The Mechanics of (My) Writing

       I often get asked various questions about how I write, what my approach to writing is, how long it takes,and so on. This piece tries to cover all of these questions.      The simplest way to describe how I write is the wiseass version: I sit down, open my computer, bring up the file, and write until I run out of story or time.      Naturally, it's not quite so simple as that.      If I know what I'm writing – that is, I have the plotline clear in my head and I know the characters and so on – it can be about that simple. For the [ Continue reading... ]

Musings on “Internet Piracy”

       I have something of an unusual perspective on intellectual property infringement of the type that's called "piracy". First, I put that word in quotes because I dislike it. It is an inadequate and inaccurate description of the problem which both romanticizes and exaggerates it.        The word "piracy" in modern ears usually (especially in the sheltered civilized areas where real pirates, who still exist in some of the seas of the world, don't prowl) evokes a dashing, romantic imagery of swashbuckling action and cheerful [ Continue reading... ]

What is an Editor Good For?

       A lot of people who are not published authors don't have a clear idea of exactly what an editor does, or why they're needed by an author. In addition, there's a lot of stories out there about horrible things editors do or have done to people and their stories. This is becoming a VASTLY more important issue because so many people are going the self-published route and really, honestly don't understand why they might need an editor at all.           I want to talk about my own experiences and views of editing, garnered over the [ Continue reading... ]

Under the Influence: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  "It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment."        My last post reminded me that I hadn't yet posted anything about the original -- an oversight that I now rectify!        Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a man of wide experience and education – a doctor who served on both a Greenland whaler and a steamship on a voyage to western Africa, a scientist with a keen sense of justice, a man fascinated with the unknown and unknowable. Though he had many notable achievements in his [ Continue reading... ]

Hugo and other Award eligible stuff, and general update…

  First,  a combination of the holidays and being quite sick (with an annoying gut issue called mesenteric lymphadenitis) has caused me to be unable to contribute properly to my usual postings. I apologize for this and hope to be able to resume shortly. I am now about 1/3 of the way through the sequel to Phoenix Rising, currently titled Phoenix in Shadow, and have started a couple other things.   Now, as the year has just ended, it's time to fantasize about getting awards. Yes, I know I don't write the sort of stuff likely to get [ Continue reading... ]

Demons of the Past: Revelation — Prologue and Chapter One

  For Christmas I think I'll give you all a little treat -- the beginning of a space opera trilogy currently being shopped around by my agent, titled Demons of the Past. Happy Holidays!    ----- Prologue:        The Atlantaean Empire was falling.        It was a colossal empire, stretching across uncounted millions of worlds from one side of the barred-spiral that would one day be called the Milky Way to the other, one hundred thousand light-years and more under a single, never-changing dynasty for as many years of [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: The Annotated Evil Overlord Part 5

  Herewith is the final part of the dissection of the Evil Overlord list. Back to more "regular" columns later this week!   For convenience, I'm including our panel listing in each post. Our Expert Panel We have assembled for this special conference several fine villains who have wreaked havoc throughout the known multiverse. Let's meet them: Virigar. King of the Great Werewolves and progenitor of the species, Virigar is the most-feared monster on all of Zarathan. A soul-eating, nearly indestructible being, Virigar's age is [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: The Annotated Evil Overlord, Part 4

  Almost to the end. Part Five is the final section!   For convenience, I'm including our panel listing in each post. Our Expert Panel We have assembled for this special conference several fine villains who have wreaked havoc throughout the known multiverse. Let's meet them: Virigar. King of the Great Werewolves and progenitor of the species, Virigar is the most-feared monster on all of Zarathan. A soul-eating, nearly indestructible being, Virigar's age is unknown, his full powers a mystery. He has killed gods and demons and [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: The Annotated Evil Overlord, part 3

  For convenience, I'm including our panel listing in each post. Our Expert Panel We have assembled for this special conference several fine villains who have wreaked havoc throughout the known multiverse. Let's meet them: Virigar. King of the Great Werewolves and progenitor of the species, Virigar is the most-feared monster on all of Zarathan. A soul-eating, nearly indestructible being, Virigar's age is unknown, his full powers a mystery. He has killed gods and demons and men, shrugged off or consumed spells and energy weapons, and [ Continue reading... ]

Just For Fun: The Annotated Evil Overlord, Part 2

For convenience, I'm including our panel listing in each post. Our Expert Panel We have assembled for this special conference several fine villains who have wreaked havoc throughout the known multiverse. Let's meet them: Virigar. King of the Great Werewolves and progenitor of the species, Virigar is the most-feared monster on all of Zarathan. A soul-eating, nearly indestructible being, Virigar's age is unknown, his full powers a mystery. He has killed gods and demons and men, shrugged off or consumed spells and energy weapons, and survived [ Continue reading... ]