Category Archives: blog information

A Matter of Taste

A lot has been said and heard about the terrible editors and publishers who totally ignore or criticize eager new writers. With so many writers out there, the traditional publishing funnel is getting smaller and smaller. I know, I’m one of them. I wasted two years waiting for Baen books to get around to turning down my first book, after expressing interest and asking for a completed manuscript.

TWO YEARS! ONE BOOK!

Now the shoe is on the other foot, and ouch, it pinches.

Because I write science fiction and have read it for years, I thought it would be fun to share that wisdom with others. What could go wrong??? I was always eager to hear a good book idea. Not many people around me ever read science fiction and I was always on the lookout for something good to read. I could spread the word about my favorites.

Amazon has solved that problem for me, somewhat. But I still thought it would be a good idea to blog about it…and I am having fun doing that. But a new monster has raised its head and that’s the monster of declining reviews of authors’ books.

So far, I have had wonderful writers that have been more than gracious when I have said, “No, thanks.” Recently, a UK new writer e-mailed me asking me to review a story about booze crazed alien slugs that unleash unspeakable terror on the world and only a Broken Vacuum array of cleaning attachments can save the day.

It was tempting, but I felt a need to decline in that I don’t review appliance fiction. (for your future reference) and it sounded a bit sucky, to tell the truth.

We’ll probably read about it on Amazon’s best seller list.

I also got a request from Richard Flores who wrote an intriguing blog on this matter at: http//:www.floresfactor.wordpress.com which sparked this blog. His blog is entitled “Form Rejection.” Since he also reviews, he thought he would  respond to writer’s submissions that he had to reject with advice on how to make the manuscript better. You know, the personal touch.

Writers, on the whole, didn’t appear to appreciate it.

Turns out there is another side to this dance. Writers can get downright snarky if you call their baby ugly. He said that  some used foul language and threats. Check out his neat blog…and other blogs that he has done.

Hence the use of form rejections by publishers and editors and agents that are vague and non judgmental. “Doesn’t fit into out current offerings.” Etc.

A nice “No thanks.” For those that don’t want a home fire-bombed.

Now, so far, I have been lucky. Please, all writers be aware that just because one person backs away, doesn’t mean it’s a bad book or story. I recently said no because I couldn’t deal with the topic of dying of cancer that the book began with, even though the writing was good.  It’s just we have to make a judgement call on what we put our name on and in the publisher’s case…their money, or for some it’s their career. This doesn’t excuse certain behaviors that I have encountered by editors, but it has certainly opened my eyes to their side of things.

Just saying.

I have mentioned David Levine on my blog before and he recently e-mailed me and the Portland Writers Group after being at Wordstock. There they had the cards that Katherine Rusch and her husband Dean Wesley Smith have mentioned before. They are an attractive plastic credit card size that have scratch off codes on them that you can give away or sell. You upload your book to their server and anyone with a card gives the code and downloads your book. It’s a handy way to sell books at a fair or around town…maybe even at the nail salon when someone says that they may be interested and the iron is hot for the striking.

Here’s their website for further info: http://www.greenersidedigital.com.

Now…what’s on my reading list? Well, Richard Flore’s book had such a beautiful cover and interesting title, that I have started that. So, stay tuned for that review. He also did a blog on cover titles and looks like he followed his own advice.

Also, somewhere on a list and also on Twitter, the book Wool was mentioned and it was offered free.

Free is my price…so I’ll check it out for you.

And…I’m in a science fiction book club that has been assigned The Magicians” by Lev Grossman for their next meeting. So, I’ll need to get on that one too and let you know.

Been busy with Past the Event Horizon   that has been going through the grinder of my writers’ group. They have had some awesome things to say about it, but a chapter every two weeks has been dragging things out. However, a proof is on the way…yeah, yeah, you’ll believe it when you see it. But not long now. I’m excited.

Enjoy  a good science fiction read and let me know what you like…or an interesting science fictiony fact.

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Filed under Aliens in Science Fiction, Best selling science fiction, blog information, book fairs, Book reviews, ebook science fiction, Indie authors, Indie Science Fiction Authors, magic, Mars, science fiction, Science Fiction book review

Award Nominated Blog

Ye gads! I’ve been nominated for a blog award.

But before we get too excited about it, please know that I was nominated by a fellow author in a fun contest that feels very much like a chain letter. I reviewed Yvonne Herzberger’s book “Back from Chaos” a while back (liked it) and have kept track of her posts on Indies Unlimited and on LinkedIn. She recently e-mailed me to notify that I had received a Nomination for a blog award.

So here’s the deal: Once nominated, you have to say seven things about yourself that may surprise your audience and you have to nominate some other blogs for the award.

Sounds like fun. Okay, so here are seven things you may not know about me.

1. I am 5′ 11 1/2″ tall. They grow ’em tall in my family.

2. I have soloed in an airplane, and owned several…the last being a Mooney.

3. I have done runway, magazine and television modeling…but briefly. It didn’t pay.

4. I have raced in numerous sailboat races, (living in Annapolis and San Francisco) and my daughter was 5 weeks old when she was in her first race.

5. I was a stockbroker at Legg Mason Wood Walker for over five years. (still check the market every day)

6. I love art and paint oil landscapes.

7. I play a mean game of scrabble

Okay…Now here are several blogs I would nominate.

1. http://www.Kriswrites.com  Kathryn Kristine Rusch is an Oregonian and has some important things to say about the publishing business. She was editor of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine and her husband Dean Wesley Smith has a great blog too.

2.www.deanwesleysmith.com. has written over 90 novels and also written extensively in the Star Trek and other established universes.

3. www.whatever.scalzi.com. John Scalzi is seriously funny and a serious science fiction best selling novelist.

4. www.rosannedingli.com Rosanne Dingli has offered her time and expertise on Linkedin and continues that sage advice in her blog.

5. www.Indiesunlimited.com A collection of blogs, interviews, novel offerings and writing contests by upcoming Indie authors.

6. www.NathanBransford.com  Ex-literary agent with a wildly popular blog for writers.

7. www.veronicasicoe.com Veronica has offered some interesting science facts for my writing.

8. www.bookviewcafe.com  A consortium of Northwest writers. Phyllis Radford has her http://ramblin-phyl.livejournal.com which is a daily diary of a successful Northwest writer.

9. www.bentopress.com David Levine’s interesting blog.

10.www.Morgenbailey.com. Spelled with an “e”, like me, Morgen’s an English gal with a robust website that spotlights a lot of authors.

So that’s the contest. Comments are welcome.

Last month I was at Powell’s and met Devon Monk, a Northwest writer. She suggested I try her Urban Fantasy novel Magic to the Bone, which is the first in a series. Series are killing me, but I do love them. (Still finishing up Mad Ship and Sisterhood)

I must warn you that I am a more traditional Science Fiction Reader, but I did like Jim Butcher’s series. I also read some of Simon Green. So stay tuned and I’ll check out Urban Fantasy.

Have you read an awsome Urban Fantasy novel? Who was the author? Let me know.

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Filed under Best selling science fiction, blog information, Classic science fiction, Indie authors, Indie Science Fiction Authors, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, science fiction series

Involved in a Con

One way well known best selling science fiction authors get better known is to network at various cons. A complete list of cons by date can be found at: http://www.smofinfo.com/LL/TheLongList.html  

While some of my better known fellow authors flit all over the world, networking and being on panels, I stick closer to home. Right now Phyllis Irene Radford of the Merlin Trilogy fame and dragon trilogies is conning in Boston. She also just edited a steam punk anthology Gears and Levers–and David Levine is a top listed contributor. More about his activities further on.

I am currently putting together two submissions for Orycon’s Writers Workshop program ably headed by Carole Cole. Orycon is Portland’s science fiction/fantasy convention that usually takes place in early November. This year, local writer Mike Shepherd is the guest host. I have mentioned his popular Kris Longknife series and now he is coming out with a new one in October. Stay tuned. Here is the preorder cover. Mike is also in our Portland Writers group and recently told me that his latest novel has an intriguing premise. 

Deadline for workshop submissions is August 24, so it kinda creeps up on me. Who’s thinking about November when it’s 90 degrees out?

So I’m scrambling again.

Last year Bill Nolan of “Logan’s Run” fame gave one of my critiques. Usually two or three amateur writers submit their first 7500 words and a 500 word summary to two or three professionals for critiquing. It’s a rare opportunity to get a one on one writing evaluation of your work by several well know authors.

I talked about Mars and the landing of Curiosity last week on my blog. Lots of programs are researching what we’ll need to do and have to live on Mars. Portland writer and adventurer David Levine participated in a two week Mars immersion and blogged about it. If you are interested in what living on Mars might be like, check out his blog at:   http://www.bentopress.com/mars/

I found it fascinating.

And OMG!!! I just got this link from a new twitter pal. http://vimeo.com/45878034. You have to look at it! As I am finishing up edits on my space travel book, “Past the Event Horizon,” this will give you a real sense of being out in space. It’s video from the International Space Station looking back at Earth with awesome music and great photography. Check it out. The book after “Past the Event” deals with events on a space station, so this is exciting to me.

With reruns on TV, I have been looking for good new science fiction to read, but very little looks intriguing. What are you reading this summer?

Morgen Bailey has a robust website and one of her pages has a list of Indie writing. Organized by the author’s first, then last name, it gives the genre and a short synopsis. Check out Sheron McCartha and then scan other offerings you might like. All genres are represented so you don’t have to just like science fiction.

http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-other-peoples/novels-novellas/

Fly high and fly straight and I’ll talk to you next week unless we twitter before then.

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Filed under Best selling science fiction, blog information, Classic science fiction, Cons, dragons, ebook marketing, ebook science fiction, Indie authors, Indie Science Fiction Authors, Mars, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, Science Fiction Mystery, science fiction series, Science fiction world building, science news, Uncategorized

Can We Crinkle Space?

According to an article listed in the Kurtzweil Newsletter, professors at UC Davis say we can.

 http://www.universetoday.com/96526/a-crinkle-in-the-wrinkle-of-space-time/

If you are not familiar with this free weekly newsletter and are a science geek, let me suggest it. Go to http://www.kurtzweilai.net.

Ray Kurtzweil wrote the stunning book, The Singularity is Near that is a non-fiction discourse on what our future may be. He bases it on current science discoveries and projects.

Very thought provoking for the intellectually ambitious.

Immortality, human-like robots, nanotechnology and much more…Science reality.

The newsletter contains current projects and experiments and is where I saw this article claiming that we can crinkle space. We are nowhere near the scope found in Frank Herbert’s Dune where space travel is managed by folding space, but it’s a thought-provoking article, nonetheless. My current characters in Past the Event Horizon are dealing with the vast distances of space and the difficulty that poses in getting around.

I mentioned last week of accidentally discovering Jon Courtenay Grimwood and now I find him on the Locus Online’s short list for best books of 2011 with the book The Fallen Blade. Might be worth a look.

Browsing in the library, I also found 9Foxtails by Grimwood. This is an even better book than the others that I read with the intriguing premise of a murdered cop finding himself in another body who then decides to solve his own murder.

With his murdered persona inside a strange body, he hears how others have perceived him. His estranged daughter, his ex-wife, his police partner, his boss, the list goes on as he listens in shock to what others say about him.

Wouldn’t that be fun? Or would it? What do you think people would say about you if they didn’t think it was you they were talking to?

There are several diverse strands in the story that I was sure would never come together…but they do…eventually at the very end…and in a believable and satisfying way…much to my surprise.

A combination of Scalzi (downloaded personality), Gibson (tone and technology), Modesitte (tone and mystery), and Kris Rusch (scifi mystery)

A similar problem of solving his own murder confronted Harry Dresden in Jim Butcher’s Ghost Story that I reviewed earlier. As a ghost, Harry has a corporeal problem to getting a handle on things, while Bobby Zha just has people writing down psychiatrists’ phone numbers when he tries to tell them he is really the murdered man, never mind the most recent funeral.

I also just want to mention a scheduling detail. I recently read a blog in Indies unlimited http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2012/07/21/an-analysis-of-best-practices-for-social-media-marketing/ that said most people read blogs Monday through Fridays. Saturday and Sunday were considered the least read days. Since I believe everything written on the Internet (wink), I have moved my blog to Mondays. It’s a good rationalization. One I’m comfortable with.

However, they also mentioned that ten o’clock was the most often read time. Since, I’m out in the Northwest, this isn’t going to happen. I’m a committed blogger, well, committed was the word mentioned, but not at seven o’clock my time. I can hardly roll out of bed in the morning, even when gravity is in full force.

Since I’m in full edit mode and sliding backwards, I thought Indie editing might be a good topic for next week and some interesting information on habitable worlds, along with some more scifi book ideas. See you then.

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Filed under artificial intelligence, artificial nature, Best selling science fiction, blog information, downloaded personalities, gene modification, genetic manipulation, modifying humans, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, Science Fiction Mystery, science fiction series, science news, social media, space ship, space travel