David B. Coe: On Writing For Two Publishers


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 […]

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David B. Coe: Different Books, Different Roles


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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Party Talk: Bad Guys!

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

Hey y’all, I have some exciting news…there’s a new book coming out soon, and you’re going to love it! It’s called The Big Bad II, and it’ll be released February 24. Edited by John Hartness and Emily Lavin Leverett, it’s chockful of great stories by some of the best in the business, and every single story is from the point-of-view of the villain. As soon as we have a preorder link, I’ll share it here on MW for you! In the meantime, I’ve invited the writers from The Big Bad II to come to Magical Words for a session of Party Talk. Today’s question is:

Who’s the best bad guy you’ve ever read? What made that character so enthralling?

Gail Martin: It’s a tie for me between Voldemort from Harry Potter and Denethor from Lord of the Rings. I really loved the parallels between Tom Riddle and Harry, with choice […]

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


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


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


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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David B. Coe: Release Day and Defining Success


Today is the official release day for Spell Blind, the first book in my Case Files of Justis Fearsson. I’ve already blogged about the book in some detail, and so I think that at this point a description of it would probably be superfluous. Instead, I’d like to use this post to revisit the idea of defining success.

Spell Blind will not be debuting on any bestseller lists. It’s possible that the book will do well enough in these first few weeks to creep onto a list or two (and if you would care to help in that regard by purchasing a copy for yourself and perhaps sending one to a friend, I would be most grateful), but even that is a long shot. The book will receive some good reviews, I’m sure. It already has gotten a few. But if I define the success of this book in terms […]

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