Names: Maia Chance, Janine Southard, Raven Oak, & Gayle Clemans
Where are you from:
MAIA: I grew up in Northern Idaho, but I’ve lived in upstate New York, Boston, and Seattle, and I currently live in Bellingham, WA.
JANINE: All over! Mostly, I consider myself a Californian (northern and southern) who has been in Seattle for 8 years (where I met the wonderful authors in this collection). But I’ve also lived in England, Japan, and New York… among other places.
RAVEN: Originally? I was born in California and moved all over, but I’ve spent the longest time in Texas (though most of it not by choice).
GAYLE: Almost twenty years ago, I left Southern California for the gorgeous green damp of the Pacific Northwest.
A little about yourself (i.e. your education, family, life):
MAIA: I came to writing fiction the long way, after being educated and working as a classical violinist, and then trying my hand at being an English PhD student. My current hobby is being the housekeeper, cook, and laundress for my two imperious little children.
RAVEN: I’m a geeky gamer whose married to a game developer. I’m also a former teacher with a Master’s degree in CECS.
GAYLE: I’m in love with art and museums. My Ph.D. in art history comes in handy when I teach the history of art and design at Cornish College of the Arts. I am enormously lucky to have two smart, creative daughters and a funny and supportive husband.
Tell us your latest news?
RAVEN: We just released Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays, which is getting great reviews. It debuted as a #1 New Release in Sci-Fi Anthologies/Shorts on Amazon, and we’re doing a Pacific Northwest regional tour to support it. (More info at http://bit.ly/jttw_tour)
When and why did you begin writing?
MAIA: Just like most writers–as soon as I could! My mom still has my first book, which is about “drafs” (giraffes.) Why? It’s a compulsion. Writers just have to make up . . . let’s just call it “stuff.”
RAVEN: I’ve been making up stories since I could read/write. Back then I didn’t know why I did it, only that it was fun! Wrote my first novel in 6th grade—350 pages of angsty dragons—and I never looked back.
GAYLE: As a kid, I used to write short stories and plays but that kind of faded away. I’ve been writing non-fiction for years (I contribute monthly art criticism to The Seattle Times), but have returned to fiction recently and almost obsessively. One day, an idea for a book lodged itself in my brain and I just had to explore it.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
MAIA: Despite my educational and professional detours, I have never stopped writing. It was something that gave me a break from the rigors of violin practice and it kept a certain part of my brain nourished. I published a few tawdry romances in my mid-twenties, but it was actually when I went back to school for English at the age of 28, and learned how to read and write academically, that my writing started to really develop.
RAVEN: Depends on what you mean by writer. I’ve always thought of myself as a writer, but if you’re talking about at a professional level, probably 3 years ago when I quit teaching to write full time.
GAYLE: During a very busy time in my life, I was trying to decide if I should let my freelance art criticism go. A well-meaning friend said, “Sure, you could give that up. You’re not really a writer.” She meant that I was first and foremost a college professor but something inside me railed against that remark. I realized, “I write. I love writing. I am a writer!”
What inspired you to write your first book?
MAIA: My first published mystery novel, Snow White Red-Handed, was the cross-germinated result of reading fairy tale criticism, Rhys Bowen’s mystery novel Her Royal Spyness, and Jane Eyre in the same week during grad school.
JANINE: This is a harder question than you might think! My first finished draft (which no one will ever see), I had the chutzpah to try because of an internship with a big publishing house. Nothing inspires so much as reading other people’s manuscripts. As for my first published book (Queen & Commander), it was the book I wanted to read: coming of age space opera sci-fi with an ensemble cast and lots of action.
RAVEN: My first book was that 350 page monstrosity back in 6th grade. What inspired me then was Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels. What inspired my first published novel (Amaskan’s Blood) was a lack of awesome women kicking ass in epic fantasy.
GAYLE: Almost every day, I walk through Discovery Park, the largest park in Seattle, and I started to wonder what it would be like to live there, sealed off from the city. I was compelled to spin it into a story. After years of academic writing, it was a thrill to write fiction – it felt so free!
Do you have a specific writing style?
MAIA: Yes–quirky and fun–although I’m actually developing into, I guess, an outright humorist with my latest release Come Hell or Highball and my current works in progress. I never envisioned that I’d be a humorist, but now it feels so natural and I love it. I also know now why stand-up comedians often take to the booze.
RAVEN: I do—my own. I don’t know how else to answer that. Others have compared my writing to Margaret Atwood, Douglas Adams, and Patricia Brigg.
GAYLE: Because I write about art so often, and art so often communicates metaphorically, I tend to avoid simile and overt analogy. My style is pretty direct. Hopefully, it’s also smart, kinda funny, and cliché-intolerant.
How did you come up with the title to Joy to the Worlds?
RAVEN: Because the cross-genre collection is holiday themed, we wanted something that would show the holiday flavor, yet hint at the speculative fiction that runs throughout each mystery. We brainstormed as a group until we found something we liked.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Raven: We think Publisher’s Weekly said it best in their review—“The anthology offers a little something for a wide variety of tastes, opening the door to the reader’s imagination with a wink and a reminder that the season isn’t just about toys and family dinners.”
We really wanted something fun, yet a collection that reminds readers of all the myths behind so many of our winter holidays.
How much of the book is realistic?
RAVEN: Many of the stories pull bits and pieces from various holiday mythos. “Wild Hunt” pulls from myths about its namesake. There are many myths about ringing bells to either call spirits or ward them off, which is an idea in “The Ringers.” While we played off those themes, the stories are mysteries laced with speculative fiction. There will always be a slight disconnect between reality and speculative fiction.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
MAIA: Well, my story “Mr. and Mrs. Mistletoe” was conceived when I lived near–and took daily walks through–a certain neighborhood of Seattle filled with mock-Tudor mansions, Lexus SUV’s, and a certain sort of desolation. At the time I was also trying to figure out school options for my then four year-old son and getting pretty weirded out about the demographic disparities between, say, “gifted” schools versus regular schools.
What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
MAIA: Agatha Christie is still the author I turn to for pure pleasure, as well as for learning new things about my genre, although I’m influenced by dozens of writers. A creative writing teacher I had when I was in music school was the first person to tell me that I should hone my writing and try to get published someday, which was a meaningful turning point.
RAVEN: Anne McCaffrey’s books were an escape during a difficult childhood, but they also taught me that women were not just important, but equals with men. Her books were probably the most influential. In terms of learning craft and moving past the angsty YA I wrote as a teen, authors like Melanie Rawn, Neil Gaiman, and Anne Bishop helped influence me. But then, most everything I’ve read did so.
GAYLE: A.S. Byatt and Umberto Eco helped me see how intellectual and creative pursuits could be interwoven, using thoughtful prose and gripping plots.
What book are you reading now?
MAIA: Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich.
JANINE: I’m working my way through Academic Exercises, which is a massive collection of fantasy work by the brilliant K.J. Parker. In shorter works, I just finished reading The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chiang, which is a novella in folktale format that focuses on a portal that allows people to travel fixed distances in time.
RAVEN: I’m currently reading Old Man’s War by John Scalzi (yeah, I’m a bit behind in reading his works).
GAYLE: This may sound like a plug, but it’s true – I’m reading one of my co-author’s mysteries: COME HELL OR HIGHBALL by Maia Chance. It’s delicious!
What are your current projects?
MAIA: I recently delivered the sequel to Come Hell or Highball, Teetotaled, to my editor and now I’m finishing up a contemporary mystery called Bad Housekeeping.
JANINE: I’m deep into Reign & Revolution, the third book in the Hive Queen Saga. Danger, intrigue, and friendship.
RAVEN: I’m currently working on a draft of Amaskan’s War, the sequel to Amaskan’s Blood.
GAYLE: I’m drafting my third novel and pitching my second, a contemporary fantasy for young adults called THE ISAAC TOUCH. It’s about a teenager born with the dangerous ability to turn things to gold. With a brilliant slacker girl – who he must not touch – he travels the world searching for an alchemical cure in old myths and ancient archives.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Raven: Each other. I don’t think this collection of stories would have worked if we hadn’t supported and encouraged each other to take risks in our writing. (Maia normally doesn’t write speculative fiction, and the rest of us don’t normally write mystery. Taking on a cross-genre like this made us stretch our writing chops in creative and unique ways.)
Do you see writing as a career?
RAVEN: For me it is. I write every day and put in a full 40-50 hour week like most professionals. I even write on holidays, but then, I tend to follow the Neil Gaiman school of writing—Write. Every. Day.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
MAIA: Yes! Fans of Come Hell or Highball have written to me worried about whether the main character will ever be reunited with her Pomeranian. I ended the story with them separated, which I really shouldn’t have.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
GAYLE: My newest favorite is YA author Jandy Nelson. I am completely drawn in by her exuberant, lyrical imagery. I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN is fantastical and absolutely real at the same time.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
MAIA: For my Fairy Tale Fatal series, yes, I have traveled in the Black Forest in Germany and in Paris and the Perigord region in France to research the settings. Not that I’m complaining!
Who designed the covers?
Most of the cover design was done by Andrea Orlic. Additional cover design was done in house by the publisher (Grey Sun Press).
What was the hardest part of writing the book?
MAIA: I’ve never written speculative fiction before, so it took me some time to acclimate to the expansiveness of the possibilities. I could actually have a real monster in “Odysseus Flax and the Krampus,” for instance, instead of skirting around the supernatural the way I do in my Fairy Tale Fatal series.
Did you learn anything from writing the book and what was it?
RAVEN: I learned that writing mysteries is a lot harder than I thought it would be—but at the same time, my sci-fi/fantasy novels have more mystery elements in them than I thought!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
MAIA: Write in the genre and style that pleases you. If it’s not fun for you, you might as well do something else.
RAVEN: Write every day. If you can’t, do something writing related every day, be it brainstorming, editing, outlining, attending a conference, etc.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
MAIA: Thank you, and enjoy!
RAVEN: Thank you!
Do you remember the first book you read?
MAIA: Yes. The Bear Baked the Cake. I still have it, although it’s mildewed.
JANINE: Will you settle for the first book I purchased? I have no idea what the first book I read was, but my first “I bought it without anyone’s input!” was Alanna: the First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. It’s a lovely middle-grade fantasy with cross-dressing, training to be a knight, a thieves’ guild, and a magical villain. I periodically reread it…from my original copy.
RAVEN: I was 2 ½ so no. The first book I remember reading was Ten Apples up on Top by Dr. Seuss. I was 3 or so, and I still have that book.
G:I don’t remember the first book, but THE GREY FAIRY BOOK by Andrew Lang was my absolute favorite as a kid. I recognized the fairy tale structure, but the stories were so odd. And the illustrations by H.J. Ford are gorgeous. As I kid, I’d lie on the floor, poring over the pages.
What makes you laugh/cry?
MAIA: Laugh: absurdity. Cry: Most often, cuteness.
RAVEN: Laugh—Good books, games, my cats, and my husband. Cry—Good books, sappy commercials, animal cruelty, and prejudice.
Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
MAIA: I have a long list of what I’ll call my nerdy “daguerrotype crushes”–such as Brahms and Thoreau–but I’d love to have tea with Agatha Christie.
RAVEN: Anne McCaffrey. I was too young to visit her in Ireland before she died.
What do you want written on your headstone and why ?
RAVEN: Matter can be neither created nor destroyed.
Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
MAIA: My new favorite hobby is riding my bicycle to this quaint bar near my house to meet my husband and drink obscure cocktails. We do this once a week to hide from our domineering overlord children.
JANINE: I’d be a dull writer if I didn’t. Here’s a fun(-ish) story: I can’t type enough to answer all the interview questions right now because I recently got out of wrist surgery. How did I end up under the knife?, you may ask. Well, I was practicing this parkour vault, and my wrist jammed. Parkour was a pretty new hobby when this happened (3 months), and I look forward to taking it up again. Not just because it makes me sound like an action movie hero, but also because it’s a serious sport that gets my mind off my writing for a while. I guess this falls under “advice for other writers” too: spend time doing things other than writing. Sports, accounting, championship TV watching. These activities fuel your work! Like, not only do my action scenes have a dash of physical realism thanks to my parkour past, but I recently sold a short story about a traceur! (“Gray Rising,” in Truth in Paradox, a Mage: the Ascension anthology)
RAVEN: Way too many: drawing, cartography, composing music, tabletop and video games.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
MAIA: Are You Being Served?, Hot in Cleveland, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, and a new instant favorite, the Australian version of Kath and Kim. It’s genius. For movies, I have to admit to being a die-hard Will Ferrell fan.
RAVEN: Lots of Marvel (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Avengers), lots of Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cabin in the Woods), crime shows (Castle, Bones, NCIS, Blacklist), British TV (Doctor Who, QI, Broadchurch, Doc Martin, Sherlock, Black Mirror), and other geeky things like The Walking Dead, Sens8, Orphan Black, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Xena, and a very long list of anime.
GAYLE: The other night, I flipped back and forth between Downtown Abbey and The Walking Dead. The differences may seem radical, but, really, they both create immersive worlds through convincing aesthetics, dramatic plots, and kick-ass acting.
Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
RAVEN: Favorite food would have to be the sampler platter from Platia, the absolutely best Greek food in the US. I wish I could transport them up here to Seattle. Favorite color is blue, TARDIS blue. As far as favorite music goes, I listen to everything from classic rock, alternative, and hard rock, to reggae, Bollywood, J-Pop, folk, and everything else in between. My favorites seem to change on an hourly basis.
If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
MAIA: English professor. That was the backup plan (which sounds kind of ridiculous, I know).
JANINE: I went through a number of jobs before I started writing full-time… some of them even related to my advanced degree! In my secret heart, though, if I couldn’t be an author, I’d want to be a lounge singer. Not like they have now, but the kind you see in old movies. Where the well-dressed drink and dance to the rhythm of the 40-pc band (all decked out in tuxedos), and then The Singer comes out.
My spouse jokes that I’d have to go to culinary school and opened my own lounge just so I could sing in it. (If you have no idea what I mean, btw, this is the season to watch White Christmas on Netflix. Both the place in Florida and the Carousel Club would be great examples of the type.)
I do sing periodically with bands—usually top 40 or Celtic rock—but it’s not the same vibe.
RAVEN: I was a teacher. Spent 6 years teaching Gifted & Talented, Pre-AP, and on-level English and reading classes and another 6 teaching high school computer courses.
GAYLE: Photographer or film director. The parallels with writing are pretty obvious, I guess: creating visuals and narratives with underlying moods and meanings and from a particular point of view. I dabble in photography, but I’d love to learn more technique.
Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Grey Sun Press
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Seattle, WA 98139
MYSTERIOUS SPECULATIVE FICTION FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Seattle, WA, November 10, 2015—Pacific Northwest authors Maia Chance, Janine A. Southard, Raven Oak, and Gayle Clemans will debut a new mystery/speculative fiction collection on December 1, 2015 by Grey Sun Press. Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays will be available in both trade paperback (ISBN 978-0-9908157-6-1) and eBook formats (ISBN 978-0-9908157-7-8) at major and independent booksellers with the suggested retail pricing of $9.99 (paperback) and $3.99 (eBook).
All four authors will be touring the Pacific Northwest in December to support the book, with stops at Seattle Mystery Bookshop in Seattle, UW Bookstore in Bellevue, King’s Books in Tacoma, and Barnes & Noble in Portland. Tour details are provided on the next page.
What do you get when you mix mystery and speculative fiction, then toss in the holidays for good measure? A mobster Santa, genetic hanky-panky, Victorian villages, time-travelling detectives, Krampus, eerie bell spirits, and more–this collection of short cross-genre fiction is the perfect counterpoint to traditional holiday reading!
Joy to the Worlds brings together eight short works that explore mysteries across time and space. Ranging from dark dystopian worlds to comedic retro-futures, four diverse writers find new ways to combine these disparate worlds.
National bestselling author Maia Chance writes historical mysteries that are rife with absurd predicaments and romantic adventure. She is the author of Snow White Red-Handed (Berkley Prime Crime), Cinderella Six Feet Under, and Come Hell or Highball (Minotaur Books). 2016 titles include Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna and Teetotaled. Janine A. Southard is the IPPY award-winning author of Queen & Commander (and other books in The Hive Queen Saga). Raven Oak is the author of the bestselling fantasy novel Amaskan’s Blood, the bestselling science fiction novella Class-M Exile, and the upcoming space opera The Eldest Silence. Gayle Clemans is a founding instructor of Critical & Contextual Studies at Cornish College of the Arts. Clemans regularly contributes art criticism to The Seattle Times, and is the co-author to The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography.
Publisher’s Weekly says “Eight short stories by four authors glisten with holiday wonder, each one decorated in hues of legend, myth, SF, and quirky, joyful fun.” San Francisco Book Review gives it 4 out of 5 stars and says, “Drawing from traditional mythology and lore as well as time-travel and science fiction, each author presents a unique perspective on the traditional holiday tale.” Geek Syndicate says “[The stories are] clever and evocative of the mystery and thrill of Christmas by turns creepy and sometimes amusing.” Fan Girl Nation calls the stories “…brain-bending, strange, and wonderful…perfect for taking your mind off holiday stresses…Grab a copy for yourself, and think about your book-obsessed friends as well.”
To request a review copy of Joy to the Worlds: Holiday Stories of Mystery & Speculative Fiction, schedule the authors for an interview, or for more information, please contact Grey Sun Press at email@example.com.
JOY TO THE WORLDS TOUR DETAILS:
BELLEVUE, WA (12/6)—UW Bookstore Author Event.
Join bestselling mystery writer Maia Chance, award-winning sci-fi author Janine A. Southard, bestselling fantasy & sci-fi author Raven Oak, and Seattle Times art critic Gayle Clemans for the release of Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays. Join in a mini-mystery hunt (with prizes), seasonal treats, Q&A, and book signing. 3-4 PM. Further details here.
- BEAVERTON, OR (12/11)—Barnes & Noble Author Event.
Join bestselling mystery writer Maia Chance, award-winning sci-fi author Janine A. Southard, bestselling fantasy & sci-fi author Raven Oak, and Seattle Times art critic Gayle Clemans for the release of Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays. Join the authors for a short reading, Q&A, and signing. 7-8 PM. Further details here.
- SEATTLE, WA (12/12)—Seattle Mystery Books Author Event.
Join bestselling mystery writer Maia Chance, award-winning sci-fi author Janine A. Southard, bestselling fantasy & sci-fi author Raven Oak, and Seattle Times art critic Gayle Clemans for the release of Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays. Come chat with the authors and snag a signed copy of Joy to the Worlds while you enjoy the ambiance of this unique bookstore. 12-1 PM. Further details here.
- TACOMA, WA (12/13)–Kings Books Author Event.
Join bestselling mystery writer Maia Chance, award-winning sci-fi author Janine A. Southard, bestselling fantasy & sci-fi author Raven Oak, and Seattle Times art critic Gayle Clemans for the release of Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays. Join the authors for a short reading, Q&A, and signing. 2-3 PM.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
National bestselling author Maia Chance writes historical mysteries that are rife with absurd predicaments and romantic adventure. She is the author of Snow White Red-Handed, Cinderella Six Feet Under, and Come Hell or Highball. 2016 titles include Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna and Teetotaled. Maia lives in Bellingham, WA, where she shakes a killer martini, grows a mean radish, and bakes mocha bundts to die for.
Janine A. Southard is the IPPY award-winning author of Queen & Commander (and other books in The Hive Queen Saga). She lives in Seattle, WA, where she writes speculative fiction novels, novellas, and short stories…and reads them aloud to her cat.
Raven Oak is the author of the bestselling fantasy novel Amaskan’s Blood, the bestselling sci-fi novella Class-M Exile, and the upcoming space opera The Eldest Silence. She spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet. When she’s not writing, she’s getting her game on with tabletop games, indulging in cartography, or staring at the ocean. She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach.
Depending on the hour, G. Clemans might be writing about a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by lightning storms, teaching semiotics to twenty-year-olds, or squinting at art in a gallery. A founding instructor of Critical & Contextual Studies at Cornish College of the Arts, Clemans regularly contributes art criticism to The Seattle Times.
PUBLICATION SLIP for Joy to the Worlds
Title: Joy to the Worlds
Subtitle: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays
Genre: Mystery / Science Fiction / Fantasy
ISBN: Print 978-0-9908157-6-1 eBook 978-0-9908157-7-8
Formats: Paperback, ePub, Mobi/Kindle
Print Info: 5” x 8” Trade paperback, perfect bound
# of Pages: 298
Date of Pub.: November 20th, 2015
Publisher: Grey Sun Press
Distributor: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Overdrive
Availability: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Powell’s, Independent booksellers worldwide
Pricing: Print Retail $ 9.99 eBook Retail $ 3.99
Categories: FIC022000 FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
FIC028000 FICTION / Science Fiction / General
FIC009000 FICTION / Fantasy / General
What do you get when you mix mystery and speculative fiction, then toss in the holidays for good measure? A mobster Santa, genetic hanky-panky, Victorian villages, time-traveling detectives, Krampus, eerie bell spirits, and more–this collection of short cross-genre fiction is the perfect counterpoint to traditional holiday reading!
This collection stars four authors, each with their own distinct style. National bestselling author Maia Chance, who is famous for her cozy mysteries, dazzles with humor and folklore. IPPY award-winning science fiction author Janine A. Southard beguiles with unexpected time-travel science. Science fiction & fantasy bestseller Raven Oak offers a look into the gothic past. And for a whole new perspective, debut fiction author and art expert G. Clemans dives into the intersections of creativity and mystery.
Joy to the Worlds brings together eight short works that explore mysteries across time and space. With stories ranging from dark dystopian worlds to comedic retro-futures, four diverse writers find new ways to combine these disparate worlds into something mystery and speculative fiction fans will enjoy.
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Reviews of Chance’s Snow White, Red-Handed and Come Hell or Highball
“Offering a clever twist on the tales of the Brothers Grimm, this debut historical cozy (and series launch) introduces an attractive, spunky heroine…and an entertaining, well-constructed plot that will satisfy fans of folklore and fairy tales.”
—Library Journal (starred review on Snow White, Red-Handed)
“Deliciously Gothic, intriguingly different, this story plunges us into the world of Brothers Grimm fairy tales, where the greed and evil are all too real, and everyone has something to hide.”
—Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author (on Snow White, Red-Handed)
“[Chance’s] lively debut, the first in a new cozy series…will whet the reader’s appetite for Ophelia and Prue’s next misadventure.”
—Publishers Weekly on Snow White, Red-Handed
“Chance provides enough saucy characters and silly antics to encourage admirers, just like Lola herself.”
—Kirkus Reviews on Come Hell or Highball
Reviews of Oak’s Amaskan’s Blood and Class-M Exile:
“An exciting epic fantasy filled with intrigue and layers upon layers of well crafted secrets and lies.” 4/5 stars for Amaskan’s Blood.
—Stephanie Hildreth of 100 Pages a Day
“[A] fantasy novel in its truest form…these well-developed individuals held me captive. It was a very strong start to a fantasy series that I very much look forward to following.”
—Pure Jonal on Amaskan’s Blood
“Oak is loquaciously talented and the writing in the book shines. [She] crafts [her] words carefully, in order to pull the reader in, and once he’s hooked, reels him in.”
—Open Book Society
“[Class-M Exile] easily holds its own against Doug Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide, and had me smiling the whole way through!”
—G. G. Silverman, author of Vegan Teenage Zombie Huntress
“[Class-M Exile] really does do what [Star] Trek does, in that it functions well in social commentary. If you like science fiction that really deals with social commentary…you need to check this book out! You need to put this author on your radar.”
Reviews of Southard’s Queen & Commander:
“…like Joss Whedon’s Firefly but for teenagers.”
—The YA’s Nightstand
“Right from the beginning I was trying to figure out the intricacies.”
—Pagan Book Reviews
Reviews of Clemans’ The Map as Art:
“…The Map as Art is a collection of visionary topographies and imaginary geographies charted by artists including Vik Muniz, a Brazilian who re-creates the globe from pieces of junk; Kim Jones, an American who draws obsessively detailed battle diagrams; and the amazing Congolese painter Cheri Samba, who populates his dreamscape with figures from the all-too-real spheres of politics and finance.”
—O, the Oprah Magazine
“Rand McNally seems a world away.”
—New York Times Magazine