Eating Authors: Cat Rambo

No Comments » Written on April 20th, 2015 by
Categories: Plugs
Cat Rambo

I have a crazy crazy week ahead, culminating with me spending the second half of it down in Richmond, VA as a GOH at RavenCon. But unless you’re going, you probably don’t care about that; you’re hear for authors and what they eat, so let’s get to that.

Okay, time for full disclosure. This week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Cat Rambo and I have a history. Her first collection, Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight, was the first collection I published with my small press, Paper Golem.

As often happens with firsts, I made a lot of mistakes. Anything that went wrong with the volume belongs on my plate (regardless of what my co-editor, Michael Livingston may say). Time, it is said, heals all wounds, and I think Cat may have forgiven me by now. I hope so, because she’s currently running unopposed for president of the SFWA!

Anyway, in the course of producing that collection I had the privilege of reading many short stories Cat had created in the Tabat universe. Which is why I’m positively squeeing that her novel, Beasts of Tabat, came out earlier this month. And if you’re making similar noises, I need to tell you that this is just the first volume of The Tabat Quartet. So, warn your neighbors, there’s more squeeing ahead!

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Eating Authors: Lisa Shapter

No Comments » Written on April 13th, 2015 by
Categories: Plugs

There’s not much I can tell you about this week’s guest here at EATING AUTHORS, as Lisa Shapter strikes me as a very private person, and indeed I don’t even have a photo to show of her.

But I can tell you two important things.

First, she’s a member of Codex, an online writing community founded by Luc Reid back in 2004.

Second, her first novel, A Day in Deep Freeze came out just ten days ago from Aqueduct Press.

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My (probably) Final Ravencon 10 Schedule

No Comments » Written on April 10th, 2015 by
Categories: News
Tags: , , ,
RavenCon 10

In two weeks I’ll be heading down to Richmond, VA where I’m among the GOHs for Ravencon.

Here’s the full lineup:

AUTHOR: Allen Steele
ARTIST: Frank Wu
GAMING: Brianna Spacekat Wu
SPECIAL AUTHOR: Lawrence M. Schoen
PLUSH: Barry Mantelo

That’s right, Barry is a GOH. He has his own room in the hotel (okay, it may be a safe in someone’s closet, but it’s all his!), his own guest liaison, and first class travel to and from Richmond (you wish you could fit in a jiffy mailing bag, don’t you?).

While there’s always the chance that some last minute changes will pop up, here’s what I currently believe is my schedule:

Friday, April 24th

7:00 p.m. | Rooms E & F
Opening Ceremonies

Saturday, April 25th

10:00 a.m. | Anna Writing Dialogue
Panelists discuss writing convincing, interesting dialogue. What about accents, physical quirks, and differing vocabulary from character to character. How can you use physical beats and dialogue tags to pace a conversation?
Lou Antonelli, Noah McBrayer Jones, Karen McCullough (M), Kate Paulk, and me.

11:00 a.m. | Dealers’ Room Signing
That’s right, this is your chance to have me sign a copy of one of my books. What? You don’t have any of my books? Not a problem, I’ll have some at the table to sell you!
Just me (and Barry).

1:00 p.m. | Room G How to Remember ANYTHING!
I’ll discuss some of the kinds of memory that human beings have, and then walk you through the underlying principles that make them work. Then we’ll go through both mnemonic techniques and mnemonic systems, and end by teaching you one of the latter so you can amaze your friends with your incredible memory!
Me (and anyone who remembers to show up).

3:00 p.m. | Board Room Reading
I’ll read a story the opening of my new novel Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, and if there’s time tell talk about a completely different book I’m working on.
Me (and a throng of eager readers!).

6:00 p.m. | Chesterfield Pictionary: Authors vs. Artists
This is going to get ugly, ain’t no doubt. My only hope is that the artists can draw pretty but suffer from aphasia, lockjaw, or are eating peanut butter.
Victim List Still in Progress

Sunday, April 26th

10:00 a.m. | Room E No Right Way To Write: Techniques for New Writers
There is no one correct way to write. One of the challenges for new writers is to find the way that works best for them. Some people need strict outlines. Others require only bullet points. While still others want for nothing more than an idea and a few notes scrawled on a dirty napkin. Panelists will discuss a variety of methods they’ve used, and offer you a range of options for you to try out on your own.
Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Mary Miley, Robert Sommers, Allen Steele, and me as your Sunday morning moderator.

1:00 p.m. | Anna The Best Critique Group For You
Critique groups are a great way for both new and experienced writers to improve their stories, but for many these gatherings may seem mysterious or even intimidating. What do writing groups do? How can you find one? We’ll share our experiences, offer our advice, and then send you loose into the wild.
J.T. Glover, Darin Kennedy, Robert Sommers, Meryl Yourish, and moderator me.

That’s pretty much it. At this point, it’s not clear if there will or will not be a San Marino Worldcon Bid Party (but if there is, it will be Saturday night — unless, um, it’s not).

See you in Richmond!

Eating Authors: Philippa (Pip) Ballantine

No Comments » Written on April 6th, 2015 by
Categories: Plugs
Philippa Ballantine

You often hear how writing is a very solitary endeavor, and that’s certainly been my experience. Which makes successful collaborations pretty amazing. But even more incredible is when the writing duo are not just in work partners, but life partners as well. The best example I know are Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. But I’m proud to be hosting a second pair here on EATING AUTHORS. You met Tee Morris last month. This week we hear from his better half, Philippa Ballantine.

As you may have inferred from Tee’s appearance, Phillipa is from Wellington, and was the first New Zealand author to podcast a novel! In addition to the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels she writes with her husband (the latest of which, The Diamond Conspiracy, came out just last week), Pip is also the author of the four volume Books of the Order series, and the two book Shifted World series. Her work has earned her a Sir Julius Vogel award, a Parsec award, an Airship award, and an assortment of additional nominations.

She’s since crossed the equator and now lives in Virginia, which works out well for me because both she and Tee will be attending Ravencon later this month. I’ll be there too, as one of the GoHs, and I’m looking forward to having her sign a book or two.

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Eating Authors: Ferrett Steinmetz

2 comments Written on March 30th, 2015 by
Categories: Plugs
Ferrett Steinmetz

Over the weekend, I had the great pleasure to spend time with a number of Philadelphia authors who had gathered to celebrate some of their own. There was a wonderful blend of old guard and shiny newcomers, fans and pros, and a delightful array of out-of-towners from both north and south who made a brief book store event (and the party afterwards) feel like the good parts version of a convention.

Alas, all too quickly it was time to leave, and join the flow of traffic and road construction that eventually saw me to my front door, where I turned my attention to other things. Still, it was a great afternoon, and a wonderful reminder of what a blessing it is to be a part of such a community of brilliant and talented people. Thanks for that.

And speaking of brilliance and talent (he said, by way of segue), allow me to introduce this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, the incomparable Ferrett Steinmetz, whose first novel, Flex, came out earlier this month from Angry Robot.

One of the mixed blessings of the current state of our genre is that there are so many of us writing today, and more coming every day, that you just can’t keep track of all the things that, in a perfect world, you would get to read. I’m convinced that whoever figures out how to really monetize curation and reduce the signal-to-noise ratio is not only going to be instantly wealthy, but deserving of our eternal praise. Which is another way of saying that despite him being a past Nebula Award finalist, it’s all too possible you’ve never heard of Ferrett.

So here’s the thing I need to tell you about him. I don’t know Ferrett well — though we seem to know a lot of the same people, and these people, whom I respect, make me wish I knew him better — but there is something fresh and thrilling to his fiction, his voice, his slant on telling a story that had me sitting up and grinning when I learned he had a novel coming out. This is someone you should be reading because he will make you happy that you read. Seriously, it’s as simple as that. And I don’t know about you, but I want more books like that in my life.

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Eating Authors: Tee Morris

No Comments » Written on March 23rd, 2015 by
Categories: Plugs
Tee Morris

Every year it seems there’s a point where you look up and suddenly realize that the year seems to be whizzing by. For me and for this year, it’s just happened. How can it possibly be late March already? How is it we have crossed that rotational marker of the vernal equinox? But no, I’m not going to wax on about temporal relativity (though I suspect doing so might slow things down considerably). Instead let’s move on and talk about this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Tee Morris.

I’ve known of Tee for years and years, our orbits frequently crossing at conventions (mostly typically Balticon), but we’ve rarely found ourselves with the leisure to just hang out, shoot the breeze, and get inside one another’s head. That’s hardly surprising though, as I can’t recall ever seeing Tee when he wasn’t running around, spinning multiple projects at the same time, radiating tremendous enthusiasm and energy all the while. The man is dangerously infectious that way.

But more than being eternally busy, Tee’s a great example of a writer who draws on other skills to create his fiction, in his case his years of experience as an actor. You’ll spot this most easily in his voice work, and indeed Tee is famous for being a pioneer and innovator in the world of podcasting. But it shows up in both broad and subtle ways when you read one of his books. His characters glide across the page, hit their marks, execute their lines with perfection, and manage their exits with an economy of motion. If you didn’t know this about Tee’s background before, keep it in mind when you pick up a copy of his new book, The Diamond Conspiracy. It’s the latest novel in the A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, co-authored with his wife, Philippa Ballantine, and you’ll be able to get a copy in a mere eight days.

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Eating Authors: Alan Smale

1 Comment » Written on March 16th, 2015 by
Categories: Plugs
Alan Smale

There’s no shortage of genre authors writing short fiction, and as a result it’s all too easy to miss some of the better ones who, despite landing sales to major markets don’t quite win enough of the popular vote to take home many awards or nominations. This week’s guest, Alan Smale may well be one of the best kept secrets of our field. He’s piled up a dozen or more “honorable mentions” in assorted Best Of reprint anthologies, and his novella, “A Clash of Eagles” — originally published in the anthology Panverse Two — won the 2010 Sidewise Award for Alternate History, Short Form. This month, the expanded, novel-length version of Clash of Eagles hits the stands, and once you read it you’re going to be searching back issues of your favorite magazines to read more of his work.

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Eating Authors: Simon R. Green

No Comments » Written on March 9th, 2015 by
Categories: Plugs
Simon R. Green

For the past couple of Mondays, we’ve featured some debut novelists. This week we visit the other end of the spectrum and cross the pond to meet up with the U.K.’s indefatigable Simon R. Green. Here at EATING AUTHORS we have a special rock, and if you aren’t familiar with Simon’s work it’s because you’ve been hiding under that rock; which means you owe us back rent, but we’ll call it even if you instead go out and read some of his stuff.

The really curious thing about Simon is that his many series (Twilight of the Empire, Deathstalker, Hawk and Fisher, Forest Kingdom, Secret History, Nightside, Ghostfinders, share the same universes, or what might better be described as multiple versions of the same realities. Characters cross from one to the other, making a rich tapestry that you just don’t get with most authors.

In January, Simon announced that he’d just signed a contract for three more books in his Secret History series, the first of which, From a Drood to A Kill, is due out in early June. And then there’s the new Ghostfinders novel, Forces from Beyond, set for the end of August. So, yeah, if you hadn’t caught on yet, the man is more than a little prolific.

His latest, released just over a month ago, is Tales from the Nightside, but you probably already knew that and have long since devoured it

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