I will be at FenCon this year, September 16-18 2022, in Irving Texas. Very much looking forward to it. I recommend it to anyone who’ll be in range. I’ve got a booth, along with the rest of the North Texas Troublemakers, and we’ll be selling books and other merch. Come by and say Hi!
I won’t have a new novel done by then, but I will have a recently released collection of fantasy stories, along with the illustrated Lawdog books, and my previous ten novels and… dang I have a lot of books and art! It will be a good time.
Why am I making this announcement here? No reason. Just making sure it’s known. I’m not going to get into it deeply here, but I did want to talk about why I write for Mad Genius Club.
A long time ago, and from even further away, I was a budding writer. I was also a single mother of four young children who depended on me for everything. Writing was something I did in stolen moments after they all finally went to bed, or on a lunch break when I was finally able to land a job post-divorce. It was a dark time, but it was also the dawn of life for me. And I wasn’t alone, although it took a while before I could make out the true extent of those who stood with me, as the fog lifted.
You see, during the time of my life where I was walking through the valley of death (and no, that is not hyperbole), I was also part of an online forum. That, and a phrase from a book by Lois McMaster Bujold (who was also in that forum, but it wasn’t connected at the time), saved my life. It gave me the clarity to make a decision that impacted everything. The forum was for readers, but funny thing about avid readers. We tend to become writers. I don’t know, maybe it’s that we run out of what we want to read, so we start writing to fill that void. Perhaps it’s that, having read a disappointing book, you think ‘I can do this better!’ so you start writing. Whatever the spark is, a bunch of us had it. I started to write, and I slowly started to be willing to share my stories with other people. I got gathered gently into a writing group, and the rest of my writing career followed from there. Dave Freer, Sarah Hoyt, Kate Paulk, Amanda Green… you may recognize all these names! It wasn’t that group alone, run by Darwin Garrison, but the other Baen Barflies. Even Jim Baen himself (who, sadly, I never got to meet in person). Toni Weisskopf, who I count as friend, now. Larry Correia, who took time one busy day to sit down and have lunch with a baby writer, during the first flush of his own rising success. I could sit here and drop names all day, but that’s not really the point. The point is, I didn’t do those ten novels and numberless short stories or even the book covers and art without a massive amount of support and encouragement.
There’s something else I don’t talk about often at all. You’ve probably heard me at least reference everything in the previous paragraph before. What I don’t talk about are the naysayers and mean girls and unprofessional clients I’ve had along the way. The very first writing group I got involved in, where I was afraid to say anything lest they all turn on me, even if I was a woman like them. That was my first experience with some of the toxicity in Fandom I was to become all too familiar with later on. Thing is… I’m naturally a skeptic. I demand data, and evidence. I’m not inclined to follow the crowd just to get brownie points. As a result? Sigh.
I have no regrets. None. A friend expressed some mystification recently in a private chat, over why I haven’t been picked up by a publisher yet. Well, I’m too damn independent, that’s why. The Indie community is my community, and I’ve made that crystal clear over the years. I don’t go along to get along. I refuse to denounce my friends and mentors when the mobs turn on them. I’m a troublemaker.
Proud of it.
And that, dear readers, is why I write for the Mad Genius Club. This blog is by writers, for writers. We’re here to cheer you on while you struggle through the process of writing, editing, getting a good cover, publishing (be it Indie or traditional). We’ll support you when you’re down, give you a (gentle!) kick in the pants when you balk anxiously at pressing the publish button, and we’ll fight alongside you if the mob comes for you to try and shame you. There is no shame here. There’s no judgement. We’re here for one another.
Got it? Good.
Now. I’ll see you at FenCon.
I wrote because I needed to. Then I wrote to vent. And shared some of that venting with people who raved about it (as rough as it was). Then I found MGC, the Passive Voice, and a few other places, and well . . . Ten years ago this coming December I released my first indie book. Indie because by that point I knew dang well it was SO cross-genre that there wasn’t a point in looking for a “real” publisher. What I learned as an indie paid off in my non-fiction academic writing as well.
I was musing about this last night. I write because I need to write. The publishing process isn’t a need and the good Lord knows the marketing/promotion process is sheer self flagellation and unnecessary. However, I keep doing it anyway. It teaches me many things, and as long as I’m learning, I’m getting better. That, really, is why I do the public side of the writing. I get better when other people read my stuff.
I wrote out of written word deprivation
me, too, in large part. I couldn’t get to the library, and it was early days of ebooks (also no money to buy ’em.) and I was surrounded by enablers on the Baen’s Bar 😀
I’ll be at FenCon too, also with a booth there. Really looking forward to it.
See you there! Will the Sweety be along?
We all have our reasons, and the folks that have both supported us, like Larry, and those who try to tear us down (too numerous to list). I’ll be there, too! There are definitely people out there who hate us for our success and the fact that we don’t play their reindeer games. We’ll be in the bar at FenCon, come join us for some fun!!!
I’m planning on going to FenCon, my first con (period, not just as a writer).
I got started writing after a family dinner where we had been discussing the latest effort by the Biden mal-administration to screw America generally and Texas in particular, and I started wondering what it might have been like if Texas had never joined the US. Soon after, I found myself saddled with a plot bunny and a muse who had studied under Tom Clancy and David Weber 🙂 .
That led to my first book, ‘Texas at the Coronation’, a short story awaiting publication, and book 2 in the works. Here’s hoping for more in the future.
Writing is good! Hope to see you there, it shouldn’t be too chaotic (hah!) as it’s a relatively small con.
I used to attend Fencon every year when I lived in the DFW area. Haven’t made it in a number of years since I moved to the Llano Flato. I am hoping to make it this year.
Great! Find me and say hello if you do!
This gal’s article needs to be spread.
She is of a philosophical alignment that is actively antagonistic to mine, but– she is honest enough to recognize truths.
And they rhyme with what you were worried about with that writer’s group.
…I have been planning on making FenCon a day trip, drive a few hours to it, then drive a few hours back home.
If more and more people I need to say hi to, or hug, keep showing up, I may have to look at springing for a hotel room and bringing a change of clothes. Which isn’t in the budget. Oh, boy…