Here are a few questions I get asked pretty often. If you want to ask me anything else, check out my Contact page for my contact info.
- Will you read my story?
I would love to be able to read and give feedback on everyone's story. Sadly, between my job and my writing, I have barely enough time to read anything for pleasure, let alone for critiques. (I have written a long LJ post on why you shouldn't care that I won't read your story, and John Scalzi has a very thorough post on why he will also not read unpublished work that pretty much mostly applies for me as well.) However, I do have these tips for you:
- Correct your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. In your first draft, you can be sloppy. You should not be showing your first draft around. Anything you show someone from whom you want a professional opinion should be as professional as you can make it.
- Read your story aloud to yourself. Not in your head. Out loud. Read it to a friend, if that will help. You'd be amazed at what sounds fine on paper but ridiculous out loud.
- Write down in one sentence what your story's about. It can be a long sentence. For example: "Waterways is the journey of a young otter coming to grips with his newly realized sexuality." Or "Volle is about a young spy learning to think with his head as well as his sheath." If you can't do this, maybe your story needs to be more focused.
- Read a lot more fiction. Not just online, not just furry, not just science fiction. By reading what other people are doing, you'll become a better writer.
- Post your story online and ask for critiques. There are plenty of writers there who will be happy to tell you what they like and what they don't. None of them will be 100% right, but they will all be worth listening to.
- Are your books available as e-books? When is the e-book of your newest book coming out?
All books written by me (as opposed to "X," which is just edited by me) are or will be available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Google Books, and on Apple's iBookstore. My publisher (Sofawolf Press) prefers to keep the books print-only for a certain period of time before releasing the e-book edition. You can always check when print and e-book editions are coming out at my Publication Dates page.
- Will you be at [insert title of convention here]?
Check my contact page to see upcoming confirmed appearances. I usually will not confirm an appearance until I have plane tickets bought, which is usually two to three months before the convention. On a year-to-year basis, the conventions I try to attend regularly are: Further Confusion, Furry Fiesta, Emerald City Comic-Con, Furry Weekend Atlanta, Comic-Con International, Rocky Mountain Fur Con, and RainFurrest. I have also had a great time at ConFurgence, Camp Feral, EuroFurence, OklaCon, Gaylaxicon, and Midwest FurFest, and as time permits, I will get back to those. There are many other conventions I would love to visit for the first time, and if time permits, I might make it to them. And of course, if a convention invites me to be a Guest of Honor (or Honour), I will definitely be there.
- Where can I buy your books?
Sofawolf.com or FurPlanet.com are my main publishers, and both sell books on their sites. You can also buy print books from Amazon and furry distributors such as Blackpaw.de, Bookshelf Bear, and Rabbit Valley. For a complete run-down on where to buy books and how it affects me money-wise, see my blog entry on that topic
- What tips do you have for a beginning author?
Read. Never stop exploring new stories, new styles. Go back and re-read old favorites to see how your favorite authors achieve the effects you love. What is it about their descriptions, their dialogue, their characters that moves you?
Write. Get your story out. Write that first draft. Go back and edit it. Don't be afraid of criticism, and don't take it too harshly when it comes. Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing.
There are a few more tips at my Ten Things You Can Do To Improve Your Writing page.
- Can you sign my book?
I appear periodically at conventions and usually have scheduled signing times there. If you see me wandering around and not particularly busy, feel free to come up and chat, and if you have a book I will likely be happy to sign it. Once or twice a year I will do signings for books sold through Sofawolf or FurPlanet so keep an eye out for those.
- I have a specific question about writing...
- Will [insert title of book here] be on sale at [insert title of convention here]?
Check the convention dealer list. If Sofawolf, FurPlanet, Rabbit Valley, Bookshelf Bear, or Blackpaw are on the list, then you will likely be able to find my book there. If I am attending the convention, you will likely be able to find my book there. Newly-released books will generally continue to be sold at conventions following their release, as publishers like to make money that way. If you have a question about a specific older title, contact the dealer who is coming to the convention to make sure they will have it.
- Will you write a sequel to "Waterways"?
I am not ruling anything out, but none is planned at the present time. Kory's story has a definite arc and has--for the moment--reached an end. There will be other stories in the Forester Universe, and they or others from their story may appear in future books.
- What's the next book/last book in the OOP series?
The fifth and last book, "Over Time," came out at Further Confusion 2016 and is on sale at Sofawolf in print and Bad Dog Books as an e-book (wider distribution March 1, 2016).
- Will there be more books with Dev and Lee?
There will likely be at least a collection of side stories that didn't fit in the novels (including the bonus stories, for you softcover collectors) and another novel, so this world is by no means done. Dev and Lee probably have at least one more novel in them.
- Will [Patreon/online story/print book/e-book] be coming out in [wide release/e-book/audiobook]?
My personal and business goal for my stories is to get them into the hands of as many people as possible. ALWAYS assume that my novels, at least, will be published in as many forms as I can manage. Patreon is a great way to give people sneak peeks at a work in progress--whose goal is to be eventually published. YES, all my print books will be published as e-books. YES, I am investigating audiobooks, though that's not something that I can do alone so it's not always possible..
- When will [future project I've talked about] be coming out?
Sometime in the future. I don't like pinning myself down to specific dates unless the book is more or less done and nearly off to the publisher, though sometimes I plan releases for certain conventions. Keep an eye on my FA/blog/Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter to be kept up to date on the release dates as I talk more about them. When I do have firm dates for release (including e-books and audiobooks), I will post them on my website.
- What's your next book?
Keep an eye on my blog or subscribe to my newsletter, where I always talk about my upcoming projects.
- Will you listen to my idea for a book / take a commission?
I'd really rather not, not because I think it's not a good idea, but because I don't want to accidentally crib someone's idea in a future book. If we come up with the same idea independently, but you never told it to me, then you can just be happy we think alike. :) As for commissions, I won't say I never do them, but I only do them under extraordinary circumstances. If you can pay off my mortgage, then let's talk. :)
- Why don't your e-books have images?
Currently, everything published after "Waterways" (with the exception of "Shadow of the Father") has illustrations in the e-books, I think. For the older ones, I own the text rights but not the image rights. I'm negotiating with the artists to be able to include images in the books, but it takes some work and re-formatting of books.
- I found a typo/formatting error in one of your books!
Thanks! This happens, I know. Please send an e-mail with as much context as you can provide (PB/HC/E-book, page number (if print), surrounding text) to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can sometimes correct typos and formatting in future editions and this helps me keep track of them.