Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Next up: World Fantasy!

I had a wonderful time at MileHiCon last weekend.  My panels were fun, particularly the "bad geology" one - I've got a whole new list of mockworthy movies now, thanks to my fellow panelists.  Such as Asteroid vs. Earth, which is a strong contender for Worst Geophysics Ever.  (We had a geophysicist on the panel who worked out calculations to show exactly how moronic the movie's "science" is.  His combo of dry wit and mathematical savaging of the premise had the audience rolling with laughter.)  Ring of Fire is another gem of stupidity that sounds like it deserves the MST3K treatment.  However, Pompeii got the geologist stamp of approval...sort of.  Except for the pyroclastic flow that put the brakes on to allow a melodramatic scene between lovers ("Are you done now?  Okay, I can start destroying things again!"), and the size of the tsunami.  And the terrible plot before the volcano started erupting...the panel recommends you fast-forward to the part where everybody starts dying.

My week since returning from MileHiCon has been less fun.  I threw out my back (OUCH) and my day job's workload abruptly increased to insane levels.  A temporary thing, brought on by end-of-year deadlines.  But during the next month or so it'll be more difficult than ever for me to carve out writing time, which leaves me a frustrated, unhappy, advil-chowing camper.

But!  All is not sadness.  Next week I'm off to the World Fantasy Convention in DC, a trip I'm eagerly anticipating.  I love the laid-back "family reunion" feel of WFC, and hanging out with friends is just what I need right now.  (That, and sleep, and writing time, all of which I shall have.  Yay for WFC!)

I've got a reading slot at 10am on Sunday Nov 9, so if you'll be at WFC, please come!  Otherwise, I'll have to eat all the donuts I bring myself.  Wait.  That doesn't sound so bad...except for the part where I can't exercise them off until my back is better.  Darn.

Oh, and in sympathy for those of you who've been waiting ages for The Labyrinth of Flame but can't come to the con to hear me read a scene or two, before I leave I'll be posting the first chapter of the book.  Just in case you're like me and enjoy a taste of what's coming.  (I know, I know, some of you prefer to wait until the book's complete and in your hands.  I admire your self-control.  As a reader, I have none.)

              

Friday, October 24, 2014

Kickstarter Resources

As I get ready to kickstart The Labyrinth of Flame in February, I've been asking author-friends who've successfully crowd-sourced projects for advice and lessons learned.  Many people have been very generous in sharing their experience and knowledge, which I am hugely grateful for.  Both for my own reference and that of others, I thought I'd start a post here collecting links to useful information as well as some examples of author kickstarters.  I'll add to this as I discover new posts - and after my own kickstarter is done, write up what I learned as well. 

How Kickstarter is replacing the traditional publisher (Michael J. Sullivan)
Judging your novel's Kickstarter chances (Matt Forbeck)
How to run a successful Kickstarter, Part 1 (Brad Beaulieu)
How to run a successful Kickstarter, Part 2 (Brad Beaulieu)
One weird trick for a successful kickstarter project (The  Doubleclicks)
A Warts-and-All Guide to Kickstarter: What Works and What Doesn't (Plus Where We Royally Screwed Up) (Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant)
How I Planned My Kickstarter And Why I Think It Worked Out So Well (Harry Connolly)
How to Use Kickstarter to Fund a Self-Published Book (Mur Lafferty)
Kickstarter - What does it all mean (Lee Moyer)
Kickstarter White Paper part 1 (Lee Moyer)
Kickstarter White Paper part 2 (Lee Moyer)
The SF Signal Podcast Episode 206 - John Joseph Adams, Mary Robinette Kowal, Matt Forbeck, and Tobias Buckell on Kickstarters and the new Anthology Project - HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY
Episode 68 of Speculate! - The State of the Field (Kickstarter Edition), with special guests Matt Forbeck and Lee Moyer

Author Kickstarters:
Michael J. Sullivan's Hollow World Kickstarter
Bradley P. Beaulieu's Flames of Shadam Khoreh Kickstarter
Bradley P. Beaulieu's Lest Our Passage Be Forgotten Kickstarter
Tim Pratt's Lady of Misrule Kickstarter
Tim Pratt's Grim Tides Kickstarter
Tim Pratt's Bride of Death Kickstarter
Harry Connolly's The Great Way Kickstarter
Mur Lafferty's The Afterlife Series Kickstarter
Kerry Schafer's The Nothing Kickstarter

Small Press Kickstarters
J.M. Martin (Ragnarok Publications)'s Blackguards Anthology Kickstarter
J.M. Martin (Ragnarok Publications)'s Kaiju Rising Anthology Kickstarter
Silence in the Library's Icarus: A Graphic Novel Kickstarter

Thursday, October 16, 2014

MileHiCon 2014 Schedule

Next weekend I'll be taking a brief break from revision to attend MileHiCon in Denver.  Actually, not really a break...I'm bringing my laptop and will continue to work furiously whenever I get the chance.  (One and a half chapters left that need a full white-page rewrite! Then I will be in the homestretch - the last few chapters only need adjusting, not complete rewriting.)

This year for the first time I'm staying at the con rather than driving down every day, so I'm pretty darn excited about the chance for extra sleep and writing time.  Oh yes, and also seeing friends, meeting new people, and all the usual fun con activities.  (Haha, I think I must be one of the few people whose first thought upon contemplating a weekend at a con is "Hell yeah, I'm gonna get some SLEEP.")

Here's my panel schedule - notice how none of my panels are before noon?  This is going to be an excellent con. But seriously, if you're attending, please come and say hi! I promise I enjoy interacting just as much as I do sleeping. And if my last-minute rush print job gets shipped in time, I will have lovely Labyrinth of Flame postcards to hand out.  

Saturday, Oct 25:

2pm: Kickstarter & Beyond: Successful Crowd-Sourcing

7pm: Worst Tropes EVER: 10 We'd Like to Ban from Books & Film

Sunday, Oct 26:

2pm: Rocks In Their Heads: Stupid Geology

3pm: Writing That is Adored/Obsessed Over


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cover reveal for The Labyrinth of Flame

Those of you on my mailing list got a sneak peek of the cover art, but today I'm thrilled to announce that Fantasy Book Critic is revealing the full front cover of The Labyrinth of Flame.  (Complete with a lovely write-up about the Shattered Sigil series! I am so grateful for the support FBC and other bloggers have given my books.) 

I'm so freaking excited about the book and its cover that it's hard for me not to pounce on everyone I meet and be all, "LOOK! LOOK at the awesomeness!"  (My co-workers have already had to practice their patience.  "Yes, you already showed me the cover.  Twice.  Now can we please talk about something more important, like which couloirs to ski this year?")  Ah, the tribulations of authorhood...or really, the tribulations of knowing an author.

The cover artist is David Palumbo, who also did the covers for the first two novels in the series. 


Dave Palumbo and I at WorldCon in 2012
Dave's an incredible artist and an all-around great guy, so I was delighted he was able to do Labyrinth's cover for me.  It was extra fun this time around, as I got to see all the intermediate steps.  For the previous two books, one day I'd get an email from Night Shade saying, "Here's your cover, hope you like it!"  Now that I was the one hiring Dave, I got to choose between concept sketches, ask for adjustments, etc, so we worked far more closely together than before.  I have to admit, this is the part of self-publishing that's fun.

The cover designer is Martha Wade, who also did the cover design for Tainted City.  It's been great working with her as well.  We're still tweaking the back cover, but soon as that's ready I'll be showing that off too.

As far as revision goes, I'm continuing to plug along, slowly but surely.  A couple more tricky scenes have to be totally rewritten, and then I'll finally hit the ending section, where the chapters need adjustments/deepening but (hopefully!) not white-page rewrites.  My goal now is to finish before the ski season kicks into serious gear. 

As always, if you'd like to stay updated on the book, you can join the Labyrinth of Flame mailing list by emailing me at courtney (at) courtneyschafer (dot) com.