Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday 20

Before we get into this week's Q&A, I have to try to compete with Marjorie and Alison, as they both have gorgeous new cover art posted at their blogs.

Cover art for Plague of Memory (StarDoc book #7) -- original art by Jerry Vanderstelt, cover design by Ray Lundgren

Jerry Vanderstelt, the artist who also created the cover art for my StarDoc novels Endurance, Eternity Row and Rebel Ice, has always done a marvelous job depicting Cherijo and various alien characters from my novels as I've described them. He took on both Cherijo and the Hsktskt this time, and (at least from the author's POV) achieved perfection.

Also, a bit of news: Plague of Memory is my last SF novel under contract, but my publisher has already inquired about buying more StarDoc novels. I have a couple of things up in the air at the moment, so I can't commit yet, but I'll be discussing it with my agent and making more of those fun career decisions we all know and dread.

I know some of you out there are series writers like me, and like to stay and play in the universes you create. We face a bunch of unique challenges in today's market, not just with selling a series from book one and trying to build a readership but with keeping a series alive despite of chains ordering to the net and publishers only offering one- and two-book contracts at a time.

Successful series writing is a struggle in any genre, and you often find your plans have to change from book to book. Some pros are self-publishing to continue series that publishers dump; others are selling novels in serial chunks to magazines or in reprint editions to small presses. The hardest part is to know when to push, when to hold on, or when to abandon a series. Twenty years ago a long-running series was one that went twenty or thirty books over the span of a career. Today StarDoc, with only six books in print in as many years, is being referred to as a long-running series (and yeah, when I first heard that, I thought, what the hell?)

Time for questions: got any for me?

51 comments:

  1. Wow, S! That is one beautiful cover... like the others in the series. I really, really, REALLY, want this series to continue until its conclusion. (I'm assuming you have a set amount of books to write, and what happens in them?)

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  2. Wow. *mumble mumble* Maybe I'll remember to pick up StarDoc today? *mumble mumble*

    Do you approach short stories the same way you do novels?

    My next WIP after this one is hopefully a short story--unless I surprise myself and this one does turn out to be the short story I wanted it to be.

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  3. Nice cover . . . Cherijo is a fox. (I'm dating myself with 'fox,' aren't I?)

    Six is a long-running series? No. Uh uh. The Destroyer, by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, that's a long-running series (145 novels). And don't even think abou The Executioner.

    Sure you don't want to write stories about macho guys with whopping huge guns?

    Frogs at my place tonight, Sheila ;)

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  4. Lleeo2:00 AM

    I am primarily a romance reader and rarely (voluntarily) branch out into other genres, but science fiction--especially the idea of sentient alien characters who are as different and fascinating as Chewbaca taking center stage. But I couldn't seem to find any good sci-fi books that were character driven, fast-paced, full of the bizarre, and with good romance.

    Until I read an excerpt for Bio Rescue in one of your Jessica Hall books. And then I pretty much fainted and ran out to buy it, and loved it! I just recently finished collecting all of the Stardoc novels, and I have fallen in love with the series. So yay! Beautiful cover art, by the way. ^_^

    But the point to my rambling that you are absolutely forbidden from dropping this series, time-frame, and universe until more sci-fi authors like you appear in the genre. If you know any aspiring sci-fi or sci-fi/romance authors who want to write character-driven/more of an emphasis on weird romance authors--tell them to get their butts in gear!

    Know any?

    And I don't know if this is a good suggestion, but I think you should put more excerpts of your books from other genres in your books. I would never have known S. L. Viehl existed if I hadn't been reading Jessica Hall. On a side-note, I would love to see the Bio Rescue (+ Afterburn) series continued. And it doesn't have to be strictly about the 'Zangians--you can expand it to include books about the four main species that made up the peace treaty. Because honestly? Alien romance (especially inter-species romance ala Shon/Dair, which, okay, didn't really happen, but still...) is so cool and unique and I want to read more. Same with expanding the Blade Dancer series to include stories about Jory's Clanbrothers and sisters.

    But I see what you mean about going overboard with any series. Reading 20 books about Cherijo might get tiring, I'll have to admit, but if you've got some huge, cataclysmic plot twist concocted in your head, I could see you adding seven more books to the series. Or maybe I'm just not used to reading long series.

    So, in conclusion to my long-winded rambling: you are completely awesome and should be worshipped thus. Not because you are the greatest writer who ever lived, but because you endlessly entertain me and I don't think I'll ever get tired of you. So...a quick serious question: do you have any simple suggestions as to how to go about researching and writing a sci-fi novel? As to how to make it believable when you have no clue what you're talking about?

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  5. Here is the question in two parts.

    Do you have a grand final conclusion in mind for Stardoc? - or is each novel a logical extension or exploration of the universe you created with no end in sight?

    And when pitching the next Stardoc do you ever say - this is the BIG one where Cherijo buys the farm and sails away into an alien sun? - Or do your agent and publisher get heart palpitations at the mere thought of that particular gravy train running dry before the mashed potatoes are all eaten? . . .

    I really enjoy it when a series ENDS - permanently.

    And that cover art is absolutely gorgeous. I would buy that book just for the cover - and will after I scoop up Rebel Ice and Bio Rescue to go with the rest of my Stardoc collection.

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  6. It's a wonderful cover!

    Also, a bit of news: Plague of Memory is my last SF novel under contract, but my publisher has already inquired about buying more StarDoc novels.

    YES! I'll try to control my excitement... but I hope y'all work something out. I adore Cherijo and Duncan. Now I just gotta suffer thru how many more months until Plague comes out? January... right? ugh...

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  7. I was always under the impression that in the fantasy/SF genre that it was easier for a new novelist to break into the field if she had the idea for a series that could be expanded from the first standalone book. Your post sort of implies otherwise.

    I'm curious to know your thoughts.

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  8. It is a lovely cover. Are you ever tempted to (or have you already) buy, beg, borrow, or steal the original paintings for your office wall?

    I know I would.

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  9. Yay, gorgeous cover!

    No questions today. I was in my local B&N the other day and asked if Dark Need was in yet. No, I was told, but they're expecting 12 copies. In a fairly far-flung Chicago suburb. So yay for that!

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  10. Jaye wrote: Wow, S! That is one beautiful cover... like the others in the series.

    Thanks. I have had an indecent amount of luck with the artists my publisher has commissioned for this series.

    I really, really, REALLY, want this series to continue until its conclusion. (I'm assuming you have a set amount of books to write, and what happens in them?)

    I planned StarDoc as an open-ended series, which can be continued indefinitely. There is no conclusion to the story in the traditional sense, but I have a "series ender" that I can write at any time (and thought I might have to after Endurance and later on after Eternity Row.)

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  11. Milady wrote: Do you approach short stories the same way you do novels?

    Basically, although my short stories are always more like idea test-drives, so they don't require as pre-writing preparation and outlining. There's a lot of fun and spontaneity involved, too. Unless I want to do something in a longer form, like a novella, I usually write a short story the same day I get the idea.

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  13. [earlier comment deleted because I'm an idiot who can't code and type at the same time]

    Doug wrote: ...Cherijo is a fox. (I'm dating myself with 'fox,' aren't I?)

    The youngsters won't mind. :)

    Six is a long-running series? No. Uh uh. The Destroyer, by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, that's a long-running series (145 novels).

    There you go. Thank you, sir. I was thinking Piers Anthony's Xanth series -- there's like thirty or more of them -- but your example is even better.

    Sure you don't want to write stories about macho guys with whopping huge guns?

    I'd have to work for Baen again (rim shot.)

    Frogs at my place tonight, Sheila ;)

    Hooray!

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  14. yup, that's a great cover. You must inspire cover artists.

    How do you cope with having different writing names? Do you prefer one? How did you pick them? Initials are de rigueur for fantasy science fiction--or used to be. Has that changed?

    (I think I'm not built for this pseudonym stuff--I really truly don't appreciate my alter ego and I actually feel competitive. Yes, it's as stupid as people who refer to their characters as real people. But stupidity doesn't seem to slow people down. )

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  15. WOW! Gorgeous cover art!

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  16. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Thanks PBW, and I got Bio Rescue today! Hooray!

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  17. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Hello,
    Thank you for writing such an informative blog – I look forward to it daily. Your subject was very apropos for me today -- I just finished the first Stardoc book Tuesday, and was planning on asking my question today. I didn’t see the title of the second listed in the back. After looking on Amazon I came up with the following titles in this order, is it correct? Also, do you have your other series books listed anywhere? (I’ve been to the Darkyn website – I believe you have at least one other series though . . .)
    Stardoc
    Stardoc II Beyond Valerian
    Endurance
    Shockball
    Eternity Row
    Blade Dancer
    Rebel Ice
    Thanks again for all the great information. Looking forward to the stories too.
    JulieB -- newbie reader

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  18. Gorgeous cover. When's the book out?

    My rel question: how do you get back into your writing after um, an unplanned 18 month hiatus?

    ( that would be me. Ever so lost.)

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  19. lleeo wrote many kind compliments, and: If you know any aspiring sci-fi or sci-fi/romance authors who want to write character-driven/more of an emphasis on weird romance authors--tell them to get their butts in gear!

    Know any?


    Very few. SF authors avoid romance like the clap. Romance authors who write SF are almost always marketed as "futuristic romance" -- I'm one of the few exceptions -- but that's where to go to check out some new authors.

    Some specific authors/books to check out: Linda Howard's Killing Time (no aliens, but an interesting premise), Sharon and Steve Miller's Liaden novel series (very subtle, not a lot of romance, more on a Regency level), J.D. Robb's in Death series (SF/romance that is marketed as mystery) and Morgan Hawke's Star series (warning, very hot contents.)

    And I don't know if this is a good suggestion, but I think you should put more excerpts of your books from other genres in your books. I would never have known S. L. Viehl existed if I hadn't been reading Jessica Hall.

    There is a lot of opposition to putting excerpts from one genre in the books of another (which I think is stupid.) I've only been permitted to do it a couple of times, and that was because I have a very supportive publisher. I know romance readers read everything, not just romance, so I will keep trying to get different genre excerpts out there.

    On a side-note, I would love to see the Bio Rescue (+ Afterburn) series continued.

    I think that's another possibility. ;)

    Reading 20 books about Cherijo might get tiring, I'll have to admit, but if you've got some huge, cataclysmic plot twist concocted in your head, I could see you adding seven more books to the series. Or maybe I'm just not used to reading long series.

    I am always mindful of the fact that StarDoc has been my foundation series. Darkyn may be more successful at the moment, but that's short term. After six years all of the StarDoc books are still in print and continue to sell well. StarDoc readers have kept me going, too, even during times when everyone else had written me off. Whatever happens, I won't forget that.

    ...a quick serious question: do you have any simple suggestions as to how to go about researching and writing a sci-fi novel? As to how to make it believable when you have no clue what you're talking about?

    In a nutshell: there are two ways to do it.

    Go out and find sites on the internet written by very scholarly and serious SF writers. Many can teach you, step by painstaking step, how to properly build a SF universe, populate it, and turn out what's considered acceptable and plausible by the genre watchdogs. You can read and follow these carefully and possibly craft a Nebula-award winning novel that may or may not sell. I've see Nebula-award winning novels in the Dollar Store.

    Or you can ignore all that sage advice, envision a future you'd like to write in, base it on your belief systems and social/political structures that appeal to you, create your own characters, worlds and conflicts on your own terms, and enjoy the ride. You probably won't win any trophies, but you'll have fun and you may sell a lot of books. Which is what I did.

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  20. Paul also wrote many things to make my head inflate, and: Do you have a grand final conclusion in mind for Stardoc? - or is each novel a logical extension or exploration of the universe you created with no end in sight?

    I structured the StarDoc series to be like that annoying child's song, the One That Never Ends. Even if I were to wipe out the entire cast, it's a big universe and the story possibilities are pretty much endless.

    And when pitching the next Stardoc do you ever say - this is the BIG one where Cherijo buys the farm and sails away into an alien sun? - Or do your agent and publisher get heart palpitations at the mere thought of that particular gravy train running dry before the mashed potatoes are all eaten? . . .

    We've never really discussed series enders, but if I wanted to end it I think my editor and agent wouldn't be all that much upset. I've never been dependent on just one series for my living, and they're very flexible. Even if Cherijo's saga comes to an end one day, there are plenty of other interesting characters in her universe who deserve books and possibly series of their own.

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  21. Shiloh wrote: Now I just gotta suffer thru how many more months until Plague comes out? January... right?

    January 2007. Thanks for the kind words.

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  22. Noel wrote: I was always under the impression that in the fantasy/SF genre that it was easier for a new novelist to break into the field if she had the idea for a series that could be expanded from the first standalone book. Your post sort of implies otherwise.

    Let me temper what I posted with this: if you have a great concept, and you can make it dazzling on the page, you will break in no matter what you pitch.

    From what I've heard from other writers and editors, I think it's harder to sell a series versus a standalone, especially for writers who don't have a backlist and haven't proven themselves. Even old pros like me have a tough time with it (Blade Dancer, for example, was pitched as an eight-book series. The publisher chose only to buy the first novel.)

    The real trick isn't breaking in but staying alive. A first novel is a wonderful and terrifying thing, but it's new, it hasn't been tried, and there aren't any numbers attached to it. New readers will buy it without a qualm.

    The longer a series is, the less likely it is that new readers are going to pick up books further along in the series. The publisher is looking at your backlist, and all the sell-through attached to it, and brings that to the table. Chains ordering to the net cause a sales depreciation that simply can't be escaped. If you're fortunate and have built a decent readership, you next book carries a certain sell-through guarantee with it, which makes it easier for the publisher to calculate what sort of profit you'll make for them -- but that rarely happens except with Name authors.

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  23. Stuart wrote: Are you ever tempted to (or have you already) buy, beg, borrow, or steal the original paintings for your office wall?

    I own the original paintings for the covers of Beyond Varallan and Shockball. It's the one silly vanity thing I allowed myself to do. I was tempted to buy the original art for Rebel Ice, by Mr. Vanderstelt sold it before I had the chance to make an offer.

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  24. Eliza wrote: I was in my local B&N the other day and asked if Dark Need was in yet. No, I was told, but they're expecting 12 copies. In a fairly far-flung Chicago suburb. So yay for that!

    Absolutely -- thanks for letting me know, Eliza.

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  25. PBW wrote:

    The longer a series is, the less likely it is that new readers are going to pick up books further along in the series.

    Okay, ya got me there. I was in the bookstore the other day and saw a recent Stardoc novel. I didn't buy it because I wanted to order the original first.

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  26. Kate wrote: How do you cope with having different writing names?

    I assign them days of the week. Today I'm Lynn.

    Do you prefer one?

    I really have no preference. I can't. ;)

    How did you pick them?

    The publisher says "we need a new pseudonym" and I start making lists of names I can stand.

    Initials are de rigueur for fantasy science fiction--or used to be. Has that changed?

    Used to be, not so much anymore.

    (I think I'm not built for this pseudonym stuff--I really truly don't appreciate my alter ego and I actually feel competitive. Yes, it's as stupid as people who refer to their characters as real people. But stupidity doesn't seem to slow people down. )

    Lol. I have to juggle so many that I now keep a card taped to my desk with which name I use for what genre/publisher/editor.

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  27. Trace wrote: WOW! Gorgeous cover art!

    Thank you, Ma'am. I'm in love with it.

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  28. What's the knack to making a series just arced enough, without being impossible to pick up 12 books through?

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  29. lleeo, if I ever get published, I think you'll love my stuff. No romance in the first book of my trilogy, but in the seccond and third, there's a hot trans-species relationship between a giant spider and a giant fly. Think Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, with aliens. And nothing is hotter than giant alien critters having sex.

    Sorry, Sheila. I mean Lynn. Just had to put in my 2c.

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  30. Awesome cover, Sheila! :)

    It makes sense, at least to me, for them to refer to it as a "long-running series." When you consider the gap between Shockball and Rebel Ice ... a lot of series don't have the same readership afterwards. They've stayed in print that long -- and gathered more readers. (Unless you count the other books in the setting as Stardoc novels, which I don't, from a reader's perspective.)

    So, yeah, I'd consider it a long-running series. :)

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  31. Julie wrote: After looking on Amazon I came up with the following titles in this order, is it correct?

    Your list is correct, except that Blade Dancer is a standalone written in the StarDoc universe, and not part of Cherijo's storyline (other SF standalones are Bio Rescue and Afterburn, which feature some characters from StarDoc book one but are also not part of Cherijo's storyline.)

    Also, do you have your other series books listed anywhere? (I’ve been to the Darkyn website – I believe you have at least one other series though . . .)

    No, and I should put something somewhere. Thanks for the nudge, Julie.

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  32. Nico wrote: Gorgeous cover. When's the book out?

    January 2007.

    ...how do you get back into your writing after um, an unplanned 18 month hiatus?

    If you've got a novel in progress and want to work on it, I'd read through your notes, research, and the entire WIP before starting to write again. You might want to edit the ms., too, before you start adding new stuff; I think how we write changes subtly over time and what pleased you 18 months ago may not do the same now.

    I'd also work on something short and new right away, like a short story or article. Completing things gives a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, and that's something you need to get back on track.

    Don't make too many demands on yourself, either. Give yourself permission to write crap and focus more on getting back into the routine of writing regularly until you feel comfortable with it. Also, it's a good idea to keep any daily wordcount quota modest so you don't overwhelm yourself right off the bat. You can build back up gradually to where you were writing before you took a break.

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  33. Zornhau wrote: What's the knack to making a series just arced enough, without being impossible to pick up 12 books through?

    I hope I'm interpreting this question correctly -- let me know if I'm not, Zornhau.

    Every book in a series should stand on its own as a story, and that means writing standalone main conflict that works within the series running threads and conflicts, and also serves to progress them.

    If you think of your life as a novel series, and all the people in it as characters, and where you live as setting, you can pick out problems, relationships and other events that are standalone conflicts and those that are running threads. A love affair or a job that makes you crazy probably won't last your entire life; that's a standalone. On the other hand, your rivalry with your little sister's husband, who is a jackass and drives you nuts, may be an annoyance until you're both in rocking chairs; that's a running thread.

    Balance is vital. A collection of novels that are nothing but a series of unfortunate incidents may make a great kid's book, but if there's nothing else it may prove too episodic for the adult reader.

    Too many running threads, in contrast, make a book hard for a new reader to follow. A good example of this is the first novel I recently read written by a very famous author. Great writing, but the book had way too many running threads and almost no effort made to pull in a reader who is new to her series (this was book nine or ten, I think.) The end result was incomprehensible.

    You want your standalone conflicts and your running threads to have equal weight with the reader. To ref. the famous author's book, her standalone conflict was okay, but it was eclipsed by her running threads, which were not that great; they didn't make me want to go back and want to read the eight or nine books that came before this one so I could sort them out. It almost came across as if the author figured she's so famous that everyone who picks up her books is an avid fan who reads everything she's written -- and screw anyone who hasn't. She immediately lost me as a reader.

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  34. I'm not a sci-fi fan, my mind just doesn't work that way, but I really dig your cover. So did my son, who's 8 and heavily into all things Alien and asked after seeing your cover why I don't write books like that!

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  35. Doug wrote: lleeo, if I ever get published, I think you'll love my stuff. No romance in the first book of my trilogy, but in the seccond and third, there's a hot trans-species relationship between a giant spider and a giant fly. Think Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, with aliens. And nothing is hotter than giant alien critters having sex.

    Unless they're first chased by a bigger, meaner alien who wants to make lunch out of them. :)

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  36. Nonny wrote: When you consider the gap between Shockball and Rebel Ice ... a lot of series don't have the same readership afterwards.

    True. Readers have so much talent out there to choose from that I owe a debt of eternal gratitude to those who have stuck it out with me all these years. They're the ones responsible for getting the word out and keeping the series rolling.

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  37. Jill wrote: I'm not a sci-fi fan, my mind just doesn't work that way, but I really dig your cover. So did my son, who's 8 and heavily into all things Alien and asked after seeing your cover why I don't write books like that!

    Tell your son I said thank you. I got a similar request from my thirteen year old, who brought me Christopher Paolini's novel Eldest to show me the cool cover. He asked me if I wrote something with dragons in it, would I get the same artist? Lol.

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  38. Thanks Sheila! I look at my writing after that long and go...Ok. Who's got the map?

    I was at the bookstore today and the gaps in the shelf where your Stardoc series is looked just like someone had bought one of each. There's never less than 4 copies of each of the stardoc novels on the shelf here and they occupy a very impressive chunk of real estate on that shelf.

    But the 3 books/book sized space/3 books was rather fun. I did a little dance and hope they enjoy!

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  39. Doug, feel free to date yourself anytime you like. Just remember, when you start driving yourself nuts, it's tough to get away from yourself.

    Sheila (Lynn for today) -- gorgeous cover. As with all the Star Doc universe books, I'm looking forward to getting this one. (I'll be picking up Dark Need, too.) The Hsktskt look much smaller than I envision them in my mind, but other than that, they look great.

    Good luck with the contract negotiations for the future of the universe. (I love the way that sounds -- no pressure, of course)

    I love the idea of keeping a list with various pseudonyms and their associated publishers/series. Something to aspire to -- maybe by the time I'm 70 at the rate I'm going. I think I'll start with the first one.

    Happy Memorial Day.

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  40. Nico wrote: I did a little dance and hope they enjoy!

    That's very cool to know. Thanks for checking -- I'm dancing with you. :)

    One more thought on getting back into the writing habit: if the WIP from 18 months ago doesn't work for you, and you find yourself excessively editing or rewriting it, you might consider putting it aside and starting a new novel. You don't have to abandon it or trash the old WIP, but sometimes starting with something new gets you going and in a better place to work on something you set aside.

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  41. Jean wrote: The Hsktskt look much smaller than I envision them in my mind, but other than that, they look great.

    Hsktskt in alien medical containment units may appear smaller than they really are. :)

    I have to dig out my old sketches of the beasts from back in the 90's now, although I think they're very close to what the artist did.

    Happy Memorial Day, Jean.

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  42. I really like the cover. I sit here waiting for artwork on the first book, wondering if I'll like it. It must be a relief to have such talented people doing yours.

    As for series, I've always wondered how some writers can sustain a series through ten or more books. Hell, I wonder how they manage TWO books. You'd REALLY have to be in love with the characters to want to deal with them over and over again.

    Not sure I could do it.

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  43. [slaps forehead] Of course! I forgot about the visual effects some glass exhibits. Naturally, in this case, the Hsktskt would appear smaller in a medical containment unit.

    I get a kick out of how heartless the Hsktskt were originally portrayed as being, but lately, at every turn, they have become almost endearing. But would I really want one as a guest in my home? Well, after living here for nearly a year, I'm finally having some friends over early next month, so I can't say I'm ever big on having anyone as a guest in my home. The Hsktskt may take a few more years to invite.

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  44. lleeo wrote many kind compliments

    Some of my favourite authors get me so excited and squealy that I want to write them long emails telling them how cool they are and how obsessed I am with them. But then I turn into a big lazy bum and they never get written.

    You'll get that email someday, PBW. I don't know when, and I don't know how, but it'll be sure to inflate your head a t least a couple more centimetres. =)

    Thaaaank you for the author recs. I thought you and Linda Howard would get along nicely if you ever discovered each other. I've been reading her since I was 13. Shh! :D

    There is a lot of opposition to putting excerpts from one genre in the books of another (which I think is stupid.) I've only been permitted to do it a couple of times, and that was because I have a very supportive publisher. I know romance readers read everything, not just romance, so I will keep trying to get different genre excerpts out there.

    Romance readers are also apparently very loyal and obsessive about their authors. *nods sagely* So it's good to have them around. Also, I'm finding it very difficult to find your Darkyn series in regular bookstores. Are they not in the romance section?

    I am always mindful of the fact that StarDoc has been my foundation series. Darkyn may be more successful at the moment, but that's short term. After six years all of the StarDoc books are still in print and continue to sell well. StarDoc readers have kept me going, too, even during times when everyone else had written me off. Whatever happens, I won't forget that.

    You know what? I take back what I said about 20 Stardoc books getting tiring. I ADORE that series and all of the interesting, unique characters in it. As long as you're writing it, how could I get tired of it? =)

    And thank you very much for your insight into writing a believable sci-fi book. Since I'd someday like to break into the sci-fi/romance genre myself, you're the foremost authority I look to. :D

    PS I would not be adverse to seeing some homosexual romance and more of Emily Kim in books to come. *hint hint* *nudge nudge*

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  45. lleeo, if I ever get published, I think you'll love my stuff. No romance in the first book of my trilogy, but in the seccond and third, there's a hot trans-species relationship between a giant spider and a giant fly. Think Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, with aliens. And nothing is hotter than giant alien critters having sex.


    Doug, my man, I think this calls for a promotional negotiation. As in you sending me your first book for free. :D Just a suggestion...

    But, yes, I've never been adverse to the idea of a male author having more of an emphasis on romance in his books. Especially if it's damn good romance! ^_~

    In fact, I'm still trying to figure out how to convince these guys: http://www.romentics.com/non_flash/Romentics.html to break into other genres or subgenres. Liiike, sci-fi or paranormal romance. Deep, brooding gay vampire warriors in leather. Hehehehe. >:D

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  46. Stardoc Fan3:49 AM

    I've been searching the web trying to find some info on the reales date of the next Stardoc novel, but with no luck. Any info? I did find a website a couple of months ago that said the next book was Clanson, due sometime paste the Jan '07. But then I saw the posting for Plauge, and now I am really confused. Any help?

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  47. StarDoc Fan3:56 AM

    Please disregard my earlier comment. I found the answer right here in these postings.(I knew that would happen as soon as I posted it, What a dummy, Huh?) I would like to know if there really is a novel titled "Clanson".
    Of course, I'll probably find the answer to that as soon as I send this. lol

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  48. Anonymous3:16 PM

    Hey PBW. I'm still around, but no internet regularly over the summer. Nice cover art! I missed the Friday 20, but that's ok, I don't have a question for once. Just chugging along on my WIP - I'm at 45k in the rewrite (of around 70k. Yay.)

    Oh! Thought of a question, oops. Bad guys. I just never seem to write a single bad guy. It always shifts throughout the story, or it's characters v. nature, or whatever. I just don't do well with one supremely surely evil guy, I think. Any words of advice? (I know I know, I missed it, but if you could find the time or inclination...?)

    Jess

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  49. Anonymous10:52 PM

    If I keep wanting more Dragon books from Anne and Todd McCaffrey and my husband and I want more Xanth from Piers Anthony, you know that 20 books in a series is only the beginning! Too sad that Andre Norton passed and there are no more Witch World books to wait for. So Please, keep on writting Stardoc novels! And yes my husband has read every Destroyer novel and was disappointed to hear they will end it soon. I'm glad you're so young as to keep 'em coming for a good long while, God willing!

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