Midwest Furfest: My Schedule

In just over a week, we’ll be descending on Chicago (Rosemont, to be precise) for Midwest FurFest! I’m excited to be there, honored to be one of their guests this year, and looking forward to seeing all of you! If you hadn’t heard, I’ve got a new book coming out (Ty Game), so I’ll be in the dealer’s den (at my table near the main entrance or by FurPlanet/Sofawolf against the back wall).

When I’m not at the dealer den, here’s where you can find me:

Friday, November 30

11:00am: Opening Ceremonies
12:00pm: Meet the Guests of Honor
4:00pm: Shiny Sponsor Reception – Early Flight
5:30pm: What It Takes to Write: Process, Discipline, and Lifestyle

Saturday, December 1

9:30am: Sponsor Brunch
12:30pm: Get Published
4:30pm: Kyell Gold Reading/Q&A
5:30pm: Author-Ilustrator Collaboration
7:30pm: RAWR: A Furry Writing Workshop

Sunday, December 2

12:30pm: Secrets of Successful Travel w/ GOH Kyell Gold
3:30pm: A Memorial for Fred Patten
5:00pm: Closing Ceremonies

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Ty Game: Pre-order Info!

https://sofawolf.com/blog/announcing-ty-game-kyell-gold-signing-opportunity

From now until November 27 (that’s in just over a week), you can pre-order my new book Ty Game and get it signed by me! I’ll be flying out to Minnesota next week JUST to sign all these books you order because I love you all and want you to be happy.

If you’re going to MFF, you can pick up your pre-order there, OR you can just buy one there. I’ve got a lot of panels to do, but you should be able to find me at the dealer’s table when I’m not at the panels (schedule forthcoming or you can just look me up on MFF’s Sched.org). Both artists who worked with me on this book, :iconrukis: and :iconneverwolf:, will be at MFF as well, and originals of some of the interiors will be in the art show there.

The blog post linked above has all the details for this pre-order. E-books and audiobooks and all that other stuff that is not part of this pre-order will follow the usual procedures for my books, and of course will also be announced on this space when they happen. We are not doing a hardcover edition of this book, so paperback only.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Prequels

I have a pet peeve with prequels and it was only after watching “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewold” that I was able to pin down what specifically bothered me about it. So here’s a mostly spoiler-free review along with my pet peeve and why I think it signals bad writing.

I liked the first Fantastic Beasts movie quite a bit. All the main characters were well written and well acted, and the Newt-Tina-Queenie-Jacob quartet were charming enough to carry me through the hiccups caused by trying to jam their story in with the story of the Obscurus that was terrorizing New York. But the neatest thing about it was how much bigger it made the Harry Potter world. We moved to a new city in a new country on a new continent nearly a hundred years ago, and so there was a sense of discovery much like when Harry goes to Hogsmeade for the first time, or to the World Cup of Quidditch. We were getting a glimpse into a part of the world that had always existed but we were just seeing for the first time.

The second movie continues the story–of Grindewald, who showed up at the very end of the first movie after being a background character who might just have been thrown in for flavor in the rest of it. Oh yes, we also get to see what Newt’s been up to (not much) and meet a young Dumbledore, a Lestrange, a young McGonagall…and a couple other people with ties to the Harry Potter books that I won’t mention because (maybe) spoilers, even though one of them was one of the most useless characters I’ve ever seen get so much screen time in a movie.

Are you starting to see what’s bothering me here? (I mean, apart from getting maybe a first act for the story of the four main characters of the first movie, the ones I liked.) This movie, far more than the first, pushes into your face all the connections with the Harry Potter books. Remember the Lestranges, y’all? There’s even a scene with a student in which the movie takes pains to let you know his name is McClaggen. OMG! It’s Cormac McClaggen’s grandfather probably! Does he do anything in the movie? No.

A little of this is fun. I do it in side stories and prequel stories I’ve written. But when there are so many people with ties to the main work, it makes the world feel smaller. It’s ironic that WB is starting to push the “Wizarding World” brand to expand this world beyond Harry Potter with a movie that shrinks the scope of the world in this way. We go to Paris! Do we meet any French magicians of note? We do not. The French Ministry of Magic is cool as a set for the British and American wizards to run around in. Ditto Paris.

A piece of advice I got from Kij Johnson’s novel workshop was: strive to make your world feel larger. Very often I fall into the trap of writing the story about my main character(s) and a couple of their friends. But I (and hopefully you) interact with a lot more people just on a daily basis, especially in today’s world. I have interacted today with nine of my Telegram chats, some of which include multiple people. Just today!

The same advice holds when moving around in time. If you were writing a prequel to your own life, say your high school or college years (I’m aware that for many of you those are not nearly as far in the past as they are for me; just bear with me), would the characters be the same as the ones in your life now? Some would, sure: your best friends, your family. But I’m willing to bet that in general, the people you talk to on a regular basis have changed over the last five years, ten years, twenty years. The same should go for your story.

All that said, the movie was a lot of fun. We saw it in 3D with Dolby Atmos sound and it was delightfully immersive. I still like Eddie Redmayne’s performance of Newt quite a bit, and I like the Harry Potter world a lot. As I noted on Twitter, I would like to know what Grindewold’s crimes actually are, given they felt them important enough to make a title out of, and I’d like to know what he stands for other than the rather vaguely threatening “freedom” he goes on about. Plotwise the movie doesn’t give you a whole lot to hold on to; it’s a lot of assumption that you get that this guy is Bad and must be stopped, and that this other guy is Driven. If you examine it too closely, a lot of it falls apart (for two magicians, Newt and Tina have apparently been terrible at actually keeping in touch), and there are points where the editing is noticeable for its faults. But there are a lot of clever lines, and a lot of good actors doing Good Actor Things, and of course the movie is gorgeously shot and composed. There are new Fantastic Beasts and familiar favorites, there are new spells and familiar ones. If you like the Harry Potter world–sorry, the “Wizarding World”–you’ll probably enjoy this movie, pet peeve or no.

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Ty Game off to Sofawolf

I haven’t been blogging much lately. Partly that’s because I was traveling over the summer, and when I got home I was working on the books that need to be ready for MFF, plus the other stuff I’m going to have to do as GOH of that convention (I co-authored a nifty conbook story!).

The reason I’m blogging now is that one of those tasks is more or less off my plate. I delivered the manuscript of Ty Game, the spinoff novel from the Out of Position series, to Sofawolf today, and the art seems to be on track, so hopefully we will be ready to release it at MFF! Keep an eye on my social media and Sofawolf’s, because we’ll almost certainly offer a pre-order once we have a delivery date. So even if you won’t be going to the con, you’ll get a signed copy. E-books will be on baddogbooks.com right around MFF and on other retailers in January (I’m going to predict in advance that furry retailers will be your best bet for this book, because Neverwolf’s done some fantastic illos, including a couple that are possibly a little too risqué for mainstream retailers, but we’ll see who complains…). No audiobook plans yet. The print version will be paperback only, I believe–no hardcover.

If you haven’t heard about Ty Game, well, you should be reading my newsletter (http://bit.ly/kyellmail). Briefly, it’s the story of Ty Nakamura, who might be familiar to you from the OOP series, and especially one or two scenes from Over Time. You’ll get to see those scenes from his point of view as well as what led up to them and what happened after, plus a whole lot more. Interior illos are by Neverwolf, who is showing them off on his Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/theneverwolf/posts) in advance of the book being published.

Now I’m going to finish up the draft of the new Dev and Lee book (which you can follow on my Patreon if you subscribe at the $20 level) and then start on the third Calatians book (stay tuned for how you might be able to follow that online as well…!).

It’s been a busy fall. Hope yours has been good!

(Apart from the nightmare hellscape the U.S. has become, I mean.)

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Demon and the Fox and Tales of the Firebirds e-books for sale in more places

Hey, I finally got The Demon and the Fox and Tales of the Firebirds up on iTunes, Google Play, and Kobo, in addition to Kindle and Bad Dog Books, so you can now go get them in those places. They should also be up on Jaffa Books and Rabbit Valley before long if those places are your preferred retailers.

I need to do some more work with Barnes and Noble before I can get the books up there, but I get the sense that not many of you are holding your NOOKBucks waiting for that to happen anyway.

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My Apologies In Advance

I have 11 audiobooks out through ACX, which has been generally great to work with. Matching narrators with authors, getting the audiobooks distributed, the technical part has been just fine.

The part where I get paid has been…okay. The fact that they handle splitting royalties between me and the narrators when we choose that is fantastic. They initially paid a royalty of 50% and then dropped that to 40% a couple years ago. Now they’re changing the “bounty” program (which name has always made me a bit uncomfortable). It used to be until August 1, 2018, that I would get a $50 credit (split between me and the narrator if we’re splitting royalties) if my book was one of the first three bought by a new Audible member (ACX and Audible are both owned by Amazon). I could encourage people to sign up, they’d buy my books, it would help me out. I got a few of these every month, which made a nice difference in the payments.

As of August 1, ACX is changing the program. I can still get a reward, upped to $75–the catch is that just buying my book first is no longer enough. The new Audible customer has to specifically make their purchase using one of my referral links. I don’t think it actually has to be one of my books, oddly enough; at least, it doesn’t specify that in the text anywhere (from this page):

(Also, ACX has helpfully allowed me to get a referral link for each one of my books for each one of their marketplaces–US, UK, France, Germany–which is like 44 different links and what am I supposed to do with that? Post them all on a page somewhere that nobody will ever look at? Put them all in my email signature, as they suggest? That’d be one huge signature and I’m pretty sure I’d get flagged as spam.)

So the point of this is that I’m going to have to periodically push referral links at you or else I get less money, and while I have made peace with the fact that I have to tell people about my books and encourage purchasing, I hate doing the “buy them through this link please” because people buy in all sorts of ways and it’s just adding another layer of inconvenience to someone supporting me. So I’m sorry.

Here’s the referral link for the newest audiobook, “The Tower and the Fox,” for the US marketplace: https://www.audible.com/pd/B07F1YRWLF/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-120139&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_120139_rh_us

(If you’re in the UK or France or Germany and you want the link for those markets, hit me up on email or Twitter or FA or whatever.) If you know someone who’s thinking of starting an Audible membership, or who’s interested in this audiobook, and you could pass along the link, it’d help me out. If you don’t know anyone and you’re already a member, thank you! If you’d like to write a review of the audiobook on Audible or iTunes, that helps me out a TON actually.

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New E-books: Tales of the Firebirds and The Demon and the Fox

Over on Bad Dog Books now, at other major retailers the first week of August:

The Demon and the Fox (book 2 in the Calatians series)

Tales of the Firebirds (short stories from the Out of Position universe)

Available in ePub or Kindle format.

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My Anthrocon Schedule

Hey, if you, like 7-8000 other people, will be going to Anthrocon this year, and you want to know where you might run into a certain fox, here is a handy guide. All the panels are in DLCC 310-311.

FRIDAY

Noon – 3:45: Around the FurPlanet/Sofawolf tables in the dealer’s den with two new books and a bunch of old ones.

4-5: READING / Q & A. This is your chance to hear part of an upcoming, unpublished work as read by the author! And also to ask that author any questions you might have about books, writing, Zootopia, or whatever. (The author is me. If that wasn’t clear.)

6-7:30: Writing Foundations: Advanced. Kristina Tracer and I will be talking about some advanced concepts in writing. What will those be? Show up and find out!

SATURDAY

10-11:45: In the dealer room.

12-1: All About RAWR. I and Alkani will talk about the residential furry writing retreat we helped found and continue to run. If you have questions or just want to hear what happens at a writing retreat, come on by!

After lunch – 6: Back in the dealer room, probably.

8-9: Submit and Publish. Teiran and Fugue and I will discuss submitting to furry and other publications and how to give yourself the best chance of getting published.

SUNDAY

10-11:30: Fantasy Writing. Jaden Drackus, Kristina Tracer, and I will talk about the fantastic worlds of fantasy, what fantasy is about and why we love it.

After lunch – 2: In the dealer room to sign all your books before you fly home. Get some reading material for the flight!

Hope to see you lovely people there!

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Tales of the Firebirds Update (AC and Amazon)

The new story collection Tales of the Firebirds is live on Amazon (paper only; e-book coming in July; no audiobook plans) and a shipment has been dispatched to Anthrocon, so you should be able to find it there at the FurPlanet table, where I will also be! And after AC the plan is to sell it through FurPlanet.com as well.

Also! The Demon and the Fox will be at AC. If you have been itching to find out what happens to Kip and his friends, you’ll be very happy. If you haven’t yet started their adventures, you’ll also be able to get the first volume, The Tower and the Fox, at the same time, and I’ll sign them both!

I believe FurPlanet will continue to carry TotF at future conventions, so if they’re going to be at a convention, chances are good that the book will be there. If they’re not, then check what booksellers will be and contact them to ask if they can order a few (they should contact me; please don’t email me to tell me to send them copies). The e-book will be on all the regular e-book sites but the paperback will likely only be on Amazon and FurPlanet.com for the foreseeable future (I will update as I have news).

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Yes, I Will Be At Anthrocon This Year

HEY. I just bought a plane ticket so I guess I’m going to be at Anthrocon this year. I’ll be on some panels and will be around the Sofawolf and FurPlanet tables signing books. Hopefully “The Demon and the Fox” and “Tales of the Firebirds” will both be out at this convention, but neither of them is to the printer yet so…cross your paws for me. ^^

My convention schedule for the rest of the year is pretty light. I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con, but the only other furry con on my schedule for this year is MFF and I might drop by PawCon because it’s in the area and they have a cool GOH this year.

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