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Showing posts from May, 2011

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: Victoria Thompson

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Paths to Publication As part of the virtual book tour for Many Genres, One Craft , I have more contributor interviews this week: Victoria Thompson , Albert Wendland , Michael Bracken , David Shifren , and Venessa Giunta . Now, find out how Victoria Thompson got published. I wrote my first novel without really intending to get it published. I just had this story in my head and couldn’t forget it. I wrote it down so my head wouldn’t explode. When it was finished, I started thinking I should try to get it published, so I sent it out to five publishers who published Westerns, thinking it was a Western. By the time I’d been rejected by all five of them, I had realized it was really an historical romance set in the Old West. I sent it to an agent who didn’t want to represent me but who suggested I send it to Zebra Books, because they specialized in first time authors and maybe they could give me some tips. The editor at Zebra liked the book, and her tips were to make it 200 pages

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: Randall Silvis

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Paths to Publication As part of the virtual book tour for Many Genres, One Craft and Armchair BEA 2011 , this week kicks off my MGOC author interview series for the next month and a half! This week we'll hear from David Morrell , Jason Jack Miller , Tess Gerritsen , Susan Mallery , and Randall Silvis . And, now, Randall Silvis : I lived in the woods and wrote my ass off for ten years and collected nothing but rejection slips. Then suddenly one summer, four stories accepted and an invitation to the MacDowell Colony and a literature fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a couple of playwriting prizes. Next year the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Meantime I kept writing my ass off and eventually had ten more books published. I'm still writing my ass off and still trying to write the best book I've ever written and still wondering why nobody loves me enough to hit me upside the head with a shovel and tell me, "Enough already!" -Randall

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: Susan Mallery

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Paths to Publication As part of the virtual book tour for Many Genres, One Craft and Armchair BEA 2011 , this week kicks off my MGOC author interview series for the next month and a half! This week we'll hear from David Morrell , Jason Jack Miller , Tess Gerritsen , Susan Mallery , and Randall Silvis . And, now, Susan Mallery : Don’t give up. Getting published is a whole lot less about talent than it is about persistence. There are hundreds of talented writers who will never sell because they won’t finish/edit/submit their work. No publisher is going to knock on your door and beg to read what you’ve written. It’s up to you to polish it and get it out there. It’s also up to you to write the next work. You never know which book is going to be “the one.” I started writing romance in college, while studying accounting. One December, during my second to last semester, I was very close to beginning my big push for finals. I was in my last writing session for nearly two weeks. I

PATHS TO PUBLICATION: Tess Gerritsen

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Paths to Publication As part of the virtual book tour for Many Genres, One Craft and Armchair BEA 2011 , this week kicks off my MGOC author interview series for the next month and a half! This week we'll hear from David Morrell , Jason Jack Miller , Tess Gerritsen , Susan Mallery , and Randall Silvis . Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D. While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, "Adrift," which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson. Tess's first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. He

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: JASON JACK MILLER (The Devil and Preston Black)

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HEIDI'S PICK SIX As part of the virtual book tour for Many Genres, One Craft and Armchair BEA 2011 , this week kicks off my MGOC author interview series for the next month and a half! This week we'll hear from David Morrell , Jason Jack Miller , Tess Gerritsen , Susan Mallery , and Randall Silvis . So, without further introduction, ladies and gentlemen, Jason Jack Miller: Jason Jack Miller 1. Which of your characters is your favorite? 2. Tell me about your travels. Costa Rica was fer-de-lances, kinkajous and volcanoes. Mexico was pyramids and beaches. Zion was cool nights and red rock claustrophobia. Florida is cypress knees and egrets and a mouse. Czech Republic was Kafka and cabs and a rekindling. Outer Banks is family and hush puppies and sea grass. Germany was train stations and beer and holding hands. Canada was border guards. Vegas was Mesa Grill and bling. Austria was pizza and fog and church bells. Kentucky is barbecue and bourbon. West Virginia is

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: DAVID MORRELL

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HEIDI'S PICK SIX As part of the virtual book tour for Many Genres, One Craft and Armchair BEA 2011 , this week kicks off my MGOC author interview series for the next month and a half! This week we'll hear from David Morrell , Jason Jack Miller , Tess Gerritsen , Susan Mallery , and Randall Silvis . So, without further introduction, ladies and gentlemen, Dr. David Morrell: David Morrell 1. Which of your characters is your favorite? 2. Tell me about your travels. 3. Coffee, tea, or milk? 4. What else can you do besides write? One of my novels, The Shimmer , has several scenes about small private planes. As research, I took some flying lessons (I’m the authorial equivalent of a Method-trained actor) and enjoyed the experience so much that I became a private pilot. I love being able to get above everything and clear my head by flying. 5. Who are you reading right now? 6. Pop culture or academia? I’m a rarity, a fiction writer who had formal training as an ac

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Carole Waterhouse

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HEIDI'S PICK SIX Carole Waterhouse 1. Which of your characters is your favorite? 2. Tell me about your travels. I've always loved traveling, even as a child, and often do so in unconventional ways. When I was in college in the late seventies, I spent a summer backpacking through Europe with a friend and then spent four months the next year traveling alone through England, Ireland and Wales on a bicycle. A man I met on the first trip, while waiting in the standing room line at the Vienna Opera House, was the one who inspired me to travel by bicycle. He had been had been doing that and absolutely everything had gone wrong. His bike had been stolen in Italy and he was going to have to return home early because he had run out of money. His clothes were completely tattered. He asked me and my companion to stand behind him while entering the opera house so that no one could see the holes in the backside of his pants. I listened to his tale and realized that while nothing

SECRET WRITERS: LEE ALLEN HOWARD

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Secret Writers Lee Allen Howard As part of the three month mega VBT for the writing guide Many Genres, One Craft , Calum, The Secret Writer , and I are hosting the Secret Writers series. LEE ALLEN HOWARD A name is a trademark, one you hope will become known and connected to your writing. When you're writing in the genre world, a name can represent a certain genre that you pen for. My primary genre is horror -- always has been -- so I use my full name, Lee Allen Howard. (I started using all three names when I discovered how many "Lee Howards" were out there!) I also liked that it has the same number of syllables as "Edgar Allan Poe," along with the same middle name. This gives me uniqueness with resonance. I use a synonym for my erotica to maintain anonymity with those who may be offended by the subject matter. It helps prevent some who are prejudiced about the genre from attaching this stigma to my other work. Using a pen name also keeps readers with

SECRET WRITERS: ADINA SENFT

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Secret Writers Adina Senft As part of the three month mega VBT for the writing guide Many Genres, One Craft , Calum, The Secret Writer , and I are hosting the Secret Writers series. ADINA SENFT People take pseudonyms for a number of reasons: for privacy, to honor a relative, or because their name isn’t very, um, attractive and they’ve always wanted a good reason to change it. In my case, it was for market reasons. My new Amish Quilt trilogy of women’s fiction is so completely different from the young adult novels I wrote as Shelley Adina that in order to prevent reader confusion, my publisher felt it was best to start with a new name. "Adina Senft" is my middle name and my maiden name, and since it’s German, it fits well into the Amish fiction landscape. Of course, booksellers are probably going to hate it … "How do you pronounce that?" is the most common question I get. The answer is, "One letter after the other." BIO Adina Senft grew up in

SECRET WRITERS: ELAINE ERVIN

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Secret Writers Elaine Ervin As part of the three month mega VBT for the writing guide Many Genres, One Craft , Calum, The Secret Writer , and I are hosting the Secret Writers series. ELAINE ERVIN There’s a common misperception that using a pseudonym is about “hiding.” There are certain instances in which that could be part of the explanation (e.g. teachers who’ve written romance or erotica, only to be “outed” and forced to face scrutiny from parents or their employers). While I cannot speak for other authors, I can say that in my case, nothing could be farther from the truth. We live in the day and age where a world of information is at our fingertips, literally. If I’m giving a talk or a radio/internet interview, there is realistic potential for a listener to Google me in moments. To ensure they find me quickly, they need to be able to spell my name upon hearing it and, I’m sad to say, the correct spelling of my birthname seems to elude the average ear. I’ve seen every

SECRET WRITERS: ANNE HARRIS

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Secret Writers Anne Harris As part of the three month mega VBT for the writing guide Many Genres, One Craft , Calum, The Secret Writer , and I are hosting the Secret Writers series. ANNE HARRIS Somewhere around 2007 or so, I bifurcated. That's not as disgusting as it sounds. Up until then I had enjoyed a modest career as a science fiction and fantasy author under my real name, Anne Harris. But a number of circumstances coincided that led me to stop writing under that name, and reinvent myself under not one, but two new pseudonyms. I had a young adult science fiction novel, Libyrinth, under consideration with my longstanding publisher, Tor. My editor loved the book. The problem was my sales history. My previous books, though well-reviewed, were not runaway bestsellers, and I was beginning to experience the dreaded Death Spiral, wherein booksellers order increasingly fewer and fewer of your titles, and sales diminish accordingly. I was asked to adopt a pseudonym so that Li

Conference: 2011 Pennwriters Conference - A Retrospect

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The energy at this year's Pennwriters Conference is still surging through me! I'm channeling it to work on two novellas in the Ambasadora-verse and finish up the second full-length novel in the series, so I barely have time for this post, but I had to give a little retrospective, mostly in photo form, like the one below of Jason and me with Saturday Keynote Speaker Jonathan Maberry. His speech should be required reading for the business--its theme was positivity and community, two sentiments I have always embraced when it comes to writing and the business of writing. Thanks to the participants in our all-day intensive workshop Many Genres, One Craft, based on our new writing guide of the same name. ( Buy it at Amazon right now! ) Seton Hill Writers ( Timons Esaias , Heidi Ruby Miller , Jason Jack Miller , Natalie Duvall, Matt Duvall, and Michael A. Arnzen ) taught one hour sessions on craft in the morning, then career in the afternoon. Each participant received a free har

SECRET WRITERS: PENNY DAWN

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Secret Writers Penny Dawn As part of the three month mega VBT for the writing guide Many Genres, One Craft , Calum, The Secret Writer , and I are hosting the Secret Writers series. PENNY DAWN Do I write under a pseudonym? I suppose I do. However, the name on the spine of my books is on my birth certificate, on my passport, and I'm sure it will be on my death certificate, too, so it doesn't often feel like a pen name at all. I write under my first two names, leaving my Catholic names and my last name out of the limelight. My reasons for doing so are two-fold, although both circle around the genre in which I write: First, I write erotic fiction. I don't see any reason why my baptismal and confirmation names need to be involved in something sexy. In that vein, why should I use the name I was given at the altar of St. Gilbert Catholic, when I was married? Marriage is a sacrament, and like baptism and confirmation, we receive names for performing the rites involved. T

Excerpts: Many Genres One Craft

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Excerpts Reposted from the MGOC site : HEIDI RUBY MILLER photo by Jason Jack Miller EXCERPT from "Tomorrow's Kiss: The Duality of SF Romance" by Heidi Ruby Miller in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction : Romance and Science Fiction. Because the classification for either of these genres is open at best, deciding how to define the two when blended strains the mind. For this article we'll settle for an anemic definition: SF Romance presents a plot which relies on an alternative reality, usually brought forth through technology, as well an emotional journey of a couple or multiple couples. With such an exciting and intriguing concept, why do Romance and Science Fiction readers have such a difficult time embracing SF Romance? The answer may come down to nebulous percentages. What portion of the plot, character interaction, and ending is SF and what portion is Romance? If a writer sways too much in one direction or the other, she fears lo

SECRET WRITERS: CRYSTAL B. BRIGHT

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Secret Writers Crystal B. Bright As part of the three month mega VBT for the writing guide Many Genres, One Craft , Calum, The Secret Writer , and I are hosting the Secret Writers series. CRYSTAL B. BRIGHT I decided to use a pseudonym, not because I was embarrassed by writing erotic romance and wanted to distance myself from that side. I did it because I wanted readers to have sort of a shorthand to know what they're getting. When readers pick up a Crystal B. Bright book, they know it'll be a contemporary romance or paranormal romance where the sex mentioned in the book won't be as risque as in an erotic romance novel. When readers pick up a Bridget Midway novel, they know they'll get a great story with sex written in an explicit way. As far as how I picked my pseudonym, that was easy. Well, once I stopped overthinking it, my final decision was easy. Most people think that my real name, Crystal B. Bright, is my pen name because who would name their child Crys

Many Genres One Craft Official Release

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You can finally get your hands on Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction , edited by Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller and published by Headline Books, Inc. ! Visit your local bookstore or find it online at these and many fine retailers: Amazon Barnes and Noble Books A Million Powell's Books Writers Digest Shop Read excerpts , meet the 65 contributors , and follow our mega virtual book tour at the Many Genres blog: http://manygenres.blogspot.com

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Douglas Smith

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HEIDI'S PICK SIX Douglas Smith 1. Which of your characters is your favorite? That's a tough one. I can't write a story until I feel that I really understand the main characters in the story, especially what they need in their lives and what drives them. So by the time I've written a story, I feel that I know each of the characters. Which makes it hard to pick a favourite. It's like picking a favourite among your children. I'll name a few candidates. Gwyn Blaidd from my short story "Spirit Dance" and Jason Trelayne from "Scream Angel." Both stories won the Aurora Award. Gwyn reappears as the main protagonist in my recently finished novel, so he must have had an appeal to me to want to spend more time with him. Asai and Sawako, the two lovers from "The Red Bird," and Maroch, Laure, and Elise, the lovers (it's complicated) from "Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by van Gogh." And of course, Bishop, The Last Dead Man,