Publisher’s Note: Middle School: What a Magic Age…

I remember seventh grade vividly. And not just because that was the year of the Challenger space shuttle disaster (because it was carrying a teacher for the first time, we all watched in school). Or because it was also the year for a more local school disaster when the third-floor ceiling collapsed in our science room, trapping our teacher under rubble and seriously injuring her (thankfully, classes were changing at the time, so all of the students managed to get out, albeit barely).

Those were the obvious traumas. But there were so many other traumas that, while not life-or-death, sure felt like it at the time: bullying, frenemies, puberty.

Seventh grade is hard. I knew it would be hard on my daughter. But I didn’t expect it to be so hard on me, too.

My daughter talks to me about most things. (It used to be everything, but naturally that has diminished some as she gets older.) And I will never discourage her from sharing things with me, even though my introverted nature really needs a break from the drama sometimes.

And whoa boy, the drama. I hated it in seventh grade. I hate it now.

But she’s figuring out who she is, and how to deal with it all. So, I’m doing my best to support her while not unduly influencing her—other than to make sure she’s not an asshole. That’s Parenting 101 in my book: Don’t let your kid grow up to be an asshole.

She’s not an asshole, thank goodness. She’s a great kid. And it’s bittersweet to watch her turning into a great mini-adult.

One good thing about the drama of these school-age years, however, is it’s wonderful fodder for fiction.

So much so that WMG has included a three-book bundle in the current offering on StoryBundle for the Magic School Bundle.

Here’s the synopsis on The Daughters of Zeus Trilogy by Kristine Grayson:

When Zeus tried to use his teenage daughters Tiffany, Crystal, and Brittany to destroy true love, they rebelled. So, he stripped them of their magic. Now they live with their mothers in “the real world.”

But magic cuts both ways; it can provide enormous power to any mage who knows how and when to use it, and it can backfire when used without the guidance of wisdom. This trio of Olympian offspring decide to take the on “real world” and reclaim their magic, one way or another.

This omnibus contains three novels, Tiffany Tumbles, Crystal Caves, and Brittany Bends.

Pay at least $20, and you can get this three-book bundle as well as nine other fantastic book offerings around the Magic School theme. Plus, you can choose for a portion of your purchase to go to Girls Write Now and Mighty Writers, charities aimed at helping kids develop their writing skills, and even perhaps nurturing future writers!

Click here to check it out!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must answer a text from my own little future writer about the latest seventh-grade drama.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: A Wonderful New Venue for Our In-Person Workshops!

I’m back in the office this week after a fantastic week in Las Vegas for the Fantasy Caper Craft Workshop. It was so good to spend some time connecting with our writers again.

We had to stop offering these workshops during the height of the pandemic, and then the venue we had used for years became undesirable for a host of reasons.

That’s all changed now!

We held the workshop for the first time at Resorts World Las Vegas. What a fantastic venue for a writing workshop! This new resort (it’s a Hilton property) focuses on entertainment in the greater sense rather than just the casino. In fact, the casino seems secondary. You can avoid it if you want.

The writers loved it. Even our writers with special dietary restrictions had places to eat. And it was quiet. Far different from the noise of our last venue and some other venues in Vegas.

We are excited to keep offering workshops at Resorts World now that we know how well they work. But we do have minimum numbers we need to reach to make these work from a business standpoint.

So, if you’ve been hesitating to sign up for the upcoming Romantic Suspense Craft Workshop in May or the Fantasy/Thriller Craft Workshop in July, I encourage you to get off the fence and sign up. These in-person workshops are one of the rare opportunities to learn the craft face-to-face from bestselling and award-winning writer and editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch. And Kris’ in-person workshops are legendary.

To view the full list of in-person workshops on offer, click here.

And don’t forget that the entire curriculum for all of our workshops (in-person and online) is available here.

The Year of the Rabbit hasn’t even started yet, but WMG is already hopping!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: What a Fantastic Way to Kick Off the New Year!

I’ll never forget my first adult fantasy novel. Stephen King’s The Eyes of the Dragon. I was more of a Little Women and Jane Eyre reader up to that point, and The Eyes of the Dragon was a totally different kind of fiction for me (and for King, at the time, but that’s another story you should look up).

I was a freshman in high school when the book came out in mass market paperback. I didn’t connect at the time (or for years afterward) that it was by Stephen King. It’s a good thing, too, because if I’d known it was written by that Stephen King, I wouldn’t have read it. His horror was (and still is) too much for me.

But that first foray into fantasy fiction paved the way for my enjoyment of so many other fantasy works.

Including the many incredible short stories of Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.

And now we’re collecting their fantasy stories together into special volumes for this year’s Make 100 Kickstarter, just like we did with Crimes Collide last year for the mystery stories and Colliding Worlds the year before for their science fiction.

Kris and Dean have been writing professional fantasy short stories for four decades that have won awards and sold millions of copies, plus they have been acclaimed and enjoyed by fans over the entire world.

Now, for the first time, Kris and Dean are collecting 100 of their fantasy short stories together into a five-volume set called Fantasies Collide. Fifty stories from each author in the series; ten stories from each author in every volume.

In addition to such fantastic rewards as the five Fantasies Collide volumes in ebook, trade paperback and signed/limited hardcover, we have some amazing rewards for writers, and a special workshop series for writers is included in the stretch goals.

Check out the Kickstarter here, and be sure to watch Kris and Dean’s fun video about the project.

What a fantastic way to kick off the new year!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: Looking Ahead to the New Year!

Well, it’s officially 2023! Back in 2020, we weren’t sure we’d get here, but here we are. It seems like we’ve found our new normal. It’s weird, but, well, I’m trying to look, as Monty Python says, “on the bright side of life.”

As such, I’m looking ahead to the coming year with lots of exciting changes afoot.

But first, a little insider background on the publishing industry.

For those of you who don’t follow all the ins and outs of publishing, our industry is, to simply things, divided into two factions: traditional publishers and indie publishers. Trad features the Big Five (who almost became the Big Four last year until the DOJ stepped in). The Big Five have long acted as gatekeepers: the theory being that only the best books get published.

We all know that’s crap, but bear with me.

The whole book industry is built around that assumption. Bookstores, online retailers, libraries, the list goes on. More gatekeeping.

But the indie revolution changed the landscape. As indie authors and publishers gained ground, new voices emerged that proved the gatekeeping was really, as gatekeeping is wont to be, oppressive.

Indie publishers are constantly fighting to find ways to allow more voices to be heard. WMG has long been on the front lines of that fight.

But the gatekeeping infrastructure is pervasive. It’s not enough to publish independent voices; we must also be able to allow those to be heard by getting the books to readers. Selling through retailers means going through gatekeepers. As we’ve already established, gatekeepers hinder. Those gatekeepers keep changing the rules.

So, how do you circumvent the gatekeepers? You cut out the middleman. What this leaves us with is direct sales.

WMG has already been investing in various direct sales delivery methods. Our Kickstarters are direct sales. So are our subscriptions (such as the weekly Every Day’s a Holiday at WMG newsletter). And we’ve long offered ebooks for sale directly on the WMG website.

But this year, that last is getting a big upgrade. We’re moving to a Shopify store to enhance and streamline our direct sales to make it more convenient and easier to navigate for our readers. (That store officially launches tomorrow but you can click here to get notified as soon as it’s live!)

We hope you’ll consider this new store as your go-to place to buy our ebooks. Because when you buy the books from WMG directly, you’re directly supporting the authors who write and edit them—that would be the two writers who own this company: Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.

Those are the same two writers who give back so much to other writers through all the workshops they teach.

Speaking of workshops, another new thing we’ve done for this year is enhance the website to make navigating our enormous catalog much easier. Want to know what workshops allow you to study directly with the master (aka Dean)? We’ve got a tab for that. Looking to enhance your craft or change your attitudes about writing? We’ve got tabs for that too. And every workshop listing now has a link directly to that workshop on Teachable.

Check it out here.

And we’re just getting started. So many exciting things ahead.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

Publisher’s Note: The 2022 Year in Review

Although we at WMG are off today for the observed Christmas Day holiday in the US, the excitement of Christmas is now over. The presents are unwrapped, the advent calendars are done, and we’re officially in that in-between space between the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

This week has its own special feeling. It’s still technically the holidays, the tree and the lights are still up, but the stress of the holidays is gone. It’s also the perfect time to reflect on the year that’s about to end and plan for the new year.

For me, like 2021, 2022 was a hard year emotionally. By mid-April, I had lost my remaining two cats (less than two months apart). I had some health issues (minor and not brain-related, thank goodness), but it did require a battery of tests to figure out. And my daughter started seventh grade, which is a whole roller coaster of emotions for her and for me.

But there were some high points, too. Despite not being at all ready for new relationships with any kind of furry friend, we found ourselves rescuing two feral kittens. They are now six months old and quickly forgetting they were ever feral. It is wonderful to hear kittens thundering around the house again. I’ve still got guards on my heart, but those walls will crumble in time.

And Nola is thriving in school. Despite the bumpy dramatic start, she’s settled in well and is involved in sports and band and theater and still getting straight As, even in advanced math. And most importantly, she’s proving to be a kind, caring friend. I’m so proud of her.

And WMG, of course, had a great year! As promised, we didn’t top the insanity of last year’s publishing schedule, but the staff here at WMG (all three of us) still released 127 new titles in 2022!

So, you know, we’re still nuts, but more manageably so <grin>.

I’ll include a month-by-month breakdown of all the titles we released in 2022 below this blog. But that’s not all we did this year!

We also:

  • Released all of Dean Wesley Smith’s galaxy-spanning Seeders Universe novels in hardcover for the first time.
  • Offered 18 books in StoryBundles.
  • Offered 3 book in the first ever D2D Humble bundle.
  • Ran 6 successful Kickstarters.
  • And launched the weekly Every Day’s a Holiday at WMG newsletter, in which we offer free books and discounts on WMG online workshops related to that week’s holiday.

Whew! So, take a look at the master list of every new title we released in 2022. And if you see a title (or several) that you missed (who could blame you?), click on the title to go to the WMG store page and add it to your cart.

But we don’t rest on our laurels here at WMG. We already have some exciting things planned for 2023. More on that next week.

In the meantime, thank you so much for your support throughout the year. We wish you a very happy and healthy new year!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.

The List

Smith’s Monthly #57

“Rainbow Peak: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“Old Memories: A Marble Grant Story”
“A Song for the Old Memory: A Bryant Street Story”
“Dead Woman Walking: A Sky Tate Story”
The Reflection on Mount Vitaki
“The Blitz Experience: A Faerie Justice Story”
Green Valley: A Thunder Mountain Novel
Smith’s Monthly #58
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #16

Fiction River: Broken Dreams
“Blue Finds a Home: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“The Birth of a Superhero: A Poker Boy Story”
“Kill for a Statistic: A Bryant Street Story”
“Debbie Does the Desert: A Sky Tate Story”
“Alien Ball”
Big Eyes: A Pakhet Jones Short Novel
Smith’s Monthly #59

“Trail Guns Meet: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“The Curious Reason for Death: A Mary Jo Assassin Story”
“A Home for the Books: A Bryant Street Story”
“The Beauty in a Puzzling Case: A Sky Tate Story”
“Death and Life in a Long Hot Day: A Marble Grant Story”
Crimes Collide, Vol. 1
Crimes Collide, Vol. 2
Crimes Collide, Vol. 3
Crimes Collide, Vol. 4
Crimes Collide, Vol. 5
Rescue Two: A Seeders Universe Short Novel
Smith’s Monthly #60

Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #17
“Enough Time: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“Ashes to Weddings: A Marble Grant Story”
“Subdivision Survival: A Game: A Bryant Street Story”
“Deadly Invisible Sky: A Pahket Jones Story”
“The Dark Man”
Smith’s Monthly #61

“Without a Ripple: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“Cowboy Nathan: An Earth Protection League Story”
“For the Show of It: A Bryant Street Story”
“Start with Butter: A Sky Tate Story”
Smith’s Monthly #62
Lessons from the Writing of The Fey
Jingle My Bells (Pulphouse Book)
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #18

“Lost Canyon: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“A Gift from the Centuries: A Seeders Universe Story”
“It’s My Party: A Bryant Street Story”
“The Woman in the Wall: A Mary Jo Assassin Story”
The Holiday Spectacular #3
Smith’s Monthly #63

“Human Business: A Faerie Justice Story” (Part of the Unexpected Histories Uncollected Anthology)
“Ghost of Poker Games Past: A Poker Boy Story” (Part of the Unexpected Histories Uncollected Anthology)
“Lost Canyon Cave: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“A Marble from Sherry: A Skip Keepers Story”
“A Cold Case Future: A Sky Tate Story”
“Will You Still Love Me In Five Minutes?: A Marble Grant Story”
Smith’s Monthly #64

“Passing in Time: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“Enjoying the Company: A Bryant Street Story”
“Can’t Go Home: A Sky Tate Story”
“No Firing Squad Yet: A Marble Grant Story”
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #19
“Hunches: A Diving Universe Short Story”
Smith’s Monthly #65

A Weird Holiday Season
Cold-Blooded Christmas
Mistletoe Moments
“Yesterday’s Cold Grave: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“A Lack of Tomorrow: A Bryant Street Story”
“Age Might Be a Number: A Poker Boy Story”
“A Big Twisted Plot: A Marble Grant Story”
Smith’s Monthly #66

Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #20
“Fifty: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“The Back Seat: A Bryant Street Story”
“Mystery Cat: Another Perspective: A Pahket Jones Story”
‘Just Imagine Murder: A Marble Grant Story”
Smith’s Monthly #67

“The Cabin Between the Pines: A Thunder Mountain Story”
“The Park, the Yard, and Other Cold Places: A Bryant Street Story”
“She Was Dancing: A Marble Grant Story”
“Frank’s Corner Bar”
Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #21
“Other People’s Stupidity”