Friday, August 8, 2014

Obligatory First Post

So, I suppose I should have a blog for readers, since my other one is mostly of interest to other writers.  :)

Hi, I'm Angela Penrose.  I write mainly SF and fantasy, and so far only short stories.  I intend this to be a pretty low-volume blog, mainly a place where readers can come to see what-all I've written and where to find it, what's up-coming and when, what conventions I'll be at, that sort of thing.  I don't intend to post a thousand words of blah just because it's Tuesday, or anything like that; I don't talk unless I have something to say.

I've been writing since I was a kid, but I've never been the sort of person who had an easy time focusing on one thing.  When you're working full time, taking classes at night, publish an organization's newsletter, have a second job working online for a gaming company, and are senior staff helping run a convention or two, it can be tough to find time for hobbies -- keeping up with reading, much less baking and needlework (knitting, crocheting, sewing, various types of embroidery and lace making) and drawing and oh, yeah, that writing thing, can be tough.  For many years I did some of everything and not a lot of anything.

Finally a couple of years ago I buckled down and focused on fiction writing.  I haven't picked up a needle in years, haven't worked a con in even more years, and only occasionally make a batch of muffins for my husband.  I'm back to doing some reading, but I've written a lot of stories, and some of them have been or will be published in the near future.

I have a story called "Staying Afloat" in How to Save the World, edited by John Helfers.  It's an SF anthology, and John wanted us to focus on real-world problems and realistic solutions that normal people could enact. It forced some hard thinking, since we couldn't have benevolent aliens or a philanthropic billionaire come save the day. I've been to Mexico a few times, and have seen corn fields planted on slopes of forty degrees or more. I wondered what the farmers do when it rains hard, and what might happen if climate change makes it rain harder, more often.  Then I remembered something I learned about the ancient Aztecs when I was in sixth grade, and I had my solution, and a story.  How to Save the World came out last year, and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Kerrie Hughes is editing a book called Alchemy and Steam, which is pretty much what it says on the tin, alchemy and steampunk together.  I wrote a story for her called "The Rites of Zosimos."  I found some info on a Greek alchemist named Zosimos of Panopolis and the alchemical principles he wrote about -- not saying what exactly, because spoilers -- and it inspired a story set in an alternate 19th century, where there's a murder at an alchemical university.  Alchemy and Steam is scheduled to be out in April of 2015.

John Helfers, again, came up with a great idea for an anthology called Recycled Pulp.  John came up with a huge list of incredibly pulpy titles -- the sort of thing you'd find in a pulp magazine in the early to mid-twentieth century -- and each writer was randomly assigned three.  We had to choose one of those three titles, and write a modern, non-pulpy story that fit the title.  Mine is called "The Crypt of the Metal Ghouls," and it's set in an apocalyptic future where a bunch of friends are scavenging in an abandoned city and find something that unfortunately still works.  It was a lot of fun to write, in a subgenre I've never tried before.  Recycled Pulp is due out in October of 2015.

Corrie and Sean Weaver are doing an anthology of SF for middle grade readers called The Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, and my story "A Smelly Problem" is going to be in it.  In a world where everyone has some kind of special power or talent, teenage Cody would rather have people think he's a neuter -- one of the few people without any special talent -- than find out what he can actually do.  Then a dumb decision at school leaves him scrambling to clean up a mess he made, and prevent the other kids from calling him "Stinky" for the rest of his life.  The Weavers are doing a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book, running through 15 September.

An editor I've subbed to before is planning a series of stand-alone SF e-books for kids, and contacted me about including one of my stories, about a little kid and his pet toad.  We're still negotiating, but I'm hoping to have some news soon.

I hadn't really intended to write specifically for kids or teens, but it looks like it's working out that way.  I write about whomever and whatever pops into my head, so if there are any more kids in there, I suppose I'll end up writing more stories for younger people eventually.

I love talking to readers -- e-mail me at AngelaPenroseWriter at gmail dot com.  I'm also at BayCon in Santa Clara every year; if you're there, come find me and say hi, or write me ahead of time and we can plan lunch or something.

Angie, heading back to work