In the world of Ashlee

Things have been happening, despite my relative silence. Of course, that should be a given. No matter how many blog posts I do or don’t write, or how many days go in between my Facebook or Twitter updates, life goes on and the world keeps spinning. Isn’t it funny how we might measure our personal existence by our presence on social media? If you can’t see me, I’m not entirely real.

Nonetheless, there were a couple of big ups and downs in the interim. No, no, nothing so big as the release of my novel. That’s still yet to come, though I have been dispensing ARCs to some very lovely people, and hearing wonderful things back. We’re looking at another month or two before I can pin down the release date. It’s hard to have delay after delay; I am not patient, but I’m forced to acknowledge this comes in part due to what has transpired through the early months of 2013. So let’s go over some of those things.

I had an author interview over at This Is Horror. If you haven’t seen it already, you can read my Meet The Writer on their website. I’ll note, it’s both fun and weird talking about yourself in the interview format.

Family and friends have gone through a number of personal trials. As a bystander for the most part, you try to support them. Show love. Remind them each of their importance in your life. Broken bones in accidents, severe illness and ongoing aftercare, a death. Little things, big things, unavoidable throughout life. Then the worldwide tragedies which have been occurring, with heart-warming tales of heroism amidst the chaos. One of these days, I’m going to stop reading the news.

I have spent the better part of two months designing and building an updated version of The Damning Moths website. It hasn’t gone live as I am still trying to muscle my way through some of the more finicky coding. I never thought myself as an especially talented web designer, but I think this will all work out rather nicely in the end. It’s just getting to the point where I am confident the site will function as best as possible.

Surviving the End received the Australian Shadows Award for Edited Publication. So far, my favourite part of being in an award winning anthology is the celebratory atmosphere with my co-contributors and the excitement our editor shared. And another hearty congratulations to us all.

I’m writing and plotting and editing all at once, which is hardly unusual, but takes a lot of attention away from other things. For the next week, I am burying my head in these stories for as many hours as anyone will let me. I’m talking very long days. See, I recently attended a course and gained accreditation for a new job. I will be starting in late May. I don’t exactly know how that will change my writing hours and energy levels, but I want to have some of this out of the way before then. What better timing than my week off work? If I manage to push hard enough, I know exactly what I can get accomplished. So here’s to a very productive week.

Lastly, I fill the gaps in between with the occasional important email, and reading. A lot of reading. Judging for the AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition, as an early reader (both requiring actual thought, assessment, and giving feedback where appropriate), and a whole pile of books being consumed unnaturally quick for pure enjoyment.

I know I’ve said it before, but I might be able to keep up with blogging again someday soon. Or you might hear from me again in a few months time. Either way, my love to you all, you’re not far from my thoughts.

~A

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Newcomer

As if Surviving the End was not already awesome enough, there’s been a surprise last-minute addition to get excited about!

News delivered from the Dark Prints Press Facebook Page! The illustrious list of authors in our post-apocalyptic horror anthology will now be joined by a piece from Jonathan Maberry. Still slated for a release this April (goodness, only two months to go!), I’m seriously enthusiastic about reading the full collection.

Every now and then, I will re-read my short story, Harvest. My memory is vague enough that I don’t remember the exact way it was written, the precise pacing, each particular word choice. I enjoy re-reading for that reason – even when it comes to my own work, it would seem! I still like this story, partly for its difference to my other writing. Different character types and interactions. Different motivation for the story itself. It borders on frantic, and I’m still left grinning like a maniac at the end. But maybe that’s just me.

And, of course, I’m looking forward to everyone else getting a chance to read it as well!

Here’s the updated list of stories included in Surviving the End:

Joseph D’Lacey, with a novella titled “The Failing Flesh”;
Jason Nahrung, with “The Last Boat to Eden”;
Martin Livings, with “Unwanted”;
Amanda J Spedding, with “The Long Ago”;
Michael Bailey, with “Hiatus”;
Kathryn Hore, with “The Stuff of Stories”;
my own story, “Harvest”;
and now, Jonathan Maberry, with “The Wind Through the Fence”.
Not forgetting the Story Keeper himself, Craig Bezant, adding in the interludes connecting our various stories and bringing the tales of survival together.

April may be just around the corner, but I’m excited and impatient to see the books arrive!

~A

No, no, be cool

Let’s not get too worked up. No squealing, no bouncing in the chair; that sort of behaviour often ends in toppling over or breaking dinner plates. Besides, we knew this day was coming. We were counting down! We checked as soon as we came online because of that! Just be cool. Make a calm announcement.

Pah. What would my brain know? The actual appropriate response is: TELL EVERYONE IMMEDIATELY.

Pre-orders for Surviving the End have opened! Yes!

The print version of this anthology is going to be something special. Not only will it include writing from my good self (hehe), but it also features the work of:
Joseph D’Lacey, with a novella titled “The Failing Flesh”;
Jason Nahrung, with “The Last Boat to Eden”;
Martin Livings, with “Unwanted”;
Amanda J Spedding, with “The Long Ago”;
Michael Bailey, with “Hiatus”;
and Kathryn Hore, with “The Stuff of Stories”.
Owner, editor and our story collector, Craig Bezant from Dark Prints Press, will be tying it all together with his own short interludes, as well. The physical book will have rough-cut page edges for an authentic after-the-world-has-ended feel and sketches scattered throughout the pages. This will be an experience, I can assure you.

I can’t tell you how ridiculously exciting this whole thing is. With a release date in April 2012, I might even get a chance to chill out in the meantime – then again, I’ve been asked to join the publisher at a convention for the release, so that’s going to have me riled up plenty.

Biggest thanks to everyone for all your support in these past few months! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have more people to inform of the news!

~A