Once again, I’ve taken part in one of John DeNardo’s Mind Melds over at SFSignal.  The question was, What fantasy novels, aside from GAME OF THRONES would we like to see adapted for a television series.  My answer . . . well, you’ll just have to visit the site to find out my answer.  Check it out.

I have two posts going up today. The first, my usual Monday Magical Words post, can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, Stuart Jaffe, and A.J. Hartley. The post is called “Why I Still Believe in Big-Press Publishing,” and it’s about the ongoing changes in the publishing industry. The second can be found at http://www.sfnovelists.com, the group blog on speculative fiction that I maintain along with a group of over one hundred published authors of fantasy and science fiction. It is called “Google and Piracy: One Author’s Perspective” and it’s about Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s recent declaration that Google would not stop linking to sites that sell pirated books, music, and art. I hope you enjoy both posts.

A Declaration of War

May 20, 2011

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt effectively declared war on publishers and authors earlier this week, declaring that Google would resist any governmental efforts to keep its search engines from pointing web browsers to sites selling pirated material.  As literary agent Richard Curtis points out, this policy, if it stands, signals the end of publishing as we know it, and will make it nearly impossible for authors to make a living off of their work.  Even Amazon, which offers inexpensive ebooks to it customers, can’t hope to compete with sites that steal material from authors and then sell it at cut rate prices.  Authors depend on legitimate sales of our books for royalties.  That’s how we get paid.  It’s bad enough that readers find pirated copies of our books and buy them, often unwittingly.  But if the largest search engine company in the world refuses to block access to these illegal sites . . . well, as Richard Curtis says, game over.  We can’t possibly survive.

If you use Google, please find another search engine.  There are tons of them out there.  If you can buy products by linking to them through Yahoo, or Bing, or any other engine, please do.  Switch from Google Chrome to Firefox or some other browser.  This is serious.  If you care about books, if you know anyone who writes for a living, this should matter to you.  And the only way to get through to a mercenary like Eric Schmidt is to hit him in the wallet.  The future of publishing, of writing, of books in any format, is at stake.

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, and Edmund Schubert, among others. The post is called “Back to Basics, part VIII: Opening Lines,” and it’s about different ways of starting a book or story. I hope you enjoy it.

The wonderful Alethea Kontis has been conducting interviews with Magical Words personnel all week at her LiveJournal site.  For those of you who don’t know her, Alethea is a terrific writer and one of my very favorite people, which actually tells you very little about her — just trust me:  you want to read her blog and you need to check out her work.  Anyway, today is my day in the Kontis Hot Seat.  So check out the interview here.

A Good Writing Day

May 11, 2011

Following up on my Magical Words post from Monday (“Back to Basics, part VII:  Anatomy of a Butt-Kicking”)…

The butt being kicked that I referenced in the title was my own, and it was being kicked by the book I’m working on right now.  I was inspired to write that post by a friend here in town who mentioned that it might be helpful for aspiring writers to hear that those of us who do this professionally struggle mightily now and again.  Perhaps even more often than that.  (I should also note that this follow-up was inspired by another friend who noticed that I’ve been neglecting my blogs a bit in recent weeks.  Thank you, Jen.  Truly.)

The fact is, I struggle with my writing all the time.  Writing is hard.  This is one of the reasons I don’t buy into the idea of “Writer’s Block.”  The entire notion of writer’s block assumes that writing should be a smooth, fairly easy process, one that doesn’t include times when we struggle, when we stare at a blank screen for hours on end without getting anything done, when we backtrack a hundred times trying to get a passage or scene or character sketch just right.  Writing isn’t seamless.  It is always a struggle.  Sure, there are times when things come a bit more easily than others.  But it’s never easy.  If it was, everyone would do it.  What some people call writer’s block, I call writing.  The process isn’t pretty; it’s uneven, it’s bumpy, it’s messy.  That’s part of it’s glory.

There are several reasons why this current book is kicking my butt.  I won’t go into them all here — you can read the Magical Words post for that.  But the key reason, the one that has me reeling, is the last one I mention — life’s distractions.  Writing is particularly hard to do when other issues intrude on our creativity.  Life is complicated and messy and bumpy; it’s a lot like writing in that way.  (Or writing is a lot like it.  Whatever.)  I think it’s fair to say that this is true of any profession.  But what sets writing apart, what convinced me to revisit the issue today with this post, is that writing allows us to turn the tables on life.  If anything, my life has grown more distracting and difficult in just the few days since I wrote about my butt being kicked.  But I decided today that I was tired of being beaten up by my work.  And so I took those distractions and the emotions they churned up, and I channeled them into my work.  As it happens, my two main characters are having a rough time of it right now, and so the emotions with which I’m grappling weren’t all that different from the ones they were experiencing.

I had a good writing day today.  I got through a scene with which I’d been struggling.  I finished a chapter and passed the 30,000 word mark in the manuscript.  All good things.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t struggle again tomorrow.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t get my butt kicked again in the coming days.  That’s the nature of this beast I call a career.  But I feel like I’ve taken control of my creative process again, and that’s put a smile on my face.

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, and Edmund Schubert, among others. The post is called “Back to Basics, part VII: Anatomy of a Butt-Kicking,” and it’s about issues I’ve having with my current work-in-progress. I hope you enjoy it.

My friend Mindy Klasky, who is a fellow SFNovelists author and a regular guest writer at Magical Words, has started a new enterprise at her web site.  She is releasing a brand new book in serialized form, one chapter at a time. The book is called Fright Court, and quite frankly it sounds like tremendous fun.  The first chapter of the book can be found here.  And for those of you with a little time on your hands, you might want to check out her Cupcake Quiz (apparently cupcakes figure prominently in the story).  For what it’s worth, I am a “White Hot Chili Pepper Cupcake.”  Please visit her sites and tell her that David sent you!

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, and Edmund Schubert, among others. The post was actually written by writer/editor Joshua Palmatier, today’s Magical Words special guest. I hope you enjoy it.

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