New SØS Story!

DoubleThink

For fans of my novel The Silence of Six (and those who haven’t heard of it — yes, even you!), I’ve written a new novella starring one of the main characters, Penny Polonsky: “DoubleThink”.

The first part of the story is available for free exclusively on Wattpad now, and new chapters will appear there every Tuesday through Aug. 23, when my new book, Against All Silence (SØS #2) will be in Barnes & Noble stores everywhere. (A Wattpad account is required, but you should have one anyway because there are lots of great free stories on the site!)

I know Penny’s a favorite of many readers, and I don’t mind admitting that she’s mine too. (Sorry, Max!) Penny is not only a kick-ass female character™, who often outshines the novels’ protagonist, but she really has her act together. Or does she? That’s some of what “DoubleThink” is about.

Maybe Penny is so interesting because we don’t know much about her. It can be hard to predict what she’ll do next (even for me), but it’s probably going to be impressive. Even though she likes her secrets, she clearly wanted a little more attention for once. And she deserves it; Penny is an even bigger part of the plot and Max’s life in Against All Silence, so much so that I considered writing the book with alternating POVs. Alas, it’s too late for that, but at least this story lets you into her head a little.

Penny’s also important to me personally because I think media should highlight more women who are interested in and excellent at technology, engineering, and science. Unfortunately society still marginalizes their existence, ignores their accomplishments, shuts them out, shuts them up, or actively threatens their lives and livelihood and loved ones. Not cool, right? How does Penny deal with all that? That’s also some of what “DoubleThink” and Against All Silence explore.

Penny’s story was a lot of fun to write, and I sort of felt like I had to write it. Special shout-out to my friend, technical adviser, and fantastic writer Fran Wilde for helping me whip this story into shape. (All tech errors are my own, of course.) And thanks to fab editor Jordan Hamessley for helping with early drafts as well.

If you enjoy “DoubleThink,” you also might want to read the free prequel to the series, “SOS,” also on Wattpad and available as a free Nook eBook, and check out The Silence of Six and Against All Silence at Barnes & Noble this month! As always, comments, sharing on social media, and reviews are greatly appreciated.

 

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Story Sale! (I hope!)

HYI usually don’t post about story sales until I have a signed contract in hand, but in the case of my story “In His Own Image”, which I sold to the anthology Hidden Youth: Speculative Stories of Marginalized Children (ed. Mikki Kendall and Chesya Burke), I held off a little longer.

See, although I have a contract, the anthology will not be published unless its ongoing Kickstarter is funded successfully. The publisher, Crossed Genres, ran into some financial difficulties and the previous preorder campaign didn’t generate enough interest to produce the book, but they’re committed to publishing it anyway — because telling these stories, by and about people with diverse backgrounds, who have traditionally been suppressed and sidelined by history and media, is vital. Fortunately, as of this writing, 715 backers agree. The Kickstarter has a little more than $2500 left to reach its goal in the next 36 hours.

Please help us get there! If you can’t spare the money right now, then please do what you can to spread the word as much as you can.

I’m really excited by the authors and stories in this collection, which includes many first publications by new writers — which is exactly what we hope to encourage. Check out the table of contents at the Kickstarter, but look at some of these titles: “How I Saved Athens from the Stone Monsters” (by Erik Jensen), “The Bread-Thing in the Basket” (by K.T. Katzmann), “The Ostrich Egg Girl” (by JM Templet). I want to read those! Don’t you? It also features a gorgeous cover by Hugo and Locus Award–winning artist Julie Dillon, and each story will have its own illustration as well!

What of my story? “In His Own Image” is a story set in early 20th century Korea, in the midst of a war with Japan fought with giant steampunk robots. Jun-min is a young, blind mechanic who is reluctantly recruited to the war effort. His only companions are his Seeing Eye—essentially a steampunk BB-8—and his screwy clockwork dad.

I really hope you have the chance to read it! Preorder Hidden Youth in eBook for $10, or contribute at any level from $1 to $80 for all sorts of fabulous prizes and packages. If you like short stories, stories in multicultural settings with interesting characters, or young adult fiction, I think you’ll like this anthology.

Thank you!

 

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Diversity at ALA

Librarians are among my favorite people, so I’m delighted that I will be surrounded by them at the American Library Association’s annual conference this weekend, June 24—26, in Orlando, Florida.

My primary reason for attending ALA this year is to participate in Finding Yourself on the Shelves: Diversity in Ethnicity and Language For Your Teens on Saturday at 1 p.m. (OCCC, W205). Jen Schureman, a YA librarian in Gloucester County, N.J., will moderate the discussion with me and fellow panelists, fab writers Shveta Thakrar, Lamar Giles, Cindy Pon, Ellen Oh, and Meg Medina.

Like many people, Orlando has been in my thoughts and prayers a lot in the last two weeks. I was shocked by Christina Grimmie’s death, and horrified by the alligator attack that took the life of 2-year-old Lane Graves. But most of all, I have been preoccupied by the June 12 massacre at Pulse, and the names and faces of the 49 people who died. I’ve been thinking about what we must do to stop these horrible mass murders from happening over and over again — what I can do. And I realized that this panel is one, small way to help.

Today, it’s more vital than ever that we have diversity in media. Knowing, understanding, accepting, and loving those who live or love or worship or believe differently from, well, white, able-bodied, heterosexual men, will hopefully lead to fewer hate crimes like the Pulse nightclub shooting. This is oversimplifying a huge issue, but until we can prevent any random person from purchasing an assault weapon on a whim, education and empathy are all we have to fight back with.

It’s important for kids to see themselves represented in books, no matter what their backgrounds or circumstances. But kids also should be exposed to stories about those who aren’t exactly like them, so they can learn to see them as people first. Children and young adults who grow up knowing that everyone is a human being, no less worthy of life than they are, don’t typically buy guns with the intent of slaughtering dozens of innocent strangers.

We need more voices writing those books, more publishers printing them, and more libraries and schools making them available to young readers. And we need librarians to continue to help lead that change, because in many ways, they’re the front lines.

In recent years, libraries have served as an anchor for communities during times of social strife. In Ferguson, in Baltimore, libraries stayed open when the rest of the social network shut down — creating a safe space for young people and their communities to gather and discuss race and social justice, as well as comfort and connect with others. And now, in Orlando, the Orange County Library System and other local libraries have opened their doors and offered resources to help their community grieve, share information, and support each other. ALA is also planning a memorial and other activities at the conference.

All I have as a writer to make my mark on the world, to maybe help change it for the better, are my words. And I’m going to do my best to fill the world with positive, hopeful messages and stories that represent everyone who lives in it, and show life both as it is and as it should be.

Thank you, librarians, for sharing those stories and for all you do to help us feel safer and understand the world and make the future a little brighter. I look forward to seeing you and supporting your efforts this weekend.

Support:
Orlando Public Library
Ferguson Municipal Public Library
Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library

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See you at B&N’s B-Fest!

I’m excited to be participating in B-Fest, Barnes & Noble’s first national teen book festival this weekend! I’ll be back in Philadelphia at the Rittenhouse Square Barnes & Noble at 1805 Walnut Street on Sunday, June 12 at 2:00 p.m.

I’m appearing as part of Adaptive Studios’ B-Creative story development workshop, talking about my writing process for the Silence of Six series. We’ll be giving away ARCs of my new book, Against All Silence, and of course I’m happy to sign copies of the first book, which is now out in paperback.

I hope to see you there!

B-Fest_Social_Facebook_date

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paperback writer

This is an exciting week! Hi-C Ecto Cooler is back!

SOS Repackage RGBEven more exciting than that — and I am very excited about the too-sweet taste of childhood nostalgia — this week The Silence of Six is out in paperback, exclusively at Barnes & Noble! This is the first paperback edition of a novel I wrote; Fair Coin and Quantum Coin are still only available in hardcover so far. So if you’ve been waiting to read The Silence of Six, haven’t picked up a copy to own yet, or simply want to collect them all, please stop by your local Barnes & Noble store or order it online at bn.com for only $4.99. (That’s cheaper than the eBook!)

To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed, advance copy of the sequel, Against All Silence (publishing in August) and a signed, limited edition paperback of the prequel story, “SOS”, which is not available anywhere else.

All you have to do is post a picture of the paperback of The Silence of Six at a Barnes & Noble; or a picture of your receipt (including online orders); or a picture of you with the paperback on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with a link to this post. Be sure to use the hashtag #SilenceOfSix and tag me (Twitter: @ecmyers, Instagram: @e.c.myers). If you want to be sure I don’t miss your entry, you can also e-mail the link to me@ecmyers.net.

This giveaway will only run through Tuesday, June 7, 11:59 p.m. ET. On Wednesday, June 8, I will put all the entries into a spreadsheet, number them, and then use a randomizer to randomly select one winner.

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