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Sci-fi and Spice and… An Interview with Greer Thompson

“His Name was Pumpkin Spice” is Greer Thompson’s contribution to the Coffee: Hot anthology. I loved this science fiction tale in which a spy’s trip to a safe house takes an unexpectedly sexy turn. Greer was kind enough to answer some of my emailed questions. Find out more about him at http://www.humming-rain.com/greer-thompson.

"Pumpkin Latte Art"How did you come up with the idea and the setting?

I’m honestly not too sure, it just came to mind. Which I realize is a terrible answer! I started with the idea of spies undercover, flavoring a drink with fragments of memories and sensations, a night in the rain, threw in the layout of a coffee shop I knew, and just worked from there. I’m a bit of a seat-of-the-pants writer when it comes to plot and worldbuilding, and that was the case here, as well.

Will we see more of Turner’s adventures in the future?  Or Spice’s?

I’ve been toying with the idea. I really enjoyed both characters. They’re fun to write, and I like how they contrast each other. It could make for some interesting stories. But I think part of what works with this story is its implication of the bigger world, of adventures past and future and the interstellar conflict that employs the two main characters. If I wanted to do more stories with Turner and Spice, I’d need to flesh that out a lot, and I’d want to be careful to make it worthy of the implications set up in this story. I think it’d a fun challenge, though, especially if I managed keep the lighthearted tone of Pumpkin Spice, at least somewhat, so maybe I’ll give it a crack someday.

One of the aspects of the world I enjoyed were the deliberate anachronisms.  Nano-technology and brain implants, set against a rather typical coffee shop complete with chipped cups.  How did you decide on these details?

I wanted a setting that felt approachable, like it was, more or less, a coffee shop. Most of the science fiction I write is set on spaceships, or other places where the technology and the futurism of the setting takes front and center. With this story I wanted there to be hints of the sci-fi world beyond the scope of the story, but not to delve into it too much. To that end I decided to include the nano-tech coffee machine and the brain implants, as they’re essential to the action, but to try and keep the rest of it low-key as far as the fancy technology, and see what I could do with those constraints. I also wanted to make a lot of this setting feel like it could be plausible sooner in the future rather than later, which meant I wanted to limit the tech level of the coffee shop a fair bit.

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(Not) Hanging with the Cool Kids

Last Sunday some of the Coffee: Hot authors and editor Victoria Pond took to the internet in a Google Hangout.  Sadly, I couldn’t join them, but here it is for your viewing pleasure.  Among other tidbits, it contains some previews of the information Greer Thompson has shared with me in an interview which will be posted next week.  Enjoy!

Next up on the Blog Tour:  Owen Franks interviews me!  I’ll post the link when it’s available.

The Coffee: Hot blog tour begins

Want more info about the stories in Coffee: Hot?  Want to get to know the authors better?  Six of the contributors to the anthology are interviewing each other over the next several weeks.

First up, K.L. Noone interviews Django Wexler. Topics include the fantasy genre, working in coffeeshops, post-graduation worries, and Andy Weir’s The Martian.  Enjoy!

Coffee:  Hot cover

Coffee: Hot cover

Coffee: Hot News and My Media Reviews

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Hope you all are having a wonderful summer.  The Coffee: Hot Anthology is due out on August 4th, and here is the cover!  I love it, don’t you?

 I’ll be participating in a blog tour in which six of the authors in the anthology interview each other.  I’m looking forward to that and I’ll be posting more about it as the interviews start coming in.  I’ve never been interviewed about my writing before (or about much of anything – job interviews don’t count).

In between getting ready for the release and working on the first draft of a new story, I’ve been entertaining myself with a couple of things that might be of interest:

Book:  Puxhill by Night:  Lesbian Erotic Urban Fantasy, by Michael M. Jones.  Published by Circlet Press, 2015

I love connected short stories, and Jones’ eight stories all take place in Puxhill, a city where bartenders rub elbows (and other body parts) with goddesses, innkeepers cast spell from ancient books, and comic book shops come with sexy secrets.  The setting is creative, the characters are real, the sex is hot, and you’ll long for more — and a bus ticket to Puxhill.

Digital/Online:  Sense8, created by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski. Netflix streaming.

When eight people from around the world are suddenly connected, able to sense each others’ surroundings and utilize each others’ skills, they have to figure out how to use this synergy and stay one step ahead of mysterious forces who want to disable or destroy them.

I want to call this the “queerest show on television,” but it’s not on TV.  The show starts with two characters in same-sex relationships (including a trans woman in a lesbian relationship), and the sensory connections between the eight blur some characters’ sexuality further as the season progresses.

In some ways Sense8 reminds me of the first season of “Heroes,” but it’s much more character focused as each of the eight deal with personal challenges in their lives that are sometimes simplified and sometimes complicated by their new abilities.  If you enjoyed the philosophical and religious musings as much as the action in Babylon 5, or loved the Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas film, get yourself a Netflix subscription (there’s a free month trial), and try Sense8. The entire twelve episodes of the first season are available.

News on Coffee: Hot – Help choose the cover!

My next story will be appearing in the anthology Coffee: Hot published by Circlet Press and coming out this August.  I’ll be stepping up my blogging in advance of the estimated release date of August 4.

You can help choose the cover!  Circlet is running a poll so help us decide which of the two lovely – and hot! — ladies will illustrate this book.  I’m really excited to read the other stories; there will also be a blog tour and other chances to get to know us.  Stay turned.

Hippie-heart from nefigcas at openclipart.orgI also want to wish a congratulations to all the couples who can now get married thanks to yesterday’s Supreme Court decision.  May you live long and happy lives together.

I went to #porncamp and all I got…

….And you know, due to other complications, I didn’t even pick up the t-shirt.

#porncamp was the nickname of the Circlet Press Writers’ and Editors’ Retreat held earlier this month in Cambridge, Mass.  Even though my story isn’t out yet, I was invited to attend.

Friday night I met many other Circlet writers and editors, and we showed off our cat pictures (not surprisingly, lots of cat people were there, although some dog and even one rat person were in attendance, too).  We went around and read an excerpt from our work – some were spicy hot, some were action or fight scenes and some were really funny.  I was awed to be among such a talented bunch of writers.

Saturday was more educational, with information on structuring a novel, doing historical research, writing a blurb, social media strategies, and more.  It was also a time for writers to get support from each other.

I came out of the event inspired and ready to get some more writing done this spring and summer.  And having survived the rough winter here in Boston, it’s great to have some creative work to look forward to.

Back from Hibernation – Is It Spring Yet?

Or, even better: I swear I only danced ONE dance with that lovely fairy lass, so why is it over a year later?

Life stuff happened, I got a new job, etc., etc.  The river flows on under the lovely crystalline bridge.

There were some writing-related hiccups along with that, but I’m very excited to announce that I had a story accepted into the Coffee: Hot anthology coming out as an e-book from Circlet Press.  More details when I get them!

A bit of housekeeping: Some of my stories may no longer be available from Storm Moon Press as they only keep things in print for a limited period of time.  I’ll be updating the links to take those down and need to consider what to do next with them.

I’m looking forward to updating this blog more frequently in 2015, and to sharing more with you all.  As for the rest of it, Spring can’t come quickly enough.

 

 

Forgotten Menagerie available for pre-order

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The publication date for Forgotten Menagerie is coming up fast.  You can get 20% off if you pre-order the ebook or paperback.

Forgotten Menagerie Cover

Here’s the description from Storm Moon Press’ site:

A shifter leads two lives: one as a human, and one as an animal. Sometimes these lives are intertwined, and sometimes they are not, but always the shifter has to find a way to reconcile one with the other. Forgotten Menagerie reminds us that not all shifters are werewolves or werecats, despite the preponderance of them in fiction. The stories in this anthology focus on shifters with animal forms other than canine and feline, building their own mythos for these non-traditional species.

My story is called “Mirrors, the Moon, and the Boy.”

Highlights of Dracones

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It’s a beautiful day here in Boston, and I’m going to pretend it’s still summer. But autumn and winter are just around the corner and they’re the perfect time to curl up with a selection of hot stories – or two.

If you haven’t checked out Dracones yet, here are some notes on the other stories there which I hope will inspire you to pick up a copy. I’m not reviewing my story, “Fugue in Gold and Fire,” but I hope you like it, too.

My favorite story in the collection was the last one, “Lukos Heat” by Megan Derr. Najlah, a black warrior dragon in the Royal Shifter Corps, is on the hunt for a traitor with his comrades in the freezing mountains. They need the assistance of the Lukos, feral wolf-shifters native to the area, and especially their leader Barkus. The chemistry between the two shifters was intense, the world-building intriguing, and the sex scenes very hot. I also loved that Najlah’s humanoid form wasn’t completely human: he still had sharp teeth, scales and couldn’t speak. Derr very cleverly provided a way for them to communicate that made sense to the story and helped catalyze their coupling.

“Finding the Rain” by Tam Ames is a lovely tale told in the style of a Chinese folktale. The growing attraction between Buwei, sent to bring tribute to the dragon-lord, and Tian, the apparent care-taker of the dragon-lord’s temple, is developed through gradual, sweet interactions that felt very natural even within the context of the supernatural tale.

Humor is hard to write, but E.R. Karr pulled it off beautifully, in my opinion, in “Two in the Bush.” The telepathic interplay between psychic private investigator David and his partner Ferdie (an exiled dragon in human form) was poignant and often hilarious as they investigate the cause of a camping trip gone awry. I hope the author writes more with these two characters.

The remaining three stories were other variations on the “exiled dragon in human form” theme. In “Teller of Tales” by D.K. Jernigan, homosexuality isn’t tolerated in dragon culture so Peter lives as a human. But when he decides to turn stories of his dragon society into a fantasy novel, he feels an instant connection with the young publisher who reads the manuscript. Daire’s exiled because someone stole most of his magic in E.E. Ottoman’s “Weird Magics,” and he must team up with some alchemists who aren’t what they seem in order to get it back. Finally, in “Chanson Commencante de Guerre,” Lor Rose’s protagonist Rayvak has turned his back on the long war between the dragons and the (dragon) shifters, only to have it land on his doorstep.

I really enjoyed this anthology and was thrilled to be able to contribute to it. If you like fantasy stories with hot men, if you like dragons and the idea that they might be living hidden among us, then this collection should go on your winter reading list.