Interview with the Editor

I was honored to have the opportunity to interview James L. Sutter for Lambda Literary. James was my editor at Paizo for Gears of Faith, and I was his editor when he wrote for my anthology When the Hero Comes Home 2.

Bisexuality is in an odd place in the matrix of queerness. It’s important to show out bisexuals in the workplace. We exist. We’re not defined by who we’re partnered with. And we bring a vision of diversity to the publishing workplace and the world of literature.

James L. Sutter Interview – Lambda LiteraryJames L. Sutter Interview – Lambda Literary

PaizoCon 2017

Here’s a selfie I took with my book (and a bunch of other great books!) at PaizoCon last weekend. Forgive the sunglasses and any apparent sleeplessness — if you’re well-rested at a convention you’re probably doing it wrong.

[Image: the author in front of a rack of Pathfinder Tales books]

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For many, PaizoCon was all about Starfinder, the shiny new science-fantasy RPG that Paizo is launching at GenCon this June.

For me, PaizoCon was all about Gears of Faith, and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

I got to crash a panel with James Sutter and Erik Mona about writing fiction and comics. One highlight was a very interesting discussion about how the same things have to be portrayed differently in different media. For instance, take a “detect evil” spell. In the game, it’s a mechanic involving rules and dice. In fiction, a narrative medium, how do you know you’ve detected evil? Maybe the hair on the back of your neck stands up and your stomach feels unsettled. But in comics, a visual medium, you need to be able to show everything through visual cues and dialogue, so it might become a nosebleed and a character saying they’ve got a headache.

After that panel, I got sucked into the card game, specifically the “Mummy’s Mask” box, and kind of stayed there. Which was awesome. I’d never played the card game in organized play before. Designer Mike Selinker gets huge props for making the game mechanics fit the theme in fun and thoughtful (if infuriating!) ways. And I got to meet people I wouldn’t have met if I’d stuck to the RPG, which was also awesome.

The drive up to Seattle was gorgeous, and this was the first time I did it in two segments with a stop in the middle instead of just going straight through. There were rivers and mountains, and resident hotel-cats. Next time, maybe I’ll leave myself an extra day in the middle so that I can explore more on the way. For now, it’s nice to be home, happy, and inspired.

 

Gears of Faith – released!

grh_GoFBookwyrm RPG Convention in Fresno was kind enough to have me out as their Guest of Honor, the same weekend that Gears of Faith hit the shelves. A whole convention full of people got to see me with “new book glow.”

Thank you, Bookwyrm, Woodward Park Library, and Paizo, for making it all work out!

Zae’s gaze

“Zae’s gaze” is one of those awkward things that you don’t realize is awkward until you read it out loud. Which I’m doing, on this pass of Gears of Faith, to make sure I catch all the little things that fell through the cracks of my big rewrite/revision.

Reading my soon-to-be-a-book out loud to catch typos is mortifying and humbling. I’m catching the unfortunate, the unexpected, and the just plain awkward. Also I’m recording them. Chapter 5, for what it’s worth, has bonus cat.

Revision Purgatory

Revision Purgatory is a much better place than Revision Hell. I’m fortunate to be working with an editor who has a great developmental eye and a lot of patience for “what if we…” emails, so I’m definitely not in hell. If I were in Revision Heaven, I could just wave my hand and say “Let it be done,” and lo, it would be all done. So I’m definitely not there, either. But Purgatory is a good place to be. It’s neutral, it’s not distracting, there are no loud parties. Just a few loud cats, but that’s my own fault.

The down side of working from home is that every afternoon my office mates start yelling at me about how hungry they are, several hours before the cafeteria opens for dinner. They also walk across my keyboard and try to rename my characters with their feet.

Anyway. I’m about two-thirds through the big, substantial edits on my Pathfinder novel. I still have to go back and brush up a few things, but I’m trying to focus on the big picture first. I’m pleased with the shape it’s taking. Zae, Keren, and Appleslayer are a lot of fun to write, and I’ve had enough of a break from this story that I can see it with fresh eyes now. I’ve written a whole separate novel since I turned this one in, and having that extra experience at this is also helping me now.

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This sign (on Route 580 in Oakland), is my measure of how deeply into this novel I am, in my own head. If I read this out of the corner of my eye as “Zae and Coliseum” as I’m driving past, I know I’m thinking about the story.

There’s not much to say from Revision Purgatory. It’s hard to update when my updates would essentially be things like “this scene you know nothing about? it now happens after this other scene you know nothing about, and I have to find another reason for them to be doing the thing I can’t tell you so that this other thing I don’t want to spoil can happen.”

I took yesterday off to visit the SF Maker Faire, which was a lot of fun and a needed break, and was also inspiring on a tinkering / creating / inventing-weird-stuff level, which of course is a perfect thing to get me into Zae’s world.

Zae’s world, as it happens, is an interesting place to visit. Check out some of the other Pathfinder Tales novels while I polish this one up. I’m looking forward to sharing more of her story with you!

Impending Projects

I do plan to gradually reprint some of the content from my previous blog, especially the more popular entries, but it will take a bit for the dust to settle here.

In the meantime, before we get to the old, here’s what’s new:

  • My first novel is complete and turned in. It’s now in Paizo’s skilled hands, and I’ll share a title, some art, and a release date as soon as I can. Yes, it features Zae, Keren, and Appleslayer. If you’re already a fan from the web-fiction (my short story “Inheritance“), the novel will have more of everything you love about them.
  • My second novel is an urban fantasy endeavor, with The Ed Greenwood Group. As I write this, it’s nearly halfway written, and it’s due in November. I’ll make it, really! It’s forthcoming in May 2016, and I can’t wait to tell you more. The veil lifts, at least partway, on October 19.
  • Women in Practical Armor, my next anthology with Ed Greenwood, had an amazing Kickstarter campaign. If you didn’t get in on the action as a backer, you’ll be able to pick up a copy in April, 2016. This one is hopefully the first of several anthologies that Ed and I are doing for Evil Girlfriend Media.
  • I have a very short story called “575” that will be appearing in C is for Chimera, edited by Rhonda Parrish, also in 2016.
  • My story “Descent of the Wayward Sister” from Cthulhurotica has officially become my first reprint sale.
  • Two recent acquisitions for Dragon Moon Press are on their way to the printer, and another is close behind!
  • I’ve had to scale back on editing because of the novel deadline, but there are still two novels in my editorial queue, one for Dragon Moon and one for a freelance client.
  • I will definitely be attending CanCon in Ottawa this October, and I’m confirmed to some degree for Norwescon (Seattle), GenCon (Indianapolis) and DragonCon (Atlanta) next year.
  • Despite the busy, I’m missing my daily slush fix. I’m looking forward to Apex Magazine re-opening for submissions.

Whew. So, that’s me. More details to come, on all of the above. But for now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a manuscript tugging at my sleeve.