Thursday, April 25, 2013

Women in SFF Month

A quickie post while traveling, because I realized I hadn't yet highlighted something I find really cool: Fantasy Book Cafe is celebrating "Women in SFF" all this month with a whole slew of guest posts from authors and bloggers (including such luminaries as Patricia McKillip, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jacqueline Carey).  I contributed a post talking about some of my favorite female-authored SFF novels from the 1980s and 1990s - books that influenced me deeply and that I'd love for more people to discover and enjoy, so please, head on over and check them out.  Oh, and as part of the fun, Renay of LadyBusiness blog is asking for everyone's top 10 female-authored SFF novels - at the end of the month, she'll collate them all and share the list.  I've gotta say, it's pretty darn hard for me to narrow it down to 10 books...I might have to cheat and go for my top 10 series rather than top 10 novels!  

A few more tidbits of news:
  • The Tainted City got a wonderful review from Bibliotropic - reminding me that I don't care how crazy the business side of publishing gets; so long as people out there are enjoying my books, it's all worth it!
  • The Whitefire Crossing got a review recently from Elitist Book Reviews that I found very interesting, because it shows just how deeply an audiobook narrator can affect a listener's experience of a story.
  • Another review for Whitefire from Obligated to Exaggerate
  • If you haven't checked out all the cool posts over at BookSworn by my fellow authors on objects that reveal their worlds, you should! Lots of fascinating stuff there.
And because it's Thursday where I am, here's a wilderness picture to finish things off:

The "Devil's Coach House", in Jenolan Caves

Friday, April 19, 2013

Climb the Mountains and Get Their Good Tidings

What a crazy week. I can't report anything more on the fate of the first two Shattered Sigil books, since nothing is resolved yet.  In the grand scheme of things that means little, especially in comparison to the disasters in Boston and Texas, for which I don't even have any words.  Yet being a Type A sort of person, I've spent way more mental energy on the books' situation than I'd like (or than I should, most probably).  Fortunately, I've got a great way to clear my head. To quote John Muir,

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

Muir sure knew what he was talking about.  Yesterday I had a lovely day of hiking, so in the interests of sharing a little of nature's bounty, here are a few pics from my quest to achieve inner peace.  (A more or less successful quest!  While I might not have achieved zen calm, I am at least now feeling ready to properly focus again on writing book 3 without wasting time worrying over 1 and 2.) Bonus points to anyone who can guess from the pics exactly where I was hiking.  Shouldn't be too hard, since the rock formation featured below is an iconic landmark...

Morning mist makes for some nifty "cloud waterfalls"
Similar view a bit later in the day, after the mist cleared.  Back in 1997, my husband and I did a wonderful multi-pitch rock climb up the middle pillar. Sadly, rock climbing isn't allowed anymore.  But there is much excellent hiking!

Panoramic view.  Wish I had audio as well as a picture of this so you could hear all the birdsong drifting up from the trees.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Update on The Labyrinth of Flame (Shattered Sigil, #3)

Last week some dismaying news hit the interwebs: Night Shade Books (publisher of The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City) is imploding.  There's the possibility of a deal that could allow two other publishers to buy out the contracts of Night Shade authors that agree to the transfer, but if that falls through, bankruptcy filing and the resultant legal mess is a likely outcome.  (For a thorough analysis of how and why NS is imploding, see this excellent article by Justin Landon over at Staffer's Book Review.)  Ever since the news went public, I've been getting concerned emails and DMs and the like from people wanting to know: what will happen to The Labyrinth of Flame?

I've got good news: this won't affect Labyrinth.  Night Shade doesn't own the rights to the book; my original contract was only for 2 books plus an option on a third.  (For those not familiar with publishing lingo, an option just means they have right of first refusal: I'm supposed to give them a contractually-specified number of days to make an offer on the book, and then if they do offer in that time, say yes or no to that offer before I (or rather, my agent) could shop the book elsewhere.)  So it doesn't matter what happens - if NS files bankruptcy, Labyrinth will not be part of the ensuing mess.  (Unlike the first two Shattered Sigil books, alas.)  Likely in that situation I would just do a kickstarter to try and cover production costs, and put Labyrinth out myself (in both print and ebook form).  A hell of a lot of work, but I'm certainly willing to tackle it if that's the only way to get the book into reader's hands.  So fear not! Dev and Kiran's story will have a proper ending.

As for what's going to happen to the first 2 books: that, I don't know yet.  But thank God for my wonderful agent.  Instead of freaking out from stress, I got to dump this entire mess into her capable hands and have an awesome day teaching my son how to boogie board:

Here comes a wave! Ready...set....




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Want to read a deleted scene from The Whitefire Crossing?

Then head on over to BookSworn, where I talk about an outrider's most vital possession, and share a deleted scene from and early draft of The Whitefire Crossing to illustrate its use.

(The scene originally took place right after Kiran's near-disastrous encounter with the drover-who-would-in-later-drafts-become-Pello, at Ice Lake.  I'm sure you'll be able to tell why I cut the scene: it's all about the mountaineering, and not about the tension. :)  But I did later use a reworked version of it in The Tainted City - yet another reason why it's good to always, always keep a "cut scenes" file and never truly delete words!)

And to further illustrate the glissade in yon deleted scene, I offer these photos:

Ascending a snow slope near Navajo Peak with my trusty ice axe

Preparing to glissade! (My hiking partner's glissade track is visible as the long furrow in the snow.)

Zooming down, using the ice axe's base spike as a rudder