Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Cover Reveal - In a Cat's Eye

In a Cat's Eye, Edited by Kelly A. Harmon and Vonnie Winslow Crist

Isn’t she a beauty?

Here’s the cover for the new anthology I’m co-editing with Vonnie Winslow Crist.

Authors included are: Gail Z. Martin, Jody Lynn Nye, Alex Shvartsman, Gregory L. Norris, Steven R. Southard, Jeremy M. Gottwig, A. L. Sirois, Oliver Smith, A. L. Kaplan, Doug C. Souza, Christine Lucas, K. I. Borrowman, Joanna Hoyt, R. S. Pyne and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Character Guest Post - A Few Words from Pournelle Ahb— : A #HoldOnToTheLight Post

#HoldOnToTheLight - Hold On to the Light

Today’s guest post is by Pournell Ahb—   Well, we don’t know his full name, since he’s a demon. That would give us too much power over him. He first turned up in the Charm City Darkness novel, A Favor for a Fiend, and has been around ever since. Lately, he parlayed himself into an alliance, of sorts, with Assumpta. He’d like to talk to you today about battling depression.

He’s got a lot on his plate. He’s a demon, after all. He’s not looking forward to the afterlife. Just because he is what he is—a demon, have I mentioned that? And because he’s a demon, he’s going to Hell when he dies—there’s no two ways about it. Like many things in life—and death—it’s not an easy thing to get over.

Here’s Pournelle to tell you about it in his own words…

It’s easy to become depressed when you’re damned to Hell—just for being born.

I’m not talking about the kind of sadness you feel when your day just falls to pieces or you don’t have enough cash to buy the latest iPhone.

I’m talking about soul-crushing depression: the kind that plagues your mind All. The. Damned. Time. You can’t think of anything else. You can’t concentrate. You want to curl up in a ball and sleep. Or eat. Or not eat, if that’s your thing.

Suicide haunts me. Tempts me. But it’s the one thing I won’t do: because I’ll wind up in Hell. Literally. And it’s the one place I don’t want to be. I can endure anything to avoid that. As long as I can keep on living, I’m good.

Assumpta helps me. She doesn’t know it, because I could never admit this to her. (Show my emotions to a human? Never.) But she’s got me practicing good will. Her way of getting what she wants from me without selling her soul, but she doesn’t even realize how beneficial it is for me.

Here’s how it works: I give her all the information she needs about what the other demons are planning down in Hell—the stuff I know, anyway—and don’t make her sign a contract ceding her soul to me. I do her this favor, asking nothing in return. I’ve created good will in my good will bank.

Now she owes me.

But the thing is, that’s not what drives me to do it. I don’t care about her owing me. It feels good to help her. (Again, I’d never tell her that. Did I tell her when I healed all her demon-wrought wounds? Lucifer’s balls! The infection alone would have killed her. No—I didn’t tell her. Punched her instead—that felt good. Healing punch. She never knew what hit her. She’s smart though—figured it out—but never throws it up in my face.)

When she finds something that will help me, whether it’s a secret or a demonic artifact gone missing—or something like that—she’ll call me. (Yeah, I gave her a calling card with my true name on it. It burns up in her hand after she reads it, and I come running—sometimes with blood all over my hands—but I’m there.) She tells me what she knows, or hands over the piece.

Scales are balanced.

Gives me a purpose. Options.

Keeps me out of Hell.

About the campaign:

#HoldOntoTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

To find out more about #HoldOntoTheLight, find a list of participating authors, or reach a media contact, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/276745236033627

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Upcoming Events

My schedule for the remainder of the year is beginning to firm up, but still includes a few tentative items. If you’d like to schedule me, please contact me as soon as possible. Thanks!

  • CapClave – Tentative
    October 7-9, 2016
    Gaithersburg, MD, MD
     
  • Hallowread – Confirmed
    October 21-23, 2016
    Havre de Grace, MD
     
  • ChessieCon– Confirmed
    November 25-27, 2016
    Timonium, MD
     
  • Carroll County Author’s Day– Tentative
    November 5, 2016
    Westminster, MD
     
  • Bel Air Authors and Artists– Confirmed
    December 3, 2016
    Bel Air, MD
     
Friday, April 15th, 2016

Writing Prompt – Deserted

Blue shutters on a stone house.According to the artist who took this photo, (Nikos Koravos | @Dreamstime):

“A lot of deserted houses can be found in the island of Kythera, Greece, most of them in a very bad condition.”

In Washington, DC in a really bad snow storm, people have been known to abandon their cars on the Beltway and just walk away from them.

Similarly to the people of Greece, I’d guess, are the accounts I’ve seen (in the news) of people—who are so ‘upside down’ on their mortgages—they simply walk away from their homes without telling anyone.

I’ve always wondered how bad a situation has to be before it’s better to walk away than fix things.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write about someone who walks away from something– a house, a car, a marriage, a job, a pet, a family. What are the reasons for doing so? What happens to everyone involved?
     
  • You (or a character in your WIP) come across a deserted house. What do you find there?
     
  • Similarly, it’s a late summer evening and you decide to go for a ride. Top down, or windows open—music blaring—you take to the road. Without realizing how you did it, it’s later than you think, and darker than it should have been, and you find yourself on a deserted stretch of road. You run out of gas. What happens?
     
  • No discussion of deserted is complete without thinking about a deserted island. Here’s the twist: you knew it was deserted, that was the whole reason for you packing up and moving there. (Hey, peace and solitude to write that Great American Novel!) But now you realize, it’s not deserted. And whatever is there, won’t rest until it gets you.
     
  • Do you journal? Or, are you writing stories for family history? Write about the time you were deserted, or you deserted someone. For example, did you ever forget to pick your child at school? (Or were you the one forgotten?) Did you ever bail on a family gathering? Did anyone ever storm out after an argument?
     

Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Meet and Greet at the Horse You Came in On

HorseYouRodeInOn

I’ll be at the Horse You Came In On this Friday with a bunch of other authors from Hallowread. There will be door prizes and swag giveaways, and of course, we’ll have books for sale. The “Buy a Book, Get a Beer” program will be up and running.

Time: 4 – 8 pm
Place: 1626 Thames Street, Fells Point, Baltimore

More info at the Horse You Came In On Web site.

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Writing Prompt – You Had Me at “Hello.”

Teenaged girl talking on a cell phone.Hello.

Bonjour.

Ciao.

Shalom.

Nǐ hǎo.

Cześć.

Hallo.

There are a ja-billion™ ways to say hello—and its equivalent—in a ja-billion™ different languages.

‘Sup?
Good Day.
Hey.

Greetings are a mixed bag. Formal situations call for formal greetings. (How do you do?) Early morning salutations differ between chipper folks (Good Morning!) and those who need a few more cups of coffee (unintelligible grunt). Greetings between good friends ride the scale between none at all, and hopping right into conversation (Did you see what Jenny was wearing last night? I wouldn’t be caught dead in that!) to downright insulting. (You look like shit. What happened to you?)

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write a short story which begins with a single word of dialogue: “Hello.” The greeting can be in any language. What happens?
     
  • Write a poem about greetings, salutations or beginnings.
     
  • We have certain expectations for greetings. What if you were greeted differently than expected? For example, your coach shook your hand, but your pastor slapped your butt? Write what might happen if this happened to you.
     
  • If you journal, write about a time when someone greeted you in an unusual way. What happened?
     
  • Good luck!

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Audio Edition of Stoned in Charm City – Coming Soon!

A Favor for a Fiend (Charm City Darkness 2) by Kelly A. HarmonI’ve just made an official offer for Stoned in Charm City to be produced as an audio book!

I’ll be sending the paper files to the narrator later this week, and receiving an audio file of the first several chapters for review by the end of March.

Color me excited!

Barring any complications, the narration should be complete by the end of May—just in time for Balticon!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Honorable Mention – Writers of the Future

Certificate from Writers of the Future, denoting Honorable Mention for the Story Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble.I posted this on Facebook last week, but forgot to mention it here: I just received my certificate from Writers of the Future for my story, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble. It’s a wonderful little tale about witches who create the best steel cauldrons in the world–but their entire operation is put in jeopardy when the dragons fail to produce fire hot enough to make the steel.

I had a lot of fun writing it.

I’ll be sending it off to other markets in hope of placement. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Writing Prompt – What’s In The Box?

Vintage MatchBox with the Cover Faded and PeelingThe blizzard dropped a lot of snow on us, and we were digging out for days. As a consequence we hadn’t had mail delivery for nearly a week. But I finally got something in my mailbox yesterday.

There was the usual accumulation of junk newspapers and circulars, but there were also two padded envelopes and a larger box.

“What’s in the box?” asked the Husband of Awesome™.

And I couldn’t remember what I might have ordered.

That’s what happens when a blizzard comes along and all you do is dig out for a week. Brain white-out. Snow blind. You forget about the things you ordered. Or the stuff you didn’t order, but you knew was coming. Or that you’re awesome enough that someone sent you a surprise. (It could happen.) 😉

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Imagine you’ve just received something in the mail. What’s inside?
     
  • Imagine it’s spring! You’re digging in your garden, and the shovel hits something hard. You realize you’ve struck a tiny wooden chest. What’s inside?
     
  • A woman packs a lunch for her (you choose) loving/cheating/scandalous/insane/generous/abusive/virile husband. What did she pack? What happens when he finds it?
     
  • A man pick’s up his spouse’s/sister’s/niece’s purse and it accidentally empties onto the floor. What’s inside? What happens when he’s caught handling that object?
     
  • Because it’s cold outside, you order dinner and have it delivered. It arrives, you pay the delivery service and they leave. And then you open the box. It’s not what you ordered. It’s not even dinner. What’s inside? And, what are you going to do with it?
     

Good luck!

(Oh, and in the box? The Christmas-gift yarn I’d ordered to knit a cardigan–my first try at sweater making. Wish me luck!)

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Year End Schedule

A photo of the Bel Air Armory.Hi All!

My schedule is filling up for the end of the year! Here’s where I’ll be, in case you’re interested.

Baltimore Book Festival
Downtown Inner Harbor, Baltimore
September 25 – 27, 2015
http://baltimorebookfestival.org/home

Hallowread
Ellicott City, MD
October 23-24, 2015
http://hallowread.com/

Carroll County Authors Day
Carroll County Farmer’s Market
Westminster, MD
November 7, 2015
http://www.carrollcountyfarmersmarket.com/page/page/7165898.htm

ChessieCon
Radisson North Baltimore Hotel.
November 27-29, 2015
http://chessiecon.org/

Bel Air Authors and Artists
Bel Air Armory
December 2015
http://md-belair.civicplus.com/361/Bel-Air-Armory