Posts Tagged ‘The Writer’s Lens’

My first interview for 2014 has been set for next Monday, according to blogger Susan Whitfield this morning.  Or, in her own words, “James, I have scheduled your blog interview for the week of January 6th.  It’ll be up all week and then move to second position.  At some point, it will be moved to the archives.”  It won’t be the first one I’ve done with Susan, having been interviewed by her back in 2011 (see August 9 of that year or, to go to the post directly, click here and scroll way down to the second interview) on vampires and my then new book, VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE).  This new one will cover my latest collection, THE TEARS OF ISIS, among other items so please come back next week for more information, including a link.

In the meantime, Teresa Schnellmann has announced that my guest blog with her last July, “The Marketing Game” (see July 10) is among the “Big Stories of 2013” on THE WRITERS’ LENS.  For more on that, including links to the other stories on Teresa’s list, press here.


My guest poet on “The Marketing Game” (cf. July 7) is now live on Teresa Schnellmann’s THE WRITERS’ LENS.  But other things have been happening too, including the cessation  of business, due to the tragic loss of one of its founders, of an up-and-coming publisher through which Teresa and I had been first introduced.  And so, in her announcement of the posting in that publisher’s newsletter, she added, of me, “I think some of his comments and suggestions are particularly important for us now, including:

“‘So not everyone’s going to publish a book, at least not right away, but we are in a sense members of a family, we writers and publishers and editors.  And when the time comes, it never hurts to have made connections.’”

This is a point I have made in the past, the idea of “family”  (cf. November 28 2012 re. my OPEN BOOK SOCIETY guest blog “To ‘Peds’ and Beyond:  Community and the Writer”), of contacts that last beyond the end of a particular writing or publishing project, that may bring about future opportunities — but may also come to extend beyond writing.  And other connections can be made too with, for example, today’s essay coming  itself as a result of Teresa’s interview of me on May 29.

In any event, to see today’s post on THE WRITERS’ LENS, click here, and if you’d like to reread (or see for the first time) Teresa’s and my May interview, the place to go for it is here.

InConJunction is a relatively small science fiction convention that’s been held every Fourth of July weekend in Indianapolis for the past thirty-three years.  So this Saturday I and friends made the trip (old InConJunction hands, we, but budgets — mine depleted by World Horror Con, for more on which see June 19 — dictated commuting for a one-day-only visit) where I had a chance to wave the flag for THE TEARS OF ISIS, among other things.  Actually I was on four different panels, the first called “Writers Roundtable:  Poetry” with Matt Betts and Frida Westford, local poet Frida being one of our commuter party.  It would be nice to say it was a great success, but due to several factors, e.g. being at noon and people going to lunch, a printer’s error which left out the page of the program book it was supposed to have been described on (printing instead a second image of what was to be the following page), nobody came.  So the three of us made it a seminar and discussed poetry, changing markets, editors’ foibles, and such like amongst ourselves.

Better attended was my 6 p.m. panel on “Worldbuilding:  Characters” where John Allen, Sara Miller, Mark Wandrey, Nicole Cushing (moderator), and I discussed character vs. setting (you need both, but which is prominent may depend on what you’re trying to accomplish); which comes first and, in general, how one goes about creating a lived-in science fiction/fantasy world; and just plain writing fiction (again, with me being perhaps somewhat the scold here, with some emphasis on character and the need to experience a world through its residents’ unique perceptions).  In this, my own “built world” example was that of the “Tombs,” my far-future dying Earth setting, which allowed me to bring at least a mention of THE TEARS OF ISIS via the three “Tombs” stories (out of fourteen or so currently published) that appear in the collection.  And, also well-attended, was the 9 p.m. “How to Put Together a Short Story Collection” with Guest of Honor Cherie Priest who, being primarily a novelist herself (although having written some short fiction to markets I might dream about), gave me most of the floor time to discuss the process from genesis to publication using, as my primary example, THE TEARS OF ISIS.  Then this was followed by a 10 p.m. CANDLELIGHT HORROR reading by Matthew Barron, R. J. Sullivan, Eric Garrison, and me, that garnered at peak some sixteen listeners, where the story I presented was “River Red” from (are you still with me here?) THE TEARS OF ISIS.

Part of the interest though was also schmoozing with fellow writers in the dealers’ room and elsewhere, including a con suite which, if not sumptuous, was stocked all day with (at a minimum) chips and salsa, soft drinks and coffee, do-it-yourself oatmeal mix (left over from breakfast), and, when available, assorted raw vegetables and dip, and strawberries and shortcake (but the latter, alas, missing the whipped cream to glue the ingredients together).*  Among other things we talked of reviews, particularly with another “home town” writer Tammy Jo Eckhart, and social media, and getting the word out including the note that readers can help too — that is, if you’ve read a book that you liked, by all means please send in an honest review to Amazon and elsewhere.  In fact, even if you dislike a book or think it has flaws, consider reviewing it anyway if you feel it’s worth the notice, to help induce others to join the discussion.

One of the books we discussed, needless to say, was THE TEARS OF ISIS (ahem) which, have I mentioned?, can be obtained from Amazon by clicking here for just $2.99 for the Kindle edition, or currently an even $12.00 for the trade paperback.  (That’s a slight rise from what it was selling for in June, at least for the paperback edition, though still a discount from the publisher’s list price.  But Amazon may be giving the hint that they’d like you to hurry.)

Then two short non-InConJunction notes:

The first is that I recently saw, to my delight, that the mini-interview I did for Michael A. Arnzen for INSTIGATION SHOWCASE (cf. March 16) is still up, on the use of two of his horror prompts for the story “Girls Gone Dead” subsequently published in the Post Mortem Press anthology NEW DAWN FADES.  So, having recently joined THE HORROR SOCIETY on Facebook, I passed the word, with a link, on to them.  Now it occurs in the spirit of reciprocity that I might recommend THE HORROR SOCIETY to readers here, as a possible source of news and occasional markets, etc., aimed toward horror writers (one warning, though, they have lots of postings that can sometimes come in large clumps if you tend to be frazzled by “to-read” email lists suddenly enlarging in dramatic fashion).  To give THE HORROR SOCIETY a look, just press here.

Finally, I received an announcement a couple of days back from Teresa Schnellmann (cf.  May 29) that a guest post I did for her THE WRITERS’ LENS on marketing advice has been scheduled for this Wednesday, July 10.  More on that when it’s actually posted, but if you’d like an early taste of Teresa’s blog, click here.


*And then there was also the Cupcake Workshop at 2 p.m., held in the con suite, a hands on exercise in frosting and decoration, combined with a contest for best effort.  I didn’t win, but I did get to eat my entries afterward 😀 .

Today the second of my The Tears of Isis Interview Trifecta has been posted, the first of them being on LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS on May 7 and Number 3 scheduled for July 29 on the British blog DUSTY PAGES (cf. May 17, April 25, et al.).  This is the one by Teresa  Schnellmann on  THE WRITERS’ LENS which, as she has descried it elsewhere, has me “talking about how truth resonates, even in fantasy & horror.”  There’s more than just that, of course.  Her leading question has to do with what “brings your writing into focus — the characters, the stories, the love of words?” while others cover such things as inspiration, what makes a book or characters unique, and what readers might especially find of interest in THE TEARS OF ISIS.  I will say, in fact, that while I tend to be a relatively long-winded interviewee in the best of cases, the questions Teresa asked were ones I thought particularly inviting for answering in some depth.

So give Teresa’s interview a try — and maybe even leave a comment!  The title she gives it is “Fantasy/horror author James Dorr:  ‘True’ stories resonate with readers,” and it can be read by pressing here.

Teresa Schnellmann of THE WRITERS’ LENS (cf. May 7, April 25) has set aside Wednesday May 29th for the second of three (thus far) scheduled interviews of me with attention to the just published THE TEARS OF ISIS.  The first, “preview” interview by LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS appeared on May 7 while the third, by Sonnet O’Dell of DUSTY PAGES, is set for Monday July 29.  What new secrets will be learned in less than two weeks:  Elements that bring a story into focus?  The inspiration for THE TEARS OF ISIS?  What “fact” does for fiction?  Some or all of these may be answered, so check back  here a week from next Wednesday.  And in the meantime, if you’d like to browse about THE WRITERS’ LENS just click here.

But that’s not all.  In discussing dates, Teresa also asked if I might be interested in doing a guest post for THE WRITERS’ LENS on tips for submitting short fiction to magazines and anthologies.  So why not? I thought — I might not have anything that groundbreaking, but just a reminder of things in one place could be useful, especially for newer writers.  So tentatively we’re thinking about trying to whip up something for late June or early July, perhaps the week following the 4th of July.

The first of two interviews on THE TEARS OF ISIS (see below, April 19 and 17) has now been officially scheduled for May 7, a week and a day before the official publication date of May 15.  Hosted by Judy Thomas and Marianne Arkins for LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, questions will be fielded on THE TEARS OF ISIS itself, as well as on me, my lifestyle, my writing, questions both straightforward and . . . well, weird, and with answers to match.  Also the chance to win a free copy is still being offered on the Goodreads page for THE TEARS OF ISIS, a link for which should appear with the interview (though those who don’t want to wait that long to sign up can always press here now).  Also, for an advance look at the LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS site you can press here.  A direct link to the interview will be provided on these pages, of course, on May 7 when it’s posted.

Also, once I’ve finished going over the proof sheets for THE TEARS OF ISIS (only four stories to go — maybe I can get through two more tonight!), I’ll be starting on questions for a third interview, tentatively scheduled to come in late May/early June, to fall between LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS’ May 7 pre-publication warm up and Sonnet O’Dell’s interview for DUSTY PAGES later this summer on July 29.  This new one will be by Teresa Schnellmann for THE WRITERS’ LENS to come shortly after the book has been published, and will be intended as a reminder in part for those going to World Horror Convention on June 13-16, to join both publisher Max Booth III and me in New Orleans.

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