Clay Tongue novelette Nicholas Conley fantasy

Release Day – Clay Tongue: A Novelette

Language is the foundation that society is built on, and yet, out of all of our inventions, it’s also our greatest enigma. The combination of sounds and/or symbols that frame ideas, illustrate concepts, and bring people together has advanced human civilization more than anything else, without parallel. But for those who suffer from cognitive disorders, like aphasia — and those afflicted by shyness and social anxiety — language can also be the tallest wall separating them from others.

Language is the key to everything. Like any writer, my love of language frames all of my actions, goals, and ideas. But I also know the pains of language, both from my experiences working in a dementia unit with patients with cognitive disorders, as well as my early life experiences as a shy little kid who didn’t know how to express myself. This is what led me to write my short little novelette, Clay Tongue — the magical realism story that, as of today, is now out in the world, and ready for all of you to read.

I’m thrilled to share the news that Clay Tongue: A Novelette is now available both as an ebook and a paperback, just in time for the holidays!

Clay Tongue novelette Nicholas Conley fantasy

From the author of the award-winning Pale Highway and the radio play Something in the Nothing comes a short fantasy of love, shyness, and the secrets of human communication.

Katie Mirowitz is a small little girl with an even smaller little voice. She possesses a deep love for her grandfather, who suffers from aphasia after a bad stroke cuts loose the part of his brain that processes verbal language. When Katie uncovers a miraculous secret inside the pages of her grandfather’s old journal, as well as an ancient key, she goes out into the woods in search of answers — hoping to uncover a mythical being that, if it exists, may just have the ability to grant wishes.

Get your copy here!

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PEN America

I’m proud to announce that I’m now a member of PEN America, the East Coast United States chapter of PEN International. Founded in London in 1921, PEN is the world’s oldest human rights organization, and also the oldest international literary organization, with its membership comprised of novelists, journalists, poets, essayists, playwrights, and more. PEN International works to promote the important role that writers have in shaping society, by emphasizing mutual understanding between cultures, speaking out against tyranny, and bringing people together. The organization also coordinates the PEN Prison Writing Program, which provides inmates a much needed opportunity for self-expression through writing, as well as access to writing mentors, and an audience. PEN also fights for freedom of expression and freedom of the press across the world, sounding the bullhorn for writers who have been imprisoned or killed for their writing.

From their website:

 

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PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world.  Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

PEN America is the largest of more than 100 centers of PEN International. For more than 90 years, we have been working together with our colleagues in the international PEN community to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. In doing so, we are building on a tradition begun in the years following World War I and carried forward by thousands of American writers.

Needless to say, I’m both honored and excited to now be a member, and look forward to doing my part to further these important goals in whatever way I can. After all, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, is the cornerstone of free society.

 

Clay Tongue novelette Nicholas Conley fantasy

Cover Reveal – Clay Tongue: A Novelette

There’s still a ways to go before Novel #3 is ready to show its face to the world. But in the meantime, I’ve managed to prepare a wintery gift to all you faithful readers, just in time for the holiday season: remember that upcoming novelette I mentioned some months back?

Well, it’s time to spill the beans. Clay Tongue: A Novelette will be coming your way on December 19th. That’s right, only a few weeks away!

Clay Tongue is a story about the nature of communication. It’s a tale about what it’s like to be a shy little kid in a big and not-so-shy world. It’s a narrative that examines the limits of human language, the deep connection between the very young and the very elderly, and how the magical realism of youth connects to the painful transition of growing older. Though Clay Tongue may be a story as small as its protagonist, it’s also a story I needed to tell, a journey I poured my heart into, and I’m proud of how it has turned out.

Without further ado, here is the reveal:

From the author of the award-winning Pale Highway and the radio play Something in the Nothing comes a short fantasy of love, shyness, and the secrets of human communication.
Katie  Mirowitz  is  a  small  little  girl  with an even smaller little voice.   She  possesses  a  deep love  for  her  grandfather,  who suffers from aphasia after a bad stroke cuts loose the part of his brain that processes verbal  language.  When  Katie uncovers a miraculous  secret  inside  the pages  of  her  grandfather’s  old journal, as well as an ancient key, she goes out into the woods in search of answers — hoping to uncover a mythical being that, if it exists, may just have the ability to grant wishes.

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Special Deal: Get Pale Highway Today for Only $.99 Cents!

From today through Saturday, Red Adept Publishing will be running a special deal on the e-book edition of Pale Highway, and it’s a good one. If you get in fast, you can pick up Pale Highway for as little as $.99 cents.

A killer deal, if I do say so — and as the coffee obsessive that I am, I can’t help but point out that $.99 cents is less than a cup of coffee.

So, if there was ever a time to feed your Kindle with Pale Highway, now is it. Pick it up on Amazon today, get a coffee to go with it, and then enter the Alzheimer’s-afflicted world of Gabriel Schist, Victor, Bright New Day, and all of those weird little talking slugs that everyone keeps mentioning.

Pale Highway - Nicholas Conley

Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.

When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus. Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.

As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return?

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Novel #3 News

Big news on Novel #3: I’ve officially contracted with Red Adept Publishing, the same publishing company that brought you Pale Highway!

Still too early for an actual release date, but for now, let’s assume that Novel #3 will be heading your way probably sometime in 2017. What is the title? What is it going to be about? Oh, just wait. It’s a weird one. All I will say is that it’s a science fiction story, and it deals with traumatic brain injuries. But hey, if you thought Pale Highway was a strange book, oh boy…

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In the meantime, Pale Highway is still on Amazon, and is now celebrating its one year anniversary. To make sure you guys have something new in the meantime, that short-short novelette I mentioned a few months back should be on its way before the year is over, probably in December. More news coming soon!

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Describe Yourself in Three Fictional Characters

So there is this meme going around Twitter right now, wherein participants are asked to “describe yourself in three fictional characters.” Aside from the fact that this whole thing feels kind of like something hearkening back to the old Myspace bulletin days, it’s a fun concept: one of the amazing things about fiction is that it allows us to empathize with a vast array of different characters, and this meme is at its most interesting if participants choose three characters whom each embody different sides of one’s personality.

As a novelist, it’d be unfair for me to pick any characters that I’ve created in my own work, as that makes it too easy. So instead I’ll pick the following three, each one from a different medium:

  • Desmond from Lost
  • Charles Xavier from X-Men
  • Roland Deschain from Stephen King’s Dark Tower novels

All three of these characters are dramatically different from each other, but therein lies the fun: personalities are complex, multifaceted, and full of contradictions.

So what about you guys? Who are your three characters?

 

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Creepy-Crawlies

This is me as a kid: shy but hopeful, nervous but always ambitious. I loved storytelling from the beginning, always thrilling to the elaborate fantasy scenarios that I played out with my younger brother, and then with my first friends at school. It was in elementary school that I first discovered writing, and I’ve been passionate about it every since.

As this picture reminds me, I also always loved  “creepy-crawly” creatures like earthworms, spiders, bats, praying mantises, and lizards. No surprise there.

Maybe that explains those slugs in Pale Highway

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