AJC: Updated & Revised Dowsing

With my Ann J. Clark hat on, I’m pleased to announce that the revised and updated edition of Let’s Try Dowsing is now live on that there Amazon!

Dowsing2Le blurb: Whether you are simply curious about the art of dowsing or are looking to make dowsing a part of your deeper spiritual journey, this book will give you the basic foundation skills to get started.

You will find tips on how to centre yourself and ask the best questions, how to make and dowse with pendulums, rods and forked twigs, how to make and use dowsing answer boards to give greater context to your enquiries, and when you’re ready to try things out, there’s a selection of dowsing exercises you can use to hone your skills.

You’ll also find information on the fascinating history of dowsing and how it is used in modern times along with some resources to take your studies further.

Let’s Try Dowsing is available in kindle format for £1.99 from Amazon or in paperback format from Tarot4You at various events in Berkshire, Hampshire and surrounding areas!

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Cool Kickstarters: Portals, This Dreaming Isle

It’s been a while since I pimped some anthology kickstarters, and as it happens, there’s a couple of very cool ones live at the moment.  Specifically, the Zombies Need Brains trio of awesome for Portals, Temporal Deactivation and Alternate Peace, and from Unsung Stories there’s This Dreaming Isle

Sooooooo… what are they about then?

Portals, Temporal Deactivation and Alternate Peace

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The Pitch:

Portals – edited by Patricia Bray & S.C. Butler

“From wardrobes to monoliths, wormholes to fairy rings, there is a rich tradition of stories in both science fiction and fantasy that explore what happens when–by accident or design–characters are transported from one world to another. Join fourteen of today’s leading science fiction and fantasy authors as they offer fresh takes on this classic theme. Whether a routine trip or unexpected journey, each tale will explore new worlds of adventure, mystery, humor, and horror, with stories for every taste and fancy. ”

Temporally Deactivated – edited by David B. Coe & Joshua Palmatier

“For this follow-up to 2015’s Temporally Out of Order, we are looking for stories that take a person, object, event, or phenomenon and somehow, during the course of the plot, ‘temporally deactivate’ it, whatever that may mean in the context of the story. ‘Temporal deactivation’ should refer to something more than a simple death, malfunction, or termination, and instead should touch in some way on issues of time — its flow, distortion, dislocation, etc.”

Alternate Peace – edited by Steven H. Silver & Joshua Palmatier

“All too often, alternate histories are based on a battle or assassination. We’re looking for stories where change grew out of more peaceful activities…science, business, and culture. Imagine a world in which the branch point from our own was caused by scientific endeavor, social change, natural forces, or other points of divergence which don’t rely on military activity or violence.”

Why It’s Cool: I’m a frequent backer of the Zombies Need Brains anthology kickstarters as they put out many excellent anthologies with many fabulous authors both new and well established.  (They also have open subs & pay pro rates for their anthologies, which is a bonus… should you manage to finish a story in time… *coughs*)  I love the themes they’ve come up with in the past and look forward to seeing what stories emerge out of the current kickstarter themes.

The Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/543968884/portals-temporal-deactivation-and-alternate-peace


This Dreaming Isle – edited by Dan Coxon

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The Pitch:

“Something strange is happening on British shores.

Britain has a long history of folk tales, ghost stories and other uncanny fictions, and these literary ley lines are still shimmering beneath the surface of this green and pleasant land. Every few generations this strangeness crawls out from the dark places of the British imagination, seeping into our art and culture. We are living through such a time.

This Dreaming Isle is an anthology of new horror stories and weird fiction with a distinctly British flavour, edited by Dan Coxon. It collects together fifteen brand new horrifying or unsettling stories that draw upon the landscape and history of the British Isles for their inspiration. Some explore the realms of myth and legend, others are firmly rooted in the present, engaging with the country’s forgotten spaces.

As we struggle to imagine what Britain will look like post-Brexit – after the power struggles and the in-fighting, the failed negotiations and the resignations – This Dreaming Isle questions who we are and who we are becoming. Rooted in folk tales and local legends, these stories also offer an unsettling, frightening glimpse of our nation today.”

Why It’s Cool: They pretty much had me at British horror… 🙂  There’s some fab authors involved, including some new-to-me folk, and a £5 pledge will net you a copy of the ebook which is an absolute bargain!

The Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/291030539/this-dreaming-isle-an-anthology-of-dark-fantasy-an

Cartomancy Live!

Woohoo! The paperback edition of Let’s Try Cartomancy is now available for sale!

cartomancy taster

Let’s Try Cartomancy is a taster guide for the art of divination with playing cards. Whether you want a fun fortune-telling method to amaze your friends or family, or want to learn cartomancy for more serious purposes, the taster guide will give you the foundation skills to get started.  You’ll find basic history, interpretation keywords, card combinations and themes, some simple layouts and tips for how to read with the standard 52 card deck; and if you like a challenge there’s also information and layouts for using a 32 card deck.

Let’s try Cartomancy is available in ebook and paperback formats from Amazon, with paperback format also available on the Tarot4You stall at various events around Berkshire, Hampshire, and surrounding areas!

Amazon UK Ebook  *  Amazon UK Paperback

Books Launched! Tarot & Cartomancy

I am thrilled to announce that both Let’s Try Tarot and Let’s Try Cartomancy are live!

Try Tarot v5

Let’s Try Tarot is a short taster guide for those who are curious about the nuts and bolts of tarot reading but don’t want to delve deep into the spiritual aspects.  The taster guide will give you basic history, interpretation keywords, card combinations and themes, some simple layouts and tips for how to read.

Let’s try Tarot is available in ebook and paperback formats from Amazon, and in paperback format live on the Tarot4You stall at various events around Berkshire.

Amazon UK Ebook  * Amazon UK Paperback (live Friday 13th July)

cartomancy taster

Let’s Try Cartomancy is a taster guide for the art of divination with playing cards. Whether you want a fun fortune-telling method to amaze your friends or family, or want to learn cartomancy for more serious purposes, the taster guide will give you the foundation skills to get started.  You’ll find basic history, interpretation keywords, card combinations and themes, some simple layouts and tips for how to read with the standard 52 card deck; and if you like a challenge there’s also information and layouts for using a 32 card deck.

Let’s try Cartomancy is available in ebook format from Amazon, with paperback formats out 27th July from Amazon and live on the Tarot4You stall at various events around Berkshire.

Amazon UK Ebook

State of the Jen: March 2018

Like most of the country, I am currently in shock at the existence of weather. (Snoooooooooow!)  But never mind that, update time!

Exo-Bloggage!

In February I managed guest posts in two (2! Count ’em!) places:

WiHM9-GrrrlLogoTall-BR-MAs part of the Fox Spirit Books celebration of Women in Horror Month I did a post about short horror fiction and the women who write it.  Go check out my post Short Fiction Queens or visit the round up post to see the full range of fab Foxy women in horror posts.

Not only! But also! The splendiferous Mark West has compiled another Mixtape blog, this time on short Stephen King fiction.  I did a short thing on ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’ and you can read it, and the rest of the picks, over on the Mixtape here!

Publication News!

horrors-vol-1-ver-3cAnd I am thrilled to announce I’ll be having a story published in the upcoming Alchemy Press Book of Horrors. My story ‘Down Along the Backroads’ is a bit of a weird post-apoc multi-world thing where new visitors to town stir up things best left unstirred. There’s a lovely bunch of horror folks joining me in the table of contents (see the full list here!) so look out for that around September time.

Booooooooooks!

I may have written a couple of non-fiction books.  I blame the mother ship entirely.

Thus – coming later in the year will be a couple of short taster guides for card divination! Let’s Try Tarot, co-written with Patricia Barber, will give the quick and easy way to try out tarot reading. Its companion volume, Let’s Try Cartomancy, covers quick and easy playing card divination. More news on those to follow!

 

Waxing Lyrical at Fox Spirit

Fox-Spirit-Logo-BFS-293x300Proving that you don’t need to be at a convention to be inspired by it, you’ll find me talking about the wonderful world of SFF online fiction over at the Fox Spirit Books blog. Yes, there are lists. Because how could there not.  And links aplenty! Hop on over!

Winter Downs: Interview with Jan Edwards

Winter Downs Jan Edwards front coverAnnnnnd, welcome to the next stop in the Winter Downs Blog Tour, celebrating the launch of the ever excellent Jan Edwards’ new book – Winter Downs – a thrilling ride of 1940’s crime fic starring the kick ass Bunch Courtney.   I interrogated Jan to find out more…

Winter Downs is the first in your Bunch Courtney Investigates series – who is Bunch and what can we expect from future books in the series?

Bunch Courtney is a well connected young woman who is set adrift  by the changes that the coming of war has imposed on her, and knows that the life she was brought up to lead will never return. When she stumbles on a murder she discovers a talent and taste for sleuthing as she interacts with the local police force; and with Chief Inspector Wright in particular.

Bunch Courtney Investigates is an open ended series with the next two already mapped out in note form and ideas for at least two more. I am hoping people will love Bunch as much as I do so that I can see her through to D-Day at the very least. After that? It could be fun to take her into peacetime; maybe as a private investigator.

How difficult or easy did you find it to get the flavour of the era, were there any research holes you fell into, and did you find any elements of women’s life in the era that resonated with you?

I do like writing period pieces. I’ve written for a number of Sherlock Holmes anthologies and have a series of diesel punk/cosmic horror tales staged in the early 1930’s and starring Captain Georgianna Forsythe.

Immersing myself in the language and social mores can be a lot of fun, and the research required is jam on the top. I do get lost in seeking out small details. I can spend hours, even days, looking for one tiny fact. It is amazing what comes to light!

The lives of woman of the 20th century are so very different to the 21st.  Bunch, for example, finds herself controlling the farm as the men were gradually absorbed into the war machine, even as early in the war as January 1940, yet still treated as a ‘girl’ by many of the men in traditional positions of power; police, the military, farm manager, even her own family.

I worked for 20 years as a Master Locksmith – the first female ‘practising Master’ working in the UK. I know first hand the frustration of having men (and sometimes women)  peer around me as they ask to speak with the Locksmith, because they just ‘know’ it couldn’t possibly be me… I never whacked any of them with a spanner, though the temptation was there – everyday!

You and fellow writer Misha Herwin regularly appear on 6Towns radio – how did that start, what things do you talk about and where and when can listeners find you?

I think it began with a general call to local writers who may want to guest on the Curtain Call show on 6 Towns Radio  http://www.6townstv.com/   And because we had a series of events to push it somehow morphed into a semi-regular gig. We talk about writing events and our own fiction going into print as well as writing in general.

How has your radio experience impacted your public speaking ability?

I guess it has made me less self-conscious about public speaking, though talking in a studio with just the show hosts present is rather different to sitting in front of a live audience.

You and Misha also regularly organise the 6×6 Writers Café – could you tell us how you started, what it is, where, when, and how people can find out more and/or get involved.

6X6 came about because we were trying to get reading gigs for new local writers but because of library cut backs the slots available were getting very scarce. Poetry does okay for events  but prose not so much. We had heard of a regular event in Birmingham that gives writers a set time to strut their stuff and decided Stoke on Trent could use something similar – 6 writers – 6 minutes.

It’s a quarterly event at City Central Library, Hanley, Stoke on Trent. To take part people can go to the 6X6 blog at https://6x6writingcafe.wordpress.com/ and follow the guidelines!

Having been a long time organiser of, and attendee at, Fantasycon and other events, how important are festivals and conventions to the writer at the beginning of the career, and how does this change as their career progresses?

Conventions, conferences, lit, festivals  and events such as 6X6 or Fantasycon are all great opportunities for writers to both network with industry professionals and to find a readership. It’s essential for those starting out and remains true for writers at almost every stage of their career. Yes, when someone reaches the top echelons they will be the main attraction for readings and signings and guesting at conventions etc. but they will still be out there. Not that these things should be seen as purely business, though that is an essential part of the process. I’ve made lifelong friends from going to cons either as organiser, bookseller, author or reader. They are a fun as well as productive part of being a writer.

As a member of the Authors Electric site, how important is being a part of online writer communities and what ones do you recommend?

Blogs such as Authors Electric provide support and encouragement for writers and help to connect them with readers. Having an online presence is an essential part of being an author and popping up in regular slots helps in getting a wider reach  for your profile.

What would I recommend? Authors Electric of course 🙂

You’re in a crime story – are you the detective, the victim, the villain, the red herring or the plucky sidekick?

Detective naturally. Though being the villain could be fun, and the Watson personna has the advantage of being an observer of the action at close quarters.

What are you up to next?

I am on the scripting team for White Witch of Devil’s End, a Dr Who world DVD out this autumn – along with a book of the film. It concerns the life of Olive – the witch who appeared in the Dr Who story The Daemons from the Pertwee Who era.

I have a couple of other projects, but none I can talk about right now!

I should be at Fantasycon in the autumn, and had to make the Theakston Crime festival, but moving house and launching Winter Downs has been more than enough to deal with 🙂

But Winter Downs is the big one this year!  Of course there is Bunch Courtney Investigates: Book Two coming next spring (or sooner).

Thank you for talking to us Jan!

Jan ps 1Jan Edwards is a Sussex-born writer now living in the West Midlands with her husband and obligatory cats. She was a Master Locksmith for 20 years but also tried her hand at bookselling, microfiche photography, livery stable work, motorcycle sales and market gardening. She is a practising Reiki Master. She won a Winchester Slim Volume prize and her short fiction can be found in crime, horror and fantasy anthologies in UK, US and Europe; including The Mammoth Book of Dracula and The Mammoth Book of Moriarty. Jan edits anthologies for The Alchemy Press and Fox Spirit Books, and has written for Dr Who spinoffs with Reel Time Pictures.

Winter Downs is published by Penkhull Press and is available in paperback and kindle editions from Amazon.

Don’t forget to check out the next stops on the Winter Downs blog tour:

jan blog tour