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New Releases: April 2014 [Apr. 1st, 2014|10:50 am]

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It's a new month, which means NEW BOOKS FROM DAW!!! So this month, we have new C.J. Cherryh, the next book in her Foreigner series. Plus the paperback releases of her previous book and John Marco's last Bronze Knight book. A little light, but that's fine with me. It gives me a chance to catch up on the series I've fallen behind on! As usual, here's the cover art and cover copy for the books, with book discussions coming later this month (after we finish off the March releases)!


First up, the hardcover release of C.J. Cherryh's Peacemaker, the newest Foreigner book!

At last--Cajeiri has his young guests from the starship, three young folk entranced by weather and trees and creatures with minds of their own. It’s all he dreamed of . . .

But now safety is foremost: Cajeiri’s grandfather has been assassinated, hostile Assassins Guild have invaded Great-uncle’s house, and now Bren Cameron, paidhi-aiji, who was sent to keep the aiji’s son safe, has more than the young guests on his mind. The aiji-dowager knows who’s to blame for the attacks, and they’re going after him.

The fact that the person responsible is in the heart of Assassins’ Guild Headquarters, the most closely guarded fortress on the continent, is not going to stop her.

Bren Cameron has the pieces now, of a decades-old plot that’s been threaded through Guild actions going back before his arrival on the continent, and more--he knows the person responsible is going to find out he knows, and find out within hours.

They have no choice. If they don’t move, the other side will.

And the lives of the boy, the guests, the entire ruling family are at stake.


Next up is the paperback release of John Marco's The Forever Knight, part of the Bronze Knight series.

Lukien is the Bronze Knight, beloved by his kingdom and renowned in battle throughout his world. After betraying his king and losing his beloved, he wishes only for death, but rather than die, Lukien is given a chance for redemption: to be the protector of the Inhumans--those fragile mortals who live deep in the desert, far from the prying eyes of their world. These remarkable individuals have been granted magical powers in exchange for the hardships and handicaps life has handed them. And Lukien, now immortal himself, must be their champion. But how can one man, even an immortal warrior, protect hundreds from a world of potential enemies?


And lastly, we have the paperback release of C.J. Cherryh's Protector, the fourteenth Foreigner novel.

It's coming up on Cajeiri's birthday. The boy has been promised he can have the young human children he knew from his voyage sent down from the space station for a two week stay.

But there's a far darker business going on in the background--a major split compromising the Assassins' Guild, which furnishes security and law enforcement to the whole continent. Tabini's consort's own father has been barred from court, and may be involved in a new conspiracy against him.

For safety reasons, Tabini wants Bren and Ilisidi to take charge of Cajeiri, and protect him and his young guests. They themselves are very likely targets of whatever's going on, no question of it. So is Cajeiri. But having the targets separated and contained is an advantage.

It's Bren's responsibility to entertain the guests, keep the security problem secret . . . and let a lonely eight-year-old prince reestablish his controversial relationship with the only other children he's ever met . . . inside the best security they can manage.


And those are the new releases from DAW Books for April 2014! Get thee to the bookstore! And get reading!
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Book Discussion: "Half-Off Ragnarok" by Seanan McGuire [Mar. 31st, 2014|10:02 am]

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Time for the next March book discussion! This time we're looking at Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire, the third book in her Incryptid series. Who here has read this one? Any thoughts?

Cover Copy: What do gorgons, basilisks, and frogs with feathers all have in common? They're all considered mythological by modern science, and some people are working very hard to keep them that way. Alexander Price is a member of a cryptozoological lineage that spans generations, and it's his job to act as a buffer between the human and cryptid worlds--not an easy task when you're dealing with women who have snakes in place of hair, little girls who may actually be cobras, and oh, right, brilliant, beautiful, distressingly curious Australian zookeepers. And then there's the matter of the murders. . . .

Alex thought he was choosing the easier career when he decided to specialize in non-urban cryptids, leaving the cities to his little sister, Verity. He had no idea what he was letting himself in for. It's a family affair, and everyone--from his reanimated grandfather to his slightly broken telepathic cousin--is going to find themselves drawn in before things get any better.

There are some things that you can train for. And then there are the things you have to figure out on the fly.

This is definitely the latter.
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Book Discussion: "Immortal Muse" by Stephen Leigh [Mar. 28th, 2014|02:41 pm]

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And lo! I finally have time to start the March book discussion! Sorry about that, everyone. Just had a few wild and crazy weeks. I hope to catch up though. Our first March book discussion is for Stephen Leigh's Immortal Muse, in hardcover. The premise sounds incredibly intriguing and I hope to be able to get to this book soon. I know I've seen some buzz about it already online. So who here has read it? What did you think?

Cover Copy: Immortal Muse is an unforgettable tale that sweeps readers from 1300s Paris to modern-day new York--with interludes in the 1635 Rome of Bernini, the 1737 Venice of Vivaldi, the French Revolution in Paris with Lavoisier and Robespierre, 1814 London with William Blake and John Polidori, fin de siècle Vienna with Gustav Klimt, and World War II France with Charlotte Salomon.

It began with the marriage of Perenelle and Nicolas Flamel. It began, too, with alchemy, sorcery--and the legendary elixir of life. And though many had striven to perfect this formula, it was Perenelle alone who finally achieved it.

But for every prize there is a price, and the cost of immortality would prove high indeed. Perenelle became the Immortal Muse whose very survival depended on the creativity she nurtured in others, while Nicolas sustained his life force through the pain and torment of his victims.

And what began with a sacred oath of love became an endless pursuit through time driven by enmity and vengeance. . . .
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Book Discussion: "Sword-Bound" by Jennifer Roberson [Mar. 26th, 2014|08:15 am]

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I've been so freaking busy lately, but I've managed to catch up. So here's the last book discussion for the February books (I know, I know, it's almost April), and then we'll get to the March books. This is the paperback release of Jennifer Roberson's Sword-Bound, the seventh book in the Sword-Dancer saga. If you haven't read this series yet, you can catch up by getting the omnibus editions of the first six books in the series. I haven't read any of Jennifer Roberson's books, although I have read her contribution to the collaborative novel The Golden Key and loved it. What about you guys? Who's been waiting for Jennifer to return to this universe? Which book in the series if your favorite so far?

The South was Tiger's home. Left as a infant to die in the desert, his real origins were unknown. Slaying a deadly sandtiger won him his freedom from the tribe that had enslaved him, and he joined the elite brotherhood of Southron sword-dancers. Trained at the great Southron school of Alimat, Tiger swore a lifelong oath to abide by their code of honor, or die.

Del was a woman of the North. She had seen her family brutally murdered and her youngest brother carried away to the South to be sold into slavery. Motivated by revenge, she studied with the greatest of Northern sword masters and became the most deadly sword-singer in the North.

Together these two legendary fighters had forged an unlikely partnership of equals, sharing adventures, danger, and eventually love. But when Tiger forfeited an important dance to rescue Del, he broke his sworn code of honor--and his sentence was death.

Fugitives from both the North and the South, Tiger and Del fled to the distant island of Skandi. But this island nation was not to be the sanctuary they sought. Abducted by priest-mages, altered in mind and body, Tiger was forced to acknowledge that he possessed his own special brand of magic. A personal magic that carried a heavy price: madness and early death.

But Tiger and Del were never without resources, and though Tiger's long-dormant power began to manifest, they managed to escape. Desperate to rid himself of the magic that promised to sap his sanity and shorten his life, he performed a ritual to transfer his powers into his sword, then smashed his weapon, thus freeing himself.

However Tiger is still an outcast from the brotherhood of sword-dancers for breaking the oaths and honor codes of Alimat, and now his deadly brethren seek to kill him . . . all but one, a young man, Neesha, Tiger's grown son.

Finally, Tiger, Del, and Neesha find safety in the remote canyon where Tiger smashed his sword, and just in time--for Del is pregnant. In the relative safety of this secluded desert canyon, Tiger and Del settle to raise their child, a girl they name Sula, and train all those who manage to find them, thus forming their own school of sword-dancing. Now, two years later, Tiger and Del enjoy a settled, if somewhat less exciting, life raising their daughter and training Tiger's son and other students. But the manhunt for Tiger has not ended, and to add to the threats, an old enemy, Umir the Ruthless, has offered a substantial bounty for anyone bringing Tiger to him alive. For Umir possesses a powerful grimoire--a book of spells that Tiger locked by magic--and he is determined to use any means at his disposal to force Tiger to unlock this deadly book.
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Book Discussion: "Who Fears Death" by Nnedi Okorafor [Mar. 8th, 2014|11:11 am]

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Up next for discussion is the paperback version of Nnedi Okorafor's novel Who Fears Death. This book looks intriguing to me simply because it's set in a different part of the world than we usually see, Africa, and . . . oh yeah, it's post-apocalyptic. I love post-apocalyptic novels. *grin* As usual, here's the cover art and cover copy! Anyone had a chance to read this one yet?

Cover Copy (from the hardcover): International award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor enters the world of magical realist literature with a powerful story of genocide in the far future and of the woman who reshapes her world.

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways, yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. After years of enslaving the Okeke people, the Nuru tribe has decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke tribe for good. An Okeke woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different--special--she names her child Onyesonwu, which means "Who Fears Death?" in an ancient tongue.

From a young age, stubborn, willful Onyesonwu is trouble. It doesn't take long for her to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her violent conception. She is Ewu--a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by both tribes.

But Onye is not the average Ewu. As a child, Onye's singing attracts owls. By the age of eleven, she can change into a vulture. But these amazing abilities are merely the first glimmers of a remarkable and unique magic. As Onye grows, so do her abilities--soon she can manipulate matter and flesh, or travel beyond into the spiritual world. During an inadvertent visit to this other realm she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her.

Desperate to elude her would-be murderer, and to understand her own nature, she seeks help from the magic practitioners of her village. But, even among her mother's people, she meets with frustrating prejudice because she is Ewu and female. Yet Onyesonwu persists.

Eventually her magical destiny and her rebellious nature will force her to leave home on a quest that will be perilous in ways that Onyesonwu can not possibly imagine. For this journey will cause her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately to learn why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death?
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New Releases: March 2014! [Mar. 4th, 2014|08:20 am]

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New month, new books! Here are the new releases from DAW Books, Inc. for the month of March 2014! We have new Stephen Leigh and Seanan McGuire, plus the paperback releases of Julie E. Czerneda's and Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. Ross' latest. As usual, here's the cover art and a brief description. Which ones are you dying to get your hands on?


First up, Stephen Leigh's latest novel, Immortal Muse, in hardcover!

An immortal Muse whose very survival depends on the creativity she nurtures within her lovers . . .

Another immortal who feeds not on artistry but on pain and torment . . .

A chase through time, with two people bound together in enmity and fury . . .

Magic and science melded together into one, and an array of the famous and infamous, caught up unawares in an ages-long battle . . .

Immortal Muse is a tale that takes the reader on a fascinating journey from Paris of the late 1300s with the alchemists Perenelle and Nicolas Flamel, to contemporary New York City. Along the way, there are interludes with Bernini in Rome in 1635; with Vivaldi in Venice of 1737; with Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier and Robespierre in the Paris of the French Revolution; with William Blake and John Polidori in 1814; with Gustav Klimt in fin de siècle Vienna; with Charlotte Salomon in WWII France. And in modern-day New York, a complicated dance of love and violence finally brings a resolution to the centuries-old deadly feud.


Next up, the next novel in Seanan McGuire's Incryptid series, Half Off Ragnarok!

What do gorgons, basilisks, and frogs with feathers all have in common? They're all considered mythological by modern science, and some people are working very hard to keep them that way. Alexander Price is a member of a cryptozoological lineage that spans generations, and it's his job to act as a buffer between the human and cryptid worlds--not an easy task when you're dealing with women who has snakes in place of hair, little girls who may actually be cobras, and brilliant, beautiful Australian zookeepers. And then there's the matter of the murders . . .

Alex thought he was choosing the easier career when he decided to specialize in non-urban cryptids, leaving the cities to his little sister, Verity. He had no idea what he was letting himself in for. It's a family affair, and everyone--from his reanimated grandfather to his slightly broken telepathic cousin--is going to find themselves drawn in before things get any better.


Next up, the paperback release of Julie E. Czerneda's A Turn of Light, her venture into fantasy.

The pastoral valley of Marrowdell is home to a small pioneer settlement of refugees, lush fields of grain, enigmatic house toadsand Jenn Nalynn, the miller's daughter. Life here is full of laughter and peace, as well as hard work, and no one bothers overmuch about the outside world.

Except Jenn Nalynn.

Jenn longs to travel, to seek what's missing in her life. Not that she's sure what that is, but since this summer began, she's felt a strange and powerful yearning. She's certain she'll find what she needs, if only she can leave the valley.

But she must not.

Jenn is turn-born and cursed, born by the light of two worlds and bound to both. For the valley is more than it seems. Long ago, a cataclysm of misused power pinned Marrowdell to the Verge, a place of wild magic, home to dragons and even stranger creatures. Should Jenn step beyond Marrowdell, she will pull the worlds asunder.

To prevent this, powers from the Verge have sent a guard to watch over her, a disgraced dragon Jenn knows as Wisp, her invisible playmate. Wisp's duty is to keep Jenn in Marrowdell.

By love, if he can. By her death, if he must.

But time is running out. What Jenn unknowingly feels is the rise of the Verge's magic within her, a magic that will threaten her and those she loves. Worse, this summer will end with a Great Turn, and strangers seeking power at any cost have come to Marrowdell to try to force an opening into the Verge, to the ruin of all.


And lastly, the paperback release of Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah J. Ross' latest Darkover novel, The Children of Kings.

Millennia ago, the planet Darkover, a cold world orbiting a giant red sun, was settled by a lost colony ship from the Terran Federation. Alone on a new world, survivors interbred with the native chieri, psychically Giften alien humanoids. The children of these matings were Gifted with telepathy and other psychic abilities, and their descendants, the aristocratic Comyn, forged a civilization in which the arts of the mind were cultivated and cherished.

When the Terrans rediscovered Darkover, the seven Domains of Comyn struggled to maintain their unique culture and independence, often at a terrible price. More than once, assassins and environmental saboteurs from the Terran Empire attempted to bring Darkover to its knees and erode the native culture for the benefit of the Federation--seeing Darkover as nothing more than a port of call for Terran military and trade. Eventually, a vicious interstellar war forced Federation forces to withdraw from Darkover, but Darkovans knew that it was only a matter of time before they would return.

Prince Garth Elhalyn has grown up in the shadow of his legendary grandfather, Regis Hastur, one of the greatest leaders Darkover has ever known. But he is also haunted by fear of the insanity that is prevalent in his Elhalyn family line. His world has become an unbearable counterpoint of meaningless aristocratic frivolity and dangerous political schemes--plots in which powerful lords attempt to use him to further their own ambitions. He tries his best to better himself through the study of languages, swordplay, and training his psychic laran with his grandmother, Linnea Storn-Hastur, Keeper of Comyn Tower. But Gareth cannot stop dreaming about a future without fame or family.

In a desperate attempt to remove himself completely from the restricted life of the Comyn, Gareth confesses his desire to his powerful grandmother, and with her blessing, disguises himself as a simple trader and travels to Carthon, on the border of the barbarous, warlike Dry Towns. The Dry Towns do not live under the rule of the Comyn, and no one in this isolated part of Darkover will recognize a Comyn lord.

In Carthon, protected by his guise of anonymity, Gareth overhears rumors of deadly, illegal Terran blasters being used in the barren lands beyond Shainsa--one of the main Dry Towns. If the Federation has returned and is now arming the bellicose Dry Towners with banned technology, it will mean a disastrous conflict for the Comyn of the Domains, who have long sworn themselves to the Compact, an oath of honor that forbids the use of distance weaponry. Venturing deeper and deeper into the desert lands, Gareth stumbles upon a terrible reality no one could have suspected and he is ill-prepared to deal with.

But in fact, Gareth holds the key to protecting his world, if he can only stay alive in the deadly Dry Towns long enough to discover what it is. . . .

The Children of Kings follows The Alton Gift and Traitor's Sun in the Darkover timeline.


And those are the new releases for March 2014! Go forth and conquer those bookstores! Then settle in for a nice little read.
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Cover Reveal for SHATTERING THE LEY! Plus an Excerpt! [Feb. 27th, 2014|08:15 am]

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I'm happy to announce that the cover for my next novel Shattering the Ley, the first book in a new blended genre fantasy novel has been revealed on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist! They've also included an excerpt from the book. The first chapter, actually. So swing on by the blog and check out the spectacular cover, read the excerpt, and then swing on by your favorite online bookstore and preorder the book. It comes out July 1st in hardcover at all of your favorite bookstores!
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Author Interview: Stephen Leigh for "Immortal Muse" [Feb. 26th, 2014|08:55 am]

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Today, we have an author interview with Stephen Leigh, author of the upcoming novel Immortal Muse from DAW Books Inc! I asked him to introduce himself and the book, and here's what he had to say. Welcome him to the bog! And leave any questions you have in the comments section.

1. Introduce yourself.

Okay . . . Hi there, I’m Stephen Leigh (my friends call me Steve). I’ve had more than twenty novels published, and somewhere around fifty short stories -- most of those were under my own name, though a few books and short stories were under the pseudonym S.L. Farrell. This does not make me prolific; it makes me, well, older than many other writers. I’ve been writing for a long time. For instance, I’ve done several stories over the decades for George RR Martin’s long-running WILD CARDS series, which started way back in 1984, and that’s not the beginning of my career.

I’ve also been a full-time musician, and I have a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art that I really haven’t used as much as I’d like, and a Masters degree which I do use: I currently teach Creative Writing at Northern Kentucky University, which despite its name, is actually a few miles across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m married, and we have two kids who are now too old for me to have possibly been responsible for their existence -- at least I like to think so.

And, oh yeah, one reason why I’m here is because I’ll have a new book out next week, of which I’m a particularly proud parent.

2. Give us the "Hollywood Pitch" of your new book, two sentences max. (Such as: "This book is Harry Potter crossed with Silence of the Lambs, with a touch of Dumbo thrown in!")

Two sentences max?!: you are a cruel taskmaster, Joshua! I’m a novelist, not a poet. Okay, here goes . . .

“Imagine an immortal muse whose survival depends on the creativity she nurtures within her lovers, and another immortal who feed not on artistry but on pain and torment. Imagine them chasing each other through time, giving the reader glimpses of the famous and infamous, all caught up in this ages-long battle which will end in current day New York City.”

3. Now give us a more in depth description of the book. What makes this book cool? What will make it stand out on the shelves?

The cover will help it stand out on the shelves, and the fact it’s a hardcover will ensure that it can stand upright on its own. (Unless, of course, you buy the e-book version, in which case it’s made of digital bits and will reside in your e-reader, which is probably not on a shelf . . .)

What I think makes the book cool is the structure: we start in current day NYC, then shift back to the mid-1300s to glimpse some of the beginning of the tale. The book continues to alternate between events in NYC and historical segments, where the reader glimpses Bernini’s Rome, Vivaldi’s Venice, Lavoisier and Robespierre in the French Revolution, William Blake and John Polidori in 19th century London; Gustav Klimt in turn of the century Vienna, and Charlotte Salomon in WWII France.

And it all ties together . . . You have a blend of history and fantasy, romance and enmity.

Finally, here’s the Publishers Weekly starred review version: “In this centuries-spanning historical fantasy, Leigh spins an epic tale of love and hate. It starts with French alchemist Nicolas Flamel, and his wife, Perenelle, in 1352. When Perenelle develops an elixir that bestows immortality, they find themselves unable to die. Her eternal existence is fueled by the symbiotic relationships she forms with creative types as their muse; Nicolas is driven by the need to inflict suffering and death. She wants to survive. He wants to torment her. As their paths cross time and again across numerous lifetimes, Perenelle is forced to constantly reinvent herself and take on new friends and lovers. When they meet again in modern New York City, it seems as though their war may finally be over. Leigh seamlessly inserts his two immortals into history, playing with actual people and events to deliver beautifully-rendered glimpses of different eras. Leigh strikes the perfect balance between past and present, real and imagined.”

4. What was the hardest part of writing the book, the part you struggled with most (without spoilers)? What part of the writing was the most fun (without spoilers)?

For me, the hardest part was also the part that was the most fun, as contradictory as that sounds.

As you know from the above, the book has sequences taking place from the 1300s through to current time, and so I had to do a plentitude of research in order to get the “look-and-feel” of the various periods. I ended up reading about dozen or more non-fiction books and innumerable articles on the internet to gather the necessary information to pull out the necessary details that would make the settings (and the historical characters) come to life. My Scrivener file is stuffed with references that I needed in the writing. That was where I struggled the most -- trying to avoid horrible infodumps and attempting to weave the details of the time into the story without stopping the narrative dead in its tracks. One of the dangers of doing a lot of research is that you uncover all sorts of wonderful little things and you want to put every last one of them in the book . . . and you can’t.

And on the other side, the research was also the fun part. I’ve always loved reading non-fiction material, especially of an historical nature, but the real beauty of research, to me, is that it always, always sparks a few dozen new ideas for the story and the worldbuilding of the novel. I love that part. I love how research can send my mind flying off in an entirely new, unexpected, and better direction; how suddenly a character or a place or a time in the novel awakens and becomes solid. I love the “aha!” moment when I’ve been wrestling with some issue in the novel and the subconscious plucks something from the reading I’m doing, holds it up in front of me, and declares “Here’s the answer!”

Those are wonderful moments that spring from the hardest part of writing.

5. Explain your writing ritual: Must have you have coffee or tea or something else? Music or silence? Any special desktop items or totems helping you write?

Tea, thank you. I’ve given up coffee, but I generally have a cuppa on my desk all day. Lapsang Souchong is my favorite: it’s a black tea where the leaves have been dried over a pine fire, and it results in a very smoky smelling and tasting tea that reminds me of an Islay Scotch without the alcohol. Too strong a tea for a lot of people, though. I was walking down the hall at school with a mug of Lapsang, and my colleague walking alongside me stopped, sniffed, and said “Is something burning around here?”

And I generally have music playing: usually iTunes on random play -- and my library has everything from rock to celtic to jazz to classical, so the music can be really random.

But beyond the tea and music . . . I try to make writing a habit and write every day, no matter what, even if it’s just a page or two. When I sit down to write, I’ll generally go over what I wrote the day before, proofing and revising the scene, with the hope that when I hit the blank part of the file I have some momentum built up and am moving downhill well enough that I don’t slam to a screeching halt when I actually have to put new words on the screen.

I’ve found over the years that I tend to write lean in the initial drafts; when I revise, even though I’m deleting words and sentences and sometimes even paragraphs or scenes, I generally find that the net result will be that I’ve added to the word count.

For instance, with IMMORTAL MUSE, the very first draft (which no one but me and my spouse Denise ever see) was less than 120, 000 words. Draft B, a terrifically heavy revision, came in around 167,000 words. Draft C was 172,000. The finished book is roughly 178,000 words. Bear in mind, too, that between Draft C and the final draft, I deleted two entire sections, one of almost 10,000 words, the other about 12,000, because they didn’t seem to me to work well enough. I replaced them with two new sections. That took a long time…

My computer’s a 13” Macbook Pro (currently one with Retina Display and solid state drive), which when on my desk is hooked up to a large monitor and a separate keyboard and trackpad. With the last half-dozen novels or so, I no longer write in a word processor. I abandoned MS Word ages ago, as it began to feel like the world’s worst and most-cluttered writing interface. I then switched to Nisus Writer Pro, a word processor I still like quite a lot, and which I still use for short fiction and correspondence. Several years back, though, I came across Scrivener, a program designed specifically for the task of writing novels, tried it, and realized that the program thought the way I did. I’ve written every novel since (and several novelettes and novellas as well) in Scrivener. When the work’s finished, I have Scrivener compile it into an RTF file, and I take that into Nisus and do a quick clean-up -- and that’s what I send to my editors.

A long, long time ago I realized that if I was ever going to be a writer, I needed to train myself to write in whatever scraps of time I could find -- which is still what I do. The laptop’s generally with me, and if I get a free half-hour or so, I open it up and start banging away on the current work-in-progress. I don’t wait for the Muse (immortal or not); I just start working and trust that the Muse will hear me laboring away, realize it’s work time, and come sit with me for a bit . . . and if she doesn’t, well, that’s what revision is for.

So there you have it: my work habits.


I want to thank you for the opportunity to talk a bit with your readers, Joshua. IMMORTAL MUSE was a four year journey from the time I set down the first sentence to its appearance in the bookstores, and I’m glad to see it finally out there quivering on the shelves waiting for a reader to open it. I hope it’s a book that readers will enjoy quite a bit.

Let’s hope so, anyway!

Stephen Leigh’s website
IMMORTAL MUSE page on website (with links to amazon, B&N, Powell’s, and iBooks)
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Book Discussion: "Blood Lines" by Tanya Huff [Feb. 24th, 2014|09:54 am]

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Time for the next book discussion. The trade paperback release this month is for Tanya Huff's Blood Lines. This is a re-release of one of her earlier books. I'm certain many of you have read this one already. What did you think? How did it fare compared to the rest of the series?

An evil being has been sealed away for centuries in a sarcophagus never meant to be opened, waiting patiently for his chance to rise again. Now, brought to the Egyptology Department of Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, the seals and spells that imprisoned him chipped away by his discoverers, he has reached forth to claim the minds and souls of Toronto’s unsuspecting citizens. And only three people had any sense that something was wrong. . . .

For Henry Fitzroy, it began with terrifying images of the sun, a marker of death for a vampire. Fearing for his sanity, he turns to his sometimes-lover, private investigator Vicki Taylor, for help. As the two struggle to cope with Henry’s obsession, Vicki’s closest friend and former partner Mike Celluci, is following up on two mysterious deaths at the museum, certain that a force from beyond the grave is responsible for everything.
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Book Discussion: "Broken Homes" by Ben Aaronovitch [Feb. 19th, 2014|11:21 am]

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Time for the next book discussion for the February releases. This time we're looking at the paperback release of Ben Aaronovitch's novel Broken Homes, the fourth book in his Rivers of London series. I haven't read this series yet (I hadn't even heard of this series), but it looks like something I could get into, and it comes highly recommended by my friends. Has anyone here read this book yet? What did you think?

Cover Copy: A mutilated body in Crawley. A killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, possibly an associate of the twisted wizard known as the Faceless Man. Or maybe just a garden-variety serial killer.

Before apprentice wizard and Police Constable Peter Grant can even get his head 'round the case, two more are dropped in his lap: A town planner has gone under a tube train, and there's a stolen grimoire for Grant to track down.

So far, so London.

But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate.

Is there a connection?

And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River--in the jurisdiction of some pretty prickly local river spirits?
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