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!
She Wears the Midnight Crown Contributor Spotlight: Rhosyn Goodfellow
Biography: Rebekah D. Cook is an author of queer romance and speculative fiction living in the Pacific Northwest with her spouse and two dogs. She is sad to report that she has not yet mysteriously disappeared nor encountered any cryptids. Her hobbies include spoiling the aforementioned dogs, drinking inadvisable amounts of coffee, and running unreasonably long distances very slowly. She’s secretly just a collection of loosely-related stories dressed up in a meat suit.
Story Title: Nice Girls Don’t Get the Superweapon
Ever since it became clear Mia’s negligible fire starting power wasn’t enough for her to make a go of it as a supervillain, Mia’s dream has been to become a top-tier henchwoman. It’s practically the family business, and anyway, sometimes a girl just wants to be the one setting off the explosions instead of watching them happen.
“Morning, Miller.” The greeting is punctuated by a sharp and wholly unnecessary knock on Mia’s desk.
Mia gives Brandon Pratt her most withering look. The man is epitome of corporate nonsense: all flash and smarm with no substance underneath. He’s also barely competent at his job and somehow manages to come in egregiously late any morning Doctor Bombardier isn’t in the office. Mia doesn’t understand why he hasn’t been fired yet.
“Barely,” Mia says with a pointed look at the clock.
“Lighten up,” Brandon says with a laugh straight out of a Hollywood satire of corporate corruption. “It’s Friday. Working hard or hardly working, eh?”
He shoots her a pair of finger guns before heading toward his office, and Mia valiantly refrains from setting his tie on fire.
He Bears the Cape of Stars Contributor Spotlight: Nina Waters
Biography: Claire Houck (she/they/he), pen name Nina Waters, fandom name unforth, is the founder and sole proprietor of Duck Prints Press LLC. She is queer, 39 years old, married to the lovely Lisa, and a mother of two. Claire has been writing fanfiction since the young age of seven, when she penned (well, two-finger typed and printed dot matrix) the timeless classic “the story of my littl ponies and the glob.” Since then, her spelling, grammar, and prose have improved immensely. She has written over three hundred short stories, a number of novellas, and 16 novels—some original, some fanfiction—including A Glimmer of Hope, which was successfully Kickstarted and self-published in fall, 2016. Before she became a full-time writer, Claire had a career as a professional grant writer and program evaluator, providing consultation services for the New York City Department of Education and other non-profit education organizations.
Story Title: To Sing a Song of Many
The agora bustled with the usual business of the day. A hawker offered what they claimed were freshly gathered mushrooms. A Priest promised that the penis charms they’d blessed were especially effective at warding off evil. A Hero struck a noble pose, as if she were cast from marble instead of merely flesh clothed in bronze and linen, while beside her the two members of her Chorus sang her story. Perhaps, if she adventured long enough and successfully enough, she’d be captured in marble in truth, as the once-King Azan was in the marketplace’s center; an artist sprawled at the sculpture’s feet to refresh the bright, gilded paint of his sandals. A melee of colors, sounds, smells, and movements could have captivated, begged to captivate, but Himeros couldn’t spare them the attention he longed to, because he had bigger concerns.
How on Gaia was he going to pass through the crowd to reach the other side of the town’s center without being accosted?
Behind Himeros, his Chorus shifted impatiently. All right, no, in their defense, the four men were actually calm, patient, along for Himeros’s quest as observers and recorders and criers. It was Himeros’s jitteriness that made their normal weight-shifting, robe-swaying, and mask-adjusting seem loaded and imminent.
Truly, what was Himeros going to do?
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!