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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Posts Tagged ‘jeff vandermeer’

Friday Links is a Bit Proud

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Proud of my state and my premier this week, for creating legislation that brings gay marriage a little closer to Australia. Same sex marriage laws have passed the Tasmanian Lower House as of yesterday and now have to face the legislative council. It will be a hard road ahead but it’s about time someone in power took a stand. Check out Lara Giddings’ speech, which goes a long way to addressing so many of the issues concerned with allowing this important civil right to same sex couples.

Also on a smaller but still awesome scale, I am so proud of Galactic Suburbia and of Alisa, Alex, Finchy & myself getting our very first Hugo nominations in the brand new Fancast category. It finally feels real – and Julia Rios emailed us today to let us know she HAS OUR HUGO PINS which made my head explode a little bit. A Hugo pin. Every time I start feeling sorry for myself about maybe not achieving as much as I wanted to this year, I need to stop and kick myself in the ankle and remember that a Hugo nomination is one hell of a step up the career ladder.

I’m especially proud of Alisa this week who got over her stress and anxiety about public speaking to make a speech at the National Council of Jewish Women Australia WA evening for Women’s Achievers, and they gave her an award! Considering how rarely she stops to consider everything she’s achieved over the last few years, I’m always glad when other people point it out to her. Some excerpts of her speech here.

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Friday Links is a Heroic Lady

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Lots of Sarah Rees Brennan in this one! Here, she answers a question about what traits she likes best in a heroic lady character, and manages deftly to expand her answer into a very important discussion about feminist critique, and the way talking about female heroes can so easily turn into a bitchfest about which fictional women don’t make the grade.

Avante garde artist Sarah Maple reveals her new work, a series of self-portrait photographs of Disney Princesses as modern day career women and university graduates. I’ve seen so much sickening art which involves the mutilation or mockery of the Disney Princesses, and it’s lovely to see female artists like Maple (and the excellent cartoonist Amy Mebberson) who use their iconic images to create something that subverts expectation, and has something positive to say about women.

I missed this before – a piece from the 7:30 report that screened before the Stranger With My Face women in horror film festival. Includes gore, lesbian zombie musicals, and some nice interview footage with the two women behind the project, Briony and Bec. It was such a cool event – I hope they do it again! It made me want to write a horror film script…

Jeff Vandermeer talks about panicking about your career path and productivity as a writer, something I can identify with strongly, especially right now.

Meanwhile, Catherynne Valente is inspiring over at the antipope blog, talking about the many faces of publishing, and how a writer doesn’t have to choose between traditional, small press and even self publishing, but can construct a career out of all the options.

Back to Sarah Rees Brennan now, and the announcement that Elementary, the modern version of Sherlock Holmes that they are making in the US that made us all roll our eyes cynically, suddenly got interesting with the casting of Lucy Liu as Watson. Sarah talks not only about how the casting of a (40+) woman of colour is an exciting move that marks this adaptation out as different, but also addresses the cynical criticism that is already building up around the casting choice.

Differences will exist! Media is imperfect. But ‘until we can achieve perfection, let’s stick with the white dudes’ is not something I believe in. I’ll see how Dr Watson of Elementary plays out: and if I don’t like it, I’ll stop watching.

Till then, I am uncomfortable with how much easier, on far less evidence, people seem to find it to dismiss a woman: she won’t be good enough, won’t be strong enough, Elementary hasn’t done ENOUGH.

DOCTOR WHO STUFF:

i09 interviews Courtney Stoker about crossplay, femme cosplay and the rise of the female Doctor at conventions.

Speaking of Courtney and feminist Doctor Who stuff, there’s a whole lot of great new posts over at Doctor Her. Some I found particularly interesting:
Are You My Mummy? The power of motherhood in New Who, by cathannabel
Too Many Dads in Doctor Who by Ritch Ludlow
The Bechdel Examination: Rose and the End of the World by daisybones
The Doctor and the Subtext of Loneliness by K.N. Porter
Companions in Comics: Getting into Sharon’s Head, by Kmasca (did anyone else know the first black companion joined Tom Baker in 1980??)
and I wrote a piece about the awesome first producer of Doctor Who back in the 60′s, Verity Lambert.

Finally, doing my bit to signal boost to the internet that ‘The Avengers’ doesn’t always mean Captain and his shiny friends:

It’s the Friday Link Person!

Friday, June 24th, 2011

(Thanks to Helen Merrick for knowing this picture was something I needed to see)

It’s Friday! I wrote 5000 words this week! Smug, cheerful and almost caught up with the week’s tasks. To make up for being so disgustingly pleased with myself, I present Friday links!

Via my Mum, who tries regularly to catch me out by knowing something on the internet before I do, and almost always crashes and burns, an interview with a new young Doctor Who writer, Tom McRae, who is not only contributing to the most mysterious episode of the next half of this season, but also is staging an interactive Doctor Who play for little ones. Who believe in Santa.

Jeff VanderMeer presents Women of the Supernatural: A Tartarus Press Sampler, which looks gorgeous, and features a story by Australia’s own Angela Slatter. Kudos to Angela, it’s not every day you share a TOC with Edith Wharton.

I think we were a little dismissive of the Pottermore announcement last night on Galactic Suburbia (and Twitter, and and and). Some other perspectives: Hoyden About Town report on some of what is being offered on the new site, while The Guardian explores some of the marketing genius behind the announcement, and the site itself. I think it’s pretty disingenuous to suggest, as several journalists and bloggers have, that this is something that other writers will in any way be able to replicate, but I also think that anything which takes the wind out of Amazon’s sails (heh, sales) as far as ebooks are concerned is fighting the good fight.

(my main thought on all this is… so, those bestseller lists that everyone’s relying on to promote their ebooks, they’re about to take a bit of a beating, aren’t they? Suddenly that 99c price point can’t be looking too hot…)

Speaking of ebooks, I was inspired by Sarah Rettger to download Babs: A Sub-Deb by Mary Roberts Rinehart from Project Gutenberg. As Rettger suggests, this is great fluffy YA fiction, with a very appealing voice, which happens to have been written in the 1920′s. I’ve inhaled a good chunk of the book already, despite the rather annoying quirk of including all of the protagonists spelling mistakes.

Jo Walton on how different people approach the process of reading for pleasure.

Ben Peek takes down rape apologist Scott Adams for his stupid, offensive Pegs and Holes post, with that elegant balance of outrage and cynicism that Peek does so well.

Three female scientists at the top of their field are interviewed about the challenges in their lives, whether they have the same chances as men to build successful careers, balancing work and family, and the advice they would give to the women who come after them. I think the best thing about this article is the focus on three women in similar positions rather than a single woman to represent her whole field, as they provide a wider perspective and often disagree with each other. Because all women aren’t the same – shock!

Penni Russon writes about the choices (and non-choices) about having or not having (wanting, or not wanting) children, in a beautiful post. I always love to read Penni’s posts about motherhood, because the way she looks at the world has such a gorgeous balance of pragmatism and romanticism.

In closing, Jem and I watched this on Sesame Street this morning, and at the risk of over-exposing you to the adorableness that is Neil Patrick Harris, I had to share The Fairy Shoe Person:

Galactic Suburbia #19 The Greco Roman Edition Show Notes

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

New episode is up on iTunes! You can also download it directly, or stream it from our Galactic Suburbia site.

While Alisa is away, Alex & Tansy play… in ANCIENT GREECE! We talk awards, the end of publishing as we know it, stressful feminist debates, Vonda McIntyre, Twitter fiction, Stargate, and whether there’s enough Greek & Roman mythology in modern fantasy.

News
Tansy wins WSFA Small Press Award for Siren Beat

Last Drink Bird Head Award Winners

John Joseph Adams takes over from Cat Rambo & Sean Wallace as editor of Fantasy Magazine

Realms of Fantasy dies – farewell notes from the publisher and editor Shawna McCarthy

Wiscon committee disappoints through inaction
and then finally moves to disinvite Elizabeth Moon as GoH
(warning, many of the comments on that one are pretty awful to wade through)
Reaction posts from Cheryl Morgan and Catherynne M Valente.

Paul Collins on how the ebook revolution isn’t working so well

Cat Valente on tedium, evil, and why the term ‘PC’ is only used these days to hurt and silence
Peter M Ball on how white male privilege uses requests for civility to silence the legitimate anger of others.

on Vonda McIntyre’s “Dreamsnake”, a controversial Hugo winning novel from 1979 which has been out of print for 10 years and an interview with Vonda McIntyre about the book.

What have we been reading/listening to?

Tansy – Death Most Definite, Trent Jamieson; Blameless, Gail Carriger, Bleed by Peter M Ball, “Twittering the Universe” by Mari Ness, Shine & “Clockwork Fairies” by Cat Rambo, Tor.com.

Alex – Silver Screen, Justina Robson; Sprawl; Deep Navigation, Alastair Reynolds; The Beginning Place, Ursula le Guin.
abandoned Gwyneth Jones’ Escape Plans
listening to The 5th Race, ep 1 (Stargate SG1 fan podcast).

Pet Subject
Classical mythology in modern fantasy. Can it still work? Do you have to get it ‘right’?

Book mentioned:
The Firebrand, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Medea, Cassandra, Electra by Kerry Greenwood
Olympic Games, Leslie What
Dan Simmons’ Ilium and Olympos
Gods Behaving Badly, Marie Phillips
Troy, Simon Brown
Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad and Jeanette Winterson’s Weight, also David Malouf’s Ransom – along the same lines as Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin
Robert Holdstock’s Celtika, Iron Grail, Broken Kings

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs or on Facebook, and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes!

nobody puts baby in an alcove…

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

I have a new podcast already – yes, I’m fickle! In this case it’s Will Write for Wine, a brilliantly funny, giggly chatcast starring romance/paranormal/women’s fiction writers Lucy March and CJ Barry. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to Galactic Suburbia – only about a completely different genre. And you know, they drink while podcasting. We so couldn’t do that – we’d end up with every episode FOUR hours long.

I started with Episode 62, in which Lucy & CJ relaunch the podcast after nearly a year away, having both changed the names they write (and podcast) under. Along with fun regular segments like ‘guess that word’ and ‘latest obsessions’ they have a fantastic crunchy discussion about the pitfalls, benefits and psychological confusions that come from reinventing yourself as a writer, and writing under more than one name. The other eps are good too, I am very addicted now. Mango mimosas for everyone!

Jeff VanderMeer blogs about the 50th bookiversary of the very awesome Aqueduct Press and asks that press’s supporters to reblog that link. I’ve been so impressed with the Aqueduct books I have ordered and read over the last year or two – The Wiscon Chronicles, Writing the Other and The Secret Feminist Cabal. (I just searched my whole blog to discover I haven’t actually reviewed this properly, how dreadful! Possibly I was too busy telling everyone how awesome it was on a one to one basis) So yes, Aqueduct Press is brilliant, I can’t go to their website without finding a huge list of books I NEEEEEED, and their shipping to Australia is swift and reliable. Go. Get books. Or at least read this great interview with L. Timmi Duchamp.

Elsewhere on the internet, Pub Rants talks about the problem of e-books and regions, particularly about how hard it is to access US-English editions outside that country.

Genevieve Valentine, meanwhile, documented the experience of seeing the Eclipse movie, so the rest of us don’t have to.

Galactic Suburbia Episode 2

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

… is available for download. You can also subscribe through iTunes – just search for Galactic Suburbia!

Alisa, Alex and I gathered around our computers to chat again, this time covering awards shortlists (the Australian Shadows Awards and the Nebulas), Karen Miller’s new book deal, the approaching season of Doctor Who, Scary Kisses, Swancon, Jensen Ackles doing Eye of the Tiger, and whether Nicholas Sparks is really comparable to Euripides, Shakespeare and Hemingway.

We also discussed our latest reading – The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals, by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer; Neptune Noir, edited by Rob Thomas; Boneshaker by Cherie Priest; Mirrorshades, edited by Bruce Sterling; Women of Wonder (1940-1970), edited by Pamela Sargent.

We topped it off with a chat about what we felt about single author collections, which is a nice way of saying that Alisa totally used us as market research to figure out what kind of single author collections we would want to buy (SPOILER ALERT: awesome ones).

The other exciting bit of Galactic Suburbia news is that the simply marvellous Tony C Smith has included our promo in his latest episode of StarShip Sofa. How awesome is that?

I’m really enjoying this podcasting lark right now. It’s lovely to chat to Alisa & Alex more often. Skype is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

UPDATE: I just listened to it and Tony says such lovely things about us! I’m bouncing ridiculously. Hard to get a better recommendation than that! Also he hinted that maybe someday the Sofanauts might come back. I am willing to grasp at straws here!

Snapshot 2010: Tessa Kum

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

By day, Tessa Kum is a monkey with a keyboard. By night, she is also a monkey with a keyboard. She is a graduate of the Clarion South Writers Workshop, editorial assistant for Weird Tales, and assistant editor for the Best American Fantasy series. She has recently been published in Last Drink Bird Head and Halo: Evolutions, with forthcoming fiction in Baggage, and her mosaic short story collection 7wishes is currently free to read online. She lives in Melbourne, and would like an elephant to ride to work, please.

1. You recently collaborated on a Halo novella with a certain Mr Jeff VanderMeer. How did the project come about, and how did the collaborative process work for the two of you? Is this your first excursion into media tie-in fiction?

Originally Jeff was invited to submit to the anthology based on his previous work in the Predator franchise. The Halo universe is extensively developed, and given the tight deadline cramping his ability to research, he didn’t like his chances. Before pulling out he threw me a “hey, interested?” email, knowing I was familiar with Halo. Given there was only a month to go from concept to final draft, not to mention the difference in time zones and the fact I’d never taken part in a collaboration before, I’m not sure he expected me to say yes, but I did, and, er, it all went downhill from there.

Being as I knew the Halo universe better than Jeff, most of the initial brainstorming was mine. I looked for concepts that would not require giving over too much of our already limited time to researching the political history and finer technological points of the world, while it still being a Halo story. For me, the quintessential Halo moment is in the first game, when the Flood are first introduced. They scared the bujeezes out of me. The games have moved on since then, but that’s a defining moment I wanted to bring the fans back to.

Once the pitch was accepted, we got down to writing, and…let me just say, don’t ever accept a one month deadline. In a sense, our differing time zones was a great help; I’d finish work on a draft, send it to Jeff, go to bed just as he’d be starting the day, working on it, send it to me just as I was starting the day, etc etc. It meant the story was always being worked on, although it also meant neither of us got a break. Something that was further exacerbated by the fact that the “short story” (it was never meant to be a novella) turned out to be 35,000 words, which made it difficult to turn around a draft in two days. To put it lightly. Fortunately, we worked well together. Writing in a franchise that wasn’t ours and the insane pressure kept us from getting overly precious about our particular darlings, as writers are want to do, but we really did just work well together. Our writing styles, strengths and weaknesses complimented each other. Getting the draft back was always a bit like opening a present to discover what new piece of awesome he’d come up with.

Halo: Evolutions has been out overseas since November and has been very well received, and should be released in Australia at the end of the month. It was a great opportunity and learning experience, but I shall never, never, never, never agree to such a short deadline again. Never. Ever.

2. Where else will your fiction be appearing in the coming months? What other speculative fiction projects are you involved with?

Baggage edited by Gillian Polack will be released in the next couple of months, and features my story ‘Acception’ (yet another “short” story). The anthology concerns itself with the influence of cultural baggage upon Australia, and working on a story with that in mind turned out to be the hardest writing I’ve ever done. It’s such a broad subject by which no one goes unaffected, and is at the same time intensely personal. The political and personal cannot necessarily be separated, and I crossed psychological badlands I didn’t know I had to write about it. It will be an interesting collection, to say the least.

I’m also an editorial assistant for Hugo award-winning Weird Tales magazine, which is quite possibly the best job ever. The stories I read are all unexpected in the paths they take, and some incredible pieces of craft have landed in my inbox. We’re always interested in (as the name says) the weird, the unusual and challenging, the stories that don’t fit neatly into any genre pigeonhole, and I urge all and any writers who have such a story to consider submitting it to Weird Tales, regardless of who or where they are.

3. You’ve been dealing with RSI over the last year – how has this affected your writing life (and you know, your life)? What advice would you give on this to those of us (heh not many, I’m sure) who spend our lives sitting at the computer?

Writing is such an internal process that the physical act of writing is easily forgotten. It will never stop being important for a writer to feed their mind and expand their knowledge base, but all that will be wasted if the writer cannot write.

My day job of the past four years has consisted almost solely of data entry. I hammered away at the keyboard for eight hours a day, five days a week, and then went home and hammered away at the keyboard in my own time. Inevitably, that workload overloaded my hands, and it got to the point I could not finish a shift at work because my hands hurt so. I could not write to any great effect at home because my hands hurt so. I couldn’t sleep, I had trouble gripping things. My doctor ordered me not to type for a fortnight.

Nearly everything I do and choose to do revolves around the physical act of writing. Having that taken from me left a void in my life and possibly my future that terrified me then, and still terrifies me.

The rest did help, and I returned to work with such restrictions in place I may as well have stayed shut up at home brooding. I couldn’t do my job, and the task found as a temporary means of keeping me busy was so trivial I was embarrassed and ashamed of entering the office every day. I felt guilty whenever I worked on my own writing, hyper-conscious of my hands, and my writing suffered as a result. I felt trapped in so many ways, because my hands were so damaged.

Come Monday I start in a new office, in a position that involves no data entry. My hands remain weak, aching things, but I hope. I hope.

Those of you who are writers; you are excellent at imagining. Imagine you cannot write. Imagine that may never change.

It’s such a little thing, to write, to hold a pen, to press the keys, and yet it is the most vital thing, it is the act that turns intention into word, it is what makes the writer.

Most people will not have the same work load as I did. Regardless, take care of your hands. Exercise them, keep them strong. Do not take them for granted. You need them.

4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?

I adore Deborah Kalin’s Shadow Queen. In the first chapter everyone dies, and things get progressively worse from there. It is brutal, positively Machiavellian in its political machinations, presents a disturbing examination of Stockholm Syndrome, and is relentless in pushing the plot out of one impossible situation by putting it in another.

I’m quite enamored of Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels. Yet another frank and brutal narrative in which absolutely ghastly things happen, yet are delivered through such delicate prose there is no looking away. To do so would be to break the moment.

5. Are you planning to go to Aussiecon 4 in September? If so, what are you most looking forward to?

We all have friends spread across the globe; I’m looking forward to seeing some of them again!

———————

Previously in Snapshot: Marianne De Pierres, Richard Harland, Karen Miller, Margo Lanagan, Ben Peek, Narelle Harris, Paul Collins, Damien Broderick, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Angela Slatter, Dion Hamill, Garth Nix, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Trudi Canavan, Thoraiya Dyer, Keith Stevenson, Juliet Marillier, Gillian Polack, Jason Fischer, Alisa Krasnostein, Tehani Wessely, Amanda Rainey, Justine Larbalestier, Rowena Cory Daniells, Glenda Larke, Adrian (K.A.) Bedford, Kaaron Warren, Nicole Murphy, D.M. Cornish, Deborah Kalin, Jonathan Strahan, Alan Baxter, Gary Kemble, Lezli Robyn, Kate Eltham, Robert Hoge, Will Elliott, Trent Jamieson, Felicity Dowker, Jack Dann, Lee Battersby, Peter M Ball, Nyssa Pascoe, Lucy Sussex, Andrew McKiernan, Amanda Pillar, Deborah Biancotti, Kim Falconer, Gabrielle Wang, Kim Wilkins, Paul Haines, Karen Healey, Stephanie Campisi, Stuart Mayne, Christopher Lynch, Simon Petrie, Alison Goodman, Russell Blackford, Rhonda Roberts, Ben Payne, Christopher Green, Kylie Chan, K.J. Taylor, Robbie Matthews, Kirstyn McDermott, Russell Farr, Simon Haynes, Kate Orman, Cat Sparks, Sean Williams, Penni Russon, Robert Hood, Tracey O’Hara, Cassandra Golds, Dirk Flinthart, Kathleen Jennings

Snapshot interviews will be blogged from Monday 15th until Sunday 22nd Feb.

To read them hot off the press, check these blogs daily:
http://random-alex.livejournal.com/
http://girliejones.livejournal.com/
http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/
http://www.mechanicalcat.net/rachel
http://tansyrr.com/
http://editormum.livejournal.com/

Will we beat 83 this time? If you know of someone involved in the Scene with something to plug, then send us an email at 2010snapshot@gmail.com.

Writing While The House is Messy

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

There are people who at times express surprise at how much I manage to do. Looking after a small baby, a school-age daughter, writing books, blogging, running a small business, etc. Sometimes they ask my secret, and I say ‘well, I’m a really bad housewife.’

Jeff VanderMeer has cued up a discussion on women, writing, guilt, and domestic responsibility, both at the Booklife blog and on his own (the really good comments so far are on his own blog). Rachel Swirsky also comments on the issue at her own blog.

I’ve commented over on Jeff’s blog about my experience as the stay-at-home-parent-who-writes, and I know how lucky I am to have a partner who sees my writing as an investment in our future rather than something which takes away from time I should be spending on, you know, vacuuming. I’m sure he would prefer I spent a touch more time vacuuming, since we bought the robot vacuum cleaner and all, but he has always been remarkably non-judgemental about the whole thing, and shared the chores.

There are so many potential issues/problems/complications tangled up in the concepts of Guilt and Motherhood, Guilt and Writing Time, Balancing Paid Work and Writing, Balancing Unpaid Work and Writing, that I think it’s impossible for any person to sum it up in an all-encompassing way. I always find it interesting to read other people’s stories about how they handle that difficult balance, though, and how they deal with their own expectations, and the expectations of others, which often have a lot to do with gender.

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November Reads

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

It feels sooooo strange to be posting without a word count bar at the top. It’s going to be March now before I’m back to writing first draft stuff. Straaange. But like everything else, I’m sure it will be here pretty damned fast.

Despite NaNo commitments and all the Last Short Storying, I managed to read 8 books in the last month, which is only two short of my monthly target.

The three I loved best were Derby Girl by Shauna Cross, Booklife by Jeff VanderMeer and Rampant by Diana Peterfreund (I’ll link to my review of that one when ASif posts it).

I also very much enjoyed Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle and I’m afraid rather dragged myself through Vacations From Hell, a YA short story collection which was not nearly as diverting as Prom Nights From Hell.

I really liked The It Girl: Adored, one of the Gossip Girl spin off Jenny-Humphrey-goes-to-boarding-school books, though I’ll admit I don’t remember much about it. This is my favourite Gossip Girl series. I also went back to the classics by reading the second of the ‘real’ Gossip Girl books, You Know You Love Me, which is kind of… weird to be reading now, after seeing the series. Alternate history!

Yes, I’m hoping to get to more crunchy books in future months as my post-baby fatigue ebbs away but I do love my YA…

I read The New Space Opera II, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Gardner Dozois, as part of my final round up of stories for LSS (favourite stories recced here) and that totally counts toward my book total even though the 200,000 odd words of Shadow Unit doesn’t… sigh. I enjoyed TNSOII though overall the stories were less exciting/inventive/generally wondrous than in Eclipse 3, also edited by Jonathan, which I did not read this month, but which may well be my anthology of the year… I’ll let you know on Dec 31st!

TNSOII does have the distinction of being the first entire book I read on the iPod, via Stanza, which may well change the way I read in the future. Considering the wealth of e-material we receive for LSS can I just say… YAY! The iPod touch is remarkably easy to read even in a sunny playground, and I love the page turny facility of Stanza even if it does turn docs into random chapters. Also it makes reading while a) breastfeeding, b) babyjoggling, c) big girl cuddling, d) cooking, e) driving (KIDDING) awfully easy.

Finally I have a reason to develop a love affair with Project Gutenberg!

As a final note, Glenda Larke is guest blogging over at Ripping Ozzie Reads, about her experience as a pro writer tackling NaNoWriMo for the first time. Go check it out!

Booklife, by Jeff VanderMeer

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Print

The subtitle for Booklife is “strategies and survival tips for the 21st-century writer,” and that’s basically what it is – and what makes it different to just about every other writing manual out there. Booklife is not about how to write, it is about how to Be A Writer, which actually should make it out-sell every other writing book and magazine out there if there is any justice in the world, since a large percentage of those are aimed at and sold to people who prefer the idea of Being A Writer to actually doing some writing.

The book is divided into two halves – public and private – and while the private section has some useful advice, mostly on how to try to protect your creative writing side from your ‘I want to stuff around on the Internet’ side, it’s the public half that was most interesting to me, and which I think is most worth the price of the text.

‘Your Public Booklife’ is about the time and attention you may wish to give to promotion of your newly published books, and also promotion of yourself as an author, with the tools currently at our disposal, from personal appearances to internet & social media platforms. I read the book in a couple of days, tearing myself away from other projects to do so, because it was just so engaging and interesting. In particular VanderMeer looks at the thin line between using social media or events to promote your work constructively, and how to avoid that promotion turning on you and becoming destructive to your reputation. (in short, how to be nice to people and not look like a dick while constructing and selling your brand)

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