Welcome to She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars, two brand-new anthologies that share a common theme – masquerades – but tell different types of stories – wlw in She Wears the Midnight Crown and mlm in He Bears the Cape of Stars. These collections are the latest titles from Duck Prints Press, the indie publisher founded by fans to publish original works by fan creators, and they’re crowdfunding NOW, only on Seed & Spark!
Curious about the collections? Well, here’s a sneak peek of the works of two of our creators!
He Bears the Cape of Stars Contributor Spotlight: Stephen G. Krueger
Biography: Stephen G. Krueger (he/him/his), fandom name WithBroomBefore, is queer, trans, and aroace; he is an academic librarian in the northeast United States. His other writing includes the book Supporting Trans People in Libraries, a handful of professional chapters and articles, and The Trans Advice Column (a co-authored blog that is exactly what it sounds like). Stephen holds a B.A. in English from Warren Wilson College and an M.S. in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; he is currently making leisurely progress towards an M.A. in Arctic and Northern Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He knits and sells hats, some with pride flag colors on them, and enjoys watching figure skating while his three cats take turns claiming lap space.
Story Title: On Not Going to Parties
“I could not go,” Nikola offers experimentally. The kitchen table, when he flops over to rest his cheek against it, has scratches in the finish which make for a pleasantly varied texture. He can’t recall whether they were there when they carried the table triumphantly back from the French department’s furniture giveaway the previous year. The burn mark in the middle is new, a memorial to Yosimar’s first attempt at pie.
The experiment, as predicted, fails. “Of course you’re going,” Theo informs him. “You know Mar’s outfit depends on your presence.”
“It doesn’t.” The box of items by the bookcase that Nikola has been informed will make up Yosimar’s costume has been growing increasingly full all month. There is a tiara now, along with a set of slightly bent wings made from gauze and glitter and wire. And of course the whole pile is draped over with the largest queerplatonic pride flag he has ever seen, a full five feet of black and gray and white and pink and yellow. “The flag is entirely self-explanatory. Where did they get a real sword?”
She Wears the Midnight Crown Contributor Spotlight: Mare Griffen
Biography: Mare is a writer and wannabe academic from the US. She’s interested in storytelling and systems of communication and, for better or worse, has a degree in Media Studies to prove it. Creatively, she likes to write about magical realism, mental health, and people figuring out how to navigate a poorly fitting world. She’s also the wrangler of a cat/gremlin, and unapologetically a Horse Girl™.
Mare writes lots of Shadowhunters fanfic, usually when she’s supposed to be doing something else. She used to write screenplays, occasional poetry, and (unfinished) novels, but this is her first foray back into original fiction in a long time. She can often be found avoiding reality, overthinking, or stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to look at lizards on the ground.
Story Title: Burn Season
“Can I tell you something?” she asked, voice as rough as the staticky sky above them.
“Sometimes I wish there was… more. More than whatever this is. And sometimes I think there was supposed to be more, but things got derailed somewhere along the way.” The thought had lain dormant in Jack’s chest since adolescence, but Lucy’s bright approach to living had dragged it out through her ribs.
Lucy leaned against her side under the blanket. The warmth of her body almost made Jack take back her words. “More isn’t always better, though.”
Then why did Jack long for it? “Maybe.”
“Can I tell you something?”
Lucy kissed her shoulder. “I’m starting to like this world how it is.”
Jack tipped her head against Lucy’s and tried to smile. She, too, liked this moment—here, on the roof, trying to find each other. But as for the world…
Lucy only made her realize all the things that were lacking.
Intrigued? You should be! But, if you want to read the rest of these stories you’ll need to back our campaign, running now through July 14th, 2022!