Tuesday, September 11, 2012

RMFW Conference Wrap-up, and Tainted City news

Before anything else I just have to share: as of today, The Tainted City is in stock on Amazon!  Yes, that's right, IN STOCK. Now. RIGHT NOW. Holy crap! I mean, the early ship date isn't totally unexpected...as I recall, last year The Whitefire Crossing shipped from Amazon about 2 weeks early...but still. Yow.  I can't quite wrap my head around the idea that the book I spent so many late nights writing this past year is heading out to readers' hands at last.  (You guys, I am *dying* to know what you think, whether good or bad!)

(Just to clarify, it's only the print version of Tainted City that's going to be available so early.  For whatever reason, Amazon ships print books the minute they hit their warehouses, but the ebooks never become available until the official release date.  Don't ask me why this is.  The ways of publishing are byzantine and mysterious.)

Of course, this past weekend some folks got their hands on copies even earlier...because I attended the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers "Colorado Gold" conference, and participated in the conference book sale.  (I brought about ten copies of The Tainted City and sold all of 'em.  Including one to a very kind, very well-meaning gentleman who first bought The Whitefire Crossing for his fantasy-loving wife and had me sign it to her...only to call her later that evening proud of his purchase, and find out that he'd already bought a signed copy of Whitefire for her at the conference last year, and she wanted the sequel!  I signed the sequel for him and promised his wife in the message that I'd make sure not to sell another copy of Tainted City to him next year, haha.)

I owe a lot to RMFW. I met my agent-to-be at the very first RMFW conference I attended (back in 2008), and got invited to join a critique group that made a world of difference to my writing.  (Thanks to what I learned from their critique of Whitefire's original draft, I was able to rewrite it to publishable quality and get my book deal.)  I can't say enough about how wonderful an organization RMFW is, full of helpful, kind, generous people who bend over backward to help new writers. 

Group shot of my critique group (all 6 of us attended this year's RMFW conference). Front row: me, Catherine Montrose (a.k.a. Catherine Cooke), Carol Berg.  Back row: Curt Craddock, Susan Smith (a.k.a. Mackay Wood), Brian Tobias.  Without these people, The Whitefire Crossing would never have gotten published.
This was my fifth year in a row attending the RMFW conference, and I had just as good a time as ever.  I'll confess I spent much of the time in the hotel lobby bar hanging out and talking to fellow writers as opposed to attending workshops (though I did attend some, I swear!).  These days as a parent I get so few opportunities for uninterrupted adult conversation that I snatch at the chance whenever I can, heh!  And in truth I find talking to other writers about craft and story ideas just as inspiring as attending formal workshops.  When I ran out of social steam (as often happens during a conference, since I'm an introvert), I happily took myself off to a secluded corner of the hotel and did some plot noodling for The Labyrinth of Flame (the third and final book in the Shattered Sigil series, which I'm about to start work on.) 

At a conference dinner with Susan Smith, Curt Craddock, and Carol Berg.  Note the evil little smile on Curt's face. He is making up yet another horrendously groan-inducing, insanely clever simile to reclaim his title as champion of the RMFW simile contest.
This year was extra fun since those of us in my critique group got to cheer on one of our members: Carol Berg, who was voted RMFW's Writer of the Year for 2012.  (Carol's been one of my writer-heroines ever since I first stumbled across a copy of one of her novels in the library, many years ago.  She writes absolutely terrific epic fantasy - if you haven't tried her work, you are totally missing out.  Still can't believe how lucky I am to be in a critique group with her!)  Carol gave a lovely speech at the opening dinner - and later, on her Writer of the Year panel, she Told All in response to the moderator's questions, including 'fessing up to the TV show that is her guiltiest pleasure.  (Which turned out to be quite a few other writers' guilty pleasure as well!  What is it?  My lips are sealed...) 

Carol giving the conference's opening speech
Oh yes, and while driving to and from the conference, I took the chance to check out the brand-new audiobook version of The Whitefire Crossing.  I'm gonna do a post later this week talking in more detail about the audiobook experience, but the short version is: hearing my book read aloud was both utterly cool and extremely weird, all at the same time!  (The narrator, Andy Caploe, does a great job.  Especially with Dev.) 

So all in all, a lovely weekend, and now I get a break before heading back out on the con circuit in late October for MileHiCon and World Fantasy.  Time to plan a peak climb, I think...September is a gorgeous month for the mountains in Colorado.  And in the meantime, I'll be holding my breath as The Tainted City makes its way into the big wide world.  Will you like it?  I'm anxious to find out!   


  1. Awesome award for Carol Berg, and about your critique group, that's one thing I noticed about Whitefire - all the people listed in the Acknowledgments.

    And a title reveal as well!

    1. Oh yes, the critique group features heavily in the Tainted City acknowledgements also. (With Whitefire, at least they got to critique chapters from a wholly written, partially-revised book. Working to deadline on Tainted City, I had to hand out chapters so horrifically rough-drafty that I cringe just thinking about it. The more of a mess a chapter is, the harder it is to give any useful feedback - yet still, they managed, because they are just that awesome.)

      A sort of title reveal! The book 3 title's just a working title, so may very well get changed. But I decided to put it up on my website anyway. After all, I want people to know there *is* a book 3 coming! :)

  2. The similie in question: Bob and Sue were unclear on the particulars of reproduction, like the couple who adopted a highway because they couldn't have one naturally.

    1. I still say the one that ends in "Bad Dog!" is your crowning masterpiece. :)

    2. Yeah, that one is proving hard to top.