New Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

I know I usually reserve this space for my licensed and work-for-hire projects, but it felt right to also share this bit of news from my fiction life with you over here…


I’m incredibly, ridiculously, completely-dead-and-looking-down-at-my-body-from-above excited* that my short story, “Tag, You’re It,” will be included in the forthcoming anthology, NEW SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK.

This collection, edited by the inimitable Jonathan Maberry, will be published by HarperCollins in 2020 and is a tribute to the original series, which was (perhaps obviously) highly influential in my development as a reader and a writer.

The full list of contributors, adapted from Jonathan Maberry’s announcement:

NEW SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK

1. Alethea Kontis is a New York Times Bestselling author, princess, fairy godmother, and geek, authoring of over twenty books and contributor to over thirty more.
2. Amy Lukavics is the author of The Ravenous, The Women in the Walls, and Daughters unto Devils, which was selected as a YALSA 2017 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.
3. Aric Cushing is the multi-award winning author of the young adult novel, Vampire Boy, and the co-writer and lead actor of the feature films The Yellow Wallpaper and There’s No Such Thing as Vampires.
4. Barry Lyga is the author of the New York Times bestselling I Hunt Killers, and more than a more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels
5. Brendan C Reichs is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Nemesis and its sequel Genesis, and co-author of the six-volume New York Times bestselling Virals series
6. Brenna Yovanoff is the New York Times Bestselling author of five novels, including The Replacement and Places No One Knows, as well as numerous short stories.
7. Catherine Jordan is an author of horror, dark fiction, and articles for her hometown–facilitates writing courses and has been an award judge.
8. Christopher Golden is the New York Times bestselling author of ARARAT, SNOWBLIND, and many other novels, the co-creator of the cult favorite comics series BALTIMORE and JOE GOLEM: OCCULT DETECTIVE, as well as being a screenwriter, editor, podcaster, and lecturer.
9. Courtney Alameda’s debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal.
10. D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. As an author, his ten-volume book series: Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space became a New York Times #1 bestseller.
11. Gaby Triana is the author of Wake the Hollow, the Haunted Florida series, Summer of Yesterday, an ALA Best Paperback, and Cakespell, a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick.
12. Gary A. Braunbeck, is the author of To Each Their Darkness, creator of the acclaimed Cedar Hill Series, including In Silent Graves, and 7-time recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award.
13. James A. Moore the award winning, bestselling author of over 45 novels, horror and science fiction and fantasy alike.
14. Jamie Ford, New York Times best-selling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
15. Joanna Parypinski, college English instructor and writer of horror fiction published in Nightmare, Black Static, Haunted Nights, and more.
16. John Dixon’s first two books, Phoenix Island and Devil’s Pocket, inspired the CBS TV series Intelligence and won back-to-back Bram Stoker Awards in the Young Adult category
17. Jonathan Auxier is a New York Times bestselling author of strange stories for strange children. His haunted house story, The Night Gardener won the ILA Book Award, the TD Book Prize, and was named a Best Book of 2014 by Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, School Library Journal, and NPR.
18. Josh Malerman is the author of Goblin, Unbury Carol, and Bird Box which is a major motion picture starring Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich.
19. Kami Marin Garcia is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels, which have been published in 50 countries and 38 languages. Kami is also the author of five solo novels, including Bram Stoker Award nominated novels, Unbreakable and Unmarked (The Legion series), Broken Beautiful Hearts, The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos, and her forthcoming graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven for DC Ink.
20. Kim Ventrella is the author of the middle grade novels Skeleton Tree and Bone Hollow.
21. Laurent Linn is the author of Draw the Line, which is a New York Book Show winner for Young Adult Illustrated Novel. Laurent is a professional art director for Young Adult books, and a Board Member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
22. Linda D Addison, award-winning author of four collections, including How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend, the first African-American recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award and recipient of the 2018 HWA Lifetime Achievement Award.
23. Luis Alberto Urrea, Edgar Award winner, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and best-selling author of The Devil’s Highway and Into the Beautiful North.
24. Madeleine Roux is the New York Times bestselling author of the Asylum series, which has sold into eleven countries around the world and whose first book was named a Teen Indie Next List Pick, and the House of Furies series.
25. Margaret Stohl is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twelve books as well as Mighty Captain Marvel for Marvel Comics.
26. Michael Northrop is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle-grade adventure series TombQuest and other books for kids and teens. His first graphic novel, Dear Justice League, comes out in May 2019 from DC Zoom.
27. Micol Ostow is the bestselling author of The Devil and Winnie Flynn, an illustrated paranormal mystery and BookRiot quarterly selection. Her haunted house novel, Amity, was recommended by Buzzfeed, The NYPL, and School Library Journal as a favorite horror novel of 2014
28. N.R. Lambert is a pop culture writer and HWA-New York Chapter author whose work has been featured on the award-winning horror podcast, PseudoPod.
29. R.L. Stine is the internationally best-selling creator of Goosebumps and Fear Street.
30. Sheri White is an HWA member who has had many short stories published in the small press.
31. Sherrilyn Kenyon, #1 NYT & International bestselling author of the Dark-Hunters, Nick Chronicles and League series.
32. Priya Parmar’s debut novel Vanessa and Her Sister was a New York Times Notable Book, was praised by Vanity Fair, Elle, Oprah.Com, Entertainment Weekly, and People Magazine.
33. Tananarive Due is a bestselling author, and The American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient, as well as a “New Voice in Literature Award” at the Yari Yari Pamberi conference co-sponsored by New York University’s Institute of African-American Affairs and African Studies Program and the Organization of Women Writers of Africa.
34. Tonya Hurley is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the ghostgirl series (Little, Brown) The Blessed Trilogy (Simon & Schuster) and Feathervein (Macmillan 2019.)
35. T.J. Wooldridge, author of spooky kids’ novels and poetry, is the child-friendly persona of Trisha J. Wooldridge,
36. Zac Brewer is the bat-loving, coffin-couch-owning New York Times bestselling author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, 2008 YALSA Quick Pick for Young Adult Readers, and winner of the 2010 Truman Readers Award and 2012 Nevada Young Readers Award.


*Also, incredibly excited to read this collection–I mean, look at this TOC–holy forking shirtballs!
**This post originally appeared on my fiction site, nrlambert.com.

Out Today! The Powerpuff Girls: Superhero Crime-Fighting Games & Activities

9780399542732-1This was such a fun project! When I started working on
The Powerpuff Girls: Superhero Crime-Fighting Games & Activities, only the very earliest roughs of the reboot were available for research/reference. Animation is a world that’s always fascinated me, so it was pretty cool to see how those shows come together from a behind-the-scenes POV. Also, even without the final art, the episodes were FUNNY (“Painbow” was my favorite)–a testament to good comedy writing.

Most of the activity books I’ve worked on have been much more about coming up with puzzles and games and less about writing. (No shade on puzzle and game creation–I love that part, too.) But with the Powerpuff Girls, I was delighted that there was room for a bit of story to run throughout, packed with as many puns as punches. The art and design is gorgeous (of course), props–as always–to the art team.

A bit more from the Penguin Random House site:

The Powerpuff Girls are back, and even better than before!

Play along with Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup in this action-packed, full-color Powerpuff Girls activity book with stickers! Help Blossom read maps, color in crime-fighting scenes with Bubbles, and play silly games with Buttercup. Saving the day with the Powerpuff Girls has never been so much fun!

The Powerpuff Girls: Superhero Crime-Fighting Games & Activities is available in stores and online:
Northshire Bookstore
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound

On Stands Now! Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Star Trek

8b31be10f9d4Super excited to have written two pieces and a list (I think the young people call it a “listicle”) for this special edition of Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Star Trek. My favorite of the three pieces–if I had to pick–is “Who’s Your Captain,” in which I rank captains based on who would make the best wingman (or woman), road trip buddy, life partner, etc. Any job that requires you to re-watch your favorite Star Trek episodes is a fairly wondrous thing. So I reeeeeally enjoyed researching and writing these pieces, as well as being a small part of the bigger 50th anniversary celebration.

I could write for weeks about how Star Trek was ahead of its time in so many important ways. But other deadlines loom. So instead, I’ll leave you with this quote, often attributed to  Gene Roddenberry. I couldn’t find a solid source for this one, but thought it was an appropriate sentiment for this horrific week and very in-line with Star Trek‘s remarkable legacy.

Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.”
Gene Roddenberry, (maybe)

Entertainment Weekly: The Ultimate Guide to Star Trek is available at magazine stands, in bookstores, and online.

Out Today: The Star-Spangled Banner

Happy Flag Day! In a bit of publishing synchronicity (that I’m certain was no accident), The Star-Spangled Banner is out today. It’s a Level 4 Reader in Grosset & Dunlap’s Smithsonian series. A bit about the book from their site:

The original Star-Spangled Banner that flew over Fort McHenry, Baltimore, in 1814 and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that would become the national anthem of the United States, is the showpiece of the Smithsonian! In this lively nonfiction book, young readers will read about the story behind the flag, the song, and how the Smithsonian cares for this most precious national treasure.

 
Researching this book was a tremendous amount of fun–I learned so much about the flag, the anthem, and the extraordinary efforts the Smithsonian Institute has made to restore and preserve the Star-Spangled Banner. Did you know that Francis Scott Key was a lawyer? Or that the Star-Spangled Banner was bigger than the house in which it was sewn?  Or that almost 200 square feet of the flag were lost to snippets cut for souvenirs? There are so many fascinating facts in the flag’s story–I hope that kids (and those reading with them) will enjoy learning about the Star-Spangled Banner as much as I did.

You can buy the The Star-Spangled Banner here:
Northshire
IndieBound
Barnes & Noble
Amazon

Out Today: Spider-Man Storybook Collection

Does whatever a spider can! Marvel’s new Spider-Man Storybook Collection is out today! I wrote four stories for this book, featuring (in addition to Spidey, natch) Ms. Marvel, Venom, Doc Ock, Green Goblin, and Electro. They’re not all in the same story, of course…but, maybe next time!

When this project came through, I’d just finished reading Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, so I was especially excited for an opportunity to write a story with Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan. (If you haven’t read the new Ms. Marvel comics yet, do so ASAP–they are smart, witty, and so much fun! Seriously, go read them now. GO!)

You can buy the Spider-Man Storybook Collection here:
Astoria Bookshop
Amazon
B&N
IndieBound

Out Today, Falcon: Fear of Flying

514bkh-5KBL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_My latest project for Marvel, Falcon: Fear of Flying, is out today. It’s a Level 2 in Marvel’s emerging reader program, “World of Reading.” In it, Falcon is forced to confront some unusual super-fears in order to help a friend out of a tough situation.

I had a lot of fun writing this story, especially since we’ve been working with leveled readers at Read Ahead. Seeing kids interacting with these books in real life really crystallized for me what an important role they play in a child’s journey toward literacy. I also think it’s great that World of Reading (and other leveled reader series) offer so many options across such a wide range of interests.

In a moderately failed experiment, I brought the first book I ever read on my own, The Marvelous Mud Washing Machine, to a Read Ahead session. I had to track it down online, as my own copy had long since been donated to my mom’s kindergarten classroom. I was surprised to find out it was also a leveled reader (though mightily of yore), from the “10 Word Reader” series. My reading buddy politely went along with it, but was ultimately less than impressed. Not surprising, considering the options today are so much better. I mean, mud puddle vs. Iron Man? No contest. (Sorry, mud washing machine! You’re still marvelous to me!)

**As I mentioned with Ant-Man: Game Over, the incredibly talented artists Rachelle Rosenberg and Ron Lim deserve a special shout-out again for their brilliant art and illustrations.**

Falcon: Fear of Flying is available at bookstores and online:
Northshire Bookstore
IndieBound
Amazon
Barnes & Noble