I’ll pick back up next time on the last TOP TEN post. This time I want to ramble a bit about the writing life, and other stuff.
I haven’t posted since 5-23, which feels like forever. So much has happened since then, to include ConCarolinas, updates on the Kickstarter project for the Rogue Mage RPG, and exciting stuff that I can hint at, but can’t explain deeply because contracts are in the works, etc. The most important of this last thing is the new compilation I was asked to write for ROC, a set of 3 or 4 shorts set in the Jane Yellowrock world.
As some of you know, last year, I was all set to self-publish CAT TALES, a compilation of Jane shorts and JY world history. These were shorts that had been offered to ROC, prior to MERCY BLADE hitting the NYT List. At that time, ROC had no interest in them, and it never occurred to me to rethink—after I hit the list—that my publisher might want me a bit more now.
The day I announced the CAT TALES project and displayed the cover on my FaceBook page, my lovely and wonderful literary agent, Lucienne Diver called to tell me that ROC wanted to publish them as an e-book. How that worked? The publisher saw the post and went to my editor, who called Lucienne. (Honestly, it took only about 10 minutes from the time I posted on FB, but that’s another tale with another subject, maybe titled, What You Do and Say On FB Will Be Read By Your Editor and Publisher.) At any rate, CAT TALES was taken over ROC and did spectacularly well. And BTW, it is lovely to be wanted. Even though I have made a career of sticking my foot in my mouth and ticking off people, I am still wanted, which might happen only in the publishing world where all writers are expected to be a bit odd, and wehere traits and habits that might not be overlooked in other fields are simply expected or ignored.
Because CT was so very successful, my editor came to Lucienne last month with an offer for another e-compilation. They want two new shorts and one short-short, and they are willing to reprint a previously published short story. I was psyched, I gotta tell ya!
A lot of writers have publishers come to them asking for projects to be written for them, but this is my first. My friend Tamar Myers was asked to write an entire series of mysteries about antiques; This was the only criteria: a cozy mystery series, with a female protag, about antiques. It was quite successful, and Tamar made it totally her own. David’s Robin Hood was one such requested project, and like mine, it was a one-off, not a series, and it had a *very* short delivery time. I had only weeks to come up with and write the short stories, and in order to make that time appear on my calendar, Lucienne got ROC to reschedule the delivery date of the next Jane Yellowrock book, BLOOD TRADE, back 6 weeks, into September. So, the time is there and I am finished with two stories already, and am 9 pages into the last one. Then I need to write a letter to fans and … maybe I’ll come up with some other fun stuff to toss in. Okay, I just had an idea, like maybe a series of letters written by Leo Pellissier back in the 1800s. *That* sounds like delicious fun! Oh – the tentative title for the new compilation is CAT PAUSE.
In the middle of writing these shorts, however, was ConCarolinas. I just want to say – that was the best Con in ages! The panels were respectful, nonjudgmental, open minded, and kind. There was no delving into politics and no intentional slights or insults. Or none that I noticed. My mother, her best friend, and my best friend, Joy, came on Saturday and they are all still talking about it! My mother used the event in her Sunday School lesson the next day as an example of people living like Jesus intended—without judgment, and in peace even when they are very different. (Okay, I am still amazed about that part.) Joy is coming back next year, in costume and ready to party. J She hopes to share a hotel room, if anyone wants to group-up. (Hides face.) Am I ruining perfectly good people by showing them con-life? Worse, do I care? Nooooo. I don’t.
CC proved to me once again that I have the best friends in the world, people who watch over me making sure I am safe, who lead me by the hand from panel to panel because I had vertigo (which I still am having some), who make me laugh, feed me cookies, and give me thongs. Please don’t think I wear thongs—I even call the kind that one wears on ones feet flip-flops. But as a lovely little prank (the subject matter suggested Gordon Andrews, who is half of the writing team Ilona Andrews and who I have never met) I now have dozens. Thank you, Gordon. I think. Thank you, Mud. (rolls eyes and laughs) The thongs came in all colors, materials, shapes and purposes and appeared at various times during the Con, always unexpectedly. I have thong coasters, thong bracelets, thong socks (who wears socks with flip-flops, I ask you?) thong anklets, thong key chains, Flip-Flop wine, lace thongs, a beautiful stone that looks like…well you figure that out. I have an eraser that looks like a peanut shell. I have a thong tree which will hold necklaces, thank you very much. I have three male thongs, two in elephant shapes—one which is, I kid you not, made of gold lame (which is missing an accent, dang it. Lame as in La-may) . Oh – and the thong cookies were homemade because I can’t eat commercially made cookies due to a corn syrup / cornmeal sensitivity. Delicious. Thoughtful. Risqué.
CC also allowed me the chance to make up with a friend I didn’t know I had insulted, which was a huge relief. The words, “I’m sorry” are some of my least favorite but some of the most important in my vocabulary. I do that foot-in-mouth thing a lot so I get to practice “I’m sorry” quite often. Fortunately my friends are pretty forgiving.
ConCarolinas let me meet some of the backers of the Kickstarter Rogue Mage rpg (Role Playing Game). I had sushi with the backer of the highest tier, and had a lovely conversation about cons and books and the arts. I don’t know if he reads MW, but if so, see me waving, Dj! It was a lovely dinner. Other RM winners played private games with Christina Stiles, and it was fun to hear about the plots developing in a world I created and Christina turned into a game. Now that was magical!
And then there were all the MagicalWords people in attendance. As always, seeing you guys was a blast. Our lunch at Boardwalk Billy’s was grand. The party on Saturday night was lovely. If you haven’t added ConCarolinas to your schedule for 2013, do so now.
For writers, cons are the most important place to be when not BIC. One writer announced firing her agent, and another writer offered to introduce her to a top notch agent. (Done, BTW.) One startup company got with a game designer and writer for a new product. I pestered David to write a short with him, one set in Ethan’s world if possible. David did PR networking for the release of his book THIEFTAKER. He had met Kalayna at CC a few years in the past, and this year, Kalayna’s book new book GRAVE MEMORY is out the very day before David’s. Out of that chance meeting at CC a few years ago, this year’s Book Signing Extravaganza was born. Ask if you don’t know when and where. Or, maybe David will post it here…
Hey. If anyone has stuff to say about CC, here’s your chance!