Archive for the ‘Publishing Industry’ Category

Why you Really need a writing conference

The weekend of May 16th I’m helping out with my favorite local writing conference. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you really should read the end of this blog where I tell you about Write on the River. But if not:

You still really need a writing conference.

I once asked an acquaintance why her husband, an avid and sporadically published author wasn’t attending our local conference. She said, in effect, “Oh, David doesn’t think writing can be taught.”

It was such an oddball, uninformed comment, I didn’t know what to say.

I’m not going to argue about talent being nature or nurture. If you have a leaden ear for language you will not go far in this business. But to say that therefore nothing can be taught is silly. Read More…

Loncon report

LonconBack from Loncon and a very long trip to England. Unpacking always seems to take as much time as packing; plus I have organized the many momentos and items of research that I collected for my work in progress, and also came home to a cat who was feeling poorly ExCel bldgand  seemed blameful for my having abandoned him for three weeks, despite the fact that he had a perfectly lovely housekeeper waiting on him. You cat owners will know what I mean.

IMG_0266Loncon? A blast. The venue was the ginormous Excel center in the Docklands, so huge that there was a train stop at each end (I am not lying.) But the con was actually tucked into one end, so it was even easier to navigate than some smaller Worldcons I’ve been to. (I think 8,000 or so attended in London.) While I liked the venue, it was quite a long haul into central London, with the need to either cab it or take the light rail to a tube station. And one Did have to get into London, of course! The dealer’s room had all the excitement of a world con, including this amazing dress.

Summer isles McLeod Best of all, there were thousands seductive  SFF books, with an emphasis, naturally, on British authors, and I loaded up, with an eye to how much I could get in my suitcase considering that I was then going to travel through north and south England . . . I made judicious choices, including this wonderful book by Ian McLeod, a winner of the world fantasy award. Dense, stunning prose, elegaic in tone, it’s an alternate history of 1940’s England, meticulously swordspoint kushnerdrawn. I was privileged to be on a panel on alternate history with Ian MacLeod, and also several other authors including Jon Courtenay Grimwood, author of the wonderful Assassini books, and a smart, articulate panelist.

I moderated a panel on Imagining the City, a celebration and inquiry into how authors create cities of the imagination. Panelists were Kathleen Ann Goonan, Scott Lynch, Ellen Kushner, and Simon Spanton, publisher at Gollancz. It was great fun to hear a bit about how the magic happens anQueen city jazzd take a closer look at their iconic cities, such as Kushner’s unnamed town in the world of Swordpoint. And then there is Kathleen Ann Goonan’s stunning Cincinnati of Queen City Jazz, a classic, perhaps the best city in SF.

Tom and I took in as much as we could of the con, and snuck out to central London to see St Paul’s, the Tower Bridge, the West End . . . and then at the end of another two weeks of travel, we came back to London to see even more. Next post, more pictures!

St Paul's Stone Gallery KK

Me at St Paul’s stone gallery, 376 steps up from the nave.






Best little writing conference around

You gotta love it. Write on the River in Wenatchee. Join us in wine country May 16-18 for sunshine, workshops, exciting teachers, and the great Jess Walter.


Jess WalterJess Walter, Keynoter. Friday evening, May 16. Author of Beautiful Ruins. Walter is brilliant and funny, humble and inspiring. Meet Jess and enjoy an evening of words and wine. Separate tickets to this event only $15.



HurstGuest agent, Andrea Hurst who will hear pitches and talk about Crafting Fiction and Memoir that sells.


Sunday Master class and Saturday story engineering class with Larry Brooks, author of Story Oct 13 HeadshotPhysics and the Wolf Schmidt thriller Deadly Faux.



Guest Editor Beth Bacon from Booktrope, a hybrid publisher that has the chops to produce a quality book, put together a marketing team, and share the revenues with the author.


Plus: Nonfiction with Wendy Call and Peter Stark, science fiction and fantasy with Nancy Kress and Jack Skillingstead, fiction with Craig English, social media with Jason Brick, YA writing with Suzanne Selfors and much more!

Registration now open!


Top Writing the World Posts of 2013

High cat

Courage, faith, balance. Essentials for the writing life

This year on my blog I’ve had fun sharing my views, exploring the writing industry and tracking the launch of my new book.

I’m very grateful to those of you who drop by from time to time check out the goings on and say hello.  It’s nice to know we’re not alone in this rather hermit-like practice of writing.

So, many thanks for helping to make this a great year, one for which I am deeply thankful, at least today, when I consider how blessed I am to be able to write stories and have contact with so many friends and acquaintances!


The Best of My Blog This Year.

 The Next Fiction Dream Read More…

Best 2013 things

The year was amazing. Hard to pick the best things, but I’ll try:

Best literary novelBeautiful Ruins, Jess Walter.

amer elsewhere



Best SFFAmerican Elsewhere, Robert Jackson Bennett

Best first word from a child: warthog

Best sight: Early December in my garden: a red rose frozen solid and perfectly unfurled.


Best book store: A Book For all Seasons in Leavenworth, WA; here I am at Indie Authors First, Small Business Saturday at the store, handselling other people’s books.

Best TV series: Foyle’s War

Best espionage: The Spies of Warsaw, Alan Furst


Best trip: San Diego for son’s wedding at the lovely Bishop School in La Jollabendict hall

Best historical: Benedict Hall, Cate Campbell

Best best-seller: Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

Best big conference: Worldcon, San Antonio

Best little conference: Write on the River, Wenatchee WA (OK, biased!)

Best book cover: My lovely A Thousand Perfect Things (OK, biased again!)9781624670954

Best unexpected nice thing: The Ingram sales rep said he Loved A Thousand Perfect Things

T.BrooksBest reading event: With Larry Brooks in Portland, SFWA Reading series



Best Interview: Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing with John Dodd and Timothy Ward




Sept, 2013 podcast interview from John Dodds and Tim Ward. My decision to write fantasy after 10 SF novels; my main character’s dilemma of love vs. ambition and what it says about women today; finding peace in the writing life. – See more at: