The moment has arrived; your book is ready for its debutante ball. But no matter how finely honed its grace and manners, formatting and prose, it still needs to be dressed in an eye-catching cover that lets the readers of the world know exactly what genre and subgenre she is, and what promises are being made that will be revealed if they can take her home…
And if you’re like me, you’re not an artist. (Really; I just feed them.) So you have to get someone else to do that. Read more
I have finished a second book – it’s out to beta readers as I type, and waiting on the cover artist. Hopefully, by the time you read this, I’ll be getting ready to publish it!
In the interest of learning from my mistakes, I sent this one out to more beta readers, and asked most of them the same few questions – “Where did you get bored or confused? Where did you really enjoy it? Where did you skim or skip? What did I get wrong?”
This one slipped by me while I’ve been too busy offline: Author earnings did a presentation on Science Fiction & Fantasy at the 2018 Nebula Conference.
Impressions? Thoughts? I’m still fairly swamped, so I’m betting I’m going to miss a few things on my initial read-through.
(And you see that book I put up in the image? It’s an excellent book. I’m getting to read the fourth one right now, because for some crazy reason, Margaret thinks I can write blurbs. If you want hijinks and hilarity, grad students and grackles (think raven, but smaller and even more annoying), check it out!)
And guess what? The sequel’s out! An Opening In the Air has campus protests, outside agitators looking to volunteer students to be martyrs, even more grackles, grad students who just want to math (and teleport. and fly), and really that wasn’t supposed to be on fire… Check it out!
Occasionally, you’ll hear a new writer to the field (especially one who’s come in fully indie, in the last 10 years), ask “Why is X genre called a dead genre?” If there’s a group of indie authors, all equally focused on writing stories, they may start getting deep in the weeds on themes versus character arcs vs. popular movies vs. whatever to explain it. Those have nothing to do with it. Read more
Science Fiction and Fantasy are oddball genres, because they’re based on setting instead of type of plot. Romance and Horror have an emotional plot arc they have to hit in the story, while Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense have to start with a problem or puzzle (usually a murder, for mystery) and solve it by the end of the story. Scifi, though, can have any other genre… in space!
This leads to my husband asking me for keywords, and then looking very confused when I tell him “heist!” Read more
The gym I go to is a small and very dedicated subset of exercise: a black iron gym. This means you walk in, and see roughly ten squat racks on individual platforms meant for weightlifting alone, and a lat pulldown machine in the far corner, The other room has even more platforms, with competition-specific weights and two concept two rowers that are used only for warmups. There are only two ancient treadmills, and only folks who are in a specific rehab use ’em. If they disappeared, it’d take weeks to notice. People are there to concentrate on doing their training, competing against themselves and marking sets and reps in notebooks or apps as they progress.
And there’s always music on in the background. Read more
We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. – T.S. Eliot
When we first start out writing, we want for guides, gurus, gatekeepers, and guardians to tell us the way to go. Read more