|Mar. 13th, 2014 07:49 am An Open Letter: Dear SFF Publishing Professionals,|
Originally published at Agent Incite. You can comment here or there.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting many very smart, talented and interesting people in the years I’ve attended conventions and been part of the professional end. It’s been an undiluted pleasure to meet people like Elizabeth Bear, David Drake, and Lois McMaster Bujold. I’ve met artists and editors, publisher, agents and publicists. The one unifying thing each and every one of us has in common; an abiding desire for the industry to be taken seriously.
Well, newsflash ladies, gents, undeclareds and undecideds; the current crock in crockery isn’t how we get there. The name-calling, that most of the folks I know on either side wouldn’t tolerate from a seven year old in their charge. The sexual sniping is something that one would expect from the middle school kids who known there’s something going on down there but haven’t figured out anything other than its messy and makes them uncomfortable. Yes, that is how it looks to (me) the movie companies, fans, and anyone else who might be considering your intellectual property. Do you really think anyone wants to work with a chronological adult like that if they can avoid it?
I don’t care about the sides. I didn’t when it was still a “discussion” about who should or shouldn’t be kicked out of SFWA. I didn’t when it was almost possible to view it as a purely intellectual debate over the content of the SFWA social media and other outlets. Sadly, it hasn’t been about either of those things in weeks. It’s become dogmatic drivel slinging as a litmus test for who’s cool and who isn’t. That isn’t supposed to be what SFWA is for. None of the sniping promotes the welfare of writers. None of it is getting more accountability from publishers. None of it is getting more recognition for self-published writers. Not a damn bit of it is attracting new readers and con-goers. The garden path y’all and hootin’ and hollerin’ down just eats creditability, time, and creativity.
But I get where it’s coming from. I’ve read many of the people busy pissing in the punch. Many of you were unpopular in school, and some of you still are in your non-publishing lives. Bullying, exclusion, and self-doubt were the other three horsemen when you walked the halls of whatever high school you longed to escape. Today, you’re striking out as you couldn’t then. It is great you’ve found your fighters stance and steely eye.
Unfortunately that fight is over. You can’t avenge yourself on you fellow outcasts, they didn’t push you from the herd in school. More importantly, you job is to entertain. You aren’t trapped five days a week 180 days a year in the same building with anyone. Some of the people you’re hissing and spitting at you’ve never met, and have probably spent less than a week in the same building as in the last decade. Is it worth it? Is it productive? Does it make you a better writer or protect the livelihood of some other writer? Nope, not a chance, and hell no. It’s all lost product.
There are a lot of people in the industry I like spending time with. Some like that guy way on the left who isn’t over tall and that lady on the other end with the funny accent wear their politics like a suit of armor. Some like Lois Bujold have politics that are nigh on impossible to guess. Why do I like people so far apart? Wit. Verve. Drive. More importantly, I don’t do cliques, I don’t care about what clique someone might be in because it doesn’t make me, my friends or my clients any money. I didn’t do cliques when I was a kid, didn’t as a teen, never been tempted.
So for the love of writing, reading and profits can we all just please, please, please and thank you pretend to get along?
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|Mar. 10th, 2014 09:13 pm Cataversary|
I kept Kiera in the bathroom when I first brought her home. She hid from me under the bathtub for the first couple of days. 3 comments - Leave a comment
Eight years ago today, I brought my kitty Kiera home from a no-kill cat shelter. They guestamated she was about one-and-a-half years old at that point. They'd given her the name Little Miss. She'd been abandoned in an apartment by the people who had owned her before me.
Kiera early days
It took over a year for her to really trust me. She's still afraid of my feet, but not as freaked out by them as she once was. She still likes to play, and races around my house like a crazy thing on a daily basis.
The princess with her sparkly balls.
She's my constant companion, hanging out with me much of the day, as well as curled up against me purring all night. She's really only my cat--she barely tolerates anyone else, though she has warmed up to a few people. Then again, there are still days when she barely tolerates me.
The Olympics of Sleep - Twisted back lunge
So here's to you my Little Miss, my purring companion. The last eight years have been fabulous. Let's go at least another eight.
The princess in her castle
Of course, she still sometimes sleeps with one eye open...
|Mar. 10th, 2014 01:00 am SFWA reading series event|
Next month, I’ll be participating in SFWA’s Pacific Northwest Reading Series! And no, I have no idea what I’ll be reading. Possibly from the newest novel, “When the Moon Over Kualani Mountain Rises.” Or maybe a short story, written for the event. We’ll see.
On Tuesday, April 29 in the Seattle area, we’ll have Nebula- and Hugo-winning writer Nancy Kress, accompanied by Jack Skillingstad and me. The University Bookstore will be on hand, selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.
When: Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant, 111 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033
On Wednesday, April 30 in Portland, we’ll have bestselling writer Mike Moscoe, along with Ray Vukcevich and me again. Wrigley-Cross Books will be selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.
When: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211
See http://www.sfwa.org/for-readers/sfwa-northwest-reading-series/ for more information on both readings.
I hope you can join us! It should be a lot of fun. Tell your friends!
Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.Leave a comment
|Mar. 3rd, 2014 01:00 am Two more short story sales!|
I sold two short stories to the Fiction River anthology series! One to Past Crime and one to Pulse Pounders! More details to follow later when I can brain again.
Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.Leave a comment
|Mar. 2nd, 2014 01:00 am Story Inspiration Sunday|
I blog about inspiration both here on my blog and over at Book View Cafe. Feel free to comment either here or there.
I’ve spent the last week on the Oregon Coast, at a writing workshop. It’s actually been more business than craft, as I’ve been attending the anthology workshop.
After listening to six different editors opinions on 40+ professionally written stories, I can tell you that this post is absolutely true. You could have five editors all say, “Loved this story. Would have bought it.” Then the editor with the checkbook, who could actually buy the story, say, “Nope. Didn’t like it. Doesn’t fit.”
One of the things that was also very interesting was hearing an editor say, “I don’t like X in my stories,” such as carnival stories, stories where children are endangered, stories with magical snowmen, etc. Which would prompt me, the writer, to think, “Okay, don’t send that type of story to that editor.”
Then the next story, that editor would say, “I don’t like X in my stories. This one was so well done I would buy it anyway.”
One of the other interesting things was hearing stories about editors who reject a story, and then, two-three years later, receiving an email that says, “I just can’t get that story out of my head, have you sold it? Can I have it?”
So again, I agree with this post. There is no perfect story. You are never going to write a story that is a guaranteed sale to a market. For that matter, even if you are invited to write in an anthology, there’s still not guarantee that the editor won’t reject the story and tell you to rewrite it or submit something else.
But beyond the networking that I’ve done here, and all the things I’ve learned, one of the reasons I come to these workshops is because these people are my people. This is my family. I adore these people, and despite the exhaustion, they’re still clever and fun.
And that’s the inspiration part of this post. (See? I knew I could get there.)
( Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.Leave a comment
|Feb. 28th, 2014 04:50 pm Unclaimed ARC Giveaway & a Review|
One ARC of STONE COLD hasn’t been claimed yet. If it isn’t claimed by noon PST tomorrow (March 1st) I will give it away in a first-responds first-gets-it, here on the blog (just after noon PST, March 1st).
I’ll send out reminders on Twitter and Facebook a few times between now and then. So if you follow me there, you’ll be reminded.
STONE COLD, will be out on April 1st! That’s only a month away!!
I am excited and nervous for Shame and Terric’s story to finally be in the hands of readers. Shame and Terric are living through a much darker time in their lives than Allie Beckstrom did in her books. They have monumental challenges in front of them, and doing what they have to do to face those challenges is no walk in the park. I love these two stubborn, flawed, brave characters, and I hope readers will enjoy spending time with them too!
RT BOOK REVIEWS (Bridget Keown) gave STONE COLD a 4 star review!
Here is some of what she said:
“…two hopelessly dysfunctional and utterly compelling heroes whose fascinating magic both binds and traps them. The odd bond that they share, both magically and personally, is strong enough to hold readers’ attention and empathy, and the dark, edgy adventure will keep them enthralled to the final scene.”
Thank you, RT Book Reviews and Bridget Keown for such a lovely review!
Mirrored from Devon Monk.Leave a comment
|Feb. 26th, 2014 11:22 am New Slideshare on Digital Publishing for Authors by Kathy Gill |
Kathy Gill is an old friend who has been digital since JC was a small boy. She has taught digital and new media at the University of Washington, and designed websites for years. When Kathy speaks, I listen.Leave a comment
She's now posted on Slideshare a great presentation, "Introduction to Digital Publishing for Authors" which I recommend you all read.
I've embedded a link to it here so you don't have to waste time going to Slideshare and looking for it.
|Feb. 22nd, 2014 11:52 am Short Story Collections|
Here’s the deal: I like short stories. Most of the time I write short stories and I love to read short stories. I have to believe there are other people out there (lots of them) who like short stories too. Nobody has figured out, though, how to connect these great short stories with the readers who would like them (everything turns out to be a marketing problem). I would like people to read my short stories, but promoting my own work feels hinky, so here our some short story collections by other authors that I love:
- Fire Watch by Connie Willis
- Strange but not a Stranger by James Patrick Kelly
- 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
- Night Shift by Stephen King
- Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
- The Story of Your Life and Other Stories by Ted Chiang
- Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
- The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
I’m proud of my own collections. Each story, at the time I was inventing it, was what I cared most about in my writing world while I was composing it. When my students read my short story collections, I get a little nervous. For the moment, they are as close to becoming telepathic and seeing how my mind works as they can get in this world.
That same concept is true for every author’s writing. Buy some short story collections.1 comment - Leave a comment