Archive for the ‘Conventions’ Category

I Sold My First Novel!

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I’ve been sitting on this news since before Christmas, but now that everything is finalized, I can finally announce:

I’ve sold The Bone Flower Throne to Panverse Publishing! It’s the first book in my feminist retelling of the myths and legends surrounding the Toltec priest-king Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, and it’s scheduled to be published in late summer, early fall. WorldCon might actually be necessary this year, so I can do some lead-up promotion.

I’m planning to do that Next Big Thing meme about it in the next week or so, so stay tuned to find out more about the book.

Out with the old, in with the new

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So 2012 has come and gone and the new year is before us, which means taking stock of what I accomplished and then looking ahead to the future.

So, last year was a crazy ride of ups and downs, some of which I still can’t talk about because things haven’t completely ironed out yet. I finished a second draft of one novel, started a third (which I didn’t even get half-way through), then wrote another novel in a completely different genre, but again in the same milieus that I love. I still haven’t lost the desire to write about Aztec history and mythology, and have several more stories brewing in the back of my mind. I started the year off strong and hopeful, but hit a slump where I wasn’t enjoying writing anymore, but moving ahead into a new genre helped me rediscover my love of writing. However, I think my lack of desire to move on to new subjects led to the demise of my career in traditional publishing before it even started; there is apparently no market for what I write with traditional publishers, in either genre I’m writing in, but I really, really want to write these stories, so in the end, I decided to let my agent go and strike out on my own. She put in a lot of work on trying to sell my novel and unfortunately that didn’t turn out as well as we’d both hoped, but I think going a less traditional route might be better for the kind of stuff I write. There were some interesting developments in that category in December and hopefully I’ll be able to make some announcements by the end of January. Stay tuned!

On the negative side of things, I made zero money this year on writing, a first since I’ve started doing this in earnest. At least the taxes will be easy to do this year.

As for this year, I’m putting aside the failures of the past and pressing onward. I know what I want to write and am going to do it, and if it means self-publishing it in the end, then so be it. Part of me still wants a traditional sale with the backing of a big publisher, if only because it seems on the surface to be less work for me, but the idea of self-publishing isn’t as scary anymore. The professional world is changing fast, and traditional publishing is looking less and less stable and safe as it used to. I haven’t ruled out the possibility of getting an agent again, for the idea of going into any contract without someone to watch my back makes me sweat, but that just might not be in the cards for me.

On conventions, I don’t know that I’m going to go to any this year, aside from my local one. I really want to be able to go to LonCon in London in the summer of 2014 and that means having to save money for the trip, especially since I’d love to bring the whole family with me this time. The plan this year is to not attend either WorldCon or World Fantasy, though I loath to go two years without seeing my best friends at least once.

On a final note, after having heard really good things about RWA as a writer’s organization from several close friends, I went ahead and joined, and joined a local chapter here in Denver at the end of the year. It seemed a good move professionally since what I’m writing right now is, for intent and purposes, genre romance, and it would be useful to learn from other romance writers. I do intend to approach some small press publishers with this novel I’m working on right now, then self-publish if that doesn’t lead to anything, and there’s at least one more book in this series that I really want to write. In the end I just want to write about what I love and if that leads to sales, great; if not, then at least I’m getting some satisfaction for myself for having told the stories at all.

MileHiCon, October 19th-21st

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So, I’m on a couple panels at the upcoming MileHiCon next weekend. Here’s my schedule:

Saturday:

11am – 12:30pm: Speed Meet An Author (Mesa Verde B) with H. Bell, M. Boroson, S. Brust, J. Campbell, G. De Marco, R. Garcia, T. Hutcheson (M), M. Kirk, D. Kollin, E. Kollin, TL. Morganfield, L. Reeve, R. Seagren

7pm -9pm: Fantasy, Magic Realism, Fable & Mythos: Assorted Readings (Avistrum Academy/ 12th floor) with J. Campbell, R. Garcia, D. Landes, TL Morganfield, A. Ritchey, C. Schafer

So, it doesn’t look like anything stressful or that I need to prepare for too terribly much before hand. I’ll have to figure out what to read on Saturday night. Once I read the panel description, maybe that will help me figure it out. Likely it will be some short fiction.

Chicon 7 – WorldCon Wrap-up

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So, I was off to big city for a while, visiting friends and talking shop. That’s what I love about conventions. This year’s WorldCon was in Chicago, and this was my first time to the city, but unfortunately I didn’t find the time to do any of the extra sightseeing I’d hoped to do (there was also talk of getting me to ride the subway and the L Train–something I’ve never done in any city–but that didn’t materialize either.) I will have to make a trip back sometime in the future to do all that stuff I missed, preferably with the family in tow. As it is now, I didn’t move more than a couple blocks from the hotel the whole time I was there.

I got to the con on Wednesday and met up with my con posse, Christopher Kastensmidt and Al Bogdan. We’ve hung out at a number of cons before this and it’s always great to see them again; they keep me from sitting alone in the corner at parties, looking lost and dejected. We went out to dinner at Peterrino’s in the theater district. The food was okay, but the ambiance reminded me of mob movies. Caricatures of actors decorate the walls and the waitstaff dress in tuxes. I half expected to see Ray Liotta sitting at a table with DeNiro and Pesci, discussing where to bury a body.

Thursday was my free day, so hung around with friends and had dinner with Carol Berg and a couple of other folks (whose names completely escape me right now). Spent the evening in the SFWA suite where several very cool things happened: I got to meet and talk to Jim Hines, who is very cool, got to see Lyda Morehouse again after many years and she plied me with compliments about Night Bird Soaring, and touted me to an agent who then asked if I had a novel. I was thoroughly blushing at that point.

I woke up Friday not feeling very well. I had my first ever WorldCon panel that day and the nerve were making me sick. I made it through my panel (Fuck Your Knight and the Horse He Rode In On), but the nervous nausea lasted through a good portion of the day afterwards; I was pretty sure that I’d said something questionable due to lack of speaking coherently on the subject and may have inadvertently made it sound like I didn’t take accusations of racism from readers seriously (which is so far from the truth, for I worry about it tremendously and research strenuously to do my best to avoid making bonehead, racist mistakes) and so spent a couple days worried about that. I started feeling better after several people came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed the panel. Public speaking was never my strong suit, so it would probably do me some good to do more panels, particularly at my local con, and get comfortable with these kinds of group conversations. I do find that just talking about these kinds of subjects in small groups, I’m on my game and talk very well about it; I’ve just got to learn to translate that to the larger group setting.

Saturday was my autograph session. I’m not sure what possessed me to sign up for one (I don’t recall signing up for one, but maybe I did), but I got to sit next to Paul Cornell and we chatted a bit. By that day, the remnants of Isaac had rolled into town and the city was covered with lots of cool low-lying clouds, and I suspected that my sinuses were going to start their annoying habit of swelling up. I had a minor sore throat when I got up but it went away quickly and I was left with some post-nasal drip. I spent some time scoping out the small presses in the dealers room, collecting business cards from those that looked like they published quality product, and buying teeshirts for my kids.

Sunday was my reading and I really expected no one to show up, which has happened to me a couple times at MileHiCon. To my surprise, not only did a couple of my friends show up, but some people I didn’t know at all, and they listened to me babble incoherent about the novel (I never did have an elevator pitch for it, but maybe I should come up with one, for use at readings). The actual reading part went well, since I practiced it a couple times before then and knew I could get it done in the time allotted. People actually asked questions afterwards and one later photographed my name tag, so she could find my stuff after the con. Overall a smashing success, in my book. I sat with Al and Chris during the Hugos, so we missed all the debacle with the streaming feed getting banned by rogue netbots (how science fictional!) and we ended up back at the SFWA suite where I had a great conversation with William Lawhorn about historical fiction. My reading list has grown considerably because of it.

As for the parties, I managed to make it to the Tor party, which was in a huge suite on the top floor of the hotel, but didn’t make it to the Baen party, in the same suite the next night. I enjoyed hanging out with the Nightshade crew (Bradley Beaulieu, Martha Wells, and Courtney Shafer) at the Night Bazaaar party, and at the Chizine party, Brett Savory made me an awesome deal on a couple Aztec westerns/horror books (and I’d vowed to bring no physical books home with me!). I went to a couple readings too (Christopher Kastenschmidt, Lawrence Schoen, and Lyda Morehouse, who had a 10:30pm reading?!?)

Luckily the sinus yuck I’d been fearing stayed minor until Monday morning, otherwise I might have had to cancel my reading, since I could barely talk and breath once it flared up. Probably my biggest disappointment about Chicago was the food; I was expecting some really good stuff, especially pizza, but the choice of restaurants around the hotel was less than stellar. Peterrino’s was all right but nothing to get excited about, and we took most of our meals either at the The Corner Bakery down the street, or in the SFWA suite. We tried to get pizza on Saturday night, but Giordano’s had an hour and fifteen minute wait just to cook the darn pizza, and having had nothing to eat since breakfast that day, none of us wanted to wait around for that. Probably the best meal I had while in Chicago was a queso burrito from Qdoba, which I grabbed on the way back from Giordano’s (and the charming young man behind the counter gave me a good-hearted ribbing about my Broncos sweatshirt). It was fantastic to make it back home because the husband and kids then took me out to dinner at our local 3 Margaritas for some awesome Mexican food.

So that was my week at WorldCon, and I’m reenergized to get back to work on writing. You can find pictures from the convention on my Facebook fan page.

MileHiCon 43

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So I’ll be at MileHiCon here in Denver over the weekend, and I’m actually on paneling and have a reading. Here’s my schedule:

Saturday, 3:00pm – Rural/Urban/Suburban Fantasy
M. Acevedo, J. Bullington, R. Lyons (M), TL Morganfield, J. Tolbert

Sunday, 10:00am – I Didn’t Mean to Borrow
G. Cook, W. Hammond, B. Ish(M), TL Morganfield, P. Sinclair

Sunday, 4:00pm – Reading w/Ron Sering

I’m going to be reading from the Aztec epic fantasy novel that’s currently out on submission.