The hardest part of the writing life isn’t about digging up a worthy story, finding time to write, polishing your prose until it shines or even, these days, publishing. That stuff is hard, sure. (And kind of fun if you’re that type.) No, I think the hardest part is the inner stuff. Motivation. Attitude. Clarity.
These inner states are, in the writing life, assailed by your own personal dragon. He loves you, honestly he does. He’s a part of you, after all. But that doesn’t mean he’s right all the time, or even at all. In any case he’s here to stay.
I don’t have too much advice here–like most authors, I slog through that stuff the best I can. No Buddha-like moments of now-I-get-it, or sage platitudes of how to Really Get It.
The best I can do is list some of the things I’ve been dealing with in last week. I assure you, none of this is new or temporary. It’s perennial. Purpose here, besides getting it off my chest, is to assure some of you who are new in the field that you’ve got company when the inner dragon breathes fire. Read More…
I’ve been on the road for three days, participating in SFWA’s Reading Series in Kirkland WA and Portland OR. It was amazing to see old friends in Kirkland, where a bunch of folks turned up for my reading with Greg Bear and Peter Orullian.
Me, Greg Bear, Peter Orullian in Kirkland
Peter, Kay, Terry
The rule was to read from a work in progress, so I tried out the first chapter of my current project, a historical fantasy set in Great Britain, the interwar years. It was great fun to see the reaction, very positive. I signed copies of A Thousand Perfect Things, which is speeding out into the world, after a three year process of writing it!
Greg Bear wowed us with a glimpse of his work in progress, and in Portland, Terry Brooks did a test run of the opening of his new SF novel. (Loved it.)
Duane Wilkins did a fantastic job with books for the Seattle area event, and Wrigley Cross in Portland sold out of A Thousand Perfect Things.
I loved talking to Shelley Rae Clift, John Pitts, David Levine, Art Boulton Tracy Erickson, Joel Pearson, Roz Greenberg, Carol and Ed Morrison and many more. Thanks to everyone who turned out for this lovely SFWA quarterly event! #SFWAauthors
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be reading and discussing my new book, A Thousand Perfect Things, and will be in company with some of the great luminaries of science fiction and fantasy.
I’m honored to be in the company of Terry Brooks, Greg Bear and Peter Orullian this Tuesday in Kirkland WA and this Wednesday in Portland OR as part of the SFWA Reading Series. If you’re in the neighborhood, please join us!
Featuring Greg Bear, Peter Orullian and me.
Tuesday, October 15, 7-8:30 p.m.
Wilde Rover Irish Pub and Restaurant
Featuring Terry Brooks, Peter Orullian and me. Wednesday, October 16, 7-8:30 p.m
McMenamin’s Kennedy School
The events will start with notes from Peter Orullian and he will be joined by the other featured writers to complete the evening’s theme. Each author will read from their latest work, interpreting and explaining their concepts and vision. In addition, space is provided for networking and conversation.
These are lovely events–I’ve been to them–and a great way to meet the SFF community and greet old friends. For info and directions, click here.
The world has one outpost free of the plague. It’s in Darwin, Australia, where a mysterious and alien-built space elevator allows humanity to keep technology alive in a devolving world. This exciting premise is fleshed out with memorable characters and a hard-driving and edgy plot. I haven’t read much science fiction lately. This one reminds me why I love it.
It is Seattle in the 1920′s. The Great War is over, but is it? Returning soldiers carry wounds on their bodies and in their hearts, none more so than Preston Benedict. His hatred of his sister Margot and her success as a woman doctor leads to a conspiracy that drives the book’s tense plot. The story brims with fascinating high society glimpses and a superb Downton Abbey-like cast.
I’ve never read such a smart, original, nuanced horror novel! Bennett has a phenomenal mastery of suspense, dialogue and characterization. Despite the slow-build first quarter, the characters and smart writing kept me hooked. This author’s command of scenes is superb. A scary thriller with literary sensibilities. Don’t read it alone.
I had the privilege of participating in Tim Ward’s and John Dodd’s very thoughtful interview on the subject of A Thousand Perfect Things. Here are some of the topics we covered:
- Why I chose an alternate history fantasy after ten science fiction novels.
- My main character’s dilemma between love and ambition – and what it says about women’s lives today.
- The dichotomy between the two worlds: of machine and science and magic and sensualism – and the device of the “portal” getting from one to the other.
- A discussion of the passage, “Shall I be pleased with myself for so little reason?” The classic question of finding peace in the world.
Check it out at Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing, one of the best podcasts around, and leave a comment to let Tim and John know someone is listening!
For three days only, A Thousand Perfect things will be offered as a $2.99 eBook on Amazon, Nook and Apple. Offered through end of day Monday, September 30.
If you like the book, I would love to have a review from you on Amazon!