a writing contest for Mark Lawrence's Liar's Key and a brief interview with me

I am joining Mark Lawrence, Myke Cole, T.O. Munro, David Jackson, and Marc Aplin (of the Fantasy Faction blog) in judging the Liar's Key Writing Contest. For those of you who follow me on a regular basis, you know I did this last year, which is like last century in Internet time. However, I remember it was a lot of fun so when Mark asked me to participate this year, I didn't hesitate to say yes. Several of the contestants put their best writing chops forward, and after a winner was chosen, we went back and provided a few critiques of the finalists and told them what worked for us and what didn't.

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Where I have been...visiting Mark Lawrence & SFSignal (#SFWApro)

Well, I didn't really go to the UK. It was more of a virtual thing.

I've been using my Tumblr to get word out lately, because my host provider suffered DDoS attacks over the last few weeks. Things seemed to have settled down now, so we'll see how it goes.

In case you missed the Tumblr links, here are a few things that went on in December:

Pat Rothfuss is hosting his annual fund drive for Worldbuilders, and I have donated a signed copy of Miserere and a signed copy of Manifesto: UF, which contains my short story, "Naked the Night Sings." Both of these items are in the Lottery Library. Pat talks about Worldbuilders and how you can donate at his blog.

I visited Mark Lawrence at his blog and talked about how women are marketed differently than men in addition to a lot of other things.

As an addendum to that interview: Someone compared the use of religious iconology in Miserere to Christopher Buehlman's Between Two Fires. Out of curiosity, I got my hands on a copy of Between Two Fires and I am currently reading it (for the record, I am enjoying it immensely). Oddly enough, Buehlman has a child character in his novel and I don't see any YA comparisons being made.

Personally, I think that Buehlman's work is more comparable to my Garden in Umber in respect to the time period, knights, and the use of angelology as a backdrop for the story. Now I'm more convinced than ever that women are expected to write within certain themes and not move outside the YA/PNR spectrum without forfeiting their "marketability."

Speaking of marketability ... my short story "La Santisima" is still free and is now on Goodreads if you want to read it, comment, or rate it. I warn you, though, "La Santisima" is very different than some of my other short stories, so your mileage might vary significantly as to whether or not you like it. It was an interesting exercise for me and I learned a lot by working on it.

The most amazing Sarah Chorn, who hosts the blog Bookworm Blues, also writes a series of posts for SF Signal. Sarah and I traded emails for several weeks and you can see the results of our discussion at her on-going series, Special Needs in Strange Worlds.

I talk about why Glokta is one of my favorite characters and the importance of portraying disabilities realistically in my own stories. It was a fun interview and Sarah is a skilled interviewer.

I'm spending my "vacation" fine-tuning the first part of Cygnet Moon and outlining the last half of the story. The novel is coming along very nicely, and I'm pleased with the tone.

That is all that I have for you now. There will be more fun and games in the New Year, so stay tuned.

My short story Love, Crystal and Stone has been sold

I'm really pleased to announce that my short story, "Love, Crystal and Stone" has been sold to Neverland's Library Anthology. Tad Williams is writing the introduction to this anthology and the collection includes stories by: Mark Lawrence, Marie Brennan, Tim Marquitz, Kenny Soward, William Meikle, Peter Rawlik, Miles Cameron, Betsy Dornbusch, R.S. Belcher, Marcy Rockwell and Jeffrey J. Mariotte, Jeff Salyards, and me.

This is a crowd-sourced project with a portion of the sales going to First Book, a non-profit organization working to provide educational resources and literature for children in impoverished areas across Canada and the US.

Today is the very last day that you can help contribute to this project. Read more about Neverland's Library Anthology and why they chose Indiegogo to crowd-source right here.

Please help us get the word out.

Debut Authorpalooza (2012) & Reddit AMA

I am joining Justin at Staffer's Book Review, along with nine other debut authors for a two week long event of guest posts, prizes, and never-before-seen excerpts from our second novels. It is the Debut Authorpalooza 2012!

The following authors have all volunteered to write a blog post and offer up an excerpt:

Mark Lawrence Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns

Kameron Hurley God's War, Infidel, Rapture 

Elspeth Cooper Songs of the Earth, Trinity Rising

Courtney Schafer The Whitefire Crossing, The Tainted City

Stina Leicht Of Blood and Honey, And Blue Skies From Pain

Mazarkis Williams The Emperor's Knife, Knifesworn

Bradley Beaulieu The Winds of Khalakovo, The Straits of Galahesh

Anne Lyle The Alchemist of Souls, Merchant of Dreams

Doug Hulick Among Thieves, Sworn in Steel

And of course, I'll be there with my blog post and the first chapter of The Garden in its entirety.

We are also participating in a giant AMA on Reddit on July 19, 2012. That's right! Ten authors answering your questions on a Reddit AMA. You can read the intro here. I'll post more links as they become available, but your best bet is to watch Staffer's Book Review for all the details.

So when is your favorite author posting? Justin has the complete schedule here.

It all begins today, July 16, and Justin is kicking off the event with Mark Lawrence ...