June 2024 Linkspam

With the spring conferences done and the summer tour looming, it’s been kind of quiet here in the Tower. I’ve enjoyed this uncharacteristic spell of Not Traveling, being able to settle in and bake things and write things and… cough my lungs out?

Stupid bronchitis. This is why we can’t have nice things. 

Fortunately that’s over with, though my singing voice is still a bit more Froggy the Gremlin than I care for. Summer has begun here in sunny Illinois, with the song of cicadas and the mugginess of a swamp. It could just be that I have swamps on the brain, as the anniversary release of Dreadmire will take place on June 18. Check the Fiction section below for more details, but if you planned to pre-order a signed copy, do so this week! I really love the cover and my book designer, Kody Boye, did such a fantastic job on this special edition. I hope you like it as much as I do! You’ll never look at mosquitoes the same way again…

Meanwhile, I am happy to report that my Relay for Life team has exceeded our goal of raising $3,000 for the American Cancer Society. Our local Relay celebration will take place this coming weekend, and we are looking forward to celebrating another year of birthdays for our cancer survivors. Click here if you would like to donate to my campaign. Together we can beat the Beast.


Unfortunately I had to cancel my appearance on May 9 to discuss the evils of A.I. in news and publishing, thanks to the bronchitis. Rest assured that when I’m not sick, I will happily rant away about how A.I. is threatening democracy and the ability of writers to make a living. 

Coming up this month is a return to the Collinsville Public Library, which is always one of my favorite locations. When I was a young reporter working for the Belleville News-Democrat, the Collinsville Library was just up the street a few blocks from my newsroom. There were many lunch breaks I spent in its quiet, cool lower level writing penny dreadfuls, and indeed some of my early novels were begun in that library. Thus it’s always a pleasant nostalgia to participate in their author and artist fairs. I’ll also be speaking to the National Federation of Professional Women this month, discussing opportunities and pitfalls in publishing. 

I am hopeful to be able to set up an event or two in late June, as I will be traveling to Georgia and back and what is travel for if not to sell books? The details are still being worked out, so keep an eye on my Facebook and website. Meanwhile, I’m chagrined to find that the Edwardsville Book Festival, Archon, and AuthorCon St. Louis are all happening the same bloody weekend in October! I have not yet managed to perfect cloning myself, so we’ll see how that sorts itself out. 

2024 calendar:
• Collinsville Author and Artist Fair, Collinsville, Ill. June 15 
• National Federation of Professional Women, St. Louis, Mo. June 20-22
• CAFE at Spine Books, St. Louis, Mo. July 7 
• TechWrite STL, St. Louis, Mo. July 10 
• St. Louis Writers Guild, St. Louis, Mo. July 13
• Imaginarium, Louisville, Ky. July 19-21 
• Plethora of Pens, Glen Carbon Public Library, Aug. 5 
• Dragoncon, Atlanta, Ga. Sept. 5-9  
• Archon, Collinsville, Ill. Oct. 4-6  

I was happy to add new client Hearst Corp. to my roster this month with my first byline in the Edwardsville Intelligencer, which is kind of funny since I’ve been living in and covering Edwardsville for nearly a quarter century. This means I officially do some level of work for all three major news chains in our area: Hearst, Lee, and McClatchy. One more and I get bingo! 

• U.S. Steel merger postponed to December as USW accuses Nippon of empty promises (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Illinois takes action on worker safety (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Will new bill help towns rehire laid-off paramedics? (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland reopens Silver Lake after “oil” scare (Highland News-Leader)
• Highland closes Silver Lake for apparent oil spill (Highland News-Leader)
• Illinois passes bill banning ‘captive audience’ meetings (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Highland residents worried about lead in water should test (Highland News-Leader)
• Monroe County Democrats focus on redefining patriotism (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Foodie Bistro combines soul food traditions with high-end flair (Feast Magazine)
• Madison County remembers workers killed on the job (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Edwardsville kids earn bikes by reading (Edwardsville Intelligencer)
• City Hall reopens after a year of flood repairs (Highland News-Leader)
• New fallen officers memorial proposed in Madison County (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Labor council seeks nominations for Labor Awards (St. Louis Labor Tribune)
• Celebration of Mother Jones set for May Day (St. Louis Labor Tribune)

Note: Not all articles are available online, and some may be behind paywalls. 

• The PRESS Act (St. Louis SPJ)
• We will miss the RFT (St. Louis SPJ)
• In which I run my mouth on someone else’s blog (Elizabeth Donald and Patreon)
• Adult writers, child readers? (Bad Girls Good Guys)

A reminder that preorders are about to close for the re-release of Dreadmire in its 15th anniversary edition! Read here to find out more. And if you’re interested in a free sample from my dark romp through the swamp, click here!

I also have received a limited supply of the 2024 St. Louis Writers Guild Member Anthology and the December edition of parABnormal Magazine, both of which have pieces by me, so snag them while you can!
• Nevermore (Medium)
• Words that lead us into mystery (Medium)
• Review: The First Omen (Patreon)
• Review: The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Adichie (Patreon)
• Poem: Once I was a girl (Patreon)
• Panic, caffeine and spite (Patreon)

Note: Patreon entries are indexed going back to its launch in 2018. I wanted new Patrons to be able to easily find the work that they’ve missed, and hopefully seeing how much work is on the Patreon might encourage some good folks to subscribe. (Hint, hint.) Seriously, subscriptions start at $1 a month, and I truly believe some of the best work I’ve ever done is on the Patreon. Check out the index here.

As has been the last few months, most of my shoots have been on assignment for my freelance clients. But I do occasionally get to go see pretty things…

• Sculpture roll: Laumeier Sculpture Park (Patreon)

Almost all of the images in the galleries are available for purchase, so if you see something you like that isn’t in the store, email kyates@donaldmedia.com and we’ll get you a quote. A few might not be available for purchase due to copyright issues.
Photograph of the Month

This is Loretta Williams, a reenactor portraying labor leader Mother Jones at the annual Mother Jones Festival in Mt. Olive, Ill. The original Mother Jones insisted on celebrating her birthday on May Day (the original Labor Day) rather than August when she was actually born, and requested to be buried in Mt. Olive next to the miners who were killed in the Virden Massacre after the mine owners retaliated against their strike. Mother Jones was a fascinating person, and I was delighted to write a historical feature about her that will appear in the coming weeks.