Still not stale …

If anyone reading this blog is in the position I was this time three years ago – you’ve been writing for years and sold a few short stories, but you’re wondering if you’ll ever get that mythical book deal – then don’t read anything after the line marked ‘smug alert’. If you ignore this advice, you may feel compelled to send me hate mail, and that’s OK, but I probably won’t reply.

However, do read this, which comes from Liz Williams, author of Banner of Souls, Winterstrike and the fabulous Inspector Chen novels, amongst other things:

“I’m scheduling a couple of 2 day workshops in London and Glastonbury on the 20th-21st February (Glastonbury) and the 20th-21st March (London).

This particular workshop is directed at people who are aiming at publication and covers the basics of:

– short story writing
– novel writing
– preparing work for publication
– marketing your work
– contacting agents and publishers
– genre as an industry

There are a maximum of 15 places and no entry criteria. We will not be doing a lot of writing during the workshop itself – the idea, which has proved successful in the University of Sussex workshops, is to download as much as possible of what I have learned in a decade-long pro career into your heads!

Please email me on liz(at)arkady(dot)org for full details”

Liz has been very helpful and supportive to me, and many other writers, over the years. She is an invaluable storehouse of knowledge of the SF and F writing world and a great teacher. I recommend this course highly.

*** smug alert ***

Becoming a filthy-rotten-pro has brought many new experiences, most of them pleasant. At the moment I’m enjoying one in particular on an almost daily basis.

As you may or may not know, I’m writing a series, the first two books of which are now in print. This means I often need to refer back to what I’ve written before, so as to avoid shooting myself with my own canon, so to speak.

I can do this by going into the version of the relevant novel marked FINAL on my computer (that’s ‘final’ of many iterations, by the way). This is what I do if, say, I need to find whether I’ve mentioned a specific person or place (how did writers manage before the ‘find’ command?)

However, if I need to read a particular passage to refresh my memory, then I go over to my bookshelves, take down a copy of Principles of Angels or Consorts of Heaven, open it in the relevant place, and start reading. Reading a real, live, genuine book, that I wrote.

I’m sure one day the joy I get in doing this will fade, but it hasn’t yet.

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