Archive for the ‘Publishing Industry’ Category

Oh, the unbearable glamour

This is my second post on the myths of being an author. Some of these casual assumptions are great fun, but they may not be at all true to life. The reality of being an author and getting and staying published is far less dramatic than many people believe when they start out. But the truth of it is also less daunting!

The last post on “myths” was on finding Mr. Big, or the person we assume will save us and how (not) to get this person’s attention.

Myth #2. The Glamour and Prestige

Most of us starting out would never admit that there’s a teensy part of us that imagines life as an author is glamorous. We say instead that we have always wanted to write, that we have stories inside us that demand to be written, or more self-deprecating: we just don’t feel suited to doing anything else.

But deep down, there are images: sitting at a desk in front of window, sun streaming in, ink flowing from the pen; the line of people at the bookstore eager for our signature on a book; holding forth on Oprah on How I Wrote this National Bestseller. “Oprah, it started when I found a tattered newspaper on a park bench with a minor story on the Prime Minister’s cat. . .” Read More…

Meeting Mr. Big

Most professions spawn myths. They cling pretty tightly, despite the facts. Like: Actors are superstitious. Screenwriting is a glamorous line of work.

These things are fun to say and think about, but they just aren’t generally true.

Writing, particularly novel writing, has a few myths of its own. In my next few posts I’ll cover a few of them. Sometimes aspiring novelists (not all–I know some of you are doing your homework!) don’t have a realistic notion of what they’re getting into. So let’s explode some preconceptions that may get us off on the wrong foot.

I’m here to say that the reality of being an author and getting (and staying) published is way less dramatic than many people believe when they’re first starting out. But the truth of it is also less daunting.

Myth #1. It’s All in Who You Know

This one is surrounded by a romantic plot line that goes something like this:  You struggle for years in obscurity (usually on one, soul-sucking novel) until you finally get a big break. You meet the right person. At last! An agent, say. Or an editor.

For fun, let’s call this person Mr. Big. Once you meet Mr. Big, you’re on your way. Read More…

My Personal Excellent Reads, 2016

This year – aside from all the great books I read as a judge for the World Fantasy Awards, and specifically not including any of them, here is my 2016 list of wonderful books. (Alphabetical by author.)

A God in Ruins, Kate Atkinson.

  • Deep and subtle characterizations
  • Profound insights
  • Plot pacing and through line.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven, Chris Cleave

  • Evocation of WW2 London
  • Stakes
  • Deft and deep writing

A Green and Ancient Light, Frederic S. Durbin

  • Intensely evocative writing
  • Tender coming of age story
  • Characters and relationships

How It All Began, Penelope Lively

  • Wry and witty writing
  • Twists and turns of plot
  • Characters

The Red, Linda Nagata

  • Military SF with heart
  • Memorable near future milieu
  • Superb balance of action and characters

 

Unquiet Land, Sharon Shinn

  • Lovely ensemble casting
  • Smoothly flawless prose
  • Addictive 5th book in series

 

Worldbuilding with Tananarive Due

tanaphoto

Photo by Daniel Ebon

For our concluding interview in my Ways into Worldbuilding series, I am honored to welcome a distinguished voice in fantasy and science fiction, Tananarive Due.

Tananarive Due is an author, screenwriter and educator who is a leading voice in black speculative fiction. Her short fiction has appeared in best-of-the-year anthologies of science fiction and fantasy. She is the former Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Spelman College (2012-2014) and teaches Afrofuturism and creative writing at UCLA. Read More…