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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Movie Hopes for Walk Through Darkness

Okay, still a long shot, but at least I can announce that somebody will be going to work in Hollywood to try and make Walk Through Darkness into film. Torn Sky Entertainment has optioned it. They're a new company, but the folks there have some solid plans on how to push the movie forward.

Casting ideas are welcome, by the way. They tossed around some heavyweight names, enough to get my head spinning, but those same names must get tossed around by pretty much everyone who's talking about making a good movie, so... I'll try to stop the head spinning and focus, focus! (On writing, that is...)

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Friday, May 25, 2007

In Praise of the Editor

My editor, Gerry Howard, is a fine individual, a respected figure in publishing who has helped an awful lot of good books get into print. I know his influence has helped my books in the past, and he's not done yet.

Take a look at this short piece in mediabistro.com's Galley Cat feed. He says very kind things about Acacia: The War with the Mein and its author. I guess you can say that's to be expected - he is my editor, afterall. But still, I'm touched. Here's the link. I dig this picture of him also...

And I'm still not used to the "summer blockbuster" stuff. Is that really gonna happen? Seems to me I'm doing the same old stuff I used to (maybe a little more blogging), but maybe if other folks keep saying it long enough it'll become true... I don't know, but we'll see soon...

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Time.com

So I'm in a house and the internet works! The phone doesn't, but you can't have everything.

Here's news... Acacia: The War with the Mein was featured on Time.com, in their Summer Arts Preview. It's subtitled 50 Things to See, Hear, Read and Do This Summer - From the blockbusters you know about to the art exhibitions you should know about, we preview the pop culture events of the summer. Out of that 50 not that many are books.

The list includes movies, tv, music, etc. Shrek is there. Pirates are too. Harry Potter of course. R. Kelly. Annie Dillard, Ian McEwan, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, 50 Cent...

And me? Weird. Does this mean Acacia has "pop culture event" in its future?

That link above takes you to the main page of the article. The Acacia part is HERE.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Still Moving

A wee update... We're in California. We've got a rental. It's a beat up old sixties house, but it looks out onto the river, with hills all around and lots of privacy. I'd like to say we've moved, but it's not as easy as that. Today we're off to get a load of furniture. Tomorrow we'll have to get a fridge and try to get just about everything else. And then we'll arrange things like having our stuff shipped from Massachusetts. Ech, I don't look forward to another day pulling a U-Haul trailer.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Moving!

Okay. That's it. Got the UHaul packed. Got the car food near at hand. It's the open road and pet-friendly motels for us the next few days. If all goes well we'll be basking in California sunshine by Friday afternoon. And maybe by Saturday we'll have a place to live!

Aren't I optimistic?

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Greatest Mystery: Making a Best Seller

I found this article in the NY Times quite interesting. It talks about the vagaries of the publishing business, the lack of market research, the disconnect between advances and actual sales, and it provides some interesting numbers on books that were successes or failures in monetary terms. (Remember that $8 million advance Charles Frazier received?) Bill Thomas, my editor-in-chief at Doubleday, has a few words to say.

I also thought this quote was interesting, especially considering our earlier conversation about blogging and reviewing...

"We need much more of a direct relationship with our readers," said Susan Rabiner, an agent and a former editorial director. Bloggers have a much more interactive relationship with their readers than publishers do, she said. "Before Amazon, we didn't even know what people thought of the books," she said.

Strange business, indeed.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Nebula Awards Announced!

I'm happy to point out that the Nebula & Norton Awards have just been announced. I'm particularly pleased because James Patrick Kelly won in the Novella category for Burn. As I understand it, Jim had been nominated like ten times before. So I'm very glad to he's finally taken the prize home. Very well deserved.

You can visit the Nebula Website HERE, but the basic line up of winners is as follows. Congrats to them all.

Novel: Seeker, by Jack McDevitt (Ace, Nov05)

Novella: "Burn," by James Patrick Kelly (Tachyon Publications, Dec05)

Novelette: "Two Hearts," by Peter S. Beagle (F&SF, Oct/Nov05)

Short Story: "Echo," by Elizabeth Hand (F&SF, Oct/Nov05)

Script: Howl's Moving Castle, by Hayao Miyazaki, Cindy Davis Hewitt, and Donald H. Hewitt (Studio Ghibli and Walt Disney Pictures - Based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones.)

Andre Norton Award: Magic or Madness, by Justine Larbalestier (Penguin Razorbill, May05)

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Friday, May 11, 2007

The Map is Available for Viewing

Hiya,

Just a quick note to say that Shawn has put the map of Acacia: The War with the Mein up on the website. If you want to check it click here. It's the work of David Cain, a guy who knows a thing or two about mapping both imaginary and real worlds. You can click on the small image and it gets a bit bigger.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

New WEBSITE!

Shawn Speakman has pretty much completed the major overhaul of my WEBSITE. Man, it's a very different thing than it was before, much more interactive, with a clean, professional look and lots of images. It's also got a Forum. That's a new thing for me. Kinda scares me, actually, cause it would be pretty embarrassing to build a Forum and then find that nobody comes...

Fortunately, a few people have already signed on and posted. I'd like to think that once the book is actually out they'll be a lot more visiting and talking to me and to each other. Please consider popping over there and signing up. It's easy to do, and then you can post your own topics, ask questions, look for recommendations, etc.

I've been tinkering with the blog format a bit, too. That'll be an ongoing thing.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

USA Today Summer Books

USA Today has posted a list of summer titles to look out for. Of course, I'm mentioning it because Acacia: The War with the Mein is one of them! Actually, it gets singled out as one of few "Hot Choices" on the list. I found the online version HERE. It took me a minute to figure out how to navigate through the lists, but once you click on the arrows on Michael Chabon's book it's actually quite easy to scroll through the titles.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Rise of the Cyber Critic

I noticed an interesting article in the New York Times today that corresponded to something I'd just been thinking about. Jay Tomio, in his interview with me for at Book Spot Central, asked in what ways I found the pre-publication of my first fantasy novel different than my earlier publications as an historical/literary novelist. One of the things that came to mind was that we were putting a lot of effort into creating online interest among die-hard fantasy/sci-fi fans. A lot of what that means is that we're sending arcs of the book to people that blog on fantasy fiction. We'll be giving attention to the traditional media formats also, but I've found it interesting to face the reality (and the potential) of giving actual readers a say in the early shaping of a title's reputation. I don't think we'd done that much with earlier novels, and I feel in general that literary writers and editors probably aren't that keen on giving regular folks (ie- readers instead of professional critics) that sort of power.

Thing is, it's increasingly not up to publishers to determine who shapes opinion on their books. The New York Times article is about just this, the reality that print media has been cutting, cutting, cutting back on the space they give book reviews. At the same time, the online world is growing as a source for literary discourse. So maybe my feeling that this fantasy publication of mine is quite different is really just coming to see that the fantasy market is ahead of the curve in acknowledging the changing world. If this is the case, many literary writers are going to need to do some catching up in the coming years.

Take a look at the article (Are Book Reviewers Out of Print?) and, if you like, tell me what think.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Audio Acacia

Thrilled to announce that there's going to be an audio version of Acacia! Tantor Media has acquired the rights. That's about all I know, but it's a relief really. An awful lot of books - even quite successful ones - still don't get audio versions. So for the deal to come through early is a lucky occurrence. My hopes are that it'll help to slowly build an audience for future books through library use.

I sure listen to enough books myself these days. I'm always listening to something, actually, as I take my daily walks. I used to be embarrassed by this - as if somehow it wasn't “real” reading. But I've become convinced that it's just as real, and in some ways it’s a reconnection with the oral storytelling traditions that all our stories evolved from.

Of course, a stinky reading can mess up a good book. There's a fine line between a reader bringing a novel to life and an actor trying to take over the narrative as a personal showcase. My fingers are crossed for Acacia...

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