Just in time for Halloween, I got a chilling story in a horror anthology! My fic’s called “The Homebody,” and if you attended my reading at Armadillocon 2022, you know the significance of the title ;D
When Sloane Leong and Cassie Hart announced their project, I started thinking about my submission. Well, I recalled a recent trip to Presidio. I remembered driving past miles of gorgeous, desolate desert. In the distance, the mountains were sentinels; at great speeds, the foreground passed quickly, but the mountains didn’t seem to move, until I looked away for long enough. Twenty, thirty minutes. Then, the peaks changed. Maybe they vanished. Or grew. The desert shifted, but it took hours to escape. Anyway …
The South TX landscape–and the people who call it home–partially inspired “The Homebody.” I was also inspired by monster movies, in which powerful supernatural creatures or curses have “rules”: e.g., the vampire cannot step into the sunlight (er … usually), the ghost cannot leave the mansion, the curse is dispelled by salt, and so on. I wondered: if I lived in a horror movie, would I trust the “rules?” What if nobody else did? Would I doubt myself? Should I?
People who backed the Kickstarter are gonna receive paper or electronic copies, while e-copies will be available online after 10/1/2022 (for example, here’s the Kobo link). The cool thing is, every story is illustrated. “The Homebody” was paired with art by Apolo Cacho (Instagram), whose work captures the dark soul of the desert. I want to hang it on my wall, the piece is so beautiful. Overall, the visual art in this anthology is really special, y’all, and I had a fun time reading the other stories. Thanks Sloane and Cassie!!!
Heeeeey everybody! I bet you thought this blog was dead. Nah! It was just playing possum!
I got lots of updates to make–a bunch of new short stories to announce, the Newbery Honor and Nebula Award to discuss, miscellaneous life events to share. Unfortunately, I also have a book deadline to meet. Once I submit the first draft, I’ll get back to this blog!!! If you want weekly updates, however, I’m active on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/dr.littlebadger/ See you there!
My sophomore book, a young adult fantasy spanning two worlds and two perspectives, is now on the National Book Award Longlist (Young People’s Literature)!!!!
I’m still wrapping my head around this incredible news – A Snake Falls to Earth is the book of my heart, written during the most painful & difficult year of my life. I am so grateful for both this honor & everyone who helped me along the way.
In 2019, I attended Dublin WorldCon alone (my father had planned to join me, but he fell ill that year … so I flew across the ocean and sent home every picture I could take, showing him the city and the beautiful countryside). Friday morning, I walked the from my hotel to the main conference center. Through a glass revolving door and past several groups of mingling SFF enthusiasts, I found the dealer’s area. I’d left room in my suitcase for a couple new books (fun fact: I bought way more than a couple) and wanted to grab them early. That’s when I came upon a table covered with copies of Locus Magazine.
At the time, my first book, Elatsoe, had just been announced. With bated breath (for real), I found the July 2019 copy of Locus Magazine and flipped through pages of articles and announcements until …
It was surreal. Wonderful. Physical proof that I’d accomplished a dream. I bought four copies and carried them with me all conference, as if holding the paper-and-ink announcement would stop me from waking up, from losing this tiny light in an otherwise dark year.
This summer, 2021, I accepted the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Elatsoe won. When the trophy arrives, I’ll place it beside the copies of Locus Magazine, July 2019. Yeah, I still keep those close.
To the SFF community–to every reader, writer, editor, and fan who championed for my book and supported me during a terribly difficult debut year–thank you. I wouldn’t be here without you.
Here’s a link to my full Locus Award acceptance speech:
Elatsoe, my debut novel, was released in August, 2020! As a YA fantasy/mystery, it’s now eligible for awards for young adult fiction, including:
The Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction
The Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book
Notably, Elatsoe was illustrated by Rovina Cai. I encourage you to check out her hauntingly beautiful work and consider Rovina for visual art award categories, such as Best Professional Artist.
Finally, if you haven’t read Elatsoe yet, how about an elevator pitch? My book tells the story of a Lipan Apache teen with a unique ability: Elatsoe (Ellie for short) can wake the ghosts of animals, including mosquitoes, trilobites, and dogs. With the help of her family, friends, and ghost pup Kirby, she investigates the murder of her beloved cousin in a creepy town called Willowbee. Unfortunately, Willowbee is none too willing to give up its dangerous secrets …
2020 was a very difficult year. I am deeply grateful for the support of readers, publishing professionals & members the SFF community who supported Elatsoe’s debut.
Two weeks have passed since Elatsoe launched. I’m stunned to report that my book debuted as an Indie bestseller. Then, it appeared on the list for a second week. Elatsoe has also received five starred reviews (Shelf Awareness, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, BookPage). Aaaaah wow!!!
To the readers and indie bookstores who’ve supported Elatsoe, as well as the entire hardworking team of Levine Querido: thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.