Paul Cornell, author of the Shadow Police series (Book 3, Who Killed Sherlock Holmes?, is available now) joins us to discuss his work in TV, comics and fiction. Tangents include conventions, Dracula, British TV and the relationship between fans and creators.
Fellow Viable Paradise XIII alum Julia Rios currently edits poetry and reprints for Uncanny magazine. She’s edited fiction for Strange Horizons and other projects, and she is also a writer and podcaster. She joins us for fascinating discussions of editing and poetry, and even shares an extemporaneous Batman poem! It’s a poetry SLAM BAM POW!
Bram Stoker Award winning author Paul Tremblay scared the hell out of readers with last year’s A Head Full of Ghosts. Prepare for a new scare as Disappearance at Devil’s Rock releases on June 21st. Paul joins the Narrators for an in-depth discussion of his work. And a special surprise appearance frightens the horror master himself!
Bonus mini-interview! Cath cornered James Tiptree, Jr. Award co-winner Eugene Fischer at Wiscon and asked about his award-winning story.
Dan Koboldt is the author of The Rogue Retrieval and also the instigator of #sffpit, one of several novel pitching events on Twitter. Unlike sister events, #sffpit concentrates on genre fiction: science fiction, fantasy and horror. Join us as Dan gives advice and shares insights into the world of pitching, then join the event itself on June 23rd!
We will be posting our show about twitter pitching soon, and we will be eventually doing a show about pitching at conferences with actual, live people. Since you’ll be able to listen to a podcast about that, I thought that maybe now would be the time to transition to talking about self-publishing. But first, a word about rejection.
I have been thinking about rejection because a writing student at my college came to visit me last week, and we talked a lot about trying to publish her novel. She wasn’t obsessed with rejection, but it did come up as a painful thing. How can you avoid it? How can you get used to it?
Both self-publishers and authors who try a more traditional route are going to get rejected. Of course, editors, agents, and publishers will reject someone who sends out queries. How can a self-published writer be rejected? The cruelest cut of all, my friends, by readers. I think that in the case of the traditional route, most of the rejection comes at the beginning of things, and in the case of self-pubbing, when you are at the end of the process, after you have created your work and released it into the world, well, that’s when readers might choose to ignore you.
I have no advice to help you avoid rejection. If someone tells you they do, they are not being honest with you. Every writer at every level gets rejected. Yes, they do. If you throw Stephen King or Nora Roberts at me, I’ll say have you talked to them lately? 😀 Everyone is rejected. I know. You’ve written the best book you can and you believe in it. It’s going to get rejected anyway.
Here’s how I think it works. Sometimes, authors have epiphanies that their writing needs work. In that case, rejections are warranted, and off you go to ramp up your game. This is a good idea. Also, sometimes queries need revising. Or you need a more attractive cover for your e-book. Sometimes we can clearly see why we are rejected.
There is a point, though, where you’ve been writing for a while. Let’s say you’re on your seventh novel, and your craft is solid. Or you have created an ebook that glows like an emerald. You are pretty sure that this is an example of your best work, and it is as good as many things that are out there. Or your agent has a book that they are peddling for you, and it’s just not getting any offers (yes, Virginia, this happens a lot. There is no end to the ways they can say no to you in publishing). It is hard to not be disappointed, bitter, angry, frustrated when you know you’ve done a good thing and it’s going nowhere. Now, maybe years later you will cringe and figure it out, but let’s just go with the premise that the world is ignoring your genius. Why? WHY???!!!
Sometimes you just have to follow the current. Our carefully prepared show (which airs next week!) has been derailed to talk about all things comics. It’s on our minds, so there’s no use ignoring the illustrated elephant in the room. Reboots! Retcons! What’s our take on DC Rebirth? The new Comixology subscription plan? The carefully orchestrated shitstorm surrounding Captain America #1? It’s all here, True Believers.