Family is filled with magic. It could be the warm magic of love, with bonds between parents and children or siblings that can never be broken; it could be the bitter magic of old resentments and keen disappointments, to be guarded and displayed like fine artwork on the wall. It could be achingly beautiful or terrifyingly cruel.
So when Lagrange Books put out a call for short stories focused on the theme of "family," we had no idea what kinds of stories we would get. Our authors blew us away! The resulting anthology, The Wand that Rocks the Cradle: Magical Stories of Family, is at turns poignant, breathtaking, tender, and brutal—reveling in the thorniest conflicts and deepest emotions that family can create.
We have an amazing lineup of authors and stories:
Misha Burnett, "She That Was So Proud and Wild"
Marion Deeds, "Bellwethers Know Best"
Michelle F Goddard, "The Lake Cottage"
Elana Gomel, "The Dragon Detector"
W.O. Hemsath, "Coffee Break"
Joanna Michal Hoyt, "Legacy"
Frank Saverio, "To Find a Peach"
P.L. Sundeson, "Dead in First Grade"
And now, you have the opportunity to pre-order your copy, and get other cool gifts as a thank-you!
About Lagrange Books
Lagrange Point: Noun.
- A point in space where a small body with negligible mass under the gravitational influence of two large bodies will remain at rest relative to the larger ones. In a system consisting of two large bodies (such as the Sun-Earth system or the Moon-Earth system), there are five Lagrangian points (L1 through L5).
- A stopping place between two worlds, where you can float free of all constraints; a place of infinite possibility and endless perspective on where you have been and where you could go next…
Lagrange Books is a project of Oren Litwin. This will be the third multiple-author anthology he's edited. The first, The Odds Are Against Us, is a collection of military fiction published by Liberty Island Media; the second, a fantasy anthology called Ye Olde Magick Shoppe, was the inaugural publication of Lagrange Books.
About the Authors
Misha Burnett: Misha has been writing poetry and fiction for around forty years. During this time he has supported himself and his family with a variety of jobs, including locksmith, cab driver, and building maintenance. His first four novels, Catskinner’s Book, Cannibal Hearts, The Worms Of Heaven, and Gingerbread Wolves comprise a series, “The Book Of Lost Doors.” Major influences include Tim Powers, Samuel Delany, William Burroughs, and Phillip K. Dick.
Marion Deeds lives in northern coastal California, which is the most beautiful place in the world, and she's not biased at all. (She's willing to admit that Iceland is a close second.) Her short fiction has been published in Podcastle, Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, and in the anthologies Strange California and Beyond the Stars, Unimagined Realms. She's a conventional storyteller in an experimental world, someone who loves to walk, read, daydream, watch squirrels and feed the local crows. Catch up with her on Twitter: @mariond_d.
Michelle F Goddard is a musician who has performed around the world, and a composer with credits to her name for songs in musicals and films. Her short fiction has been published in Reality Skimming Press’s Water anthology, and Iguana Books’ Blood is Thicker anthology with more publications forthcoming. She is presently working on several short stories and a Science Fiction novel.
Elana Gomel was born in a country that no longer exists and has visited every continent but Africa and Antarctica. In addition to being a cosmopolitan and a part-time fantasy and science fiction writer, she is a full-time academic focusing on narrative theory. Elana is an Associate Professor at the Department of English and American Studies, Tel-Aviv University, and has been a Visiting Scholar at Princeton, Stanford, and University of Hong Kong.
W.O. Hemsath loves writing anything with a speculative twist and believes the everyday world holds a little magic for anyone willing to look for it. She has a B.A. in Screenwriting from Chapman University, has sold and/or published multiple flash fiction and short story pieces, and is currently revising a YA sci-fi novel. Her secret love is writing song parodies, and there is precious little she won't do in this world for a good back scratch or brownie a la mode. While she has lived on three different continents (and traveled to two others), she currently resides in Minnesota with her husband and four sons.
Joanna Hoyt lives with her family on a Catholic Worker farm in upstate New York where she spends her days tending goats, gardens and guests and her evenings reading and writing stories. She has been part of a church group that did outreach to migrant workers and offered hospitality to those who were injured. Her stories have recently appeared in publications including Factor Four Fiction, Metapsychosis, and Upper Rubber Boot Books’ anthology Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good.
Frank Saverio grew up reading the likes of Piers Anthony, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Stephen R. Donaldson. He lives in central Oregon with his wife, where he is working on his first fantasy novel. He has also written more than two dozen crime fiction novels under the name Frank Zafiro.
P.L. Sundeson is a native New Orleanian who hates the climate and the parades, yet still draws inspiration from the city. He has done time as a delivery driver, radio announcer/producer, and computer programmer/analyst/technical writer, and since 2002 has worked as an administrator for Tulane University. His short stories have appeared in online magazines Crime and Suspense, Thrilling Detective, Mysterical-E, and Under the Rainbow. In February 2019 his short story "One Summer Night, With Spirits" won first place in the inaugural New Orleans Public Library Winter Writing Contest.
All backers at the $5 level and up will get the ebook edition of The Wand that Rocks the Cradle in your preferred format, and will also get a special thank-you in the Acknowledgements. Plus, anyone who pledges $20 or more (all pledge levels include shipping) will receive the paperback edition in its full glory.
But we didn't stop there. Chip in $5 extra, and you will also receive a Kickstarter-exclusive bonus collection of five additional short stories from our authors: "The Hopeful Bodies of the Young" by Misha Burnett, "Location, Location, Location" by Marion Deeds, "Eternity" by Elana Gomel, “Losing the Magic” by W.O. Hemsath, and "Sea-Changes" by Joanna Hoyt. In addition, you will get the "remastered" ebook edition of Ye Olde Magick Shoppe, Lagrange Books' previous fantasy anthology.
But wait, there's more...
First, author Frank Saverio has generously offered the first five books of his "River City" series of police procedurals, written under the name of "Frank Zafiro." This gripping series is sure to delight fans of police drama and crime fiction, and it can be yours in the digital format of your choice.
For budding authors, editor Oren Litwin is offering 2-page story critiques on your fiction (up to 10,000 words). This is a great way to get feedback on your writing, and get cool rewards in the process.
Even better, two of our authors are offering special rewards. For a limited number of backers, editor extraordinaire Joanna Hoyt will provide a full content edit of your fiction (up to 10,000 words), and will copyedit your revision. (See fine print below.*) And W.O. Hemsath will write a custom flash fiction story to your specifications! (See fine print below.**)
And for the really exclusive experience...
One generous backer will have the opportunity to be our Patron of the Arts, and dedicate the book as you choose (subject to good taste). Or, you can be our Media Mogul and sponsor the creation of the audiobook edition, which will begin with a message from you!
(Note: in the event that we have a Media Mogul without reaching our audiobook stretch goal as described below, the audiobook will be produced anyway; but it will not be included as an automatic backer reward.)
If you want to order more than 3 books, you can add on additional paperback copies for $12 each; stay tuned for details. If you want to order more than one of the advanced packages, please message us so we can work out your total pledge.
How will we use the funding?
The initial use of the funding will be to commission an excellent cover for the anthology. An attractive cover sets the tone for the whole book, and we want our cover to be worthy of the stories it will contain. And as a rule, the more you spend on a cover, the higher quality it tends to be; so more Kickstarter donations will yield a better cover, to a point.
But if we should greatly exceed our Kickstarter goal, there are a number of fun things on the shopping list. One important item is compensating the authors better; at the moment, we've offered a royalty share with guaranteed payment of $25, but that's hardly a fair value for the incredible stories they've contributed. Your support can give the authors you love the value they deserve, with these exciting...
$750: Author royalty minimums go up from $25 to $50.
$1,000: More attractive interior design.
$1,250: Author royalty minimums go up to $75.
$1,500: We will commission two pieces of black-and-white interior artwork, with a theme of magical families—and backers at the $25 level and above will get the full-size digital images!
$2,000: Author royalty minimums go up to $100.
$3,000: Audiobook edition! All backers at the $25 level and above will receive the audiobook in addition to their other rewards.
$4,000: Hardcover edition! Backers will be able to increase their pledge and upgrade their paperbacks to hardcover.
A Personal Note From Oren Litwin:
For many years, I've dreamed of helping the power of crowds to change the world. And now, it's real. It was backers like you who made The Odds Are Against Us a reality, and that means more paying work for authors and more joy for readers.
I knew that the more anthologies I produced, the more I would learn and the better they would get. What I didn't expect were all the new relationships that would form, as I got to know and work with fantastic authors from around the world. This has been an incredibly enriching experience.
And we're not stopping now. Join me now in making The Wand that Rocks the Cradle the best book it can be!
*Editing by Joanna Hoyt: The Fine Print
I don't edit stories which contain X-rated erotica or graphically gruesome depictions of torture/rape/child abuse. I also don't edit stories which portray all members of any (actually existing human) race, ethnicity, religion, gender or orientation as evil or inferior.
**Custom Flash Fiction by W.O. Hemsath: The Fine Print
· Donor will receive one (1) flash fiction story (appx 500 words) that they are free to share with family and friends in any non-income-generating method. Author must be properly credited in every shared version, and any alterations to the story require Author approval.
· Author will retain full rights to the story and may alter, sell, or publish it at their discretion.
· Donor may provide the author with none, some, or all of the following information to customize the story, which the Author will make every reasonable effort to accommodate:
o Requested genre (please note that Author excels best in light sci-fi or magical realism genres but will gladly attempt others).
o Intended audience (kids vs. adults)
o 1-2 character names along with a brief description (100 words or less) of their appearance and general personality traits or talents
o A brief (30 words or less) description of a plot prompt or desired story element. (i.e. – “I want to see magical bank robbers.” Or “Please include unicorns” or “This is a birthday gift for my 8 yr old nephew who loves dinosaurs.”)
o Any trigger warnings or tropes to avoid (e.g. werewolves, kidnappings, animal violence, kissing, use of the word moist, etc.)
o Author will NOT include profanity, graphic violence or overly sexual content, and does not have the background to tackle LGBTQ+ themes or relationships. Author will also not write fanfic using another author’s characters or worlds (i.e. don’t ask to read about your first year at Hogwarts or that time you piloted the T.A.R.D.I.S.)
· Author will have up to four (4) months from receipt of donor’s customization requests to return a completed digital pdf of the story to the email address provided by the donor. If there is a specific deadline the story is needed by prior to that, Author will do her best to accommodate but makes no guarantee.
· The story submitted by the Author to the Donor will be considered fulfillment of the deal. The Author is not obligated to revise the submitted story to satisfy the Donor in any way. (If there are line edits or other small reasonable changes requested, Author will make every reasonable effort to accommodate, but makes no guarantee.)
· The fulfillment of this offer and related communications regarding its fulfillment will be strictly between the Donor and the Author W.O. Hemsath. Donor will not hold Oren Litwin or Lagrange Publications responsible for any aspect of its fulfillment.
Risks and challenges
This will be my third published anthology. Furthermore, the stories are already selected and editing has begun. The anthology will absolutely be created and published, barring acts of God.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)