Friday, May 31, 2019


Today's author Q&A comes from Unearthed editor and Altrix co-owner Kara Dennison! Kara created and edited the anthology, as well as collaborating with Ginger Hoesly on "Kill the Cat," a new Owl's Flower short story. (Thanks to Unearthed contributor James Bojaciuk for the assist on Q&A, so Kara wasn't stuck talking to herself!)

Altrix Books: What led you to create Unearthed?

Kara Dennison: I was fascinated by the media surrounding the unearthing of the black granite sarcophagus in Alexandria. I love history and archaeology, but there was a mystery around it, too. A lot of the guesses and gags got really samey after a while (mostly "it's cursed"), and I thought, "You know, my friends could come up with much better stories for what's inside." That became the idea for the anthology... except, since they popped the thing open the day after I announced my general intent to do it, I followed some friends' advice and swapped it up to be any tomb-like container.

Altrix: What charity are you supporting?

Dennison: Our funds are going to the American Research Center in Egypt, which was suggested by one of our contributors, Sharyna Tran. I wanted it to be a reliable group, as well as one dedicated to either archaeology or history in some way. ARCE devotes their efforts to training archaeologists and scholars, as well as keeping cultural and communication bonds strong between the US and Egypt.

Altrix: Tell us a little about your story.

Dennison: "Kill the Cat" is from the setting of the Owl's Flower light novel series I do with Ginger Hoesly. The main line books are a paranormal romance series about a barista and the local nature god who loves her, but there's a wider world of local and global gods that our guy Herne is just a tiny part of. This story introduces Masudah, an Egyptian god of curiosity, who's trying to protect his own interests while humans study his tomb. It's the first Owl's Flower story we've done where our main protagonists don't show up at all, but you'll see one familiar face from the second book and meet a character who'll be showing up in Book 4 and onward.

Altrix: How was your first time curating an anthology?

Dennison: Well, I wanted a learning experience, and I got one! Funnily, the stuff I thought would be easy was challenging, and vice-versa (and needing emergency gallbladder surgery in the early stages was a surprise). I've taken a lot of notes on things I had to learn to do in the moment, things I'd change for next time, but nothing that was outright bad. (The fact that I say "next time" should probably be something of an indicator!) It was really exciting to see all these amazing stories and art pieces come in one by one, and it was a privilege to work with so many of these people. I also owe a lot both to Ginger and to James Bojaciuk for their help in the final stages of bringing it all together.

Altrix: Where else can our readers find your work?

Dennison: I've got a blog that I (try to) post to once a week, and I'm the artist half of a webcomic with my friend Rob Lantz that's got about 2k pages worth of backlog if you've got a long weekend to fill. Other than that, you'll be able to see more of my work soon from 18th Wall, Obverse Books, and right here on Altrix!

Order your copy of Unearthed from Altrix Books!


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