“Owen and Jessica” now on The Yard: Crime Blog

Subscribers may remember Owen and Jessica from previous posts. It’s a flash piece and always got laughs and applause when I read it publicly. I shopped it around, got lots of excellent comments from editors (who always asked to see more of my work) and no bites until this week.

 
Owen and Jessica was a fun, quick write that required little editing.

Blood gathered in the whorls of his thumb. He stared at it and chuckled before licking it clean.

 
It came out pretty much fully formed.

That’s an author’s way of saying “It only took twelve rewrites.” Most of the rewrites were for timing and tension; change a word here or there. One major (and important, me thinks) edit came late to the game; I added the third and fourth paragraphs from the bottom, from “He stood over…” to “…didn’t fit.”

Let me know what you think.

You can follow The Yard: Crime Blog on Facebook and MeWe.

Enjoy!

31 Years to Publication

It took two months to write, thirty-one years to get published. And you know what? It was worth the wait.

I am so proud. I wrote The Augmented Man in April of 1990. Now I’m holding copies in my hands.

 
And the delay wasn’t because of slow mail.

I wrote the novel side-by-side with the novella, The Goatmen of Aguirra (to give you an idea of what my mind was working on at the time).

I’d workshopped The Augmented Man and received high praise. I shopped it around, no publisher was interested. I asked AJ Budrys, my mentor and an accomplished author and editor, if he’d be willing to read it and let me know if I was kidding myself, did it just need work, should I give up my dreams of being a published author…?

What you need to know is I was an accomplished trade technical author in the late 1980s through the early 1990s, at the height of the PC Boom (I discuss this in my interview) and my work was in high demand. I knew the publishing industry at that time.

AJ read it and was so blown away he offered to agent it for me. He’d published some of my short fiction in his Tomorrow magazine and he knew my work from workshops. He was familiar with my work, my style, my weaknesses, and my strengths. But The Augmented Man caught him by surprise.

I was flattered, honored. I almost fainted when I read his letter offering to represent the novel (1990, remember? We didn’t do lots of emailing back then).

For reasons that had nothing to do with the book, AJ couldn’t land it. We met at a con and he explained the situation to me. Someday, should we meet at a con, ask me and I’ll share the story.

AJ passed and I got another agent. She loved the book. Could I add 30,000 words to it?

Sure, why?

Because (at 85k words) it was too short (I reedited it to its present 97k words). Thirty-k words longer and she was sure she could land it. I added 30k words, edited, proofed, and sent the rewrite to her in under a month.

Didn’t hear from her. Called and got “Oh, on second thought, no, I don’t think this is a good enough novel. Besides, there’s too much out there already like it.”

Really? Did you read the novel?

Yeah, sure. It’s about a guy lost in a jungle, right?

On to agent #3. Who was a joke. I finally asked point blank, “How many projects have you placed?” and she responded that she couldn’t work with someone who asked such questions. This after the head of the agency phoned and talked with me for an hour to let me know how impressed he was by my work.

So I put it on the shelf. I went on with life.

Because I’m patient.

And now I’m holding the novel in my hands.

I’m so proud.


Would you like a personally autographed copy?

(and feel free to pass this on to every one)

Litcon 2021 World Building Panel with Science fiction, fantasy, alt-history, steampunk, YA science fantasy, speculative fiction, dystopia, and military science fiction authors F. Stephan, Geoff Genge, Claudia Blood, Theresa Halvorsen, C.G. Hatton, and Liz Tuckwell

 
Enjoy the panel discussion. Information on the participants is below.

 
Continue reading “Litcon 2021 World Building Panel with Science fiction, fantasy, alt-history, steampunk, YA science fantasy, speculative fiction, dystopia, and military science fiction authors F. Stephan, Geoff Genge, Claudia Blood, Theresa Halvorsen, C.G. Hatton, and Liz Tuckwell”

Mark Hayes posted “Is Your Work Product or Art?” on his blog!

Few things thrill me more than fellow authors ask me to contribute to their blogs.

Okay, a good mutton sandwich will sometimes thrill me more. Must be the Miracle Max in me.

But I do experience a shiver of delight when an author asks me to contribute to their blog, compliments me on my work, thinks well of me, and so on.

Mark Hayes, accomplished author in his own right, also praised my The Augmented Man.

And most recently he published Is your work product or art?.

Ah…I am loved…

Amazing Experience Today

My gym recently reopened (limited) and I made a dash to start my workouts (usually an hour on the stairs, an hour with weights).

So there I am, doing the stairs, listening to my music, reading my book (always read while doing the stairs. Some of my best reading is done there. Also work out plots, figure out characters, scenes, come up with new ideas, …), and sweating.

And this fellow comes up and stands off to the side.

“Joe?”

Yes.

“Joe Carrabis?”

I nodded. He was talking through a mask so I pulled out one earbud to hear him clearly.

“I bought your book.”

The other earbud came out. I stopped the stairclimber. What book?

The Augmented Man.”

What did you think?

“I haven’t finished it yet but it’s amazing so far.”

How come you didn’t finish it?

“I had to read another book for class. But my mother picked it up and read it in one night. She said it’s incredible.”

(blush) Thanks. I hope you get back to it soon. And tell your mom to leave a review. You, too, please.

“I’ll let her know. It’s an amazing book. I really love what I’ve read so far.”

Thanks. (blush) I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Bring it in and I’ll sign it for you.

“That’d be super. Will do. Thanks.”

Yeah, it made my day.