jasonandrew: (chucky)
Life as a freelancer writer is chaotic, wonderful, and frightening.

I love my current contract with the Mouse. I work on a laptop in the company cafe because my office has two other technical writers in a very cramped space and I get warm easily. The only downside is that the windows are open providing a spectacular view of the city of Seattle. I have to sit behind a curtain least I spend the day staring at the Smith Tower. The only downside is that I’ve had to brush up my Java skills.

I had a difficult choice to make last week as a fiction writer. A small press that shall not be named made an offer on The Highway West. Knowing that another believes in your work enough to publish it is a heady matter especially when you’ve been trying to get others to look at your book for almost a year. I read through the contract and it felt wrong. I won't go into details, but I politely turned them down. I believe in this series and I hope that one day I am able to share it with you. I have faith that I will eventually find a hope for this book.

I managed to finish the drafts of two short stories in the last couple of weeks. I need to edit them this weekend.

“Spinach Salad and Heirloom Tomatoes: Lessons from the Victory Garden” was difficult because I couldn’t decide how to tell the story. I wrote a first person and a third person version of this story. I am letting Lisa read through it to decide.

“What I Did This Summer: A 7th Grade Essay by Suzie Sampson” was a story I wrote for Michael Dyer when he won the cover contest for Twilight Temptations.

I am currently working on three stories for various anthologies:

“House of the Sleeping Beauties” involves a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth from a Lovecraftian point of view.

“Nothing Has Changed of the Sorrow in Store” is a sad little ghost story involving Michal and the Witch of Endor. Michal is the daughter of King Saul who was killed by a ghost he demanded that the Witch of Endor summon for advice. Michal laters marries King David, but first she has to prepare the body of her father for burial. This is a strange little story.

The last story is untitled, but involves Ed Wood and the Lovecraft mythos.

I am what I like to call a method writer. I have to be able to experience the emotion of a scene to write about it properly. This week I returned to working on the sequel to The Highway West titled A Wicked Messenger. There is a scene where the main characters have forgotten to fill their gas tank and it starts a major fight. This has been surprisingly easy to write. I have a major phobia about running out of gas that can trigger anger and anxiety. I have been in huge fights with my wife over stopping to get gas. My mother used to push the envelope and often we ran out of gas during the summer waiting on the side of the road for a friend to help us. I hated that helpless feeling and have been channeling it into this scene.

Yesterday, I dusted off an old comic book script that I wrote as a sample for DC comics titled The Joker’s Crusade. It was rejected, but it ain’t half bad. I might post it for giggles. I have a number of rejected media fiction in my files. I should share them as examples.
jasonandrew: (Naughty)
It feels as though the stars themselves have magically aligned to allow for a time of healing and wonder. The last year had a number of challenges in my personal life. I always took a basic comfort in the idea that the universe didn't care what happened to me and there was no purpose to anything other than what we created with what we had.

I think last year helped me grow as a person while delivering onto my bottom a good swift kick when it needed it. It is amazing how much patience I've learned without even realizing it. So much of my life, I've spent my time waiting for that perfect tomorrow ignoring that the present was fairly awesome.

My wife Lisa is blooming at her new job. The income eases some financial concerns, but more important she loves her job and feels that it matters. I see her happy to go into work each day and there isn't a price you can put on loving your job.

Likewise, I love my current contract for the Mouse. Reconnecting with downtown Seattle has somehow revitalized my spirits. I feel young.

My writing career continues to take those slow baby-steps forward. I managed to meet all of my freelance deadlines this month and submit to a couple of anthologies that weren't on my planned schedule. My fingers are very much crossed as some of these anthologies look like they will be awesome.

Neil Gaiman recently described how the freelance work really works.  Bats and Bones sketched out a circle graph highlighting the basics of the speech. I've posted it below.

I tried to take this speech to heart while I redoubled my efforts towards my writing career.  I sent out a number of queries letting Developers and Editors know that I am interested and eager for more work.  The results have been very positive.  I can't go into details, but last night I signed a couple of NDAs for additional freelance opportunities. (I'll make announcements on that when I am able. )  One of the RPG Developers told me that he would recommend me to others and that felt very good.

There are a number of potentially huge projects on the horizon and I have to use this patience thing I've learned or I shall go crazy.

My story "Recovery" appeared in IN SITU last week.  The anthology seems to be selling really well.

Here is the round-up for future projects coming out:

  • “The Murmur of Lorelei” has been accepted for the anthology The Beast Within 3: Oceans Unleashed by Graveside Tales

  • “The Embers Burn, and Gentle is the Arrow’s Stinging” will appear in the anthology A Quick Bite of Flesh by Hazardous Press.

  • “Lessons Learned From My 5th Attempt to Conquer the World” will appear in Stupefying Stories.

  • “Lay Down Your Hair” will appear in the anthology Queer Fish 2 from Pink Narcissus Press.

  • “The Sky God’s Daughter” will appear in the anthology Daughters of Icarus from Pink Narcissus Press.

  • “The Honey Offering” will appear in the anthology The Extinction Files anthology by Alter Press.

  • "Zombie Walk" will appear in the anthology Nasty Snips II from Pendragon Press

jasonandrew: (Default)

My short story “Recovery” is featured in the just released anthology IN SITU from Dagan Books.

IN SITU is a new anthology of science fiction stories featuring alien archeology, hidden mysteries, and things that are better off left buried.

A quiet man finds more than he bargained for when he sets out with his metal detector on a lonely hill … A soldier meets a new kind of enemy fighting an altogether different kind of war … On a distant swamp planet, a woman questions what kind of human she’s becoming … a pregnant archeologist finds a connection with a long-dead alien child … while deep space scavengers wonder what it ever meant to be human at all. These fifteen evocative science fiction stories will take you from dusty archaeologists digging up our alien past into a distant future where we’ve become the relics. Thought-provoking and entertaining, IN SITU explores science, theology, preservation, and the art of alien finance, in a whole new way.

Edited by Carrie Cuinn. Contains stories by Ken Liu, KV Taylor, Paul A. Dixon, Bear Weiter, Mae Empson, Jason Andrew, Greg Burch, Sarah Hendrix, R.S. Hunter, Rebecca Lloyd, Alex Shvartsman, Kelly C. Stiles, Graham Storrs, David J. West, and Dawn Vogel.

You can purchase it from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/In-Situ-Ken-Liu/dp/0983137323/ref=la_B003NMGK6A_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341941135&sr=1-1
jasonandrew: (Shire)
I borrowed this from [livejournal.com profile] matociquala. This is a very fun ideas. I have attached the opening lines to all of my open projects. Some of these projects are paused while I wait for a good market for them.

First Lines Meme:

Short Stories:

The world once felt wide and epic.
“What I Did This Summer: A 7th Grade Essay by Suzie Sampson”

If I’m still alive by dawn, the infection failed to take hold.
“To Joanie, With Love”

I’ve always found the scent of Chamomile Tea quite comforting; it smells sweet like a child’s birthday or a first kiss.
“The Three Gates of Agony”

Faint light from the sun glitters through the ice rings into a rainbow; the lifepod computer strictly monitors the amount of time I’m allowed a naked look through the viewport to avoid radiation poisoning.
“The Colour of Passion: A Study of Symbiosis”

A real man makes his own rules and then accepts the consequences.

Morning was the best time for hunting in downtown; the air was somehow cleaner and his prey was too concerned with the promise of a new day to notice him.
“The Value of a Year’s Worth of Tears and Sorrow”

The moon was full and pregnant with possibilities when the Faceless Ones set upon our village with obsidian knives.
“In the Shadow of the Pyramid of the Moon”

Father died last night as prophcied by the Shade of Samuel.
“Nothing Has Changed of the Sorrow in Store”

The stink of refurbished air and sweat permeated the formerly abandonded shuttlebay.
"Three Minutes"

Collin J. Farnsworth was conceived the night his father repelled an extra-dimensional invasion from a parallel universe where a humanoid species evolved from a vicious form of French speaking velociraptors.
"The Highly Unlikely Adventures of Collin and Locke"


The murder of crows perched on the giant willow tree that overshadowed the main house on the Carver Ranch.
A Wicked Messenger

Nathan Carver imagined that the blackbirds were always watching him.
The Highway West

Dylan Foley dreamed of being a pirate.
The Maelstorm of Forever

She once danced across the stars; freely and unfettered from responsibility.
Abigail's Dragon
jasonandrew: (bat)

My 2006 novella Fear and Loathing in Bat Country: Hunter S. Thompson Versus Dracula is now available on the Nook at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fear-and-loathing-in-bat-country-jason-andrew/1007628272

This is my first Nook title and thus it is free for the next couple of days and make sure that the bugs have been worked out. Limited time only. Then you will have to pay a whole $1 to read it!
jasonandrew: (Default)
The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award finalists were posted this morning. You can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_363151022_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000803041&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=left-1&pf_rd_r=13BXGR27J9C8RNJ78209&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1369538842&pf_rd_i=332264011

Congratulations to all of the authors that progressed to the final round! All of the entries that I’ve read thus far have been well deserving of moving to the next round. It is interesting to see how the different judges commented on the various entries. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how the gate keepers will review a submission. Skill and preparation can take you to the door, but you won’t be invited in unless the story strikes the right emotional response in the reader.

After five weeks of heavy, heavy freelance work, I’ve decided to take this week off from the grind in order to rest. (My vacation might get shortened if I get more work or edits back before the weekend is over.) I have a lovely road trip to Portland planned for this weekend. This means I shall get to go to my favorite bookstore in the world. Yes, I love Powells.

I’ve been reading a book about creativity and success. Successful artists tend to have two common characteristics; versatility and raw determination. An artist might not be able to do his dream job right away. The trick is to put his dreams into every job. Raw determination is almost as important as talent. I’ve seen really talented writers, singers, and painters simply surrender their dream.

This morning I pulled out my notebook to plan the next writing cycle to maximize my time and help focus. I should have several weeks between technical writing contracts in the near future and I want to make sure I have a good focus during that time least I spend all of my time in my polar bear PJs watching old episodes of the Misfits of Science.

Here is my to do list:

• Revise synopsis down to one page, submit to a new publisher.
• Submit The Highway West to a new agent.
• Finish writing the first draft of A Wicked Messenger (20,000 words left)
• Write a story about Papo in the afterlife for an upcoming anthology
• Write a story about a unicorn named Sky for an upcoming anthology
• Look at list of awesome anthologies and try to squeeze in stories
• Edit The Maelstrom of Forever
• Write novella Salvation Heights
• Write Parliament of Stars
jasonandrew: (Default)
Today was a working Saturday. I finished writing the second of my contracted chapters for Hunters Hunted 2.

I took a break in the middle of the day to watch one of my favorite movies Ed Wood. Johnny Depp has never been finer than in this movie, not even Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

I grew up with a great deal of love of monster movies. Every Saturday afternoon, I watched the Creature Feature and watched the horror greats such as Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and the mighty Bela Lugosi. It must have been a magical time for movie goers.
Ed Wood loved monster movies. He was unashamed of that love and did crazy things to make that dream happen. His friends were a rag-tag crew that helped his dream, even going so far as to be baptized to get funding for Plan 9 From Outer Space. Sometimes, I wonder if I have the grit to stick with my dream like he did in the face of solid rejection and scorn.

Tonight, I was finishing my work when I was poked from a good friend Mario. A number of friends were at a local pub nearby and so Lisa and I took a break to visit with them. It was a fine night with good friends that cheer me forward and drag me away from the computer to take breaks. I was drinking a Bloody Mary and looking at the circle of friends and I realized that how lucky I am as a person.

Granted, none of them are as crazy as Bunny Breckinridge, but almost as colorful.

Weird that I would be the happiest I've ever been at 39. Fate is a strange mistress.
jasonandrew: (Default)
I have a small break for lunch and so I thought I would write a little bit about my life as it is today. I have disappeared the last couple of weeks. Deadlines have forced me to submerge into my hidey hole and write and work. Thankfully, I have a loving wife that helps monitor my stress levels and ensures that I take at least one day off a week to relax. Married life is pretty awesome, even if my wife steals cuddles from me and wakes me up way too often.

I’ve managed to have a couple of breaks with friends, see the Avengers, and have a small echo of an actual life. Despite the various bits of stress this year, I feel I am in a much, much better place as though I finally figured out how to do this thing called life.

The Last Daughter of Eve plotline is finally over and thus I can take a break for a couple of months from storytelling in the Camarilla. I’ve run the flagship venue for two major conventions and ran through a major plot on the global level effecting hundreds of players. I’m tired and need a break. However, I am very glad that the players enjoyed it.

My technical writing contract ends early in June. This means that I am really swamped at work trying to complete all of the tasks my wonderful employers wanted finished before this contract ended. I am hopeful that I will get at least two weeks between assignments.

In other writing news:

My deadline for my materials from White Wolf’s Hunters Hunted 2 is in ten days and thus that has become my top priority. Progress is going well, but on occasion very slow.

Naturally, I paused major efforts towards completing my novel, A Wicked Messenger. When I stopped, I had reached 64,000 or so.

I owe a story in August for a special themed anthology that I am very, very excited about. I have a different story to conceive and write in June for another anthology.

I’ve been asked if I am interested in writing a couple of essays based on my work with the Seattle Sinner and Butcher Knives & Body Counts: Essays on the Formula, Frights, and Fun of the Slasher Film. I’m very interested in the subject matter.

I have an usually large number of items pending and if I am playing the odds then I should get some positive news here shortly. I’m pretty sure that I haven’t progressed to the last round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, which means I shall need to start looking into new publishers for The Highway West.

I am hoping that some of my recent luck and success will help me locate a suitable agent.
jasonandrew: (Default)
The last week has been very busy for me. I’ve been spending most of my writing cycles researching and working on my sections of Hunters Hunted 2 for White Wolf Books. I’ve looked at so many WoD books I’m dreaming about them. I’ve been taking my time to fill my sections with the maximum amount of awesome.

My lovely wife just finished reviewing “The Murmur of Lorelei” and returned it with copyedits. This story was an informal love letter to my wife. Tonight, I will be finishing that story and sending it to the editor a couple of days early!

At lunch, I did a vague outline for the short story that Michael Dyer won titled “What I Did During My Summer Vacation by Susan Sampson.” This story will be set in my Ravenswood Academy universe of mad super science and legalized villainy. It features Robotic Ben Franklin!

Once my freelance duties are fulfilled, I’ll be making a mad dash to finish the sequel to my novel The Highway West titled A Wicked Messenger.

I have a firm mental picture of the last two story arcs and I’m very excited. I have names for all of the remaining chapters with the notable exception of the last chapter. I’m considering either “Lenny Bruce is not Afraid” or “New Ways to Fall Apart.”

Thanks to my meta-outline for the Dreamlands Chronicles, I’ve been able to see cameos from characters that will appear in the Omega Watch trilogy. Thus far my outline has:

Dreamlands Chronicles:

The Highway West Trilogy:
• The Highway West
• A Wicked Messenger
• The Man of Constant Sorrow

The Omega Watch Trilogy:
• The Omega Watch
• Project Ouroboros
• The Arc Paradox
jasonandrew: (Shire)
This is so surreal. The only thing that could be more off the wall would be if Tommy Lee called me on the phone and said, "Hey Jason, Vince Neil is on vacation and we need to sing for us tonight."

In 1994, I bought my first copy of Vampire: the Masquerade and loved it. I was 20 at the time and a sophomore in college. Some of players wanted to play mortals fighting against the evil in the world and so I bought one additional book titled the Hunters Hunted. We ran a campaign that changed my life, how I view stories, and how I thought gaming could be done. (I owe all of my storytelling abilites and understanding of players based on that game.)

Eighteen years later, I’m still in love with Vampire: the Masquerade. I’ve been involved with the Mind’s Eye Society (formerly called the Camarilla) for fifteen years on and off. Last year, I ran the venue (Cam-Anarch) for MES for Grand Masquerade 2011 and then the same for XX Anniversary Convention for MES. (I’ve just been grateful that my friends and fellow members have put up with my random goobery and enjoyed the plots and ignored the bits that weren’t as awesome.)

Yesterday, I signed the contract to be one of the writers for the Hunter’s Hunted 2. I can’t say anything else, but more information will be released via official channels soon.

And to celebrate, here is a little Motley Lou. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQjrImkXv6E
jasonandrew: (Default)
My novel The Highway West had advanced to the semifinals in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. From 5,000 entries, there are now only fifty left in the Young Adult category.

This is a wonderful birthday present!

One of my Secret Projects just had a death knell. , but I feel really good over all.
jasonandrew: (Default)
Holy crap! I made Ellen Datlow’s Honorable Mention List for Best Horror of 2011. This is a major deal for a writer. (She is more or less the top editor in the dark fantasy and horror anthology field. Every year she edits the Year’s Best Anthology in Horror anthology.)

The story that received the honor was “Moonlight in Scarlet” which appeared in the Cover of Darkness, September issue. You can check it out here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/99054
jasonandrew: (Default)
By nature, I am an introvert. I’ve never been comfortable in crowds. Usually, I feel drained emotionally and physically when I am completely surrounded with people. It isn’t so much a phobia merely a preference. It took a long time for me to develop proper social skills. I think the Camarilla really helped me develop those skills. It taught me how to manage crowds and exist within a group of people. I have friends such as Mario Medina that feed from crowds like vampires. I am not so lucky, but I’m starting to manage.

When I returned to Fresno for my cousin’s funeral, a number of relatives commented how comfortable and articulate they found me and was surprised that I could be charming and talking to them. I can only imagine the mess I was when I first left California.

This weekend is Norwestcon. This is a huge science fiction and fantasy convention. It also means a good thousand plus people in the same hotel. I managed to run an 800 person game at Grand Masquerade 2011, but this makes me a little nervous.

Writing has always been a private thing and only in the last year did I even fully come out of the closet and discuss it with friends openly. I have remind myself that networking is part of the business. I wish I had Jason Carl’s natural skills. Someday that man will be the secret master of the world.

I have two meetings this weekend. Fingers are crossed. I have a number of friends and acquaintances visiting. I plan to hit a number of the panels.

Work with Secret Project #1 has been paused until I get a contract and the budget is approved. I am very excited on this one.

Secret Project #2 seems a bit dubious at this point. The team I would be working with is sheer awesome. However, the discussion over the contract has been running six months now and I’m starting to feel less confident than I once was. I am very disappointed by this, but it wasn't entirely unexpected. This is a property I really love and so I still have a bit of hope.

The bright side of the fence is that there is now a Secret Project #3 involving a dark fantasy erotica novella for this year. This is looking very good at the moment.

My novel The Highway West is a Quarter Finalist at the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I am fairly proud of making it to this round, but there is still a long, long way to go. You can see the excerpt here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Highway-West-Entry-ebook/dp/B007GEBZU2/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

Writing on the sequel A Wicked Messenger is proceeding at a good pace. I expect to be done by the end of May or beginning of June for the first draft. I know it seems weird to write a sequel to a novel that hasn’t been published or accepted yet, but I feel this story in my bones.

I have a couple of short stories I need to complete in the next month or two. Two of them were invitation only anthologies. Those can be intimidating because you really want to do well for the editor that remembered you. I did a good deal of research and brainstorming last night for the one due at the end of May. I am going to start this story after Norwestcon.

Thus far these are the stories of mine that will be published this year:

“The Application of Discipline” and “Omega” will be appearing in a forthcoming Wildside Press megapack e-anthology as reprints.

“Lessons Learned From My 5th Attempt to Conquer the World” will be appearing in Stupefying Stories.

“Lay Down Your Hair” will appear in the anthology Queer Fish 2 from Pink Narcissus Press.

“The Sky God’s Daughter” will appear in the anthology Daughters of Icarus from Pink Narcissus Press.

“Recovery” will appear in the anthology In SITU from Dagan Books.

"The Honey Offering" will appear in the anthology The Extinction Files anthology by Alter Press.

"A Test of Will" shall appear in the Anthology of Ichor IV by Unearthed Press.
jasonandrew: (Default)

The first copies of Twilight Temptations have started reaching my readers. Here is the first entry in the photo contest.

For more information on the Twilight Photo Contest, see the rules here: http://jasonbandrew.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/twilight-temptations-contest/

Amazon is holding a sale on Twilight Temptations.

The print Version is now $11.99. You can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Temptations-Tales-Desire-Magic/dp/1468130811/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327980050&sr=8-1

The kindle version is now .99 cents! If you are a prime member, you can download it for free right now. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Temptations-ebook/dp/B0072JLHIG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1327980050&sr=8-2
jasonandrew: (Default)

Twilight Temptations is now available as an e-book for a mere $2.99. You can purchase it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0072JLHIG

If you own a kindle, you can check out the book for a month for free via the Prime program. (Note: Amazon pays authors royalties for this service so please feel free to take a look before you buy. It helps rather than hurts us.)

Twilight Temptations is still available in print here: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books/book-detail-page?ie=UTF8&bookASIN=1468130811&index=default

As a reminder, there is a Twilight Temptations cover photo contest and e-books do qualify for the contest. Details can be found here: http://jasonbandrew.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/twilight-temptations-contest/
jasonandrew: (Default)
My short story collection Twilight Temptations is now available via Amazon! It will be available later in Kindle format, but for now it is only available in print format.
Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1468130811

To celebrate, I am holding a contest and giving away a number of prizes. How do you participate? If you purchase a copy of Twilight Temptations, take an amusing photo while holding the book, then send it to jasonbandrew@gmail.com with the subject Twilight Temptations.

Over the last several years, I have collected multiple copies of various anthologies, magazines, or RPGs that feature a story of mine. The first 10 photos I receive will receive a copy of one of these publications. So, get your photo in early for a better chance to win a prize.

On March 1st 2012, I will randomly select one of the participants as the Grand Prize winner. Said winner will have a tuckerization in a personal short story that I will write specifically for you. Have you always wanted to be a Space Cowboy with a Kung Fu grip? We can make that happened at least for one story.

Please feel free to share this contest far and wide. Thank you to all of my friends that have been more than supportive over the years.
jasonandrew: (Default)
Reading through all of your stories from a certain period is like a snapshot of who you were during that time. Last month, I read through all of my published stories from 2005 to 2010 and looked for a theme amongst the best of them.

It turns out that I was very interested in the temptations of the dark side and what a person was willing to surrender to achieve their ambition or dreams.

I started reading the last couple of stories I’ve recently written and I discovered the very best ones were about rebelling flesh. Souls dealing with the betrayal of their bodies. I’m older and now my body isn’t as healthy as it once was. I was sick at the early part of last year with Bell’s Palsy and surely that had an impact in the stories that came afterwards.

I think my short story “A Pattern Recognized Amongst the Stars” is the best thing I’ve written yet. I don’t think I could have written it if I hadn’t gotten sick and started wondering about my mortality and the slow breakdown of my body.

Our world affects us in such subtle ways that it is impossible to see sometimes until after the situation has passed. Perhaps that is why we look back to younger days with such happiness. Sometimes, I think writers have to tell a story over and over again until we’ve gotten it out of our system.

This last year involved some changes for me socially. I’ve gained a number of new friends and lost a few that were very important to me. Is that way suddenly I’ve become interested in the breakdown of relationships?

Sometimes, I think if you look too deeply into your own motivations, you start to wonder if you have any real free will independent of external stimuli.
jasonandrew: (Default)
Nick Mamatas recently wrote a post about writing advice. I think there are a lot of good points there and certain plenty to think about.

I don't agree with every point, especially point #4.

Nick Mamatas's style when blogging tends towards the caustic and it on occasion offends people with thin skins. In person, he is very warm and gregarious. He was kind enough to specifically invite me to a drink with some friends when I was a shy writer going to his first con as a writer not too long ago. It was very much appreciated.

Mamatas argues that what you post on the internet doesn't hurt your career in the long run. Maybe he is right. I wonder if Harlan Ellison had been less of an asshole, if he would have had a better career. (Yes, I know his career is way better than mine ever will be, but I believe he could have been up there with Bradbury if he hadn't gotten in his own way. Imagine the sort of things he could have written if he hadn't been caught up in so many feuds or legal battles.)

Note: Mamatas has never groped Connie Willis in public to my knowledge. He did, however, pat me on the bottom. (Author's Note: For the sarcastically impaired that was me attempting to be funny. Mamatas has never tried to pat my bottom.)

There is a lot of good advice here. I think every writer is a little different. What works for me might not work for you. I try to write every day to spark my brain and I post about it because I have a good circle of friends that either lie a lot to me (in a way that comforts my lizard brain) or they enjoy seeing my daily posts about writing.

You can see the post here about bad writing advice: http://nihilistic-kid.livejournal.com/1732344.html

You should check out some of Mamatas's writing. I really enjoyed his short story collection: You Might Sleep. I posted a review about it here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/266152347
jasonandrew: (chucky)
The word amateur comes from the Latin word amātor meaning to love. It has come to mean lacking in professional skill rather than the earlier meaning of an engaging in a past time because you love it. I think we're socially discouraged from engaging in such things if we can't become professional at it. I think that is very sad. There are very few people that can be rock stars, but there's no reason you can't love making music and singing in a garage band. It is OK to produce entertainment as well as consume it.

The modern word for amateur is fan. Someone that is fanatic of a subject.

I think for me the best part of writing short fiction is to explore passions and fears that are not my own. The more interesting stories are about characters that love or hate something and then allow readers to experience that passion, even if they aren't interested in the actual subject.

If I am going to put the effort into a novel, the subject and the themes have to be something for which I feel a certain amount of internal passion.

Short stories are less of an investment and thus more freeing internally. It is a chance to see a subject through the eyes of someone that loves, hates, or fears it.

I've never had a fear of bees for example, but I've been reading about Apiculture Bees and Apiphobia (aka fear of Bees). It is fascinating how there is a tiny subculture of which I had no concept. I love to be surprised.

I think amateur is a word that we need to embrace as a culture.
jasonandrew: (Default)

My latest Heller Mystery titled "Darkly Dreaming in Black Waters" is available in the anthology Night Terrors II from Blood Bound Books.

You can purchase it here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/tags-on-product/098454089X/ref=tag_dpp_cust_edpp_sa

"Darkly Dreaming in Black Waters" is a spiritual sequel to HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. It involves a Shoggoth, Nazis, and a member of the infamous Heller family.

I did a lot of research for this story with my friend Mario Medina and ended up naming one of the characters after him.

November 2012

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