A couple of writerly friends and I are getting together to study the mystery form. One of them has a friend who teaches a course in mystery writing, who gave us some materials to read. Then we are going to all read the same mystery and get together next week to discuss. Sounds like fun, as well as educational!
So book 1 is off to the publisher and book 2 is due in a year. I have it basically plotted, but want to do more detailed plotting now, so I reviewed the material I have in preparation for nailing it down. I hope to have enough done so I can dictate scenes while I go on a 10-day motorcycle trip in July.
I love working with Laksa media! I know this is not required by publishers, but Lucas is fantastic in sharing his thoughts about the covers for my books. I have seen the general idea for all 7 books and a draft of the first book and I am blow away! The colors are vibrant, the silhouettes signal action/adventure, the imposition of scenery in the background gives the cover texture, sweep, and an epic feel, and the composition swirls. There will be more fine tuning to come, but the concept is super cool!
Well, the flights and hotels are booked, and I registered for Can*Con.
The Can*Con trip will be the book launch tour for The Sum of Us and includes a launch at the Merrill in Toronto October 11, and the launch at Can*Con in Ottawa October 13 – 15. I hope to be on programming there. Will be great!
The Halcon trip, Sept 22-24 is to attend the Aurora awards, but I haven’t bought a membership yet, as it looks more like a media/costuming/gaming con and there’s no information yet on programming (and won’t be until August). Also, the weekend passes are sold out, so I might just do a Saturday (though there are only a few of those left, so I should decide). The other option is to do Barcon, which might work out the best.
Got to see Rob, Adrienne and a bunch of Calgary folk, as well as meet some new writers at the Rocky Mountain Writers’ Retreat. Great fun and very productive–revised a short story.
Novel is due this week. Just doing the final read-through. There will still be edits after the publisher gets his hands on it, of course, but I want it to be the best I can make it right now.
So, my fourth Aurora nomination–this one as editor. Strangers Among Us is up for Best Related Work. Some stiff competition. Four out of six short stories nominated are from Strangers. AND, Samantha Beiko is nominated for our cover art, which is awesome. But again, the field, in all categories is pretty intimidating. There is no guessing who will win in any of the categories.
The Nebulas Conference in Pittsburgh was, as always, fantastic. This conference takes the best of all the other conferences, and pares it away to the 200 people you most want to network with and learn from. Programming is for the professional. And, at the awards ceremony, good friends David Levine won the Norton for best YA novel, and William Ledbetter won for best novelette.
Today, I attended ARWA’s 30th anniversary and was a judge for their short story contest. As there weren’t enough entries to pick a top 3, I simply gave each of them a critique and did a public critique emphasizing the positives. They gave me lunch and an honorarium, AND a cheque to support the Robin Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest! In addition, there were belly dancers, and Mayor Nenshi spoke. A great meeting!
So the novel revision plan is done and I am checking out the scene-and-sequence chunks. I don’t have a word count (I plan to add about 4-5 more scenes, and cut some scenes) but I’m pretty sure I have to do some serious cutting–pretty much all of it in Act I. So my big focus is on…FOCUS! Am I being efficient in moving the story along without sacrificing the key details that keep the reader grounded in the world, especially in the opening when understanding characters, plot motivations and politics, and critical bits of the world (like the magic system, for instance), are critical. Yep, I’m finding repetition. There are places to cut.