Other

05/26 17:18Konrad Hartmann

the perceived Other

05/26 17:19D.M. Atkins

Nods. It’s important for every writer to think about.

05/26 17:19Annabeth Leong

I read a beautiful SF erotica story recently by Eric del Carlo that pushed back against the so-common-I-never-thought-about-it-before thing of referring to creatures as aliens

05/26 17:19Lon Sarver

It’s slightly different when The Other is something that isn’t real people.

05/26 17:19Konrad Hartmann


05/26 17:20D.M. Atkins

Did you two see that we posted our Mission Statement? /about/mission-statement-values/

05/26 17:20Annabeth Leong

oh wow, that is really great (and interesting stuff about future plans, too)

05/26 17:21Lon Sarver

Lovecraft, for instance, gets in trouble for the way his stories Other non-white folks and basically ignore women, not because his gibbering tenticular aliens are Other.

05/26 17:21D.M. Atkins

Yes, Siol is working on the new logos now. One for the company itself, since it’s changing names. And then logos for the new imprints.

05/26 17:21Konrad Hartmann

that is cool

05/26 17:21D.M. Atkins

Yes and most of our authors only seem to write about white POV characters (Annabeth being a notable exception).

05/26 17:22D.M. Atkins

We’re working on not excluding but broadening POV.

05/26 17:22Annabeth Leong

That’s been important to me for a long time. I appreciate that you haven’t tried to hide it.

05/26 17:22Annabeth Leong

If you look at the covers of books that include my work, you would never guess how often I write non-white POV

05/26 17:23Konrad Hartmann

A lot of my characters are (by virtue of weird gaming obsessive dice rolling) randomly selected for ethnicity.

05/26 17:23D.M. Atkins

I think we’ve managed it i most of them.

05/26 17:23Annabeth Leong

@Lon I’m so interested in the work that’s being produced in critique of Lovecraft, like The Ballad of Black Tom

05/26 17:23Konrad Hartmann

Like in All Consuming, the 2 characters were randomly assigned

05/26 17:23Annabeth Leong

@DM You definitely have!

05/26 17:24Annabeth Leong

@Konrad I love that you actually do random rolls

05/26 17:24D.M. Atkins

It’s really hard to show diversity in anthologies particularly without overwhelming the cover. Thank Siol for that Annabeth.

05/26 17:24Annabeth Leong

I have all the love for Siol. Siol is a treasure.

05/26 17:24D.M. Atkins

Konrad, I was particularly happy for the female POV character in Spidermilk.

05/26 17:25Konrad Hartmann

I mean the dragon story, the protag is white or whitish, I guess, because that’s what people in ancient Wales probably were

05/26 17:25D.M. Atkins

We sort of have Mina to thank for bringing Siol in. She volunteered to do the mermaid cover because I couldn’d find a mermaid with short hair, let along six breasts.

05/26 17:25Annabeth Leong

[I am going to have to get offline. I’ve been having so much fun at the party that I’ve already stayed later than I should!]

05/26 17:25Annabeth Leong

I love this story about Mina!

05/26 17:25Konrad Hartmann

6-breasted mermaids are a rare being

05/26 17:26Annabeth Leong

Good night, everyone!

05/26 17:26D.M. Atkins

Konrad. Wonderful to talk with you again.

05/26 17:26Lon Sarver


05/26 17:26Konrad Hartmann

Oh, good night, Annabeth, good talking to you

05/26 17:26Annabeth Leong


05/26 17:26Nola Bee

Goodnight Annabeth!

05/26 17:26D.M. Atkins

And then Siol got hooked on all the mythology works and then spread to taking over the art department.

05/26 17:27Konrad Hartmann

I’ve tried drawing recently and remembered how challenging it is for me.

05/26 17:27Konrad Hartmann

I really respect/envy the ability to do art.

05/26 17:28D.M. Atkins

Oh, Annabeth was leaving. I got confused.

05/26 17:28D.M. Atkins

So, Konrad, now that we have you all to ourselves… Grins.

05/26 17:28Nola Bee

Oh but you do art! (Konrad)

05/26 17:28Nola Bee

Writing is most certainly an art form!

05/26 17:29Konrad Hartmann

oh, yeah, but I mean visual art

05/26 17:29Konrad Hartmann

drawing people is challenging for me

05/26 17:29D.M. Atkins

I know you post on FB a lot of art that you like. I shouldn’t be surprised that you draw.

05/26 17:30Konrad Hartmann

I’m really amazed by all of the good art out there now

05/26 17:30D.M. Atkins

You ever see the work of Dell Harris?

05/26 17:30D.M. Atkins

I have his art on my wall from when he worked for my first magazine. I think you’d like his stuff.

05/26 17:31Konrad Hartmann

just googled, very nice

05/26 17:31Konrad Hartmann

ever see Candykiller?

05/26 17:32D.M. Atkins


05/26 17:32Konrad Hartmann

he does a lot of, my art vocab stinks, but sort of bizarre renditions of pop art, but he also does alternative movie posters

05/26 17:33Konrad Hartmann

I think he did one that’s a serious rendition of Rick and Morty that was really cool

05/26 17:33Lon Sarver


05/26 17:34Konrad Hartmann

he did a few versions of Alien. I think he even did a version of Ghostbusters versus The THing

05/26 17:35Lon Sarver


05/26 17:35Konrad Hartmann

Ariel Zucker-Brull does some cool stuff, too

05/26 17:35Konrad Hartmann

a lot of album covers for retro electro music that makes me think of Spidermilk

05/26 17:36D.M. Atkins

From earlier conversation, I gather you have at least a couple stories in progress we might see in the future. Want to talk about them?

05/26 17:36Konrad Hartmann

yes, yes, which one?

05/26 17:36D.M. Atkins

Yes, any and all?

05/26 17:36Konrad Hartmann

the steampunk ones were making me crazy because they kept growing out of control

05/26 17:37Konrad Hartmann

the first one is a F/F story that draws on a lot of the sritism/spritualism/seance type mysticism of the late 19th century, and a corrective school with nefarious activities

05/26 17:38Konrad Hartmann

and the second one was about a ventriloquist and is fairly dark

05/26 17:38Lon Sarver

Hmmm. I shudder to think.

05/26 17:39Konrad Hartmann

both of them are headed for at least novella size

05/26 17:39Konrad Hartmann

the first one has a lot of weird western to it

05/26 17:39Konrad Hartmann

the second one does too but with more horror

05/26 17:40Konrad Hartmann

the third one is et in a sort of pre-World War one warzone

05/26 17:40Lon Sarver

Sounds good to me.

05/26 17:40Konrad Hartmann

the 3rd one has the most hope of being a short story

05/26 17:40D.M. Atkins

Folks seem to like novellas. I think they feel they get more story but doesn’t take as much time to read as a novel. So they are a good niche.

05/26 17:41Konrad Hartmann

I read an argument that novellas were an optimal horror format

05/26 17:41Konrad Hartmann

I forget why

05/26 17:41D.M. Atkins

I would agree with that. For reasons I talked about before. Too much horror can be hard for readers to sustain suspense.

05/26 17:41Nola Bee

hmm, I would be very interested to read that if ou come accross it again

05/26 17:42Konrad Hartmann

makes sense

05/26 17:42D.M. Atkins

But novella give you more time to develop it without overwhelming the reader.

05/26 17:42Lon Sarver

I haven’t heard the argument, but I might guess that there’s something to do with maintaining tension for just long enough, but not so long the reader ceases caring.

05/26 17:42Nola Bee

I would agree with both of you

05/26 17:42Konrad Hartmann

I think that’s the risk of some stories when there’s a catastophe every chapter it becomes less meaningful

05/26 17:43D.M. Atkins


05/26 17:44Konrad Hartmann

and then there’s a sort of future Spidermilk story that further distracts me. This is my main problem right now is focusing on one thing and not getting lost in an endless exploration of side possibilities

05/26 17:44D.M. Atkins

A novel has to go up and down in a kind of step ladder effect and it’s a struggle to keep the reader with you if it’s dark.

05/26 17:45Konrad Hartmann

what are you reading now?

05/26 17:45D.M. Atkins

My sense is that I go where the energy takes you. Follow the story.

05/26 17:46D.M. Atkins

Me? I’m always reading whatever has come back from edits.

05/26 17:46Lon Sarver

I’m sampling a number of self-published urban fantasy, at the moment.

05/26 17:46Konrad Hartmann

makes sense, it’s just that I’m finding story notes where I go, oh, crap, I forgot I was writing that

05/26 17:46D.M. Atkins

When I’m not, it’s often fanfiction as an escape.

05/26 17:47Lon Sarver

I insist on having non-work reading every so often. Keeps me from going insane. Insaner.

05/26 17:47Konrad Hartmann

any favorites?

05/26 17:47Konrad Hartmann

I also find that I draw from non-fiction as source material.

05/26 17:47D.M. Atkins

Right now Captain America fic is my fav.

05/26 17:48Konrad Hartmann

reading Claude Lecouteux’s “Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies”

05/26 17:48D.M. Atkins

My non-fiction reading is very serious stuff on the nature of early childhood trama.

05/26 17:48Konrad Hartmann

any particular authors?

05/26 17:49D.M. Atkins

For which?

05/26 17:49Konrad Hartmann


05/26 17:50D.M. Atkins

Ah, well, if it’s a new topic, start with “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog”. The author is a neurologist turned child-psychologist and the book is case studies on how early childhood trauma affects brain chemistry.

05/26 17:50Konrad Hartmann

how does it?

05/26 17:51D.M. Atkins

Think of it as re-wiring. Someone who experiences trauma when they are too young for the fight/flight to be helpful, develops other strategies.

05/26 17:51Konrad Hartmann

I often feel like nonfiction is more helpful for writing fiction

05/26 17:52D.M. Atkins

They very depending on the type of trauma, the individual and their resources. An infant can neither fight nor flee, so they must survive.

05/26 17:53Konrad Hartmann

do they discuss circumcision?

05/26 17:53D.M. Atkins

Adapting to the trauma is good for short term survival but can have negative consequences long term, including severe health problems.

05/26 17:53Lon Sarver

Reading nonfiction is essential to writing fiction.

05/26 17:54D.M. Atkins

His case studies are on extreme cases but those are useful in looking at the spectrum. He was the psychologist brought in to help after the Waco disaster.

05/26 17:54Lon Sarver

Otherwise, one’s writing drifts too far out into the ungrounded imagination, and it’s harder to get readers invested.

05/26 17:54Konrad Hartmann

yeah, I think that’s a problem I’ve had with some bizarro stuff, is a lack of frame of reference. It can feel like just random words

05/26 17:55D.M. Atkins

When I was writing FAEWOLF, I read every book I could get my hands on about wolves.

05/26 17:55Lon Sarver

Right. If the bizzare doesn’t somehow link back to real-world experience, it comes off as too distant, even irrelevant.

05/26 17:56D.M. Atkins

These days my non-fiction research is trying to understand the interaction between PTSD and chronic illness.

05/26 17:56Konrad Hartmann

I’ve had trouble reading some fantasy, when it kicks into how King Klarkash of the kingdom of Glopdop is doing such and such and you have no attachment to any of the names being thrown around

05/26 17:57Konrad Hartmann

what sort of illnesses, DM?

05/26 17:58D.M. Atkins

It’s something we often have to explain to fantasy writers. That they need to connect with readers through what we do know about the world, and then add how fantasy would work given that.

05/26 17:58Konrad Hartmann

I was thinking the other day how, culturally, there’s a huge disconnect between physical ailments and psychological stress

05/26 17:58D.M. Atkins

Well, I have fibromyalgia and some research has found a large overlap of early childhood trauma and people who develop FM.

05/26 17:58Lon Sarver

Which is why I say magic is no excuse for unrealistic characters. If the world is total alien to the reader, the characters have to have feelings and problems they can invest in, otherwise all the history and pretty dragons are meaningless.

05/26 17:58Konrad Hartmann

so that could be an example of adaptive damage

05/26 17:59D.M. Atkins


05/26 17:59D.M. Atkins

One adaptive response to the conditions I was raised in is hypervigilance.

05/26 17:59D.M. Atkins

In my case, including OCD.

05/26 17:59D.M. Atkins

That puts the person under constant stress.

05/26 17:59Konrad Hartmann

I think of in the Elric stories how Moorcock does a great job of introducing a very bizarre culture (Melnibone)

05/26 18:00Konrad Hartmann

Yeah, I guess OCD can sort of be a response of needed a certain level of mental activity

05/26 18:01Nola Bee

Sorry to interject, but I’m going to be bowing out shortly and wanted to say thank you and good evening!

05/26 18:01D.M. Atkins

If trying to be “perfect” was how you kept the abuser at bay, then it becomes adaptive. But FM suggests that the nervous system eventually breaks down under that kind of constant pressure.

05/26 18:01Konrad Hartmann

Oh, good night, Nola!

05/26 18:01Lon Sarver

g’night, Nola!

05/26 18:02D.M. Atkins

Night Nola.

05/26 18:02D.M. Atkins

Congrats on a great week.

05/26 18:02Nola Bee

Goodnight all!

05/26 18:02Nola Bee

05/26 18:03Konrad Hartmann

Here’s a question, DM. So, I write characters who often have psychological problems. Do you think there’s a way that using real world knowledge of things can be exploitative in developing characters?

05/26 18:03Konrad Hartmann

not sure if that makes sense

05/26 18:04D.M. Atkins

Yes and yes. For me though, I’m not the other in this case, but a person who has that experience and it writing about it even if it is in different contexts than mine.

05/26 18:04Lon Sarver

Not exploitative, I’d think. There’s more danger in using unrealistic depictions for that.

05/26 18:05Konrad Hartmann

by the way, I read that there is research being done on an implant for traumatic memory (not recommending it, just noting it)

05/26 18:05D.M. Atkins

Bringing understanding to the character is important. We often write about things we haven’t experienced. Research matters here.

05/26 18:05Konrad Hartmann

I tried to present Eddie Stover as traumatized as best I could

05/26 18:06Lon Sarver

I think you did well enough, there.

05/26 18:06Konrad Hartmann

ok, cool

05/26 18:06D.M. Atkins

I think you did well there. As someone who usually calls folks if they miss it.

05/26 18:06Konrad Hartmann


05/26 18:06Lon Sarver

It’s more important to have the behavior and feelings believable than to get the medical details in.

05/26 18:06D.M. Atkins

It’s important to show how violence hurts those involved in it.

05/26 18:06Lon Sarver

And numbing trauma with addiction is totally real.

05/26 18:06D.M. Atkins

Yes, Lon.

05/26 18:07D.M. Atkins

I bet there a quite a few vets in particular who could empathize with Eddie.

05/26 18:08Konrad Hartmann

I was thinking today of the character Justin, from Hunter’s Tree. There’s the concept of people being groomed for victimhood, but I was thinking, what would it look like if someone was groomed for victimizing? Let me know if this is a bad time to mention that, I am bad with appropriate timing

05/26 18:08Lon Sarver

Sure. You might want to research child soldiers for that.

05/26 18:08D.M. Atkins

That makes sense. And it’s part of the process of how many people become that way.

05/26 18:09Konrad Hartmann

that’s a good point, Lon

05/26 18:09D.M. Atkins

When my son was born I did a lot of therapy so that I would not repeat what happened to me.

05/26 18:09Konrad Hartmann

that’s wise and brave

05/26 18:09Siol na Tine

Hi folks. Sorry I couldn’t be here sooner, I couldn’t sleep all night for pain

05/26 18:10D.M. Atkins

It was my worst fear of parenting, so I took oaths to my son to never lie and never hit him. He’s 20 now and I’ve kept those oaths.

05/26 18:10Konrad Hartmann

Hi Siol, sorry you’re hurting

05/26 18:10Siol na Tine

I’m ok now that I’m up and about.

05/26 18:10D.M. Atkins

Siol, Annabeth missed you.

05/26 18:10Siol na Tine

I missed her!

05/26 18:10Siol na Tine

Stupid peripheral neuropathy

05/26 18:10D.M. Atkins

I also told the story of how the mermaid lured you in.

05/26 18:11Siol na Tine

Hee! Cool

05/26 18:12Lon Sarver


05/26 18:12D.M. Atkins

One of the topics that came up earlier was mythology and religion.

05/26 18:12D.M. Atkins

In particular, I thought it would have been something Siol and Konrad would be interested in.

05/26 18:13Konrad Hartmann


05/26 18:13Lon Sarver

Konrad, there’s a documentary (it’s on netflix now) called The Act of Killing. Interviews with perpetrators of genocide. Really creepy examples of how people think so as to deny the trauma by their own actions.

05/26 18:13Siol na Tine

Was it Norse? ;p

05/26 18:13D.M. Atkins

For example, is a story of devotion to a divine that includes what we might call magic “fantasy” or does the reality of the devotee matter?

05/26 18:14Konrad Hartmann

I’ll have to check that out, Lon

05/26 18:14Siol na Tine

Hm, it would depend on the depiction of the magic, I suppose.

05/26 18:14D.M. Atkins

Reminds me of some anthropology arguments I had in grad school.

05/26 18:14Konrad Hartmann

that was also an element of the 3rd steampunk story

05/26 18:14Siol na Tine

By default, I have no problem categorizing Godfic as Fantasy, but I don’t think Fantasy is an epithet. Genres are flags for interested parties.

05/26 18:15Siol na Tine

Still, I’ve read realistic fic that was categorized as such because it depicted an actual culture’s perception of magic, mysticism, religion, etc.

05/26 18:15D.M. Atkins


05/26 18:16Konrad Hartmann

that’s an interesting point, like cultural inclusion of dreams as real events

05/26 18:16D.M. Atkins

Like the depiction of Exu in Crossed Rose is “realism” in the way it’s shown.

05/26 18:16Siol na Tine


05/26 18:17Siol na Tine

I wouldn’t call Crossed Rose “Fantasy”

05/26 18:17Lon Sarver

I would. The main character finds parking in the Bay Area way too easily for it to be realistic.

05/26 18:17D.M. Atkins

Nods. I suppose it would only be fantasy to those who don’t believe in that type of divine help.

05/26 18:17D.M. Atkins


05/26 18:17Siol na Tine

I’m thinking about books like Bless Me, Ultima

05/26 18:17Siol na Tine

LOL that’s hwat makes it *fiction* Lon, not Fantasy

05/26 18:18Siol na Tine

Well, I think PART of it is

05/26 18:18Konrad Hartmann

urban parking is a skill that fades quickly without regular practice

05/26 18:18D.M. Atkins

I have a very good relationship with the gods of parking.

05/26 18:18Siol na Tine

A: how much do you make it clear that the interpretation is from the subjective perceptions of the perspective characters and B: is the magic portrayed in the ambiguous way that magic actually works in real life?

05/26 18:19Lon Sarver

Magical Realism is more realistic than Fantasy, in that sense.

05/26 18:19Konrad Hartmann

what’s magical realism?

05/26 18:20D.M. Atkins

Some of the stories in Timeless Lust are fantasy and some are not. The virgins of Vesta for example are shown realistically for their time.

05/26 18:21Konrad Hartmann

So, a realistic or real world setting with magical elements versus fantasy being a possibly new world with new riles?

05/26 18:21Lon Sarver

From TV Tropes: “In Magic Realism, events just happen, as in dreams. Tchotchkes telling the heroine what to do (Wonderfalls) or the ghost of your father showing up at odd intervals to offer personal and/or professional advice (Due South). Or perhaps it’s just a quirky vibe that infuses the environment (Northern Exposure, Twin Peaks). Magical realism is a story that takes place in a realistic setting that is recognizable as the historical past or present. It overlaps with Mundane Fantastic. It has a connection to surrealism, dream logic and poetry.”

05/26 18:21Konrad Hartmann


05/26 18:21Lon Sarver

Twin Peaks vs. The Dresden Files

05/26 18:22Siol na Tine


05/26 18:22Konrad Hartmann

unfortunately never saw/read the latter

05/26 18:22Siol na Tine

There’s only the one season to see, but it’s a great show IMHO

05/26 18:22Lon Sarver

Magical realism came out of a surreal/romantic/realistic writing movement in Latin America.

05/26 18:22D.M. Atkins

Yes. Harry Potter may be set in the now, but it’s Urban Fantasy, not Magic Realism.

05/26 18:22Siol na Tine

Right, and I gotta say, it makes total sense that it would come out of Latin America, given those cultural influences!

05/26 18:23Siol na Tine

Is Harry Potter really Urban Fantasy? I’d have called it High Fantasy, because it’s not really got the realism and grit and hiding-behind-the-walls that Urban Fantasy usually has…

05/26 18:23D.M. Atkins

FAEWOLF has a shapeshifter, thus Fantasy. Crossed Rose has not “overt” magic except for all the “odd coincidences” that line up with what the “old man” said.

05/26 18:23Siol na Tine

It’s *modern* High Fantasy, though, not medieval high fantasy

05/26 18:23Lon Sarver

Chocolat is a film example.

05/26 18:23Siol na Tine

Or is the medival aspect required for “high”?

05/26 18:24Siol na Tine

Oh Chocolat is wonderful! And Like Water for Chocolate even moreso

05/26 18:24D.M. Atkins

London in HP’s magic world is pretty gritty.

05/26 18:24D.M. Atkins

I’d say it’s aimed younger than most Urban Fantasy but still in that genre.

05/26 18:24Lon Sarver

More examples and discussion to be found here: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MagicRealism

05/26 18:25Siol na Tine

I guess HP kind of shifts from book one to book 7 from more modern high to more urban…

05/26 18:25D.M. Atkins

I will not read TVTropes. Too dangerous. Grins.

05/26 18:25Siol na Tine


05/26 18:25Lon Sarver

The defining trait of urban fantasy is that it takes place in the modern “real” world.

05/26 18:25Lon Sarver

Not the ambient magic level

05/26 18:22Siol na Tine

Book one is almost Narnia-ish, but by book 7 you’re almost hitting Hunger Games territory, so… yeah

05/26 18:23Lon Sarver

Yeah, that camping sequence was just brutal.

05/26 18:23Siol na Tine

LOL not what I meant

05/26 18:24Konrad Hartmann

I better get running here, folks

05/26 18:24Siol na Tine

I was thinking more in terms of the Wizarding government conspiracy and torture and racism and genocide and stuff.

05/26 18:24D.M. Atkins

OKay. Well, thank you for joining us Konrad. Always fun to chat with you.

05/26 18:24Siol na Tine

Awww. It was good to chat with you, Konrad!

05/26 18:24Konrad Hartmann

thanks for talking to me! Have a good night!

05/26 18:25Konrad Hartmann

You too, Siol!

05/26 18:25D.M. Atkins

And since the last author planned for the evening won’t be joining us, I think we’ll end a half hour early. Thanks to the six authors who participated today as well as the staff and readers.

05/26 18:26D.M. Atkins

We will be having the next Release Party chat in August. We may in the interim schedule some other types of chat if folks are interested. Night all.

05/26 18:27Lon Sarver

G’night, all.

05/26 18:27Siol na Tine

Which book is the next party for?

05/26 18:27D.M. Atkins

Inherent Cost by Alicia Cameron.

05/26 18:28Siol na Tine



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