Archive for December, 2009

Book Cover Design 101: Unleashing the Monster

Authors are capricious gods. We’re always interfering in the lives of our characters. We hate it when life’s too easy for them. We crave conflict and struggle and whenever the momentum sags, we think: what can I do to really inconvenience my characters? Some authors send for the ex-boyfriend that the heroine never really got […]

When What We Think We Know, Is Actually Wrong

Some years ago a reviewer on took me to task for a blindingly ignorant mistake I had made in my work.  He was disgusted, it seems, by my complete lack of research and knowledge about the military in history.  In either King’s Dragon or Prince of Dogs (volumes 1 & 2, respectively, of the […]

Virgins and whores

I swear I didn’t plan my “pitfalls of writing women” series so I would end up making this post in the Christmas season. But since that’s how it’s fallen out . . . let’s talk about virgins and whores. On the one hand, you have the Madonna, the Virgin Mary, the ideal of womanly goodness. […]

Write What You Like

Sounds like a simple rule, doesn’t it?  But sometimes it’s harder to do than it seems.  People get caught up in what’s selling, in what’s hot.  They try to write for the market instead of writing the story that’s inside them.  I learned that when I tried to write a thriller.  It was the last […]

My Latest Challenge (And Why This Post is so Short)

I don’t have much time or energy for today’s post, and so thought I’d used the post to explain to you exactly why.I have a new writing project, something that is utterly unlike anything I’ve ever done before.  I am writing the novelization for a movie, specifically for the new “Robin Hood” movie coming out in May […]

Sometimes Even Writers Need A Break From Writing

For me this is one of those times. I just got a book series proposal out the door along with the rewritten copy of an old trunk novel, but fundamentally there wasn’t a lot of new writing to be done there, maybe 800 words this week since it was all in polish mode. The main […]

The Power of Nothing

Watched an episode of Torchwood last night (“Out of Time”, for those who want to go back and keep tabs) and I was struck by how this is the SECOND good show on TV to use ‘nothing’ in a way that has a visceral power over people.   In Torchwood, an evil force targets the […]


I’ve always said that NaNoWriMo isn’t for me.  (For those of you still in the dark, NaNoWriMo is fun Internet shorthand for National Novel Writing Month – thousands of brave authors designate November as the month when they’re going to draft a 50,000-word novel, from start to finish.) My concerns about NaNo are legion.  Most […]

Author Information

Chris Dolley

Chris Dolley is an English author of SF mysteries and fun urban fantasies, a pioneer computer games designer, and the man who convinced the UK media that Cornwall had risen up and declared independence. His novel Resonance (2005, Baen) was the first book to be plucked from Baen’s electronic slush pile. He now lives in France with his wife, a dolmen, and a frightening collection of animals. His memoir French Fried (2010, BVC) has just been released. Visit site.

Kate Elliott

Kate Elliott is the author of multiple fantasy and science fiction novels, including the Crown of Stars series and the Novels of the Jaran. She's currently working on Crossroads; the first novel, Spirit Gate, is already out, and Shadow Gate will be published in Spring 2008. Visit site.

Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan is the author of more than forty short stories and seven novels, the most recent of which is the urban fantasy Lies and Prophecy. Visit site.

S.C. Butler

Butler is the author of The Stoneways Trilogy from Tor Books: Reiffen's Choice, Queen Ferris, and The Magician's Daughter. Find out what Reiffen does with magic, and what magic does with him... Visit site.

David B. Coe

David B. Coe ( is the Crawford award-winning author of the LonTobyn Chronicle, the Winds of the Forelands quintet, the Blood of the Southlands trilogy, and a number of short stories. Writing as D.B. Jackson (, he is the author of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a blend of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. David is also part of the Magical Words group blog (, and co-author of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion. In 2010 he wrote the novelization of director Ridley Scott’s movie, Robin Hood. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Visit site.

Kelly McCullough

Kelly McCullough is a fantasy and science fiction author. He lives in Wisconsin with his physics professor wife and a small herd of cats. His novels include the WebMage and Fallen Blade series—Penguin/ACE. His short fiction has appeared in numerous venues including Writers of the Future and Weird Tales. He also dabbles in science fiction as science education with The Chronicles of the Wandering Star—part of an NSF-funded science curriculum—and the science comic Hanny & the Mystery of the Voorwerp, which he co-authored and co-edited—funding provided by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. Visit site.

Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander is a novelist, short story writer and anthologist whose books include High Fantasy ("Hidden Quen""Changer of Days"), historical fantasy ("Secrets of Jin Shei", "Embers of Heaven"), contemporary fantasy ("Midnight at Spanish gardens") and YA (the Worldweavers series, the Were Chronicles). She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two cats. Visit site.

Mindy Klasky

Mindy Klasky is the author of eleven novels, including WHEN GOOD WISHES GO BAD and HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH in the As You Wish Series. She also wrote GIRL'S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT, SORCERY AND THE SINGLE GIRL, and MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL, about a librarian who finds out she's a witch. Mindy also wrote the award-winning, best-selling Glasswrights series and the stand-alone fantasy novel, SEASON OF SACRIFICE. Visit site.



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