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Posts Tagged ‘Sideshows’

mermaid My story collection, Owl Light, includes several reprinted tales along with brand new stories. In order for a reader to read the reprinted stories in their original versions, he or she would have to hunt for, locate, then purchase various anthologies and magazines.

One of the reprinted tales, “By the Sea,” was an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Honorable Award Winner,  released as an eShort (no longer available) as well as being included in Tales of the Talisman. It was also voted one of the Top Ten SF/F Short Stories in the P&E Reader’s Poll. Though it has been updated, the storyline and mermaid theme remain the same. I thought readers might like to read 2 brief reviews of “By the Sea.”

Author Robin Bayne: “I really enjoyed this lovely tale. The story was short but conveyed an interesting world and characters you could care about.”

Editor/author WH Stevens: “”Ms. Crist’s story, “By the Sea,” will take you to a land of seaside delights and carnival excitement. Bordering on a dreamy current of fantasy and reality, the story of Dusana, the 17 year old sideshow mermaid will keep your attention for a fast, easy read. The characters, so real you can see them, the sights of the neon lights and the sound of the calliope will transport you to Dusana’s world where she dreams of being a normal person. And the poetic, smooth language will engage you and seep into you like the ocean itself. The charm of the merfolk, candied apples and sideshow barkers will draw you to a touching and unexpected conclusion. Welcome to the fantasy world of Vonnie Crist. This is her moment and it is a fine one, indeed.”

Like mermaids, boardwalks, and sideshow? Buy Owl Light, then turn to “By the Sea.” (And if you’re a fan of shape-changing sea creatures, the next tale in the book features a selkie).

 

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The Demon and the Author: An Interview by L.C. Hu

“Earl of Hell Glasya-Labolas, aka Obed Brandt, is head of security at the Midnight Carnival. In the spirit of the upcoming observance of All Hallow’s Eve, he has agreed to interview Re-Vamp and Midnight Carnival author L.C. Hu. He gratefully acknowledges Vonnie Winslow Crist for playing host to them.

tumblr_mqxmcbfdjR1scakoko1_500 OB: Good evening, LC. Thank you for joining me. We at the carnival know you as our Ringmaster, in a way, and we’re all curious to know more about what’s behind all those shadows.

LC: Oh, I’m only half the Ringmaster, if that, so don’t give me more credit than is due. But thank you for having me! And I suppose I could let you have a peek.

OB: Much obliged. So, what would draw you to the carnival, as a patron? What kinds of things would you most want to see or experience?

LC: Hmm. The sideshows, I suppose, though part of the carnival’s power, as you know, is to draw people in no matter what their interest. But the sideshows would be what caught my attention. The firebreathing, the tattooed lady, that kind of thing. Part of the draw of those shows are the hopes you’ll catch a glimpse of something really odd, and I think at the Midnight Carnival, you’d see that.

OB: Could you be convinced to stay there?

LC: Oh, probably not, I’m a bit of a coward, heh.

mc_cover OB: Speaking completely hypothetically, of course… if you were to make a deal with a devil, what would you want from the bargain? What would you be willing to do or give up in exchange?

LC: I… I don’t think there’s much that could get me to make a deal with a devil, even one as handsome as yourself. I’m too much of a control freak. I suppose the one exception would be if something threatened one of the people I loved; I should be willing to give up quite a bit to help them. But even that would have to be pretty drastic, as I also feel that some bad situations are just to be endured and learnt from.

OB: Let’s say you did decide to settle in at the carnival. What job would you want? Why do you think that would be a good fit for you?

LC: Ha honestly, I think I’d be fit to maybe sell slushies or do admin work for the Ringmaster. I’m not much of a carnie. Maybe I could take tickets, like Carver does.

OB: You seem very comfortable with horror, and with horror-influenced writing. What draws you to that? What do you like most about it? Least?

LC: I enjoy the tension and release of being afraid and then understanding. I suppose that’s why much of my favorite horror is resolved–not just unfathomable evil (with a few exceptions). There’s an element of mystery to a lot of horror that I’m drawn to. I like puzzling over a story, trying to figure it out, to find out motivations and outcomes. The thrill of the scary moments, and the relief of the resolution. My least favorite thing about horror is that there’s a lot of it that brutalizes or objectifies women, or takes pleasure in the fear of women. We’re 50% of the population, but we get more than 50% of the fictional brutality. Although, sadly, that fact is probably reflected in reality, I wish that fiction could give us more of something else. I also really, really am not into super-sexualized violence against women, and that happens a lot in horror, too.

OB: In the carnival you deal with a wide range of supernatural creatures. What species do you most easily identify with? Which is the hardest for you to relate to?

LC: Oh, werewolves have always been my fictional “spirit animal” of sorts. I can relate to that uncontrollable anger, the beast within as it were, and the struggle to control the animal inside. Hardest to relate to… I suppose the mermaids. That’s just a species I’ve never been super aware of, so I don’t know all the mythology behind the species.

OB: Anything you’d like to add?

LC: Only that Halloween seems like the holiday made for the Midnight Carnival, but that’s the last place I’d want to be on Halloween. You and yours have made it a wonderful, terrible place to be.

OB: Thank you again, LC. A pleasure, as always.

Thanks to Liz Neering for writing Obed Brandt!”

L.C. Hu co-edited and contributed to the anthology Re-Vamp and The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only. To learn more about The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only, available this Halloween, visit maddocsoflit.com or find L.C. Hu at elsiewho.wordpress.com!

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31. Join us all five days for Halloween fun! Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!

Thanks to L.C. Hu for her guest post. Be sure and visit the other blog sites for fun Halloween-themed posts (including my guest posts). Coming up on Whimsical Words between now and All Hallow’s Eve: speculative authors Trisha Wooldridge, Elizabeth Black, and Gail Z. Martin.

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 In just a week, I’ll be venturing into the e-book short story world. It seems a small leap from the poems I’ve had published online in Sea Stories, Loch Raven Review, Chesapeake Reader, etc. Even a smaller leap from the science fiction story published by Space Westerns.  But for a woman who’s grown up loving the feel of a book in her hands, the sound of pages flipping, and that new book smell — it’s something to adjust to.

Still, the world is changing, and e-books seem to make sense for many readers. And so, in a week’s time, on October 15 my contemporary fantasy story, Sideshow By the Sea, will appear as an eShort. [As of Oct. 2011, no longer available, but look for this Writers of the Future Honorable Mention-winning tale to reappear in my short story collection, Owl Light, from Cold Moon Press ).

Sideshow by the Sea — what in the world is it about? With a nod to a sideshow-expert and friend, James Taylor, and his magazine “Shocked & Amazed” – I gathered what I knew of sideshows, added it to a tiny article about a mermaid baby being born, and tossed in the boardwalk atmosphere of Ocean City. Before I knew it, I had a tale (yes, pun intended) that moved from fact to speculation.

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