Tag Archives: Worldbuilders

Join me for a livestream interview this Sunday, and donate to fight COVID-19!

geeks bannerSo proud to be working with the amazing Worldbuilders crew on a new initiative, #geeks4hope, an effort to raise money to benefit Project HOPE in the fight against COVID-19. And you can help! Yes, YOU!

I’ll be online at geeks4hope.com this Sunday, April 26, at 4 p.m. PT to talk all things geeky, including some potential questions about…milkshakes? Not sure, but I do have opinions on them. And other things. And we’ll talk about books and writing and other matters no doubt. Plus, there will be a big honkin’ DONATE button there, just waiting for you to get clicking.

There’s all kinds of other cool stuff as well, including virtual book signings, other author interviews, and the amazing Pat Rothfuss doing his Twitch gaming thing. The whole schedule is at either of the above links, so please do check it out.

Project HOPE is an amazing charity that’s been around a long time, helping to fight health crises around the world. #geeks4hope will help raise money to supply front-line health workers in their efforts to treat COVID-19, helping save their lives as they work to save others.

So there you go. Get you some entertainment this coming week, and make with the donations to help the good people helping others. See you Sunday!

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A belated welcome to 2019

I would love to sit here and say that I’ll be a better blogger in 2019, offering up far more interesting posts than last year. But I think we both know, reader, that this may not be the case. Regardless,  I do intend to at least try, and I’ll start with a bit of a roundup of what happened in 2018, and where things are presently.

Last year was pretty eventful, which is one reason I didn’t blog as much. As regular blog followers may remember, I took on a new role at work (yes, there’s a day job!). I’m now the marketing creative lead for my company’s biggest client segment, with annual sales measured in billions. In perfect honesty, I was rather content being a mere writer, but I can say that, after nine months in the job, I’m actually pretty good at it. Who knew? (My boss knew, of course. Or at least had an inkling.)

And in connection with that, we picked up and moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles. Just as the job has gone better than expected, I’ve found L.A. to be more amenable than I had thought it might be. It’s January and I’m typing this outside on a cool but lovely day, parked at one of my two go-to coffee shops in the area. My daughter is doing well at her new school, ninth-grade dramas notwithstanding, and Kate is absolutely loving it.

OK, so what about the writing? I mean, I figure that’s probably why y’all read this blog, what with the books and all. MJ-12: Endgame came out in September, thus wrapping up the MAJESTIC-12 trilogy. It received some great reviews and sold as well as trilogy third books can reasonably expect. I’m proud of the book and the series, and I hope folks enjoyed how things wrapped up.

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It’s Worldbuilders time! Bid on a critique (by me) on 25,000 words of your fictiony goodness.

It’s truly one of the best benefits of being a published author to be able to do stuff like this. Once again, I’m offering up a critique for auction to benefit Worldbuilders, one of the best charities around – and not just because it was founded by Pat Rothfuss and brings together so many great geeks. Though that helps.

For the fourth year running, I’m offering up a critique for bid, up to 25,000 words of your fiction. I’ll give it a good read and opine on everything I think might be useful, from the usual character/setting/plot stuff to word choice, voice, whatever jumps out at me. And I’m quite willing to entertain follow-up questions and generally make sure you get your money’s work. Because charity! Click here for my handy auction page. You have until Dec. 6 to bid.

For those of you who don’t know, the Worldbuilders campaign benefits Heifer International, an amazing charity that helps people become sustainable farmers all over the world. It answers a basic yet critical human need, and I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to help out.

If memory serves, my biggest single auction drew in about $450. Surely we can do better this year, right? RIGHT?

So if you’re in the market for some writing advice from a six-time published novelist (i.e., me), please consider putting in a bid. And if you’re not, well, go ahead and spread the word! Check out Worldbuilders’ other auctions, as well as the lottery and the store. Get signed books, swag, swords, jewelry, gaming dice, you name it.

All this stuff makes for great holiday gifts, by the way. (For real – one of my critiques was given as a gift to a teen writer who, as it happened, had some chops.) So get to clicking!

#SFWApro

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Support Worldbuilders! And let’s talk about beer at r/Fantasy today!

I’ve been involved with Worldbuilders now for…four years? Something like that. It’s an incredible charity that’s raised millions of dollars for Heifer International. And each year I offer up, among other things, a critique of your writing. This year, my critique is part of the Worldbuilders lottery, which means your $10 donation gives you a chance to win said critique, along with many other fantastic prizes.

Here’s the details on what I’m offering. Just click on the nice big DONATE button at the top right of the page to enter. And don’t be afraid to go for it — I’ve seen just about everything over the past four years, including a couple stories that pleasantly surprised me with their craft. Whether you’re starting out or just want another set of eyes, I’d be happy to help. And again, it goes to a great cause.

To help celebrate Worldbuilders, I’m participating in a “Ask You Anything” event over at Reddit’s r/Fantasy subreddit today. This is an opportunity for authors to ask YOU, the readers, what’s on your mind. And since this is me, I’m asking about beer and books. Here’s the thread — come say hello!

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That pesky, uncontrollable muse

Note: The muse almost never shows up this way.

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.

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Nine hours to go on the Worldbuilders critique auction

UPDATE: The auction is over and the critique went for $340, which is incredibly awesome. Thank you to Worldbuilders for all they do, and thank you to all the bidders who jacked that price up!

That’s right — as of this posting, you have nine hours to bid on an opportunity to have yours truly read and critique up to 25,000 words of your fiction. Here’s the auction page. And it’s to benefit Worldbuilders, the fantastic charity that aids Heifer International in promoting sustainable living conditions for the world’s poorest. It’s good stuff.

So what’s the critique, exactly? Well, first off, you give me the words and I read ’em. I’ll mark up the text as I go, using comments in Word, with questions, concerns, encouragement, etc. I’ll also write up a fairly long review of the piece, separate from the text, in which I’ll go into the strengths and weaknesses of the work.

Oh, and if you wanna ping back with follow-ups, feel free. I’m happy to go back and forth a few times if it helps you. Just don’t, you know, camp out in my email. Or on my doorstep. Point is, let’s make sure you get your money’s worth.

Speaking of, as of this writing, the bidding is up to $255, which does my heart good. I have no doubt that the winner of this one, in addition to getting my opinion on their work, will reap untold karma points from whomever in the multiverse doles such things out.

One more thing: Tomorrow, I’ll be hanging out on Reddit r/Fantasy as part of their Worldbuilders charity week. It’s kind of an Ask Me Anything — because I’ll certainly answer questions and stuff — but I’m also taking the opportunity to ask the great r/Fantasy community a few things as well. And of course, we’ll be spreading the good word about Worldbuilders.

In fact, there’s still a bit more to come from me — each of my four novels will be up for grabs from Worldbuilders late this coming week. Signed, of course, which makes them the perfect Christmas presents. So stay tuned for that!

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It’s Worldbuilders auction time! Bid on a critique, make the world better.

Here’s some unabashedly good news: The Worldbuilders auctions are live! There’s so much good stuff up for bid this year — and for the fourth year running, I’m offering a critique of your SF/F manuscript, up to 25,000 words to the winning bidder.

For those of you who don’t know, Worldbuilders is a fantastic charity created by the incomparable Patrick Rothfuss to support the good work of Heifer International. Worldbuilders does a bunch of stuff all year, but the end-of-year auction is the big one.

Since I started offering up stuff in 2013, and with your generous support, together we’ve raised about $1,500 through signed books, critiques and Tuckerizations just with Worldbuilders alone. (And another $500+ to Con or Bust, charity:water and Kids Need to Read, so yay!) And all because I had the damn fool notion in my head that I should write some novels, and because there are some lovely generous people out there. How cool is that?

The critique auction page is live, so if you’re in the market for some writing advice from a real, live novelist (i.e. me), check it out. You have until just after 8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27, to get your bid in. And let me tell you — the bidding goes up quite a bit in those final hours, so if you want it, be prepared to hang out online Sunday.

The Worldbuilders crew also has signed copies of all my books — the three volumes of the Daedalus trilogy, and MJ-12: Inception in hardcover. They’re not up for bid yet, but stay tuned. I’ll be sure to let you know when they’re live.

And of course, there’s a veritable ton of other stuff up for bid too — jewelry, signed books, critiques from authors/editors/agents, gaming swag, and yes…even a freakin’ sword. (I totally want that sword.) The eBay page for Worldbuilders has all that and more, so check it out. There’s also a Worldbuilders lottery, where you pay $10 per entry for a shot at glorious prizes — here’s the page for that.

I’ve found the SF/F community of writers, publishers and fans to be incredibly giving and generous, and I know y’all will consider chipping in again to help Heifer in its important work around the world. Thank you in advance for your donations. And thanks to Pat, Maria and the whole Worldbuilders team for all the good work they do.

Go! Get bidding!

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The post-Phoenix Comicon post

Short version: That was incredibly super fun. Will repeat.

But hey, I think we can do better, right?

Phoenix Comicon has one of the best author/books tracks of any major convention I’ve been to. So what makes it the best, you ask? For one, there are a ton of great authors writing a dizzying array of diverse works. Two, the topics of the panels are usually pretty interesting and thought-provoking. Third, the con puts our books on sale right next door to the panels, and the marketer in me loves that impulse-buy opportunity.

But mostly, it’s the fans. The folks in the audience at all of my panels were super-smart and incredibly engaged. Their questions were thoughtful and really kept us all on our toes. The resulting conversations were informative to me, and I hope they were to everyone who came.

The fans are the biggest reason I go, and y’all are really generous with your time and encouragement of my work, and I try to do the same with whatever you got going on, too. For the first time, I had someone in the audience at a panel actually reference parts of my books as an example that I didn’t even think of — and I didn’t even know who he was, let alone did I bribe him. So that was lovely.

And now some more highlights in now particular order!

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One week left in WriMos for Worldbuilders lottery

Donate and enter to win these!

Worldbuilders continues apace, breaking last year’s record haul for Heifer International and knocking on the door of $1 million in donations. That is breathtakingly incredible. Let’s help ’em get there, shall we?

There’s one week left in the WriMos for Worldbuilders lottery. The goal was to break $10,000 — and the drive is already well over $18,000. The generosity of writer-folk will never cease to amaze me.

Of course, Worldbuilders is making it worth your while. Each $10 donated gives you one shot at a drawing for fabulous prizes (i.e., donate $50, get five entries). There are dozens and dozens of books and assorted swag, detailed here on Pat Rothfuss’ blog, including the three books of the Daedalus trilogy, all signed and marked with “Worldbuilders 2015” to remind you of the good you did and the reward you got. Cool, eh?

Here’s a post where you can figure out your chances of winning something cool, by the way, in case you want to ensure the odds are ever in your favor.

Of course, the big prizes in the lottery are the critiques. There are four up for grabs from agent Seth Fishman, agent Jennifer Azantian, author/anthologist Joshua Palmatier and, well…me. (Don’t worry, I’m told I give good critique.) So if you finished up your NaNoWriMo project and need a trained pair of eyes to look at it, here’s your chance.

You have one week. DO WHAT MUST BE DONE.

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Pick up a neat Humble Bundle to support great causes

So here’s something cool. The latest Humble Bundle is available, and it includes a lot of great science fiction and fantasy. Pay what you want, get a heap of awesome reading — with the proceeds going to charity.

Here’s the link to the bundle. You could theoretically pay a penny — you godawful cheapskate — but those who pay $15 or more pretty much get the entire package. That’s 15 books! We’re talking novels and anthologies and even Ad Astra: The 50th Anniversary SFWA Cookbook. (Yes, I have an article about beer in that one. Because beer.)

The bundle benefits Worldbuilders, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America‘s Givers Fund, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. These are all fine charities and non-profits to support, and I hope you’ll think about doing so.

And speaking of Worldbuilders, let this be your semi-regular reminder to donate $10 or more to WriMos for Worldbuilders so you can enter to win fabulous prizes — one of which is a critique of your work by me. I’ll be kind, I promise.

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