Rude truths about publishing and writing – Part 347

John G. Hartness
Hell on Heels Cover

There’s a lot of great information around this site. There are even a couple of other places on the interwebs where you can get some honest information from people who know what they’re talking about. And all of them have given out this information in some form or another at some point. So there should be a lot of “yeah, I’ve heard this before.”

Well, listen this time, for shit’s sake.

I’ve been wearing my editor’s hat a lot the past couple of weeks, working on a couple of novels that I’ve agreed to provide some developmental editing on, and working through short story edits for an as-yet-unnamed anthology that I’m releasing through Dark Oak early next year. So I’ve been seeing a lot of the stuff that we’ve talked about before, and it drives me a little crazy. So here are some pet peeves that may not get […]

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David B. Coe: Openings Again — Breaking Down HIS FATHER’S EYES

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It’s been a bit over a week since the release of His Father’s Eyes, the second book in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson. I suppose I should know how the book is doing, but I really don’t. I’ve been camping for the past few days, cut off from the rest of the world, enjoying some solitude and this unbelievably gorgeous Montana wilderness. But now I’m in Calgary, Canada for a convention and writing workshop. I have internet access again, so I’m sure I’ll be checking my Amazon numbers soon enough . . .

A few weeks ago, around the time of the release of Dead Man’s Reach, I broke down the opening paragraphs of that fourth Thieftaker novel, to give you some sense of what I was trying to accomplish on the first page of the book. It was a fairly standard start — effective and, I think, nicely […]

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Remember Me

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

My husband’s mother died last Monday night.

It wasn’t a shock. She’d suffered from dementia for several years, and was living in a nursing home, because she needed full-time care. On Monday, July 27, the nursing home called to let us know she’d been sent to the hospital with pneumonia, and that it wouldn’t be long. She lingered for a week. In that time, I went to a funeral home and made her arrangements. One of the duties I had to handle was writing her obituary. She was a good woman, but she hadn’t accomplished anything that was going to make her well-remembered to the world after she was gone. I even went online today and searched her name, but all I found was her obituary. Yes, the one I wrote. I went two pages in before I stopped hunting. The only result I was finding on this woman was […]

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Queen of Kats – An Experiment in Serial

John G. Hartness
Queen of Kats 1 cover

Not that kind of cereal, although that does remind me that we’re out of Pop-Tarts, the Official Breakfast of Me. I’m talking about old-school Charles Dickens kind of serialized fiction, the kind where readers are waiting with bated breath to see what happens next, to find out if Pauline will get off the tracks before the train comes and cuts her into pieces.

I first had the idea for Queen of Kats a year or more ago, and I wrote the first 10,000 words immediately. Then life happened, deadlines happened, and the project got shelved. Early this year I started publishing the Quincy Harker novellas, proving to me that there is money to be made in reasonably-priced mid-length fiction. Each of those novellas is around 30,000 words, and I sell them for $2.99. That seems a fair price, and as yet I haven’t had anyone complain about it. I […]

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David B. Coe: The Ups and Downs of the Writing Life

DavidBCoeDavidBCoe

It has already been a busy summer, and I have a long way to go before I rest. Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth Thieftaker novel, came out a little over a week ago, and five days from today, His Father’s Eyes, the second volume in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, will be released by Baen Books. Since June first, I have also had (or will have) three short stories published: “Black and White,” my contribution to the Temporally Out of Order anthology, edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, should be out by the end of next month; “New Moon Wolf,” a Fearsson short story, was published at the Baen website on July 15; and in June, Faith and I put out “Water Witch,” our Thieftaker-Jane Yellowrock crossover novelette.

Busy is good in the writing world, so I guess things are going well. I have a full travel schedule […]

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David B. Coe: Release Day for DEAD MAN’S REACH!

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Today is release day for Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth and final (for now) novel of the Thieftaker Chronicles. I’m incredibly excited about this book for several reasons, not the least of which being that it represents, I believe, some of the finest work I’ve ever done. I hope you enjoy reading it every bit as much as I enjoyed writing it.

All of the Thieftaker novels demanded that I interweave fictional story elements with actual historical events. That has been one of the great challenges of writing these books, and one of the great pleasures as well. And I think that most fans of the series would agree that the interplay of fiction with history is part of what has drawn them to the Ethan Kaille stories.

In no book has that blending of history and make believe been more demanding, more complex, and more intricate, than in Dead […]

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David B. Coe: On Writing For Two Publishers

DavidBCoeDavidBCoe

I’ve been writing as D.B. Jackson for several years now. I published “The Tavern fire,” my first historical fantasy story, in 2011, and Thieftaker, the first volume in the Thieftaker Chronicles, came out the following year. I found it strange at first writing under a pseudonym, and having “someone else” known for my work. I wasn’t entirely certain that I liked it, and so was pleased when Tor allowed the ‘nym to be what the industry refers to, oxymoronically, as “an open secret,” meaning that the names would be kept separate, but I would be free to cross-promote between the two.

Until recently, though, my two writing names had not published simultaneously. I’d written books and stories as David B. Coe, and now I was writing them as D.B. Jackson, and, I thought, never would the twain meet.

Late in 2013, though, I signed a contract with Baen Books for […]

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