Opportunities, and the costs therein

Like so many of the MW crew, I’m back from DragonCon and pretty much recovered at this point. I managed to dodge the con crud by judicious application of tequila, in the form of margarita popsicles (yep, every bit as hazardous as you think) and by having an assistant at the con this year. I’ve had an assistant at several conventions this year, and have had several of my colleagues ask me how I got one. I went through a soul-searching, spectacularly difficult process before I settled on Jay Requard, an up and coming writer and one of my best friends, to work as my assistant. Here I will detail the process.

I put a note on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in traveling to conventions with me and helping me handle books, my table, keep me organized (somewhat) and serve as my assistant.

That’s it. I got […]

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When networking and PR turn into something else entirely. Part Two.

Last time I posted it was on the benefits of networking in the business. And frankly the benefits are astounding, even for a social misfit like me. For some people networking is easy—thinking here of David, who seems to make friends like nobody’s business. It’s harder for me. It just is. Partly because I don’t remember names. (It’s a social affliction. I forgot the Hubby’s name on our honeymoon after knowing him since 8th grade and dating him for over 7 years.) Partly because of foot-in-mouth disease. But I still have made more friends as a writer than I have enemies. I hope. And a lot of them appear here regularly, and I have seen them at Cons regularly, and I plan to see them at more Cons, and I plan to do PR with them, and I really like them!

In fact, Misty Massey and David B. Coe (DB […]

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Building an Anthology, Part 2 – “The Special Folder”

Yep, we’re continuing a series where I pull back the curtain on the creation of The Big Bad: An Anthology of Evil, the latest collection that I co-edited with the lovely and talented Emily Lavin Leverett.

Today we’re going to talk about invitations, the “special folder” and how you get into one of those. There were several people who were invited to place a story in the anthology. These were folks that I knew had bandwidth to create a story, could write well, and had some facility for promotion. Jim Bernheimer was an early invite because I love his book Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. Obviously just by the title you can tell he knows how to write bad guys. And he does! Jim’s awesome, and I knew I wanted him for this anthology. Sean Taylor’s story “Another Pleasant Valley Sunday” is an awesome look into the real life […]

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Writing Life — An Aspiring Writer’s Guide to Conventions and Conferences

Dragon*Con, Atlanta’s humongous science fiction and fantasy convention, takes place this coming weekend, and many of us MW-types are planning to attend. I’ll be on several panels and will also be doing a reading and book signings. My (still incomplete) schedule can be found here. Faith, Misty, A.J., and Kalayna are on the program as well, as are big names from the worlds of television, movies, science, and literature. It should be a blast, and we hope to see many of you there.

This struck me as a good time to return once more to the subject of conventions and conferences. Over the next two months I will be attending not only Dragon*Con, but also the annual conference of the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop, and World Fantasy Convention, which takes place this year out in San Diego. Each of these events, as well as other conventions I attend during the […]

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How To Get Books Published

I’m not saying this is THE WAY to get published–if you’ve been around Magical Words for any length of time you know that one of our mantras is that there is no ONE TRUE WAY to do anything. However…

…it’s the way I did it. And it’s gotten my name on the covers of four books so far.

Let me backtrack a little in the thought-process that led to this post. I was pondering writing another post in what was supposed to be my occasional series mirroring Stuart’s thoughts about self-publishing, but as I debated what I should say next about Publishing: A Small Press Adventure, I realized that of all the books I’ve had published, every one of them was the result of one single thing. So I’m going to go through my little list of books and describe to you how they came to be published. You tell […]

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Back from World Fantasy Convention

Hi, all! [Waves]

I’m back from my long weekend at World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio, and wanted to say hello, apologize for not commenting on the posts from late last week, and give a quick report on the convention before I get back to my manuscript.

For those who don’t know about World Fantasy Convention (WFC), it is the largest convention for professionals and aspiring writers in the speculative fiction universe. It isn’t your typical fan-oriented convention. There are no costumes, no media events or gaming rooms or movie screenings. The dealers’ room is populated almost entirely by booksellers, and the panels tend to be almost academic in their focus. I was on two panels this weekend, one on turning books into screenplays, the other on the continued viability of epic fantasy in today’s market — fairly typical of discussion topics, though other panels dealt with everything from critical […]

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Who You Gonna Call?

The other day, I sent Faith an email. “If I stabbed someone just above the collarbone and managed to cut the aorta, would he be able to speak? And would the bleeding from that wound be gouts of pumping blood, or a slow flow?” I was looking for a way to kill a man that would result in him dying a certain way, in a certain amount of time. Not a real, flesh and blood man, of course, but one who exists only on paper. Even though he wasn’t a real guy, I needed his death to sound real. I could have used my Google-fu to search for the answer, but the question I had was so specific that it would have taken a long time of reading web pages, and I was in the middle of a scene. I didn’t especially want to stop and do research at that […]

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