LIVE Second Life event Jun 30th – Crescendo of Darkness Release Party

•June 25, 2018 • Leave a Comment

It’s in SecondLife so I am going to try to be there.

Join on Second Life
for our Virtual Book Release Party

Sunday, June 30th, 2pm SLT (PST) HQ, Baggage Square, Second Life

Live author readings, prizes, and more!
Come celebrate with us!


Crescendo of Darkness
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction. is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.

With stories by: Calvin Demmer, Jeremiah Donaldson, Cara Fox, R.A. Goli, Sarah Gribble,
Kahramanah, Naching T. Kassa, Benjamin Langley, Jeremy Megargee, A. Craig Newman,
Sam Morgan Phillips, Emerian Rich, H.E. Roulo, Daphne Strasert

Available now! 

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San Mateo County Fair

•May 9, 2018 • 1 Comment

San Mateo County Fair

I am excited to announce that I won the following literary prizes at the San Mateo County Fair:

Div. 325-05 Literary Essay, Adult Exhibitor 
2nd Place: African American Folklore, Magical Realism and Horror in Toni Morrison Novels, Sumiko Saulson
Div. 326-02 Personal Memoir, Adult Exhibitor
2nd Place: My Life as a Young Adult Urban Fiction Writer, Sumiko Saulson
Div. 329-03 Recorded Lyric Songwriting Contest: Singer/Songwriter/Indie
2nd Place: Sweetest Compassion, Sumiko Saulson 
Div. 335-05 Short Story, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Adult
3rd Place: The Ride of Herne and Hespeth, Sumiko Saulson
San Mateo County Fair rides
I wrote the literary essay, “African American Folklore, Magical Realism and Horror in Toni Morrison” for in 2017 for their Black History Month blog series. My Life as a Young Adult Urban Fiction Writer, and The Ride of Herne and Hespeth were both written as a contestant in HorrorAddict’s Next Great Horror Writer Contest in 2017. I finished the contest in 6th Place. Jonathan Fortin won, and was awarded a contract with Crystal Lake Publishing for his debut novel Lilitu, coming out in 2019.
I wrote Sweetest Compassion’s lyrics. The music was written by Mangladat. It was performed by my band, Stagefright. It was recorded by Ephriam Galloway at Greybeard Studios.
I’ll also be moderating a diversity panel Thursday, June 14 6pm to 7pm at the San Mateo Fair, with Laurel Anne Hill and Maria Nieto.

When We First Become Other

•April 13, 2018 • 3 Comments


When We First Become Other

By Sumiko Saulson

Winner, Fall 2017 Berkeley City College / BCC Voice Essay Contest, “Reframing the Other”

It is the very nature of human self-awareness which creates Othering. From birth, we see the world from a personal vantage point. We first take in sounds, smells and images of our personal tribe: parents, siblings, neighbors and grandparents. They are the village to which Self belongs. This is true even for those of us mainstream America views as Other. So how does one first become Othered? This occurs through contact with multicultural groups, and with mainstream media. Once we view ourselves through the lens of mass media, it becomes possible to reframe Self as Other.

In late 1970s, watching a television show called The Jeffersons. I noticed their neighbors, the Willises, an interracial couple, had one white actor and one black actress playing their mixed race children. As a biracial black and Jewish child this made feel a bit like a space alien. The constant string of “zebra” jokes about their mixed heritage added to that feeling. Strangers sometimes stopped our mom on the street to ask questions about me and my brother’s heritage, and ask to touch our hair. But this was the first time an outside authority verified the strangeness of being biracial.

When I became a fiction writer, I sought to remedy the absence of multicultural stories by filling my books with them. For me, it seemed unnatural that stories taking place in diverse metropolitan areas like Los Angeles or New York often have predominately white casts.

It wasn’t until I’d been writing novels for a few years that it occurred to me that I might try introducing race later in the narrative. It was after reading an article about how some of Suzanne Collin’s literary fandom was freaking out about Rue being black in the movie. Although the book clearly described her as dark skinned and having African American features, readers subconsciously reframed the character in their minds as white.

As an experiment, I wrote the first two chapters of my book, “Happiness and Other Diseases,” without revealing the ethnicity of the central character, Flynn Keahi. He’s half Chinese and half Hawaiian. Nowadays I am fairly political, so my heritage is a normal topic of conversation. When I was younger, it wouldn’t come up as often in the day to day living of life. That being the case, I decided to have his ethnicity come up when it seemed most natural in the narrative: that is, through the eyes of a third party, his girlfriend’s mother, upon meeting him for the first time. That way the reader had an attachment to the character before any issues regarding ethnicity came up.

In reframing the Other, one might consider the fact that every single other person on the planet views life initially, and primarily, from the vantage of self. Absent of external Othering forces, a person in a self-segregated environment will view him or herself as quite the norm. The eroticizing of those who are perceived as different or unusual due to ethnic heritage, disability, sexual preference, or gender presentation is rooted in our denial of the Othered person’s self. Self being the vantage point from which we all view the world.

In order to ethically reframe the notion of Other, those of us who have for whatever reason, come to view ourselves as “the norm” or what is usual will have to accept the fact that our perception is biased.

Readers of “The Hunger Games” and “Happiness and Other Diseases” alike threw a filter of whiteness as a default setting onto the character. As a cis-gen female, I run into people who resist terms like cis-gen, even while knowing they exist to dispute the idea that we are “default” or “normal.” This is an attitude people must overcome. We cannot have true equality among diverse populations while clinging to the notion that some of us are “normal” – “default” – or “usual.”

People cling to this attitude even where it is statistically disproven: for example, many white people think of white as the default; Western Media sells it as such, yet white people are only 18% of the global population, therefore a statistical minority. If a statistical minority can believe itself the default due to acculturation, then perhaps we should question the notion of who is actually the Other here.

Book Review: Black Magic Women

•February 23, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Kamika Aziza is one of the newer writers and I am tickled pink to see her mentioned here alongside veterans Valjeanne Jeffers and Kenesha Williams.

via Book Review: Black Magic Women

Crossroads Publishing seeking diverse works

•February 21, 2018 • 1 Comment

I spoke with David Wilson at Crossroads Publishing yesterday. He said:

Crossroad Press is seeking out of print books in all genres (all) by persons of varying cultural backgrounds. We specialize in returning back-list titles in digital and in salvaging books orphaned by failed publishers. We pay 80% of all royalties earned on eBooks, 65% on audio and 50% on digital.

I have come to realize that given the incredible inequity in publishing, my company, which is built on reprints and orphaned titles from failed publishers, has become a microcosm of the original problem. I want to rectify that if I can… I don’t want to find authors of color because they are authors of color, but I want them to WANT us to find them, and to be a place that gives a wider voice.

If you are interested, you can contact them at If you would like to see what they do, their 200 plus authors and 1600 books are at

They need help making sure that the word gets out to a diversity of authors regarding their mission, to rescue orphaned titles from failed publishers. Since most of us only promote things to those we know, they need our help in making sure that the word gets out to minority authors, specifically people of color. However, they are looking for titles from anyone, not just marginalized people. They asked me to help make sure that people in my writer’s circle, which includes many African Americans, know about them. Please repost and make sure that people know who they are, who they help, and that they wish to make sure diverse communities are aware of them.

Online Release for Black Magic Women

•February 15, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Please join us today for the online launch of Black Magic Women

Happy Valentine’s from Mauskaveli

•February 14, 2018 • 2 Comments

Mauskaveli Valentine 2018