This is the BIG project I've been working on for the last few months. Sixty-two stories chosen from almost three decades of publishing, including some previously uncollected work. Only 200 copies will be released in a signed, numbered, limited edition hardcover with gorgeous wrap-around art. Available at Fairwood Press right now!
Promoting a book is an interesting activity, and a separate one from writing the book or selling the book to a publisher. Marketing a book is a third challenge, or a third hobby, depending on how you think about it. It requires skills and a mindset that don’t seem related to the first two activities (and those two aren’t related either).( Collapse )
I have been posting about a story a week at one of the best online resources for short fiction you can find, Curious Fictions.
Authors can hide their stories behind paywalls for their subscribers, or offer it for free with the hope for tips and subscribers who would like to support the work.
If you follow an author there, you'll receive a notification when your author posts new work.
You can also "like" the work, comment on it, and/or tip the author.
I'd love to see you there. Explore the work from over 600 other authors, and if you'd like, check out the collection of my stuff, stories that have appeared in numerous of the major magazines, been reprinted in several World's Best anthologies, and also my Nebula Finalist story, "The Last of the O-Forms" (which are offered for free).
I have been spending much of my online time in two venues. The first is Curious Fictions where I try to post a story a week, generally on Wednesdays. The site contains a ton of free fiction. Readers can also subscribe to writers they like or give them tips.
Of course, I like tips. You can also follow writers who you want so when they post new stuff, you are notified. There’s a place to “like” stories or to comment on them. My latest contribution is “The Small Astral Object Genius,” which appeared the first time in Asimov’s.
I also have been posting short fiction reviews at Black Gate. Those also appear every two or three weeks and are free to read. The column is called “Stories that Work.” My mission is to comment on stories that I think are successful and what recommends them. I’m not searching for a “best of” necessarily, nor am I reviewing the stories I don’t think work. Here’s my latest for Black Gate.
Of course, I also hang out at Face Book regularly.
Keep safe! Social distance responsibly.
I haven't posted on LiveJournal in forever, mostly because I moved over to FaceBook and my own web page at http://www.jamesvanpelt.com (where I don't post all that often either).
So here is some quick catching up. Things that have happened since I posted last:
- I retired from high school teaching completely after transitioning from full-time to half-time in 2015. I taught half time at Fruita Monument for a year, subbed for a year, and then taught half time at Grand Junction High for two more years. This is my second winter in a row now where I haven't been in the classroom.
- I took on Ray Bradbury's write-a-story-for-a-week challenge in 2015 and finished in 2016. Of the 52 stories, I've sold 42 so far.
- Fairwood Press released 26 of the write-a-story-a-week books in a collection called The Experience Arcade and Other Stories.
- I have been writing short fiction almost exclusively over the last couple of years, selling pieces to Asimov's, Analog, Daily Science Fiction and other venues.
- I've also attended several conventions during the last two years, plus continued my streak of going to the Rain Forest Writer's Retreat each year. This year was my 12th time in attendance. I only missed the first year it was offered.
- My youngest son too a job in Seattle, thereby emptying our nest. We turned his room into an exercise area. He hasn't seen it yet.
Hi, all! I see I haven't posted at LJ for a while. Most of the time I'm on FaceBook now or working on my jamesvanpelt.com website.
I have a new collection, The Experience Arcade and Other Stories, coming out at World Fantasy in San Antonio in November. Because teachers have asked about using my stories in their classrooms, I'm also working on support material for teachers. You can see this work in progress here.
The latest Asimov's is out with my short story, "Three Paintings." The main character is an artist who has come up with an unusual experiment in creativity.
I have artist friends, so I wanted to make sure I didn't create an artist who wouldn't pass their verisimilitude test. So far, the two who've read the story said that I didn't screw up too badly.
This is my 12th appearance in Asimov's, starting with "Safety of the Herd" in 2002 (13th if I count a reprint of an Analog story that appeared in the Greek edition of Asimov's). It is truly awesome to make a sale there. If you would have asked me twenty years ago, the year I made my first professional sale, that I would be where I am today, I wouldn't have believed you.
You know us writerly types. We're feedback junkies.
What I missed about LiveJournal, though, was its format. It lent itself to longer, more discursive essays. The layout works well for reading long stuff, while FB, with its narrow columns does not.
In the meantime, I started turning my eye more toward writing longer works and trying to find a place for people looking for my books to land. Neither LiveJournal or FB served that need well. So, I have taken the plunge and acquired my own domain where I have a website and a place for people to find my books. I'll still be on FB and LiveJournal, but the center for things I write, and for people looking for those things will be the website.
You can see it by going to jamesvanpelt.com.
My presentation at Rainforest was an autobiographical report of what I learned by following Ray Bradbury's advice to write a story a week for a year. After all, he suggested, it is impossible to write 52 bad stories in a row.
Friday, 6:00: Connie Willis on foreshadowing. She's been doing an hour on different narrative elements for several years is a row. I so, so wish that I had them all recorded, or a transcription. She's a brilliant, funny and insightful teacher. I also like that she doesn't reference her own work when she's talking about narrative. I can't oversell this programming item!
Friday, 9:00: Carrie and the Midnight Hour. Carrie Vaughn assumes her character's personality and becomes Kitty, a late night radio advice counselor for the supernaturally challenged (Kitty is a werewolf). This is always hysterical. Audience members come up with problems for her to solve.
Saturday 10:00 and 1:00: The blind submission panels. Authors have presubmitted the first page of their stories or novels. The page is read out loud to five editors who each raise their hand when they would have rejected it. Then they explain what they heard that was off putting. Or, the manuscript makes it to the end, and everyone applauds the author.
Saturday, 3:00: The Rusch hour. An hour with guest of honor, Kristine Katheryn Rusch. I've heard Kris talk before. As a writer and editor, she has a wealth of experience and wisdom.
I've highlighted something for every hour of the convention that I want to attend.
And, of course, there's the masquerade, the Critter Crunch, 160 presenters, a huge diversity of paneling, an organized bar con on Friday, signings, dealers room, art show (and art presentations), gaming, movies, science, kids programming, and everything else that is wonderful that happens at a con.
Here is my schedule, including my toastmaster duties: Opening ceremonies 7:00 on Friday. Autograph alley at 8:00 Friday (authors signing their books). Guest of Honor comments at 11:00 on Sunday. Post-remarks autographing at 12:30 Sunday. A “Why am I not Writing” panel at 1:00 Sunday. An hour with James Van Pelt 3:00 Sunday. Closing ceremonies 5:00 Sunday. There’s a link to the entire schedule at the MileHiCon webpage.