Or, it’s time for some updates
First of all, something obvious––I’m starting to write in English too. When I was starting this site I had a great dilemma. Should I write in Croatian? Or should I write in English? I knew from the start that I’ll publish some English content (more about that later), but also that I wanted to write about Croatian literature for Croatians (especially since I’m first and foremost a Croatian writer). So I came to the conclusion that I could have both, although not in a traditional multilingual site (because I don’t have patience for that), which basically means I’m not going to translate each post, but have different content in each language. Sorry, not sorry.
Now, when that’s out of the way, here are some of the big plans that are brewing and currently taking up a lot of my time.
I’m part of the organization of online Futuricon, also known as Eurocon 2020. This year, we got a great opportunity to host Eurocon at our local convention in my hometown Rijeka (Rikon, for those who don’t know). But since this year ended up being, well, you know, a pandemic riddled one, instead of doing the usual live convention, we had to adapt to the situation. No matter if it’s online or live, there’s still work to be done. And as per usual, I have a few programming items (presentations and one panel) on top of the stuff I usually organize (the literary awards ceremony and the cosplay show). I’m really happy with all of it, even though it’s eating up a lot of my time. Also, preparing cosplay for a virtual con is not as fun as usual, but there’s no way I’m going to show up in front of cameras without a costume. My current cosplay plans are from The Locked Tomb trilogy––the one and only Harrowhark Nonagesimus.
This is where it gets more complicated. Vesna Kurilić––Croatian writer and my co-cosplayer-in-crime––and I decided to set out for the deep end of the publishing waters with our little (self)publishing boat. Or, to say it like a normal person––we’re currently working on starting a publishing business. Starting out small, but with big hopes. Our plan is a platform for publishing ebooks, something that’s not really common in Croatia. It’ll mostly be in English and for the global market, but I’m a sucker for Croatian as well. It’s not just a self publishing venture, though, because, given time and resources, we plan to work with other authors too. It’s a scary thought and a lot of things could still go wrong, but we have nothing to lose. And having my own small press is something that I’ve dreamed about for years.
What do Nightmares Dream of
On that note, I’m using this opportunity to announce my sapphic horror novella What do Nightmares Dream of, which will be released by the end of September. With the above mentioned Vesna as my editor, I’ve finally finished revising the story, and it should soon see the light of the day. I’m both nervous and excited for it. This story was waiting for two years before I decided to make some changes to it. I won’t say it’s my first attempt at writing a horror story, but this was a more conscious approach to the genre than what I usually do. Inspired with local slavic folklore, What do Nighmares Dream of is a story about anxiety, loneliness and living nightmares, but also about finding strength and companionship in the most unexpected places. Also, about how being a teacher sucks big time.
Of Monsters and Dogs
Another of my stories in English waiting to be published is, again, a tale of sapphic horror and urban fantasy—this time with dogs! It’s fun, dark, full of blood and written for last year’s Halloween, but still unpublished. My take on shtrigas and dogheads (creatures from Croatian folklore), this story is inspired by my nightly walks with my dog, who always tries to drag me away into dark, unlit spaces. This short story will be available for free once we launch our official publishing site this month.
Decameron 2020: Stories from the Quarantine
And on top of it all, we’re doing an English translation of Decameron 2020: Priče iz karantene. I was a part of the editorial team on this project, and while we had our grand finale with the ebook in Croatian, we’ve decided it was a time to branch out––so we’re currently working on translating stories and putting the English version out there for people to see. Find out more about this project here.
In the end
There is also one “secret” project I’m not mentioning right now, but it’ll also be announced soon. What can I say? September this year is quite a busy month for me. But all of these current projects are making me very, very excited—if a little cautious, too. It’s not every day you become a publisher!