Category Archives: Writing the Great American Novel

Drive an Atheist Crazy


TELL HIM THAT religion and not agriculture may have been the impetus for the beginning of civilization. Archaeologists excavating at Göbekli Tepe think that may be the case.

Since I”m writing a series of novels steeped in all the myths of mankind, this is of great interest to me.

I’m also re-reading The Norse Myths (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library), a modern update based at least in part on Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda. The author/translator deprecates a certain medieval translation because its compiler advances the notion that the Norse gods were really men. Since this is quite close to my working hypothesis, I’m telling myself I need to get my hands on that translation.

AFAIK, it’s in Latin. Shucks.

The Value of Repetition

IN TEACHING IS THAT you refine the lesson. Until you smooth it all down to a simple parable or fable of tutelary value.

Such as this one.

So I Am Intrigued

TO READ A NOTE at Kristine M. Smith’s blog that the first four Jani Killian books are out of print and that she will be bringing them out in ebook format soonish. This is welcome news and I hope it implies (as I infer) that she has gotten the rights reverted from Harper Collins. (More the fools they, but then, a publisher that lets a promising midlist career die on the vine for lack of said publisher’s effort is a fool by definition.) I also hope she reaps mondo monetary reward from the effort. These are some of MY favoritest books and I’ve always thought that she was shabbily treated. (Smith. Killian was well-treated, albeit auctorially abused as a matter of fiction.)

As Smith notes in the blog post, the books are available in used book stores. If you’re lucky enough to find them, grab them. Well worth it.

Good News from Marko

BLOGOSPHERE FAVE Marko Kloos announces that he has inked a deal to pub his two MilSF novels with 47 North. Congratulations are due, along with best wishes for every success.

I should disclaim that I wouldn’t enter into such a deal. But that’s easy for me to say, as I don’t have anything on the market now. That may change. But, being following Kris Rusch and Dean Smith, as well as Joe Konrath, Lindsey Buroker, David Gaugran and myriad others, I can’t say right now I would have any reason to sell rights to my work to a publisher. Any rights. I can conceive a time down the road when I might want to HIRE a publisher to distribute my work, but I would not be selling them any exclusive and unlimited licenses to anything. It would be a hire contract of specific scope and limited time, renewable ad libitum. That’s just the way I see things stacking up. The war stories I hear, and the way the stats stack up, I don’t see what a publisher offers that’s worth the incredible hit one takes in the money.

Marko offers the rationale — which I’m not discounting, just questioning its validity for me — that he doesn’t have time or resources to do the finishing work. It takes too much time away from writing. For me, I don’t get that. Especially, as I say, for the hit to the cash. Hiring an editor can be done for a lot less than a trad-pub house wants to charge (in the cases I’ve heard reported, at any rate — your mileage may vary). And, as for covers, judging by the experience friends have had dealing with publishing house art departments, I’m dead certain I can — and will — do better. Nor do I think anyone with an educated eye can do much worse. As much as I rag on Dean Smith for his PowerPoint pose (I notice his covers have improved immensely since he hired a pro), he does have one thing right — the pros have made far more of the mystery of the thing than is really there. One presumes in defense of their rice bowls.

And, since I was already doing that (during the period of highest production on the current WIP, I did a rough equivalent to ten or fifteen book covers at my day job), and managed to turn the main production on The High T Affair in about five weeks, (only two of which could remotely be called “full time” work), I can’t say I follow the math.

But we’ll have to see how events actually shake out, now, won’t we?

I have notes back from my alpha and am working my way through them and am intending to get the reworked MS of The High T Affair to my prospective editor in a week or two. Then the rubber begins to hit the road at a different speed.