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Ask Dr. Pretentious

Sarah Avery
I'm an award-winning writer, an escaped academic, a grown-up army brat, an ambivalently entrepreneurial private tutor, a mother, an initiated Wiccan priestess, and longtime blogger.

I have the longest attention span you'll find anywhere outside a Buddhist monastery.

I won the 2015 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for my novella collection Tales from Rugosa Coven, published in 2013 by Dark Quest Books. You can find Tales from Rugosa Coven in all the usual places where you order books, in paper and electronic editions.

Some of the Rugosa characters made cameo appearances in my Halloween (not Samhain!) story, "New Jersey's Top Ghost Tours Reviewed and Rated," which appeared in the October 2009 issue of Baen's Universe. You can read the complete story for free here.

My first sword and sorcery story, "The War of the Wheat Berry Year," appeared in Black Gate. I've been blogging at Black Gate semi-regularly for about four years, reviewing series fantasy and writing essays on teaching and fantasy literature.

At Fantasy Scroll Magazine, you can read my slipstream story How the Grail Came to the Fisher King. Fantasy Scroll also offers an audio version, my first attempt at podcasting, here.

At my website (which is currently under heavy revision), I'll be posting more free reads, starting a newsletter with exclusive content for email subscribers, mirroring this blog, and experimenting with the various things author blogs do. If you have suggestions for favorite or least-favorite author blog features, input is very welcome.

My poetry has appeared in Calyx, Feminist Studies, Free Lunch, and Beloit Poetry Journal. Blast Press published my sonnet sequence Persephone in Washington, which you can read free in its entirety here.

In my other life, when I was a scholar, I gave papers at the annual conferences of the Modern Language Association and the American Academy of Religion. I gave a paper at the Parliament of the World's Religions once, on Neo-Pagan liturgical poetry, but I was scheduled opposite the Dalai Lama. About a dozen people showed up to hear me anyway. What could they have been thinking? Seriously, if you had to choose, would you go to hear the grad student from New Jersey, or the Dalai Lama? Yeah, me too.

After I'd been blogging as Dr. Pretentious for several years, I discovered there was a guy who used to play bass in a goth band under the same name. He's still using it on a couple of file sharing boards. I am not that guy.