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Month: March 2024

A haunted swamp, a dancer and the Angel of Death…

It sounds like the opening of a joke, but there are three new items up for order (or preorder) this month! 

First: We are now accepting preorders for Dreadmire, the 15th anniversary edition of my first quest fantasy. It’s a dark one – not for the kiddos – and I’ve always had a great fondness for my haunted swamp and the band of merry adventurers who face more than monsters in their quest. 

Dreadmire was first published by Spellbinder Games, as a media tie-in novel for the d20 RPG by Randy Richards. Later it was re-released through Inkstained Succubus Press, but went out of print again when Inkstained sadly went out of business. I’m delighted that Randy and I could work out the paperwork to put Dreadmire back out into the world again, and am always grateful that he allowed me to play in his sandbox. 


A float trip into hell, Dreadmire follows four adventurers on a quest through the dark, dismal haunted swamp that lies on the edge of their land as a living nightmare.

Tam is a Moor Knight whose dearest love, the half-elf Wynter, has vanished into Dreadmire on a quest to destroy the evil at the center of the swamp and set free the people terrorized by its half-dead creatures.

But it has been a long time since anyone heard from Wynter.

Tam and his best friend, Kancethedrus, enlist the help of guide Alesia and seer Angiss to help them find Wynter – and perhaps complete her mission to destroy the evil Somesuch that has controlled the life, death and unlife of the swamp for so many years.

But the way through Dreadmire is not easy, and that’s not just because of monstrous mosquitoes, sentient weregators and cannibalistic undead elves living among the predatory flora and fauna of this twisted bayou.

What’s more dangerous than a demonic tree that can eat you alive? The perils of the human heart… and what a man will risk for the woman he loves.

Based on the legends of the Louisiana bayou with a sword-and-sorcery flair, this amazing novel based on the game by Randy Richards will turn your skin cold as a gator’s stare and your heart hotter than a Cajun summer. Preorder your copy today!

“Elizabeth does it again! Raw action and high intense scenes that you don’t read–you absorb! A must read!”

— Shane Moore, author of The Apocalypse of Enoch and the Abyss Walker series


 

Now in stock: the December 2023 edition of parABnormal Magazine features an original short story by me, originally written and developed in my MFA workshops.

“Azrael” asks what might happen if the Angel of Death, wearily collecting souls throughout history, meets a woman who wants to die… and cannot.

We have a limited quantity of these magazines, and I’m pretty sure once they’re gone we won’t be able to get more. Snag yours!

 

 

 


Also now in stock: the 2024 anthology of the St. Louis Writers Guild includes a short story by me that has no ghosts, no monsters, no creepy-crawlies! It’s also not a story of unicorns and rainbows, because y’all have met me. Yes, I write literary fiction based in the alleged real world, and I’m rather fond of this particular piece, as it stems from a challenge much more difficult than it sounds: can you write a story where one word appears in every single sentence save the last one? I managed, but it was a serious challenge. 

There are more than 30 other authors from the Guild in this anthology, and I’m honored to be among them. I hope you’ll enjoy! We have a small quantity in stock and I am not sure if I can get more, so you might want to get this one before it disappears. 

 

 

We should have the anthologies in hand at Midsouthcon next weekend, so if you’re going to be there, order now and choose pickup/personal delivery for the shipping open. We will reserve a copy for you at the booth. Odds are slim that Dreadmire will be in hand at the convention, but we will take preorders and ship them as soon as the books arrive. Thank you for your support!

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March 2024 Linkspam: Return to the swamp

In the late 2000s, I wrote a media tie-in novel titled Dreadmire. It was a dark fantasy adventure tied to a d20 RPG published by Spellbinder Games, sourcebook by Randy Richards. The medievalesque high fantasy Randy created was inspired by the ecology and culture of the Louisiana bayous, and I found it a fascinating setting. I was hired to write a novel set in the world, a mixture of Randy’s creatures and my own machinations. It was a delightful romp in the swamp, and I was very pleased with its release. When it went out of print, Inkstained Succubus Productions picked it up for a re-release and it had a good run until Inkstained sadly went out of business.

From time to time I’d get questions about Dreadmire, and I always had to tell them their only hope was the used bookstores. However, as Dreadmire approaches its 15th anniversary, Randy and I have figured out the contracts and Dreadmire will be released once again on an unsuspecting public. 

More about this in the fiction section below, and there’s plenty more going on this month! I did some hard-news work on election coverage (and there will probably be more coming), got my first public-radio byline, did a deeper-dive in the growing epidemic of suicide among construction workers, and more! Read on…
 

Publicity/Appearances

This month was both AWP and Conflation, which thankfully had a week between them so I had a chance of catching my breath. AWP was an absolute delight, which I narrated daily in the Patreon, so check the links below for specifics. I didn’t do much in the way of photography in Kansas City, as I’ve hit that city several times to date, but mmm barbecue.

Conflation closed out the month, which is always like a big family reunion for me. I love the relaxacons, which allow me to sell books out of my room and close the door for a nap when I need it. I taught a writing workshop based on using images, which comes from some of my MFA work and the workshop I taught last year, and I’m continuing to refine it for con requests. 

Coming up this month is Midsouthcon! It was the first convention I attended as a pro, if I remember correctly, and the one I haunted as an undergrad lo these many eons ago in Memphis. We are deep in our mischief-plotting for our return to the weird Escher hotel where MSC will be hosted; the last time we were in the Hotel of Many Ramps was 2009, which doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. If you’re going to be in the area, please come by! 

2024 calendar:
• Midsouthcon, Memphis, Tenn. March 22-24 (guest author)
• Sigma Tau Delta conference, St. Louis, Mo. April 3-6 (attending)
• SPJ regional conference, St. Louis, Mo. April 13 (speaker/coordinator)
• National Federation of Professional Women, St. Louis,Mo. June 2022 (speaker)
• TechWrite STL, St. Louis, Mo. July 10 (speaker)
• Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 19-21 (guest author)
• Dragoncon, Atlanta, Ga. Sept. 5-9  (guest author)
• Edwardsville Book Festival, Edwardsville, Ill. Oct. 12 (tent.)
• Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Oct. 4-6  (guest author)

Journalism

• Madison County Board chair calls censure for campaign finance ethics violation ‘a lynching’ (St. Louis Public RadioYahoo NewsBelleville News-Democrat)
• $18 million awarded to Illinois Works pre-apprenticeship programs (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Illinois workers owed more than $5 million in back wages (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Community rallies around Highland athlete fighting for life after car crash (Belleville News-DemocratAOLYahoo News)
• Suicide is growing national crisis; construction workers are at high risk (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Unions added 139,000 members in 2023, but density remains stubbornly low (PortsidePopular ResistanceSt. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Nippon pledges not to move production jobs overseas (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Foxes Boxes union bakery celebrates one-year anniversary (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Highland plans to extend two TIF districts, create a third (Highland News-LeaderYahoo News)
• Highland residents have mixed views of new ‘containerized’ trash service (Highland News-LeaderYahoo NewsAOL)
• United Steelworkers union files grievance over U.S. Steel’s plan to sell to Japan’s Nippon Steel (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Olin Winchester cited, fined over death of union worker (St. Louis Labor Tribune)

Note: Not all articles are available online, and some may be behind paywalls. 

 

Blogs

With the new year, I started two new blog features. Each week (more or less) I have posted on DonaldMedia.com a roundup of Show Your Work: updates in the journalism world and a rundown on what was total garbage on the internet this week. Like you, I am tired of seeing rampant misinformation mindlessly reposted on social media without the simple Google search that would show it’s completely false. I also have begun posting BookNotes on ElizabethDonald.com that not only updates on the latest kerfuffle in the publishing and speculative fiction universes, but follows the ongoing issue of book banning and censorship in the U.S.

This proved to be more work than I could reasonably keep up with given the rate of freelance work I’m getting and also had to be canceled on weeks when I travel. I am considering shifting them to Substack on a biweekly schedule, but that requires more research. As always, whatever I write is offered to Patreon subscribers for free, because they’re already paying for my work. (Which is why you should totally subscribe.) I intend to keep this up, as I believe both of these topics need attention, but the format might shift as we go forward.

• BookNotes: Don’t say race (Elizabeth Donald)
• BookNotes: Nevermore (Patreon)
• Show Your Work: Zappa to me (Patreon and Donald Media)
• Show Your Work: ProPublica kicks all the ass (Donald Media)
• Show Your Work: Sesame Street News (Donald Media)

Fiction

Dreadmire is leading the news this month! If you want a taste of my dark swamp (ew), you can read the prologue here for free. The image posted above is the preliminary cover; it may see some tweaking between now and the release, which I hope will be soon. Book publishing moves faster when it’s already been edited extensively by the staff of two (2) publishers, but it still takes some time. 

Also out this month: the St. Louis Writers Guild 2024 anthology includes a short piece by me titled “Not.” I’m honored to be included in this anthology for the first time, and with a piece of literary fiction, which is a departure from my usual ghosties and beasties. You can preorder adead-tree version here, or get it for Kindle here
 

Patreon/Medium

• Pearl-clutching at the restroom door (MediumPatreon)
• Review: Life Signs by James Lovegrove (Patreon)
• Your obituary, brought to you by robots (Patreon)
• AWP: Onward (Patreon)
• AWP: Success is making words (Patreon)
• AWP: The poetical political (Patreon)
• AWP: The long walk (Patreon)
• Review: The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride (Patreon)

Note: All Patreon entries are indexed going back to its launch in 2018. I wanted new Patrons to be able to easily find the work that they’ve missed, and hopefully seeing how much work is on the Patreon might encourage some good folks to subscribe. (Hint, hint.) Seriously, subscriptions start at $1 a month, and I truly believe some of the best work I’ve ever done is on the Patreon. Check out the index here.

Photography

My shoots this month were pretty much work-related: union protests, lots of food shoots, a few pieces of future blackmail evidence from Conflation, some spot news photography, and KITTIES. Yes, I got to shoot a cat cafe for Feast Magazine, and it should be published sometime soon. I got to hang around adorable kittycats and eat espresso cookies for my job. Sometimes this gig rocks. 

Almost all of the images in the galleries are available for purchase, so if you see something you like that isn’t in the store, email kyates@donaldmedia.com and we’ll get you a quote. A few might not be available for purchase due to copyright issues.

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