Thursday, July 31, 2014


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Teresa Edgerton on the Magical World View.

Teresa Edgerton began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk; she began scribbling them down as soon as a teacher put a pencil in her hand;  and luckily for us fantasy readers, sixty years later she is still inventing them.  Teresa has published many short stories and novels full of wit and charm and intriguing creatures and characters. Her latest releases are Goblin Moon (being rereleased by Tickety Boo Press), and The Queen’s Necklace (being released by Harper Voyager on Kindle for the first time and currently available for preorder on Amazon). Also look for her work under the pseudonym of Madeline Howard. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Schrödinger’s Manuscript: The Uncertain State of a Novel

As we write our first novel, we can’t help thinking about its future.  I day dream about DAW, Roc, and Tor.  I hear stories about indie published works like J.L. Doty’s Gods Within series that I learned at a con sold over 30,000—and who hasn’t heard about the success of Shades of Grey?  As I get closer to finishing my manuscript, I have to do more than daydream: I have to really think about what I want.  If it’s traditional publishing, how do I optimize my manuscript’s chances with the most likely fit for it?  Daydreaming is fun.  This is work…and scary work at that, because every choice I make, every avenue I go down, every street I bypass, could be the difference between finding a publisher…
Or not.
As I near finishing my novel, I have started researching cover letters, query letters, synopses, publishers, and statistics on rejections.  The numbers are downright scary.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe in my manuscript with all my heart…but when I read that Rowlings’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone got rejected 12 times, that Herbert’s Dune got rejected 23 times, that L’engle’s A Wrinkle in Time got rejected 26 times, and that King’s Carrie nearly didn’t see publication because after 30 rejections, Steven King threw it out (his wife rescued the manuscript…thank you Mrs. King.  I like that one!)…well, when I read those numbers, I think, what chance have I?   This is why, in my head, my novel is both publishable and unpublishable all at the same time; it is my Schrödinger’s manuscript.
But I have one task to do before I try to take my novel from Schrödinger’s sealed manuscript box…and that is finish it.  But how?  I’ve been stuck on the Chapter 49 for a very long time.
Enter Clarion West.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Meet the Member—Laura Of Lurking: Reviewer, Writer, and My Inspiration

By Jennifer L. Carson

I’m the only one in the group on the sane side of the pond—Go UK! I’ve had a penchant for telling stories as far back as I can remember. I always wanted to lead the “Let’s Pretend” games when I was a kid, which my mother documented on some horrifying cassette tapes of me around age three. I apparently gathered all my teddies around and told them stories and jokes and sang songs to them. If spontaneous combustion ever happens in my home, please let it be in those tapes!
In the last three years, Leasspell has become an important part of my life. I had all but abandoned  real efforts to finish my novel. Yesterday, I wrote the final chapter. Without this group, I wouldn’t have had the deadlines I needed. Without this group, I wouldn’t have made some fundamental changes that I knew the moment I wrote them were so much better. Without this group, I wouldn’t have found the support my mind and heart needed to be sitting here today, telling you that I finished the last chapter of my novel.
I’m not the only one whose life Leasspell has touched. Our newest member, Carolyn, is a longtime friend, but she stopped writing for a while. Since joining the group a couple of months ago, she’s gotten together with me twice for writers retreat weekends. I hope Leasspell does for her what it is doing for me: keeping me at the keyboard. Denise and Jax finished in first and second place in a publishing contest for Assent Publishing’s fantasy imprint, Phantasm Books. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that out of eighty-four submissions, first and second place went to members of our writers group. It is an outstanding group. And I know Jason is using the deadlines to spur his writing. I think everyone of us is learning more about the whirlwind changes in the formerly staid old publishing industry because of our pooling together and sharing our experiences, our research and knowledge, and our contacts.
This is all to say: Leasspell has changed my life.
So what does this have to do with Laura? Everything. Without her, Leasspell wouldn’t exist. I had been in writers groups at various times with Carolyn, Denise, and Jax. Jax had been prodding me to get our last group back together, but this time online since she had moved. I dragged my feet. Technology issues, time, lack of motivation on my own writing—all things in my head that kept me waving her off with a “yeah, yeah, good idea…sometime.”
Then I met Laura online. She was young when I met her, seventeen, I think. We met through a social media game. Must have been preordained ’cause I hate playing social media games. But my husband had an interview with this company and needed accounts to play with. So I started one and got a bit hooked for three months. But in that time, Laura helped me out with the game, which lead to us talking and some very long emails.
I found out she is a smart funny young lady who has a talent for writing. She was raw, but had splashes of crisp clear writing that really surprised me, and she had the passion to go with it. I saw some of myself in her. Then I found out Laura is disabled. Very, very disabled and sick much of the time, too. The world comes to her through books and her computer. She lives much of her life in the fantasy worlds in her head and she wanted to put them into books. I wanted to help her do that, and I wanted to help her do it well, as I knew she could with a little guidance and practice.