Saturday, 24 September 2016

Happy Anniversary Scribblers' Den! Cover Reveal: The Den of Antiquity

I have had a band of virtual friends for a little more than a year now, and this week marked the second anniversary of that group: The Scribblers' Den in the Steampunk Empire. Today we are holding another 24 hour party spanning the world East to West, starting with sunrise in Australia and ending at sundown in Haiti, why not join us and see what you are inspired to create? Last years party gave birth to the idea of The Denizens of Steam anthology through a flash fiction competition we held during the party.

This year we are celebrating two years of joyous companionship and to that end I will be revealing the cover our second anthology The Den of Antiquity! This book is bursting with short stories rather than flash fiction and is sculpted rather than being an instinctive creation. But before I reveal the wonderful cover designed by Bryce Raffle, I thought I'd send my roving reporter, Antigone Nix, out into the Steampunk Empire to track dow a few of the members of the Scribblers' Den and the question on her lips was:

What does the Scribblers' Den mean to you?

Thank you N.O.A.! Wow! Just had the most amazing flight in what other than a supersonic dirigible and then crash landed, but at last here I am in Australia with Mrs. Karen J Carlisle (Thanks for the cuppa - I need it!):
"Writing can be lonely. Australia is big. Really big. Writer forums make it easier to communicate with fellow steampunk writers - where ever they be. I can chat fantasy or science fiction writing with local spec fic writers, but it's not the same.
Cue, Scribblers' Den. I can reach out across the ether - to talk writing, conventions, (steampunk specific) book launches - all things steampunk - through the eyes of the world. The members are 'doers', not 'gonnas'. Things happen. Now we have a second anthology about to be published!
(And there is the virtual tea parties).
I've found my tribe."
Now a trip down London way and who is this I see chalking dead bodies all over the streets of the aforementioned city in the name of advertising, but the self-proclaimed recruiting Sergeant, Steve Moore. Let me pop him the question - no, not that one; he's already spoken for! :
"For two years I have been part of a very special close knit community in a virtual pub where there is no drink. Hemingway would just not get it. Writers pull up a chair and discuss the art of writing ( but do not touch my red leather one with bearskin rug located by the oft roaring fire and close the Jack Tyler's mahogany bar with pictures of Airships and Victorian San Diego hanging on the wall).Mental isn't it. I have just described an environment where I meet some of the best friends, I have never met ( except I did get to meet two of my best pals in the Den due to sheer luck that a business trip took me to New York in August and close enough to New Jersey to meet Mrs.Emeline Warren and the good Professor McKraken). This mental environment is just like reading a book, it can be better than life and more amazing and exciting. The fact is the writers of Scribblers Den are wonderful, like minded people, incredibly talented and I am in awe of all of them.I struggle to write, as I was dragged up through a shite education system where English was a chore and not a joy. Scribblers ' Den has taught me some basic grammar and restored a joy that was just waiting to get out. I love writing now. You see I have a vivid imagination. Writing enables me to express it and the Den helps me as everyone is so friendly, collegiate ( there's a word for a dodgy South Londoner) and the boss "Captain Jack Tyler" will not allow trolls and ill minded people through the doors.I enjoy recruiting new writers and sign posting the Den as the self appointed recruiting Sergeant. I was member 51 a magical number for a Limey who wrote ROYAL AMERICA as a first novel effort ( yes it needs editing). 51st State get it. (www.royal-america.co.uk ).So what does the Den mean to me everything friendship and relationships, grins and gripes and stories and yarns and techniques and too many "ands" and not enough commas and all of that amongst a vivid background of wonderful Steampunkery..........Frock coats and Corsets where people look sexier with their clothes on!!!"

So to a meandering walk across the Atlantic (virtual shoes go everywhere even if they do get virtually wet!) to the Empire Observatory, where I see the Den's resident astronomer, Mr. David Lee Summers in on his tea break. Let's get his thoughts:
"Simply put, the Scribbler's Den on the Steampunk Empire feels like my steampunk writing home on the internet. It's the place where I can relax with fellow steampunk writers, talk about topics of interest, celebrate successes, and commiserate about problems. It's like family to me. Sometimes I wander away for a while as my writing interests take me into science fiction or horror, but like a family, I always feel welcome when I'm ready to come back and chat about steampunk topics."
Which kindly gentleman is this offering to transport this damp footed reporter across New England in his steampowered carriage? None other than Mr William J. Jackson, writer of blooming talent. (Those who know will get the pun!)
"Scribblers Den represents the capstone in my personal pyramid of inspiration and mentorship. In the year + I've been wandering it's corners, I've garnered more insight, flavor, advice and advancement in writing than from all the so-called 'expert' books. As an added boon, it comes in the form of casual dialogue, honest personal appraisals and encouragement. We are on our second anthology. Second! Do publishers move as fast? Do governments? No.You want to write better? Take a seat at the Den...but not the red one. It's for Sarge."
Ah there's the museum. Now I happen to know that our resident historian, Mrs Emeline Warren is on duty today, so lets hope she not too busy to chat. As we share another cuppa, this is what she tells me:

"I've been on the Empire several years, but it wasn't until the tail end of 2015 that I discovered the Den, if I recall correctly. Always on the look out for like minded people with an interest in writing, sharing, reading and critiquing, I once headed a small club called The Rough Writers, mainly fellow fencers who met at the Academy after hours--- but.that's history.

Swapping pieces and offering critiques became a vital part of polishing work, and even now I struggle to get response, comments and advice. I was immediately impressed by the friendliness of Denizens, to say nothing of their wit, talent and willingness to share. It's a grand learning experience for all concerned, whether we like it or not! When the rest of the world grabs my sleeve and drags me off to projects and other annoying bits of reality, I'm glad to have a place waiting at the Den.

I'm just here for the tea!!"

I could get used to this life. Now I am looking out across Canada to the mountains and there's a definite chill in the air; winter or zombie breath? (Do zombies have breath?) For me? Oh, I'm being handed a tiny shot of absinthe. As much as I detest the stuff, Mr. Bryce Raffle insists it will dry out my soggy shoes! So what does the Den mean to you, Mr. Raffle?
"When I first started out writing in the steampunk genre, I began looking to establish or find an existing writing group with a focus on the somewhat obscure subgenre. I was disappointed with most of the options, but eventually found my way to the Scribblers' Den. Among the most active online writing communities I've ever come across, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more supportive, friendlier, or more collaborative writing group anywhere. Throughout the year and a half or so that I've been a member of the Den, we've laughed together, drank tea together, collaborated on an anthology together, and grown as writers together. My fellow members continue to inspire me; they've built a shared universe, the world of Port Reprieve. They've written posts for my blog, shared my posts on twitter, and they've read even my earliest drafts of my work-in-progress novel. They're talented, too; some of them have written and published some of the best examples of steampunk I've read to date. No wonder I continue to be inspired. More importantly, I've come to know my fellow denizens as dear friends."
And where would an interview be without a quick chat with 'Blimprider', Mr Jack Tyler:

"I am the founder of this wonderful group. I take no credit for its wonder; it is the wonder of its members that make it what it is. It is a playhouse, full of jokes, yarns, and snapshots of lives fully lived engendering heartfelt laughter. It is the camaraderie of friendly people taking many different paths up the mountain. It is the selfless support of brilliant people, not only lifting you up when you're mired in the doldrums, but cheering you on when you're flying high. It is, in the final analysis, the ultimate clubhouse for the children in all of us who make possible all the glorious worlds we create and populate with fantastic characters and their inventions. How blessed we are to have found each other!"
So N.O.A., What about that cover reveal? I'm intrigued.

Intrigued? Here's the blurb:

When one thinks of a den, one tends to think of comfort. A cozy room in the house—a quiet, comfortable place, a room for conversation, reading, or writing. One doesn’t tend to think of high adventure, dragons, vampires, airships, or paranormal creatures. And yet, that’s just what you’ll find in these pages. Stories of adventure and mystery! Paranormal, dark, and atmospheric tales! The fantastical and the imaginative, the dystopian and post-apocalyptic, and everything in between!

So settle in to the coziest room in your house, plop down into your favourite armchair, and dive in to the Den of Antiquity.


That doesn't even whet my appetite!

Whet your appetite? Here are the stories:

Brass and Coal, by Jack Tyler
An Evening at the Marlon Club as Told by Dr. Horatio Boyle, by Kate Philbrick
Dragon's Breath, by E.C. Jarvis
The Reluctant Vampire, by Neale Green
The Complications of Avery Vane, by Bryce Raffle
Hark! Hark! by N.O.A. Rawle
The Jackalope Bandit, by David Lee Summers
After The Catastrophe: The Lady Of Castle Rock, by Steve Moore
When The Tomb Breaks, by William J. Jackson
All That Glitters, by Karen J Carlisle
Yggdrasil's Triumphant Return, by Alice E. Keyes
After The Crash, by B.A. Sinclair
Okay so I'm hooked, alright!

Hooked? Well I guess I better get on with it. Here it is; the one and only...

Available from November 5th  2016!