The Godparents: Jeffe’s Top Five Influences as a Writer

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is “The Godparents: Your top five influences as a writer.” Come on over to find out mine!

Also, we’re heading into the last week of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Fantasy Storybundle. The theme is “Kickass Heroines” and this is such a kickass collection. I was one of the first to download it, even though my own book is in it, and I’ve read a couple of others. So many fantastic books for an amazing price. 

Three Books I’m Buying My Grandkids

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is three books from our childhood that we still remember fondly and why. This is funny, because I recently brought up the above book – THE ABANDONED by Paul Gallico – as a book I’ve never forgotten, and that I think I might be the only kid on the planet who read it. (Although the Goodreads listing argues otherwise!) Come on over to find out more

In other news, I’m participating in Patrick Rothfuss’s Worldbuilders fundraiser. You can bid to win a critique from me or a Tuckerization in my new series! But there’s only 9 hours left in the auctions as of this posting, so hasten thee over!

Good-bye Anne McCaffrey

Then, as the simple words of interment were spoken, as the atmosphere planes dipped in tribute over the open grave, Helva found voice for her lonely farewell.

Softly, barely audible at first, the strains of the ancient song of evening and requiem swelled to the final poignant measure until the black space itself echoed back the sound of the song the ship sang.

The Ship Who Sang
Anne McCaff

She passed away yesterday, after 85 good years of firing our hearts, minds and imaginations. Sometimes I wonder if anyone realizes how many of us writing fantasy and science fiction with chunks of sex and romance trace our inspiration back to Anne McCaffrey. In some ways I think we’re all still trying to write F’lar and Lessa’s story. Or Helva and Niall’s. Or Sara and Harlan’s.

I’ve blogged about McCaffrey and how much her books meant to me before, so I won’t wax on here.

Yesterday evening, when the news hit and Twitter and Tor posted an In Memoriam shortly thereafter, the entire Tor website crashed from the load. (You can see it now.) As Kev, pointed out, it’s the modern equivalent of turning crowds away from the memorial service. I just love that one of the venerable ladies of SFF and, yes, romance, created such a technological ripple.

All the dragons are lifting their heads to sky and singing the song of mourning today.

Sneaking in the Back Door

When I was a kid, I lived and breathed books. I suspect a lot of us were like that, among my faithful blog-gobblers. I consumed books by shelves and by authors, by topic and genre. Over time, I came to feel like certain authors were my friends. I spent a lot of time in their heads, in their worlds. It’s an illusion, I know, but I think we often come away from reading books feeling a real connection to the author, that they somehow understand us the way no one else ever will.

So, part of this connecting for me was having conversations in my head with these authors. Anne McCaffrey and I talked on and on about her stories. I’d point out little inconsistencies and make suggestions. She, of course, found me brilliant. I fantasized about how we would someday meet, how I’d show up at DragonHollow, help her feed her horses and we’d become instant friends.

This was before I understood the concept of stalking.

Now that I understand that it’s not the best idea to hunt down the writers I love and tell them how to make their amazing books even better, I’ve discovered the back door route: become a writer!

The last several weeks I’ve been privileged to read new books from the fabulous Marcella Burnard and Laura Bickle. As I was reading – and making notes on how to strengthen here and there – I took delight in seeing the little inside jokes from our conversations come out. And here would be the knotty plot problem we’d tossed around in theory and there would be fleeting evidence of my fingerprints – a concept I’d suggested.

And I realized, these authors are totally my friends.

It’s every bit as wonderful as I thought it could be, too.

Does anyone have Anne McCaffrey’s phone number?