Swan Tower

Dec. 26th, 2013


Okay, I exaggerate -- but only a little.

Did you get an e-reader for Christmas? Or a little extra cash to blow where you please? Or are you just hungry for new things to read? Book View Cafe is having an ENORMOUS sale from now through January 6th. No, seriously: there are five pages of things on sale right now, in genres ranging from fantasy to science fiction to romance to mystery to nonfiction.

Including three titles of my own! Lies and Prophecy, Deeds of Men, and Writing Fight Scenes are all half-off right now -- that's half off the price listed on those pages, as the way we're handling the back end of the sale is just to apply the discount at checkout, rather than changing every book page.

As mentioned before, this lasts through January 6th, so you have plenty of time to browse the whole slate. (Nice thing about ebooks is, we don't run out of stock.) There are things to cater to many tastes in there; you might find more things to enjoy.

This entry was also posted at http://swan-tower.dreamwidth.org/605261.html. Comment here or there.

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Nov. 22nd, 2013

12:17 am - Hear ye, hear ye! . . . Again!

Seven and a half years with my books being only ink on the page or pixels on the screen, and now I have two audiobooks landing atop one another. :-D

Remember me mentioning that giant deal Book View Cafe signed with Audible? Well, now you can listen to Lies and Prophecy, too! Different narrator than A Natural History of Dragons (and by the way, I've listened to the sample for that one now, and it's fabulous), and it's likely that my other project will get yet a different reader -- especially since the pov in that one is male.

Did I mention that I have a third project with them? No? Well, you'll just have to wait and see what that one is. :-)

I do, by the way, still have plans for a print edition of Lies and Prophecy. I'm dependent on the assistance of others for that, though, so it will have to wait for a moment when somebody can spare the time and energy to help. In the meanwhile, the ebook isn't going away. :-)

This entry was also posted at http://swan-tower.dreamwidth.org/603099.html. Comment here or there.

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Sep. 1st, 2013

02:34 pm - Happy my birthday to you!

I'm borrowing my approach from [personal profile] mrissa, who says, quite reasonably, that one should of course hope for others to have a happy time of it on one's own birthday.

I can't be a proper hobbit and give presents to you all, but I do have one thing: for the entire month of September, Lies and Prophecy is a dollar off at Book View Cafe. (I'm also going to have something else for you guys later this month, but it isn't ready quite yet.)

Have a lovely day! I certainly intend to.

This entry was also posted at http://swan-tower.dreamwidth.org/596327.html. Comment here or there.

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Mar. 25th, 2013

11:27 am - Chickens and eggs

mrissa has posted her Minicon schedule, with a panel on which comes first: the story or the setting. To quote the description,

Which Came First

The chicken or the egg? The story or the world? Does the story you want to tell determine the setting, or does your chosen setting demand a certain kind of story to be told in it? Are there some types of stories that simply cannot be told in a particular setting? How do creators balance these seemingly opposing forces in imagining their tales?

Which has gotten me reflecting on that question and how I would answer it. Off the cuff, I thought I probably start more with the setting -- hi, anthropology, yeah. But does that hold up when I actually look at the data?

(For simplicity's sake, I'm going to keep this to novels, but I will include unpublished novels in the list. It's probably a different ballgame if I look at short stories; that, however, would require more time than I want to devote to this right now, and a refresher course as to what the heck I've written.)

Cut for length; I have more novels than you guys know about.Collapse )

Final tally: seven for setting, seven-ish for story, two for character, and three that don't classify easily (two that were both setting and story as a package, and one that was a thematic argument). It's noteworthy that four of the seven counted as story-first are later books in a series. In one sense you would think sequels would be setting first, since the milieu is already fixed; but I'd argue they're more likely to be story first, since the books I counted that way are born not from their world, but from me having another plot I wanted to explore. For contrast, I can offer up one I forgot to include in the list, namely the second of Isabella's memoirs: that one came about via "okay, now I want her to go to a West African kind of place," with the plot built around it. It's a distinctly different trajectory for me than when the setting is just lying there, and I think up a plot.

Unsurprisingly, the prime failure mode for my projects appears to be when there's a big lag time between those two components -- one shows up without the other close behind. The end-of-the-world thing has a plot, but only vague sketches of a setting; ditto the epic fantasy one. The dream piece and the pirate one have cool settings, but I'm not quite sure where the story is going. All of those have been sitting around for years, going nowhere. Of the other unfinished projects -- the lady knights and the Japanese one -- both of those are just waiting for their moment, i.e. me to get a contract. I could write either in a heartbeat.

As for the novels that got written, but not well, I don't think there's a clear pattern, except that their disparate elements never came together like they should. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with their starting points.

<looks at the last two questions in the panel description> Nah, not gonna touch those. The answer to the first is "yes," and the latter presupposes one agrees that setting and story are "opposing forces." Ah, panel blurbs -- you say the silliest things, even for good topics.

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Oct. 9th, 2012

01:48 am - September at the Book View Cafe

Lies and Prophecy isn't the only book that came out from BVC last month, of course. I'd like to alert you guys to what comes out there going forward, but I don't want to spam you with book posts; ergo, I'm thinking that what I will do is put them up in monthly batches. (You can get this same information, plus various coupons and other deals, by subscribing to the monthly newsletter -- just put your e-mail address in the appropriate box on the right-hand side of the page.)

The other two things out last month were:

"Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand"

In a post-apocalyptic world, the young healer Snake ventures into unknown lands during her proving year. Her genetically engineered rattlesnake and cobra provide vaccines and medicines, while the rare alien dreamsnake eases pain and suffering.

“Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand” won SFWA’s Nebula Award. It is the first chapter of Dreamsnake, which won the Nebula, the Hugo, the Locus, and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. The story is presented by BVC as a stand-alone title, by request.

Some Enchanted Season

Kevyn Llewellyn, a struggling artist, must have the exactly right model for her next project, or she’s going to be fired. When she sees him—none other than Rusty Rivers, NFL player fighting injuries to save his career—she does the absolutely logical thing: she kidnaps him. Or rescues him… it depends on whom you’re asking.

Rusty Rivers is the kind of guy who’s squandered every opportunity, while Kevyn’s had to fight for every success. They’re as different as meteor and moonbeam, with nothing apparent in common, and yet… in this doomed, enchanted football season, dare they hope that anything magical can happen that they can believe in forever?

. . . and, y'know, this old thing. :-) Just in case you missed it the first half-dozen times I mentioned it.

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Oct. 4th, 2012

12:14 pm - Thirteen years ago today . . . .

. . . I finished writing my first novel.

It seems an appropriate date to put up an Open Book Thread for Lies and Prophecy, the much-revised descendant of the book I completed that day.

The floor here is open for questions, comments, etc on the novel and related topics (including "Welcome to Welton"). Needless to say, this will involve spoilers, so you have been warned.

Now if you'll follow me behind the cut, I'll talk a bit about how the novel came to be.

When I was but a wee n00b . . . .Collapse )

Anything you want to know or respond to? The comment thread is yours!

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Sep. 26th, 2012

12:29 pm - Icon winner and new buy links

alessandriana, you managed what I couldn't; you got the Tower card to be big enough to make out, while still getting the title in the image. Thank you! Just let me know whether you want an eventual print copy of the novel, or tuckerization in the sequel I hope to write. And my thanks to everyone who submitted an icon: you're all far better at this than I am.

Apropos of Lies and Prophecy making money, you can now buy it at Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, and Apple, along with Amazon and the actual publisher, Book View Cafe. If you have a preferred e-book vendor that isn't selling it directly, please do let me know; I can't promise I'll be able to get it there, but I can look into it. (BVC sells both epub and mobi formats, though, which should work on pretty much any device.)

I will have an open book thread for Lies and Prophecy soon, but I'm waiting for a specific date. (You'll understand why when we get there.) In the meantime, enjoy!

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Sep. 21st, 2012

03:55 am - you knew this was coming

My general incompetence with image manipulation continues. So: who wants to make me an icon for Lies and Prophecy? (You can find a large version of the cover here.) It can be animated or static, it can show the hand or just a card or whatever looks good at 100x100 pixels.

I'll pick one on Monday, to give people a little time to work. And the winning artist can have their choice between a print copy of Lies and Prophecy once I have 'em, or tuckerization (that is, the use of their name) for a minor character in the sequel -- presuming, of course, that L&P sells well enough for me to write the sequel, which I hope it will. I promise to make it a cool character, though.

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Sep. 18th, 2012

12:22 am - Lies and Prophecy

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and prophecy.

Kim thought majoring in divination would prepare her for the future. But even with her foresight warning her of trouble, she's taken by surprise when an unknown force attacks Julian, her enigmatic classmate and friend. Her gifts can't protect him against further attacks and an inexplicable string of disappearances . . . and if she's reading the omens right, Julian isn't the only one in danger.

Kim knows she isn't ready for this. But if she wants to save Julian -- and herself -- she'll have to prove her own prophecies wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present my Book View Cafe debut?

Lies and Prophecy is, as anyone who has been reading the "Welcome to Welton" scenes will know, an urban fantasy set in a version of our world where about half the adult population has active psychic gifts. (At least, "urban fantasy" is the short description for it. I have sometimes been known to refer to this book as "near future alternate history mildly post-apocalyptic semi-YA urban fantasy with some mystery and romance in and maybe a smidge of science fiction if you squint right." But they don't really have a category for that.)

It is also available for purchase! You can buy directly from BVC, in both epub and mobi formats, suitable for iPads and Nooks and Kindles and so on, or whatever your e-book reading device of choice may be. BVC is the best route to go, in terms of benefit to me-the-writer, but if you prefer to order from some other venue, you can get it through Amazon right now, and other e-book retailers in the near future. If you prefer a dead tree edition, there will be one of those, too, but that (alas) is going to take a little while longer to happen. I'll definitely announce it here when that becomes available, though, probably with pictures of me hugging it and squeezing it and generally acting like Gollum.

See, this is the first novel I ever finished. It's been through more revisions than I can count, over a period of (yikes) thirteen years, but it is still my first, and that means it is very near and dear to my heart. These are the characters that never quite left my head, the story I kept revisiting and refining. And now it is, at last, out there for other people to read. I am more happy than I can say, and I'd like to take a moment to thank the BVC crew in general, and those who produced this book in particular: my cover designer Amy Sterling Casil, my formatter Chris Dolley, my copy-editor David Levine, and most especially Sherwood Smith, who has been my BVC mentor since I first approached her at a con and said "I think I'd like to join your group."

I'll have more to say in upcoming days, but for now, I hope you enjoy the book. :-)

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Sep. 17th, 2012

07:06 am - Welcome to Welton: Kim (11/11)

Earle’s dining hall was a low and sprawling place, claustrophobic enough that I’d avoided it until now. I preferred Hurst, whose floor-to-ceiling windows made it feel more open and pleasant. But Liesel had recruited me for a social project tonight, and it wouldn’t kill me to eat here once, before I swore off it for the rest of my undergraduate life.

The space didn’t make it easy to find people, though. Liesel rose up on her toes to scan the room, then dropped down and shrugged. “I don’t see him. Let’s get food, then try to grab a table.”

Read the rest at the Book View Cafe.

And that's the last of them! But tune in tomorrow for an announcement . . . .

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