World Dracula Day and Spring Writing Updates

Welcome back, and happy World Dracula Day! In honor of this auspicious holiday, today seems like the perfect chance to talk a little bit about Reluctant Immortals and what I’ve been up to lately. It’s been a busy year so far in my writing world, which is always nice, since it tends to keep the existential dread at bay.

So let’s dive into some updates about my little vampire baby!

Reluctant Immortals is a finalist at both the Lambda Literary Awards and the Bram Stoker Awards!

First and foremost, if you follow me on social media, you’ve already seen me screaming from the rooftops about this, but just in case you didn’t hear: Reluctant Immortals is nominated for Superior Achievement in a Novel at the Bram Stoker Awards as well as being a finalist for Bisexual Fiction at the Lambda Literary Awards!

*screams joyfully from the rooftops once again*

There have been a lot of wonderful things to happen with the book, so it’s beyond thrilling and humbling to end the promotion cycle for my Dracula-Jane Eyre retelling by attending not one but two awards ceremonies next month where Reluctant Immortals is a finalist. Honestly, even just typing that sentence is surreal.

Being a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards holds a very unique place in my heart. Most readers and reviewers didn’t mention the sapphic story line in Reluctant Immortals; I think that was in part because it’s not revealed until about the quarter mark of the book, and nobody wanted to give away spoilers. But it always made me a little sad it wasn’t discussed more because exploring the relationship between Jane Eyre and Bertha Antoinetta Mason was always one of the most exciting things about writing Reluctant Immortals. So needless to say, having the book recognized in the Bisexual Fiction category at an award ceremony that’s been called “the queer book Oscars” is an absolutely huge honor. Especially this year, with all the ongoing attacks on LGBTQ+ books, I’m proud to be a queer author representing queer horror fiction. So yeah, I’m very, very excited about this.

And of course, it should go without saying that being nominated for a Stoker holds a very special place for me as well. I still can’t believe I’ve been nominated this year, let alone ever won a Stoker in the past, so that remains a wonderfully mystifying part of my existence and career. The ballot for this year’s Stokers is out of this world, and I’m so eager to not only see everyone at the convention and award ceremony next month, but to get to share the excitement with all my fellow nominees. I know people say it’s an honor to be nominated, but here’s the thing: it really, really, REALLY is.

My personal writing archive is now live and open for research at the University of Pittsburgh

Another huge update: my personal writing archive at the University of Pittsburgh’s Horror Studies Collection has officially been processed and has its own page online. I’ve talked about this several times in the past, but it wasn’t open to research until recently. *squeals with delight* Again, I know I’ve said it before, but having my work archived at a university was a big dream of mine from the time I was a kid, and I remain stunned that this is real. But like I said, it’s got its own page and everything, so I guess it is indeed true. *pinches myself to make sure*

In related cool news, there will be a private event at the Horror Studies Collection the week of StokerCon for all registered attendees, so if you’ll be in the Pittsburgh area on the Wednesday before the con, definitely come and hang out with us. You should have gotten an official StokerCon email about the event, so check your inbox! Speaking of which…

StokerCon Pittsburgh is coming soon!

In just a few weeks, a swarm of horror authors will be descending on Station Square in Pittsburgh for StokerCon 2023! Hooray! I’ve already recorded two virtual panels and my author reading for the online portion of the convention, and I’ll be doing even more programming in person, including multiple panels that are still in the process of being announced.

I’m also beyond thrilled to be presenting at the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference, which will be taking place all day on Friday, June 16th at the convention. My presentation, “We Belong to Each Other: Reclaiming Representations of Bisexuality in 1970s and 1980s Vampire Cinema” will be part of an incredible block of vampire-themed academic talks, which will also include Naomi Borwein and Alex Aleco.

Early next month, I’ll be doing a post on my full StokerCon schedule, so stay tuned for anyone who is interested!

I have new short stories in American Cannibal and Forbidden Magic anthologies as well as Cosmic Horror Monthly!

In other news, it’s been a really exciting year for short story writing here in my little corner of the word. I’m literally finishing up a new story now, and I’ve been fortunate to see three new tales released in the last few months. My flesh-eating 1950s melodrama, “The Hungry Wives of Bleak Street,” made its debut in American Cannibal edited by Rebecca Rowland. “Hear, Hearth, Heartbeat,” a witchy tale of strange friendship that survives the decades, was featured in the Forbidden Magic issue of The Cellar Door. And finally, my Three Mile Island cosmic horror story, “Melting Point,” was in the latest issue of Cosmic Horror Monthly. I’m deeply proud of all three of these stories, so please pick up a copy of one (or all of them!) if you’re so inclined.

Looking down the road, I have recent acceptances for Novus Monstrum and The First Five Minutes of the Apocalypse, as well as upcoming stories out in Shakespeare Unleashed, No Trouble at All, and Never Wake along with several others that haven’t been publicly announced yet, so there will be plenty more short fiction from me coming soon.

So those are all my major updates for the moment. Otherwise, I’m just hanging out here on the old abandoned horse farm, working on new fiction. Edits on my next book have been sent over to my publisher, so I will hopefully have some news to share about my fourth novel very soon. (And seriously, FOURTH NOVEL?! How did that even happen?)

Happy reading, and happy spring!