Monday, May 26, 2008


Whilst other folks were out honoring our fallen warriors or grilling their favorite piece of dead livestock, I was at TimeGate. Originally a one-day convention in Atlanta, they got brave and expanded it to four days. The plan worked. The hotel (a HI Select) was the perfect venue with lots of restaurants nearby and at a price that we all could afford. They even came up with special drinks for the con at $5 a pop. That's cool. As a guest I was given the VIP treatment (literally) including an awesome gift basket. Wow!

The programming was laid out in three tracks -- StarGate, Dr. Who and a Time Travel/Science track. I was part of the latter so that meant panels discussing the mechanics of time travel as well as the ethics of slinging yourself back four centuries. Very informative. I met all sorts of new folks (Louis Robinson, David Harmer) and hung with friends from the Atlanta Science Fiction Society. I didn't get an opportunity to talk to John Levene (Dr. Who) or Tony Amendola (StarGate) but they were both quite gracious whenever I saw them hurrying past. I am a Dr. Who fan so I didn't feel completely lost when folks chatted about the current Doctor (David Tennant). Since we'd recently succumbed to Netflix we've been catching up on the Doc's adventures. Love those Daleks!

Retail (book sales) was quite brisk (smile) and I got to talk to all sorts of folks about time travel, writing and about anything else on our minds. A smaller convention allows that kind of time, unlike the big mega-cons. As usual, I toted a camera to the con and never took a pix. Like a pix of the stainless steel Delorean. Very nifty car.

Consider TimeGate for a nice weekend break next year. Laid back intelligent conversation and lots of fun things going on. Just the right mix. They get a definite THUMBS UP!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Getting WICKED

WICKED GAME is the most recent addition to the Jeri Smith-Ready universe. Today is the Launch Day. This is a big thing to an author. Their "baby" is now out in the world for all to see. It's a time of joy and anxiety. Will the readers like it? Will it sell enough copies to make the editor/publisher happy? Etc. Etc.

Because I'm in the midst of editorial right now , I recommend [info]jmward14's excellent review of the book. To which I add an "Amen, Sister."

Jeri has created a very believable heroine you root for while wondering if she's going to end up ruining all the good she's done. Ciara's "blessed" with just as much of a compulsion as the undead. Luckily Jeri doesn't go for the usual morose, tortured vampires. Vamps so angsty you just PRAY someone will stake them sometime during the course of the book. Hers are real, if that makes sense.
I LOVED the fact the vamps are OCD. Hey, I've got a touch of that myself (she says while hastily rearranging the paper clips by color order). Makes them more "human" which means you care about every one of them as much as you do the heroine.

So wander out to your local bookstore, be it an indy, a chain or an online place and order a copy of WICKED GAME today. Then settle into your favorite chair, bubble bath, beach or (sorry) airplane seat and immerse yourself in the story. It's just WICKED.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Woot #2

Earlier this year VIRTUAL EVIL was named a finalist for the ForeWord Award (Science Fiction). Today VE was announced as a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award (Science Fiction). I was a finalist for both of these last year so apparently I'm doing something right.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Dictating Characters

One of the best things you can do as a writer is to listen to your characters. [Not to worry - no spoilers here.] I'm working on a particular part of Madman's Dance that seemed to work okay. Jacynda, the heroine, kept muttering "Too easy." I ignored her. Then she got the other Time Rover (Johns Hopkins) saying the same thing. Then he asked, "So why aren't the bad guys stopping us, huh? This is too easy." Sigh...

So today I caved in and rewrote that scene to make it less easy for both of them. They're happy now (for the moment) and the story is better for it. I know there are authors who say they'd never let their characters dictate to them like that. I will if they're persistent. They know their story. I'm just their scribe (another point of contention with some authors). Jacynda's been right all along. Why muss with that success?

Tomorrow I'm back to the editing now that this scene is in place. I'm about 100 pages from the end and then the second half goes to the editor. We still have lots of clean up, but things are sorting themselves out. I always love how that happens right at the very end (NOT!) I think the characters do that on purpose -- make the author sweat. It always works.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

And So It Begins...

Editorial-- that magic time when my editor looks at my hard work on Madman's Dance and goes "meh" (at least for certain parts) and then proceeds to help me fix my prose. She has the first half of the book in her hot hands while I'm straightening out some plot problems in the second half. Yes folks, this is a LONG book. I should have that second portion to her by the 8th or so.

I actually like this part of the book creation. Some authors dread it, but I'm blessed with an editor who knows my series intimately and will thump me on the head (electronically) when I send a character off in an inappropriate direction without good reason. You gotta have someone willing to take you to the woodshed.

In between the second half clean-up, I'm reading and critiquing submissions for the A-Kon Workshop. Some of them remind me of where I used to be. In a few years I'm hoping those newbie writers will look back and realize how much they're grown in the craft. It's what makes the journey worthwhile.