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Archive for the ‘Appearances’ Category

Every now and again, I let my readers know where they can find some of my stories. I’m always grateful to the editors who’ve selected my tales, and to the readers who keep coming back for more of the stories my somewhat skewed brain dishes out.

So for those looking for good reads (not just of my stories, but of the  many other wonderful tales included in these publications), here’s the list with links:

“Snowbroth,” a zombie/ghostly tale, Potter’s Field 5, edited by Robert Krog, from Alban Lake Publishing. (available)

“The Return of Gunnar Kettilson,” a zombie love story with a Norse vibe, Chilling Ghost Short Stories, from Flame Tree Publishing (UK). Flame Tree Publishing has even included a nice blog post with some of the included authors’ bios. (available for preorder)

“Scarecrow,” a dark science fiction love story, Trysts of Fate #4 – Aug. 2015, edited by lee Ann Story Sikora, from Alban Lake Publishing. (available)

“Beneath the Summer Moon,” a fantasy tale of transformation, Epona’s Children, edited by Carol Hightshoe, available soon from Wolfsinger Publications. (I’ll post link when available).

“Smoke and Sprites,” a science fiction tale set on Mars, Hides the Dark Tower, available soon from Pole to Pole Publishing. (I’ll post link when available).

I’ll add a bit of writer’s advice to the bottom of this post: Keep submitting!

I know this seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to focus on reaching your readers. When (notice I don’t say, “If”) a story is rejected, find another market and send it out again. Keep sending your story out until you find a market, or until you’re ready to revise the story, and then, start submitting again. Persistence is the key to being published.

As I’ve told writers’ groups in many a presentation, “Sometimes, I think an editor is just tired of seeing submissions from me. They finally give up and say, ‘Let’s just take a story, so she’ll leave us alone!'” All kidding aside, a writer is never published unless they submit their stories to publications. Which means, a writer never finds their readers unless they submit their work to magazines, anthologies, etc. Best of luck to all of you writers out there as you look for publishers.

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I’ve attended and participated in many writers conferences over the years. When I return home after spending a day or more surrounded by other people who love writing and books as much as I do, I usually feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the stack of writing projects on my desk (and floor and bookcase top…)

Sometimes, I’ve managed to take helpful notes. If so, I try to type those up while my memory of the workshop or presentation is still fresh. The longer I wait to type those notes, the fuzzier my memory of the extra details I didn’t jot down will become.

Sometimes, I’ve made a few interesting contacts. And I’ll have a stack of business cards ready to add to my contact file. Lesson learned over the years – always jot a note to yourself on the back of each business card so you’ll remember why this person is important to you. Again, as soon as you get home, expand those notes so in a few months the networking contact will still have meaning.

Sometimes, attending a conference will lead to another presentation opportunity. Follow up on the contact as soon as you’re able to do so. You might remember, but the other person’s memory of the offered (or mentioned) opportunity will soon fade. Networking only works when you follow up!

When presenting, sometimes the presentation doesn’t go as you plan. As soon as you get home, review why it wasn’t as good as it could have been. Come up with ideas to improve the presentation for the next time you’re asked to speak on that subject.

A note here – my worst presentation wasn’t due to anything I did in particular! My presentation time slot was the last of the day, the room was stiffling, there was a loud fan directly beside me, a librarian kept moving around behind me, there were too many people crammed in the room… I tried to adjust for the circumstances, and veering from my planned presentation made me anxious and eager to “just get it over with.” If this conference asks me again to do a presentation, I’ll request an earlier time slot and a more spacious room. I’ll also “stick to the plan,” so I feel more relaxed.

An interesting take on making the most of a writing conference can be found in this Build Book Buzz article.

Hope to see you at a writing conference!

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Like many authors and illustrators, I attend various author events in hopes of meeting my readers and selling a few books (and maybe a poster or 2 of my artwork).

It’s always a challenge to find a way to engage the attendees without scaring them away by being too aggressive. When someone stops by my table, I try to be friendly, and (gulp) suggest they look at one of my books.

I often wonder if there are better ways to attract people to stop and chat, and then buy my books, posters, illustration pendants, etc. I came across an interesting post from DerpyGurl which has some great tips for authors. Don’t be put off by the title if you’re not attending Comic Con or writing science-fiction and fantasy – this article is very informative for all authors.

Enjoy!

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One of the most exciting and scary things an author has to do is the “Author Talk.”

I’ve been to many “Author Talks.” Some were so wonderful, I recommend attending this author’s events to fellow readers/writers (Sherman Alexie, Neil Gaiman, and Alice Hoffman come to mind). Some were so awful, I recommend not attending this author’s events to fellow readers/writers. (No, I’m not going to name names). Most were just “okay.”

Which beings me to a good article by Matthew Dicks, Re-imagining the Author Talk in Three Parts, published in Huffington Post. I hope you find the article as informative as I did. Here’s the link.

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Today, I have a guest post I wrote appearing over at Sherry Peters’ blog, Stories of Perseverance to Inspire Struggling Writers. I talk about one of the most discouraging rejection letters I’ve ever received, along with an acceptance letter which followed about 2 weeks later.

Many writers could tell a similar tale. It’s hard to set aside harsh words of rejection and focus on the opportunities still out in the world of publishing — but if you’re determined to succeed, that’s exactly what you need to do.

Here’s the link to One Editor’s Opinion. Enjoy!

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I met Isaac Asimov many years ago at a science fiction convention called EveCon. In one panel discussion (where he was not on the panel, but in the audience), an impassioned young woman was asking the writers on the panel to create a new word for a female hero. She thought heroine was a lesser word, and read a list of words she’d come up with that were more suitable. I was about to respond (having been recently introduced at a poetry reading as a poetess rather than a poet), when Isaac raised his hand.

“Young woman,” he said, “why not just use the word, hero? I see no need for a separate word. A hero is a hero no matter the gender or species.”

My feelings exactly! And after Isaac Asimov’s wonderful answer, there was no need for me, or anyone else on the panel to respond.

Here’s a quote on writing from Isaac Asimov: “What lasts in the reader’s mind is not the phrase but the effect the phrase created: laughter, tears, pain, joy. If the phrase in not affecting the reader, what’s it doing there? Make it do its job or cut it without mercy or remorse.”

I, like many writers, need to heed these words, and thoughtfully edit my stories before presenting them to readers.

 

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Sandy after licking snow First, Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers. I’m grateful for so many things in my life including those readers who pick up (or download) one of my books and read it. Though, I’m not sure I’m especially thankful for yesterday’s snow.

Second, I hope some of you are planning on attending Chessiecon this weekend. It’s a small science-fiction/ fantasy convention with quite a bit of steampunk programming. I’ll have art in the art show, be participating on both writing and art panels, be reading from Owl Light, be selling and signing books, and have some of my art, etc. in the vendors’ area. Please stop by and say, “Hello.”

Third, I’ll be a next Saturday’s Authors & Artists Holiday Sale at the Bel Air (Maryland) Armory. Again, I’ll have books and art available for purchase for you or holiday gift-giving.

Fourth, The Gunpowder Review 2014 is complete and currently undergoing a little editorial and typesetting polishing. I expect it to be published soon. (Contributors will be hearing from me shortly).

Lastly, I’ve been out of town visiting family, and have fallen behind on my posts. Don’t worry, I have lots of interesting links and posts to share over the next few weeks.

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