lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Google tossed up a late but nice reader-review of BLOOD FROM STONE, which had a line in it that really pleased me: "This is the last book in the retriever series and as much as I enjoy this world I think it was the right time to end it."

I felt the same -- I had put Wren through her paces, and she was resting quietly in my head, while other characters were speaking up. It's tempting, often, to say "okay, one more" (especially if someone is offering you money to do it!), but listening to your gut on things like this is important. Of course, had they offered me six figures... I'd like to think I would have negotiated something I could live with, artistically. But six figures (to the left of the decimal point) is a LOT of money.

Of course, as I type this, I am working on a book where Wren plays an important role.., but she's a player in the scene, not the spotlighted character. She says and does what she needs to, and then gets out of the way. I suspect she -- and Sergei, and Wren and PB and all the other players of the Cosa Nostradamus - will be doing that quite a bit, going forward. It's one of the joys of writing an extended community...

EtA: Bonus bit of #WiP from PSI#4:

“Oh dear,” she said, in a tone of voice that put every nerve I had on edge. There's “oh dear that’s too bad” and then there’s “oh dear, this is very bad” and hers was the latter.

For those of you, btw, who are confused or uncertain about where to start or how to read:the publication/reading order of the Cosa Nostradamus books )
lagilman: coffee or die (blood from stone)
The mass market editions of BURNING BRIDGES, FREE FALL, and BLOOD FROM STONE are now Officially available for $7.99.

And hey, they [and the rest of the series] are also available at B&N in digital format for less than the price of the mass market editions (20% less, if you're a member)

Hey, Amazon! Bite us!


[in case anyone was wondering, I get the same approximate royalties on mass and digital editions. So while I'd love to get a few cents more on each copy sold, I'd rather sell copies than not-sell copies, IYKWIM...]
lagilman: coffee or die (madness toll)
So I'm in the process of proofreading the Cosa Nostradamus stories that will be in the BookView Cafe collection prior to taking on the OMG Ack task of formatting it, and I thought maybe I should offer a something 'extra' for people who buy all five stories together, rather than individually. But what would be "value added?"

Damned if I know. So I figured, hey, why not ask the LJ Groupmind what they'd want?

[Poll #1518043]

Votes are for consultation purposes only and the winning votes will not be considered binding, although I'd be a moron to ignore an overwhelming majority, and I try not to be that stupid....
lagilman: coffee or die (madness toll)
A reader (listener's) reaction to FLESH AND FIRE: "I loved her Retriever novels. This is not one of them."

I really don't know what else to say. Obviously, I'm sorry the reader was disappointed, and hope that HARD MAGIC will make her happy again. But, um, it's not like we didn't alert potential readers to what the book was about: the cover and copy were pretty explicit, there was no sneaking, no trying to distract you into thinking it was More of the Same.

So... yeah, I'm afraid I laughed. *iz bad person*

On a more serious note, this is what I discussed in my guest-blog about "Changing Gears" over at [ profile] varkat's LJ -- the concern that readers won't follow you from one style/world to another -- or that, if they do, they will be upset/disappointed in the new direction, or feel somehow "betrayed" by the new books. Fear of pissing off/frustrating readers is a significant career motivator, and it can lock a writer into something until long after the enjoyment's gone out of it for them. Part of the reason I write different things (contemporary and epic fantasy, horror, paranormal romance, YA, non-fiction, short fiction of all stripes) is so that I don't feel 'caught' and can go back to a particular series feeling refreshed and eager to dive back in.

For the most part, the response to my change-overs has been really good -- readers pick and choose what they like, and if there's crossover between the two, that's great: cross-pollination is a wonderful thing, especially if I can get someone reading outside their usual comfort zone (something we all should do on a semi-regular basis). But the risk that someone will go "ack ew, too [fill in objection]" is always there. It's a risk I decided to take, for the very real, valuable upsides, and I believe it was the right thing for me to do, even at the risk of negative responses. Hell, I'm sure that someone's going to flip their wig because the PSI books are (mostly) 1st person*...

[*I am still amused as hell about the reviewer who claimed that ALL urban fantasy is written in the first person. ALL of it. Um.....]
lagilman: coffee or die (blood from stone)
1. We have had a Popcorn Incident here at Ch. Felidae. The felines are moderately traumatized. I knew I should have gotten chocolate instead.
2. Meanwhile, cleaning up files and found an interview I'd done for a site but the person doing the interviews had to step down and it kinda got lost in the cracks. So y'all can see it here -- a little late, but hopefully still interesting/amusing/enlightening.

Wren and Sergei talk about BLOOD FROM STONE )
3. and, on a much less silly note, been on a Bruce kick the past few days, for some reason. But in light of events in Iran, "Worlds Apart" really kicked me in the gut.

lyrics behind the cut )
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
It has come to my attention that:

1. copies of BURNING BRIDGES are hard to find right now. They are being reprinted soonish, I am told, but if you want a copy NOW, drop me an e-mail and we can work something out.

2. Some folk, desiring to keep their collection all in one format, are SOL trying to find copies of the first three books (STAYING DEAD, CURSE THE DARK, BRING IT ON) in trade, now that they're out in mass market. As per above, e-mail me to discuss.

Lauraanne (dot) gilman (at) sff (dot) net
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
off a conversation [ profile] debg and I were having, and since she posted first... the last lines of my published Cosa Nostradamus books (I'd do the other books, but I'd have to go dig them out and I'm laaaazy) and a few others that were on the bookcase. And yes, I know. Some of them are the last two sentences. Pbbbtthht.

"They weren't bad, as humans went. He rather thought he might keep them." (STAYING DEAD)

"But there are things stirring now, things that would lead me to believe that a coalition of sectors might be to our mutual benefit..." (CURSE THE DARK)

"They'd fight -- tomorrow. Today, there was art to display." (BRING IT ON)

"So long as you're safe." (BURNING BRIDGES)

(aside: BURNING BRIDGES may be the most romantic book I've ever written. And there's barely any actual romance in it)

"His startled laughter was the best sound she had heard in months." (FREE FALL)

potential spoilers ) (BLOOD FROM STONE)

I am, btw, damned amused that the last line of the first book and the last line of the sixth book tie together both thematically and emotionally. In fact, the sixth book picks up and ties in a neat little bow things I set in motion in that first book. Of course I did it on purpose. *nods firmly* Totally on purpose, planned out, all that. Uh-huh....

"When Merlin came back, everything was going to change for her." (GRAIL QUEST: THE CAMELOT CURSE)

"But nobody heard her." (GRAIL QUEST: MORGAIN'S REVENGE)

"And, in the window of her bed chamber, a small owl clucked mournfully, then spread its sawdust-stuffed wings and flew away." (GRAIL QUEST: THE SHADOW COMPANION)

"And the line between the two is often merely the width of interpretation." (P:TL: THE SHADOWS BETWEEN)

"And somewhere in the non-distance of time, she felt a vaguely feline, powerful purr of approval." (THE NIGHT SERPENT)

"Laughing, a book tucked carefully under her arm, Buffy obeyed." (BTVS: DEEP WATER)

"And, as the Observer would admit to Sam much later, he had never seen his friend make a more beautiful Leap -- a description that had little to do with the display that he alone had witnessed." (QUANTUM LEAP: DOUBLE OR NOTHING)

ETA: and, for those of you who want a weeeee taste, the first line (sort of) from FLESH & FIRE:

"In the hills of southern Iaja, thunder had rolled through the night before, but no rain accompanied it, and the slaves were at work in the vineyards soon after sunrise."


May. 17th, 2009 03:47 pm
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Writing the 8th book in an extended series can seriously frustrate the writer when she needs the name she gave something in book, er, 4? And she doesn't have access to the manuscript.

I need me some detail-happy fans who will build me a Cosa Nostradamus wiki, damn it.

On the plus side, had an "oh, NOW it will work!" moment. Yay for pizza and coffee, brain food of a generation...

*dives back into work*
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
The header was going to be "I got nothin'" because the day stretches ahead of me like a busy but dull-to-report writing thing, and I'm all out of foodie neep (and, in fact, may not eat at all today)

However, I was reminded that I do indeed have something to report!

Because "Inferno," the PB back-history short story, has gone live at Bookview Cafe.

It is part, before anyone asks, of a series of "back history" stories I'm writing about a number of the secondary and supporting characters, that will only be available via BookView Cafe (until some publisher offers me wads of cash for a print collection, anyway, she said, being brutally honest. At which point it will cost you more to read, so get 'em now while they're exclusive!)

For your .99 cents, you will also get an excerpt that was only ever before available to eHarlequin readers -- a short excerpt from the book Sergei has been threatening to write about the Care and Feeding of Talent (as referenced in STAYING DEAD and, I think, BRING IT ON.)

EtA: and, because my brain's not back on-line entirely yet: picspam! )

EtA #2: is it cheating to put something you already did this morning on your daily to-do list?
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Ah, Monday. Now that I'm trying to keep schedule with an actual 'regular' work-week again, Mondays are all sorts of filled with ...Mondayness. But I still have a really short commute and a very cool job, so I shan't complain.

For those of you itching for a hint of what's to come, there's an excerpt from Blood From Stone over at the Cosa Nostradamus On-Line. And, to get your lazy fingers clicking, LJers who comment there will be entered for a random drawing of copies of Curse the Dark and Bring it On in mass market form, a month before they're available in stores!

Had dinner last night at B Cafe, on the Upper East Side. Mussels and confit pig belly, and Carbonnade Flamande, oh my. Also, salsifis for the first time. Mmmm. Nice little place, solid food, excellent waitstaff, and they seem to have a courtyard in back for warmer weather.

And since it's been a while since my last wine confession:

The bottle we opened to celebrate the final revisions to FLESH AND FIRE was a 2004 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon, a gift from [ profile] taikyoyo and the lj-less D. Really all I can say about this wine is that it was everything that is classic and good about a Napa Cabernet, and nothing bad.

I've also been drinking a 2005 Cote de Beaune-Villages from Camille Giroud. I picked this up for purely emotional reasons (Beaune was one of the towns I fell in love with while in Burgundy) and 2005 is an amazing year. My personal preference is for the darker fruit of Cote de Nuits, but this is soft, very classic-strawberry pinot noir, and worked very well as a chat-and-cook wine. I also put some of it into the risotto, to excellent effect. $25.

I was also given a bottle of Louis Jadot Beaujolais 2007 by a neighbor and while -- as close readers of the LJ will remember -- I'm not a fan of beaujolais as a rule, this was pleasant, and has excelled at every recipe it's been added to, including the short ribs mentioned last week. Around $10-15

Remember: don't put any wine you wouldn't drink into your food. Your taste buds will thank you.

and now, back to work, me. What's everyone else doing on this lovely Monday of Mondays?
lagilman: coffee or die (free fall)
While I was working on Free Fall and Blood From Stone, I was putting together PB's backstory in my head -- and writing it down as a short story set before the events in Staying Dead. Portions of that story were used in those books, and so I've never done anything with the story itself....

But there is, apparently, some fannish interest in reading it. So. If I were to put it into an easily downloadable PDF format and post it at BookView Cafe, would you toss a few coins in the storyteller's bowl?

[Poll #1336733]

(note: the story itself is 5,000+ words long. This isn't a snippet.)
lagilman: coffee or die (free fall)
Over on her LJ, Second-Best-Evah Agent (after our own Madame Agent/[ profile] arcaedia, of course) Lucienne Diver/[ profile] varkat is running Urban Fantasy Week, and asked me to play along. Today I'm holding forth on the challenges of trying to convince people that something Real is also Fantastical....

and we're giving away a copy of FREE FALL, too!
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Morning? Again? Already? *shuffles over to get the cafFiend stoked up and working*

A random dip into the LJ-verse gives us [ profile] frankwu discussing "Wall-E," wherein he says:

The thing about fantasy and science fiction is that in fantasy stuff just happens - there are rules, but we never really know why the sword has the ability to sing, or how chanting particular words and sowing dragon's teeth into the ground raises up armies of living skeletons - but in science fiction, it's important to say HOW something happens.

Um. Am I alone I thinking that Frank, smart guy tho he is, is showing more his own bias than the reality of the fantasy genre? That a lot of fantasy is as well-grounded in the HOW of magic [not just the rules but who gets what abilities and why] as a lot of SF [since SF does not automatically and only mean Hard SF], is about the HOW of science? Because by his specific standards, the Cosa Nostradamus universe is one of SF, not fantasy. And while I'm all about ignoring genre limitations...

Or maybe I am writing SF. I mean, electricity? Bio-chemical reactions to magic-use? Magic-hackers? Artificially-created species and...hrm. And sentient curses, vengeful ghosts, loan-sharking dragons in the Appalachians, dryads and piskies in Central Park, and a bansidhe living in a stuffed horse?

Right. What the hell am I writing, anyway?*

Discuss. I'll be back later.

[why it sometimes takes me a while to get to work. Beware the cat-dragon on its hoard!] )

*first person to say "science fantasy" gets kicked in the shins. That's a cop-out, IMO, and you might as well admit that it's all speculative fiction and the 'rules' of each genre are bullshit. Which is actually what I think, but shhhh, this is about your arguments, not mine....
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
It took me longer than planned, but revisions for BLOOD FROM STONE are done. I've polished and tightened and still managed to add another 4,000 words to bring me within striking distance -- as always -- of the contracted-for word count.

I'll see it once more in line edit, and then again in proofs, and then it goes away, and... and as much as I really needed a break, I find myself feeling melancholy, too. I've had their voices in my head since 2001, more or less, for six books and three short stories, and while I'm enjoying the helll out of HARD MAGIC, Bonnie and the crew are good new friends, while Sergei, Wren and P.B. are old and dear comrades. Silver and gold.

Odds are good that there will be more Wren and Sergei stories. I think I know where they go from here, what adventures they will face. But even if Luna signs me up for more books tomorrow, they won't be written right away. HARD MAGIC and the two other books have first claim on my time and brain. And that is how it should be. And yet...

I've poured myself a glass of the good shit -- Glenmorangie 1989, single cask rare -- and am raising a toast: To Wren and Sergei. May their stories only grow in the telling.
lagilman: coffee or die (citron presse)
Poking at some thoughts here. Less an essay or even any kind of answer-to-question than a ramble out loud while I'm working other stuff in the foreground...
There have been people -- including people who really should know better -- who insist that Wren is me, that she speaks in my voice. Actually, Wren speaks with Jackie's voice, and someday, if Jackie ever reads these books and figures it out, I'm a dead woman. But that's beside the point.

Wren isn't me, and I am not her. cut-tagged for mercy of the uninterested readers )
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Writing Bonnie's POV, I'm discovering how very differently she approaches her core of current than Wren does, both in how she perceives it mentally and (as a follow-through) how she crafts her spells using it.

I hadn't thought about that before I started -- in any particular universe, magic is magic and spellcasting is spellcasting, right? it should follow the same basic process for everyone within a certain culture.... Nope. It's amazingly personal and tied to the way a person's brain works (are they more visual or aural? Do they tend to think in water metaphors, or air? Etc). And that's before you get into the whole messy bog of Old Magics.

Fascinating. Occasionally frustrating (what do you mean, I have to recreate an entire method of spellcasting? Why won't the way I did it for six books work for this character, too?), but fascinating.

I love my job.
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
business first:

My first boss in publishing, Neil Nyren, speaks out at Murderati. Go check it out -- he's a seriously smart guy, and a damned good editor, too. I learned a hell of a lot from him. You can too. If nothing else, what the voice of an Old Time Editor sounds like.

an excerpt:

"Because, in fiction at least, we’re always buying the author, not a particular book. We’re trying to establish a career. Which is why it is absolutely not true that we’ve stopped planning for the long-term. The long-term is what we plan for most."
and, for those of you jonesing for feline picspam...

and [ profile] deire gifted me with a portrait of P.B.!

lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
At Lunacon this afternoon, I was handed a contract (thus making it official after the "I like this, I want it" e-mail a few months ago) for my story "Wolfling" to go to Abyss & Apex.

(for those keeping track at home, this is a story in the "Dragon Virus" universe)

I also, on my way out the door, got in the mail my very first ever piece of fanart. Specifically, of P.B. *squeeeee!* I have been showing it around proudly, and the general reaction has been "how cool! And it's really good!"

As soon as I have the scanner set up, I will share it with y'all. :-)

And now I need to get some sleep, as tomorrow is a damn full day of conventioning...
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Yesterday was filled with such things as playing with cats, going to the gym, watching football, making The Killer Lasagna, and having friends over for said lasgna plus a very expensive bottle of wine I've been saving for the right occasion.

Sometimes, good food and good friends is just exactly the right occasion.

Now I have a fridge of leftovers, a faint edge of a hangover (wince) and a sideboard filled with drying dishes. So it's back to work I go.

From here until the end of the year, I:

Need to finish the line edit of FREE FALL and send it back this week. Should see Draft status on BLOOD FROM STONE this week or next as well, having jogged my memory on a few things while rereading FREE FALL (the timing on this was a godsend, really) Also need to finish up the final draft of DAUGHTER OF THE SEA ('Anna's' project) by December 15. There are two short stories I've been asked to write I need to get cracking on, and another two that are tugging at my sleeve asking for some attention. Plus the New Project, which somewhere around the second or third glass of wine last night I promised to do chapters for, before January. Urk.

and after January?

Bonnie 1 due: August 2008
outline Bonnie 2 due: September 2008
Bonnie 2 due: May 2009
outline Bonnie 3 due: June 2009
Bonnie 3 due: February 2010

Right now, that looks like a long, peaceful stretch of road. Somehow it never actually ends up that way.

Coming up soon: A discussion of Romantic (Urban) Fantasy, off a comment in an earlier thread, and some thoughts (if desired - vote early and vote often) about setting deadlines, riffed off the above dates.

EtA: It is day six without diet coke or diet Snapple. So far, only one twitch (Saturday, when I realized I had no option other than water with my grab-and-go lunch). I need to remember to drink my usual amount of water, tho, instead of more coffee/tea.
lagilman: coffee or die (caffeine)
Today is the official start date for RETRIEVERS 6. *rubs hands in anticipation* Contract due date is January 2008. Goal is to finish by 1 December 2007

retrievers #6

I spent last night rereading the end of FREE FALL and staring at the outline for #6, hoping that I would dream the first chapter and wake up with it all in my head and ready to go.


And woke this morning to a short story reject, a day too late to send the story to my next choice of markets. Grrr. *shrug* So it goes.


lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Laura Anne Gilman

October 2017

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