by Lillian Csernica on April 1, 2018
Welcome to Day One of the A to Z Blog Challenge. This year I’ll be introducing you to the characters, settings, mythology, and other story elements of my Kyoto Steampunk series.
Amatsu Mikaboshi is the Japanese God of Chaos. Some people confuse him with the Christian Devil. This rather drastic case of mistaken identity is at the center of the first short story, In the Midnight Hour, which appears in Twelve Hours Later. When Dr. Harrington’s young daughter Madelaine falls ill with a fever, Nurse Danforth resorts to ancient superstition and goes to the crossroads at midnight, intent on making a deal with the Devil if that will save Madelaine’s life.
In the second short story, A Demon in the Noonday Sun (Twelve Hours Later), Dr. Harrington is looking after the Abbot of Kiyomizudera during the New Year’s festivities. Amatsu Mikaboshi appears, bent on punishing Dr. Harrington for what happens during the encounter with Nurse Danforth. Given Amatsu Mikaboshi’s power to hurl black fire, along with his very large sword, the doctor must act quickly to protect the Abbot from harm.
Filed under #atozchallenge, Blog challenges, doctors, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, historical fiction, history, Japan, Kyoto, legend, Lillian Csernica, steampunk, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on February 1, 2018
Welcome to Women in Horror Month!
To celebrate, I am offering The Fright Factory for just 99 cents.
Learn the fine art of suspense, how to make monsters, and more! The techniques I explain are the very ones that helped me write and sell the stories available here:
It’s a great way to celebrate
by Lillian Csernica on October 30, 2017
Just in time for Halloween, Killing It Softly 2, another collection of short stories to be read with the lights on and the doors locked!
Part 1 – Another Space, Another Time
The Whims of My Enemy – Amanda J. Spedding
A Moveable Feast – Jenny Blackford
Softly into the Morning – L. D. Colter
Whispers in the Wax – Tonia Brown
The Screaming Key – Lillian Csernica
Framed – Diana Catt
Bloody Rain – Rie Sheridan Rose
The Idlewild Letters – H.R. Boldwood
Kristall Tag – Holly Newstein
The Adventure of My Ignoble Ancestress – Nancy Holder
Part II – Monster Party
The Devil’s in the Details – Stacey Longo
Octavia – Chantal Boudreau
The Skeench – Debra Robinson
Sandcastle Sacrifices – Jennifer Brozek
Unfilial Child – Laurie Tom
Milk and Cookies – M.J. Sydney
Figaro, Figueroa – Karen Heuler
Scarecrow – Vonnie Winslow Crist
A Great and Terrible Hunger – Elaine Cunningham
Part III – Cognitive Deception
Belongings – Abra Staffin-Wiebe
Evil Little Girl – Barb Goffman
Blue – Julie Travis
The Devil Inside – Shannon Connor Winward
Shining Brook and the Ice Moon Spirit – Jean Graham
Damaged Goods – Lindsey Goddard
Project Handbasket – Rebecca J. Allred
Behind the Eight Ball – Lena Ng
A Faithful Companion – Deborah Sheldon
Omega – Airika Sneve
Part IV – The Changed and the Undead
Little Fingers – Christine Morgan
Golden Rule – Donna J. W. Munro
Fifth Sense – Tina Rath
Cycle – Rebecca Fraser
The Hand of God – Gerri Leen
Vile Deeds – Suzie Lockhart
The Holy Spear – Barbara A. Barnett
Skin and Bones – Rebecca Snow
Death Warmed Over – Rachel Caine
Many of the contributors here also appear in the first Killing It Softly anthology, also well worth your attention.
Filed under creativity, editing, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Halloween, historical fiction, Horror, Lillian Csernica, mother, publication, steampunk, sword and sorcery, Uncategorized, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on December 28, 2016
Knee Update: As long as I stay off of it, my pain level is pretty low. If I’m up and around for more than half an hour, the twinges start. Driving is tough.
I go see my primary care physician on the 4th. “Hello, New Year! Do I need to see an orthopedic specialist?” Somewhere in the world they believe that what you do on the third or fourth day of the New Year indicates how the year in general will go. In pain? No thanks. Doctor appointments? Not a happy thought. Stoned on pain meds? Been there, done that. Tends to slow down my writing.
Speaking of writing, I would like to take a moment to review this year in terms of my career successes.
From Digital Fiction Publishing Corporation come these three titles:
Killing It Softly is packed full of horror stories by female authors including the amazing Nancy Holder! In this volume you will find my vampire story, “Saving Grace.” Historical fiction, this story features a Russian Orthodox noblewoman who is hiding out as a governess in the castle of a 14th Century French nobleman. A party of pilgrims arrives seeking shelter. Among them is a German scholar who has an unhealthy interest in the schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
Uncommon Senses makes available “The Family Spirit,” my Christmas ghost story which originally appeared in Weird Tales. This was the first deliberately humorous short story I’d written. Reading it aloud at conventions is always a lot of fun.
This is the first short story I ever sold. Fallen Idol appeared in After Hours and was later reprinted in DAW’s The Year’s Best Horror Stories XX. Many thanks to Michael Willis and the folks at DFP for bringing the story into the Digital Age!
From Transmundane Press comes this collection of fairy tales in the fine tradition of Tanith Lee’s Tales from the Sisters Grimmer. My story opens three years after the fairy gives the good sister the gift of speaking in flowers and jewels, while her wicked stepsister earned toads and snakes as punishment for her bad manners. “Happily ever after” is in the eye of the beholder!
Sky Warrior Press just released Alterna-TEAs, a steampunk anthology full of danger and excitement. Tea is the pivotal motif to every one of the stories included here. My contribution, “Tea and Trickery,” launches the espionage career of translator Lady Caroline Worthington when she’s recruited by the head of British Intelligence. There’s a nefarious conspiracy afoot intent upon sabotaging Great Britain’s efforts to bring steam engine technology to Japan.
Here’s hoping 2017 sees the launch of The Flower Maiden Saga!
Filed under Christmas, Conventions, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, editing, fairy tales, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, Horror, Humor, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, love, publication, research, romance, steampunk, travel, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on October 28, 2016
Just 99 cents from now until Halloween!
Horror can be anything from the most elegant ghost story to the total freak-out of a bloodthirsty serial killer. The Fright Factory can show you how to make the most of your story ideas. Choose the best setting. Build a better monster Learn the fine art of creating suspense! It’s all here, including an essential list of the worst horror cliches no editor wants to see.
Also just 99 cents until Halloween!
Suzie Lockhart and Digital Horror Fiction are thrilled to present 32 chilling tales of terror from some of the best authors in horror. Killing It Softly includes stories from New York Times best selling authors Nancy Holder and Elaine Cunningham, together with more shocking short nightmares from the finest award winning female writers in the genre.
by Lillian Csernica on October 16, 2016
Today is a very exciting day for me!
After the Happily Ever After: a collection of fractured fairy tales is a massive anthology that features more than seventy stories that transform the well-known and strange fables into sweeter, darker, and more fantastical tales. These certainly aren’t the stories we grew up with.
Please take a look at the gorgeous book trailer the wonderful folks at Transmundane Press have put together. On behalf of all my fellow contributors, let me say we appreciate your support!
Filed under classics, creativity, dreams, editing, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, historical fiction, Horror, legend, Lillian Csernica, love, marriage, nature, publication, sword and sorcery, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on September 10, 2016
Many thanks to Sarah Zama at The Old Shelter for sharing an excerpt of my short story included in And All Our Yesterdays.
Thinking Ink Press, the publisher of Thirty Days Later, Steaming Forward: 30 Adventures in Time” is putting the Kindle version of the anthology on sale for 99 cents! This is a limited time sale, just until September 7th. Get your Harry Turtledove fix for under a buck!
via Sale on Thirty Days Later — Welcome to the Treehouse!
Filed under cats, creativity, doctors, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, historical fiction, Japan, Kyoto, legend, Lillian Csernica, parenting, publication, steampunk, travel, Writing
by Lillian Csernica on July 20, 2016
New from Digital Fiction Publishing!
12 horror stories, including my own “Fallen Idol.”
A photographer discovers a young woman who could become his “modern Mona Lisa.” Attempts to make contact with her lead to strange suspicions. When the photographer follows her back to what he thinks is her home, he finds a treasure trove of images he must capture. The reality of their making is a secret he’ll wish he’d never learned!
by Lillian Csernica on February 4, 2016
I am delighted to announce that my story, “The Screaming Key,” is now available in Typhon: A Monster Anthology from Pantheon Magazine.
This story came about as a result of me spending my teenage years staying up late on the weekends watching horror movies on Channel 13. (I lived in Southern California then.) More influences include all of the 19th Century ghost stories I love to read, especially the works of M.R. James. I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Neil Gaiman for creating the Sandman graphic novels. They set my imagination on fire and went a long way toward planting the seeds of inspiration for “The Screaming Key.”