Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Monday, February 27, 2012

[Free Fiction] Hestia

Would you give up your throne to sit by the fire? Would you hold a baby over it? Would you empty the chamber pots of heaven when you hold rightful claim over the highest throne in the room, as the eldest child? There’s prideful power in that: in claiming to be too righteous to sit among kings.

Big city’s growing. Chomping up them small towns like hungry, hungry hippos. Used to be this was one small town. Now it’s three the way we’ve grown into our neighbors, entwining with them, and it isn’t hardly separated at all from Atlanta. City folks pushing out from the center like they’re crawling out of the ground below Five Points, pushing everything up, out, and away, and everyone in the city is rolling over like the little bear said, until the crowd of us presses into the ocean and then everyone is tumbling into boats, and the waves will catch us, then catch the mole men climbing up out of the ground, and everything spreads all over everywhere. The towers rising up and up and up and the city climbing up alongside like a forest canopy clambering after the most light.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Today is a good day for a Challenge that Might Lead to New Free Fiction!

I have this story. I don't really know what to do with it. It's a bit long-ish for most magazines, and the ones that do accept this length don't really want an anime-inspired far future romp from the point of view of a rogue, sentient AI in a very strange world.

For about five minutes I thought I might sell it, myself, as a Kindle short. But, I changed my mind, because when I'm through with my current commitments, I'm going to look into expanding it into a full-length science fiction novel.

But, still, I'd like to do something with this work that I have. I want to do something good, and you probably might like to read it.

So, I have an idea for a challenge to you as my loyal reader. It will take everyone working together to achieve this goal.

I noticed the other day that WOMEN AND MONSTERS shot up the ranking of American Literature Short Fiction Collections after a couple sales (Thanks, whoever you are!) and it also occurred to me that it wouldn't take too many sales of any of my books or eBooks to get them up to the top of one of the more obscure lists on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I mean, if just a handful shoots me up into the top 40 in that particular category, it isn't much more to get to #1, right?

This is where you come in, loyal reader. I will post the short story here, if any one of my works makes it to #1 on ANY Amazon or Barnes and Noble category or list. Any one of them, at all. WOMEN AND MONSTERS on the Kindle looks like the easiest, considering it didn't take much to get into the top forty of eBook American Short Story Collections, but I would be ecstatic if WHEN WE WERE EXECUTIONERS was the #1 fantasy novel even for a moment on the Kindle or the Nook. I would flip out. 

I would start giving things away like crazy. Including the original novel, NEVER KNEW ANOTHER.

So, if you would like this strange story posted to my blog that will probably become a sneak preview of a novel I will be trying to write this year after my current commitments expire, now is your chance. Tell your friends. Spread the word. Encourage. #1 in anything at all on Amazon, BnN, anything. Anything at all.

Go forth, my loyal readers.

You have until Monday at 9:00 am.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I need technical assistance with WordPress and Blogger

[edit to add: People answered the call! We're on it and making real progress! Thanks Matt Bey and Ian Rose!]


I need someone more tech-savvy than me to help me figure out how to get the blogger blog (here) which I love to bits and have used forever and a day to integrate seamlessly with my WordPress website. I've tried things and failed. Anyone with more technical expertise than I have care to hop over to my e-mail at sankgreall at gmail dot com and offer their aid?


J. M. McDermott

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


*Preorder and have your copy signed by the author*
*Expected ship date in early March*
Synopsis:Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it. 
These are the words of Crawford Award-winning fantasy author J.M. McDermott (Last Dragon and Never Knew Another). McDermott says it with aliens, magical frogs, and the Berlin wall. Share his discoveries in nature, bug-infested basements, and visions of death. 
Visions of the future. 
Visions of forgotten pasts. 
It's all here in J.M. McDermott's powerful collection of dark fantasy and horror from Apex Publications.
Table of Contents:
Happiness Is Possible if You Have the Right Pen
Lights, Bugs
The Transformation of Mr. Toad
Gods of the Spiderhole
Speaking of Butterflies
I Am Nature
The Lovesong of Jack McNally
Man in the Mountain
Dragon Came to Galveston to Die
Aliens and Pie
The Jamcoi
The End of Her World
Dave Jones and the Survivor
Death’s Shed
Last Star
Book Details:
Trade Paperback
220 Pages
6" x 9"
Cover Artist:
Ekaterina Zagustina (aka Katja Faith)
Author Biography:

Go here to pre-order today!

Monday, February 20, 2012

[Free Fiction] Circe

Circe told Odysseus he had to go to the gates of the Underworld, and beyond them, to consult with Tiresius’ shadow. Only then, could Odysseus return home to his wife and kingdom. She seduced Odysseus, and nearly claimed him forever. She turned his crew into pigs, too.
He wasn’t famous by the time he got to me. He was a washed up boozehound, fat and surrounded by an entourage of lazy enablers. He showed up at the first read-through looking like he had just rolled out of bed, and it was 2:00 in the afternoon, and we were supposed to start at 9:00 in the morning, and I knew it was going to be a long, difficult shooting, but I knew I could make magic out of this man.
I remember when I was just a girl, innocent to this world, and my father would take me to the movies. I saw these amazing things happening – like miracles – on screens larger than I could even imagine. I remember years spent in the elements, holding lighting and booms, watching great men crumble for the camera lens. The beautiful, plastic world was my home and my air and my bread. I took the director’s chair when no one thought I could do it, and I made magic. I’ve made so much magic. I was famous for it. I bought my own goddamned island in the Mediterranean Sea, and nobody helped me pay for it. When my friends came by we drank, and worked on experimental films. It was supposed to be my high art phase, after all that fucking money. It was supposed to storm the art houses of the world. And, it did. I won awards. My films were meaningful, beautiful, and more real than reality itself.
He came to me, on my island, with all his fat yes-men. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

[free fiction] Helen of Troy

“What were all the world’s alarms
To mighty Paris when he found
Sleep upon a golden bed
That first dawn in Helen’s arms?”
– William Butler Yeats
 We fell into the sea.
Did they tell you that? No? Well, after the headlines wind down, people move on. So much time spent at war, we forgot how to live together, and we fell into the sea. When it comes right down to it, we forgot how to wake up next to each other, go to work, pay bills. So, we lost the house. We lost everything. We live underwater, now. This town’s so gone the only school in town that isn’t in debilitating debt is fish. We moved into this track house two blocks from the diner where I work. The place is infested with octopus, but there isn’t an exterminator in town. Even if there was, who could get rid of them?  Worse than spiders. Bigger. Hungrier. Smarter.
That’s our life, now. Has been this way for a while. It’s not so bad, underwater. I actually like it, a little. I work at a diner where we mostly serve oysters. He stays home and watches TV, and drinks. When I get back, he’s usually too drowned to do anything to me, even if he wanted to.

Friday, February 10, 2012


An awesome program for the teen writers in your life, and an awesome CRITTER MAP to celebrate the program.

Yes. Very, very cool. The program, and the map.

Monday, February 6, 2012

[Free Fiction] Medea

“O hapless mother, surely thou hast a heart of stone or steel to slay the offspring of thy womb by such a murderous doom.” – Euripides, Medea

They say that when Theseus was a young child, his mother had told him that he would only know his father when he could lift the heaviest rock of the villa, and see what the boy’s mysterious father had hidden beneath the stone. They say, the boy, when he came of age, found a sword beneath the rock.
But there was no sword there. In fact, there was nothing there at all that was tangible.
Something far more dangerous was under that rock, and it had no form and no shape: a broken promise, honed to a hateful edge after so many years of aging, and carried in the palm like the tattoo of a knife.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

For the next two weeks, free eBooks...

Already, a five star review has popped up at for WHEN WE WERE EXECUTIONERS! That's awesome!

I'd like to encourage others to post reviews. So, if you post a review of WHEN WE WERE EXECUTIONERS in the next two weeks, show me your review (good or bad or indifferent) and I will gladly send you one free eBook of anything else I've written.

Heck, let's go ahead and extend that out to include reviews of LAST DRAGON, NEVER KNEW ANOTHER, and WOMEN AND MONSTERS.

Post a review of any one of those books in the next two weeks somewhere where other people can see it, let me know about it, and I will gladly send you one free eBook of anything else I've written.

You know what? Let's extend it even farther. Post a review of any APEX PUBLICATION novel. I have a short story collection coming out from them very soon, and I think there's some excellent books out from them recent-like that aren't getting a lot of the sort of press that they deserve.

So, if you post a review of any of my novel-length works, or any Apex Publication title, let me know about it, and tell me what eBook you desire via e-mail, and it is yours.

Sound cool/fun?

I am doing the first sort of songs for a wedding playlist while trying to f***ing fix this awful section of an otherwise acceptable and interesting book. There's this one long part where characters need to cross ground from one location to another, and it's just awful. Awful. Everything else is great. I mean, some authors are amazing at that sort of thing. The long section in Ursula K. LeGuin's THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS where the two main characters walk across the glacier is incredible. I would like the section to be at least that good. Ergo, I am going to go back to work for a while, and try to get it done. (Every time I think I'm done with this book, this section stinks up the thing...)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WHEN WE WERE EXECUTIONERS is out and everywhere

Go forth little book. Know that I am cleaning up the sequel in another tab, and the trilogy will be completed soon.


First, pick up a copy for yourself.