Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blog Problems et al.

Hey gang,

Blogspot isn't let me make comments, so don't think I'm ignoring you.

I've been asked about an ebook version of Shadow's Lure. I haven't been given a firm date, but based on my experience with the first book I'd venture to say it will be on Kindle before the end of the summer. As for other e-platforms, it's being worked on. I'll let you know when I know.

Thanks again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lure out in Stores

Hey folks,

At long last, Shadow's Lure is out in stores. I took this photo in my local Borders. As you can see, they also have a few copies of Son.

I hope you enjoy the sequel as much I loved writing it. I'm working hard on book three.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Guest Post and Podcast

Hey folks,

Here's the link to a guest post I wrote for the SF Signal website. It features the two maps to be found in Shadow's Lure.

And here is the link to my podcast interview with John Anealio on the Functional Nerds site.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Interview with Eddie Schneider

Today we're proud to have Eddie Schneider, agent at the JABberwocky Literary Agency, to answer some questions about the Biz.

How did you become an agent? Was that always what you wanted to do?

It all started, one peyote-fueled night in the desert...

Really, I moved to NYC with the vague notion I might want to be an editor, and got an internship at another literary agency, which quickly divested me of that notion. Agents can have more leeway to work on their hearts' desire than editors, and as I read pretty widely, that appealed to me.

Take us through a typical day in the life of a New York agent.

A typical day starts with a meticulously laid plan, which is tied up neatly in a bow and then tossed out the window. Inevitably we wind up working on surprises that come up, which can occupy more time than they ought. But isn't every job like that?

More specifically, during the day, an agent might: Negotiate a contract; nag a publisher on an overdue payment or correct a royalty statement that has been subject to creative accounting; discuss changes to the title/cover of a forthcoming book; box up twenty pounds of books to ship to subagents in Germany or Thailand; curse at the foolishness of the latest publisher to reject a book they would pay $100,000 for, if they had any sense. Then after business hours, on weekends and holidays, we get to work on the fun stuff: Reading, editing, looking for new clients.

What makes a manuscript stand out to you? And what can authors do to improve their chances of impressing an agent?

What makes a manuscript stand out most to me are two things. The quality of the writing (#1), and the ability of the storyteller to immerse me (#2).

The second part is easy. Write well, and we'll be impressed.

The problem, of course, is getting from a place where you have the burning desire to write a book, to actually being good at it. It's like playing football in that regard. Lots of kids grow up wanting to be a pro quarterback or a linebacker, but a tiny fraction make it to the NFL.

Those that do, make it because they worked harder than anybody else they went to school with, followed that up by working harder than anybody else they went to college with, and followed that up by working harder than the other rookies in training camp.

As Jon mentioned in an earlier blog post, it's a huge help to have a writing group. To keep this metaphor going, having someone else who knows what they're doing look at your writing is like sitting down with the quarterbacks coach and going over game tape. You'll learn a lot, which you can apply to your next performance.

Work hard, keep trying to improve your game, and you'll give yourself the best possible shot at being a professional author. No one's going to just give you that QB slot, or that publishing contract, just because you have heart.

What is the usual process for presenting manuscripts to editors? Are those stories of three-hour work lunches really true?

These days, we usually e-mail them after talking with editors. Changing over to e-mail from physical manuscripts wasn't good for the bicycle messenger industry, but it was for the environment.

As for those lunches. If only the urban legends of the three-martini lunch were true! We do have lunches, and they can sometimes run long, but it would be rare for one to go on for three hours. Both editors and agents' lives are too hectic for that, at least in the US.

Are you actively seeking new clients? And what kinds of books are you looking to represent?

Yes! I'm looking for YA and adult fiction, specifically sf, fantasy, and literary fiction. I'm also looking for science, history, and narrative nonfiction. For more detail, visit

Our submission guidelines are here:

Please note that the agency has re-opened to submissions, so don't be shy.

Thank you, Eddie. If you folks have any additional questions for him, post them in the comments and I'll bug him for an answer.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

ARC Winner

Congratulations to Jeff Timmers of Denver, Colorado -- our winner in the ARC giveaway contest.

And thank you to everyone who entered. I received a much bigger response than anticipated, which makes me think I'll have to do this again for the next book.

Enjoy, Jeff!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Post by Lucienne Diver

Lucienne Diver is a super-star agent and writer. We're honored that she stopped by today.

How Novels are like Children
- You give birth to the idea. It’s shiny and new, so beautiful you can’t look away.
- You’re responsible for its nurturing and development. Without your time, attention, love and support it will never reach maturity.
- Inevitably, there will be crap. You clean all that away when you revise, rewrite, polish .
- It hurts like h-e-double-hockey-sticks when someone criticizes your baby.
- Any accolades are a source of immense pride.
- Your baby will have other influences, like educators who come in the form of teachers, critique partners, agents and editors.
- No matter what your plans are for them, they’re likely to frustrate you by going off in unanticipated directions.
- Ultimately, you get very little say in what they wear (wardrobe/cover—same difference).
- Eventually, you have to let your child off into the world and to succeed or fail on his or her own. In book terms, this is called the submission process.

How Novels are Different than Children
-They won’t hit you up for college funds, though networking at conventions, hiring a publicist, etc. may cost you just as much.
-They won’t move back in with you. Oh, wait…that’s called rights reversion.
-Unlike children, you can get them to open up to you anytime. And you can read them like—look at that!—a book.
-They’re much more translatable—French, Polish, Hungarian, as opposed to text and teen speak. (OMG, BFF, LMAO.)
-They’re easier to keep track of. You can put them on a shelf and they’ll stay there. Authorities tend to frown on that when you do it with children. (Have to give my husband credit for this one.)

Of course, novels also won’t cuddle up to you, melt your heart, give you bouquets of weeds and call them flowers, and make you watch really bad movies, like Transformers 2. But a new release is every bit as nerve-wracking as sending your child off to school for the first time. You can’t be there to protect him from teasing and other forms of torment. You can’t hold his hand, explain, apologize, or otherwise ease the way. You have to let go. And never let them see you panic.

My new baby? Bad Blood, a novel of Latter-Day Olympians (urban fantasy).
Due date? Digitally - June 28, 2011, print in 2012 from Samhain Publishing
Siblings? Vamped and Revamped (young adult vampire series) from Flux Books