Author Archive

Time of the Locust by Morowa Yejidé

August 14, 2013

It’s always great to share news of our alumni, but it’s especially great to share news of forthcoming first novel publications.

Morowa Yejidé

Morowa Yejidé

“When you work so hard at something and constantly dream and strategize about it and then you finally do get a YES, it’s hard to believe it,” Morowa Yejidé said. “That was my initial reaction to hearing that my novel, Time of the Locust, was going to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster. Disbelief.” The Wilkes alum said the premise of her novel had been floating around her mind for several years before she even put pen to paper. It’s the story of an autistic boy living in the universe of his mind and his supernatural relationship with his incarcerated father.

Prior to focusing on her thesis, Morowa had a few sample chapters that were published as short stories. With that early success and encouragement, she took the project further. “I decided to give a complete manuscript a serious effort through the Wilkes MFA. The faculty really seemed to be in the trenches as working writers—which was what attracted me to the program,” she said. “I listened to Robert Mooney read one of his powerful, visually-driven narratives and knew right away I wanted to work with him as my Faculty Mentor.”

Morowa was determined to strengthen the story, but she was also eager to have an audience. “I continued revisions along the way, working with Mooney, sending the manuscript out, sort of building the plane while I was flying it. After many rejections from various agents and publishing houses large and small, I decided to try some national competitions.” That’s when she began making headway. “Time of the Locust placed as a finalist in the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize and the Dana Awards.”

The Wilkes alum had already seen success in other venues. Her short stories have appeared in the Istanbul Literary Review, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, Underground Voices, the Adirondack Review, and others. One of her stories had been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, too, but she still wanted the book manuscript to strike a chord with publishers. Once she had the selling point as a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize and the Dana Awards, Morowa took another chance. “I sent out more queries. The rest is, as they say, history. Time of the Locust is forthcoming Spring 2014.”

More about Morowa Yejidé can be found on her website at http://morowayejide.com.

new book by alum Carol MacAllister

August 7, 2013

Wilkes alum Carol MacAllister’s book, The Blackmoor Tales, is now available from Northampton House Press!

Amazon link

About the Book:

In Blackmoor, time runs differently. Each period spirals and intertwines with the next. Hideous beings from times forgotten and places unnamed slip across dimensions to hunt among the living, stealing innocence and culling blood for insatiable appetites. Prayers and candles, fortitude and cunning, heavy latched doors and shuttered panels offer no protection.

Blackmoor TalesEleven dark tales of fantasy and horror draw the town of Blackmoor before the reader’s eyes. These shivery tales range from short fiction to novella-length, with transitions in dark poetic verse between the stories.

The characters range from Lovecraftian creatures that stalk man in remote swamps, to flesh-eating monsters roaming the countryside. Blood-culling grotesques, demons disguised in childhood rhymes, psychological and physical vampires and zombies abound. Souls are lured and corralled at Blackmoor’s Inn for malevolent entertainment, and interplanetary intrusions torment and harvest mortals. The physical settings include remote swamps, burial grounds, fairytale landscapes, a clearing ringed by blood-culling pines, caves that touch the ocean, a willow-strewn river, and an Inn laced with ghastly evil. Remember the old Celtic warning: From goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!

About the Author:

Carol MacAllister’s short stories and poetry have been published in the US, UK, and Australia, gained mentions in Ellen Datlow’s The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, received numerous awards, and been featured in many trade paperback books, online collections and magazines. She has served as panelist and speaker at the Jersey Devil Conference and been guest speaker at the Philadelphia Writers’ Workshop. Her work was presented on local television in the Princeton, NJ area, and on radio shows in NJ and Australia. She’s a past officer of the Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers, a member of Horror Writers Association, SIC-NJ, AWP and co-founder of Tri-Muse writers.

Post-Grad, Post-Production: Kevin Conner and the Big Screen

July 31, 2013

M.A. alum Kevin Conner’s film, “Pitchfork,” is in post-production. The film began as a short film project during his time in the Screenwriting Foundations course taught by Ross Klavan. Conner says the film has a simple premise: “A no-luck farmer finds happiness again. It’s a basic love story, with just a few twists.”

Since graduating, Conner has continued working with artistic directors Todd Oravic and Ryan Wood, both recent undergraduate Wilkes students. “Working with Todd and Ryan has been great,” Conner says. “Their energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge made completion of the film possible. I learned an awful lot from them. They are two talented gentlemen.”

Conner is thankful for his time in the Wilkes program for connecting him with the greater writing community. “In my opinion, this is the great intangible of the Wilkes program,” he says. “We all need help from others to keep projects moving along, and the program provides writers with the community necessary to see ideas through. It’s a very valuable resource.”

New releases for faculty member Ken Vose

July 24, 2013

Vose books

NORTHAMPTON HOUSE PRESS RELEASES FORMULA ONE RACING SERIES AS E-BOOKS

(New York) – July, 2013.  Northampton House Press has re-released the Pete Hawthorn Formula One series of racing thrillers, by former racing driver Ken Vose, for Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iPads, and other e-reading formats. 

Oversteer takes the reader into the glamorous and high-risk world of international Formula One racing. When driver Pete Hawthorn goes to Rio for the Brazilian Grand Prix, he sets in motion a chain of events that will solve a decades-old mystery: the disappearance of his father in the Brazilian jungle during the 1970 World Cup Rally. 

Dead Pedal is the sequel to Hawthorn’s Brazilian adventure. When three members of an exclusive racing society fall victim to a mysterious killer, questions arise as to whether their deaths were related to racing or to their wartime involvement with the WWII anti-Nazi resistance in France. The answer lies somewhere along the tortuous 1000 mile route of Italy’s famed Mille Miglia. 

Ken Vose spent twenty years in the film and television industry as an editor, producer, writer and director.  His screenwriting credits include Greased Lightning starring Richard Pryor as NASCAR race driver Wendell Scott. Vose, who resides in rural Pennsylvania, is currently at work on the third book in the series. Boost will take Hawthorn to the fastest racecourse on the planet – the Bonneville Salt Flats – to investigate the suspicious death of a fellow driver who crashed during a practice run for an attempt to set a new World Land Speed Record. 

Northampton House LLC publishes carefully selected fiction – historical, romance, thrillers, fantasy – and lifestyle nonfiction, memoir, and poetry. Its mission is to discover great new writers and give them a chance to springboard into fame. Watch the Northampton House list at www.northampton-house.com  and Like them on Facebook – “Northampton House” – to discover more innovative works from brilliant new writers.

For more information about Ken Vose and his other works, visit his website at http://kenvose.com/.   For more info: (570-685-7428).

Kickstarter success for producer Susan Cartsonis

July 17, 2013

Carrie Pilby

Wilkes faculty Susan Cartsonis, along with director Susan Johnson and producer Suzanne Farwell, have recently achieved success utilizing Kickstarter to fundraise. The team set a goal of more than $50,000 to be raised between Jun 18, 2013 – Jul 13, 2013. The goal was met two days prior to their deadline and funds continued to roll in for the final weekend.

Susan Cartsonis

Susan Cartsonis

The creative team was raising funds to adapt the novel Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner into a script. Carrie Pilby was among the first novels published by the Red Dress Ink imprint. In its first print run, the book sold more than 50,000 copies and was subsequently reprinted and published under various other imprints to keep up with international demand.

Susan Cartsonis, a member of the Wilkes film faculty, is known for What Women Want, Beastly, Where the Heart Is, and No Reservations.

More info about the Kickstarter campaign is available here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/braveartfilms/carrie-pilby-the-movie

More info about making Carrie Pilby into a film is online here: http://www.carriepilbythemovie.com

Sandee Gertz Umbach Earns National Recognition

July 10, 2013

pattern

Alum Sandee Gertz Umbach recently took 2nd place in the Working Class Studies Association’s national “Tillie Olsen” Award for Creative Writing for her published book of poetry, The Pattern Maker’s Daughter.

Each year, the WCSA issues a number of awards to recognize the best new work in the field of working-class studies. The review process is organized by the past-president of the WCSA, and submissions are judged by a panel of three readers for each of the five categories of awards. Comments from judges included this remark: “Sandra Gertz Umbach has a fresh way of seeing the everydayness of working lives.”

While in the program, Gertz Umbach worked with Neil Shepard. The alum says her mentor “helped me to push to the finish line on this book when at times it seemed impossible.”

Congrats, Sandee!

Todd McClimans: Grad Earns National Recognition

July 3, 2013

M.A. alum Todd McClimans has recently been honored with national recognition for his creative work. While in the program, McClimans worked with Lenore Hart and David Poyer on his alternate-history middle grade manuscript, Time Traitor. The manuscript has been declared one of five finalists in the 2013 National Association of Elementary School Principals Children’s Book Award competition.

“I couldn’t believe that my manuscript, Time Traitor, had been named one of the finalists,” says McClimans. ”I’ve been struggling to get my manuscript noticed in the slush piles of many agencies. Becoming a finalist let me know that I had written a viable story and that I do have a chance at achieving my dream.”

McClimans credits the Wilkes writing program for the development and success of his project. “I can’t overstate how much I learned from David Poyer and Lenore Hart,” the alum says. “Dave taught me how to take an idea from beginning to end with the dreaded outline, to hone my voice for brevity and exactness, to trust my story and myself, and to push through self-built walls. With Lenore, I learned to pull my language together and to further hone my voice to reach younger readers. I’m so grateful for their guidance, support, and friendship. I wouldn’t be here without them.”

New Managing Editor for Etruscan Press

June 26, 2013

 

EtruscanLogo

Etruscan Press is delighted to announce that Dr. Jaclyn Fowler has agreed to accept the position of Managing Editor of Etruscan Press. Jackie received her M.F.A. and M.A. from Wilkes University’s Creative Writing program.

Prior to coming to Etruscan Press, Dr. Fowler taught English, Creative Writing, and Education to K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and adult learners in both the traditional ground and asynchronous online classrooms. She also served several independent schools as head of their academic programs and sits on the PA State Board of Private Schools.

Dr. Fowler received her doctorate in Education and Second Language Acquisition from The Pennsylvania State University.

Hippocampus Magazine seeks editors & readers

June 19, 2013

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Hippocampus Magazine, founded by Wilkes alum Donna Talarico, is looking for a few additional volunteer readers and copy editors to join their staff. These are unpaid volunteer positions, but the experience is great for resumes! Reading submissions is a fantastic way to improve your own writing, while also helping shape future issues of a thriving creative nonfiction magazine.

Visit Hippocampus Magazine online for more details and contact Donna Talarico if you are interested in volunteering.

 

 

Novel Debut from alum Lauren Catron

June 12, 2013
Lauren Catron

Lauren Catron

Wilkes alum Lauren Catron has been busy since graduating with her MA in Creative Writing. With the launch of her debut novel this summer, Catron has been putting her effort into finessing her website—and writing a sequel.

Changeling Eyes is the first book in the series. “In a way, The Aesir Chronicles are an alternate history of earth,” Catron says, “one that explains why we have legends of unicorns, fairies, Elves, trolls, dragons and many more. It is also a place if you will, where science, magic, and religion are all part of a whole rather than each excluding the other, as we always seem to think they must.”

The first book introduces Lrill and her struggle with her powerful heritage, and the revelation that there is a core of truth at the center of every legend. “I plan for the series to span from the creation of the world to its destruction and rebirth,” says Catron. “And since I’ve chosen to make this an alternate history of earth, I have every myth from every culture to play with—sort of like what Jim Butcher does in the Dresden Files. So you can anticipate cultural crossovers.”

Changeling Eyes is scheduled for a summer debut with Booktrope Publishing. Catron says she admires their publishing model that relies on a solid team to work toward the success of the book. The author, editor, proofreader, cover designer, and book manager all work together to ensure the best for the book. “This also gives the author a great deal of input into their cover design,” Catron says “The author can also commission work from a designer who does not work for Booktrope, and Booktrope will usually find a way to accommodate this choice.”

While Catron is focused on the pre-publication of Changeling Eyes, she is already at work on its sequel. “I also have a few Graphic Novel ideas,” sheCatron Final-Cover says, “though those are a couple years out in my plans. Most of my writing centers around The Aesir Chronicles and I find that whenever I dream up as a standalone novel idea, I can find an excuse to tie it back into the main series. Having the entire world’s pool of myth and legend to work out of it makes it easy to tie things together. I have some vampires and a little steampunk, and maybe ninjas.”

Readers will find more news about Changeling Eyes and updates about the series on Lauren Catron’s website, http://www.lacatron.com.