The Verdant Gene

Falcon Ridge Publishing has recently reprinted my short story, The Verdant Gene. It was originally published in February 2014 by WMG Publishing in Moonscapes, part of their Fiction River anthology series. Verdant was also briefly available as an audio story, read by the wonderful Jane Kennedy, to promote the anthology.

THE VERDANT GENE

Marcelle Dubé

Verdant Gene

We landed on Verdant one hundred and three years ago, in what turned out to be Year Three of the thirty-year Cycle.

In a stroke of cosmic bad luck, the probes that explored Verdant and mapped its solar system did so at apogee, when Castor and Pollux, the twin moons, were stable in the sky at the farthest they would be from Verdant, and each other. How were we to know that this stability would only last a year?

It took the original colonists a few years to realize that Verdant’s moons were slowly drawing closer to each other and to the planet. The attendant tides and wild weather soon made the colonists relocate the settlement to higher, more protected ground, but it was only at Year Fifteen of the Cycle, at perigee, that the colonists understood the full impact of the moons’ strange dance.

There have only been three Perigee Years since we landed on Verdant. With each one, we were better prepared to survive the physical onslaughts of storm and surge. But with each one, we lost more and more people to the Cycle madness.

* * *

To read the rest of the story: amazon.com | amazon.ca | barnes and noble | kobo | apple | smashwords

Fiction River: A subscription drive for a new era

It’s a Brave New World out there. In the old days, publishers would pepper us with requests to subscribe to their magazines, including email reminders, return address cards, etc.

WMG Publishing, the folks who publish the Fiction River Anthology Series among other wonderful books, have decided on another route for their subscription drive. Since they went with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the debut of the series, they’re going back to Kickstarter for their subscription drive. The incentives they’re offering are enticing–everything from a free e-copy of one of the first ten volumes to the right to choose the theme of an upcoming anthology and the opportunity to co-edit it with Dean Wesley Smith who, with Kristine Kathryn Rusch, is the series editor. In between those extremes is a wonderful array of workshops, subscriptions and books by almost all of the contributors to Fiction River anthologies.

As for the connection to moi, two of my print novels are being offered as incentives: Kirwan’s Son and Backli’s Ford, as well as one of my e-books.

Check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/403649867/fiction-river-subscription-drive?ref=discovery

FR Moonscapes ebook cover webKirwan's Son front coverBackli cover-POD-Dube name-REV

Why it matters

[This is a post I wrote for Not Your Usual Suspects, published June 13, 2014.]

A few weeks ago, I posted to a local arts list about a free podcast of a short story of mine. The story, The Verdant Gene, is science fiction and part of the Fiction River: Moonscapes anthology. I was very pleased that the publishers decided to feature my story that week, as they had a great selection of stories from which to pick.

A day or so later, a fellow I know slightly wrote to tell me that he had loved the story and that it was “first rate.”

I actually got tears in my eyes. Isn’t that silly?FR Moonscapes ebook cover web

It was kind of him to take the time to let me know what he thought. We probably wouldn’t know each other if we passed each other on the street, so he needn’t have said anything and I would never have known that he had listened to the story, let alone whether or not he liked it. But he made a point of telling me that he had liked it, and why. That’s true generosity.

Maybe his compliment meant so much to me BECAUSE we don’t really know each other. Does that make sense? Of course your mom will tell you she loves your stories. And co-workers and friends. I mean, what else are they going to say? But when someone you don’t know (or barely know) makes the effort to tell you they liked your story—wow. It matters.

Readers have no idea what power they wield. One sincere compliment can make your month. (And when you’re 60,000 words into your latest novel and they all seem like crap, that compliment can help you keep butt in chair.)

So, Dear Reader, have you ever told a writer that you enjoyed her story? Why or why not? And writers, do you react differently to a compliment from someone you know, versus someone you don’t?

Oh, and if you like great short stories, check out the WMG Publishing series of anthologies. Highly recommended.

 

The Verdant Gene – a free podcast

FR Moonscapes ebook cover webWMG Publishing, publishers of the wonderful Fiction River anthology series, will be podcasting my Moonscapes short story, The Verdant Gene. The folks at WMG do a fabulous job with their podcasts and even better, they offer them for FREE!

So, mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 21, which is when the podcast becomes available. It will remain available (and FREE) on the WMG website for a week.

Can’t wait to hear it, especially as the story will be narrated by Jane Kennedy, a talented voice actress and experienced audio director.

WHAT I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION

From the Not Your Usual Suspects blog post August 7, 2013:

Most people take vacations to rest. They go to the cottage, a resort or the beach to unwind and relax.

On my vacations, I go to writers’ workshops in Lincoln City on the beautiful Oregon coast. And there’s nothing restful or relaxing about ‘em.

I’ve just returned from the latest one. It was an eight-day “Advanced Master Writing and Business Seminar” and it was—bar none—the most mind-blowing business experience I’ve had as a professional writer. Some of the topics we covered included:

  • Selling to traditional publishers in the new world
  • Copyright law and contract law for fiction writers
  • Cash streams and cash flow for writers
  • Accounting for writers
  • Advanced audio training for audio books
  • How to sell short fiction to traditional publishers
  • Advanced cover design

The main instructors were Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Scott William Carter. They were aided by Christina F. York, accountant by day and mystery novelist by night (writing as Christy Fifield and Christy Evans); Jane Kennedy, writer and audiobook producer for WMG Publishing; Allyson Longuiera, publisher of WMG Publishing and professional graphic designer; Lee Allred, writer and all-around cool guy; Matt Buchman, who writes fabulous military romances and was a Project Manager in a previous life; and a surprise guest speaker, Mark Lefebvre, who writes fiction under the name Mark Leslie and whose day job is Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations, Kobo Inc. I mean, how cool is that?

Weeping Woman We had the wonderful Sheldon Mcarthur, owner of North by Northwest Books in Lincoln City, who not only submitted to an interview with Dean Smith about how a bookstore owner does business with an independent publisher (including writers who publish their own books), but who also hosted a group book signing at his store, which included me and my two books, The Tuxedoed Man and The Weeping Woman.

Not only did we learn a lot from the formal presenters, we learned a lot from each other, too. We were over 30 participants from all over the U.S. and Canada, not to mention the United Kingdom and Germany. I was seated between two fabulous writers, Karen Abrahamson and Annie Reed, both of whom are well published, experienced and very generous with their knowledge.

Can you see why this was exhausting? I filled two notebooks and by the end of the week, I felt like information had to be shoehorned into my brain because it was already so full.

And to top it all off, the participants were invited to submit two short stories for consideration for two Fiction River anthologies edited by Dean Wesley Smith, and he bought my story for the Moonscapes one!

I left Oregon buzzing with ideas, information and plans. And in spite of the fact that it was very tiring and that no lying about on the beach took place, the writer in me is refreshed and recharged, ready to roar!

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