Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Author Roundup

Lightweight day today. Just wanted to mention a few pieces of author news that's interested me lately.

Here's a George R.R. Martin interview over at the Bear Swarm podcast. There's a content warning on this one, but the discussion is interesting. This is less significant now that there's been an announcement about the Dance With Dragons release date, but still...

Here's an interview between Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss up on It's from early March, when Wise Man's Fear was coming out. They talk a lot about some of the nuances of the writer's life, which is always a topic I'm ready to talk about.

A couple weeks ago, London "weird fiction" author China Mieville came to my university and spoke about the renovation of weird fiction in recent years. I had the opportunity to attend. Naturally, I took it.

Now, I have a confession to make. I haven't actually read any of Mieville's books. I know that he's a highly creative and skilled author, and I'm going to read his stuff eventually. Thus far, however, I have not.

That being said, I still really enjoyed the talk.

First of all, this man is well-educated. I mean, really well-educated. He was throwing around high-brow literary terms with a nonchalance and deft skill that kept me swimming furiously just to keep abreast of the discussion for most of the hour. My first reaction to this was intimidation. I was, essentially, thinking "Wow. I'm nowhere near this learned. This guy really knows his stuff; how am I supposed to be a writer if I don't know my genre as well as he knows his?"

Well, then I discovered that he's a creative writing professor at a London university. I guess that explains that.

Follow-up thought to that was, "Well, okay. He's got years of experience. You'll get there."

Second, he's a friendly guy. You listen to him talk and you get a sense of a laid-back, inviting personality. That being said, he's definitely working the "punk edge" look. Bald head, multiple piercings, massive arms. You don't want to tangle with this guy in a dark alley.

Third, this guy is really into octopuses. I mean, really, really into octopuses. To hear Mieville speak, you'd think that octopuses are almost superior to human beings. In a one-and-a-half hour discussion, the group spent at least forty minutes talking about octopuses. Their biology. Their place in weird fiction. Their lack of place in traditional folklore. Their lack of metaphorical impact. Again, a lot of high-brow literary discussion that kept me just gasping for breath... about octopuses.

But hey, it was interesting.

One final note. I've broken 65,000 words on Godchild, making it my longest single work yet. Huge news.


  1. ...But how is it 6-13% finished?

  2. That is entirely my fault as an author. Because I haven't finished a project of this length and magnitude yet, I do not have a realistic idea of how long it should/will be. I have my roughly sketched outline in my head for where the main plot points go, but I don't know how long it will take me to get there.

    I have a rough idea of where I'm at in the story, and I can see concretely how long it has taken me to get there. With that in mind, I have extrapolated out to allow myself a "if I run out of steam" word count expectation and a "this is probably how long it would be if I crammed it full" word count.

    The final reality will probably lie somewhere in the middle. But this works for now.