Monthly Archives: May 2012

Interviewed at Gotham Writer’s Workshop

Thanks to Jenn Brissett for this interview over at the Gotham Writer’s Workshop Website!

There’s just a few questions, but they are good ones, and a highlight of one of my answers lies herein:

If you treat writing like a job, and think of it like one, this will also help tremendously. If you told your boss, at work, that you were feeling blocked and could not complete your tasks, they would not take you very seriously. When viewed as a profession, and a job, feeling blocked is resolved by allowing oneself to do a less-than-stellar job today, and to give oneself permission to suck, sometimes. Everyone has bad days at work, right?

One of the things I like to say is that some days writing comes so easily, like drinking cool water for hours — like being a gargoyle in a rainstorm and the water just seems to pour out of your mouth. Other days, it is like having a tooth wedged in your head of what you know is supposed to be on the page, and writing is a pair of pliers that pulls and pulls at that stuck tooth. Everyone has good days and bad days at work. Some days are water. Some days are teeth. That’s okay. That’s supposed to happen.

What is never supposed to happen is giving up on your job.

What question was that for? What are the other questions and answers? What is the Gotham Writer’s Workshop? All these and more can be found at:

http://www.writingclasses.com/WritersResources/AuthorAdviceDetail.php/author_id/192627

I think it is very, very important to point out the wealth of good interviews they have on that site, including Jeffrey Ford, Jeff VanderMeer, R.L. Stine, Jodi Picoult, Aimee Bender, and more. A real diverse line of writers answering useful questions for writers. What a great resource!

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Coming Soon…

Nirvana Gates is the second novella set in the Fathomless Abyss…

http://www.amazon.com/Tales-From-Fathomless-Abyss-ebook/dp/B006IU9A7A

It’s about a young woman who keeps chickens and sells eggs with her family, oddly enough, though the cover should be an indication that things get a little more complicated!

Art by the very talented Mats Minnhagen!

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Paradise

From the arroyo side behind my sister’s house, I climbed a ladder to cull the tops of the boxwood hedges that were out of reach from her yard. Two different worlds pushed against the bent, old backyard fence. On the one side, the backyard, lush with rose bushes, foreign plants like vining jasmine, an empress tree from China, and peaches, begonias, grass and grass and scrub grass and clover and grass… The dog rules the yard, pushing a soccer ball into the corners of everything, pushing out of the corners. This is a paradise. The neighbor has palm trees that shade the yard, as tall as clocktowers. On the Arroyo side, there’s burrs, stinging weeds, hard-edged sunflowers and more burrs. The mosquitoes thrive. The biting flies and ants clamber all over me. I’m climbing up to get to the boxwoods from the other side of the fence.

From the arroyo, on the step-ladder, I can see the whole neighborhood, green behind their fences with grass, trees, beautiful decks and patio furniture. On my side, the arroyo side, there’s graffiti along a fence. A wild animal painted it in the night, marking the line between what is and is not.

Weeds are sneaking into the fence line. On second look, it isn’t grass. It’s green, but it isn’t grass. It’s only weeds that look like grass, and some of them are getting bigger. Some of them are climbing up the sides of the house, and pushing through the slats of the fence and biting into the ground. They’re sneaking in. They’re taking what they can from the brown patches.

If we left this house alone for fourteen years, if this neighborhood walked out and down into the dry creek, and down to where the water pools into a small pond wrapped in brown, tall grass and dragonflies and small toads and snakes and the long, lingering, cautious look from the coyotes that live out there…

All paradises push. I’m ripping the weeds up. I’m pulling away invasive ivies. I’m back there, clipping the boxwoods.

These mountains we make that line the street valleys, these mountains we light up with Christmas lights, street lights, and headlights, rolling over the ground like slow magma, push back.

We flew home on an airplane. The ground is always leveled along the airports. The ground is kept clear and close-cropped. So much ground leveled into a desert around the palacial terminals. I leaned back and imagined riding a canoe down the arroyo, down to the river, down to the ocean, out to sea.

I imagine heaven is a place where the suburban sprawl is immense. All paradises must push. New people coming in from all over, and there’s got to be more room.

There’s new houses coming up. There’s always new houses coming up. There’s new stripmalls all over.

Paradise is a push.

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Excitement, Adventure, Writing and Announcements

Hard at work or hardly working? Well, when you’re inventing for a living it’s definitely hard work. I am currently editing like mad, my own work and someone else’s, and it is an exciting adventure story and a gruesome YA steampunk-ish thing and also I’ll be pulling out the third Dogsland book, dusting it off, and looking to polish everything, everything, everything for your humble peepers, fair reader.

WAR BEETLES is out, at last. http://www.grumpsjournal.com/index.html

War beetles left wreckage like hurricanes across the plains. The battle still raged on at some far distant place over the horizon. Along the ground, in their wake, acid pooled. Smoke from the fires of war left a gunpowder stink hanging in the air, and all the fresh meat of the dead made it smell worse.
Meridian Smith, a survivor of the battle, walked cautiously over the devastation with a girl he had found in a village. He had solid boots that rode high up his legs, near to his hips, and a long duster jacket. Meridian had lost his helmet in the fight. His forehead and ears were deep red, now. He didn’t think about the sunburn, though. He was too busy watching out for the ground, and for the little girl that held his hand. He had to lead her carefully, because the earth was full of holes and sinkholes and smashed bushes and the remains of animals.
Desdemona was her name, she had said. She walked beside Meridian, clinging to his hands. She wasn’t brave enough to walk by herself. She was too small to traverse the fields without his strong arm lifting her over the worst of the destruction. Her shoes were not built for long travel. Meridian was surprised she hadn’t complained about her feet, yet.

Announcement of something cool: StorySouth’s Million Writers Award just selected ARACHNE from a prior issue of that very magazine as has just published WAR BEETLES, as a notable story of 2011!

http://www.storysouth.com/millionwriters/millionwritersnotable_2011.html

As you all know, ARACHNE came out last year in the first issue of the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, and is a part of the interconnected collection, WOMEN AND MONSTERS, available here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/89167, here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/women-and-monsters-j-m-mcdermott/1105651888, here: http://www.amazon.com/Women-and-Monsters-ebook/dp/B007R3NL3G and elsewhere!

At the moment, I am editing something that is set in this shared world, and I highly recommend checking it out, if you can!

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=httpjmmcdtrip-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B006IU9A7A

So, this post was begun to announce good news, and has devolved into shameless self-promotion of a particularly intense variety. I mean, how many times can I say “BUY MY STUFF!” in one blog post, right?
So… You know… Buy my stuff, please?

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And… Done!

That’s it, folks!  One week of free eBooks is over!

I’m going to check the timestamp on the folks who e-mailed me, and see if it was before midnight, or after, when they e-mailed me. And, there are no more free eBooks available.

Fortunately for you, the titles are still available for sale, and at numerous libraries across America! You could pick up an inexpensive used copy, a new copy straight from Amazon, or even a free copy from your local library!

And, if you enjoyed the free eBook, please do consider picking up one of my other works, and please do consider telling others about the work.

Thanks,

Me.

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Other Works Available

Howdy all,

I’m very pleased with the giveaway going on for a couple more days. But, one recurring theme has been surprise by folks who didn’t realize I had another thing out and for sale. Another recurring theme has been folks looking for an opportunity to “tip” me, which is great, but doesn’t reward my publishing partners who are a huge part of my success.

So, I thought I would take a moment to mention some of the things that I have out right now.

Beyond Dogsland, there is the audiobook of LAST DRAGON: http://iambik.com/books/last-dragon-by-jm-mcdermott/

For fans of LAST DRAGON, I think you will be very pleased by the short story collection, out from my own little micro-press (more projects are forthcoming not by me, but we are in such early stages it is not time to announce or even hint at anything…) Bad Ducky Industries. WOMEN AND MONSTERS reimagines Greek mythology in a modern, surrealist mode, and looks for the hidden corners of these stories. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/women-and-monsters-j-m-mcdermott/1033667146

DEATH MASK AND EULOGY, a novelette, is available in just about every format I can think of, http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/58545 and lots of people like that little piece. You might like it, too.

I have been working very hard in this shared world, TALES OF THE FATHOMLESS ABYSS, and I am very excited to see this project continue! There’s lots happening behind the scenes, and it all starts with this collection, edited by Phil Athans: http://www.amazon.com/Tales-From-Fathomless-Abyss-ebook/dp/B006IU9A7A

Of course, both LAST DRAGON and DISINTEGRATION VISIONS are available from Apex Books! http://www.apexbookcompany.com/ And it is the rare case that it is best to purchase directly from their website, though the books are available at most major retailers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Finally, in the forthcoming issue of JOURNAL OF UNLIKELY ENTOMOLOGY, expect to see my short story WAR BEETLES!

State of the career is pretty good, but if you want to pick up stuff, and support my career, here are some great options. Tipping is always appreciated, at sankgreall(gmail)com, but it isn’t as appreciated as helping along the publishing partners that make my career possible. During a major transition at Nightshade, some things are running way behind, and I don’t need to tell you that the best way to speed things up is to make noise with reviews, make some purchases with some dollars, and just generally being an advocate for ethical treatment of authors and creators in all things and ways.

Also, one could tell one’s friends that free eBooks are available until the week started with my prior blog post comes to a close. That would be helpful! (And thanks to those, like http://www.sfsignal.com, that spread the word!)

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Free eBooks of the first two novels of the Dogsland Trilogy

Just what the title says. Anyone who doesn’t already have one can drop me a line and receive one or both.

drop me a line at sankgreall(a)gmail(dot)com

Offer good until next Friday.

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