Bec: Welcome to my blog! Please start by telling everyone about yourself –
Rhonda: Oh, man. Way to start out with a super tough questions. LoL I’m totally going to cop out and just post a 1st person version of the standard bio I’ve been using lately. 😉
I am driven by a desire to do All The Things. I have been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and am the editor of several anthologies including (most recently) Fae and A is for Apocalypse.
In addition, I am a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012) and Mythic Delirium.
Bec: What is your most recent release(s)?
Rhonda: I’ve had some poems and short stories published in various places in the past few weeks, but my most recent publication where mine is the only name on the cover would be White Noise. White Noise is a collection of a whack of poems I wrote about the zombie apocalypse. They are mostly reprints (meaning they’ve been published elsewhere first), but this is the first time they’ve been gathered together in the same place.
Bec: What genres do you most like to read?
Rhonda: Everything. I’m not kidding. I read everything. For Niteblade and anthologies I read a lot of short speculative fiction and novel-length spec fic fills a lot of my leisure reading as well, but I don’t ONLY read that genre. I also love nonfiction, literary fiction, classics. P.G. Wodehouse and Charles Dickens are very near the top of my list of favourite authors, for example. Though that love of classics isn’t very well represented in it, here’s the list of books I’ve read so far this year according to Goodreads. Quite a variety, but no more than I’d expect on anyone’s bookshelfs. J
Bec: What genres do you most like to write?
Rhonda: I think I prefer fantasy and horror because while there are definitely rules, they feel far more bendy than when I’m writing something which is more strictly “mainstream” (for lack of a better word choice).
Bec: I know you’ve recently been to a couple conferences… Would you like to share a little bit about those with us?
Rhonda: This year I attended three conventions: When Words Collide, World Fantasy, and Pure Spec. All three had awesome and totally different things going for them. When Words Collide is where we launched (and sold out of) FAE, an anthology I edited for World Weaver Press. It was also the first time I was ever on a panel at a convention so that was frightening in the best possible ways.
At World Fantasy not only did I get to meet up with people I’d only seen before online (which is what happens at every convention, amirite?), but also both anthologies I edited this year, FAE and A IS FOR APOCALYPSE were represented in the readings. And I got to talk to people about them, and sign copies. At one point, I even had a line of people who wanted me to sign their books. Okay, okay, it was of three people, but dudes – it was a line!
Pure Spec takes place right here in Edmonton, within walking distance of my house even. That alone makes it pretty awesome, but it’s also fantastic to get a chance to hang out with local friends and talk about work and everything else. J What’s more, this year at Pure Spec was the first time I read any of my work out loud in public. I was taking part in the Character Death Match (which is as awesome as it sounds) and I was eliminated in the first round BUT I read my whole excerpt without fainting or throwing up so I still count it as a win. LoL
Bec: Which holiday do you like better: Thanksgiving or Christmas? Why?
Rhonda: Christmas, most definitely. I kind of feel like Thanksgiving isn’t as big a thing in general up here in Canada than it is in the US and I could be wrong about that, but it’s definitely not as big a deal in my family. Christmas, or as I prefer to call it, Giftmas (because we celebrate a secular version of the holiday), is something I look forward to all year long. My extended family is very large and when I was younger Christmas was a raucous affair with loads of relatives, tons of presents and far, far too much food. Now my immediate family (husband, daughter, and myself) tend to make Giftmas a much more low-key affair, but we still have tons of presents and far too much to eat and drink.
Bec: What is your favorite Christmas themed book?
Rhonda: I’m a huge fan of Dickens’ Christmas stories. Not just A Christmas Carol, but also The Cricket on the Hearth and The Chimes (I haven’t read his others yet). I also love The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and, though I haven’t re-read it recently, I loved The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
Bec: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?
Rhonda: I’ll add in the obligatory promo part. LoL
Bec: Thank you for stopping by and sharing yourself with us. Have a great holiday season!
Find out how to stalk Rhonda Parrish below:
“Rhonda Parrish is a shapeshifter with talents to match her every incarnation- magpie tenacity for picking the shiniest submissions, nightingale notes for crafting tales, and bright, feline eyes for seeking out her photographic subjects. She balances on the knife-edge of darkness and light, a sorceress of both realms.” – Sara Cleto
From the intrigue of the warmth to the draw of the light,
it spans history—yet who tamed the beast was never recorded.
From the Norse funeral to the Pagan celebrations,
fire has burned its way through our lives,
a passing mark on some, an indelible scar on others.
Within this tome lay 18 authors from across the globe,
each with their own burning tale to tell…
…… Doubt thou the stars are fire?
Table of Contents
The Foreigner -Tim Jeffreys
Home Fires – Ed Ahern
Ride to Hell – Rebecca Besser
City of Fire – James Dorr
Kleevar: The Prophets of Profanity – Dan Weatherer
The Light of the Divine – Tom Olbert
Stir the Ashes – Joshua Calkins-Terworgy
Things Seem Different by Firelight – James McAllister
Flaming River – Timothy Kroecker
He Ain’t Heavy – J.M. Lawrence
Without Sin – Mark Taylor
The Burning Times – Brandon Ketchum
Premonition of a Fire Man – Alexis Allinson
The Flame in the Ice – D.J. Tyrer
Internal Combustion – B. David Spicer
Heat Stress – Claire Ibarra
The Little Matchbox Girl – Lara Ek
Captain’s Last Job – D. Jonathan Matthews
An excerpt from my story, “Ride to Hell”:
““What’s up next, tour-guide-of-horror?” he asked.
She laughed and tapped her lips thoughtfully with her finger. “Hmm…how about Serpent Slither?”
“Okay,” he said, amiably agreeing.
They mounted the short flight of stairs, leading up to the platform to the ride. The carnival wasn’t very busy so they only had to wait for one other couple to be strapped in before them.
When it was their turn, they stepped forward and took their seats beside each other. Instead of facing forward, they faced off to the left side of the ride – Steve was beside the woman from the previous couple and Renea was positioned by a member of the following couple.
The ride started after everyone who was in line was aboard. Once the ride operator stepped back and flipped a lever, the “serpent” took off with a jolt, speeding up and jerking back and forth like a roller coaster on its side, suspended in the air; Steve thought numerous times they would be thrown through the air. This fear was further encouraged by the squeaking and grinding of the seats and the frame of the ride.
Finally the ride was over and they climbed off.
“That was fun,” Renea exclaimed. “Do you want to go on Soul Stealer or Be Damned next?”
“Why not Bowels of Hell?” Steve asked, gratefully becoming acquainted with solid, none jerking ground again; he wasn’t quite sure he was ready for another ride just yet.
“We’ll save that one for last,” she said, “its my favorite.”
As they stood talking, Steve looked around and noticed the ride operator leering an evil grin at him. Something about the look in the eerily skinny man’s eyes gave Steve the chills; he shrugged the feeling off and focused on Renea.
That’s where I’ll propose, he thought, figuring he could make a dramatic display before they traversed the “Bowels of Hell” together.
“Let’s try out Soul Stealer,” he said, hoping it wouldn’t be as dramatic as Serpent Slither, but knowing it probably was. He was determined not to show how unnerved he was, or how bad his stomach was churning at the thought of going on another ride.
“Okay,” she said, and grinned wickedly. “I have to warn you – it’s intense!”
He laughed, while inwardly groaning. “I can handle it with you by my side.”
As they approached the ride, Steve began to wonder if he could handle it, even with her. Naked seats with simple straps waited for their bodies. Renea climbed right in, smiling at a small woman with black teeth and drool running down her chin, who was helping her buckle in.
“Come on, scaredy-cat!” Renea called out, and slapped her hand on the cracked leather seat beside her.
Reluctantly he climbed aboard; the same woman helped strap him in as well – she chuckled under her breath as she stepped away from him. His unease grew.
The woman flipped the switch and the seats started to climb up a mechanical tower behind them, until they were well over twenty feet high. The seats stopped and Steve looked down to see shiny silver spikes had risen below them, from the platform.
“What the hell?” he mumbled, wiggling and trying to get a better look. The straps were too tight to allow him a good assessment of the danger below them and that increased his unease – he felt trapped.”