Crowdfunding Marked by Scorn

The crowdfunding campaign for Marked by Scorn has been running for the last two weeks, and we’re already down to the final 10 days. I meant to announce it here sooner, but things have been busy.

If you’re not already aware of this book, the premise behind it was to put together a collection of stories and poetry that highlight a diverse array of characters in various non-traditional relationships. I have been making my mark highlighting the tales of the under-represented characters in mainstream media for years now. Focusing in particular on racial diversity, as with Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction, and sexuality diversity, like with many of the female characters in my pirate time-travel novel, Adrift (which features 4 women who are not straight and fall in different places along the sexuality spectrum).

Marked by Scorn follows and expands on both of these diverse areas, with stories across 5 continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America), more gender diversity (transgender, gender fluid, and intersex, as well as your more common cisgender characters), and a wider variety of gay, lesbian, and bisexual stories than what appeared in Amok. Many of the South East Asian stories explore what it’s like to have to hide your homosexuality in those cultures.

But these are all stories that transcend the labels, with universal experiences that everyone can relate to. Even if you fit the mainstream culture. As one reviewer put it:

“Altogether, the collection is uplifting, heart-wrenching, sexy, fun, wicked, but most of all, utterly important. Because the one thing that ties all of these stories of breakups and makeups and threesomes and violence and werewolves and partnerships and understanding together—is love. And what could possibly be more important than that?”

While we’re already 20% funded, we still have a way to go to reach the $2,500 goal. If you haven’t already seen the campaign, let me lay down a few basic details about what YOU get:

  • If we reach the goal, everyone who backed the campaign will get a free ebook of Solarwyrm’s first anthology, Fae Fatales: A Fantasy Noir Anthology. This will likely be the last time the book will be available with Solarwyrm, as the editor has moved on to another publishing business.
  • Backers will get their paperbacks at least a month prior to the publication date (July 31) – they’re ready to be sent out as soon as the campaign ends.
  • San Francisco Bay Area backers will be able to collect their paperbacks in person even earlier, if ordered early enough (there are about 20 available copies scheduled to arrive in Oakland in the next 48 hours, and 3 remaining available copies of Adrift, and 2 of Amok before more would need to be ordered).
  • DRM-free ebooks come with all paperback orders of the same book(s).
  • The ebooks will start to be sent out as of Friday May 27 to anyone who has already backed the campaign.
  • There are still a few ebooks available at the early backer price of $4!

Whilst the book is all ready to send out to people, the aim of the campaign is to raise enough funds to pay the 32 writers what is owed to them as per their contracts. Because Solarwyrm believes in paying our contributors.

So if this all sounds awesome to you, go check out the campaign, buy a book or three (the other books listed above are also listed as perks), and help us spread the word so you can get that bonus ebook.

Our Next Title: Marked by Scorn

Marked by Scorn coverAfter far too many delays due to other projects and life commitments, editor Dominica Malcolm is nearing the completion of her anticipated second anthology, Marked by Scorn: An Anthology Featuring Non-Traditional Relationships.

The cover (right), designed by Grace Jensen, depicts two of the relationships featured in the anthology itself, and showcases some of the racial and sexuality diversity that she was looking for.

The book features 8 poems and 25 prose stories. Genre varies throughout from contemporary fiction to romance to speculative fiction to memoir. It currently sits at around 96,000 words and 280 pages.

The crowdfunding campaign should be launched within the next couple of months, so be on the lookout for that. This will enable you to get your copy of the book prior to the official release date, which is not yet decided but likely won’t be until at least two months after the campaign ends.

I am looking for bloggers to write early reviews, so please email solarwyrm@gmail.com to request an advanced reading copy of the ebook. Include where you intend to post your review (blog, Goodreads, Amazon, etc).

The contents of the book is as follows:
Mirror Sunsets by Kelly Burke (South Africa)
Waking Dream by Jeremiah Murphy (USA)
Acceptance by DJ Tyrer (poetry)
Emergency Encounter by Cindy Stauffer (Haiti)
Breaking Point by Tara Calaby (Australia)
A Love on the Other Side of the World by Men Pechet (Cambodia)
The Way Love Goes by Dana L Stringer (poetry)
Alone Time by Viny (Denmark)
If it Ain’t Broke by Sara Dobie Bauer (USA)
Keeping Mum About Dad by Vanessa Ng (Singapore)
The Alleys of the Mind by Cathy Bryant (poetry)
Deer Hunting With the Prey by Tom Trumpinski (USA)
Holiday Mini-Series by Adan Ramie (USA)
Fragmented by DJ Tyrer (UK)
Lessons on Loving an Able-Bodied Man by Taylor Lyn Carmen (poetry)
The Kebaya King by Rumaizah Abu Bakar (Malaysia, Indonesia)
The Affair by Rebecca Freeman (Australia)
Spar by Baylea Jones (USA)
Draupadi Hallucinating by Rochelle Potkar (poetry, India)
Dominion Hotel by Mo Reynolds (Canada)
Churriye by Khadija Anderson (Senegal)
Flesh and Stone by Dominica Malcolm (Thailand, Malaysia)
Spiralling Home by Karen Sylvia Rockwell (poetry)
The Final Act by Tom Nolan (UK)
Love is in the Blood by Kawika Guillermo
Holi Colour by Shruti Sareen (India)
Penelope by Eve Kenneally (poetry)
Simplicity by Donnelle Belanger-Taylor
Roulez by GK Hansen (USA)
Under the Sycamores by Terry Sanville (USA)
On Being Loved by a White Boy by Kiki Nicole (poetry)
Partners by Jude Ortega (Philippines)
No Magical Vanilla by Jo Wu (USA)

Bowing out

Roughly four years ago I wrote a story called “Isabel and the Elf Knight” for an anthology based on Child ballads that never happened. I liked the story and wanted to do something with it. At the time I’d never been published, and had absolutely no idea how to go about doing that, but I had been playing this game on Livejournal called LJ Idol so I knew a fairly large number of amateur writers of very good quality. My story was a bit noir, so I put out a call to my writer friends for other fantasy noir stories. Then I thought, hey, I guess I need a Press name if we’re going to do this. Got together with one of those writers (Dominica Malcolm), and Solarwyrm Press was born. We published Fae Fatales, made a buttload of mistakes, hopefully learned from them, and went on to put out several other anthologies and a two-monthly journal of fiction and poetry.

Solarwyrm has been in existence now for about four years, give or take, and it has been quite a ride. In about mid 2014, I began to become very conscious that I really had just been making it up as I went along, and that there were a bunch of things I knew I’d done wrong with my first couple of books. I began to wonder what else I was doing wrong. So I decided to do a diploma in publishing to find out. My goal was to identify the gaps in my knowledge and fill them.

I spent last year doing that, only to find by the end of the year that what I now wanted to be doing was well out of the scope of what we’d set up to do with Solarwyrm. Dominica and I had a number of conversations about maybe taking it in new directions, but eventually came to the conclusion that actually we wanted very different things now. I wanted to do something quite new. That new and different thing is currently very much in the works, and I hope to be telling you about it soon.

In the meantime though, I have to announce that I am leaving Solarwyrm. I’ll be taking my own books (including Latchkey Tales) out of print, and redesigning and rereleasing them over the next few months. They will be available for purchase until the end of next week – so if you still want them in their current Solarwyrm format, now is the time to buy them! Dominica will continue to fly the Solarwyrm flag and keep the Press alive. I will be lending all my weight to support her in everything she does with it. I also encourage you to continue to support Dominica with whatever happens next for her and Solarwyrm.

I am a great believer in Indie publishing and in the crowd we create when we work together instead of being competitive. If you’re reading this, you’re part of that. Solarwyrm wouldn’t exist without you, and I thank you so much for your support over the years and really hope you will continue to support Solarwyrm.

But for me, the Solarwyrm journey is over, except as a patron and reader, and I’m in the process of setting up the Next Big Thing for Jax. It’s going to be amazing. If you want to keep up with my new projects – and I really hope you will – keep an eye on my blog, follow me on Twitter or Facebook, and stay in touch. Exciting times!

A long overdue update!

Well, hello people who pay attention to Solarwyrm! There hasn’t been much to pay attention to recently, has there?

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the people behind the world of Solarwyrm have both been swamped by real life recently. But in good ways! Dom moved to SF, and has been very busy there doing all sorts of amazing things, some of which you can read about on her blog. I moved to Wellington (NZ) to actually study publishing, and learn all the things we’ve been doing wrong. And I am learning a LOT! So you can expect some subtle and maybe not so subtle changes around here as I start to implement the things I’m discovering.

As for the Solarwyrm projects, Latchkey Tales continues to discover and publish amazing, quirky stories and poetry every two months. I’ve just spent some time making sure they’re all up and running on Amazon as both physical books and ebooks, so if you missed some and would like to go back and get them, they should be up in the next couple of days, depending on how long it takes Amazon to process it. Once they’re all up, I’ll be posting a bunch of links, and maybe even indulging in some specials and promos for all our books, so keep an eye on the blog and the Facebook page for those. For the new editions coming out over the next few months, though, the Patreon page is still the best, and cheapest, way of getting your mitts on Latchkey.

Dom is working away on our next anthology, Marked by Scorn, so you can expect an update on that sometime in the next little while as well.

And in general I am going to be a bit more active around here. So look forward to a bit more from us in the near future. And thanks for sticking around. You guys are the reason we do this.🙂

— Jax