Growing Up Different

My mother and me – circa 1972

Today’s publication announcement isn’t my usual crime fiction-related post. I wrote an essay about growing up biracial in conservative Orange County, California in the 70s and 80s. The Hapa Mag accepted it and it’s in Issue 10 which is out today!

It’s my first attempt at writing about how ashamed I was of my Chinese background. I wish I could go back in time and change how I thought of my dad and our heritage but I can’t. I wish I could have embraced my Chinese culture but I didn’t.

But I’m grateful that I am finally able to celebrate it. I want to learn about my Chinese roots as much as I can, while I can. My dad and I have become much closer over the years and I’m extremely blessed that our relationship has strengthened and grown.

In Taiwan circa mid-70s

Left Coast Crime Announcements

I’m on a panel! It’s called The Novella and the Short of It: Talking Short Stories and Novellas. I think it’s a safe bet that I’ll be talking about Cleaning Up Finn. And probably the short stories that I have coming out this year.

Here’s the info!

Thursday, March 12, 2020 (3:30pm – 4:45pm)

Room: Sierra 5-6

The Novella and the Short of It: Talking short stories and novellas
Judy Penz Sheluk (M)
Sarah M. Chen
RK Olson
Renee Asher Pickup
James Lincoln Warren

And I’m also part of an Author / Reader Connection. It’s a great way to get to know other writers and readers at LCC. I’ll be co-hosting again this year with Travis Richardson and Stephen Buehler. We’ll be discussing writer groups and short stories. And everyone who hangs out with us gets a free book and a free drink. And hopefully some good advice from us!

I’ll have more LCC announcements as we lead up to the conference which is at the San Diego Marriott in Mission Valley. Can’t believe it’s in a little over a month. My first conference in two years so I’m excited!

The Faking of the President Review from Publishers Weekly

The upcoming anthology I’m in just received its first review and it’s a good one from Publishers Weekly! Woot!

Check it out here: Publishers Weekly review

For more information about the book, here’s Three Rooms Press editor and publisher, Peter Carlaftes, talking about the inspiration behind The Faking of the President and the process of putting this White House noir collection together: Inspiring Change Through Noir Fiction

I’m so excited to be a part of this unique collection! It includes my dystopian story “In Mother We Trust” set in the not-too-distant future of the 2024 election.

Preorder now!

THE FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT: Nineteen Stories of White House Noir pulls back the curtain on the “new norm” for America’s highest office, with a collection of bizarre new stories by a diverse group of renowned authors that take readers across the chasm of reality into an alternate universe—where Nixon takes a wacky psychedelic trip with Elvis Presley; where a time-traveling renegade targets members of the George Bush administration with disastrous results; where a spy seizes a sudden opportunity for power after Woodrow Wilson’s stroke. The stories are outlandish—but when it comes to the White House of today—strange behavior and kinky, zany antics are no longer implausible.

Spinning new tales of White House noir, these yarns confirm that absolute power—minus checks and balances—absolutely corrupts. THE FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT acknowledges the wacko state of politics today, and openly wonders how far down the rabbit hole the American presidency can go.

The line-up of award-winning authors includes Eric BeetnerPeter CarlaftesChristopher ChambersSarah M. ChenAngel Luis ColonS. A. CosbyNikki DolsonMary Anna EvansKate FloraAdam Lance GarciaDanny GardnerAlison GaylinGreg HerrenGary PhillipsTravis RichardsonS. J. RozanAlex SeguraAbby Vandiver, and Erica Wright.

Cover Reveal for The Swamp Killers

BOLO Books hosted the cover reveal of the upcoming novel-in-stories that E.A. Aymar and I co-edited. The Swamp Killers is coming to you on March 16, 2020 with Down & Out Books! I’m so excited for this one. It’s most of the same crew from The Night of the Flood with the addition of some new writers.

THE SWAMP KILLERS: A Novel in Stories

Here’s what we know is true.

Timmy Milici, a low-level hitter with the infamous Atlanta-based Duplass crime family, ran off with Melody Duplass to Jacksonville, Florida. Olivia Duplass, her mother and head of the Duplass family, was incensed, and put a price on Timmy—a hundred thousand for his corpse, but with explicit instructions that her daughter not be harmed.

We know that’s true.

Or, at least, we think we do.

Sixteen writers tell their versions of what happened those fateful days in this gripping novel-in-stories, brought to you from the team behind The Night of the Flood.

Contributors: E.A. Aymar, Sarah M. Chen, Hilary Davidson, Alex Dolan, Rebecca Drake, Gwen Florio, Elizabeth Heiter, J.J. Hensley, Susi Holliday, Shannon Kirk, Tara Laskowski, Jenny Milchman, Alan Orloff, Tom Sweterlitsch, Art Taylor, and Wendy Tyson.

The Thrill Begins “Promoting Your Book” series with Liz Donatelli

Today my interview with Liz Donatelli, the events coordinator for Creating Conversations, is up on The Thrill Begins. It’s part of our “Promoting Your Book” series in which each week we discuss different ways to promote your book. Liz has some great advice for authors, including get to know your local booksellers! Shop at your local store! As a former bookseller for Creating Conversations, I can’t reiterate this enough.

Check it out here:

Sisters in Crime / LA library panel Thursday Oct. 10

I’ll be on a Sisters in Crime / Los Angeles panel at the Venice Beach Library on Thursday 10/10 from 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Venice Beach Library, 501 S. Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291

It’s called the “Funny Side of Murder” and since I don’t really write what most consider “humorous” mysteries, then I must be representing the darker side of humor. At least that’s what I’m going with! It will be moderated by Sisters in Crime / LA president Anne Louise Bannon and also features Ellen Byron and Nancy Cole Silverman.

Hope to see you there!

“A Big Appetite” featured at Gut-Shots

What a nice surprise to find out that my flash fiction story “A Big Appetite” was featured today over at The Gutter’s Flash Fiction Offensive. A big thank you to Jesse Rawlins, Jim Shaffer, and Mick Rose! And then Canadian writer Beau Johnson talks up Finn in a video! Such love. 🙂

“A Big Appetite” is a weird vengeance tale that wasn’t my usual style (but really fun to write). It was first published over at Close to the Bone.

Manhattan Beach Local Author’s Fair

Tomorrow, Saturday, August 24, 2019 is the Local Author’s Fair at the Manhattan Beach Library. I’ll be one of the speakers at the event. Looking forward to meeting other locals!

It’s from 2pm – 4pm in the big Community Meeting Room. Hope to see you there!

Hope Within the Violence: An Interview with E.A. Aymar at LARB

So my interview with the awesome E. A. Aymar is up today at Los Angeles Review of Books. We talk about his excellent crime fiction novel, The Unrepentant, which is one of my favorites of this year. Despite its dark subject matter of sex trafficking, it has heart and humor. Ed and I talk about his fascination with violence and the daunting task of examining the impact of violence against women when writing The Unrepentant. It was no small undertaking to tackle this subject yet he pulls it off with grace and wit. As always, I enjoyed our conversation and his stupid jokes.

California Crime Writers Conference wrap-up

Whew! What a whirlwind weekend. I meant to post something sooner but it took me a day or so to recover. Then I took advantage of the momentum and inspiration I felt over the weekend and have actually been plotting. Yes, you got that right – PLOTTING! This coming from a die-hard “I don’t outline” writer.  I’m resurrecting my WIP from a few years ago which is about 3/4 of the way done.  I’m now fired up to finish it. But I need a road map so am pretty much going to have to start over because already, my road map veers way off from my WIP. But I’m excited and that’s what counts.  I even signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo so I have no excuse.

Anyhoo, here are some pics from the conference. You may recognize someone who sat at my table at lunch!  Yup, that’s Walter Mosley.

And here I am moderating the writer – agent – editor panel. It was a full room and nobody seemed like they were falling asleep!

And this was the perfect way to wrap up the conference: fried chicken at Dinah’s with my closest writer friends. Gluten free diet be damned!