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 Lightspeed Magazine, Pulphouse Magazine, Fantasy Magazine, Mysterion, The NoSleep Podcast, Renaissance Press, Hungry Shadow 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: [email protected]

For semimonthly updates and exclusive content, including a free ebook copy of Threads of Dreams series prequel, Under:

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Coming Soon

Books

Songstress WIP

SFF: Romantic Suspense/UF Murder Mystery/Contemporary Fae Fantasy

Progress: Second Round Edits

ETA: Late 2024

Cave Story WIP

Jr. Teen/Upper MG Ghost Story

Progress: Third Round Edits

ETA: 2025

Potato Peril WIP

Picture Book: Comic-style irreverent humour for emerging & early readers

Progress: On Submission

ETA: ?

Caryopsis WIP

SFF: Ecopunk Midlife High Fantasy

Progress: Zero Draft 10%

ETA: ?


Short Fiction

  • Mud Maidens Rise Those Who Look At Hidden Things: Dark speculative SFF/H flash fiction/prose poem on mirrors, childhood & the liminal unseen (. . . neurodivergence says hi?) Publication pending, LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE, August 2024
  • The Pink Slime's Appointment With Destiny: Humorous SF-lite short story about humidfier scum escaping cleaning and the inevitable downfall of colonial ambition. Honorable Mention, Writers of the Future Awards 2023 Q1. Publication pending, PULPHOUSE MAGAZINE, Issue 31, summer 2024.
  • The Tangle (Did Not Kill Kitsault): Dark speculative ecopunk SFF/H short story about the Pyrocene, Canada's weirdest ghost town & a road-haunting cryptid. Contract pending, pro+ digital & audio speculative market, summer 2024.
  • Children of Earth, REPRINT: Eco-anxiety, body horror, housing angst & a splash of rom-com in a soft-SF wrapper. Reprint publication pending, semipro print & digital genre market, summer 2024.
  • Geosapiology: a brief history of geogenesis, the Stones, and the Theory of Appeasement (or: The Stones Rise Up): Experimental/concept-driven ecopunk SF short story about a new type of climate apocalypse & what comes after. Pulled out of first (bad) licensing offer prior to release, back 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. Silver Honorable Mention, Writers of the Future Awards 2023 Q4. On submission.
  • Crossroads WIP: Short story spinoff of Songstress WIP about caretaking, retirement homes, and a strange musician with a deadly secret come to town. Honorable Mention, Writers of the Future Awards 2024 Q1. On submission.
  • Cult WIP: Ambiguously genred folklore/folk horror? holiday-themed short story/novelette. On submission.



News & Updates

(Non)Fiction

May 30, 2024

This is and is not a news update.

I had a story coming out ten days ago.

Then I didn’t.

Some time, maybe I’ll write about contracts and negotiations and voices and motivations and the constant battle between Art and Commerce we all live under.

Today, I’m just happy not to have new fiction to promote.

Because, as I keep forgetting, as I keep being horrifically, mundanely, repeatedly, mind-numbingly reminded, while there is a place for poetry and allusions and escapism and Art that offers all the space in the world for free interpretation and engagement, there is also a desperate need for clarity. Honesty. Facts.

And since I write fiction that tries very hard not to tip into the extremities of didacticism, that explores ideas and invites readers to ask questions and think for themselves, rather than (I hope) presenting thin allegories and heavy-handed conclusions, I want to get a statement on record.

Most of my “nonfiction” writing ends up effectively subscription-gated (i.e., via newsletter) or on social media. In many cases, I’m more engaged with raising up voices more directly involved and educated on any given issue than commenting myself. (Again, fiction writer—I process my ideas sideways, inside-out, and open-ended through fun-house mirrors!)

But I’ve also been having very alarming conversations lately. Conversations where I assumed shared understandings about the world and was sadly mistaken.

So let’s get some things straight:

All people are created equal. All human lives have value and should be protected from violence and provided—at a bare minimum—with the necessities of life in a healthy society. As humans, we should all be in favour of human rights (and animal rights are worth a look, too…)

All people means all people. Even if your people historically didn’t like their people or their people hurt your people in the past. Even if you could make more money hating and/or exploiting them, or it will cost you something to defend their rights. Even if they personally annoy you. Even if you feel uncomfortable. Yes, even then. None of us are owed a frictionless existence, especially at the cost of another’s safety, wellness, or survival.

I’d rather not make a list here of every equity-deserving people group, but growing evidence suggests I’d better start with at least a short-list. Black Lives Matter. Palestinian lives do too. Ditto Indigenous & Asian folks. Trans and queer rights are human rights. Again, this isn’t about your or my personal tastes, preferences, beliefs or desires. Human rights for all humans are an inherent good. All humans drawing really clear lines about war crimes, genocide, etc., also good! Let’s all get on that page and stay on that page…

This is where it seems to get harder for many: Colonialism? Imperialism? Not good, actually. See also: authoritarianism, totalitarianism, facism, police states, extractive capitalism . . . I know this gets a lot of folks’ backs up. I know folks get scared/offended/enraged at the thought of all that they’ve sacrificed to the machine being for nothing, humiliated at swallowing all those lies they’ve been propagansized with their whole lives, despairing at the thought that no matter what else they sacrifice, they might never pull themselves up by their bootstraps into wealth and comfort and stability. Believe me, I know.

But we’re not “temporarily embarassed...
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Content Flags, Representation & Recommendations in Threads of Dreams

May 14, 2024

This is a resource that I’ve been meaning to collate from various scattered posts, newsletters, storefront subsections, etc. and expand for some time now.

Threads of Dreams included my first book, my first series, my first foray back into publishing as an adult, and while there is much I am proud of in it and every part of it was written with intention, there are nonetheless some choices that I would make differently today—choices, in fact, that I pivoted on while still working on the series.

The series, for those who have read it, is set roughly 100 years in the future of Vancouver (and later books travel throughout British Columbia), with a strong speculative influence that nonetheless draws on the landscapes and heritage of the Pacific Northwest. Characters were intentionally drawn from the existing diversity of the current Metro Vancouver population, extrapolated to account for the speculative events and timeline of the series, and some characters, setting/worldbuilding, and plot points also draw on various (local & regional) Indigenous practices, both historical and ongoing.

Little to none of this is made explicit within the text of the books, partly because the story is about societal disconnection from roots and identity in complex ways that took me a series(+) to unpack and is much more fantastical than grounded in its presentation (if you don’t know the area, you might not recognize many/any of the contemporary allusions), partly because many of the connections are embedded enough in daily life and culture here that I didn’t realize where they originally came from until later, but also because my own learning as I wrote/published the series had me rethinking the direction it should take and what was appropriate to even speak into.

In the interests of doing better about attribution and pointing toward fiction that authentically reflects Indigenous lived experiences and perspectives, I’d like to collect a lasting resource here for continued learning and speculative fiction. Those follow below, under the appropriate headings. (Note: I may expand this resource page to cover other people groups referenced within the series at a later date and as I become aware of relevant resources…)

I’ve also been wanting to create an accessible/centralized Content Advisory/Trigger Warning-type resource. Content may be flagged in other locations (inside books, on storefront listings, etc.), but my intent is for this to be the most comprehensive resource.

Content is tagged by book (1, 2, 3 for main trilogy, acronyms for series-related short fiction):

Threads of Dreams Content Advisory

  • Illicit/intoxicating substance use incl. by minors (1, 2, Under)
  • Fantasy violence (monster x human, incl. gore) (all)
  • Fantasy & horror creatures — ghosts, various monsters, zombies/ghouls (all)
  • Gaslighting/emotional abuse (1-3, Under, BWNN, SOtOW)
  • Selfharm/suicidal ideation (1-3)
  • Dissociation/depressive episodes (1-3)
  • Workplace abuse (1, LFtEOtW, Under)
  • Physical abuse (limited/brief) (1)
  • Implied/offpage sexual abuse (limited/brief) (BWNN, Under)
  • Needles/involuntary anaesthesia (1)
  • Torture (1)
  • Implied child abuse (1, 3, BWNN, SOtOW)
  • Child death (offpage/brief) (1, 3, LFtEOtW, SOtOW)
  • Human sacrifice (1, 3)

This series is rated for older teens and up. It does not include on-page sex or “spice” but does include dancing/clubbing & representations of both healthy and toxic relationships. I sometimes refer to the series as having “more blood than kissing”—they’re fighting for survival and have limited time to angst over each other. 😅 It does...
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Spring Update 2024

Apr 01, 2024

Whole pile of news to get through (overdue, yet again! ^_^;) so let’s dive right in:

  • Short fiction is booming! I’ve got a first sale & reprint licensed to Pulphouse for their summer edition(s?), a flash to Lightspeed for later this year, and recent releases from Mysterion and The NoSleep Podcast. Plus a couple more honorable mentions from Writers of the Future Awards to round things out.

  • Long fiction is . . . stalled. Mainly because I have about 400% more demands on my time than waking hours (sigh.)

  • Teaching & events are also booming—had a great time talking all things short fiction for StoryStudio’s teen writers recently and I’m just headed back for the second half of this term’s creative writing workshop intensives, and will be presenting at the BC Library Association Conference and Surrey Teachers’ Association Convention in roughly a month, but had to turn down an invite to the Fraser Valley Young Authors’ Conference due to a scheduling conflict.

  • It’s that time again—IndieApril promos abound! Pricing (including free) confirmed on Kobo, Apple Books, & Google Books as of today. If you prefer a different storefront, do check back later in the week/month—it can take some time to price match across different storefronts:

– (FREE) BOY WITH NO NAME: When the dreamwealking threadwitch the shadow prince of Refuge’s dissolute underground has been obsessed with since boyhood vanishes, he risks all the power he’s begged, borrowed, and stolen to get her back.

– (FREE) LETTER FROM THE END OF THE WORLD: When a young mother’s mission to stop the end of the world is hijacked by tragedy, she signs on for an eternity of sacrifice in defiance of the monstrous intelligence possessing her dying city.

– (FREE) THE UNSOUGHT LIGHT: Duty and desire collide in a war that threatens to bring down an unwilling bride-to-be’s family, clan, and village in ancient (gothic-fantasy) Japan.

– ($0.99) BLIND THE EYES: When a young rebel offers a haunted outcast the chance to escape her rule-bound existence, he proves an even more deadly distraction than the monsters overrunning her drowned city.

– ($0.99) MUD MONSTERS & REVELATIONS: A young dreamwalker and his comrades battle monsters, a toxic legacy, and a tainted future to bring back a long-lost friend (…or maybe more?) taken by the hungry shadows.

  • The awesome Kidlit4Ceasefire auction in support of Gaza, Sudan, Congo & The Little Miss Flint water filter fundraiser is already nearly halfway to its goal! I’ve donated a complete (paperback) set of the Threads of Dreams trilogy, a signed first edition of the Blind the Eyes hardcover, and an exclusive “ask me anything” (AMA) call—and there are over 350 (amazing!) auction items from other artists for readers, writers & art lovers to bid on here!

The AMA could be great for anyone with questions related to:

  • Short fiction writing/revising/tracking/submissions/publishing (I’m multi-awarded, multi-published in pro-rate outlets & have given workshops on the topic!)

  • Any publishing-related questions, really, especially related to the kidlit world (I lead a 160+ member professional society of children’s authors & illustrators and speak widely at conferences, festivals & institutions on the topic!)

  • Creative writing/editing/plotting/structure (I’ve been teaching intensive...
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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” (first published in Mysterion, March 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! Recommendations welcome here.), 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...
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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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More News


Events

BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association Fall Conference

Date: Friday, October 25, 2024

Time: TBC

Location: Victoria, BC

Type: Panel & Presentation

“AMA Author (& Illustrator) Edition: Brush up on all things publishing!”

Panel description: These BC kidlit authors & illustrators are here to answer your burning questions about all things publishing, literacy connection/education & storytelling. From how books get made to the current state of the industry, a day-in-the-life of creatives to behind-the-scenes on the other side of the page, creative writing education and public speaking to translating an idea into pictures or pages, no subject is off limits in this free-for-all Ask-Me-Anything panel.

Connecting with BC Children’s Authors & Illustrators

Presentation description: The BC children’s publishing community is growing increasingly diverse, relevant, and socially conscious. We’re excited to highlight established and emerging voices and titles to help get local stories in the hands of local kids. We’ll start with an...
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Surrey Teachers’ Association Convention (Elementary)

Date: Friday, May 3, 2024

Time: 10:15-11:45 am & 12:45-2:15 pm + exhibitor’s hall

Location: Sullivan Heights Secondary, 6248 144 St. Surrey, BC

Type: Panel & Presentation

“AMA Author (& Illustrator) Edition: Brush up on all things publishing!” (10:15-11:45 am)

Panel description: These BC kidlit authors & illustrators are here to answer your burning questions about all things publishing, literacy connection/education & storytelling. From how books get made to the current state of the industry, a day-in-the-life of creatives to behind-the-scenes on the other side of the page, creative writing education and public speaking to translating an idea into pictures or pages, no subject is off limits in this free-for-all Ask-Me-Anything panel.

Connecting with BC Children’s Authors & Illustrators (12:45-2:15 pm)

Presentation description: The BC children’s publishing community is growing increasingly diverse, relevant, and socially conscious. We’re excited to highlight established and emerging voices...
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BC Library Association Conference

Date: Wednesday & Thursday, Apr. 24-25, 2024

Time: 2:45-3:30 pm, Thursday, Apr. 25 (panel)

Location: Exhibitor’s Hall & Salon E (panel), Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront, 1133 W Hastings St, Vancouver

Type: Panel: “AMA Author (& Illustrator) Edition: Brush up on all things publishing!”

Panel description: “Three multi-awarded authors (& illustrator!) join forces to answer your burning questions about all things publishing, literacy connection/education & storytelling! Our panel collectively has over three decades of experience in writing, illustrating and publishing (traditional & indie/self-publishing), and also speak out of their experience leading literacy, creative writing, and publishing nonprofits. From how books get made to the current state of the industry, a day-in-the-life of creatives to behind-the-scenes on the other side of the page, creative writing education and public speaking to translating an idea into pictures, pages or screen, no subject is off limits in this free-for-all Ask-Me-Anything panel.”

...
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Past Events