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Guest Blog: K.T. Ivanrest

Posted by Angie on July 12, 2017 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (1)



Horses have always conjured up myth and magic to me. I always associated them with fairy tales and wonder. They sparkled and spun on carousels, they were winged and swept stardust from the skies, they were creatures of speed that belonged in the wilderness. So when I saw that World Weaver Press was open for submissions for stories about equines I jumped at the chance. I have been fortunate enough to have my story, The Horse Witch, selected to be part of this wondrous anthology and am very much looking forward to seeing it come out. As part of our celebration and launch of the book, some of the authors have taken time to write guest blogs and I am lucky to host K.T. Ivanrest whose story, Lightless, appears in this anthology.


K.T. Ivanrest wanted to be a cat or horse when she grew up, but after failing to metamorphose into either, she began writing stories about them instead. Soon the horses became unicorns and the cats sprouted wings, and once the dragons arrived, there was no turning back. When not writing, Kate can be found sewing and drinking decaf coffee. She has a PhD in Classical Studies, which will come in handy when aliens finally make contact and it turns out they speak Latin. She keeps a website here.



Four (and a Half) Fun Facts about Lightless K.T. Ivanrest


1. Almost all of the names in this story are based (loosely) on Latin and Greek words (#UsingMyDegree). The MC’s name, Fulsa, is a pseudo-Latin version of Greek “Phaethon” (you know, the guy who tries to drive the chariot of the sun and goes down in a fiery inferno? I swear my story has a better ending!). Phaios is Greek for “grey, dusky,” and Aithra can be related either to “aitho” (to burn, blaze) or “aither” (air, heaven, ether). Selphoros is “selas” (light) and “phoros” (bearing, carrying), and the mare Lun is Latin “luna” (moon) with a letter missing. Only her teammate Sona gets left out—for her name I took the word “sun” and tweaked.


2. I’ve made it my authorly goal to include a flying animal in each of the fantasy worlds that I create. In the world of my trilogy-that-may-never-get-finished, there are flying snakes. In the world of Lightless, there are flying stingrays. Unfortunately, the stingrays didn’t make it into the story, so you’ll just have to wait for the novel set in the same world. It’ll happen someday. I hope.


3. When I started developing this world further in the hopes of putting a novel in it one day (see #2), I decided all the characters were going to have really dark skin and hair. This meant that Phaios’ most distinguishing characteristic no longer fit the world…but I left it in anyway. I really need to work on that “kill your darlings” thing.


4. The story is set in a world where people literally glow, and features a main character whose glow is mysteriously fading. In early drafts, criminal activity was what caused people to lose their light. As the story developed, that connection no longer worked with the character arc that I wanted Fulsa to have, but you can see an early (criminal) version of the opening scene in my other Blog Tour post.


5. I had way too much fun creating a Pinterest board for this story. (What do you mean—this is totally a fun fact!) Check it out http://au.pinterest.com/ktivanrest/lightless/



 Pre-order Equus now:

World Weaver Press





Equus - Table of Contents Released!

Posted by Angie on April 1, 2017 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (1)




The Table of Contents for Equus has been released and I am very honoured to be a part of it. Equus is edited by Rhonda Parrish and published by World Weaver Press. The due date is July this year. I'm so very excited about this anthology!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Stars, Wings, and Knitting Things by J.G. Formato

Eel and Bloom by Diana Hurlburt

A Complete Mare by Tamsin Showbrook

Neither Snow, nor Rain, nor Heat-Ray by M.L.D Curelas

Rue the Day by Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Riders in the Sky by VF LeSann

Above the Silver Sky by Dan Koboldt

A Mother Unicorn’s Advice to Her Daughter by J.J. Roth

Ladies Day by Susan MacGregor

The Boys from Witless Bay by Pat Flewwelling

The Horse Witch by Angela Rega

Eli the Hideous Horse Boy by Michael Leonberger

Different by Sandra Wickham

To Ride a Steel Horse by Stephanie A. Cain

The Last Ride of Hettie Richter by Cat McDonald

We Us You by Andrew Bourelle

Scatter the Foals to the Wind by Chadwick Ginther

Lightless by K.T. Ivanrest

A Glory of Unicorns by Jane Yolen

Of Giants and Magical Cities

Posted by Angie on February 19, 2017 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Read the lyrically beautiful A Nightingale's Map of the City by my talented and beautiful friend, Suzanne J. Willis


Short Story Sale!

Posted by Angie on January 25, 2017 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Story Sale!


Huzzah! I'm so thrilled to announce that my story, The Horse Witch, will be published in Equus edited by Rhonda Parrish and published by World Weaver Press.


I'm very excited to be part of this lovely anthology about magical horses, unicorns and pegasi. This book is part of the Magical Menageries series published by World Weaver Press. And now I shall do a happy dance.





Syntax and Salt Special Edition:Myths, Monsters, Legends and Fairy Tales

Posted by Angie on October 30, 2016 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)


 

My story Borrowing Wings is now live at Syntax and Salt’s special edition:  Myths, Monsters, Legends and Fairy Tales:  It is a story about goose girls and a library that loans out wings taken from fairy tales, changelings and Da Vinci models.

You can read it here: http://syntaxandsalt.com/project-tag/special-issue-october-2016/


Strange California KickStarter

Posted by Angie on October 21, 2016 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

My very lovely and talented friend, Suzanne J Willis has a story Invisible Boys accepted as part of this amazing anthology.

Here is a bit of background about the anthology from the editors:

“This anthology developed out of our love for the complexity and diversity of the state--features reflected in both the landscape and the people that inhabit them,” said Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Batt, the editors of Strange California. "California sprawls across a multitude of landscapes and has amassed a history full of the strange and unusual. There are secrets in the desert. Secrets in the cities. Strange and unusual happenings in the odd, dark places of the coastal state."

The anthology is being funded by a Kickstarter – it has only 6 days to go and is just over halfway funded and looks like it is going to be an awesome anthology that needs to be published! And I want the world to read Invisible Boys!

So, if you can support this, please go to the following link

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonbatt/strange-california-a-speculative-fiction-anthology" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonbatt/strange-california-a-speculative-fiction-anthology


Australian Fairy Tale Society Conference 2016

Posted by Angie on June 25, 2016 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Tomorrow is the 2016 Australian Fairy Tale Society's Conference: Into the Bush: its Beauty and its Terror and I'm pleased to say I am doing a reading of my story, The Bush Bride of Badgery Hollow there.

Tomorrow's program is attached here:

https://australianfairytalesociety.wordpress.com/afts-events/





Fae Visions of the Mediterranean: Interview with Jenny Blackford

Posted by Angie on May 16, 2016 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

On May the 1st, Fae Visions of the Mediterranean was published. Edited by Valeria Vitale and Djibril al-Ayad, and published by Futurefire.net Publishing, it is an anthology dedicated to the folkore and mythos of the Mediterranean. This week I’m delighted to share with you all an interview with one of my fellow authors, poet and classicist, Jenny Blackford.

 


Jenny, your poems have been published in Westerly, Australian Poetry Journal, Strange Horizons, The Pedestal Magazine and more. Can you tell us a little about how you discovered poetry or how it found you?

It's so long ago it's hard to say! My mother and her father definitely read me all sorts of excellent poetry when I was tiny. My father, who grew up in Howlong, a tiny Australian bush town on the NSW-Victorian border, insisted on reciting Bush Verse at great length, which as a kid I found excruciating.

I have no idea when I wrote my first poem, though I spent years of my childhood sending poems in to the Sydney Herald kids pages, and occasionally getting published there. When I was 14 or 15, one of my poems won the Hunter Valley Research Foundation poetry prize, which was a pretty big deal for schoolkids around Newcastle, NSW. This wasn't great for my (already minimal) street cred in rough-as-guts Swansea High, but the English master was delighted. The poem was reprinted in Dolly, which was a much meatier (and less celebrity-obsessed) magazine back then. I had no idea at the time how unusual it was to get a paid publication in a mass-circulation magazine – I just took it for granted!

Sadly, I had a hard time with the English teacher imposed on me for my last two years of the fancier high school I had to go to so I could pursue my Latin studies. She managed to sap my confidence in anything Eng Lit-related. I loved my intensive Classics degree at the University of Newcastle, but I was too busy translating Greek and Latin poetry to write anything of my own. Then when I jumped sideways into computer networking, I didn't have the creative energy for anything but literary criticism.

When I left my day job in 2001 and got back to creative writing, I started with short stories, which all my literary friends were writing. Gradually, though, I wormed my way back to my first love, poetry.

As a poet and classicist, can you tell us what inspires or fascinates you about the folklore, myths and legends of the Mediterranean?

That's a hard one! I fell in love with everything about the ancient Mediterranean as soon as I encountered it. I can't remember a time when all things ancient Greek and Roman (and Egyptian, Punic, Syrian, Etruscan et al) didn't fascinate me - including, of course, their folklore, myths and legends. I do remember being tiny, and startling adults by telling them that I was going to study Greek and Latin when I grew up. And I did study them – right up to halfway through my still-unfinished PhD in comparative ancient religion, "The Tripartite Godhead in Indo-European Religion": Mediterranean myth and legend in one far-too-big-to-digest bundle.

3. Tell us a little about your writing process. Did you draw inspiration from nature, music or art for your creative process?

My poetry generally comes straight from my unconscious. I'll be doing something completely different – cooking, or gardening, or talking to friends – and a phrase or a sentence will come into my mind and demand to be written down. The poem then accretes around those words, little by little, coming from all the stored-up baggage in my head. And that includes thoughts and memories of nature, music and art, as well as wide reading in all things Ancient Greek and Roman – poetry, plays and stories, plus any number of reference works. I've read SO much about nymphs over the years!

4. What inspired you to write this poem? Was it based on any historical or mythological source?

Nymphs are big in Greek literature – for example, the beautiful nymph Calypso, on whose magical island Odysseus spent seven blissful years during his slow way home to his faithful wife Penelope back on Ithaca. But they were even bigger in folk belief. Few Greeks would have doubted that areas of natural beauty, especially springs, streams and trees, were inhabited by nymphs – tall, beautiful, immortal supernatural women. Nymphs are even referred to in Socrates' serious philosophical dialogues! In the Phaedrus, he even says he is speaking poetically because he is numpholeptos (or nympholeptus in the more usual Roman transliteration) – he is seized/inspired by the nymphs who obviously inhabit the nearby trees and stream where he and Phaedrus are talking.

In folk belief, nymphs were uncannily like British fairies – the dangerously beautiful fairies of "Thomas the Rhymer" and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci", not cute little flower fairies. Greek nymphs replaced healthy babies with sickly changelings, and sometimes stole men away from family and friends, taking them somewhere time and space moved differently.

And why, I wondered, was it always men? What if a woman fell in love with a dangerously beautiful nymph?

5. Who are three poets you think readers should know about?

I love the great classical Greek poets Sappho and Euripides, and Roman Catullus, but it's close to impossible for anyone to make a translation that really conveys their original meaning while still being real poetry. Their work is just too lyrical and dense with multiple meanings. Closer to our modern times, I couldn't go past WB. Yeats, the Irish master of poetry, but Gerard Manley Hopkins and Dylan Thomas are also wonderful. Closer still to me in time and space, Judy Johnson and Jean Kent right here in Newcastle, NSW, and Melinda Louise Smith not so far away in Canberra, ACT, are amazing poets. (I should add that Jean and Melinda are both published by award-winning Sydney imprint Pitt Street Poetry, which was responsible for the beautifully-illustrated little pamphlet of my cat poems, The Duties of a Cat, in 2013.)



Jenny Blackford is a poet and writer based in Newcastle, Australia. Her poems and stories have been published in Australian Poetry Journal, Cosmos Magazine, The Pedestal Magazine and more. Her poetry prizes include first place in the Humorous Verse section of the Henry Lawson awards 2014, second in the W.B. Yeats Poetry Prize for Australia 2016, and, most recently, first in the inaugural Connemara Mussell Festival Poetry 2016. In late 2013, Pitt Street Poetry published an illustrated pamphlet of her cat poems, The Duties of a Cat. Legendary feminist Pamela Sargent called her 2009 historical novella set in ancient Greece, The Priestess and the Slave, “elegant”. www.jennyblackford.com.



Fae Visions of the Mediterranean Release and Blog Carnivale

Posted by Angie on May 3, 2016 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Fae Visions of the Mediterranean has been released today! I'm thrilled to have my story, The Return Of Melusine appear in this anthology. This volume contains stories in many languages of the Mediterranean, all rich in the folklore of this mysterious sea.

Read about the blog carnivale here!





Fae Visions of the Mediterranean - a Reflection on Mermaids

Posted by Angie on April 27, 2016 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (1)


Fae Visions of the Mediterranean, edited by Valeria Vitale and Djibril al-Ayad and published by The Future Fire  is an anthology centred around the sea myths and folklore of the Mediterranean. Being a first generation Australian and my parents migrating here from the Mediterranean as adults, I was eager to see what the book would read like. Excitedly, I submitted a story, The Return of Melusine. To add to that excitement, my story of mermaids that frequent the lagoons of Venice was accepted.


When people talk about mermaids, our minds often go to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. Many don’t know of the mermaids of the Mediterranean – there are those sirens featured in Homer’s The Odyssey, there is a merman in Abdullah The Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman in the Arabian Nights, and the mermaid Partenope in the South of Italy that people leave ricotta cakes for on the shore.


Growing up in a migrant Sicilian household in Sydney, Australia, I was raised on such stories – particularly by my grandmother who was fond of telling tales. They changed each time they were told and sometimes had different endings but the mermaids and monsters were there. The sea was full of them.


We would go to bay in Brighton Le Sands in summer; it is still a popular seaside spot facing the airport and the oil refineries in Sydney and although far away from the Mediterranean, it is populated by migrants who have come from there. As a child I would immerse myself in these waters, a far cry from the Mediterranean, and imagine myself a mermaid. I would blow bubbles in the water and imagine the secret messages reaching the mermaids in caverns.


Years later I identified with mermaids for different reasons. Mermaids are symbolic for me with duality in nature, personal identity and a sense of self. I think a lot of mermaid myths deal with these themes – how much of yourself do you give in relationships? Do you deny an aspect of your authentic self in order for someone to love you? When Melusina tells her lover he is not to interrupt her when she is taking bath, she is claiming some space for her self, to authentically be. These days, when I want solitude and a sense of reclaiming self, I take a soak in the tub. There are a lot of truths in these tales of scale and skin about authenticity and personal space.


I think this is where the fascination with mermaids for us all lie. Their duality, their deep love and desire for others juxtaposed with their desire for space for self and to authentically be.


I am very excited to know that I am in an anthology centred on the sea of my origin:

Fae Visions of the Mediterranean

An Anthology of Horrors and Wonders of the Sea


2016, Futurefire.net Publishing

Edited by: Valeria Vitale and Djibril al-Ayad

Stories and Poems by: Jenny Blackford, S. Chakraborty, Rhys Hughes, Claude Lalumière, Adam Lowe, Christine Lucas, Kalina Aïch, Vladimira Becić, Kelda Crich, Álvaro Mielgo Gallego, Maria Grech Ganado, Lyndsay E. Gilbert, Hella Grichi, Louise Herring-Jones, Simon Kearns, Mari Ness, Mattia Ravasi, Angela Rega, Urša Vidic and Dawn Vogel

Translators: Arrate Hidalgo, Dunja Ševerdija

Cover art by: Tostoini

comes out on May 2nd, 2016. http://press.futurefire.net/p/fae-visions.html