Clockwork Girl

22 Feb

Urban fairy tales for the weird girl in all of us.

Athena Villaverde is a brave new voice in the world of offbeat young adult fiction. Like a combination of Francesca Lia Block, Charles de Lint, Kathe Koja, Tim Burton, and Hayao Miyazaki, her stories are cute, kinky, edgy, magical, provocative, and strange, full of poetic imagery and vicious sexuality. Clockwork Girl is a collection of three short bizarro novellas that make a perfect introduction to her unique style.


Cat Filigree is a caterpillar girl trapped in the ugly stages of metamorphosis, desperately waiting to be transformed into a butterfly. With her flaky skin and glazed eyes, she has become one of the least popular girls at her high school. Tormented daily by the popular lady bug girls and fig-beetle jocks, she hides away from the world, listening to Bauhaus records and reading Grant Morrison comics. She thinks she’s doomed to be alone forever, until she meets Lilith- a beautiful, punk rock, corset-wearing spider girl whom Cat falls madly in love with. But there’s a problem: because she’s a spider girl, Lilith has the tendency to kill and eat her lovers. And butterflies happen to be her favorite food.


Pichi was once a normal human girl. But now her skin is made of brass, her organs have been replaced by cogs and gears, and her heart must be wound up every day in order to stay alive. She is a clockwork girl. Like most children of poor families, she was sold to a toymaker, surgically transformed into a mechanical living doll, and given as a Christmas present to a rich little girl who was no longer satisfied with ordinary porcelain dolls. She has no memory of her past or even her real name. All she knows is that she’s in love with her new owner and wants to be with her forever. But what she doesn’t know is that little girls always outgrow their toys, eventually.


Her skin is made of honeycomb. She smells of baked oranges and is dripping with amber- colored honey. Living bees swarm around her like miniature lovers and crawl through her hair as she dances. She is Maya, the queen of the tango; the sexiest, most powerful dancer in town. Every man in the tango community longs to dance with Maya, but very few dare to try. You see, Maya’s skin is a living beehive. And if a man attempts to dance with her who lacks the proper amount of talent and grace, he will get stung . . . perhaps even stung to death.

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23 Jul

She put on her watermelon shoes
to explore the orange canary planet
feathers sticking to her feet
she began to fly.

Bizarro Brigade

20 Jun

Do you love Bizarro Fiction? Want more of it? Want to be a PART of it?

The Bizarro Brigade is forming, and we’re recruiting ground forces. Here is your first chance to join the army of fans dedicated to spreading the word of bizarro throughout the world. It is the Bizarro Force—-a highly organized unit of the coolest, weirdest, most dedicated fans that the Earth has ever seen. We are mobilizing to bring bizarro to every nook, niche, and corner we can find. We want everyone talking about bizarro fiction, and we want our fans in a place where they can spread the word with ease, excitement, and support.

Join now and for a limited time,  receive a free pdf copy of Starfish Girl.

To sign up:


and put “ENLISTMENT” in the subject heading.


Demons: Encounters with the Devil, His Minions, Fallen Angels and the Possessed

20 Jun

I am excited to announce that I have a new story coming out this fall through Black Dog & Levinthal in the next anthology in their horror series edited by John Skipp.  The other two anthologies, Zombies: Encounters with the Hungry Dead and Werewolves and Shapeshifters: Encounters With the Beast Within are phenomenal and I highly recommend reading them in anticipation of this release. My story, “Demon Girl” about a demon girl in hell going through puberty,  will appear alongside literary legends and authors I have long admired such as H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Amelia Beamer, Cody Goodfellow, J. David Osborne, Carlton Mellick III, Nick Mamatas and Neil Gaiman.

Here’s the full table of contents:

“Cherub” by Adam-Troy Castro
“The Devil” by Guy De Maupassant
“The Book” by Margaret Irwin
“The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs
“The Hound” by H.P. Lovecraft
“The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Devil And Daniel Webster” by Stephen Vincent Benet
“Nellthu” by Anthony Boucher
“The Howling Man” by Charles Beaumont
“The Exorcist” (excerpt) by William Peter Blatty
“Hell” by Richard Christian Matheson
“Visitation” by David J. Schow
“Best Friends” by Robert R. McCammon
“Into Whose Hands” by Karl Edward Wagner
“Pilgrims To The Cathedral” by Mark Arnold
“The Bespelled” by Kim Harrison
“Non Quis, Sed Quid” by Maggie Stiefvater
“Demon Girl” by Athena Villaverde
“He Waits” by K.H. Koehler
“Happy Hour” by Laura Lee Bahr
“Staying The Night” by Amelia Beamer
“Daisies And Demons” by Mercedes M. Yardley
“And Love Shall Have No Dominion” by Livia Llewellyn
“Mom” by Bentley Little
“20th Level Chaotic Evil Rogue Seeks Whole Wide World To Conquer” by Weston Ochse
“Consuela Hates A Vacuum” by Cody Goodfellow
“Our Blood In Its Blind Circuit” by J. David Osborne
“Empty Church” by James Steele
“Angelology” (excerpt) by Danielle Trussoni
“The Coda Of Solomon” by Nick Mamatas
“John Skipp The Law Of Resonance” by Zak Jarvis
“Stupid Fucking Reason To Sell Your Soul” by Carlton Mellick III
“Halt And Catch Fire” by Violet LeVoit
“Scars In Progress” by Brian Hodge
“The Unicorn Hunter” by Alethea Kontis
“Other People” by Neil Gaiman

Last Encounter

31 Mar

Tin leaves dropping
Like handshakes or kisses
The meat of language
fat and sinew prophylactics
against the unsaid harm
They meet at lunch
buzzing, firefly-wing-hot
Tattoos and chipped nail polish
Drumming on the table in anticipation
Her electric voice
Igniting him
He follows her for a mile when they part
And wonders if she’ll ever miss him this way


16 Feb


His legs violins.
He says they do not understand
But he sees it in the way I walk.
The fire on his face burns too hot,
His finger drawing a line up his cheek,
And we are alone.
Hands on my waist,
He licks my face,
We turn and turn.


She asks me, “what do you do when you don’t feel you’re good enough?”
And she is vulnerable
The mother,
Her bones are thin.
Holding me,
Glass eyes cracking
Leaking her fears.
She struggles to be loved,
Despite herself.


At first we are strangers
We do not speak in words
But I know his voice
I hear it in the way he moves
And I listen
I give him that much, no more.
And then the song ends
His breath on my neck
I hold him closer
I give him music
We move like fish
The room disappearing
Like water flowing
I forget myself
We travel like old friends
Sharing the stories of our bodies


I watch her
I become her
I feel him inside me


We are dancing on glass
Legs like knives
Cutting time
In slow motion
Waiting as singular raindrops
Strike piano keys opening
A window to everything you remember
Your mouth holding secrets
Like chocolates
Savoring the flavor
Your glasses sit upon a table
Your arms around my neck
Pixie kisses
Skylight brilliance.


Her lips too ripe for kissing
Kohl-slashed eyes
Forgotten pins prick
Her selfish skin
Corseted, bruised, silent
Legs like vinyl hairpins
Laughing through her skin
Into the hour when night turns into day
And the dancers return home
Gambling their emotions
In vacant stairwells

Studio Ghibli Films

4 Dec

Studio Ghibli is the Japanese animation studio responsible for such beautiful and magical films as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle. If you haven’t heard of these films, I highly recommend them.  Hayao Miyazaki is the manga/animation artist and film director behind many of Studio Ghibli’s best films. I am obsessed with the films of Miyazaki and love everything put out by this studio.

These films have been a huge inspiration to my writing. Here are my recommendations:

(some of these trailers are in Engligh, but I recommend you watch the film in their original Japanese)

Naussica Valley of the Wind

My Neighbor Totoro


Howl’s Moving Castle

Castle in the Sky

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Porco Rosso

Spirited Away