Talking Genre TV over at SF Signal

Constantine Promo

What’s the end of a year without a few wrap-up posts? At SF Signal, I join the likes of Steven M. Long, Lisa Taylor, Paul Cornell, Gillian Philip, and a few other writers and bloggers to talk about our favorite TV shows for 2015.

Take a peek and click through to read MIND MELD: Our Favorite Genre TV Shows of 2014.

Announcement: Guest of Honor at Mo*Con 2015

“Brought to you by Indiana Horror Writers, Evoke: Arts + Media, and Second Story, Mo*Con is a convention focused on conversations revolving around genre literature and social justice. If you enjoy writing, conversations, and food, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at Mo*Con (basically, imagine a room party held in a con suite).” — SOURCE: Mo*Con 2015 Announcement

Did someone say… Food? Conversations? Writing? I’m there! (And will, no doubt, be cooking once or twice as well.) If you haven’t been to Mo*Con, it is a place to just be. I went last year and had a wonderful time. Thanks to Maurice Broaddus for inviting me, and to his staff for putting on a great show.

What’s in store for 2015? Join the esteemed Ann VanderMeer, Lucy Synder, Jody Lynne, Nye, K. Tempest Bradford, Mary SanGiovanni and myself at Mo*Con 2015 in a lovely part of Indianapolis. Register for Mo*Con 2015 to get an early rate!

My Geek*Kon Guest Schedule

I will be a guest this weekend at Geek*Kon, here in Madison, Wisconsin. Joining me is John Kovalic, Alex Bledsoe, Michael Stackpole, Elaine Cunningham, and many others. Alex is not on the program schedule, but I’ve noted where he will be speaking when appropriate. I’ll also be helping out Matt some in the Dealer’s Room; we’ll have physical copies of many of the Dork Tower trades and some Dr. Blink trades, too!

Friday, September 7th

    1:00pm-2:00pm – Writing for Shared Worlds
    2:00pm-3:00pm – Redwing’s Gambit Reading and Discussion (I’m sharing the reading with Alex Bledsoe!)
    5:00pm-5:30pm – Opening Ceremonies
    8:00pm-10:00pm – Gaming with the Guests (Charity Event)

Saturday, September 8th

    4:00pm-5:00pm – My Geeky Hobbies
    6:00pm-7:00pm – What is Flames Rising? (Alex Bledsoe will make a special appearance to promote Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror)

Sunday, September 9th

    11:00am-12:00pm – Getting Published in the Gaming World
    3:00pm-4:00pm – Closing Ceremonies

[My Guest Design Essay] Dystopia and Cybernetic Birds at Apex

Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy CoverToday I popped in to Apex Book Company and talked about my new story entitled “Tailfeather,” which was written for Apexology: Science Fiction & Fantasy. As I was writing the story, several themes emerged between the paragraphs.

When I sat down to write Tailfeather I did not craft the tale with these themes in mind. I imagined a place where there are so many people the food has to be rationed. I pictured a world where some societies have split in two, where half their population operates at night and the other half during the day. I thought about what people — women, especially — would to do survive. What would they be willing to do for food? Shelter? Love? — SOURCE: Dystopia and Cybernetic Birds in TAILFEATHER for Apexology

I hope you will do we the honor of giving the essay a read. If you’re interested in the anthology, it’s only $2.99 in digital and contains several stories.

Will Hindmarch, an Author’s Hidden Enemy and the Solution

If you’re an author, you know that there’s a lot of things we have to deal with that fall outside of our craft. One of those things is our hidden enemy: bitterness.

The BonesYesterday, I was replying to Will Hindmarch on Twitter about the topic. If you don’t know Will, he worked for White Wolf as the developer for Vampire: the Requiem. In fact, it was his design of Scenes of Frenzy that served as the template for my newly-released Scenes of the Embrace.

Besides being a talented developer, he’s also an author, a graphic designer and one of the owners of GamePlayWright. Will and I worked together on The Bones which is pictured at left; his style of editing taught me an important lesson. Track your research thoroughly whenever possible, just in case a need for citation comes up, even if it’s for a specific word. Otherwise, you’ll be scratching your head. A lot.

Anyway, now you know who Will Hindmarch is. So back to the quote at hand. Here’s what I said to him.

A writer’s worst enemy is being consumed from bitterness not by what we haven’t done, but what someone else has.

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into this. The first experience I had with interacting with other authors online was on a message board. Can’t remember the author’s name, but I do remember his piss poor attitude. At the time, he published a series of books over twenty years ago. Hadn’t published anything since. He was so negative and pervasive in his attitude toward other people, telling them they would never be successful. The guy had more experience than we did, yet he was focused on telling us what we didn’t have and why we’d never make, because he never did.

Mind you, I’ve learned there will always be someone more experienced than you and more successful than you are. The reverse is also true. I’ve had people tell me I’m not a real author because I haven’t been published by one of the big guys; I’ve also had authors say they wish they had my background.

Hand of PublishingSo what do you do when you feel bitterness seeping into your bones? You write more, dammit. No seriously. You drop what you’re doing and you work your ass off. You’re never going to get anywhere unless you put your fingers on your keyboard and write another story. Then you submit it. Then you work on the next one. And so on.

That’s it, people. ‘Cause there is no hand of publishing that will magically reach out of the sky and deem you worthy. If one story isn’t successful, you gotta suck it up and work on another one. In this business, success is relative and it’s not a guarantee. Am I saying that to sound negative? Nope. That’s the reality of publishing.

If you’re still stuck, read The Cult of Done Manifesto and then…

Get your butt back to work!!!

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