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

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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Patricia Burroughs: Of Adders and Writing Process

“Adders. Why did it have to be adders?” (or) Because Max Said So

This is the post I was going to write for Max Adams’ blog, but she wouldn’t let me because she said she doesn’t do snakes.

There is irony, here, people. Irony.

You see, a few years back before the turn of the century, I was doing a new draft of my western screenplay, “Redemption” (which was an adaptation of my first published novel, a western love story). Max was giving me notes on it, and I said, “Ha, ha, you know, I wrote this big long epic western, and the one thing I made sure I never put in it was snakes. Rattlesnakes. Oh my God, (this was before OMG, so I actually said the words) I would have nightmares if I wrote about rattlesnakes.”

And Max […]

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Stephen Leigh on Research: The Story Behind IMMORTAL MUSE

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, no […]

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Research Treasures

I love doing research. I know that a metric ton of you out there also love looking stuff up, and are, at this moment, nodding your heads in solidarity. There’s something exciting about digging into the history or language or whatever in the hope of making your writing just that much more authentic. The only thing that ever makes me sad about research (besides the part where I can easily get lost in the looking-up and forget to write the damn book) is finding cool stuff that I can’t use right away. I know you know what I’m talking about – you’re busy checking the price of maple syrup Vermont in 1875, and wham! You discover this seriously interesting story about the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919, in which a large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets pf Boston at an estimated 35 […]

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You have to research to write

Two things converged for me this week to bring home the fact that I don’t know enough. First, I’m writing on something where in which in the first few pages I’ve run across a number of things I need to dig up: kinds of spiders in Tennessee, and what sorts of poisonous spiders do people keep as pets; who can obtain police complaint information and how and how long is that information kept: What do you call someone who is a deputy sheriff but not the elected sheriff (I figure deputy is the title, but do people in the town just call him Sheriff anyhow?). There were some other things I dug into also and more that I can see coming down the road soon.

Then the tornado hit in OK. As I’m watching coverage and trying not to think too hard about the devastation, I’m asking a lot of […]

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Fangtabulous Settings!

If you’ve heard any shouting from the rooftops lately, it might have been me. I’m not admitting to anything, you understand, but I do have a new book out today (Fangtabulous, the fourth book in my Vamped series). I, uh, might have been a little vocal in my excitement. For a visual demonstration, I refer you to Daffy Duck.

Anyhoo, I’m going to go on with my guest blog here at Magical Words and pretend I’m not thinking “Why are you sitting around reading this when you can be reading Fangtabulous RIGHT NOW! You don’t even have to leave your seat if you prefer to download straight to your e-reader.” But, er hum, I’m very carefully not saying any of that out loud. Decision is totally up to you, of course.

So, what do I want to talk about today? Settings. I don’t know about you, but I see my […]

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On Writing and Creativity: Worldbuilding Revisited, part II — How Much is Enough?

Today, I continue the series of posts on worldbuilding that I began last week. First, though, I am very pleased to announce that Tor and I have agreed to terms on a contract for two more Thieftaker books. Thieves’ Quarry, the second book in the Thieftaker sequence, will be coming out next July. And now I can say with confidence that it will be followed by City of Shades in 2014 and Dead Man’s Reach in 2015. So, yay!

Okay, so back to worldbuilding. And let me begin where I left off last week, with what may well be the most important point I made about the process I go through to create the settings for my fantasies. None of the discreet tasks I mentioned last week (map making, creating relationships, coming up with myths and religions, and building magic systems) is actually discreet; rather, it all happens together, in […]

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