My regular week off from MW coincides with Thanksgiving week, which is convenient, because I will be traveling with my daughter to look at colleges in NY and New England, so I wouldn’t really have time to post anyway. But that means that my Thanksgiving post comes a week early this year.
As always I am thankful for so much — I’m a very lucky man. I love my family, and they seem to love me back, which is always good thing. I enjoy my job, and have had a successful year, revolving around the release of THIEFTAKER, which has done well both commercially and critically. And I have friends and colleagues here at MW and elsewhere whom I respect and care about a great deal. Are there things I would like to improve in my life — in particular in my career? Of course. I’m not claiming that [...]
Continue reading Books For Which I Am Thankful (An Early Thanksgiving Post)
My post is late today because I just spent a fruitless hour doing one of those fun flow charts to direct you to my work, considering that my publisher Flux currently has the first in my Vamped series, called (quite creatively, I thought) VAMPED, available for FREE on Kindle and Nook. I want to shout it from the rooftop, but I hear that’s not a very effective form of marketing and that my neighbors have requested that I stop. Unfortunately, while the chart shows up all nice and pretty on my computer here at home, I can’t seem to get the picture to load. So, here I am with a shameless self-promotion post without even bringing the clever pic to entertain you while I call out like a carnival shill, “Buy my books!” (Oh please!)
Pretty flow chart aside, I do want to talk about a little something for everyone. [...]
Continue reading Shameless self-promotion & fandom
Yeah, I can’t say that this is going to be the most extensive post of my Magical Words career. I’m still at Dragon*Con with Faith, Misty, A.J., Kalayna, Lucienne, John, James, and a host of other friends and fellow writers. It’s been a great con thus far, and I know that today will be a great end to the extended weekend. It’s also been pretty interesting, what with amazing costumes, fun panels, and some laugh-filled delicious meals.
I have learned this week that THIEFTAKER is not the easiest book to classify. On Saturday, I was on three panels in a row: One on Alternate History, the next on Urban Fantasy, and the last on Steampunk. Now, I think we can all agree that THIEFTAKER is not Steampunk. But it does have certain elements of the subgenre — the emphasis on altered history, the use of atmospheric setting, the role of magic. [...]
Continue reading Dragon*Con and Tricorn Punk
Starting Thursday, the vast majority of MW staff will be at Dragon*Con. I am taking off that morning with pals at 8:30 a.m., leaving behind the hubby and the dogs. And yes, I’m giddy with excitement and slightly terrified. Which is why I am not posting a blog today. Instead, I have gathered all the schedules I could and am posting them here. If you are hitting D*C, come see us!Faith
Title: Vampires, Demons and Werewolves–Oh, My! Description: Paranormal fiction, urban fantasy etc.Time: Sat 04:00 pm Location: Embassy D-F – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Have We Lost the Future? Description: SF used to be more about the future. Now there’s a great deal of alternate pasts and fantasy. Have we run out of ideas or does it reflect today’s mood?Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Greenbriar – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Editors and Agents [...]
Continue reading The Writing Life — CONs
First off, sorry for the delay in getting this posted. I was at Marcon this weekend, with Faith and Lucienne, and had a wonderful time. We got to see Daniel and Donald, and we met a few new people as well. Fun time. As soon as I got home, I was off to a Passover Seder at the home of a friend, so I didn’t get the chance to write this post ahead of time, as I usually do.
Second, check out the IGMS advertisement just to the right of this post. That is the artwork for “A Memory of Freedom,” by D.B. Jackson. It is the feature story for this month’s issue of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. This is a Thieftaker story, and that figure in the ad is one artist’s rendering of Ethan Kaille, the lead character of the Thieftaker books. I hope you’ll visit the [...]
Continue reading The Writing Life: Fear, Want, Dissatisfaction, Defiance
Surprise! I know this is Faith Hunter’s day, but she’s on the road (to Marcon, I believe, where I’ll see her in just a few days), so I’m stepping in. Hope you don’t mind the substitution.
It was suggested to me on Facebook that a blog on how to find an agent would be extremely helpful. I’m here to oblige.
First of all, there’s no one way. Looking over my current client list I see authors who have come to me via the traditional query route, who I’ve met via conventions, writers conferences or even a critique group, who were referred to me by other clients or industry professionals. There are authors who came with no credits, playwriting credits, short story credits, novels small or large press published and with offers already on the table. The only truism is that everyone’s path is different.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t [...]
Continue reading Finding an Agent
Tension I’ve read a few submissions in the past couple of years that while beautifully written and psychologically or philosophically interesting were almost entirely without suspense. There was no tension driving the plot, no overarching conflict to keep the reader on the edge of his/her seat and turning those pages late into the night. In the end I had to decline representation, because I knew they wouldn’t sell, and if they did, it wouldn’t be in sufficient numbers to build a career.
So today I want to talk about that conflict and how you can pump it up. Whether you’re writing a romance where the primary tension is whether the hero and heroine’s issues will keep them from finding true love or a science fiction epic about the overthrow of an evil empire, a good novel needs three things. The reader must:
a) fear that the protagonists might [...]
Continue reading Tension