This weekend I’ll be attending Capclave, sponsored by the Washington Science Fiction Association, for the first time! Even though it’s a fairly local convention to me, I’ll be staying at the hotel for the full experience, and I’m excited to spend time with everyone who will be there. Below is my schedule for the weekend, but as usual, feel free to PM me on Facebook or Twitter if you’d like to meet up for a meal, a coffee, or just a chat!
I will have copies of all of my books available all weekend, including the newly released Steel Time!
- 4 PM: Secret Origins of Writers (panel)
- To MFA or not to MFA. Pros and cons of workshops like Odyssey, Clarion, Taos Toolbox, and MFA programs such as Stonecoast and Iowa Writers Workshop.
- With Scott Edelman, Suzanne Palmer, Jack Stillingstead, and James R. Stratton
- 6 PM: Reading
- 7 PM: Taxonomy of Fantasy (panel)
- Urban fantasy, paranormal romance, dark fantasy, high fantasy, epic fantasy, mythic fantasy, etc. How many types of fantasy are there? Reader’s tastes evolve over time. Which types of fantasy are currently the most powerful, which are becoming less popular, where is fantasy headed, and why?
- With Craig L. Gidney and Lawrence Watt-Evans
- 9 PM: How to Self-Edit that Lousy First Draft
- Sometimes a first draft of a story is just not in a state your want to send to an editor or publisher, and yet too promising to simply set aside. What’s a good mindset to identify the pieces that can best be salvaged in revision? How can a first draft go from lousy to respectable with the least amount of exertion that could perhaps be spent on other works?
- With Doc Coleman, Michelle D. Sonnier, and James R. Stratton
- 10 PM: Author Table
- 10 AM: Throw Out the Genre Definitions (panel)
- Intersections of YA, horror, romance, erotica, literary fiction, and SFF and their current successes. Who is doing it well?
- With Jeanne Adams, Kelly Dwyer, and Joan Wendland
- 1 PM: What Makes Alternate History So Compelling? (panel)
- Alternate histories continue to proliferate, though in accordance with Sturgeon’s Law, most fail the plausibility test, the storytelling test, or both. Why do the what-ifs continue to fascinate us, and what makes a power story in this subgenre?
- With Tom Doyle, Bjorn Hasseler, Alan Smale, and Jean Marie Ward
- 5 PM: Writers as Fans: How Fandom Influences Our Writing (panel)
- A panel of writers discusses their favorite fandoms and how their passions have inspired and influenced their writing.
- With Andrew Fox, Victoria Janssen, and Hildy Silverman
- 7:30 PM: Mass Autographing Session
- 10 AM: Ask Me Anything–Author Edition (panel)
- Ask our panel of authors absolutely anything about what they do–writing, getting published, elevator pitches, getting an agent, dealing with writers block, writers workshops, etc. Includes many non-writer-parts-of-being-a-writer, such as being your own boss, setting schedules, and so on
- With Alyssa Wong, Jonathan Brazee, Suzanne Palmer, and Lawrence M. Schoen
- 12 PM: Don’t Go There–Unless You Really Want To (panel)
- Taboo subjects in fantasy and science fiction. Are there any? What lines won’t you cross? What lines should you cross?
- With Sarah Avery, Shahid Mahmud, and Lawrence Watt-Evans
Wow. What an absolutely amazing trip.
[If you’re here to find the copy of my alternate history presentation, you’re in the right place! It’s included below!]
I’m not even going to recap last year, because this year blew it out of the water. I was honored to be invited back, and I hope to return again next year. Many thanks to Jay Whittaker and Blake Casselman for their continued support — I genuinely feel like I leveled up as an author last weekend, and it could not have happened without the support from both of you.
My husband Bach and I traveled to the airport early in the morning, where we met two friends we were traveling with. Our trip was smooth, including the connection in Chicago and catching the new Utah train service from the airport in Salt Lake City to our hotel downtown. We checked into our hotel 30 minutes ahead of my mental schedule, and then it was off to the races! Continue reading
Let me help you do crunches, Mom.
Another summer month has flown by. I’m going to be honest — my production on the creative side has been crap. Even the unbuilt LEGO sets calling my name from my guest room haven’t been motivation enough to get work done. I’m not going to stop working on the Steel Empires series. But after 4 years of cranking out a book a year, I think I’m going to…not take it easy on the next one, but write with more intention. That’s going to mean fewer words a month, and more months to write the book. But my physical health also needs to starting taking a higher priority as I get older, and I’d rather build good habits now.
So my monthly goals are going to look less challenging, but the hope is that those of you reading at the other end won’t actually notice a drop in production. This may or may not make sense. I’m only on my first cup of coffee for the day.
- Revisions to Steel Shadows are not complete, and have not been sent to my editor.
- The book 6 outline has not been completed, though there’s lots of fun ideas rattling around in my brain.
- I did attend Confluence in Pittsburgh last weekend! Being around other authors is always a great shot of creative juice. Check out my full con report.
- I came up with some great ideas for how to launch Steel Time in September. Now I just have to implement them.
See, I told you this month was a wash. I did get lots of reading done, however, which I will never regret.
July Book Reviews
July Speculative Chic Contributions
- Seriously: Steel Shadows revisions to my editor.
- So that I can build a LEGO set!
- And also complete a first draft of the outline to book 6 and send it out for review.
That should be do-able, right? I’m not traveling this month, though I do have a bunch of things planned on the weekends. But today is Friday, so tonight I’m going to put on some music and bury myself in Steel Shadows. Wish me luck!
I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since my first visit to Confluence as a professional writer. In 2013, I was promoting a speculative fiction anthology I had edited and announcing my contract with Dog Star Books to publish my first novel the next year. Now, my fourth novel comes out next month, and Confluence has become one of my favorite conventions. A weekend where I can relax, have fun with friends, and meet awesome new authors.
Got a later start than usual because I had to get some day-job work done in the morning, but I hit the road by 11 AM. Considering I drive to western Pennsylvania a few times a year now, I have my routine down to a science. I arrived at the convention hotel in mid-afternoon, immediately got to hug some friends, and had plenty of time to check into my room before my first programming event. Continue reading
For my second annual trip to western Pennsylvania this summer, I’ll be headed for Confluence, the speculative fiction literary convention hosted by Parsec, Pittsburgh’s science-fiction and fantasy society. I have a great time there every year, and I’m excited to head back this upcoming weekend.
Due to miscommunications in a few different fronts, my schedule for the weekend is lighter than normal. That means more time to hang out with people and have fun! Let me know if you’ll be around and want to grab a meal, a drink, or a coffee (I like all of the above).
6:00 PM: Bring On the Bad Guys (panel)
What makes a good villain? What makes great villains so memorable? With R. K. Thorne, Joshua Bellin, Frederic S. Durbin, and Stephen C. Fisher
11:00 AM: Blurring the Lines: Writing Across Genres (panel)
How we blend SF, fantasy, horror, romance, mystery, and other genres. With Brian Koscienski and Larry Ivkovich
12:00 PM: Reading from the Steel Empires series
12:00 PM: Autograph session with S. C. Butler and Barbara Doran
This whole linear time thing is for the birds. I feel like it was just yesterday that I sat down to write last month’s version of this post. That usually means that I got a lot of work done during the month, or absolutely nothing at all. Let’s see how it all fell out.
Either way, I now have a giant TARDIS of my very own.
- I completed my enormous editing job! The book was amazing, and I can’t wait to share it with the world when my friend releases her debut novel.
- I only managed a bit of work on revisions to Steel Shadows, but my production schedule has shifted this year, so I’m not stressed too much about that.
- I did complete my initial research for the as-yet-untitled book 6 and did some preliminary brainstorming. I’m excited to sink my teeth into that project once Steel Shadows is off to my editor.
- The annual pilgrimage to
Hogwarts In Your Write Mind’s annual writer’s conference was an absolute blast. You can find the full story of the giant TARDIS in my con report.
- Reading advance copies of novels by authors I adore is the best part of my job, and I’m excited to share Sally Malcolm’s Perfect Day with you soon!
June Book Reviews
June Speculative Chic Contributions
- Complete revisions to Steel Shadows and send it off to my editor!
- Complete first draft of book 6 and get it reviewed by other writers/editors. This one is going to get complicated, I think, so I’d rather have my outline solid BEFORE I start writing.
- At the end of this month, I’ll be in Pittsburgh for Confluence 2018 (July 27-29)!
- Even though I’ve held gorgeous copies of Steel Time in my hands, the book isn’t officially out yet. Time to start working on a book launch party for September and additional online promo.
There’s got to be something I’m missing. Luckily, you’re reading this blog post in the present, but I’m writing it in the past, so if I remember something, I’ll just rewind the clock and add it in.
I’m going to need more coffee if I’m going to start courting paradox.
It’s been done before, so I’ll skip the trite comments about “OMG how is June here already??!” Instead, let’s get to the good stuff. After you admire the absolutely adorable dragonling that I bought at Balticon last weekend. Fable has been tasked with protecting my TARDIS die, and if you think he’s amazing, check out Emizart for your own!
Okay, enough squeeing (is there such a thing?). Let’s get to work.
- I had a lovely first visit to Cupboard Maker Books in Enola, Pennsylvania, for their Women Writing Mysterious Worlds booksigning event. I was joined by mystery writers Nancy A. Hughes and Yvonne Schuchart, who you should definitely check out!
- I closed out the month with my return to Balticon, where I participated on multiple panels and gave my alternate history presentation again! Check out my con report for all the details.
- I’m a bit behind on doing some research for the as-yet untitled book 6 of the Steel Empires series, but I did order the books I needed! They’re sitting behind me on my to-be read shelf…watching me…staring at me….
- I did, however, get the final edits for Steel Time (book 4) back to my editor! I’ve also seen the cover, and it’s GORGEOUS. Brad Sharp is my hero.
- I’ve also gotten a start on the revisions that Steel Shadows (book 5) desperately needs. My beta readers are amazing. You can’t have them. They’re mine.
- Beta read and critiques of my own were completed this month! I’m so lucky to have such talented writers I can look up to that I can also call friends.
- And finally, I’m set to begin copy-editing a book I’ve been dying to read for literally years! I worked out a contract and got the text, so that’ll be my top goal for June.
May Book Reviews
May Speculative Chic Contributions
- The top priority this month is my big editing job. I can’t wait to get to work on it!
- Next, I’ll be tackling the major revisions my beta readers have identified for Steel Shadows. Everything is completely doable, and I only have a few scenes that need major rewrites, so I’m looking forward to returning to that story.
- I’m also looking forward to doing some major brainstorming for book 6! The research books that are staring at me will get cracked open. I might have a working outline for book 6 by the end of the month, but I’m not going to kill myself to get there.
- Because I also have a trip to look forward to! The annual pilgrimage to
Hogwarts Seton Hill University takes place later this month, where I’ll be participating in the In Your Write Mind writers retreat.
- In between all that, I’ve had the pleasure of receiving two advance reader copies of novels I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing.
Time to make some coffee, snuggle some kitties, and get to work!