Sooo, Drollerie Press finally released Curse.  It happened without my noticing it (in part because I actually wasn’t informed 0_o) and there are a couple of odd formatting errors in the final copy, but hey, it’s a seriously long book, so a couple extra spaces between lines in places won’t kill the experience.  Curse is one of my favorite books I’ve ever written, incidentally, and probably the most syntactically sound.  I highly recommend you wander over and read the excerpt, but then, I’m biased ^_^.  Hugs to all- EGD

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Phew!  Finally!  Kinlea Keeper was released at Drollerie Press last week.  Yes, I know I said it would be released in June, September, and October respectively, but this is an honest to goodness sure thing!  I’ve seen it!  It’s true, I tell you!  Now we can all wait with bated breath for Curse (the sequel), which by contract must be released before early March of 2010.  If you are at all interested in mixed-myth folklore fantasy, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the series, and I would be more than a little grateful if you give the excerpt a shot even if you aren’t.  It’s free, after all, and I promise it won’t take up too much of your time.  Much obliged! -EGD

This may seem a bit odd, but reading Angela Korra’ti’s Faerie Blood sharply reminded me that I have been remiss in my campaign to review all the Drollerie Press books I like, though I’ve been pretty successful in not-reviewing the ones I didn’t, which is probably to my credit.  Anyhow, the book-I-liked that I skipped was David Sklar’s Shadow of the Antlered Bird, and I bring it up now in part because I liked it for many of the same reasons I liked Faerie Blood.  Both FB and SAB (Yes, I shortened the titles for convenience’s sake) were utterly charming, and both dealt with Faerie in a way of which I strongly approve.  They also both displayed a refreshing and blended balance between the ancient magical beings and magical world and the modern environment with which they surely must come to cope.

Back to FB, though, I saw a lot of myself and the way I see the world in its pages.  It plays to my age-group and my social tastes as a twenty-something gamer geek and musician with a penchant for Faerie-lore, and I found myself relating to the characters as though they were fiction-world proxies for my buddies from college.

Also, I found the romantic element of the story delightful and heart-warningly innocent (another thing, incidentally, FB shares with SAB), and I found myself impressed by the intimacy Korra’ti achieves with her story’s sense of time and location.  It’s a very well crafted piece, and it made for a very fun afternoon in a beanbag chair with a cup of tea, which I needed to distract me for a bit from midterms and intensive Jingju (Beijing Opera) training, if only for a short while.  If you get a chance (and now would be a good time, because Drollerie’s running one heck of a sale in their bookshop), and if you like Faerie stories, by all means, get your hands on a copy of this book.  And yyyyyeah… when you’re finished with Faerie Blood, try Shadow of the Antlered Bird.  It’s shorter, but goes just as well with a cup of tea and a beanbag chair ^_^.  -EGD

There are some things that most of us fear. It’s a fact of the human condition. We share a sort of odd, primal collective consciousness that makes us jump when something moves in the shadows. This law of humanity also dictates: the stronger the power of our imaginations, the more we have to fear. This means very different things for different people, and there is something of a gap between this law’s influence on children and its influence on adults. Often times, it seems the monsters of the adult mind spring from experience and the knowledge of small, probable realities like “if I do not go to work, I stand a fair chance of losing my job, and in this economy I might not be able to replace it, and I will not be able to pay my rent, bills, tuition, and health insurance, and if I am diagnosed with some sort of dangerous and terribly expensive disease three days after my payments lapse…” and so-forth. Adult imaginations turn people into worrywarts and lead to nervous disorders and ulcers. Adult imaginations also pick up on words like “disembowelment,” “genocide,” “miscarriage” or “epidemic” in novels and set adult guts clenching in horrified sympathy, whereas children generally read the words and absorb only a very general impression of “bad,” even if they know what the words mean by dictionary definition.

Children, in general, are more likely to fear things without understanding them than to fear things because they understand them. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have more to fear than adults, but it means that their fears are enormously (and rather metaphysically) difficult to allay. Without anything concrete to cling to, children must face their childhood monsters with pure, unadulterated bravery or not face them at all. What’s worse, when the monsters are real, children are smaller, weaker, and generally less equipped to cope.

I am pretty convinced that this is why children so often make the very best storybook and folktale heroes. When children are brave, they are brave against some overwhelming odds.

In Heather Ingemar’s short series of short stories, Collecting Dreams, the main character is one such child heroine. Isabelle, a 10 and then 12 year old orphanage ward, is courageous in the face of the unknown, and she is also courageous when facing the steep and awful price of her brave actions. Isabelle’s monsters are all too real, and what’s worse, one of the monsters Isabelle faces is the one she herself might become. Without giving any more away, let’s just say I absolutely loved this tiny little (less than 60 page!) book, and highly recommend that you all go storm the gates of the Drollerie Press bookstore to get yourselves a copy, especially if you like faerie-style children’s horror.

Anyhow, if you’re a grown-up, it’ll not only entertain you for a fast-paced half hour, it’ll frighten you with something far more interesting than income tax and the rising cost of healthcare, and perhaps it’ll make you remember why, at an earlier point in your life, those sorts of things weren’t scary at all.