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Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Two Sales and an Interview

It’s nice to have good news for once coming in multiples.  Most of the neo-pro writing life is being told no in varying ways, over and over and over.  It’s good to hear a yes on occasion.  It’s even better in pairs *grin*

So. A couple sales to announce.  First is a reprint sale of my story “No Spaceships Go” (originally appeared in Daily SF in Dec 2010).  The wonderful people at Scape– The e-zine of YA speculative fiction loved it so much they want it even though they don’t normally do reprinted fiction.  So soon it will be available there as well.

Second sale is an as-yet-untitled story for the anthology Mirror Shards: Exploring the Edges of Augmented Reality (Volume One) being edited by my writer friend Tom Carpenter at Black Moon Books.  The anthology is open to submissions until July, so get on it if you have an augmented reality story idea.

And finally, another interview for my indie-publishing side (I’m like the Hybrid Author of Doom here I guess) is up on Indie Reads.  You can find the interview here.

Whew. Now back to the grind.

Learning and Spring Plans

I’ve been reading some really good stuff on story, plotting, and outlines lately.  I have always felt, personally, that plotting is where I run into issues.  I can handle simple plots (straightforward quests, zomg must run or die now sorts of things) but don’t really have a handle on how to write something super epic or how to keep things so tight the reader can’t breathe for fear something will happen in the book and they’ll miss it on the exhale.

But I’m learning.  I don’t like not knowing things so I’ve set out to fill in some of my writer knowledge gaps.  As always, I have a plan. (Am I the only one who hears Black Adder in my head whenever I say that or hear someone say that? No?)  Book 1 in my Law & Order with swordfights series is almost done.  After that, I’m going to try to get the other three done and to the editor before Clarion.  Hopefully I can manage to get the second book in the Chwedl duology finished by Clarion also, because I’d like to focus solely on short fiction while there.

So here’s my modified schedule for this spring:

Avarice – finished by April 10th
Wrath- finished by April 30th
Hunger- finished by May14th
Vainglory- finished by May 28th
The Raven King- Finished by the time I leave for Clarion (around June 25th)

As for plotting, here are some of the books I’ve been reading:

Save the Cat and Save the Cat Goes to the Movies by Blake Snyder

The Fiction Editor, the Novel, and the Novelist by Thomas McCormack

Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee

How to Write Killer Fiction: The Funhouse of Mystery & the Roller Coaster of Suspense by Carolyn Wheat

I got Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel and the Breakout Novel Workbook out of the library as well.  I also picked up The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by R. A. Salvatore and Philip Athans because I heart Salvatore and wanted to see what he said about writing the fantastic.  So far the book is very basic, but interesting.

I mention all this because I know that when I do bother to blog, I tend to talk about goals and numbers more than the actual work itself and what my daily job entails.  But, personally, I find the details of what I do pretty boring.  I mean, I get up, I read some stuff, I write some stuff, I read more stuff, I might make notes about things I want to work on or some such, etc.  It’s… well, a job.  Writing is fun, but the creation part is the fun part and it’s hard to talk about that in any real way because it’s easier to just point at the created work and be like “yeah, I did that”.  But I think just posting goals and such leads to it looking like I’m sitting in the dark beating up a keyboard.  There’s a whole lot more that goes into me writing and improving my craft besides the practice part.

Now, mind you, all the study in the world won’t improve my writing if I’m not doing the practice and putting in the writing itself as well.  It’s like what I pointed out with Starcraft 2 a while back.  I watch tons of SC2 games and can talk the theory with the best of the best (you know, same as any dedicated sport fan *grin*) but I can’t PLAY SC2 worth a damn because I haven’t put in the practice.  Writing is the same way.  Read books, soak up knowledge, and then GO USE IT.

That’s why I’m trying to get four books written before the end of June.  I want to take these things I’m studying and put them to use.  These books are a good way to do that since they all will require tight plotting, are set in worlds I already have mapped out and researched (so I don’t need to lose any writing time on world creation) and I’ve got the basic stories in my head already with characters and structure, so they should be fairly quick to outline once I get my new methods worked out.  The books are for study, the novels I’m writing are for the practical part.  I think of it as Class Time (reading about writing and studying other novels that have worked) and Lab Time (putting what I have learned into practice through practical, hands-on application).

So that’s the plan and I’m (maybe) sticking to it! 😉

First E-published Novel

I took the plunge fully now.  My first full novel is available as an e-book (Amazon doesn’t have the buy button up yet for some reason, but that should fix itself in a day or two hopefully).

Description:

In an ancient Wales that never was…

The twin brothers Emyr and Idrys are cursed to live as hounds; Emyr by night, and Idrys by day.  The twins believe they will be trapped this way forever until they meet the fierce and curious Áine, a changeling woman born with fey blood and gifts struggling to fit into a suspicious human world.
Áine unravels the fate of Emyr and his twin as all three of them fall in love.  To free her lovers from the curse, she embarks on a journey to the realm of the fey where she confronts her own unique gifts and heritage. Ultimately, she must decide where her heart truly lies and what she’s willing to risk to get what she desires most.

The novel is only 4.95 and is available for Kindle , for Kindle: UKNook, and at Smashwords (and 50% off there until the 12th of March).  The print version will be available soonish.

If anyone wants a review copy, please let me know!  izanobu AT gmail.  Thanks.  This is exciting and scary all at once!

Sale Sale Sale Sale (again!)

Yeah, I know. But I sell sporadically enough that any sale is worth a giant announcement, damnit.  Because it’s been almost 6 months since my last sale to a magazine, so I was starting to tell myself it had all been a fluke etc…

Anyway, I sold a flash fiction story titled “Love at the Corner of Time and Space” to Daily Science Fiction.  Which marks my fourth short story sale to a magazine and my second pro-rate sale. W00t!

On another note, I’ve written 3 pieces of flash fiction in my adult life, and sold 2 out of the 3.  Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something…

Science Fiction Novelette

I have a near-future, hard science fiction novelette on sale now.

Ian and Jack Talley and the Prometheus Space Program set a record for the fastest manned flight to Jupiter. But the journey ended in disaster, crippling Jack and killing the rest of the team.
Ten years later, an eccentric multi-billionaire offers them all of his money, and a second chance, if they’ll fly him to Pluto. The Talley brothers reunite their team, ready to rekindle the dream of manned space flight. But self-doubts and technological issues both old and new appear, leaving the question open: are they making history? Or repeating it? And finding the answers could cost them far more than the Prometheus program.

Here’s the links to buy- (it’s only $1.99!)  Kindle (which hilariously has a reversed cover image, that will be fixed soon), Nook, and pretty much all other formats.

Now, back to writing this novel.  Enjoy!

Quickie Preview

Want to see what I’m working on?

Here’s a hint:

Now, I have to get back to it.  (This novel is going out to NY publishers while I finish the two sequels, so it might, if it sells, never make it to e-pub, but I had a cover made because visualizing something done helps me get it done.  Yeah, I’m weird).  Besides, this is awesome and I got almost 2,000 words written while my designer and I talked back and forth about it through the middle of the night.

Ebooks January

Hey, why not? I love it when other people talk frankly about the money, so I’ve made it my policy to do the same, for good or ill.  It’s tough starting a new business, which is what I’m doing with writing.  Today marks the two year anniversary to my “get serious about writing for a living” day.

In January I released a short fiction collection as epub and had my best month ever, earning a whopping $22.95 (whoops, forgot initially to count B&N and Smashwords into this, yay extra money).  Who knows if that’s a fluke or if it’ll pick up from here.  I’m planning on releasing a novel this month (if I ever get this other novel finished so I can have time for something other than writing).  Novels supposedly sell better than short fiction, so we’ll see.

Also, I received an amazing review of my collection from Alex J Kane.  I’m sort of in awe of people who can write up their ideas and opinions on a work in a way that really talks about things instead of just being a “durr, I liked this” or “gah, can’t stand this”, which is what I normally end up thinking about things I read (I am the world’s WORST reviewer, which is why you won’t see many reviews from me, just recommendations on occasion).  Anyway, if you want to read the awesome review of “The Spacer’s Blade & Other Stories”, do so here at Alex’s blog.  And if you like what you read, well, I’m always up for having a better February than January any day.

And with that. Back to writing.  11 days left. Meep.

Show Me the Money 2010

So in my first official “writing as career” year (2009 for those following along), I made exactly 0 dollars. So I didn’t do a post about it because, well, that’s a pretty short post.

2010 went better, though not “making a living” level better.  But hey, that’ll come.

So here’s the money.

Money earned on novels: 0

Money earned with poetry: 48

Money earned on short stories: 411.76

Money earned from self-published stories: 9.10

Total: 468.86

Hey, way better than 2009, right? Hopefully the trend continues.  Funny though, how it almost works out to one dollar per 1000 words written.  It’s like earning a dollar an hour.

I’m not worried.  I’m just getting warmed up.  Every word I write is practice, ever sale I make is bonus.  As I get better at the one, I figure I’ll earn more bonuses.

Nom Nom Nom

Technically, I have a couple stories eligible for award nominations. I had a long debate with myself about even writing this post, but decided, hey, first year I’ve got things eligible, I should at least write a subtle “zomg sold stuffz!” post pointing this out.

So here goes…subtle. Yeah.

“Some Like it Hot” (AlienSkin Feb/March 2010 issue) is eligible as a short story.
No Spaceships Go” (Daily Science Fiction, Dec. 17th, 2010) is also eligible as a short story.

So if you for some reason loved either of those and are in a position to do some nom-ing, there you go. That’s my list.  (My third story published this year doesn’t, I think anyway, fall into the speculative fiction category enough to be relevant.  However, if you feel like reading it and don’t mind dropping .99 on it, it is now available as an ebook with another short story here or for free on Contrary’s website here)

Story Available

My story, “No Spaceships Go” is now up for free reading at Daily Science Fiction.  Go and enjoy (and enjoy their growing library of other great stories spanning all the speculative fiction genres).

This week I’ll be pretty much no online.  I’m doing a novel in a week challenge and am devoting 90% of my time to writing.  But I’ll be back with the new year!  Time to get some last minute work done.