I’m Teaching Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror & Beyond—ONLINE

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I’m teaching a six-week class, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror & Beyond, over at Story Studio Chicago (online) this October. Come join the fun. Here’s more information:

Description of Class

If you love the incredible, futuristic, supernatural, and fantastical—this is the class for you.

Whether you’re working on a project or just starting out, this six-week online course is perfect for writers who want to explore science fiction, fantasy, horror, and related sub-genres such as magical realism, new weird, and surrealism. We’ll discuss the conventions of these genres and explore the boundaries between them—and what happens when you cross them.

Students will explore craft elements such as character and setting, and how they operate in stories that challenge the imagination. You’ll practice creating alternate realities that may have a hint of magic, explore a dystopia or utopia, or even build an entirely new world.

We’ll read and study classic and contemporary examples by authors in various genres to learn what works, and explore the publishing world of speculative markets such as Cemetery Dance, Tor.com, Nightmare, Shimmer, F&SF, and Clarkesworld.

The class is perfect for writers who are curious about these genres, or writers who are already familiar with them and want to stretch the boundaries of their stories. Students will leave the class with new story starts and scenes, and share their work for feedback from the instructor and fellow writers.

What to Expect

Students can expect to spend two to three hours per week writing and interacting with classmates and the instructor. New lessons become available each Tuesday but can be completed anytime during the week.

This work will be supported by:

  • a weekly video from the instructor introducing the topic
  • an interactive lesson, moderated by the instructor
  • new exercises and materials available every week
  • full participation from every student to give and get feedback
  • email for one-to-one interaction with the instructor

Students will begin the week with a lesson containing reading and discussion materials, along with specific exercises to reinforce craft elements. No long lectures or text. Just the important points and fun, imaginative exercises.

During the week, students will post their work and comment on the work of the other participants. The instructor will also provide feedback on the exercises.

The only requirement is a reliable internet connection!

13 Questions with Mercedes M. Yardley

Excellent interview with Mercedes Yardley over at Joan’s blog. 13 Questions. Stop by and give it a read. MMY is a crucial part of Gamut, and one hell of an author.

Joan De La Haye

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

Today we have Mercedes M. Yardley in the interrogation seat.

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Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantasist who wears red lipstick and poisonous flowers in her hair.  She was a contributing editor for Shock Totem Magazine and currently works with Gamut, a new neo-noir magazine. Mercedes is the author of many diverse works, including Beautiful Sorrows,Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls, and the BONE ANGEL trilogy. She recently won the Bram Stoker Award for her story Little Dead Red.  Mercedes lives and works in Las Vegas, and you can reach her at www.abrokenlaptop.com.

You can also stalk Mercedes on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

  1. What drives you to write? 

MMY: “Drives” is the right word. I don’t simply write for fun or because it’s a cheery little thing to do. I write because I’m…

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The Review Review Loves Gamut!

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Sharing the Love: Editors Recommend Their Favorite Lit Mags

Thanks to The Review Review, The Matador Review and JT Lachausse. They think we’re an exciting new publication!

“I think Gamut Magazine is on a lot of people’s minds right now. They are a new magazine, expected to launch on January 1st of next year (2017), although they already have samples up on their website. Like us, they’re from Chicago, and they’ve gotten a lot of attention and support so far, especially on their successful Kickstarter.”

Exciting, yeah?

This is Horror: Best Writing Advice Episode

Reblogging this post by Mercedes! Writing advice, and THIS IS HORROR! I chime in, too.

A Broken Laptop

thisishorrorIn this podcast twenty writers discuss the best writing advice they’ve received. Contributions from Stephen Graham Jones, Mercedes M. Yardley, Helen Marshall, Paul Tremblay, George Ttoouli, Nina Allan, David Moody, Jessica McHugh, John F.D. Taff, John C. Foster, David Bowles, Lisa L. Hannett, Bob Pastorella, Josh Malerman, Richard Thomas, Vincenzo Bilof, Jasper Bark, Sarah Langan, S. P. Miskowski and This Is Horror Podcast Host, Michael David Wilson.

This might be one of the most epic podcasts I’ve ever listened to. It’s full of advice from 20 writers, and the stuff is good. I also add my two cents and share some advice that changed not only my career, but my life in general. I hope you enjoy and find something that really resonates with you! Please listen and enjoy.

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I Made the Long List for Best Horror of the Year (TWICE!)

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Whenever Ellen Datlow puts our her long list for Best Horror of the Year, I rush over to see if I made the list. (I imagine quite a few of us do that, right? LOL). Thrilled to see that I made it TWICE this year (which is a first) for “From Within,” in Slave Stories: Scenes from the Slave State AND “White Picket Fences,” in Shadows over Main Street. So many friends and peers on this list as well, congratulations to everyone, but I get a special thrill from those in Exigencies: Bill Johnson for “Searching for Gloria,” Jason Metz for “Single Lens Reflection,” and Letty Ann Trent (who got IN).
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The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books) is OUT TODAY!

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How many years has it been since we started this project? I think at least five, my section, Golden Geese, written at the Writers in the Heartland writing residency that I was awarded back in 2011. The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books) is a dark journey—four novellas written by four authors (myself, Nik Korpon, Caleb Ross and Axel Taiari) across for seasons in four different parts of The City. Think Sin City meets Memento. It was an honor to work on this with Nik, Caleb, and Axel—three very talented authors.

Here is what This is Horror had to say about it:

The Soul Standard is unlike anything else you’re likely to read this year, or this decade. Think Sin City meets Blade Runner meets David Lynch and you’ll begin to have an inkling of what’s in store for you, but only a very small one. These four brilliant authors have brought their collective genius together to paint this unflinchingly violent, oppressively bleak city with the adroitness of world class painters, drawing vivid images on your imagination in varying shades of gray and frequent splashes of red. Dzanc Books has a reputation for only publishing the very highest quality fiction and The Soul Standard does nothing to tarnish that rep.”

So if you enjoy my writing, and that of my esteemed peers (Nik is blowing up, with several books out, a new contract with Angry Robot books just announced and Axel Taiari one of the authors in the anthology I edited, Exigencies) then pick this up today.

Here’s the official description:

Across four different districts of a city that has torn itself to shreds, four different interweaving tales (each written by a different author) play out. In “Four Corners,” a morally dubious banker must keep his employer happy at any cost. The next story, “Punhos Sagrados,” concerns a boxer who finds himself torn between honor and the woman he loves. “Golden Geese” follows a hardened criminal with a terrifying condition who must come to terms with the life he’s led. Finally, “Jamais Vu” provides a stunning denouement as a man searches endlessly for his missing daughter, a task which is complicated by a peculiar condition: his inability to recognize faces. Told in rugged, bare-knuckled prose, The Soul Standard is a nonstop thrill-ride down the darkened avenues and through the shadowed alleys of a nightmare town.

Thanks for your continued support!

BOOKED Podcast Interview about The Soul Standard

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I finally had a moment to sit down with Robb and Livius to discuss The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books), my latest project, a novel-in-novellas, written with Nik Korpon, Axel Taiari, and Caleb Ross. We talk about how the book came to be, my novella, Golden Geese, how the stories linked up and our process for that overlap, and much more. Stop by and give it a listen. Axel Taiari shares this episode with me, to give us his stories.

To hear Nik and Caleb talk about their stories and process, GO HERE.

To hear the original review by BOOKED, GO HERE.

This is Horror also put up an excellent review, read that HERE, and here’s a quick excerpt:

The Soul Standard is unlike anything else you’re likely to read this year, or this decade. Think Sin City meets Blade Runner meets David Lynch and you’ll begin to have an inkling of what’s in store for you, but only a very small one. These four brilliant authors have brought their collective genius together to paint this unflinchingly violent, oppressively bleak city with the adroitness of world class painters, drawing vivid images on your imagination in varying shades of gray and frequent splashes of red. Dzanc Books has a reputation for only publishing the very highest quality fiction and The Soul Standard does nothing to tarnish that rep.”

Description:

Across four different districts of a city that has torn itself to shreds, four different interweaving tales (each written by a different author) play out. In “Four Corners,” a morally dubious banker must keep his employer happy at any cost. The next story, “Punhos Sagrados,” concerns a boxer who finds himself torn between honor and the woman he loves. “Golden Geese” follows a hardened criminal with a terrifying condition who must come to terms with the life he’s led. Finally, “Jamais Vu” provides a stunning denouement as a man searches endlessly for his missing daughter, a task which is complicated by a peculiar condition: his inability to recognize faces. Told in rugged, bare-knuckled prose, The Soul Standard is a nonstop thrill-ride down the darkened avenues and through the shadowed alleys of a nightmare town.