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Newsflash: All Quiet Until 2015

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in admin, the writing life | 0 comments

Newsflash: All Quiet Until 2015

So, now that the last announcement of the year is out, I’m off to go finish this fucking book that’s due in SIX WEEKS EEEEEEEEEE so you can read EMPIRE ASCENDANT on time in October of 2015, so I can get started on THE STARS ARE LEGION which is DUE in October 2015 (yes, do the math there with writing/promo and life looks grim in October), so you can read that in 2016… And on and on for the next four years. It’s fabulous to be a writer under contract, but it’s going to be a rough road. As many folks forget,...

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Writing, Stress, and the Tunnel Vision of Middle Age

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in the writing life | 0 comments

Writing, Stress, and the Tunnel Vision of Middle Age

I was cleaning out some old files and papers this weekend, packing things up to get archived over at Northern Illinois University, and as one does when one goes through old photos and letters and emails, I reminisced about times past, about what could have been, about other lives led. I have been working with my head down, blinders on, since 2011, when GOD’S WAR came out and, a few months later, I increased my salary 30% by switching to a new job. The job paid more, but was more stressful, with rolling layoffs every six months. There was no...

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Why I Finish All My Shit

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in the writing life | 0 comments

Why I Finish All My Shit

I’ve started a lot more books and stories than I’ve finished, and this is a problem. Why? Surely, when a concept or story isn’t working, you should stop while you’re ahead, right? Well…. Chuck Wendig had a post up today about all the reasons you should finish your work, but really, I can distill it down to one reason, and one reason only. The thing folks don’t realize is that learning how to write a piece of work requires you to actively practice how to write the whole thing. Writing five hundred great beginnings will not make...

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THE HURLEY ARCHIVES: Archiving Papers at NIU

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in admin, the writing life | 0 comments

THE HURLEY ARCHIVES: Archiving Papers at NIU

So this summer I was approached by a couple of folks asking about archiving my papers. This was, as you’d imagine (especially those of you who’ve been reading this blog for ten years) a rather surreal experience for me. The first time I thought it was a fluke. The second time, I was genuinely confused. Who would be interested in this stuff, really? But I suppose you never know how an author’s career will turn out, and folks like to lock things up early just in case. It did require me to sit down and consider the archiving...

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The Words Don’t All Have to be Right: Writing and Rewriting

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in the writing life | 0 comments

The Words Don’t All Have to be Right: Writing and Rewriting

I’m writing about a book a year right now. With a day job and freelancing work on top of my novel writing, that’s about all I can manage. Next year’s schedule has me writing at least one book in just eight months, which a lot of folks who write four or more books a year are probably laughing at, but my work is known for its worldbuilding, and to be brutally honest, coming up with the worlds I do without starting to repeat myself like a parrot would be impossible with any more than a book a year. I’ve already found myself repeating...

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I Love Writing Books. So I Need to Get Better at Writing Them

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in the writing life | 0 comments

I Love Writing Books. So I Need to Get Better at Writing Them

I read a really spectacular Advance Reader Copy yesterday of a book called THE TRAITOR BARU CORMORANT (out Sept, 2015. I’ll talk more about it then). I was hooked from the first page and cried through the first 40 pages. It’s a tragedy in the traditional sense, like Madame Bovary or Macbeth (or Mass Effect 3!). You know everyone is fucking doomed. You know it from the first forty pages, and the inevitability of that, of knowing that to “win” in this book, for the protagonist, means the endurance of staggering, brutal losses, was...

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MIRROR EMPIRE Back in Print! Holiday Giveaway

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in admin | 0 comments

MIRROR EMPIRE Back in Print! Holiday Giveaway

After a tough few weeks (we sold out of the first printing in, like, a month) I’m pleased to announce that THE MIRROR EMPIRE is back in print! That means it should be showing up at your favorite bookstores (not just B&N) today or later this week. Amazon, B&N, Booksamillion already show it available, and any bookstore you ask should be able to order it for you no problem now. As the holidays are upon us, I wanted to celebrate! Most of you may have already bought your paper copies of THE MIRROR EMPIRE, but if you haven’t, or...

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Books You Should Be Reading

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in bookery | 0 comments

Books You Should Be Reading

As I’m bouncing up and down about MIRROR EMPIRE finally being back in stock at the distributor, here’s some other great titles I’ve enjoyed this year that YOU SHOULD BE READING: WAIT FOR IT WAIT YES THESE ONES:   CITY OF STAIRS By Robert Jackson Bennett Unless you live under a tree, you’ve probably heard me rant and rave about this one. Last year I talked a lot about ANCILLARY JUSTICE  (pssst sequel out now!) and why you should read it. This year it’s CITY OF STAIRS. What a lot of folks don’t realize...

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When Trolls Attack: Hunting the “Kinder, Gentler” Internet Unicorn

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in the writing life | 0 comments

When Trolls Attack: Hunting the “Kinder, Gentler” Internet Unicorn

I was listening to the SF Squeecast yesterday when the topic of the “kinder, gentler” days of the internet came up. I’m part of a generation of writers and bloggers who came of age in the early days of blogging, when everything was fresh and new and you clicked the “next” button on Blogger to find new blogs, or accepted LJ invites from friends that pulled you into the rabbit hole of TMI. I’ve heard a lot of folks talking about how the internet has become some sort of rage shitstorm of abuse and outrage without end since then, and...

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How Being a Corporate Copywriter Made Me a Better Novelist

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in the writing life | 0 comments

How Being  a Corporate Copywriter Made Me a Better Novelist

When many fiction writers hear I write marketing and advertising copy for a living, they’ll inevitably ask, “Isn’t it hard to write corporate copy all day and fiction all night? Aren’t you burned out by the time you get home?” Folks generally tell me the story of a web designer or illustrator who’s so burned out after working on corporate projects all day that they don’t have the headspace to work on personal projects. But for me,  corporate copywriting and writing novels are very, very different pursuits. They use entirely...

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