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Archive for October, 2012

MileHiCon was really fun, mostly! Mostly. But rather than dwell on the things that weren’t altogether rad, here’s a quick roundup of the highlights:

  • My reading went well! I did a few selections from A Pretty Mouth, including the entire first chapter of the novella. People seemed to enjoy it, so huzzah. My co-reader, Travis Heermann, also read, but he was way more high-tech, as he read off his iPhone and had like, actual bookstands for his book. Well played, Heermann. Well played.
  • I moderated a panel on Victorian/19th c. sexuality, which went pretty okay! Things got a little rowdy, which yeah of course. I particularly enjoyed the direction Cherie Priest’s vast knowledge about prostitution in Seattle took the discussion. It’s possible I got a bit verbose on various 19th century pornographic texts, but looking around and seeing many people scribbling titles was a cheap thrill. Victorian porn for the all!
  • I saw many people I knew and many more that I didn’t. It was fun reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, as always!
  • I ate some amazing Indian food at Masalaa with Jason Heller and Jesse Bullington.
  • I dressed up as Herbert West—Reanimator. Not a single person knew who I was!
  • Jesse and I, in a fit of madness perhaps, picked up a bottle of “Scoresby’s Very Rare” blended Scotch whiskey for 7 dollars, to bring to the con … mostly as a joke. Really! But it all got drunk at an extremely rowdy party on Saturday night that left me crippled for …
  • The panel on “Humor and Horror” which I barely made it through, honestly. That I was upright and didn’t say anything too embarrassing is a miracle.
  • But at least I’d (mostly) recovered by the time I lurched my way onto the “Strong Women in SF” panel. I may or may not have spoken passionately, and somewhat at length, about how essentialist notions of gender are wrong and obsolete and hurtful. I won’t laundry-list some of the more eyebrow-raising things said on that panel by other participants, because water under the bridge and all that. Let’s just say I left feeling like there’s still a serious need for those “Strong Women in X Kind of Genre Fiction” panels.
  • Also, I sold every single copy of A Pretty Mouth that I consigned to a local bookstore, so fuck yes Team A Pretty Mouth, and thanks to all of you who bought the book.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it! And if all that wasn’t rad enough, A Pretty Mouth has been getting more (extremely kind) reviews.

The Next Best Book Blog, whilst I was at MileHiCon, posted a meaty and wonderful review. The summation was very flattering indeed (many thanks!):

If you think A Pretty Mouth sounds like a lot of fun, it is. Molly’s got a style unlike any other’s. It’s one that doesn’t take itself too seriously while at the same time impressing upon the reader not to take it too lightly. Beware the enemy, even when it turns out to be you.

Next, Jamie Grefe posted his review over at The Carnage Conservatory. There’s something about my book that seems to induce people to become almost … poetic when they review it. It’s really awesome, frankly, to see people responding in literary ways to my writing. Much more than I was hoping for, which was to give folks a few chuckles and inspire them to revisit, maybe, Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories. But instead, more awesomely:

You are entrenched in a family history much stranger and more gruesome than your own: Calipash, octopus, blood-soul, Roman.
You need a drink.

Last, but certainly not least, my friend Elise (E. Catherine) Tobler reviewed my book on her blog. In epistolary format. That alone would be the highest possible compliment, but she goes on to say:

I write to inform you of a book which has crossed my hands–a book that will disrupt your working hours and most certainly your nights, because once you read these…we shall call them stories, though they seem rather to be historical transcriptions, if you take my meaning…you will never find sleep’s seductive embrace easily again.


The voice of this book–this is what may capture one, draw one in. I think of all the readers who have yet to discover this lady’s works (surely there are more, as there are stars in the heavens) and I shudder, sirs. I shudder. That they shall encounter these worlds, and “characters” for the first time yet–oh, to have that pleasure again. Our world slips away under a veil of fog when one opens this tome; one is drawn wholly and effortlessly into these tales and it is an effort to come back to what we know to be true. (Or do we? I confess to confusion on that point.)

I’m seriously swooning, but that might be old age creeping up on me. Yes, my friends, I am turning 31 in only a few days! The stars are right and all that jazz. I don’t want much, just to be a modestly successful indie author (you can help make that happen!) and possibly get a new tattoo.

Oh, and cake!

MileHiCon! It’s that time of the year again, when nerds of all sorts descend upon Denver to wear costumes, go to panels on steampunk, Star Wars, and—looking at the schedule—“Name that Sci Fi Tune.” I had a great time last year, so I’m looking forward to the craziness. I might even dress up, since last year my Han Solo produced many satisfactory interactions, such as two Klingons buying me a beer and teaching me about honor.

But I’ll be doing stuff other than wandering the halls admiring cosplay! Here’s my schedule of events:

Friday, 7 PM in Wind River B: My reading. I’m paired up with Travis Heermann. I’ll probably do some selections from, unsurprisingly, A Pretty Mouth. Oh, and bring 10 bucks if you want to buy a copy! I’ll have ’em.

Friday, 10 PM in Mesa Verde B: The Love and Sex Lives of the Victorians. I’m moderating this. Maybe don’t bring your kids? I personally feel awkward talking about Victorian hand-wringing over childhood masturbation when there are wee ones present.

Sunday, 1 PM in Wind River B: Comedic Elements in Horror. Jesse Bullington’s moderating and Stephen Graham Jones is on the panel, too. Should be a good time!

Sunday, 3 PM in Mesa Verde B: Strong Women in SF. Cheri Priest will be on this panel, too, along with many fine folks.

 I’ll probably be in the bar, otherwise? Please say hi if you see me! I’m looking forward most to seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Aww.

I work as the Administrative Overlord for Clockpunk Studios, a small author-focused web design studio. It’s a cool gig, because Jeremy Tolbert, the web-wizard behind Clockpunk, is super-cool and passionate about his work. It’s been interesting gaining insight into a part of having a writing career that I hadn’t ever considered.

What I’ve learned is that good author websites are extremely important for authors of every level. I kinda knew this before, but my approach to my own website had been “it should look cool and I should blog about stuff, right? But not just myself? Something?” My perspective needed some refining. Because really, a well-designed, easily-navigated site will really attract readers, and keep their eye on you. Er, if you keep up on content. Which is a lesson I could stand to take to heart, come to think of it.

But! Content-generation is for authors; design is for the web-designers. Jeremy’s kick-ass at what he does, but, being aware that what the market wants is sometimes difficult to predict, he and I worked together to design a survey asking people who frequent author websites what they like and dislike about those sites. It’s quick, and super-helpful to us, so please take the time to answer a few questions about how we can make Clockpunk Studios even more kick-butt. The more we know about what people want, the better sites we can create to help authors get the word out there about their work.

We’re hoping to get 100 responses by the end of October. It’s October 15th, and we’re halfway there! So please help us keep up momentum by either taking the survey if you haven’t already, or reposting/RTing/blogging about it, whatever. Thank you!

And here’s the survey! 

I’ve been really boring of late (just of late?), mostly because a story has been obsessing me and I’m keeping my head down until I finish it. Also I’m in panic mode because I’m behind on pretty much everything and MileHiCon is next weekend, and I have a million things to do before then, including—most frivolously—finishing my costume.

But! I’m never too busy to pay attention to myself, so of course I have some spamming about A Pretty Mouth to do. There have been some new Goodreads and Amazon reviews, so an enormous thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to read my humble tome and post about it. But two reviews appeared online this week that … I’m just going to let them speak for themselves, okay? Because, truth be told, I’m a bit overwhelmed.

A Pretty Mouth was reviewed over at, and wowza. About the title novella, the reviewer says:

…the author mixes anachronistic language with historically accurate detail and strikes a perfect balance. “A Pretty Mouth” takes place at Wadham College, Oxford in the 17th century. The boys who attend the prestigious institution are typical of their age and degree of privilege. Their nefarious adventures will strike a chord with readers fond of stories about school days. But this magical tale is a far cry from the idealized world of Harry Potter and his little chums. These boys woo and taunt and brutalize one another. Their secret experiments are matters of life and death—and sex.

Another amazingly flattering quote, about “The Hour of the Tortoise” (also available in The Book of Cthulhu II):

This darkly romantic story is worthy of a Bronte, except for the naughty bits written by our heroine for her demanding editor. The naughty bits are hugely entertaining, by the way. The language, setting, and characterization are flawless; all contribute to a keen portrait of an intellectual woman undone by patriarchal power. The madwoman in the attic has nothing on our fair Chelone.

It’s so incredible, as a new author, to see people really “getting” what I was trying to do with these stories. Many thanks to S.P. Miskowski and Shock Room Horror!

A Pretty Mouth was also reviewed by Jared over at, and again, I am nigh-speechless:

Molly Tanzer’s A Pretty Mouth (2012) is easily the best collection I’ve read this year and, honestly, for as long as I can remember. Effusive praise, but utterly well-deserved, as A Pretty Mouth combines skillful pastiche, gut-churning horror, atmospheric weirdness and atmospheric poignancy.

And as if that wasn’t enough:

The stories trace the descent of a single family through time, with Ms. Tanzer’s prose changing to incorporate the appropriate Edwardian, Victorian or Gothic style for each tale. My favourite is the Wodehouse/Lovecraft mash-up, but the author does justice to every tale. But, most importantly, despite being a stylistic chameleon, Ms. Tanzer’s prose is insightful, clever and distinctly her own.

Bring me my smelling salts! Seriously. Many, many thanks to Jared and Anne for taking the time to read and review my book. It means a lot to me.

All right! I must stop reading and re-reading my reviews and finish this friggin’ story, finish my costume, finish the book reviews I owe, finish reading a book about the sex lives of the Victorians so I can moderate a certain panel at MileHi, and also clean my house. Tinkerty-tonk!


I can’t even!