The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Category: News (page 2 of 3)

Q&A With Megan O’Russell

The Furious Gazelle spoke with author Megan O’Russell about her recent novel, The Tethering, and her upcoming short story in Athena’s Daughter’s II, and what makes her furious.

 

Q: The Tethering is your first novel. Where did the inspiration to write it come from, and what was the process of writing it like?

The TetheringThe process for writing The Tethering was a little strange and not something I would necessarily repeat. The idea for The Tethering came from a little boy waiting in a window for a girl to come back. I don’t really remember why that image came to me, but I needed to find out more about the boy. I wrote a scene and then another scene, and after a lot of revisions and changes, The Tethering was born. In projects since The Tethering, I’ve kept much closer track of what I’ve written so I don’t rewrite the same information ten times. I’m still finding the process that works best for me.

 

Q: Your upcoming short story in Athena’s Daughter’s II is based on the world of the Tethering. What were some of the challenges you faced creating a new story in the same world? Do you have plans to return to the Tethering world again?

My story in Athena’s Daughters 2, “At the Corner of the Garden Wall,” actually takes place during The Tethering. And if you read both stories, it is easy to see where the two line up. Claire, the girl featured in “At the Corner of the Garden Wall,” is a secondary character in The Tethering, but I have been told many times that everyone wants to know more about her. This story is Claire’s chance to have an adventure all her own. The biggest challenge was deciding what parts of the world of The Tethering were really necessary for the short story. If I had tried to explain everything about how magic works in “At the Corner of the Garden Wall,” I wouldn’t have had room for the actual story. I also had to refrain from getting too in depth with the setting. I know who lives where in the house, but the readers don’t need that information. So it all had to be cut.

And as for returning to The Tethering, book two in the four part series, The Siren’s Realm, will be available for preorder in February, so I am very much still in the world of The Tethering.

Q: How do you approach world building? When you started writing The Tethering, how much of the world did you plan out before you started writing?

I knew what I wanted. I wanted wizards to mix with our world. I didn’t want them to be separated from us. I wanted readers to believe that the sewer grate at the end of the street might be exploding because of magic. Figuring out the how and the why of it all was one of my greatest joys in writing the series.

Q: Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote? What was it about and when did you write it?

I wrote a middle grade fantasy novel when I was in high school. I’m an actor by trade, and I wrote the story backstage during King Lear. I think writing and acting really go hand in hand. They are both wonderful forms of storytelling. And I am so grateful to have the opportunity to follow both passions.

Q: What are some of the books that you read growing up? How do you think they influenced your later writing, if they did?

I was such an avid reader my parents had to use both of their library cards so I could have enough books to only go to the library once a week. One of my favorite authors was Madeline L’Engle. I think from her writing I not only took away a sense of wonder, but also the desire to let my characters be who they need to be, even if I have to write another story for them to have that opportunity.

Q: What makes you furious about the lack of female science-fiction and fantasy authors published? How do you think we can increase representation of women in sci-fi and fantasy?

When I was looking for a home for The Tethering, the publisher I worked with briefly before Silence in the Library didn’t understand that the story was about more than romance. All they could see was the boy and the girl. The magic meant nothing to them. I was lucky enough to have a supportive editor who didn’t try to make me cut all the fantasy elements from The Tethering, but it was still rough. Because I am a woman, and there was love in my book, all it was to them was a romance. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean all I can write is teenage angst. And just because a boy loves a girl doesn’t mean there isn’t more to the story.

I am so grateful I found Silence in the Library and a true home for The Tethering. I am also thrilled to be a part of a project that strives to give more women a voice in fantasy and science-fiction. I think the best thing we can do to increase representation of women in sci-fi and fantasy is to support more projects like Athena’s Daughters 2. The only way for women to find their voice is to be given the chance to speak.

 

Megan O’Russell is thrilled to be publishing At the Corner of the Garden Wall with Silence in the Library. At the Corner of the Garden Wall is a part of The Tethering series, book one of which is currently available from SitL. And if you read The Tethering closely, you’ll find the night on which the adventure in the garden happens. Originally from New York, Megan is a professional actress who spends her time traveling the country for different shows. When not on stage or writing, Megan spends time with her beloved ukulele and her wonderful husband. To follow Megan’s writing adventures, you can visit her website at meganorussell.com.

Add The Tethering to your Goodreads list at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21480311-the-tethering

Athena’s Daughters II is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

Follow Megan O’Russell on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ORussellauthor or on Twitter @MeganORussell

Halloween Contest Winner!!!

Hello all,

Happy Day of the Dead. On an unrelated note, since it’s not the same holiday, we would like to announce our Halloween contest winner. We loved all our finalists for the Halloween contest and this was a very hard decision to make. But we made it. Because we had so many great submissions, we have decided that in addition to our first prize, which is a book and a $25 gift card, we will also be awarding the first runner up a book in the genre of their choosing.

The second runner up is: Mureall Hébert for her flash pieces “The Side of the Road” and “Why I Had to Bite You” Congratulations Mureall, you’ve won a book in the genre of your choice!

The first runner up is: J. J. Steinfeld for “The Nefarious: A Tale of a Notorious Halloween Dance”

Congratulations J.J., you also get a book in the genre of your choice!

Our first place winner of the book and $25 gift card is Michael Puican for his poem “Halloween”

Congratulations everyone and good job to all of our finalists.

The best things HONY’s Brandon Stanton said at Comic Con

On Sunday, at a Comic Con panel dedicated to his upcoming book Little Humans, Brandon Stanton of the wildly popular Humans of New York (HONY) blog shared what he thought brought his success.

hony

Stanton, like many of the people who are featured on and follow this site, is a storyteller.

If you don’t know HONY the site is part photography blog and part photojournalism without specifically being either. Stanton will find random people on the street, whoever catches his eye and asks to take their photo. Stanton pairs his photos with stories from the subjects which can be one sentence answers to questions, paragraph long stories describing their best or worst moments, to something interesting they did that day. The end result is special- it’s not your normal street photography.

I can’t really categorize his work and that’s what he was going for:

  1. “it is more important to be different than it is to be good.”

From his untrained and completely self-taught photo techniques Stanton grew to be an internet sensation with over 10 million fans and just completing a UN sponsored tour.

What he offers is a view of the world we haven’t seen before- or at least- not the way he does.

  1. “You have to be consistent even when you know no one is paying attention.”

This is one of the most difficult things to do. But this is also the truest advice. You need to write, make art, and practice your craft every damn day. Even if you know no one is taking notice, you need to do it for yourself because:

  1. “the lion’s share of the effort comes before you have your first true fan”

To get to that one fan, the one who found you and likes your work because of what it is- not because they’re a friend of a friend or family member- you have to always have something to show. You have to keep promoting yourself and you have to be present- which isn’t too hard in today’s social media world.

But, as Stanton says, the internet and prevalence of social media is a “double-edged sword.”

  1. “Everyone is vying to be heard.”

Which is why you have to be the most unique, the most disciplined, and the most confident. Even if you didn’t produce your best work today, you will keep working until you do.

Write everyday even if it’s crap- put something out there. Because, you need to know how to make mistakes and learn from them.

  1. “Formal education is dangerous, school teaches you how to do something right. If you wanna make something cool you need to learn to make mistakes.”

That one kind of speaks for itself.

CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT

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Dear readers,

While it is still September, supermarkets already have their Halloween sections out and my candies look like eyeballs. THEREFORE Halloween contests are upon us and it is time for you to make us cry tears of terror. Send us something haunting, grotesque, pumpkin themed, etc. and you could win a book in the genre of your choosing as well as a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card. The top contenders will all be published on our site. Only one gets the coveted book and gift card.

Acceptable forms of writing for this contest are the same as our regular submission guidelines which are here: http://thefuriousgazelle.com/faq/ . The only rule is that this is a Halloween contest so your piece(s) should reflect that in whatever way you deem Halloween-ish.

That’s right piece(s)! We will take up to five submissions from each contestant. Please send your submissions with Halloween Contest Submission in the subject line of your email. The Deadline is Friday October 24, 2014.

BOO!

-The Furious Gazelle Editors

“Forever Now and All I Might Have” and “In Paris” from “Love Poems” by Charles Bane, Jr

The Furious Gazelle is continuing to serialize poems from Charles Bane, Jr.’s book Love Poems. Last week’s poem can be found here.

Forever Now And All I Might Have

Forever now and all I might have   been. I have never loved like 
this. Never everything. Never from  town to town, or where I lay asleep;  
or my hand straight and deer watching  
as they take, hollowed before dark  
and venturing to where day breaks.

Continue reading

Things That Make Us Furious – Open Call for Submissions

By The Furious Gazelle editors

 

Life can be annoying. Infuriating, even. There’s a reason we call ourselves The Furious Gazelle. We have a new column, called Things That Make Us Furious, dedicated to highlighting the annoyance, pitfalls, and humor of existence. And we want you to contribute.

You may have already seen how Times Square makes e. kirshe “a thing of fury, loathing all,” or from Tess Tabak how surviving NYC publishing can make one furious. These are two examples of what we are looking for, but don’t feel limited in topic, style or format.

Submissions should be under 800 words, funny, and filled with fury. However, we’re not looking for rants — let your rage fuel your ideas, not consume them.

If you’d like to submit, or run an idea by us, e-mail us at submit@thefuriousgazelle.com. We may offer suggestions or feedback.

Things That Make Us Furious Submissions – Open Call

By The Furious Gazelle editors

 

Life can be annoying. Infuriating, even. There’s a reason we call ourselves The Furious Gazelle. We have dedicated a brand new column, called Things That Make Us Furious, to highlighting the annoyance, pitfalls, and humor of existence.

Whether it’s things happening in the real world, in the more annoying professional world, or the equally difficult to navigate writing world there are daily aggravations.

We are starting a new column on thefuriousgazelle.com called Things That Make Us Furious, and we want you to contribute.

You may have already seen from Tess Tabak how surviving NYC publishing can make one furious. This is one example of what we are looking for, but don’t feel limited in topic, style or format.

Submissions should be under 800 words, funny, and filled with fury. However, we’re not looking for rants — let your rage fuel your ideas, not consume them.

If you’d like to submit, or run an idea by us, e-mail us at submit@thefuriousgazelle.com. We may offer suggestions or feedback.

An Ode to Matzoh

Matzoh makes some people FURIOUS, but it can be an enjoyable treat! It all depends on your Passover zen. Here is an ode to matzoh from us at The Furious Gazelle.a delicious bread

Ode to Matzoh

Matzoh! Matzoh! King of Bread!

Your time to shine is here again!

Come in, bless you, we’ll toast you (let’s!)

with a glass of Manishewitz.

 

Square, uneven bumpy rows.

Perhaps you are a little dry,

But really quite better

Spread with some butter.

 

Bagels may be nice to eat

But I enjoy a simpler fare.

Screw gefilte fish and lox!

Bring in matzoh, box by box.

 

What you may lack in levity

You make up in other ways.

I think your soul is brevity.

You harken back to ancient days,

Cooked and eaten speedily.

 

Some people eating matzoh dread –

The blandness makes them ill at ease.

But friend, they cannot see you through my eyes.

So many possibilities:

 

Egg matzoh, wheat matzoh,

Matzoh in balls!

Matzoh with chocolate!

Matzoh with jam!

Matzoh with anything

(Except for ham)!

And the winner is…

The winner of The Furious Gazelle’s first ever Valentine’s/President’s Day contest goes to Susan Emshwiller, for her story “Dining Alone on Valentine’s Day.” If you haven’t read her story yet, you should do that now.

Thank you to our finalists, Jari Thymian and Jacob Shelton for their works “Swept Off My Feet” and “James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur,” respectively.

We were thrilled to read each and every submission, and look forward to planning our next contest.

Stay Furious,

the Editors

Update – Contest Finalists!

Presidents Are Fun!Hey Gazelles!

Thank you for all of your submissions to our President’s/Valentine’s Day-themed contest. George Washington would be proud if he could see your work.

We’ve been busy reading all of your entries and are glad to announce that we will be publishing three finalists this week, starting with Jacob Shelton’s “James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur.”

Stay tuned for the rest of the finalists. We will announce the winner next week.

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