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KatrinaRandom ThoughtsLeave a Comment

LLAP

I’ve been sad and a little teary all day. The first thing that came up in my social feed was news of Leonard Nimoy’s passing.

Star Trek was a major Sunday morning family ritual in our house. We didn’t have cable, and it was one of the few science fictional universes I had access to on television (Dr. Who never aired on a channel available to me in Montreal in those days). But the CBC ran Star Trek for years, and no matter how many times I’d seen those syndicated reruns, I always sat rapt in front of the TV on Sundays.

My cousins and I would spend holidays and summer vacations together. We were a 6-kid posse, 2 boys and 4 girls. One of our favourite activities was role playing characters from TV shows: The Six Million Dollar Man, Emergency, Battlestar Galactica. But the one we turned to most often was Star Trek. My eldest cousin always played Kirk, and I, as second eldest, played Spock. Always Spock. Spock was the science officer, the person I aspired to be. So I knew Spock. I was Spock.

I miss Spock.

I never met Leonard Nimoy, but he was and always will be my friend, the one that fired my imagination as a kid. He most definitely contributed to that engineering ring you see on my finger, by inspiring in me a love of science and space. Also, a love of travel and exploration. Star Trek normalized life on a ship, and guess where I live now?

Go boldly across that final frontier, Mr. Nimoy, and thank you for the wonderful memories.

 

LLAP

A Somewhat Diffident Eligibility Post

KatrinaUntalentedLeave a Comment

Isolte and Saroya

This feels weird, in the way that blatant self-promotion always feels weird to me, but here goes*.

Untalented came out August 1, 2014.

Since I am Canadian, it is eligible for the Aurora Awards in the YA Novel category.

While we’re getting too big for our britches, might as well go really big or go home. In the U.S., I believe it is eligible for the Andre Norton Award, and the Hugos in the Novel category (although now I’m reeeeaallly stretching).

If you are a CSFFA, Nebula, or Hugo voter and would like a digital copy of Untalented in either Epub or Mobi format to have a look at for nomination or voting purposes, please contact me in the comments and I would be more than happy to make delivery arrangements with you.

*actually, that shortlisting earlier this year COMPLETELY WENT TO MY HEAD and now I have an inflated sense of self-importance ;-)

Prime Writing — Shari Green

KatrinaAuthors, Prime Writing4 Comments

Following Chelsea

Following Chelsea

I first met Shari Green at Surrey International Writer’s Conference, and am really pleased to finally be hosting her here at Prime Writing. Below, Shari discusses the long road to publishing her debut YA novel, FOLLOWING CHELSEA, and gives us an inside look at the types of structural revisions she needed to make to the story to mature it into published novel.

Oh, and no introduction to Shari is complete without a little “GO HABS, GO!”


Shari: The idea for FOLLOWING CHELSEA was first sparked by a news story of mistaken identity. After letting that brew for a while, it evolved into Anna’s story—a teen girl arriving at a new school with hopes of flying under the radar, only to find she’s in the spotlight, thanks to an uncanny resemblance to Chelsea, a popular girl who recently died.

It was fun imagining how this might play out. Ultimately, Anna’s backstory of betrayal and abandonment leads to her exploiting the situation. (Needless to say, that doesn’t go especially well!) I think, in the end, FOLLOWING CHELSEA became the story of a girl learning to be okay with being herself, when being someone else seems so much more appealing. I didn’t know when I was writing that the take-away of the story would boil down to “be yourself”, but it pretty much did, and I’m okay with that. Even in middle age, it’s something I’m still learning (clearly, my characters are more advanced than I am…ha!).

I worked on this story for about a year, back in 2008. When it was done—the writers among you are now smirking, knowing all too well that a story is never really done—it was told in alternating points of view—Anna’s, and that of the grieving boyfriend. It turned out, that didn’t serve the story all that well. You’ve heard what they say about “killing your darlings”, right? Ooh boy. I hated letting that POV go, but I did it. It was the right thing to do, as darling-killing so often is.

I re-wrote the manuscript (see? it wasn’t done), tossed it under the proverbial bed while I wrote something else, pulled it out again, tucked it away again and wrote yet another novel, and then…I came across a call for submissions from Evernight Teen. It seemed like a potentially good match, so I dusted it off (did one more revision pass…nope, still wasn’t done!) and sent it. Next thing I knew, I had a contract in hand! *cue happy dancing*

There were edits (minor ones, thankfully) and copy-edits, and then FOLLOWING CHELSEA was released in October. I had my first official book-signing in November, and have had great support from my local bookstore, as well as from friends, family, and fellow writers (what a wonderful community!).

I learned a lot during FOLLOWING CHELSEA’s evolution (it feels like the title might be the only thing that never changed from first draft to published book!). I learned about listening to my characters, and about letting the story be what the story wants to be. I learned about revising from big to small—big picture problems first, then smaller things, then polishing—and I learned that even my favourite bits sometimes have to be sacrificed for the good of the story. I think that last one is something I’ll have to re-learn a few times yet…

And now—for my part, at least—FOLLOWING CHELSEA is done. It belongs to readers now, which is kind of cool and kind of terrifying. For those who are interested, links to purchase are on my website. It’s available as an e-book and print-on-demand paperback.

Thanks for reading, and thank you, Katrina, for hosting me!


Shari GreenShari Green writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction and occasionally masquerades as a poet. When she’s not glued to her laptop, she can often be found wandering in a blissful daze on the beach near her home on Vancouver Island, BC. Visit her online at www.sharigreen.com.

 

 

 

Pay The Writer

KatrinaAuthors, Opining2 Comments

alstroemeria

So apparently author Stacey Jay started up a Kickstarter, and a horde of critics descended upon her for having the temerity to include line items in her costs about “paying her bills”. There’s quite the detailed and lengthy discussion about it over at Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds blog, and it’s a good read.

The bottom line for me, though?

The costs for the time spent writing are legitimate production costs in the life cycle of a book’s publication.

A technology Kickstarter will often include the costs of coder and engineer salaries (because the product doesn’t get made without them). I’m pretty sure the Veronica Mars Kickstarter paid the actors, screenwriter, director, camera people, other film crew, etc (because the product doesn’t get made without them). In addition to expenses for editing and cover design (which are services provided by people, and the product doesn’t get made without them), an anthology Kickstarter will usually include a line item for costs of paying the writers for their stories (because the product doesn’t get made without them). If Ms. Jay had commissioned her book from another writer, that writer’s fee would have been included in the expenses listed for her Kickstarter. BECAUSE THE PRODUCT DOESN’T GET MADE WITHOUT THAT WRITER. There’s no difference if that fee is paid to her.

The book would simply not exist without the work of the writer. See that key word back there? Yes, writing is absolutely work.

Stacey Jay has nothing to apologize for.

Pay the writer.

Me, Blathering

KatrinaEvents, Workshops, Festivals & ConferencesLeave a Comment

SSBCHeader_940x180

I keep forgetting to post about this, but I’ll be doing an author appearance at January’s Lit Café event at Alexandra Neighbourhood House in White Rock, together with several other fine writers, on Monday, January 12th at 7PM.

The theme is Into the Wild Beyond: Readings of Adventure, Nature, and the Outdoors, and I’ll be showing some pics from Shorescapes of Southern British Columbia, and talking a bit about circumnavigating Vancouver Island.

More details, map and calendar integration available on the event page.

Hope to see you there!

Books That Should Come With Liability Waivers

KatrinaAuthors, Random ThoughtsLeave a Comment

WordsOfRadiance_Cover-1

I received the hardcover for Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance for Christmas. It’s a brick that could probably be used as a base support for cathedral buttresses. I immediately went in search of the previously thickest tome in my collection, Neal Stephenson’s Anathem.

I can confirm that Words of Radiance now takes the title of “(Should One Nod Off) Book Most Likely to Result in a Bedtime Reading Concussion”

Judgy Judgmentalism, With A Dash of Sexism

KatrinaOpiningLeave a Comment

cheesecave

Over on Facebook, I happened upon a conversation regarding this guy, who, after breaking up with his girlfriend, sought a woman of the same name to use the round-the-world air tickets he’d booked. And, fancy that, he found someone willing to take over the ticket. Conditions of the trip: no strings attached, no common lodging required, no common activities at each destination expected. Here’s some airfare, go have fun.

The Facebook comments were along the lines of:

This girl already has a boyfriend.

She’s so selfish to leave her boyfriend for a few weeks to go on a trip with a strange guy.

Why would you do this to your boyfriend if you’re not in an open relationship?

This is stupid, selfish nonsense.

Did I say selfish?

And I’m all like, “Huh?”

First of all, what, a woman isn’t allowed to travel without her man? Puh-lease. Don’t get me started.

Second, don’t project your insecurities about your own relationships onto other people. Why is it automatic that she will be somehow cheating on her boyfriend? Why is it automatic that it can’t be platonic? Mariott has even offered them separate rooms for the duration.

If I were offered a chance to go to a really interesting place, and circumstances conspired to give me the time and the means, I’d jump at it. And, in fact, I did, in very similar circumstances. In 1992 I planned a 9-week trip to Europe, the first 6 of which were to be with a good girlfriend of mine, and the last 3 of which were to be with my long-term boyfriend, with whom I had a strictly monogamous, non-open relationship. Except, 2 months before the trip, my female friend canceled. I spent the first 3 weeks traveling alone, but a male friend of mine offered me a chance to hike with him for 3 weeks straight in Corsica. Shared tent, close quarters, etcetera.

And you know what? Jealousy and possessiveness never entered into the equation for the decision. What nearly prevented me from doing it was a fear that I couldn’t handle the physical nature of the hike (I’m not a hiker). But not once did I consider myself selfish for grabbing at the opportunity to go to a place I might never see otherwise. I had a great time. I did not cheat on my boyfriend, and, in fact, we are married now. He and I also had a great time when we finally met up again. The three of us are all still friends.

And that trip is one of my highlight life experiences. I’m so grateful my now-husband is not a jealous, insecure judgmental person. I’d have far fewer interesting stories to tell.

Have fun, Elizabeth Gallagher. You won’t regret it.

Geek? Me? Er…

KatrinaRandom ThoughtsLeave a Comment

This is how quickly my conversations go geeky.

Allons-y!