Cinda Williams Chima


My Other Work - Anthologies and Nonfiction

Warrior Dreams, a short story by Cinda Williams Chima

When I was a child, fairy tales were not for the faint of heart. My mother used to read to us from this massive book with a horned demon dude on the cover. Readers and writers are partners in story, and my fertile imagination contributed horrifyingly vivid details. Thus twisted (thanks, Mom!) I grew up to write two best-selling teen fantasy series: The Heir Chronicles (The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir, The Enchanter Heir); and the Seven Realms series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown.)
“Warrior Dreams” is set in the gritty industrial landscape of the Cleveland Flats, where the crooked Cuyahoga River meets Lake Erie. The Lake Erie region boasts a rich folkloric tradition, rife with water monsters such as nixies and grindylows; zombie-like Windigos; storm hags, ominous black dogs and the feared Nain Rouge—the Red Dwarf of Detroit.  Some elements have been transplanted from the Old World, some are home-grown.
I love to marry contemporary issues (e.g., our [lack of] treatment of wounded warriors) with fantasy elements and unexpected settings.
I’ve discovered I can get away with a lot in a fairy tale.

For more information on folkloric monsters, including those specific to the Lake Erie/Great Lakes region, try these links:

The Storm Hag of Lake Erie:
http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/07/the_storm_hag.html
http://www.examiner.com/article/the-lake-erie-storm-hag-demonic-siren-of-the-great-lakes
The Wraith of the Creek:
http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2011/08/wraith_in_the_creek.html
The Nain Rouge (Red Dwarf of Detroit)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nain_Rouge
The Black Dog of Lake Erie
http://www.thecabinet.com/darkdestinations/location.php?sub_id=dark_destinations&location_id=lake_erie
Necks, Nixies, and Water Spirits
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neck_%28water_spirit%29


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Warrior Dreams can be found in
The Mammoth Book of Warriors and Wizardry, edited by Sean Wallace
On sale Sept. 18, 2014

Buy The Mammoth Book of Warriors and Wizardry from Amazon.com

Cover image - woman about to bite an apple
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Warrior Dreams can also be found in
once upon a time: new fairy tales, edited by Paula Guran
Now on sale

Buy Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales from Amazon.com  

Cover of The Way of the Wizard

The Way of the Wizard, edited by John Joseph Adams
A collection of short stories about witches, warlocks, sorcerers, and necromancers. Acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams (The Living Dead) brings you thirty-two of the most spellbinding tales ever written, by some of today's most magical talents, including Neil Gaiman, Simon R. Green, George R. R. Martin.

Read "The Trader and the Slave" by Cinda Williams Chima, a story about the first meeting between Linda Downey and Leander Hastings from The Heir series.

Buy The Way of the Wizard from Amazon.com

Cover of Flirtin' with the Monster

Flirtin’ with the Monster: Your Favorite Authors on Ellen Hopkins’ Crank and Glass
What is the line between memoir and fiction, and when can fiction tell a “truer” story? That’s the topic I tackle in my contribution to Flirtin’ with the Monster, an anthology of essays about Ellen Hopkins’ novels in verse, Crank and Glass. These best-selling novels follow “Kristina,” a teenager who struggles with methamphetamine addiction. The stories are loosely based on Hopkins’s experience with her daughter’s drug use.  Edited by Hopkins, the anthology contains original poems from Hopkins, along with essays from well-known YA authors, commentary from experts on addiction, and insights from her daughter and grandson.

Buy Flirtin' With the Monster: Your Favorite Authors on Ellen Hopkins' Crank and Glass from Amazon.com  

Cover of The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists, Insider Secrets from Top Authors
by Andrew McAleer. Adams Media, Avon MA, 2008.

A collection of tips from more than 50 contemporary novelists including James M. Cain, Mary Higgins Clark, Elmore Leanard, R.A. Salvatore--and me! I'm quoted on such diverse topics as Embracing Solitude, Being Passionate about the Craft, and The Editing Process.

Buy 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists from Amazon.com  

Cover of The Dangerous Worlds of Pullman's His Dark Materials

The Dangerous Worlds of Pullman's His Dark Materials, by Cinda Williams Chima, in The World of the Golden Compass, The Otherworldly Ride Continues, Edited by Scott Westerfield, developed for Borders by BenBella Books, Inc., 2007.

This is an anthology of 20 essays about Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. In my essay, I suggest that the alternate worlds of fiction are different for every reader--that story is a partnership between authors and readers, who must assume some responsibility for the worlds they help create.

The book is a Borders exclusive. You can't find it on line - you will have to visit a Borders store to buy a copy.

Cover of "Cup of Comfort for Courage"

The Art of Living, by Cinda Williams Chima, in A Cup of Comfort for Courage, edited by Coleen Sell. Adams Media, Avon, MA, 2004, pp. 149-155.

Here is an excerpt from “The Art of Living
My mother-in-law, Jean, died on New Year’s Eve. Had it been up to her, I suspect she would have chosen otherwise.

Each First Night, for years, she and my father-in-law, George, had celebrated with a circle of friends called the “Bridge Club” that dated back to college days. In recent years, however, Jean had teasingly suggested that she was going to find some new and younger friends.

Buy Cup of Comfort for Courage at Amazon.com

Cover of "Cup of Comfort for Christmas"

An American Christmas Story, by Cinda Williams Chima, in A Cup of Comfort for Christmas, edited by Coleen Sell. Adams Media, Avon, MA, 2003, pp. 292-297.

Here is an excerpt from “An American Christmas Story
This is our Christmas story, part of the spoken history of our family. It is an urban tale, a little brassy and rough around the edges. Maybe some grandmothers live over the river and through the woods, but mine did not. Perhaps yours didn’t, either.

Buy Cup of Comfort for Christmas at Amazon.com