Thursday, October 27, 2011

MGOC Blog Hop with Jeremy Bates for Halloween

Many Genres will be participating with other bloggers this Halloween weekend for Jeremy Bates' Halloween Hop!

We'll be giving away one signed, hardcover copy of our writing guide Many Genres, One Craft (US only)!

Just leave a comment here and Tweet:

Check out Many Genres by @MikeArnzen and @heidirubymiller -

Or post the same to your Facebook page, but provide the link in your comment here so we can find you!

Happy Halloween!!

posted by heidi

Monday, October 24, 2011

MGOC Events: Morgantown Poets Feature Timons Esaias

Scott Emerson and Timons Esaias

The Morgantown Poets hosted Many Genres contributor Timons Esaias for an evening of readings and discussions at the Monongalia Arts Center in Morgantown, WV.

Many thanks to Scott Emerson for arranging this fun evening, and to all of the Morgantown Poets for not only hosting, but also for sharing their incredible work.

posted by heidi

Friday, October 21, 2011

MGOC Contributor: Victoria Thompson


EXCERPT from "Ruining Everything: Tips for Plotting a Mystery" by Victoria Thompson in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

Plotting your first mystery can seem like an overwhelming prospect. Keeping suspects and clues and red herrings straight is like juggling squirrels. Here is a strategy to help you get all your suspects and clues to line up neatly and perform for you. It won’t give you a great idea, but it will help you turn that great idea into a viable mystery.

First thing you need to do is create your “Mystery Eternal Triangle,” which is different from the romantic one. This triangle consists of the victim, the killer and the sleuth. You can start with any of them, but for this exercise, let’s start with the victim.


Victoria Thompson writes the Edgar-nominated Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt and detective Frank Malloy. Her latest book in the series is Murder on Lexington Avenue. She is also the author of 20 historical romances. A popular speaker, Victoria has taught at Penn State University and currently teaches in the Seton Hill University master’s program in writing popular fiction. She is online at

MGOC Contributor News: Mary SanGiovanni's For Emmy

Many Genres, One Craft contributor Mary SanGiovanni has a new novella out--For Emmy, published by Thunderstorm Books.

Sometimes no matter how vigilant you are, you can't keep loved ones save.

Dana McCluskey and her father know very well that there can be dangers around every corner. They wanted to keep Emmy safe.

But it is impossible to see some dangers coming. And there are those corners that you'd never see, out-of-the-way places just beyond our grasp where loved ones can get very lost — and the danger there is very real indeed.

posted by heidi

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MGOC Contributor: Russ Howe


EXCERPT from "Sex, Death, and Chocolate in the Middle Ages: Adding Realism to Your Fantasy" by Russ Howe in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

The Middle Ages have captured the imagination of modern writers and readers more than any other historical period. Just walk through the fiction section of any bookstore and you’ll see evidence of medieval influence—either thrust boldly into your face or working its magic in a more subtle fashion. The fantasy genre owes approximately 90% of its genetic heritage to the tropes, myths, and technology of the European Middle Ages. A turn down the romance aisle will offer you covers filled with fine maidens being wooed by brave knights (or knaves?) because physical attraction and sex haven’t changed much in five hundred years. In the field of mystery, an entire subgenre of medieval whodunits thrives. Even in modern thrillers, a crowded corner of the genre is filled with mysterious Templars and other shadowy enigmas of the period.

The challenge for genre fiction writers is two-fold. First, to understand why this period resonates so well with the modern reader (or perhaps, more importantly, the acquiring editor). Second, to master the period and its constituent elements to allow the reader to taste, smell, and feel the essence of this compelling period in European history.


Russ Howe is a Canadian barrister and a partner at the law firm of Boland Howe. He is the past president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, a member of the Advocates Society, and the Law Society of Upper Canada. Russ has a specialist degree in History from the University of Toronto. He has tested for and attained the rank of Scholar at the Academy of European Martial Arts where he both trains in and teaches multiple forms of medieval combat techniques. Russ is also a member of the Canadian Heraldry Society.

Monday, October 17, 2011

MGOC Events: Western Maryland Small and Regional Press Festival 2011

Here are some wonderful photos from the 2011 Western Maryland Small and Regional Press Festival, sponsored by Frostburg State University. Photos were taken by Michael A. Arznen.

Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller

Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, and Cynthia McCloud of Headline Books, Inc.

Jason Jack Miller with The Devil and Preston Black

Gerry LaFemina and John Edward Lawson

Courtney Ruffner

Cynthia McCloud of Headline Books, Inc.

Heidi Ruby Miller

John Lawson and Jennifer Barnes of Raw Dog Screaming Press

Jason Jack Miller

Heidi Ruby Miller, Michael A. Arnzen, and Courtney Ruffner

John Lawson and Jennifer Barnes of Raw Dog Screaming Press

Heidi Ruby Miller and Jason Jack Miller

Eric Beebe and Andy Duncan

MGOC Contributor: Rachael Pruitt

Rachael Pruitt

EXCERPT from "To Dream a Dragon" by Rachael Pruitt in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

Write what you love. Write what you know. Good advice, right? But for a novice writer who spent her childhood swinging on vines pretending to be Robin Hood, these two tidbits of wisdom set up a frustrating contradiction.

What I loved was historical fantasy, the action-packed kingdom of myth. What I knew was growing up female in a small town in Pennsylvania. Quite a distance to travel as a budding author! So when my first Master’s thesis advisor, Barbara Miller, asked what my novel would be about, I was horrified to hear myself speak honestly and tell her my secret heart's desire: "Gwynhyfar. I want to write a version of the Arthurian legend."

I will be eternally grateful to Barbara for not snorting, "You've got to be kidding!"


Rachael Pruitt is a writer, storyteller, and teacher with a lifelong fascination for Celtic mythology and the Arthurian legend. Her Arthurian poetry has been published in Paradox magazine (2008 and 2009) and she has just completed her first Arthurian novel, The Dragon's Harp, a retelling of Gwynhyfar's coming-of-age. Currently an English as a Second Language teacher, Rachael has also published nonfiction articles detailing "Myths for Our Time", a personal mythology process she developed while an Artist in Residence in the Pacific Northwest.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Many Genres at Western Maryland Small Press Festival 2011

This Saturday, October 15, 2011, contributors to Many Genres, One Craft (Michael A. Arnzen, Heidi Ruby Miller, and Jason Jack Miller) will be guests at the Western Maryland Small Press Festival, sponsored by Frostburg University.

Here are their schedules:

Publishing Basics - 11:30 AM
Michael A. Arnzen, Donna Long, and Heidi Ruby Miller

Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror - 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM
Michael A. Arnzen, Eric Beebe, Jessica McHugh, and Jason Jack Miller

Self Promotion 101 - 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM
Heidi Ruby Miller and John Edward Lawson

DIY & Self Publishing - 2:00 PM to 2:45 PM
Heidi Ruby Miller, Bill Olver, and Alan C Reese

Writing Local - 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM
Jeff Grieneisen and Jason Jack Miller

Thursday, October 13, 2011

MGOC Contributor: Christopher Paul Carey


EXCERPT from "The Brass Tacks of Steampunk" by Christopher Paul Carey in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

The resurgence of steampunk has left writers scrambling to don brass goggles and set off into the heavens in steam-powered dirigibles. But before tripping blindly over the first clockwork cliché that comes to mind, novices to the genre would do well to survey its founding works and influences:

The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
The invention of a mechanical computer takes Victorian London by storm.

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
Professor Brendan Doyle travels from 1983 to 1810, where he runs afoul of a secret society whose failed attempt to oust the British from Egypt has unlocked the time-gates.


Christopher Paul Carey holds an M.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. He is the co-author with Philip José Farmer of The Song of Kwasin, the final novel in the Khokarsa trilogy, the author of short stories and essays in various anthologies, and the editor of three fiction collections. Chris lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Laura, where he works as an editor at Paizo Publishing. Visit his website and blog at

MGOC Contributor News: Heidi Ruby Miller in Twisted Tales in 66 Words

Many Genres One Craft editor and contributor Heidi Ruby Miller's flash fiction story "Page Thirty Three" is part of the new dark fiction anthology Twisted Tales in 66 Words, edited by Kimberly Raiser.

Award winning authors.... Stories to break your mind.

Within these pages you will find the things that not only go bump in the night, but bring fear to the things that do the bumping. Discover your new favorite authors and let your mind wander and wonder how 66 simple words put together in the optimum use of fright can have such an impact on your slumber. Join us....

posted by heidi

Thursday, October 6, 2011

MGOC Contributor: K. Ceres Wright


EXCERPT from "Cyberpunk Remastered: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Postmodernism" by K. Ceres Wright in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

Change Is Good, No?

Many stories of the Golden Age of Science Fiction (GA) promised utopia—gleaming futures with flying cars, pristine cities, and Three-Lawed robots. Characters flew off to work with personal jet packs, enjoyed disease-free lives, and took nourishment from meals-in-a-pill. GA writings were mainly consigned to pulp magazines, kept safely away from "serious literature," and made to languish in the science fiction ghetto. Then rebellion hit, in a movement called the New Wave. New Wave science fiction writers mocked the GA tropes and experimented with taboo subjects such as sex, politics, the distrust of man’s superior intellect and the decline of society. They also brought science fiction into the literary mainstream with an attention to style not witnessed in the pulps, and a focus on inner man, not outer space. This New Wave rode the trend of postmodernism, which challenged and rejected the mores and principles of established culture. However, as the New Wave genre was subsumed into the mainstream, the rebellion lost steam. But as rebellions are wont to do, this one did not disappear, it merely changed form. Enter cyberpunk.


K. Ceres Wright is a writer and editor for a management consulting firm. Her story, "The Haunting of M117," appears in Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction, Book 1. Her poem, Doomed, was nominated for a Rhysling award. She lives in Maryland with her son, Ian, and daughter, Chloe.

MGOC Contributor News: Christopher Paul Carey in The Avenger: Justice Inc. Files

Many Genres, One Craft contributor Christopher Paul Carey's short story "Devil's Dark Harvest" is in The Avenger: Justice Inc. Files

From the flames of tragedy, a hero rises! In the roaring heart of the crucible, steel is made. In the raging flame of personal tragedy, men are sometimes forged into something more than human. Life was bliss for millionaire adventurer Richard Henry Benson until the fateful day crime and greed took away his wife and daughter and turned him into something more than human. Driven by loss, compelled by grief, The Avenger is a chilled impersonal force of justice, more machine than man, dedicated to the destruction of evildoers everywhere. This collection features new prose stories of The Avenger by such luminaries as Will Murray, Christopher Paul Carey, Robin W. Bailey, Matthew Baugh, Joe Gentile, Paul Kupperberg, Howard Hopkins, Mark Ellis, Ron Fortier, and David Michelinie.

posted by heidi

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

MGOC Contributor: Albert Wendland


EXCERPT from "Description on the Edge: The Sublime in Science Fiction" by Albert Wendland in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction

Description in science fiction does not describe as much as create. All description does this to a certain extent, encouraging--intentionally or not—a reader’s creative interaction that makes a place or object "one’s own." This identification with, participation in, and ownership of characters or settings is crucial for reader enjoyment, and for selling the book. "I felt I was there" and "It seemed so real" are phrases spoken by satisfied buyers. In mainstream prose, or in genres focused on contemporary settings, identification can happen easily because of the usual familiarity of place. But for SF’s unreal locations, unknown planets, interstellar vistas postulated from scientific parameters, or "worlds beyond space and time," reader participation can be more challenging. So the test of much SF description is not in the accuracy of reproduction, which often can’t be measured, but in how far the reader can be led to half create and then to enter imaginary realms.


Dr. Albert Wendland grew up in the Pittsburgh area, attending both Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. At CMU, he majored in physics with the intention of going on into astronomy and writing science fiction in his off-time. He soon pursued a Ph.D. in English literature instead and has been teaching at Seton Hill ever since. Al is now the director of the Writing Popular Fiction MFA Program. His publications range from magazine and journal articles to poetry and short stories, as well as the non-fiction book Science, Myth, and the Fictional Creation of Alien Worlds published by UMI Research Press. He currently has a Science Fiction novel he’s shopping around.

Many Genres One Craft Virtual Book Tour (VBT) - September

Our recent VBT stops for Many Genres, One Craft are:

Stop: Born to Write
Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction! Alexa Grave reviews books, comments on the craft of writing, and talks about her own journey as a writer.
Host: Alexa Grave
Alexa Grave is a fantasy writer trying to break into the cut-throat market. She has a Master of Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. And please, at least pretend you think some of the stuff she says in her blog is funny - it makes her feel a little less like a dork.
Event: Lee Allen Howard - Horror and Sci-Fi
MGOC Series on Fantasy (and Science Fiction)- Heidi Ruby Miller
MGOC Series on Fantasy (and Science Fiction) - K. Ceres Wright
MGOC Series on Fantasy - Mike Mehalek
MGOC Series on Fantasy - Chun Lee
MGOC Series on Fantasy - David J. Corwell
Contributor: Lee Allen Howard
Heidi Ruby Miller
K. Ceres Wright
Mike Mehalek
Chun Lee
David J. Corwell

Stop: Gorelets
Michael Arnzen's weblog and Bram Stoker award-winning newsletter features a department of weird, sick and crazy "prompts" (a.k.a. "story starters") for creative writers working on the dark side.
Host: Michael A. Arnzen
Our co-editor of Many Genres One Craft teaches in the Writing Popular Fiction MFA program at Seton Hill University. He holds four Bram Stoker Awards for his often funny, always disturbing horror fiction. Visit him at to find out more.
Event: Dark Promptings - Matt Duvall
Dark Promptings - Lee Allen Howard
Dark Promptings - Natalie Duvall
Dark Promptings - Michael Bracken
Dark Promptings - Sally Bosco
Dark Promptings - Mary SanGiovanni
Dark Promptings - Jason Jack Miller
Matt Duvall
Lee Allen Howard
Natalie Duvall
Michael Bracken
Sally Bosco
Mary SanGiovanni
Jason Jack Miller

Stop: Heidi Ruby Miller
Read author interviews and thoughts about the blended genre of Science Fiction Romance at Heidi Ruby Miller's blog.
Host: Heidi Ruby Miller
Heidi Ruby Miller writes stories where the relationship is as important as the adventure, just like in her debut SF Romance novel AMBASADORA. She is co-editor of MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT.
Event: HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Mike Mehalek
HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Elaine Ervin
HEDI'S PICK SIX: John DeChancie
Contributors:Mike Mehalek
Russ Howe
Elaine Ervin
John DeChancie
Kaye Dacus

Stop: Join Me in the Madhouse
Horror Poet, Abstract Artist and aspiring author / Huge movie addict and paranormal junkie
Host: Stephanie Wytovich
Stephanie has had numerous poems, short stories, and artwork published.numerous
Event: Review Part 1
Review Part 2
Review Part 3
Review Part 4

Stop: Kate N. Ryan, Romance AuthorWatching You Sleep--Comic book store-owner Abigail “Abby” Kirkman believes her life complete. She runs a successful business, has a fantastic studio apartment above her store, and lives in a picturesque sea-side town. Life is perfect unless you count the insomnia, and the fact that her last boyfriend dumped her to take a promotion in another city. So a few little bumps, but nothing she can’t handle.
Host: Kate N. Ryan
Kate and Ryan are living their own happily ever after in Western Washington with their son on a small acreage, combining geek enthusiasm with modern homesteading.
Event: They Call Me a Romance Writer: Adina Senft
They Call Me a Romance Writer: Crystal B. Bright
They Call Me a Romance Writer: Dana Marton
Contributors: Adina Senft
Crystal B. Bright
Dana Marton

Stop: The Non-Reader Horror Survey
The Non-Horror Reader Survey is a site meant to help change the image of Horror literature. It is a place for Horror writers to see how those outside their fan base perceive the genre and a place where they can help set the record straight.
Host: W. D. Prescott
W. D. Prescott has a B.A. in Creative Writing and Musical Theory and Composition from Bard College at Simon’s Rock College and a M. A. in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Writer of just about anything, from stories in Tainted Tales of Terror and the Supernatural to his humorous site Eldritch Thoughts to columns on writing Horror for Sonar 4 Ezine. He also runs The Non-Horror Reader Survey.W.D. Prescott
Event: Bountiful Bits with Lee Allen Howard
Dead Bits with Tennessee Hicks
Memorable Bits with Michael Bracken
Ecto Bits with Scott A. Johnson
Sketchy Bits with Sally Bosco
Contributors: Lee Allen Howard
Tennessee Hicks
Michael Bracken
Scott A. Johnson
Sally Bosco