Critique, Alpha Read or Beta – Which Is What?

Here’s a little tease for you of the cover of UNDER A WINTER SKY – the midwinter holiday anthology I’m doing with, well, as you can see! Kelley ArmstrongMelissa Marr and L. Penelope. An amazing lineup and a seriously gorgeous cover. Look for the reveal on Tuesday, September 22 on FrolicPreorder links are here. 

Also, I’m super excited to be doing this online event “at” Love’s Sweet Arrow bookstore with my brilliant author friends Maria Vale, Amanda Bouchet, and Kait Ballenger. Danielle Dresser, Editorial Manager for Fresh Fiction will moderate. Join us on Saturday, September 26, at 3pm ET for fun conversation! You can register here. 

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is: How do you define Critique Partners, Alpha Readers, and Beta Readers?

I think this was my topic suggestion because I was sincerely interested in everyone’s definitions. Seriously, I feel like writers use these terms very differently depending on the person. Come on over for my take. 

The Best Title That Never Was

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week concerns the reality of having to change names. We’re asking the crew if they’ve ever had to change the name(s) of a character or place in a book after we’d drafted it? Who is the character who will forever go by their “unpublished” name in our minds?

For me, it wasn’t a character. But I will tell you about the title I wish I hadn’t changed. 

Feeding the Creative Subconscious with Beauty

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is inspiration. What other media inspires us: fandom, music, photography, paintings?

For me, the answer is pretty much yes. But today I’m talking about visual art and the effect of beauty. Come on over for more. 

Grabbing Those Great Ideas

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is all about Ideas. How do you write down or remember those great ideas that you get mid-shower/dream/car drive? If you lose them, how do you get them back?

It’s funny this came up now because I talked about this very thing on my podcast, First Cup of Coffee, just recently – and even commented that I liked what I’d talked through so much that I should transcribe it. So this gave me the impetus to do that – and edit the transcription, which is the time-consuming part.  Come on over for more!

Naming Fantasy Characters, Places, and Things

The upside of me not being in San Diego on June 1 is that my event at Mysterious Galaxy will be available to all of you via Zoom! Would love if you all joined in!

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is Names: What’s your favorite source/method for naming your characters, places, etc? Come on over to learn my secrets.

THE FIERY CROWN today at GRRM’s Beastly Books!


Check out this super cool video of THE FIERY CROWN from George R.R. Martin’s Beastly Books here in Santa Fe!

This was supposed to be a live event, but it’s virtual now. Instead of a live interview, Melinda Snodgrass, of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, interviewed me via Zoom and we had a great conversation. You can watch it this afternoon at 4pm Mountain Time here. You can also support this wonderful local indie bookstore by ordering a signed copy of THE FIERY CROWN from them – plus get it well before the May 26 release date! (Or you can preorder via the links below.)

Afterward, I’ll be doing a Facebook Live *and* Instagram Live Q&A. Look for me on Facebook or Instagram, according to your preference. I’ll be on once the Beastly Book event ends, around 5pm Mountain Time.

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is “Updated writing tools/apps – what’s new and different in your writing world.” My answer? Umm… nothing? I’m pretty happy with my current system, which I’ve been using for years now. I write in Word, track everything on my own spreadsheets I’ve meticulously retooled in Excel, and I save everything in Dropbox. It works well for me and I see no reason to add more “tools.” Come on over for my (non-) answer!

 

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Do You Knit… or WEAVE?

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is… knitting? Did our calendar guru pick this for Mother’s Day week, or is it a coincidence?

Anyway, it’s not the knitting you think. (Or not the knitting *I* thought.) We’re asking each other if we write scenes piece by piece and knit them together, or if we have ever had to knit-in scenes? Come over to find out how I handle this. 

The Freedom of Being a Hybrid Author

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is “Choosing your freedom – Traditional or Self-Publishing?” We’ve been asked which freedom we picked: the freedom to write without getting into the business side or the freedom to control it all? I bet you know what my answer is…