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For those of you who couldn’t attend the Superstars Writing Seminar in person, you can now listen to all the lectures and workshops, and experience the seminar vicariously. The complete set of 20 lectures over the three-day workshop is now available in MP3 files for $350. You won’t get the networking and the connections from the seminar, but you will get the knowledge
The Superstars Writing Seminars are one of the most influential and motivating experiences for up-and-coming writers to learn about the business side of writing and network with incredible guest instructors. Over the last six years, partners Kevin J. Anderson, David Farland, Eric Flint, Rebecca Moesta, James A. Owen, and Brandon Sanderson have been joined by some of the biggest names in publishing including Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jody Lynn Nye, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, Todd McCaffrey, Diana Gill, Jim Minz, and Toni Weisskopf. The insights and information given through Superstars over the years is priceless.
But wait…not completely priceless, because you can get the audio versions of ALL SIX YEARS of Superstars as downloadable MP3s. From understanding contracts to embracing new applications for audience building and everything in between, these workshops distill decades of publishing experience for up and coming writers. Since the beginning, Superstars Writing Seminars have recorded every single workshop session and panel discussion and made those available for purchase for alumni from each year. For the first time, we’re offering a complete set of all six years’ worth of workshops and discussions for one package price of $500.
To take advantage of this unique opportunity, order from the Superstars website.
NOTE: Early Bird rates for Superstars 2016 go up on October 1, so don’t delay. Instructors include Jim Butcher, David Farland, Ann Sowards (Penguin/Putnam), Mark Leslie Lefebvre (Kobo), Eric Flint, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, James Artimus Owen, Jody Lynn Nye, and Todd McCaffrey.
As you can see, I am falling behind. Catching up on my cons!
With all the traveling and shows I do, you might think they all blur together—but each convention has its own distinctive character and special memories.
DragonCon, held in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, is probably my favorite convention of the year, every year. Rebecca and I counted, and we’ve now been to 21 DragonCons. On the flight in, traveling with Peter Wacks, we also found Timothy Zahn sitting just behind us. (All three of us are writing for the new HEROES REBORN TV show.) I was on several big panels on science fiction, Star Wars, writing, and publishing.
Timothy Zahn, Peter J. Wacks, KJA
Our WordFire booth had our most successful show to date, featuring myself and Rebecca as well as guest authors Carrie Vaughn (courtesy of Tor Books), Larry Correia (courtesy of Baen Books), Jody Lynn Nye, Jonathan Maberry, Mike Resnick, Peter Wacks, Josh Vogt, Quincy J. Allen, and a lot of wonderful helpers from among the WordFire crew. SF author Peter F Hamilton (the DragonCon guest of honor) also stopped by to chat…and got mobbed by fans for half an hour. We debuted my new novel CLOCKWORK LIVES—a magnificent example of the art of book-making—which the publisher ECW allowed us to sell a week before actual release. We had brought 60 copies for the four-day show, but sold out in a little more than 24 hours.
with Carrie Vaughn and Larry Correia
The DragonCon parade was an amazing event, as usual. The banquet was particularly moving, in which Nichelle Nichols received an award, handed to her by Congressman John Lewis. And as a special treat, I got to meet Carroll Spinney, the real Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. We went to a lot of parties, had meals with friends and editors (sometimes they fit in both categories) and had a great time, as always.
With Ivy Cosplay
Jonathan Maberry and Jody Lynn Nye
with Peter F. Hamilton
with Mike Resnick
Carroll Spinney—the real Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch!
Magnificent Men of Fantasy—John Ringo, KJA, AJ Hartley, token non-male Nancy Knight, Jim Butcher, and Jack McDevitt
The audience for Magnificent Men of Fantasy
Two weeks later, I was off to Portland, OR, for Rose City Comic Con, a much smaller show with only 30,000 attendees, but which is growing significantly. For our WordFire booth there, Larry Correia, Josh Vogt, and Peter Wacks rejoined us, and we also featured David Farland, Peter Orullian, Ken Scholes, Cat Rambo, DJ Butler, RJ Terrell, JR Boyett, and the incredible painting-on-metal artwork of Jeff Sturgeon.
Jeff Sturgeon and his wonderful art!
Ken Scholes and Cat Rambo
showing off Clockwork Lives!
On Saturday night we hosted a very well attended book-release party for the new DANDY BOYS MYSTERIES by Peter J. Wacks and JR Boyett. On Sunday, Allyson Longueira from WMG Publishing joined us for breakfast (and to talk business and swap advice), then she hung out with us for much of the day, before she gave Peter and me a ride to the airport. I had all of two days at home before heading out to Salt Lake City for Salt Lake Comic Con.
But that will be in another report.
All right, I publish a lot of books. I love to write, I love to tell stories, and it seems I always have some new novel out.
This one is special.
I’m not kidding when I say that of my 130 books so far, I really believe CLOCKWORK LIVES is one of my very best. It’s a novel where all the pieces fit together just perfectly, that throughout the writing I felt that I was achieving my best work, every single day. Yes, I’m proud of it.
CLOCKWORK LIVES is a steampunk fantasy novel, sort of a clockwork Canterbury Tales set in the same universe as my 2012 bestseller CLOCKWORK ANGELS. And like ANGELS, I wrote this novel with Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist from Rush. He and I created the colorful and wondrous universe of Albion, the Watcmaker, the Anarchist, the Seven Cities of Gold, Poseidon City, and much more, and we wanted to return to explore the people and places more. CLOCKWORK LIVES consists of thirteen Tales, all of them bound by an overall story—and some of the most heart-wrenching and heart-warming prose I have ever written.
The physical book itself is something to pay attention to, as well. ECW Press released the trade edition with a red leatherette cover complete with embossed designs and gold stamping, marbled end-papers, color printing, parchement-style papers, as well as thirteen exquisite illustrations done by Nick Robles, the artist who so masterfully did all of the work on CLOCKWORK ANGELS: The Graphic Novel.
It’s a beautiful book and (I think) a beautiful story inside. I hope you’ll get a chance to read it. CLOCKWORK LIVES is available at your local or online book retailer. If you’d like to order a copy autographed by me, they are available at WordFire Shop
At WordFire Press, we are also pleased to release CULTURAL REPERCUSSIONS, a new book about the work of Neil Peart, written by Bradley J. Birzer, a well-respected literary scholar who has also published critical works on Tolkien, Carroll, and others. A lifelong Rush fan, Birzer decided it was about time that Neil Peart received the recognition for his lyrics and writing, hence the subtitle, “An in-depth examination of the words, ideas, and professional life of Neil Peart, man of letters.
Though Neil Peart is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest living drummers, few studies have been devoted to his writings. Yet, Peart is very much a man of his words. He writes lyrics, travelogues, short stories, essays, and books of cultural criticism. In terms of his cultural impact, he is also one of North America’s greatest living men of letters. The themes he offers in his writings are timeless: philosophy, journeys, growth, exploration, excellence, art, satisfaction, happiness, religion, politics, individualism, expression, natural history, cultural criticism, life, love, loss, redemption, and beauty.
Peart wants every person to persevere through individual trials, and find his or her unique gifts and abilities and, ultimately, true happiness. Most tellingly, Peart does not just profess such things, he has lived them and continues to live them.
Never satisfied with second best or any form of defeat, Peart challenges himself time and time again to live up to his own philosophy. And he has succeeded through great personal adversity and, at times, irrational professional jealousy of and hatred toward him, and he has always succeeded through grace.
This book carefully examines the influence his life, his witness, and his words have had on others. Neil Peart has lived life to the fullest, and he has made us each better for it.
CULTURAL REPERCUSSIONS is available in trade paperback and in all eBook formats.
September 14 was our 24th anniversary, two dozen years of being married to the wonderful, beautiful, and talented Rebecca Moesta. And as with previous years, instead of doing one “big” thing, we make a whole week out of it, writing up a bucket-list of activities and special things we’d like to do.
On the Saturday before, we had a big party at our house, inviting about 30 friends over for a “movie night” (which really means a movie playing in the background, while everybody pretty much just talks to one another). The main excuse for the get-together was to celebrate the birthday of Peter Wacks, our WordFire Press Managing Editor (but Reb and I decided we wanted to have all he friends over as part of anniversar-week anyway). I even baked a turkey for Peter’s birthday.
For another night, we fixed one of our special meals, a “love feast” of little finger foods, cheese, fruits, meats, caviar and crackers, and then we topped it all off by watching Mad Max: Fury Road (it was Rebecca’s choice, really.)
On our actual anniversary, we spent the day out at Glenwood Springs in the mountains, first touring Glenwood Caverns and then soaking in the hot springs, a brand new facility that was top notch.
Another night we went out to see the new MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movie and had a fondue dinner at the Melting Po. Another night we went out to our favorite Moroccan restaurant, with the kids and grandkids, and grandsons Harrison and Xavier were particularly confused and then thrilled. “You mean we sit on the floor and eat with our hands?”
Because I had to head off for Rose City Comic Con, we still have to schedule two more anniversar-week events, a tour of Seven Falls in Colorado Springs, and then a microbrewery pub crawl for me. But we’ll find a way to fit them in…and then start thinking up our list for next year.