My (theoretical) Balticon 2014 Schedule

No Comments » Written on May 21st, 2014 by
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No sooner am I back and recovered from my time at the Nebula Awards Weekend than it is time to get ready for the big Memorial Day weekend convention rush, which for me this year means a trip down to Balticon, a convention I’ve not been to for several years.

I’ve had a few email exchanges with the folks running programming, and I’m fairly sure this is what I’ll be doing and where you can find me.

Friday, May 23rd

4:00 – 4:50 p.m. | Belmont Why Good Writing Still Matters
A discussion of the role of craft in modern writing when so many books are available that do not attempt to push the literary envelope.
Jon Sprunk, Charlie Brown, Joy Ward, Lee C. Hillman, and me.

Saturday, May 24th

12:30 – 1:20 p.m. | Pimlico Professionalism and the Young Writer
Age may be just a number, but what do you do when most people have been working in the industry longer than you’ve been alive? How do you balance edits and essays? How can young writers best present themselves to their readers and colleagues?
Sarah Pinsker, CJ Henderson, John Zaharick, TJ Perkins, and me (as moderator).

2:00 – 3:00p.m. | Maryland Foyer Autographing
Tom Doyle, Hugh O’Donnell, and me. Also Barry.

5:00 – 5:50p.m. | Belmont In the Hot Seat
Professionals (from any field) are there to answer questions. Getting agents, self-publishing, tracking disease vectors, motivation… whatever. The panel answers everything. That’s the deal.
Joshua Bilmes, Jon Sprunk, Myke Cole, John Cmar, and me.

Sunday, May 25th

9:00 – 9:50 a.m. | Salon B Editors Q&A
For the writers in the audience, or aspiring editors, here’s your chance to pick the brains of our panel of seasoned editors on topics like submissions, the editing process, publication and after — whatever you want to know about how to get your work accepted and what happens once you do.
Ian Strock, Sue Baiman, Joshua Bilmes, Walt Boyes, and me.

11:00 – 11:50 a.m. | Derby Dealing with Problematic Authors
Every editor has had unfortunate experiences with authors who are difficult to work with. How do you deal with the situation when they fight you on revisions or get combative over contract terms? How do you decide when enough is enough and how does that impact your process moving forward? Panelists share their war stories and how to deal tactfully with difficult situations.
I know I’m the moderator, but the rest of the panel is a secret to me.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. | Pimlico Reading
Grig Larson and I battle it out for a reading slot. Not sure who is going first, so come for both!

Things got a bit over zealous at Balticon, and they appear to have scheduled me for times when I’d already told them I wouldn’t be available. So, don’t trust the pocket program (at least with respect to me). I will not be on following items:

Friday, May 23rd
9:00 – 9:50 p.m. | Salon B Where did you get the idea?

10:00 – 10:50 p.m. | Salon B When to Stop Revising and Move on to the next project

Saturday, May 24th
12:00 – 12:50 p.m. | Salon B Writing Sequels, Prequels, and Spin-Offs

Sunday, May 25th
8:00 – 8:50 a.m. | Salon A Use of Social Science in Speculative Fiction

10:00 – 10:50 a.m. | Salon A How NOT to Break into Print

Doubtless other adventures await me at Balticon. I hope to see you there!

Eating Authors: Jaye Wells

No Comments » Written on May 19th, 2014 by
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Jaye Wells

My guest this week here at EATING AUTHORS is Jaye Wells. She has what must surely be the best possible pedigree any writer could ask for. Which is to say, she was raised by booksellers. And while all such children might not grow up to become authors, there’s a certain sense of predestination, a feeling of “coming home” that I imagine both she and her parents must have felt as she set out on her career.

Jaye is the author of the Sabina Kine series of novels and short fiction, as well as the Prospero’s War trilogy (book three due out next March), both published by the fine folks at Orbit. Her bio insists she likes to travel and drink good bourbon. As you’re about to find out, she also likes good food.

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Eating Authors: Alethea Kontis

4 comments Written on May 12th, 2014 by
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Alethea Kontis

Yesterday was Mother’s Day (and also my own mother’s birthday — a two-fer!), so by some small stretch of the imagination I think I can declare today to be Princess Day. This is especially convenient as today’s EATING AUTHOR guest is none other than the self-identifying princess Alethea Kontis.

I can honestly say I’ve known Alethea since before either of us had published a book (and yes, she was still both a princess and a force of nature, even back then). Her children’s books are a thing of wonder, literally and figuratively. There’s just something magical about anthropomorphizing the letters of the alphabet that must surely leave a young reader forever changed. Switching gears to non-fiction, she’s also the co-author (with Sherrilyn Kenyon) of the hugely popular The Dark-Hunter Companion, which just goes to show what can happen when you attend a convention, meet a best selling author and just start talking. She also has several collections of essays, and I encourage you to take a look at them because, seriously, how often do you get to see the world through a princess’s eyes?

But best of all (at least to me) are the books in her Woodcutter Sisters series. Reading them is like falling into the world of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books, all mixed together into one enormous tale, with the consistent logic and worldbuilding you never get in fairy tales. In other worlds, sheer brilliance! The first two, Enchanted and Hero, have received Norton Award nominations (and we’ll find out the results for that second book in less than a week!), and the third volume, Dearest, will be out in February. Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to wait that long.

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Eating Authors: Tom Doyle

No Comments » Written on May 5th, 2014 by
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Tom Doyle

It’s May, and as often happens when I prepare one of my first blog posts in May, I have Julie Andrews and Vanessa Redgrave dancing and singing in my head. You know, the number from Camelot. Or maybe you don’t. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there as they say. I’m just glad it’s May and I can have a greater expectation of reasonable weather patterns.

None of which has anything to do with this week’s EATING AUTHOR guest, Tom Doyle, unless of course you want to make a stretch and conflate seasonal rebirth with tomorrow’s release of American Craftsmen, Tom’s first novel. Sure, that will work.

I have to tell you up front that I’m especially happy to see Tom’s novel coming out because I had the privilege to publish his first collection a couple years ago. And I had no choice. I had to publish him. I’d attended a reading he’d done at Capclave (a D.C. area convention that I heartily endorse) and the sheer intensity of his reading demanded that I do all within my meager powers to get his stories out into the world in a book. Tom packs more raw stuff into a short story than any other author I know, and I’m eager to see what he does with the greater elbow room a novel affords.

What more can I tell you about him? He’s won the WSFA Small Press Award, as well as the Writers of the Future Award. He can tell you anything you want to know about premillennialist apocalyptic fiction. And as you’ll garner from his remarks below, he’s been a lawyer. Best of all, I get to call him my friend.

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Assorted social media updates

No Comments » Written on May 2nd, 2014 by
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It occurred to me that I might want to have a frame of reference for some of this information somewhere in the future. And so, here we go:

I have 100 Followers and 2083 Friends on Facebook.

I have 63 Fans and 1558 Friends on Goodreads. I have read 18 out of my 50 books for this year’s challenge (placing me 2 books ahead of schedule).

I have 522 Followers on Twitter, Follow 76 others, and have made 3367 Tweets.

I am on a 60 Day Streak and have just passed Level 10 in Italian on Duolingo.

What should you do with this? Hell if I know. But here it is.

Eating Authors: Joanne Anderton

8 comments Written on April 28th, 2014 by
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Joanne Anderton

Welcome to another installment of EATING AUTHORS, the weekly blog features that answers the question can authors remember what they ate? Or… something like that. This time around our guest is Joanne Anderton, a resident Sydney, Australia, that big island/continent on the upside down half of the world over on the other side of the equator (hey, don’t blame me, I don’t make the maps).

I first came across Jo’s fiction in the Fall of 2012 when we were both nominated for the Washington Small Press Award. Alas, neither of us won. In that same year though, she did take home the Ditmar Award for Best New Talent, and earlier this month her most recent book, The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, won this year’s Aurealis Award for Best Collection.

If you’d like to check out her novel-length work, Unbound, the third book of her Veiled Worlds trilogy is finished and coming soon. Meanwhile, the first two volumes, Debris and Suited are out there waiting for you to scoop them up.

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Attention Ravencon Authors!

1 Comment » Written on April 23rd, 2014 by
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double spiral

This weekend, I’ll be down in Richmond, VA for Ravencon.

As part of the festivities, on Friday at 5pm I’m giving a talk about hypnosis, and a brief demo as well. If there’s time, I will hand out magic rings of hypnotic power to enhance the writing abilities of any professional and/or wanna-be authors in the room.

No, I am not bullshitting you.

And you know what? It doesn’t make one bit of difference if you don’t believe me, because that’s your conscious mind talking. All I need to make this work for you is to create the possibility in your unconscious mind. And that’s what hypnosis is all about.

So, if you’re a writer, and you’re coming to Ravencon, guess where you should be on Friday at 5pm?

Eating Authors: Daryl Gregory

1 Comment » Written on April 21st, 2014 by
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Daryl Gregory

The 2014 Hugo ballot came out over the weekend and there is much hooplah in the streets of our genre right now. Congratulations to the many fine people who were nominated; I’m looking forward to seeing you in London. But that’s months away, and we need to focus on more immediate concerns, such as this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest!

Like me, Daryl Gregory was born in that city that led Carl Sandberg to wax poetic about its many aspects, and thus doom thousands of junior high students to painful memorization (I’m talking about Chicago here, in case that was too obscure or bizarre a reference). Unlike me, his parents didn’t haul him west. I’m sure there are other differences too.

And unlike some writers who find they can work at only one length or format, Daryl writes novels and short stories, comic books and graphic novels, and he does them all well. His first novel, Pandemonium, won the Crawford Award, and was short-listed for the World Fantasy Award, the Mythopoeic Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award.

Daryl’s latest novel, Afterparty, hits bookstores everywhere tomorrow. Go buy a copy, because there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing it on next year’s Hugo list!

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