The Seers’ Table March 2021
Linda D. Addison, Member of the Diverse Works Inclusion Community
You can see any of The Seers’ Table posts since inception (March 2016) from the menu item “Diverse Works” on top of the HWA main page.
Kate Jonez introduces:
David R. Slayton grew up in Guthrie, Oklahoma, where finding fantasy novels was pretty challenging and finding fantasy novels with diverse characters was downright impossible. Now he lives in Denver, Colorado and writes the books he always wanted to read.
Recommended: White Trash Warlock. Not all magicians go to schools of magic.
Adam Binder has the Sight. It’s a power that runs in his bloodline: the ability to see beyond this world and into another, a realm of magic populated by elves, gnomes, and spirits of every kind. But for much of Adam’s life, that power has been a curse, hindering friendships, worrying his backwoods family, and fueling his abusive father’s rage.
Years after his brother, Bobby, had him committed to a psych ward, Adam is ready to come to grips with who he is, to live his life on his terms, to find love, and maybe even use his magic to do some good. Hoping to track down his missing father, Adam follows a trail of cursed artifacts to Denver, only to discover that an ancient and horrifying spirit has taken possession of Bobby’s wife.
It isn’t long before Adam becomes the spirit’s next target. To survive the confrontation, save his sister-in-law, and learn the truth about his father, Adam will have to risk bargaining with very dangerous beings … including his first love.
Slayton can be found here: http://www.davidrslayton.com.
Linda D. Addison introduces:
Tejaswi Priyadarshi is a dreamer in the horror/thriller genre. He derives inspiration from Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Takashi Miike, Alexandre Aja, Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino, and the Ramsay Brothers.
His first book (The Psychopath, The Cannibal, The Lover) was India’s first splatterpunk novel. It was released in July 2020, and has since remained on multiple bestselling charts, scaling its way up to be Amazon India’s highest-rated Horror Thriller with 175+ ratings. He is a recipient of a 2020 HWA Diversity Grant.
He is currently working on his second novel, trying to amalgamate Horror, Crime, Thriller, and Social Satire. You can often find him writing fiction at a bar counter, appreciating Independent Pop music gigs, and holding screenings of all sub-genres of horror/thrillers. However, nobody knows why he adamantly screens PURANI HAVELI so often. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss anything under the sun; “How to Prep for a Zombie Apocalypse” is his favorite topic, because, what if!
Recommended Reading: The Psychopath, The Cannibal, The Lover, released July 2020.
The guy was pacing, agitated, and tensed. Neha slowly tried to move her hand towards her pocket. If she could somehow call Vivek, there would be a chance to escape, she trusted Vivek blindly—she knew he would save her. She had almost unbuttoned her pocket when the assailant punched her again, this time on her left eye and she shuddered with pain and fear. There was nothing that she could think of now, there was just pain, and darkness. Neha held the blue flower tightly in her hand as the guy moved his face towards hers, gnarling as if he were a dog. He sank his teeth deep into her throat, gnashing, and ripped off her windpipe.
The last thing that Neha felt was a hollow tickle where her throat should have been, and a small pink card fell from her now unbuttoned pocket.
Follow the author at: Twitter via @tejaswi_prdrshi and Instagram via @author.tejaswi.priyadarshi.
Theresa Derwin introduces:
Ayse Hafiza was born in London, England. She previously worked in commercial roles for multinational corporations and has been lucky enough to travel the world. With a family history of authors, she knew it was her destiny to write.
Her works are: The Azrael Series, The Jinn Series, The Demon Series, and The Haunted House Series in 2018. Other projects are being launched on an ongoing basis.
Her latest book is The Ghost in the Water (Haunted House, Book 3) released in March 2019. However, the book I picked up (because djinn have always fascinated me) is The Seance (The Jinn, Book 1). This is a short read, under an hour, and is a free introduction to Hafiza’s writing.
Recommended Reading: The Seance (The Jinn, Book 1)
Do the dead speak?
Would you contact him? Frank isn’t here and Eleanor his widow wears a mask of coping. The abyss of loneliness drowns her, she can’t live without him, this isn’t life she merely exists. Questioning whether their life together was a beautiful lie?
Sorrowful Eleanor takes extreme measures because she needs their love to survive. Eleanor needs to believe. Her actions have consequences, she doesn’t know them yet but she will soon find out.
Chapter One: He’s Gone
Frank would have loved the flowers, Eleanor thought to herself as she surveyed their beauty. The bright, beautiful yellows brought a half-smile to her face. She knew that yellow signified friendship, and it complemented the autumnal oranges that were a nod to the grief the day brought. Eleanor didn’t much care for the chrysanthemums in the arrangements. She internally tutted at them—they were, after all, a very cheap flower, but they did look cheerful. She couldn’t rob them of that quality.
Maxine squeezed her hand as they walked together behind Frank. For Eleanor, having Maxine’s support reminded her that she was alive.
Loved ones and friends arrived to support the family. So many of their friends had come to pay their respects and waited patiently to console Eleanor and her family. They all stood huddled in a mass of black clothing, and Eleanor acknowledged them respectfully. She saw the pity in their eyes, and instinctively, she wanted to make them a cup of tea. Tea always made things better. As she dwelled on that thought, she remembered that they should be the ones making her a cup of tea.
With a heartfelt sigh, she thought about how today was going to be the hardest day of her life. It was going to be the day she would say goodbye to Frank.
Visit http://www.aysehafiza.co.uk for more and connect on Facebook and Twitter @AyseHafiza.
Kate Maruyama introduces:
Geneve Flynn is a horror writer with a love of tales that unsettle and B-grade action movies. Her short stories have been published in Australia as well as internationally. Her short work has appeared in Burning Love and Bleeding Hearts: Dark and Dangerous Valentine’s Tales, Unnerving Magazine, Gothic Fantasy: Lost Souls Short Stories, and other anthologies.
Her most recent anthology Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, which she edited with Lee Murray, features two of her short stories, “A Pet is for Life” and “Little Worm.” About this editing experience, Flynn writes:
In 2019, I finally met award-winning author and editor Lee Murray face-to-face at Genrecon. We began chatting about being the “black sheep”—Asian, horror writers, and female. We lamented the fact that there seemed to be very few places where we could see ourselves reflected in fiction. Lee turned to me with a wicked gleam in her eye and said, “You know, we should do an anthology of Asian female horror.”
Ten months later, and here is the anthology. It’s powerful and authentic and heartfelt. My two stories are nestled in amongst work by some of Southeast Asia’s most talented dark fiction writers.
“A Pet is for Life” examines the tendency to eroticise Asian women, and also to think of them as helpless creatures requiring rescuing. There are also rescue dogs. “Little Worm” explores the expectations laid at the feet of Asian mothers and daughters and what happens when dreams become monstrous.
From “A Pet is for Life:”
Ku followed the woman in cargo pants when she left the shelter. Night had fallen, thick and airless. The woman’s shoulders were slumped from the day’s work. Her gaze was turned inwards as she walked, and she did not see when Ku melted from between the glow of one streetlight to the next.
Despite the heat still baking off the pavement, the woman shivered, zipped up her jacket and shoved her hands deep into her pockets. Ku hesitated. Hackles crawled up and down her spine. She almost turned and walked the other way. But she couldn’t. That wasn’t how this went. Instead, she kept her distance and kept pace.
When the woman got to the front door of a small, ugly brick bungalow, a yellowed porch light flickered on and a furious, booming racket erupted from inside. The woman unlocked the screen then opened the wooden door an inch. A black snout that looked like it belonged to a medium-sized bear snapped and growled at the gap, spraying thick strings of spit.
You can read both stories, along with twelve other tales of unquiet women, at https://omniumgatherumedia.com/black-cranes.
Learn more about Geneve Flynn at http://www.geneveflynn.com.au/.