Monday, February 2, 2015

The Bloody Chorus Pre-order

Okay, it's early to be talking about this, but one of the milestones I enjoy is when an upcoming book is first listed over at Amazon for pre-order.  I noticed this morning that The Bloody Chorus has hit that milestone. Unfortunately, the pre-order page doesn't have a cover image yet because the cover hasn't been painted yet, but that's a quibble (and another milestone!).  One thing that the pre-order does have is a truncated version of the book description I sent to DAW several weeks ago.  You can read that edited version over at the page, but for the curious, here is the full version of the book description...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Three AM and the Stars Were Out

I sometimes think a lot of fantasy authors want to write like Tolkien or J.K. Rowling.  Maybe thriller writers want to write like Grisham.  I don't know.  Those writers are commercial and super-popular, and that's a fine and worthwhile goal.  But when I read something really great, like this story by Ron Rash, I think, "yeah, that's the way I want to write."  It doesn't fit the genre, I know, but if you love writing, I hope you'll take the time to read this little short story called "Three AM and the Stars Were Out." 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Slow Going

A couple of months ago on Twitter, I sent out the following tweet:

"The more I learn about writing, the harder it gets for me."

I didn't get a whole lot of response from the tweet (which explains why I don't spend a lot of time of twitter!), but I really meant it. I have lots of different projects to work on, and yet each book seems to take me longer and longer to write.  I heard from a friend recently who told me she has to write more books per year to keep making a living.  More books per year?

It has taken me the better part of a month to finish the short story I've been writing, and it's still not done.  The draft is done, but not the rewrite. When I commented recently about how long it takes me to write a short story, someone replied that if you're really motivated (or something like that), you can write a short story in a day. I didn't know how to reply to that; I'm not sure that's a story I want to read.

I see a lot of writers working like dogs to make a living.  I mean really cranking out books.  I kind of admire them, but I don't want to crank out books.  When I'm really frustrated I sometimes yell out something like, "I'm not making widgets here!"  I don't want my office to be a factory.

See, there's so much to learn about writing. When I was younger I only understood this in a peripheral way. Kind of like when you're expecting a baby, and people tell you how much having a baby is going to change your life. You listen and nod and say, "oh yeah, I get it." But you don't, because having a baby kind of carpet-bombs your old life out of existence. And when you start to write, and you break that million word mark, you open up a whole new world of understanding--and then you see how very far you still have to go.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The City of Sky and Shadows

Very often when I'm writing, I come across a song that captures the way I feel about a book or about a particular character. It happened with The Jackal of Nar and Starfinder and it happened with Lukien, and I think I've talked about those influences in the past.  For the book I'm working on now--the story that up until this point I've been referring to as "the great dystopian urban fantasy"--there's this beautiful song by Coldplay, one of my favorite songs of theirs, that really captures for me the motivations and sentiments of the two main characters in the story, Syrcan and Elizah.  It's called (in a rather on the nose way) Us Against the World...

I promised that I would reveal the name of the book when I reached a sort of "no turning back" point in the manuscript, and now I have.  And so dear friends, that's the name of the work in progress--THE CITY OF SKY AND SHADOWS

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Authors "Unbound"

You want to see something?  I came across this earlier today.  It's the lineup of authors for the UNBOUND anthology:
  • Terry Brooks (intro)
  • Jim Butcher
  • Rachel Caine
  • Harry Connolly
  • Delilah Dawson
  • David Anthony Durham
  • Jason M. Hough
  • Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Mark Lawrence
  • John Marco
  • Seanan McGuire
  • Peter Orullian
  • Kat Richardson
  • Anthony Ryan
  • Shawn Speakman
  • Brian Stavely
  • Michael J. Sullivan
  • Sam Sykes

So not a bad group of writers, I guess. To be honest I'm not really familiar with most of them.  I've heard of many of them, but haven't read them.  Let's just say my reading is eclectic. The anthology is supposed to be published around May or June.