We’re entering the home stretch on Duck Prints Press’s third crowdfunding campaign. She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars are anthologies of wlw and mlm stories that share a common theme: masquerades, the queerer and more unusual the better! The 18 stories in each anthology – 36 stories total if you get both books! – are set in many different times and places and genres, and feature diverse queer and genderqueer characters…and every story has a happy ending!
Also – did you know? Patreon and ko-fi backers at the $10 and $25 level who also back the Seed & Spark campaign will get a campaign-exclusive bonus (on top of all the other awesome benefits our monthly backers receive, like free stories, access to our Discord and backer blog, and more!)! So, consider becoming a regular Duck Prints Press supporter; be an even more awesome person, and get even more awesome stuff!
After July 15th, 4 PM Eastern Time, you won’t be able to get these books in-print again – so back now to make sure you don’t miss out!
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: Veronica Sloane
Biography: Veronica Sloane has authored a novel, several short stories, some poetry, and twenty-two years worth of fanfic. She lives with one lovely spouse, one rambunctious clever child, and one sleepy cat.
“I don’t mind sharing my hiding spot, but you’re on my foot.”
“Sorry!” Gunther jumped, moving his offending foot away.
“No problem. I get it – it’s a lot.”
His neighbor in the hiding spot was an average size, but surprisingly broad at the shoulders. He was wearing a dark-brown jacket, zippered all the way up like a suit. He had a tremendous nose that bumped out from his face and lovely, lush lips that were bisected diagonally by a scar. His eyebrows were thick and dark, matching his hair. He must have the longest hair of anyone in the room, the curls descending to sweep entirely over his forehead.
“I haven’t seen this many people in one place since graduation,” Gunther agreed, scanning the crowd for line green.
“Weren’t expecting that when you agreed to come?”
“I was,” he admitted. “I promised to meet a friend. I couldn’t back out.”
“I know the feeling. At least we’re not alone.”
She Wears the Midnight Crown Contributor Spotlight: Willa Blythe
Biography: Willa Blythe made her storytelling debut at age 4 with indie smash “Sam the Stinky Skunk,” and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her first audience—her grandparents—shared a love of art and craft with her that remains central to Willa’s writing practice over thirty years later. Today, she lives in New York with her family and primarily writes queer romance and speculative fiction.
Willa’s stories have been published previously in Duck Prints Press’s Add Magic to Taste, and Zombies Need Brains’ Brave New Worlds.
Lyric’s feet flew over the cobbled streets of the market as she slipped through the swarm of bodies. Moonrise was in an hour, and people had already begun to spill from their work out into the last bit of light for the day, hurrying, scurrying home.
Can’t be out at night, can’t touch a stranger, can’t ever, ever, ever let the Beast see your face.
Behind her, she heard the Butcher calling her name. She put on speed, twisting through the masked populace, barely seeing them. They moved around her in a complex dance, one they improvised every morning and every night as they did their errands. Their clothing was mostly plain, but serviceable: simple garments of naturally dyed linen, cotton, hemp, and wool. But their masks glittered in the fading light, making rainbows from crystals that hung on beaded strands, or perfuming the air with little bouquets of fresh flowers attached with ribbon. Each mask – each face – bore its own purpose and name, and though Lyric did not know most of them, she knew the expression behind them, the one that almost everyone in the Dominion had worn since the Curse Speaker had created the Brightshadow Beast in their midst a thousand years ago.
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!
Duck Prints Press LLC is over the moon to share our next to anthologies with you: She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars!
These two anthologies share a common theme – masquerades – and each features different kinds of relationships. She Wears the Midnight Crown contains 18 wlw stories; He Bears the Cape of Stars contains 18 mlm stories. Both collections tell myriad stories exploring how these characters’ relationships develop, grow, and change while they attend or participate in masquerades!
Our 36 contributors have stretched their imaginations to present innovative stories exploring what a masquerade can be…and, of course, tell rich, engaging tales of wonderful queer folk finding love, companionship, acceptance, the queer platonic relationship of their dreams, or the found family they deserve. The collected works feature characters in all the colors of the Pride rainbow, queer and genderqueer, and these diverse individuals inhabit worlds ranging from science fiction settings where everyone must be masked to breathe, to fantasies where no one wears a literal mask but everyone shows the world a false guise, to iterations of the real world where some people lean into deception.
You’re definitely not going to want to miss it – you can buy one book or both books, some merch, or all merch – we’ve got 8 backer levels to help you get exactly what you want!
We’d love for you to attend the masquerade! Don your mask and read on…
36 remarkable authors—18 for He Bears the Cape of Stars, 18 for She Wears the Midnight Crown—have come together for this project. These authors have been toiling away on their stories since February 1st, 2022, and we’re currently work with them on edits to get them publication-ready. We’re delighted to share their work with you!
Presenting And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”
Duck Prints Press has launched our second Kickstarter, running now through April 14th, 2022 – And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, a gorgeous collection featuring the work of 16 authors and 16 artists in a full-color, A4 size soft cover size-style book!
Today, we’re highlighting 2 more of our authors…
Author Spotlight: Lyn Weaver
Biography: Lyn Weaver has been writing fanfiction for over a decade and original fiction for even longer. Her preferred genres are fantasy and horror, and her preferred tropes are ‘enemies to lovers’ and anything to do with identity issues. She won’t read a story if something bad happens to the cat.
Story Title: Can Virtue Hide Itself?
Tags: modern with superheroes
Bea grimaced. “Your feet aren’t even on the tree, Hero. Hey, innocent bystander Hero definitely hasn’t met, you wouldn’t happen to have a ladder handy?”
Ursula grimaced back. Just because she lived alone didn’t mean she was a real adult. “I’m a high school student, why would I have a ladder?”
“Does your landlord—”
“I do have an anti-grav gun though. Hang on, I’ll get it.”
Both Hero and Bea looked shocked when Ursula came back, multi-colored anti-grav gun in hand.
Yeah, the device kinda looked like it’d been made by a balloon clown, but it worked like a dream. Bea flinched when Ursula pulled the trigger and remained stiff as she lifted off the branch, cradled in a sphere of wobbly gravity. Only when her feet were safely on the ground, and Ursula had turned the gun off, did Bea relax.
“That’s so cool!” Hero kicked off the tree and flew down.
Ursula coughed and looked away. “It was nothing. Why were two superheroes in my tree to begin with?”
Author Spotlight: Veronica Sloane
Biography: Veronica Sloane has authored a novel, several short stories, some poetry, and twenty-two years worth of fanfic. She lives with one lovely spouse, one rambunctious clever child, and one sleepy cat.
A smart tweed suit and, as a concession to the occasion, a string of my mother’s pearls would have to do for clothes. I kept to flats. Never knew when I’d have to run.
Claudio’s estate was outside the city, but I had a good car and the desire to speed. I arrived before the bulk of the fashionably late and parked myself, scandalizing the valet. The estate was the kind that had a fancy name and rose out of the cliff face like a fairy-tale castle. At night it shone like a golden beacon.
I took my time heading up, reminding myself of its entrances and exits; all the places a shady character might hide. So, naturally, I found one.
They were standing in the lee of the kitchen door, half-hidden by a jasmine bush. The white flowers bent around them as if to hide their lean form. They were dressed to the nines in a beautiful silk suit the color of the night sky and cufflinks that caught the starlight. The moon caught the sharp angles of their cheekbones and the gleaming black coif of their hair. All beauty and grace in one Benni Padua.
What an asshole.
“What are you doing here?” I barked, pleased when they fumbled with their fussy little notebook.
“I was invited.” They were the very picture of polite confusion. “And what are you doing here, Her Private Eyeness?”
You can read more about the collection, and more teasers, by visiting our Kickstarter! Running now through April 14th, 2022!
I’m an illustration and comic artist from Spain. I’ve got a nursing degree, but I decided to pursue my passion. I have studied Illustration at EASD Pablo Picasso in A Coruña and comics at O Garaxe Hermético in Pontevedra. I have done cover art for an anthology called Infiniteca by Retranca Editorial and comics for Altar Mutante, Nai dos Desterrados, and Abraxas en Cuarentena fanzines, as well as in Gaspariño 21 by Retranca Editorial.
I’m Joshua Beeking, an illustrator from Québec City that works in both traditional and digital medias. I have been working on sharpening my skills for over 10 years. I received formal education at Quebec’s O’Sullivan College, where I earned a diploma in 2D/3D Animation and Rendering in 2012. I won first place at the UQAM digital creation contest in 2011 for best character designs.
I’m currently a full time freelance artist with more than 200 commissions completed over the years, and aim to share my little touch of creativity with the world!
I’m a freelance artist currently living in Michigan with my boyfriend and my dog Ringus Mingus (aka Gus). I’ve been doing freelance work for a few years now and am currently working on making a webcomic series about gay Renaissance Faire knights. In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing video games poorly, and baking.
Amy Fincher (she/her) is a producer and artist with over a dozen years of experience in the video game and animation industries. She has contributed to various AAA and indie titles, including the Civilization, XCOM, and Skylanders series. Amy is currently working on Open Roads as Executive Producer. When the mood strikes and time allows, she teaches art classes and takes on art commissions on the side. Her hobbies include learning aerial silks, collecting aesthetically pleasing empty containers, looking at shiny rocks, and taking very long naps.
Taylor C. Fischer
Taylor graduated from the Maryland Institute College of art in 2010. They believe that there are experiences and stories that can connect all of us with the aid of illustration and design. Their previous projects include: Dauntless, Elderscrolls Online, Sid Meier’s: Civilization, League of Legends, and Xcom
Taylor’s continues to create personal work in their free time, but also enjoys raising farm animals, horseback riding, training horses, beekeeping, and lives in their Tiny House on wheels.
Giovanna, or simply Gio, she/her, is a Brazilian artist, working for a long time as illustrator, comic artist and animator. Some of her works are the comics Robocop and Green Hornet, cards for Avatar: The Last Airbender, short animations for advertising and TV shows, and art for games. Since 2016, lives in São Paulo and works for an American game company as Senior Illustrator. Besides the “official” work, she is always working in personal projects, such as independent comics, short animations, illustrations, and fandom works.
Alicia Matheson (she/her), Bi-Demisexual and Elder Millenial circa 1982! Southern California native, currently living in the Pacific Northwest; has been writing and doing digital and traditional art for decades. She also works as an author under the pen name Licie Laine.
I’ve been drawing since my mom first put a crayon in my hand as a way to help express my emotions. This resulted in bedroom walls getting covered in elaborate story-filled murals, and I haven’t really stopped since (though my choice of media has changed a bit). My pronouns are she/her, and I currently I reside in the Toronto area, trying to figure out how to make this comic-making, illustration-drawing thing work. With a strong love for narratives, my primary focus is on making fan art for whatever fandom has me most recently captivated, and trying to create my own queer, nerdy works of fiction to put out in the world.
I am a 30 year old artist from Indiana. After playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I fell in love with the game and with digital art, and haven’t looked back since! I enjoy creating fanart for whatever show, movie, or book series has my attention at the time, ranging from LoZ to the Witcher. I’m always exploring to find new artists to emulate and learn from, and trying new techniques!
Magnolia Porter, 24; I’m an illustrator and painter who enjoys figure expression, both grand and sentimental, what it means to be a creature, and exploiting my exposure to the ideas of holy and unholiness for symbolism material, especially while exploring a mixture thereof (“I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife,” anyone?). This will be my first published art, outside of a fandom zine or two. I also dabble in creative writing, though it is not quite my breath and blood like art is. I daydream of fantasy worldbuilding, but unfortunately my troubles with plot have kept those worlds from expanding. Currently, I am in my fourth year of Artfight (go team steampunk!), I cannot stop listening to The Oh Hellos and Will Wood and the Tapeworms, and I am quite looking forward to the new Good Omens series.
I’m a they/them ace-spectrum trash panda with a love for political science and working hard to change the world one act of kindness at a time. I’m a graphic designer by day, a multimedia creator and writer by night, and I’ve been involved with various fandom communities for nearly twenty five years. I live in Portland, OR with my 7 year old son and two cats.
I’m Xanthe, she/they, a 23 year old queer freelance artist based in the United Kingdom. I am primarily a portrait artist who specialises in using portraiture as a way of expressing my love for both the subject and art world in general. I mainly work digitally, although love to dabble in traditional art from time to time (such as pencils, paints, embroidery, etc), and am constantly looking to push the boundaries of what my art can be! I recently graduated with a BA in History of Art, and often will use artists of the past and present as inspirations for my work. My art has been featured in a few primarily online magazines, such as the Kraze and MouthingOff, along with some fan-zine and independent projects.
My work is a mix of fan art and original character designs. I have a wide range of fandoms that I’ve been involved in over the years, but one that has remained consistent (and was also what got me interested in digital art back in 2013) is the Kpop fandom. Fandoms in general have been places where I’ve met a lot of really talented and lovely people who have helped inspire and motivate me as a creative person! I also have a love for music and writing, and have written a lot of my own music and stories in my spare time. Being creative has always been a big and happy part of my life, and I love being able to share that creativity with the world!
Casei is a self-taught artist from Florida, USA. She is known for her impressionist fanart and her minimalist pride merch. For work, she designs and mocks up merch for clients. She doesn’t care about her pronouns.
I am a Luxembourg/Europe-based Media Writer. My preferred pronouns are she/her. I’ve never had an art piece published before, but a small screenplay made it into my university’s 10th anniversary anthology.
Growing up, art and literature were my passion. As an absolute language nerd, I went on to study English Literature and Linguistics with a heavy focus on Shakespeare, with Sociology as a Minor. Later, I switched to a BTS (“Brevet de Technicien Supérieur”) in Media Writing, which focused more on content creation for various outlets of media, be that visual, audio, print, online, film, journalism…what have you.
Drawing and painting have always been my preferred ways of expressing myself. I was gifted my first set of coloured pencils when I was three years old. Since then, there’s practically always been some sort of drawing utensil in my hand. I love to play with lighting, and my favourite scenes to depict are heartfelt moments with much emotion. I started drawing fan art when I was a teenager, and I am still enjoying it tremendously to this day. Outside of fandom, I like to draw and paint horses, especially in movement, and landscapes. I specialise in digital art but I want to get back into watercolour and gouache.
At the moment, my main fandom is “The Untamed”, or “The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation”. Outside of that, I enjoy Marvel movies, fantasy/YA novels, and French poetry. When I’m not working or drawing, you can catch me crocheting or preparing some kind of food, which I love to share with my long-term partner.
I’m a disaster pansexual woman, and a fresh graduate with my bachelors degree but absolutely no direction! Despite that, I don’t remember a breath in which I wasn’t creating stories in my mind. Weaving together worlds has always felt like just a different way for me to understand the human condition and to connect with others on a deeper, more spiritual level, and I never want to give it up. I crave quiet, relatable tales about the connection and love between people in whatever form that takes, and how people work through the tribulations that may come about from that intimacy. I am currently residing in the Midwest of the United States with my Palestinian family, our puppy Charles, and our lovely chickens, with a particular affinity of poetry, spending time with friends, and typing away on my laptop in our local cafe.
Juno is a queer woman in her thirties living in France; she teaches ESL and English literature. She’s been involved in fandom, mostly through writing fanfiction, for twenty years — first on forums and privately hosted websites, then on LiveJournal and FanFiction.Net, and now on Tumblr and AO3. She’s mostly into Asian dramas these days; other interests include foreign languages, true crime, and coffee.
Well, if I actually think about it carefully, it has probably been longer than that. I do remember writing a story on MS Paint when my age was still single digits. I could have used Word but Paint was funnier, it let me draw my scenes there too.
So maybe I should rephrase it: I have been a fanfic writer for over 20 years. There, that looks a bit better. I wrote a few originals too, but those never saw the light of day. They will, eventually.
I like to write about characters and their development. I like to write about feelings and struggles and how complicated life can be even when it looks so simple. I like to write epic love stories that don’t always have a happy ending. But most often they do.
I will, one day, write a dystopian series that I’ve been plotting for over a decade. One day, certainly one day. Aside from being a writer, I’m a reader, an opinionated mind, an Aries, an immigrant, a coffee lover, and a night owl that has been forced to conform to the social norm of waking up early only to become a “Morgenmuffel.”
I am passionate, energetic, lazy, and sarcastic. I’m a CrazyCatLady in the making, a food lover that cannot cook, the Man™ my grandma wanted me to marry, and a happy soul in my own shoes.
And, above all, I am weird. I am queer. And so damn proud of it.
Aria L. Deair is an author who has been writing, and (while cursing her excessive comma usage) publishing fanfiction online for more than sixteen years. Freelance writer by day, and author every other hour that she isn’t sleeping, she spends her days courting carpal tunnel and “forgetting” to wear her wrist brace.
As a proud member of more fandoms than she can count, Aria can be found blogging about some of the writing that she is avoiding doing at arialerendeair.tumblr.com.
Like a dragon with her hoard, she can be found in her New Hampshire apartment, surrounded by notebooks (most of which are empty), half-filled mugs of tea, and some of the comfiest blankets that have ever existed. Disturb her at your own risk, especially during NaNo Season.
Adrian Harley is an almost-lifelong North Carolinian and a fantasy fiction aficionado who didn’t start delving deep into fandom until adulthood. In an effort to reduce the number of unread books in their hoard, they have recently started reviewing books they possess at booksinmyhouse.dreamwidth.org. They are an editor of research by day and an aspiring novelist, also by day. They go to bed early. They live in Raleigh, NC, with their husband and a perfectly reasonable number of cats.
R. L. Houck is a 40 yr old woman who uses she/her pronouns. She resides in Virginia with her wife, two dogs, and six cats. She has been writing creatively for as long as she can remember, but this anthology will be her first original publication.
Hayley Hyde is a chaotic neutral writer and visual artist. Having recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Writings, she currently works as a freelance copywriter, while also fumbling about in her pursuit of a TV writing career. As a former writing center tutor, Hayley knows no bliss quite like tutees coming in with fiction assignments. She’s currently busy being a big ol’ lesbian in Philadelphia.
Lucy K.R. (she/her) is technically in existence. Every time she is free, she writes. Sometimes, when she is not free, she writes anyway. Therefore, she has taken it upon herself to pursue an authorial career rather than shirking responsibilities in search of the writing time she needs. She is fortunate to be joined by her enthusiastic fiancée Tomo, a loving OG family, and a lively found family as well.
Though a new name in original fiction, she boasts a couple publications in local newspaper Flagpole, and has done some writing for board and video games. Most notably, her work will be featured in the upcoming board game Mageling: Rise of the Ancient Ones. She maintains an eager following for her Final Fantasy VII fanfictions, and in the past year began writing in the Heaven Official’s Blessing universe as well to warm responses.
She comes to writing with a background in upright bass performance, a general interest in most things, and little relevant experience. She is the kind of person who enjoys learning one piece of information about everything without ever acquiring a specialty. In her written works Lucy K. enjoys exploring the fragility and endurance inherent in humanity, the effects of trauma on relationships, and the paradoxical brotherhood of confinement and freedom in society.
She would like to acknowledge that she has never written a biographical statement that did not turn out weird, beg your indulgence, and express her hope that you enjoy her work in this anthology. The people at Duck Prints Press have been a delight, and she is deeply grateful to be included.
Nickel (they/them) was born in a galaxy far, far away. No. Wait. That’s not their origin story. They currently live in Pennsylvania with two of their three partners, their two children, and a fat, lazy, chonk of a cat named Sphinx. When not writing, Nickel can be found drawing, playing video games, or running Magic: The Gathering tournaments as an L1 judge. They can frequently be found lurking in the Haven, Leverage, and Witcher fandoms.
M.K. Mads has been writing stories since she was seven years old. While she is most prolific in fanfiction and has works scattered among more than a dozen fandoms, she has been making strides into original fiction. Her favorite genre to read is romance. When she isn’t reading, writing, or falling headfirst into a new fandom, she can be found baking, walking, doting on her niblings, or playing Pokemon Go.
Nova Mason spent a significant portion of her childhood fantasizing about dragons, spaceships, and other worlds. She is now, allegedly, a grown-up, with two kids, and more varied interests. Dragons, spaceships, and other worlds are still pretty high in the list, though.
A. Reilly is an avid reader, and has been writing stories as long as they can remember. Around eight years old, they saved up their allowance one nickel and dime at a time to buy a typewriter — which they still have, although they mostly use a Mac now. Adaille joined the fanfic and fanart scene in 2018 after years in the Supernatural fandom, and has been hooked on the community ever since.
Hi! I’m Notte (she/they). I’ve been a writer since I was 12 years old, which is when I started reading fanfiction and almost immediately felt compelled to write some, too. I started in the Percy Jackson fandom, then moved through various medias until my stories started becoming so AU they were practically my own. While I’ve never published original fiction before, I’ve been publishing fanfiction steadily over the last decade across various usernames and have published articles under my given name for multiple genres: interview, research, and more. I’ve also begun songwriting, and recently had one of my songs incorporated into a video game!
My fiction writing tends towards introspective, character-driven short stories, often laden with metaphor and double meanings. I love flowery imagery and poetic prose, and making characters suffer in the name of growth. More than that, I love using fiction as a way to connect with others: both through the text and through the process of writing. I’ve been running a fandom server for the past two years to build community and support other fanfic writers. I’ve also run two to three prompt months per year, and I’m excited to take on the beta and co-head mod role for a current zine!
When I’m not writing, I’m studying (for grad school, for a future medical school, for research work). Any time after that goes into reading as much as possible, or recently, graphic design, as I start creating graphics to enhance the quality of my events. I love talking to people who want to talk to me, and I will sleep anytime I’m presented with a soft surface to lay on (and sometimes even without). I can’t wait to share my work with you, thank you for taking the time to read it!
Theresa Tanner (she/her): My father’s family was in newspaper journalism, and he taught me how to get to the heart of a story and how to proofread. My mom was an Army doctor, and her family included a long history of educators. I grew up to teach high school science and write stories, so I’d like to think both sides would be proud of me. When I retire from teaching, I plan to pursue writing as my second full-time career. When not teaching or writing, I enjoy playing with my cat, video games, knitting, listening to music, streaming TV, and, of course, reading. I live in West Texas now, but have lived in Maryland and Germany and traveled through much of the United States and Western Europe.
I’ve written several novels with the help of NaNoWriMo, although none are yet published. I have several hundred works on Archive of Our Own, primarily in the Supernatural and Yuri!!! on Ice fandoms. I currently also enjoy Miraculous Ladybug, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Boku no Hero Academia, Star Wars, Star Trek, Mass Effect, and The Lord of the Rings.
K.B. Vimes lives in West Virginia with his fiance and their six cats, four frogs, three lizards, one frog, and a number of fish. In his spare time he makes paper craft, takes long walks with his fiance, and visits state parks. He’s been writing since he was old enough to hold a pencil, and for years has told stories to anyone willing to hold still long enough to listen.
Lyn Weaver has been writing fanfiction for over a decade and original fiction for even longer. Her preferred genres are fantasy and horror and her preferred tropes are ‘enemies to lovers’ and anything to do with identity issues. She won’t read a story if something bad happens to the cat.
Nicole has been publishing her writing for the public since she first stumbled into fanfiction back in 2007, when a college friend introduced her to the concept through the world of Final Fantasy VIII slash fiction. Since then, it’s been a roller coaster ride straight through dozens of fandoms, eventually leading to original content published through a variety of means. She’s in her mid-thirties, uses she/her pronouns, and more recently has discovered an intense affection for playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Cat currently lives in California with her succulent Teddy. She published her first novel by the name of “Guardian” with the pseudonym Ann O. Nemos (after reading too much Agatha Christie) at the age of 14. Besides writer, she enjoys fiber crafts and swimming.