Subscribe RSS

I'm hoping to help out at Coyote Con, the First Annual 31 Day Digital Author Conference May 1-31, 2010.
This is how the creators of this unique Con describe themselves:
Those of us who read and write speculative fiction have a passion for seeing beyond the every day or around the corner. We dream of alien worlds, peoples, sciences, magic, and miracles. We imagine ghosts, monsters, and consummate lovers. We’re geeks, outsiders—strangers in a strange land. We have fun playing with possibilities. We are the home of mythic fiction in all its forms.

Our guests are authors, editors, publishers and other industry professionals who love to talk about, and be involved in, the making of books: cross-genre, historical, romance, horror, fantasy, and science fiction, and all the related media they generate.
If there is a place where discussions of humanity, inclusion, exclusion, diversity, ability, disability, othering, religion, irreligion, feminism, patriarchy, sexuality, colonialism and post-colonial ideas also belong, it is with us. We should always be able to see what’s possible.

The conference is free for writers and readers both (but registration is required!!) and provides workshops and other great content! Here are a few of the session titles:
Artificial Intelligence and Sexuality
The Book Deal and Publishing Process
Comics and Graphic Novels for Readers and Writers
Digital Lit
Fairy Tales in Fiction
Getting Your Book Reviewed
The Passive Verb Workshop
and much more! Both panel discussions on topics near and dear to spec fiction writers' hearts as well as practical down to earth how-to chats for writers of all genres. Come meet and greet your fellow writers of wonder!

I've gotten quite a bit of curious questionry about my new publisher. Who is it? What do they pay? How do you get books? people ask. Good questions, but as Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest points out on a recent blog, perhaps irrelevant.

Jane says:

When I started working in publishing (1998), the epic dream of writers was to get their book published, have it win awards or hit the bestseller list, then allow that success (to) sustain a lifetime of writing more great books.

That is still the Big Dream.

Yet this feels more and more like an archaic dream—not because people will stop reading, or because the book form will disappear, but that this path:

(1) may close off entirely for new writers, depending on the future of traditional publishing

(2) may not present sufficient earnings (if it ever did!)

(3) envisions the book as the end result and ultimate achievement of a writer's effort.

What does this mean for me?

If I were Stephen King, my books would be available online at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, at the publisher's website, and all the other ordering sites.

I'm not Stephen King. But when The Elf Queen comes out this fall, you, the reader, will be able to order it online at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, at the publisher's website, and all the other ordering sites.

You will be able to order it in hardback, paperback or for your favorite e-reader like the Kindle, Sony, Ipad and more.

So what's the difference to the average reader?

Sure, I won't get the end cap at the local big book store, and no one will take out an ad in the New York Times. But the book will be featured on my blog and probably a dozen others, hit the fantasy blog tours, be Tweeted around the 'Net, get a Facebook page and might reach the same number of people looking to read a fantasy book this weekend. At royalties between 10 and 25%, depending on the sale format.

After people read The Elf Queen, we've already got The Elf King in the planning stages to follow, the publisher and I. The third book in the series is more nebulous but on the table for discussion.

My book will be as available to anyone who wants to read it as any other author. I'll be as responsible for the success and sales as most authors today, as it takes someone of the cachet of Stephen King to have the publishers do the publicity for him. Most authors arrange their own tours, signings and promotional events, even when they're traditionally published.

I'm prepared for the work. And you bet I'm ready for the success.

Recently I expanded my writing goals in response to a couple of opportunities that cropped up, just to see what would happen.

Normally, I write novels. Period. I'm not great at poetry, even though it's a lot shorter, because I think it's so difficult. See here. I've written short stories from time to time, but I always feel like I have more to say than that. My main blog continues to say what I need to say, now more than two years in, and my articles and reviews at Firefox News are geared to Web reading.

But when our Pennwriters rep sent out a prompt from National Public Radio's Three-Minute Fiction, for Round Three, that lonesome newspaper lying on the table did suggest a story to me, and I put together the piece of flash fiction and sent it in.

About the same time, I ran across an invitation at Writer Unboxed for a writer who had not yet published a novel to become part of the group that creates the wonderful material on the blog.

I wasn't sure I was up to it, as the site was voted one of Writer’s Digest’s best 101 websites for writers in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The interviews were fabulous, the commentary from the other writers interesting and helpful. But...I gave it a shot.

I'm pleased to say that I was one of the top 14 semi-finalists out of 187 entrants, and as such, I will be entitled to publish a column with them each year, and perhaps more, if all goes well. Talk about Snoopy dances all around!

Add that excitement to the ongoing dialogues I'm having with editors and agents about my novel manuscripts, and I'm feeling an awful lot like a writer these days. How about you?

I think we're finally ready to go live here with this blog, now that the "business" is all caught up, so to speak. Blogger has some different features than Wordpress, and we've been able to pull together the widgets we need.

So sit back with a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy! Nice that you came by to visit.

In February, I found out I’d been given an award, over at the Polka Dot Banner –I’m a star author!! I'm also the featured author for the month of February, with a wonderful interview by Jane Nixon White.

This is very exciting, as it’s awarded for the books that I have posted there, including the Cup of Comfort books for Divorced Women and Adoptive Families, which each have a story of mine in them, and the divorce book I’ve written as well.

It also includes a special consideration for the fact that I support the PDB in its mission to promote writers, and acknowledgment that we all need to work together to make our careers successful. Whenever someone clicks on the PDB site, they have access to more than a hundred writers, where they can read blog posts full of great advice, search books, both fiction and non-fiction, and talk with authors on a very personal level.

It’s especially timely for me, as I have two manuscripts out for consideration with editors, one of whom has been very courteous and interested in my work, and I’m to the holding breath, biting nails stage. So please send some good wishes my way, and celebrate with me!