Tag Archives: Internal Announcement

Phoebe Wray, A Founding Mother and Past President of Broad Universe, Passes Away

Phoebe20Wray-1Phoebe Wray, 81, passed away Wednesday, September 21, 2016, in Ayer, Mass., after a lengthy illness.

Phoebe Rae Gregory was born January 23, 1935, in Franklin, Pa., to the late Clifford and Dorothy Gregory and was raised in near-by Cochranton, moving to Santa Rosa, California, with her parents for high school. She lived in San Francisco, Hollywood, Los Angeles, and New York City before settling in the Boston area in Ayer, Massachusetts in an 1860 farmhouse with her three cats, Max, Mouse and Jenny. She was a longtime resident of the Ayer community, and taught theater arts at the Boston Conservatory, retiring in June 2013. Phoebe was a writer, director, actress, and environmental activist who loved animals above all. Her many interests included theater, music, science fiction and fantasy, environmental ethics, conservation, and history.

Phoebe Wray started as a stand-up comedienne in San Francisco and by a happy but circuitous route toured as narrator/dancer with refugees from the Beijing Opera, was the leading lady at several Shakespeare Festivals (Merry Wives, As You Like It, Henry VIII, Twelfth Night, Macbeth and others), a part of the comedy/jazz trio Shelton, Blake & Wray moving from one bistro to another (including the old Sands in Las Vegas and the Bon Soir in NYC), acted and directed in a number of summer stock venues, and did significant work in the Off-Off-Broadway movement of the 60’s as an actress and director at La Mama’s and Caffe Cino. She was Artist in Residence at Colby College and a Mellon Fellow at Yale; taught at the University of Southern California, Skidmore, and Bradford College. She taught Acting for Dancers, History of the Theatre and Cultural Perspectives at The Boston Conservatory and wrote poetry, science fiction novels and non-fiction on endangered wildlife.

She left New York for Boston, and founded a non-profit international environmental education group and started writing teaching materials and public information on endangered species and marine mammals. She was an advocate as well, and three times served on the official United States delegation to the International Whaling Commission. She attended University of California, Berkeley, University of Southern California, Harvard University, The University of Akron, The New School (NYC), and CCNY. She taught at USC, Bradford College, and The Boston Conservatory and retired in June 2013 after 45+ years of teaching Acting and History of the Theatre to undergrads, and Cultural History in the grad school. Her published fiction novels includeJemma 7729, In Adam’s Fall, and J2. She was a founding member and past President of Broad Universe, an international organization supporting women authors of science-fiction, fantasy and horror.

She was preceded in death by her parents Dorothy Cummings and Clifford Lafayette Gregory, her sister Mary Gregory Wagner and husband Bruce, brother Clifford Lafayette Gregory and niece Crystal Gregory Christen. She is survived by sister-in-law Carol Gregory, nieces and nephews Rae Lawley of Akron, Ohio, Bruce (Candy) Wagner of Tallmadge, Ohio, Jan (Keith) Dague of Tallmadge, Ohio; Mark Gregory of Carmichael, California, Pam (Alan) Jennings of Elverta, California; many great nieces and nephews; and her beloved cat, Jenny.

“I’ve been writing since I could write, and was telling stories before then, much encouraged by my family. My early dream was to be a newspaper reporter, especially a foreign correspondent. I started to pursue that but instead ran away with the circus, so to speak, and became a stand-up comic. From there I went into the theatre, studying and working, eventually also writing plays and songs and directing. But I didn’t stop writing. I had poems published, did theatre reviews, and have always kept a journal.

I started making up stories before I could actually write, encouraged by my family, especially my Dad, who was a great story-teller. My nick-name was “Phoebe the Fibber,” not because I told lies, but because I would make up a story on demand. Adults indulged me shamelessly, I’m afraid, but it only made me eager to learn to write and read. My first poem was published in the local weekly newspaper of my small hometown when I was nine. It was dreadful doggerel but had perfect rhymes. I was the editor of our class newspaper in the 5th grade.

My ambition was to be a journalist, especially a foreign correspondent. That had a romantic, exciting allure, and I went slinking around in a trench coat. I majored in journalism at Santa Rosa (California) High School, was editor of the school newspaper in 11th and 12th grades, and worked as a reporter and music critic for the daily Santa Rosa Press Democrat. I also served briefly as Assistant Editor of The Montgomery Village News.

Then I ran away with the circus, so to speak, and became a stand-up comic in the avant-garde cabaret clubs of San Francisco. I had always harbored a secret desire to be an actress-well, what else is a story-teller?-and finally wrote my own comic material and started a long career in the theatre. I quickly moved from clubs to the stage, settled down to serious study of the art, and eventually made it to New York City. I had a nice career for a dozen years, mostly Off-Off-Broadway (the avant-garde, again!), Off-Broadway, cabaret revues, summer stock, and regional theatre.

But I never gave up writing. I supported my theatre habit by writing travel brochures for travel agencies and airlines, promotional copy, song lyrics, an occasional scholarly essay for journals such as Modern Drama, poetry (in Cat’s Magazine, Quartet), and, of course, plays, some of which were done in NYC, Boston, London and, I think, elsewhere.

I switched gears again, left New York for Boston, and founded a non-profit international environmental education group and started writing teaching materials and public information on endangered species (especially the neglected ones like bats, manatees, and the unarmored three-spine stickleback), and marine mammals. I was an advocate as well, and three times served on the official United States delegation to the International Whaling Commission, the treaty organization that meets annually to divvy up what’s left of the whales, not always a happy time. I wrote white papers, teaching kits, articles, fact sheets.

I’m still writing for the environment, most recently an essay on people’s involvement with dolphins for The Encyclopedia of Nature and Religion, but spend my “other” time teaching in the Theatre Division of The Boston Conservatory. I had always promised myself that “someday” I would get around to writing fiction. And so I have.

I write dystopias, although I consider myself an optimistic person. I'm interested in how we govern ourselves--how we find the balance between power and personal freedom.

Goals: teach, write, read, love, enjoy every single day.”

Phoebe Wray

Memorials may be made in Phoebe’s name to the Humane Society, Mass. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or an animal charity of your choice.

Comments in the guestbook of the funeral home handling Phoebe's service can be made at the following URL: http://www.badgerfuneral.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1855774

FREE WEBINAR: Setting Up A Successful Author Table at an Event

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eSpec Books Funding Brenda Cooper Novel

eSpec Books, the publishing house founded by Broad Danielle Ackley-McPhail, is currently funding two new YA novels by bestselling authors Jack Campbell and Brenda Cooper. To learn more about The Sister Paradox (Campbell) and POST (Cooper) please visit http://tiny.cc/Novels2016. The campaign runs through October 11th.

EKO Resonates: Flying Ships and Family Drama Abound in RI Author’s World

51AhIlRH-JL._SX322_BO1204203200_PROVIDENCE (August 19, 2016): Octopus & Elephant Books is pleased to announce the paperback and e-book release of EKO, a fantasy novel from Rhode Island author Loren Walker, and finalist in the Half the World Global Literari competition.

In this first installment of the planned four-part series, EKO follows a teenage medical apprentice, and the trio of siblings tasked with the girl’s protection, and later rescue, from malevolent forces. Set in a parallel world to Earth, and featuring technological wonders, fast-paced action, detective work, brother-sister drama, and a touch of romance, EKO creates a captivating foundation for sequels. EKO also features two powerful, but very complex female protagonists, a subject that Ms. Walker is passionate about. "I use the example of [the film] Iron Man to explain my goal," she says. "Tony Stark is a superhero, but he's also a genius, an alcoholic, a sarcastic jerk, funny and infuriating, and tragic in some ways. I've longed to see more powerful female characters with that same complexity, and I sought to achieve it through EKO's protagonists." Walker's ambition paid off when EKO was recently shortlisted for the Half the World Global Literari Award, a competition seeking stories, novels and screenplays that "brought fresh insight into the lives of women."

Even with such recognition, the road to publication has been difficult; Walker established her publishing company Octopus & Elephant Books after collecting over 100 rejections from literary agents. "I rewrote EKO at least twenty times over two years," Ms. Walker says. "And in the end I still loved my characters, I was still proud of what I’d done, and I wanted to share it. And I'm lucky that technology has advanced so far that I could teach myself about the publishing process, form my own imprint, and be in charge of my own promotions." In time, she adds, she hopes to publish other mixed-genre fiction from New England authors, while releasing the sequel to EKO in 2017.

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Ms. Walker came to Boston, Massachusetts in 2000, and later settled in Providence, Rhode Island. Earning a Master of Arts in writing and poetry from Rhode Island College. Ms. Walker became an American citizen in 2015, and today works in the non-profit sector as a freelance writer. She will appear at the Narragansett Meet the Authors Pier Event (September 10th, 2016), the Books Under the Tent event at Rhode Island College (October 1st) and at the Rhode Island Authors Expo (December 3rd, 2016).

For author interview or book signing requests, contact the author directly: loren@lorenwalker.net

Author Photos and Media Kit Available at: http://lorenwalker.net/press--appearances.html

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Scrying for Summer Release!

Book two of my Philadelphia Coven Chronicles released today with Loose Id! Scrying for Summer is out!

(www.loose-id.com/scrying-for-summer)KM_ScryingforSummer_coverin

Yeah, all right, Jev said she was looking for adventure, but she meant the garden variety, like stomping out nasty fae in the city as an enforcer of the Philly Coven. She didn’t mean handsome-as-sin Liam O'Reilly showing with word that the worst organization of fae they'd ever dealt with was on the rise again. She definitely didn’t mean anything to do with Liam O’Reilly—traitor, asshole, and the absolute last person she wanted to work with.

Of course, her life doesn’t tend to give her those kind of choices. So it’s adventure, cliffhanging variety, and the gorgeous asshole. Jev tells herself it’s just work, a mission like any other, but the longer she works with Liam, the more the fire between them burns, turning from rage and irritation into something primal. And as she gets to know the real Liam O'Reilly behind the charming smiles and sexy lines, he becomes so much deadlier. Because the protective, self-sacrificing man underneath his facade is just the sort she could fall for.