My Other Work - Anthologies and Nonfiction
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Warrior Dreams, a short story by Cinda Williams Chima, in
once upon a time, an anthology of new fairy tales, edited by Paula Guran
Coming Sept. 11, 2013
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:
The Wraith of the Creek:
The Nain Rouge (Red Dwarf of Detroit)
The Black Dog of Lake Erie
Necks, Nixies, and Water Spirits
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
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
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
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.
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.
Cup of Comfort for Courage at Amazon.com
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,
Buy Cup of Comfort for Christmas at Amazon.com