Stephen Leigh, who also writes under the name S.L. Farrell, is a Cincinnati author who has published twenty-seven novels and many short stories, including several for the WILD CARDS series, edited by George RR Martin. [Administrator's note: He is also one of David's most very favorite people, and the nicest guy you could ever hope to meet.] His newest novel is IMMORTAL MUSE (by Stephen Leigh), DAW Books, March 2014. PW Weekly gave it a starred review, saying “Leigh seamlessly inserts his two immortals into history, playing with actual people and events to deliver beautifully-rendered glimpses of different eras. Leigh strikes the perfect balance between past and present, real and imagined.” Stephen’s web site is www.farrellworlds.com.
For the first time this week, I had a chance to hold my latest novel, IMMORTAL MUSE, in my hand. It’s a fine feeling — one that I suspect every writer relishes, [...]
Continue reading Stephen Leigh on Research: The Story Behind IMMORTAL MUSE
Today, I have a new short story out at Tor.com, under the D.B. Jackson pseudonym. The story is called “The Price of Doing Business.” It’s set in the Thieftaker world and it tells the story of Ethan Kaille’s first encounter with Sephira Pryce, who later becomes his rival and nemesis. The artwork is by the marvelous Chris McGrath, who also has done the jacket art for the Thieftaker books. [Update, 2/19/2014, 10:00 CST: The story is now live on the Tor.com site and can be found here. And here's the updated artwork as well; I wasn't sure which image they would use. I actually like this second one better.]
Last week we talked about plotting here at MW. This week, starting with Di’s post on Monday, and continuing with Chloe Neill’s post yesterday, we are talking about character. And so the release of this short story comes at a perfect [...]
Continue reading About Character, and a New Thieftaker Short Story
Diana Pharaoh Francis
All right, I’m late on this. My apologies. Chalk it up to crazy life stuff and some professional stuff that showed up unexpectedly and I lost my mind. Okay, I will admit that I lost my mind long ago. That should come as little surprise to anyone who knows me.
Today’s hapless volunteer is Cara. Praise her bravery and intrepidness.
Metadata: The Beasts of Hathow – YA Fantasy – 140k words (waaaaaaaay too long for a YA, btw. A lot of publishers won’t begin to look at one this long)
The paint rippled like scales, peeling and flaking off the rusting metal of the dumpster. It was green now, not black. Morning had come.
As evocative as those images are—and I love that the paint ripples like scales—this has no hook value. Especially for YA books, but for all books, you need something in that first paragraph that will [...]
Continue reading Belated Critique
Thanks to Lyn Nichols for today’s title . . .
I hadn’t planned it this way, but this post serves as a nice follow-up to Chloe Neill’s excellent post yesterday.
I have recently started a new book, the second in my Weremyste Cycle, which will be published by Baen under my own name. And though I am now several chapters into the novel — close to 20,000 words — I have not yet completed an outline of the book.
All of you who have been reading my posts here at MW know that I am a dedicated planner, or at least have been in recent years. I have posted several times about the benefits of outlining a novel, of knowing where a story is going so that we can introduce themes, foreshadow plot points, plant the seeds of the twists and turns that will make our narratives capture the imaginations [...]
Continue reading The Plotter Goes Pantsing: The Relationship Between Process and Product
Today I’m talking about plot. Not pantsing or outlining. Not story arcs. And not my muse, who is pouting anyway, because I haven’t had to resort to his tactics lately. For those of you who remember my muse (David B Coe, you may skip the rest of this para) he is a six foot, four inch tall, hirsute, baldheaded man, with a beer belly, and wearing red cowboy boots, a red speedo, and cowboy hat. Oh. And he carries a whip. He isn’t pretty, which is a reminder that writing may be part of the arts, but it’s hard work and it can’t depend on my mood or some dewy-eyed concept of the life of a writer. It’s hard work. Very hard work. I do it whether I am having fun, or it feels romantic, or not. So. Plot.
Since I’m working on a series, my usual formula needs a [...]
Continue reading Faith Hunter and Rules of Thumb.
On January 11th, I had a birthday. (It was wonderful and surreal, thank you!)
Less than a week earlier, my editor at Harcourt made it known to me that Book Three in the Woodcutter Sisters Series–now called Dearest–would be releasing on February 3, 2015. It seems that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has only two publishing “seasons.” They call these seasons “Spring” and “Fall.” So when I was told that Dearest would be releasing in “Fall of 2014,” what HMH actually meant was Winter of 2015.
My deepest apologies to all the fans I’ve misled for over a year.
Sneaky stuff, this is. Very, very sneaky and mind-bending stuff. For me, the toughest thing to wrap my brain around has been the realization that between the discovery of Dearest’s release date and the books actual release, Enchanted will have been distributed to roughly 50,000 people on World Book Night, and I [...]
Continue reading Alethea Kontis — The Year Without A Book
Yesterday was the last day of looking back to see where we came from, what we survived. Back then – back in last year – some of us cheated death, or lost family or friends to that evil. Maybe some lost jobs or pets or were forced to relocate or saw health deteriorate. Last year might have been hard on all of us.
That said, some of us had great successes, had health improve, found a place to live, saw families growing, found new jobs, got a loving pet, found a new love or a new friend. Even in the worst of times, there are the small joys.
But today is 1 – 1 – 2014. It’s the first day of a new year, and it’s time to look forward and to dream. Many of us have made resolutions and set goals and started the new year already at the [...]
Continue reading Dream On