Book of Never Playing Cards – Out Now!

Hello! It’s been a little while since I posted here, and this one’s a fiction update actually – but there’s a poetry one right around the corner 😀

Today I wanted to mention that I have a deck of cards project based on some of my fiction and it’s out now, they’re based on my Book of Never-themed playing cards! You can actually grab one direct from the manufacturer already, the deck will contain:

  • Standard 54 card deck (the four suits + two jokers)
  • Glossy finish
  • Custom design for background and pips
  • Portrait-style character art for ‘royals’ by Lin Hsiang, the artist who does the Never book covers

I’m very happy about these being ready to share – it’s been nearly a year to the day since I first e-mailed Lin about creating the art, so it’s exciting for the project to come full circle now 🙂

 

I’ll have a few decks here with me soon but they’re more expensive for me to ship from Australia – though I’m still happy to do it, of course, if anyone would like me to. I had considered signing a few… but it’d be impossible without ruining the art. Maybe the box? I dunno – what would be better is if I could get the artists to sign, since they’ve done the real work here, but that could be tricky in terms of logistics.

In any event, if you are keen to order a set of cards they’re around $20 from the manufacturer (as per the link above) before shipping. (It’d be more like $30-50 w/shipping if you ordered from me, depending on how far away you are from Australia.)

If you do decide to order a set I hope you enjoy the art – there’s a fair few character images that I haven’t shared yet, but you can see the previously shared ones in this newsletter. Shawn T King who handled the design came up with going with silver and gold for the suit colours, to better contrast with the dark ‘regular’ card backgrounds, and I’m pretty thrilled with how everything looks! (Below is just an overview of the colour, the suits don’t mix silver and gold within themselves of course)

(On a bit of a side note, I’d love to know how fast the shipping tends to be if you get a deck, or what you thought about the art, so please feel free to send off a quick e-mail if you get the chance!)

 

Until later in the month!

Ashley

 

small town lazarus & teeth of the world – ebook release

Hi folks – here’s a quick note to let you know the ebook versions of my two new poetry collections are slowly filtering down to retailers – I see the Amazon territories and B&N are on it but other folks are lagging a bit.

Still, you can collect the slender teeth of the world for $2.99:

and small town lazarus is available for $3.99

if you’re more in the mood for free verse 🙂

Some links for print editions are back here from late last month – or you can sample some of the contents over at my Medium profile!

 

And once again, massive thanks to Vivid Covers (small town lazarus) and also Erik Ly (teeth of the world) for the covers!

Two New Poetry Collections!

smalltown+teethof

Good morning!

I’m just popping in to share some news – I’ve got two collections up for pre-order right now, after a fairly long poetry hiatus I’ve suddenly been pretty busy, one is free-verse and the other is a mix of haiku & senryu – just in case anyone was looking to pick up a Christmas present approximately 7 months early 😀

Most retailers have the paperback now but the ebook is trailing – however Book Depository has free postage at least!

https://www.bookdepository.com/Teeth-World-Ashley-Capes/9780648395720

https://www.bookdepository.com/Small-Town-Lazarus-Ashley-Capes/9780648395775

Otherwise, Amazon US has the live links too:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0648395774

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0648395723

 

And you can sample some of the poems in a future post, or over here right now at my Medium profile 🙂

Ashley

Kickstarter Campaign Ending Soon!

What’s smaller than 70? 46! 46 hrs to go on the Book of Never #6 Kickstarter, folks 😀

In case you haven’t come across this yet and also follow my fiction, you can see updates and notes on add-ons and stretch goals here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1157305546/the-phoenix-of-kiymako-an-epic-fantasy-novel/posts/2160334

And the image below has a link to the general campaign details!

The Phoenix of Kiymako – Kickstarter is Live!

And it’s finally time to launch!

The Kickstarter is live and if you’re a Never fan, here’s your chance to pre-order his 6th adventure – the one where he finally learns his true name!

Over on the kickstarter page you’ll see some great rewards for backing the campaign – one of which that I’ll mention here, is that folks who do pre-order the adventure will receive the novel in May whereas everyone else will have to wait until July 😀

Just click the image below to take a look!

kickstartergraphic

Patreon Launch!

Hi everyone!

This week I’m launching a Patreon page – for folks who’re not familiar with Patreon, here’s a link a short vid explaining it, but in even shorter form: it’s a way for fans to ensure creators can make more stuff!

I’ve launched my page in order to expand my miniature publishing empire by creating audio books and graphic novels, in addition to more great fiction & poetry in ebook and print formats during 2018. I’m pretty excited about this and can’t wait to get started!

If you pledge you’ll get early access to new releases, along with exclusive updates, previews, images, videos, fiction and Patreon-only giveaways too 🙂

So far I’ve shared a super-early cover reveal for Never #6 and will be sharing some more from The Last Sea God and a Q&A video soon too.

Check it out right here 🙂

2006 : 2016 (a ‘least worst of’)

The ego of it, right?

Of course there’s got to be at least some involved any time I post, since the very act of sharing my stuff implies that I think it doesn’t suck.

Well, with that in mind, I’ve recently released 2006 : 2016.

In this collection, I’ve tried to cobble together 116 or so pages of poetry that I can still look at without chuckling at myself (or worse :D).

There’s also a few pieces in here that might have been previously published individually but which never made it into a collection, something small for longtime readers — otherwise you’ll find a range of free verse, haiku, haibun and senryu spanning the collections pollen and the storm right up to VI.

* * *

When I started sifting through notebooks, old files and the individual collections themselves, I thought I was taking a final step in book-ending my time as a poet. My fiction was selling and I was finding it harder to commit time to poetry, since I had a couple of ongoing series-length fiction works to keep me busy and which readers seemed keen for.

But the more I looked through my old stuff, even the rubbish, the more I missed poetry.

It wasn’t like returning to an old ‘mistress’ or any of those sorts of cliches, it was more like the cliche of returning to a neglected part of me.

Despite the frustration I’d always feel whenever I struggled with a poem, the way I always fought myself over ‘using language poetically’ while still keeping hold of the idea that poetry was ‘an act of communication that actually needed readers’, I was excited to return to poetry because that struggle was also fun. (I was so excited that I did two things, I started writing poetry again and I sought out two poets from Oz whose work I loved and offered to publish their collections, but more on that in another post!).

Now, writing poetry might seem like a rather unspectacular thing for a poet to do. Utterly regular, really.

But it wasn’t regular for me at the start of 2017, and hadn’t been for a long time. I remember looking at my bio on my website one day and asking myself, am I still a poet if I don’t even write poetry anymore? (‘Ex-poet’ doesn’t look as snappy, huh?).

The act of writing poetry had become ‘irregular’ because I’d stopped writing poetry a couple of years ago. I mean, I still tried here and there, but I went from writing anywhere from 2–5 poems most nights to 20 aborted pieces a month, and then to about 5 finished pieces for an entire year.

And I know why, but it took me a long time to figure it out.

Part of it was the fiction — that was taking off in late 2014 and it was fun, I was giving it a proper shot. But the other part of my poetry-drought came from a crash in confidence; I’d totally lost it when it came to verse.

A few years ago, one of my mentors let me down (and the poetry community here in Australia, and overseas too) in a pretty significant way and I hadn’t realised until this year, while putting together 2006 : 2016, just how deeply his mistakes had impacted me.

I’d tied too much of my self-belief to his support.

Once the depth of his plagiarism became clear, aside from the disillusionment I felt, I realised that if he thought I was good and yet he turned out to be dishonest, how could I trust his opinion of my work?

And so I slowly stopped, just kinda gave up on poetry. Stopped writing, stopped sending it in to comps and mags, stopped reading it, stopped looking for it.

And like I said above, I now see it was stupid of me to tie my confidence up that way. I should have been stronger.

But thankfully, putting this ‘least worst of’ together reminded me that I had improved over the years. When I looked at stuff from 2006 and compared it my most recent work, I saw the change. And it reminded me that once upon a time, I’d push through all kinds of flat spots, all kinds of rejections, and just keep writing. My stubbornness would fuel me; I wanted to get better and for a while I think I did get better each year.

Back in Feb, I collected all the poetry I could find and announced what would “probably be my last poetry collection” rather dramatically, I guess. It seemed the right choice at the time, since my heart wasn’t in poetry anymore— not wholly — but now it strikes me as almost childish. And I’ve since realised that poetry really is Hotel California (and that’s okay too).

Now, I’m happy to say that I’m ready to push myself once more in 2018 and there’s gonna be fiction and poetry this time 🙂