Publisher’s Note: Dealing with Trauma

Yesterday was the six-month anniversary of my craniotomy to remove a grade II meningioma. That’s kind of amazing. It both doesn’t feel like that long and yet feels like an eternity ago. I’m still healing. Still figuring out the way my brain works now. Still finding workarounds to some of the maybe-permanent brain damage the tumor and surgery caused.

But I’m here. That’s huge. And I’m doing remarkably well, all things considered. So, I’m really grateful.

I was reminded of how lucky I am that all went well last week, when I discovered that two of my high school classmates have died in the past two months.

The first died of ovarian cancer. I knew her but not particularly well. But still. F@&% cancer.

The second died of a heart attack. He was a great guy. A good friend. Someone I’ve thought about reconnecting with over the years but couldn’t seem to track down. And now, it’s too late. He’s gone. At 46.

We were also dealing with trauma of a different kind last week with my daughter. She’s been through a lot the past few years. And on Thursday, she faced what is becoming all too common in our schools: a threat of physical violence, and a menacing one. A classmate wrote in her math notebook the following: “I am hunting you Nola.”

Worse still, we have no idea who did it. But the school is leaving no stone unturned to find out. They are in frequent communication with me and I with them. Her teacher is making sure she feels safe, as is the vice principle conducting the investigation. As am I. That is my job.

But, ugh. No kid needs this. And for Nola, it’s bringing back the feelings of being bullied and unsafe she experienced in second grade when a student, after bullying her for most of the year, threated to stalk her and made a throat-slitting motion. At that point I gave the school no choice but to move her to a different classroom immediately.

Now, Nola stands up to bullies. She’ll fearlessly defend her fellow students in a heartbeat, even if she doesn’t particularly like the person being bullied. This kind of behavior is unacceptable to her (as it should be to everyone), and she won’t tolerate it. But she’s still 9. And she’s still human. No matter how strong we are, it’s hard. And it’s traumatic.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we deal with trauma for all of these reasons. And I keep thinking about a book by Kristine Kathryn Rusch I published years ago called Bleed Through.

We kept putting off the release of this fantastic book, which addresses the traumatic aftermath of a school shooting, because every time we were set to release it, another school shooting would make the news. Eventually, we decided that our only option was to do a silent release. Just publish it. No advertising. No big marketing push. Just get it out there and hope people find it on their own.

Kris and I both feel awkward about promoting it even now. Which is a shame considering what a compelling novel it is. Really, it’s a story about healing. And I fervently hope that someday, we don’t live in a world where school violence happens with such frequency that I have to worry about releasing a book that deals with it.

If you would like to read more about Bleed Through, click here.

In the meantime, reach out to people you’ve been meaning to connect with. Hug your kids. Tell your spouse how much you appreciate them.

As a close friend of mine (who also had brain surgery within the last year at the same hospital) reminds me often: YOLO. You only live once.

And taking that to heart, I promise that next week’s Publisher’s Note will be of a much cheerier nature.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: A Busy Week

Last week was a crazy one around here. Release weeks—The Renegat is out in all forms but audiobook, which I have no control over—are always busy, but we have a lot more irons in the fire right now, including one major project that I’m working hard on but can’t announce just yet. Stay tuned for that.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch started teaching her Romance Craft Workshop in Las Vegas, which wraps up this week. For those interested in attending one of the 2020 writing workshops Kris does, click here. And don’t forget about the study-along option for those who would rather learn from the comfort of their own homes.

Speaking of 2020 workshops, Dean Wesley Smith has opened up registration for the 2020 Business Master Class, again held in Las Vegas. You can read more about that here.

And on a personal front, I was installed last week as president of the Kiwanis Club of Lincoln City, a position that I wasn’t sure I’d still be able to fill after my surgery this spring. But thanks to my amazing husband and a very supportive community, I felt able to take on the position. And as a special bonus, it was my husband (in one of his last acts as Lieutenant Governor for our district) who installed me. He is a past president of the club, and we now have matching gavels. (I’m not sure they thought through the whole arming a Jersey Girl with a wooden mallet thing, but tradition, I guess. <grin>)

But I also made a discovery last week that put a damper on all the excitement. The incredibly talented Flora Plumb, who has narrated many audiobooks for us, died last July. I knew she had been undergoing cancer treatment, but her last email to me was optimistic and celebratory about a new stage role. After that email, I was both dealing with my own declining health and hopeful that no news was good news. Unfortunately, it was not.

Flora was not only talented, but a dream to work with. Kind, sweet, and consummately professional, I would have offered her any audio project she wanted. In fact, we held off on doing Protectors by Kris Nelscott in audiobook to work with Flora. She read the book and loved it, but was in the middle of treatment when we released the book in September 2017.

Her voice graces 20 WMG projects, including many of Dean Wesley Smith’s Thunder Mountain series novels (Thunder Mountain through Grapevine Springs) and some of the Seeders novels (Against Time and Sector Justice), some of the Diving series books (The Application of Hope, Becalmed, The Falls, and The Spires of Denon), as well as standalone projects including The Devin’s Churn, The Death of Davy Moss, Bleed Through, and The End of the World.

You can read a short obituary here.

I’m glad, at least, that her talents can continue to be appreciated in her work, and I am honored to have known her.

She will be missed by many, me included.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Really Feeling the Love!

This week, I’m reflecting a lot on the love and support we’ve received this year through the amazingly successful Kickstarters we’ve conducted. Not only for our Pulphouse Fiction Magazine Subscription Drive, which just ended with a whopping 387 backers pledging $31,074 (thank you, thank you, thank you!), but also The Diving Universe Kickstarter, which sees more fulfillment of rewards shipping out soon and the wide release of The Renegat in ebook, trade paperback, audiobook AND hardcover tomorrow, September 17!

Now, I must admit: The Renegat—because of its length—proved a challenge I had not before faced. I wrote a lot about the challenges the trade paperback, in particular, posed in my August 5 Publisher’s Note, which you can read here.

But The Renegat, the latest novel in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s award-winning Diving series—also provided us with a fantastic opportunity. Through the incredible support of fans and other supporters on Kickstarter, 606 backers pledged $22,299 to allow us to run all of the Diving series books into hardcover. The first one to release is The Renegat: A Diving Universe Novel. The rest of the Diving series hardcovers will be completed later this year.

So, tomorrow marks a first for us. The simultaneous release of a WMG book in ebook, audiobook, trade paperback AND hardcover.

So, if you missed all the previous talk about this new book, here’s the synopsis of The Renegat:

As a young recruit, brilliant engineer Nadim Crowe accidentally destroys an entire Scrapheap full of ships. Now, decades later, he ends up on the crew of the Renegat, the only ship in the Fleet ever sent on a mission backwards to investigate an ancient Scrapheap.

Something invaded that Scrapheap and the Fleet wants to know what. Or who.

The Renegat: The only ship the Fleet dares risk. The Renegat: A ship of misfits and screw-ups sent on an impossible mission. All alone in deep space.

A thrilling new addition to the Diving Universe.

You can find all available versions of The Renegat here.

And if you want to get a free sample of what to expect in The Renegat, click here to read Kris’ Free Fiction Monday offering this week: “Joyride,” which was a finalist for the 2018 Asimov’s Readers Choice Award for best novella and appears in a slightly different form in the novel.

So, what are you waiting for? Dive in!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Last Chance to Get Great Rewards from the Pulphouse Subscription Drive on Kickstarter!

Our Pulphouse Fiction Magazine Subscription Drive on Kickstarter is going amazingly well thanks to fans both new and long-established. We are so very grateful for your support!

If you have been meaning to check it out but haven’t yet (and believe me, I get it; so much to do, so little time…), now is your last chance. The Kickstarter ends Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 3:38 p.m. PDT.

As of this morning, we’ve already hit four stretch goals, which means supporters at the $5 level and higher get the following great rewards (in addition to their initial pledges):

  • one additional electronic copy of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine
  • ebook copy of Aliens Among Us: At Least in the Pages of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine
  • ebook copy of That’s Really Messed Up: Stories from Pulphouse Fiction Magazine
  • your choice of any lecture WMG Publishing does for writers ($50 value)
  • ebook copy of A Twist of the Knife: Mystery Stories from Pulphouse Fiction Magazine
  • your choice of any Classic Workshop WMG Publishing offers ($150 value)
  • ebook copy of Best of Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine
  • ebook copy of Best of Pulphouse: The Fiction Magazine
  • The First Myth Lecture Bundle: Creations ($200 value) 

As you can see, your pledge gets you A LOT of great stuff. And the higher the Kickstarter goes, the more rewards you can rack up.

Surely, that’s at least worth a look. Check out the Kickstarter here.

And if you’ve already supported the Kickstarter, be sure to check out all the fun stuff you’ll be getting once the Pulphouse Fiction Magazine Subscription Drive ends on Wednesday.

Again, thank you all. We couldn’t do this without you!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Free Story for your Labor Day!

Did you know that Oregon was the first state in the US to enact an official recognition of Labor Day as a holiday? Neither did I until I looked it up. The State of Oregon passed the legislation on February 21, 1887. Four more states followed that same year. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894. Its intent is to honor the achievements and contributions of American workers. You can read all about the history of this holiday here.

WMG Publishing gives its employees today off—which is why I wrote this blog last week. I am enjoying today with my family on my daughter’s last day before school starts. We will, I’m sure, be helping keep the US economy strong by doing some back-to-school shopping.

For many Americans, especially those with kids and those who live in tourist towns, Labor Day also marks the final weekend of summer. Ironic, because most folks in the tourist industry find themselves working on Labor Day…

So, with both American workers and tourist towns in mind, I’m offering you the following story free this week. It’s Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “Incident at Lonely Rocks,” which is part of her Seavy County world, and it’s an eerily perfect accompaniment to this blog.

Here’s the synopsis:

Oscar cleans portable toilets for a living. He loves the job—it takes him to beautiful isolated places, like the Lonely Rocks Wayside on the Oregon Coast. Nothing really grosses him out either—until he discovers the body, slashed to death, with a knife still in the chest.

Then he sees a break in the guard rail above the ocean, a second car, a ruined bicycle, and Oscar realizes his troubles have just begun.

You can read that story by clicking here. And if you enjoy that one, you can find more great stories set in Kris’s Seavy County world by clicking here.

And if you want even more reading, don’t forget about the Racing the Clock Storybundle, which ends this week, and our Pulphouse Fiction Magazine Kickstarter subscription drive, which ends next week. Click here for the former and here for the latter.

Happy Labor Day!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Pulphouse Subscription Drive Launches on Kickstarter!

Two years ago, WMG Publishing decide to bring back a publication dormant for more than twenty years: The three-time Hugo Award-nominated Pulphouse Fiction Magazine.  And now, it’s time for our first subscription drive after two years of publishing success with the magazine. And like all our subscription drives, we’re doing this one on Kickstarter. But more about that in a minute.

First, a bit about the role Pulphouse Fiction Magazine plays in our product offerings.

Pulphouse adds a different flavor to our magazine line.

Fiction River is purely original short fiction and varies in tone by the editor of each volume, but its voice is influenced by the collaborative oversight of series editors Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.

Fiction River Presents is the reprint line for Fiction River for which I act as series editor, and is sourced primarily from Fiction River volumes (with an occasional grab from the WMG inventory). This past year has also seen volumes edited by Kris and by associate publisher Gwyneth Gibby.

And although other people have a hand in the creation of Pulphouse Fiction Magazine (including managing editor Josh Frase and Kris as executive editor), Pulphouse always has been and always will be Dean’s brainchild.

Dean edits Pulphouse Fiction Magazine for WMG, just like he did two decades ago for Pulphouse. It always has been about pure attitude. The cutting edge of modern fiction. If you’ve read the original version or the modern reincarnation of the magazine, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you’re in for a ride.

Here’s an excerpt of what Dean has to say about the magazine from the Kickstarter page:

In our first two years of this new incarnation, we hit our quarterly schedule on time and with larger issues than planned. We also put out three Pulphouse books as we had promised in our first Kickstarter drive. 

So eight issues and three books. A total success in our first two years.

Shocking! Amazing! And a great deal of fun! 

But we’re not done. Not by a long ways. Now we need your help going forward. We hope you will not only renew your subscription, but take us up on some of the wonderful rewards and add-ons we have available. Everything helps us keep the high-quality fiction going for the next two years.

And we will have some really spectacular new books and stretch goals if we can get to them.

Pulphouse Fiction Magazine is back, growing and stronger than ever. And with your help, we’ll keep growing for years to come.

Click here to go straight to the Kickstarter campaign.

If you supported the original Kickstarter we did to relaunch the magazine (thank you!!!), your subscription likely needs to be renewed, and we have all sorts of awesome rewards to choose from. If you missed that one, now is a great time to join us for this wild ride.

If you want to take a look at what we’ve been up to the past two years, click here. You’ll also find buy links for all of the past volumes if you want to catch up on what you’ve missed.

Thank to you all our current and future Pulphouse supporters. We couldn’t do this without you!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.