Photograph by Marie O’Mahony Photography

C. S. E. Cooney (she/her) is a World Fantasy Award-winning author. Her books include Saint Death’s Daughter (on Kirkus Review’s list of Year’s Science Fiction and Best Fantasy 2022), Dark Breakers, Desdemona and the Deep, and Bone Swans: Stories, as well as the poetry collection How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes, which includes her Rhysling Award-winning poem “The Sea King’s Second Bride.”

Look for her standalone novel The Twice-Drowned Saint (previously found in the anthology A Sinister Quartet) to be released in early 2023 from Mythic Delirium.

In her guise as a voice actor, Cooney has narrated over 120 audiobooks, as well as short fiction for podcasts such as Uncanny Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Podcastle. As the singer/songwriter Brimstone Rhine, she crowdfunded for two EPs: Alecto! Alecto! and The Headless Bride, and produced one album, Corbeau Blanc, Corbeau Noir.

Her plays have been performed in several countries, and her short fiction and poetry can be found in many speculative fiction magazines and anthologies, most recently: “A Minnow or Perhaps a Colossal Squid,” in Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Fantasy Volume 1, “Snowed In,” in Bridge To Elsewhere, and “Megaton Comics Proudly Presents: Cap and Mia, Episode One: “Captain Comeback Saves the Day!” in The Sunday Morning Transport—all in collaboration with her husband, writer and game-designer Carlos Hernandez.

Forthcoming soon from Outland Entertainment is a table-top roleplaying game co-designed by Cooney and Hernandez called Negocios Infernales.

Find her here at csecooney.com, on LinkTree, at @csecooney on Twitter and IG, on Facebook at facebook.com/cscooney, on her Amazon Author Page, or at Goodreads.

39 responses to “About

  1. Hi there! The Bill Memorial Library is interested in having you do a storytelling program. (We met through Flock and I alerted the library director to your recent publication of Bone Swans.) Do you mind shooting me an email and we can talk particulars?

  2. Pingback: Bone Swans, by C.S.E. Cooney | the Little Red Reviewer

  3. Dear C.S.E,

    Might you be interested in the prospect of literary representation into major trade publishing? To tell you a little bit about our literary agency, which closes more deals for authors than any other agency worldwide:

    Trident Media Group (TMG) is a prominent literary agency located in New York City. TMG represents over 800 bestselling and emerging authors in a range of genres of fiction and nonfiction, many of whom have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers Lists and have won major awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the P.E.N. Hemingway Award, The Booker Prize, and the L.A. Times Book Award, among others. TMG is one of the world’s leading, largest and most diversified literary agencies. For more than six consecutive years, TMG continues to rank number one for sales according to publishersmarketplace.com in North America. TMG is the only U.S. literary agency to be in the top ten in both UK fiction and UK non-fiction.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best,


    Mark Gottlieb
    Literary Agent
    Trident Media Group, LLC
    41 Madison Avenue, Floor 36
    New York, NY 10010
    (212) 333-1506

    • csecooney

      Thanks so much for your interest! I’ll keep you in mind. – csec

      • Tracy

        I want to buy your books, but I try to shop indy bookstores for hard copies. However, I have a lot of trouble finding authors like you and Catriona Ward. Do you, or anyone that has time to entertain this question, know why that’s happening, and how I can get around it if that’s possible?

      • csecooney

        Hi, Tracy! I don’t have much out; which books are you finding it difficult to find/buy? The indie bookstore I use is the Savoy, and I know they carry Bone Swans, Desdemona and the Deep, and The Sinister Quartet (that’s three novellas by other fine writers and my latest, short novel). Are you looking for some other book in particular?

      • Tracy

        Thanks for the response. Embarrassingly, this is largely a search fail on my part. I initially was doing a title search only of earlier out of print stuff, then I switched to author search, and unless it was ebook, I got no returns. I thought I had done a title search for Desdemona and the Deep, but I must not have spelled it correctly because it’s coming up with it in the search returns now that I’ve double checked.

  4. Scarlett North-Cavanaugh


    I am looking for a way to get in contact with you about using a poem of yours in my upcoming feminist scifi publication. Would be thrilled if you could email me back so I can tell you about it.

    Hoping to hear from you,

  5. Dear C.S.E,

    Congratulations for the Nebula Nomination!

    My name is Renne. I’m an editor of Science Fiction World Magazine(China). I want to introduce your story to Chinese readers by reprinting it on our magazine. Could you perhaps drop me an email so that we can talk about details? I would be honored to hear back from you.

    Renne Chon

  6. Dear C.S.E.:

    Congratulations for the Nebula Nomination!
    My name is Renne. I’m an editor of Science Fiction World Magazine(China). I want to introduce your story to Chinese readers by reprinting it on our magazine. Could you perhaps drop me an email so that we can talk about details? I would be honored to hear from you.

    Renne Chon

  7. Marcin Zwierzchowski


    My name is Marcin Zwierzchowski, I’m and editor at “Nowa Fantastyka” – Polish magazine. I would like to publish “The Bone Swans…”.

    Please contact me at: marcinzwierzchowski@fantastyka.pl

    Best wishes,


  8. This seems as good a place as any to drop you a fan letter. I am an IP attorney, but unlike many of the posters I’m not looking for anything from you–just wanted to express my appreciation for your work. There is so much dross in sci-fi and fantasy today that I approach any new author I haven’t heard of with more than a little trepidation. I am pleased to say, however, that the Bone Swans and the collection of stories that came with it were a breath of fresh air. And each so different! As you sped off in a new direction with each story, I found myself quickly sucked in. Too many sci-fi and fantasy writers milk their universes dry of any joy or freshness, but I found myself wanting to hear more about Dora, and Beatrice, and the Milkmaid, and your other characters, even though their stories were self-contained. Keep up the good work!

    • csecooney

      Dear Mr. Grierson,

      I am so pleased that Bone Swans gave you some joy; I too sometimes have extended plans for the characters beyond the scope of the story. Even if they never get written, it pleases me to imagine their lives (or afterlives) spinning out and out, having adventures and meeting friends I haven’t even yet conceived of. Thank you so much for dropping me a line, and for reading! I hope you find more gold than dross in your quest for a good read.

      Warm regards,

      C. S. E. Cooney

  9. Dear Ms. Cooney..
    Just a message to let you know how much I enjoyed your short story ‘Braiding the Ghosts’ in BSF&F 2011. This is of course several years old at this point, but as the saying goes, “It’s new to me.” Nashville and Knoxville are both blessed with one of the best curated used book stores in the world (McKay’s) and I often find treasures in those aisles. To speak from a personal level, I am a disabled writer and ‘outsider’ musician, and I’m often well-behind where I’d like to be, artistically. So, perhaps to make up for my own slow creative output (I tell myself it is simply for ‘research’), I read a great deal. Your incredible story reminded me of some magical concoction of Peter Pan, Doris Burn’s ‘Summerfolk’, Neil Gaimon’s ‘Graveyard’ book, and my own memories of exploring my grandmother’s antebellum attic. Except of course that its magic is unique. Your story, I’m honest enough to admit, inspired a bit of good-natured jealousy and pangs for young years wasted not knowing what I was meant to do, as well as inspiring me with your work ethic. For years I have wondered if I could be writer of stories AND poems, a musician AND painter, et cetera –all and at once. I see I can be, as you are! Thanks for the wonderful experience.
    Gregory Purvis aka James Edgar Purvis

    • csecooney

      Dear Mr. Purvis,

      Thank you so much for your letter! I am sorry it took me so long to reply!

      I too am often very far behind where I want to be. I have a bit of background in voice training, but was never trained as what I’d consider a “legitimate musician.” I have very simple tunes in my head; if I have a strength, it’s in lyrics. I am frustrated by not being able to do all the things I want to do–not only well, or competently, but brilliantly! But I suppose that forces me into collaboration, which I think is a kind of magic in and of itself, though a different kind of hard work.

      I remember the day I came up with the idea of “Braiding the Ghosts.” I wanted it to be a short story, but like so many of my “short” stories, it grew long and longer. I submitted it many times, with many rejection slips. Finally Mike Allen accepted it, though with a great deal of fine edits. A great editor is worth his weight in saffron! I was so honored to fall under his aegis.

      I hope you continue to explore and research, and most of all–to create. Like Sondheim writes in “Sunday in the Park with George”: “Anything you do, let it come from you.
      Then it will be new.
      Give us more to see…”

      Claire Suzanne Elizabeth Cooney

  10. Robert Rodriquez

    Dear Ms. Cooney: I am Robert Rodriquez. We spoke on the radio show. I am interested in reviewing your collection “Bone Swans”, and I have ballad books to send you and information on ballad resources. My telephone number is (212) 862-3526 any evening between 7pm and midnight. My email address is RodriquezRobert81@yahoo.com Thank You. Robert

    • csecooney

      Hi, Robert! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. If you want to review a copy of Bone Swans, you might apply to my publisher Mike Allen at Mythic Delirium (mythicdelirium.com) for an electronic copy, or wait until the Audio Book version comes out at the end of February through Tantor Media, which will be available both on CD and on Audible as a download. The “Ballads from the Distant Stars” project is not something I’m working on currently, but would appreciate book titles so I can add to my library when the time comes. I’m not much one for phone calls! Take care and thank you for your interest!

  11. eBookDaily


    “Bone Swans” is highlighted today on eBookDaily.com:



  12. Cora Jacobs

    HAIR TRIGGER would like to have permission to reprint your story “Glass Eyes” (from issue 29) in the 40th Anniversary issue of Hair Trigger 40.

    May we have your permission? C Jacobs, Managing Editor

    • csecooney

      Hi, Cora!

      MY GOODNESS I WROTE THAT A LONG TIME AGO. Gosh, will there be a CAVEAT? But sure thing–I shall send you an email, and you can tell me more about what that entails. Thanks for reaching out — C. S. E. Cooney

  13. Pingback: “Dogstar Men” – C. S. E. Cooney | Novel Niche: A Place for Books

  14. Hi there! Thank you again for the wonderful narration on my Stormy Day series. Can you drop me an email sometime about picking up those characters again and doing book #5?

    • csecooney

      Hi back, Ms. Pepper: I have written to you via your email admin provided on your website. I hope the information helps! I loved narrating your books; they cracked me up! – Claire

  15. Julie Swarstad Johnson

    Dear Ms. Cooney,
    I’m hoping to get in touch with you regarding a forthcoming anthology of poetry about spaceflight; my co-editor and I are interested in including your wonderful poem “Dogstar Men.” I would be happy to provide full details by email.
    Thank you, Julie

  16. Pingback: Nightmares Unearthed: A Contemporary Horror Reading – Free Online Event 3/27/21 – Archives of a Horror Fiend

  17. Chris

    Dear Ms. Cooney,

    First, I wanted to say that your work is immersive, evocative, creative, beautiful, and everything I want out of speculative fiction. I recommend it at the drop of a hat. Thank you for producing such wonderful art for the world!

    If you have the time, I have a quick questions for you. In the introduction to Bone Swans, Gene Wolfe mentions that, “there is a select type of student, rare but invaluable, who will certainly succeed if not run down by a truck… I have had two of those, and Claire is one.”

    Any idea who the other one was?

    • csecooney

      Alas, if I ever did, I have forgotten. I bet Gene had more than two, at that—I don’t think he was above literary hyperbole for the sake of a friend. He had so many students and correspondents over the years that “the other” might be whoever the “one” wasn’t. But, saying that, I also wonder if his daughter Teri might know. I knew him for only 20 tears, and that is hardly anything in the grand course of his generous life.

    • csecooney

      I spent so much time answering your second question, I forgot to thank you for the first enormous compliment! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  18. Pingback: 30 QUEER BOOKS TO READ IN 2022 AND 2023 – OUT OF THE CLOSET – L E O S T H E T I C S

  19. Pingback: Reading Challenges I’m Doing in 2023 – bookforager

  20. Theo Madden

    Dear CSE Cooney,

    I have been meaning to reach out to you regarding an audiobook narration project. Would be super cool if you could be available for one. Please let me know via email. We can discuss your rates and pricing etc.

  21. sitaluna

    Oooh I love Bonus Cuts & Special Features as much as parenthetical asides and footnotes 💞💞💞

    • csecooney

      Of course you do, Mama! You hear every draft!

      I don’t know if you know this, but you commented on the About section rather than the specific blog. I see all things anyway so it doesn’t much matter to me!

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