1. Hollywood North set to get the ChiZine treatment
After weeks of dedicated sighing and moping, as I struggled to keep my publishing news restricted to family, close friends, and the entire population of the Eastern seaboard, I am now at liberty to announce the sale of my novel, HOLLYWOOD NORTH: A SIX-REELER. It has been bought by Sandra Kasturi, editor and co-publisher of ChiZine Publications. No word on publication date, as yet, but you can be sure I’ll keep you in the loop. For more on the novel, including my ChiSeries Ottawa reading of an excerpt, check out my previous blog, Hollywood North, The Realist, and Flin Flon.
The only other thing I can add at this time is the following warning: Visit Trenton, Ontario, while you still can. For your own safety, do not mention my name.
2. Okay, so let me tell you about ChiZine
As their website sums it up, “ChiZine Publications (CZP) is a British Fantasy, World Fantasy, and HWA Specialty Press Award-winning independent publisher of surreal, subtle, and disturbing dark literary fiction hand-picked by co-publishers Sandra Kasturi and Samantha Beiko. ChiZine Publications also includes young adult imprint ChiTeen, mystery imprint ChiDunnit, electronic-only releases under CZP eBook, graphic novel imprint ChiGraphic, and poetry imprint KQP.” But this only begins to tell the ChiZine story.
“Upstart.” “Top-notch.” “Inspirational.” “Thoughtful.” “Outstanding.” “Innovative.” “Gutsy.” “Quality.” … This is just a sampling of reviewers’ comments about ChiZine and its unique approach to literary genre fiction. Yeah, damn right I’m excited to be part of this dynamic and decidedly creepy organization.
3. ChiZine is also the publisher behind Chiaroscuro Reading Series (aka ChiSeries)
I haven’t done a ton of public readings over the years. The ones I have done, well, you’d understand why I might be a tad gun-shy. At my World Fantasy Conference reading in 2015, for instance, three people showed up and I had to beg two of those (stragglers from the previous reading) to stay. Worse, midway through my reading, one of the detainees raised a hand to interrupt. “I think there’s a disconnect in your text. I’d like you to read it again,” she said. I smiled, tried to not come off as defensive or arrogant, and boldly replied, “Um … uh … gee … uh … no.” I carried on, as she huffed and puffed and glared her displeasure until I was done. My ChiSeries experience was a major step up.
The audience was large. I did not have to beg anyone to stick around, not even my wife. And everyone in attendance, including the host (Hello, Matt Moore!), was warm, welcoming and responsive. (The fact Sandra Kasturi offered me a publishing contract immediately after my reading didn’t hurt, either.) I hope I’m invited to read at a ChiSeries event again. But right now, ChiSeries needs our help.
4. ChiSeries even pays its author-readers. Imagine!
ChiSeries is held on a regular basis in cities across Canada. It is the country’s only national reading series dedicated solely to speculative literature. What’s more, they pay their authors an honorarium to present. No small gesture, trust me.
ChiZine and other small presses donate a substantial amount to the series. The Ontario Arts Council has also played a critical role. Here, I pass the torch to one of the founders, the ubiquitous Sandra Kasturi: “Last year we were denied funding by the Ontario Arts Council, the body that gives government support to arts projects. (We had previously received funding every year.) I put together an even better and more thorough submission this year—and we were denied again. This may be due to genre bias, which of course is rampant in the arts councils and non-genre writing world. But it’s also due to the fact that there is more competition for money than ever, and many organizations that once received funding now do not.”
Kickstarter and Go Fund Me campaigns will gear up shortly. I’ll let you know when. Meanwhile, please check out and LIKE the ChiSeries Facebook page.
C’mon! What’s easier than pointing and clicking? Besides, you’ll make me look good (or, at least, no worse) in the eyes of my new publisher.