Author Charlie N. Holmberg: My Long Journey to Publication

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Charlie N. Holmberg

Welcome to Charlie N. Holmberg, the most tenacious of writers, who never gave up hope of seeing her work in print. I’m delighted to host Charlie in the week that her novel The Paper Magician is published.

Everyone knows it—the road to publication is a long and bumpy one, with few bus stops along the way. Mine wasn’t much different; it took me seven years before I reached any landmarks! But the advice that’s passed around the most is also the best: stick with it. Or, in the words of Jason Nesmith, “Never give up, never surrender!”

I’ve been writing since age thirteen, but I didn’t take it seriously until I started my undergrad at Brigham Young University. I was nineteen when I finished my first, way-too-long, truly awful RPG-style epic-fantasy novel. That burned up in a wild dumpster fire and was never heard from again.

I started a second book, one that I thought had a more original premise and interesting characters. Another epic fantasy. At this time Read more

The Philip K Dick Award, His Legacy and His Surrealism

Philip K Dick Nominees

So here we have, from the left, Ann Leckie’s representative Ellen Brady Wright (Orbit), err…me, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Ben H Winters, Toh EnJoe (special citation), and EnJoe’s translator, Terry Gallagher.

What a thrill to be in this line-up. The lovely Ben H Winters won the Philip K Dick Award 2013 for Countdown City, sequel to The Last Policeman. Ben is a smart and witty writer so make a note of his two titles! This photo was taken at Norwescon in Seattle where the award ceremony takes place every year. Here’s a full list of the nominated works.

Award administrator Gordon Van Gelder (left) and T William Sadorus (right) ceremony coordinator.

Award administrator Gordon Van Gelder (left) and T William Sadorus (right) ceremony coordinator.

Each author read an extract before the award was announced and I have to admit I’m getting accustomed to reading in public, and I definitely enjoy the experience.  The award is administered by Gordon Van Gelder, award-winning editor of the New York based Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

I was delighted to join Gordon on a panel discussion on Philip K Dick’s literary legacy, together with Toh EnJoe, Nick Mamatas (EnJoe’s editor), Jack Skillingstead and Cassandra Rose Clarke. We each talked about our connections with Philip K Dick’s writing. For me, Read more

Update: Norwescon, video trailer, Philip K Dick Award…

It’s been a hectic and fun time since I last posted so here’s a quick round-up. First, here’s a fabulous video trailer for A Calculated Life. Many thanks to Ian Koviak at theBookDesigners for producing this animated graphic. Video trailers are becoming more common for novels and it’s easy to see why when you watch this great animation.

If you happen to be attending the SF convention Norwescon in Seattle, I hope you’ll catch one or more events I’m involved with including a panel discussion on near-future political science fiction. In addition, I’ll be joining writers talking about the publishing industry and how to find a readership for your fiction.  Read more

J Lincoln Fenn: 6 Worst Ways to Get Your Novel Published

J Lincoln Fenn

J Lincoln Fenn

J Lincoln Fenn won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in 2013 for her horror novel POE. I’m extremely chuffed to host Fenn today! With her wealth of experience she offers top tips to writers who are battling to land their first book deal. I especially like No.6. Read on!

Not many writers are happy, Emily Dickenson-like, to write copiously without anyone ever reading a word. And with the occasional writer breaking through to near rock star status, writing the right book could be like winning the lottery. So how do you achieve that kind of literary success?

I have no idea.

What I do know, from years of knocking my head uselessly against brick walls trying to get published, is what not to do. Here’re some pointers. Read more

Spain: A New Playground for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror

Author and SF blogger, Cristina JuradoI am delighted to host author Cristina Jurado on my blog today to describe the current boom in Science Fiction in Spain and the assimilation of Fantasy into mainstream publishing. Cristina brings together the views of leading figures in Spain’s SFF community to discuss the future of science fiction, fantasy and horror publishing.

If Spain were the title of a recent fantasy movie, it would be “The desolation of Smaug”. The country has been in such economical stress over the last few years – rampaging unemployment, numerous banking and political scandals, and popular discontent over the Government decisions – that it looks as if it has been ravaged by powerful predators. No more Spanish miracle due to the booming of the construction market.

Spaniards are having a hard time getting back on their feet, and the cultural landscape has been greatly affected by high taxes (21% in cultural related products like e-books, movies, etc.) and cuts in public funding. Although the Conservative party in power has recently announced it is planning to lower taxes, people remain highly skeptical.

Fewer books but more science fiction titles Read more

A Calculated Life is Nominated for Philip K Dick Award

Yesterday afternoon I received the astonishing news that my first novel is one of seven nominated works for the Philip K. Dick Award.

I’m a long time fan of Philip K. Dick’s writing and I’ve enjoyed so many screen adaptations of his work. I’m sure many people have started reading science fiction as a result of seeing, for example, Blade Runner, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, Total Recall.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 11.12.25Seven novels have reached the shortlist. Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you to the judges! A Calculated Life is 47North’s first book to receive a nomination for a major award so I expect there’s a bit of celebrating on the other side of the pond.

The winner and any special citations will be announced on Friday 18 April at Norwescon 37 in Seattle. I had already booked to attend! So I’m hoping to meet the other nominees as well as the judges and award administrators. And I’ll be meeting face-to-face for the first time with the 47North team including my editor David Pomerico.

Here is the list of nominees:

Read more

47North Releases A Calculated Life, Today

The 47North editorial, design and publicity teams have surpassed themselves! In the space of just two months — since acquisitions editor David Pomerico signed me up — they have created a fabulous new cover for A Calculated Life, expedited my manuscript through the editing and proofing process, organized the audiobook and generally ‘put the word out there’. I’ve been involved at every stage in the process!

Little did I know when I took the difficult decision to self-publish my novel that, eight months later, I’d be signing a book deal with a US publisher. Read more

Lightspeed

Susan Duerden Narrates Audiobook, and Other News

Cripes! It’s just two weeks to the release of A Calculated Life by 47North and, at some point before Christmas, the audiobook will be released. I’ve just learned that the audiobook narrator is British actress Susan Duerden who played Carole Littleton in the Lost television series. Susan won an award for her narration of The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht, and she has also narrated Embassytown by China Mieville, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and many more. In an interview with AudioGals website, Susan says she now has a recording studio at home, which allows her to take on more book narration work.

In other developments… I’m particularly chuffed that 47North is advertising my book prior to release on the excellent online magazine Lightspeed. It’s a cute ad! I’m not sure how to describe it – it’s a three-image slideshow advert. Take a look here. And here’s a screen capture: Read more