July 12, 2017

It’s finally here!  My post-apocalyptic murder mystery, BANNERLESS, hit bookstores yesterday. (And amusingly, one of its Amazon categories is “Women Sleuths.” I like that.) Early buzz is good, and my FB feed yesterday filled with cover images, which is nice.

Lots of links to share:

It’s also the book birthday for Kevin Hearne’s new Iron Druid book BESIEGED, and we’ll be doing a joint event at the Barnes and Noble in Boulder on July 18!

Here’s my newsletter announcement.  Sign up for my newsletter and get release announcements and other tidbits!

The editor’s announcement has all the links for buying, plus lots of reviews.

Clarkesworld published an interview with me about the novel.

BANNERLESS made a number of “must-read SF in July” lists:  B&N’s Bookseller picks, The Verge, and io9.

Here’s an in-depth 5 star review from Anthony R. Cardno.

This is my 21st published novel.

And I just turned in number 22.




My next novel, BANNERLESS, is out in one week:


Read an excerpt of it here.

And here’s a review and interview in the Daily Camera.

This month’s Lightspeed also has an interview and excerpt.



music for Bannerless

June 28, 2017

I’ve talked about this before, that while the Kitty novels all have comprehensive playlists, most of my other books just have one inspirational or unifying theme song.  This is also true of Bannerless.  It’s a song that popped up on one of my Pandora playlists, and every time it did, particularly while I was writing the book, it struck into my heart.  It was so evocative and haunting, and seemed to capture exactly the tone I wanted with the novel.  By the time I was wrapping up the final revisions, I had purchased the entire album it came from and set it on repeat. But this song, the first track on the album, remained The One. If this ever becomes a TV show, I imagine this in the opening credits.

Dead Can Dance’s “The Arrival and the Reunion,” from the album Aion.

Bannerless is due out July 11.



June 21, 2017

My review of “Colossal” is live at Lightspeed! To recap: I really liked this story about a woman who is also a monster trying to do the right thing.

This week, along with wrapping up the next draft of the sequel to Bannerless (it’s finally coming together…), I’m prepping for the Locus Awards Weekend, where I’ll be taking part in all the usual festivities (including seeing if “That Game We Played During the War” wins the award for short story!), but also teaching half of the writers workshop, along with Connie Willis.

I’m planning on teaching about voice, which it’s said can’t actually be taught, so this is something of an experiment. We’ll see how that goes!  Here are a few of the books I’m drawing on for examples. (I won’t use all of these, but I wanted to have a selection to pick and choose from.)

I’m revising the sequel to Bannerless. (Bannerless, due out in less than a month! Read the first chapter here!)

This is the second major revision. The first was after completing the messy first draft, to make sure everything hangs together, that the plot works like it should, to implement all those changes I realized I needed to make only after I finished the whole thing. This second revision is in response to comments from my first reader, in this case my agent. His comments were good, and zeroed in on the biggest issue, which was basically a matter of intensity:  the overall structure of the novel is fine, but it needs more.  More plot, more connections, more implications, bigger stakes.  It’s a simple comment, but kind of huge from a revision standpoint.

This sort of feedback is pretty typical for me and my writing. I need multiple drafts, because I spend that first draft getting down the structure, but then I tend not to fill it with enough stuff to make the book really pop. And I usually need a first reader to point that out to me. So, it’s on to the next big draft.

This revision is going slowly, slower than I like. It feels different from previous revisions. Usually, I feel like I’m moving scenes around, messing with cause and effect, picking a few big story beats to work on. Big picture stuff. This one, I’m just about rewriting the whole thing. I’m going through it chapter by chapter, re-writing entire conversations, putting in whole other levels of meanings. Two characters are now twin sisters, when they weren’t before. That one character with the ax now has a personality just aggressive enough to suggest he’d use that ax on someone. That mysterious lurker is lurking a whole lot more.

I’m not moving scenes around. My original story structure is solid. But holy cats I’m shoving a lot more story into it. At least I hope I am. I want the finished book to feel more intense and ominous. The next stage, it goes to the editor, and we’ll see what he says about it.

I still don’t have a title on this one that everyone likes. Argh.


June 7, 2017

Another busy week.

Redshift has done a radio show style dramatization of my story “Crazy Rhythm,” about the convergence of World War I and silent movies.

June’s Lightspeed has my long review of Colossal! You can buy the issue now, or it goes live in a couple of weeks!

Behind the Mask, an anthology of superhero stories, reprints my story “Origin Story,” about a woman who recognizes a supervillain bank robber as her long-ago high school boyfriend.

Argh, so many things!

Sunday was author Ed Bryant’s memorial service. Ed was an institution in the Denver area, a huge supporter of all things science fiction and horror, a founder of writer workshops — He was everywhere, and the word everyone keeps using is ubiquitous. The memorial was full of people telling the same stories about his presence at conventions, his work as a writer and reviewer, and his support for new writers. He was a great cheerleader for my work, and I’ll never forget that. MileHi Con is going to be very strange without him.


Wonder Woman day!

June 2, 2017

I’ve been discombobulated all week, so I ducked out this morning to take a walk at a nearby pond — and logged twenty bird species! Including a new-to-me osprey nest that I hadn’t seen before! And like six great blue herons having big dinosaur fighting matches for some reason! Seriously, those guys were all over the place.

So I’m feeling much better now.

Now I just need to get some work done before heading out to Wonder Woman tonight.  I’m thinking part of my bad mood this week is anticipation. Wanting so much for this movie to be good but not really sure what I’m in for. When people like me who grew up on the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman say we’ve been waiting for this movie for 40 years, we’re not kidding. I’m trying not to get so emotional, but it’s hard. Argh.

Oh hey, here’s the Boulder Fairgrounds osprey nest. Three chicks, doing great!  Woohoo!