Tag Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post: Writing the Monster by Scott Oden

21 Jun

When Thomas Hobbes called the life of a man “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”, he could easily have been referring to the life of an Orc. Since their humble beginnings as song-croaking goblins in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, these dim-witted, often Cockney-speaking brutes have grown well beyond the Professor’s intent; they have seized a place of their own in the annals of Fantasy. While some fans will never see them as anything other than sword fodder and servants of this Dark Lord or that, others have embraced them as noble savages, maligned and misunderstood – and worthy of their own books.

Long have I pondered the question of how mere spear-carriers in the epic drama of Tolkien’s legendarium captured the imaginations of so many readers.  Continue reading

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Guest Post: Switching Between Lanes, by Stephanie Burgis

17 May

I think that every writer who’s ever read publishing advice online has probably come across at least one article on the importance of “branding.” Apparently, to be really smart, writers ought to be figuring out the one thing that they’re best at — or the one thing that connects the most with potential readers — and then sticking to it no matter what, so that fans will know exactly what they’ll get from every new novel by that author.

I know I sound a little snarky in that description, but I’m actually not arguing with it as a strategy. I’m sure that it is a smart, practical way to build a successful career.

Unfortunately, I’ve never been much good at sticking to my own lane. There are too many wonderful genres that I love as a reader, and I get frustrated whenever I try to shut out all but one of them in my writing life. Before I sold my first books, I published dozens of adult f/sf short stories, and I drafted full-length novels for both adults and kids. Then my first agent, back in 2005, took me on with an adult historical fantasy manuscript, and it felt like my first big step onto the publishing ladder. Aha! I’m almost there! Continue reading

My Superpower: Daniel Ionson

17 Dec

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Daniel Ionson to talk about how his power of making nothing happen relates to After Life.

After Life by Daniel Ionson

After Life by Daniel Ionson

In the game of Paper-Rock-Scissors, my superpower trumps all of the Supermen, X-Men, Whatever-Men, every time… in the most boring way possible. It’s the “Non-Event Sphere.” Wherever I go, there, nothing happens.

How did I get such a plain cheese-sandwich superpower? Because the Universe and I made a pact: I decided that I was willing to forgo anything like an “adventurous life” so long as I can have an entire expanding series of multiverses in my head. Continue reading

My Superpower: Michael J. Martinez

13 Dec

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Michael J. Martinez to talk about how his super-powered burrowing writer-mind relates to The Gravity of the Affair.

The Gravity of the Affair by Michael J. Martinez

The Gravity of the Affair by Michael J. Martinez

The scene:  a typical weekend, with my daughter and her friends running about the house, doing the inexplicable, strange and occasionally cute things girls do. My wife is reading. I’m in my favorite chair, laptop on lap, fingers flying through The Gravity of the Affair, my novella set in the Known Worlds of the Daedalus series. A ship is under attack by unknown privateers. Alchemical cannon fire lances through the Void into wooden hulls, Continue reading

My Superpower: Stina Leicht

17 Sep

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Stina Leicht to talk about how being meticulous, overly analytical, and sensitive relates to her work.

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There should probably be a sign hung over this post that reads, Don’t Try This At Home, Kids…

Frankly, I’m not sure I’d call any quality I have a ‘super power.’ (Well, other than the ability to find a goth outfit in any store.) I’m a ball of positive and negative traits that constantly war with one another–in short, I’m a human being. As luck would have it, that happens to work in my favor from time to time. My husband loves to call me a ‘method writer.’ He does this primarily when I rush outside after an ice storm[1] and tramp around in the thin layer of snow with my head tilted like the Victor dog, Nipper. Dane loves to shout, “Remember your coat!” because half the time I’m so wrapped up in capturing the experience that I forget silly little things like self-preservation. It’s why, when I took rally racing lessons as part of my research for Of Blood and Honey and its sequel And Blue Skies from Pain, he made me promise not to race on the track with other drivers.[2] When I broke my arm in Kung Fu class last summer, my biggest thought was, So, this is what it feels like. How much does it hurt? What can’t I do? What can I do? Why do I know something is wrong? How long does it take for the Continue reading

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