Six countries and five weeks in to my European tour, and I thought I’d share some of the pics I’ve been posting on Facebook.
Only three weeks left to go!
For those who have inquired about when signed books will be available again, the answer is: Now. And also: For now.
If you check the drop-down links on the sidebar, there is an option for purchasing signed copies. I’m setting this up a full two weeks before I get home, so everyone who wants one has a chance. I plan on keeping the links active through the first of the year.
Signed books became impossible to handle during my heavy travels, and I have more trips coming up in 2014, so this is as much of a window as I can manage. I’ll be sending these out less often but in larger batches. The first couple of shipments should arrive well ahead of Christmas. Oh, and the Thumb Drives are back. They are identical to the last set with the inclusion of a copy of Lightspeed magazine (with my story DEEP BLOOD KETTLE on it). I have 400 of these, which should be enough for everyone (famous last words. I said this last time).
“When?” you might ask.
Or, some of you might ask, instead: “WHEN???!?!!!?!?!”
“Soon,” I say.
I hope to have the first part out before Christmas. It all depends on whether I decide to release these serially as I finish them, or if I feel it might be better to have them all done first. This first part is about the same length as the first WOOL. And no, despite my love of 4-letter words, this world has nothing to do with that other world. It leans more toward dark fantasy, and there is a ton of cussing. I will have ample warnings in the book’s description.
This series will also be less allegory and more of an adventure/mystery story. At its heart, it’s about family. It’s about forgiveness. It is about enjoying life, no matter how shitty any one moment is, even if those shitty moments are all strung together on one unbroken line. I am trying to mix in a few of the recurring themes from my other books, simply because I enjoy doing that. So if you see something familiar, it won’t be by accident.
(And no, I haven’t forgotten about Molly or my romance novel. Just working through this story first.)
“Not every book should be published.” It’s a line I’ve heard a few times. It comes up often around NaNoWriMo, when hundreds of thousands of people across the globe embark on the challenge of becoming an author, working to complete that first novel, chasing a dream. Not every book should be published, sure, but I think they all have the right to.
Otherwise, how do we decide who can or can’t? Where do we draw the line? And who sits on that board? Agents and editors are incapable of allowing all the quality books through, if for no other reason than they’re too busy. All it takes is the death of one great manuscript for this to be true. Seeing how close CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES came, I think it’s safe to assume that there were casualties out there. This flaw in the system remains hidden because the corpses are rarely unearthed.
I think it helps those who are gravely concerned with the torrent of published works to consider that these books do not get in the way of anyone’s reading or anyone’s discoverability. Hundreds of thousands of books are completely invisible to the shopper (alas, those who are hidden might say). But at least they are there. All it takes is one cousin or best friend to relent to familial pressure and give the work a chance, find that work riveting, and tell a few others. The system isn’t perfect, but no system is. The only worse chances of discoverability are to go unpublished. Some people complain that the slushpile is now open to the public. I lament that it ever wasn’t.
Let’s also keep in mind that these are early years. The tools and methods for publishing, reading, and discovering great books should only improve with time. Look at the Napster days and compare that to iTunes and Spotify. I believe the industry will continue to mature, and readers and writers will be better off for it.
So this is how my NaNoWriMo is going. I set out to tell a romance novel, and I got a few chapters in when all the writing about strolls on beaches filled my head with sand, and then I found myself launching into SAND for some reason, which led to 12,000+ words rattling off, and now it looks like I’m writing this story for my NaNo, which is fine but not what I set out to do.
Oh, and the first eight or so chapters of SAND are totally clean enough to share right now. I just feel like it might spoil the read for later. I’ll keep mulling it over.
Also: Amsterdam has been the best writing city every. And no, not because of the brownies. I’m flying out tomorrow having sampled nothing but the occasional secondhand whiff on the streets. It’s the ease of transportation, the perfect hotel room, the cold and the rain, the great (non-smoking) cafes, and the awesome people. I could have a helluva writing career if I lived here. Now it’s off to Rome, where I hope I can be half as productive.
I fear that I have a habit of blathering about the future. On this blog, just in the past year, I’ve written about future of the bookstore, where I see more interaction between author and reader, more writing workshops and book clubs, more indie bookstores with bibliophile sellers, more local authors represented on the shelves, and of an end to the returns system and the rise of local, print-on-demand.
I’ve also written about the future of the book, with more dynamic interaction between reader and writer, animated covers on webstores, wider variety of genres now that shelves are infinite, cheaper prices and bundling, and less concern over how the work was published and what form it takes and more worry over whether the story is any good.
Of course, I’ve also spent quite a bit of time prognosticating the future of the industry as it pertains to writers and readers, and I confess to being naively optimistic for both parties. I’m fond of saying that there’s never been a better time to be a reader or a writer, and this conviction strengthens with each passing day. Of course, I could be dead-wrong about all of my predictions. Hey, I’m a speculative fiction writer, I get paid to make up stuff that never comes true. You’ve been warned.
Having said that, allow me to speculate about something very niche and particular about which I and perhaps only a dozen others care about, and that’s the future of anthologies. Continue Reading →
And there will never be a greater one.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield does a cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity . . . in outer space
Also: Does anyone see a resemblance to a certain TV character? Is NASA cooking meth beyond the mesosphere?
Ever seen an interview happen in reverse? Or inside-out? I think that’s what’s about to happen here.
C.L. Stone is an indie author with a few published works to her name. She has built up a loyal following and is having success with her ACADEMY series. A month ago, she released her latest novel, and it shot up into the top 300 on Amazon. That’s no mean feat. She posted a thread on KBoards’ Writers’ Cafe about the launch, and then she posted two follow-ups full of writing advice.
I was struck by how concisely Stone outlined so many truths that I feel to be true but don’t get stressed enough. I nodded and uttered “Amen” throughout the posts. And so I reached out to C.L. to see if she would mind my posting her gems here along with my own wordy and less astute observations. Like an interview in reverse. You can save some time by reading her lines in quotes and ignoring what I have to say altogether. Check out C.L.’s first book here (it’s FREE). This is a link to her newest release, which is still going strong. Continue Reading →
Four countries down and two to go on this wild European tour, and every publisher I’ve worked with has been amazing. We have had a ton of great conversations over meals and in bookshops these past weeks, mostly about this changing publishing landscape. And one topic in particular keeps coming up. It’s as universal as the Starbucks on every corner. What does the future of books look like?
Here’s what I usually say: The future of books depends on happy readers. It’s that simple. Let’s start from there. Because there are a lot of ways people can spend their time, and our passion — as readers, writers, publishers, booksellers, librarians, editors — depends on growing the enjoyment of reading.
I’ve pointed out in numerous interviews that authors are not in competition with one another. We are in this together, and we are in it with readers and everyone who loves a good tale, however they love it told. But beyond not being competitors, authors owe it to themselves to be cheerleaders. I have spent a good bit of time on this tour telling publishers about the upcoming new releases I’ve been asked to blurb and that I think they should be interested in (one of my publishers read one of these works and made an offer!) I also tell them about the rising indie stars whose works I enjoy and whom I see busting their butts to keep readers happy. Continue Reading →
You know you’re busy when you don’t even have time to update the signals of how busy you are. The word counters haven’t budged for the past three weeks, as I’ve been on the road with less-than-reliable internet and working my butt off both on book tour stuff and some writing projects. Finally got around to updating the counters for two of my works in progress, and I’m very close to announcing an exciting project that I think you’ll be very happy about.
On the comic side of things, the first issue is absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve been sent some sketches for issue two, and I can’t believe the detail and skill Jimmy Broxton is pouring into this work. His art is magnificent. I wish there was a way of sharing some of these sketches without spoiling anything. But I know you’re going to be stoked to see this for yourself. Still can’t believe Amazon is selling all 6 issues in digital format for $4.99. I love their attitude toward pricing. For the cost of a cup of coffee, you practically don’t have to weigh the decision. This is what a single issue would cost from most outlets!
Finally, a huge step forward in the film adaptation that I keep telling myself will never get made. And I’m sticking to that belief, even as I hear that the screenplay has been finalized, is absolutely awesome, and may be heading my way in mere days. I haven’t bugged anyone to read this during the revision phase. It’s been killing me, as my time with J Blakeson has me convinced that this man is a singular genius. I can’t wait to see what he’s come up with.
Oh, and NaNoWriMo is about to begin. Brace yourselves.
So, I’m going to do the ultimate mash-up in a few weeks by taking the jacket off the Italian edition and wrapping it on the Finnish edition. Pure genius!