Young adults and the science fiction conundrum

Where is the young adult science fiction?

The State of Young Adult Science Fiction

A couple weeks ago I attended the DFW Writers Conference in Dallas, TX. DFWCon was a great event, with lots of fantastic speakers and agents and editors, but one conversation I had really stood out above all the others.

That conversation was with Susan Chang, senior editor at TOR Teen, a division of Macmillan that focuses in on teen and young adult science fiction and fantasy.

Ms. Chang is one of the people who knows what’s what in teen publishing, so she spoke with elegance and poise throughout our conversation at the DFWCon mixer, whereas I was content to stand there and drool all over my drink, soaking in the wisdom of the universe. Continue reading

ESW at DFW (con, that is. DFWcon. DFW Writer’s Conference. Come on, guys!)

DFW Writer's Conference

DFW Writer’s Conference, #dfwcon

Hey everyone! Just thought I’d pop in and give a little report on how things went this last weekend. A lot of you know that I was heading down to the DFW Writer’s Conference this weekend to do all the writerly things that we writers do at writers conferences (like see how poorly we can construct a sentence in order to pass it by agents).

Just so you know, the DFW Writer’s Conference was pretty sweet this year. Great speakers (including the lovely and hysterical southern belle Charlaine Harris and the über-productive and ever-awesome Kevin J. Anderson), great agents and editors and fan-freaking-tastic authors. Seriously, if you live in the DFW area and didn’t drop in on the DFWCon fun, you really, REALLY missed out.

Events like this are a must for writers, and now that I’m walking around with more cultured eyes, I can really see value in everything that happens at a conference like that. At DFWCon I made great connections with authors I’d met only briefly, and some authors I’d never met before. I got to hear some great sessions that really challenged my thinking on narrative voice and villains. And, best part–I got to meet some amazing agents and editors. Continue reading

You know…that thing where you’re just working on too much at once

Man…so much to do these days. Those of you who follow me on Twitter and such may have heard a lot about this project, then a lot about that one, then a little about one you thought was done…it’s all a little much to keep straight, right?

I’ve had people giving me confused stares lately, too. No, I tell them, that’s right. I was working on a different manuscript just last week. But that’s the way things work, right?

Making the transition to having multiple projects all swirling around in the pot at once has been hard. I’m still making some minor changes to my YA fantasy, DeadBoy and the Fires of Fear. I just finished the second draft of The Outs, a contemporary YA fantasy thriller (I’m so excited about that one). Now, I’m writing the first full draft of DeadBoy and the Forest of Shadows, and in the afternoons I’m doing some revisions on my adult sci-fi thriller Deeds as well. And, to top it all off, I have a new, super-secret project that’s taking up a little bit of time every day.

Before you ask, no. I’m not keeping it all straight. How can I? I’ve decided to hurry up and put a bow on Fires before I keep moving on the others. It will still need a solid editor to have a peek, but I’m feeling pretty good about that one these days.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions for how to keep it all straight when you have this much going on all at once? Feedbacks would be appreciated.

It’s ALL your business. You don’t have to do it.

Your art is your business

Image by Stephen Poff

Where did this notion that we should do art because it is “noble” come from? I hear it all the time. “Write because you have a passion for it.” “Writing is my escape.” You should do art because you HAVE to.”

You don’t HAVE to. You choose to. And you choose to because you have that luxury. But we only have so much time in this life, so we’d better make whatever we’re doing worth those golden grains in the hourglass. Click to Tweet.

The idea that we shouldn’t view art (which, in my case, is writing) as a business is ludicrous. If art is where you hope to engage the world for such a significant portion of your life, then it most definitely is, at least, a side business. And if you ever want people to read, or watch, or see, or in any other way enjoy your art, you had better treat your art with the same respect a businessperson treats their business plan.

No one owes your art anything. Only you have a debt relationship with your creativity, and if you ever hope to get a return, you had better spend the time and the energy making your art the best it can be. Engage with the habit. Wear it proudly. And, most of all, feed the beast, because it won’t treat you well if you don’t respect it.