Absolutely delighted to present to you the six new authors who are joining the Luna Novella series, and for some of them, the Luna Family: DJ Daniels, Nina Oram, Tiffany Jimenez, Steph P Bianchini, Or Luca and Rhiannon Grist!
This past February we invited you to our YouTube launch of the series: Joanna Corrance, John Dodd, Andrew Wallace, Dilman Dila, Terry Grimwood and ME Rodman opened the dances with six stunning pieces. The series success made this past April's open submission window a great challenge, with loads of entries of great quality. In the end, we found our Luna gems!
Now, let me introduce you properly. Make yourself comfortable!
Luna Novella #7 - DJ Daniels - Hovering - Dark Fantasy
Joining the Luna Family, Dorothy-Jane Daniels is an Australian author who lives in Sydney. Her novel, Green Jay and Crow, was released by Rebellion Publishing in 2018.
Her short stories have appeared in publications such as Aurealis and Andromeda Spaceways. She was also a judge for the 2018 Aurealis Awards.
Find her at djdaniels.net and, every now and then, on twitter: @DorothyJaneD.
Dorothy-Jane on the novella:
Sydney might be Australia’s largest city, but really it is a conglomeration of sometimes very tribal villages. There is an amusing set of maps published by the university student newspaper Tharunka which depicts the different Sydney locales as they are seen by other inhabitants. In one, the place where Hovering’s protagonist Zo lives is mockingly described as Mordor. Not that Zo would think that way herself! So at the beginning of the story when Zo crosses the bridge – and by bridge she means the Harbour Bridge – in many ways she feels she is travelling to an entirely different place. I’ve heard people complain about crossing that bridge even when they live on the harbour foreshore. That was the story seed: an urban “into the woods”. And after Zo does cross the bridge, who knows what might happen?
Hovering is full of the fantastical. Most of the real-life events and places that provided inspiration have been stretched and changed to fit. But, with one exception, the music Zo plays at the piano is entirely real. So many people love the beautiful second movement of Rachmaninov's second piano concerto. And I do too. But my favourite is probably Debussy. The Engulfed Cathedral is a Debussy prelude that depicts a tale about the mythical submerged city of Ys on the coast of Brittany. It is said that church bells can still be heard and that a cathedral can sometimes be seen to rise from the sea. When I was writing I included this piece of music because I often played it myself. I knew how it felt under the fingers. It was only later that I saw the parallels between the myth and my story!
Luna Novella #8 - Nina Oram - A face in the Leaves - Dark Fantasy
Originally from the UK, Nina Oram lives in the West of Ireland with her partner and a black cat called Cara.
Passionate about ecology and Climate Change, her work is inspired by the natural world, and the idea that the beliefs, folklore, and mythology of our ancestors are still with us, lying beneath the everyday.
Set in Ireland, her YA Fantasy Trilogy ‘The Carrowkeel Series’ is published by Luna.
In 2016, she won the Luna Press Publishing Short Story Competition in the UK, and the Metamorphose Short Story Competition in the US, and was published in the subsequent anthologies.
Also twice shortlisted in the Aeon Award Short Story Competition, and Over The Edge Writer of the Year, in Ireland, she has had stories published in The Ogham Stone Literary Journal, Ireland, and Horla, horror magazine, UK.
Having completed a book of short stories, and her first horror novel, “The Crooked God”, she is currently working on her first adult Fantasy novel
Nina on the novella:
More than anything I’ve written, this novella seemed almost to write itself, with the main character, Lily Goodfellow, demanding to be heard.
Set in North London, and inspired by the legend of the Green Man, it’s a very personal story. The streets I describe represent the streets I walked in, the parks and green, open spaces, my partner and I enjoyed at weekends. And since I was a child, I have been fascinated by English folklore and in particular, the story of the Green Man. Growing up in the countryside, playing in the local woods, I loved the idea of ancient, pagan God, protecting the trees and the animals of the forest.
It contains my deep passion for ecology, and the feeling that as a whole, we humans still don’t really understand nature. We claim ownership of it, see it as an extension of ourselves, or in the Christian tradition, subservient to us, but as George Harrison wrote, “– life goes on, within and without you.” And paradoxically, although we might not be as important to the planet, as we like to think we are, every one of us are part of, and dependent on, it’s increasingly fragile ecosystems.
Or as Lily realises later in the book:
“This forest was home to thousands, millions, of life forms, a colony, a vaulted, green, cathedral like, city. Surely, she knew all this, and yet, she’d never thought of it before, never really noticed. The woods and forests were just somewhere pleasant to walk, to be surrounded by nature, in the beautiful, lush quiet. As if it was made for her, and the people like her. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t made for any of them.”
Luna Novella #9 - Tiffany Jimenez - The Moment you Remember, You Forget - Dark Fantasy
Welcome to Luna! Tiffany Jimenez is from the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her BA in Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz, and her MFA from Saint Mary's College of California.
Other than being an ardent supporter of the imagination and the art of storytelling, she writes a lot, laughs a lot, startles easily, and loves potatoes
Visit www.TiffanyJimenez.com to read more.
Tiffany on the novella:
Growing up an only child in a neighborhood where parents wouldn’t let their children visit, I relied heavily on my imaginary friends. The Moment You Remember, You Forget is the result of an effort to remember what they gave me, and what it felt like to lose them.
Robert has been an imaginary twin brother to Lillian for over eighteen years. After the sudden and deliberate death of their older sister, Robert is forced to confront the inevitability of his own death as an imagined being. Interspersed between Robert’s grappling with the logistics of what he is, are the voices of his family members: Lillian, who needed an imaginary friend late in life; Lacey and Samantha, the older twin sisters who grow apart on purpose; and Jillian, the result of a teenage pregnancy, who feels she’s treated more like an imaginary being than Rob is. The Moment You Remember, You Forget challenges the perception of what is real by exploring the boundaries of love, dependency, and grief.
Luna Novella #10 - Russell Hemmell - The Chancels of Mainz - Historical Horror
Returning to Luna for the third collaboration, this time for fiction, is Steph P Bianchini, writing under the byline of Russell Hemmell. An Italian academic based in the UK, Steph is an Associate Professor and a member of the Royal Historical Society and worked over the last ten years on projects in social sciences, international relations, and humanities. They blog about sciences, speculative fiction, and history at earthianhivemind.net and edit the ezine "Frozen Wavelets" (https://frozenwavelets.com/) of speculative flash fiction and poetry.
As a fiction writer, Steph is a member of SFWA and HWA, writing under the byline Russell Hemmell. Their short stories and poetry have appeared in many publications, including Aurealis, Cast of Wonders, Flame Tree Press, The Grievous Angel, and others.
Steph on the novella:
Mainz is a beautiful city, famous for its wines, its rich history of powerful catholic city in the Germanic Empire, Gutenberg, and, of course, Mainzer-Dom, the stunning cathedral where many Emperors and Kings were crowned. I remember visiting it in my university years, wondering, ‘why TWO chancels, anyway?’. Most of the churches only have one. History has many theories about this curious detail, none of which are really convincing.
I left Mainz, kept at my studies, and forgot about Mainzer-Dom and its mysterious chancels. Until last year, when I came up with my own explanation.
Or sort of.
This novella is both alternate history/SF and horror, with fictional characters inspired from historical figures, such as the fanatic Dominican monk who wrote the most famous treaty against witchcraft, and set in the collective hysteria of late XVI century’s Germany for witch-hunt trials. A lot of what you’ll read is truly historical (I am a historian, after all), even though, of course, the young Inquisitor Hermann De Vylt and his nemesis Namtar only exists in a world of fantasy.
Next time you visit Mainz, take a moment to look up at the octagonal towers of the cathedral just before nightfall. Enjoy the exquisite reflexes of the sun over the red sandstone of its walls. But if you hear an eerie sound of systrum and smell frankincense in the air, I recommend you run.
Luna Novella #11 - Or Luca - Luca - Magical Realism
Joining Luna for the first time, Or Luca is a 20 year old living in the Middle East. Her high school education ended abruptly in order to battle the first wave of her major depressive disorder.
Coming out a fighter, her dream is to write stories that reach the hearts, imagination, and at the very least - curiosity of others. Or is a dreamer through and through, and she’s willing to fight for the stories floating around in her mind.
Or currently lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, with her family and two dogs. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching anime, and spending time with her beautiful girlfriend.
Or on the novella:
My name is Or Luca, I’m 20 years old, and living in the Middle East. When I started writing Luca I wanted it to be about my Major Depressive Disorder; I wanted to challenge the reader to grasp what it truly means to drown. However, during the course of my writing, I changed - and so did my intent. Suddenly, I wanted hope to live in between every line of despair. Reading my story, I hope you can find it. Luca follows the lives of two young women living in the same city in the middle east; Luca is drowning, while Dani is slowly being lifted off the ground. Luca is a teenage girl who’s rapidly spiraling into a heavy depression that no one but herself can see. The novella follows the surrealistic metamorphosis of Luca’s ocean, along with the occasional disruption of her therapist. Nonetheless, Luca is heading towards her personal rock bottom. Alongside Luca’s descent, we follow the story of a young woman named Dani - who’s trying to find her place in the world. Dani looks for a fresh start living at her grandmother’s house; a kook with a passion for life that can never be taught - only transmitted unknowingly. We quickly learn that Dani has an unusual ability to see other people’s emotions; metaphorically played out only through her own eyes. We follow Dani as she learns through falling in love with a young woman, that her ability isn’t only an inconvenience; it might also be a gift.
Luna Novella #12 - Rhiannon Grist - The Queen of the High Fields - Folk Dark Fantasy
Joining Luna this year, is Welsh author Rhiannon Grist, a writer of Weird, Speculative and Dark fiction.
Her work has featured in Shoreline of Infinity, Gutter Magazine and Monstrous Regiment Literary Magazine: Emerald among others, and was selected for The Best of Three Crows Magazine: Year Two and both The Best of British Science Fiction 2019 and 2020 (NewCon Press). Her novella The Queen of the High Fields (Luna Press Publishing) is a “Folk Dark Fantasy” inspired by Welsh mythology.
Rhiannon on the novella:
The Queen of the High Fields came to me in a dream. I saw an island wreathed in mist and a woman with the power to bend the world. She pulled a tree up from the ground and fire down from the sky. I bent my head to the earth, knowing the only way to survive was to worship her. When I opened my eyes, I was awake and back in my bed. I grabbed the nearest notebook and started to write.
The Queen of the High Fields is a Folk Dark Fantasy novella about domineering friendships, Welsh mythology and the search for lost cultural heritage.
You can follow the production progress on our monthly newsletter, and we are aiming for an early 2022 release date, like last year.