Absolute Writers

Yesterday I went to a meet-up in London of a bunch of people who are all regular posters on Absolute Write (www.Absolutewrite.com/forums), possibly the best writers’ forum on the Net. Some folk I know fairly well because they are members of the T-Party, (the SF/F writing group I belong to), indeed some I recruited to the T-Party from AW. Others I had not met before. A damn fine time was had, much fine ale was quaffed with a great deal of talk then embarrassing photos were taken. That’s one thing you are always guaranteed when writers get together – a lot of talk. I look forward to meeting up again.

A few words now in praise of Abolute Write. As I said above, it is probably the best writers’ forum on the Net. If you’ve heard otherwise then ignore those opinions, the people posting them have an agenda. There are loads of published authors posting on there all the time, a decent number of agents and editors. It is my go to site for information on writing and publishing and it has an extremely useful Story Research area where you can post almost any question, and no matter how obscure, someone will turn up and answer it. My only niggle with it is that it is a bit US-centric. If you’re serious about writing you should look at it. 

Some more words got added to the sequel which is creeping towards 20k, and we won another quiz jackpot last week. 

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Back from holiday, overwhelmed with apples

No blog entry last week as I was lying by a swimming pool in southern Spain and far too lazy to do anything more than reach for another cold beer. I did read two books while I was there and I commend both to your attention. ‘Swords of Good Men’ is a debut novel from an Icelandic writer named Snorri Christjansson; it straddles the line between historical fiction and fantasy containing just enough magic to tip it into fantasy. ‘Darkening Skies’ is the second book of the Hadrumal Crisis series by Juliet McKenna. I’ve read a lot of Juliet’s work and I always recommend her to fantasy writers who want to see what top class world-building looks like. She has created an entirely convincing world where magic works and magic users are part of society.  Her characters are excellent too with every major player well drawn and uncliched. She deserves to be more widely read.

Since I’ve been back from Spain I’ve been occupied with apples; I have a large Bramley tree in my garden and this year it is heavily laden with big green apples. I spent 5 hours peeling and chopping yesterday making a large pot of spicy apple chutney and I’ve barely touched the crop. Does anyone want some apples?  

Omens not looking great

One of my fellow writers in the T-Party has a new novel on submission, a contemporary or urban fantasy like mine. They sent an email round yesterday with details of a rejection they received from Harper-Collins. The editor who read the novel loved it but couldn’t persuade enough people to take it on, and said that UF is really tight at the moment and it needs to be ‘knocked out of the park in every aspect’ before they’ll buy it. 

This doesn’t not make me feel optimistic, particularly as Orbit have said pretty much the same thing this same fellow writer recently. My novel has picked up some rejections but afaik it is still under consideration at a number of publishers. I was hoping I’d got the timing right this time, turned in a novel that was the sort of thing publishers were looking for. Looks like I’m late on the scene. Now it only takes one publisher to say yes, to think it is ‘knocked out of the park’, but I’m not feeling good about the prospects right now.