5 Days To Go! Let’s Fund Crows on Heartstrings!

b46e8e6853cf2c1e2fb3d3e3a4b41bc8_original

WE’RE 85% FUNDED AND NEED ONE MORE PUSH TO GET FUNDED IN THE NEXT FIVE DAYS!

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE!

We only have FIVE DAYS! We can do this with your help!

crows_on_heartstrings_cover_spread

Crows on Heartstrings is a fully illustrated anthology of short stories. We have a little something for everyone, no matter what your gender, sexuality, or color, we have something for you. We are proud to say that we are mostly created by, for and about lgbtqa+ folks. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before. We are also comprised of 23 women, and 3 men, so READ WOMEN!

The project is in its last FIVE DAYS on kickstarter and we need all of your support to bring our dream to life! please pledge if you can, and spread the word. thank you for everything, guys. we would not have made it this far without you!

 

Here are some of our contributors:

@aegisdea @aubreymeeksart @pannan-art @sonialiao @maxwickstrom @weatherfox @alisabishop @heavenlyeros @dodtt @spectre-draws @thevioletknight @shutterbones @artofpan

@theconstantvoice

What Crows on Heartstrings NEEDS:

We need FUNDING. We need your pledges to make this a reality. If you can pledge even just five dollars if you can, and tell five friends personally to pledge as well, we can do this! We want to give you the characters you want to read. Please help us make this inclusive book written and illustrated by 23 women, and 3 men, some or most of us LGBT+ writers and artists.  Come on! We can do it!

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE!

We only have FIVE DAYS! We can do this with your help!

0eb8bd6fab8072b368d58e2a3fc7fa48_original

Advertisements

21 Questions with Beverley Lee

29010526

I have been waiting for this book for months now. It’s arriving today in the mail via Amazon and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!

Beverley Lee is one of the talented writers working on my upcoming curatorial project, Crows on Heartstrings. Now, she’s working on a series devoted to her mysterious boy, Gabriel Davenport.

I was lucky enough to sit down with Beverley Lee and ask her a few questions about The Making of Gabriel Davenport!

Welcome to an article highlighting all the reasons I am obsessed with Gabe and why you should be too!

 

 

  1. When was Gabriel born? (How long have you been working on his story?)
    • Gabriel started off in the summer of 2014 as the first 3,000 words of a short story competition (which I incidentally never entered) but something wasn’t quite right. I picked it up again in January 2015 and immediately knew what was wrong. Originally Gabriel was a girl, called Erin. Once I changed that, his story all fell into place.
  2. What is one thing you want us to know about your story
    • That even though the theme is dark, it is about the indomitable human spirit of courage and hope in seemingly hopeless situations.
  3. Will we get any fun ship names from this book? 
    • Maybe not in this book but most definitely in the sequel. And I’m not telling or it would give the game away 😉
  4. Will this be a standalone book or part of a series?
    • It’s the first in a trilogy which isn’t bad for something that started out as it did 🙂
  5. If Gabriel could give us any warnings before we read the book, what would he tell us?
    • That it’s very bleak in places. And that sometimes the things good people do don’t always matter.
  6. What was your favorite part of writing this book?
    • Developing the character relationships. It’s thrilling to take what you have created and watch them grow. Gabriel is my protagonist but there are other characters who are essential in his story and each one has their own tale to tell.
  7. What is Gabriel’s personality type?
    • He’s a INFP- A ‘Mediator. Yes, I’m nerdy enough to have done the personality test for him! I love that it fits him so well. If you didn’t know him you would say he was reserved, but you wouldn’t know about his inner flame. He is led by the purity of his intent, not by logic, something that gets him into sticky situations.
  8. Who are you most excited for us to meet?
    • Moth. The whole game changes when he appears.
  9. Who are you most worried about us meeting?
    • Moth. Which might sound odd but you’ll see when you read. He makes things ‘difficult’.
  10. What was the most daunting part of getting Gabriel published.
    • Believing in myself. Don’t let anyone tell you that self publishing is easy. There is SO much to think about and so many ways to take yourself down the wrong path. I’ve had to learn on my feet but hopefully won’t make the same mistakes next time!
  11. What would Gabriel think if he broke the fourth wall?
    • That I’m a sadist *laughs* I certainly put him through it but I hope he would realise that the story demanded it, and if I made it easy for him he wouldn’t be the character he is today.
  12. If Gabriel were a superhero, who would he be most like?
    • Spiderman. There’s a part in the book where he talks about how cool it would be to have the ability to fly – and I think Spiderman comes pretty close to that.
  13. What are the key themes you tackle in this book?
    • The struggle between darkness and light and our perceptions of it. And what happens when the line blurs in between.
  14. Who is your favorite character in this book?
    • Apart from Gabriel? 😉 I have a very soft spot for Noah. He’s loyal and supportive and amiable but this can lead to him being put upon. He’s the closest to me in this book.
  15. Do you think we will agree with your answer for number 14?
    • I’m not sure! I think you’ll like him. He has a wonderful back story too and has a huge impact on how things play out in part 1 of the book.
  16. If Gabriel met you in real life, would he like you? (By the end of the book)
    • By the end of the book? Definitely not…
  17. Can you tell us a bit about the plot?
    • This is a longer version of the back blurb. I can’t go into specifics as I don’t want to spoiler! In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

      Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.

      Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.

      As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.

      The darkness is watching.

  18. What sort of genre is this?
    • It’s a dark fantasy, set in the present but with definite ties to the past.
  19. Did you always want to write this genre?
    • Definitely. I’ve always been in thrall to the darker side of fiction and I love incorporating supernatural twists into tight plots and character driven stories.
  20. Will you continue in this genre or will you venture out?
    • I’m very comfortable in this genre but if the right story kept nipping at my heels I would certainly run with it to see where it led me.
  21. Does Gabriel fit with the Crows on Heartstrings Theme? (Is he doomed or do we have hope?)
    • Ah, the tough one. I’m going to say both, because it’s true 😉

For more on Gabriel and Beverley, find her on twitter, @constantvoice

March Writing Prompts

medium_March_Writing_Prompts

I think I’m going to take part in this month’s Writer’s Write prompt challenge. I’ll try to keep them short, around 500-1000 words.

It will mostly be a chance to just practice writing, keeping me in my active voice, and structured nice and neat.

Getting ready for my edits on Crows on Heartstrings 😀

Crows on Heartstrings Anti Valentine’s Day Cards!

 

Ready to read these gut-wrenching stories? Visit the Crows on Heartstrings website!

Crows on Heartstrings – Anti Valentine’s

Here’s another one by Ashley Feemster for our Artist, Writer, and Curator, my story, Roses Grow for Mammet Men.

This is the perfect time for me to talk to you about my short story!

Roses Grow for Mammet Men is an Urban Fantasy set in New York City. Elves and Fairies are living among humans and they have more important things to worry about than hatred from humans.

Roses Grow for Mammet Men has everything you could want, romance, magic, treachery, and heartache. Dathi and Mercurie struggle with identity, war, and keeping the love alive in this twisty tale.

Follow us for more on this story and all our others! 

Finishing Things!

I just finished my first draft of Roses Grow for Mammet Men for Crows on Heartstrings.

For those of you who don’t know, Crows on Heartstrings is a collection of short stories I am curating. Each story is accompanied by an illustration to pull us into the deep darkness of doomed love.

While it’s quite the relief to have something finished, I am itching to get back into the story and pull out all the stops for you guys. In the next round, I edit with the intention of making the reader cry.

😀

 

When they met… Abomination Boy and Half a Prince Part 9

Lucien and Elijah Header

Listening to Lucien was like listening to an escaped prisoner of war. Elijah had witnessed both World Wars unfold, and he’d seen humans breakdown, crease in unadulterated misery. He hadn’t molded himself with them. His father loved the large scale massacre, using weapons he had paraded for humanity to know. He leaned back on his seat and draped an arm behind the chair.

“I don’t suppose there would be many who would love to take you, but Dahlia looks like she’s going to assist you because you are dear to her.” A muscle in his jaw twitched. Talking about feelings was the last thing Elijah wanted, but this Lucien appeared to need some of it. “Are there many of you? Your brother, is he like you?”

“I dunno, I think I’m a bit more of a project to her. She’s a great girl, and I appreciate what she’s done. I just don’t know about being particularly dear to her.” Lucien smirked. He didn’t think he was dear to anyone. Better to keep palling around with Dahlia than to be out on the street where kids strike you down to sell your bones.

“Ehhhh. My brother. I have two. I think. Lilith calls me three and Mal two, so we always assumed there was another.” Lucien winced again, a pierce of clumpy demons blood was making its way to his heart and the only thing it did was lay a trail of piercing pricks the entire way to his heart. He braced himself.

Lucien doubled over, clutching his heart, and his face contorted. Deep creases slashed his brow as the prickly clot entered his heart in one beat and out the next. His body relaxed through the aftershocks, what would have killed a human just made Lucien feel like he was drowning.

“Sorry.” He breathed heavily, still doubled over with his head between his legs.

He straightened up. Usually he had this charade all covered, his pain was well hidden because there’s no pity in Hell. He hated the way his lean and fit body juxtaposed his sickly reality.

“Your wretched life is one I can understand.” Elijah heaved a sigh. He hadn’t seen his own life as years full of rainbows, but his father had been proud of him, had flaunted him to the other demons as his ferocious weapon. He hadn’t experienced being degraded by his own parent. He raked his hair with his fingers, pushing away strands of waves from his forehead. “You must keep a low profile and refrain yourself from displaying in the public. Humans can be as uncharitable as demons, or unbending as the angels. You are fortunate to have someone take care of you, but may I suggest that you care of your well-being as part of gratitude for Dahlia and for your own life. Would you want demons to cackle at your wasted life?”

He fumbled for his phone and fished it out from his pocket. He flipped it over and over in his hands. “I know a demon who can probe about your condition.” He curled his lips up. “In recompense to what I did to you.”

Lucien’s body took an exasperated plunge into the cushions. “I dunno if I’m into being probed just yet.” Lucien smirked. Smiling and smirking didn’t keep him from pulling a cushion up past his navel to cover the bruising at his hips. “Is that really necessary?  I asked you for that bullet. Don’t feel obligated to fix something I asked for.” Lucien tensed. How could he mind being this way when it was all he knew?


Previous Next


 

Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne 

The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!

Stay tuned for more of Elijah and Lucien tomorrow!

Well now, they seem to be behaving…

Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015

Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015

Abomination Boy and Half a Prince Part 8

Lucien and Elijah Header

Lucien cleared his throat. No one asks about your mental health in Hell, so when Elijah took enough time to ask, it forced an unintentional blush to dust Lucien’s cheeks. He was new to it, new to talking, really. It made him sweat. It made his hands clammy. But he figured if so much humanity was going on because of one conversation, it might be looking good on the insanity front.

“So when you figure things out in your head, you have just the one smooth voice figuring things out? Right?” He squashed his full lips with the tips of his inky fingers, they looked like charcoal smudges, but upon closer look, it was clear that it was just part of his coloring. “My body is going through a civil war constantly. Even now, it is taking all I have not to scratch my eyes out because of the incessant boiling in my blood. In my head, I can hear the two parts of me whispering to each other. But it isn’t any part of my consciousness. It’s like I’m eavesdropping on war negotiations.” Lucien tried so hard. He was trying to look serene, trying to put on the front that he had this all under control. But little creases formed in his brow. His black eyes looked angry under his stitched brows, but in their darkness, it was plain to see they were glassy with frustration.

“If I tip the scale in one direction the voices get louder.  My angel is a nice side. It doesn’t say much when it’s winning. But the demon is a complete fuckhead. He never stops shrieking, it’s like being startled by your own head. Actually caught off guard by the screams, and when the demon is strong it gets angry, first commenting on my everyday life, things I’m doing, then telling me things, yelling at me, threatening me.  The pain is nothing. I’ve learned to deal with that. The thing the pain does is amplify the voices. It’s a lot.” Lucien’s explanation left his mouth with the ashamed twang of an apology.

Elijah leaned forward, elbows on knees and hands clasped between them. He gazed at the floor as though answers would come barrelling to him. He hated things he couldn’t gather.

“That sounds awful, but you cannot live your whole life like this. You will end up hurting other people around you, and you’ll end up killing yourself, and that time, your angel friend won’t be there to cure you.” He lived his long life collecting pieces and bringing them together in their right places, like the tiny pieces of puzzle, Elijah hated anything tangled. He loathed things he couldn’t understand and solve. “Where are you from? Are you an occupant of this house, too? How old are you?” He hadn’t come across anyone like him before.

Lucien’s face fell and his lips pursed. Elijah wasn’t saying anything he didn’t already know.

“I’d kill myself before I hurt someone else, and I’d much rather it that way. But the thing is, I am usually able to keep it in check. I’m sure that’s what everyone says about anything tremendously horrible, but…” Lucien stretched his body out like a cat in the sun. He stretched his fists out and over the sofa until they tapped the window behind him. His back felt good. His shirt fell open and said all the things he wasn’t saying. He’d been tormented, pushed to all limits. There were jagged scars and cuts dotted all over his torso. Some were shiny like burn marks laying in the gentle curve of his lean muscles, the others were jagged right angles where probably more metal had been shoved in to teach him something about being submissive to demons. There were finger long bruises around his hips, an oddly intimate place to have hands so obviously painted into one’s skin. But his face was calm, still, strong, his eyes masked the pain, just as he’d said it would.

“…if I’m not experimented on, or drained of too much angelic power, I can avoid episodes like that.” Lucien draped an arm over the back of the sofa and angled himself towards Elijah.

“As for your other questions. I was born and, well, sort of raised in Hell, somewhere in the bits of Enoch which don’t burn. I have a quaint little box there. And I suppose I’m about eighteen or nineteen. But I can’t be certain, we don’t celebrate birthdays where I’m from.” Lucien hooked his curling black horn under his arm and winced just once, just enough to be noticed. “But I escaped and I’m a bit homeless at the moment. I’ve only just met Dahlia but she’s given me a room here. I’m waiting patiently for her to tire of me and kick me out.”


Previous
Next

Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne 

The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!

Stay tuned for more of Elijah and Lucien tomorrow!

HE’S UP! What’s going to happen as Lucien faces his attacker?

Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015

Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015

Abomination Boy and Half a Prince Part 7

Lucien and Elijah Header

After a long staring competition with Natalie, Elijah hauled Lucien and threw him over his shoulder. The angel/demon was featherlight. He still smelled faintly of blood, even after his wounds had been healed and sealed. Elijah wondered what was wrong with him with his suicidal tendencies. Elijah had lived for centuries without the will to die. Even if he’d gone through excruciating years of insipid torment, he had never thought of killing himself.

Dahlia lead them to her van. She helped Elijah guide Lucien into the back seat and dove into the front.

It took only minutes to get them to her house, and in those minutes, Lucien went from zombie, to sitting upright with one horn tapping against the glass with the bumps in the potholed road.

He staggered from the parked van and swerved to the left and into the mailbox, catching it for support.

Natalie helped him out, striding fast to him and holding his arm. Elijah was there in lightning speed, telling her, “It’s best I help him instead of you. We don’t know how stable he is at the moment. You might get hurt.”

Natalie didn’t argue with Elijah about it. She went with Dahlia while Elijah aided Lucien, keeping him from stumbling on the ground.

Dahlia fumbled for her keys and held the door open for the two boys. The house was enormous, much too big for just one girl to be living in all by herself. But the grand entrance stood still in the dark with no trace of a family photo or stray pair of shoes to suggest anyone lived there other than Dahlia. She closed the door behind the boys and nodded in the direction of a ultra plush sofa in front of the window. “Does anyone want some wine? I think we could all use it.” She eyed Elijah as he helped Lucien to the sofa, then glanced hopefully at Natalie.

Natalie perched on the chair’s arm for a moment. “That will be great.” She sliced a glance at Elijah, made sure he wasn’t going to shoot Lucien again. “I definitely need a glass,” she told Dahlia and went with her in the kitchen.

Elijah plopped on the seat close to Lucien’s, snapping out the gun from his waistband and dropping it on the mid-table. He could hear Natalie and Dahlia’s voices from the kitchen, but other than their wine voices, the house was quiet. He crossed his legs and focused on Lucien. “Are you in the right condition to talk sense?”

Lucien glanced up at Elijah through his endlessly black eyes. He pulled the tattered bits of his t-shirt closed with little success, after trying once he couldn’t care enough about his bare chest. He reclined into the sofa and placed his hands over his heart like he were trying to gauge just how alive he really was.

“I suppose so. Tell the girls if I beg you to kill me again.” He didn’t smile, not even the ghost of a smile cracked against his pale lips.

“I’m not really the kind of person who’ll defend himself in a crime he willingly committed.” Elijah leaned sideways on the seat, propping his chin on his fist. “It baffles me, eternal creatures wishing for death? What has gone in that mind of yours?” Demons and angels, rarely had Elijah encountered ones who called for death, none until now. “Why do you wish to perish when your life is everlasting?”

Lucien played with the fraying bits of his shirt. “I actually don’t know if I am actually immortal.”


Previous – Next


 

Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne 

The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!

Stay tuned for more of Elijah and Lucien tomorrow!

HE’S UP! What’s going to happen as Lucien faces his attacker?

Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015

Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015

Abomination Boy and Half a Prince Part 6

Lucien and Elijah Header

Natalie paled at the sight of Dahlia’s fingers digging in Lucien’s flesh, but she pulled herself together. The last thing she wanted was to faint in the middle of this. A pang of sympathy coiled through her. Lucien looked helpless and fragile.

On the other hand, Elijah’s gaze over Lucien was steel. Natalie need not be reminded of why he was listless and at the same time sensitive about this. Blades and flesh and blood together would form a sick memory in his mind. Torture wasn’t new to him. Immense pain was a familiar ground.

“Do this as quick as possible. It is far better to endure a heightened pain in a short span of time,” Elijah suggested, shifting a little, brown eyes cast on Lucien’s current feeble figure. He already placed his knees on the ground, his dark wavy hair somewhat unkempt, white long-sleeved shirt clinging on his lean frame.

“Take out the rest now.”

The second scar was more jagged than the first, the crooked lines forced Natalie to sacrifice some good skin to get to the stinging metal underneath. Lucien, regaining a hazy consciousness, swallowed hard and grit his teeth.

Dahlia reached inside the pocket of flesh and accidentally sliced Lucien with hasty movements and the sharp corroded metal.

Lucien fiercely kicked out and howled a guttural scream. His hands found Elijah’s wrists firmly pressing his body to the pavement. He latched on to keep himself from thrashing, and found comfort in the steady pulse on the tender side of Elijah’s wrists.

Lucien calmed the moment the metal was removed. His head fell back against the cool cement of the alleyway. He smiled into the calm, and welcomed the clarity that came with the heat of Dahlia’s hands on his chest, filling him with heavenly fire to combat the shadows in his blood.

“Is he okay now?” Natalie asked, still holding the bloodstained knife in her hand.

They were lucky the street was deserted and the street lamps only emanated dim lights. Elijah thought if someone had seen them, they’d think they were robbing and assaulting him. He eased up from Lucien and studied his condition. “We should bring him somewhere safe. Where do you live?”

Lucien slowly started to breathe normally, and seemed to be doing better. He wasn’t running around like a maniac, so that was okay.

“I think he’ll be okay, I dunno I was just experimenting, taking a stab in the dark with that one.” Dahlia looked around for for her van parked on their empty street. “I live just around the corner. If you don’t mind helping me get him inside, I would greatly appreciate it.” Dahlia would more than appreciate it.  She had been babysitting Lucien all day, and only now was the stress of worrying catching up to her.

Natalie rose and nudged Elijah’s arm. “Carry him.”

Previous – Next


 

Welcome to the Lucien and Elijah serial by Aubrey Meeks and Julienne 

The accompanying illustration was done by Aegisdea and I couldn’t be happier!

Stay tuned for more of Elijah and Lucien tomorrow!

Are we ever going to really meet Lucien? Or maybe he’ll kick it before we can get anything out of him.

Lucien and Abomination Boys characters and writing © Aubrey “Meeks” Brown 2015

Elijah and writing © Julienne 2015