Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another review for The Sixth Discipline

The Android Dreamer blog posted an interesting review of The Sixth Discipline. Writer/blogger/editor Matt Heckler rated it as B- because it was too much of a romance for him, but he thought it was very well done. In fact, he said he was “thoroughly impressed with the quality of writing.” Hard to complain about that!

The Android Dreamer blog focuses on reviews of science fiction books, both traditional and self-published, and a few interviews, and it's very nicely organized. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another guest blog post

Today I am guest blogging over at the Kindle Obsessed site, which features reviews, interviews, and articles about all things Kindle, including (naturally) ebooks!  My post is about why there are so many errors in ebooks, and you should check it out if you are interested.

While you are there, you can check out some of the other posts and even read some book reviews if you're interested in finding something new to read.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A very mixed review

Well, The Sixth Discipline got a new review, but it wasn't quite the rave an author hopes for. The Sift Reviews site gave it three out of five stars, which doesn't bother me—much—as they're pretty tough graders, but I do wish I knew what things the reviewer saw as grammatical errors. Still, they liked the characters and the story line. Check out Sift Reviews  if you're interested in self-published spec fic.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Totally unrelated but too cute not to pass on

We humans tend to think we're unique in the animal kingdom, and in some ways we are.  But this video of an otter juggling a rock shows that we're not the only animal that gets bored and looks for ways to amuse ourselves. Aside from that, it is cute as all get out. Who doesn't love otters?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tribes is taking shape

I got Tribes back from the copyeditor and I'm making my revisions now.  I hate that part of the process!  The thing is, the copyeditor points out things that aren't clear or plot points that seem inconsistent.  It's a lot like having a physical; just because it's good for you doesn't make it fun.

The cover is by a different artist, and that's taking longer than expected, so it's not a problem that it's taking me so long to get through the manuscript. But in a few weeks, I hope to post a link for a new book.  This one is not in any way connected to the Haven stories except that it's in the same universe.  But unlike Haven, the colony on Mariposa has been rediscovered by the outside universe.  And since Mariposa was founded by violent criminals, the world has some interesting customs.

For Hob, the protagonist, the problem is that when your tribe is everything, having no tribe means you have nothing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Safe Haven was listed in Locus Online!

I don't know why they didn't list The Sixth Discipline— possibly it was published too early in the year— but Locus, the trade magazine for speculative fiction, did list No Safe Haven as part of their new feature that lists novels published as ebooks. The listing very nicely does include the fact that the book is a sequel to The Sixth Discipline, and it has the Amazon link for that book, too, which is great.

If you have recently published a novel that is either science ficiton, fantasy, or horror, you can let Locus Online know by sending email to Please note that they want books that are only available in ebook form rather than those that are also printed.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Snark Down Under

The Sydney Morning Herald has a blog post that irked me. The author of the post "A Tale of Two Books" is John Birmingham, an Australian writer who has published a variety of books, including techno-thrillers and science fiction.  He appears to be the Herald's resident geek, but he writes this post as the expert on book publishing. He begins by lauding his editors, who spend months getting his books into a fit state to be published; he then states that this process is why books cannot be expected to cost only 99¢. His explanation for why there are so many self-published ebooks that cost 99¢?

"The reason? They were unpublishable. Their books were so bad that even the best editors could make nothing of them."
This strikes me as more than a tad judgmental. He is assuming a) that all self-published ebooks priced at 99¢ are self-published only after having been rejected by every editor in the book biz, and b) that they are all rejected for the same reason. 

This is simply not so. I am not saying that there are not thousands of self-published ebooks that are terrible, I'm saying this guy can't know what he's talking about because he assumes uniformity where none exists. Self-published books may have a higher rate of bad writing than traditionally published books, but they are not all at the same level, anymore than traditionally published books are. 

Nor do editors always reject books only because they think they are badly written. Book editors buy what they think will sell.  Award winning writer Ursula K LeGuin has kindly published the rejection letter she got when her agent submitted The Left Hand of Darkness. Clearly, that editor did not think the book would sell (it won the Hugo and the Nebula and it's still in print after 40 years!). 

Birmingham also pays no attention to the postings of Joe Konrath and other writers about how they have experimented with the prices of their books and found they often make more money with lower priced books than with higher priced books.

So, color me snarky. This guy ticked me off!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I published a very, very short story!

Author S. J. Rozan, who writes the wonderful Lydia Chin/Bill Smith mysteries has a feature on her website called Six Word Stories, based on the Hemingway premise that it only takes six words to tell a story.  His famous example is “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.”  

Check out this entry and note the author's name!  Okay, now that you've read mine, you can check out some of the other ones. They vary as to focus/genre, but they all highlight that brevity does work well in delivering a punch.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In case you haven't noticed. . .

I have revamped this website! I added some tabs so the information you might need to find, like how to contact me, or the links for my books. I am still learning what the software can do, so I may tweak the design even more, especially after I publish more books.

Meanwhile, have a look around. Make yourself at home!