marthawells: (Default)
I didn't do anything this weekend except work, so...that's about it.

If you missed it last week, I had a post about the Raksura Novellas coming out in paperback, a post with a snippet of The Dead City, and a post about Emilie and the Sky World coming out on March 4.

Book Deals

Miserere by Teresa Frohock is $2.99 on Kindle and The Emperor's Knife by Mazarkis Williams is $3.93.

And there's been a $1 or so price drop on the Kindle editions of The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods. I don't know if it's permanent or what.


* BBC History: The Missing Tudors: black people in 16th-century England

* Mirrors may have worked magic in ancient Japanese rituals

* Kameron Hurley: Surprise! I Have No Idea Your Book is Coming Out
The truth is that when it comes to awards season, or the week or month your book comes out, if you haven’t been talking about it in some way – on Twitter, in blog posts, even fucking Facebook – then chances are MIGHTY that other people don’t fucking know about it. And if other people don’t know – book bloggers, others writers, fandom in general – then NOBODY knows.

(And the problem with Facebook is that it doesn't show your friendslist all your posts. So even the people who are friended to you on there in order to see when your next book is coming out may not see your posts talking about when your next book is coming out. Facebook wants you to pay them to "promote" your posts, but people who have done this say it had either no effect or their posts were shown to even fewer people that way. Posts that have likes and comments are sometimes shown to more people, but it's still a crapshoot.)
marthawells: (Teyla)
[personal profile] beth_bernobich has a post here: Consent is Sexy More than once, I've come across the complaint that the need to ask for consent isn't sexy. I disagree, and in my current story-in-progress, I wrote a scene that is all about consent:

I loved her scene, and thought I'd post one too. This is from The Cloud Roads:

Jade has wanted Moon for a long time by this point in the book, and they've just fought a Fell ruler, and Moon has confessed about his past to her, and he's in a very vulnerable state. Even though the Raksura aren't human, and their reactions and behavior aren't the same as ours, I still felt she would take a moment to make sure Moon knew what he was doing:
snippet )

ETA: And N.K. Jemisin continues the meme on her blog here and J. Kathleen Cheney here and Lane Robins here.



* Publication Process: Edit Letters and Stuff J. Kathleen Cheney talks about the editorial process that her book went through on the way to publication.

* Another post from Beth Bernobich on suppressing women's writing: My answer was that our biggest obstacles are silence and obscurity. Women's works get ignored all the time. Our work is seen as less valuable. Less important. Invisible. It might not be conscious, but it happens. A lot.


The Siren Depths is finally available at Kobo. It's available at a bunch of other places, too, and the list of links is here on the book page on my web site. (The ebook is cheapest and DRM-free at Baen.)


Sep. 12th, 2012 07:23 am
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
Links! I've been collecting a lot of links to post, and these are some of them. I also need to do a book recs post at some point soon. Hoping for rain today, and hoping that Jack stops trying to lie on my mouse hand with his head on the keyboard.

Nathan Bransford: The Publishing Process in Gif Form

Kristine Smith captures a neat moment at WorldCon: Death and the Maiden

Sarah Rees Brennan: Real Lady Sleuths

Booklust: A More Diverse Blog Tour For one week in September (the week of the 23rd), we want ALL OF YOU fantasy/sci fi/magical realism readers (with blogs and without) to read a fantasy/sci fi/magical realism novel written by a person of color. And to write a review of that book. You know as well as I do that books succeed based on word of mouth and mentions and conversation, and this is where bloggers can help the MOST. Just read one book. And share your thoughts on that one book.

Innsmouth Free Press is raising money to pay pro rates for a Sword and Mythos Anthology
Sword and sorcery: the realm of daring assassins, crafty thieves and talented wizards. Lovecraft’s Mythos: a place where the weird, the horrifying and the strange coalesce. Both sub-genres should come together and you can make it happen.

Sword and Mythos is an anthology to be edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles, published through Innsmouth Free Press.

Kickstarter: Texas or Die: an Anthology of Texas Horror with contributors to include Bill Crider, Rhodi Hawk, Angeline Hawkes, Shane McKenzie, Christopher Fulbright, A. Lee Martinez, Wrath James White.

Book rec:

Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top, edited by Ekaterina Sedia
Stories of circuses traditional and bizarre, futuristic and steeped in tradition, joyful and heart-breaking! And among the actors you will find old friends, be they sad clowns or free-spirited gymnasts, as well as new ones—mammoths, mechanical piano men, and things best not described at all. Come one, come all, and enjoy the literary show unfolding!
marthawells: (SGA Team)
Troyce still has a fever today, so he went to the doctor this morning. He couldn't get in to see our regular insurance-mandated doctor, so he had to go to a walk-in clinic which our insurance won't pay for.

I woke up early (5:30) for basically no reason, but did get the garden plants watered before it got too hot. It would be nice if an early start translated into increased productivity today, but I bet this will not happen.

Nice thing to see today: The Serpent Sea made this list Kirkus Reviews: Book Smugglers' Best SF and Fantasy of 2012 so far ...sequel to a 2011 favorite novel, The Cloud Roads, the Books of the Raksura feature a beautifully rendered fantasy world, intricate social and political dynamics, and amazing characters, including one very badass female protagonist.

Neat link: Mail Online: 'Britain's Atlantis' found at bottom of North sea - a huge undersea world swallowed by the sea in 6500BC

Westboro Babtist Church (which protests soldiers' funerals and schools and etc with homophobic signs and yelling) came to town, got scared, and left. Texas A&M Students Block Westboro Baptist Protesters With Human Wall

Publishing link: Angry Robot Books The Copyeditor – what they do I've seen so many people who do not understand that "editor" and "copyeditor" are two different jobs.
marthawells: (Zoe)
I've been trying to teach the land piranha/kitten that no means no, and to not eat the other cats' food, and not to eat my food. This is going sort of the way you might expect, but it's got to be done.

I can see a distinct difference between Tasha, who we got as a kitten from a friend and who was born in their house and had already lived with other people and cats for a while, and this kitten, who was a stray and then was picked up by the animal shelter. Tasha already knew how houses worked, and understood bathtubs, showers, etc, and had good food manners. To this kitten, everything is something new, and all food belongs to him.


New music vid by Felicia Day! Gamer Girl, Country Boy - Felicia Day & Jason Charles Miller


World SF Blog: The Western Cultural Imperialism Bingo Card

The Book Smugglers: Book Expo America and BEA Bloggers Conference 2012: A Recap
We have mixed feelings about this year’s BEA “Bloggers” Conference (on a side note, why are there quotation marks around “bloggers” in the logo for the conference? SO. WEIRD.). This is the third time we have attended the conference, but in many ways this year was a first as it was the first time that BEA officially organized and ran the con after purchasing it from the hardworking bloggers that founded and ran the show in prior years.

Michelle Harrison: Michelle Harrison: Five things I wish I had known before I was published
I always imagined that upon completing a novel there would be some kind of revelation, some secret I’d unlock that could make it easier the next time round. There’s no such thing.

A.E. Bogdan: Sweet Pains: Headaches, Fatigue and Brain Fog
In 2008 I started having bouts of fatigue and brain fog. The brain fog became so bad that I stopped reading and writing. I simply couldn’t maintain my thoughts from paragraph to paragraph. Sometimes I’d feel better for a while, but it never lasted.

The fatigue increased over the years, along with body aches and back pains. After a few years of this I started getting full-on dizzy spells. A few times on work gigs I felt so groggy and out-of-it I feared my clients would think I was stoned.

Beautiful sand paintings: Incredible Sand Drawings by Andres Amador If I can ever get logged in to my Pinterest again, I'm going to pin one of these.
marthawells: (Reading)
Yesterday started out well, then a weather front came in and the day went down in massive sinus headache flames. I'm hoping to get more done today, though. And hopefully we'll get some rain.

If you missed it, I posted the Three Worlds Compendium yesterday, which includes a missing scene from The Cloud Roads.

Also, I got interviewed on the Mad Hatter's Bookshelf and Book Review!


More links:

Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany Collection of fairytales gathered by historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth had been locked away in an archive in Regensburg for over 150 years

Writer Beware: Why You Can't Always Trust the Source But the worst market listings--which may have been compiled by people who aren't very expert (like this one), or may be the corpses of once-active resources that haven't been updated in years (here's an example), or may be databases where every Tom, Dick, and Harriet can create an entry, no matter their qualifications or ethics (WritersNet is a case in point)--may be full of questionable agents. And even the best may allow some undesirables to slip through.

One Minute Book Reviews: ‘The Average American Author Earns About $9,000 a Year’ / Quote of the Day
That's certainly accurate as to what I've been earning every year for quite a while (except for last year, when it was under $5000).

Ladybusiness: Coverage of Women on SF/F Blogs
So no, I wasn't wrong last year to go, "hey, wait a minute..." and feel like things were unequal. If you're following popular SF/F blogs run by men I believe this is a problem you will continuously run into, except by those focused on their review diversity. Reviews of books by women don't feature as often on blogs run by men or shared by men, but on blogs run by women, it's more equal and sometimes even women as majority because culturally women are trained to read "traditionally" male things, while the reverse is not true.
marthawells: (Reading)
Above World by Jenn Reese. A suspenseful sci-fi escapade plucks two children out of the ocean for a thrilling adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony's survival is at risk. The Kampii's breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people. But can Aluna's fierce determination and fighting skills and Hoku's tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt - growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains - here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.
I've ordered this and can't wait to read it.

The Mortsafe by Lillian Stewart Carl. This is a new short novel in her Jean Fairbairn and Alasdair Cameron mystery series. I love this series. It's a supernatural mystery series set in modern day Scotland, where Jean, an ex-history professor turned travel writer, and Alasdair, a former DCI, can see ghosts. The first one is The Secret Portrait. It doesn't show it on these B&N entries, but they're all available in various ebook formats, too.


NYT: Book Is Judged by the Name on Its Cover
Patricia O’Brien had five novels to her name when her agent, Esther Newberg, set out last year to shop her sixth one, a work of historical fiction called “The Dressmaker.”

A cascade of painful rejections began. Ms. O’Brien’s longtime editor at Simon & Schuster passed on it, saying that her previous novel, “Harriet and Isabella,” hadn’t sold well enough.

One by one, 12 more publishing houses saw the novel. They all said no.

Just when Ms. O’Brien began to fear that “The Dressmaker” would be relegated to a bottom desk drawer like so many rejected novels, Ms. Newberg came up with a different proposal: Try to sell it under a pen name.

Written by Kate Alcott, the pseudonym Ms. O’Brien dreamed up, it sold in three days.
marthawells: (SGA Team)
On Dreamwidth, [personal profile] grammarwoman asked Once you get an idea for a story/novel/work, how do you evaluate its viability? How much time do you put into it and what paces do you put it through to determine go/no-go?

That's a tough one to answer. It really depends on how excited I am about the idea, and if I stay excited about it through the first fifty pages or so. If I do, it does help me at that point to have other people (sometimes friends, sometimes my agent) read it and give me feedback. Good feedback on something will help keep up my enthusiasm for it. If I'm not enthusiastic about something I'm working on, I generally feel that prospective future readers won't be, either.

One thing I try not to think about is whether it will sell or not. I know I'm no good at judging that.

[profile] limb_of_satan asked My friend and I were recently discussing the rise of e-books and self-publishing. I feel like I'm seeing more and more authors (Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Liz Williams for example) doing projects and stories that are available directly from them, to their fans, without the benefits (or hindrances) of a traditional publisher. I'm all for this because I want the authors I enjoy to be able to make money and continue to share their stories, but I wonder a little bit about whether the quality suffers from lack of an editor. For most readers the editor is all but an invisible presence in a book. Do you feel editors, in the traditional sense, are important for a book to be their best? Do you think self-published work suffers from any stigma?

I think professional editors are really important. For me personally, even if you get feedback/beta reading/editing help from your friends and your agent, to have someone who edits for a living and comes at the book from an objective perspective is a huge help. A good editor will be looking at your work with the attitude of making sure your book is the best version of your book that it can be, not trying to turn it into a different book or into the book they would have written if they felt like it or had the time, etc.

And one thing that's important to remember is that the "hindrance" of a traditional publisher includes paying you an advance for the book, distributing the book to bookstores and libraries (especially libraries, where people who are too poor to afford books or ereaders can still read it), and paying for cover art, design, copyediting, etc.

Self-publishing is a lot of work, and to me, it would be a last resort for a new novel. For reprints of previously published books, or short fiction or novellas, I think it works great. I do think self-publishing still suffers from a stigma, and it's more likely than not that a good self-published book will get lost and go unnoticed among the thousands of bad ones. Unless you already have an audience of readers, or friends who have an audience of readers who can recommend your book, you can be out of luck. Self-publishing is something that's very easy to do, but very hard to do right.

Glad you are still writing - I started reading you with The Element of Fire and have always enjoyed your books and admire that you are willing to start new worlds and new characters and aren't churning out book 12 in a series (even if that would perhaps make you richer!)

Thank you very much! I appreciate that.


Con or Bust

[community profile] con_or_bust's fundraiser auction, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions, ends Sunday, February 25, 2012. There are tons of great items up for auction here.

There are tons of signed books, jewelry, knitting, homemade cookies, and more. My auction for signed trade paperback copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea is here.


Things I've been meaning to link to:

Mur Lafferty: Definition: Work For Hire: The latest publishing brou-ha-ha is the tale of LJ Smith and her being fired from writing “her own” series.

Book Smugglers: Smuggler’s Ponderings: Thoughts on Wonder by R. J. Palacio
I’ve been thinking about Wonder by R.J. Palacio a lot and about my reaction to it since I finished reading it. There are many things I loved about the book and I do recommend it to everybody, including its intended audience (Middle Grade) although I do so with reservations and the hope that the book can – should – engender thoughtful discussions.

Cherie Priest's ConDFW report: Dallas gives me nosebleeds: A love song for Texas

Lisa Mantchev: This is EXACTLY what's it's like to finish a new book.
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
It's cold and rainy here today, but that's good, because we still need the rain. It would help the second summer of firey death we're probably going to have to be able to start it with all the lakes and rivers at capacity. I'm working on getting a stiff neck from sleeping weird, but I'm hoping going to aerobics class will take care of that.

I'm linking to this again because I can: I was interviewed at the Terrible Minds blog, where I talk about the time I almost got eaten by a tornado.

Other good things to read:

An article by N.K. Jemisin, on being a black woman writing genre: Dreaming Awake
Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we don’t have enough myths of our own, we’ll latch onto those of others — even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves. Tolkien understood this, I think because it’s human nature. Call it the superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast, or crushingly tight.

Kameron Hurley, on Because unless you get hit by a bus, life goes on
We just keep hearing the same mantra. “Just do good. Work hard. You’ll get everything you want.” When really, what they mean is DEAR GOD KEEP GOING OR YOU WILL GET EATEN BY SCAVENGERS.


Tomorrow starts [community profile] con_or_bust's fundraiser auction, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions. Bidding in its annual fundraising auction starts Saturday, February 11, 2012 and ends Sunday, February 25, 2012. There are tons of great items up for auction tomorrow. There are tons of signed books, jewelry, homemade cookies, etc.

My auction for signed trade paperback copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea is here. Remember, bidding doesn't start until tomorrow, Saturday, February 11th.


If you're on Twitter (I'm @marthawells1) Night Shade Books is giving a free book to a Bay Area public library for every ten followers they get. They're @NightShadeBooks.
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
We had a pretty busy weekend. St. Michael's, the small private school that a friend teaches art at, was having another "make enough money to keep the school open" garage sale (the school is pretty vital for students who need special attention, have special needs, or who can't speak English. Plus students who just want a curriculum that includes everything from Latin and Greek to competing in robot-building contests.) So we donated our old and far too huge TV cabinet. Two very nice men from the school came to get it, looked at it, went away and came back with a third nice man and a furniture-moving dolly, and they got it out of there. I just hope they sold it.

This opened up a whole third of our living room which we hadn't seen in more than ten years. It feels like the living room grew a pseudopod. We had the cabinet for years and really liked it, but now I feel like that was Stockholm Syndrome. The tiny cheap cabinet we had ordered to replace it got delivered unexpectedly on Saturday morning, so we spent some time getting it put together and rearranging everything.

Then we went to a large Thanksgiving party that friends in town have been having every year for about twenty-six years. It sort of grew out of the SF/F club associated with the university (which has been around for longer than that) but the party has now taken on a life of it's own, with the grown kids of the original group showing up.

Woke up to rain this morning. That hasn't happened in a long time. When I first moved here, it started to rain in Fall and didn't stop till summer.

MSNBC Depleted Texas lakes expose ghost towns, graves

*** Five Old-timey Prejudices That Still Show Up in Every Movie

Malinda Lo: YA Heroines Outside the Straight White Box


Writer and editor Cat Rambo is offering an online workshop
As both a writer and editor, I bring a focus that lets me advise you from both sides of the desk. My experience as the fiction editor of award-winning Fantasy Magazine as well as short story collections and anthologies combined with the fact that I’m a working, selling writer helps me provide you with solid, up-to-date market advice for both online and print publishing. My teaching experience includes the Johns Hopkins University, Towson State University, and Bellevue College and I’ve studied with John Barth, Stephen Dixon, Octavia Butler, and Connie Willis, to name just a couple of people I’ve had the pleasure of learning from.


ETA: GuysLitWire: is doing another Book Fair for Ballou High School
Book Fair for Ballou High School

GLW is partnering up again with school librarian Melissa Jackson to get some more books to Ballou. While the year began with less than one book for each student in the Ballou library (the American Library Association advises a minimum of eleven books per student), after our successful spring book fair and the publicity that surrounded it and Melissa's own efforts, Ballou now has four books for each student which is a huge improvement. But, improving is not enough, we want to hit and then exceed the ALA minimum and so we are going to shamelessly take advantage of everyone's holiday joy and gift-giving mood this time of year and hopefully add to the stacks at Ballou with this smaller, but no less enjoyable book fair.

I love book fairs! The post includes the link to the high school library's wish list at Powell's online bookstore, plus the address to ship the books to.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
The Serpent Sea cover, without titles, by Steve Argyle. It's neat to have Jade on the cover this time.


Kameron Hurley: By the Numbers: Earning Out the Advance on a First Novel
So I’ve mainly been sitting around gnawing on my nails for months waiting on royalty statements to see just how screwed I was writing a feminist science fiction novel with far too much religion and billions of expletives.

Terrible Minds: What It's Like Being a Writer

Every word of this is true, and it's why I generally try hard to avoid telling people what I do for a living.

"Oh. A writer. Uh-huh. Well, that's great." They blink and offer a kind of dismissive or incredulous smile, as if I just told them I was a cowboy or a space marine. Occasionally there exists a follow-up question. "So, you write, like, what? Books?" And that word — books — is enunciated as if it's a mythical creature, like they’re asking me if I spend all day tracking Bigfoot by his scat patterns.

What I'm reading this weekend:

The Shirt on His Back by Barbara Hambly. This is the newest Benjamin January historical mystery. Ben is a black musician and surgeon in 1830s New Orleans. In this one, Ben, Hannibal, and Abishag Shaw are at a mountain man rendezvous in the Rocky Mountains, trying to find the man who killed Shaw's brother. Publishers Weekly said Along the way, January and company encounter eccentric trappers, reptilian fur traders, tragic prostitutes, raging missionaries, and sensitively three-dimensional Sioux, Omahas, Crows, and Blackfeet. Their expedition plays out against the British-U.S. rivalry for the enormously profitable beaver fur trade, while American covered wagons toil on toward Oregon. Excellent, excellent book.
marthawells: (Miko)
I had anxiety issues last night and ended up getting up at 1:00 am and not going back to bed until after 4:00. Did you know after a certain point HGTV puts up a card that says "Sweet Dreams" and then signs off to infomercials? I didn't know that. Fortunately Food Network holds on a little longer. TCM seems to be on all night, but I didn't want to see the movie they had on.

So I think I'm going to be kind of tired today and probably not making much sense. And I need to figure out something to do about my hair before WorldCon. Shaving it off is starting to seem like a good option.


The Serpent Sea is now listed on Night Shade's catalog. The link has the back cover description of the book and the cover without titles. (It'll be available this January.)


[personal profile] celli asked What's your favorite Lord King Bad book? Something that breaks all the rules of what you normally like in a book and makes you adore it anyway.

I can't really think of many, because I don't really have a lot of rules about what I like in a book, except that I like it. One thing I do usually prefer is that the narrator be at least likable enough that I can stand to have them in my head for the length of the book. The books that come to mind that I still liked even though I didn't care for the main narrator is the Oscar Wilde mystery series by Gyles Brandreth. I love Oscar, but the books are mostly written from the viewpoint of Robert Sherard, and he doesn't come off well. He's a little creepy, especially in the first book.

[personal profile] mahoni asked What are some of your favorite untold bits of background or story from any of your books -- details about characters/places/background info/etc that didn't make into a book, or parts of story that ultimately didn't have a place in the overall story, but not for lack of love?

That's a tough one. There were several scenes that I wrote for Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary that I liked a lot, but ended up taking out when I changed the plot for the beginning a bit and they didn't fit anymore.

The biggest one is probably the first third of the prequel to The Wizard Hunters, about Giliead and Ilias, that I stopped writing because the publisher didn't want to see it. Some of it ended up in the stories that Black Gate published, but some didn't.

There's also the beginning of a novel that had Moon as the main character, that was one of the ones I started and dropped before finally starting The Cloud Roads. I think there was almost 20,000 words of that one. (The plot of The Cloud Roads was basically the backstory for that novel, and I decided I liked it better.) I have about five or six novels from that period that all died in the 10,000 to 20,000 word range, and there are parts of them I really like. Some bits got revised and used later, but a lot didn't.


I updated the Publishing Information Sites for Beginning Authors on my site with this link: Promoting Your Work at Conventions
Science fiction and fantasy conventions ("cons") are a great place for authors of fantasy and science fiction to promote their work among genre readers. Most cons are "fan" conventions which attendees, including program participants, generally attend primarily to participate in the convention experience. This fan convention culture is unlike higher-profile for-profit media shows where nearly all program participants are there to sell or promote themselves or their work and where attendees are primarily audience members.
marthawells: (Default)
Live Journal being down due to the denial of service attack is getting really frustrating. There are a lot of people I only talk to at LJ, and I'm starting to miss them, plus for me it's far more useful and active than this site, and I use it as the blog attached to my web site. But I'm reluctant to leave, because that's exactly what the DDoS attackers want.

Today I'm hoping to finish the revision of The Serpent Sea. I'm hoping, that is, but I think it might actually be tomorrow.

A link:

Writer Beware Blogs!: The Cruelest Hoax Naturally, I was intrigued. So I contacted Aaronni, and she was kind enough to share with me all the emails she received from the hoaxer, as well as screenshots of the fake Twitter account the hoaxer created to "apologize" after Aaronni posted about the hoax on her blog. I'm satisfied that the hoaxer was real, and that Aaronni was the victim of an extraordinarily cruel prank.

There is a culture of online cruelty (toward random strangers as well as acquaintances and "friends") that encourages this kind of thing and sees it as normal. But I think the whole bit about creating a twitter account to "apologize" to the victim and try to push an emotional connection on her was what really lifted it out of the normal asshat range into the creepy sick category.

And there was some speculation that when the hoaxer set the crazily high 75% royalty, (later pretending it was a typo for the standard 15%) that means the person wasn't involved in the publishing or self-publishing world and didn't know any better. But it could just mean he/she assumed that Aaronni didn't know any better.

On Google+, we were talking about motives for this, and why the stalker would do this when there was no hope of getting any money out of it. I think it was done just for malicious enjoyment. Internet hoax/scams that are done just to torture the victim, or just to get attention and sympathy for the perpetrator, aren't uncommon at all.

People tend to be suspicious if they're being asked to send money, but if they aren't, they're more likely to assume it's real. (Or if they're only asked to "donate" a small amount of money to help the scammer with some unexpected bill, or catastrophic personal crisis.) Scammers like this are very good at creating personas that engender sympathy, and at pretending friendship with people, creating what the victim thinks is a real personal connection. There's really no connection at all, just victim and predator.

The Hill and Hill Agency case that Victoria linked to in the article was an even bigger, crazier version of this, was done to a fairly large number of people over a long period of time, and no money ever changed hands. The perpetrator actually reported himself (under a pseud, pretending to be a victim) to Writer Beware at one point to get more attention.
marthawells: (Miko)
Still working on the revisions to The Serpent Sea. I wanted to talk a bit about how I do revisions, since I'm not sure if it's idiosyncratic or not.

When I get the editorial letter, I copy it into a separate WP file -- this is easier with email; with paper editorial letters I used to have to re-type them and then make notes on the original -- and put a lot of space between the paragraphs for notes. Then I go through and take care of the ones that are quick fixes, changing a word or adding a phrase or sentence for clarity. I make those changes directly in the manuscript file but I don't do them in any particular order, and I don't do them all at once. I usually just scan the editorial file until one catches my eye and then do that one.

With the editorial notes that require new scenes, I'll actually write the scene below the note in the editorial file. At first I'll basically just be thinking of what I need to add. For example, if the note is something like: "this later scene would work better if Moon knew why such and such character had done such and such; it seems like he would ask him about it somewhere in this section." Okay, that's a good point. So I start writing that conversation, focusing just on that point. As I'm writing it, I'll start to figure out where it should go in the manuscript, and add some set dressing to it. When I'm happy with the new scene, I'll copy it into that spot in the manuscript and start blending it in with the original text. Sometimes at that point I'll realize it won't actually go into that spot and needs to be moved, or that it needs to be broken up a bit and the individual pieces worked in throughout the section. But usually it does fit, though I'll often end up changing it as I read over it and weave it into place.

The harder ones are changes that need to be made more globally, where something needs to be added that needs to be referred to at a few different points in the manuscript. I do those pretty much the same way.

Once all the new stuff is in and the quick fixes all done, I'll go back and read through from the beginning, to make sure everything new is blended in and isn't contradicted or redundant anywhere, and at this point I'll usually make more changes to the new scenes as well as little fixes throughout.

So how is this alike or different from the way other people do it?

One other thing I'll be doing today is waiting for the air conditioner repair guys. Our ac unit has been having trouble keeping up, even though I try not to let it run too much during the day. We got lucky with an overcast day yesterday, but it was 86 at 6:30 this morning, and it's just going to get worse.

Writer Beware: Farrah Gray Publishing
When publishing relationships go bad, the writing was often on the wall long before the author signed on the dotted line. Perhaps there were nonstandard business practices, such as a hidden fee or a book purchase requirement. Or there might have been a large body of author complaints, easily found by doing a basic websearch. Maybe there was an association with an unsavory parent company, or a name change to escape bad press. Or the publisher may simply may have been too new to have proven itself--a major risk for small-press writers, given the high attrition rate for new small publishers, especially if the owners don't have a professional writing or publishing background.
marthawells: (Wheel of the Infinite)
I've seen the cover image for the ebook version of Wheel of the Infinite that Jenn Reese of Tiger Bright Studios did, and it looks gorgeous.

My post at RBE's Home of Heroics on screenwriter Frances Marion: Frances Marion, Queen of Early Hollywood Screenwriters She's one of the Disappearing Women from my earlier post.

Beginning in 1917, Frances was Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriter for thirty years. She wrote 325 scripts, over 200 of which were for produced films. She was also a director and a producer, and was the only woman on the first board of directors of the Screen Writers’ Guild, and also served as its vice-president. She wrote novels and stage plays, and eventually became a sculptor. Earlier, she had a career as a war correspondent, and she was the first Allied woman to cross the Rhine in World War I. She didn’t do this in a convoy, or even riding in a jeep. She walked along a road through a battleground, alone, and in the dark.

World SF Blog: (Global) Women in Science Fiction Round Table
With: Aliette de Bodard (France), Joyce Chng (Singapore), Csilla Kleinheincz (Hungary), Kate Elliott (US), Karen Lord (Barbados), Ekaterina Sedia (Russia/US)

Saw this link in several places: Dogs and Smurfs; Why women writers and stories about women are taken less seriously, by Max Barry

Gail Carriger linked to this: Steampunk Mexico Members of Steampunk Mexico at the Cronopia convention in Guadalajara, Mexico I wish the photos were larger because the costumes look fabulous.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
I'll be out some today, so not sure how much I'll be around online. It's also Book Scan day, the day you find out exactly how much your book is not selling, which is going to be depressing.

I am going to be having a post up later today at SF Signal, a more coherent description of our NASA trip. I'll try to post when it goes live.


One about me! Steve Gould: What I’m reading: Martha Wells
She is a fantasy writer but there is something science fictional about her world building. Cloud Roads has this cool multi-race (and by race, I suppose I mean multi-species world ranging from variety of humanoids forms to bug-like hive creatures and primarily two races that shift from "groundling" to a flying form. All of these species are sentient and the cultural interactions are fascinating. (There are non-sentient species around, too.)

Book View Cafe: It Doesn’t Have To Be the Way It Is by Ursula K. LeGuin
This is a good explanation of why kids (and adults) often get so much grief for reading (and writing) fantasy:
Subversion doesn’t suit people who, feeling their adjustment to life has been successful, want things to go on just as they are, or people who need support from authority assuring them that things are as they have to be. Fantasy not only asks "What if things didn't go on just as they do?" but demonstrates what they might be like if they went otherwise — thus gnawing at the very foundation of the belief that things have to be the way they are.

So here imagination and fundamentalism come into conflict.

A fully created imaginary world is a mental construct similar in many respects to a religious or other cosmology. This similarity, if noticed, can be deeply disturbing to the orthodox mind.

Jody Hedlund: 6 Benefits of Having an Agent in Today's Publishing World

James Patrick Kelly is publishing a new ezine: Strangeways
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
Yesterday I actually broke 70,000 words on the third Cloud Roads book. Very big relief! I was getting a little bruised from slamming into that wall again and again. Now let's see if I can actually finish chapter 12.

I'll do another snippet post later today.

Catching up on links:

T.L. Morganfield: A Successful Agent Hunting Expedition She goes into detail about how she went about looking for and finding an agent, all the steps she went through, what to do and not to do. I'm going to add this to my Publishing Information Sites for Beginning Authors page as soon as I get a chance.

Bill Crider's new mystery novel The Wild Hog Murders is available July 5. I've read Bill's mysteries for a long time and absolutely love them. They're funny and engaging, and a lot of them are out on the Kindle now, too.

Courtney Schafer guest blog at The Qwillery: The Art of The Whitefire Crossing by Courtney Schafer and Giveaway I did a blurb for The Whitefire Crossing and highly recommend it.

Ecstatic Days: Preview: The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities
The antho includes some great stuff from established writers like Holly Black, Naomi Novik, China Mieville, Alan Moore, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Garth Nix, Jeffrey Ford, Michael Moorcock, Carrie Vaughn, Lev Grossman, Cherie Priest, and more. But I also wanted to point out that we showcase the work of many amazing new writers, including Kelly Barnhill, Amal El-Mohtar, N.K. Jemisin, Reza Negarestani, and Charles Yu—not to mention the micro-fictions section in the back, which includes several first sales.

The Creative Penn: How Amazon Recommendation Algorithms Help Sell Your Book I knew that publishers (and potential publishers) did pay attention to the ratings and reviews on Amazon, but it also helps show up in the Amazon recommendation system, which can really help a book that is not being pushed by the publisher.

Great article on CNN: Republican mayor in the South becomes unlikely advocate for immigrants
marthawells: (John and Ronon)
Went to my first ever physical therapy appointment yesterday. It was interesting; it's basically a big gym with massage tables and treatment rooms along the sides. It looked a lot more fun than I was expecting and it was a lot more upbeat environment than most sections of the hospital.

One fun thing that I found out is that while I'm pretty much in the low middling end of strength and flexibility for my aerobics class, the therapist said I'm pretty good for a normal person. I aced all the tests where they have you hold your leg in an awkward position and then they try to force it down. (For someone who was labelled as a weak little girl for most of her life, that's kind of a big deal.) At one point she was waving my leg around and asking if I was this flexible all over, and I was thinking well, yeah, but this is not that flexible compared to the other people I work out with.

The good news is I got a diagnosis that was pretty good. My left leg is slightly curved from the knee down, and it's causing my foot to turn in in a weird way, which is pulling the knee over to the right side. (Your kneecap should actually be able to move around from side to side, diagonally, etc, which my right one (the one with patellar tendonitis) can do fine. My left kneecap sits to the right, though you can still push it if you try.) I think when I hurt my knee last summer, it made it less able to resist the pull to the right, which is why it's been hurting. I got a list of exercises to do, and need to buy new shoes with pronation control for aerobics, though we compromised on letting me keep my barefoot shoes for walking, since they do keep my feet from hurting.

The bad news is, I can't afford any more regular appointments. Even with insurance, they would be $186.00 a pop until I meet the deductible, and the deductible is far, far away. I have a re-evaluation appointment scheduled for three weeks from now, and hopefully I'll be pain-free or pain managed by that point, because otherwise I can't afford much more than this.

I've got some errands this morning, so I'll do another answering questions post tomorrow.


PW: There will be an auction to help with L.A. Banks' medical expenses

CoolVibe: Superconductor a flying island that reminds me of The Cloud Roads

Evil Sunday: Paris' 19th Century Hell's Cafe Now this looks like something from Ile-Rien.

Writer Beware: Book Marketing Methods that Don't Work Galveston's Juneteenth Events Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Galveston Island and the Juneteenth Coalition remember this holiday with a series of celebrations held June 11 - June 18.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
Having a good weekend. We went to eat again at the shish kabob place, and I had pomegranate stew and baba ganoush. Doctor Who was awesome.

quick links:

FB: Author L.A. Banks is gravely ill
It is with profound sadness that we have to inform you that our beloved sister and friend, Leslie Esdaile, (“L.A. Banks”) is most gravely ill. She is facing an uphill battle in her struggle with serious illness. Please know that as Leslie needs all of her energy in this fight, she is absolutely not able to receive visitors, answer emails, texts or phone calls, or receive flowers. What she is able to receive is your continued prayers.

Also, Leslie’s medical expenses are mounting at an astronomical rate. If you wish to assist Leslie, a fund has been established to help with these ever increasing expenses.
The post has info about how to send donations.

Shimmerzine: Selling Fiction is Not For Wimps by Jay Lake

SF Signal: What's Missing From the Union of Urban and Epic Fantasy by Courtney Schafer

The Art of Pablo Palomeque
marthawells: (Jack and Teal'c)
I have a friend coming in to stay this weekend, and a bunch of stuff to get through today, so here's some links for the weekend:

This is a subject I find particularly frustrating, and it's driven me out of a few online communities over the years: L.A. Noir: Crap is Not the Same as Stuff You Don't Like
Like pizza? Broccoli? Pegging your boyfriend? Okay. Whatever works for ya. It's all subjective. Your taste is yours and ain't nobody can tell you you're wrong.

Not that people won't try.

Malinda Lo: What I learned on the Diversity Tour
Last month I traveled across the country with Cindy Pon for our Diversity Tour, which made stops in San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Boston, and New York. In each city we had panel discussions (along with several other local authors) at bookstores or libraries about diversity. I’ve been thinking back over the tour because I wanted to note down some of the things I learned from these discussions. It’s not that often that I get to talk about these things in person, repeatedly. In fact, it hardly ever happens, so this was a pretty neat opportunity. Here are a few things I gleaned from the tour:

Black Gate: Goth Chick (International) News: Iranian Ghost Stories For Real

Publishers Weekly: Are Teen Novels Dark and Depraved — or Saving Lives?
Cox Gurdon's story failed to recognize "the good part of what literature does for everybody," said Jacob Lewis, co-founder and CEO of the teen literary site Figment. "Movies and books and TV all deal with millions of subjects that are sometimes uncomfortable to deal with. It’s the way we deal with and introduce subjects into the consciousness.... We can use those resources in art and literature as ways of understanding them."

Sherman Alexie: Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood Alexie talks about the terrible abuse he suffered as a teenager, and how books were a lifeline for him.

Jeff VanderMeer: If You Were Here: The Top 30 All Time Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds
As some of you may know, I’m writing a nonfiction book for Victoria Blake’s Underland Press entitled If You Lived Here: The Top 30 All Time Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds. That book now has a recommendation site where you can submit your own favorites, with your explanation, and perhaps even be quoted in the book. Victoria will also be contacting booksellers for their thoughts.

Cool Vibe art: Jungle Palace


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