Mar 30, 2004

unemployed and unpublished

Firstly, I was accepted into the 2004 Odyssey Writing Workshop! It's a six week program that takes place from June to July in Manchester, New Hampshire. That happens to be near where I grew up, which is just a coincidence...anyhow, I'm really excited about this, because the guest lecturers include George R.R. Martin (one of my favorite fantasy authors) and Gardner Dozois (the editor of Asimov's SF Magazine).

My job hunt continues, but I've picked up some freelance work animating sprites for a GBA game. It's fun!

COMING SOON on my website: Love Advice from Mack Master Sugar Batter! This guest columnist is *not me* (I feel the need to stress that), but she will have a section HERE. Send your questions and pleas for relationship advice to Sugar Batter!

Also, I've added some new illustrations to The Illusionist, and I plan to add more when I have time.

I'm writing a screenplay about sentient alien parasites that possess a group of human scientists. It's sort of a cross between Alien and Resident Evil. This will be my first feature length screenplay, and my goal is to have it finished by May.

My two completed, ready-to-go novels are currently in the slush piles at Baen Books, and Mundania Press. Reply times are four months at Mundania, and over a year at Baen, so I won't know if I'm rejected or accepted for quite a while. Unfortunately, the odds of being published in print are piled against new authors. Most publishers (even major ones) only publish one or two new authors per year, and they get thousands of submissions. And there's a nasty catch-22: In order to get noticed by a publisher, you usually need an agent, but in order to get an agent, it seems that you need to have a contract with a publisher. Genre fiction is a hard field to break into.

If you're wondering what my track record for these novels is so far, here it is:
  • I've been unable to get an agent to so much as read the first three chapters of either novel. I think the problem is either a poor synopsis, a lack of impressive writing credits, or a lack of connections.
  • The Illusionist has been rejected from LTDBooks and Renaissance e-Books. LTDBooks offered a little bit of feedback with their rejection.
  • Baen Books is the first publisher that will ever see Yeresunsa Book 1: The Nameless...provided they actually see it, of course, and don't lose the manuscript or chuck it into the trash without reading it. Yes, I have fears about that. Of course, I won't find out until mid-2005, and I can't submit it elsewhere until then.

What else...? Hmm. Short stories. I've written a few more, and I'm finally starting to like doing it, a little. I still prefer epic novels (both reading and writing), so short fiction is really hard for me. It's literally harder for me to write a good 5,000 word story than a well-plotted 150,000 word novel! What is my problem? Anyway, I'm pleased to report that I've had a story accepted for publication in Deep Magic. This is a really nice genre e-zine; well above standard, in my opinion. And I formed that opinion long before they accepted my story. :-)

I will be attending the 2004 World Fantasy Convention in Tempe, Arizona, this October. Look for me there! Okay, so maybe you won't be there...(or maybe you will; if so, I'm the redhead carrying a notebook portfolio)...but I'll write an update on how it goes. This is my first writing-oriented convention, and I have nothing notable published yet. Scary!

So, that's the end of my news. The weather is getting nice and hot here. I have my first sunburn of the season. I will continue to whittle through my backlog of emails, job hunt, prepare for Odyssey and conventions and other stuff, and write that screenplay. Oh yeah, and finish updating The Wheel of Time section before Robert Jordan writes the next book.

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