My MFF Schedule (or, WHAT TO KNOW IF YOU WANT A SIGNED BOOK)

My panels at MFF are all in the Lambert Room in the Hyatt, where the writing track is. Here’s where to find me:

FRIDAY

1:30-3 pm: Character and Dialogue

3-6 pm (approx): Signing new releases “Camouflage” and hardcover tenth anniversary edition of “Waterways” in Dealer Den at the FurPlanet/Sofawolf tables (see directory for location)

6:30-7:30 pm: Scene and Story Structure

7:30-8:30 pm: RAWR: A Furry Writing Workshop

 

SATURDAY

11 am: New Release Reading (I will read from “Camouflage”)

12-2:30 (approx): Signing in Dealer Den

3-4 pm: What It Takes to Write: Process, Discipline, and Lifestyle

4:30-6 (approx): Signing in Dealer Den

9-10:30 pm: Adult Writing

 

SUNDAY

TBD but at some point in the morning I’ll be signing in the dealer den.

3-4 pm: Westerns and Historical Fiction

You will notice that on Friday, the dealer’s den opens at 1 pm and I have a panel at 1:30. This means that I will likely not be in the dealer’s den for very long after opening, if at all, especially as the den and panels are in two separate buildings. So how about you guys come to the 1:30 panel and then follow me back to the dealer den and I’ll sign a bunch of books?

General signing policy: I vastly prefer to sign books in the dealer den rather than at panels. However, if I am early to a panel and not otherwise busy (like scarfing down lunch in the five minutes before the panel), and your request doesn’t delay the start of the panel, I’ll sign stuff then. In most cases I have to leave the panel quickly to let the next one set up and also because I’m running off somewhere else, so after a panel isn’t a great time to ask me for a quickie signature.

In other circumstances, if you see me around, use your judgment. I’m happy to take a moment and sign a book, but if I’m having a one-on-one chat with someone, or if I’m eating, then I greatly appreciate you respecting my time and holding off until a dealer den signing, or at least a less busy time. If you’re not sure, then ask! I am always glad to at least say hi to a fan, and if you ask, “When would be the next good time to get you to sign a book?” I may offer to sign it right there. Or I might say, “I need to go meet some people but I’ll be in the dealer den tomorrow.”

(And along those lines, feel free to come up and say hi if you see me around the con!)

In the end, I want everyone who wants a signed book to get one. So hopefully I’ll see you guys in the dealer’s den and around the con, and if you want a signature, let’s make sure you get it. 🙂

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Waterways Audiobook on sale for Black Friday!

Audible is having a “Treat Yourself” sale for Black Friday, and Waterways is included as one of the titles! If you’re a member and haven’t picked it up yet, check out their sale at http://www.audible.com/mt/2017TYSS_YA, where as of Friday, November 24, you can get Waterways and a few hundred other titles for just $4.95 each! As an Audible member, I’m for sure going to be checking it out. And if you already have Waterways, this is the perfect time to recommend it to a friend, or to buy them a Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa/solstice gift!

Note: I am not planning to do a revised audiobook of Waterways for the tenth anniversary, given that this one took four years and three narrators to get done. So this one will be the only audiobook available for the foreseeable future. Anyway, it’s only $5!

 

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Piracy

Talented artist Demicoeur has a very nice post on piracy on FA, and links to a post by Maggie Stiefvader and her very interesting experience with piracy.

In brief: if you think piracy is a “victimless crime,” you’re just rationalizing your own bad behavior. It has real consequences. That said, I’m lucky enough to have a lot of support in the fandom–but I also know there are PDFs of my books out there on the Internet that I didn’t put there.

I’m sure none of the people reading this would steal a book, but maybe if you’re talking to a friend and they say “I’ll just download it off the Internet somewhere,” you might speak up and say, “Can you really not spare the five or ten bucks to support the author? And if you don’t think it’s worth that much, don’t read it.”

 

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New Anthology: Arcana

A while back, Makyo had this idea that it’d be fun to do an anthology with a story based around each of the major arcana from the tarot deck. Several of us encouraged her and so lo, it has come to pass! I have a story in this, as do many other talented authors.

If you’d like more information, you can find it at: http://anthologies.furrywriting.life/arcana/

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Waterways Hardcover Pre-Order Pre-Announcement

Hey guys! If you want one of the snazzy new Waterways Tenth Anniversary hardcover books with the BRAND NEW STORY in it, and the BRAND NEW ILLUSTRATIONS, you’ll have a chance to pre-order one from Sofawolf starting next week sometime. There’ll be details on the Sofawolf blog this weekend and I’ll copy them or point to them here.

We will be signing and numbering the first 160 orders, and when I say “we” I mean *I* will be signing them and hand-numbering them. There will be no extension of the numbering–when 160/160 is sold, that’s it.

If you want to order other books of mine or publications I’m in (like Heat), you can do this at the same time and I’ll sign those as well. And of course you can also order other Sofawolf books, like Ryan Campbell’s excellent Fire Bearers series, but I will not sign those.

The pre-orders can be picked up at MFF, probably (pending Sofawolf confirming that), or they will be sent out the week after the con, because I’m not flying up to Minnesota to sign them until after MFF. They should arrive in time for Christmas if you want to get one as a gift for someone (again, pending Sofawolf confirming).

Keep an eye out and save up $40 for next week!

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Get signed books from Sofawolf!

Just a heads up, all! I’m going to be flying out to Sofawolf HQ to sign a bunch of the Waterways Tenth Anniversary hardcover so as per usual there will be a chance for you to get ANY of my books, issues of Heat I’m in, books I’ve edited, etc. signed! If you’ve been holding off on getting print copies of the Out of Position series, the Dangerous Spirits books, In the Doghouse of Justice, the Argaea series, or any of my other Sofawolf titles, keep an eye out for the upcoming announcement from Sofawolf (where you will also be able to pre-order the Waterways hardcover).

Of course, I’ll also be at MFF and you will be able to pick up the Waterways hardcover there if you’re going (or if someone you trust is going).

For signed FurPlanet/Argyll books, it’ll probably be another few months, but when I’m down there for TFF we’ll see if we can’t do a signing event as well.

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Interview with Douglas Smith #SFWAStoryBundle

Douglas Smith is the author of “The Wolf at the End of the World,” one of the dozen books included in the SFWA Fantasy Bundle (set your own price!) along with my own “Black Angel.” Let me say up front for my readership that there is a lot in “Wolf” for furries: it’s about a race of First Nation shapeshifters, who also have familiars (of a sort). What’s more, the trickster god Coyote figures prominently in this book (as Wisakejack). He’s very well written, and you can totally imagine him as a coyote throughout. Besides all that, the book is fun and engaging with a social conscience and I would happily recommend it to anyone.

Doug was kind enough to answer a few questions about his book. Read on:

  1. What are you proudest of about “The Wolf at the End of the World”?

I’d say I’m proudest that I finished and published my first novel, especially since it was a book that required so much research. Looking back, I must have been insane to make that sort of book my first.

I write in the afterword to the book of the extensive research I did to make sure I got the Cree and Ojibwe stories, culture, and current challenges correct. I didn’t mind doing the research, because I fell in love with those stories and that culture, and found in them the same core truth that’s the theme of the book and the same vitality that drives the Heroka. But writing about another culture was a constant source of worry, as I wanted to do my very best to get things right and as accurate as possible and to treat that culture with respect.

But the research didn’t end there. I also had to research, among other things, hydroelectric dams, power generation and transmission; impact on animal habitat of logging, mining, and dams; wolves and their behavior; animal rights and activism; forensic DNA sampling, legality, processing procedures, and timing; what DNA evidence could be extracted from a two-week old exhumed corpse of a murder victim; Cree and Ojibwe language; police procedure in a small northern town and on First Nations reservations; the Windigo psychosis; as well as local flora, fauna, geography, weather, and life in a small Northern Ontario town.

  1. What’s one interesting story or fact you discovered that didn’t make it into the book?

I just went back to check my research file. I have fifty-two pages of single-spaced notes on these topics, with references to the original source material. The vast majority of that research did not make it into this book. But I’m planning sequels, so some of that research and especially the other stories will get their chance to appear in one of those.

Something I found fascinating in Ojibwe stories and traditions is what I’d call the “theme of four.” Everything seems to occur in fours: primal elements used in cleansing before a vision quest (water, fire, stone, wind), aspects of physical world (sun, moon, earth, stars), orders of life (earth, plants, animals, man), species of animals (four legged, birds, insects, fish), seasons, directions (each of which is associated with a color), the stages or “hills” of life (infant, youth, adult, elder), stages of vision (preparation, quest, vision, fulfillment), orders of the Midewiwin, number of days of a vision quest, judges of each gender for Midewiwin judging; days that a corpse is left exposed on burial platform to let soul-spirit leave; days a fire is left burning beside death post of deceased; symbol for Kitche Manitou (circle with four projections); sons of Winonah (human mother of Nanabush); number of processions around the Midewigun before a Midewewin ceremony; aspects of health and sections in medicine wheel (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual).

I make reference to this pattern of four in one of the stories that Wisakejack tells Zach, about the four orders of life, but as you can see, there is so much more. I expect to make use of that in future books, as well as more of the stories I couldn’t find a place for.

 

  1. I do recommend that everyone read your Afterword; the amount of work you put into the research is impressive. Is there anything you’ve learned in the years since this book was published that you would like to add or change or simply share with readers?

Nothing that I would change. I continue to be grateful for the response to the book. Unfortunately, I also continue to be surprised by encounters with non-First Nations People who still remain ignorant of the abuses perpetrated on generations of First Nations children in the residential school system. So if I would share something with non-Native readers of THE WOLF, it would be to point them to some resources where they can learn more about the sad and shameful history and legacy of residential schools in Canada. In 2015, the federal Truth and Reconciliation Committee completed its multi-year investigation and hearings, publishing its final report and recommendations. The full reports are available here, as well as a timeline and history of residential schools, together with a set of learning resources for educators and students. Similar abuses took place in the US, and sadly in every country in the world “colonized” by a European power. If you’re unaware of this history, take the time to check out these resources.

 

  1. One of the protagonists of “The Wolf at the End of the World” is blind, which I thought was well portrayed. How did you research blindness to write him?

I didn’t do formal research into blindness, so I’m glad you thought Zach’s situation was well handled. I’ve had blind friends and staff who’ve worked for me in the day job. Our youngest son is physically handicapped, but not blind, and I’ve written a lot of characters with physical challenges.

I’m a character-focused writer, which means I can’t start a story until I “know” my characters. I write scenes with a strictly limited point of view, so when I was writing Zach’s POV scenes, I just put myself into his headspace and imagined being in his circumstances but without the benefit of sight.

Those scenes were both interesting and fun to write. Interesting, because I know when I was in the flow of writing the first draft of a Zach POV scene I’d often find myself starting to write a visual observation of the setting before catching myself. But it was a fun challenge, and really forced me to be “in” Zach’s head and POV when writing him. That might be why he was probably my favorite character to write in the book. Well, he and the spirit Wisakejack, whose scenes together were much fun to write.

 

  1. What other speculative fiction authors, classic or contemporary, have influenced you?

As a kid, I read Heinlein, Bradbury, and Asimov. And more, but those three were the ones where I read everything by them I could find. I’d say of those three, Ray Bradbury had the biggest impact, certainly when I started out writing short fiction. In university, I discovered Roger Zelazny, who I’d probably list as my major influence, although Charles de Lint would be a close second.

 

  1. When people finish this book and naturally want more, where can they go?

Well, if they want more stories of the Heroka, I would point them first to the novelette, “Spirit Dance.” It was my first professional sale (so be kind) and takes place five years before the events of THE WOLF AT THE END OF THE WORLD. In it, you’ll meet many of the main characters in THE WOLF.

I also have two other Heroka short stories, “A Bird in the Hand” and “Dream Flight.” Both of these feature Lilith Hoyl, a female Heroka of the bird totem. Read them in the order listed, as “Dream Flight” is an immediate sequel to “A Bird in the Hand.”

All three stories are available as ebooks on all major retailers. See my bookstore for retailer links.

If readers want more Heroka beyond that, they’ll have to wait until I write the next novel, which will pick up things shortly after THE WOLF. The next book will feature all the same characters (well, the ones that survived the ending), as well as bring Lilith Hoyl into the mix. I’m planning two more Heroka books in the same arc.

But those books will have to wait until I finish my current project, a young adult urban fantasy trilogy set in Toronto (and Peru) and featuring dream walking, astral projection, lucid dreaming, rune magic, a lost expedition, and much more. I’m currently finishing up the second book in that series.

I’d also point readers to my two short story collections, CHIMERASCOPE and IMPOSSIBILIA. Retail links for all of my books (print and ebook editions both) can be found on my website bookstore.

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Interview about Black Angel for the #SFWAStoryBundle

Lady Rowyn was kind enough to host an interview with me about Black Angel. She came up with several thoughtful questions that were fun to think about and answer. Check it out, and check out her book and mine (and ten others!) in the SFWA Fantasy Bundle!

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A Little Teaser

Just a little something that happened on my screen this morning…oh, it’s only a working title. And it won’t be out until 2019.

(and if you read the newsletter you already knew this was coming)

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SFWA Fantasy Bundle Includes Black Angel

SFWA–the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America–has been partnering with StoryBundle this year. They released a bundle of science fiction stories earlier this year, and this month, the fantasy bundle is available. I’m particularly excited about this because, well, my own Black Angel is one of the books selected for it!

The way this works is that you go to the above link (or click on the image below) and set your own price. To get all the books you have to go above $15, or just over a dollar a book. You’ll get all twelve in the e-book format of your choice. And if you already have Black Angel, check out some of the other titles–there are a couple furry books in there, or at least books with furry elements.

The collection was curated by SFWA’s president, Cat Rambo, who personally selected each of the titles. They look great and I’m looking forward to digging into them myself!

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