Books & Authors

Posts about books I love, authors I admire, and so on

How Ursula K. Le Guin helped inspire me to see people in a different way

As I write this, the news is breaking that Ursula Le Guin, one of the 20th Century’s great novelists, has passed away at 88. She was a giant, known for her work in science fiction yet crafting works that transcended the genre. Whenever I’ve thought of the authors who have inspired me, awed me, impressed me, humbled me, shaped my tastes, molded my views, and made me see the power of the genre, she was always on the short list. It wasn’t the awards that made Le Guin great, though she got gobs of them. It wasn’t even that her stories were entertaining, though they were. It’s that she reinterpreted the world, showing us both how it truly is (even when we didn’t acknowledge it)…
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I don’t want Amazon’s Lord of the Rings show

Earlier this week, Amazon announced it had struck a $250 million deal to produce a multi-season Lord of the Rings series. As a lifelong fan of all things Tolkien, this is not minor news. The name is a little misleading, of course, as this won’t be a television adaptation of the famous book (which had already been adapted to film by Peter Jackson in a wildly successful trilogy). Rather, the plan, according to their press release, is to “explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring,” along with a potential spinoff series. That’s the part that gives me pause, especially in light of the fact that Christopher Tolkien, longtime guardian of his father’s literary legacy, has stepped down from the Tolkien Estate….
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Being focused on a new book is a wonderful challenge, when I can actually FOCUS on it

For those of you who don’t know, I’m under contract for my next book. Have been working on it since July-ish (though actually much longer). I’m wrapping up the first draft of chapter eight today, and if all goes well, I’ll have rough skeletons of the next two done by the end of the weekend. I am, so far, remaining on schedule – and I’d better be, since I’m under contract. It feels good. I just wish that feeling wasn’t so fleeting. Between my freelance work and social media work and podcasts and Youtube videos and managing a garden too big for my own good and everything else, it’s difficult to be as focused as I should be on this next book. And I DO…
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Forget Paperbacks: Why Writing Is Going Digital

Contributed Post We keep hearing the phrase “digital economy” but what does it mean for writers? Quite a lot, actually. It turns out that we writers are in for a bit of a boom. Far from being replaced, writing has gone from strength to strength as computers have taken over the world, and for reasons that nobody in the writing field ever really expected. Pexels The cool thing for writers is that a lot of opportunities in the digital world actually provide better pay and prospects than writing careers that existed before the internet changed everything. Here are some writing gigs you can actually turn into a full-time career. Become An Affiliate Blogger Affiliate vlogging has been around for a while. Popular channels on sites…
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Looking back at Neil Gaiman’s Sandman – part 11 of 11, The Wake

Eight years ago, Stephen Segal, then creative director at the legendary Weird Tales magazine, asked if he could use some modest writings I had been doing on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman for a 20th anniversary retrospective he was putting together. Naturally, I said yes. Sadly, the series was lost in a website revamp. Not wanting it to disappear into the ether, I’m now presenting it on my site in 11 parts (alas, without the benefit of Stephen’s editing; these are pre-publication versions). Hope you enjoy. Recurring Dream: An Anniversary Re-reading of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Part 11 of 11, The Wake Originally published on the Weird Tales website, January 2009 What is a wake but a time to remember and reflect? A wake is an ending. A closing of…
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