Where The Thoughts Actually Are

Posted in Announcements, General Blogging

Essays, More Awards, And An Open Call – 2018 So Far

Hello everyone!

I realized it’s been far too long since I last updated my blog and wanted to take a chance to catch you up on what’s been going on in the world of M.H. Norris since I last updated.


As most of you may know, All The Petty Myths finally released at the end of last year featuring my story, “Midnight.” You can get it in print or ebook format. The collection took home several awards in the 2017 Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll. “Midnight” placed second in the Best Mystery category, “Locked Room” by Marc Sorondo was voted Best Science Fiction & Fantasy short story, and James Bojaciuk’s “Dopplegangers (and Other Artistic Piffle) was voted Best Steampunk Short Story.

All The Petty Myths was years in the making and turned into such a fantastic project and I’m incredibly proud to have worked with all the authors in the collection.

Children Of Time CoverI had the honor of writing an essay for a Doctor Who charity collection, Children of Time: The Companions Of Doctor WhoIt was fun to write about K-9 and talk about how I met the man behind the tin dog last year.  The collection also features some work from a lot of my friends and we cover a variety of companions from all eras of the show.

The Raconteur Roundtable entered its third season and we’ve had some amazing guests on including: Louise Jameson, Kara Dennison, and Jacqueline Rayner (which for me was a personal treat since she is one of my favorite authors). We also have some fun guests in store for the rest of the year and I can’t wait for you all to hear these episodes.

The last big update I have is I’m curating another anthology over at 18thWall with my dear friend Jon Black. Overdue: Tales of Mystery And Adventure Returning History’s Lost Books To Circulation is open for submission through October 15, 2018.

I’m working on the first full-length mystery featuring Dr. Rosella Tassoni and will give you guys news on that as soon as I have it!

That’s it for now! Hope you guys are having an amazing year!

Posted in Announcements, Book Release, Uncategorized

Speakeasies and Spiritualists Is Now Out!

This has been a collection I’ve been excited about for a long time. I’m pleased to announce that Speakeasies and Spiritualists is now available on Amazon and at 18thWall Productions!

If you remember, I teased it on my last update.

My story, as well as one by my editor and dear friend James Bojaciuk, feature Rose Mackenberg who has been unjustly forgotten by history.  Not only does it feature stories featuring her (as far as James and I can tell our stories are the first times she appears in historical fiction), the collection also features some articles written by Mackenberg herself!

“All That Jazz” is a story that was fun to write and features to characters, Rose Mackenberg and Margaret McConnell.

Here’s your tease for why you should pick this up. You’ll see more of Margaret MacConnell again. In fact, this story will pop up again in the upcoming first full-length book of the All The Petty Myths series featuring Dr. Rosella Tassoni.

This collection features an amazing lineup: your’s truly, Josh Reynolds, Jon Black, James Bojaciuk, Peter Rawlik, John Linwood Grant, and a few more fun stories.

Speaking of, All The Petty Myths, hopefully I’ll have an update for you soon regarding that! In the meantime, enjoy Speakeasies and Spiritualists!

Posted in Uncategorized

Want A Heads Up About My Next Short Story? Find It Here!

On my weekly column over at 18thWall Productions, I chat a bit about my upcoming short story, my next book, and a few other things.

Check it out below!

M.H. Norris One of the hardest things I’m finding with Rosella’s first full-length book is that, for the first time, I’m struggling to write things in order. Usually, I write a story straight from start to finish but this time, I’m finding it hard to do so. Because transitions are hard. I know what’s at…

via If Walls Could Talk: Is a Story Linear or a Ball of Wibbly Wobbly Timey Whimey Stuff? — 18thWall Productions

Posted in Uncategorized

Learning About Writing From Doctor Who

M.H. Norris Doctor Who is now two episodes into its new series and, honestly, in terms of quality they were vastly different. In this column, I try to share with you lessons I learned in writing; and after watching “Smile” on Saturday night, I saw something and wanted to share it with you. Before I begin,…

via If Walls Could Talk: Writing at a Pace that Makes Your Readers “Smile” (Doctor Who) — 18thWall Productions

This week, I spent time examining the latest episode of Doctor Who “Smile” to see what we could learn from it. It was a lot of fun taking an episode of a show I love apart and figuring out where it went wrong versus my traditional “MOFFAT WHY” that I’ve been doing the last several seasons.

The key lesson here? Pacing can make or break a story.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Posted in Announcements, Book Release

Saucy Robot Stories – Featuring A New Short Story By Your’s Truly!

My short story “The Robot’s A Gentleman” is featured in the anthology Saucy Robot Stories edited by Jim Beard is now out in both print and ebook!

The world’s first fully functional robot, an ex-janitor, and a ballsy lady reporter walk into a bar… SAUCY ROBOT STORIES is equal parts funny, adventurous, thoughtful, and oh-so-pulpy…with a dash of “spicy” just to make it even more interesting. It features characters created by Jim Beard and brought to life by writers Justin Bell, Mary-Helen Norris, Aaron Smith, Travis Hiltz, Sam Gafford, and Chuck Miller in an early-1940s world the robot didn’t make, but he’s sure as heck trying to figure out. WARNING: THIS AIN’T YOUR GRAND-DAD’S ROBOT STORIES!

In 2013, Jim Beard took a chance on an author with only one publishing credit to her name. To this day, “Puzzle Pieces” from Lemon Herberts remains one of my favorite things on my CV.

I had an absolute blast getting the chance to work with Jim Beard again. To this day, my story in his anthology Lemon Herberts is one of my favorite things I’ve written.

So when he approached me about the chance to work together again, I jumped on it.

My story, “The Robot’s A Gentleman” is…

Oh, how to describe it.

It’s like the ending of Badge City: Notches, I don’t know how I came up with the idea but it is rather fun.

My story focuses on the plucky female reporter Doona. It was fun to get inside her head and bring a bit of her story to life.

Jim actually came on the Raconteur Roundtable with Rich Handley to talk about another project but inside the episode, we talk a little about the collection.

A few weeks ago, I got the final edits for the collection and it was the first time in a while I had sat down and read my story in it. I found odd references, little touches, and rather enjoyed myself reading a story that is a little different from what I usually do but was a fun challenge.

Paperback Version

Ebook Version





Posted in Announcements

Welcome To The Raconteur Roundtable

Towards the end of 2015, James and some of the guys from the Television Crossover Universe created a podcast using the same name. The TVCU crew would then grace devices all over with hour long interviews.

Somewhere along the line, James mentioned that my name was currently being discussed as future guests on the show. That surprised me, it still does in a way. Who wants to talk to me about my work for an hour.

But sure enough, I got a message from Robert E. Wronski Jr asking me if I would like to come on the show and discuss my work. And while this was a new podcast and I knew two of the hosts and knew of two of the other hosts, I was nervous.

It was my first author interview.

Rob likes to say “ and then she came in, and then took over the crew.”

Took over is such a strong word, Rob.

I did invite myself to guest host on a later episode in the middle of said interview. And so about a month or so later, I would return to the TVCU podcast to be a special guest host as we interviewed Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch. Their book “So You Created A Wormhole: A Time Traveller’s Guide To Time Travel” is one of my favorite time travel books and it was an absolute blast to get to talk with them.

Little known fact about an episode during the summer. I almost came in to guest host Guy Adams’ first episode but the recording happened at about the same time as I was accepting my award last year and I couldn’t manage to do both.

Oh well…

And then came episode 40-41 of the TVCU podcast. The idea had been pitched to me a couple months earlier that Nicole Petit and I would do a tag-team episode of sorts and for two episodes one would be the guest host and the other the guest and then we’d switch.

The idea sounded like a blast. Plus, I love working with Nicole and a chance to chat with her for a couple of hours was something I jumped at.

And by agreeing to that, I unknowingly was agreeing to something else.

Over the course of recording the next four episodes (40-43), the TVCU podcast did a casting shift with the only James remaining from the original crew. I took over with Ben Kasson and occasionally we invite other guest hosts on.

And so began a new era for the TVCU podcast.

The next couple months were spent with all of us trying to get the hang of being the new TVCU crew and a regular recording schedule and finishing out guests that were previously scheduled before the changeover and scheduling guests of our own.

Most of you know we went on hiatus around Christmas with promises to return in the new year. We told you to keep your eyes on us and we would let you know when we were ready to return.

raconteur roundtable

Welcome to the Raconteur Roundtable.

New Name, New Network, adorable New Mascot.

Same show.

It’s still James, Ben, and I having fun and talking with some fantastic people. We can’t wait for you to see some of the interviews we have coming up. We have some real Aces. 😉

Check out our first episode, if you haven’t had a chance to yet. This one was a blast to do, talking Doctor Who with someone who’s directed it. John Ainsworth was a fantastic guest to kick off this new era of the show.

Make sure you check back each week to see who we’re talking to next.

And thanks, Rob, for thinking a relatively new author was someone worth talking to a year ago.
Because what a year it’s been.

Posted in Doctor Who

Happy Birthday Doctor Who

I hadn’t planned to watch Doctor Who a little over three years ago. Honestly, I was on Netflix just looking for a movie to watch as I wound down to go to bed. 

Then out of nowhere, the screen went black in that familiar way that told you it was loading whatever you had clicked on. Thing was, I hadn’t clicked on anything. I saw it was Doctor Who loading so I decided to give it a try. If nothing else, it would shut up some friends who insisted I needed to watch it. 

Next thing I knew it was 3am and I was meeting a Dalek for the first time. Within a day or two, I learned what regeneration was. 

I’d heard about David Tennant’s run before I watched and he won me over quicker than any fictional character ever has. Meeting him was a bit of a nerve wracking experience, wondering if he would live p to my extremely high expections. 

He was as magically wonderful as I imagined. Even better, the other week, I met his father-in-law. 

Let me spell this scenario out. The Doctor’s daughter married The Doctor after they met on an episode called The Doctor’s daughter where she played The Doctor’s Daughter. 

Confused yet? 

Welcome to Doctor Who. 

Three years later, those same friends tease me about how resistant I was to watching a show that has honestly changed my life. I have made friends, fallen head over heels for fictional characters, cried over things that may have happened years ago to some people but are new to me, and loved every second of being a Doctor Who fan. 

Well every second that doesn’t involve the last couple of season of the show. Chris Chibnall, I wish you the best of luck cleaning up that mess. 

Happy Birthday Doctor Who. 

This show, it’s amusing to see people’s faces when you tell them what the early days had to deal with so that it could be what it is now. The constant jokes about the early days having the budget of a ham sandwich and yet they made it work in a way that is truly magical. 

All day, the Time Travel Nexus has been celebrating the anniversary of a show that honestly should have died before it was a week old. Honestly, there have been plenty of times where it has been sheer dumb luck that the show has made it this far. 

Doctor Who has also introduced me to a kindred spirit one that I feel my life has been made richer because I got to know her. She stepped into the TARDIS for the first time in the 70s when she was about my age and made appearances off and on until her actress passed away back in 2011. 

In case you haven’t had the privilege, let me introduce you to Sarah Jane Smith played by the wonderful and talented Elisabeth Sladen. 

I honestly had to sit here and stare at my screen for a minute to decided what to say about Sarah Jane Smith. A Doctor Who anniversary post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t take a moment to talk about the woman who brought the “Doctor’s True Companion” to life. And if you wonder where i got that quote from, it came from her autobiography. Actually, take a listen because I honestly cannot give her a better tribute than David Tennant did. 

A few weeks ago, I rewatched her original serial “The Time Warrior” and I can’t help but laugh at the fact that it was sheer dumb luck on her part that that whole thing didn’t go south real quick. Because she had plenty of close calls. And she got out of them, some by herself and some with the help of The Doctor. That would be something she would do for years to come, even after she left the TARDIS a few years later. 

That’s a story that will continue forever. Yes, Elisabeth Sladen might be dead but as long as there are fans of the show willing to keep Sarah Jane alive whether in our hearts or though books and comics, that story has the potential to go on for a bit longer. 

After all, there will be more Doctors and they will need to run into their old friend. 

Paul McGann was my first Classic Doctor. I accidentally found his movie on and was like “that’s from the classic era” so I sat there and watched it. When I met him I told him that he was my first Classic Doctor and thanked him for introducing me to that era. 

He smiles and says, “So it’s all my fault?” 

I couldn’t help but smile back and say “It’s all your fault.” 

Thank you again, Paul McGann.

These days it’s gotten to the point where it’s hard to separate me from Doctor Who, it has honestly become that much of who I am and I think it’s going to be that way for the rest of my life. I’ll be the one happily wandering to conventions cosplaying away taking my kids and grandkids to meet Doctors and Companions and to spend the weekend surrounded by people who love it just as much as you do. 

I’ve realized that said kids will probably want to be Ace. At least I’ll be able to look at them and say “I met Ace and she was wearing her jacket.” 

 Even as a writer, I’ve learned from this show. Check out my post this week over at 18thWall where I talk about it a bit.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to spend the weekend at L.I. Who and it was honestly one of the most magical weekends of my life. I will forever cherish the memory of Frazer Hines’ face light up when he saw a bunch of us come up dressed as characters from his era on the show (Frazer played Jamie who travelled with the Second Doctor in the 60s). Or how he praised my cosplay to whoever happened to be nearby and took great pleasure at popping the bubbles on my bubble wrap dress. 

He did it to the original too. 

I met The Doctor when I was a junior in college and with one publishing credit under my belt. In that time, my dreams have grown, changed, adapted, and I’ve added a couple more credits to my resume. 

I’ve also added more dreams, like writing for Doctor Who. I even walked right up to Nick Briggs and told him to his face that I wanted to write for him someday and asked him where the bar was and what he looked for in a writer. 

Someday, Briggs. 

By the way, I look like I’m laughing because the two of us almost ended up in a pile on the ground. 

And it would have been his fault. 

So that’s not me looking like I’m laughing when I took the picture. I’m laughing while she took it. 

Doctor Who has opened up so many doors for me. Like I said above, I met friends, grew closer to others, developed a deep love of history, a stronger understanding of how to tell a story that lasts, and had opportunities that I might not have pursued had I not watched the show three years ago. 

Fun fact for you. Colin Baker has a really tight grip on my shoulder there. Grandpa Crocs, you’re wonderful. 

Happy Birthday, Doctor Who! And many happy returns!

May the adventure never end.