Distractions

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Y’all, it’s been One of Those Weeks for about two months now. I wanted to post something brilliant for you to read today, but really all I want to do is work on my New Shiny. So I’m going to throw a bunch of glittery internet treats at you and hope you don’t realize that my imagination is totally locked in 1876. Enjoy!

Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter crime novels, talks about the separation between himself and his character. “It would be very cool to say that I walk around all day and look at people’s necks while I mentally stroke the handle of a very sharp knife.

Fantasy writer Suzanne Johnson talks about the problem of authors using real tragedies in their work. “Real-world disaster-scapes seem like natural backdrops for riveting science fiction and especially urban fantasy but, so far, authors have stayed away.”

A grumpy literary agent shares some of the more entertaining queries he receives in Slushpile Hell.

How many definitions of science fiction are there?

DragonCon starts in a few days! If you’re planning on going, be sure and check out the Tor panels and of course, our own A J Hartley!

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17 comments to Distractions

  • You had me at Dexter… :) Thank you for the links! I love Slushpile Hell.

  • Misty, I’d never been to Slushpile Hell before. Hysterical and delightful waste of some of my morning writing time.;)

  • Misty, thanks for the Dragon Con plug. I hope to see some of our regulars there. And the Slushpile Hell stuff is just gorgeous. Who ARE these people?

  • Bwa ha ha ha! My evil distraction plan is working! Now I am two pages ahead of you all! *grin*

  • Thanks for these, Misty. Particularly Slushpile Hell, which had me laughing so hard I was in tears.

  • Yes, slushpile hell good. Edmund happy.

  • I *love* slushpile hell. Though it does make me want to write deliberately bad query letters and send them to him (under a false name, of course) just to see if I can make his site. (There’s a pub credit for ya!) Wish I was going to DragonCon (or the World Fantasy in Columbus) but they’re too expensive and I don’t have stuff really ready to pitch yet. And I’ve got other traveling I have to do. *sighs* Maybe next year.

  • Haha! Slushpile Hell = teh awesome. Some of those are just bizarre. If you wouldn’t put it on your cover letter of your resume for a job, don’t put it on your query letter to agent or editor. I don’t know everything there is to know about the business, but I have a feeling it’s best to come off honest/real. They got noticed by trying to be clever, but I don’t think that was the kind of notice they were looking for. 😉

  • Wish I was going to DragonCon (or the World Fantasy in Columbus) but they’re too expensive…

    Me too! I applied to be a guest for D*Con, but they didn’t want me. *sob sniffle* And I’m just too poor for WFC, so maybe next year!

  • I haven’t seen the slushpile hell before. Hmm,now I am stuck with a glittery distraction of my very own. Thanks

  • Quote: I applied to be a guest for D*Con, but they didn’t want me. *sob sniffle* And I’m just too poor for WFC, so maybe next year!

    Huh. Well, they don’t know what they’re missing. I’m the same for WFC. It’s just a bit too out of my price range right now. Sucks too because it’ll be about 45 minutes away from me this year and all the way on the other side of the US next year. Saving for next year though for Context in Columbus, Ohio and for ConCarolinas. We’ve already made it a plan to make the trip from Ohio.

  • Slush-Pile Hell was To Die For! Thanks, Misty. I needed the giggle!

  • Daniel, thank you! I won’t be at ConCarolinas 2011 – my son is graduating from high school that very weekend, so I’ll be playing the tearful mommy instead. But I’m sure we’ll meet up eventually! Maybe I should look at Context…

    Okay, you guys liked the Slushpile so much, here’s my other favorite internet treat – How To Write Badly Well. Have fun!

  • Misty,

    Slushpile hell is now in my funny links collection. It seems like a “What Not To Query”.

    It’s too bad you won’t be at ConCarolinas, but congratulations on your son’s graduation! MAD KESTREL arrived on my doorstep yesterday, so I guess that’ll tide me over.

  • Thanks, Moira! I swing between insane pride in my fine young man and deep depression that my baby has grown up. Standard mom behavior…

    I hope you enjoy the book!

  • If you want to check it out for next year.
    http://www.contextsf.org/

  • I’ve read so many times that an agent will get about 2,000 queries a year and accept only 20 so therefore it is very rare and hard to be represented.
    However I think those stats are a bit misleading, and after reading slushpile hell you’d agree.
    Of the 2,000 queries:
    – How many are totally fruity, possibly literally being made of fruit?
    – How many are of the wrong genre / type (eg: childrens books going to horror agent)
    – How many deviate from the submission guidelines enough to be rejected out of hand?
    – How many include absolutely rough draft sample text too poor to be considered?
    – etc…
    I guess I’m saying the odds drastically improve if you follow guidelines, submit to appropriate agents, submit only work that is as polished as possible and don’t be a nut job. Quite probably of the 2,000 there are only 1,000 worth considering and of that 1,000 there are 20 that particular agent is interested in. So by submitting to 50 agents you should be able to fairly assess if you are ready to publish (if all 50 reject you then you need to do more work / reassess your submission or something).
    Or am I wrong?