News, reviews, and edits.

April 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm (Spiral Hunt, Stories in print, Stories online, Wild Hunt)

That totally failed to rhyme.

I’ve been a total slacker when it comes to blogging lately, so all of these are a little out of date.  Which in Internet terms probably means they’re approaching antediluvian, but what the hey.

First off, a couple of reviews are up: one of Spiral Hunt in Realms of Fantasy, and one of Wild Hunt in Fresh Fiction.  *happy review dance*

Second (and with no excuse, since I’ve had my shiny contributor’s copies for a little while now), Realms 2: The Second Year of Clarkesworld Magazine is out, and while my story “When the Gentlemen Go By” is reprinted in it, that’s not why you should get it.  You should get it for all the other fantastic stories — “Blue Ink” by Yoon Ha Lee, “The River Boy” by Tim Pratt, and “A Buyer’s Guide to Maps of Antarctica” by Catherynne M. Valente are just a few of the stories that have been haunting me since I read them.  Clarkesworld has also been nominated for a Hugo in the Best Semiprozine category, as have two stories from last year (including one of Nora’s!  Woooo!).  If you’re not reading it, you should be.

Another online magazine that I’m far too fond of, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, has bought another of my steampunk short stories.  “The Guilt Child” will be coming out sometime this year, and while it does not immediately follow the adventures of Charles, Dieterich, and the Professora, it’s part of the same world.  (This is what happens when I start worldbuilding.  I come up with a cool idea for backstory, then turn that into a story of its own, and so on…)  I’ve been calling it the story of a girl and her stamping press, and really, there’s no better way to sum it up.

Meanwhile, the edits for the third book are in, and they look…startlingly good.  Usually I read the edits, fuss for a day and feel all cranky that My Beautiful Deathless Prose is being questioned, and then go and make all the edits anyway (which inevitably makes it much, much better).  This time, though, I can’t think of any of the edits I disagree with.  That’s encouraging, I think, and it’s certainly making this round of edits a lot easier.  I think this will be a better book than the two that preceded it, though as usual I’m too close to it to tell.

...can you use “antediluvian” when referring to the Internet?  Maybe in a scaled-down sense, such as “before a flood of new traffic”…no, I’m reaching.  Also, it’s late and I’m babbling, but that’s what a blog is for.

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Wednesday Magic District, plus a review

July 22, 2009 at 7:59 am (Magic District, Spiral Hunt)

Today’s Wednesday Magic District talks a little about workshops and how to get through them without tearing your notebook in half, flinging it at the critiquers, and gibbering in a corner for the next hour.  It’s also got a couple of important links to the Worldcon Writers’ Workshop, which I’ll have the honor of assisting this year.  Take a look, and tell me if you think I’ve gone off the deep end from one too many crits.

Also, there’s a review of Spiral Hunt up in Strange Horizons today:  “Fans of kick-ass heroines and well written characters rejoice!” Wheeee!

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SCIFI Wire article on Spiral Hunt

January 28, 2009 at 7:19 am (Spiral Hunt)

Huh.  After Anything But the Book Week, it feels weird to be writing two book-related posts in a row.  

Today there’s an article on Spiral Hunt in SCIFI Wire.  It concentrates on some of the worldbuilding I did for the novel, and what that turned into as I started to work out the plot.  

(Also, while browsing on the site, I found that my nightmare of Jane Austen zombie novels has come true.  I don’t know whether to raise my fists to the sky and scream “NOOOOO!” or pre-order the book.  Probably both.)

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Made it!

January 27, 2009 at 8:39 am (Spiral Hunt)

Whoo.  Made it.  Now the fun starts.

And by “fun,” of course, I mean “overtime at my day job for totally unrelated reasons.”  So it looks like I’ll have plenty to occupy my mind in the next couple of days without even getting into Spiral Hunt.  I’ve also been tagged for the “seven things you might not know about me” meme by the Velveteen Rabbi, so I’ll be getting to that a little later in the week, and my short story “Dragon’s-Eyes” will be coming out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies soon.  

In the meantime, My Favorite Author has been kind enough to post another author interview, as well as a review of Spiral Hunt.  I think I managed to avoid sounding like a total idiot, so I’ll count it a victory.  Thanks again to the blog-keepers there for giving me space to babble!


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Anything But the Book Week: Distraction

January 21, 2009 at 8:13 am (Anything But the Book Week, Spiral Hunt)

First things first: If you’re interested in taking a look at Spiral Hunt, or if you’re planning on getting a copy but just can’t wait till next week, then check out the widget below:

Browse Inside this book

Get this for your site

The first fifty-some pages are available for you to read. Enjoy! (I’ll be adding this to the sidebar as soon as I can bully WordPress into doing what I want it to do.)

In the meantime, however, I’ve realized that if I keep thinking about Spiral Hunt over the next week, then my head will probably pop. So for the next week, I’ll be blogging once a day on anything but Spiral Hunt. Anything.

Today’s topic, predictably enough, is distraction. How do you distract yourself when you need to keep your mind off something?

It used to be that working with my hands would be enough – needlework, for example, kept me nicely distracted over a summer. But once I learn a skill well enough that I can do it without concentrating on it, the advantage is gone, and I get caught up in my own thoughts again. Cooking or baking something works, cleaning doesn’t. Writing only works if I’m writing something totally different from the matter in question. And while going for a long walk does wonders when I’m trying to work out a plot point, it’s no good when I’m trying to distract myself.

What are your favorite techniques for training your own thoughts in the right direction? Meditation? Conversation? Goofy TV shows?

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In which I answer questions and sometimes make sense

November 26, 2008 at 7:25 pm (Spiral Hunt)

I’ve been interviewed!

Aubrey and Speed Reader at My Favorite Author kindly offered me an interview spot, and my Author Q&A goes up today (just in time for Thanksgiving!). I think I managed to avoid cramming both feet into my mouth — I still haven’t got the hang of this interview thing. Or, come to think of it, this whole author thing…

Thanks again to Aubrey and Speed Reader for the opportunity to appear on their blog!

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September 12, 2008 at 7:50 am (Spiral Hunt)

When I was a kid, I hadn’t quite made the connection between authors and books. Books just happened; there weren’t people involved with the process until it got to the library. Even after logic told me that yes, someone had to make this stuff up, I still didn’t quite believe the connection. Authors were like Mr. Earbrass in The Unstrung Harp, or like the Hollywood conception of an author, complete with garret and muse.  They weren’t quite human.  You couldn’t talk to them, because their minds were on such a different level that they might open up a rip in the fabric of space from the sheer force of imagination.

Yeah.  I didn’t quite consciously believe that, but I couldn’t shake the suspicion that there was some special quality that Real Writers had.  I think some of this came from a form of magical thinking about the writing process, the belief that instead of sitting and working and writing to get something in print, some benevolent Spirit of Publication would visit the worthy.  It doesn’t make sense, but it was on that level of thought where sense doesn’t matter.

So I fussed.  Even after I knew writers and could recognize that yes, they were human (or at least kept their alien faces in another drawer), I still had this half-submerged idea of What Real Writers Do. Did Real Writers talk about their writing?  Did they do the little “I wrote a good story” dance after a good revision?  Did their bad revisions have “NO!  WRONG!  AND YOU SMELL!” written in the margin?  What could I do or imitate or learn in order to be a Real Writer?

The answer’s simple — write — but the traces of that way of thinking linger.

The reason I’m thinking about this now is that over the last few months, I’d almost forgotten that I had a book coming out.  I’d been working on the new book, getting it critiqued by BRAWL (who found all the weak points and then offered some excellent solutions), and if I thought of Spiral Hunt it was in the form of “what’s the next step”.  Friends had told me that I must be just permanently gleeful that I was getting published and, well, I wasn’t, just because it had faded to the back of my mind.

Yesterday I got a package.




I haven’t stopped grinning since I opened it.  I think I managed to tell the resident organist something along the lines of “it’s a book!  And there are words in it!  Words that I put there!  And it’s a book!”  I’m pretty sure I called my family too, but it’s a bit of a blur.

But now I know that Real Writers do indeed dance around the apartment waving their books around and yelling “Book! Book!  Book!”  Or at least one real writer does.

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Good news and bad news

July 17, 2008 at 7:25 am (Cons, Spiral Hunt)

Bad news: I won’t be able to make it to Readercon this year, and it’s my own damn fault.  Because I took so long on the new draft, I’m having to cram all my revisions in before the deadline.  I’ll be lucky if I make it out of the house this weekend, let alone to a con. 

Good news: I have cover art!

Ooooo.  So pretty.

That’s the Longfellow Bridge near the top – if you ride the Red Line in Boston, that’s where it goes over the Charles River.  I cross it twice every weekday, on my way to and from work.  And ever since I saw this cover, I’ve been smiling as we cross it.  (Well, until the train grinds to a halt and then sits there for five minutes.  But that’s not the cover’s fault.)

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I believe the appropriate phrase is “yee-haw!”

January 24, 2008 at 8:43 am (Spiral Hunt)

Well, I have the counter-signed contract in hand, so I think I can probably announce this without fear that it’ll all turn out to be a dream.

My agent Shana Cohen has sold SPIRAL HUNT to Kate Nintzel at Eos as part of a three-book deal. SPIRAL HUNT is an urban fantasy set in the undercurrents of Boston, tracing the intersections of myth and power and everyday life from Southie to Fenway Park and back again.  The two books to follow will continue in that vein.

To say I’m thrilled would be understating matters by several orders of magnitude. (Jumping up and down on Commonwealth Pier yelling and startling the seagulls was only a small part of my initial reaction.) I’m working on the second book now, readying myself for the edits to the first, and occasionally making little “woo!” noises.

The first book is tentatively scheduled to come out next spring. I’ll have more posts as I learn more details.


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