It's August 1! My reaction to this news over at Facebook. *bats eyelashes while semi-panicking*
And now some hangovers; several of these are old, but hey, I stockpiled them for some reason and maybe you missed them. Closing ye olde tabs.
- Chuck Wendig drops some truth about the season of crazy that goes with a book release.
- The New Yorker on the decline and fall of the book cover.
- I loved loved Linda Holmes' letter to the oddball kids we desperately need to make the future interesting: "The fact that nobody is doing what you imagine doing is the beginning of your idea, not the end. People want to read things that haven't been written, see things that haven't been made, and hear things that don't yet exist. Don't be discouraged when you don't see yourself reflected in what's being shown to you, let alone what's being heavily marketed to you." Good advice for all of us. Really, the whole piece is fab–and the distinction between criticism and feedback is particularly useful.
- A wonderful interview at the Guardian with the divine Eduardo Galeano. Snippet: "Galeano talks like this a lot – not in riddles, exactly, but enigmatically and playfully, using time as his foil. When I ask him whether he is optimistic about the state of the world, he says: "It depends on when you ask me during the day. From 8am until noon I am pessimistic. Then from 1pm until 4 I feel optimistic." I met him in a hotel lobby in downtown Chicago at 5pm, sitting with a large glass of wine, looking quite happy."
- Stephen King on openings (aka the toughest part for me, always and forever). Smart stuff, as always: "An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this."
- This piece by Stephen Roxburgh on working with Roald Dahl on The Witches is a fabulous close-up look at the editing process: “This is not a cliché to children, it is a situation they will enjoy. I must keep reminding you that this is a book for children and I don’t give a bugger what grown-ups think about it. This has always been my attitude.”
- Don't like talking in front of people? This might help, or in my parlance: Pretend to be a spy. It works, for nearly anything you hate doing–reading in front of people, giving a speech, talking on the phone.
- Good stuff in this discussion about pirating and how it's lesser known authors it hurts the most. The sigh I make when a new pirate link turns up in google alerts or someone emails me about is one of the heaviest sighs I am capable of. Authors need you to buy their books or get them through legitimate means, as Sarah says–borrow from a friend or the library–in order to keep writing books. It's that simple.
- A typically smart craft piece from Charlie Jane on tone: "You're trying to draw your reader into a particular mood, and if the reader isn't getting into it or feels like it's all over the map, then it's probably a good time to think about whether you're in control of your tone."
- Loved this open letter to new writers from James Smythe about sales and receptions and etc. etc.
- Also loved this piece from Kim Curran at SF Signal about how no one ever told her women aren't supposed to write SF, and her experience doing so. Snippet: "Society has tried, in various, pernicious ways, to divide the genders. To place men in the blue corner and women in the pink corner, and keep us fighting. But we’re starting to see through their schemes. To refuse to play by their rules. Women and men are joining forces to try and make SF a healthier place for everyone. It may take us time, but we’ll get there."
- Lazy sloth being hilarious.