Month: October 2013

The Bonehead Writing Society

(Note: this post is a reprint of an earlier post that appeared on a shared blog, There By Candlelight. Since that site is now being repurposed, I’m slowly moving my articles over here.) Blank paper is God’s way of telling us it’s not so easy to be God. – Craig Vetter Some years ago (I really don’t want to think of how many years ago it’s been) I decided to take an English 101 night class at the local community college. Everyone else in the city of Santa Monica had evidently had the same idea, because when I walked in the door I found there were easily over 60 people crammed into a small airport building with 30 seats. Many of us were working adults, but there were clearly some collect students in their late teens who believed that a night class would have less homework and would thus be an easy A. We stood and fidgeted and gave each other anxious looks, and at five minutes past the hour, our teacher arrived, one Bob …

Tall Poppies

I hate Mary Sues. It’s not, however, for the reason that you might think. We’ve all encountered Mary Sue characters — a product of fan fiction (typically an author insert) who can do everything, fix all problems, knows everything and knows exactly how to solve any given mystery. In my experience, Mary Sues are often not perfect, but charmingly flawed (so clumsy!) and very often that flaw ensures she is always the center of attention. Everyone loves her because the author wants it that way rather than because she is, in fact, lovable. But at some point (I’m honestly not sure when) the Mary Sue shifted away from wish-fulfilling author insert to a woman who was good at too much. Quelle horreur! I had a sneaking suspicion when I wrote Marduk’s Rebellion that I was going to hear that accusation leveled against the main character, Mallory MacLain. She is, by her nature, a highly skilled, badass kind of character: a super agent who neither wants nor arguably needs much support. She’s a loner, and she …

Book Reveal: Marduk’s Rebellion

So hot on the heels of the contract with World Weaver Press to publish Blood Chimera in 2014, I’ve decided I’m going to bring my other finished novel, Marduk’s Rebellion, to market myself. Now. (Well, ‘now’ being as soon as I get approval from Smashwords and CreateSpace and finish uploading it to all the other sites out there. By the end of the week, probably.) There were a few reasons for this decision, and it’s in no way a slam against World Weaver Press (who are wonderful people.) I simply looked at the market and my situation and decided that it wasn’t in my personal best interest to keep Marduk’s in a drawer when I could self-publish the book myself and have it out to readers before Christmas. Especially since I had so much of it ready to go, including cover art. Marduk’s Rebellion was the first book I ever wrote, and also the first book I ever tore up, scrapped and ‘redrafted’ — meaning I threw the original novel in a drawer and started …

Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Me

(Or anyone) Okay, so like many writers out there, I have a lot of opinions about how the process of writing should go, what constitutes poor writing, and what works. I also see a lot of advice handed out by writers to other writers. Should you have an agent? Should you self-publish? Should you write in the morning before work or should you quit your job and devote yourself totally to writing, make or break. Should you write seat of your pants (a pantser) or use an intricate outline (a plotter)? Write anything just to get it down on the page or try to make sure your first draft is a jewel? Should you focus on characters, plot, what’s new, what’s original? Blah, blah, blah… Okay, so let’s lay a few things out there… First, when you read about a writer’s methods, you’re only reading about what works for them, in their situation, for the kind of books they write. Nobody has a lock on a mythical right answer or process that will transform you …

Blood Chimera and World Weaver Press

It’s official! I didn’t want to make any statements until I had crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s, but now I have and everything is official. Blood Chimera has found a home with World Weaver Press, a wonderful independent press that I had been researching for a while before I was spurred to submit my manuscript to them. I was very impressed by their marketing, both on twitter and for individual authors (Michelle Lowry Combs was just everywhere when her book Heir to the Lamp came out, wasn’t she?) and that admiration only increased when I started discussing the direction and themes of the novel — Eileen has a remarkable insight and clarity of focus that impressed the socks off me. I am both dreading and really looking forward to her editing notes: because I’m pretty sure she will ask me to slay some darlings, and God help me, I will. So. The contract is signed and the next step is..writing the next book. Of course! I’m 30K words into the first …