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Showing posts from November, 2017

UT Football Coach Search--The Plot Thickens

Author's note: Sometimes, writers hear stories from sources that want to remain anonymous, which means those stories won't work in the context of regular journalism. That's where blogs can come in handy. And if I HAD heard any allegories from...say...4 or 5 boosters who didn't want to be named, I imagine the story would sound remarkably like this. Take from that what you will. 

You folks know I’m a novelist by profession, so I decided I would have a little fun with the ongoing UT coaching hire nightmare —just for fun and laughs — and tell you the story I would write if this was one of my books. I'd market it as a behind-the-doors business intrigue work of fiction that spans the gamut from the hiring of a football coach at a state university to big-money boosters and corruption.
First, the foreword. I’ve already inflicted poetry on you folks, so might as well go ahead and quote the Bible here: Matthew 6:24 — No man can be the bondservant of two masters; for either he w…

So...Let's Talk About the Harlequinade's Life History in Publishing

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A few people in the world have read some or all of my Harlequinade series. Many of those people are NY editors at Big 5 houses, and from most everyone who's read one or more of the books I have gotten seriously mixed signals. 

Let me catch you up. The Harlequinade series is set in a world where American professional theater meets urban fantasy/horror--kind of like Something Wicked This Way Comes had a love child with The Phantom of the Opera. It's a serious genre mashup with elements of horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, historical fantasy, time travel, and literary science fiction. The first book in this series, Theater of Seduction, won an award at RT, landed me my awesome agent, and managed to bulldoze its way through numerous publishing departments only to be killed off after multiple reads. The feedback I did receive was a variant of the following:
Don't know where we'd shelve it.
Too intellectual. 
Needs more *insert whatever the last editor said to take out …

The Tragedy of George RR Martin--Discipline, Joy, and Speculative Fiction

Because I write speculative fiction, creating epic novels or series be they fantasy, sci fi, or paranormal is an advantage. Spec fic readers love to immerse themselves in a vast world capable of supporting huge plot arcs with hordes of characters to fall in love with and, in my worlds at least, grieve over after they suffer heinous deaths. That's the kind of interaction any writer craves for their readers. When I get hate mail for killing off favorite characters, I do a little happy dance around my desk. 
When readers get pissed enough to yell at me for killing off a character, that means I did my job right and I did it well. 
Why?
Because the readers were so emotionally invested in the story that they responded to that character's death with genuine feeling. 
The great thing about epic fiction is that you can kill off a lot of characters in a long, complex plot arc. 
But there are pitfalls, too. 
Sometimes, an epic plot arc can get away from a writer. I'm a very prolific…