Write Us A Story!

Howdy, folks! I’m thrilled to announce that Emily Leverett, Margaret McGraw and I will be editing another anthology of stories from the dusty alleys of the weird west, this time for Falstaff Press! It’s called Lawless Lands: Tales From the Weird Frontier, and we have a fabulous lineup of anchor authors, including:

David B Coe Laura Anne Gilman Barb Hendee Faith Hunter Nicole Givens Kurtz Margaret McGraw Seanan McGuire Devon Monk Edmund Schubert and now, Jake Bible!

But nine stories isn’t enough, and that’s where you come in… we’re opening the submissions right now! Lawless Lands will be funded with a Kickstarter, which will run in December of 2016, so we want to have our stories in hand in order to guarantee an amazing campaign. We’re looking for stories that embody the frontier spirit of the American West, but with a weird twist. Gunslingers with laser pistols, cattle drives through […]

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Hobbit Tomatoes

There’s a scene in “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings” in which the hobbits are camping on Weathertop, waiting for Aragorn to do some scouting. Frodo falls asleep, but Merry, Pippin and Sam decide to start a little fire and cook some food. When Frodo wakes, his friends offer him “tomatoes, sausages and nice crispy bacon.”

A number of filmgoers became upset with this, because they felt that tomatoes, being a New World food item, didn’t belong in the setting. You read that correctly – the story is about four little humanoids carrying a magical ring to destroy in a volcano, being escorted by a 90 year old ranger who rode and fought as if he was in his thirties, under the direction of a wizard, but somehow tomatoes didn’t make sense.

I read about this in the afterword of a novel* I just finished, and it […]

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What Day Is It Again?

 

It’s con time again! ConCarolinas is looming large in my sight, and I’ve been caught up in the throes of finishing the schedule for the last week. Let me tell you, scheduling 50 writers into 56 panels so that everyone has a reasonable number and at least one or two of their “I’ll just die if I can’t be on this one” panels is not the easy task it might appear to be. I finished the schedule for the first time on Sunday. Since then, I’ve rearranged it at least four times, dropped panelists either because I screwed up or because they asked me to, and inserted new panelists into the suddenly open spots. Fortunately Sched.org is a brilliantly easy site to work within, so I didn’t have to buy another white board. (The first one was full of names and numbers already.) Want to see what we’ve put […]

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It’s Supposed To Be A Living

“Why should we have to pay for the stories in your head?”

Last week, Facebook was buzzing over an incident with a romance author who received a horrible message from a “fan”. The woman had purchased ebooks by the author, read them, returned them for a refund, then complained that while she enjoyed the stories just fine, the author should make all her books free because paying for them was too difficult for the “fan”. The author blocked her (because duh) so the “fan” created a new account and messaged the author again, calling her names and telling her that she could have been a bestseller if only she’d make her books free for everyone, then ended her message with the line above.

First off, I’m at a loss as to how one becomes a bestseller by giving away all the books. I didn’t get any further than Algebra II/Trigonometry […]

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To Agent or Not To Agent? Part Two

Today we’re welcoming back Barb Hendee. Barb is the nationally best-selling co-author of the Noble Dead Saga, along with her husband J.C. She is also the author of the Vampire Memories series and the recently launched Mist-Torn Witches series. If you missed the first part of this great post, please read it here: http://www.magicalwords.net/misty-massey/to-agent-or-not-to-agent/

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Why You Might Need an Agent

1) Negotiating Contracts

Now, here, instead of an agent, you can go with an IP (intellectual property) attorney and just pay a one-time fee. I know a few writers who have done this and had a good experience.

Again, JC and I are with John Silbersack at Trident Media, and our agency is always on the lookout for new “clauses” that are suddenly slipped into contracts. Sometimes even innocuous-sounding clauses can have long-term impact. Trident Media has its own legal department, and we are more comfortable using the combination […]

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To Agent or Not to Agent? Part One

Today we’re welcoming a longtime friend of Magical Words, Barb Hendee! Barb is the nationally best-selling co-author of the Noble Dead Saga, along with her husband J.C. She is also the author of the Vampire Memories series and the recently launched Mist-Torn Witches series. Visit her website at: http://www.nobledead.org

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If You Want to Get Your Manuscript on the Desk of a New York Editor, You Need an Agent.

Okay, that title probably lays out the point of this blog post pretty clearly, but this is a complex topic.

Of late, I’ve heard some rather “loud” voices in the industry telling new/hopeful writers that not only do they not need an agent to be successful, but that an agent will actually be damaging to their careers.

In one online discussion, I recently (stupidly) jumped in to say, “Well, of course if someone is self-publishing, he or she doesn’t need an […]

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Finishing

Good morning, y’all! I’ve been up to my ears in a story that’s due this week, so I’m presenting a special guest to you today. Shannon Wendtland is one of the writers of the wonderful anthology An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes from Mocha Memoirs Press. Today she’s here to talk about her novel Heliodor. Welcome, Shannon!

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I used to be a ‘pantser’, and by that I mean: someone who writes by the seat of their pants. I’d get an idea – one that I thought had legs – and I would write like crazy until my energy petered out. I’d write ten thousand-plus words in a weekend. And then I’d go to work and get back to my daily life and not write again for weeks, maybe even months.

It’s hard to finish a project when you do it in big, […]

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