Ink, Projects by Friends, Skulls & Spells

Flash publication in Ink!

Hi!

Great news: my genderfluid flash piece “Not Alone” will be part of Queer Sci Fi’s Ink anthology! This story was my 300-word entry for the yearly flash fiction contest that also gave us 2019’s Migration and 2020’s Innovation anthology. The release of Ink is planned on August 10, 2021, and by that time, Queer Sci Fi will be announcing honorable mentions (still proud of getting one last year!), judge’s picks, and three winners. Check out the full list of stories that will be published in the new anthology here – notice the names of friends L.S. Reinholt and Ava Kelly. Congratulations to these 120 writers!


While I’m here, an update on the Skulls & Spells Kickstarter. They took a great start and are now 58% funded. Let’s hope this keeps going! Their latest update talked about a secret stretch goal, so I can’t wait to see what Jinx and Jonas have in store. And, of course, I’m extra invested, as L.S. Reinholt and I have our story “The Bound Heart” in this book. If you like magical horror from queer creators, I’ll ask you once again to please consider supporting this Kickstarter.


Two more things on the topic of Kickstarters:

  • Alia Terra, the illustrated book of dragon fairy tales in English and Romanian, written by Ava Kelly and published by Atthis Arts, which I kept talking about in my previous posts, is fully funded and reached its stretch goal of becoming a fully illustrated book! I’m so happy we’ll get to see all the beautiful dragon art by Matt Spencer. If you missed the Kickstarter, you can still preorder your copy via BackerKit through July. The Dragon of Ynys can also still be added to your order there!
  • Xenocultivars is a plant-themed speculative fiction anthology about queer growth from Speculatively Queer. I’d love to see this book happen, but with only 5 days to go they’re still a little under half funded, so they need all the help they can get. Check out their Kickstarter and their wonderful queer flag cactus stickers here!

Love,

Minerva

the dragon of ynys

New review!

Hi!

The Dragon of Ynys got a new review, of which I was alerted in an email, and then I realised I hadn’t blogged since the start of the year and therefore hadn’t linked to the previous review yet either!

So here’s the new review on The Queer Bookish: click!

And here’s the review on Ancillary Review of Books: click!

It is such an honour to know that people are not only reading the book but also enjoying it. And that those readers even agree that it’s important for queer youth to have a fairy tale like this! I could only speak for myself when I said this was something we needed, of course, but to see my feelings on the matter reflected gives me hope. And of course I like being right. 😉

In other news, I signed a contract to have another short story co-written with L.S. Reinholt published sometime this year, but I can’t say much more about that yet.

Until the next time I remember to blog! 😛

Minerva

The Dragon of Ynys
the dragon of ynys

Interviewed by Jennifer Lee Rossman!

Hello!

I hope you’re all well. The world is once again looking a little scarier, but at least stories are always there to give us a relaxing means of escape.

It’s been a month and a week since my story The Dragon of Ynys came out, so of course I’ll be talking a little more about it in this blog post. I was interviewed about it by the one and only Jennifer Lee Rossman, who’s an awesome author herself and the co-editor of anthologies Love & Bubbles and Space Opera Libretti. You can read the interview here (and see a cute photo of The Dragon of Ynys with some dragon friends!).

I also saw a wonderful review accompanied by a beautiful photo on theboyandhisbookshelf’s Instagram yesterday, which I’d love to share: you can see it here. And while you’re wandering around on Instagram, you can also check out some of my baking, inspired by Ynys’ baker Juniper: for example the cinnamon rolls Sir Violet is so fond of. (They make a great breakfast indeed!)

If that made you hungry for more but you’re not able to buy the book right now, I’d like to inform you that I’m currently doing a giveaway, to celebrate one month since the release as well as the upcoming Ace Week.

Ace Week, formerly Asexual Awareness Week, is an event that will take place from October 25 until October 31, all over the world. It celebrates the asexual community and the progress we see in the awareness that asexuality exists, both in society and in media representation. You can read more about it on the Ace Week website and the organisation is also present on social media.

Sir Violet, like myself, is asexual as well as aromantic, so I felt that starting giveaways on three platforms and announcing the winners on the last day of Ace Week (October 31) would be a good way of participating in the celebrations. If you’d like to enter the contest, these are the links: TwitterTumblrPillowfort.

You simply retweet or reblog the post until October 30, 2020 at 23:59 EST. The winner will be chosen randomly on October 31; one winner per platform. That means you have one chance per platform; 3 chances if you reblog all three! (On every platform, only your first reblog will count as an entry, so while you are most welcome to keep spreading the word afterwards, this will not increase your chances.) You can also share the posts without entering the competition; simply leave a line like “not entering the giveaway but signal boosting”.

If you’re interested in the book but would rather bypass the competition altogether, these are the buy links:

Publisher’s websiteSmashwordsAmazon.comAmazon.deiBooksBarnes & NobleKoboBookshopVrolijk.nu (NL)

Add the book to your shelves: GoodreadsThe StoryGraph

And one more thing I’d like to call attention to: my publisher, Atthis Arts, is currently doing a Kickstarter for a project called In This Moment. I am not directly involved with this, but they have put together a mindblowing team of people who’ll be working on this collection of short works, both fiction and non-fiction, documenting this moment that will be described in history books as the time of the Black Lives Matter movement and the global pandemic. As they focus on important marginalised voices, I think it’s incredibly important that this book can be made – but the Kickstarter still has quite a way to go before the funding will be complete. Take a look at it here if you can find the time, and please consider contributing.

That’s all for now!

I hope you’ll have a great Ace Week, and please stay safe!

Love,

Minerva

The Dragon of Ynys
the dragon of ynys

Guest Post on LGBTQ Reads

Hello!

Tomorrow it’s been three weeks since the release of The Dragon of Ynys. A joyful three weeks indeed! It’s been amazing to see people pick up the book, post pictures of it, and write reviews. Please keep them coming (and remember how helpful it is to post about the book on different platforms)!

To give you an idea of the beautiful photos I’ve seen around on Instagram, here’s a selection: check out The Urban Reader’s review, Paddy_Pikala’s photo, the cute origami in the background of Owlsbooksandtea’s picture, and the cosiness that Howtobeabooknerd_ has set up around the book! For more, check my Instagram highlight.

A big thank you to everyone who has made posts and will do so in the future – you’re making this book release into a wonderful online party.

For my part, I celebrated release day with a video and baking Juniper’s delicious cinnamon rolls.

And last week something happened that feels like a real milestone: I saw the first fanart of my characters!!! *heart eyes*

Today, I have the honour of getting a guest post published on LGBTQ Reads. I’m talking about why the label “all ages” is so important to me when I’m talking about a fairy tale with a clear message of acceptance and aromantic, asexual, trans, and lesbian representation. You can read it here – feel free to leave a comment!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Remember you can pick up The Dragon of Ynys here:

Publisher’s websiteSmashwordsAmazon.comAmazon.deiBooksBarnes & NobleKoboBookshop

and add it to your shelves on Goodreads and The StoryGraph.

Lots of love,

Minerva

The Dragon of Ynys
the dragon of ynys

The Return of the Dragon

In November 2011, I spent a weekend in a forest with my friends from a Dutch online forum. Those weekends, or camps, had been a tradition since 2005. These days, we no longer manage to organise them strictly every year, as having jobs and families has made it more difficult to find weekends in which a good number of us can get together, but we do still meet up (at least in pandemic-less times). The most recent camps mostly consisted of hanging out, taking walks, and playing boardgames, but the camp in 2011 still had some planned activities, organised by some of the other forum members. And the specific activity that I’m getting to here was an open mic night.

In the month before, someone posted a call to our forum for those of us who wanted to prepare an act. We’re a creative bunch in general; some wanted to sing or play an instrument, some wanted to re-enact a sketch, and I did what I thought I do best: write a fairy tale to read out loud. It had become (yet another) tradition that I would read to a group of people at those camps anyway, so now I might as well have everyone listen to it. I wrote about Knight Violet-blue, an introverted knight who was hired to slay a dragon, but who, upon finding the dragon, realised he liked the creature more than he liked his employer, and went after the princess instead.

The story was far from perfect. I’m not fond of the idea that “well, then the princess must be evil”, or of the way I’d presented her. But I did like the knight and the dragon and the interactions between them, and even though I forgot most of the story for a long time, these two characters stuck with me.

Fast-forward: I graduated from university, started writing more (and in English!), had my first story published in Unburied Fables in 2016, and with that (and the help of my friend Ether) finally figured out how to look for calls for submissions and get more stories published.

One of the first calls I discovered that way, at the end of 2016, was the “For the Hoard” call for a collection that would be published by Less Than Three Press. It asked for novella- and novel-length stories about dragons and LGBTQIA characters. I brainstormed, I plotted, and then I wrote the first draft of The Dragon of Ynys in January 2017, just before the deadline.

In May 2018, LT3 Press published The Dragon of Ynys.

In July 2019, LT3 Press went out of business, and The Dragon of Ynys was unpublished again.

From September 2019 until July 2020, I worked on revising the novella. First on my own, changing the parts that had started bugging me and those I had learned could be read differently than I had intended. Then I reached out to E.D.E. Bell, because I had had a great experience working with Atthis Arts when they included the short story I’d co-written with L.S. Reinholt in Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove. The more I thought about it, the more Atthis Arts seemed to be the right publisher for the revised Dragon. Fortunately, the Atthis team agreed and we started on revision rounds, beta rounds, sensitivity rounds, final edit rounds… And finally we were happy with the result. With a new cover by Ulla Thynell, the 2020 edition of The Dragon of Ynys was ready to be out in the world.

Today is September 15, 2020. It’s release day. The Dragon is back!!!

The Dragon of Ynys

Every time something goes missing from the village, Sir Violet, the local knight, makes his way to the dragon’s cave and negotiates the item’s return. It’s annoying, but at least the dragon is polite.

But when the dragon hoards a person, that’s a step too far. Sir Violet storms off to the mountainside to escort the baker home, only to find a more complex mystery—a quest that leads him far beyond the cave. Accompanied by the missing baker’s wife and the dragon himself, the dutiful village knight embarks on his greatest adventure yet.

The Dragon of Ynys is an inclusive fairy tale for all ages.

Out now, both as paperback and ebook!

Buy links: Publisher’s websiteSmashwordsAmazon.comAmazon.deiBooksBarnes & NobleKoboBookshop

Add the book to your shelves: The StoryGraphGoodreads

It’s been quite a journey. A quest of its own. I’m so happy that this story can once again make its way to readers who may need to hear just the messages that I wrote because I’d needed them myself.

A big thank you to everyone who encouraged me to write, who supported me, who helped this story grow into what it is now, and of course to everyone who bought or will buy it, who writes a review and/or tells their friends or followers about this. Thank you for giving the Dragon wings and making the spiders’ job a little easier.

Lots of love,

Minerva

The Dragon of Ynys
the dragon of ynys

Preorder THE DRAGON OF YNYS now!

In my latest post, I announced that The Dragon of Ynys will release on September 15, BUT… If you can’t wait to read it, I have good news!

The book is now up for preorder in the Atthis Arts webshop (click!). If you pre-order the paperback, you will receive a copy of the ebook to read right away!

The webshop page contains more info about the book and also links to retailers where The Dragon of Ynys is up for pre-order. Tip: the best way to support both authors and publishers is to buy directly from the publisher. And posting reviews on different platforms is the best way to let others discover the books you love!

For a summary and more info about The Dragon of Ynys, read my latest blog post or check out the book’s page on my website.

Love,

Minerva

the dragon of ynys

Release Announcement: THE DRAGON OF YNYS

So, I did promise big news last week…

The Dragon of Ynys will be published by Atthis Arts on September 15, 2020!!!

The 2020 edition has been thoroughly revised and contains a brand new epilogue and afterword.

I’m very proud to reveal the new cover, created by none other than the magical Ulla Thynell (websiteInstagram). I encourage you to check out her art, as it’s all beautiful.

The Dragon of Ynys book and ebook preview

Every time something goes missing from the village, Sir Violet, the local knight, makes his way to the dragon’s cave and negotiates the item’s return. It’s annoying, but at least the dragon is polite.

But when the dragon hoards a person, that’s a step too far. Sir Violet storms off to the mountainside to escort the baker home, only to find a more complex mystery—a quest that leads him far beyond the cave. Accompanied by the missing baker’s wife and the dragon himself, the dutiful village knight embarks on his greatest adventure yet.

The Dragon of Ynys is an inclusive fairy tale for all ages.

Pre-order links will start going up soon and should be available on most retailers by this Tuesday (August 18). And starting on that same August 18, you will get a downloadable copy of the e-book to read early if you pre-order the paperback directly from Atthis Arts. I will publish another blog post on Tuesday to keep you informed and to share the available links.

I’m so excited that the Dragon will be out in the world again—and better than ever, thanks to the great work of Atthis Arts.

Have a good weekend!

Minerva

Innovation anthology

Release of Innovation anthology

The Innovation anthology is out today!

Innovation: Queer Sci Fi's Seventh Annual Flash Fiction Contest

It contains 120 pieces of flash fiction with a speculative element and queer representation, including my story “The Emperor’s New Helmet”, which I’m proud to say received an honorable mention in the contest. There are also stories by my friends E.D.E. Bell, Ava Kelly, Ether Nepenthes, and L.S. Reinholt. The judges’ choices were announced here and we also know the winners now: third place went to “Antlers” by K.A. Masters, second place to “Dragonslayer” by E.M. Hamill, and first place to “The Fleshsmith and the Metalsmith” by Devon Widmer. Click on the names to read more about the winning stories on the Queer Sci Fi website.

Congratulations to the winners, judges’ choices, fellow honorable mentions and everyone who made it into the book!

You can buy Innovation on Amazon US, Amazon Deutschland (and of course all the other Amazons), iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo—and add it to you to-read shelf on Goodreads and The StoryGraph.

Queer Sci Fi is also hosting a giveaway that runs until August 21, and on the same page you can read some excerpts from the book and see the full list of authors.

IN-NO-VA-TION (Noun)

1) A new idea, method, or device.

2) The introduction of something new.

3) The application of better solutions to meet unarticulated needs.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Innovation features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Keep your eyes peeled for some draconically big news next week!

Love,

Minerva

Innovation anthology

Honorable Mention!

Hi!

I’m just writing a very quick note to let you know that my entry in the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest has gotten an Honorable Mention! My entry was The Emperor’s New Helmet, the 300-word story in the Innovation anthology that I talked about in my previous blog post.

I feel so honoured! You can see the full list of Honorable Mentions here (click). L.S. Reinholt got one too for her story A Dire Need.

Innovation anthology, Neon Horror Zine

Release of Neon Horror and a flash fiction acceptance!

Hello!

So… Since my author copies were already on the way, I was going to wait a couple of days and announce the release of the Neon Horror anthology with a selfie of me holding the book. Then the postal service decided that actually delivering packages was so 2019, and subsequently it got kind of awkward to make a release post without that selfie, because the book had already been out for 2 weeks… But now I have some other news as well, so this is the perfect time to finally write this post.

And since acting as if everything is going as planned is a 2020 mood, here we go…

Wonderful news: the beautifully printed Neon Horror: an Anthology of Terrors by Creators from the LGBTQIA+ Community is out now!!!

Neon Horror: an anthology of terrors by creators from the LGBTQIA+ community (2020)

This full-colour anthology contains art and short stories in the horror genre. The Lost by L.S. Reinholt and me (aside from having a title that the mail clearly found very inspiring) is about two travellers in space whose logs and maps have been erased. When they encounter another ship, they hope they’ve found a solution, but instead lose even more…

Buy Neon Horror in The Haunted Bouncy Castle webshop!

The same webshop also has a lot of fun and colourful queer horror objects, ranging from cups to pillows to pins to prints for on your wall, so be sure to check it out. They have a Pride sale of 10% off until the end of this month.


Then, today’s very fresh news is that my flash story The Emperor’s New Helmet is accepted in this year’s anthology of the Queer Sci Fi flash fiction contest. The theme was “Innovation” and you can see the full list of the 120 included titles here on the Queer Sci Fi website. It also includes stories by my friends E.D.E. Bell, Ava Kelly, and L.S. Reinholt!

I finished reading last year’s edition, Migration, only a few weeks ago and was surprised by the great quality of all those stories, so I look forward to reading Innovation as well. It will be out on August 8, 2020, after the honorable mentions, judges’ picks and winners have been announced. In the meantime, I certainly recommend Migration if you’re in the mood for some bite-sized stories (all under 300 words).

And for even more flash fiction, I will refer to Paranatellonta, where we posted the 284th free photo-and-story combo today for your enjoyment.

That’s all the news for now!

Love,

Minerva