Podcast Hall of Fame! w00t!

I’ve been sick for a few days with a cold and major migraines, so pardon my delay in, well, everything. I have stuff recorded, and it should go up shortly.

So, news! This July, I’ll be inducted into Podcast Academy’s Hall of Fame! I’ll be going to Fort Worth, TX, for the ceremony, and I’ll be there with my friend Scott Sigler. I can’t wait, it’s a real honor, and I’m excited to see Scott. I’m still a bit stunned.

Interviews: I gave a video interview to Buzzy Mag last November, and that was recently posted.

Home from the snowy wilds of Boston

The blizzard in Boston kept me (and many other people, as I understand it) stuck in Boston far past Boskone’s last hurrah. Thanks to the kindness of Max Gladstone, I didn’t have to add *too much* extra money onto my credit card for the extended stay, but it still put a kink in my work this week, especially stuff I was already behind on, namely recording. I got home Tuesday night, with much stress wearing me out on Wednesday.

So after I play with the kiddo because she didn’t understand that HER having a snow day didn’t mean the *I* got to have one, I will park myself in front of the mic and bring you an interview and show.

I had a great time at Boskone, despite all the people who ran away from the snow on Saturday. It’s becoming one of my favorite cons.

Upcoming Events: Boskone! Wake County Library!

This coming weekend I will be at Boskone, doing a TON of interviews for ISBW and some panels*. I’m really looking forward to it, and hoping not to be snowed in forever.

Boskone Schedule:
Angels, Demons, and Saints
Friday 19:00 – 19:50, Harbor II (Westin)
Religion has always played a strong role in fantasy, and we’ve seen an influx of fiction that specifically features characters that have been touched by higher powers — especially in today’s urban fantasy. What role do these characters play within the story? How do we see these roles changing or morphing into something new? Why do we keep coming back to these types of characters? And what are some examples of stories that use these characters especially well?

25 More Years of Good Omens*
Saturday 14:00 – 14:50, Harbor I (Westin)
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel Good Omens has had 25 years of success. Now there is talk again that a six-part TV series is in development. What will it take to bring the book to the small screen? Are we missing out on a big-screen experience? And how did the BBC do with the recent radio play? How might the adaptation of the novel deviate, or what areas might it more fully develop? Are there good omens for this project happening in other media?

Authorship, RPGs, and the Legacy of D&D
Saturday 17:00 – 17:50, Marina 3 (Westin)
Dungeons & Dragons, the first commercially available role-playing game, was published 40 years ago. D&D ushered in a new era of cooperative storytelling that has inspired Game Masters, players, and authors to dream big and create their own fictional universes. Panelists explore the many facets of RPGs — from developing challenging and believable frameworks for cooperative story construction to taking the story beyond the game.

Fun with Silly Poses
Saturday 21:30 – 22:00, Harbor II+III (Westin)
Expect to emit great giggles at our group reenactments of scenes from SF/fantasy/horror cover art. Warning: high probability of awkward audience participation and pretty pathetic props.

Reading: Mur Lafferty
Sunday 10:30 – 10:55, Independence (Westin)

Kaffeeklatsch: Mur Lafferty
Sunday 11:00 – 11:50, Galleria-Kaffeeklatsch 2 (Westin)

Autographing: Mur Lafferty, Kenneth Schneyer, Alison Sinclair, Charles Stross
Sunday 13:00 – 13:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)


And next month I’ll be part of the Wake County Library “Let’s Talk Sci-Fi” series.

Science Fiction & Fantasy authors discuss classic, iconic authors of the genres, including their body of work and influence. Take part in the discussion, share your thoughts and ask questions of the authors. Registration requested.

Ariel Djanikian and Mur Lafferty discuss Anne McCaffrey
West Regional Library
919-463-8500
Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m.

John Kessel and Mur Lafferty discuss Ursula K. Le Guin **
Southeast Regional Library
919-662-2250
Saturday, March 28, at 2 p.m.


* Dear 17 year old Mur: You just read this very cool book called Good Omens. It was so amazing you need to read it again. Now sit down; your career will go in a direction where, in 24 years, you will be asked to speak at a science fiction convention about this book you just read, a book that will be incredibly influential to you. DO NOT FREAK.

** Dear 17 year old Mur: Remember what I said about Good Omens? Same thing about Lathe of Heaven. JUST CHILL. And talking about Ursula K. Le Guin with John Kessel? Not intimidating at all.

Brief note re: audio files, this site, etc

I am currently feeling the lack of laptop for the first time. I knew it would come. But the fact is, I’m about to head out on a research/vacation trip. Like in 10 min. And I have audio recorded for you, but not edited and uploaded. 2 episodes of Ghost Train, ISBW, Ditch Diggers, it’s all there. Just on my hard drive. Which now lives on my desktop. And since I can’t take it with me, it will stay on my hard drive till I can edit and upload.

I’ll be home Thursday and hopefully can get some stuff uploaded then, provided I’m not wrecked from the red-eye.

The good news is my trip coincides with a self-pub project I have going this year, involving a travel guide.

Greetings from World Fantasy Con

I’m writing this from my hotel room at World Fantasy Con. Last night I did something crazy and walked back to my hotel at an insane hour- 10:30. Kids, a new sign of age is turning in early at a convention and being oh so happy for just flannel pajamas and tea. The Tor party was fun until it reached critical mass, and I was ready for some fresh air and some Netflix.

I’m seeing some awesome people, being surprised by others who I didn’t know would be here, and hope to get some recording done today. It’s a good con so far.

TONIGHT I have a 10pm panel. I have no idea how that happened since I avoid evening panels like the plague, but there it is.

NANO REPORT:
In the spirit of full disclosure, here are the ways to look at my writing in the past week:

  • I am behind pace on NaNo. Booooo. I should be at 10000 now (before today’s writing, even!) and I’m at 7200.
  • I’m ahead pace on NaNo. Yaaaaayyy! According to my plan with Susanna’s Pacemaker,  I should be at around 2200 now, and I’m WAY ahead at 7200.
  • Aside- insert quote about massaging statistics to suit your needs here.
  • I have hit a roadblock because I am writing a fantasy and only yesterday did I come across the problem of needing a map, and I don’t have a map. NaNo rules say plow on ahead, but I do admit it stymied me.

My daily NaNo show for Patreon supporters continues, making my hard work recording and editing on Monday all worth it, because right now all I have to do is post a link. (Apologies, yesterday’s link came late at night.) It’s not too late- if you join the Patreon supporters now, you will get links to all the back episodes of the daily show!

Yesterday I had lunch with Gail Carriger and Howard Tayler. They are amazing, creative people who gave me a lot of confidence in my upcoming creative decisions. Some of which you will see here. Stay tuned.

And that’s it for today. I need a shower and a coffee and a writing sprint. Who’s with me? (Um, for the writing. I’ll shower alone, thanks.)

Special Link: last year’s free daily podcast, Day 7. And get all of last year’s special NaNo shows under the NaNoWriMo tag!

Happy October!

Greetings, folks, and welcome to one of my favorite months. Please, make yourself comfortable and try not to drown in the pumpkin spice. (I think I tipped my husband’s tolerance scales when I bought pumpkin spice hot chocolate, doughnuts, and coffee syrup. I CARE NOT. BRING ON THE PUMPKINS)

But I wanted to do some housekeeping news:

  • My hard drive on my Mac is failing, and we’re getting that fixed. While I can still write/email/blog/etc (basically do anything Google lets me do via Chrome) on my Chromebook, this means audio and video editing is right out. No ISBW till next week at the earliest.
  • I’m heading out of town on business tomorrow, so emails may be long to respond to. I’m not going out of the country or anything so I will have all my electronic tethers, I’m just going to be really busy.
  • There’s an interview with me at the Genretainment podcast!
  • Did you see that Ghost Train to New Orleans is out via FREE podcast? It is! It’s out in podcast! Download now, then buy the book! Keep me flush in tea and glitter!
  • Aeropagitica re-read. It’s long and dense, as I expected. Censorship is bad, mmkay?
  • I’m on Ello now as mightymur – holding back from posting a lot. I’m not thrilled with the lack of a block button, so I’m waiting to see if it’s worth it.

Brief post- I’m home

We are home from a lovely and yet tiring vacation in England and Ireland. We had an absolutely amazing time, worldcon was a lot of fun, and we’re (mostly) all home safe.

There are a lot of things I want to blog about, but they’re all very different. It’s been an avalanche of awesome stuff and shit all at the same time. I could write a very long blog post about it, but that would be over 10k words, likely, and the many different things would likely lose people. So I’m going to sum up and blog later about more details. In short, here are the many different things that I will be blogging about soon, in no particular order:

  • During the trip I found out two (unassociated) friends are dead or in the process of dying.
  • I had good meetings at LonCon3. Met amazing fans, and many people I’d only known online. Spent quality time with several authors I admire. Reconnected with old friends.
  • I’m thrilled about the Hugo/Campbell Awards Winners.
  • Hubby had to turn around the day after we got home and take an emergency trip.
  • School starts tomorrow; no time for jetlag, Dr. Jones.
  • I broke my magic spreadsheet streak at 621 days.

So, yeah, lot of different moods there for one blog post. Things are very stressful right now. Hug your loved ones. I’ll be updating and stuff this week.

ISBW LonCon Meetup?

Some people had asked about a LonCon meetup, and I figured I’d pick a time and date. Let’s say 11am, Friday morning. We can meet in the main convention center, I can make a note here or on Twitter of the exact place once I get a sense of the space. If you’re interested in meeting up, leave a comment, that will help me plan!

(Comments are moderated but I will see them all)

TIME CHANGE- I have a meeting at 11 so I am changing the time to 10am, Friday. Hope this works for people. Will post location when I know the spot better. 

My LonCon Schedule

(You may note the regretable absence of a live reading- I had one, but it was scheduled for Monday, and we’re leaving on Monday, so I had to turn that one down and it was too late to get a new slot. Sad face.)

THURSDAY
Literary Beer
15:00 – 16:00, The Bar (ExCeL)

[Comments- My first literary beer! I’m so excited!]

FRIDAY
Autographing 3 – Mur Lafferty
16:30 – 18:00, Autographing Space (ExCeL)

Escape Pod podcast recording
19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)
Mur Lafferty (M), Alasdair Stuart (M)

[Comments- They wanted a live Escape Pod, so Al Stuart is going to perform the intro and outtro, and I’ll be narrating a story.]

SATURDAY
Setting Up Your Comic Book Press: New and Old Models Examined
15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)

A discussion on how setting up a comic book press, or web comic, has never been easier – except for all drawbacks. An examination of the various ways to fund, create, and distribute comics books in the 21st century: including Patreon, Kickstarter, ComiXology, web comics, and good old-fashioned print comics.

Kaja Foglio (M), Mur Lafferty, CE Murphy, Debbie Lynn Smith, Ian Sharman

So You Want To Be a Podcaster
16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 8+11 (ExCeL)

Everything you need to know about podcasting in one panel! What sort of microphone do you need? Which editing software is best? How should you plan and structure your show? How do you develop an audience? What are the differences between reading and podcasting fiction and non-fiction? Come, listen, learn — and then create.

Alasdair Stuart (M), Gabrielle de Cuir, Mur Lafferty, Emma Newman, Miquel Codony Bodas

[Comments- Now I have “Do You Want to Build A Snowman” going through my head.]

SUNDAY
Making Old Tropes New: Vampires
11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 10 (ExCeL)

The vampire has been defined and redefined a thousand times over the centuries. Today’s vampires range from the sexy and sparkling to the dessicated and gothic. Does the evolution of the vampire speak to its enduring attraction? Why is it a continually recycled myth? How have you used the vampire in a new and interesting way, and why did you make that choice?

Alys Sterling (M), Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Mur Lafferty, Marianna Leikomaa, Kim Newman

So grim. Much serious. Wow.
15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 9 (ExCeL)

Science fiction and fantasy have a long history of both comic writing and essentially light-hearted adventures. However, more and more it seems authors want to take themselves seriously, focusing more on the darker elements of story telling. Is genre too po-faced outside the work of certain specifically ‘comedy’ writers? Why do so many writers steer clear of trying to be funny?

Ellen Klages (M), Tanya Huff, Mur Lafferty, Darren Nash, Connie Willis, Simon R Green

[Comments- Dear 30-year-old Mur: whatever it is, don’t worry. You’ll be on a humor panel with Connie Willis someday. O_O]

Weathering the bizarre post-RT shitstorm

At 6:15 yesterday morning, I boarded an airport shuttle with my friend Ursula. I was tired. Worn out from the RT Booklover’s Convention and lots of walking in NOLA. I was surprised and pleased to see my local friend Nan on the shuttle. As I sat down, she said, “How was your RT?”

I said, “It was Ursula.”

Now, see, I had the following thought in my tired head, I should introduce Nan to Ursula. I’m not sure if they know each other. That’s polite. It’s good to be polite pre-dawn, otherwise we become barbarians. Wait. Nan asked me a question. I should answer that first. I’ll say, “It was fine, thanks. By the way, do you know Ursula?” But the brain got short-circuited and I mixed my messages because I was thinking one thing while trying to address something else. So I said, “It was Ursula.”

Common, forgivable mistake, right?

There’s a shitstorm going on now in the wake of the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention.* As an attendee and as someone who was at the Giant Book Fair on Saturday, I’m very confused about this storm.

Facts:

  1. The Book Fair had two rooms. One for authors published by publishing houses and one for indie (self-pub) authors. The indie author room was called “The Indie Author Room.” I think our room was called the “Published Author” room, or something more descriptive and less offensive. Ursula even mentioned how diplomatic it was.**
  2. The books were sold with two different business plans. Publishers give bookstores a returns program, so if they don’t sell books, they can return them. Indie authors can’t offer the same perk. So RT purchased their pub house books from distributors and told indie authors they could sell on consignment. I wasn’t in the indie author room, so I don’t know too many details about this, but it’s broken down here in this post by Courney Milan.
  3. The fact no one is talking about- RT gave away several identifying badge ribbons. I received one that said “Published Author.” Another one I saw several people wearing was “Aspiring Author.” People weren’t forced to wear these. Aspiring wasn’t a derogatory term. Aspiring also didn’t mean indie.

My theory: A harried volunteer – RT is a HUGE convention, and the volunteers often seemed frustrated or confused – saw someone’s “Aspiring Author” ribbon, got that phrase stuck in their head, and instead of directing someone to the “indie author room” instead said, “aspiring author” room.

This is just a theory. But I was there, and I never once heard about this “aspiring author” room although the indie room was mentioned many times over the loudspeaker. Still, word has gotten out, and the rumor mill is going strong (fueled in part by Hugh Howey) about how horrible RT is for treating indie self-pub authors as “aspiring.” Civil rights terms are coming up in boggling misappropriation, even.

SHOULD the pub authors and the indie authors have been placed together? Probably. We certainly weren’t separated based on popularity or books sold; I would bet cash money that a lot of the indie authors sold more books than I did. They had their fans, their books were in demand.

COULD the authors have been placed together? Frankly, with the very confusing setup and the nightmare lines that were already there, I think mixing the two groups would have made everything so much worse.

So the real question here is, was there a way to keep both authors in the same room? Honestly, no, our room was full to “Oh god I hope there isn’t a fire” with 200 authors and more fans. Could the group have been separated by A-L authors in one room and M-Z in the other? That might make sense. But there’s still the problem of the consignment vs bookstore-provided books. The “let the cashier figure it out” isn’t an option, trust me when I say these lines were hellishly long. It took hours for some people to get through.

(Course I did wonder why they just didn’t have it like an SF convention with one big dealer room open the whole con instead of four intense hours, where the author drops by the booth when she can, but that’s another story.)

There is something to talk about here, but focusing on a slip of one volunteer’s tongue and stirring a shitstorm of WE ARE NOT RESPECTED11!!11!!!! is not the way to do it. I’m not saying this is a tone argument, I’m saying this is misinformation that is getting a hell of a lot more attention than the truth is. It’s heavily distracting from the real issue of “is there a way to mix the two groups in an efficient way that’s good to the authors AND the poor fans already so patient to wait in hell-lines?”

*Tiny, shameful aside – is anyone else glad it’s not SFF that’s the genre-of-shitstorm-focus this week?

**Ursula and I are both hybrid publishers.