Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Funny

You've had a long week. You deserve to laugh.

 It's time for the Babbling Flow's Friday Funny!!

Happy friday!

♥ me

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Roll Call Boom Shaboom!
Roll Call Boom Shaboom!

Yesterday, Derek Molata posted a roll call on his blog for writers attending WisCon. (Which includes me, yay!!)

Um, so today I'm copying him--but for SCBWI LA!

I'm really excited because I'm registered and hoteled and flighted--and I want to know who else is coming!

So I thought I'd leave this post open like a forum! In the comments, let me (and everyone else) know:
  • Are you going?
  • When are you arriving?
  • When are you leaving?
  • Have you been before? And, if so, is there anything you want to share about past experiences?
  • Are you looking for other people to meet up with while there? (The comments section could be a great place to find people!)
  • A link to your blog, so other people can find you.
  • Any questions you have. (Not that I can answer them or anything, but maybe someone else can!)
  • Anything else you want to share =)
As for me: I'm flying in on the 29th and staying til the 4th. Even though the conference ends on the 2nd, Alexandra, Carol, and I are staying a couple extra days to have fun in LA. (Like getting tattoos and piercings and stuff!)

Oh! Oh! Oh! Also, today--I'm guest posting on Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe! My post is about the joys of being Shannon's CP and it's served with a nice helping of Shannon Shame, so definitely go check it out =)

♥ me

Monday, April 26, 2010

While I'm Under

So a couple weeks ago I quoted Evanescence--in that I was going under... Underground for a bit to work on revisions. And I'm still there! Revisions are going well, it's a slow but steady kinda process. And, like I said before--I AM making blog rounds, just not leaving tons of comments. But I am reading what you're saying =)

So today, here's proof! Here are some of the cool things being talked about in the blogosphere:

Carol Valdez Miller is having a mayjah contest! Signed books by David Levithan and John Green. Lots of fun things and packages and, trust me, you DON'T want to miss out!! Make sure you check out her Will Grayson Squared Dance Contest!

Simon Larter's having a contest too! You can, like, win cool things. AND if you write him a poem? You get lotsa extra points!

Shannon Messenger's having a contest too! Signed books and journals and candy, OH MY!! Check out her 500 Followers Contest!

Elana Johnson put together this stellar resource post on one sentence pitching.

The one and only Ms. Karen Amanda Hooper wrote about putting warning labels on books.

Hilary Wagner unveiled her Nightshade City Book Trailer!!

I guest blogged about twitter addiction over at Sarah With a Chance =)

Cristin Terrill celebrated Shakespeare's birthday.

Portia Sisco wrote about mapping out your editing strategy--fabulous advice for sure!

Alexandra Shostak got a ridiculously cutie pie new kitty! Quentin... <3 <3 <3

Natalie Bahm wrote about e-readers and going green...

Okay, I could go on and on and on, because there are some awesome posts out there--but I can't. I have to get back to revisions. But make sure you check out anything you'd missed!!

Oh, and at some point this week? We vote on my deal with the universe. Last chance to throw your suggestion in!! Click here if you haven't done it already!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Funny

You've had a long week. You deserve to laugh.

 It's time for the Babbling Flow's Friday Funny!!

Daddy Edition

This was a forward that went around a couple years ago. Every time I watch it, I laugh so hard I cry.

Happy Friday!

Oh yeah! PS--I'm guest blogging over on the super fabulous Sarah Wylie's blog today! Are you a twitter addict? Hop over to Sarah With A Chance to see if you suffer from any of the telltale signs!

♥ me

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Funny

You've had a long week. You deserve to laugh.

 It's time for the Babbling Flow's Friday Funny!!

Wedding Dance Edition

This is what I wanted to do for my own wedding. My husband even agreed! But certain other people put the kibosh on it. So every now and then, I let myself live vicariously through this video...  

Happy Friday!

♥ me

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mayjah Contest

Sarah Wylie, of Sarah with a Chance, recently sold her book! In a two-book deal!  Here's what Publisher's Marketplace had to say:

Sarah Wylie's debut ALL THESE LIVES, pitched as a literary YA My Sister's Keeper, about a girl who believes she has nine lives and copes with her fraternal twin sister's leukemia by setting out to rid herself of all her extra lives, only to discover that she might have only the one life after all, to Margaret Ferguson at Margaret Ferguson Books, in a two-book deal, at auction, by Suzie Townsend at FinePrint Literary Management (NA).

So, as if that's not awesome enough? She's having a super huge celebratory contest--seriously, you've never seen a contest as sweet as this one. It is made of win.

  • Lucky Winner will receive a critique of their first 30-40 pages by the fabulous Suzie Townsend + a pack of Twizzlers + a copy of Hex Hall
  • Lucky Winners will receive a query letter critique by one of these three agent extraordinaires: Kathleen Ortiz, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, or Colleen Lindsay (One agent will be randomly assigned to each winner.)
  • 1 Winner will receive a writer's survival guide consisting of Twizzlers, a copy of Silver Phoenix and When You Reach Me, and a cute notebook and pen
  • Lucky winner will score a lunch date with THE Janet Reid and THE Suzie Townsend. It's not a free trip to NYC. BUT if you live in the NYC area, or whenever you're visiting NYC? You. Janet. Suzie. LUNCH.

Yeah, so are you salivating yet? It's really easy to enter! Go sign up! (Or... you know, DON'T. So I have a better chance... Yeah, if you love me you'll just bypass this contest. What? You don't love me enough to skip it? FINE. Ugh.)

♥ me

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who Doesn't Love Signed & Personalized Books?

If you know you do and I know I do. Then, we know we do. (Ah, I loved logic in college!)

In any case, definitely hop over to Derek Molata's site! He's giving away THREE copies of Karin Lowachee's most recent novel, THE GASLIGHT DOGS. And Karin even offered to sign and personalize each copy!

A little bit about the book: (Copied from Derek's site)

At the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war.
A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent – one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast.
From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations – and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples.

A little bit about the author: What I know personally? Karin's super friendly--and funny, too! We're twitter friends, and I really can't wait to read THE GASLIGHT DOGS. 

And here's some info that I copied from Karin's website:
Karin was born in South America, grew up in Canada, and worked in the Arctic. Her first novel WARCHILD won the 2001 Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. Both WARCHILD (2002) and her third novel CAGEBIRD (2005) were finalists for the Philip K. Dick Award. CAGEBIRD won the Prix Aurora Award in 2006 for Best Long-Form Work in English and the Spectrum Award also in 2006. Her second novel BURNDIVE debuted at #7 on the Locus Bestseller List. Her books have been translated into French, Hebrew, and Japanese. 
Ok, so go on. All you have to do to win is COMMENT on Derek's contest post.

And stay tuned, there are tons of great contests going on right now! I'll be back tomorrow with more to share...

♥ me

Monday, April 12, 2010

In the Words of Evanescence...

I'm going under!

Underground that is.

To finish revisions.

Because this is it. My last month to revise. If I take much longer I'll be forced to admit to myself that all I'm doing is stalling.

Okay, so I won't be completely underground. You can think of me more like one of those whac-an-animal kinda things--you know, those arcade games at Chuck E. Cheese's? Because I will be popping up. I'll tweet a little--how could I not? And of course I'll blog some, I mean I have some good posts coming up. For instance, Shannon seems to think it's time for me to make a Deal with the Universe.  And I'm going to give you guys input for what it should be, though there WILL be a couple of twists (dun dun DUNNN). I will definitely still be reading all of your blogs! I know my commenting levels have dropped, and they're going to drop some more, but I promise I'm still reading! I'm, like, the best LURKER ever.

So, with this post, I am officially giving my CPs and writing buddies permission to use the mallet on me if/when they think I'm online too much when I should be revising. Yikes!

Catch me if you can!!

♥ me

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Funny

You've had a long week. You deserve to laugh.

 It's time for the Babbling Flow's Friday Funny!!

April Fool's Edition

Happy Friday!!

♥ me

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Agent Roundtable (VA Festival of the Book)

So this is my final post about this year's Virginia Festival of the Book. Hopefully you're not sick of them yet!!

The last session that I attended was an agent roundtable where four agents discussed what they look for in writers and offered insight into the author-agent relationship. Here's who and what they had to say!

Simon Lipskar (SL) is a partner in and an agent for Writer's House. At Writer's House they work with a boutique approach. He follows passion, not trends, and compared agenting to a marriage. He also explained that the publishing industry is in a tough transition right now.

Jenny Bent (JB) has been an agent since 1992. She recently opened her own agency, The Bent Agency, and was recently joined by Susan Hawk (who reps MG/YA). Susan has 15 years in the publishing field. Some of you might remember that this was not my first time seeing Jenny. For details about the first time, click here!

Laura Rennert (LR) is a senior agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Andrea Brown also follows a boutique approach to agenting. Laura's been an agent since 1998, and specializes in Picture Books through Young Adult. She holds a PhD in English Lit and taught at the college level for 8 years.

Erin Cox (EC) is a part of the Rob Weisbach Creative Management Team, an agency that opened its doors a year ago. Erin has a background in PR (fun! just like me! Okay, well KIND OF. I majored in it during college anyway...) The Rob Weisback Creative Management Team is a group of five people who concentrate on public relations, film, acquisitions for production, and editorial services. Erin prefers literary fiction, memoir, and non fiction.

So here's what they had to say!
About finding an agent:

SL: There are fantastic agents working at every kind of agency. Look for:
  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • Passion
  • Real interest in your work
You should never pay an agent. They make money when YOU make money, not before.

Also, check out the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR). Agents who join must follow a Cannon of Ethics. The site's also a good place to find questions to ask agents who offer you representation (there's a list of questions in the FAQs).

About ending agent relationships:

Be open and honest.

Before you leave, try and work out whatever the problem is. Communication is key!

About the agent-author relationship:

LR: Both parties should be honest about what they hope to achieve.

SL: It's a business marriage. NOT an at home marriage--please don't do unscheduled drop-ins, whether or not you're a client.

LR: Educate yourself! (About the industry and the way things are done.) It makes the relationship better.

JB: Have a list of questions to ask.

SL: Don't forget that writing is a job and you should treat it as such.


SL: Do NOT say you're novel has movie potential. He's not a big fan of traditional queries--he really likes to know the Voice of the author through the query. If you query him, send it through e-mail. SLipskar(at)writershouse.com

JB: Be yourself, don't lose your Voice. She's a fan of gimmicky queries. She can be reached at Jenny(at)thebentagency.com.  Her website is http://www.thebentagency.com/.

LR: Looks for Voice. Also wants to know who, what, where, and why should she care? For YA, why is the longing different than what's already out there? Do you have visibility? She wants to know if your blog has a large following! She can be reached at LJRennert(a)mac.com, or you can find her at http://www.andreabrownlit.com/.

EC: What will make you stand out? One line opening pitches are good, followed by a short description of what the book is about.  She can be reached at Erin(a)robweisbach.com, or http://www.robweisbach.com/.

SL: It does help to know people. Also, you should spend more time writing a good book and less time worrying about finding an agent.

Other notes:

The first three chapters need to raise questions. Don't wait til chapter 5.

Lots of agents have other day jobs.

Alright, so in the query section--did you notice the repeated word? VOICE. Agents want queries that let your Voice as an author shine through. You know who can help you with that? CJ REDWINE! She offers two week query workshops specifically designed to help your Voice come out through your query. I can not recommend you take this workshop enough. Seriously, by the end? You'll have an agent-ready query. It. Is. So. Worth. It.

Check her query workshop out here: http://queryworkshop.blogspot.com/ And if you get there fast, you could still nab one of the 3 spots left for April's workshop.

PS. CJ didn't ask me to plug her--I'm doing it on my own because her workshops are amazing.

Still reading? Wanna see some pretty pictures of the DC Cherry Blossoms? Check out my other blog! I've been posting pictures all week! http://simplysaradise.blogspot.com/

Here's a sample:

♥ me

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Building New Worlds in Every Genre

After the panel on getting published (PB to YA), I attended Land Ho! Creating New Worlds in Any Genre.  The panelists were: P.J. Hoover (The Forgotten Worlds Trilogy), Keri Mikulski (The Screwball Series), Stacy Nyikos (Dragon Wishes), Barrie Summy (I So Don't Do Mysteries/Spooky/Makeup Series), and Suzanne Morgan Williams (Bull Rider).

P.J. Hoover  collects Smurfs, Bicentennial quarters, Star Trek Christmas ornaments, and antique bricks. Plus she can solve a Rubik's Cube in under 2 minutes--AND she has a black belt in Kung Fu. I've just started reading The Emerald Tablet (the first book in her Forgotten Worlds Trilogy) and am definitely enjoying it!

Kery Mukulski: A three-sport athlete in high school and two-sport athlete in college back when softballs were white, Keri worked as a personal trainer, lifeguard, registered nurse, middle school teacher, and high school coach. As an author, she set out to reach athletic students and finally give sporty girls the books they’ve been waiting for.

Stacy Nyikos started off writing a trio of picture books before deciding to take on the challenge of a novel--Dragon Wishes (I got a signed copy and it's sitting pretty close to the top of my TBR!) Next up? A YA novel called Pelorus Jack.

Barrie Summy grew up in Canada on a steady diet of books and tobogganing. She tries to read a book a week and always breaks for tea and cookies at three o'clock. She also cannot have licorice in the house. Or white cheddar cheez-it crackers. Because she won't stop eating them.

Suzanne Morgan Williams has traveled four times to the Canadian Arctic to work with Inuit people, writing The Inuit Franklin Watts, 2003, and has worked with Indian people from various tribes on books and projects. She is known for careful on site research, which for Bull Rider included interviewing professional bull riders, ranchers, and care givers who work with severely wounded veterans.

So with these notes, you'll notice I took a LOT at first and then not so much by the end. Everything was really interesting, but my hand was cramping up like whoa! I type all the time--I do not take notes all the time. So I was really just listening by the end. If you want to know more about the authors' processes who I didn't take as many notes on (especially Suzanne and Barrie), please check out their websites! They were so nice and really interesting!

Stacy was up first. She spoke about her three world building stages:

FIRST: Research. (Emotions/bare bone setting )Figure out the rules of the game. When she was starting Dragon Wishes she had to decide a lot before even starting to write. In her new world, could dragons fly? Speak? Talk to humans? What was the climate, etc. When you make the rules--NEVER break them.

SECOND: Detailed Research. Knock out the details to make sure everything is believable. What are the setting details? 

THIRD: Catch the Howlers. Mistakes. What absolutely doesn't work? What did you get wrong that will make what you've written hard for a reader to believe?  

The piece of advice I absolutely LOVED that Stacy gave was this: Give your imagination full reign before you worry about the details. Because it's SO true. Don't stunt the creativity of your story by focusing on the hows or whys at first. Hammer those out AFTER.

PJ spoke next about the research she does while building her worlds.  Her main point was that writers should GET OUT and feel the world they want to write. She's even (SHUDDER) held a tarantula and a scorpion for research. She does onsite research. To better understand how they work for her story, PJ's visited sewage treatment facilities and recycling plants. 

Find cool places and take pictures. Take it all in. Remember what it looks like. What it smells like. What it sounds like.

The three things a writer should always have?
  1. A notebook for notes
  2. A camera
  3. An open mind

Keri was up next. She mentioned that she lived on the Jersey Shore. I wanted to ask her if she knew The Situation (GTL baby!) but I held back when I remembered that my own friends and family from the Shore don't really think I'm funny when I ask them the same thing.

Anyway. Keri writes sports into stories because, growing up an athlete, she wasn't ever able to relate to characters in books, so she wants to give today's athletic students more of an incentive to read. I think what she does is really cool--especially as a former middle school/high school teacher, I know there are sporty students who would love to read her books. Because, as Keri stated, it's not that athletes don't want to read--it's that there aren't a ton of fiction books out there featuring athletes as main characters, with sports playing a major part in the plot.

Here is a list of things to consider if you're writing a sporty book:
  • KNOW THE SPORT. Either play it or confer with an expert. Because if you don't? Your readers will know in an instant.
  • Keep it action packed and fast paced.
  • And as with other books:
    • Have plots and subplots
    • A distinguished Voice
    • Theme
    • Characterization

Suzanne spoke next about the differences between physical landscapes and emotional ones. She made the excellent point that details are what make your fiction believable. For her book, Bull Rider (about how one boy and his family deal with the loss and grief brought on by war), she did a LOT of research. Including learning about TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and soldiers who come home from the Iraq war suffering from it.Did you know that there are 160,000 of them? That number threw me for a huge loop.

And Barrie spoke at the end. She writes humorous Middle Grade mystery books. She spoke a lot about how settings play a role in her stories. She always makes sure that her settings play a part in the mystery clues. She uses a poster board, divided into chapters, to keep everything straight. I wish her books had been around when I was in middle school because from the Voice in the titles alone, I know I would have loved them! Um, hello: I So Don't Do Spooky. Sounds just. Like. Me. 

Okay so that's all for today. Tomorrow will be my last post on the VA Festival of the Book--but it's a good one! Everything I learned from the Agent Roundtable I went to...

♥ me

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Getting Published: Picture Books to YA

As I mentioned last week, at the Virginia Festival of the Book I sat in on a panel titled: Getting Published: Picture Books to YA. The panelists, were authors Laura Rennert (Buying, Training and Caring for Your Dinosaur), Deborah Heiligman (Charles and Emma), Bonnie Doerr (Island Sting), Emily Ecton(Night of the Living Lawn Ornaments), and Ruth Spiro (Lester Fizz, Bubble-Gum Artist).

Laura Rennert (LR) is an author--AND an agent (in fact she reps one of our very own!) Buying, Training and Caring for your Dinosaur was actually Laura's daughter's wish. Another thing that I thought was really cool about Laura was this: She submitted her manuscript to publishers under a different name--because she didn't want the fact that she's an agent to impact the assessment she received on her work! She only confessed that she was the author when an offer was made on the book! 

Deborah Heiligman(DH)  writes mostly nonfiction and has published 27 books (5 of which are fiction). She got started by writing articles in Scholastic News--she fell in love with writing for kids. She quit when she started her family but continued writing on her own.

Bonnie Doerr (BD) wrote a "tween" novel called Island Sting. Her passion for writing came out of being a reading teacher. She's a nature fanatic and her her novels celebrate caring, involved, “green” teens who take action with attitude and a touch of romance.

Emily Ecton (EE) is a Middle Grade teacher with a degree in playwriting. She's also  a writer and producer for Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!
the NPR news.

Ruth Spiro (RS) started writing in 2001 as a stay at home mom. Her stories have also been published in popular anthologies, notably The Right Words at the Right Time, Volume 2: Your Turn, edited by Marlo Thomas, and several Chicken Soup for the Soul titles.  She especially loves writing for children, and her picture book, Lester Fizz: Bubble Gum Artist, will be published by Dutton.

Just like at the Science Fiction panel, a moderator asked questions and the panelists answered. I have to be honest--I didn't take a ton of notes during this panel. It moved rather quickly and I didn't want to pay attention to what I was writing and miss anything that was shared. But here are the things that I did capture:

QUESTION: What advice do you have for getting published?

LR: Do your homework--present yourself professionally. A good place to do that homework? Publishers Market Place.

BD: Be determined and persistent. Develop thick skin.

DH: Work on your craft. No matter how many contacts you might have in the industry, you still need to write the best book possible.

RS: Get out there as much as possible. Get involved. Go to signings. Meet as many people as you can.

EE: Read in the genre you're trying to write.

QUESTION: Do you need an agent to get published?

LR: Fewer publishing houses are accepting unagented manuscripts these days. Agents help a lot with the editorial/revision process and they have good contacts in the industry--a business that's constantly growing. Agents work not on one book, but on your entire career.

BD: Doesn't have an agent, but wishes she'd had one. She is happy with her publishing company though--she had a lot of say in her book's design.

RS: It is possible to sell without an agent. Especially if you meet editors at conferences--she has a list of editors who are willing to read her work. However, she's thinking about searching for an agent because it's much easier to make writing a career if you have one.

DH: Her agent kicks her butt! Agents are incredible support systems.

QUESTION: Something about Picture Books...

LR: Picture books are created for ages 0-9. Words and pictures play an equal part.  90% of fiction picture book authors have nothing to do with the artwork. Currently, the sweet spot for picture books that are selling are for ages 4-6 (400-1000 words). Picture books say a lot with a little.


Nancy Lamb: The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children (Especially good for word count guidelines.)

Thomas Nelson: Writing a Winning Book Proposal (Click for a free download!)

Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR) Website--questions to ask potential agents

Predators and Editors Website


All of the panelists spoke about the benefits to attending conferences. Making contacts in the industry and branching out can really put you on the right track toward publication. Of course, you've got to have a great book too =)

PS I found the images on the authors' webpages!

♥ me

Monday, April 5, 2010

Science Fiction: Other Places, Other Universes

One quick note: If you like cherry blossoms, I've posted several shots I took during sunrise last Friday on my other blog: Simply Saradise. I'll be updating it with more for the next few days!
I mentioned last week that I'd gone to several panels at the Virginia Festival of the Book. Science Fiction: Other Places, Other Universes being one of them. The panelists were: David Louis Edelman (Infoquake), Katherine Kurtz (Deryni Series), and Kim Harrison (White Witch, Black Curse). 

David Louis Edelman (DLE) wrote Infoquake (think: Doon meets the Wall Street Journal). The novel is half satire, half serious about running software on human bodies. Natch, the MC is an amoral entrepreneur.

Katherine Kurtz (KK) wrote the Deryni Series--a 10th & 11th century medieval fantasy, set in the land of Gwynedd, one of the fictional Eleven Kingdoms, about both humans and Deryni, a race of people with inherent psychic and magical abilities. (I LOVED this series--though I misplaced it during one of my many post-college moves. I'll get it again someday soon for sure.) She wrote the Adept Series--set in present day Scottland, and she's also got an urban fantasy coming out called St. Patrick's Gargoyle--set in Dublin with the premise that gargoyles used to be God's avenging angels. 

Kim Harrison (KH) writes The Hollows series (think: Buffy meets Columbo)--set in an alternate reality in the 40s. The series will cap after book 12--not because the publisher mandates it, but because Kim is ready to move on to something else. She's also started a young adult series, staring 17-year-old Madison Avery, who is killed by a "dark reaper" named Kairos on her prom night. But by stealing Kairos's amulet in the process, Madison manages to retain her soul.

The moderator asked questions and the panelists answered. Here are the questions and responses:

QUESTION: Do you write people that you know into books?

KH: Bits and pieces of other people and lots of myself

KK: You can't help but have parts of people. I give villains names of people that piss me off. A close fan friend passed away and I wrote her into my current book as a mother--the friend had always wanted to be a mother, but never had the chance.

DLE: Started as a dot-commer and used the dot com employee patterns in Infoquake. Once, around 1998, my boss refused to pay $75 for electricity at a trade show. Instead he brought an extension cord and stole the electricity from someone else. (I believe he said he wrote this into his book.)

QUESTION: How do you handle writer's block?

KH: It doesn't happen often to me. When it does, it's usually when I try to make a character do something they wouldn't really do. If that happens, I'll either rewrite the scene or create a history for the character so that their actions would make sense.  I outline all of my novels--I don't always necessarily stick to the the outline, but I replot it when I need to. I also always write the dialogue first and then go back and fill in the blanks.

KK: Unconscious causes writer's block. When it strikes, I play with my characters--look at their geneological charts to determine interactions that make sense. I also stick to a writing schedule.

DLE: Editor deadlines help writer's block. I also set goals.

QUESTION: Something about outlining the worlds of your story--world building...

KH: I build a part of the world and then throw a character into it. The two grow together.

KK: Planning only gets you so far. The world doesn't actually exist until you write it.

DLE: Plotting and writing go hand in hand.

KK: Build the bones of your story and start flushing it out.

QUESTION: Who are your influences?

KH: Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke. I consider myself a science fiction writer--though  my novels are urban fantasy--because I set up the pacing a lot like science fiction novels. Characters are killed off, etc.  

KK: History is fascinating because of the people who made this stuff happen. Dune made a huge impact on me. Robert Heinlein also.

DLE: Frank Herbert, Arthur C. Clarke, Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, Stephen Donaldson. William Gibson is my current influence.

QUESTION: What is the most tedious part of the writing process for you?

DLE: Getting from awesome scene A to awesome scene B. The "fill in" stuff. Granted, after rewrites, I end up enjoying what I used to consider filler.

KK: Figuring out where to start and rewriting chapters when you belatedly realize you have to start sooner.

KH: Page proofing nuts and bolts. GRAMMAR. 

QUESTION: Do you correlate music with writing/characters?

KH: I use music to help me figure out characters--I think it helps to free my subconscious.

KK: I don't use music to help with writing because I only listen to music that I love and when I listen to it, I don't want to be doing anything else! I sometimes use gregorian chants. I did use Song for Athena to help write a funeral scene.

DLE: I don't listen to music while writing either. I often find that writing goes at its own musical pace and real music would compete with it.

And then the panel was out of time, so the panelists wrapped up.  So there ya have it!   

♥ me