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Posts by Amanda

Taking Responsibility–A Blast from the Past

I have always been a reader. When I became a mother, I did all I could to teach my son to love the written word. It was sometimes an uphill battle. There was the teacher who used reading as punishment, setting impossible goals and choosing the worst books possible. Then there were the required summer reading lists with books often containing age inappropriate topics. This post came out of the latter and shows just how important it is to know what our kids are reading, especially for school. Read more

What do you want?

Mad Genius Club has been around for a little more than 10 years. It seems hard to believe. Dave and Sarah have been here the whole time. Kate and I came on within the first year, iirc, and the others came onboard as slots opened. Throughout it all, you guys have stuck around, brought in new readers and cheered us from the sidelines. We can never thank you enough—and, no, this isn’t a goodbye. Trust me. You aren’t getting rid of us that easily.

When Sarah and Dave started the blog so long ago, indie publishing was in the first throes of its infancy. Traditional publishing was still the only real player in the game. But they saw the writing on the wall and knew the industry was changing. No one guessed how fast or how far  it would go. But the one consistent was the bloggers here were going to pay it forward and help other writers and wannabe writers by sharing our experience and knowledge.

And this is where you guys come in. Just as the industry has changed, so has the blog. Our focus has changed from what is happening in traditional publishing with an occasional post about indie publishing to covering the craft of writing with emphasis on indie publishing, occasionally discussing the latest foible in the trad realm.

Now we have some question for you. Don’t worry. You don’t need to study for them. But we do hope you will be honest and help us grow the blog as we move through our second decade as the mad ones.

1. What do you see as the strengths of the blog?

2. What topics would you like us to cover in more depth than we have been?

3. If bloggers here were to pull together past posts—or write new material—on various aspects of writing and/or publishing and put them out as e-books, would you purchase such titles?

4. Would you follow an occasional podcast or vlog post if we were to do something like that?

5. What else would you like us to consider in this second decade of blogging?

Leave your suggestions in the comments below and know you have our thanks for your help.

Writer Awareness

Last week, I wrote a post about some of the problems the publishing industry, specifically traditional publishing, currently faced. There was nothing new. The Twitter mob screaming howls of outrage, the traditional houses having to figure out how to deal with the fact their corporate offices are mainly populated by whites, etc. There is a related problem to all this that we, as writers, need to be aware of. It’s a problem that has several important facets. One we as writers can deal with by simply being aware of what we’re writing. The second isn’t quite as easily dealt with. Read more

Fifth Friday Promo

Good morning, everyone! As we head into the weekend, I thought I’d leave you with a few suggestions for new reading material. I’ve either read the books listed below (or, in once case, wrote the book) or I know the author’s other works and can recommend the book based on their past performance. So here goes.

Risen from Ashes

Sam Schall

As a Marine, Ashlyn Shaw knew the day would come when she might not return from a mission. As an officer in the Fuerconese Marine Corps, all too often she faced the difficult duty of sending the men and women under her command to their deaths. Both were nightmares she, and so many like her, lived with. War was a cruel and costly endeavor, but one well worth the cost if it meant keeping their homeworld free. Read more

Publishing Problems 2020

As I sit here, trying to decide what to blog about, I turn to the internet. I know, I know. That’s like saying I’m going swimming with the sharks with a bucket of chum being thrown into the water first. Still, someone has to do it. And, it didn’t take long to find more than enough to leave me shaking my head and feeling glad I made the decision to go indie long ago. Between looking at the “most anticipated books of 2020” per Publishers Weekly to identity politics run amok, traditional publishing is as much of a mess as always. Read more

Science fiction, today’s reality and all the rest

(Morning all. I’m up to my eyes trying to finish up the final edits on Risen from Ashes, to be released Feb. 4th. I’ll be honest, I forgot today was Tuesday. So I went crawling through our archives and found the following. I’ve updated it some but the sentiment is still the same. The original post appeared Aug 5, 2014.)

Science fiction was the first “genre” fiction that I fell in love with. As a kid, I can remember reading everything the school and local library had with space ships and faraway planets as part of the plot. I dragged my parents to every SF movie to hit the local theater. Lost in Space and Star Trek were must sees on the TV. Why did these books, movies and TV shows call to me? Because they offered a look at a future that was exciting and a bit dangerous and they let my imagination run wild. Looking back, I can see just how true that was. When my friends and I played and decided we’d be the characters in our favorite shows or movies, it was almost always science fiction-related. And why not? We got to play with really cool laser guns and fight aliens and explore planets and fly in spaceships. What more could any kid with an overactive imagination want? Read more

That’s Entertainment–Or It Should Be

Wow, the last few weeks have been anything but calm for the industry. We have the continuing saga of the RWA/Courtney Milan debacle. Social media, which my mother calls the worst thing ever to be invented, has seen some of the woke scolds doing their best to dance on the graves of some of the biggest names in SFF. All this and we are only two weeks into the new year. Let’s hope this is not a portent of the year to come.

I’m not going to spend much time on the controversies. There’s been enough written a bout them already. But if you want to see how the MSM is handling the RWA situation, check out the updated article over at CNN. To say it does some hand-wavium to avoid any real research into what’s been going on is putting it mildly. The sad thing in all this is, like what we saw with SFWA a few years ago, RWA is going to be lessened by this controversy and the way it’s been handled. When any organization allows a few folks who know how to leverage social media to set policy, to drive off long-time members and fans, you have a problem.

As for the social media idiocy, there have been a cadre of woke scolds creeping out of the shadows to diss Isaac Asimov for daring to put his arm around a woman years before his death. An action the woman in question said was consensual. Others have been doing their best to drag Mike Resnick, one of the nicest men I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, through the mud over comments he made decades ago. They do this just days after Mike’s passing. They don’t give a fuck about his family and friends. Nothing matters to these folks except their own “feelz” and they don’t care if their attacks are well-founded or not. Read more