The Gen Con Writer’s Symposium – new post on Apex

I have a new blog post up today on the Apex books blog that serves as an introduction to the Gen Con Writer’s Symposium. The Symposium is one of the largest genre-related writing conferences in the country (and possibly the world). It also happens to be housed within one of the largest gaming conventions in the country as well, Gen Con.

This year the Symposium has 120 hours of scheduled events, workshops and seminars from August 15th -18th, most of which are free with your paid admission to Gen Con.

Go over to the blog on Apex to find out more and read my interviews with Mike Stackpole, Brad Beaulieu, Monica Valentinelli, Wes Chu and Marc Tassin.

Morning Cuppa – 06/06/13 – Con season! New gigs! Amazon v Indie!


  • Sigh… networking. I’m not a completely socially awkward geek, however I do have my moments. And networking– I just have no idea how to make this happen in any natural sort of way. I’ve gone to business conventions, writer’s conventions, gaming conventions and still networking is one of my weakest elements. Since Gen Con is right around the corner, and they (almost covertly) have one of the largest SF writing workshops in the country, it’s a great opportunity to meet successful authors.
    It’s almost a crime that I get a two-for-one convention with Gen Con, combining my love of gaming and writing. So if, like me, you’re clueless on how to break the ice, and what proper etiquette is after the ice is broken, Tim Waggoner has some good advice for you.
  • In the last day, I’ve been invited to start writing for two different publications. I’m really excited for the opportunity, though they’re not paying gigs, it is still kind of cool. I’ve got nothing on either one yet, but they are Medium and Amazing Stories. I’ll link them up as I get some stuff up there. And just a reminder, this past month I also began blogging for Apex!
  • Following a de facto bailout by France for its independent bookshops, British shops want their government to start looking at Amazon and the damage it’s causing (British booksellers are closing up shop at a rate of about one a week). Considering that in the US there’s actually a reverse trend happening, with indie shops opening up, is there something else at work here? Amazon raises my hackles too but what if they’re not the reason (or the major reason) this is happening? Just a hypothetical.
  • Speaking of Amazon and indie bookstores, there’s a push going on right now by the retail giant to start getting their Kindles into indie bookstores.

Morning Cuppa – 05/22/13 – I start blogging for Apex! Bookstore deathwatch! 5 paths to publishing!


  • Yesterday, I started a gig as a blogger for Apex Book Company. It’s a once a month sort of thing shared with a stable of other writers. I’m really excited for the opporunity! Go check out my post, An Ode to the Weird!
  • In spite of all the news that indies are doing great now that the major bookstores are closing down, times are still tough for booksellers. Case in point: Once Sold Tales, the Seattle bookstore, is closing down and are in a mad dash to get rid of their 500,000 book inventory before they have to vacate their warehouse and pulp all of their remaining product.
  • We all know the night is dark and full of terrors, right? But the paths to publishing don’t necessarily have to be especially with the help of Virginia Quarterly web editor Jane Friedman. She’s put together a one-page pdf that outlines 5 common paths to publishing, assessing value to the author, degree of risk, and money making potential. Neato.

Morning Cuppa – 04/24/13 – Iain Banks! James Patterson talks book bailouts! Glitter and Mayhem!


  • Iain Banks has posted an update on recent events including his honeymoon and a trip to the ER immediately afterwards. It’s a touching letter of thanks and respect for his fans.
  • James Patterson ran a couple of ads this past weekend asking for the government to step up and help the publishing industry survive. In the ad, which ran in the New York Review of Books and Publisher’s Weekly, he says,

    If there are no bookstores, no libraries, no serious publishers with passionate, dedicated, idealistic editors, what will happen to our literature? Who will discover and mentor new writers? Who will publish our important books? What will happen if there are no more books like these?
    The Federal Government has stepped in to save banks, and the automobile industry, but where are they on the important subject of books? Or, if the answer is state and local government, where are they? Is any state doing anything? Why are there no impassioned editorials in influential newspapers or magazines? Who will save our books? Our libraries? Our bookstores?

    It’s such a necessary conversation to have, but with elected officials who are so easily cowed by lobbyists and the desire to appear that they’re cutting rather than expanding services, I wonder how far it will get.

  • The Glitter and Mayhem anthology cover and table of contents have been revealed. This is the collection of stories by folks like Seanan McGuire, Christopher Barzak, Maurice Broaddus and more focusing on club life, debauchery, roller rinks and other things from a bygone, more glittery era, with a scifi/fantasy twist of course. Pre-orders are available now.

Morning Cuppa – 03/19/13 – Writing contest! Apex increases rates! Chain store implosion!

Here we go Tuesday, here we go! [stomp, stomp]

  • One of the most active sci-fi groups in the country, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, has opened up for submissions to their Amateur Writing Contest. Not so fast though, you have to be a Maryland resident in order to qualify. I post it here to pose the question to you dear reader, why don’t I live in Maryland? These folks always have something cooking…
  • Apex Magazine has increased the pay rates for artwork, nonfiction and reprints, if any of these fall under your wheelhouse (score 2 points for using wheelhouse in my blog).
  • More bad news for U.S. bookstores, or at least chain bookstores, they “saw their share decrease from 32 percent to 19 percent of volume.” Meanwhile huge gains were made in the ebook retail space.
  • Chuck Wendig’s new fantasy novel is teased on io9, Gods and Monsters: Unclean Spirits. It’s part of a new series that he’s putting together and is available for pre-order now.
  • And Wil Wheaton has a Crusher family reunion with his “space mom” Gates McFadden.