Eating Authors: Kristi Charish

No Comments » Written on February 23rd, 2015 by
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Kristi Charish

If you’re reading this blog then it’s probably safe to assume you have an interest in what’s going on the science fiction and fantasy community, which means you saw the news about the Nebula Awards ballot that went live this past Friday. Accordingly, I’d like to take a moment here to thank everyone who read my novella, Calendrical Regression, and found it worthy of a nomination. This is my third Novella Nebula Nomination for the Amazing Conroy in as many years and I have been grinning like the village idiot for days.

But enough about me, let’s get back to what Monday on this blog is supposed to focus on, namely, authors and what they’ve eaten. Since the beginning, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some pretty “big name authors” drop by to talk about their most memorable meals. That’s always a delight, but perhaps my favorite thing about EATING AUTHORS is that it allows me to shine a light on new writers, authors who have recently seen their first novel get published. Case in point, this week we have Kristi Charish, whose debut book, Owl and the Japanese Circus, came out just last month from Gallery Books (a division of Simon & Schuster).

But make no mistake, Kristi may just be getting started as a published novelist — she already has her Ph.D. in Zoology and has worked as a scientific advisor on Diana Rowland‘s White Trash Zombie series — but the sequel to her first book, entitled Owl and the City of Angels, is scheduled for a January 2016 release. Also, you can expect the debut book in a second urban fantasy series, Kincaid Strange, sometime in the middle of next year. So, whether you want a modern day “Indiana Jane” caught up in a supernatural world, or a voodoo practitioner living in Seattle, Kristi is going to be serving up plenty of adventure.

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Eating Authors: Peter Darbyshire

No Comments » Written on February 16th, 2015 by
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Peter Darbyshire

If you’re reading this around the time it posts on Monday morning, then in theory I am back home and liking sleeping in after what I anticipate (given that I am writing this a few days in advance) will be an insanely glorious weekend spent at Boskone 52. But this is only a theory because I’m flying to and from Boston and if you’ve been keeping an eye on their weather of late, you already know that they’ve been experimenting with snow and for all I know I won’t be able to fly back when/as planned. I mention this because the only other time I flew in and out of Boston, my plane was grounded at Logan and I had to stay an extra day. This greatly upset the nuns for whom I was working at the time, but that’s another story.

But nevermind about that. You didn’t come here to read about nuns and my adventures teaching at a small liberal arts college for women (but oh, the stories I could tell). No, indeed. You’re here to read about this week’s guest, Peter Darbyshire. He’s actually two authors in one. He’s written such works as Please (which won Canada’s ReLit Award) and the acclaimed The Warhol Gang, but under the name Peter Roman he writes supernatural thrillers, notably his The Book of Cross series, which began with The Mona Lisa Sacrifice and has a sequel The Dead Hamlets, the latter coming out tomorrow.

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Public Service Announcement (Followed By Shamelessly Self-Serving Challenge) for February 2015

No Comments » Written on February 10th, 2015 by
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Attention all Lifetime, Active, and Associate Members of SFWA: This is to remind you that the deadline for submitting your nomination ballot for the 2014 Nebula Awards is coming up fast: February 15, 2015, 11:59 pm PST.

2014 saw a lot of fine fiction published. As a member in good standing of SFWA, you get to submit up to five nominations in each category (short story, novelette, novella, novel, as well as the Norton and Bradbury awards), and the top six results then land on the final ballot, which will be available by February 20th.

Note: if you’ve put it off, haven’t read much of anything yet, and don’t know where to start, this might be a good time to check out the Nebula Suggested Reading List and see what your peers are considering as their top picks. Though of course, your mileage may vary.


As you may know (if you’ve crossed my social media path), roughly six months ago I stumbled into “the zone” and I’ve been there ever since, eating better, exercising more, making better choices towards a healthier life. In practical terms, this has meant a loss of some thirty-five pounds, which is to say, about 12% of me. By the time of the Nebula Awards Weekend in June, I expect to have dwindled further, at least fifty pounds worth, or actually a bit more if you were to be comparing me to my size at last year’s event in San Jose.

And mentioning last year’s Nebula Awards is a deliberate segue. You may have seen pictures from the banquet. In particular, photos of a stunning, purple-haired woman in a gorgeous vintage gown and the large, tuxedoed man standing next to her. That’s my wife, Valerie, and me.

I’ve only worn a tux twice in the past forty years or more, and both times were for the last two Nebula Awards banquet nights. My feeling is, if SFWA members are going to do me the honor of putting my name on a ballot, the least I can do is to dress up for it. Particularly given that the protagonist in my nominated novellas usually wears a tuxedo.

Now, here’s the challenge: if you want to see me (or see photos of me) in a tuxedo, before and after at least a fifty pound weight loss, then your course is clear: you need to do your part to put me on the ballot one more time!

Hey, I told you in the header that this was shameless, stop rolling your eyes at me!

So that’s the deal. If I make the ballot for an unprecedented third year in a row with another novella from the same series, I’ll show up in Chicago in a tuxedo, and subsequently post before and after photos to my various social media realms. If not, alas, the world will never get to see the contrast in all its sartorial splendor.

It’s in your hands.

EATING AUTHORS: Natania Barron

1 Comment » Written on February 9th, 2015 by
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Natania Barron

I confess, I still haven’t come down from the high of my Cover Reveal last week (and if you missed it, quick, click that link!), but it’s time for the spotlight to move and shine on someone else. Specifically, Natania Barron, who is our guest this week here on EATING AUTHORS.

In genre circles, you’re likely to have encountered Natania because of her short fiction. Her work has appeared in a range of magazines and anthologies. She’s also produced a novel, Pilgrim of the Sky, published by Candlemark & Gleam.

But her fiction isn’t the only impact she’s made in our community. Natania’s also the founder of The Outer Alliance, a blog and podcast supporting LGBTQI speculative fiction and the people who produce it. When she’s not doing that, she’s kept busy as the creative and web director at GeekMom, a site that is ensuring that the next generation of fans hit the ground running in Ctlhulu onesies and all the other things necessary to successful geek aculturation during those early formative years.

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2 comments Written on February 2nd, 2015 by
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J. S. Bangs

Last week, here in the greater Philadelphia area, we were all battening down the hatches for this year’s version of the “Snowpocalypse.” But it didn’t happen. Instead of dumping two feet of snow on us, winter storm Juno came in and went out on the same night, continuing along its eastward path to a much greater distance than the models had suggested, and leaving us with a disappointing four inches. Okay, sure, it then headed north and proceeded to hammer Boston, but that’s just for karma’s sake so I don’t get snowed in there in two weeks during Boskone. All in all, I’m a bit disappointed, though it has been pretty cold the last few days, so I guess that counts as something.

And now, this is the point where I manage a lame segue, probably something about how EATING AUTHORS is here to warm you up (yeah, that’ll work), and introduce you to this week’s guest, J.S. Bangs.

I’m really happy to have J.S. (aka Jesse) here, and not just because his first novel, Storm Bride, only recently came out from Red Adept, but also because he has a degree in linguistics and admits to inventing languages. That’s a rare quirk, and there’s a sacred bond between those of us who have fallen down that particular rabbit hole. As you’ll quickly infer as you read his account below, he speaks Romanian, but surely it’s only a matter of time before I manage to lure him over to joys of Klingon.

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Eating Authors: Sharon Lee

3 comments Written on January 26th, 2015 by
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Sharon Lee

Monday has come around again, and to my astonishment we’re already on our way out of January. How this happened I can’t say. Nor do I trust my own suspicions on the subject, as my wife has been forcing me to watch three seasons of Sherlock at a fiercesome pace. It’s all cheekbones and far too many floating typefaces.

Fortunately, we have a new visitor here today to distract all of us. Sharon Lee is of course a novelist in her own right, crafting a Maine-based mysteries (her Jennifer Pierce series) as well as a Maine-based fantasy (Her Carousel Tides fantasy series latest book, Carousel Seas, came out earlier this month from Baen). But she’s perhaps best known as the co-creator (with her husband, Steve Miller) of the popular Liaden Universe and its vast, multi-generational cast of characters. I confess, I’m a huge fan of the books (and have already pre-ordered the next one, though it won’t be released until June).

This past November, Sharon and Steve were the Guests of Honor at Philcon, basically in my backyard. The convention organizers asked me to write an appreciation of them for the program book, which was a great pleasure to do. And too, it gave me an opportunity to invite Sharon to drop by the blog and muse on meals past.

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EATING AUTHORS: Stephanie Burke

No Comments » Written on January 19th, 2015 by
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Stephanie Burke

And now, as they say, time for something completely different. My guest this week on EATING AUTHORS is Stephanie Burke, and she is probably the most prolific writer I know. I still vividly recall the first time we met, sitting side by side on a panel at a Balticon. We were doing the introduction thing, each of the panelists saying who they were, what they’d done, and so forth. I described myself, and mentioned that my second novel had just come out. Stephanie was up next, talked a bit about herself, and then said her nine hundred twenty-seventh book had just been released. Okay, maybe my recollection is more vivid than accurate; I may have that number wrong, but it was a stupidly high number.

Stephanie writes paranormal romance and erotica, of every flavor and combination imaginable. She’s so prolific that she seems to always be having different titles coming out at the same time from such places as Changeling Press, Ellora’s Cave, Loose-Id press, Red Rose, Renaissance E Books, Tease Publishing, Broken Sword Press, and Beautiful Trouble Publishing (and I have it on good authority that she’s looking for a few more venues as well). Her latest work came out just last week, a digital boxed set entitled Space Opera.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “force of nature” used to describe someone, only to find the description a bit over the top when you actually meet the individual. In Stephanie’s case this is not hyperbole (as her response to this blog’s question aptly demonstrates). Whether sharing a convention panel with her, enjoying a conversation, or simply reading one of her books, you need to be ready for a tsunami, trust me.

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No Comments » Written on January 12th, 2015 by
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Shannon Page

As I prepare this week’s EATING AUTHORS post, I am deep in the throes of the copyedits for Barsk: The Elephants Graveyard (though the book itself doesn’t come out until December). It’s distracting work, but “the blog must go on,” as I’m sure someone has paraphrased, and so here we are.

This week’s guest is Shannon Page, who, in addition to authoring her own fiction, has co-authored a number of works with the late Jay Lake, and more recently completed some of his posthumous projects. Last month saw the release of Our Lady of the Islands (from Seattle-based Per Aspera Press), which landed on Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014 list. Not a bad way to end an otherwise difficult year.

Her own first novel, Eel River, comes out from Book View Cafe in April, and by autumn you’ll be able to read The Queen and The Tower, the first volume in a new urban fantasy series.

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