Spec Fic for Newbies: Why Sub-Genres Matter
Spec Fic for Newbies: Why Sub-Genres Matter
By Lauren McMenemy
Genre is just a marketing construct, right? It’s not helpful, just a way to direct booksellers on which shelf to put the novel on? Well, no – especially not if you’re in the world of speculative fiction. What would you say to a splatterpunk writer whose book was put next to the latest YA paranormal romance? Sparkley vampires aside, speculative fiction is so far-reaching that its many varied subgenres can be more help than hindrance to all involved in this world.
Which is why Tiffani Angus and Val Nolan have brought us Spec Fic for Newbies: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Subgenres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, which is now out on Luna Press Publishing. Fear not the academic-sounding title and the fact it was written by current and former academics; this is a fun trek through the history, the tropes, the necessities and the WTFs of 30 spec fic subgenres. It’s designed as a welcoming embrace for both new and seasoned spec fic writers looking to learn a little more about what’s out there in this wide world (and beyond).
To celebrate the book’s release, I had an equally fun chat with the authors over Zoom, which you can watch over on Horror Tree’s YouTube channel. Or, read the transcript below. (Thanks to otter.ai for transcribing so I didn’t have to; this has been edited for clarity.)
Lauren McMenemy (LM): Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Horror Tree YouTube channel where today I am joined by Tiffani Angus and Val Nolan, the wonderful writers behind a brand new book just out this week called Spec Fic for Newbies.
Just to set the scene, I’m going to ask you both to introduce yourselves and tell everybody who you are and why you came to this project.
Tiffani Angus (TA): Hi, everybody. I’m Tiffani Angus. I’m an ex-academic. I spent over 10 years teaching creative writing and publishing at university in the US and here in the UK, where I live now. Half that time I was a senior lecturer in creative writing and publishing, and I was a course leader for an MA in creative writing. I have a PhD in creative writing. My main focus was science fiction, fantasy and horror writing. So I had all the nerds. It was great. I loved it.
I’m also a published author. My debut, Threading the Labyrinth, which is historical fantasy, came out in 2020 – just as we went into lockdown – but luckily I was a finalist for the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society’s Best Novel awards. I’ve written a lot of short fiction in a bunch of different sub-genres. And Spec Fic for Newbies is obviously the coolest best new thing. I’m also a co-director of the Underhill Academy for science fiction and fantasy writers, which is a brand new online creative writing teaching and learning site.
Val Nolan (VN): Hi, I’m Val Nolan. I am an academic, I’ve taught creative writing and literature at Aberystwyth University for the past eight years, I think. And before that, I taught in Ireland and Galway, where I earned my PhD in contemporary literature. I am the author of the book, Neil Jordan: Works for the Page, which is out from Cork University Press, as well as academic articles in the likes of Science Fiction Studies Foundation, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comic Books, Irish Studies Review, Dictionary of Literary Biography, and so on and so forth, as well as a lot of short fiction.
I have published short stories in Best Science Fiction, Best of British Science Fiction, Interzone, BASF horizons, the Futures page of Nature. My story “tThe Irish Astronaut” was shortlisted for the Theodore Sturgeon awards. And I have been bringing all that all that background and approach to the teaching of science fiction, fantasy, comic books ae at third level for for most of my teaching career. And that is the type of the type of energy and the type of material that we have been bringing to Spec Fic for Newbies, which is sort of the next best thing to being in the classroom with myself and Tiffani.
LM: We did say the book title a couple of times – Spec Fic for Newbies – and you’ve obviously got very great credentials in the academic world, the fan world, the writing world. Can you tell me a little bit more about how this book came to be? What made you want to write Spec Fic for Newbies?
TA: When we were in lockdown in 2021, EasterCon – a UK science fiction/fantasy convention – was online, and I taught a workshop about writing historical fantasy. Francesca Barbini, who’s the managing editor of Luna Press, caught the workshop and she said, ‘Hey, do you want to have lunch?’ And so we sat in our houses – she in Edinburgh and me here in East Anglia – eating our lunch with our little avatars on the screen. And she said, your workshop was awesome; do you want to write a book for us? However, I don’t write that many different sub-genres. But Val Nolan and I met at Clarion in 2009, and we’ve basically been nerds together for a decade. I immediately thought he’s the perfect person to write it, because we’ve both been teaching this stuff, we have a lot of material. Let’s see what we can come up with. And so that’s where we started.
LM: And so how was the collaboration process? You’re both obviously in very different parts of the country here. How did you work together to bring it to life?
VN: Well, we had many discussions first about what the shape of the book was going to be. We had the spine of it based on Tiffani’s initial workshop and we got the sense that we wanted to discuss the individual histories of these sub-genres. We want to say that it’s not just science fiction, or it’s not just horror. There’s these very rich, intricate, very long histories of individual sub-genres. What is the best way of getting those across to people? What is the best way of saying you’re not going to learn just about fantasy; you’re gonna learn about really intricate, detailed stuff?
So we started to break down the structure, we started to look at, okay, we’re gonna need a history of stuff, these are the typical manifestations of individual sub-genres that a reader could come across. What are the different types of Gothic fantasy? What are the different types of body horror that you would typically see? We started to look at them. Oh, yeah, it’s a writing guide as well, and we need to make sure that we talked about that. We talked about the problems, we talked about the issues people come across, the plot holes people typically find – and we have encountered those in the classroom many, many times, we’ve seen the students make mistakes. We’ve made the same mistakes ourselves many times. These are the things we need to tell people about – we needed to put in things about how this was cool, that’s cool, these are our favourite books, these are our favourite movies, and so on, these are the things you need to see, don’t worry about those other things. It was back and forth with that. I would write a paragraph or I’d read a section and send it to Tiffani, she did the same thing. She’d send it back, I would put in what about all these really academic things? She’d be like, no, no, no, this is way too long. Take out some of those. We kind of just went back and forth that way.
TA: And you put in jokes that we unfortunately had to lose. I mean, it still breaks our heart.
VN: It breaks my heart that my back boy street joke is gone from that book.
TA: Some jokes, generationally, wouldn’t land and some jokes, we just kind of went a little bit too far. And so we had to rein it in. So each of the sub-genres, and major tropes – some of these aren’t necessarily sub-genres, but something like zombies is kind of a sub-genre now, so zombies or vampires – at the end of each of those sections, we also have activities so somebody who wants to try their hand at it can try and see what they come up with. And a lot of puns.
VN: The activities are based on our actual classroom experiences. Everything in the book is based on what we would actually do in a classroom and to an extent it’s kind of a response to lockdown now and we’re not in the classroom anymore. We don’t have students coming to our door to talk about these things. It’s very much our response to those years of not interacting with the students in the same way anymore. And the book was a chance for us to say yeah, actually here it is. Here’s the conversations that we want to be having right now.
LM: So it’s clearly a very dry academic text, then.
TA: I’m so heartbroken we couldn’t have illustrations in it, because Val does drawings when he teaches and I used to do drawings. Between us, we would have like Monster Trucks and zombies on cruise ships and I don’t know, comic book frames, like, everything would have been in the illustrations.
LM: So that’s the collaborative process. It sounds like it is very much both of you every section, you didn’t necessarily say, Okay, I’m going to do the Sci Fi, you can do the horror or anything like that. It’s a real collaborative effort.
VN: Yeah, we went back and forth a lot with this. And we went back and forth several, several different drafts of different chapters at various points, and they got longer and they got shorter and stuff came out and went back in and it went down again. And it was an awful lot of fun, actually, to do that. It was an awful lot of fun because you see your writing through someone else’s eyes. And you see your writing through the eyes of someone you respect and someone you really like, yeah, I’ve known this person for ages now. It was it was that true kind of collaboration of you trust the person, if that makes sense. I know I could give something to Tiffani and she could rip it to shreds and I would believe her, if that makes sense.
TA: When we first came up with the table of contents we went through and called dibs on certain things. Because, you know, Val’s science fiction is much more science fictiony science fiction, you know, he does like the space stuff, whereas I’m the apocalyptic time travel stuff. So we went through and picked things that we thought okay, this is actually mine. And a lot of it we both wrote together because we both liked it so much we didn’t want to give it up. So we both did zombies and we both got to do vampires, but even the things that we would individually do it was still okay, here read this. What can you add to it? What do I need to get rid of, what do I need to add? How many words do we have to cut off of it?
LM: Just keep them aside. That’s for volume two.
TA: We’re working on volume two right now.
LM: Oh, there you go. I was gonna say how could you possibly cover every single sub-genre? You just can’t.
VN: No you can’t, unfortunately. Which is why when we put together the table of contents for this book, which we will call volume one for now, we concentrated on what are the essentials? What’s what’s essential in horror? You need to have the gothic horror, you need to have vampires, and you need to put some other stuff aside – so yeah, hello, Volume Two, how are you? We could talk about this stuff all day, we would prefer to be talking about this stuff all day, rather than actually doing the work. But when we sit down to do the work, we realised, yeah, you know what this needs to go, this needs to stay.
LM: I do want to talk about the sub-genres, because, like I say, it’s mind blowing how many sub-genres there are. But let’s just stick with the guide itself, just for one more thing. Obviously, there are loads of writing guides out there. So what did you have in mind to make this one different as you developed it? What makes this one unique?
TA: Nobody’s kind of done it this way before. There are a lot of writing guides out there, and there’s some really good ones – I have a whole shelf full of books about writing. And there’s some really good ones on science fiction and fantasy and horror. But nobody’s really approached it the way we did – really granularly. The stuff that we couldn’t really do in class is the stuff that we got to do in this book basically. Quite often we would have to talk about things broadly, like, here’s the history of fantasy, here’s the history of science fiction. But we got to do that and say, oh, and let me nerd out for 2000 words about big dumb objects, or sword and sorcery. So it was a way for us to nerd out and use all the material that we love to talk about, but never got it all that time to talk about in class.
VN: I think that nerdiness is a key thing as well. One of the ways in which we have been pitching the book is that it’s for the people who maybe never got to study science fiction or horror or fantasy in a classroom. Or maybe they got to study “speculative fiction” just as a big umbrella. Maybe they didn’t get to study it with someone who was really sympathetic to the material, who knew the material. It is the nerdery I think that makes us different. We love this. And we want you to be writing this, we want to see more of this. The idea that we’re not just saying, oh, writing has to be this way – no! Writing is whatever you want it to be, and here are like 30 different ways that you can go about it initially. And let’s dig into them, and let’s get really, really excited about them. We might we might have gotten a little too excited once or twice.
LM: And essential question: Spec Fic for Newbies. Is it only for newbies, or will seasoned writers get something out of this as well?
TA: Yeah, I think so. Because, you know, there are certain sub-genres that I’ve like never written in, I’ve talked about I know about, but I just haven’t really gone okay, I’m ready to do that now. And so I’m sure there are a lot of other writers out there like me, who basically stuck to their wheelhouse, and they think, maybe I want to try to write sword and sorcery. Or maybe I want to try to write grimdark. Or I want to try to write psychological horror, because I like watching it, or I like reading it, but I haven’t tried to write it. And so it’s also for those people who maybe also want to know a little bit more about the history of the stuff they have been writing.
VN: And people who’ve accidentally find themselves writing something. Maybe the people who just were like, oh, yeah, I’m gonna write a historical story but now actually, I’m writing historical fantasy. Or the people who are I was writing sword and sorcery, but now it’s turned into body horror, and now it’s turned into cosmic horror, so maybe I need to do a little bit more reading about that. Maybe we need to find out more about that. Those people who let the writing guide them into interesting avenues that they might not have expected. They might pick up this book and say, Yeah, okay, this is what I’m doing, and here are some ideas that I can play around with.
LM: Because that is the beauty of speculative fiction at the end of the day, isn’t it? That that you can just go in so many different areas?
TA: Yeah, totally. And one thing that we did do, the book itself has an introduction. And we talked about, you know, what the book is going to do. And we talked about theme, because throughout the whole book in not quite every single section, but in almost all the sections, will have like an element spotlight or we’ll talk about some general writing element. And so we do that in the introduction, we do that in the sections, and then in each each genres introduction, we talk about that genre and what it means and maybe how the world like, deals with it. We tried to be really supportive, because that was one thing that, you know, we had supportive people around us when we were learning how to write. And then we, in turn, wanted to be supportive of our students who wanted to write science fiction, fantasy horror, and maybe we’re told that they shouldn’t be writing it that it was just garbage, which is baloney. And so we try to put forth that really positive spin on things and that support. And so, maybe you’ve been writing for a while, and you’re just kind of stuck and you’re feeling kind of dull, and you’re feeling kind of blah, you pick up the book, and you read about, you know, what science fiction does, or fantasy does, or like, all the myths about fantasy that we can throw in the sea. And you start to feel a little bit better about what you’re doing?
VN: It’s very much it’s supposed to be a welcoming book. It’s not about gatekeeping. It’s about blowing the gates wide open. I said the other day to someone that it’s lowering the gangplank on the spaceship to like, invite people on board to welcome them into spec fic. The idea here is that we’re not trying to say there’s this sub-genre and this sub-genre; we’re talking about porous they are. We’re talking about the idea that you can move easily from one to the other, to the other. It’s not about rules; it’s about the shapes of the sub-genres, these kind of amorphous sort of shapes that you as a writer can play around with, and you can make of what you want to make of them. It’s not us saying noooo, it has to be this way. It’s: that’s a cool thing you’re doing. Have you thought about doing this? Or have you thought about looking at it that way? Or have you thought about maybe spinning the thing around 180 degrees, and maybe combining it with another subject and see what happens with it. As I said, it’s supposed to be encouraging.
TA: Anybody who looks at the book, they’ll see all of our subheadings are all in bold, etc. But inside the block of the text we’ve very often put “go see gothic horror for more about this idea”, or go see, you know, steampunk or whatever, to show just how porous these are, and how much things overlap. So there’s a lot of cross referencing going on.
LM: So let’s talk about the sub-genres. And we’re obviously not going to ask you to just sit and list out every sub-genre that this book has covered, because we want people to go and find out for themselves. But there are so many sub-genres, you’ve already said that there’s going to be a volume two. How did you decide what makes the cut for this first one?
VN: We looked at the essentials. We didn’t we didn’t know that there was going to be a volume two when we started to put this together, so it was important for us to say what are the key things if you’re writing science fiction? What do you need to know? What you need to know about aliens, you need to know about spaceships, you need to know about robots. If you’re writing about fantasy, what do you need to know about? You need to know about sword and sorcery, you need to know about fairy stories, you need to know about grimdark, you need to know about these key things. Tiffani mentioned big dumb objects earlier, which was very much my thing – can we can we do a whole chapter just on giant things in space? I guess we could. Back then, into other sections, it’s like, yeah, actually, that sort of relates to stuff that you see in cosmic horror, that relates to the feelings or the emotions that you generate in the reader, that sort of unknowability? I won’t say we stumbled through our initial creation of the table of contents, but we sort of felt our way through it organically. We started with a couple of core things in each one we built out from that.
TA: Things need to be really organised, and I tend to be kind of organised person in certain ways, so when we got all these sub-genres, and all the things we wanted, we had to make choices because we said, the book can’t be over x number of words. Each section can only be about x long. And we need them to be even. So we can’t have more science fiction and horror. So we had to have 10 in each, which meant we had to cut a couple things, and we had to move things around. So time travel is in fantasy, even though it’s sometimes science fiction and sometimes fantasy. We put it there because we didn’t have room for it in science fiction. We really ended up having to play with the table of contents to get it to work and to be organised. So something like space opera didn’t make the cut, and we realised as we were writing that we’ve mentioned space opera, like, three times and we didn’t do it this book. We have to do another book. So it’s been interesting to try to figure out the table of contents for the second one, because we think we figured it out. But then we keep coming up with things we maybe need to put that in there. So, after Easter, we’re gonna have to have a meeting and figure it out.
VN: Time travel is a really good demonstration of that organic fumbling we did initially with this in that, yeah, we had to move it to fantasy because there was no room in science fiction for it because somebody decided that the section on utopia and dystopia actually needs to be two sections because they’re completely different things.
LM: Let’s talk personal preferences just for a moment. What is, individually, your favourite sub-genre? Whether that’s your favourite to read, your most fun to write? Like, what is your favourites?
TA: I would guess Val’s is big dumb objects and anything military space – like, military science fiction. I’m gonna guess his and and he can guess mine. How’s that?
VN: Those would be close! I’m gonna guess Tiffani’s would be vampires, and historical fantasy.
TA: Yep, I think so.
VN: I think I think you’ve got my totally correct, by the way. Yeah.
TA: I know what you watch on TV.
VN: I’m gonna go watch Star Trek after this; I’m not gonna lie to you.
LM: What about your least favourites? Like as writers, is there anything that you would just not touch?
TA: Oh, man, what would I not? So, I like horror. I read Stephen King when I was 10 years old. I love horror. I don’t like watching horror. I have a really hard time with visual stuff because I remember it too much and then I’m scared to go to bed and I’m a grown person. So body horror I don’t know if I can write it because I would just think about it too much.
VN: I think the one that I struggled with, we’ll say aesthetically, or imaginatively, whatever, whatever term we want to put on this, the most – certainly when we were researching the book – was splatterpunk. I can see the perspective here that when this is done right, this is, you know, this has an artistic rationale behind it. And there is some thought put into how this is breaking. It’s that the punk aspect of things, it’s sort of like, let’s smash the preconceptions of the notions and let’s do something that will shock people. And when maybe it’s done less well, it just becomes kind of torture porn and you’re like, oh, okay, this is so grotesque and awful. I’ve written a couple of things that are somewhere between science fiction and body horror, and I wrote a story once that I got a text message from my dad after he read it and he said, Yeah, that made me sick to my stomach. I’ve done a couple things like that but full-on splatterplunk I think is beyond me to make this artistically credible enough. I might leave that to other people.
TA: We both squeak out really easy, don’t we?
VN: Yeah. Which is weird, because we teach this stuff, you know, and sometimes we will have, we will have students come to the classroom and they’ll write something that will freak out everybody in the room with how brilliantly squishy and and grotesque it is. And you’ll be like, that’s kind of amazing. I never want to read that ever again. I’m just gonna give you I’m just gonna give you a high mark right now. Yeah, you got it. Well done. I’m just gonna get some air now.
LM: Often out there in writing land, particularly in places like mainstream writing or literary worlds and that sort of thing, we hear people say things like “genre is a marketing construct”, or dismissive things about genre writing, which you’ve already touched on. Why do you think it’s important to identify a genre for your writing? Or do you think it is?
TA: So you want to be a writer, which means you want to be read, which means you have to get published, right? And if you’re gonna go traditional publishing, or even small press publishing, you need to know what context you’re in so that the people who are buying your manuscript can sell it – so they know where to put it in a bookstore. I mean, it comes down to basic money in that case. But with science fiction, fantasy and horror, what’s so interesting about them is that they’re not so much genres as modes, and there’s this continuing conversation that’s been going on for decades inside them. You don’t have to know everything – nobody has time to read everything ever in science fiction, fantasy horror – but if you don’t really know what’s been going on in your little part of the world for the past, like 5-10 years, you’re kind of missing out on where you’re going to be taking that sub-genre next, basically.
VN: I was thinking about this earlier, actually, the whole question about people being dismissive and ‘it’s just a marketing construct’. They’ve got it completely wrong. Sorry, I’m about to go off on one of my tangents now. I was thinking of genre as more as they’re more like rivers in a way. They’re all rivers, but they’re all individual and unique. They’ve all got their own currents, they’ve all got their own hazards, they’ve all got their own pleasures, they’ve all they’ve all got their own identity and their mood and their own atmosphere. They’re completely different things. Once you step back far enough, you’d be like, oh, yeah, that’s the river network. But zone in on them and they’re completely different experiences. We need to think of sub-genres more in that way of having their own identity, rather than these monolithic blocks.
LM: I think especially in, as you say, speculative fiction. Just taking that discussion earlier about horror – you’ve got the splatterpunk and then you’ve got the gothic and they could not be more different. You know, a gothic fan is going to baulk at a splatter punk. And likewise, the splatter punk will think it’s really boring to you know, have damsels in distress and decay and all of this sort of thing. I appreciate where you’re coming from with that. love that river analogy, tributaries and hazards.
VN: And sometimes they’re in flood, and sometimes they go dry. We’re in a vampire phase now; we’re in a zombie phase now; we’re in a mermaid phase now. And they just ebb and flow.
LM: We’re in “witchlit” at the moment.
TA: It makes makes sense. Don’t get me started on the political landscape, but yeah, you look at what’s happening with people losing any control, especially women losing control of their own bodies, witchlit is in because that is one place you can have some of your power back.
LM: Absolutely. That’s another one of the great things about speculative fiction is it is so reflective of what’s going on at the time. So like you say, we could talk about this for ages. But I need to let you get back on with your day. So I will ask you a couple more questions. The obvious one, the one that everybody hates when they’ve released a book, Why should those listening / watching / reading this go and pick up a copy of Spec Fic for Newbies?
VN: Because maybe you can’t afford to go to university. Maybe you can go to university and your professors are only saying, Oh, we’re just going to do serious literature about white people in our kitchens getting divorced. Maybe you want to learn about the history, the really specific, very rich, vibrant history of science fiction, or horror and fantasy, and how far back it goes into key texts and the key themes and the sort of the ideas that are percolating there under the surface and how much they have influenced society and society’s influence those in turn, and back and forth. Maybe want to know more about this, and you haven’t had a chance to do it. Or maybe you do get to study this in university or school. Or maybe, maybe your instructor has been perhaps not as nerdy or into it as we are. This is a really exciting opportunity for you to see what it’s like to study on one hand with us, and on the other hand, to study with people who are really sympathetic to the individual demands, and the individual currents, the individual streams that contribute to this enormously vibrant type of literature. The idea that there’s only one type of literature there’s only “serious proper writing” is completely and utterly dismissed by Spec Fic for Newbies. Spec Fic for Newbies is saying to you here, I’m giving you permission to write these amazing stories about witches or vampires or aliens or robots or beings from beyond space time. We are telling you that these are stories that are important. Here’s how you start. Here’s how you go about doing it. Here’s a copy of the book.
TA: How would you boil that down to a bumper sticker? We’re dyed in the wool nerds, and this is where we get to nerd out. We both have PhDs – I was an academic for a long time; Val’s still an academic – and sometimes that can be a little bit off-putting. But this is us letting our freak flags fly, basically. We’re fully diving into the stuff that we love to do, and giving everybody permission to totally do the same thing. Llet your let your nerd out, go for it. You don’t have to write about divorce and adultery and murder and all the really boring real life stuff. Write about tentacles and explosions and aliens and all the cool crap.
LM: And put it in space. And everyone’s fine. Well, Val will be really happy.
TA: But it still means something, though, and that’s, I think, really important about science fiction, fantasy and horror is, yeah, it’s got all this cool stuff we love. But it’s still about us. It’s about us now. And it means something. It’s just a little bit hidden. And so if you’re writing in these genres, you’re not part of a secret club because I don’t want it to sound exclusive. but you’re kind of part of this thing saying, Oh, I can totally read about a vampire but it means something that’s not just about a vampire. That’s kind of cool.
VN: That notion of people think, Oh, it’s a fantasy story, it must be set thousands of years ago, or it’s a science fiction story, it must be set thousands of years in the future. It’s like, No, it’s not. These are stories about now. And in that way, Spec Fic for Newbies is a way of telling people, this is how you tell stories about now, this is how you tell stories about queer identity or trans identity. This is how you tell stories about the dystopian capitalist neoliberal nonsense we find ourselves in nowadays. And this is how you tell stories about the struggles that people are genuinely engaged in now – you just put a little sheen on it. It’s like the same way everyone thinks Star Trek in the 60s was all William Shatner making out with like green aliens, but it was it was about race relations in 1960s. America, it was just sort of held off at that slight remove so that the serious people couldn’t couldn’t tell what was actually being told in the story. And that’s what we’re trying to do here. We’re trying to give people permission to do that.
LM: Anything else you’d like to say? Share? Any final thoughts on speculative fiction or Spec Fic for Newbies before we say goodbye for the day?
TA: Embrace it. Embrace spec fic. Embrace whatever genre you’re in. Buy the book, obviously. And if you have ideas for something you think that we wouldn’t think of putting book to, by all means, tweet it at us, and we’ll see if it’s in the list or not.
VN: Yeah, absolutely do that. All I will say to wrap up, and my end is that we had an absolute blast reading this, this was an extraordinary amount of fun to put together. And I really, really hope that people will – they’ll find it useful, I hope, but I really hope that they will also really enjoy reading it and they’ll feel like some of the love that we have for these owners and these sub-genres, like oozing out of the page and a really sort of weird, disturbing way.
LM: And that’s another sub-genre. All right, Tiffani, Val, thank you so much for your time. Everybody go out and get Spec Fic for Newbies, we’ll put all the details in whatever page is you are watching, reading, listening to this.
Spec Fic for Newbies: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Subgenres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, by Tiffani Angus and Val Nolan, is out now on Luna Press Publishing.
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Lauren McMenemy wears many hats: Editor-in-Chief at Trembling With Fear for horrortree.com; PR and marketing for the British Fantasy Society; founder of the Society of Ink Slingers; curator of the Writing the Occult virtual events; writers hour host at London Writers Salon. With 25+ years as a professional writer across journalism, marketing, and communications, Lauren also works as a coach and mentor to writers looking to achieve goals, get accountability, or get support with their marketing efforts. She writes gothic and folk horror stories for her own amusement, and is currently working on a novel set in the world of the Victorian occult. You’ll find Lauren haunting south London, where she lives with her Doctor Who-obsessed husband, the ghost of their aged black house rabbit, and the entity that lives in the walls.