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Posts by Dorothy Grant

Sequins: more and badder villains

While Dave is moving, here’s another piece of his really good advice from the archives, this one from September 2016:

A friend put up a meme about the inherent logical conflict any really good book causes: you don’t want it to end – but you want to keep reading to the end.

His comment was ‘make sure there are lots of sequels.’

Ah. Eyes that see what they want to see. I read that as ‘make sure there are lots of SEQUINS’: an excellent maxim, which promptly sent my male heterosexual mind back a back a good many years to a fine sequence of sequins. Read more

When the well is dry…

Dorothy here: While Dave is moving, I wanted to take a moment and share with the world some excellent advice he gave on dry spells, originally posted back in September 2017:

When the well is dry where do you go for water?

You know I have spent many years mishearing songs and making up what I thought were the lyrics. Sometimes they’re a great deal more meaningful than the real thing – or at least to me.

I heard Peter Sarsted’s ‘Where do you go to my lovely’ as ‘where do you go to my lovely, when you’re alone in your head’ (not bed)…

To me, anyway, as writer who tells himself stories, whether he intends to or not, with the different characters speaking their dialogue and thinking their thoughts… being alone in my head is a very frightening thing.

Where did they all go? Why did they leave me behind? Was it something I said? Read more

Launch Checklist

My husband challenged me to compile the complete kitchen sink marketing checklist for launches – including everything I’m not managing right now. What else would you put in here? What do you do? What is your timeline for a release? Read more

Fresh books! Hot off the electronic press!

New books! Get your brand-new piping hot books here, fresh from the word-forge!

First, brand new from Jason Feusting, and excellent friend and now a fellow published author, By Dawn’s Early Light!

Eric Friedrich was supervising the last ice harvesting shift for his ship’s shot-up environmental systems when they detected an anomalous ice comet drifting by. Investigating the icy tomb, Eric finds a ship that couldn’t exist- a relic from a nation the Protectorate killed billions to erase from history… And will kill even more to keep it secret!

When his world explodes, Eric must make allies in the unlikeliest places, and seize even the slimmest chance of survival while unraveling a conspiracy that shattered planets and set off interstellar war!

 

Second, our own Amanda Green just wrapped up the Nocturnal Lives series with Nocturnal Revelations!

As a cop, Mackenzie Santos knows every shift might be her last. That was driven home two years ago when Samuel Wilcox came much too close to killing her. She still had nightmares of waking in the morgue. But that was nothing compared to leaning she is descended from one of the oldest and most powerful shapeshifter bloodlines. Until the night she “died”, she always believed shapeshifters and werewolves were the thing of bad Hollywood movies.

Now she knows differently. Monsters really do walk among us. Some are human. Some are shifter. . . And one wants her dead.

Worse, so much worse, whoever it is wants to reveal the existence of shapeshifters to the humans. He–or she–doesn’t care about the consequences. Somehow Mac and those who know her secret must discover who their enemy is and stop them before it is too late. But can Mac do that and stay alive?

 

Third, Alma Boykin has a new real-medieval-and-magic out, this time with mining and stonecutters and a city out to claim its independence from a neglectful noble, with Miners and Empire!

Aedelbert Starken, a master stone-cutter, will tell you shapes stone, not magic, but the gods have different plans…

Aedelbert came to the free city of Garmouth with his partner in order to build three new smelters for the ore – a complicated task, but one they’re masters at. Before they can complete the job, a noble with a grudge threatens the mines and the city. Now they’re caught up in a race between the men of Garmouth and the mines, the noble, and the forces of ice and water.

Aedelbert wants nothing to do with any of it. The Scavenger, however, has other ideas. And what He gives, He can also reclaim…

 

Fourth, Old NFO is back in the Rimworld series with an AI who learned subtle trickery and smartassery all too well from its creator! Jace, by J L Curtis

Roberto de Perez engineered his escape from the soul-killing drudgery of corporate leadership, to a remote research lab under an assumed name to play with research projects, like the creation of AIs more powerful than any protocol envisioned.

Freedom isn’t perfect: As a mid-level lab manager developing a brand new self-aware AI that’s actually better suited for combat shuttle control, Roberto unwittingly crosses a line with an external agency he didn’t know cared, and his own internal bureaucracy isn’t happy, either. What he doesn’t know is that there are people determined to keep him from succeeding at any cost.

What he doesn’t realize is his new AI has learned to manipulate the system all too well from watching Roberto, and everyone underestimated what it will do when its existence is threatened…

 

And last but not least, Margaret Ball has a regency romance meets… selkies? As delightfully off-kilter from the norm as you’d expect from the author of MatheMagics! Salt Magic, by Margaret Ball!

Bookish and shy, Sabira has a perfect marriage of convenience to the elderly Lord Steinnland and his library, marred only by her family’s urging to trick her husband into releasing his claim to their island fastness. But time and tide bring the irritating, if handsome, Viscount Iveroth, and on his heels, scheming visitors who kill her elderly Lord and release a plague of sea monsters.

Now Sabira must travel to the city of Din Eidyn and fight to save her home and her people, with Iveroth as her only ally. But as they battle black magicians and drawing room politics, the hardest fight of all is hiding her growing feelings for the Viscount… and the fact that she’s not human…

(Full disclosure: I wrote/helped write the blurb on Jason, JL Curtis, & Margaret Ball’s books, though it wasn’t for compensation. Unless you count the food OldNFO feeds me, as the carrot (cake) to the stick of the arched-eyebrow look of “have you gotten that written yet?” I just think they’re awesome, and want to share great stories with you!)

Mindset

The question came up in comments under the steps for opening a small business post: why do all this work? Why not just run it on the side like a hobby, commingling all your funds, skip the business licenses and all the other hurdles?

Why, in fact, are we encouraging you to do all that? What about all the folks who never got started along the way because of the hurdles of running a business, or who spent all their energy on opening the business, and never got any further – why are we discouraging them?

The key is: mindset. This is a collection of writers who do this for a living, not a collection of people who published a book once, and maybe will get around to that again.

Read more

One of these things is not like the other

After getting a few reviews of Scaling the Rim that graded it as a romance, not a science fiction book, I got curious. So, the past few months I’ve been reading several Romances, subcategory SF to try to figure out the difference between Science Fiction, subcategory romance and Romance, subcategory science fiction. At first glance, you’d think they’d be the same thing, but they’re very, very different – the reader cookies (what makes readers happy) aren’t even on the same page.

In the Romance genre, not only is the emphasis completely and totally on the couple’s relationship (duh, it’s romance), but the worlds have an extremely limited amount of worldbuilding, and a huge amount of handwavium, with far higher tolerance for psychic this or psionic that. (In that way, it reminds me a lot of the old scientifiction, speculative fiction, and pocket books of barely 40-50K words that were one step removed from collected issues of pulps – or were pulp stories fleshed out into books. Jack Vance had no problem with magic in his far-future dying earth!) Read more

Second-Order Consequences and stories

What is a second-order consequence? Well, a first-order consequence is the immediate consequence of a decision, usually the desired outcome. The second-order consequences are the ones that are separated by time and space from the first order, and if you’re not thinking things through, are usually “Unintended consequences.” And, to be fair, even if you think things through, it’s impossible to account for how everything interacts – so there are always unintended consequences, though they may be years or decades down the road, and classified as third and fourth-order consequences…

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