July 19, 2014

My first novel sale!

I'm extremely excited to announce that I've sold my first novel! Wily Things (not its final title) will be published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Huge thanks go to my amazing agent, John Silbersack of Trident Media Group, and my wonderful editor, Dinah Stevenson of Clarion, for taking a chance on my book.

Wily Things is a fantasy novel set in the Bad Bayous, where the water makes strange and unpredictable changes to things (or animals, or people) that soak too long. It continues the adventures of Yonie Watereye, the main character from my short story "The Wily Thing." (Read an excerpt from the short story)

December 1, 2013

"Other Fires" reprinted in Mythic Delirium's retrospective issue

Turns out I was mistaken when I thought I'd never publish another poem in a print edition of Mythic Delirium. My poem "Other Fires" appears in Issue #30, a retrospective drawn from the first 25 issues. Although this will be the last print edition ever for Mythic Delirium, the magazine continues in a new and glorious digital version.

"Other Fires" was first published in Mythic Delirium #21 (Summer/Fall 2009), also known as the Trickster Issue.

November 14, 2013

New poem published: "Great-Great-Grandmother's Recipe Box"

Just published: my last poem that will ever see print in a paper edition of Mythic Delirium. [Actually, this turned out not to be true!] (Luckily that long-running, high-quality poetry magazine is continuing in a new and improved web format.)

"Great-Great-Grandmother's Recipe Box" describes the challenges of reproducing historic family recipes in the present day--especially when those recipes are highly unusual to start with.

Mythic Delirium #29


October 15, 2013

Now live on Lightspeed!

"Trouble Leaves a Scent Trail," my short story about an alien cop on a most unusual case, is now online for your reading pleasure in Lightspeed Magazine.

There's also an Author Spotlight by Patrick J. Stephens in which he interviews me about the writing of the story and brings out some backstage details about how it was inspired.

Read the story online
(To purchase an ebook version of the issue or to treat yourself to a subscription, just click on the Purchase/Subscribe button.)


Reviews:


What makes the story so much fun is Cooper's richly imagined insect world: where new models of clones are tested in society, and subject to recall if found defective; and where communication and navigation are conducted primarily by scent. --Bluejack, Internet Review of Science Fiction, 4/05

...The fact that the main character is a big bug that would give the Incredible Hulk feelings of physical inadequacy appeals to the inner 8-year-old-boy. Crunch! Crack! Squish! --Paul Iutzi, Tangent 5/3/05

October 2, 2013

"Trouble Leaves a Scent Trail" on sale now in Lightspeed!

Lightspeed's October edition is out, and it looks like a great one! My story will be available online on October 15, and it's available in ebook format now.

"Trouble Leaves a Scent Trail" is the tale of an alien cop with a very significant case. It asks the question: what kinds of crimes could happen in a hive society?

Back when this story was first published in 2005, it made it into two 'Best Of' anthologies and was nominated for the Fountain Award.

The Lightspeed edition also contains an Author Spotlight in which I discuss the writing of the story and how it was inspired.

Purchase ebook edition (click on the Purchase/Subscribe button)


Reviews:


What makes the story so much fun is Cooper's richly imagined insect world: where new models of clones are tested in society, and subject to recall if found defective; and where communication and navigation are conducted primarily by scent. --Bluejack, Internet Review of Science Fiction, 4/05

...The fact that the main character is a big bug that would give the Incredible Hulk feelings of physical inadequacy appeals to the inner 8-year-old-boy. Crunch! Crack! Squish! --Paul Iutzi, Tangent 5/3/05

October 1, 2013

How my 8-year-old daughter got some attention focused on sexist kids' books

Our family was browsing in a bookstore when my daughter called out, “Mama, you have to look at this!” Usually this is a happy cry, but not this time.

She'd found a pair of books. One was Boys Only: How to Survive (Almost) Anything! Its cover showed a boy confronting a crocodile. The other book was the girls' version. Its cover had one girl fluffing her hair while wearing a rhinestone-studded miniskirt, and another riding on a zip line while talking on the phone.



When my daughter compared the tables of contents she became truly irate.

For boys:

Warning!
How to Survive a Shark Attack
How to Survive in a Forest
How to Survive Frostbite
How to Survive a Plane Crash
How to Survive in a Desert
How to Avoid a Polar Bear Attack
How to Survive a Flash Flood
How to Treat a Broken Leg
How to Survive an Earthquake
How to Survive a Forest Fire
How to Survive in a Whiteout
How to Survive a Zombie Invasion
How to Survive a Snake Bite
How to Survive If Your Parachute Fails
How to Survive a Croc Attack
How to Survive a Lightning Strike
How to Survive a T-Rex
How to Survive Whitewater Rapids
How to Survive a Sinking Ship
How to Survive a Vampire Attack
How to Survive an Avalanche
How to Survive a Tornado
How to Survive Quicksand
How to Survive a Fall
How to Survive a Swarm of Bees
How to Survive in Space

For girls:

Warning!
How to Survive a BFF Fight
How to Survive Football Trials
How to Survive a Breakout
How to Show You're Sorry
How to Have the Best Sleepover Ever
How to Look Your Best for a Party
How to Survive Siblings
Scary Survival Dos and Don'ts
How to Handle Becoming Rich
How to Keep Stuff Secret
How to Survive Tests
How to Survive Shyness
How to Handle Sudden Stardom
More Stardom Survival Tips
How to Survive a Camping Trip
How to Survive a Fashion Disaster
How to Teach Your Cat to Sit
How to Turn a No into a Yes
Top Tips for Speech-making
How to Survive Embarrassment
How to Create a Diversion
How to Survive a Crush
Seaside Survival
How to Soothe Sunburn
How to Pick Perfect Sunglasses
Surviving a Zombie Attack
How to Spot a Frenemy
Brilliant Boredom Busters
How to Survive Truth or Dare
How to Beat Bullies
How to Be a Brilliant Baby-Sitter

I was fascinated to see that evidently, the one piece of advice both boys and girls need is how to survive attacks from zombies.

Since my daughter loves camping, she was aghast at the girls' topic of “How to Survive a Camping Trip.”



She insisted to me and her dad that we had to tell the manager how unfair these books were, and a nearby employee heard her and asked if she could help. After paging through the books, the employee was horrified. She agreed that the books were offensive, and although we hadn't requested it, she yanked all copies (boy and girl) from the shelf. She also gave my daughter a coupon, which she used on a YA fantasy novel.

When we got home, my daughter was still not out of steam and wrote a book review, and would not let us alone until we typed it into amazon for her.

I'm very proud of her for recognizing sexism and for speaking her mind.



Addendum:

In addition to many supportive and heartwarming responses to this post, I've received some from people who are concerned about censorship. I'd like to reassure and remind folks that no one asked the clerk to remove the books. She looked at them, and decided they were not something the store wanted to promote. This is something bookstores do as part of their business. It's important to keep straight the distinction between censorship--the government or other powerful entities restricting speech--and an individual voicing their opinion.

What I'd like kids (and adults) to take away from the incident is that it's good to recognize harmful stereotypes, it's OK to speak out against them, and that even at age eight, you can have some influence.

I'm glad my blog post has caused these books--and, in general, the phenomenon of paired "for girls" and "for boys" books--to be more widely discussed.

July 15, 2013

New sale to Mythic Delirium

My poem "Great-Great-Grandmother's Recipe Box" will be published in the Fall issue of Mythic Delirium, a long-running sf poetry magazine that will soon be changing over to an online format. Although I've had sixteen poems published before now, this is the first one that doesn't rhyme. Yes, it was tough fighting off those rhymes, but I did it!