The Clarion West Write-a-thon is upon us! My page is here. All funds raised go to provide scholarships for Clarion West, a six-week intensive writing workshop. Professional writers and editors, well-known in their fields, teach week-long segments to aspiring speculative fiction writers.
Times are hard for a lot of people, I know, but if you can invest just a little in the future of some writer who may later knock your socks off with a kick-ass story, please do. It all adds up. And we all need good stories…
In a recent blog conversation, the topic of old favorite books came up. Someone mentioned Andrea Alton’s Demon of Undoing. I was surprised because I had thought the book long out of print and pretty hard to come by even when I found it years ago in a used bookstore. Well, it’s baaack! Demon of Undoing All thanks to the wonders of self-publishing. It’s a great book, featuring an alien world from the alien point of view and dealing with humans as rarely seen, dangerous, mysterious beings that are very puzzled that simply asking questions causes so much trouble. It is frequently funny and full of adventure and derring-do.
Another old favorite, Sorcery & Cecelia, has been available in reprint for a while–but the ebook is currently a mere $2.99. Considering my original paperback is literally falling apart (I love not wisely but too well…) I immediately snapped up a copy. It is a novel of letters, in a Regency England where magic is just one of the things a Lady of Quality might dabble in. When she is not making midnight excursions to kidnap a goat.
I’ve been busy doing Good Things like writing more and finally getting this website cleaned up a little. Note the new little widget off to the right–that’s where I will keep my writing status updated on projects and state of completion. Of course those on my mailing list (hint hint) will get advanced notice of actual publication, sales I have planned (yes, I have plans) and other cool stuff.
In other news, I’ve been updating and changing my CreateSpace print books. Found some irritating formatting issues (thank you so much, Word, I’ll have to do the same for you some day…) and now was a good time to do it, because the Big News in indie circles is Baker&Taylor and Ingrams now allow POD books to mingle with the elite in their catalog. This means a bookstore can ORDER MY BOOKS and as long as I look professional, they won’t be able to tell I’m not operating out of 1 Worlds Away Press Plaza. (Unless you tell them.)
The downside to this is I had to raise the prices on the print books. Ebooks are staying where they are, don’t worry. Distributors, on the other hand, need to be able to offer bookstores a discount, and I need to price it high enough that I don’t owe the distributor money after that discount. (Actually CreateSpace won’t let you set a price that puts you in the red, but you know what I mean.) I didn’t like doing this, but given how few print copies sold even at the old price I am hoping this does not annoy too many of my fans. Someday it will be possible to do POD for mass market paperbacks and the books will be even cheaper…but not now. Anyway, just wanted to explain what was going on and that I wasn’t just trying to get readers to pay for my second yacht. (I don’t even have an inflatable kayak, OK?)
Now, back to writing…
I have discovered a new genre. Funny hard science fiction.The Martian, by Andy Weir, is the story of an astronaut engineer with a warped sense of humor who is accidentally (no, really!) abandoned on Mars when the rest of his team has to do an emergency exit back to Earth. LOTS of cool science as he tries to stay alive using his chemical and engineering knowhow to kludge together the things he needs to survive. His will to survive, on the other hand, is nearly mortally wounded when he discovers the only music left behind is the mission leader’s extensive collection of ’70s pop tunes.
THRILL to the importance of bacteria! MARVEL at using old Mars probes to send x-rated ASCII art! BOGGLE at the humble potato! (It becomes clear in the book, trust me).
And you can’t beat the price, currently a mere 99 cents!
UPDATE: link now works. Thanks Anachronda!
David Farland, writer and teacher of writers, has had a lot of sudden, bad juju land on his family in a medical way. A number of his friends and former students organized a book bomb on Wednesday, a coordinated book buying campaign to a) earn him money, and b) raise his Amazon rankings. They have succeeded wildly with b) at any rate, and the need for a) is still ongoing. This link will take you to one of his indie works, and if you subsequently buy any other little items on your Amazon list, Dave’s Associate account gets a cut. I purchased Million Dollar Outlines and have been reading it ever since.
The book bomb may be over, but we can still keep his Amazon rank high. Spread the word!
Barnes & Noble
Wow, that was fast. I uploaded the file late last night, and not only is it live I’ve had one sale!
I’ll be updating the online store this evening, with luck, for those readers who like to get their ebooks fresh from the writer. Thanks for your patience, everyone, and enjoy!
Nice and fresh in the online store. (Points to link on the right sidebar). Epub and mobi formats.
If your budget does not permit or if you really prefer a proofed version, that should be out by the end of March, at all the usual outlets. The paper version will be available a week or two after that.
The Scent of Metal is being edited even now — and you know what that means. ARC copies will be available soon!
As promised! In the spirit of the Holiday Season, whichever present-giving holiday you prefer. A selection from the beginning of my new book Scent of Metal –now undergoing final rewrite. A tale of science, courage, and Pluto…
The emergency survey team moved down the rough-surfaced corridors at a jog-trot, looking for changes. The air was dry and cold, with no scent. Lea Santorin did her best to keep up, holding panic at bay by trying to figure out when things had gone wrong. It couldn’t have been their ship; after all there had been at least three ships from Earth before Kepler and nothing happened. Removing the alien…device hadn’t done it. But she had, just briefly, put the thing back in the niche where it had been found. The surface ablation of the ice layer had started shortly after.
“It’s my fault,” she mumbled, sure of it.
Ivars continued his careful, quick sweep of the corridor like he hadn’t heard her, weapon always pointed where he looked. “If you know that, then you know how to fix it.” The other soldiers behind her didn’t even pretend to pay attention to the conversation, and Dr. Adi was still slack-jawed with horror and shock.
So, there is this blog thing where someone tags you and then you tag other people in turn and it either summons one of the more benign Elder Gods or your least favorite aunt. I may not have the details down. However! It is fun and spreads the word about lots of writers’ new projects, and can that ever be a bad thing? Well, except for the whole descending into ichor-soaked madness, maybe. Sorry about that.
The Next Big Thing
1. Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you. Kate Paulk, she of Vlad the Impaler and ConSensual fame
2. Post the rules for the blog hop. Right here…
3. Answer these ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress). Below…
4. Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them. I suck like a shop-vac. (translation: people were asked but declined) So, go out and tell authors you like to do this!
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
1. What is the working title of your book? Scent of Metal
2. Where did the idea come from for the book? I’ve never been completely convinced that mind-reading belongs in science fiction, but what about connecting to an AI?
3. What genre does your book fall under? Science Fiction
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Maybe Mary-Louise Parker for Lea, and Aaron Eckhart for Ivars. Not sure about the rest. Argo could be played by Deep Blue.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? An ancient, abandoned alien ship is woken up by a visiting computer geek and runs off to the nearest port without asking first.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Self-published, like all the rest.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Longer than I like to think about, since it was during my epic get-everything-epubbed frenzy. A year and a half.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Please tell me. Aliens, without the facehuggers, maybe?
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? The cruel expulsion of Pluto from the planetary club. This is totally a revenge fantasy, for PLUTO! Besides, it’s always acted a little oddly…
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I interviewed some Special Forces soldiers for this project, for reasons that will become apparent to the reader…