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MGB September News, Information, and Upcoming Releases

It’s September, and Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the east coast of the United States, bringing possible heavy rain and tropical storm level winds to us here in Tennessee. One of our authors will be a vendor at a local festival this weekend, so our fingers are crossed that Florence has a change of heart and stays out to sea.

Our third title, a wonderful contemporary YA work by new novelist Anne G’Fellers-Mason titled The Summer Between will be available in both print and ebook formats on October 1st, 2018. You can read the blurb on the MGB home page.

 

 

 

 

Our first title, Rhea Wells Boy of Jonesborough, will be changing distribution points later this year from CreateSpace to Ingram, and the ebook version will become available through both Amazon and other retailers. Look for more on that later. Right now, the print distribution remains through the MGB online store, the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center, and Amazon.

 

 

On a similar but different note, our second title, Cleaning House – Appalachian Elementals #1, is receiving some wonderful reviews. You can read a smattering of these in the graphic below. We’re also happy to announce that Mama, Me, and the Holiday Tree – Appalachian Elementals #1 ½ , a novella-length ebook, will be available November 5th.

 

And, last but not least, we’re assembling the 2019 publishing calendar here at MGB, and we’re looking for a few good titles that fit our guidelines. We’ll also be posting a call for submission for an anthology very soon, so be on the lookout for it.

Check back soon for the date and time for Anne G’Fellers-Mason’s first book signing event for The Summer Between.

MGB is now Open for Submissions

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We’re now taking submissions for our 2019 publishing calendar.

Keep reading for more information. (Tip: Read it all. You don’t want to face automatic rejection because you didn’t.)

First off, and this is very important: We do not accept any submissions containing erotic content. There is a fine line between sexy and erotic content. We define sexy as teasing and perhaps sensual but knowing when to shut the door on the scene. Erotic content describes body parts in fine and often slang-laden detail, their actions, and invites other in to watch. Sexy is fine. Erotica will land your submission email straight in the trash without further response.

But, wait, but my story’s erotica is different, they’re really in love, it’s the next 50 Shades of Grey, and– no. We are not interested in seeing erotic content for any reason.

Also, while we’re at it, don’t submit material that negatively stereotypes the Appalachian people. We’re a unique blend of traditions, faiths, and ethnicities, and not what’s been shown so recklessly online and by popular media. Please think hard about this before you submit because if your story negatively stereotypes Appalachia and/or its people, we’ll certainly let you know about it, and probably not in a friendly manner. You will also be blacklisted from submitting to Mountain Gap Books ever again. Not certain what constitutes an Appalachian stereotype? Look up Deliverance or The Beverly Hillbillies.

Other MGB taboos include – gratuitous violence, child abuse, rape for titillation, dubious sex, sexism… you know, the basic no-nos of a stable society. This includes conservative religious stories as well.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted as long as you notify us that you’re doing so. But we also expect you to let us know if you’ve been accepted elsewhere. Thanks.

We do not, at this time, accept reprints.

Our contract is generous. 10% of net print sales (if produced in print). 35% of net ebook sales (if produced in ebook format), and a three-year exclusive first rights contract. Also, while we’d certainly like to see your next work if you’ve published with us, you will be under no obligation to send it our direction.

Here’s what we are looking for:

Appalachian authors – this is a wide area both geographically and by definition. “Most broadly, it refers to the entire mountain range with its surrounding hills and the dissected plateau region,” (ala Wikipedia) and we agree. Furthermore, if you were born and raised in Appalachia or currently call Appalachia home, then you qualify to submit to Mountain Gap Books. This does not mean, however, that your story needs to be set in Appalachia. Actually, we’re looking for diverse stories from Appalachian authors, not just stories set in Appalachia. We don’t care who you are, your history, if you’ve published or not, your faith, whether you’re a POC or not, if you’re LGBT+, alien, a mountain spirit, or what have you— if you were born or currently reside in Appalachia, you can submit as long your work fits our guidelines.

We’re specifically looking for submissions in the following areas:

  • Adult Fiction to include general, Suspense, Thriller, Humor, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Crime, Thriller, Action, Romance, Women’s, and Realistic genres (no Dystopian novels, please)
  • YA and New Adult fiction to include general, Suspense, Thriller, Humor, Sci-Fi,  Fantasy, Crime, Thriller, Action, Romance, Women’s, and Realistic genres (no Dystopian novels, please)
  • Children’s fiction/ nonfiction – must include both interior illustrations and text (see expectations under submission guidelines)
  • You may query about adult nonfiction, but, unless it’s something new and different, chances are we won’t accept.

We are not, at this time, considering anthologies, short stories, novellas, novelettes, memoir, adult biography, adult autobiography, or single poem submissions. If and when we’re ready for such submissions, we’ll post a call.

When we are accepting submissions, our response time is 60-90 days. After that, feel free to inquire at publisher @mountaingapbooks. com

Please submit a cover letter in the body of your email. Attach the entire manuscript of your Adult, YA, or New Adult manuscript, ten poems for poetry, the entire manuscript as detailed in formatting for children’s books, as an attached file in DOCX, or RTF format. The submissions email address is publisher @mountaingapbooks. com

Your cover letter should include the following:  Your ties to Appalachia, your publication history (if any), and a brief, one-two paragraph overview of your submission (this is often called a blurb). Remember to include your contact information and any required attachments as detailed below.

And by all means, proofread your cover letter!

Submission Formatting:

We only accept submissions via email at the following address

publisher @mountaingapbooks. com  (please reassemble this for the actual address)

Please note: submissions that do not follow these basic guidelines will be deleted without any response.

How to format your submission email

  • In the subject line put the following (individualized as needed)  SUBMISSION Last Name First Name Manuscript Title
  • The body of the email should contain your cover letter with the required info
  • Remember your attachment(s) should be in MSWord or RTF format.

Adult, YA, and New Adult fiction submission files should be formatted as follows:

  • Lucinda Bright size 14 font (our submissions editor is low vision) with no changes in font throughout the manuscript
  • Double-spaced text (set in the word processor, not done manually)
  • Black text
  • There should be a page break at the end of each chapter and after the title page
  • 1-inch margins on each side.
  • Five space indents at the beginning of each paragraph with a hard return at the end of each paragraph (do not use tab indents)
  • one space between each sentence
  • scene breaks inside chapters should be marked by a *** centered on the line that separates each scene
  • On the title page of the submission, the author’s name and contact information including full name, pen name (if applicable), contact information including email address and word count should appear in the top left corner in that order.
  • The manuscript should include the Author’s last name, the title of the manuscript, and the page number in the header – all set to the right
  • No images should be included with an Adult, YA, or New Adult fiction submission

Children’s book submissions should be formatted as follows. (note: one book will require a cover letter and two separate files for proper submission)

  • The text should be in one file following the adult, YA, and New Adult fiction guidelines. No images should be included in this file. This should be submitted in DOCX or RTF format.
  • A copy of the book’s proposed interior layout including illustrations, in PDF format should be submitted (please note: we do not provide illustrators so you must provide an illustrator or a designer who knows how to properly work with images including copyrighted images. All image submissions will be carefully scrutinized for their source and availability). We will work with you concerning cover design if you are accepted for publication.
  • Do not include image attachments with your email submission. They will be asked for if the book is accepted for publication. When asked for the images should be in PNG format, though we might be able to work with JPG images as well. All images must be at least 300 DPI.

 

Thank you for your interest in Mountain Gap Books.

 

 

 

New Release: Cleaning House by Jeanne G’Fellers

It’s finally release day for Cleaning House – A Contemporary Appalachian Fantasy by Jeanne G’Fellers!

Here are a few excerpts from the ARC reviews.

Cleaning House is available online in both print and ebook form and through the Our Books tab above.

Centenary Rhodes is an old soul with a well-traveled name, but she doesn’t know this yet.

Growing up in southern Appalachia wasn’t easy, so Cent left home as soon as she could, but the post-collegiate happiness she’d expected has never occurred. She can’t find a decent date, much less find that special someone and, after losing her job in a corporate downsize, she’s struggling to meet her most basic needs. Her car has been repossessed, her bills are piling up, and her questionable North Chicago neighborhood is dangerous to navigate.

Returning home to Hare Creek, Tennessee, never crosses Cent’s mind until her Great Aunt Tess contacts her with an offer she can’t refuse. The family’s southern Appalachian homestead must be sold, and Aunt Tess needs someone to clean it up. Cent will have access to Aunt Tess’ garden and truck and can live on the homestead rent-free for as long as it takes. A part-time job is waiting for her as well.

It’s a chance to solve some of Cent’s financial woes, but will her return be enough when evil sets its sights on Embreeville Mountain and the homestead?

 Cleaning House is a carefully woven Appalachian tapestry of granny magic, haints, elementals, and the fantastic diversity of the human condition – served with a delicious side of fries and a generous quart of peach moonshine.

 

The Elevator Pitch

Today we’re sharing a post written by one of our authors, Jeanne G’Fellers, concerning her take on the dreaded elevator pitch.

Note: This post first appeared 7/15/2018 on Jeanne’s website.

Writing an elevator pitch should be easy, right? It’s just one sentence, maybe two, the gist, the… For me, it’s the process of condensing 115,000 words into a handful of meaningful, plot-hinging terms. Eek!

But wait, let’s back up. What’s an elevator pitch, you ask? It’s a marketing term used to relay an idea in less than sixty seconds, generally spoken. It’s for when you’re stuck with an agent or publisher in an elevator and have about sixty seconds to sell yourself and your work. That’s the generic reason to have a good pitch, anyway, the reason they told me to have one in grad school. But here’s the thing: I don’t live in New York, L.A,, or London, or anywhere else impressive, and the only elevator I ride in with any regularity is the one going up to the third floor of a medical office building to see my rheumatologist. I won’t be running into a publisher or agent there. So why do I need an elevator pitch? Well, here’s a list.

Someone might ask you…

Continue reading → The Elevator Pitch

Northeast Tennessee Publisher Launches Locally Set Series

OUR OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

CONCERNING OUR UPCOMING

RELEASE CLEANING HOUSE BY JEANNE G’FELLERS

 

Cleaning House: An Appalachian Contemporary Fantasy set for 8/1/18 Release

Jonesborough, TN, 7/10/2018 – Mountain Gap Books, Jonesborough, Tennessee, is proud to announce the upcoming release of their second title, Cleaning House: An Appalachian Contemporary Fantasy, by award-winning local author Jeanne G’Fellers.

Cleaning House is everything locals know best about Northeast Tennessee. Familiar shops like Atlantis, restaurants like Pal’s Sudden Service and the Willow Tree Coffee House, and locations like Jonesborough, Johnson City, and Embreeville appear alongside Appalachian traditions and fantastic elements like haints, fae, and ancient mountain spirits.

Cleaning House is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online retailers (links below). Jeanne G’Fellers and Mountain Gap Books will be celebrating the release on July 31st, 2018, from 5-7 PM, at the Willow Tree Coffee House and Music Room in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. Jeanne will be reading from Cleaning House and two copies of Cleaning House and a $20 gift card will be drawn for. You must be present to enter and win.

Amazon.com https://goo.gl/16S9Fq

Barnes & Noble https://goo.gl/nt8dZT

SHORT BLURB: Centenary Rhodes is an old soul with a well-traveled name, but she doesn’t know this yet. Cleaning House is a carefully woven Appalachian tapestry of granny magic, haints, elementals, and the fantastic diversity of the human condition – served with a side of fries and a quart of peach moonshine.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, award-winning Science Fiction and Fantasy author Jeanne G’Fellers’ early memories include watching the original Star Trek series with her father and reading the books her librarian mother brought home. Jeanne’s influences include author Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert.

Author website: https://jeannegfellersauthor.com/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlgfellers

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jeannegfellersauthor/

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Appalachian Literature or Not?: A Brief Examination of To Kill a Mockingbird

The staff here at MGB has been discussing what defines the Appalachian fiction genre, so we went searching. We read a lot of quality content, but we also came across some that caused us to raise our brows and say no. That said, this post is in direct response to THIS article.

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird does not qualify as Appalachian literature. The article linked above states that To Kill a Mockingbird is both a Southern Gothic novel and an Appalachian novel. This simply isn’t true. While there is some definite crossover in themes, most Appalachian Literature does not fit into the Southern Gothic genre, which depicts the Southern United States, specifically the deep south, and is not reflective of Appalachia’s diverse geography. The setting for To Kill a Mockingbird, Maycomb, Alabama, is fictional so, there is no real means of telling where the story is set in the state. However, the content itself leads the reader to believe it’s set further south.

Here’s a chart comparing the genres to help simplify the differences.

Quality Southern Gothic Lit. Genre Appalachian Lit. Genre
Grotesque (sometimes supernatural elements) Yes Sometimes
Damaged/delusional characters Yes Sometimes
Isolation/marginalization Yes Yes, but the isolation is often geographical in nature
Marginalization Yes Yes, but Appalachian residents are widely marginalized in media forms (no dependency on wealth, gender, or sexual orientation)
Oppression/ discrimination Yes Often financial oppression, but discrimination is rare (everyone is equally poor)
Decay Yes In coal country, yes
Deep Southern Setting Yes The Appalachians stretch from Mississippi to New York – a much larger and mountainous geographic area, parts of which cannot be considered southern
Outsider Character(s) Yes Yes
Independence/ self-reliance No – often weak characters, especially female characters Yes

Charles Reagan Wilson, Ph.D. Professor of Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi states that, “In the Southern Gothic tradition, everything has meaning…The abandoned plantation house isn’t there just to be spooky. It represents our fixation with history.” This isn’t necessarily true in Appalachian Literature. A fallen-in house might be just that, fallen-in. Furthermore, the geography often creates isolation, and it is not self-inflicted. Self-reliance is also a norm in Appalachian Literature.

In short, the article has mislabeled To Kill a Mockingbird as Appalachian Literature. So, what is Appalachian Literature? Here’s a list from Goodreads to get you started. (note: the author of this post has not read every book on this list, so if one doesn’t qualify, look elsewhere for clarification).

https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/appalachian-literature

Author Signing… with Chocolate!

If you’re going to be in Jonesborough, TN, on Saturday, February 10th, for their third annual Chocolate Fest, MGB author Brenda G’Fellers will be selling and signing her books at the Chester Inn. She’ll also be doing readings at 1:00 & 3:00.

Rhea Wells Boy of JonesboroughRhea Wells Boy of Jonesborough

Brenda G’Fellers

Children’s nonfiction

ISBN-10: 0692989196

ISBN-13: 978-0692989197

 

 

Rhea Wells is an unsung hero of the town of Jonesborough, Tennessee. He spent his life promoting theatre, books, and reading. Rhea’s legacy includes being an author, illustrator, and endowing the town’s library.

 

$9.99 via Amazon.com

Things to Come at MGB

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From our Editor-In-Chief Brenda G’Fellers:
It’s winter in Appalachia, but things are heating up here at Mountain Gap Books.  Our first publication, Rhea Wells: Boy of Jonesborough, debuted on January 26, to coincide with an exhibit of Wells’ art. The reaction has been encouraging and supportive. The next event is an appearance by the author on February 10, featuring readings at 1:00 and 3:00. The author will be available from 11:00 – 4:00 in Jonesborough, Tennessee’s Chester Inn Museum, for book sales and autographing. This children’s work tells Wells’ story for the first – fourth-grade student. Join us for a reading!
Plans for our second book, Cleaning House, continue to move forward on the accelerated schedule. This one is also set in Washington County, Tennessee. The mixture of cultures typical of the area provides magical elements for this appealing Contemporary Fantasy novel. Wait for it!
Our third release will be a young adult (YA) novel, The Summer Between. Edits are now are underway.
With a least three works this year, Mountain Gap Books covers the gamut from juvenile to the adult market. That is one of our goals. Our targeted authors are those with a connection to Appalachia. Learn more by reading our website.

Photo by Jaron Nix on Unsplash

 

We Have Arrived!

We are pleased to announce that Mountain Gap Books’ first publication, Rhea Wells Boy of Jonesborough by Brenda M. G’Fellers, is available in print now on Amazon and will be available locally beginning on January 26, 2018. This release coordinates with “Far and Away and Close to Home Reception and Art/History Talk” presented by The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee & Southwest Virginia.

The Heritage Alliance says the following about Rhea Wells: “From the Austrian Alps, to the coast of Sicily, to a village in Spain, words and art have the power to transport us around the world.  They also have the power to bring us back home to a farm in Washington County, Tennessee.  Children’s book author/illustrator Rhea Wells ventured far and wide throughout his life, but he always held his hometown of Jonesborough near and dear to his heart.

“Wells’ work will be showcased in the exhibit Far Away and Close to Home: The Art and Words of Author/Illustrator Rhea Wells which will be on display at the McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School from January 26 through February 23.  The exhibit will be open to the public from 9-5 Monday-Friday and 10-3 on Saturday.  Far Away and Close to Home is presented by the Heritage Alliance and is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

Author Brenda G’Fellers will be present at the reception to sign copies of Rhea Wells Boy of Jonesborough, a children’s nonfiction picture book about Rhea Wells’ life.  The reception will be held on January 26, 2017, from 6:30-8:30 PM at The McKinney Center 103 Franklin Ave. Jonesborough, TN 37659.

We’d love for you to join us, but if you can’t, copies of Rhea Wells Boy of Jonesborough are available on Amazon.com 

Rhea Wells Boy of Jonesborough

Brenda G’Fellers

Children’s nonfiction

ISBN-10: 0692989196

ISBN-13: 978-0692989197

 

Rhea Wells is an unsung hero of the town of Jonesborough, Tennessee. He spent his life promoting theatre, books, and reading. Rhea’s legacy includes being an author, illustrator, and endowing the town’s library.

$9.99 via Amazon.com