K.A. Wiggins (Kaie) is an award-winning Canadian speculative fiction author, speaker, and creative writing coach known for the celebrated gothic-dystopian YA Dark Fantasy series Threads of Dreams.

She writes across fantasy, science fiction, and horror subgenres (often within the same work) for middle grade (forthcoming), young adult, and all-ages/adult audiences, exploring the tangled webs of society, environment, and identity through intricate, dreamlike tales of monsters and magic.

She has been published by Fantasy Magazine, The NoSleep Podcast, Mysterion, The Fairytale Magazine, Frozen Wavelets, Renaissance Press/Presses Renaissance, Hungry Shadow Press, Fiction-Atlas Press, and Virgibooks (in translation), among others, and is the president of the Children's Writers & Illustrators of British Columbia Society (CWILL BC), a member of The Writers' Union of Canada, and teaches with the Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC).

LEARN MORE (expanded bio, links) or contact directly at: [email protected]

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Available Now




Coming Soon

Books

Songstress WIP

Adult SFF: Romantasy?/Romantic Suspense/UF Murder Mystery/Contemporary Fae Fantasy

Progress: Second Round Edits

ETA: 2024

Cave Story WIP

Jr. Teen/Upper MG Ghost Story

Progress: Third Round Edits

ETA: 2025

Caryopsis WIP

Adult SFF: Ecopunk Midlife High Fantasy

Progress: Zero Draft 10%

ETA: ?

Potato Peril WIP

Picture Book: Comic-style irreverent humour for early readers

Progress: On Submission

ETA: ?


Short Fiction

  • Those Who Look At Hidden Things: Dark speculative SFF/H flash fiction/prose poem on mirrors, childhood & the liminal unseen. Publication pending, LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE, 2024
  • Slime Story WIP: Humorous SF-lite short story about humidfier scum escaping cleaning. On submission.
  • Twisted Christmas Carol WIP: Horror-historical short story take on the classic delving into Anti-Asian racism & white supremacy in 1920s BC. On submission.
  • Shellycoat WIP: Short story spinoff of Songstress WIP about everyone's favourite chaos gremlin. On submission.
  • Queen WIP: Short story spinoff of Songstress WIP about the mad(?) queen of faery. On submission.
  • True Crime WIP: Novelette spinoff of Songstress WIP about a soccer mom, a trickster fae, and arson. On submission.
  • Crossroads WIP: Short story spinoff of Songstress WIP about caretaking, retirement homes, and a stranger come to town. On submission.
  • Cult WIP: Ambiguously genred folklore/folk horror? holiday-themed short story/novelette. On submission.
  • Ghost Town WIP: Dark speculative SFF/H short story about Canada's weirdest ghost town & a road-haunting cryptid. On submission.
  • Geopocalypse WIP: Experimental/concept-driven ecopunk SF short story about a new type of climate apocalypse & what comes after. On submission.



News & Updates

Author's Note on Flatliners

Feb 28, 2024

Sometimes there are stories you just aren’t equipped to tell. The one that became “The Patron Saint of Flatliners” (published in Mysterion, Patreon exclusive until March 28, 2024) is one of them.

I wrote the earliest version of it the summer after my best friend lost a young member of her extended family to the Vancouver drug toxicity crisis.

It wasn’t really a story at that point—just anger and cursing and chaos on a page. Unpublishable. I never expected to come back to it. But in 2023, I encountered Seanan McGuire’s works and found in her Ghost Roads series a surprising parallel.

Perhaps my strange, admittedly somewhat twisted form of processing/coping mechanism had produced something that would connect with readers after all . . .

But in connecting with readers, in taking something that I wrote for my own reasons and offering it to the world, I find myself concerned that fiction may be mistaken for fact.

So permit me the indulgence of straying into facts for a moment, starting with this:

I never met the girl who died. I know her only through second-hand accounts.

A scattering of stark snapshots of her life are here. Her truth is not.

I can’t tell you what it was like to be her. What her hopes and dreams were, how she thought about the future, God, herself.

I can tell you that, while she experienced hardship and betrayal, while she made choices you may not agree with and that she herself expressed uncertainty and regret over—according to my friend who was working to help her in her final days—I didn’t nearly capture her rage and desperation.

Nor the fervour of her religious practice. In life, she was a devout Catholic.

So, while this story does not, cannot, offer full and meaningful representation to that girl or the (many) other victims of the drug toxicity and opioid crises (please seek out survivors’ first-hand accounts and art for that!), it is perhaps in the area of faith that it falls most short.

In portraying an angry, questioning, alienated protagonist railing against God for her isolation, I fear I have crafted an engaging fictional narrative, but reinforced popular, comfortable myths.

There are convenient untruths that we all cling to at times. “Bad things don’t happen to good people.” “People get what they deserve.” “Overdoses happen to those people and we are not those people.

Popular myths, modern myths, religious myths, even, depending on the context. Nice people, nice families, educated people, professionals, women, students, children, good church-going folks, stable married couples, middle class households . . . immigrants. Believers. Catholics. Pentecostals. Baptists. And so on.

Pick your label. It still won’t protect you and yours.

The truth is that drug use, experimentation, dependency, addiction, poisoning, overdose, all of these can and do occur within the Church, to Christians, to nice people, to our loved ones, to us. They are not, in and of themselves, a mark of “godlessness.”

This story—both the real life story behind the fiction, and the linked piece—also highlight intersecting marginalizations.

While I think it’s important to take this moment—particularly as this piece was first published by a faith-affiliated market—to challenge Christians and religious communities, along with the “comfortable majority,” to recognize their own vulnerability, it’s also desperately important to stop...
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Twilight Zone Time

Feb 04, 2024

Short, fun announcement that I’ve been waiting for ages to make—I’m The NoSleep Podcast official!

Check out my eerie li’l Hollywood North x Twilight Zone x end stage capitalism flash/audio play short based on that very short window where I got convinced that being a background performer would be a great writers’ life side gig (spoiler: it was not) and ended up as a hilariously clueless but probably overpaid body double for a 12 year old boy.🫠

Anyway, this is probably my most “straight horror” piece yet (not too much genre blending), more eerie and slow-burn than outright terrifying, with a weird Twilight Zone tilt. Available (only, at this point; licensing enquiries welcome!) as an audio performance by the illustrious NoSleep Podcast—give it a listen for free here!


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Awards Eligibility & Winter Update

Dec 14, 2023

So, yeah, six+ months since the last update, probably a good moment to remind folks that my newsletter goes out every second Monday if y’all want to hear from me more often.😅

Also, before I drop my release list, if you like speculative fiction but have limited reading time, Sonia Sulaiman has put together a great reading list of Palestinian spec-lit that’s really worth a look instead.

Quick round-up of 2023 publications for awards’ eligibility & end of year reading list purposes:

1. Children of Earth

2,900 words in FANTASY MAGAZINE Issue 90 (April 2023)

Eco-anxiety takes on a life of its own in a body-horror-riffic romcom about a goblin-mode girl, toenail cryptids & a shared compost bin.🌿 This one goes out to all the desperate Millennial renters~😘

Read (or listen) free online here.

2. Castoffs

2,000 words in THERE’S NO PLACE (Renaissance Press, October 2023)

A washed-up rockstar searches for home, hope & escape from fae-cursed hunger amidst the wreckage of the career she stole from under the hill and over the sea.

My entry in this Canadian small press anthology on housing insecurity/homelessness is an alternate/experimental retelling of “A Song of Dark Things” and the upcoming SONGSTRESS WIP, which mash up Scottish Folklore “The Fiddlers of Tomnahurich” “Thomas the Rhymer” & “Tam Lin” with end stage capitalism, artistic angst & female rage.

The full ebook/paperback just launched, but send me a message at [email protected] to request a review copy of the story.

3. Spectres of the Old World “Micro-Trilogy”

A fast-paced, time-skip NA/YA Dystopian Fantasy of loss, destiny & inter-generational trauma in an eco-punk, post-apocalyptic world overrun by monsters. Spinoff of/parallel timeline to the THREADS OF DREAMS series.

This “micro-trilogy” of novelettes adds up to a novella (28,000 words) and is free to read in KU or send me a message at [email protected] to request a review copy.

General Information:

All releases lean more fantasy than horror (but generally crossover with dark fantasy/gothic or weird horror). “Children of Earth” and “Spectres” include SF elements. “Children of Earth” is the most accessible (& fun) of the lot, while also having the most body horror. (Funny how that works . . .) Wordcounts are given for each. I’m Canadian, so all works are eligible for the Auroras, as well as speculative awards like the Nebulas & Hugos (& Stoker? IDK if any are horror enough this year . . .) My work is NOT eligible for the Ignyte awards. Thanks for checking them out! :)

That’s it for new releases from me this year (unless there are any late-breaking surprises👀) BUT you can find everything existing & announced on this site under the Available Now & Coming Soon sections of the home page—already three short pieces under contract or accepted for next year, with Submission Grinder stats looking promising for another few in short order~

As a general recap, it’s been a weird year. Some high points—lots of new milestones in terms of short fiction publishing, speaking, etc.—but also it’s getting harder to stay focused and keep moving forward as the rest of the world unravels in spectacular fashion around us. So, yeah, no new novels this year! Better luck next year . . .😅

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Summer News Roundup

Jun 01, 2023

It’s really turned into the year of workshops & short fiction around here—not making as much progress on launching the next series (yes there are now multiples waiting in the wings . . .) as I’d like, because there’s just too much going on between the different author societies, festivals, magazines, etc., but it’s not a bad problem to have!

Coming up in the calendar (full event postings in the appropriate section below):

And I’ll likely also be at Word Vancouver in September on Saturdays. Events earlier this year included presentations to the BC Librarians’ Youth Services Institute, Word Vancouver, and Abbotsford Arts Council, along with my usual Creative Writing for Children term-length workshops.

In short fiction, “Children of Earth” was published (in both text and audio formats) in the April edition of Fantasy Magazine (and longlisted in the Commonwealth Short Story Prize), a spinoff “micro-trilogy” of novelettes, Spectres of the Old World, was published from January to February, two new short stories were accepted to a HWA-qualifying podcast and a SFWA-qualifying small press anthology and a third short was award awarded honourable mention in the Writers of the Future awards.

My latest attempt at restocking my short story folder is going poorly—a really fun high fantasy concept absolutely ran away with the wordcount and is stubbornly turning into yet another novel (or new series), so at some point you all can look forward to a deluge of new releases. Another part of the holdup is that there has been a bit of traditional/legacy publishing interest in some of these works in progress. I like to use Twitter “pitch parties” to practice writing hooks and test market interest/create buzz, and happened to get an (agent) full request on CAVE STORY WIP (a MG Ghost Story) and interest from a (Harlequin romantic suspense?!!) editor on SONGSTRESS WIP (a Fae murder mystery/UF), so...
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Read Local! CWILL BC 2023 Spring Preview

Apr 28, 2023

Special thanks to The British Columbia Library Association Young Adults and Children’s Section (YAACS) for the opportunity to pop into their 2023 Youth Services Institute day for a lightning talk!

Watch the replay for a sneak peek at some of the 2023 new and upcoming BC kidlit releases we’re most excited for at CWILL BC, along with a quick overview of bringing BC kidlit authors, illustrators & books into libraries, schools and institutions!


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More News


Events

Write on Bowen Festival of Readers & Writers

Date: Sunday, September 17, 2023

Time: 1:30-3:30 pm

Location: The Hearth on Bowen Island, BC

Type: Workshop: “Choosing a Publishing Path”

Learn from the past, peer into the future, and define your personal motivations and publishing goals with this whirlwind workshop on how best to share your creativity with the right audiences.

We’ll hash out the dreams (and unspoken assumptions) we bring to publishing, take a quick tour through publishing history, and survey the (many!) current and emerging publishing pathways available to us (including traditional, independent/self-publishing, hybrid, short, serial, pre-professional, & more) in order to match them up to our personal and professional goals.

We’ll finish with a review of next steps toward the most common publishing pathways and Q&A. (Want to make sure your specific question or situation gets addressed? Feel free to submit it in advance to [email protected]!)

...
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UBC MACL Presents: (Re)Imagining Tomorrow Graduate Conference

Date: Friday-Saturday, June 23-24, 2023

Time: 3-5 pm Friday (1-9 pm Friday, 8:30-6pm Saturday)

Location: UBC Vancouver, Henry Angus Building (Sauder)

Type: TED-style Conference Talks

Honoured to have had my proposal accepted for this exciting two-day conference put together by the University of British Columbia Master’s of Arts in Children’s Literature & iSchool programs.

(Re)Imagining Tomorrow: Agency and Possibility in Literature and Media for Children and Young Adults Graduate Student Conference in Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Media & Culture features creative presentations on Friday, June 23 and academic topics on Saturday, June 24, with two keynotes and over 40 stunningly diverse presenters from around the world.

I’ll be presenting “After ‘The End’: Building Brighter Futures in Apocalyptic, Dystopian & Speculative YA” based on the Threads of Dreams series (specifically the final chapters of Burn the Skies) on Friday, June 23 during...
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“Collaborating with BC Children’s Authors & Illustrators” BC Museums Association x CWILL BC Webinar

Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Time: 12-1 pm

Location: online

Type:

I’m looking forward to showcasing all the exciting collaboration possibilities (and successful examples) between local kidlit creators and museums, galleries & other Arts institutions for the BC Museums Association.

I love history, and all of my series so far feature local history and/or scenes set at historic sites around the province (Burnaby Village Museum in Black the Tides from Threads of Dreams, ghostly flashbacks through the last 150 years of Chilliwack’s history in CAVE STORY WIP, and SONGSTRESS WIP takes a detour through a kobold community hiding in Britannia Mine Museum), so it’s going to be super fun to get to connect with this group!

Watch the replay here!


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Past Events