Getting It Right The First Time

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

I spent the last few days reading submissions for our upcoming anthology, The Weird Wild West. I’m nowhere near finished, of course – we had a marvelous response to our call, so there are a lot of stories to work through. This is a new experience for me, editing. I’ve edited my own work, of course, but choosing stories for an anthology that will have my name on it – this is an entirely different activity. I’ve asked Emily (who has more experience at this sort of thing) a ton of questions. We don’t want anything but the best in this book, and we expect the submissions to be the absolute best the writers could possibly achieve.

I want to repeat something you regular readers of Magical Words have heard all of us say at least a thousand times. Editors are looking for a reason to say “No, thank […]

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The Hugo Problem

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

I want to share some great news – Magical Words friends Edmund Schubert (Best Editor, Short Form) and Gray Rinehart (Best Novelette) have both received nominations for the Hugo Awards, and we’re so pleased for them! Congratulations, guys!

I thought a lot about discussing the Hugo situation today, and at first I decided not to. Mostly because I’m not a “name”, which means that my opinion won’t travel far, and also because I really don’t want to be pounced on should certain people find out that I have an opinion that doesn’t coincide with their own. But I gave it a lot of thought, and seeing that I have friends on the ballot, I’m wading in.

For those of you who aren’t up to speed on what’s going on, a couple of years ago, a small group of writers declared that another small group of writers were members of a […]

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Misty MasseyMisty Massey

So today I want to talk to you about deadlines. A deadline is the date an editor or publisher sets as the last possible moment an assignment is due in their hands. The deadline is usually decided based on the publication schedule, and there’s not often a lot of wiggle room. Writers who meet their deadlines (or turn in their work early) are an editor’s dream.

At the moment, I’m more of the nightmare variety.

I owe a certain editor (who is handsome and charming and delightful and the life of any party and gosh what else can I think of to flatter him with right this second) a story for an upcoming anthology. At this very second, I’m not the last person to turn in a story, and as soon as I finish writing this post, I’m going to work on finalizing my story so I can keep that […]

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Misty MasseyMisty Massey

Saturday last, I took part in a group book signing to launch The Big Bad II, an anthology edited by John Hartness and Emily Lavin Leverett. See?

Anyway, most of the folks there had been published before, either in other anthologies, by traditional publishers or by the self-pub route. Except Riley Flynn (the dark-haired woman sitting next to me.) This was Riley’s first professional publication, and she was as delighted as a child at Christmas. Her mom made the trip to be there for Riley’s first signing, and lots of her friends and family also showed up. It was adorable watching her sign books. Every single one was a thrill for her.

Sometimes when you’ve been at this for a while, signings become a less-than-wonderful experience. Too often you only remember the people who rush past the table as if they fear you’ll force them to stop, or […]

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It’s Been A Rough Week

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

On Thursday, we lost Sir Terry Pratchett. He’d been diagnosed with a rare, early-onset Alzheimer’s a while back, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. But he was only 66 years old (every year that passes makes that number sound younger and younger to me) and I don’t think anyone was ready for him to go. I’m grateful he never had to deal with losing his identity. I also admired his determination to die on his own terms, instead of letting the disease transform him into an empty shell of what he once was. I don’t know if he died by his own hand or not – they’re keeping the specific reason for his death very quiet – but I do know that the world of fantasy is a little less bright now that he’s moved on.

Within hours after hearing about Sir Terry, I got word that a wonderful man […]

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Second Star To The Right

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

Last Friday morning, my son came into the room with a terrible look on his face. “Mom,” he said, in that gentle way that people use when they have heartbreaking news to share, “Leonard Nimoy has passed away.”

“You know, for a long time I have been of the opinion that artists don’t necessarily know what they’re doing. You don’t necessarily know what kind of universal concept you’re tapping into.” — Leonard Nimoy

I was a child when Star Trek first ran, and didn’t really discover it until it began running in syndication a few years after its cancellation. While it was obvious that Shatner was intended to be the star, I was always more fond of Leonard Nimoy as the cerebral Mr Spock. He was almost always calm, even in the most harrying situations. He never needed to tear off his shirt to win the day, because he could […]

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Party Talk: The Evil Overlord List

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

Hey y’all, The Big Bad II releases tomorrow! Whoo hoo! Twenty-four tales of vampires, demons, ghosts, zombies, and the most terrifying monsters of all – humans. It’s going to be available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle, so if you want to be one of the cool kids, go order your copy right now!

I’ve asked our authors to join me for one more round of Party Talk, and this week’s question is:

What are your favorite rules from the Evil Overlord List?

Matthew Saunders:”One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.” This is very sound advice for life in general.

Gail Martin: 7 and 56. Related to 7 should be the Syndrome Corollary: No monologuing!

David B Coe: Hard to choose from this list, because they’re all pretty good, and they all […]

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