DinoLand news and even bigger news.

Just a brief post to tell you that the second chapter of DinoLand goes live at Geek Eccentric tomorrow. (Update: Click here to read it.)

Quite frankly, I’m proud as can be to be posting the chapter as scheduled, especially because of my second piece of news: On Tuesday, my husband and I became parents to T.W., a little boy.

We know next to nothing about babies, so there’s been a big learning curve here. Fortunately, the baby knows nothing about human society, so for all he knows, we’re doing everything right. And bonus: he speaks no English, so he doesn’t understand us when we say things like “He’s been quiet for a long time. Is he still breathing?” or “Oh no. I just realized the last time I changed a diaper was in 1994.”

Not that I mind any of this.
As terrified as I’ve been of motherhood my whole life (and that terror is not entirely gone), T.W. is the most excellent, most natural addition to our household. I’m just really happy he’s here.

Mommy's little writers block.

Mommy’s little writer’s block.

 

 

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Writing after the MFA: The Book

Now What MFA Guide

Yeah. Now what?

After I graduated from my MFA program in 2011, I wrote about how it can be a struggle to keep writing after getting a Masters of Fine Arts degree in fiction: you leave a ready-made community of writers and a system of built-in deadlines and head back out into the world, where life is waiting in the shadows, twirling its proverbial mustache and rubbing its hands together with wicked glee, just waiting to get in the way of your good writing habits.

So what do you do? I’ve tried to answer that question for myself on this blog a few times, but now I can share a project I’ve been working on with several other writers, which answers the question in much greater depth.

Allow me to introduce Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success after the MFA. It’s a non-fiction book containing essays by 46 contributors who all attempt to answer that very question: Now what?

The book’s electronic edition is being launched this very evening at the AWP conference, so if you’re out in Seattle right now, you should definitely head to the swanky launch party at the Seattle Art Museum tonight at 6:30 p.m. I won’t be there — I’m too close to my due date for travel —  but all sorts of fun people who are still allowed to drink will in attendance.

I worked as a chapter editor on this book for a little more than a year, so I can say with authority (because I’ve read my two chapters over and over and discussed other chapters with other editors) that although the book is aimed at MFA grads, you don’t need to be one to benefit from the book.

There are essays about finding agents, about the publishing industry, about working with writing groups and there’s one chapter, which I think will be very popular because it addresses the question of how to make ends meet while working on your masterpiece.

Definitely check it out if you’re at AWP this week. (I mean, there’s a party and you’re right there – why wouldn’t you go?) If you’re not there, check it out on Amazon, and if you’re more interested in a physical book, no worries; the paperback edition will be released in July. (Did I mention that the book also includes an article about e-books vs. physical books? Guess who contributed that one.)

 

One of my novels is being published as serial fiction! (And there are dinosaurs.)

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

I have some pretty awesome publishing news. Are you ready? Get ready.

Geek Eccentric, a site I’ve been working with for a year now, will be serializing a novel of mine, DinoLand, starting on Sunday, March 2, and running the first Sunday of each month.

I’ve been working with an artist, the fabulous Max Farinato, on this project, and I am excited to be able to finally share this news with you all.

DinoLand is a book I started working on several years ago, as a National Novel Writing Month project. I’d planned it as a novel, but after Margaret Atwood’s success with the webserial Positron, I’ve been interested in trying that route myself.

What’s DinoLand about?
DinoLand is set in a sprawling, Disney World-like amusement park which has introduced live dinosaurs as an attraction. The park saved a dying mill town and its leader is revered as a genius and a hero for his work. However, a new attraction is being planned, one that may not be as beloved as the herd of Brachiosaurs.

We need to talk about Jurassic Park.
Let’s address the pink Tricerotops in the room. This theme park hasn’t got much to do with Michael Crichton’s Costa Rican Island, or even with Velociraptors. The park in this book is very different from the one in Jurassic Park. Let me put it this way: the real monsters in this book aren’t the big lizards.

Rawr.
Have I mentioned that I’m excited about this? Because I am. So. Excited. I’m a little nervous about starting a webserial around the same time that I have a baby, but this is a project I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I hope you’ll be interested too. So stay tuned for more announcements, links and posts. Let’s get prehistoric!

Books & Boos is a really cool independent bookstore

indie bookstore, books and boos, colchester, ct

Books and Boos in winter.

If you live in New London County in Connecticut, you might be aware of a really cool little bookstore in your backyard. Or, you might not, in which case, you should definitely look into Books & Boos, a store in Colchester owned by two of the founding members of the New England Horror Association.

The shop is a treasure trove of used books, local crafts and books from local authors.

I love used book stores. I can spend hours in them. But I really love this bookstore, because even though it’s far from Bridgeport and I can’t browse there regularly, the owners have been kind to me. They’ve agreed to carry both my books. They had me at the shop for a reading one weekend, and despite the fact that I didn’t bring in hordes of fans, alá Stephen King, they’ve agreed to have me back on Sept. 8 anyhow.

 I’d like to return that favor by flooding the store with people on Sunday, Sept. 8. I want people to see what the store is like and get to know the owners. I want people to see the crochet Cthulus (yes, these exist) and the Edgar Allen Poe paintings and the handcrafted bookmarks and the piles and piles of books.

If you’re in New London County or Middletown and haven’t yet been to Books & Boos, come down at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8 and get to know the store and the owners. Used bookstores are becoming rare. Awesome used bookstores are even more so.

LAST MINUTE UPDATE: Books & Boos is looking for help! They want to move to a better location in downtown Colchester – and they’ve started an IndieGoGo campaign to raise the money they’ll need for that move. (Click on the link to get a tour of the store.)

See you Thursday at the Torrington Main Street Marketplace

Every Thursday evening in the summer, the town of Torrington, Connecticut closes down Main Street and fills it with vendors. It’s called the Main Street Market Place, and the event is beloved of people who live in that area.

This coming Thursday, (August 15 for those who need a date) I will be one of those vendors. That’s right, me, Beware the Hawk and The Eagle and the Arrow will be camped out in the author tent as part of the Summer Author Expo organized by the Torrington Library. I’m preparing a display for my books this evening and I’ve been trying to come up with a game I can play with passerby.

I expect to be there from 5-9 p.m. Cross your fingers, hope for good weather, and stop by and say hello to me and the other authors. (I don’t know who they are yet.)

Interview over at The Write Connexion

A quick note: Gabi Coatsworth, the author behind our locally-based writing blog, The Write Connexion, did an interview with me last week and it’s live right now. I had a great time answering her questions  — Gabi knows how to write a good question — so head over to the Write Connexion and check it out.

While you’re over there, poke around. Gabi collects information that is useful for both readers and writers. If you live in my area of the world (Connecticut), the blog can be quite a resource.

Also, I’m kind of geeking out because the creator of Authorgraph (the service that allows authors to autograph e-books) left a comment, and mentioned a new Authorgraph app, which would be very helpful for me during book signings when someone buys a book through his or her phone or reader. Oh Authorgraph, I love that service. I’d I could sign more books through it (hint hint people with my e-book.