I'm honored and thrilled that my novel "The Winter Boy" has been chosen to be included in the first ever fantasy ebook bundle from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and delivered by StoryBundle. The bundle runs from today to Thursday, November 2.
This bundle offers twelve excellent fantasy titles, all from SFWA pros. Pay a minimum of $5 to get the basic bundle of four titles. Pay $15 or more, and get all twelve titles, including "The Winter Boy".
Read excerpts from all the novels and buy the bundle here.
Founded in 1965, SFWA is an organization for published authors and industry professionals in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction and related genres. Some of the proceeds of this bundle will go to support SFWA in its mission to support, promote, inform, defend, and advocate for professional fantasy and science fiction writers.
I pulled three of the quotes that readers have mentioned as being among their favorites from the novel.
I've created three The Winter Boy quotes t-shirts that I'll be wearing at the Philcon Conference in Cherry Hill, NJ this weekend. Each is a one of a kind.
There'll be a drawing for the t-shirts and for one paperback copy of "The Winter Boy" on Sunday at 12:15 pm in the Con Suite. The winners can have the t-shirts (and, of course, the book) personally autographed.
I'll be reading a new short story, giving a workshop on Understanding the Grand Game and participating in various panels at the Philcon conference in Cherry Hill, NJ this weekend. (It's going to be a fun weekend!) If you'll be there, please come by and say hello.
Here's my schedule:
Fri 8:00 PM in Executive Suite 623— I'll be reading my new short story "Beyond Our Hidden Stars"
Sat 2:00 PM in Plaza III (Three)—Understanding the Grant Game
There are plenty of art and writing grants out there. The key to getting them is understanding what grantors are looking for, and designing a project pitch that will catch the interest of both grantors and the public alike while maintaining your vision. Join author Sally Wiener Grotta- who has received over forty grants- for a presentation on how to be a winner in the grants game.
Sat 3:00 PM in Plaza III (Three)—Stepping Over the Bechdel Test
"Two women who talk to each other about something besides a man" was intended to be literally the lowest bar you could set for decent female representation in a story, and yet (more…)
How time flies! If you haven’t already ordered your holiday cards, it’s time to get them. But with all the online print services available, which one will help you to create the perfect card, yet not get you bogged down by the interface? And, most important, which one will produce a card that you will be proud to share with your family, friends and associates?
To help you choose, I tested eight of the more popular sites for photo products: Apple Photo, GotPrint, Mixbook, Mpix, Picaboo, Shutterfly, Snapfish and Vistaprint. Click here to read which were my favorites and which you should steer clear.
My profile page on the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) Speakers Bureau website is now live. You can view it at speakers.sfwa.org/profiles/sally-wiener-grotta/. I'm honored to be in the company of such interesting and accomplished individuals.
Today, while doing my morning exercises, I clicked through Netflix and ended up watching “First Contact: Lost Tribe of the Amazon.” It’s a fascinating documentary about an anthropologist’s first interaction with one of the isolated tribes of the region. But my interest wasn’t only intellectual. I was curious about how the tribe Daniel and I had once met might have fared. (To read a bit about our experience in the Amazon, please go to a lighthearted piece I did for Lawrence Schoen’s Eating Authors.)
According to “First Contact,” an Amazon region of about 30,000 square miles (spread across the border between Brazil and Peru) is home to the majority of “uncontacted” people in the planet. Uncontacted means that they have had no recorded interaction with the outside modern world. However, many (if not most) have been watching us for a long time. In fact, it’s postulated that their ancestors ran into the dense jungle to escape the horrors and devastation of previous encounters. For some, it started way back in the early 19th century, when rubber plantations plowed through the area, destroying entire tribes through slavery, illness and wholesale slaughter. It’s a dark piece of history, repeated all over the world when outsiders “discovered” new lands populated by indigenous people.
Daniel’s and my encounter was much gentler and probably whitewashed by the local officials. After all, the Peruvian representatives needed to keep our small bevy of journalists in a happy state of mind. Nor did we have much time to dig deeper, since we arrived on Friday and flew home on Monday. It was classic parachute journalism, with our story intended for readers of the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer’s Travel section.
But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been haunted over the decades by what I saw (and what I didn’t see). No doubt this and other encounters have influenced me deeply, including having a major impact on the fiction I write. I now view my memories of that weekend in the Amazon through a much more informed filter – one that recognizes how little I know, and how much I hunger to understand.
As a result, I’m in the throes of writing an essay on the nature of alienness, which has nothing to do with bare breasts, unknown languages or strange environments. Being alien relates to the fundamentally different preconceptions and points of reference that make the borderland between people so dangerous and unpredictable. At least, that’s the thesis underlying my essay in progress. Now to see where it takes me.
Sally Wiener Grotta, storyteller (Photo by Daniel Grotta, imaging by Sally)
Recently, I needed to provide a headshot for a lecture description. While going through my various profile images, I came across this one for my previous photo project The Wordsmiths Project.. And, yes, those are the first paragraphs of my novel The Winter Boy swirling around my head.
For The Wordsmiths Project. I spent a few years creating interpretive portraits of people behind the scenes in book publishing. It was a great adventure for me, and I got to spend time with some fascinating people. I was honored thatThe Wordsmiths Project. had its debut exhibit at the entrance to the 2007 Book Expo in New York City's Javits Center. When I have time, I'll share some of the portraits I created for the project here on my blog.
Left to Right: Randee Dawn, Sally Wiener Grotta, Delia Sherman, Ellen Kushner
This past week, I went to my first KGB Bar Reading (in NYC). It was a delightful evening, sharing the warm, energetic and inspiring companionship of fellow authors, which included a luminous reading by Theodora Goss.
If you're visiting New York City (or live there), be sure to check out the KGB Readings calendar. The audience is often as celebrated as the author at the podium.
Thank you Sala Wyman for another very nice review of my novel "Jo Joe" and a fun interview session....
"Set in a fictional village in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Sally Wiener Grotta takes on the inner shards of racism with her novel Jo Joe, a Black Bear, Pennsylvania Story.
"There are always a couple of ways to deal with the topic of racism and its effects on the victims. One is to just document the facts about oppressors and victims. Another is to take a higher road: the healing of victims, families, and communities. Ms. Grotta beautifully and skillfully takes the high road.
"As a black American, I often read stories about people of color with a critical eye, with the unfortunate expectation that characters of color will show up in two dimensional caricatures or worse. I am delighted that Ms. Grotta, a marvelous storyteller, cleverly avoided that abyss. Once I picked the book up, I did not put it down.
"The story of Judith Ormand, a biracial woman of Jewish and Black heritage whose..." Please Click Here to read Sala Wyman's full review of "Jo Joe." Then scroll down below the review to read the interview she did with me.
Daniel Grotta often gave autographed copies of "Honor" to wounded vets, as his thank you. One of the most frequent comments -- from vets and ex-hippies alike -- is "I had to wipe the tears from my eyes." In celebration of Independence Day, and to honor the people who have made the United States of America great, Pixel Hall Press has temporarily reduced the price of print copies of "Honor" to only $5.25 until July 5th. That's an even further reduction from their Summer Reading Sale. (Please Click to Buy, or pick up the eBook (at all digital book sellers) for only 99 cents. )
Set during the Vietnam War era, "Honor" is a poignant yet quick read that has captured the hearts of veterans and former hippies alike.
What is it to be honorable? In the eyes of others? In your own heart? Is it what you've done or who you are? Jeff Smith was, as his bully of a brother-in-law Gene Engelhardt was fond of retelling, "what the cat dragged in." A scruffy, bearded hippie Gene's sister Bonnie had met and fallen deeply in love with decades ago at a Washington peace rally against the Vietnam War. Even shaved and doing whatever the Engelhardts wanted, his in-laws never accepted or approved of Jeff. Now, Jeff is saddled with a family, a dead end job, and, after Bonnie died of cancer, a mountain of debt. Only Jeff has a secret and a unique possession that could possibly solve his financial problems and help his daughter realize her dream, if he can ever overcome the guilt and shame that has haunted him for over thirty years.
"Honor" is currently being developed into a theatrical play by the playwright David Zarko.
"Honor" is available as a trade paperback and an eBook in all format, from most bookstores and book websites. However, the Independence Day sale price is available only on the please Pixel Hall Press website
Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, Mary Doria Russell and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Winter Boy is masterful storytelling that explores important political and social issues, wrapped up in masterful storytelling.