Readers and friends: This summer, I’m participating in the Clarion West Write-a-thon, and I would love your support. Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. It’s run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.
The Write-a-thon is an annual fundraiser that helps support world-class instruction to empower emerging and underrepresented writers. It’s basically a walk-a-thon with words, six weeks of writing to help raise money to sustain Clarion West’s efforts. Here are some of the things that funds raised will go towards:
- Providing scholarships for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, and other underrepresented writers in science fiction, fantasy, and horror;
- Providing accessible classrooms and facilities for all of Clarion West’s programs;
- Providing free public panels for writers;
- Paying for world-class instructors year-round; and
- Creating paid staff positions with health benefits.
I attended the six-week summer workshop in 2012 and it was life changing, both professionally and personally. THE MEMORY COLLECTORS was conceived there. I met some of the most wonderful people I know through my connection to the Clarion West community—people who have become my mentors, peers, and friends. I’ve participated in the Write-a-thon every year since, not only because I want to help other writers access the same rich experiences, but also because it helps me sustain my writing spirit.
This year, I hope to write one page every day for six weeks. One page isn’t much, but it represents a lot to me. I have been struggling, post-book launch, to get back to a regular daily writing practice. I hope the Write-a-thon will help me gain momentum on my second novel.
A sponsorship in any amount helps to support my goals and the Clarion West writer’s workshop. But to sweeten the deal, I’m offering some incentives!
- $5 and up: I will mail you a personalized thank you card and a paper crane folded by yours truly
- $20 and up: Thank you card, paper crane, and a custom signed bookplate for THE MEMORY COLLECTORS (up to 10 sponsors)
- $30 and up: Thank you card, paper crane, and a signed copy of THE MEMORY COLLECTORS (up to 5 sponsors)
If you’d like to sponsor me, please visit my Write-a-thon page here. It takes only a few minutes to donate, and it makes all the difference in the world to both me and Clarion West.
I am so happy to announce that THE MEMORY COLLECTORS is now out in the world!! Yes, this announcement IS a week late!
The truth is that my book launch did not go as planned.
My family and I are currently recovering from COVID-19. We are okay!! We had mild cases and are recovering well. But I tested positive a week and a half before publication day, and spent every day leading up to March 16th in bed, exhausted and stressed. I know our story isn’t unique, but it was still a shock, after a year of being so careful and following all of the public health guidelines, to find ourselves in this situation. Shocking and scary, and the timing (not that there’s a good time to get COVID-19) was especially bad.
On the big day, it was all I could do to post a quick, bleary-eyed Instagram photo and share some reviews. After that, I saved up every bit of energy I had in me for the evening launch event.
The event, hosted by Mysterious Galaxy Books went SURPRISINGLY well, in large part thanks to my excellent friend and conversation partner, Bryan Camp, author of THE CITY OF LOST FORTUNES and GATHER THE FORTUNES. I did a short reading and we had a good time talking about the book and the writing process in general. You can view a recording of the event here. And you can still receive a custom signed bookplate if you order a copy of THE MEMORY COLLECTORS from Mysterious Galaxy Books.
The reception to the book so far has been incredible. Here are some of the best-of lists that have included THE MEMORY COLLECTORS over the last couple of weeks:
It’s also been wonderful to see the many messages and photos from friends and family showing me their copies that have arrived in the mail, or pictures of the book on shelves at their local bookstores. I hope to be able to see THE MEMORY COLLECTORS out in the wild myself soon! Please keep those photos coming, and if you have read and enjoyed the book, consider leaving a rating and/or review. Thank you all for the support!
One of the themes of The Memory Collectors is our relationship to physical objects — the memories, emotions, and power they hold for us. Every week leading up to the book’s release, I’ll share the story of an object that’s special to me.This is one of my very first stories, written in Grade 2 and definitely heavily influenced by my book of Grimm’s fairy tales from last week’s post. In the story, the magic key grows legs and walks away from me, leading me to a door that it opens and then shuts and locks behind it—The End. I guess I didn’t know what happened next. 47 year-old Kim can empathize with 7 year-old Kim here. Writing is hard.Second grade was a long time ago and the paper feels and smells like the inside of an old book, which makes me feel simultaneously delighted and ancient. Although I didn’t start writing fiction seriously until I was almost 30, my love for stories and creative writing began when I was very young. Special thanks to my mom for holding on to some of my early schoolwork!
One of the themes of The Memory Collectors is our relationship to physical objects — the memories, emotions, and power they hold for us. Every week leading up to the book’s release, I’ll share the story of an object that’s special to me.
If I had to choose a favourite childhood book, it would be this copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It’s the only book I still own from when I was a kid. It has over 200 stories in it, and I know I read them all because I checked them off in the table of contents with a pencil crayon. I received it as a gift when I was about seven, and it was such a revelation to read the original versions of stories that I thought I knew.
I remember vividly how I felt reading the Grimm’s version of Cinderella, especially the moments when her stepsisters cut off their own heels and toes in order to fit into the glass slipper. I am lucky to have had a lovely and idyllic childhood, so the idea that such brutal ambition existed in the world was shocking to me, but also terribly fascinating. I guess it should be no surprise that my own stories often go to dark places.