Well, it's that time of year again ... 65,000 of my closest friends have gotten together in five hotels and two convention halls in Atlanta to celebrate all things science fiction!
My schedule is below. I worked right up to the start of the con, so am just now posting this two days later, but for the benefit of the time travelers in my audience, I'll include the first two panels:
8:30pm - Start Now, Research! - Hyatt Embassy EF How much research is enough? How much is too much? When do you stop doing research and start writing?
7:00pm - The People Who Live in Your Book - Hyatt Embassy EF Characters rise off the page and become people--if they're well-crafted. Discover ways to make this happen in your fiction.
10:00pm - Stories Needed: Get Yourself Invited into an Anthology - Hyatt Embassy EF There's an anthology being published that might just work for a story you have in mind. Or, when you hear about an anthology and KNOW you have a story for it, what do you do? Get some professional help from our pros.
10:00am - Writing About Star Trek - Hilton Galleria 2-3 There are thousands of worlds within Star Trek, and thousands of topics to talk about. Where do we start? Join a panel of published writers to discuss what's worth discussing in Trek books, articles and more
1:00pm - Where Do You Get Your Ideas? - Hyatt Embassy EF This is a question that every writer gets asked by everyone they know. What is the answer to that question?
2:30pm - Predicting the Future - Hyatt Embassy EF Where in the world is fiction headed? Do the old tropes still work? What's fresh and new for the future?
At each panel, I'll be giving away signed copies of the writing inspiration book Your Writing Matters by my friend Keiko O'Leary. This is the latest release from Thinking Ink Press, and we're very proud of it! No matter where you are on your writing journey, I think this book can probably help you, so come on by!
Yet one more of my friends from Clockwork Alchemy, Dover Whitecliff, is interviewed on Sage and Savant! A visit to her sometimes witty, often wacky, occasionally wryly satirical alternate world always makes a fun read!
Q: How did you come up with the theme for the Later anthologies?
DW: The Treehouse Authors met for tea at Linde Lane Tea Room in Dixon and decided that we wanted to do a project together for literacy; an anthology was the obvious choice. But the theme is all down to Kiefer Sutherland. The news story of the day was the comeback of 24 and we had never seen an anthology with hour long stories before (though that doesn’t mean there might not be one out there that we missed). The paired stories came about to fill up a twenty-four-hour day, plus it offered the perfect tag line “You can find out what happens twelve hours later.”
Q: Yak? Giant Chicken? Trebuchet? What gives?
DW: It started with a dare in our email planning with the authors for Thirty Days Later. One author found a picture of a clockwork yak and threw down the gauntlet: “Bet you can’t fit a yak in.” Challenge accepted. Rumor has it that there are multiple yak sightings (bonus points if you can find them all). Since that was deemed “Way too easy,” the chieftess of shenanigans, Sparky McTrowell, raised the yak ante for Some Time Later with a trebuchet, and somehow a chicken was thrown in, possibly due to an excess of caffeine and chocolate. And Yes. I fit them all in.
And yet another! Friend and fellow author / editor BJ Sikes is now interviewed on Sage and Savant!
Q: Is herding authors for an anthology indeed like herding cats? Why do you do it?
BJS: Absolutely. As chief cat wrangler for all three of the Later anthologies, I had to coordinate deadlines and revisions for not just the fifteen or so authors, but also our publisher’s staff. Why do I do it? The power, obviously. But in all seriousness, it’s the satisfaction of being an integral part of a fantastic collection of stories.
Q: What was your favorite story to edit/write for the anthologies?
BJS: That’s a tough one. There are so many great stories and they vary so much in theme, style, and content. I had a great time writing my own stories, especially the first one in Some Time Later, “The Descent.” That one allowed me to get my mycological geek on. I’m partial to Lillian Csernica’s Japanese mythology-inspired stories because they are unique but still feel steampunk.
Another of my author friends, Sharon Cathcart, was interviewed on Sage and Savant!
Q: What excited you about Twelve Hours Later and the other anthologies in which you’ve participated?
SEC: Short fiction is an art form in and of itself. Expressing a full story in a little bit of space, means distilling the true essence of your message in a way that someone can read on their lunch hour and still feel like they got a complete picture. Having the opportunity to challenge myself within the framework of the anthologies’ themes made me work hard to present fully developed characters and concepts within those constraints, and it was a lot of fun! That the anthologies benefited literacy programs was the icing on the cake.
Q: So, these anthologies, what’s the story behind these collections of stories?
AJS: Beginning with Twelve Hours Later, the anthologies have been an effort at showcasing the authors who attend Clockwork Alchemy each year. We wanted to have a way of introducing the whole crew to new readers in one swoop, and we also wanted to give back to the community that attends the event. The charity component has seen over $400 donated to the San Jose Public Library system in the past two years, all of which is intended for literacy programs. We’ve been really pleased with the reception of both Twelve Hours Later and Thirty Days Later. This year’s anthology Some Time Later will round out the trilogy, and we think it’s the best one yet.
Boosting the signal ... my friend and fellow author Kirsten Weiss is on Sage and Savant talking about her writing!
Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending cozy mystery, urban fantasy, and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.
Q: Tell us about your latest book.
KW: Pressed to Death is a cozy mystery set in a wine country paranormal museum. It’s the second book in my Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series...