Shortly after graduating from college, I moved into my first apartment. I purchased curtains and kitchen utensils, and started learning how to budget for utility bills and such. And I adopted a puppy. She was a beautiful black English Setter/Golden Retriever mix, very loving and sweet and not even much of a chewer-on-shoes. I was determined to come up with the perfect name, something that would communicate her beauty and calm nature. In the meantime, I called her Baby, because I had to call her something, right?
Eleven years later, when she died, I was still calling her Baby.
Titles are easy for some people, but not for me. Even when I think I have a great title, I worry that it’s not hitting just the right note. The title works similarly to the first line in hooking a reader. It’s even more crucial in some ways, especially once […]
Continue reading Naming Your Baby
I danced in a show on Saturday night. All by myself, to a song that I love (Come With Me Now, by Kongos) and I had an absolutely wonderful time. Afterward, people were telling me that I did a great job, and that they enjoyed my performance. A man I’d never seen before in my life made a point of telling me how much fun my performance had been. I smiled and thanked all of them – who doesn’t love hearing that their art was successful? The complication is that inside I was telling myself they were just being nice. Because like so many of us, I can’t believe that anything I do is really any good.
There’s an actual syndrome – impostor syndrome, a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. I don’t know that I suffer from an actual syndrome, but I know that […]
Continue reading You’re Just Being Nice
Gail Z. Martin
by Gail Z. Martin
“May you live in interesting times,” is a Chinese curse. Boring times may be well, boring, but they also tend to be stable, safe, and predictable. All the things that make those times boring also make them less dangerous.
By contrast, “interesting” times are unstable, dangerous, unpredictable and in a constant state of flux. Those times make for great fiction, but aren’t such fun to live through while everything is being decided.
In my Chronicles of the Necromancer series, Tris Drayke has the misfortune of living in interesting times. The king’s murder touches off a chain of events that lead to Tris running for his life with a few close friends, trying to outwit bounty hunters and figure out how to unseat the despot who has usurped the throne. In the Ascendant Kingdoms books, the “interesting times” include the loss of control over magic and the […]
Continue reading Living in Interesting Times
I want to share some great news – Magical Words friends Edmund Schubert (Best Editor, Short Form) and Gray Rinehart (Best Novelette) have both received nominations for the Hugo Awards, and we’re so pleased for them! Congratulations, guys!
I thought a lot about discussing the Hugo situation today, and at first I decided not to. Mostly because I’m not a “name”, which means that my opinion won’t travel far, and also because I really don’t want to be pounced on should certain people find out that I have an opinion that doesn’t coincide with their own. But I gave it a lot of thought, and seeing that I have friends on the ballot, I’m wading in.
For those of you who aren’t up to speed on what’s going on, a couple of years ago, a small group of writers declared that another small group of writers were members of a […]
Continue reading The Hugo Problem
Hey Everyone! Long Time No POST!
Back in (gasp) January 2009, I wrote about character development and how I created and developed Thorn St. Croix for the Rogue Mage series. (That was about the novels BloodRing, Seraphs, and Host ) But I can’t find where I ever did a post on how I created Jane and Beast in the Jane Yellowrock series. New book, DARK HEIR, coming out April 7th, By the way.
If you’ve ever heard me on a panel or teaching a seminar on character and character development, you’ve heard me say (probably ad nauseam) Your character has one great strength and one great weakness. The weakness makes the conflict worse, the strength and developing strengths saves the character and resolves the plot’s conflict. This is called the marriage of character development and conflict.
There are specific, identifiable parts to strength and weakness Characterization…. These are called […]
Continue reading Character Development – Show Me – Jane and Beast
Saturday last, I took part in a group book signing to launch The Big Bad II, an anthology edited by John Hartness and Emily Lavin Leverett. See?
Anyway, most of the folks there had been published before, either in other anthologies, by traditional publishers or by the self-pub route. Except Riley Flynn (the dark-haired woman sitting next to me.) This was Riley’s first professional publication, and she was as delighted as a child at Christmas. Her mom made the trip to be there for Riley’s first signing, and lots of her friends and family also showed up. It was adorable watching her sign books. Every single one was a thrill for her.
Sometimes when you’ve been at this for a while, signings become a less-than-wonderful experience. Too often you only remember the people who rush past the table as if they fear you’ll force them to stop, or […]
Continue reading Reminders
Hey y’all! I hope the holidays treated everyone well, and that you were fortunate enough to spend at least some of the time with people you like who like you back!
I’m back again to talk about our Kickstarter. We’re pleased that so many folks believe in us enough to pledge a little money, and we hope that we reach our goal so that we can bring you all some incredible stories. The first volume will feature thrilling tales by R S Belcher, Tonia Brown, Diana Pharaoh Francis, John Hartness, Gail Martin, James Tuck, Jonathan Maberry and me. But we’ll also have space for some of you!
If we reach our initial funding goal, we’ll offer up four open submission spots. We’re very excited to see what you all can imagine, but it will only happen if we reach that goal. You can help us along. Pledge if you can, […]
Continue reading The Weird Wild West Needs Homesteaders!