Release, Announcement, And MidCareer Advice

First the news, then the links!

* We’re coming up on the release of the third Strange Angels book, Jealousy, next week. I’ve heard from a few people who have already scored copies; my fingers are crossed. I hope you guys like this one. My pre-release jitters are in full swing.

* I’ve been calming those jitters by climbing somewhat obsessively. I am now getting consistently to the top of 5.9s without getting so hashed I can’t cling at the end of the ascent. Climbing is a blessed relief for me, because once I’m on the wall I’m not thinking about anything other than the rest of the route. My busy brain stops eating itself, and that’s damn near priceless.

* But the BIG NEWS is something I can finally announce after sitting on it for literally MONTHS. I am really, really excited.

Longtime readers may remember a little story I called (very tongue in cheek) Weasel Boy. The title morphed to Carcajou, but I was overruled. I’m pleased and proud to report that Weasel Boy will now see the light of day as Taken, a Harlequin Nocturne coming out in February ’11. More details and links as soon as I get them, but I am so happy to be able to announce this. You just don’t know. This is one of my very favorite stories, and it’s a pretty gentle one (for me). I loved having the chance to play with the kind of were-animals I always wanted to read about!

That’s the news. Now the links!

* Writers talk about toiling on content farms. Eye-opening, and the bit about how you shouldn’t trust EHow.com is…well. Thought-provoking. To say the least.

* Io9′s Words to live by: Advice from 34 sci-fi and fantasy authors. Some great stuff in here, including a few that made me giggle like a little girl.

* The most interesting thing today I’ve seen is Tobias Buckell’s post on mid-career advice for writers.

The audience changes. For one, the aspiring authors, whether they realize it or mean to do it, start pushing back. If you start thinking out loud about problems they wish they had, there gets to be a certain tension. I full on encountered this when I had just finished my first novel. At a con a dear friend (and to this day still a dear friend and someone I respect a great deal) had asked what the toughest part writing this novel was. I’d responded that I’d just become noticed enough that halfway through I got asked to write two short stories, and paused the book to do so. My friend responded, ‘wow, I wish I had that kind of problem.’ At the time it was a punch to the gut, because I really wanted to struggle through talking about the difficulty of saying ‘no’ to opportunities I’d never had before, but then how it had killed momentum on the book and how hard it was to juggle what needed to be done, versus new chances. It’s a problem I still haven’t fully figured out. But it was clear that my privilege in having this tough choice mean I couldn’t clearly talk this out easily as I had when talking about beginner issues. (Tobias Buckell)

I’m struggling a little with this too, mostly when it comes to the Friday writing posts. Sometimes i feel like I’ve said everything helpful or useful that I can about writing, and that nobody wants to hear me go on and on like a cranky old lady about the same old things. I always seem to find something to say, but I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing, you dig?

The advice one can give and the problems one is working on are different at each stage, and I’m not sure just how much people are interested in hearing about deadline woes or the nuts and bolts of publishing. Some people seem fascinated, others just shrug and say “whatevah.” Plus, I come to writing as a working writer, someone whose bills don’t get paid if she doesn’t produce. My advice may not work for any number of people who come to writing as a hobby, or a Pristine Arte, or what-have-you. In gearing myself so specifically, I sometimes wonder if I’m running the risk of only speaking to a fraction of the people who wonder about what it’s like to write every. damn. day.

Speaking of which, I’ve got wordcount to grind out. More coffee, she cries. Into the breach! Make those characters sorry they were ever hatched!

And, um, let’s hope I can find a subject for tomorrow’s Friday writing post…:P

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