Coming Out Of The Dark

January is never my favorite month. The holidays are over, so all the pretty decorations are gone. It’s cold and damp and there’s not anything in particular to look forward to. So my mood tends to drop pretty badly in January. Most of the time I can tough my way through to spring, but this year was hard. We lost David Bowie and Alan Rickman (and now Glenn Frey, because damn.) A family member of mine has suffered a loss, and I’m dealing with an unpleasant work environment. So I was not at all strong when I ran across an article about an upcoming book that sounds very nearly like the one I already wrote. Coming from my publisher, too. I crashed into an emotional wall. Did that author steal from me? Are there enough similarities for me to complain? Is there anything I could do? Would it even […]

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Happy New Writing Year!

We’re coming up on the end of another year, and we at Magical Words are so pleased that you’ve all stuck around so long. 2016 is going to be a great and energetic year around here. For one thing, we’re welcoming David B Coe and Faith Hunter back on a regular basis – yippee! As soon as the schedule is finalized, I’ll post it here.

When the year is getting ready to change, most of us start thinking about ways we can make changes that will benefit us. Exercising more often, decluttering the home, saving more money…. you know the drill. Personally I intend to finish projects that I’ve left simmering. And with that in mind, just a few minutes ago, I was meandering through Facebook when I saw a comment one writer had made to another, asking where he found places to submit his work. So I thought it […]

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Finding the Magic

As I’ve mentioned more than once around here, I was one of those kids who absolutely believed in magic. I knew what kind of world I lived in, of course – I wasn’t completely delusional, and I certainly knew better than to admit such feelings to teachers and classmates at school. That was a sure way to get myself shoved into a janitor’s trashcan during first lunch. But I couldn’t help thinking if I stood still long enough and believed hard enough, the fairies would show themselves. Maybe even take me under the mountain to dance until dawn.

Now that I’m all grown up, I recognize that the magic does indeed exist. It’s not really unicorns and fairies (although who knows? They may still be waiting for me to find them.) The magic of our real world is all around us, and you only have to watch for it. For […]

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Everyone Likes It, So Why Don’t I?

Have you ever bought a book that everyone said was wonderful? I don’t mean a few of your friends recommended it. I’m talking about the book that is being hailed by all the big review sites and most of the smaller ones, raved about up one side of Facebook and down the other side of Twitter, and has a #5 sales rating on Amazon. Everyone from your local librarian to your favorite author has bought and loved this book, so you fork over your hard-earned cash and buy yourself a copy, only to discover that… you hate it. Suddenly you’re holding a book you can’t even bear to finish, wondering what on earth is wrong with you. So many people shouted their love for this book for all the world to hear, and there you sit, unable to stomach another chapter.

The hardest part is facing everyone who loved the […]

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The Business Side of Bucking Trends

Folks, we once again welcome Laura Anne Gilman, author of Silver on the Road (Book 1 of The Devil’s West), a thrilling adventure set in an American West that isn’t quite ours, ruled by the Devil and watched over by Isobel, his Left Hand. It’s a wonderful start to what I expect will be an exceptional series, and I hope all of you have been able to score your own copy by now. Today Laura Anne presents a little chat about bucking trends.

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Back when I first came up with the idea that would become SILVER ON THE ROAD, I sent it to my then-agent, asking “what do you think?”

Her response was that she loved it, thought it was great…but that it didn’t seem very commercial, and I probably should stick with what we knew was working, the urban fantasy. And because my then-agent was savvy […]

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The World of The Devil’s West

Today we’re delighted to welcome back Laura Anne Gilman, who has just released her newest novel, Silver on the Road (Book 1 of The Devil’s West). I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC, and I promise, all of you are going to want to read it. It’s the story of Isobel, raised by the devil in the territory west of the Mississippi river and deputized to be his Left Hand, she who must be “the quick knife in the darkness, the cold eye and the final word.” Honestly, go buy your copy now. And while you’re waiting for it to arrive (or download), here’s Laura Anne to tell you how it all began.

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The World of The Devil’s West Or, “How being a history major finally became relevant to my actual career.”

The Devil’s West was born in 2010, when, during a class […]

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Writing Workout

I love to lift weights with my husband. But doing the same exercises every week becomes dull awfully fast, and the surest way to kill enthusiasm for an exercise routine is to let it get boring. The same truth holds for creative exercise. Sometimes sitting down and putting your hands on the keyboard isn’t quite enough to wake up your muse. Today I’m going to share a few nifty exercises for you to try next time there’s a wall between your brain and the empty page.

Dictionary Open up a dictionary and find a word you’ve never seen before. Read its definition. What does it say to you? Is it frightening? Amusing? Confusing? Good. Now using that thought, try to come up with a short story featuring that word. You don’t need to write the whole story (unless you’re inspired!) Just scribble yourself a few lines.

For extra-credit, see if […]

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