Tales from the Trunk


Episode 20: Jennifer Mace - Hagstone

Darling listeners, we're joined this month by Jennifer Mace (@englishmace), one of the hosts of Be the Serpent, a podcast of Extremely Deep Literary Merit. Macey reads us a chapter out of the trunked novel that was to be her YA debut, and we talk about murder-boards, Nanowrimo, and some previews of upcoming Serpentcast episodes! Silk & Steel, a queer adventure anthology that Macey co-edited, will be released in November of 2020.

Also, if you can't get enough of me, I'm happy to announce that I will be on the next episode of Rank & Vile, talking about one of my favorite horror movies, 28 Days Later, which will be going up on their Patreon this Saturday, the 17th, and in the public feed the following week. Also, I will be appearing on Story Hour at 7PM Pacific on Wednesday, October 21st, along with Laura Pearlman.

Things we mention in this episode:

Hag of the Hills 


Tithe, by Holly Black

"A Cradle of Vines," by Jennifer Mace

"saltwashed," by Jennifer Mace

"A Step Out Into the Blue," by Hilary B. Bisenieks

"Thou Shalt Be Free As Mountain Winds," by Jennifer Mace

Managing Mayhem with Murderboards - We Make Books Podcast

Design documents 


Brandon Sanderson lecture series 

Quick Sips Reviews 

"Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time," by K. M. Szpara

Binge Mode 



Join us again next month, when our guest will be John Wiswell!


Shelter in Place 7: Exquisite Corpse

Hello, and welcome to Spooky Season!

We've got a bit of a weird one for you this time around, but I think it came out well. I asked a number of friends of the show if they would contribute to a literary exquisite corpse and got some phenomenal submissions.

Thank you so much to John Wiswell, Aimee Kuzenski, Premee Mohamed, Kate Lechler, Laura Blackwell, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, R. K. Duncan, Dave Ring, Hana Russell, Tyler Hayes, and Jordan Kurella, our literary doctors Frankenstein.

A transcript of this episode is available here.


Episode 19: Caitlin Starling - Untitled Faerie Story

This month, we're joined by Locus and Bram Stoker Award nominated author, and winner of this year's Ladies in Horror Award, Caitlin Starling (@see_starling @authorcstarling)! Caitlin's new novella, Yellow Jessamine, came out on September 5th from Neon Hemlock Press. We're treated to an excerpt of Caitlin's trunked novel, Untitled Faerie Story, which can be affectionately described as "idiots to lovers," before having a wonderful conversation about the whys and hows of writing horror and how online text-based roleplaying helped to shape Caitlin's writing.


Things mentioned in this episode:

The Luminous Dead, by Caitlin Starling

Valerie Valdes 

Guild Wars 2 

Martha Wells 

Max Gladstone 

Clockwork Boys, by T. Kingfisher

Raising Steam, by Terry Pratchett (GNU)

The California State Railroad Museum 


Megan E. O'Keefe 

Animal Crossing 

The Death of Jane Lawrence, by Caitlin Starling

Rubber duck debugging 

Harrow the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir

Silk and Steel 


Join us again on October 16th, when our guest will be Jennifer Mace


Shelter in Place 6: Q&A

We've got a Q&A for this month's bonus episode! Thank you to Miri, Jo, D. H. Dunn, R. K. Duncan, Nina, Diane, Valerie, Sarah, Dave, and Amanda for submitting questions on such short notice! I promise I'll give everyone more than a couple weeks advance warning before I do another of these!

Join us again on September 18th, when Caitlin Starling will be on the show!


Episode 18: Karen Osborne - “Slingshot Protocol”

We're joined this month by Karen Osborne, who reads us her trunked space lighthouse story "Slingshot Protocol." Afterwards, we talk about the fine art of listening to and then not acting on what your beta readers say and keeping your eyes on your own paper. Karen's debut novel, Architects of Memory, comes out on September 8th from Tor books.

Join us again on September 4th for another Shelter in Place special, where I'll be answering listener questions, and then on September 18th, when our guest will be author Caitlin Starling!


Shelter in Place 5: “Once Upon a Conspiracy”

Here we are: another month of something like lockdown, another Shelter in Place special. This time around, I'm bringing you another story from my own trunk, all the way from January of 2010.


If you're a US citizen, please make sure that you're registered to vote in this year's general election, which will take place on Tuesday, November 3rd. You can find out how to register to vote in your state by visiting vote.gov.


Join us again in two weeks, on August 21st, when our guest will be Karen Osborne. You can preorder her debut, Architects of Memory, now (and you should)!

A transcript of this episode is available here.


Episode 17: “When Dreams Like Fire Spread” - Merc Fenn Wolfmoor

We're joined on this episode by author and Nebula Award finalist, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor (@Merc_Wolfmoor). Merc reads their short horror story, "When Dreams Like Fire Spread," and we talk about horror, portal fantasies, queer representation, and fanfiction. Merc's newest story, "Bring the Bones That Sing," is now up on Diabolical Plots!


A transcript of the episode, provided by D. H. Dunn, is available here.


Things we mention on this episode:

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power 

Robot Dinosaur Fiction 

AJ Hackwith's appearance on Tales from the Trunk


The Magnus Archives 

Writing Excuses 

Welcome to Night Vale 

X Minus One 

"This is Not a Wardrobe Door," by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor

In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan

Fireside Quarterly 

Pokémon Go 

Dawn of the Dead 


The Ring 

They Live (alluded to)


The Destroy anthology series

Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction! 

John Wiswell 

Elsa Sjunneson 

Nightmare Magazine being edited by Wendy Wagner beginning in 2021

Be the Serpent 

Archive Of Our Own 

My Battery Is Low and It Is Getting Dark 

The Dystopia Triptych 

Silk & Steel 

Sword and Sonnet 

No Shit, There I Was 

Avatars Inc 

Architects of Memory, by Karen Osborne


Join us again on August  7th for whatever our next Shelter in Place special, and August 21st, when our guest will be Karen Osborne


Shelter in Place 4: “The Doorway”

Friends, somehow it is July of twenty twenty. We’re still sheltering in place, here in Beautiful Oakland, California, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. I hope that wherever you are in the world, you and your friends and loved ones are safe and well.

For this month’s Shelter in Place episode, we’re diving back into my trunk, all the way back to the spring of 2010, a whole entire decade ago, to brush some of the dust off of another story that I wrote for an assignment. I don’t recall what, if anything, I was given as a prompt, but I turned it into another vaguely horror-y tunnel story, which should surprise approximately nobody.

Actually, this story predates “Green Line,” which I read on our April episode, by about a year.


Join us again on July 17th, when Merc Fenn Wolfmoor will be on the show!


Episode 16: Megan E. O’Keefe - Conduit of Stone

On this episode, we're joined by Megan E. O'Keefe, author of Velocity Weapon and its forthcoming sequel, Chaos Vector. Megan reads the first chapter of her trunked novel, Conduit of Stone, which leads us into a lively conversation about our influences and Megan's thoughts on the parallels between writing and video game development.

A transcript of the episode, provided by D. H. Dunn, is available here.

Please join us again for our next Shelter in Place episode on July 3rd, and on July 17th, when our regular guest will be Merc Fenn Wolfmoor!


Pride in Place: What Queer Fiction Means to Us

I thought for a long time about delaying this episode or simply not releasing it at all, but for all the darkness in the world, we still need art. We need voices of hope. It is Pride month, where we celebrate who we are and how far we’ve come, and where we honor and remember those who came before us.

Stonewall was a riot against police brutality, started by Marsha P. Johnson, a Black, trans woman. We would not have Pride without queer, Black activists.

This Pride in Place episode was inspired in part by the folx at Buddies in Bad Times Theater in Toronto, a space dedicated to the promotion of queer theatrical expression.


The contributors who wished to be named for this episode are:

K. B. Wagers, Twitter @kbwagers, Insta @midwaybrawler 

Jill Seidenstein, Slow Bloom 


You can find your local community bail funds at bit.ly/localbailfund 

Consider raising up Black spec-fic writers by subscribing to FIYAH Literary Magazine (@fiyahlitmag)


Join us again on June 19th, when our guest will be Megan E. O'Keefe

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