Thursday, September 16, 2010

Listen to Me!

MANY BLOODY RETURNS is now available as an audio book from Audiobook My short story "Fire and Ice and Linguine for Two" is collected therein. The theme of the anthology is vampires and birthdays, so my story involves Garnet and Sebastian's wacky attempt to celebrate his birthday one Christmas. For those of you who have read HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD, this story is actually the first appearace of Fonn, the Frost Giant.

I've pointed you to the .mp3 version, but it's also available as a CD. I might have to order both, since the CD will fit nicely on my bookshelf of achievements, and I can actually listen to the .mp3.

I'm psyched about this because I've NEVER had anything of mine appear in audio format before. It's going to be weird/cool to hear someone ELSE read my words.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fighting Oil with Ink

My alter ego donated a short story reprint to the anthology, BREAKING WAVES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF GULF COAST RELIEF. This is an e-book available in a number of formats from Book View Cafe. 100% of the proceeds go to the Gulf Coast Relief Fund. Contributors include Ursula K. LeGuin, Vonda McIntyre, David D. Levine, Sarah Monette, David B. Coe, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and many more.

The theme is ecological disasters with hopeful endings (preferably involving the ocean.) Mine is "Indigo Bunting," which is a strange coming of age story in a recovering post-nuclear winter Yellowstone National Park.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Writing and Telepathy

In Stephen King's ON WRITING, he has this great little bit about how writing is awesome because it's like time-traveling telepathy. I read his example, and I thought, yeah. He's nailed it, that's pretty much how it is. I'm thinking it now; you're reading it later. Cool.

Except, when I get my revisions from my editor, it hits me. You can only read my mind if I actually tell you what I'm thinking. And, depending on who you are, I might even have to spell out things that I don't bother thinking because they seem so patently OBVIOUS to me.

Telepathy: Fail.

I think, too, this is why a lot of authors think their editors are morons. We utterly fail to spell out critical details (which seem so CLEAR in our own minds,) and they write to say they didn't see it coming. And, my first response is: "What, are you some kind of idiot!? I clearly... oh, wait. I didn't actually SAY that anywhere in the text. I just knew it to be true, so I thought you would too. Um."

But, on the flipside (and to be fair to both sides of telepathy: fail), it can be irritating when you, the writer, feel like all the subtlety is being lost because you're writing in 2 x 4s for every ah-ha character moment, etc. because the editor doesn't share your brain cells. Especially when your writers' group had no problem with said issue(s), which only exaserbates the sensation that your editor is a complete dolt.

Alas, my editor is not a dolt, or a moron, or an idiot. I only feel like she is because, in reality, I'm the moron, and she only managed to quite astutely noticed all the missing bits in my thought process.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Modern-Day Revisions

A lot of people have been writing me to ask when the next book in the vampire princess of St. Paul series will be coming out. Answer: I still don't know exactly. It's on my contract somewhere, but I have no idea where my contract is right now other than "in the house." (My filing system leaves a lot to be desired.)

But I do know that the second book is coming along. On Friday, I got what used to be the "editorial letter." Now, it's an email that has a couple of macro comments as well as the manuscript marked up (line by line) by my editor.

Way back in the early 90s when I started my life as a professional writer, I used to get an email with notes like "pg. 145, second paragraph, which begins 'Once upon a time...' change to be less cliche?" Having the actual manuscript with the comments function turned on makes the process more convenient and, strangely, a heckuva lot more work.

I'm sure it wouldn't seem like more work to a writer who has never experienced any other method, but I find that I tend to feel compelled to respond to the comments. I end up doing it, because it's a simple click and type, and, suddenly, end up writing a mini-thesis on my word choice decisions, characterization, etc. In short, I'm a much bigger diva thanks to the convenience of technology.

It the early days, I would grumble quietly to myself and either make (or not) the changes while going over the entire novel.

Now, I find I flit right to the next comment and not re-read the whole thing. (I tend to skim the bits that aren't marked-up.) That targeted revision is the quicker, more convenient part, at least. But, as you can tell, I worry that I'm not nearly as thorough as I used to be.

Technology is a weird thing. It's such a lie that it makes our lives easier. Busier, yes, but easier? I'm not convinced.