What I’m Reading
Drowned Wednesday by Garth Nix – This reads like Alice in Wonderland for a younger audience. Crazy things happen in an unreal world all tied to a human boy who has been chosen as the one to fix everything. It’s fast-paced, full of reluctant choices, and holds together well. Though I enjoyed Nix’s YA voice in Abhorsen, I think his MG voice is actually more my style in this particular moment because there’s a true feeling of the fantastical, more so than in a constructed fantasy world where everything has a logical basis. This novel is crazy, wild, and random…and yet is not so random that I was ever lost. It’s just a fun read.
Veniss Underground by Jeff Vandermeer – This book was written just for me, or so it seems, combining a mystical, philosophical cyberpunk world with a touch of the sapience question and what it means when genetic manipulation removes humanity. These are all elements that have spoken to me a time or two, or three or four. The tone of the novel is surreal, the information offered through a mist where the POV characters can only see as far as they can stretch their hands and yet still strike out as best they can to change what they don’t want to admit is true. Powerful writing that’s very evocative. I don’t think this book is everyone’s cup of tea, and there are many moods when it wouldn’t have called so strongly, but if you’re interested in the test of human psyche, in the way people react when thrust into extreme conditions of civilization, this is a solid contender. The novel itself becomes Living Art, something you’ll understand when you read it.
Author Sally MacKenzie describes her agent quest:
This may be an old article, but Ethan Ellenberg’s advice on finding the right agent still seems true based on my experience so it’s worth checking out:
What authors can expect from their publishers for marketing:
The last two weeks before publication:
Another older article from 2002 on the publishing industry and poor choices. The sad part of it is that the contents are still true today as far as I can tell, except for the reading percentage which is heading up.
Measuring a career:
The agent/author relationship demystified:
A follow up on the concept that there’s more to being a writer than just words:
This truly belongs in science by content, but is most interesting for character creation in my mind. How about those psychopaths?
A take on backstory–how, why, and when to use it.
The cold hard truth about writing for kids:
Human/robot weirdness is not limited to humans. And they are looking at using this research to help treat autism.
A new pterosaur!
Imagine having one of these appear next to you: