Archive for the ‘Publishing Industry’ Category

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…

Worldbuilding with Sharon Shinn

sharon-shinn-color-pic This is the next to last guest post for the Ways into Worldbuilding series. I am especially pleased this week to welcome a true master of fantasy, Sharon Shinn.

Sharon Shinn has published 26 novels, one collection, and assorted pieces of short fiction since her first book came out in 1995. Among her books are the Twelve Houses series (Mystic and Rider and its sequels), the Samaria series (Archangel and its sequels), the Shifting Circle series, and the Elemental Blessings series. She lives in St. Louis, loves the Cardinals, watches as many movies as she possibly can, and still mourns the cancellation of “Firefly.” Visit her website at or see her on Facebook at sharonshinnbooks.

Aside from reader expectations, why do you build worlds? Is it more of an obligation than a pleasure? If the latter, what is enjoyable or rewarding about this aspect? Read More…