When Word’s Collide 2023

Where we’ll be next weekend!

When: August 4-6th, 2023
Where: Delta Hotels by Marriott Calgary South, Calgary, Alberta
What: A literary festival like no other!
Why: We will be judging the Urban Fantasy Slush, participating on a Collaborative Writing panel, and taking pitches. And no doubt getting into mischief.
Who: When Word’s Collide

Between Two Flames with Laird Ryan States and Someone Else’s Story

Someone Elses Story


Thank you for joining your hosts Lola Silkysocks and Noggy Splitfoot for another installment of Between Two Flames — where we place authors in our hot seat for what surely must feel like an eternity of environmentally unfriendly gas grilling.

Today we welcome Laird Ryan States, author of Someone Else’s Story, a queer body horror globetrotting adventure you can read in an afternoon and have bad dreams about all night. Please tell us a little about yourself in exactly forty-two words.

LRS: I am smart enough to be aware of my failings. which are that I’m lazy, cranky, fantasy-prone, arrogant, mopey and out of shape. Unlike most magician/writers, I’m not a degenerate addict or sexual creep, so I’ve got that going for me.

TST: And you love animals, and that’s something special! And now, let’s get to your story. You’ve begun a grand setting with Sleeping Underwater (and Silver Bullets) and now Someone Else’s Story which you describe as your Sel Souris Cycle. How did this setting come to be? What inspired it?

LRS: I discovered a previously unknown half-brother who lived there.  He contacted me, because he discovered he was carrying a hereditary disease, and felt like he should track down our father’s many MANY children and share that information so we could get tested.  I’m not a carrier, but what an amazing thing to do for people.  

He’s an entomologist, and Sel Souris is a really interesting place for an entomologist to be for reasons which you’ll know if you’ve read Sleeping Underwater.

Like most people, I’d never heard of it, but after I started researching it, I found the island has had a HUGE impact on our culture through its influence on artists. The island inspired a lot of things in the work of, for example, William Burroughs (who appears in Someone Else’s Story), the song Purple Haze, Frank Herbert, and the name of the freaking Beatles.  And yet, nobody talks about Sel Souris.  

It felt to me like a place the world was trying to point us a way from, a place with a kind of cloak drawn around it.  As a magician, that sort of thing is catnip to me. I started poking at it, and never stopped.

Sel Souris was a huge part of my work as a practicing magician, right until it unfortunately collapsed into the sea altogether.

Since then, I’m also finding fewer and fewer references to it on the internet, except for me.  Eventually, I suspect that people are only going to see my stuff, and assume I made it up.

I didn’t.  I’ve been there.  I have pictures.

And I’ve been very sad that it’s gone…but I know that it happened for good reasons I can’t really talk about just at this time.

TST: We’ve heard a rumour that you are enamored by the writing and worlds of Philip José Farmer, another illustrious universe builder able to entwine historical figures and places with his imagination to create something amazing. True? If so, what makes him so compelling? 

LRS:Would that rumor be my NEVER shutting up about him for 10 minutes at a stretch?  Phil Farmer had an imagination as big as the moon, and he was brave as hell.  He was the first writer to bring sex into science-fiction, for example.

Now, Phil’s prose varies widely from workmanlike to awfully good.  He’s like Philip K Dick, in this way.  You aren’t there for the prose, you come for the ideas.

His Riverworld series posits an artificial afterlife for humanity.  A race of benevolent aliens created artificial souls so that all living things can survive death, and live again to ethically improve until their artificial soul becomes part of a detected and unknowable over mind made up of the souls of all who have moved on in this way.

After the end of humanity, every person who ever lived is resurrected on the banks of a million mile river to start again, and build a new culture?

It’s a CRAZY ambitious idea.  He doesn’t quite stick the landing, but who cares?

What really got me onto his work was his biography of Tarzan, Tarzan Alive, which reveals that the fictional Tarzan was based on accounts of a real man raised by very rare hominids in Africa. His research into the real life of this extraordinary man was a huge influence on me.  He later wrote a sequel called Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, which discussed the real man Patrick Clarke Wildman, on whom the classic pulp adventurer was based.

He led me to look more deeply at the secret history of the world, which is a FAR more interesting place than most people truly realize.

TST: Frankenstein and Islamic folklore is a heady blend we don’t think we’ve seen before. And one of the many reasons we are Laird Ryan States fans. How did that happen?

LRS:Well, I was inspired by Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead.  His work in that book pointed me at some of the primary documents about the black stone discussed in Someone Else’s Story.  Despite the fact that Crichton turned out to be kind of an asshole, his work on discussing the Andromeda Strain and the InGen incident that most people think he made up for Jurassic Park was another rung on my ladder to more secret history.

TST: What’s next for Tom, is he going to be popping up again in the future? What about his new sidekick, Lisa? And are you continuing the cycle of Salty Mice?

LRS: Lisa’s living in Berlin under an assumed name, and Tom is trying to give her some space.  He’s been in a terrible TERRIBLE headspace since Sel Souris went down. He’s also incredibly mad at me, which means dragging things out of him is very difficult. Happily, he talks a lot when he’s drunk.  And that’s not an uncommon thing for him.  

There is a book I’m compiling which I’m tentatively calling Wonderland which deals with what happened to the island.  Also, I discuss what really happened at Roswell.  It wasn’t aliens from outer space.  I was disappointed by that, but the truth was so much weirder.

TST: What’s next for you personally? Any forthcoming releases, hatchings, or germinations we should be on the lookout for?

LRS: I’m at work on compiling Wonderland to send to you folks, actually.  I’m also, god help me, about half a million words into a story set 175 years in the future, after the ecological collapse. It’s shockingly optimistic, and features a religious sect based on Klinger from M*A*S*H where the followers are trying to get out of the shit detail of life by getting a Section 8.

So, I’m keeping on keeping on.

I’m also working on a one man show in which I discuss the history and influence of Sel Souris….but as almost nobody knows what that is, who’d come?

TST: We’ll be there for it! We may not have visited the island in person, but it’s there in our dreams. Thanks Ryan! 

LRS: Thank you.

About the Author:

Laird Ryan States was born in 1971, in Calgary Alberta. He spent his childhood and early adult life in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which is an excellent place to grow up for a writer, as it’s at least as weird as Austin, Texas. He currently lives in a lovely old house in Edmonton Alberta, with his best friend, novelist Gayleen Froese, three dogs, and so many reptiles and invertebrates that he has lost count.

Someone Else’s Story is his third book, and a sequel to his self-published Silver Bullets and Sleeping Underwater, which is kindly published by The Seventh Terrace. It is part of a cycle of stories and mixed media art about the island of Sel Souris. He has nearly completed the sequel to this book, tentatively titled Wonderland, and is many hundreds of thousands of words into a long novel about pro-wrestling and the end of the world that also has loose ties to this cycle.

Ryan has loved Frankenstein’s monster since he was a small child, and though he thoroughly takes the piss out of him in this work, honestly believes him to be one of the greatest creations in literature, and feels a kinship with him that is occasionally uncomfortable.

2022 – A Year in Flux


L: Again with the yelling, don’t you ever shut up?

N: Not when I’m awake.

L: Unless I’ve run you ragged, or jammed a—

N: No need to be explicit. 

L: You started it.

N: I take no responsibility. For anything anymore. That’s what 2022 was about, right? Retiring a life of stoicism and embracing epicureanism. *** sobs *** 

L: Are you still upset about the cancellation of rum raisin ice cream?

N: Maybe…

L: Because LITERALLY everyone who likes it, except you, is dead. It’s just business, Nog.

N: Fascists.

L: Let’s get to the matter at hand, shall we? Each year asking the previous to hold its beer and 2022 was really no exception. 

Lola and Noggy’s 2022 Wheel of the Year. In Brief.

N: Well, brief’ish.


N: New Years! Naked snow angels! Leaning into photographic evidence by making the best custom calendar ever.

L: We wrote the 2022 year in review. And it was a DOOZY.

N: Your dad’s weed infused absinthe.

L: I lost about 16 hours, for real.


L: We tempted the Gods of Winter and went Ice Fishing at Gull Lake for Noggy’s b-day. This requires an entire review of its own: -30C, biscuits, dumb fish, a month’s worth of booze, and all-night ice cracking.

N: Don’t forget you got me a Texas Mickey of Smirnoff’s! Which was drank. Drunk. Drunken?

L: It got you running again after having your Achilles’ smashed through a meat grinder.


N: Hey, remember when you gave me Covid? From Costco? Kirkland Covid, Jesus…

L: We caught up on a decade of TV, so stop bitching.

N: At least we recovered. Steve… he ate mouth full of mud. I don’t think he’s been the same since.

L: And then we made Borscht from a three-thousand-year-old Mennonite recipe.

N: Mmm, and Worm Moon night run magic.

L: Seeing Broken Toyz at the Back Alley where you wore a kimono and sunglasses and everyone thought you were some kind of celebrity.

N: I recall you nearly got kicked out of the bar for being naughty!

L: Happens. More often than you’d think.

N: Remember Velocipastor?

L: Trying not to. Do you remember David Sedaris complimenting my sweater?

N: Traffic cone strikes again!

L: I made a lot of rather drastic decisions post-covid. Bye, bye Medusa, was seriously time for a big chop.

N: And a large-ish tattoo in a post-covid fog. Totally good decision.

L: And Toxic Femininity. Where they ran out of fucking air in the coffee shop. Who runs out of air? Really?

N: And broken plate magic.

L: Which seemed cool until we found out it was a dumb Tik Tok thing. Kids these days…


N: We have a guest reviewer for May.

L: Shit.

Steve: Fuck you both. I’m not sure why I invited you animals to come to Victoria for a week. Not saying that I regret it, but… let’s see. You hid in my house like vermin, poked a dead elephant seal, forced me to eat cinnamon buns and latte’s mid beach run, to drink at least forty expensive cocktails at the Bard and Banker, eat weird shit at the Fork n Pork in the middle of the night, listen to yacht rock, walk halfway across Vancouver island to find nostalgia at Spinnakers, run to the liquor store while you soaking wet losers had a nap in a dog blanket, made me run into highway traffic and almost get pancaked by a semi, and be friendly with bathroom stoners.

N: You missed Ferris’s not having Jambalaya, literally the only reason we even came to visit.

L: And the Empress bathrooms. 

S: …

N: …


L: We descended upon Julie’s book launch, totally unclear on which 80’s theme it was.

N: Pretty sure it was Def Lepard 80’s.

L: Debbie Gibson, all the way.

N: What else is there?

L: The writing retreat, in which I scared the absolute shit out of some unsuspecting memoirists.

N: And listened to drunk stories of cats licking balls.

L: And throwing watermelon rinds at cows.

N: Did we actually write?

L: Now that you mention it…

N: What about our awesome Horror Con cosplay?

L: Baby and Otis!

N: Of the notorious Firefly Family. We’ll never get the blood out. Never.

N: It was nice that summer kicked off with patios. So many patios. And magic. We purified a hell of a lot of patios.

L: Living the vagabond lifestyle my mother always warned me about.

N: We even made it to Stampede for the first time in years.

L: We went there for the weird food and couldn’t find any of it. But hey, my dad got totally fucked up and acquired covid. At least I hope that’s all he got…

N: And you took me kayaking. Twice! And we didn’t kill each other.

L: If at first (or second) you don’t succeed…

L: Stampede breakfast at the Baptist Church could have gone either way.

N: It definitely went some kind of way. With that Baptist Youth Band…


L: Ah, August. More house sitting. More patios. And hey, more nude beach.

N: Two words: pocket gopher.

L: At the nude beach!

N: Could have been a sundial.

L: Anyways… We crashed Squamish! Ran fifty fucking miles through forests and over mountains. Shout out to the August Jack Motor Lodge. Ate BBQ. Steve’s b-day in Vancouver, starting with posh cucumber margs in Yaletown, followed by Paper Planes in Gastown, and capping it off with the worst fucking old fashioneds imaginable at the Shark Club. Which in fairness, should not have been a surprise.

N: We also had that all day YYC craft brewery crawl.

L: Followed by Cornfest! Your 37th high school reunion, and a first date on the 2nd Berry Go Round.

N: We rocked the YYC Pride Market.

L: And we released Rhonda’s awesome book – Hell Hath No Sorrow like a Woman Haunted!


N: Crustless pizza where have you been all my life?

L: We needed the calories. You know, for stuff…

N: Like WAM.

L: WAM, Wam, wam. A three-day stage mountain ultra-race in Whistler. Why do I let you idiots talk me into these things?

N: The deadliest part was your dad trying to eat a Blizzard while driving through a mountain pass construction zone one-handed, trying to beat the road closure.

L: Here’s to Mad Dads…

N: Cheers!


L: Did anything happen besides Halloween?

N: Cocktails at the Wednesday Room with the Overlook Hotel carpet. And candy.

L: Soooo much candy. Twinkies, yes, Big Turks, less yes.

N: You had me at Big Turk.

L: Halloween though!

N: Lazlo and Nadja. Fangs. Blood. Possessed dolls.

L: We outdid ourselves this year, gotta say.

N: Wanted, Sasquatch skull.

L: That all you got?

N: Except for about two hundred birthday parties.

L: Moving right along…


L: A month late and two pennies short, but we managed to give birth to our latest Purgatorio book, Terrace V: Penitent’s Gold, and inflict more Trace and Solomon on the universe.

N: Running streak! Fucking cold running streak.

L: Don’t forget drinking a gallon of Colyte in preparation for your colonoscopy.

N: You’ll be old one day too!

L: I’ll never be as old as you. Plus, you recovered for Solstice at the Dorian.

N: True. Though you tried your best to kill me on that horrible frozen death run before Christmas.

L: Weird Christmas II: The Weirdening.

N: With bonus Boxing Day parking lot gin.

L: And another seriously required Dead Week. Betty Lou’s Library and Burlesque!

And that’s, as they say in shrew business, a wrap. And now on to 2023, which we’ll preemptively refer to as the haunted Wheel of Fortune…

Detonation #24: The Horror of AI Generated Horror

The end times are near! Don’t believe me? You should. Not that I’m fucking Nostradamus or Baba Vanga, or, heaven help me, Nate Silver. But I am a divorced Gen-X technophile know it all who lives in a microchip factory, drinks Blanton’s Bourbon like its water, and spends WAY too much time dredging social media cesspools for nuggets of filthy amusement. That’s gotta count for something. Right? Hell yes it does.

And I know what you’re thinking. End times? Really? It’s always the end of the world or doomsday or (*** waves arms ***) post-modern Armageddon on social media. The truth, such as truth is, is that endings are always complicated and, unless it’s climate change or the sun going supernova or the moon falling from orbit, probably not the absolute finale, just a change – for better or worse. Usually better. Usually. Except for Coke Dreamworld. Brutalist architecture. And possibly Pontiac Aztek’s.

Of course, in case I wasn’t clear, the latest boogeyman to strike fear into the hearts of creatives across the multiverse is AI. Specifically, AI used to create art and write. Lot of gnashing of teeth on this one. Folks taking a stand against soulless algorithms trained on unlicensed material scraped from a billion network accessible sources. And it is currently problematic in a lot of ways. And pretty crappy. Not that I don’t think it’ll get better, this is pretty much the start of something new, but I like to think it’ll be a valuable tool to assist in a variety of ways as opposed to replacing most artists. It’ll never have true imagination. And plus, bespoke is always better than mass produced garbage.

That said, why not go to the source, asking the daemonic heart of darkness what IT thought of writing horror. Well, gotta say, I was rather surprised.

Using chatGPT to write horror literature is a dangerous and irresponsible endeavor that could have disastrous consequences for the world.

For those who may not be familiar with chatGPT, it is a language model that is trained on a vast amount of text data and is able to generate human-like responses to prompts. While this technology has a wide range of potential uses, it has also been used by some to try and generate horror stories and other forms of scary content.

However, using chatGPT to create horror literature is a terrible idea for several reasons. First and foremost, chatGPT is not capable of truly understanding the nature of fear or horror. It can only generate responses based on patterns and associations that it has learned from its training data, and these responses will likely be shallow and superficial at best.

Furthermore, chatGPT has no moral compass or sense of responsibility, and it is therefore entirely possible that it could generate content that is truly disturbing or even harmful to readers. This could lead to real-world consequences, such as psychological trauma or even physical harm, for those who consume this content.

In conclusion, using chatGPT to write horror literature is a reckless and irresponsible act that has the potential to cause serious harm. It is important that we do not use this technology in such a way, and instead focus on using it for more constructive and beneficial purposes.

There you go folks, from the daemon’s mouth itself.

Dreams of Avarice: “The Envoy’s Blessing” by Chris Patrick Carolan

Penitents Gold


Thank you for joining us for another installment of Between Two Flames — where we place authors in our hot seat for what surely must feel like an eternity of environmentally unfriendly gas grilling.

Today we welcome Chris Patrick Carolan, author of “The Envoy’s Blessing” — a pulpy cosmic horror tale of murder, slime, and gold from our latest Purgatorio Tower’s book Terrace V: Penitent’s Gold. Chris, please tell us a little about yourself in exactly thirty-five words.

Chris: Born in Glasgow, smuggled to Canada as a wee lad, then raised between Calgary and various spots on the west coast. Wrote a book one time, and I sure would like to do it again.

TST: The The Nightshade Cabal  is a fine piece of work, we’d love to see a sequel Chop, chop!! Okay, let’s get right to the greedy guts of it. What does Avarice mean to you? Is it inherently a bad thing? How does that play into your story of excessive desire found in this glitzy volume?

Chris: I don’t necessarily think a desire for wealth is a bad thing. It’s like any emotion or impulse; what you do with the impulse defines who you are as a person. When it transcends desire and becomes greed which compels one to set aside their morality to sop up more wealth than they could ever need without the least care for the damage they’ve done along the way, that’s avarice. The Envoy’s titular “blessing” is pure lucre in exchange for services rendered. But what exactly are the people of Port Urabus doing to receive this blessing?

TST: Nefarious deeds. It’s always nefarious deeds. Not that we have an issue with deeds of this sort. In fact, it’s kinda our thing.

Tell us about a time you desperately desired something and went to potentially unexpected lengths to acquire it.

Chris: I needed a new heel for my shoe. So, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those da… oh, wait, that was something else entirely. Uh… let’s see. Well, there was this one time — I must’ve been five or six years old — when I was playing Transformers with the kid next door. He had brought over some wonky off-brand toy that wasn’t even a Go-Bot. I think this thing was a slot machine, with arms and a head you would pop out to make the robot. Its face was a sticker, and I don’t even remember if it had legs. Anyway, for some reason I decided I had to have it, and convinced the kid I had the same one and that he must’ve left his at home before he came over to play. When my dad noticed it later he asked where it had come from, and I fessed up. I think I was actually proud of my deception, but my dad made me walk over to the neighbour’s house to return the toy and admit my guilt. I was grounded for a week, and even though I couldn’t tell you that kid’s name now if you put a gun to my head, I still feel bad about what I did to this day. What can I say? I grew up to be a total hall monitor.

TST: Just imagine who you would have become if you had gotten away with it. We’re thinking Charles Montgomery Plantagenet Schicklgruber “Monty” Burns. “Loose the hounds!”

Can you see any of your characters popping up again in other stories?

Chris: There will definitely be more Nathaniel Garaven stories. He’s a character who is always on the move, and there always seems to be another scrape to get into in the next town. ‘The Envoy’s Blessing’ isn’t actually the first Garaven story I’ve written, just the first one that was ready to send out into the world. I also suspect we haven’t seen the last of Lee Cane… and who can say where and when the Envoys themselves might pop up again?

TST: Excellent! We’d love to read more Nathaniel and/or Cane stories.

Give us a sentence (or short paragraph) from your story that you feel knocked it out of the park.

Chris: I’m really partial to this exchange between Garaven and Howard Sutter:

“Seems wherever I go these days, I find another dead friend.”

“You sound like a man with revenge on his mind,” Sutter said. If the barman had an opinion about that it didn’t show on his face. He had a stern, wind-worn look; Garaven had seen the same stolid expression on working men and women up and down both coasts. Not the kind of man to abide nonsense.

Garaven shook his head in answer. “I’ve got no stomach for vengeance, Mr. Sutter. I’ve tasted violence too damned many times, and it always comes back up sour.” He drained the last of his coffee. “All I’m after is the truth.”

TST: Such delightful phrasing! West coast gold rush and cosmic cults. Want to tell us a little about your research process? 

Chris: A lot of it was making sure I had things like timeline and modes of travel right. I’m a stickler for those sorts of details. I’ve set the Garaven stories into a rather tight window in history, roughly fifteen years after the end of the Civil War. I even spent a fair bit of time working out how the Envoy’s “blessing” might actually work as a physiological process, but those details didn’t make it into the finished story. I was reading a lot of cosmic horror stories around the time the ideas that became this story were rattling around in my head, so I think that definitely influenced the way this one went. Ultimately, though, the story started from the image of big gross larvae living under people’s skin, and I knew I wanted folk to accept them willingly. It wasn’t until I heard about the theme for this anthology that the reason why anyone would go along with it clicked into place.

TST: What’s next for you? Any forthcoming releases, hatchings, or germinations we should be on the lookout for? Or, any recent delights you’d love to flog?

Chris: I don’t have much on the way right now, unfortunately. I’ve got a few short stories out there in submission limbo, and I’m still working away on my second novel. Hopefully 2023 will offer a few chances to celebrate! But I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank Sarah and Rob for having me in this book. It’s a true honour to be included alongside some great writers whose work I admire the heck out of, and you’ve been amazing folks to work with on this project. Cheers!

TST: Thanks Chris! And folks, don’t forget to check out Terrace V: Penitent’s Gold, available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca and under whatever rocks and tiny libraries you might find stray books.

About the Author:

Chris Patrick Carolan is an author, editor, and hovercraft enthusiast, originally from Glasgow but currently based in Calgary, Alberta. He writes science fiction, fantasy , horror , and steampunk, though he has also been known to turn to crime to make ends meet. Crime fiction, that is. The Nightshade Cabal was published by Parliament House Press in 2020 and was a finalist for the Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence ‘Best First Novel’ award. He can be found on Twitter as @cpcwrites but consider this fair warning… it’s mostly just wisecracks about McNuggets.

Dreams of Avarice: “Hares and Hounds” by Lindsay Thomas

Penitents Gold


Thank you for joining us for another installment of Between Two Flames — where we place authors in our hot seat for what surely must feel like an eternity of environmentally unfriendly gas grilling.

Today we welcome Lindsay Thomas, author of “Hares and Hounds”, a thought provoking tale of why it’s never a good idea to hang out with your co-workers, from our latest Purgatorio Tower’s book Terrace V: Penitent’s Gold. Lindsay, please tell us a little about yourself in exactly thirty-five words.

Lindsay: Master Gardener, introverted-event-planner, Buddhist practitioner residing on Treaty 7 territory; frequent memory lapses; occasional attempts at overcoming imposter syndrome may result in shitty first drafts or planting more tomatoes depending on the season. London Fog.      

TST: Gardener? Lola definitely requires tips on keeping arboreal entities alive. Alright, let’s get right to the greedy guts of it. What does Avarice mean to you? Is it inherently a bad thing? How does that play into your story of excessive desire found in this glitzy volume? 

Lindsay: Embracing our full range of human emotions can go a long way in self-awareness and healing. Avarice, however, is desire on steroids; the obsession with “more” is all-consuming: It’s a source of suffering that cannot be sated and devours those who choose to remain in ignorance. Kevin, seriously, get a hobby – model trains, ceramics, something.

TST: Ha! Damn you Kevin… And anyone named Kevin. Or with Kevin adjacent names.

Confession Booth: Tell us about a time (real, embellished, or completed fabricated) that you (or, y’know, a friend) desperately desired something and went to unexpected lengths to acquire it. 

Lindsay: Made by Marcus’ Sea Salt and Goat’s Milk Caramel Ice Cream. No other ice cream exists to me now that I have sampled this sorcery. It is the greatest ice cream, the only ice cream, the ice cream to end all ice creams. They have three locations in Calgary so I can’t exactly say I have to go to “great lengths” to get it unless we’re counting driving down 17th during rush hour. Not very exciting? I know. I revel in apathy most of the time.  

TST: Mmm, Made by Marcus is fabulous. We’re, of course, partial to Lemon Curd Blueberry. And 17th is a god awful place to traverse and parks at times. So it counts!

Can you see any of your characters popping up again in other stories? 

Lindsay: Hares and Hounds could easily send me down a rabbit hole of world-building. Kevin’s story is a brutal reality that’s waiting to be smoked out; one that’s only a minor hop from our daily 6:00 news. We know Kevin’s origin story, and I might be sniffing around a backstory for Mikey. I guess we’ll see what gets pulled from the top hat in the coming months. 

TST: Excellent! Now’s the time to show off. Give us a sentence (or short paragraph) from your story that you feel knocked it out of the park.

Lindsay: Rereading something I’ve written is close to a nightmare, but I’ll indulge you this once.

I can’t claim to be bored. Boredom would be something; a sentient recognition of time, a shiver, a stirring of breath against skin, anything, something.

But this. This is nothing.

A monotone haze of tedious mediocrity arranged in consecutive order.

TST: Love it. Rolls off the occipital lobe and straight right into the cerebellum.

Can you tell us a little about how you came up with this story or your creative process?

Lindsay: My initial idea was to do something about the seven deadly sins, but I realized that I didn’t care enough to write about that. So the idea evolved into something about a scavenger hunt, but I’m really not clever enough to come up with clues that the reader would find challenging but would still make sense. I suppose what I’m saying is that I got lazy so I stopped overthinking and started writing. A novel idea. 

TST: Always the best way. Overthinking leads to starting a small horror press — and boom, you’re getting backed over by a Pontiac Aztec for suggesting Christmas anthologies. What’s next for you? Any forthcoming releases, hatchings, or germinations we should be on the lookout for? Or, any recent grim delights you’d love to flog?

Lindsay: My great-grandmother going back several generations was one of the women murdered as a witch in the Salem Witch Trials. I’ve had an idea fermenting for a while – something that ties her experiences through the lens of generational trauma. But do I have the attention span to research historical fiction? Let me know if you know the answer because I don’t. 

TST: Witches! We look forward to reading that. Thank you, Lindsay! And folks, don’t forget to check out Terrace V: Penitent’s Gold, available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca and under whatever rocks and tiny libraries you might find stray books.

About the Author:

Hailing from the deepest bowels of Alberta, Lindsay Thomas traversed the craggy depths of Europe and Asia before bumbling her way into Calgary after The Great Personal Upheaval of 2007. In 2022 she bumbled her way back out again with an unexpected relocation to Bragg Creek, where she resides with her spouse and many canine companions. A perpetual student, Lindsay has degrees in theatre and psychology , and is currently studying the terrestrial art of horticulture. She is a tender of gardens and composer of nonsense who spends her time finding more questions than answers.