Happy New Year, Everyone!
This is my first post of 2014, with the new format, and (gasp, can it be so?) I have a book release today. Yes. Today. I’ve a case of the jitters worthy of a bee keeper who is allergic to bees, because I quit my job at the lab in the hopes that I’ll hit high enough in the lists and sales numbers to actually pay my bills. Yes. You heard right. I am solely and completely a full time writer now, instead of being a full time writer and full time lab rat (for the benefits). Instead of the 80 hour work weeks I have pulled for the last 20 years, I’ll be working only 50 hours each week. I will be resting. Paddling white water. Resting. Yoga-ing. Resting. Baking bread again. I have a loaf cooling now. And I had massage this [...]
Continue reading BLACK ARTS and Secondary Characters
Writers are always asked what their favorite books are. Since its holiday season, I thought I’d share, then (at the bottom) talk about what I find difficult to do as a writer.
As I’ve said here before, my life changed in fifth grade when my teacher told my mom I was a poor reader. They two of them cooked up an evil plan to have me read aloud to mom for 30 minutes every day. The school librarian picked out book she thought I’d like, and I still remember that book. It was Gilligan’s Island, a comedy book, based on the old TV series. The first day I dropped into the story I was hooked. By day three, I was reading under the covers with a flashlight. By that Friday, day five, I had finished that book and was halfway into the next one. I haven’t stopped reading since.
Continue reading Best Books
I have a bunch of ideas for things to write about today, and not one of them is substantive enough to sustain an entire post. And so it’s time for me to do one of my miscellanea posts. A paragraph or two about several things. Feel free to comment or ask about any one of them.
Are you working on a book right now? People here in my little town ask me this all the time. They know that I write for a living. They know that I write full-time. But they don’t really understand what this means. My standard answer now is “Yes, I’m pretty much ALWAYS working on a book.” But even that isn’t accurate, because the truth is I’m always working on several books. For the past couple of months I’ve been writing the fourth Thieftaker book, Dead Man’s Reach. I hope to finish my first draft [...]
Continue reading Multiple Projects, E-Readers, and Struggles: The Emphera of a Winter’s Day
Diana Pharaoh Francis
I want to talk about writing. Really I do, but instead I’m going to talk about stuff. Sharon Lee talked about the Levenger catalog on her blog the other day. Levenger, if you don’t know, carries really nice office supplies, furniture, fountain pens, and all sorts of luxurious sorts of office related supplies. The question Sharon has, is who buys this stuff? Who uses it? I wonder the same thing. I used to covet some of the stuff, almost as a marker of being professional. Like I would be a real grown up writer if I had some of the cool stuff. I do admit they’ve cut down considerably on their breadth of products over the years, and to me, the offerings aren’t nearly as enticing, though I can’t be sure if that’s because I no longer find things as interesting, or if their products are not as amazing as [...]
Continue reading Writing Gifts
How many of you remember the movie Prizzi’s Honor? It came out in the mid-1980s and starred Jack Nicholson as a mob hitman who allows his personal life to get in the way of his professional responsibilities. Throughout the movie, his character, Charley, is reminded by higher-ups in the syndicate that he shouldn’t take personally all the things they’re telling him to do, even though one of his assigned tasks is to murder his new bride. “It’s business, Charley,” they tell him. “It’s just business.”
Yes, there is a point to this.
My post last week, in which I discussed the sale of a new series to Baen books, prompted an interesting question from long-time Magical Words reader and commenter, Mark Wise. Mark, who has followed my career for quite some time and knows that every book I’ve published to this point has been with Tor, wrote, “I find it [...]
Continue reading “It’s Just Business”: Loyalty Versus Pragmatism in the Publishing World
Years ago, a pal of mine’s sixth paperback (excellent book) was published, and a buyer at Borders/Waldenbooks read it. He fell in love with the book. He liked it so much that he ordered a ton of books and pushed that writer’s books in Borders-affiliated stores. It was the push that writer’s career needed to get off the ground and fly. Not many writers get that push. Most of us work our buns off and just hope for a chance like that — that push from behind that catapults us to the next level. When it happens it’s luck, blessing, whatever you want to call it.
There are things we can do to help that possibility along, of course. It’s called promotions. I’ve been doing a ton of PR for all the products I have coming out these next few weeks. (If you missed the releases, you can see them [...]
Continue reading The PUSH. The Result of Hard Work and …
It’s Halloween week, and as this is the season for all things spooky, I thought it might be fun to look at things that scare me. I’m not talking about big hairy spiders (like the Huntsman Spider in Australia that was in the bathroom one night when I got up to pee — it was sitting on top of the door and when I shut the door, it fell off and landed on my hand. I jumped up and back — simultaneously — about six feet, screamed like a little girl, and never, ever used the toilet again) or axe murderers (I have no colorful stories about them, though I think that if one fell on my hand as I closed a bathroom door, I’d freak out a little) or Dick Cheney. No, I’m talking about writer stuff that scares me professionally. Maybe some of these fears will sound familiar [...]
Continue reading A Halloween Post: What Scares This Writer