The second half of my Round Table Podcast, the Workshop Episode, is coming up tomorrow!
June 6, 2016
May 31, 2016
I’m on the Round Table Podcast “20 Minutes With…” segment today with Dave Robison and Heather Welliver!
May 26, 2016
Whoohoo! I’ll be on the upcoming “20 Minutes with…” interview at Round Table Podcast this coming Tuesday, May 31!
May 2, 2016
Some people still think I should write the dragon story I was kidding around about last year, so here’s part of it, just to show that I’m really not an epic fantasy writer, nor a comedy writer, alas.
March 8, 2016
We have a cover!
My short story “Peacock in Hell” is part of this amazing anthology, Shadowed Souls, that will be released in November (and you can preorder it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite Indie!). I’m in great company, here. Edited by Kerrie Hughes and Jim Butcher, with stories by Jim, Tanya Huff, Erik Scott de Bie, Kevin J Anderson, Rob Thurman, Seanan McGuire, Jim Hines, Lucy A. Snyder, Anton Strout, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
March 4, 2016
February 29, 2016
I was exchanging replies to a post on Facebook with a reader and he asked about my editing process, because I am currently struggling with a tough revision. I have been tearing chunks out and rewriting to a tight deadline and the process is frustratingly ugly—it always feels like two steps back to take one forward, even if that isn’t the truth of it. The reader asked if that was my usual process and I had to say, “yes and no” essentially. That may be my process as a writer, but as a fiction editor, it isn’t. (And yes, editing fiction is not like editing non-fiction—they’re related, but different beasts.)
As a fiction editor—and as a crit partner, writing coach, or workshop instructor—my job is not to put my stamp on someone else’s work, but to help the writer realize their own goal for that work. So I have to approach with respect and care. I make suggestions and observations more often than changes. I point out places where an opportunity was missed or where voice or a structure could be strengthened, where information was missing, muddy, or heavy-handed, where pieces might be swapped, characters or arcs adjusted, inconsistencies, “clangers,” and so on. I also make sure that the writer is aware of the things that they did well—because it’s easy to forget to say “Oh, did you know this is Damned Fine Writing?” I never take someone else’s piece apart and rebuild it. That’s the writer’s job and it’s a necessary process in improving as writer.
But when I start revising or editing my own material, I’m both writer and editor at the same time and I have to listen to advice, weigh it, and analyze both the advice and my own work, as well as revising, cleaning, fixing, and re-building. I’m a lot more brutal on my own work, because no one else can be. The other aspect of editing my own work is using what I learn from reading, analyzing, and editing the work of others. So critiquing or editing my peers is part of my process of becoming a better writer, and after that a better crit partner, better editor, better workshop leader, better coach, and a better writer… And back full circle, endlessly.
Writing and editing (or critiquing) are cooperative processes, not adversarial. I learn from each to do the others better and I treat each writer I crit or edit as I would like to be treated by my crit partners or editor.
February 25, 2016
The Kickstarter for Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is finally live! Hurray! Look at that great list of authors, editors, artists, and essayists shaking up the clichés and tropes of genre fiction–including one by me! Go, make it happen!
February 10, 2016
This morning I was told that the TV option my agents at Cooke and APA have been working on is finally official. As of last night, The Greywalker novels have been optioned for development of a Greywalker TV series. That doesn’t mean there’s a show coming for sure, but it is the first step. The folks at the agencies and at production company have been really wonderful throughout the process and I hope there will be more good news on this soon. (And thanks to Qwill for the heads up.)
This was the official announcement from Publishers Weekly under TV option sales:
Kat Richardson’s GREYWALKER series, about a private investigator who, beaten and left for dead, recovers to find she can step into the Grey, a place between this world and the next, and is attracting otherworldly business, to Back Alley Films and Muse Entertainment Enterprises, by Debbie Deuble Hill of APA Agency on behalf of Sally Harding of The Cooke Agency.
So. Now I’m going to to outside and scream with joy. I hope the neighbors don’t freak out too much….
February 9, 2016
Yesterday, I found a blog post in my feed titled “Only 40 Self-Published Authors are a Success, says Amazon.” I decry this headline (not the author, who’s clearly thinking about this a lot), because it focusses on a really narrow definition of success for self-published writers (or any writer) and that pisses me off. “‘Making money’ here means selling more than one million e-book copies in the last five years.” Wow… a million copies in one format over five years? That’s a hell of an accomplishment for any author, regardless of format or publishing mode. But the idea that we all should be selling like Hugh Howey or Amanda Hocking–regardless of format or platform–is a problem. It tempts so many worthy writers to see moderate success as dismal failure.
I wish there was more discussion of the “mid list” in digital–that segment of writers who are paying their bills with steady, moderate sales, but not going out and selling blockbuster numbers. That’s where most steady, commercial writers have traditionally stood, regardless of format or platform, but that slow-and-steady segment is shrinking (as is also noted later in the post) in the print world, and I’m not sure how it’s doing in digital (why won’t people talk about this?)
There are some other interesting numbers here, like, in spite of higher pricing, “legacy” publishers held 2/3 of the digital market and 36% of book buyers are print-only buyers. These things are related and they’re important. The blogger recognizes that digital only-authors are missing potential sales in the print-book market segment. She then goes on to talk about ways some authors have reached out to that segment. And she talks about the problem of “book discovery” in a highly saturated and volatile market. That last is one of the things I’ve been bothered by for years. How do writers reach potential readers in an information system that is now so huge and so saturated?
The discovery problem is part of the reason the Big Publishers continue to dominate the market even with a model that’s deeply flawed–they are “trusted sources” and have more control over current modes of book discovery and market penetration than independents, small presses, and self-published writers do. The combination of print sales, discovery, and market penetration are the real keys to making or breaking in the book industry. Over all, it’s an interesting post with some interesting links, and I’m amused by the ironic black-humor of the ending. (At least I hope it’s irony….)