David B. Coe: Release Day for DEAD MAN’S REACH!

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Today is release day for Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth and final (for now) novel of the Thieftaker Chronicles. I’m incredibly excited about this book for several reasons, not the least of which being that it represents, I believe, some of the finest work I’ve ever done. I hope you enjoy reading it every bit as much as I enjoyed writing it.

All of the Thieftaker novels demanded that I interweave fictional story elements with actual historical events. That has been one of the great challenges of writing these books, and one of the great pleasures as well. And I think that most fans of the series would agree that the interplay of fiction with history is part of what has drawn them to the Ethan Kaille stories.

In no book has that blending of history and make believe been more demanding, more complex, and more intricate, than in […]

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David B. Coe: Another Post About Openings

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We write about openings a lot here at Magical Words, and with good reason. A good opening for a story or novel establishes voice, tone, and conflict, and will ground your reader in your setting, your narrative, and your various character arcs. Early in our careers, when we submit work to editors and agents for consideration, we rarely get more than a page or so to convince them that our stories are worth publishing or representing. A lot rides on those first few paragraphs. Later, when we’re established, we still rely on those openings to carry a disproportionate share of the burden in winning over readers. Potential buyers will often read the opening page to determine whether they’re interested in purchasing a novel. I’ve had readers do this right in front of me at signings and conventions. Sometimes they read a few graphs, put the book back on the shelf […]

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David B. Coe: On Writing For Two Publishers

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I’ve been writing as D.B. Jackson for several years now. I published “The Tavern fire,” my first historical fantasy story, in 2011, and Thieftaker, the first volume in the Thieftaker Chronicles, came out the following year. I found it strange at first writing under a pseudonym, and having “someone else” known for my work. I wasn’t entirely certain that I liked it, and so was pleased when Tor allowed the ‘nym to be what the industry refers to, oxymoronically, as “an open secret,” meaning that the names would be kept separate, but I would be free to cross-promote between the two.

Until recently, though, my two writing names had not published simultaneously. I’d written books and stories as David B. Coe, and now I was writing them as D.B. Jackson, and, I thought, never would the twain meet.

Late in 2013, though, I signed a contract with Baen Books for […]

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David B. Coe: Different Books, Different Roles

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Hello again, Magical Words! I’m baaaccckk!

Today, I launch what I have been calling the 2015 Summer-of-Two-Releases Virtual Tour. Over the course of the next five weeks, I have two books coming out: On July 21, Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth and (for now) final Thieftaker novel, will be released by Tor Books under the D.B. Jackson pseudonym. And on August 4, His Father’s Eyes, the second volume in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, will come out from Baen Books under my own name.

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s two novels, in two separate series, under two bylines, coming out from two publishers. When we (my agent, Lucienne Diver, and I) sold the second series, we didn’t envision this kind of summer. We hoped that the books would come out far apart. But in publishing, things don’t always work out according to plan, and really, […]

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David B. Coe: The Writing Life and What it Means to Me

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This is my last entry for this round of guest posts. I have enjoyed being back here at MW for December and January, and I look forward to returning later this year, when I have two more releases (Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth Thieftaker, in July, and His Father’s Eyes, the second book in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, in August).

I have wondered what to write for this last post. Usually we ask our guest writers to give us a post about “the writing life.” But it occurs to me that this is not an easy topic. Describing the writing life is kind of like describing marriage or parenting. It’s a different experience for each of us. Sure there are certain elements of the writing process that all of us share — the frustrations of a stalled narrative, the magic of those days when the words just flow, […]

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David B. Coe: The Plotter Pantses

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I’m a plotter, and I have been for most of my career. I don’t outline every detail of my books. Far from it. I tend to write loose outlines that touch on the significant plot points of my narratives but leave the details — dialog, specific action, descriptions, etc. — to the moment when I’m actually writing. In other words, I’m a hybrid, as so many of us are: I plot a bit, but I also allow much of my writing to happen organically.

I think that my penchant for doing at least some outlining is, at least in part, an outgrowth of the kind of books I’ve written through my career. I started with big epic fantasies — multi-book story arcs, lots of sub-plots, lots of point of view characters. If I hadn’t outlined, I would have gone crazy trying to keep track of it all. And then I […]

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David B. Coe: Characters and Character Relationships

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Spell Blind, the first book in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, has been out for a week now, and it seems to be doing pretty well. If you have read the book, regardless of whether you liked it or not, please do feel free to review it on Amazon.com. The more reviews a book gets the more attention Amazon gives it. Of course, if you feel compelled to give it a five-star review, you should feel free to do that, too . . .

In my first post about the book, as I chronicled the twisted history of the novel and my reworking of it, I mentioned that in the face of my frustration with the book and the rejections it received, it was my love of the characters kept me going and made me determined to see it in print. Today, I’d like to focus on those characters […]

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