(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
SNOWMAGEDDON IS COME!! Okay, not so much. Once again, we were promised much, and much wasn’t delivered. Muchly. I find this more than acceptable, as Snowmageddon: PNW Style is not my favorite style. I far and away prefer enduring the love child of the Everfrost Tundra and the Howling North Wind in a locale equipped for such occasions. Like Colorado, or failing that, any locale with more than a single snowplow for an entire landmass, however less than enormous. [Update: Snowmageddon is more or less genuinely come. Three inches (much for this region) and still falling. Horde is home from school, base is closed. We have no snow shovel STOP Send dog sleds STOP]
I’m down with a bug this morning. So I went looking for a blast from the past and came across this post which is a year old. In light of what’s been going on with RWA, it seemed timely to remind the writers out there that our profession is full of minefields. We have those who would police us because of our sex or sexual orientation, or race or ethnic background, or because of our politics. What we’re seeing in the RWA right now is one example. Another is shown in the following post. We should be on the lookout for both. — ASG
Writers, morality and the #MeToo fallout
I’ve been pondering whether to write this post for the better part of a week. I’d been hearing rumbling from traditionally published authors about a contract clause that is as evil–their words and I agree–as the rights grabbing clauses that have become common in publishing contracts. But then, several days ago, an op-ed piece appeared in the NYT and I knew what I needed to write. The clause? A morality clause. Yes, you read that right. More and more traditional publishers are now including a morality clause in their contracts. Read more
In this case, I use “publishing” in what could be viewed as a broad sense but also narrow as well. It deals with traditional publishing and the way agenda seems to be more important in all too many ways that the story. Both of the examples cited below have one thing in common: the need to push the diversity agenda. Mind you, I have long advocated for equal pay for equal jobs (assuming equal experience, education, etc). Where I draw the line is when sex–or sexual preference–or skin color or something else that has nothing to do with the ability to do the job takes precedence over ability. Read more
What is your job? What qualities do you need to do that job?
As fiction writers, our job is to tell stories that readers want to read. At a minimum, we need to be creative, have a better-than-average grasp of grammar and composition, some basic research skills, and very good imaginations. Understanding people and how to stir readers’ emotions is a big plus, whether it be to make them very happy, curious, angry, sad, or fearful.
We need to connect to readers, and the more tools we have in our toolboxes to do that, the better off we are. Not every story uses the same skill set, but all the basics had better be there. Read more
“The other day” I was talking to a person, and when they were complaining about End Of The World for ebooks, I said, “Eh, it can’t be that bad, and we’ll survive it fine. Don’t you remember the KDPapocalyse and the huge shakeup from KU1 to KU2, and the Kobo-pornopocalypse? This, too, will pass.”
They made noises of pure confusion, and I realized… Indie is over 10 years old, and Peter and I have been there since pretty much the beginning. (Don’t ask me about working the Christmas rush inside Amazon when the world suddenly decided it wanted kindles, and e-readers went from a weird niche geek beta-test market to The Hot Christmas Gift. Because you are on the other side of a screen, and can’t hand me brandy enough for that story…) The person I was speaking to hadn’t been indie for 3 years, yet. They didn’t know The History Of Our Tribe.
I recently launched a book on the ‘Zon and checked off the applicable genre tags. And discovered that it also appears under a horror sub-genre. “But wait, this isn’t horror! Just because it has…” Um, OK, never mind. But it is still not horror. Or is it?
What separates urban fantasy (UF), paranormal fantasy, paranormal romance (PNR), dark fantasy, and horror? Besides “Does the guy on the cover have a bare chest? If so, PNR.” Although that might change next week, given how publishers keep re-doing genre conventions on covers. Read more