Author Spotlight: MARY SOON LEE

 

Today we bring you a second author interview, with new contributor, Mary Soon Lee.

We are all passionate, cross-genre writers who love Asian cultures and stories. Get to know us a little better through our Answers to 20/25 Questions challenge!

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Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but now lives in Pittsburgh. She writes both fiction and poetry, and has won the Rhysling Award and the Elgin Award. Her work has appeared in Analog, Daily Science Fiction, F&SF, Science, and Strange Horizons. She has an antiquated website at http://www.marysoonlee.com and tweets at @MarySoonLee

TWENTY QUESTIONS:

  1. Author Name/s: Mary Soon Lee
  2. Years active as a writer: 28
  3. What genre/s you write: fantasy, science fiction, science, mainstream
  4. Favorite length of story to write: poems or stories under 2000 words
  5. Your nationality: American
  6. Country you live in: USA, but I grew up in England.
  7. Number of Asian countries visited: 1
  8. Favorite place in Asia (visited): Singapore
  9. Place (city or country) you most want to visit in Asia: China
  10. Favorite Asian cuisine: Indian
  11. Favorite Asian dish: aloo gobi
  12. Favorite Asian book (any genre): The Journey to the West
  13. Best thing about being a writer: writing the first draft of a story or poem
  14. Worst thing about being a writer: uncertain, often low, income
  15. Drink and snack of choice (while writing): tea to drink, no snacks
  16. Number of short stories/poems submitted each month (av): 15 submissions, with poetry often being sent in batches of 3 to 6 poems in a single submission
  17. Most active on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram): Twitter
  18. Self-published, traditionally published, or both: traditionally published
  19. Currently working on: a sequence of astronomy poems with the working title “How to Navigate Our Universe.”
  20. Coming soon: Elemental Haiku, a book containing a haiku for each element of the periodic table, will be published on October 1st 2019, by Ten Speed Press, and may be pre-ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

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Poems included in The Insignia Series Anthologies:

‘Training: Stances’, ‘The Horse Lord’, ‘Tsung’s Battle’, ‘The Matter of the Horses’, and ‘Respect’ (Insignia: Asian Flash Fiction & Poetry, 2019)

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COMING SOON!

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Pre-order from:

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Thanks for joining us!

We’ll have more author interviews coming

approximately every two weeks 🙂

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Interested in publishing with us? We are now open for poetry submissions to a new online series, Insignia: Instincts. See full details on the Submissions (Poetry) Page.

We’ll also be opening a new anthology call October 1st. If you love to drabble, or want to give a try, get ready for Japanese Fantasy Drabbles here.

Author Spotlight: RAY DALEY

 

Welcome all, to a new blog series: ‘Author Spotlight’  will feature short interviews with our wonderful Insignia Series contributors.

We are all passionate, cross-genre writers who love Asia and Asian cultures. Get to know us a little better through our Answers to 25 Questions challenge!

First Up….

Ray Daley was born in Coventry & still lives there. He served 6 years in the RAF as a clerk & spent most of his time in a Hobbit hole in High Wycombe. He is a published poet & has been writing stories since he was 10. His current dream is to eventually finish the Hitch Hikers fanfic novel he’s been writing since 1986.

https://raymondwriteswrongs.wordpress.com/

@ RayDaleyWriter

TWENTY FIVE QUESTIONS:

  1. Author Name/s: Ray Daley
  2. Years active as a writer: Ever? 40. Selling stuff? 5.
  3. What genre/s you write: SF, Horror & Fantasy. Literally anything if the mood takes me.
  4. Favorite genre to write: SF.
  5. Favorite length of story to write: Short. I’m lazy.
  6. Your nationality: British. Half Welsh, half English.
  7. Country you live in: The United Kingdom
  8. Number of Asian countries visited: None at all.
  9. Favorite Asian country (visited): N/A
  10. Favorite place in Asia (visited): N/A
  11. Place (city or country) you most want to visit in Asia: I’d love to go to Japan.
  12. Favorite Asian cuisine: I couldn’t pick just one.
  13. Favorite Asian dish: Thai Green Curry.
  14. Favorite Asian movie (any genre): Battle Royale. It’s awesome!
  15. Favorite Asian book (any genre): The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin.
  16. Favorite Asian celebrity: Ming-Na Wen.
  17. Best thing about being a writer: I get to sleep when I want.
  18. Worst thing about being a writer: Not enough money!
  19. Day writer or night writer: Mostly night. I blame the RAF, I used to work in a bunker.
  20. Drink and snack of choice (while writing): Any cold drink. Ginger biscuits.
  21. Number of short stories/poems submitted each month (av): Maybe 10-20? It varies a lot, depending on what’s open.
  22. I dream to be published with/in (publisher/publication): F&SF or Clarkesworld.
  23. Most active on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram): Twitter.
  24. Self-published, traditionally published, or both: Traditionally.
  25. Currently working on: Not dying of heatstroke. Oh, you meant writing? A story inspired by a terrible Paul Newman movie.

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Ray Daley’s Stories in The Insignia Series Anthologies:

‘Uncle Ping’s Farewell’ (Insignia: Asian Science Fiction, July 2018)

‘How Have the Mighty Fallen?’ (Insignia: Asian Flash Fiction & Poetry, July 2019)

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The Parting

NEW STORY OUT AUG 14!

Read Ray’s latest dark fantasy publication,

‘The Parting’, over at

electricathenaeum.com

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Thanks for joining us!

We’ll have more author interviews coming soon 🙂

 

Excerpt: ‘We, the Ravens of Bai Gao Lou’ by Russell Hemmell

 

I’d like to share another excerpt from Insignia: Asian Birds & Beasts. This one is a bird story from returning author, Russell Hemmell.

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WE, THE RAVENS OF BAI GAO LOU

 

I can’t avert my gaze from her, while she stands in front of the iron portal—her neck fierce and erect, her eyes shut not in fear but in refusal. Waiting to enter without reclining her head, knowing too well it’s going to be a one-way movement. But not a sound comes out from that mouth so many have desired to kiss. Pale lips with a suave smile, the queen looks at me, and her irises shine like a thousand moons in a winter night.

They push her forward, and she walks inside. Without a lament.

The Traitor’s Gate closes behind her.

She is lost! my winged siblings scream while circling in the sky. Nobody comes back from the Bai Gao Lou, the Mighty White Tower.

Nor will you, green-eyed queen from a far-away land.

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I approach again, flitting around the rooftop, peering inside the minuscule windows. They’re made in ways that prevent a comfortable view of the court, those windows, and she needs to stand in an uncomfortable position to reach them. She can’t see me, either.

It’s a cold and nasty place, her secluded house in the Tower. The rags on the floor and tapestry on the walls that should keep it warm have all been taken away. There are organic pigment and insects mixed with blood in the old frescoes, to suggest unspoken horrors and weaken her resolve.

And today, they have put severed heads on the Traitor’s Gate, like pieces of Sunday roast on a spike. Them. Them, she can see.

I fly lower, to glimpse at the queen. Her eyes are transfixed; she looks outside, at a point in the horizon—at those short, happy days of her realm, of unbound extravaganza, unbridled lust, glimmering revelries.

Her heyday lasted just that, a day.

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Russell Hemmell is a statistician and social scientist from Scotland, passionate about astrophysics and speculative fiction. Recent publications in Aurealis, The Grievous Angel, Third Flatiron, and others. Find her online at her blog earthianhivemind.net and on Twitter @SPBianchini and @RxHemmell.

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AVAILABLE FROM:

| Smashwords | B & N | kobo | Apple-ibooks |

| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA |

| Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon ES |

| Amazon IT | Amazon NL | Amazon JP | Amazon BR |

| Amazon MX | Amazon IN |

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Add on Goodreads

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Excerpt: ‘I Found Love in an Urn Full of Ashes’ by Joyce Chng

This Chinese demon-world story is just as exciting as the title! Written by the amazing Joyce Chng, who’s stories have appeared now in all 4 Insignia Series anthologies.

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‘I Found Love in an Urn Full of Ashes’ by Joyce Chng

The entire cave kingdom gathered for the wedding ceremony. The bats escorted the foxes, the deer, the spiders, the snakes and even the lowest toads to the Great Hall, chittering away as they flew above the heads of the guests, guiding and scolding them at the same time. The snake women hid their smiles behind their long sleeves, their eyes shining with speculation. The spider women clustered together, weaving their silk idly. I had already received their tribute of the best-spun spider silk robes, a wedding gift for my bride. The foxes readied their cymbals and pipes to greet my bride when she appeared.

Fu Xi even procured a Taoist priest spirit for the wedding. He would prevent my bride from fleeing. Ideally, the matchmaker should be here, but she had already fled the kingdom. Humans are such fragile creatures, easily frightened and unaccustomed to our ways. My new bride would be human too, albeit now in spirit form. I hoped she would not frighten so easily.

At the right moment, when the stars aligned and the moon crossed the aegis, the Taoist priest broke the seal of the urn and whispered the words that would free the spirit within, the spirit of my bride.

Wisps of white smoke swirled out of the broken urn, forming the shape of a slender human figure. At first, the figure seemed to be kneeling, before unfolding like a cloth puppet. Features sharpened. The watching animals gasped.

I stared. The eyes of the white figure opened. They were luminous. Beside me, Fu Xi shrank a little.

The spirit of the young scholar shook his head and looked around, bemusedly. “Where the hell am I?”

“You are now married,” intoned the Taoist priest who then dissipated because his job was done. The words lingered in the suddenly cold air of the Great Hall. Some of the snake women turned pale, as if they were about to faint. The band of fox musicians started playing a wedding song. With a glare from Fu Xi, they stopped, the song tapering into a few discordant notes. Someone blew an out-of-tune pipe and descended immediately into an embarrassed silence.

“I—” I looked at my right wrist and baulked. Red thread glowed between it and the young scholar’s hand. He looked at me in amazement.

The young man, his eyes like a phoenix’s, his lips full and mobile, began to laugh merrily. “Looks like I am now married to you, lord.” He wasn’t afraid of me.

He wasn’t afraid of me.

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Joyce Chng’s Author Page

Insignia: Asian Fantasy Stories Page (Insignia Vol.4.)

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AVAILABLE FROM:

| Smashwords | B & N | kobo |

| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA |

| Amazon DEAmazon JPAmazon IN |

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Add on Goodreads

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BOTW: ‘Xiao Xiao & the Dragon’s Pearl’ by Joyce Chng

Book of the Week:

Xiao Xiao & the Dragon’s Pearl

By Joyce Chng

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Blurb:

Enter the world of Xiao Xiao, daughter of an imperial courtesan, and a fantastical historical Qing China, with dragons and magic and traditions. What happens when her mother adopts a baby girl found in a rice field? What does – can – the green pearl do?

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| Amazon US | Goodreads |

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SALE! Get the INSIGNIA anthologies for only 99c on Smashwords! Oct 16-20

If you haven’t read the ‘Insignia Series’ anthologies yet, here’s a great chance to try them for only 99c.

Download your copy now from Smashwords in mobi, epub, or pdf formats.

Sale ends October 20th.

 

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‘Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories’ on Smashwords

‘Insignia: Chinese Fantasy Stories’ on Smashwords

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