Promote Yourself, Guilt-free!

In the spirit of John Scalzi’s “pimp threads” on Whatever, I’m opening up an open self-promotion thread. Please feel free to post a comment about yourselves and your work by answering the following questions:

1) Who are you?
2) What kind of stories do you write?
3) Share a short excerpt of your writing (no more than three sentences, please), or, tell us about one of your author-heroes.

If you’re an editor, illustrator, or involved in the SF-publishing business from a different angle, please feel free to substitute accordingly!

I’ll go first:

1) I’m a father of two brilliant teens, partner to a fellow dreamer and SF writer, a failed academic, a rock-climber, a wannabe Seattle-transplant, an IT manager for a public university, a non-theist Quaker-Shinto-Buddhist, and a political activist. I’m never happier than when I’m creating something.

2) My writing is all over the place. My natural inclination is to write dark magical realism stories with religious themes, but I’ve written mushroom-human cross-species romance, necromantic fantasy in ancient Japan, and polygamous steampunk pulp. I’m trying to write more SF now. I don’t have any pro-sales yet, but my published stories include a romance between two zombie foodies, an alternate history 1920s where the federal agents enforce a Prohibition against alcohol *and* witchcraft, and “Traitors and Tyrants,” a graphic novel collaboration with fellow inkpunk Galen Dara.

3) I’m going to go with an excerpt:

“Some say I’m the best witch hunter of the Second Prohibition. Maybe I am. I bagged and sent 18 bona fides to burn like Edison bulbs in Sing Sing.”

I’m looking forward to learning about you!

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  1. Tracie W.
    05/03/2012 at 10:15 am Permalink


    1) On the exterior, I’m a long-distance parent to an amazing pre-teen with Asperger’s (who is swimmingly well-adjusted after some tough years), partner to an adventurer, a longtime agnostic Pagan, a Clarion West graduate, a feminist literature fanatic and sometime scholar, a lapsed blogger, a newbie narrator for an award-winning podcast, and ecstatic free-thinker who’s a sucker for drum circles, owls and utopia/dystopia/apocalyptic fiction. Once upon a time, I was a Women’s Studies professor and a writing instructor. On the inside, in my marrow, a writer and creative with a passion for the numinous.

    2) My written expression tends toward speculative social themes involving gender, but I rarely set out with a didactic purpose. Characters in my fiction often yearn for something just out of reach and take irrational risks. I’m still reaching for pro-sales, but I’ve had a few pieces published here and there, and I’ve learned enough to consider myself “a real writer.”

    3) Three sentences, from a recent story called “How Moliere Saved Lydia Bruer” (at Crossed Genres, if you’re interested, in the archive under “Heroes”):

    “It may have been minutes or hours before Stennie found me lying there, with my mouth full of dirt and twin trickles of dried blood trailing from my nostrils to my ears. I didn’t know her name until later, of course, but I remembered her face from the photographs. She squatted next to me, and I smelled the warm odors of her body mingled with the scent of the harsh detergent that chafed her hands.”

  2. Anthony Lanni
    05/03/2012 at 10:21 am Permalink

    1) I’m a technology professional in the film biz, a friend of Andy Romine’s; I play D&D, guitar, and Ogg Vorbis files (instead of mp3s).  I’m an avid biker, a martial artist, and – when the mood strikes – a home improvement weekend warrior.  Oh, and over the last year or two I’ve rediscovered a childhood love for writing.

    2) I think “Speculative Fiction” is an apt moniker: I speculate a lot.  I’ve got a couple of sci-fi stories and a novel in the works, some horror, and a bit of psychological thriller.  Mostly, though, I write high fantasy – sword and sorcery, in a style I hope is reminiscent of the classic 30’s era pulp fiction… with updated moral sensibilities, of course.

    3) I’m going to go with an excerpt as well.  Not fantasy. 😉

    “I stepped off the front porch, and made my way past the front of the house toward the waiting car.  Passing the front window, I could not help but glance back inside; Mr. Balway had returned to his armchair in front of the fire.  My skin crawled and my spine turned to ice, and I rushed onward, begging Sally to drive us out of there almost before I had opened the car door – for there, on the mantle, not three feet from where I had been standing,  was a silver tiara with a large red stone in its crown.”

  3. Josh R.
    05/03/2012 at 10:49 am Permalink

    1) I’m a web designer/developer living in Georgia (US, not Europe). My name is the same as a rather-talented jazz trombonist. In addition to writing, I also narrate stories for podcasts.

    2) I write mostly sci-fi and fantasy, with a little horror when I’m feeling in the mood. All of my published work has been SF, although I have an adult fiction novel coming out within a year. Also, I write reviews and articles for Escape Pod.

    3) An excerpt from “Side Effects”, a story about PPACA (google it) that I really hope to have published before it becomes law:

    With no patients to see and nothing else to do but stare at the walls, I take the train downtown to the Spring Street Clinic. At the station, I have to navigate a maze of doctors–“check your cholesterol, sir?” and “that limp could be a sprain; want me to take a look?”–to get to street level. The physicians’ entrance to the clinic, five blocks away, opens to me when I swipe my HealthCard, and I stand for a moment in the vestibule, catching my breath after braving the smog–code red air alert, just like every summer day–and thanking a deity I no longer believe in that I haven’t sunk low enough to panhandle for patients.

  4. Brooke Bolander
    05/03/2012 at 10:56 am Permalink

    1) I’m a slightly sallow-eyed agent of chaos from All Over The Place, friend to Inkpunks, enemy of cilantro, Clarion 2011 graduate, and procrasterbator extraordinaire. In the past I was an archaeology student. In the future, I’ll probably be an archaeology student’s subject. My hobbies include putting holes in targets, making animals do my bidding, and lifting heavy things and subsequently putting them down.

    2) I write weird shit. That’s about the long and short of it, hoss. You can call it magical realism, you can call it slipstream. It’s weird. Previously I’ve sold to Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, and Reflection’s Edge. I’m currently writing a pulp piece with a lead protagonist who drops the f-bomb a lot, so I guess you could also say I write what I know.

    3) Oh fine, I’ll throw up an excerpt from the pulp piece. This self-promotion stuff isn’t as natural to me as self-deprecation.

    “Rhye’s fresh out of the army and fresh back from one of the meat-grinders the humans pay her kind to fight in the first time she meets Rack. The children of wires and circuits aren’t worth a tinker’s fuck compared to the children of real flesh and bone, so far as the world’s concerned. The recruitment agents pluck her off the streets when she’s twelve and send her to a training camp and she’s good with linguistics and better at killing, so they keep her hands busy until she’s twenty-five and then they spit her back out again like a mouthful of cum.”

  5. Chadwick Ginther
    05/03/2012 at 11:21 am Permalink

    1. I’m a bookseller from Winnipeg, so when I’m not writing my own books I’m selling everybody else’s. 

    2. I write fantasy, mostly of the Urban variety, though I have a soft spot for Sword and Sorcery also. My fiction has appeared in On Spec and my novel “Thunder Road” hits the shelves this fall. 

    3. Here’s a snippet from Chapter Two of Thunder Road:

    A whisper came from behind Ted. The lights flickered and Ted felt an electric jolt. Spasms rippled through his muscles, but he was still unable to move his body.
    “This chain was made of a cat’s footfalls and the roots of a mountain; from the breath of fish and the beards of women. You cannot break Gleipnir.” The dwarf came around to face Ted, giving the chain a little shake. “It held the wolf until Ragnarok. It will hold you.”

  6. Robert Bennett
    05/03/2012 at 11:26 am Permalink

    1. Robert Jackson Bennett, writer, dad, gardener, ineffectual handyman.

    2. Horror, scifi, fantasy – speculative fiction aimed at looking at big, hard questions. The nature of the world, and our place in it; the limits of our perspectives; how our pride, vanity, and isolation lead us to hurt one another and ourselves; the tenability of simple moralities from a big-picture perspective. You know, all kinds of shit.

    3. Three sentences, exactly:

    “Consciousness (like, some would eagerly point out, pandimensional space) has levels: your mind is not one whole, but a wild variety of systems layered on top of one another and, in some key places, blended together. A person, a consciousness, is many, many moving parts, all clamoring to eat up information, transport information, or, in some cases (such as Mona’s for the years before her arrival in Wink), angrily trying to block any information altogether.

    And though Mona – or at least the overarching consciousness referred to as “Mona” – sees and experiences nothing but darkness as she is instantaneously transported through physical space (with mountain walls becoming permeable, like great walls of soft, rippling water), there are parts of her that are not only aware of themselves, but are also aware of their distant, separated brothers and sisters, which are being transported alongside one another.”

  7. Wendy N Wagner
    05/03/2012 at 12:00 pm Permalink

    Dudes, we have cool friends.

  8. Louis Carter
    05/03/2012 at 12:30 pm Permalink

    1. I’m Louis Carter, I like comics and Dinosaurs. And pies. If you’re in the Yorkshire area check out That’s not self-promotion, but I figure what the hey, spread the karma.

    2. Based on the time my dad threw my copy of Peter Rabbit into the bin from the other side of the room, I try to write the sort of children’s stories that don’t make parents all aggressive and angry. Future generations will thank me for it.

    Art wise, I draw whatever people want me to. People seem to like my tentacled monsters.


    “The Shanks Family Curse could strike at any time. Great Aunt Hilda was the oldest victim yet, eaten by a lion at the age of ninety two. A honey-related mishap in a cave full of bears finished Baby Bobby before he was even three.”

    Art wise, check out my blog:

  9. James C. Gammage
    05/03/2012 at 1:00 pm Permalink

    1.  I am James C. Gammage.  US Army Soldier, writer, reader, studier of ancient lore.

    2. I write mainly science fiction.  My first set of novels to be released are going to cover a story I’ve had living in me since 1997.  Other than that, I plan to write other types of sci-fi, but for now – it’s space opera, all the way.

    3. Excerpt:

    After the words left his mouth, the lighting in the room changed and new alarms began to sound.  The shriek of metal on metal continued as the
    Majik’s crew struggled to pull her away from her sister ship.  Beyond the
    transteel viewports set into the front of the command center, the scene was
    utter chaos.  A fleet of what looked like fifteen Grak ships were moving amongst the ten UA ships already present in orbit.  Arcs of energy and blasts of artillery fire filled the void around the ships. Moving through all of that, there were hundreds upon hundreds of fighter craft, locked in death struggles with each other. 

    The Maelstrom.

  10. Lily Cohen-Moore
    05/03/2012 at 1:12 pm Permalink


    I’m a Jewish journalist, editor and writer who appears to be getting slowly but surely drafted into games. I split most of the last year between Washington and California, but I may start splitting time between Washington and Colorado. I do some freelancing assisting writers and scholars with everything from PR to catching up on their filing.


    I write more non-fiction and news than I do fiction. I write a lot about loss, often framed in science fiction and horror. I don’t really write anything that can be construed as friendly, pretty or happy.

    I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid around the rest of my life, and got my start learning how to cut my teeth on the submissions process for fiction with a piece of flash fiction in 2008.


    “I can hear him empty the till in its entirety, down to coins. When he’s digging pennies out, I start praying. My lips brush against the tile while I try to form words, fingers shaking on the back of my neck, my head.”

  11. emily c. skaftun
    05/03/2012 at 1:48 pm Permalink

    1) I’m an alien in love with a robot. We have one child who is covered in brown and white fur, has four legs and a tail, and always sasses us back saying the same thing: “Marou.” 

    It’s good to be an alien.2) I write about fate and strange fishes, gorgons and water-breathing girls, bottled dreams and hungry toothsome body parts.

    3) “The skyfish circled high
    above, between the tops of the buildings that towered over Lucinda’s favorite
    park. Men fished off the tops of
    the buildings, baiting lobster traps with chicken breasts and tethering dragonflies
    with concealed hooks, then crouching behind exhaust vents and domed skylights
    to wait. Lucinda couldn’t hear the skyfish, but she imagined they were
    thinking, do these people think we’re idiots?”

  12. Jennifer Brozek
    05/03/2012 at 2:31 pm Permalink

    1. I’m a full-time author, editor, and game designer. I’ve won a few awards and I love what I do. I’m married to the ever brilliant and patient Jeff and have custody of 3 cats and 1000+ books.

    2. I lean towards dark speculative fiction. I am currently, as in at this moment, writing a YA horror sci-fi novel, a weird west horror novella, a Battletech webserial, and an urban fantasy ghost story graphic novel.


    Falling was not the whole of her being,
    but it was the first thing she recognized. She was falling. With that
    realization came terror, compounded by the sense she had no body; she was
    nothing more than a decapitated head tumbling end over end with no way to stop
    herself and no way to scream her fear.

    As she tumbled into an imagined stygian
    hell, the light grew, beating against her closed lids. The light was too steady
    to be flame. Although she could not open her eyes, her ears picked up the
    sudden transition from silence into not silence. She had no time to ponder,
    consider, or analyze what she was hearing when her body returned to her and she
    hit the ground face first.

  13. Paul Weimer
    05/03/2012 at 5:42 pm Permalink

    1. I am Paul Weimer. I am forty years old, and have been reading genre for more than thirty.
    2. Nothing, really, at present. Fear holds me back. I do write book reviews, and articles and Mind Melds and stuff like that, much of it for SF Signal and the Functional Nerds. Plus lots of comments.
    3.My author heroes include but are not limited to Roger Zelazny, Steven Brust, and Elizabeth Bear.

  14. M. Bennardo
    05/03/2012 at 6:08 pm Permalink

    I live in Cleveland, Ohio, and have worked in marketing for ten years. A couple years ago, I co-edited an anthology called Machine of Death and am now co-editing the sequel. I’ve also been lucky enough to sell stories to Asimov’s Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Shimmer, Daily Science Fiction, and others.

    About six months ago, I finally came to terms with the fact that I really like writing historical fiction and that’s okay. Until then, most of the stories I sold were science-fiction. I have no objection to mixing the two (or fantasy or horror).

    As far as I’m concerned, C.S. Forester practically perfected historical adventure fiction. On my good days, my stories are about one-tenth as compelling as his.

  15. Jacob Ruby
    05/03/2012 at 10:12 pm Permalink

    1. I am an illustrator, animator, and designer and I’ve had my own business doing just that for the past 14 years. I am also an artist though I don’t do personal work nearly enough. On top of that I am a horror and fantasy writer. I imported my wife from Switzerland and we share our house with four cats.

    I have many names – Jacob Ruby and Virginia Ray (pen names), Bear Weiter (real but not legal name)…

    2. I typically write horror and fantasy, sometimes light, sometimes dark (Jacob is the dark side, Virginia is the light…). I’m not always certain if a particular piece is more horror or fantasy and I often don’t care too much. I’m drawn to youth in my stories (though not exclusively), perhaps because of their unique perspectives and a more openness toward the supernatural.

    3. An except from my short story “The Little Things” – in the February 2012 issue of Black Static:

    Of course, there were many things that had fallen off of Mother, far too many to count, each living at least briefly on its own. From flakes of dried skin, hair, and moles to full tumors, every thing she spouted came with its own life; what survived, Cassie named—what didn’t became a treat for the rest. Mother was a walking, breathing Garden of Eden, blessed with abundance from God. Mother had told Cassie this when she was young, and Cassie still thought it to be the case.Mother not naming her offspring was bad; what she started doing a year ago was far worse.

  16. Andrew S. Williams
    06/03/2012 at 1:47 am Permalink

    1) I’m a software geek, photographer, and backpacker who always wanted to be an explorer.  But since there’s not much happening in the field of exploration these days, I thought I’d try my hand at writing instead.  So far it’s working out pretty well.
    2) I write all shades of science fiction and fantasy, though my two favorite niches seem to be comedy and space-based science fiction.  That said, I did get a dark fantasy/historical piece published just recently, and I’m working on an epic fantasy novel that will turn out awesome if I can get the words on the paper to sound even half as good as the ideas in my head.

    3) An excerpt from the historical fantasy short that just got published, called “The Talisman of Hatra”:

    “Have you ever seen the walls of Hatra from the East, when the dawn sets the red walls aflame, and the gem of the temple dome sparkles as though we were witnessing the birth of a second sun?  I have never laid eyes on Rome, or Alexandria, but surely there is no greater sight than Hatra and her mighty walls towering over the desert.”

  17. Bobby Hunter
    06/03/2012 at 12:20 pm Permalink

    1. I’m an SEO guy for a company that sells pet supplies online by day and a spec fic, sci-fi, and fantasy writer by night. I’m also an avid gamer and write about video games on several different sites.

    2. I like writing stories that start with “what if?” That’s probably the coolest phrase that’s ever been invented, followed closely by “Free tacos today.” I write stories about spaceships, airships, far-off lands, made-up places, and scary things found on abandoned highways in the middle of the night. I don’t really like happy endings.

    3. I don’t have an excerpt ready to go, but one of the authors I really admire is China Mieville. I love how versatile he is, able to write the Bas-Lag books, then a police procedural, and then a straight-up sci-fi novel.

  18. Steven J. Scearce
    06/03/2012 at 2:47 pm Permalink

     1.  I’m a writer, author, and blogger. I wrote a
    sci-fi web serial called Unknown Transmission for a few years. I have a number
    of short stories in horror anthologies. I’m a partner in a content development company
    called KCWMS. We provide written content for commercial websites, blogs, press
    releases, PPC ad campaigns, and marketing collateral.

    2.  I write supernatural horror stories about imperfect
    people who become uncomfortably aware of the existence of evil, malign forces and
    the imminence of death. I do this because I’ve seen some shitty days in my life
    that could only be made worse by the presence of genuine ghoulies, ghosties and
    long-legged beasties. I just finished writing a novel-length story called
    Cottonwood. It’s in edits right now.

    3.  Excerpt: “He’d have to find new clothes, a
    new toothbrush, and a place to stay until he could figure out how to collect
    his brother from Sheriff Jessup and get the hell out of Cottonwood. Everything
    was fucked.” 

  19. Shauna Roberts
    06/03/2012 at 3:28 pm Permalink

    1. I was a freelance science and medical writer and editor for about 20 years as Shauna S. Roberts. Then I attended Clarion in 2009, dropped the S. (for Sue) from my name, and became a fiction writer. I like reading, sleeping, bellydancing, growing herbs and roses, and listening to and playing Medieval music.

    I am promoting myself today (Thanks, John, Andy, Adam, and other Inkpunks!)  here because I am in my second—and final—year of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award for best new science fiction or fantasy author. When you fill out your Hugo ballot and are nominating Andy Romine for the Campbell Award, please consider taking a few extra seconds to nominate me as well. If you’ve never heard of me before, please visit my Campbell profile at and judge for yourself how I compare with the other eligible people. Thanks. 

    This has been a commercial interruption. Now back to the regular scheduled programming.

    2. I write primarily speculative fiction and historical fiction. My first published novel, Like Mayflies in a Stream (Hadley Rille Books, 2009), was set in ancient Mesopotamia and was inspired by the “Epic of Gilgamesh.” I have a fantasy novel, Ice Magic, Fire Magic, coming out from Hadley Rille Books in 2013. If I can get my act together, I will self-publish my fantasy novel Shrine of the Heavens this spring.

    3. If you go to my Campbell profile at, there are links to several things of mine. So I’ll list three of my author heroes: Guy Gavriel Kay (for writing fantasy novels with little or not fantasy and for having multiple main characters); Barbara Hambly (for writing great books in many genres, breaking the rule about having to stick to one genre); and Ursula LeGuin (for hooking me on fantasy and writing books that inspire). 

  20. Mae Empson
    06/03/2012 at 10:07 pm Permalink

    1) I’m a geeky gamer girl living in Seattle, married to the best man in the world.  I am an identical twin.  I have Master’s degrees in English Lit and Public Health, and primarily studied poetry composition as an undergrad.  I work full-time, and write only in my spare time.

    2) I write short fiction and poetry, primarily what you might call mythic fiction – stories inspired by fairy tales, folklore, and superstitions.  My stories cross genres, but are mostly dark fantasy or horror.

    3) Here’s a quote from my story on Cabinet des Fees for Demeter’s Spicebox:

    His ports sang with the mingled voices of merchants from all across the known world bartering for his elephant ivory, his rhinoceros horns and hides, his tortoise shell and obsidian and emeralds, his frankincense and myrrh, his salt and wheat, and his slaves and live animals.  He controlled everything that he could see, buy, or sell.  Everything, except for his three daughters.

  21. Damien Walters Grintalis
    07/03/2012 at 9:02 am Permalink

    1. I am an author and an Assistant Editor of Electric
    Velocipede. I’m also a retired belly
    dancer, vegan, ridiculously fond of the movie ALIEN, and sleep with two rescued
    pit bulls curled up at my feet. My debut novel, INK, will be published in
    December of 2012 from Samhain Publishing.

    2. My novels are all character-driven horror. With respect
    to short stories, I dabble in other genres, but they’re all tinged with sorrow
    or hurt in some way.

    3. This is the opening to my most recently published short
    story, IN HER ARMS OF DRESDEN PALE, which appeared in Daily Science Fiction:

    “She was broken when he met her, shattered into a
    thousand tiny shapes, all with jagged edges. He gathered up her pieces and
    carried them home.”

  22. Peter Charron
    09/03/2012 at 4:42 pm Permalink

    1. I’m an operations specialist by desire, pharmacist by education, working in home health care. My personal time is filled with my pursuits of history, anthropology, myth and legends. I’m a Fortean, Sage and student of everything strange. I was born in the year of the Dragon.

    2. I write Science Fiction, Fantasy, and on occasion stuff I’m told is horror. I’ve published several short pieces and I’m working on a novel that was critiqued at last year’s (2011) Taos Tool Box.

    3. I’m going to conclude with an excerpt from my short story “Dark Vessel” published in PIne Hill Press’ Pandora’s Nightmare: Horror Unleashed (An Anthology) in 2010.

    Anesidor’s voice was hollow. “Two vessels was Hepaistos ordered
    to forge. I am the second. Even through
    his sorrow for the plight of his brother, and the harm I had done, my lord Epimetheus was not the fool the Olympians
    took him for. He sensed what they had wrought in me. Using arts learned before
    the sun burned he caused me to forget. He bathed me in his own blood to render
    the eyes of Olympus blind to my presence. He
    thought in this way I could not be used. Because I was made, not born, I have wandered
    all these many ages in dream, only now to awaken to nightmare. Stripped away is
    everything Prometheus gave man. Oblivion is the last vengeance of the gods.
    Again I am made to be the hand of cataclysm.”