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Read, write, review–and not necessarily in that order

Once upon a time, in a forum far, far away, an aspiring author commented that they never read anything in the genre they wanted to write. There was the online equivalent of a gasp, followed by stunned silence. Then a lone voice asked this author why? Why didn’t they read the genre they wanted to write? Virtual heads nodded as the online community waited, wondering what magical explanation the wannabe writer might have. Read more

Worth

A couple of months back I was diving with my usual partner, when we hit on some productive ground for spiny lobster. Now, contrary to perceptions, to find a place twice underwater, especially if the visibility is not great, is actually rather difficult. We’re diving on Hookah (compressed air from the surface) so much less constrained with time – but also, as it were, on a leash to the boat. That limits your range to a 100 yard radius circle around the boat, but does mean you can follow the hose – or haul on it – to get back to the boat. As we often dive in very strong currents this means you can dive where SCUBA would be suicidal. You’d never get back to the boat, and the next stop might be South America. Read more

Writing to Get Even?

I freely admit, I started writing fiction in part to vent. I was one of those teenagers who would have worn nothing but black if my parents had let me, and who composed odes to dying trees, wolves in the distance, and dreamed of the day when I’d tell my peers and tormentors (there was a great deal of overlap in the categories) to go jump in a lake and have the super powers or Mecha-style armor to make it happen.

I still do that, the writing bit, just more subtly now. Read more

A microcosm of bookstores

We’ve talked a lot about bookstores in this blog. It’s perhaps no surprise – not only are we authors, we were readers before we started writing. I suspect most of us, myself included, started writing in no small part due to running out of reading material. For me, this was in part a byproduct of not having enough money to buy books whenever I wanted them, and not having transportation to the public library whenever I wanted to go there. Not to mention that I have ‘read through’ the collections of at least two small libraries, being a child of very *coff* rural areas. But now I am an adult. I have a decently paying dayjob. I have a vehicle all my own, and the wherewithal to buy as much gas as I’d like…

And I rarely go to the bookstore. It’s sad, really, what life does to us.

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Collections

Why on God’s Green Earth am I creating a collection of my stories?

Well, you see, I had all these three quarters written stories, all in my Wine of the Gods series, but I’d written and published past them. And my numbering is mixed up enough already thank you. Read more

Heroing For The Rest Of Us

In the favored genres here, particularly with our tendency to prefer the more old-fashioned kind of SF and Fantasy (where men were real men, women were real women, and little green men from Mars were real little green men from Mars… You know the drill), the non-villainous side of the cast list has a tendency to get a little bit larger than life.

There’s this creeping tendency to gift the hero… protagonist with extra powers, extra smarts, extra good looks and the like. There’s a definite trend towards extra muscularity in the males and gravity-defying firmness of the front-mounted weapon emplacements in the females, too.

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Resources for Covers

For reasons known only to the psychiatrist I don’t have, I decided to do a seminar on covers. You can find the first post here, and the second here.

Today we’re going to cover one of the topics that stop most people: where do I find the art?

I’ve seen covers made with pictures the author took or drew which are often stunningly inappropriate to the genre and book. And I’ve heard people say that they’d have to pay two thousand dollars for covers.  This is ridiculous.  There are many, many sources of free and cheap images on line. Read more