Swimming Lessons & Radium Girls

Before I get to today’s blog post, I want to send you somewhere else!

I have spoken about Wicked & Tricksy before. Well, one of the devious minds behind that operation – Claudie A. – has her own excellent blog which deals with the intersection of science and fiction.

Claudie invited me over to her place today to write a guest blog, and I would love if you all you guys went over and had a read, because I really enjoyed writing it.

It’s called Science, Fiction & Truth, and I talk about some of my heroes and prejudices in science fiction, what goes into a “high concept” idea, and the Radium Girls. Please check it out, and a big thank you to Claudie for hosting me (and for using my favourite font).

Anyone For Swimming Lessons?

I’m always searching for new blogs and new perspectives. I read a lot of stuff from agents, editors, writers, publicists, and self-publishers to try and gain the widest perspective possible. If you restrict yourself to reading things that only confirm your assumptions, you will never challenge them, and that’s one sure way to be on the wrong side of history.

For those who think that Joe Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith have a bombastic approach towards large publishers, they should check out Michael Stackpole’s blog. Joe & Dean are tame in comparison. Stackpole, a New York Times Bestselling science fiction and fantasy writer, likes to call trade published writers “house slaves”.

I thought that description was a bit much, but I clicked on the article anyway, and read it. I’m glad I did. Stackpole has some superb insights, and explodes many of the myths surrounding self-publishing.

In a more recent post, he reports a conversation he had with a New York editor which shows how and why the large publishers are making so many missteps in the digital transition.

There is a lot of great stuff on his blog. Make sure to have a nose around.

While looking for those posts, I slipped through a crack in the internet and ended up in November 2010. It was quite fortuitous because I found this excellent interview with Michael Stackpole by fellow indie author Moses Siregar III recorded at last year’s World Fantasy Convention. It’s an hour long, but I strongly recommend putting aside the time and listening to it.

It teaches you everything you need to know about why e-book dominance is inevitable and why the big publishing houses are in serious trouble. It’s less like an interview and more like a conversation between two friends, and highly entertaining – well worth your time.

There’s A New Sheriff In Town

You heard it here first last. There is a new sheriff in town, and he’s a mean son of a gun.

I’ve linked to a few of Passive Guy’s blogs before. But as a latecomer to this party, I plumb through the archives now and then, and always find a gem.

He has spoken a lot on agents becoming publishers and why it is such a god-awful idea. This blog post let to a retort in the comments from the agent he quoted. Passive Guy tears the poor fellow apart in the comments. Worth a read for a chuckle, and proof that becoming a publisher is going to be a steep learning curve for some agents.

On that subject, UK agent Peter Cox (who rises in my estimation each time I read about him) is raising heckles amongst some of his colleagues. At the time, he came out strongly against fellow agent Ed Victor becoming a publisher, and called for him to be thrown out of the Association of Author’s Agents.

Now he has launched a free service for any authors caught in the awkward situation where your agent wants to becoming your publisher. He will provide advice, at no cost, on the contracts your agent is offering.

To get his take on why agents moonlighting as publishers is such a terrible idea, read this excellent blog post.

Science, Fiction & Truth

If you have gotten this far, and haven’t read my guest post “Science, Fiction & Truth” over at Claudie A’s blog, this is just a gentle reminder to check it out (to sweeten the deal, there might be a giveaway too).

That’s all folks!

David Gaughran

Born in Ireland, he now lives in a little fishing village in Portugal, although this hasn’t increased the time spent outside. He writes novels under another name, has helped thousands of authors build a readership with his books, blogs, workshops, and courses, and has created marketing campaigns for some of the biggest self-publishers on the planet. Friend to all dogs.

0 Replies to “Swimming Lessons & Radium Girls”

  1. Oh, I very much like Stackpole. I managed to attend two of his workshops at GenCon two years ago, and learned quite a bit from it. He has a very different approach to planning than Brooks, and combining the two sometimes does miracles for my outlines!

    If you like Moses Siregar’s interviews, you should look through the blogs for the others. One of my favourite is with Guy Gavriel Kay (but I’m a hardcore Kay groupie, so I’m very biased)

    As for the font, well, hey, I figured you sent the post written in it for a reason. 😉

    1. Hey,

      Stackpole is great, and sounds like an interesting chap to have a beer with. I’m going to going through all of Moses’ archives – there’s a ton of stuff there – thanks for the tips.

      Courier til I die!


  2. Howdy, David! Thanks very much for the mention. I should have some good interviews with Robin and Michael Sullivan going up over the next month (I think you might appreciate the one with Robin in particular, because we talk about the biz).

    We should trade blogroll links too, if you’re interested. I’ll go add you to mine.

    1. Hey Moses,

      I love your blog, I’m more than happy to trade links – I’ll add it right now. I’m looking forward to going through your site – it’s packed with great stuff.

      I’ll send you an email about another idea I have.


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