stillsostrange: (Agony)
Because [livejournal.com profile] plunderpuss asked on Twitter.

I've only had to do this once, with The Drowning City, but it went something like this:

My editor asked me if I knew any authors who might be willing to blurb the book. Luckily, I did. He also asked my agent if she had any suggestions. He then made a list of authors he thought might be appropriate--some of whom were Orbit authors and some who I'm pretty sure weren't--as well as my and [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia's suggestions. Those authors who were willing and who hadn't read the book in draft already were sent bound galleys. That's how I got blurbs from Jacqueline Carey and Brent Weeks.

Not every publisher sends out bound galleys; PDFs are also used, and sometimes the author will send out Word files, if that's all that's available. I've heard that some editors make the author do more work about soliciting blurbs, which sounds completely cruel. This is one of the times where professional networking may be of use--by which I mean meeting people at cons and being pleasant and friendly online, not spamming people on Twitter. DO NOT SPAM PEOPLE ON TWITTER. I MEAN IT!

If you know other writers, a polite email asking if they would be willing or able to read your book and possibly blurb it is perfectly okay. The worst that will happen is that a) they'll say no upfront, probably because of time constraints, or b) they'll agree to look at the ms but not actually have time or inclination to offer a blurb. DO NOT NAG PEOPLE. Obviously. If they have to time to read the book and have something positive to say, you'll probably get a blurb. Someone at your publisher will perform blurb-fu and trim the quote down to be punchy and cover-sized.

With any luck, the blurb won't say "No one can touch [AUTHOR] when he is on fire," or "[CHARACTER] is as hardboiled as a 5-minute egg." "Lush and evocative" seems pretty popular.

While I'm sure someone somewhere has said nice things about a book that they didn't really mean, most authors I know have no desire to lie to readers or their friends. I also have no idea how you would ever make money off blurbs. Maybe that only happens to people way more famous than me.
stillsostrange: (Default)
At last it can be shown:



Once again my artist is Larry Rostant, and I'm thrilled. Isn't it pretty? Aside from the...endowments...that could be Isyllt.

(Yes, she's going to have a lot of sand in her push-up bra.)

ETA: Orbit has a cover launch post up, which includes the flap copy for Kingdoms (coming soon to my website). THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE BONE PALACE. Just so you know.
stillsostrange: (Brigitte)
This morning I braved the poisonous fume that is our air to get a HEPA purifier. (It seems to be working!) As a reward I promised myself a healthy bran-type muffin, but Target and its captive Starbucks refused to sell me one. So I broke down and made my own.

Because I didn't want it to turn into an all-morning displacement activity, I found a machine-made banana bread recipe and altered it. I traded all white flour for 3/4 whole wheat, the white sugar for 1/2 a cup turbinado and a squeeze of agave nectar, and the bananas for two servings of pomegranate applesauce (best stuff ever!). Then I added walnuts and dried blueberries. To my dismay, I realized I have no cinnamon, so I poured in a healthy glug of chai and a dollop of ginger (and a little more flour to offset the new liquid). I also added salt, because salt is important. The result is blue-tinged and delicious, though not quite right without the cinnamon.


2400+ words today on Kingdoms, but much of that was rewriting an old scene to account for the new character. I'm fond of the new girl so far--she actually talks, and the change in age and gender gives me more interesting dynamics to play with.

I must also admit, grudgingly, that a change in the timeline that [livejournal.com profile] matociquala talked me into making seems to be helping. I still think it makes the opening weird, but it ratchets up the tension in later chapters.


As you may have heard, [livejournal.com profile] elisem had a stroke recently. She's fine now, with no permanent damage, but she is fine because people recognized the symptoms and called 911 immediately. Timely intervention is critical for strokes, so please, learn the symptoms and call for help.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Spam has picked up alarmingly on my last few posts, so I just blocked comments from unregistered users. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause to people who aren't spambots.
stillsostrange: (Von says read)
Speaking of "hey now, hey now now", and assuming everyone doesn't already know about this (I am perpetually far from the pulse), there's a remaster of Floodland available on iTunes, and presumably elsewhere. The sound quality is better than the tracks on the original CD, and it includes the full version of "Never Land" (in addition to the fragment) and "Emma." This makes me the happiest I've been since I got my hands on a copy of Some Boys Wander By Mistake.

This also makes my interwar Europe ghost story/spy novel much more likely to happen. Dammit.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Whilst fording a creek to go climbing today, I got my phone wet*. Reader, it drowned. The good new is, my new iPhone is in the mail already. The bad news is, all my contact list seems to have drowned with the phone. So if I've ever called you, or texted you at a convention or whatever, and you don't mind that happening again, please send me your number. exoblivione AT gmail DOT com


*For seconds! Seconds only. Apparently my phone can survive being dropped at industrial concerts just fine, but melts at the slightest moisture.




My Readercon schedule, now with more detail:

Friday 2:00 PM, VT: Reading (30 min.)

from her forthcoming novel, The Bone Palace.

Friday 5:00 PM, Salon G: Panel

On the Beach on the Beach. Suzy McKee Charnas, John Crowley, Amanda Downum, Peter
Straub, Sonya Taaffe (L).

We tend to think of comfort reading as not so far off from the beach book -- by
definition reassuring, non-taxing, a return to the familiar at a stressful moment in
time. But what if your first encounter with a favorite book was less milk and cookies
than five-alarm chili? Come and compare notes with fellow readers on the books you
love dearly that initially puzzled, unsettled, or took you by surprise (and may
still). Statistically, you can't be the only person in the field who opens up Pale
Fire
on a bad day.

Friday 7:00 PM, Vinyard: Kaffeeklatsch

Sunday 2:00 PM, ME/ CT: Talk / Discussion (60 min.)

The Appeal of Lovecraft. Mike Allen with discussion by James L. Cambias, Michael
Cisco, Amanda Downum, Theodora Goss, Donald G. Keller, John Langan, Faye Ringel,
Diane Weinstein.

Let's face it: Lovecraft was a racist and an anti-Semite, and if you don't believe
his writing is atrocious, try reading it aloud. But these days that gaunt young man
from Providence is more popular than ever. What gives?
stillsostrange: (Default)
Friday

ETA: My reading has been moved to 2:00 on Friday
5:00 - On the Beach on the beach (Charnas, Crowley, Downum, Straub, Taaffe)*, Salon G
7:00 - Kaffeklatsch, Vineyard
8:30 - Reading, Vermont
10:15 - Meet the Pros(e) party, Salons F & G


I'll be reading from the The Bone Palace but no one will care because I'm scheduled across from Elizabeth Hand.

Saturday I appear to be free, so you will likely find me in the bar.


*I am making a face that looks like 0.0, but moreso.

In other news, I sent my synopsis for Kingdoms to my editor yesterday, and he didn't fire me. He even made encouraging noises.
stillsostrange: (Bone Palace)
I forgot to mention that the UK release of The Bone Palace has been bumped up to the beginning of December to match the US release. So if you want the sexy yellow variant cover, you don't have to wait to get it.
stillsostrange: (Conscious)
Joule tells me I have new people reading, which I failed to notice in my deathmarching haze. Hi, new people.

Introduce yourselves, ask questions, lurk--whatever seems best to you.

Oops

Jan. 5th, 2010 01:22 pm
stillsostrange: (Default)
So to everyone that I should have sent something too last week for that hand-made-stuff meme, I have not forgotten about it, I just suck. I also have not made anything by hand (not counting words) since my deadline got crunchy. I will endeavor to go on a stuff-making spree as soon as the final draft of Bone Palace is turned in.
stillsostrange: (Default)
The Drowning City is longlisted for David Gemmell Legend Award, in both the Legend and Morningstar categories. And Larry Rostant's awesome cover art is also up for Ravenheart award. How cool is that? Many other fine books are nominated as well. If you are so inclined, I encourage you to click over and vote for whoever you think should win what appears to be a shiny axe. Shiny axes come in handy in all sorts of situations.
stillsostrange: (Default)
The Bone Palace



92545 / 100000 words. 93% done!

That's a nearly 3000 words in the past couple days, and about -500 in deleted notes. So far I've managed nearly 2000 words of backstory, a fraught lovers' reunion, the discovery of a kidnapping, and the revelation of a royal affair and treason that's still floating at the end of the chapter without connective tissue. Now I need to get my antagette to go completely nuts and upgrade her sorcerous superflu, and probably kidnap a princess. Then I need to launch a rescue effort which turns into a clusterfuck which in turn becomes a climactic space battle. Right?

And then I need to figure out all the various 'splainy bits and foreshadowing that go in the front of the book, so this ending will make even the slightest bit of sense.

I can do this is just under two weeks, surely...

If only I had epigraphs. Epigraphs make all things possible.


And now, a bit of tacky. (Don't worry, I'm not going to suggest you become a fan of me on FaceBook. Ever.)

As you probably don't know, Bob, I have joined SFWA*. This is entirely because [livejournal.com profile] maryrobinette is so pretty competent and persuasive. And as you may have noticed somewhere on the internet lately, SFWA has this award thingy. And to quote the informative email SFWA sent me about it:

Works published between July 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 are eligible in the following categories.

a. Short Story: less than 7,500 words;
b. Novelette: at least 7,500 words but less than 17,500 words;
c. Novella: at least 17,500 words but less than 40,000 words
d. Novel: 40,000 words or more.


So now you know, and knowing is some vague percentage of the battle.

*I'm still waiting for my stick to shake at those kids who stand on my lawn to arrive in the mail.
stillsostrange: (Aeryn)
I'm angry, and probably shouldn't post when I'm angry, but I'm going to do it anyway. This anger isn't going away. So I will leave my opinion here for posterity.

The advent of the internet makes it easier to "meet" artists of all varieties, and therefore to discover that they're people with opinions just like everyone else, and those opinions often run counter to our own. Getting bent out of shape because an artist doesn't agree with you on everything is certainly one's prerogative, but usually a very silly one.

But I draw the line at basic human rights. Including the right not to be fucking raped.

There is no moral grey area here. There is never a time when rape is maybe okay. Or not really that bad. And if anyone says there is, they have lost any respect I might ever have given them. I don't care what kind of art you make, or what your other political views are. If you think rape is okay, I think you're a waste of skin.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Yes, this is my very first con with panels. I only get one whole day to devote to it, though, because I just blew my vacation on WorldCon.

Friday, August 14

5:00 Is Urban Fantasy Just Heroism in a City?
6:00 So, How was Worldcon?
8:30 Reading (Yes, this has the potential to be the emptiest reading ever.)

Other than that, I will be as always in the bar.
stillsostrange: (Dark City)
I have succumbed. I'm a twit. (I would say twat, but I have never found that word euphonious.) If anyone cares, I'm stillsostrange on Twitter.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Today's lesson: If you have a CEM that has to be back to your editor on Monday do not UPS overnight it on Saturday morning. Not unless you really didn't need those internal organs.

Ouch.
stillsostrange: (Default)
For anyone who hasn't already found me, I'm on Facebook already. As Amanda Downum, shockingly enough. Play Scrabble with me.
stillsostrange: (Default)
Watch out, it's spam weather today.

This article makes me happy, as it involves word origins and spunky Texans telling off McCain. Also, Terrellita was my husband's landlady back in the day.

Also, it's lovely and cloudy out, I'm full of panang curry, and I think it's time to make coffee and edit a short story for lobbing.

PSA

Oct. 6th, 2008 11:06 am
stillsostrange: (Default)
Even though you've heard this from twenty other LJs by now.

Americans, have you registered to vote? Today may be your last day to do so. Hank wants you to vote. He's pretty serious about it. You don't want to disappoint Hank, do you?

stillsostrange: (Default)
The average gerund has 1d4 hit dice. They provide no treasure and little xp when destroyed. They are tricksy, however, and often travel in large packs. A nuisance of gerunds may cause trouble for the unwary. At a guess, they have a THAC0 of 10. Once a nuisance has settled into an area, they may form expansive warrens that will be difficult to remove. They are best destroyed and recycled for morphemes.

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