What “To Mike. You’re in there” means

My just-published novel, Immunity Index, has this dedication:

To Mike. You’re in here.

Mike is my brother. He lives in Wausau, Wisconsin, and he helped me with some questions about the setting. Today is his birthday.

He appears obliquely on Page 158:

…wearing a purple T-shirt that said cancer survivor. … “I got this shirt from a neighbor. He was handing them out.…”

Mike is a cancer survivor and has quite a few purple survivor T-shirts from American Cancer Society events. He would be glad to share them with neighbors if there were a sudden need for purple clothing, so I sneaked him in, doing a good deed.

Where to hear me online: Gumbo Fiction Salon and open mic Thursday evening, May 13; and Tiny Bookcase podcast, available now

I’ll be reading a short story live at the Gumbo Fiction Salon on Thursday, May 13, which begins at 6:30 p.m. CDT. My story is about a princess who rescues dragons and battles the ultimate evil.

The show will start at 7 p.m., but it opens a half hour early for socializing and open mic sign-up. You can sign up for a 10-minute reading slot. More information is at the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/924025898432787/

It will take place on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83277758999, Meeting ID: 832 7775 8999, Passcode: MayGumbo


Meanwhile, at the Tiny Bookcase, you can hear me read a flash fiction story. The Tiny Bookcase is a short story writing and interview podcast. In each episode, the hosts, Nico and Ben, and the guest write a story using a shared prompt, then read it. The prompt in this episode was “rebooting” and the stories were intense and fun. Mine is about a woman who cursed the sea, so the sea cursed her.

Listen to it here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1129067/8485183


If you prefer to do your own reading, here’s some text related to my most recent novel, Immunity Index:

• At Uncanny Magazine, my guest blog post details “Five Reasons Not to Bring Back Woolly Mammoths.”

• Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together interviews me about Immunity Index.

Book launches for “Immunity Index” May 4 and 5

My next novel, Immunity Index, goes on sale May 4. It will have two virtual book launches.

Tuesday, May 4th, 7 to 9 p.m., @ Volumes Bookcafe. With Seanan McGuire!

Yes, award-winning author Seanan McGuire and I will talk about the novel, answer questions, and we’ll all have a lot of fun.

Tickets for this online event are free, but you can purchase a signed copy of Immunity Index as a ticket add-on. Sign up here:


Volumes Bookcafe is a Chicago neighborhood independent bookstore café founded by two sisters who aimed to create a warm and inviting community space for book lovers of all ages.

Wednesday, May 5, @ A Room of One’s Own, 6 to 7 p.m.

Special guest will be Kit Rocha, the writing duo of Donna Harren and Bree Bridges, authors of the Mercenary Librarians series. A Room of One’s Own is a local, independent, feminist bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin, where much of Immunity Index takes place. Register here:


Room offers a wide selection of current and classic fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, local interest titles, gifts, toys, and greeting cards. It also has strong children’s and young adult, women’s studies, and LGBTQ fiction and nonfiction sections.

My story at Daily Science Fiction: “Magic Rules Zero Through Four”

My flash fiction story, “Magic Rules Zero Through Four” was just published by Daily Science Fiction! Only 475 words. Read it here:


In the author story comments, I talk about what led to this story:

“My favorite words are but and what if. One day I thought about the way that the laws of thermodynamics begin with zero. What if magic had rules that started with zero, too? Our understanding of thermodynamics gives us great powers, but what powers would the rules of magic give us? This story offers one answer, but what if there are better answers?”


My next novel, Immunity Index, goes on sale May 4.