The Beginning of the END part Four — More on the Small Press

Morning, y’all!

I ended two weeks ago with a bit of the pros and cons when dealing with small presses, over big presses, and there were just as many cons as pros when it came to dealing with and being published by New York houses. I’d like to concentrate on one single pro today, and how it may often be better than dealing with big houses and with self-publishing.

(With apologies to Di, and her post on Friday!)

Pros for working with a small press? In my opinion is this – Writers get a bigger percentages on electronic sales. NYC offers a standard 25%. Most small presses offer 50% net. And the money flows to the author. A lot of people are going the self-pub route, because they think they can make a high percentage with the first check, and they are right on a sale-by-sale percentage. But that isn’t […]

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Read Like a Writer

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

“Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”

“I’m a slow reader, but I usually get through seventy or eighty books a year, most fiction. I don’t read in order to study the craft; I read because I […]

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Remember Me

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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It’s Been A Rough Week

On Thursday, we lost Sir Terry Pratchett. He’d been diagnosed with a rare, early-onset Alzheimer’s a while back, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. But he was only 66 years old (every year that passes makes that number sound younger and younger to me) and I don’t think anyone was ready for him to go. I’m grateful he never had to deal with losing his identity. I also admired his determination to die on his own terms, instead of letting the disease transform him into an empty shell of what he once was. I don’t know if he died by his own hand or not – they’re keeping the specific reason for his death very quiet – but I do know that the world of fantasy is a little less bright now that he’s moved on.

Within hours after hearing about Sir Terry, I got word that a wonderful man […]

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What Is Dieselpunk?

Good morning, folks! Long time no see! I just got home from a wonderful weekend at Contemporal, a steampunk fantasy con in Raleigh NC. If you’ve never been, you really should make a trip there next year. My husband and I had a marvelous time. (Not to mention that on our way, we stopped at the nearby Tesla showroom to test drive the most awesome car in existence, and I think we were both still buzzing about it this morning. But I digress…)

I served on a panel called “What is Dieselpunk?”, an exploration of the dieselpunk subgenre. For those who aren’t familiar, dieselpunk generally covers the period between (and including) the two world wars. It’s usually defined by either a military or urban noir aesthetic, and is rapidly gaining in popularity. During the panel, I displayed an assortment of books, movies and video games to illustrate the point, and […]

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Writer’s Retreats — Our Thoughts, Part One

There were six of us… There are three posts today, and three more next Friday. And this is how it happened.

***THE INSTIGATOR***

‘Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane,’ or, How a Writers Retreat Took Root

Like so many other rooms hosting writer panels at 2013’s ConCarolinas, this particular one—”Burnham”— was overgrown with people. Overgrown, not overrun; we had planted ourselves there to hear published authors discuss a specific topic. Considering the quantity of us listeners squeezed in and barely keeping our feet, in the chaos it wouldn’t have been a stretch to be mistaken as trees. Maybe even a forest. Couldn’t tell ya since it was hard to see. But, as such things happen, especially when everyone is so squashed together, you becomes friendly with others around you. Doubly so when you later discover them also hanging out with authors from Magical Words. Bonus! And so, maybe unsurprisingly, a […]

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Getting Here

<Looks around!> Wow! <Fangirl squee!> <Thud!>

What am I doing here, on this blog, with people that I admire for their strong characters, their ability to give me a vacation from life, for making me think?

Got me. I’m not famous. Not as a writer, anyhow. Now, if you are into dogs or plants, but this blog has nothing to do with any of that.

So here I am, surrounded by those I admire. And stalk. I go to their signings, I follow their pages and blogs and tweets. I want to know more about them. How do they get their ideas? Where do they work? What famous person did they model their characters after?

I want to be the one that finds out what happens in the next book before anyone else.

Boy, that IS stalkerish.

I could stalk, though, if I didn’t know […]

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