Artist Steven Archer has created a raw, textured cover to match B.E. Burkhead’s gritty, and unapologetic realism. In this poetry collection Burkhead shows readers what happens when they take off their rose-colored glasses and look at the world around them.
Instead of fields of freshly grown flowers, he writes of alleys with broken bottles and hypodermic needles, no happily-ever-afters, just blunt and honest truths, sometimes with endings, sometimes without. Just as life doesn’t hand out answers, Burkhead doesn’t sugarcoat its truths.
“Underside took me on an unexpected emotional journey I relished long after reading. To me that’s the mark of a damn fine collection–and one that will remain in my library forever.” —Jessica McHugh, author of The Green Kangaroos
“There is a blatant honesty, an abject truth in B. E. Burkhead’s words, which is not buoyantly hateful, but bleakly hopeful.”—G. Arthur Brown, author of Kitten
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Steven Archer is an artist and musician living in Baltimore, MD. When not recording, DJing, or producing art, he and his wife, author Donna Lynch, tour with their dark electronic rock band Ego Likeness. He has a BFA from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and has shown his work at galleries and other venues throughout the east coast. His work has also been shown internationally in the form of album art and magazine illustrations. He is the author and illustrator of the children’s book Luna Maris. For more information about Ego Likeness, please visitwww.egolikeness.com. Steven’s solo electronic project can be found at www.hopefulmachines.net.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born dead to a barren woman, B. E. Burkhead is a poet, writer and artist. He lives on the vestigial tail of Maryland with his wife, son and an army of starving cats. The Underside of the Rainbow is his first book of collected poetry.
I participated in the Five +1 Questions feature on author Samantha Holloway’s blog, Herding the Dragon! Go there to learn what words I want stricken from the English language, how I would turn STEEL VICTORY into a television show, and which fantasy series I think everyone should read.
Thanks for joining me as I continue the tour of my new Web site! The next tab at the top of the page I’d like to discuss is named “Books.”
I only have two fiction publications so far. But they’re both pretty epic, so you’ll have to excuse the short list.
In 2014, a friend from college reached out to me. He had previously put together two anthology collections hosted by a fiction writers forum he participated in. One of the major critiques both anthologies received was the lack of gender diversity in the author list. So for the their third outing, Fadeley reached out to me and invited me to join the “editorial board” and use my connections to solicit greater female participation. I’m not sure what the percentages were for the first two anthologies, but I’m pleased to say that the third anthology was almost 30% female written, which isn’t bad for a straight-up speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) collection. I participated in reviewing synopsis submissions, performing substantive edits of invited first drafts, and copy-editing the hell out of the final drafts. I declined the opportunity to submit a short story of my own, but I’m very pleased with the two flash fiction stories I did write for inclusion, especially since I had very little experience with flash fiction previously.
You can find out more about FAR WORLDS, including where to purchase your copy, here. It’s still in print for another year, so don’t miss out!
In 2015, in 2 short weeks (cue the panic), I’m thrilled to introduce my second publication to the world. STEEL VICTORY was my thesis novel while I was a graduate student at Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Two years and 103,000 words later, I completed my first (original fiction) novel and received my MA.
Except I made the mistake of writing an urban fantasy with a vampire main character and not one lick of romance to be seen. During the height of the Twilight craze.
So I put it in a box for a few years and played video games and had a great time editing fiction for other people and generally enjoying life not being in school. Eventually, a former fellow student (Heidi Ruby Miller) became the managing editor of the science fiction/adventure imprint of a small press known for breaking genre barriers. She remembered my thesis novel and encouraged me to submit it.
After I cut 13,000 words.
Right after I had agreed to take on the FAR WORLDS project.
So I stopped playing video games (much to my husband’s dismay) and worked like crazy for 6 months. Trimming some dead weight from STEEL VICTORY ultimately made it a better book (look for the deleted scenes in over the next few months), and I was pleased with my final submission.
Since last summer, STEEL VICTORY has gone through another few rounds of edits (cutting another few thousand words) and I’m thrilled to be able to share the final draft with the world in a few short weeks (cue more panicking).
You can find information about how to order STEEL VICTORY here, along with the back cover text and some great reviews by other amazing authors (such as Maria V. Snyder, author of POISON STUDY!). It will also be available on Kindle on release day.
I love Facebook. I’m not really good at talking to people, so it’s a great way for me to keep up with all of my friends’ lives and adventures. While I keep my personal page limited to people I have met in real life, I love to chat with people who follow and comment on my professional author page. That’s where you’ll find random thoughts about writing in general and current projects specifically that are not long enough for or don’t really warrant a full-on blog post.
I love Instagram. It’s where I can safely spam the world with pictures of my adorable cats, and look at pictures of many, many more cute cats in return (I’m pretty sure I follow more cats than actual people at this point). One of my sillier hobbies is taking selfies with Alex, my ridiculous blue-point Siamese.
Oh, Twitter. I will never understand you. It’s all a bit like shouting into the ether for me, but I realize that I need to have some sort of presence as an author. Finally, I settled on two strategies: (1a) Post each book that I start reading, (1b) Link to the reviews I write on each book read, and (2) live-tweet my Friday night RPG sessions. The two current games I’m involved in are a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign, in which I’m playing a melee ranger named Riia who really, really doesn’t like plants and an old-school Star Wars game in which I play Teyla, a minor Jedi who never got much training, has issues with seizures, and often gets her way thanks to her crime lord father. But I do promise that if you drag me into a conversation on Twitter by tagging me that I will always happily participate. It’s the instigating things I don’t really understand.
Buttons to my social media accounts can also be found at the top of the right-hand column of this page.
I hear rumor that another blog is featuring me at some point this weekend, with special interview questions. Stay tuned!
The lovely Heidi Ruby Miller, a fellow Dog Star Books author, featured STEEL VICTORY on her blog today! You can see the post here, but while you’re over there, check out her awesome science fiction/romance series, AMBASADORA. Heidi has been a huge inspiration to me as both a writer and a person, so I’m very honored that she took the time to do this.
Later this month, she will also be featuring STEEL VICTORY as part of the “Cast Your Characters” portion of her blog. I had a ton of fun picking out pictures, and I can’t wait for you all to see them.
Now that you’ve had some time to poke around the place, let me give you the official tour of my new home on the Web. Let’s start with the Bio tab. That’s where you’ll find my official head shot, courtesy of Brian Roache Photography, my official short “about the author,” and the incredibly necessary picture of my cats (because isn’t that really what the Internet is all about?). But that’s not all to the story.
Once upon a time, I was totally going to be an astronaut. I was a very lucky kid growing up, and I went to not one, not two, but all three levels of Space Camp in both Florida and Alabama. This was heavily influenced by all the Star Trek I was watching with my grandmother and the science fiction novels I was just starting to get into.
But then I started writing. And while I was good at math and decent at the hard sciences, I never had a passion for them. As a military brat growing up, I already knew I was never joining the Air Force, and my poor eyesight precluded me from becoming a pilot anyway. So instead of wanting to visit near-earth orbit, I set my goals higher: other worlds, other galaxies, and alternate universes.
(The other version of this story is when I spontaneously invented fanfiction at age 11, then discovered that lots of other people were way ahead of me when I finally got online at age 12. I definitely got out all my early writing kinks creating crazy mash-ups of different universes and exploring how the characters would interact with each other. This definitely influenced my alternate history obsession.)
The other thing you might have gotten a small taste of from my bio is that I’m a total geek. I watch way too much Netflix, though I excuse most of it by the fact that I watch on my phone while I speedwalk on the treadmill at the gym. I also thoroughly enjoy video games, though I don’t have nearly enough time to play them as much as I once did. (Let’s not go into the “Lost Years” aka my World of Warcraft addiction.) These days, I occasionally lose a few days to Dragon Age, or I’m co-oping with my husband in Civilization, Sim City, or Diablo III. He’s also reliving his childhood by watching me play the remastered Grim Fandango.
And finally, at the bottom of the page, is the requisite picture of the other loves of my life. I am a big fan of #adoptnotshop, and my three were rescued from a woman who accidentally ended up with three litters of purebred Siamese kittens (it’s a long story involving an irresponsible pet owner and a dog who thought it was hilarious to allow the male Siamese she was pet-sitting out of the guest room). Lucy, the darker seal point, and Nicki, the chocolate point, are from the same litter. Alex, the blue point, shares the same dad and is 2 weeks younger. That will probably not be the last picture of them to end up on this blog. For a regular helping, follow me on Instagram @hannaedits.
Some final stats:
Places I have lived: Ohio, Texas, the Philippines, Hawaii, New Jersey, Washington, and Maryland.
Colleges: St. Mary’s College of Maryland (BA in English) and Seton Hill University (MA in Writing Popular Fiction)
Favorite TV shows: Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, Doctor Who, Supernatural
Favorite movies: Currently almost everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (I watched Age of Ultron twice on opening day)
Favorite authors and books: That is a post in and of itself, so check back here later.
Favorite foods: Sushi and pizza (not at the same time).
Anything else you want to know? Feel free to ask in the comments! We’ll explore the next header tab (Books) later in the week.
This is a first post. There’s really not much to say here except for the obligatory: STEEL VICTORY comes out in less than a month, WHOOOOOOO! (June 25, to be exact.)
Isn’t she pretty?
One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.
Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.
Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.
Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.
What they’re saying about STEEL VICTORY:
“A deviously raucous romp through a modern world filled with were-creatures, mercenaries, and Victory—a fanged kickass heroine who must squelch her adopted city’s political divisiveness before the Roman Empire can break down the proverbial gates and tear her world apart.”—Diana Dru Botsford, author Four Dragons and The Drift
“Strong characters rule in this unique debut. Magic, murder, and mayhem wrapped up in one package—definitely my type of book!”—Maria V. Snyder, The Chronicles of Ixia series