I’m enjoying the heck out of the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop here in Laramie, Wyo. Seriously, it’s been amazing and educational and I’ve met some incredible writers on top of it all. Not to mention that I’ve been developing this really cool story idea all this week, which I probably shouldn’t tell you about quite yet. All in all, a very worthy and awesome program, and I’m grateful as heck to be here.
But while my head’s been in the (Magellanic) clouds, there’s been a few things that I should belatedly link to. So here you go.
First, I was a guest on the excellent Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents blog, wherein I discussed the five things being a journalist taught me about writing fiction. For those new to the blog, I spent the first 15 years of my post-collegiate career as a journalist, most notably for The Associated Press in Albany, N.Y., Seattle and New York. (If you read carefully, you’ll probably find this blog follows the AP Stylebook very closely, because that stuff’s burned into my DNA at this point.) And while there’s a world of difference between journalism and fiction, I still rely on some of my journalism tools in my books. So if you’re game, check it out.
I also saw a neat little listicle out this week on The Portalist — “10 Space-tacular Books Like The Martian” — that featured The Daedalus Incident alongside books by H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg Bear, among others. That is not at all shabby. And being here at Launch Pad this week, I can now say that I got the bulk of the hard SF science right in the Daedalus books, so I’m pretty proud of that.
Tonight we head up to the WIRO telescope, and tomorrow is our last full day here. I’ll probably do a post next week all about Launch Pad, but for now, suffice it to say that if you’re an science fiction writer, you really need to apply next year, because it is made of awesome.
I’m heading to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Conference this weekend in Pittsburgh, and if you’re in the Pittsburgh area — or attending the weekend’s festivities or, frankly, just like road-tripping — there’s going to be a mass autograph signing this Friday evening, and I’ll be there with pen in hand.
The event starts at 8 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center’s Grand Ballroom, and it’ll likely go for a few hours, at the very least. You can expect most of the Nebula Award nominees will be on hand to sign their stuff, along with many others — click here for the details. I’m told there will indeed be books on hand for sale, including copies of the Daedalus trilogy in mass-market paperback and hardcover copies of MJ-12: Inception. Of course, you can feel free to bring your own, too.
And chances are, I’m likely to have some extra advance reader copies of MJ-12: Shadows to give away as well. Given that this one isn’t out until September, you’re getting your hands on it super-early (and with some typos, because it’s a pre-proof copy, which means it’s totally a collector’s item).
I haven’t been to the Nebulas since 2013, just before The Daedalus Incident came out. The event’s evolved considerably since then, with a lot of cool panels and information sessions. I’m still feeling like a newbie compared to some, so I’m planning on listening and learning as much as I can. And, of course, I’m looking forward to seeing my people again.
So if you’re going — for the whole conference or just for the signing — be sure to find me and say hello!
Here’s your obligatory time-is-running-out notice: The charity auctions to benefit Con or Bust — an organization that sends lots of awesome people of color to SF/F conventions — end tomorrow at 4 p.m. EDT. That means you have a little more than a day to bid on stuff, including signed copies of all my books to date, including a never-before-seen advance copy of MJ-12: Shadows.
I have two lots in the auction. The first is all three Daedalus paperbacks — The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis and The Venusian Gambit — signed and sent to your door if you win. The other is a signed hardcover of MJ-12: Inception and, as previously mentioned, that signed advance copy of MJ-12: Shadows, which doesn’t come out until September.
So there you go. Click here to get bidding! As of this posting you have 24 hours — GO!
Filed under Books, Charity
Now you can get all my books — including an advance reader copy (ARC) of MJ-12: Shadows — via the charity auctions set up by Con or Bust starting today.
I’ve got two lots up for bid this year. The first consists of signed mass-market paperback copies of the full Daedalus trilogy — The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis and The Venusian Gambit — which you can bid on here. The second is a hardcover copy of MJ-12: Inception and the ARC of MJ-12: Shadows, which you can bid on here. And yes, I’ll sign every book.
This is the first time anywhere you can get your hands on MJ-12: Shadows. We haven’t even released the cover images yet — though stay tuned for that soon — so you can get a good jump-start on the series before Shadows comes out in September. And of course, I remain super proud of the Daedalus trilogy and the reception it’s received over the years.
This is the fourth year I’ve supported the Con or Bust auctions. Con or Bust provides free SF/F convention passes to people of color, which is a beautiful thing indeed. Science fiction and fantasy needs more voices and different perspectives, and this is a really solid way of bringing more people into the fold.
The bidding started this morning and will last until Sunday, May 7 at 4 p.m. EDT. So you have some time. That said, the money goes to a most worthy cause, so bid early and often! There’s some super-cool stuff up for bid — lots of signed books, some manuscript critiques, jewelry, art, a signed Farscape script, delicious treats…just check it out. Support a great cause and maybe get some awesome SF/F swag!
Filed under Books, Charity, Geek
Note: The muse almost never shows up this way.
With MJ-12: Shadows in the hands of my capable editor, I thought I would start the new year by tinkering with a new project — one that wasn’t under deadline. I’m truly fortunate to have deadlines for books, and I still have the third MAJESTIC-12 book on the horizon. But at least for a while, I wanted to go back to some pressure-free creativity because, as I’ve mentioned before, MJ-12: Shadows kicked my ass.
I actually have several ideas in various stages of development — some straight-up science fiction, a clockwork fantasy, all kinds of stuff. But the one I chose to work on was new to the idea files, something overtly political in nature with a near-future setting and all kinds of social commentary. Gee, wonder how that popped up on my radar since November. Hmm.
I told my agent about it — I actually tell her most of the stuff I’m noodling on — and I got excited about it. I did my usual worldbuilding notes, my character snippets, my Excel plotting. I started in and focused on the voice, which would be very different from my previous work.
And then I hit a wall.
Filed under Books, Writing
Found by a friend at Powell’s up in Oregon. One of many reasons indie bookstores rock.
Let me start by saying that I realize Amazon and Barnes & Noble are the two big choices for book buying, and honestly, I have a lot of respect for both of them. Both companies have been good to me and my work, and I deeply appreciate that. I’m glad they’re there.
But you know what’s awesome? Independent bookstores. I love indie bookstores, man. They are an absolute labor of love for the people that own and run them, and they are vibrant and, dare I say, critical pieces of community life around the country. So this holiday season, I would encourage you to check out independent bookstores in your area for all your gift-giving needs.
Or maybe check out the ones I have listed here if you don’t have a local indie close to you. These are the independent bookstores that I’ve enjoyed visiting around the country, and if you’re in the market for books this holiday season — whether it’s my books or just any books — I would strongly encourage you to check them out. The vast majority of these offer online sales and shipping, and many offer ebook sales via Kobo, too.
I totally get that indie books are more expensive — they’re generally full list-price, plus shipping. And sure, Kobo is a little more expensive than Kindle or Nook. Given the huge impact a good bookstore has on its community, I would urge you to shop indie anyway, if you’re able to do so. It’s fantastic karma.
Finally, I’m highlighting the stores that are offering the Geeky Giving charity anthology, which I was proud to be a part of this year. There are some great stories in there, and proceeds go to the Barrow Neurological Institute. Buying it is a win all around, y’all. Continue reading
Filed under Books, Charity, Geek
What makes a book successful? What makes an author successful? What makes some books and/or authors more successful than others? All fair questions. I saw some discussion of this among my colleagues and friends on Twitter this past week, prompted by these thoughts from the amazingly talented Delilah S. Dawson. and it gave me some things to think about.
My first novel came out in 2013 — just three short years ago! I started writing it in 2010, got my agent in 2011, and nabbed a book deal in 2012. So I’ve been at it for six years now, and a published author for just half that time. My fourth book comes out Sept. 6 in hardcover.
Have I been successful? Abso-freakin-lutely. But that’s in terms of my vision of success. And I think it’s important to define your own measures for success going in — and to keep them realistic.
(This is a long-ish post. Get comfy. Go grab a beverage if you like. I’ll be here.)