“The Sultan’s Cellar” in Latest Issue of Galaxy’s Edge

Source: Galaxy’s Edge

I’m happy to announce that my third professional-rate short story, “The Sultan’s Cellar,” now appears in Issue 28 of Galaxy’s Edge. It’s the second story I’ve sold to Galaxy’s Edge, but the first of the two to appear in print. I’m also honored to appear in a magazine edited by all-time leading short fiction award winner, Mike Resnick. As many of you know, Mike presented me with an award for my short story, “Adramelech,” at the Writers of the Future Award ceremony this past April.

This story melds a number of disparate elements from heavy metal music to Nordic runes to the 1980s crack epidemic in the seedy Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Continue reading

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Remembering Jay on Memorial Day 2017

Every Memorial Day, I honor the sacrifice of my friend, Jay. As the world changes and the years fade, it is more important than ever that we never forget those who have selflessly sacrificed their lives in the service of our country. Jay exemplifies that long gray line of West Pointers who lived and died by the motto:

Duty, Honor, Country.

Today is his day, a day that marks twelve Memorial Days since his passing.

For the past six years, I have posted the following words about Jay. As always, the same sentiments still apply today.

I miss you, buddy.

The cross-currents of individual lives can be interesting things. Through time we each follow our own paths. On occasion, these paths intersect unexpectedly with those of greater men and women.

During my life, my path crossed several times with one of my generation’s finest.

I met Jay in high school. He was a serious, quiet, and determined person. He was also one heck of an athlete, leading my high school soccer team to the State Championship as its all-star goalie.

Opting for a more serious life dedicated to service, Jay applied for and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

After we graduated from high school, I never considered that my path might cross with Jay again during my military career.

But alas, the military community is a small one.

When Jay arrived at the National Training Center, I was happy to see him again.

Life has a funny way of timing things. Coincidentally, our daughters were born a day and a room apart in the same hospital ward.

During my last year of military service in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, I was thrilled to learn that Jay would command Echo Troop, Alpha Troop’s sister company, where I had served as an executive officer.

I knew the soldiers of Echo Troop well. At the National Training Center Alpha and Echo Troop served together every month as a Soviet-style Motorized Rifle Battalion. We ate together and we trained together.

Before leaving the high Mojave desert forever, I came to see Jay one last time to make sure he knew what great soldiers he would command.

It was the last time I would ever speak to him.

Twenty months later, while sitting in the comfort of a business school classroom in Massachusetts, I learned that Jay would not be returning home to his family.

Exemplifying the principle of leadership by example, Jay was personally inspecting a vehicle at a traffic control point in Iraq when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated.

He died on April 29, 2005.

Jay was a quiet and serious officer who cared deeply about his soldiers and his country. His integrity, loyalty and selfless service were impeccable. He made the ultimate sacrifice so that others may live in freedom and for that we all owe him a great debt.

Jay, I still sorely miss you.

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The Other 13: Doug Souza

Doug Souza

Source: Doug Souza

I’m here with Doug Souza, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from Modesto, California. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

I’m Doug C. Souza a speculative fiction writer who teaches second grade during the day. I have lived in Modesto, California for most my life, but spent first through sixth grade in Los Banos, California—which makes it seem like half my life was growing up in the country versus the city life. I was a terrible student, except for my last year in high school, and then college really worked well for me. My ups and downs as a kid in school helped prepare me for the rejections-to-acceptances ratio in the writing world. Continue reading

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The Other 13: Jake Marley

Jake Marley

Source: Jake Marley

I’m here with Jake Marley, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from Garden Grove, California. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

I’m Jake Marley from Orange County, California. I write supernatural suspense fiction, horror, and dark fantasy. I’ve been an avid, varied reader as long as I can remember and I’ve always wanted to tell stories. My other job for the past sixteen years has given me a lot of time to drive through the night where I either listen to audiobooks or make up stories of my own. Continue reading

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The Other 13: Andrew L. Roberts

Andrew L. Roberts

Source: Andrew L. Roberts

I’m here with Andrew L. Roberts, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from San Lorenzo, California. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

I come from your basic, working class family. I live in the house in which I grew up. I have been writing since I was in high school about a million years ago, though have only been sending my work out as submissions for about 5 years now. I have sold my stories to Bourbon Penn Magazine, Spark: A Creative Anthology, and am a recent winner of the Writers of the Future contest. My story, “Tears for Shülna”, appears in Volume 33 of the anthology. Continue reading

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The Other 13: C.L. Kagmi

C.L. Kagmi

Source: C.L. Kagmi

I’m here with C.L. Kagmi, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

I’m originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s a great place to grow up – Michigan is really much more interesting than people are generally aware of.

Continue reading

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The Other 13: Dustin Steinacker

Dustin Steinacker

Source: Dustin Steinacker

I’m here with Dustin Steinacker, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from Orem, Utah. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

I was raised in Elk Ridge, Utah, in the foothills of Loafer Mountain. The town I grew up in (and where my parents still live) has probably quintupled in size since we moved in, and the further north you go to find an available lot the more you’re trading wasps and earwigs for actual bears and mountain lions. I now live in Orem, Utah, smack-dab between two major colleges, and even in the “city” you might see a deer or a bobcat if you get up early enough. So the more things change, the more they stay the same. (Does this sound like I’m dictating my memoirs from the retirement home?) Continue reading

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The Other 13: Molly Atkins

Molly Atkins

Source: Molly Atkins

I’m here with Molly Atkins, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from St. Louis, Missouri. She very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

I grew up in a small University town in Texas. After getting married and living briefly in an even smaller town, I moved with my husband to St. Louis. A few years later, after our oldest daughter was born, we moved to California, but now we’re back in St. Louis with both of our girls. I began writing in 2014 after our return to St. Louis. I’d thought about writing since I was a little girl, but I just never sat down to do it. Then a friend told me about this NaNoWriMo thing, and once I started, I just never stopped. Continue reading

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The Other 13: David VonAllmen

David VonAllmen

Source: David VonAllmen

I’m here with David VonAllmen, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from St. Louis, Missouri. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

I’m from St. Louis. I lived in Colorado for a bunch of years for college and post-college screwing around, but St. Louis is home and I’m glad I came back. My background is nothing interesting – just grew up in the suburbs, studied marketing and graphic design and then realized I wasn’t going to make any money in that (largely because I wasn’t really that good at it) so I went into private equity, which is a good gig. Continue reading

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The Other 13: Stephen Lawson

Stephen Lawson

Source: Stephen Lawson

I’m here with Stephen Lawson, my fellow Writers of the Future writer-winner from Louisville, Kentucky. He very graciously volunteered to answer the following questions:

Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

I grew up as a Methodist preacher’s son in several small towns in Ohio. I joined the Navy at 18 and deployed three times on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, including on September 19, 2001 in the immediate response to 9/11. I got out of the military completely for four years and got a B.A. in Business Administration from Asbury University in Wilmore, KY.  I’ve had a few civilian jobs since then, but I also joined the Kentucky National Guard the year I graduated. Now I divide my time between Guard obligations, writing, and working on my MBA. Continue reading

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