Tuesday, November 29, 2011

AUCTION: Signed Copy of Many Genres

Auctions

Bid on a Signed Hardcover of MANY GENRES ONE CRAFT

We are offering a signed hardcover copy of MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT in the huge fundraising auction to benefit writer and artist Terri Windling. There are so many awesome prizes to bid on from great writers in the industry like Cory Doctrow, Cherie Priest, Elizabeth Bear, Catherynne Valente, Holly Black, Tamora Pierce...and many, many more!

You can bid on items and find out more about Terri and the support she has been receiving from her fellow writers and artists at the Magick 4 Terri LiveJournal page. Just follow this link:

http://magick4terri.livejournal.com/32552.html

Monday, November 28, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Georgina Morales

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Georgina Morales

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
From all my finished stories definitively Lilibeth from Perpetual Night. I’ve always thought that God made me poor and powerless because inside me there’s a dark side that threatens to rise under the right circumstances. Lilibeth is my attempt to explore that dark side. She’s the quintessential good girl who, deep beneath it all, hides a monster waiting for the moment to seize control.


2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
That depends on who you’re asking. In the words of my lovely five-year-old, I know, and can do everything…will have to remind her of that when she turns fifteen. If you ask my teachers from school, math truly wasn’t made for me. I concur. And my husband has no opinion on the matter, just ‘cause he loves sleeping in a warm bed and understands the true value of a homey meal. ;)


5. Who are you reading right now?
Connie Willis’ Blackout. A very interesting, well crafted, time-travelling adventure that grabbed me the moment I turned the first page. I’m also about to read Stephen King’s Cell (I’m always about to read something of his), and the pile of books I have to review is growing taller by the day.


6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
In myself, my fears, my pain. The philosophy behind it is that if something stirred in me strong enough emotions to leave a mark, chances are others will be able to empathize and I’ll be able to portray it with realism. Also, writing is cheaper than therapy.


9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I’m a bit OCD, what that means is that I have to have control over every little step of the process. I have to know where I want to go and how to get there. In short, I need to outline.


13. Celebrity crush.
Gosh, this is kind of embarrassing. Jared Padalecki from Supernatural really makes me all giddy and sweaty, and he’s behind the screen! Thank God our paths will never cross and I’ll be spared the indignity of thoroughly humiliating myself.


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
The two authors that have impacted me the most as a person, hence my work, are Edgar A. Poe and Stephen King.

I started reading Poe as an impressionable teenager and always strive to generate in my readers the same deep, dark, creepy feeling that his stories ooze. By far, however, Stephen King has had the strongest influence in my life, which goes well beyond my incursion into the writing world. My secret dream is to one day be signed under the same publishing house (though not making the same amount of money. It’s a dream, not a delusion) and have one of my books sharing a shelf with one of his.



15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Born in Mexico City, Georgina Morales showed a range of unusual interests like poetry, the paranormal, science, and religion from a young age. She studied medicine and through her years in hospitals, she lived and heard all kinds of creepy stories. Now a writer, she portrays the world of the strange. Her interest in exploring her own fears and how others perceive reality mixed with her scientific background and love for Latin American novels make her style unique and her stories a trip.

You can keep up with the craziness at my blog, Diary of a Writer in Progress, or drop me a line on Goodreads, and My Facebook author page.

Check out my books on Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Perpetual-Night-Georgina-Morales/dp/0615438407

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SFFS: Snippet from GREENSHIFT #1

SFFS Snippet


TALES FROM THE AMBASADORA-VERSE: GREENSHIFT

Greenshift is a novel set in the Ambasadora-verse one month before Ambasadora begins.

DESCRIPTION: David Anlow, a fleet captain forced into early retirement and jaded by an ex-lover, now spends his lonely days shuttling around a group of scientists for hire.

Boston Maribu, Mari to her friends, is one of his passengers, a young botanist who is as beautiful as she is naïve and innocent. When Mari asks David to teach her about more than just piloting the Bard, nights on their ship heat up and their feelings for each other mature into a relationship neither expects. But a suspicious new client shows up with wicked plans for Mari, and the soldier inside David comes alive, ready to fight for the young woman who stole his heart.

--

SNIPPET #1:
"David's a better pilot than that last guy," Mari said, gripping the handle of a knife from the galley. She'd been nervously trying to engage Sean in conversation as they stood at the bottom of the Bard's chartreuse gangway watching the scene unfold with David and a couple of contractors forty meters away.

The glare from the surrounding waters of Carrey Bay and the heat shimmering from the dark grey concrete stamped in the shape of a real wooden boardwalk gave the scene an appearance of being filtered through glass. But unlike staring from behind a closed window, Mari could experience the world of Tampa Quad's largest dock all around her.

The boats blasted their horns and the spaceship engines screeched and boomed overhead. And the smells. Spilled fuel and exhaust from a faulty filter system mixed with the fishy-ness of the bay at low tide. If there were a breeze, she could have enjoyed the aromas from restaurant row across the way. At least Sean smelled good—his earthy scentbots bringing the only hint of freshness to the day so far.

"Don't you think so?" Mari prompted again as the stand-off along the faux boardwalk heated up. "That he's a better pilot?"

--

Find more snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Clare Dargin

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Clare Dargin


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Marius Zenward... I love my male leads. I always think they are so sexy!


2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
Hmmm that's hard 'cause there's not much else besides loving my dogs (I have two) and my pathetic attempt at gardening.


5. Who are you reading right now?

6. Pop culture or academia?
A little of both 'cause I think it keeps me well rounded. That along with a brownie on occasion. Okay enough about me needing to be on a diet.


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
The toughest scene to be honest is the final fight scene in Zenward's Magic. It was hard because I was trying to keep it seamless. And it's hard when it's a paranormal thingie going on there.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
From my imagination mostly and some things in everyday life.


9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
Since I'm a scifi junkie -- I'm into space music particularly this show called Hearts of Space.


12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I am a seat of my pants kind of gal!


13. Celebrity crush.
A character actor by the name of James Morrison He lights my fire!


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Yeah....so...I'm still a grown up though!


Clare Dargin is a an author of Science Fiction and Military Science Fiction Romance. She has been writing stories all of her life before being published in 2007. She is a great fan of all things science fiction and romance and loves promoting the genre.

She is an educator by profession and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from a major mid-western university. She presently resides in the Midwestern United States and is pursuing a graduate degree. In the future she hopes to expand her writings to include non-fiction, historical romance, and contemporary novels.

SYNOPSIS OF Zenward's Magic
Plagued by a demon his entire life, Marius Zenward will stop at nothing to free himself from this horrible curse. Captivated by his mystery and torn by her desire, Corrigan Heilyn longs to be with him but is held at bay by the horrible secret that follows Marius from town to town.

Will the special magic that only he possesses set them free?

EXCERPT
Corrigan Heilyn's desire for Marius was palpable. Her body cried out for his touch. His strong heavily muscled arms gently caressed her body and held her close. The gentle musk from his skin tickled her nose as she leaned in close to feel her lips tap against his stubbled chin.

Marius parted his lips allowing his ruby red tongue to peak through. They licked her lips ever so gently before she parted hers allowing it to slip inside her mouth. His kiss was ever so sweet and gentle. Yet her body was on fire. As he pulled her close only one thought was in her mind...

I need you.

--

PURCHASE Zenward's Magic - http://www.amazon.com/Zenwards-Magic-ebook/dp/B0068M94P6

To find Clare Dargin online, check out these links:

WEBSITE - www.claredargin.host22.com

- http://theembraced.blogspot.com

- http://claresblog2thehaven.blogspot.com

- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/The_Embraced_Scribal_Love/join

Saturday, November 19, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Charles E. Gannon

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Charles E. Gannon


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
My favorite is a character is also the epicenter of my Tales of the Twenty-Second Century series of both novellas, and soon, novels. I like this character (Riordan) for a lot of reasons, but from a "fun to write" standpoint, the two key features are that he is:

1) a genuine polymath

2) a guy who tells the truth--even when that's not at all good for his long-term prospects ( or immediate physical wellbeing.)

Riordan ultimately becomes a very capable soldier and statesman, but not without some initial reservations—which resurface to haunt him at highly awkward moments. That all makes him FUN to write. But he’s my FAVORITE because he’s also my bow to the true “citizen soldier.” About which I’d like to make a delicate but important point.

The soldiers who went off to fight World War II were the last of a certain breed of American warfighter: they were everyday persons who were either drafted or volunteered to undertake one of the great enterprises in recorded history: to help win BOTH fronts of the most sprawling war that humanity had ever witnessed. They were people who were living their own ordinary lives, with their own ordinary hopes and aspirations, when history interrupted and called them forth to display extraordinary valor in the process of performing extraordinary deeds.

The soldiers of our contemporary armed forces do no less, and they probably accomplish more, per individual, being as superbly trained as they are. But that superb training is, in part, a measure of how armies have changed. In an all-volunteer, professional army, these are largely heroes who chose the life they are leading. That makes their stories inherently different—not better or worse; just different.

These are the heroes at the center of so many books, these days. If you look at the overwhelming majority of military SF, the protagonists are *professional* soldiers. Theirs is an important story—and many SF authors tell it with superb drama and seriousness, as well as panache.

In contrast, and quite purposely, Riordan’s story is closer to that of the citizen soldier of the Second World War. He is not career military. He had other plans. But then he got caught up in the gears of history and fate—as did millions of young men and women alive in 1941-1945. Theirs is arguably a different kind of heroism in that they would choose to be elsewhere, doing other things—except that they heard and answered the call of their country. They set aside their other plans because of that summons—which not only stole them away from their dreams and aspirations, but often from life itself.

Any story of such soldiers is often a kind of “delayed coming of age story.” Riordan is in his thirties when the thread of his life becomes entwined and bound into the loom of history. He therefore reacts to the tribulations of war with a very different outlook: there is no rush of youthful adrenaline to bolster and redouble his courage. He is a grown man confronting the dire necessities of war: his duty to his country and his species must not only be the objective, but the source, of his actions.

I wanted to tell his story because I think we are increasingly forgetting about the citizen soldier. I have heard people claim that we will “never need citizen soldiers again.” I will not debate that issue here. But I will say this: when people talk about a situation that will “never” occur, or will “always” occur, they are flying straight in the face of the most basic lesson of history: nothing is assured and all rules are defined by their exceptions.

And, lest we forget, our nation—and its foundational principles of pluralism and democracy—were carried into this future upon the shoulders—and often, biers—of common men and women who elected to fight for what they believed. Freedom, home, justice, hope—their beliefs took many shapes, wore many names. But they were willing to risk their lives for their ideals and visions, for themselves and their children. Riordan is, in part, my method of writing stories that ask us to remember this truth: that, just when you think it impossible, you may hear the call of your country at need.


2. Tell me about your travels.
Travel influences my writing in a number of ways.

Firstly, when working on alternate histories, going to actual sites is invaluable in creating a sense of descriptive authority. Sure, you can go to Wiki or Google earth to get a (pretty good) selection of visuals and views...but what about smell? The sound of the wind in that place, the minutiae that only reveal themselves to actual rather than virtual visitors: that's narrative gold.

Secondly, it gives some pretty fair perspective on what the word alien means. You don't have to travel to another planet to behold various oddities of both flora and fauna that defy easy belief or comprehension. Good basic training for preparing to write about extraterrestrial aliens.

Lastly, it teaches about human psychology and reaction to the strange, or even the disorienting in both biomes and societies. You get a chance to witness the full--and often baffling range of how people handle immersion in environments filled with novel or incomprehensible objects. That makes for some interesting character studies.


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
I was a television producer for about 7 years, so I can do that. Same with teaching literature (and more) to college and grad students (did that for 16 years). I’m a pretty fair “combat cook” (which means, no, I don’t much conceive and concoct gourmet fare, but I can whip a tasty meal together out of some pretty diverse elements/leftovers). I’ve run medium sized organizations, and have modest skills at fencing, shooting, and shotokan karate. But I think my most important skill is that I'm a pretty darn good Dad: ask my kids (even when I'm not there!!!)


5. Who are you reading right now?

6. Pop culture or academia?
Neither. Both have their moments, but both are extreme ends of the same spectrum. At the pop-culture end, we have the “no brain required” sign; at the other end we have the “no fun allowed” warning. The hell with them both: most of us don’t live in either of those places. At most, we visit. We need both impulses in our culture, but they’re not so appealing when they are encountered in their undiluted, condensed forms.


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
That's hard to say, because two different kinds of hard come to mind: technically hard, or content hard.

There are certain scenes that require a lot more attention to nuts and bolts. For instance, I frequently use a cross-cutting technique during action sequences, where there are converging points of view getting more tightly interwoven as they head to the climax of the scene. These are fun to write, but very labor intensive: there's a lot of traffic management involved in this kind of structure. Is each section tight so the whole scene stays gripping? Does the "voice" in each section match the mind and perception of the PoV character? Is the time and event flow clear to the reader despite the frequent changes in PoV? A lot to keep track of.

I guess I remember this kind of difficulty more than the others. I don't find the character content ever very difficult. I know the story, but I don't dictate the moment to moment exchanges and feelings of the characters. They live it; I merely transcribe what goes on in their world and their heads. I think there's only one thing I would find hard to write: a scene in which a character is coping with a terminal disease. I've had close contact with that multiple times in my own life, and find that scenario so fearsome and aversive that I don't willingly deal with it any more than I must. Happily. I've not needed to write such a scene, but I know it would be very difficult to do so.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
13. Celebrity crush.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
Wow. That's a hard one b/c there are so many, and each one for different reasons. So I'm just going to rattle off a fast list. Heinlein, Dickson. Oliver. Anderson. McLean.O'Connor. Faulkner (for reasons you might not suspect). Howard.


15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Dr. Charles E. Gannon is a member of SFWA and SIGMA, a Distinguished Professor of English (SBU), a Fulbright Senior Specialist, 2004-2009, the winner of the American Library Assoc. Choice Award (Best Book, 2006: Rumors of War and Infernal Machines). His current novel is: Extremis (w/ Steve White), book 6 in Baen’s NYT best-selling Starfire series (May, 2011).

Find Charles online at these links:

WEBSITE - http://www.charlesegannon.com

- http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1277327007

- http://twitter.com/cegannon1

Friday, November 18, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Braxton A. Cosby

HEIDI'S PICK SIX



Braxton A. Cosby


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
William Derry is one of the main characters from Protostar. He must ultimately make the decision between love and duty. He is the Prince of the Torrian Alliance and also a bounty hunter. He’s a complicated character to write because he has lived this very structured, pristine life with everything he wants at his fingertips. Yet, he decides to venture out on this crusade to salvage his family name. The strength of his character is that he has strong convictions and he is very accountable to his actions. His moral ethics are a big part of the dilemma he must face when ultimately making his decision.


2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
I’m a milk guy. Chocolate, preferably. But I will take a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks every now and again.


4. What else can you do besides write?
I’m a gamer and a physical therapist by trade. Been gaming longer than treating, so I guess I’m somewhat of a professional gamer.


5. Who are you reading right now? Just finished Divergent by Veronica Roth. Really cool style of writing.

6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
The dancing scene in Protostar between William and Sydney in the barn house; while they are jamming to a John Mayer song. It’s was a challenge to nail that scene just right, but I think I pulled it off. A lot of people gave me positive feedback on it.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
I’m a real life writer. A lot of my ideas are first God-breathed, and then I infuse them with my own personal struggles and experiences. It helps to make them real to the reader.


9. Food you could eat everyday.
It has to be Chinese!


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
Yes. I’m a certified weight trainer and I love to get a good workout in. I try to exercise at least 3 times a week. It’s been tough for me recently with me being so busy.


11. What kind of music speaks to you?
Music with a voice. Inspirational and soulful. I have to hear creativity in the words, more than the beats.


12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
Yes. I have way too many ideas to play around with. I like to have a format first, then I just let inspiration take over and it all comes together.


13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer with a vision of continuously evolving and maximizing the untapped potential of the human spirit. Braxton received a lot of his inspiration from watching the accomplishments and exploits of his famous uncle, comedic legend Bill Cosby. A physical therapist by background, Braxton received his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate from the University of Miami. Braxton’s fascination of science grew into an obsession of Sci-fi and on one unassuming Sunday, this self-proclaimed romantic decided to pursue a “calling” to create a new genre of writing; Sci-Fance- mixing science fiction and romance. Braxton lives in Georgia with his wife and two children. He believes that everyone should pursue joy that surpasses understanding and live each day as if it were the last.





- http://www.amazon.com/Star-Crossed-Saga-ProtoStar-Braxton-Cosby/dp/0984642854/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1321413468&sr=1-1












Find Braxton online at these links:

WEBSITE - www.braxtonacosbygodson.com


- http://www.goodreads.com/braxtonacosby


- http://twitter.com/#!/CosbyKid84


- http://braxtonacosby.wordpress.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Sara Creasy

HEIDI'S PICK SIX



Sara Creasy


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?
I can make an exceedingly realistic washing machine out of a cardboard box and bottle tops. My 17-month-old daughter thinks it’s awesome.


5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat everyday.
Crepes all crisp around the edges, with lemon and sugar. Vanilla bean ice cream and strawberries on the side. A Twix bar on the other side. Followed by apple and rhubarb crumble with hot custard.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
Absolutely not, in any respect. I am allergic to watching sports, and exercising makes my brain rot with boredom.


11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I’m an obsessive outliner because it delays the inevitable laborious task of writing sentences and paragraphs. However, when I’m really into the story I find winging it much more fun.


13. Celebrity crush.
My celebrity crushes tend to burn out fast – I am so fickle. Right now I’m watching old seasons of Psych and I love the two main characters – a fake psychic and his sidekick, played by James Roday and Dulé Hill.


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
I watch Peppa Pig, Timmy Time, Pingu, The Hive, Chuggington and The WotWots. That’s pigs, sheep, penguins, bees, trains and furry steampunk aliens. I can’t even use my daughter as the excuse because she prefers the Wiggles, so I’m forced to admit that I watch because I like them.


Sara Creasy grew up in a tumbling-down Victorian house in England, where she tapped out her first stories on a tiny blue typewriter. After moving to southeastern Australia as a teenager, her love of all things fantastical hooked her on science fiction. Meanwhile, in real life, a biology degree led to work as an editor in the educational publishing industry. She was associate editor of Australia’s science fiction and fantasy magazine Aurealis for several years, and her involvement with the SF community inspired her to write her first novel, Song of Scarabaeus (2010, Harper Voyager), which was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award and the Aurealis Award for Best SF Novel. The sequel is Children of Scarabaeus (2011). Marriage to an American resulted in a second intercontinental move, and she lived in Arizona for five years before returning to Australia with her husband and baby daughter in 2010. She now lives in Melbourne.

To buy Sara Creasy's books, check out these links:


- http://www.amazon.com/Song-Scarabaeus-Sara-Creasy/dp/0061934739



- http://www.amazon.com/Children-Scarabaeus-Book-2/dp/0061934747










To find Sara Creasy online, check out these links:

WEBSITE - http://saracreasy.com


- http://saracreasy.blogspot.com


- http://twitter.com/SaraCreasy

Sunday, November 13, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Linnea Sinclair

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Linnea Sinclair


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
That can vary based on what I'm writing but probably Philip Guthrie. Wounded, cranky, stubborn, sexy-as-all-get-out. He was a somewhat antagonist in GABRIEL'S GHOST, morphed into a supporting protagonist in SHADES OF DARK, got his own story in HOPE'S FOLLY. It was fabulous watching a character grow.


2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Pu-erh tea (the best is from Bana Tea Company) or double espresso coffee


4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
MEMO FROM THE STORY DEPT. : Secrets of Structure and Character - Christopher Vogler and David McKenna


6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat everyday.
Apples and peanut butter. That's my usual lunch.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I'm a leap-frog plotter/pantser. Plot three, write three. Plot the next three, write three. And so on.


13. Celebrity crush.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
CJ Cherryh. She is the master of SF/Space Opera and I've been reading her for decades. She's an auto-buy for me. Also Julie Czerneda's TRADE PACT books (I learned of Czerneda because Cherryh recommended her) and Tanya Huff's VALOR series.


15. Do you still watch cartoons?

A former news reporter and retired private detective, Linnea Sinclair writes award-winning, fast-paced science fiction romance for Bantam Dell, including Gabriel’s Ghost (RITA® winner), Games of Command (RITA® finalist) and her current best seller, Rebels and Lovers. Her short story, “Courting Trouble,” is featured in Songs of Love & Death, an anthology edited by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin (Pocket). Sinclair splits her time between Florida (winters) and Ohio (summers)—and the Intergalactic Bar & Grille at www.linneasinclair.com.
Photobucket

Find Linnea online at these links:

WEBSITE - www.linneasinclair.com


- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Linnea-Sinclair/75135631090

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Many Genres One Craft: Finalist for USA Best Books 2011 Awards

I am very happy to announce that the writing guide I co-edited with Michael A. Arnzen, Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction, was an Award-Winning Finalist in the Business: Writing and Publishing category of The USA Best Books 2011 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.

Many Genres, One Craft (Headline Books, Inc.) gathers the voices of today's top genre writers and writing instructors affiliated with Seton Hill University's acclaimed MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction.

--

"Speaking from experience, I can tell you there isn't a muse and if there is, she's already dating someone else." If there isn't a muse, as you'll read in this invaluable book for writers, MANY GENRES ONE CRAFT is surely the next best thing. No matter what you want to learn--from choosing the point of view for a scene, from getting the most out of a critique group to fine-tuning your final draft, from approaching a literary agent to promoting your published book in print or electronically or both--it's all there. The contributors know their stuff, and what they're teaching applies to writing at any age. MANY GENRES ONE CRAFT covers all the bases superbly, including issues I haven't seen addressed anywhere else in today's rapidly shifting publishing landscape. --Renni Browne, co-author of SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS

Thursday, November 03, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: John Edward Lawson

HEIDI'S PICK SIX



John Edward Lawson

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?

2. Tell me about your travels.
Some years I do too much traveling around the country for publicity and feel a bit like Jack from Fight Club; you can go to every metropolitan area in the nation but end up just seeing airports and hotels. But I have been lucky enough to get in some recreational travel outside the USA. I think Costa Rica might be the most beautiful place on Earth. Going to the Monteverde cloud forests, standing at the top of the mountain where you can see the Pacific on your left and the Caribbean on your right…just awesome. Canada is for sure the most civil and friendly place around. Toronto is my favorite city, or at least it was when the exchange rate was better! England is great, too, and not just London. Hanging out with fog-obscured skater punks in the Roman structures of Bath is fun.


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?

4. What else can you do besides write?
I have heard it said that we should bring a little art to what we do, and bring a little of what we do to our art. I believe that to be true in that building our creative expression in all areas really seems to help with advancing the writing process. So, I enjoy gardening although I'm not very good at it. I've been cooking family meals daily for fifteen years, with emphasis on cuisine from around the world…Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and so forth, but I also do a lot of American. Sometimes I fantasize about cooking in a restaurant. I'm also a certified audio engineer and had a small recording studio for a while. It was good money, but writing just felt so much more important in the larger scheme of things. I've always been a gifted visual artist and as a kid my artwork got on local TV all the time. Most importantly I can wiggle my eyebrows independently of each other, nonstop, for an indefinite amount of time.


5. Who are you reading right now?
6. Pop culture or academia?

7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
Pretty much any scene that is the final scene in my writing sequence, because I seem to have a psychological block against finishing stories. Often I write the opener, the end, the outline…and everything in-between is so exciting I just cannot stop. Plus, I tend to fall in love with the characters, and their pain or joy. Walking away from them is too difficult, which is why so many of the characters have cameos in later works.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat everyday.
Butternut squash soup from Animal Kingdom's Boma restaurant. And I just scored the recipe. Booyah. If I go missing just direct the police to my kitchen. I am not even playing with you. But the most dear form of sustenance for me is the sense of wonder in myself and others; it is this which renders me a writing/reading addict. I don't just need it daily. It's more like hourly, at least.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
Yes, which is depressing as I'm unable to put my body to use lately! Fortunately two of my new books just went to the printer, and I've met a few of my dozen anthology deadlines, so I can get back to it a bit. People assume that--due to my height--I play basketball, but actually I'm an exercise junky. I used to exercise three hours a day, but gradually I've allowed that to be whittled away by "life." One thing I've always advocated for authors is to engage in some form of daily exercise routine to combat the sedentary nature of our work. Particularly the thighs. Having tight thighs constricts blood vessels in your legs, returning blood from your lower half more quickly allowing improved alertness. Alertness = thinking, thinking = writing. And recently I was lucky enough to go rock climbing in the Adirondacks…it's something I look forward to doing more of.


11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
I was cartoon abstinent for many years. What changed that trend was becoming a father. I tend to live a somewhat monastic life, but seeing the latest cartoons with my son helps keep me plugged into pop culture. As to whether that's a good or bad thing, I don't know, but it sure is entertaining. In my opinion Avatar is one of the best shows to ever hit television. The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is pretty great also; we're impatiently awaiting the next season. Currently we're doing a Phineas and Ferb marathon. The Popeye and Donald Duck cartoons of the 40s and 50s rock hard as well. Re-runs are a psychological necessity for the youngins because, as they say, ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.


John Edward Lawson has published eight books and over five hundred works in anthologies, magazines, and literary journals worldwide. He is a Bram Stoker Award finalist and a winner of the Fiction International Emerging Writers Competition; other nominations include the Pushcart Prize, two for the Rhysling, and two for the Dwarf Stars Award. As a freelance editor he has worked for Raw Dog Screaming Press, Double Dragon Publishing, and National Lampoon among others, has edited seven anthologies, and served as editor-in-chief for The Dream People. He lives near Washington, DC with his wife and son. Spy on him at http://www.johnlawson.org.

To purchase John's books, follow these links:


- http://www.amazon.com/Discouraging-at-Best-ebook/dp/B001JAFXSO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320230025&sr=8-2

- http://www.amazon.com/Last-Burn-Hell-Directors-Cut/dp/1933293268/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4

- http://www.amazon.com/Troublesome-Amputee-John-Edward-Lawson/dp/1933293152/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Jack Wallen

HEIDI'S PICK SIX


Jack Wallen


1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
That's such a tough one...but I have to go with Shero. Why? Shero stands for everything that SHOULD be right in the world. Shero is a transgendered superhero that not only has to concern himself with fighting crime, he also has the court of public opinion to take on. The first book (the second one should be out in the first couple of months of 2012) allows the reader to see how the scorn of ignorance can be so painful and how a very brave and proud man can overcome. Shero tells a very good story and does it looking fabulously.


2. Tell me about your travels.
Can I talk about the travels in my head? They are much more exciting? The majority of my travels were done during my career as an actor. I never left North America but I've toured throughout the country and had a wonderful time. My single most favorite place I've lived was Boulder Colorado. It's magical.

I do long to travel to Australia and Japan. Sigh. Maybe someday.


3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Soda. It's my only vice. Sad but true.


4. What else can you do besides write?
This question would best be answered by listing out the careers I've had: Actor College Professor Hair stylist Bike mechanic Technical writer Computer engineer Digital artist Radio host On top of that I race mountain bikes and cyclocross.


5. Who are you reading right now?
I am currently reading two of my favorite indie authors:
Shea MacLeod: Kissed by Darkness
Heather Marie Adkins: The Temple

Both are incredible!


6. Pop culture or academia?
Oh good gravy these are tough. But in this instance I'd have to say academia. Why? If I answered “pop culture” people might assume me a fan of reality TV or Hollywood rumor blogs. Gasp! Okay, truth be told, I'm a fan of them both. How can I not be? I toss pop culture references around in my books like glitter at a Victoria's Secret runway show. What I like best – however – is watching pop culture filled with academia. Big Bang Theory fills that void for me quite well, thank you very much.


7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
The hardest scene I ever wrote was the last scene in Die Zombie Die. Why? It was the last book in the I Zombie trilogy and I really didn't want to let those characters go. Outside of that – having Shero break a heel of one of his Manolo Blahniks is pretty rough. Okay, seriously – there's a scene in Die Zombie Die where Professor Danielle Joy Michaels is hit with the reality of what she has done to mankind. The moment knocks her to her knees as she is overcome with guilt and grief. I cried when I wrote that scene. It hurt. It was necessary.


8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
Everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. One of the most important classes I had in grad school (Purdue University Professional Actor Training Program) was a movement class. That class helped me to realize that artistic inspiration can come from anything, anywhere, at any time. If I had, however, to pin down one source of inspiration it would have to be music. I constantly have music playing in my life and I allow it to deeply effect and move me. Whenever I am in need of inspiration, the right music can fill me with so much.


9. Food you could eat everyday.
I'm a vegetarian and when the apocalypse hits, I will most likely be subsisting on Morningstar Farms veggie burgers. Oh, you were looking for something a little more romantic. Thai. I love Thai food.


10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I am passionate about cycling. I race mountain bikes and cyclocross. Cycling is my therapy.


11. What kind of music speaks to you?
Emotional music. Right now, at this moment, I am really into the band Red. Some of their music is so powerful it will drop you do your knees and steal your breath. Listen to Watch You Crawl or Pieces and NOT be moved and I will claim you have no heart. My all time favorite piece of music is Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. Tragic beauty that piece.


12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I used to have to do a full-blown outline. But when I wrote the I Zombie trilogy I knew chaos had to reign supreme, so I took away the safety net. Now … I find I'm a much better writer when I allow my imagination to just take me on a ride.


13. Celebrity crush.
Anna Torv from Fringe and Alyson Hannigan who will always be TV's Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
Clive Barker is my idol. My goal is to eventually be compare to the brilliance of that man. Not so much in genre, but in grace and lyrical style. The man could write the phone book and it would be beautiful.


15. Do you still watch cartoons?
For the longest time I was a screaming anime junky. If I still had the time, I would be watching. Now? I still love cartoons, but they tend to be more of the Family Guy type. I don't want to grow up. Ever. You cannot make me go to bed! I won't do it! I'll bite you! Oh fine...I'll grow up a little.


Jack Wallen has a goal -- to become the Zombie King. He won't do that by dining on the brains of helpless victims. Instead he will write and write until his fingers and mind are nothing but meat for the beasts. During that time Jack will produce works of zombie fiction that are both enjoyable and cringe-worthy.

Of course, being of the insane writer clan, Jack isn't just happy with the penning of zombie fiction. Oh no, the nightmare does not end there. Like the late, great Freddy Mercury, Jack wants it all -- so, he will continue writing his Fringe Killer series as well as his joyous celebration of all things diverse -- Shero.

For his inspiration to begin reading and writing, Jack thanks the ever-incredible Clive Barker for penning in a genre with words of grace and horror.

Find out more about Jack Wallen and buy his books:


- http://www.amazon.com/I-Zombie-ebook/dp/B004LGTRX0

- http://search.barnesandnoble.com/I-Zombie-I/Jack-Wallen/e/9781452404363


- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/36790


(Paperback) - http://www.amazon.com/I-Zombie-Jack-Wallen/dp/1461134137


- http://www.amazon.com/My-Zombie-ebook/dp/B005RNN6EW

- http://search.barnesandnoble.com/My-Zombie-My/Jack-Wallen/e/2940013340701

- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/64309


- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002NPBSME

- http://search.barnesandnoble.com/A-Blade-Away/Jack-Wallen/e/2940012551863


- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/34698


(Paperback) - http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Away-Jack-Wallen/dp/1461082218


- http://www.amazon.com/Gothica-Fringe-Killer-ebook/dp/B002OL1Y3A


- http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Gothica/Jack-Wallen/e/2940012527219


- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/35382


(Paperback) - http://www.amazon.com/Gothica-Jack-Wallen/dp/1461163633


- http://www.amazon.com/Shero-ebook/dp/B001J000RI


- http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Shero/Jack-Wallen/e/2940011906169


- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/33118



Get Jack'd: http://www.monkeypantz.net
Twitter: jlwallen
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jlwallen
Zombie Radio: http://www.zombieradio.org