June 13th, 2006

Wondering when the next Deverry novel by Katharine Kerr is coming out? How David Edelman worked out his Infoquake timeline? What interesting research Carol Berg did for her new series? Why Kate Elliott wrote a seven volume trilogy? What Constance Ash knows about Cuba? How Lois Tilton feels about her recent nomination for the Sidewise Award?

If you have a specific question for one of the authors, ask it here.

We reserve the right to develop a FAQ if certain questions get asked repeatedly, but don’t let that stop you!

310 Responses to “Questions?”

  1. Lynnon 16 Jun 2006 at 1:40 pm

    {!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–} {!–[endif]–}

    design/composition note — the most recent post has some markup artifacts in in – I’ve reproduced them above with curly brackets replacing the angle brackets.

  2. Kate Elliotton 16 Jun 2006 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks, Lynn.

  3. Danny Jurmannon 19 Jun 2006 at 6:07 pm

    Not so much a question as a comment and a question….

    question. Why are books cheaper in the US than the UK?

    Comment…The genre question is an interesting one…here is another take….in a world with various degrees of bad news fantasy & sci fi form escapist literature where (usually) the good ends well and the bad ends badly. I like that. Deep or shallow, generally fantasy is consistent in this regard. If I don’t want to escape I’ll watch the world news.

  4. Caitrín Tuathalon 26 Jun 2006 at 7:14 pm

    Not exactly a question for an author, but a comment/question relating to this blog. I’ve tried three times now to send an email with my 13 lines for the 13-Line Critique, but all my emails have been returned. Hoping there’s a way to get around this…

  5. Caitrín Tuathalon 27 Jun 2006 at 12:29 pm

    Ah–never mind my last post.

  6. Emmaon 27 Jun 2006 at 2:11 pm


    I actually have two questions – a general one for all the authors and a specific one for Katharine Kerr….


    Alright, I am a young, teenage writer. I am currently writing my…fifth?…story. Three of the others are not anything…their concept died…one I wrote when I was young, but the one I’m on now is my best. When I write it, it leaves me with a really great feeling inside…I can see it going places. But, I don’t know HOW it will get there.
    I was hoping one of the authors, or anyone else could perhaps enlighten me and tell me how they got their manuscript to an editor…or a publisher? Was it through a literary agent? I have found no one who can really tell me anything so far…and I want this book published when it is finished!

    That would be great if someone could let me know ^_^

    Thank you,


    SPECIFIC question:

    Dear Ms. Kerr,

    I must start off by saying a friend of mine got me addicted to your books. In the story that I am writing, I asked a few close friends to create a character for me (Perhaps not a great idea, but they ARE credited in the acknowledgments, and they DID agree to it and knew what they were getting into) The friend of mine who reads your stories…he gave me a character.
    I love this character, he’s amazing. The only problem is…he’s an elf. Grant it, that’s not much of a problem. My problem is, I need to know if my friend gave me a character that hugs too close to your elves. Other elves show up later…the last part of all the male names is -teriel. I am wondering if that is too close to, say, perhaps (the first name coming to mind!) Devaberiel. Also, in the description of the character, he said he had the long pointy ears and cat-slit eyes.
    If this is too close for comfort, I can change it to the normal, pointy at the top end ears and normal (or maybe my own type) of pupils. I’ll find a different ending for the names, either scratching it all together or making the names fancier.
    I would really, really, REALLY appreciate it if you could answer to this, Ms. Kerr, because if I DO get the book published, I do not want to seem like someone who is plagiarizing, because I am not trying to.

    Please, please, please let me know, it would mean a lot to me (this has been gnawing at me since I was given the character.)

    Thank you,


  7. Erin Underwoodon 06 Jul 2006 at 4:58 am

    Writing Question:

    When writing a first draft I find that I haven’t much of a problem generating the first 10K of words before needing to make sure I have an outline for the rest of the novel. The problem that I am experiencing is that the fire/excitement that spurred the first part of the novel diminishes greatly after developing the outline. This happens to me every time I write an outline for a story whether it is a short or a novel – whether the idea proves to be good or bad.

    Has anyone else experienced this? If so, how do you work around the lost off “writing adrenaline” that comes with writing a detailed outline?

  8. Lois Tiltonon 06 Jul 2006 at 10:01 am

    Then don’t stop to write the outline.

    Start small: write short stories all the way to the end without pausing to outline them. Then you move to Phase Two – revision. You may discover that the story is badly flawed, possibly because you had no outline for it. This would be a good time to outline it. You have already reached the end, so the problem of lost momentum should not keep you from reaching it.

    Working this way – pushing the story through to the end on adrenaline for a complete rough draft – definitely will require a lot more work on the revision process, but it’s possible for some people that having once typed The End will allow you to shift successfully from inspired-rough-draft mode to revision mode, even if revision mode entails throwing the whole thing away and starting over.

    In that case, you should discover that you either don’t need the outline at all, or that it’s just part of the revision process.

  9. Erin Underwoodon 06 Jul 2006 at 12:30 pm

    Hello Lois,

    Thanks so much for the advice. I’ve got a short story brewing that I haven’t yet outlined; it’s just a few quick notes. I’m going to try plowing through, and see how the process it goes!

    In any case, I’m sure the experience will be good.


  10. Lois Tiltonon 06 Jul 2006 at 2:39 pm

    Good luck!

  11. Erin Underwoodon 07 Jul 2006 at 8:35 pm

    I am wondering why Katherine’s new book isn’t listed under “Author News”. It seems to me that this is the perfect place to promoste newly published books by the DeepGenre authors.

    P.S. My copy of The Golden Falon, purchased through Amazon, just arrived today.


  12. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 08 Jul 2006 at 6:49 am


    Let me answer your question to Kit about the elf with the cat-slitted eyes and the name that ends in -terriel: Nothing is specifically original, but plenty of things are terribly reminiscent. Consider this question: In the world with this elf with the cat-slitted eyes, would you also include small people with hairy feet who love food, telepathic teleporting firebreathing dragons who mentally bond with their riders, and a young wizard with glasses and a lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead?

    It’s perfectly fine to be inspired by something you read–everyone does it–but it’s both good manners and good form to file the serial numbers off so folk won’t know where you got it. Quite simply, if you don’t, it looks unoriginal. There’s not a problem with pointed ears because elves have had pointed ears since the Victorian age (though not before), but the rest? Invent your own elven name suffixes and perhaps choose a different animal bit than cat’s eyes. Look into some legends and see what looks right.

  13. Rosamundaon 09 Jul 2006 at 12:18 am

    This is a general site question. I’m posting it here in case others were thinking along the same lines.

    What do we do if we have an article/idea/issue etc that we would like to discuss? There was an interesting article in my weekend paper about Google’s plan for an on-line library, and the ramifications of this. I didn’t agree with much of what was said, and I would be very interested to know what other writers think about this. Is this the sort of thing that can be discussed here, or not?

    Just wondering.

  14. Emmaon 09 Jul 2006 at 6:10 pm

    ? Invent your own elven name suffixes and perhaps choose a different animal bit than cat’s eyes. Look into some legends and see what looks right.

    I am working on different suffixes that go well with the prefix of the name already created and have been thinking about possibly doing star shaped pupils. But I might get away from the suffixes and the pupils just so that it’s a lot less like Katharine Kerr’s work than it was before.

    I really love the idea of looking back into legends…though I’m not sure where to start! Thank you for that advice though!

    However, I am still wondering about the publishing thing? How exactly do you get it published?

    Another question…how do you come up with a good title for your story? I’m lost!

  15. Katharine Kerron 09 Jul 2006 at 8:17 pm

    Rosamunda, I think you certainly can discuss such things here. I’m not sure how you initiate a post, since you’re not one of the Blogger Staff, but maybe Kevin knows. He knows a lot more about technical stuff than I do.

  16. Tim Stoopon 10 Jul 2006 at 5:48 pm

    First off, as an add-on to Rosamunda’s question, maybe a forum would be a nice addition to the blog?

    Then my question: Names. How do you deal with names in stories? I’ve got a lot of stories in my mind, but every time I start writing them, I get blocked by not being able to come up with any good names. Somehow fantasy authors (the good ones at least) always seem to find names that sound really plausible (pronouncable, easy to use, etc.) and normal, without actually sounding anything like modern names. Ie., I really love the names from Raymond E. Feist’s work. They sound… good.

    But I can’t come up with the right names. I have a problem with using modern names, because people around me will think I’ve been using them as a model. (Always loved the name Jasper, but that’s my best friend’s name. And my story is most definitely not about him.)

    How do you do it?

  17. Sherwood Smithon 10 Jul 2006 at 7:08 pm

    Well, everyone is going to have a different approach. my own feeling is that you do not want familiar names (Bob, Ted, Frank, or even Pierre, Mathilde, Louis) if your world has nothing to do with Earth. Mixing them is even worse, unless you are mixing cultures. In other words, it’s going to be hard to believe in an isolated planet of 2,000 years if you’ve got Bob, Li Po, Maria, and Xinthyqqq–all in the same family.

    some writers think they can get around the familair name problem by weird spellings, or fly-specking the names with a apostrophes that make no linguistic sense. (B’ob, Tyd’d, P’hryn’q) but the problem is, how is the reader supposed to pronounce those? Does the y sound like ‘eye’ or ‘eee’ or ‘ih’? Do the apostrohpes make clicks or glottal stops? Or do they serve to mark where consonants dropped out, as in Irish names (o’Malley) or French when the next letter is a vowel (d’Alembert instead of de Alembert)?

    Some recommend baby books as basics, and then make up your own meanings, adding prefixes and suffixes that are meant to be common to your world. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller use two single-syllable names for their Liaden first names:, like Val Con. Easy to say, recognize, and is culturally distinct.)

    Some take regular words or names and do anagrams or syllable shifts, or just swap vowels around, so a name like Teresa becomes Teeras.

    It’s probably a safe bet to say: play around, but try for names that seem culturally related–like we can usually tell the sound of a Spanish name or a Chinese name. Try to pin down your culture’s “sound.” If you come up with names you like but you’re not sure the reader will easily be able to “hear” them, have someone from outside your culture try to pronounce one and get corrected, or have someone sound it out to spell it.

    And some writers diligently try their names out in language searches (I don’t know how, so I wince and hope) so that the full name of their adventure hero doesn’t turn out to be “Looking up the Snake’s Nostril with a Toothbrush” in Azbekastani.

  18. Tim Stoopon 11 Jul 2006 at 6:10 am

    If I could create a cool name that meant “Looking up the Snake’s Nostril with a Toothbrush” in Azbekastani, I’d used it right on the spot 😛

    Thanks for your reply, Sherwood. I like the one with taking normal words and hussling them around. I think I’m going to use that one. I’ll see how it works out.

  19. Sherwood Smithon 11 Jul 2006 at 9:31 am

    (Me too, about the snake…)

    Good luck!

  20. Ariaon 11 Jul 2006 at 1:37 pm

    What about publishing?

    I was hoping one of the authors, or anyone else could perhaps enlighten me and tell me how they got their manuscript to an editor…or a publisher? Was it through a literary agent? I have found no one who can really tell me anything so far…and I want this book published when it is finished!

    aaaaand titles?

    how do you come up with a good title for your story? I’m lost!

  21. Katharine Kerron 11 Jul 2006 at 5:21 pm

    First off, I answered Emma’s questions to me personally in email.

    Erin, good point about adding newly published books to the Author News.

    Getting published: I found an agent and learned about the publishing process by reading books, free, from my public library. This was so long ago now that I don’t want to recommend any titles — the publishing world has changed mightily in the last 25 years. However, my general advice is: go to your public library and look up “publishing” in its catalog or directory. If yours uses the Dewey Decimal system, the books on the subject will be in the 000’s.

    Libraries are a great source of free, reliable information, unlike some websites which are less than reliable or filled with crochety personal opinions. Amusing, maybe, but nothing to start a career with. Libraries have the books you need for research, too, again in reliable sources IF you check the publication dates of the books. Sometimes very old information about, say, planetary systems is very wrong. :-)

    In short, there are no easy answers to questions about how to get published, just as there’s no easy way to write a novel. Once you’ve got the basic terms down on the process, then you can ask specific questions here.

  22. Katharine Kerron 11 Jul 2006 at 5:26 pm

    Erin, that’s why I hate outlines. Lois’s adivice is excellent, as per usual.

    In fact, here’s a good exercise for those who have trouble turning out fnished work. It’s called the Short Story Challenge. I think Nina Kiriki Hoffman is the writer who invented it, some years ago now. What you do is get together with a couple of other writers here online in order to inspire each other. You all agree to write the first draft of a different short story each day for X many days. Remember that the draft does not have to be publishable or good — in fact, it won’t be, for sure.

    The idea is to summon the adrenaline to charge through a bunch of first drafts, even if the drafts turn out to be ridiculous or horrible messes. Then, at a more leisured pace, you can revise them to get them right. The challenge gives you a heap of raw material plus solid experience in finishing pieces of work. Remember: nothing finished, nothing published. :-)

  23. Erin Underwoodon 12 Jul 2006 at 11:15 am

    I have a few world building questions that seem much more applicable to the craft section of the site than the general discussion that is happening on the main page. However, I didn’t see a way to post a question directly to the craft page….. so I am posting them here. I hope that ok.

    When you are building a world that is as complex as the one within Katharine’s Deverry novels (which spans multiple continents, cultures and times), how to you avoid getting lost in the creation process?

    How much time do you spend designing the world before you started writing?
    What are some of the dangers to look out for when your world starts to fill itself in while you are writing?
    How do you manage to keep track of everything? (Family histories, traditions, cultures, food, clothing, etc.)

  24. Charleson 12 Jul 2006 at 11:27 am

    I’m joining Emma and Aria in asking about coming up with a title for a book.

    Do authors have sole say in this, or does a publisher wield some control over the name of the book?

    Also, for the authors, what preferences do you have, if any, for naming your books?

    And, when do you come up with the title for the book? At the beginning? After a completed first draft?

    As I am not a published writer, I cannot say what the final title of any of my stories would be. My naming process for the book is as follows:

    1) I establish what I call a “working title”, which is, more often than not, a location within the story. The location I use is sort of a mental trigger for me for the story. I have a list of potential books for this timeline and most are named after places. Those simple names are placeholders for all of the events that will happen within the book (partly at the location of the working title). That works for me. All I need to do is see the name of the location in my list and I know right away a whole host of information for that potential story.

    2) Events in the book itself, once the initial draft is completed, will often end up inspiring a different title than the working one. While the name of a place works well for me, it most likely won’t translate the same for the reader, with a few exceptions. The trilogy I have embarked on will keep the location name for the third book as the location itself is essential to the whole story. It is, in fact, the very reason for the main conflict.

    This leads me to another question:

    Naming a series (trilogy or otherwise).

    I guess I would ask the same questions as I did above for the title of a book.

  25. Carol Bergon 14 Jul 2006 at 1:04 am

    what preferences do you have, if any, for naming your books?

    I want a name that will make readers want to snatch it up and recommend it to all their friends!!! But, of course there are a few additional considerations. FIrst and most important, I want the title to reflect the essence of the book. I love titles that can work on several levels (like Transformation). Second, I want it to reflect the feel of the book. I write epic fantasy, so I want the name to carry both magic and weight. Third, I’ve got to consider the recognition factor. Transformation, Revelation, and Restoration have that suffix thing going, for example.

    Do authors have sole say in this, or does a publisher wield some control over the name of the book?

    I choose the names. But as in every other case, the publisher – especially the marketing department – certainly has input, and it behooves an author to listen.

    Of course, I can only speak from my experience with Roc (Penguin Putnam) and Orbit (my UK publisher). I have eight books out and I’ve chosen the names for all of them. In only one case did I change a title. The second book of the Rai-kirah series was originally titled Abomination (which is an absolutely “correct” title). But my UK editor worried that it might lead people to mistake the book for horror rather than fantasy, and they asked me to consider different names. Together my UK editor and I came up with Revelation, which turned out to be much, much better. A much better feel.

    And, when do you come up with the title for the book? At the beginning? After a completed first draft?

    Sometimes the title hits me early. I knew that Flesh and Spirit would be the title of my next book after one chapter. The same for Transformation. Whereas the second book in the series is still under a working title. I just haven’t got the sense of as yet (and I’m almost halfway in) – but that’s mainly because I’m looking to mirror the dual word title of the first book. Yes, series can cause more of a problem…

  26. Carol Bergon 14 Jul 2006 at 1:20 am

    I was hoping one of the authors, or anyone else could perhaps enlighten me and tell me how they got their manuscript to an editor…or a publisher? Was it through a literary agent? I have found no one who can really tell me anything so far…and I want this book published when it is finished!

    There are lots of resources available. One decent book is “How to Get Happily Published.” The annual “Writers Market” often will have essays about getting published. You do need to learn about the business before setting out. Get to any good-sized bookstore and you’ll find shelves of books on getting published.

    Local writers’ organizations will often sponsor workshops or presentations on publishing (in Colorado we have the Rocky Mountain FIction Writers in Denver, for example, or the Pikes Peak Writers in Colorado Springs). These organizations will often sponsor weekend writers’ conferences that offer LOTS of information on the craft of writing (as well as on publishing) in multiple workshops. These can be expensive, but if you are serious, it can be a great experience. Science fiction conventions are generally less expensive, but will often have panel discussions on publishing, as well as on writing sf and fantasy and lots of other topics. Some of the panels are good, some aren’t.

    I actually got my break at a writers’ conference. I signed up to read the opening of my book for an editor from Roc. She liked it and wanted to see it when it was completed. Having the interest of an editor helped me get an agent. So that when the editor made an offer on the book (and two other books) I had someone to negotiate the deal. I had done reading and gone to a couple of conferences and learned the basics of the business before it happened. And I had a completed manuscript. That is very important!


  27. Ariaon 14 Jul 2006 at 6:45 pm

    Thank you, Carol. I’ll finish my manuscript and see what I can do!

    A question for Katharine Kerr:

    Do you, perhaps, know when the paperback version of the Gold Falcon comes out??


  28. Erin Underwoodon 14 Jul 2006 at 9:09 pm

    How important is it to have other publications, such as short stories, on your resume when submitting your manuscript to an agent or editor? Are you more likely to get it read if you have previous publications?


  29. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 14 Jul 2006 at 9:31 pm


    If you have any professional short story credits, you can get a SFWA membership, and in theory at least, “Member SFWA” will move you to a higher tier of slushpile. Of course that’s with short stories.

    Most folk I know have agents for novels, and the agent is already using their credibility to sell the book.


  30. Carol Bergon 20 Jul 2006 at 11:53 am

    How important is it to have other publications, such as short stories, on your resume when submitting your manuscript to an agent or editor? Are you more likely to get it read if you have previous publications?

    This is not a direct answer, because I’m not in an editor’s chair. It stands to reason that someone who has made a name selling stories to Azimovs or other “name” publications is going to get a read if they have a halfway interesting proposal. But some of us just don’t write short. I am an example of a person who did not have short story or any other publication credits when I sold my novels. I got editors interested in my work by reading in front of them at conferences. I know a number of other people who sold novels without any prior credits.


  31. Ariaon 22 Jul 2006 at 2:39 pm

    *sheepish* does anyone have an answer about the paperback Gold Falcon??

  32. Erin Underwoodon 22 Jul 2006 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Aria,

    I’m not sure when the paperback of The Gold Falcon will come out since the hardback was just released this month. I’d guess that you have at least a six-month wait.

    I just finished The Gold Falcon, and loved it. You can buy the hardback on Amazon for $15.74. I know that’s about $9 more expensive than the paperback, but let me tell you it’s worth it. More than that I can’t say because I’d spoil the story.

    When I looked at Amazon just now, I realized that they don’t have any kind of blurb listed for this book. It seems like they should put something up there so that buyers (who may not have read the rest of the Deverry series) know what they’re buying. I don’t know why Amazon does things like this. I’d think that they would sell many more books by putting the blurb from the book on the sales page.

  33. Ariaon 23 Jul 2006 at 9:55 pm

    Hey Erin,

    yea, I realized that the hardback was released…and I really want to read it! Argh! But my mom refuses to get it UNTIL it comes out in paperback…it keeps with all the other books of the series we have…*sigh* but a…er…friend?…of mine has his copy and is willing to lend it to me, I’m just not sure if I want to wait until I have my own copy 😛

    Thanks for replying ^_^


  34. Caitrín Tuathalon 24 Jul 2006 at 8:54 pm

    A Writing question:

    What are the differences between short stories, novelettes, novellas, and novels? I know it’s based mostly on length (a novella is shorter than a novel but longer than a novella, etc.), but is there a specific cutoff where one ends and the other begins? A certain word-length or page-length?

    Also, can a novella have chapters, or is that a strictly novel thing?

    Or are there no specific rules to any of it, and I’m gnawing my fingernails off for absolutely no reason?

  35. Laurieon 25 Jul 2006 at 4:55 pm


    I feel your pain.

    My mom would never spend the 20ish dollars on a hardback so I’d have to hit the library or borrow from a friend or – gack – wait for paperback. However, once I got my first ‘real’ job, I swore I’d never wait for any book I wanted, ever again. Since then it’s been all hardback, all the time, baby!

    Now the only problem is finding the space to store them all. 😉

  36. Sherwood Smithon 25 Jul 2006 at 10:30 pm

    Caitrin: I don’t think there is an iron-clad rule on lengths, but for the Science Fiction Writers’ Association, here are the stats, for purposes of the Nebula Award categories:

    Also, I’ve seen novellas with chapters–novelettes as well.

  37. Caitrín Tuathalon 25 Jul 2006 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you, Sherwood. I worry (obsessively) about breaking the rules of writing, even though I know there aren’t really any rules that have to be followed… But I feel better knowing that chapters in novellas are “allowed.”

  38. Erin Underwoodon 27 Jul 2006 at 11:43 am

    I’ve just finished a rough draft of a fantasy short story that seems better suited for the Young Adult market. I’ve still got quite a bit of revision to do on this story, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on the YA fantasy market. Most of my subs have been to geared for older audiences and I feel a little out of place here.


  39. Tim Stoopon 28 Jul 2006 at 7:48 pm

    A question about copyright:

    When you go to a publisher and you finally find one that wants to publish the book, do you need to sell the full rights? Ie., if you publish a story and after 10 years you notice it’s not being sold anymore and (because everyone likes his/her stories being read) you decide to publish your full story on the Web. Is that allowed? Or will you need to “buy your rights back” or something?

    I’m not currently considering having anything published, but some of the people who read my stories are telling me that I should try to get them published. I’m afraid I’ll loose the rights to do with my work what I want to do with it. How does this work in The Real Worldâ„¢?

  40. Carol Bergon 03 Aug 2006 at 3:41 pm


    Rights are always specified in publication contracts. Those who publish short stories purchase specific rights and specify time limits. Always read their guidelines before submitting. And always make sure you understand the terms before signing anything. (My colleagues who sell short can answer your specific questions about what are common practices.)

    With a novel, the copyright is taken out in your name, but all publication rights are a matter of negotiation. There are paper publication rights, either North American or worldwide (including translation rights), electronic publication rights, audio, gaming, movie/TV, etc. The publisher’s standard contract will specify certain ones of these that they want, and the author is wise to consider whether to sell or retain some of those. The size of your advance is a factor in this negotiation. (Agent Kristin Nelson just went through a great series of explanations of novel rights negotiations on her blog, PubRants.)

    Contracts will (or certainly should!) have clauses that specify when rights will automatically revert to the author, for example, if the novel is out of print for some specified time.

    An understanding of the business is certainly very important, and you should be aware of it. But there are lots of good sources to learn these things.


  41. Madeleine Robinson 05 Aug 2006 at 5:42 pm

    When you sell a story or book to a publisher, you’re not really (or not usually) selling the whole thing lock-stock-n-barrel. You’re essentially leasing the rights to publication to the publisher, as well as some subsidiary rights, in return for a chunk of money. Once the lease runs out, the property reverts to you. The fine print stuff, of course, is what rights you’re selling, and how long the lease runs.

    Magazine rights tend to vary with the magazine. Fantasy and Science Fiction, for example, buys specific rights (first world rights or first English language periodical rights or something like that) for a specific time only. They copyright the story in their name, with the copyright reverting to you within a specific time (I think it’s a year, but all my contracts are currently buried under a pile of books and kid-stuff). You’re free to resell the story to an anthology or secondary market, so long as it doesn’t appear before they get their chance to publish it. And in fact, I’ve had at least one experience where a story’s original publisher took so long to publish (thirteen years) that I got permission to resell to a magazine which published it years sooner.

    As far as books go, most contracts I’ve seen set out very specific rights–not only for your benefit, but for theirs (there are horror stories in publishing circles about publishers who didn’t specify rights in new technology venues like CD-Rom and wound up having to buy them later at huge expense, just as there are horror stories in writing circles about people finding their work showing up on CD-Rom without compensation or acknowledgment). If you find a publisher for your book, they’ll offer an advance based on a specific rights purchase: first world English rights, or first world rights, or first American rights. What are the differences between the three? First world rights means the right to be the first publisher of the work anywhere, in any language for the first time; first world English rights means the right to be the first publisher of the work anywhere, in English only. First American rights means the right to be the first publisher of the work in America. And so on (note that these rights are probably meant to be for book form only; periodical publication is a whole ‘nother issue).

    What doesn’t this include? If you’ve sold English language rights, it means that every time translation rights to your book are sold, you (or, depending upon how the contract is worked out, you and your publisher) get the money. Same with movie options, TV sales, video game proceeds, and all the slew of secondary rights that publishing is heir to.

    However, unless you’re doing work for hire, you hold the copyright. If, after a certain period specified in your contract, the publisher isn’t selling a book, you write them a letter demanding that they return it to print forthwith, or revert all rights to you. If they revert, you get a letter back stating that they have done so, and you can go find someone else to publish, or put the work up on the web, or whatever seems good to you.

    The single most important thing, when you get a contract, is to read it carefully and make sure you understand what they’re asking for. If you don’t, ask questions. If you don’t understand the answers, ask more questions. I doubt that anyone is going to say “you ask too many questions, forget about it” if you’re trying to clarify a point or increase your understanding.

  42. Jellyn Andrewson 05 Aug 2006 at 9:20 pm

    I’ve read a lot of books and essays on writing and publishing. Yet I haven’t run across too much discussion of pseudonyms or pen names. I’ve pretty much decided to use one rather than my real name, though I do waffle on it. There is something thrilling about the idea of seeing your name in print.

    Yet even though I’ve mostly made up my mind to use one, I’m having trouble deciding on what one. Are there names that sell better? Are more memorable? Get better placement on shelves?

    If anyone here writes under one, do you have a Doing Business As registration for it?

  43. Rachel Dunneon 09 Aug 2006 at 12:18 pm

    I sent a story in to a competition, and the results aren’t due out for another few months; but my question is can I put the story I sent online–as in, post it on my website? Or should I wait for the results of the contest, and decide what to do based on the results?

  44. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 09 Aug 2006 at 2:03 pm


    It depends on the rules of the contest. Is the prize publication, or something else? Check the rules.

  45. Mattineon 15 Aug 2006 at 2:18 am

    Ok I have a question for Ms. Kerr. I’m severely dyslexic so it is very difficult for me to read without assistance. Many author’s books are coming out on tape or CD now and I am wondering if there is a particular reason why your books don’t. I love your books, but having my neighbor read them to me is getting taxing on and annoying her. I used to just have my sister or mother read them to me but since my husband joined the army I am no longer anywhere near them. I do get books on tape from the Library for the Blind and physically handicapped, but I don’t get to keep those. They are for loan only. I like own the books that I like so that I can reread them whenever I want. I currently own most of yours, but with my husband in Irac and this being the last thing my neighbor is willing to do for an indeterminate lenght of time, I am soon to be “jonesing” for one of your stories. Sorry for all the explanation…. I’m also sorry if this isn’t the appropriate place to post this…. I was just hoping you would have a suggestion for me.
    Thank you for your time.

    typed by: Aja

  46. Erin Underwoodon 16 Aug 2006 at 11:34 am

    Could I get a little help with the definition of the “unreliable narrator” and how this type of narrator can be effectively used? Is it a first/second/third person thing or is it based on POV in the third person. I’m just not grasping the “unreliable” narrator concept very well right now and how this type of narrator can be useful.

    gulp… I hate admitting that! :-/ Thanks for your help.

  47. Kathrynon 19 Aug 2006 at 11:12 am

    This question really relates to the short story, draft writing idea to get things done.

    Along with my many other stumbling blocks in the way of writing I often find myself reworking constantly. I will begin writing a scene and before I’m even at the end I’m reworking the beginning. This is really slow going and often means I put something down before I’ve finished coming back to it only to rework again. (I seem to have a taste for it that I could have used while studying!)

    I often have short story ideas but they are rarely if ever for the genre of fantasy. Also I tend to find the reworking process is less of an inhibition to finishing the project just because it is shorter. In this case is it worth altering what works for short stories to remedy my novel issues or are there other ways to achieve the same affect?

    Alternatively maybe someone can give me handy tips on identifying what made me pause in my flow and re-read and maybe some tips to keep on same track?

  48. Madeleine Robinson 20 Aug 2006 at 8:25 pm

    I’m an obsessive re-writer, particularly in the earlier parts of a story or book, where I’m building stuff. About five or six chapters in (or about 2000 words in for a short story) I tend to freeze briefly: I’ve done the building part, now I have to start pruning away possibilities. So what makes me stop there and re-write is very often the search for hidden cues I’ve left myself, as well as the inspiration to go forward. Sometimes I revise because the weight of a couple of words can shift the balance of the story into something I can’t wait to go on with. And sometimes I reassure myself that I know what I’m doing by editing what I’ve written.

    When I really get caught in revising without going forward, I find one tack that helps is to set very strict limits about how much I’m allowed to rewrite that day: “Okay, I can go back two pages from the end and look through that as a way to get into the flow of writing forward from there, and if I need to do some tuning up…”

    A more serious reason to stop is that something is structurally wrong with the story and on an unconscious level you realize it. More often than I like to admit, this happens to me: if I’m going to do something I’ve planned, there may be some underpinning that won’t support the weight of that event until I’ve added an extra strut. “Wait, how does she get there on time?” “Wait, how do they pay for this?” Very often the solution is a simple one, but identifying the problem and coming up with an elegant solution can take time.

  49. Katharine Kerron 21 Aug 2006 at 3:12 am

    Mattine, the reason my books aren’t avaible on CD or tape is that none of the companies that put those things out have offered to buy the rights. I guess the commercial outfits don’t think mine would sell enough to make it worth their while.

    Like most authors, I have agreed to let any non-profit organization that tapes books for the blind tape mine without having to pay me for the right to do.

    I’m wishing the best of luck for your husband, too.

  50. Kathrynon 21 Aug 2006 at 10:26 am

    Well at least there is hope for finishing longer works even without entirely changing my habits, thanks Madeleine!

    Maybe I need to concentrate on getting further before I allow myself to go back over what I’ve done, starting with one chapter, then two and so on. Hopefully I can trick myself into to do longer drafts.

    The beginning is so important though, like you say because of how much is set up for the future and that might be why I keep re-jigging things. Even just the vocabulary for things in the world starts developing and I don’t want to feel too attached to terminology later that I find to have a connotation I didn’t anticipate.

  51. Kathrynon 25 Aug 2006 at 5:52 am

    I have another question, why have publishers of fantasy (UK does this I don’t know about the US) opted to include a royal octavo-ish size (234×156) paperback release prior to the genre standard size? Is this fairly new? I’m sure it used to just be hardback then mass market paperback.

    Is it simply eking out more profit as they can charge a reasonable price for the larger size as it doesn’t cost that much more to print? At least it doesn’t digitally I’m not sure about litho. Also why isn’t the standard fantasy sized book different to the widely used book size of 198x129mm?

    Personally I think it is criminal the kind of prices booksellers have foisted on to publishers with their heavy discounting and half-price Christmas’. In the UK it was only fairly recently that publishers lost the right to fix the lowest retail price on a book. It isn’t just large conglomerates that are forcing publishers to take fewer risks; the expectation of cheap book prices being nurtured in audiences doesn’t help and is forcing huge print runs only to make the necessary profit on each unit.

  52. Ariaon 26 Aug 2006 at 1:18 pm

    Anyone know when “The Gold Falcon” comes out in paperback? I feel like a nag for asking again, but I cant get it in hardback…too expensive (though our local store FINALLY got a copy!)

  53. Katharine Kerron 30 Aug 2006 at 4:37 am

    Is it simply eking out more profit as they can charge a reasonable price for the larger size as it doesn’t cost that much more to print?

    Yes, that’s it. It’s always about the money these days. You may have noticed that the type is smaller and the paper thinner, too, to shave a few more p’s off the production costs.

    I don’t know when the mass market paperback of GOLD FALCON will be out in the UK, and my editor’s on holiday, or I’d ask her. She’ll be back next week, though, so remind me again if I don’t post the answer here. I don’t know about the American pub date either — I don’t think DAW has set one yet.

  54. Ariaon 31 Aug 2006 at 7:36 am

    Oh…okay. Hmmn, I’m just going to have to borrow it from a friend then…if he offers it up again! Thanks!! ^_^

  55. Erin Underwoodon 31 Aug 2006 at 8:32 am

    Aria, I’d be happy to send you my copy.

  56. Ariaon 03 Sep 2006 at 8:07 pm


    thanks, but I have a…friend, I guess, (boys dont like girls as “friends” for some reason, they’re always acquaintences >_

  57. Grace Roeberon 04 Sep 2006 at 12:20 pm


    A question of distinction.

    McMillan Books will accept email manuscripts with a synopsis,but…….

    Here’s the question.

    They do not publish children’s books.

    I have both an adult and a young adult crossover ….however, the Y/A is ready to go.

    What is the definition of a ‘children’s book’??

    I’ve had two interviews about this manuscript (June Agents/Publishers’ Convention Texas) and both agents said that due to the ‘dark elements’ of the story that I place my eleven year protag. against —- they didn’t know if they could handle it within any marketplace.


    Dark elements prevents the book from middle-grade fiction.

    The eleven year old protag prevents it from being an adult novel (In THEIR opinion).

    Hence, I’m thinking I’ve written a crossover Y/A.

    Does anyone think I’d be wwwwaay off to send this email out to McMillan?

    Thank you.

    The adult S/F is complete, but is in revision stage. I learn so much that it’s hard to know when to stop with ‘revision’ and just send out the ‘efffing’ thing.

    I did send a synopsis, query, first three chapters of the adult novel (part one of a trilogy) to Elizabeth Evans of Reece Halsey North.

    She was intrigue by the query letter, but the first novel has my protag. in a proto-stage of the hard ass creature she must develop into by the third book.


    Elizabeth wanted a hard ass female from get go.

    This will be the case once protag. is off Earth, but story must begin when the protag. is ‘discovered’ on our planet then later……

    Many more sighs.

    Anyway, please answer only the original question.

    Your definitions of what is a ‘children’s book’?????

  58. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 04 Sep 2006 at 2:24 pm

    If you say “children’s book,” most people will think “picture book.” That’s not what you’re writing.

    Say “children’s novel” or “adult novel” or “Y/A novel.”

    You need to be more specific on what the “dark matter” is. Are we talking racism, rape and murder, as in To Kill a Mockingbird, a notably dark novel with an eleven-year-old protagonist? Menstruation? Sex? What?

    I don’t much like Y/A as a category because far too much of what’s published with that label is less “adult” than many “children’s” novels, both in terms of content and diction. Compare something like, say, Joan Aiken’s Midnight is a Place, which, despite child protagonists, has child labor, madness and murder, with your average Sweet Valley Babysitter Bimbos novel (which I’ll admit I’m damning unread, but I doubt has much murder or any child labor beyond babysitting).

    The dividing line I’d say is whether or not the book has any sex in it, and if so, how graphic.

  59. Grace Roeberon 04 Sep 2006 at 3:41 pm

    Thank goodness,

    There is no sex.

    Very little cursing (and not from my protag).

    But, her co-protag and his younger brothers become orphans by the end of the book.

    There’s no easy way to bundle up a fourteen year old and two seven old twin boys neatly into blankets and dump them on any doorstep, so the ending is messy.

    While I can make that last scene less jarring, it must happen.

    Plenty of threats, mutant animals, disfigured children. A child my protag visits is a girl dying in her hospital bed.

    What my protag uncovers is a plot, by a secret organization, to unleash a massive worldwide malady that will mostly affect very young children.

    Of course, good triumps over evil, but at a high cost.

    For an eleven year old she reads like an Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson.

    I checked out Candlewick publishing (Octavian), and it seems to want Y/A with a historical bent.


  60. Jellyn Andrewson 04 Sep 2006 at 6:58 pm

    Here are two things I ran across in my reading of nonfiction about writing children’s books and YA books you might want to keep in mind. I’m not sure if it’ll help you or not.

    1) Children like to read about characters a bit older than them. Though I imagine you have some leeway when the character ages through the course of the book or series. According to this ‘rule’ then, your 11-year old protagonist would aim the book at 9 and 10 year olds.

    2) YA publishers like books with optimistic endings. It needn’t be all sweetness and light, but there should at least be hope.

    This is only what I’ve read and I have no direct experience other than as a reader. You may want to visit the library and have a look yourself at some books on writing and publishing YA novels.

    Have you written it as a YA book, or did you just write the book you wanted to write and happened to have a young protagonist? If it’s the latter, then I think you’re just fine with targetting normal ‘adult’ publishers. There are a lot of adult sf/f books with characters who are young. For one example, wasn’t Ender’s Game originally published and marketed to an adult audience, then repackaged for the young adult market?

    You might consider whether you want mainly young readers or adult readers. Or if it doesn’t really matter to you.

  61. Grace Roeberon 04 Sep 2006 at 10:31 pm


    I’m thinking that with all I’ve gotten (input) here at DeepGenre and among my writer’s group that I’ll just send it to Mcmillan and let the @#%$$ hit the fan.

    I’d like to put up my first thirteen lines for a critique, but it’s a novel.


    Do you think I still could?

    Thanks for your help.

  62. heatheron 06 Sep 2006 at 10:42 am

    wondering how to tell whether or not my 13 line critique was received. will it only be posted if it has actually been read and then critiqued? i belatedly remembered that i needed to put my name along with 13.. in subject and only placed it at the bottom of submission.. due to this error, will i need to resubmit?

  63. Kathrynon 07 Sep 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Is there a way to delete an entry if you messed up somehow. I apologise here that I posted a half post in Genre don’t want no respect before posting the full one… I’m not entirely sure how I did it.

  64. Jellyn Andrewson 07 Sep 2006 at 6:01 pm

    The blog entry + comments format works for some of the postings here, but I think, not for others. Some blog entries are such a springboard for discussion that the discussion goes off on several tangents and continues long past the usual sell-by date of typical blog entries.

    I think this thread, the First Novel thread, and the 13 line thread in particular would benefit from the creation of a forum (bboard). A forum would allow many threads of conversation, make for easier browsing and searching, and allow individuals to edit their posts.

    This blog has evolved so quickly in its short life.

  65. heatheron 07 Sep 2006 at 8:00 pm

    Katherine Kerr- i have read your deverry series, several times- and while your most recent i’ve only consumed once- the latter portion of said construct had somewhat of a different flavor. This is not to say that i did not enjoy the falcon (golden or otherwise), it just felt different than the others. i suppose my question is- do YOU feel differently about the series?

  66. Katharine Kerron 09 Sep 2006 at 4:51 pm

    Heather, not that I’m aware of. However, FALCON is the beginning of the end, so I was wrapping up a lot of the characters and plot threads. In case you or anyone else wonders, THE SPIRIT STONE is the middle of the end, and THE SHADOW ISLE will be The End. :-)

    (SPIRIT STONE will be out in May of 2007. I just stared ISLE the other night so I don’t know about that one.)

  67. Kathrynon 11 Sep 2006 at 11:18 am

    After reading some of the discussion here I went on a search for magazines that review fantasy. I’ve not had much luck so far.

    Could anyone point me to a magazine they respect for fairly decent criticism of fantasy releases?

  68. Erin Underwoodon 11 Sep 2006 at 11:57 am


    Check out The Internet Review of Science Fiction. It has some great reveiws. Right now it’s free, so be sure to sign up. There is a chance we’ll have to pay to access the site in the future. Take advantage of it while you can.

  69. Jellyn Andrewson 11 Sep 2006 at 8:30 pm

    The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF) puts a copy of the reviews they publish online. — Click on Departments

  70. Katharine Kerron 12 Sep 2006 at 6:00 pm

    I meant of course that I just started SHADOW ISLE, though staring does come into the process a lot . . . I will try to get on here earlier in the day/evening and maybe my spelling will improve.

  71. Erin Underwoodon 18 Sep 2006 at 11:53 am

    Help! I have a several short stories that have grown legs and now they are running away from me. They’re getting long and unwieldy …. and …. I think they want to be novels. My problem is that I really like the stories, but I don’t want to turn these particular little beasts into novels. Does anyone have any advice on how to reign in these rambling shorts that are trying to burst into novelhood?

  72. Vivian Francison 18 Sep 2006 at 10:18 pm

    Erin, I have this problem too. For me, part of the reason is that I’ve been conceptualizing a short story as a mini novel. However, I recently read a definition of “short story” that changed my image of it into a different beast. I don’t know if it would be of any help, but here it is:

    “The short story writer, compared to the novelist, introduces a limited number of characters, and cannot afford the space for leisurely character analysis and evolution. He usually begins the story close to, or even at, the climax, minimizes both exposition and the details of setting, keeps the complication down, often, to a single episode, and clears up the denouement quickly—sometimes in a sentence or two. There are many good short stories that depart from this paradigm in various ways….”
    “A Glossary of Literary Terms” M.H. Abrams

    Of course, the other reason why I want to extend short stories is because I get attached to the characters or place. So now I’m envisioning a book of short stories about the same characters….

  73. Erin Underwoodon 19 Sep 2006 at 9:25 am

    I’ve been conceptualizing a short story as a mini novel

    Vivian, this is exactly what I find myself doing. I usually don’t realize it until I’ve done quite a lot of work fleshing out the story and then I find myself staring at it in horror, wondering how I can get the little beast back under control.

    Thank you so much for the quote from M.H. Abrams. I think I need to print it out and tape it to the corner of my monitor, to my note pad, to the walls in my house, etc. until it sticks in my brain. Thanks again!

  74. Kathleen Rettersonon 19 Sep 2006 at 4:17 pm

    Yes, a useful definition. My current short is full of marginal notes to myself: “Is this important?” “Why is this important?” “What difference does this make?” “Is this necessary?” (And those are not the obnoxious ones.)

    Hopefully, I will learn the distinction between what is important to me (personally) and what is important to the story. That seems to be the trick, huh?

    As Mark Twain said, “If I had more time, I’d write short stories.” (Or something to that effect.)

  75. Vivian Francison 19 Sep 2006 at 4:50 pm

    I’m so glad it was of help. For now, I’m limiting the time span of my short stories to one big ‘event.’ In the future, I hope I’ll be able to “depart from the paradigm,” but for now I’m afraid that if I’m not careful the stories will get out of hand. Good luck!

  76. Vivian Francison 19 Sep 2006 at 5:01 pm

    I’ve got notes to myself as well. An inordinate number of them are along the lines of “Remember the focus.”

  77. Katharine Kerron 19 Sep 2006 at 6:47 pm

    That’s a good definition of the short story. I’d recommend the stories of Katherine Mansfield if you want to see classic examples of what that author’s saying.

    With genre you have a bit more leeway. The difference arises in the need to do some world-building in F and SF that, needless to say, one doesn’t have to do with “real world” stories. Two accepted forms are the novelette — longer than a short story, but no more than 20,00 words, and less is much better, and then the novella, up to about 50,000 — these are not Official Definitions, but what I can remember, being in a hurry today. :-)

    We cannot critique novellas and novels on the 13 Lines page, but novelettes would be okay.

  78. Katharine Kerron 19 Sep 2006 at 6:49 pm

    Why I’m in a hurry: my husband’s been ill, and I’m having computer problems. I may not be able to post the 13 Liners as quickly as I have recently, but by the week end these problems should be straightened out. Patience, all, please?

    BTW, someone asked here, I think about mass market editions of THE GOLD FALCON. The British one will be out in February of ’07. Don’t know yet about the American.

  79. Vivian Francison 20 Sep 2006 at 11:14 am

    Am I mistaken, or were a lot of the earlier SF & F books ‘novellas’? They were certainly shorter. Are publishers reluctant to publish SF & F novellas, now that the trend is for bigger books? I guess this is hypothetical for me, since I’m working on stories for kids (pic-book and middle-reader.) Although the Harry Potter books have opened the door for much longer middle-readers.

    The short story I am working on is aimed towards the children’s magazine market. The length is supposed to be approx. 1500-2000 words. That is REALLY short. Earlier on I gave up on writing a story this length because I just couldn’t figure out how to tell it in under 2000 words. I’m giving it another go now, and hope that limiting it to one scene will make it work.

    Katharine, best of wishes for your husband.

  80. Katharine Kerron 25 Sep 2006 at 4:06 pm

    I think things are back to normal with both husband and computer. I hope so!

    A lot of early SF books were short novels, though generally longer than novellas, because a great many SF publishers really thought that the audience had short attention spans and wouldn’t buy long books. A number of British books, even, were published in American abridgements.

    There was a brief fad for publishing novellas back in the 80s. The thinking was that reading was falling off because people didn’t have much spare time to read. Whether this was right or wrong, the novellas published separately were seen as being too expensive for their size, and the experiment ended abruptly. The “Resurrection” segment of FREEZE FRAMES was published by Bantam as a separate novella in that series, for example, and did miserably. (So did the whole book, but that’s another story. :-) )

    Books for children and YA publishing is an entirely different field, one I know very little about.

  81. Ariaon 25 Sep 2006 at 5:37 pm

    BTW, someone asked here, I think about mass market editions of THE GOLD FALCON. The British one will be out in February of ‘07. Don’t know yet about the American.

    Does that mean paperback?

  82. Vivian Francison 25 Sep 2006 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks, Katharine. I wish more novellas were published today; it’s a nice length for certain stories.

  83. Katharine Kerron 26 Sep 2006 at 4:35 pm

    Aria, yes. “Mass market” refers to the cheapest edition. I suppose it’s a euphemism. :-)

  84. Madeleine Robinson 27 Sep 2006 at 11:11 am

    “Mass market” also refers to a certain kind of distribution–because paperbacks are the cheapest edition they’re more readily sold in non-bookstore venues like supermarkets and drug stores. Trade paperbacks are trade paper not just because they’re a larger size, but because they’re sold via trade distribution.

  85. Jellyn Andrewson 27 Sep 2006 at 3:34 pm

    I prefer mass market paperbacks. They’re so much easier to read and carry around.

  86. Laurieon 27 Sep 2006 at 4:54 pm

    So, maybe this has been asked and answered but I didn’t see it anywhere…

    Is there an industry standard for how the proceeds from books get divided up among the author, the publisher, and/or others? For example, is it a percentage, cents on a dollar, or a set amount? And how does that amount scale for hardback, trade paperbacks, and mass market paperbacks? Is it just contract by contract, or is there a general set of guidelines?

  87. Madeleine Robinson 28 Sep 2006 at 11:18 am

    When a publisher makes an offer on a book, the author’s payment is one expense among many–including distribution cost, manufacturing costs, promotional costs, etc. In most cases the author get an advance against royalties, and the royalties (at least in fiction publishing, which is all I know well enough to speak authoritatively about) are a pretty standard percentage of cover price of the edition being sold (ie., hardcover books have one percentage structure, trade paperbacks another, and mass market books another). There are also royalty figures written into a contract for non-standard distribution (so the author might get a 5% royalty of net receipts on any books sold through Costco, regardless of edition, because the distribution discount is so high) and foreign distribution of the American edition.

    Bear in mind that a publisher will get half the cover price–or less–from the distributor or bookstore (that’s the distribution discount). So the amount of money they have to cover all those expenses–including the author’s royalties–has to come out of that 50%.

    In standard contracts, to the best of my recent knowledge, the royalty breaks are:

    Hardcover: 10% of cover price up to 5000 copies sold; 12.5% of cover price on the next 5000 copies; and 15% thereafter.

    Trade Paper: 6% of cover price on the first 25,000 copies 7% on the next 25,000 copies, and 8% thereafter.

    Mass Market: 6% of cover price up to (a number I don’t recall off hand); 8% of cover price up to (again, I don’t remember!) and 10% thereafter.

    But yes, the standard is for the author to get a percentage of cover sales (unless the book is a work-made-for-hire, when things can be handled the same way or quite differently).

    That do?

  88. Kathrynon 28 Sep 2006 at 3:11 pm

    I thought that authors always got a percentage of what the publisher made i.e. after the massive discount rather than from the cover price. You learn something new every day.

    The real winners here are the distribution companies/booksellers it always seems.

  89. Gustav Marxon 29 Sep 2006 at 10:02 am


    I read the other day that you as the author only supply the story, the publisher determines the form/font ect that will be placed in the book.

    Do you as the author have any say as to which type of font should be used, what pictures or how the cover should look, or are you just the “word-cruncher”?

  90. Laurieon 29 Sep 2006 at 1:03 pm

    Oh, nifty! Thanks, Madeleine, I was rather curious about that.

  91. Madeleine Robinson 29 Sep 2006 at 1:13 pm

    If you’re God or JK Rowling you can have pretty much any say you want, and that input is written into the contract, but otherwise, no, you don’t have much say. You can suggest cover images or provide resource material; you can make requests, but there are so many factors as to how both the interior and exterior of a book gets produced, most of which you’re unlikely to be privy to.

    Cover art is supposed to be the first line of promotion: you need a cover that not only represents the book, but pops on the shelf and (very importantly) gets the book buyers–by which I don’t mean the readers, but the people who order the book for bookstores–excited. For example, there’s a character in my book The Stone War, who is an elderly homeless African American woman who (through various mechanisms) winds up with wings–bat-like wings. One character refers to her as an angel, and she sort of is, but not in the classic Judeo Christian sense. My editor asked the artist for a scene that included that character, and what he delivered was an Angel–white, in robes, with big feathery wings. My editor (and I) were both concerned at how far this was from the real character, but the sales force loved it: “We can sell anything with an angel on the cover!” Who would have thought of that? There are also issues of price (reproduction rights for a standard cover painting can run anywhere from $2000-5000) and how the book is being positioned. If your publisher thinks the book is going to do well, they might put embossing or foil on the cover, or use spot-varnish, all of which cost additional money.

    Books aren’t just run out of the computer and slapped into a printer. Books are bound in signatures (16 or 32 page increments), and optimally (as a publisher) you want to set your book readably, with the fewest pages possible, to save paper costs. Paper, which used to be cheap, is a big expense in books these days. Also, the spine size (that is, the width of the book, cover to cover) dictates how many books can be packed into a carton (you can get a lot more Jonathan Livingston Seagull into a carton than The Name of the Rose). So, the first thing a publisher does when you turn in your book is to get a “castoff,” a rough estimate of what the page count/spine size is going to be. If they’re trying to cram a whole lot of words into a small space, they might use a smaller or narrower typeface (“font” is a computer term; in typography it has a different meaning) or eliminate blank facing pages. If the book has to get bumped up a signature for legibility, you want it designed so that there aren’t pages and pages of dead white at the end (it happens, but no one likes it). Will there be front matter (quotes, introductions, prefaces, envois) or back matter (acknowledgements, notes, questions for book clubs, ads, indices). It’s really complex.

    Unless you’re a designer yourself, with specific interest in book design, it’s better to leave this stuff in the hands of the pros. You might like the look of Helvetica (a sans serif face) but it’s a bad idea for a book–there have been studies done that suggest that it’s easier to read large chunks of type in a serif font. Can you guarantee that you’ll get the chapter breaks in the right place, or that the running headers will be on the correct page? (I did a little–very little–book design, and I have an increased respect for the people who do it gracefully.) It’s always possible to mention your likes or dislikes to your editor; they might even be taken into account.

    And believe me, there is nothing just about being the word-cruncher. Without people to write the stories, it doesn’t matter how well designed the books are, there’s nothing in ’em. If that’s what you do well, stick with it.

  92. Katharine Kerron 29 Sep 2006 at 5:34 pm

    There are whole university-level courses in book design. I agree with Mad. Leave it those who know. :-)

    On cover art — at times the author can ask for small changes on the cover art, if they can be done without asking the artist to rework the picture significantly.  An example:

    When I got the proofs of the British cover for SNARE, I noticed that the hero, who is Black in the book, was white on the cover. I asked my editor if this could be changed. She told the art director, who told the cover artist — none of these people had read the entire book, you see — and lo! Zain’s skin had gotten a lot darker on the final effort.  However, he looked like a white guy who’d been dip-dyed.  Changing his facial features would have been too much work – that the artist might charge for.

    The thing to remember is that the artist will most likely not even read your book before he or she sends in provisional sketches. The art director will receive a set of excerpts from the editor and will pick one with input from Marketing. The chosen excerpt will go to the artist. That’s in — unless he or she happens to like your work and asks you for more.

    Even in that case, the artist will still design the cover image to order, not branch out on her or his own.

  93. Katharine Kerron 29 Sep 2006 at 5:40 pm

    The American mass market (ie cheap paperback) of GOLD FALCON will be out in May ’07, released just before the hardback, iow, of THE SPIRIT STONE.

  94. Ariaon 01 Oct 2006 at 6:24 pm

    The American mass market (ie cheap paperback) of GOLD FALCON will be out in May ‘07, released just before the hardback, iow, of THE SPIRIT STONE.

    Greaaat…another long wait…but there’s nothing that can be done! Oh well, it’s good enough that I can sit and grit my teeth and wait until it comes out. Thanks for the intel!
    (You see, my sorce to borrow it from came through with naught but empty promises so far…)

    200 some odd days left!


  95. Erin Underwoodon 03 Oct 2006 at 9:14 am

    I know most of the people here are authors rather than editors and publishers, but I figured I’d ask this question anyway.

    Does anyone here know what a person needs to do if she would like to be a slush reader for a publishing house? Also, would a person get paid anything for doing this type of job or is it the kind of thing an unpaid intern does?


  96. Madeleine Robinson 03 Oct 2006 at 12:52 pm

    Usually you need to live in the same city as the publisher, since you go in and they hand you manuscripts. We used to get three or four letters a month from people who wanted to read manuscripts (and often had wildly inflated ideas of what it required or what it paid). It helps to know someone who works there, to whom you would say something like, “Gee, I’d love to read slush. How do I do it?” Nothing like connections, even at this very low level of publishing.

    When I was reading slush, I got paid $25 per ms., which paid for reading the whole book (or at least the first 100 pages), writing a 1-2 page analysis and recommendation, and a 5-7 page synopsis. Writing the analysis was a useful experience, because I had to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Fortunately, the author never sees the readers’ reports, because mine were frequently scathing–if you struggle through 500 pages of “My Little Winged Pony Saves the Empire and Marries Luke Skywalker,” being scathing is almost the only reward you get. But I did find it a useful way to hone my analytical skills.

  97. Erin Underwoodon 03 Oct 2006 at 3:35 pm


    Thanks for the reply. I’m interested in being a slush reader more for the experience than the money. My primary goal is to improve my analytical skills since I would like to work my way into a teaching position at some point in the future.

    Right now I don’t know anyone in publishing in the Boston area, but I’ll keep my eyes open and see what kind of connections I can make.

    “My Little Winged Pony Saves the Empire and Marries Luke Skywalker”

    Ohhhh, my! That sounds like a page turner… as long as I can turn the pages into the round file ! hehehe… ok. I’ll be nice now. :-)

    Thanks again for the information. It is very much appreciated. Cheers.

  98. Khylan Seriphynon 05 Oct 2006 at 2:58 am

    Realised I should’ve posted my question here, instead of “writing my first novel post”. Sorry about that.

    Treading on intellectual infringment. I think that’s the right term the professionals call it.

    This is a question mainly for Katherine. I’m about to self publish a book. I’m concerned I may have subconciously borrowed from her Deverry series.

    This is what I’m concerned about:
    In my story, the principal character is called Neven (which means no one in Armian tongue) . The character is 13 years old. She was left for dead near a riverside. Healed up by an Old Man, only to be sold into slavery.

    Now, I didn’t realise until halfway writing the story that Katherine’s Deverry Series has a character called “Nevyn”, which means no one in his language.

    I just want to know if I could have a character called Neven. Is this going to cause too many complications. I’m happy to change the name, but I really like to keep it.

    I don’t want to do the wrong thing and end up in a heap of hot water after the book is published (even though it probably won’t generate many sales). And, I can’t seem to find a direct email for Katherine and let her know.

    Really appreciate the advice.



    NB: It’s cool if the answer’s a no. I’ll think up another name.

  99. Jellyn Andrewson 05 Oct 2006 at 3:23 am

    My primary goal is to improve my analytical skills since I would like to work my way into a teaching position at some point in the future.

    You might try I find it’s very useful to read a story, critique it, and then read the critiques other people have given it. You get to see where your thoughts agreed with others and, more importantly, see comments on things you completely missed.

    Unless you’re talking about analysis in the ‘what did the big white whale stand for’ sort of way. I don’t know that the slush pile is going to help you with that though.

  100. Erin Underwoodon 05 Oct 2006 at 9:57 am

    Hi Jellyn,

    Critters is an excellent suggestion. I actually joined that group a few weeks ago and I currently have my own story up for review this week. It’s called “The Devil Inside” if anyone wants to check it out.

    One of the things I love about Critters is that it gives me the opportunity to hone my writing skills from a completely different angle. It’s actually this process of critiquing Critter stories that inspired me to start thinking about reading slush.

    Thanks for the suggestion! If you know of any other good writing groups please let me know.

  101. k1on 18 Oct 2006 at 11:18 am

    I just wanted to ask a question regarding book themes. As authors, do you ever get your books’ themes misrepresented by people eg the litereary circle. And does it bother you any?

    In other words people choose to ask questions about a singular specific event and twist it to fit their agenda.

    Much like many song lyrics can be seen to be many things to many different people – which is why often musicians do not say what event/theme it relates to. Do authors find a similar thing?

  102. Kate Elliotton 18 Oct 2006 at 11:59 am


    I’ll start with two possible answers.

    First, the facetious one: since I write fat fantasy (or sf) novels, critics don’t think my books are serious enough to have themes so don’t bother to represent them as anything at all.

    Second, and more seriously, I can’t (and wouldn’t) control how people read and respond to my books. Readers will find all kinds of things there that I may not expect or am surprised to see referenced as themes. They may even see things that I would never in a million years say were there. But once the novel leaves my hands and goes out in the world on its own, it develops its own relationship with readers. And that’s as it should be.

  103. k1on 21 Oct 2006 at 10:34 am

    Thank you very much for your response. I occasionally visit forums of my favourite writers and often find people arguing over what the author was trying to imply/means about certain things.

    So its nice to know an author’s take on these things and whether they mind. So thank you.

  104. Kate Elliotton 21 Oct 2006 at 7:41 pm

    well, it’s MY take, this month and this year. Others will naturally have other takes on the issue. And I suppose you could ask me the same question a year from now and I might have a different answer.

    But I absolutely think people should argue over what the author was trying to imply or means about certain things. That’s engaging with reading.

  105. Laurieon 06 Nov 2006 at 1:36 pm

    On borrowing and derivative works…

    I just finished a two-book series that borrowed its characters and concepts from The Illiad and The Tempest. The concept was neat, the implementation could have been better, and the end made me snort. However, I thought the author did some beautiful work with the dialogue of Caliban, one of the main villains.

    Heh, well, the work was beautiful – too bad it wasn’t the author’s. He snagged it pretty much lock, stock, and barrel from a Robert Browning poem, Caliban Upon Setebos. First question – how is that legal? Second question – how much do you use when you ‘borrow’ from a source like that? Third question – if you by chance borrow too heavily, would your editor put the foot down on it?

    I’m partly peeved because I hadn’t read that particular poem and so thought the work was honestly that of the author. Surprise! But it did motivate me to wonder, who puts the kibosh on things like this? And how far can you – and should you – go with the borrowing?

  106. Katharine Kerron 10 Nov 2006 at 6:22 pm

    That should have been called — but the editor probably didn’t know the poem, either. That’s the trouble with plagiarism; there’s so much raw material to choose from.

    Technically, of course, Browing’s work is in the public domain, so there’s no legal questions involved.

    But it was a real cheap shot on the part of the author. In my never humble opinion, of course.

  107. LylianFenyveson 30 Nov 2006 at 9:47 am

    Dear Katharine Kerr: I’ve been reading the series of deverry ,but as I am living in Argentina it is difficult to get your books , and if you could be so kind to send me a list of the sequels of Deverry and The novels of the Pinch I would be grateful. There is a chance that a relative of mine will buy the books for me in Usa. Could you send a list of the last books>? Sincerely yours Lylian Fenyves.

  108. LylianFenyveson 30 Nov 2006 at 9:49 am

    How can I know about the last titles of your books ?

  109. Danion 30 Nov 2006 at 12:03 pm


    You can refer to Katharine’s book list at:

    for all her Deverry books.


  110. Nicole L.on 02 Dec 2006 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I just found this site a couple weeks ago and have been steadily reading my way through it since. It’s really great! Thanks for doing it.

    I’d like to request a post on pacing a novel. I know it when I see it, but how do you think about it when you’re reviewing your manuscript to see if it works?

  111. Katharine Kerron 04 Dec 2006 at 5:42 pm

    Lylian, I’m glad you’re enjoying the books! As Dani said, you can find the complete bibliography at my website. Thanks!

  112. Mitch Wagneron 18 Dec 2006 at 4:12 am

    Thought you guys might find this post on my blog interesting:

    Kierkegaard’s Narrative.

    Fleece knobby dogs, y’all.

  113. Erin Underwoodon 09 Jan 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Are you still posting the 13-Line Critiques?

  114. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 21 Jan 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Yep, there was just a backlog over the holidays.

  115. Ariaon 21 Jan 2007 at 5:50 pm

    I was just wondering, and this might have been asked before, if anyone has any amazing tips of overcoming writers block. I know it’s basically something you have to overcome yourself but…I’m desperate to write more but dont know what to write! (While I have the basic plot line, I’m looking for a filler for a page or two…)

  116. Kate Elliotton 22 Jan 2007 at 4:16 am


    that’s not what I would define as writer’s block.

    If you have the basic plot line, you’re not actually looking for filler. You’re looking for the next step to continue the plot but you’re not sure how to connect the dots, as it were.

    Some possibilities:

    1) plot backward. Start with where you know you’re going, and fill in the steps backwards that you need to get from the end to where you are now. That might show you what needs to come next.

    2) a man with a gun walks into the room.
    or the equivalent.
    a hiccup in the action, anything to shake things up. You can always cut it later.

    3) ask your characters what they have to do next, then write it

    4) accept that you need to throw some stuff down in order to get to the next bit you’re excited about writing, and that that stuff may be cut later, but that it’s okay – that’s what first drafts are for; anyway, it might turn out to be utterly just what you need

    5) skip it – just jump to what you want to write next and worry about the hole later

    There are other solutions as well.

  117. Ariaon 23 Jan 2007 at 4:57 pm


    Thanks for the advice! This morning in the shower I was thinking and I wound up doing the plot backwards and I figured it out! Number 4 is a hard option for me to get trhough, normally leads to me stalling, and for number 5 I hate skipping. But I guess if I ever want to amount to a real live published author before I’m thirty or something (haha, probably wont be) then I guess Ill have to learn to bend some of the things I hate.

    I just have one other question about the 13 line critiques. For short story…I’m assuming that that means like less than 10 pages or so…and not 150? (I only ask such a stupid question becasue I really want a little feedback!)


  118. ehjoneson 26 Feb 2007 at 4:24 pm

    A question about interminable waits.

    All right, I have a question for the published authors out there. I have now written two novels. Instead of trying to find a publisher myself, I found an agent first (interestingly, my agent is an associate at the agency that, as far as I know, handles one of the authors on this site). My agent is very excited about my work and eagerly pushing it to publishers. She’s had a few requests for my manuscript based on queries or sample pages, and now it’s in the hurry-up-and-wait part of the game.

    So my question is this: other than keep writing, what do I do now? I have the novels, I have the agent, and I’m being considered by some publishers I never dreamed would look at my work. But this process could (and probably will) take weeks or months. Isn’t there something I could be doing in the meantime toward hyping my books, getting my name out there?

    I know that there are a few things I can be doing. The first thing was to try and get my name out there by starting a blog way back when I was writing the first novel. I post there on a regular basis about the status of my writing, the techniques I’m using, that sort of thing, and I’ve built a (very) small readership for my blog. Another thing I’m in the process of is setting up a website for my series of novels. I’ve found a couple of graphic artists (college students who want to increase their portfolio and are willing to work for free as long as they get credit), and they’re doing some illustrations for my website. I hope to have it up by midsummer. I’m working on some short stories to enter in some of the major writing contests in the hope that a win or an honorable mention will get more publishers interested in reading my work.

    But what else do I do? Just… wait?

  119. kateelliotton 26 Feb 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Keep writing. Revise. Write more. Rewrite. Read, and analyze what you’re reading, to try to figure out how to improve your writing. Listen. Research. Live. Keep writing. Repeat and rinse.

    A fantastic website might help you get work designing fantastic websites, but only the novel will sell the novel.

    That’s my opinion anyway.

    in other words, write another book. You never know which is the first one that will sell.

  120. Ariaon 26 Feb 2007 at 6:28 pm


    How did you go about finding your agent? When I finish my book, that’s the direction I’d like to go, as that’s what I’ve been told I need to do…but I don’t know who to choose or what to do. I’m not at that point yet, but…I’d like to start hoping/looking!


  121. Debbie Whiteon 26 Feb 2007 at 7:34 pm

    The last few days, I’ve read the first few chapters of novels by fellow SF/F writers. They both have a novel already done and ‘on the rounds’ to publishers. Both had complained about rejections and that is wasn’t fair that the deck was stacked against first time writers. Yet the first story had huge plot holes that were obvious even in the first few chapters. The boy wasn’t open to revising because ‘this is fantasy!’ The second had many grammar errors and persisted in writing scenes in detail with incorrect details that most adults would catch…but his other readers hadn’t bothered to point out to him.

    Writers seem to like to complain about the impossible odds of getting first novels published, but now I’ve begun to wonder just how ‘stacked’ the deck really is. In the above cases, it was lack of writing skill that was the problem.

    So, published writers: Do you think that a person who has reached a certain skill level will get published if they are persistent enough to find someone who likes their style? (And that if you keep getting rejected, you might want to think about revising further?) Or can even someone who is genuinely skilled and is sending their novels to the right markets with good query letters still not get published simply because they don’t have the right connections or some other ‘luck-based’ thing?

    On that note, what are the basic skills that make the difference between getting published and not?

    Eek, I got wordy. Sorry. :)

  122. Ariaon 26 Feb 2007 at 7:43 pm


    I’m not published, and far from it, but I think TO get published, someone defiently has to be open to revision. As much as I dont like it, I know it has to be done, because, frankly, some parts are horrible as it is, and continuity in other parts doenst match.

    Random question!
    I was on the other day, and I saw that it says the paperback version of Katharine Kerr’s Gold Falcon comes out May 1, the same day (supposedly) the Spirit Stone comes out in hardback…but says that the new book will come out in June for England. My question is, is one of the amazon’s (like ours) lying, because I thought it came out on a different date than that…
    and amazon has lied to me before -_-

    thanks, haha,

  123. ehjoneson 26 Feb 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Finding an agent, in my case, was almost more a matter of providence, but there was a lot of research and hard work involved, too. The first thing I did was finish my first novel, polish it, run it past a group of friends, family, and total strangers who did proofreading and critiquing for me, and then I revised it. I then researched (mostly on the Internet, but the public library has some great resources too), and made a list of agents that, a) handled the kind of work I had done, b) were actively seeking manuscripts, and c) were given the OK by Writer Beware and Preditors and Editors. I then went to each agent’s website and found their submission guidelines, and prepared a query packet for each of them based on their specific guidelines. Some accepted e-mail queries, most did not.
    Here’s where the providence comes in. A couple of days after I sent out the first ten queries (seven snail mail, three e-mail), I got a request from one of the e-mail agents for the full manuscript and an exclusive reading. I was shocked, so I did a little more research, and the agent checked out. I gave her a six week exclusive reading.
    Four days later, she got back to me and said she wanted to represent me. The reason for the speed was that she had been talking to an editor who was actively searching for something in my genre to publish. I had, at that time, heard back from absolutely no other agents. After hemming and hawing about it for a few days, I accepted her offer and signed with her agency.
    Within a week, I had been on a conference call with the editor, who loved my novel. He took it to the acquisitions committee. Unfortunately, in the end the acquisitions committee passed on it, although it wasn’t due to style or writing skill, and it was a skin-of-the-teeth decision, I’m told.
    So, that’s how I found an agent. Like I said, it was more in the realm of providence than anything else.

  124. Ariaon 26 Feb 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I’ll be sure to keep that in mind, especially with the whole checking it out to make sure they’re okay.
    Congratulations on the deal!

  125. Carol Bergon 28 Feb 2007 at 12:14 am

    ehjones wrote:

    A question about interminable waits.

    Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Yes, the waits are awful. But it was while a publisher was spending seven months deciding whether she wanted one of my books, that I wrote the one that sold first. (And the other one sold alongside it.) With each project you learn more and write better. You know what to do. DO it.

    Good luck!

  126. Carol Bergon 28 Feb 2007 at 12:34 am

    Debbie White asked:

    Will everyone who deserves to get published get published?

    No. There are many reasons. Not getting the book in front of the right person. Or vagaries of “the market,” ie. an editor loves it but can’t sell it to her bosses because “that kind of book” doesn’t sell. And, of course, just because something is skillfully written does not make it sell.

    Is it a matter of “having connections”?

    No. Many authors come from nowhere.

    Is there an element of luck?

    Certainly. Having your work land on someone’s desk before another author’s gets there. Meeting an editor in person and demonstrating that you’re someone the editor can work with. Getting an agent who can tell you exactly what a particular house is looking for.

    If you keep getting rejected, could it be a sign you need to revise?

    Absolutely. One of the first things an author must learn is to step back from his or her own work and read critically. Sometimes you must look through someone else’s eyes to get the proper distance to see plot holes or awkward prose or flat characters. (This is why many, many well-established authors have first readers or crtique partners.)

    Does persistence make a difference?

    Absolutely. I know people who have been rejected over and over, but kept writing, trying, learning – and boom…bestsellers.

    Keep writing. Find your voice. So often the difference between a skillfully written book and one that sells is the uniqueness of the author’s storytelling voice.


  127. Ariaon 02 Mar 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I was just wondering if anyone can confirm the dates of Katharine Kerr’s Spirit Stone release for the US?

  128. Brendan Podgeron 04 Mar 2007 at 7:47 am

    Does nutting out the publication details give you the heebie-jeebies? Especially US/UK editions?

    I noticed as I read through DeepGenre(I just discovered it) authors commenting on their tribulations as they dealt with publishers both local and overseas especially relating to titles & covers(and yes I did note Katherine’s comments on checking her manuscripts for both US & UK editions. If only all authors were that dedicated “sigh”).

    As a resident of Australia, I am used to seeing the picture from the perspective of authors selling to the US market and the problems they go through, and would be interested in hearing what headaches writers from the US go through when publishing overseas.

    If Katherine wants to go through the obvious nightmare the retitling of her Deverry novels must have been that would be great. A good train wreck is always entertaining for the spectators at least.

    On a side note: I know that publishers are going to come up with the best cover to “capture” an audience, but after examining US/UK covers for a lot of F/SF writers I have to ask; do you really think US audiences would prefer the US cover art?

  129. Katharine Kerron 04 Mar 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Brendan, some readers do prefer the US cover art, as it tends to be more of an illustration of the text rather than original art based on the themes of the book. There is no doubt in my mind that Geoff Taylor’s covers are far superior to the various US attempts, because he’s the far superior artist. However, I’ve never been able to convince US editors that this matters. At least one editor of the Deverry series was openly contemptuous of the Taylor covers, proclaiming that they “have too much landscape in them.”

    As for the title problem, I’ve been over that any number of times on the ‘Katharine Kerr’ Yahoo listserve. In brief, the Marketing “experts” at Bantam were convinced that readers would be confused if too many titles were alike, ie, more than two, whilst their British counterparts were convinced that having different titles within a foursome would confuse readers. Marketing people tend to be contemptuous of readers, is what I take away from that. I doubt if the people who read my books are so easily confused!

    Or at least, they wouldn’t be confused if it weren’t for the stupid problems created by the different titles. Fortunately, I managed to land a pair of editors who agree that the titles should be the same in each country, so from RED WYVERN on there isn’t the confusion as with earlier books.

    On differences in spelling and the like: not all authors have separate contracts with British and US publishers. Normally, a book comes out in one country, and the rights are sold by that publisher to a publisher in the other. As part of their share of the purchase price (normally 25%), the original publisher simply furnishes the plates or the computer files of the book to the second publisher, who doesn’t want to stand the expense of a second copy-edit. Yes, I know that this is mingy in the extreme, but these days, publishers are mingy in the extreme, unless the author is Rowling or Stephen King or someone of that ilk, assuming there are more than 2 authors in the ilk, and I’m not sure of that. :-)

    On translations — gods in heaven in hell! An author has no control over translations, and since no one can know every European language in the world, rarely do we even find out how bad they all are. :-) Seriously, though, I have been lucky in my Swedish translations, and in the first set of German ones, according to friends who speak those languages. I do read French, so I can say that the French translations are loathsomely bad — they even changed Nevyn’s name, though I can perhaps get that corrected should they buy more books. I dunno about the other countries, as I can’t read Bulgarian, Dutch, etc.

    Tax laws in various countries can also prove a super headache. The Italians are the worst there, compounded by our own IRS. I won’t bore you with the details as they may make me scream.

    Any other questions on this subject?

  130. Brendan Podgeron 04 Mar 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks for the reply Katherine,

    I am sorry asking you to retread old ground, I jumped straight to here from your homepage and wasn’t aware of your other venues for conversing with your fans.

    One of the things that happens with Australian authors wanting to sell to th US market is they are asked to make “changes” to make the book more accessible for the average reader. There is one childrens author who was asked to change the food that was eaten in the story(and no it wasn’t stew), and another complained about being asked to rewrite the dialog so it sounded more “real”. I would like to hear about any odd requests for changes anyone may have received, if in fact the editor bothered asking before going to print.

    Regarding French translations; perhaps you could hunt down the translators of the Asterix books. No matter how many times I read them it always astounds me that that they weren’t written in English first. The jokes, the puns, everything seems so right.

  131. Lyssabitson 08 Mar 2007 at 6:30 pm

    At least one editor of the Deverry series was openly contemptuous of the Taylor covers, proclaiming that they “have too much landscape in them.”

    I think in the case of the Deverry books, you’re right, the UK editions have much better cover art. But in my few experiences with buying the UK edition rather than the US edition (I really wish they’d stop insisting on releasing the UK editions of certain American authors first!), I’ve really regretted buying the UK editions, because they were all landscape, where the US editions featured beautiful portraits of the main character. And you can’t argue over the skill the artist, since they used the same artist (the author) for both editions. 😉

    Then again, I get so attached to covers.. I really hate it when they change the cover art for reissues. Sometimes you get better covers, but more often, you get sillier-looking covers. I’ve been on a mission to buy all the old books I used to check out from the library when I was a kid (all of the Deverry books included) and it’s disappointing not to have the original art.

  132. Katharine Kerron 09 Mar 2007 at 4:15 am

    Brendan, the author has absolutely no say in the choice of translator, alas. The foreign-language publisher makes that decision, and goes for “cheap”, generally, rather than putting any effort into the choice.

    BTW, the Yahoo listserv is free and active, should you want to join it. We have other Aussies posting, too.

    Lyssabits, I hope they didn’t change the covers on any Deverry reissues. :-)

  133. Lyssabitson 09 Mar 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Nope, they’re still the same covers I bonded with when I read them the first time around. 😉 Although they did change.. something, I’m not entirely sure what. They’re listed as “Author’s definitive editions” or something like that. (I don’t have my books handy at the moment.) I assumed it was the incarnation charts, because I know in some of the later books for which I have earlier editions there are some errors. Thank goodness for your website, so I can keep everything clear. 😉

  134. Ariaon 10 Mar 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I personally prefer the UK covers. Okay, so I like them both. Time of Omens in the US covers is my favorite cover art, I must say (even though Days of Blood and Fire and Days of Air and Darkness are pretty cool too :D). Right now I have the UK version of The Gold Falcon, which I’m borrowing from a friend, hehe, who got it when it came out from England.
    Speaking of…when’s the next book coming out in the US? Is it May 1, like claims?

  135. Stacyon 15 Mar 2007 at 11:19 am

    I have questions regarding conventions: I am seriously considering attending the World Fantasy Con this November. As a first time novel writer, is it worthwhile to attend? Should I wait untill I have a book to sell? What could I expect to learn at the con?

  136. ehjoneson 15 Mar 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Good question, Stacy, and one I’m interested in hearing professional opinions on. I’ve been considering doing the same thing, but I’m not sure how much I could accomplish, as far as marketing, until that first sale is made to a publisher. Is it worth it to go and spend the sometimes expensive fees in order to have workshops with a few pros? I’ve heard good and bad about them.

    Any thoughts from the established authors?

  137. Carol Bergon 16 Mar 2007 at 9:54 am

    World Fantasy is a very interesting con – different from any other that I’ve attended. There’s an art show, a dealers’ room, and panel discussions, but you won’t find costumes, masquerades, RPGs, anime, fan parties, or excessive media-related programming. It is primarily a networking weekend for the literary branch of the fantasy community. As such there are LOTS of authors, editors, agents…and aspiring writers. The programming is fairly minimal. One track of panels and one or two tracks of readings. (The best reading tracks of any con, IMHO.) Though panels are few, it is possible to attend one with, say, Connie Willis, Stephen Donaldson, and Gene Wolfe talking about how they develop characters. (One of the best I’ve seen.) And there is always a mass signing where you can walk up and visit with a huge number of friendly, accessible published authors. I recommend you go to the WFC 2006 website and look at the program grid to see what kind of program items come up.

    As for selling a book… The key to this con is your comfort in networking. You have to walk up to people after a panel or catch them on the elevator and ask to bend their ears or buy them a drink, because most people are going to end up sitting around talking to each other or going out to dinner. This is not a “writers’ conference,” where editors and agents are sitting in a room awaiting your ten-minute pitch or trolling the bar looking for new books to publish, nor is it a “writers’ workshop,” where famous authors are going to read and critique your twenty pages, nor is it a “regional sf con” with lots of panels like “how I got published” or “what my agency is looking to represent.” There are publisher parties, but you have to hunt around for indications of where they are and whether or not they are closed. That is, WFC is not necessarily where you would SELL a book, but a place you would come to meet people in the business and LEARN. People come to WFC because they truly love the genre and the other people who make it come alive. I think it’s a great place for would-be writers, but you have to be willing to work at it. Personally, it’s my favorite con. I’m already booked for Saratoga Springs, so I hope to see you there.


  138. kateelliotton 16 Mar 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Carol has answered this question thoroughly. I’ll just agree with what she said, and add that it is also a convention I really enjoy because of its networking aspect – it’s a good place to hang out with other like-minded people.

    It’s never too early to start networking, with the understanding that you’re not really going there specifically to pitch a novel but rather to get a sense of the field and, if possible, to meet a few people (or more, if you are very outgoing). There are really so many delightful people in our field, from dedicated readers who aren’t trying to write, to unpublished aspiring writers, to published writers working anywhere from small press to the bestseller list, to agents and editors and art directors and artists (and, okay, there are a very few disturbing or unpleasant people, too, but that’s true anywhere), and it’s really fun to have a weekend just to enjoy that.

    I’m not likely to be going to Sarasota Springs because it is so very very very far from where I live and I can’t quite face up to the travel right now. But I might change my mind by the time October rolls around. I’ve been to 3 of the last 4 WFCs.

  139. Stacyon 16 Mar 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks very much – it’s a very short trip to Saratoga for me and now I know for sure I have to convince the husband to make the investment. I definately would love to spend a weekend talking with writers and I won’t miss dressing up like my favorite anime character.

  140. Carol Bergon 17 Mar 2007 at 10:14 am

    Stacy said:

    I won’t miss dressing up like my favorite anime character

    Yeah, one of the best things my agent told me after informing me that as a fantasy author, I really should start going to sf conventions was that, as a pro, I would never be expected to go in costume. Whew!


  141. Stacyon 19 Mar 2007 at 9:27 am

    It’s way too cold in upstate NY in November for those costumes anyway! Unless your favorite character wears a fur cloak. :)

  142. Dorothea Saloon 20 Mar 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I’m a librarian working on a research guide to selected fantasy authors for Greenwood Press. Back in December, Kate Elliott had a site here that was not the blog; that URL now 404s. Has the site moved or vanished, or is this a momentary hiccup?


  143. kateelliotton 20 Mar 2007 at 12:47 pm

    So it is. I think it must have gotten lost during the recent migration on the server.

    Meanwhile, while I see about getting it migrated back to a place it can be seen, are there any questions I can answer for you here, or via email: ?

  144. Nicole L.on 20 Mar 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Hey, I’ve been thinking about going to the WFC too, since I live in NYC and wouldn’t have to shell out for airfare. All of us who are thinking about going to the WFC should check back in later. If we do go, then we kinda know some people there already.

  145. Helen JWon 26 Mar 2007 at 8:06 am


    I have been commissioned to write an article for The Daily Telegraph newspaper in the UK. I am a freelance writer.

    I am writing an article on the difficulties of first time novelists and the publishing industry for new writers in general. When researching this I came across your wonderful website.

    Would it be possible for me to quote one or two exerpts from the posts on this website? I will, of course, reference these in the text. Thought it would be polite to ask.

    Thank you very much

  146. Kate Elliotton 27 Mar 2007 at 2:32 pm



    That seems fine to me.

    Good luck with the article.

    Kate Elliott

  147. Charleson 06 Apr 2007 at 1:38 pm

    What, exactly, does “non-exclusive publishing rights” mean?

  148. ehjoneson 07 Apr 2007 at 10:08 pm

    My limited understanding of the term means that you grant a publisher a right to publish the work, but that you have the right to simultaneously publish the work with another publisher. To the best of my knowledge, this isn’t usually used in fiction or book publishing. It’s more something that is used in journalism.

    However, there’s always the chance that the publisher will throw something else in there as a clause that allows them to use your work in a later publication, or in different media. Just because you’ve granted non-exclusive rights doesn’t mean you’ve protected your rights fully. Look for clauses that allow the publication to use your work “in perpetuity” or something along those lines.

    It actually makes more sense to grant first publication rights than it does non-exclusive rights, if I’m not mistaken. For one, that will usually limit the publication to one use of your work for one paycheck. Also, publishers will undoubtedly pay more for exclusive rights that non-exclusive.

  149. Jason VanBlarcumon 10 Apr 2007 at 2:39 am

    First off, I want to thank all the authors that take time to answer all of our rookie questions. Been writing for about a year and a half now while teaching in Japan and wish I had known about this site back when. Invaluable. Thank you.

    That said, I have a question concerning the inclusion of multiple languages in a novel. I put a great deal of effort and pride in developing the histories and different culture, reasons for certain beliefs, mythologies and law, arts and so on. In my paradigm, I have four different cultures on a single large peninsula. Two of which are off shoots of the same people, one is an older civilization from the south and then the dominant culture who were migratory raiders turned Empire from a different part of the continent entirely.

    Now while I have a passing interest in linguistics, I am no Tolkien. I am curious how one goes about creating a believable world, flush with exotic and distinct civilizations and language without actually building a complete language from scratch. And beyond that, how I should include enough of those languages in the novel without confusing the story and making readers groan every time the big, gravely voiced Syvrian foreigner appears on stage with the learned Republican.

    I’ve dealt with this so far by having most main characters speak the dominant culture’s tongue, but there is a character that was married into a foreign culture and the dominant culture just ain’t so dominant there. I wonder if I am creating headaches for myself by worrying the problem to a nub, but can’t seem to convince myself that I should let it go.

  150. Donnaon 10 Apr 2007 at 11:36 am

    Does anyone here know of a publishing company in the UK called Ransom Press? I’m just looking for some info on them to make sure they are legit.

  151. ehjoneson 10 Apr 2007 at 9:46 pm


    I can’t find any specific information on Ransom Press, but I found Ransom Publishing. That doesn’t guarantee they’re the same company, by any means.

    They seem reputable, at first glance. They’re not listed on any of the cautionary sites I visit fairly regularly. That doesn’t mean much; they’re not listed at all, reputable or otherwise.

    Ransom Publishing seems to primarily handle children’s books, specifically for young and struggling readers. Mostly educational works. Their lines of software are for phonics, electronic learning, that sort of thing. Below are a few websites I found on a basic Google search. They don’t have a lot of info on whether they’re legit, but that’s pretty much what I found on a generic search.

  152. kateelliotton 13 Apr 2007 at 4:14 am

    Donna, I don’t have any info on Ransom Press; sorry.

    Jason, I’m going to move your question to the front page in order to get , I hope, a variety of potentially helpful answers.

  153. Ariaon 14 Apr 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Question for Katharine Kerr:

    I was in Borders today, looking up the Spirit Stone for preorder, and I couldnt find it. When I typed in the author search engine, I found it, but under a different name…and for the life of me I cant remember what it is now. But it wasnt the spirit stone, or the black stone or whatever the other rumor is. Said it was cowritten to.

    But it is called the Spirit Stone, right? and coming out in May/June?


  154. ehjoneson 16 Apr 2007 at 2:33 pm

    I have a question about the business of writing and getting published.

    Obviously, having an agent is the best case scenario. It gets your foot in the door with a lot of publishers, and they tend to pay more attention to your work instead of tossing it on the slush pile to read in six months.

    That being said, how important are previous publishing credits in getting a publisher’s attention? Yes, I know, the work must stand on its own, and if they are reading it, it doesn’t matter what you’ve published before. But for the simple task of getting them to sit up, take notice, and read your work, how helpful is it to have publishing credits to your name?

    In addition to publishing credits, what about contests? Or publications in other media? For instance, will a publisher be more likely to look at the work of someone who’s won the Writers of the Future contest? Or who has publishing credits outside the novel media, say, comic books, short stories, television or movies? How important is name recognition of that nature?

  155. Donnaon 17 Apr 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks for the replies. I found Ransom in a Writers Digest book. I submitted a story and although they didn’t accept that story, they said they were looking for writers for a series of books and asked if I would be interested. I selected a topic from the list and started writing. When I was done with the first three chapters, one of the editors said it was really good and if I could finish it the way they want it, he would suggest that Ransom offer me a contract.

    I’m almost done with the book and although I want to get excited at the prospect of getting a contract, I’m kind of afraid to get excited. I’ve been keeping contact with one of the editors and he seems so nice and helpful.

    Maybe I’m being paranoid. I’m just hoping for my big break.

  156. Seaboe Emmon 17 Apr 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Is there an average time lapse between submitting to the 13-line critique and seeing it posted, or is the gap completely random?

    Seaboe Emm

  157. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 21 Apr 2007 at 1:47 am

    Gap depends on when Kevin and/or Kit are out of town, have deadlines or other responsibilities that keep them from posting things immediately.

    Just posting a batch of four, including yours. Critiques should start coming in the next few days after that as the other Deep Genre authors’ schedules permit.

  158. lyssabitson 22 Apr 2007 at 10:54 pm

    Alright, I’m completely embarrassed about having to ask here and admit this, but I’m at my wit’s end. I’ve been scouring the web looking for someone who’s done any sort of character guide/plot synopsis for Kate Elliot’s “Crown of Stars” series and I keep coming up with nothing. (In fact, I can’t even find a website for Kate that doesn’t redirect me somewhere wrong, curiously enough.) Somehow I got waaay behind on my reading, I’m just getting around now to reading In the Ruins and I find that I’m completely confused. I’m trying to avoid spoilers for the last two books, but honestly, I can’t even find any discussion groups that have posts after 2005.

  159. kateelliotton 23 Apr 2007 at 12:24 am


    my web site is temporarily down

    meanwhile, the fansite message board can be found here:

  160. Ariaon 02 May 2007 at 4:01 pm

    To Katharine Kerr:

    Will you be posting an excerpt of The Spirit Stone on your website like you did for Gold Falcon or no? (Just out of curiosity!)


  161. Maion 19 May 2007 at 3:32 pm


    I guess my question is how do you guys maintain your focus in writing a story that spans several books? For instance, Kate’s ‘Crown of Stars’ series spanned 7 books in total! Don’t you ever get bored of writing a story and want to move on to something new? Or get bored of a character?

  162. Katharine Kerron 20 May 2007 at 1:38 am

    Aria, my web person is horrendously busy these days, so I’ve not wanted to ask her to work on the website. I really should learn how to do it myself, I guess. I’ve been poindering the question of what would be a good episode of SPIRIT STONE that wouldn’t give away the plot developments in GOLD FALCON for those who haven’t read that book. I haven’t found any yet.


  163. Ariaon 20 May 2007 at 7:59 am

    Aah, okay, well that does make sense! ‘Sides, it’s only, what nine more days until the book comes out? (Cant wait!)

  164. ehjoneson 21 May 2007 at 4:05 pm


    Well, the novels I’m working on are in a series… and I never get bored. Seriously, never. I’ve written the first two books, and have the third one half outlined, and I’m ready to get to it! The first one hasn’t even found a publisher yet, and I’m dying to get busy on the third one! The only time I get bored (and it’s not really bored, but frustrated) is during the re-write process… and not always then. It’s more of a sense that I need to run away from it for a while and come back later.

    I’ve actually had to force myself to step back and work on some other projects. I’m working on a graphic novel collaboration with an artist, for entry into an industry competition for publication. I’m also working on a short story to try to sell to the magazine market. And I’ve got another novel that I’ve begun outlining, totally aside from my series. Despite all this, I’m chomping at the bit to get back to working on my series!

    I guess the secret to my enthusiasm is probably a combination of two things. One is the love I have for my series project. It is written for my son, and even the primary two characters in the books are loosely based on him and me. (By loosely, I mean, they’re us.) The second thing is the variety. While there is an overall plot that holds all the stories in the series together, each book is unique and different. Only three characters will recur through all the books, and each story takes place in a different universe with different rules/aspects to how it works. The three characters who recur are constantly changing and growing. So I’ve sort of built variety into the series, which should keep it interesting for me and my readers.

  165. Carol Bergon 23 May 2007 at 1:08 am


    In particular, I don’t get bored because I write only stories I love involving characters who are interesting to me. If I get bored with them, then how could I ever expect my readers to enjoy them? My goal is always to leave the reader with the belief that these characters continue to live and have interesting lives after the end of the book (well – those that survive, of course!)

    Storywise, each book I write carries a larger “series arc” forward, as well as having its own its own beginning, middle, end, crisis, turning point, black moment, etc. And so I am eager to get into developing the next book so I can see how the story comes out! I can’t just “write another book in this world because someone will buy it.” (Even “episodic” series, such as mysteries are more appealing to me if they show character growth and a “larger plot” development over the series – see Tony Hillerman’s Jim Chee mysteries or Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files for good examples.)


    There is always a time in the process when I get fatigued with the words – eg. the five-thousandth time I’ve gone over chapter five and it just doesn’t feel right yet. Then it’s time to move on to another piece of the story.

  166. kateelliotton 23 May 2007 at 1:21 am

    I’m in deadline hell, no time to make a thoughtful post, but fortunately I agree with the points Carol made. So – what she said!

  167. Williamon 24 May 2007 at 11:13 am

    Question from a young writer:
    I have recently noticed that while I write in the third person, I tend to insert a characters thoughts directly into the text (as if it was the narrator speaking), and generally model the narrator voice after whichever character’s POV it is at the moment.

    Am I wrong in doing this? When I’m writing it and reading it, it seems to flow, but if I take a little step back and think about it, it doesn’t make sense for the narrator to be saying something the character is thinking.

    At the same time, it seems cumbersome to put in something like:

    ‘Can’t he figure out that I’m trying to sleep? Honestly, the absolute nerve of him… I should get u- NO! I won’t…(etc.)’ she thought.

    especially after describing the scene, setting, and whatnot.


  168. ehjoneson 01 Jun 2007 at 7:43 pm

    Hey, folks… I just had a quick question here, not about the site, but about whether it would be appropriate for me to post something here talking about a writing project I’ve been working on outside of my novels. I’ve been working with an amazing artist on a graphic novel that we’re entering into an annual contest, the finals of which the public get to vote on. It’s the kind of project (a fantasy, not the typical superhero or action book) that I think a lot of folks here would be interested in, but I don’t know if it’s appropriate for me to post anywhere on this site about it… it seems like it might be a bit off topic, and kind of… blurb-y.

    So would it be acceptable for me to post a little something about the project, and maybe point folks toward the site we’ve put up about it? Like I said… it’s not a novel project, but it is a genre project. I just don’t want to seem like I’m pimping myself to the community here… I know a lot of people find that annoying.

  169. kateelliotton 06 Jun 2007 at 2:24 pm


    coming in late on your question.

    If I were writing an episodic series I might have more trouble getting enthusiastic as I wrote subsequent volumes, but I’m really writing one very long novel divided into installments. So I maintain my interest and focus because I want to get to the end of the story.

    That said, yes, I can go through phases of feeling bogged down. By the time I reached the end of Crown of Stars, I was really ready to move on to something completely different, which I did. I’m sure the same thing will happen with Crossroads – not that I am sick of it, per se, but that I want a chance of scenery. I’m hoping to break up the Crossroads series by writing inbetween a few novels written in other worlds. Also, I’m trying to conceive of stories in smaller frames, like – forex – writing a trilogy in three volumes instead of seven. Then I can get a change of venue earlier in the process.

    Hope that makes sense.

    What really drives me is seeing the story unfold, and knowing that I want to see it through to the end because I have so much invested in the characters and the world.

  170. kateelliotton 06 Jun 2007 at 2:26 pm

    ehjones, I have no objection to you posting a link to your site and briefly mentioning the project.

  171. ehjoneson 16 Jun 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks for the permission! I’m not sure where to put it, but it’ll probably be under “Writing my first novel”, if that’s OK. Like I said, it’s not a novel project, but it’s in the genre, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done on it.

    Thanks again!

  172. Ivyon 20 Jun 2007 at 3:53 pm

    I have a question for Katherine Kerr. Is it okay to read The Gold Falcon without having read other books in the Deverry universe first, or will it be hard to follow the story? I saw the praise by Judith Tarr and walked it straight to the counter without realizing it was part of a bigger series.

  173. Aurynon 25 Jun 2007 at 9:55 pm

    A question for any authors published more than once:

    Background: I write short stories, which I publish online to free wesbites. I have a ‘real’ job, which pays my bills, and although I like it, I’d like more time to write. But if I work less, I’ve got to be able to sell what I write to continue paying said bills. I don’t know if I am good enough to sell anything, but before I even try there’s something that concerns me.

    What I worry about is losing my love for writing once it becomes ‘work’ instead of ‘fun’. So what I want to know is, do deadlines, and commitments, and publishers breathing down your back make writing less fun? Do you wish you had a different career so you could write at your own pace and not care if it gets published?

  174. Derekon 29 Jun 2007 at 10:55 am


    Would you like to Work From Home Using Computer? If you would like…

  175. Debbie Whiteon 29 Jun 2007 at 11:40 am

    Auryn, I write full time, though not yet as a ‘full-time published F/SF author,’ which is my goal. Why not first work on getting a series of short stories finished and published with paying publishers? Once your writing gets to the point were you could possibly support yourself by doing this, you’ll have a better idea if you would want to keep it up.

    As for me, I’ve been writing full time for ten years and, overall, love it. I’m also single and have no kids, so it’s probably easier for me than most. However, I do get my ‘I just don’t want to write today’ days where I push on, anyway, because the writing needs to be done. You might want to consider that if you’re not good about bullying yourself into writing something out consistantly.

    Hope this helped.

  176. Rylandon 30 Jun 2007 at 12:34 pm


    With a new software technology the computer software, so far rather…

  177. Ivyon 01 Jul 2007 at 4:22 pm

    If it’s allowed to ask this here, would anyone be interested in a web site where we can put up section from any part of a story (doesn’t have to be the first lines and doesn’t have to be a short story) and help each other through the trouble areas? I’m building a web site any trying to figure out what kind of content would be helpful to writers.

  178. Adamon 01 Jul 2007 at 6:08 pm


    Do you just mean professional authors or aspiring authors?

    I would be interested.

    In fact I have posted a question on part of this site (writing multiple first person narrators — I think) because of a problem I have in a story. I couldn’t find anywhere else to post it..


  179. Ivyon 01 Jul 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Adam, I meant anyone who was interested. It seems that some people occasionally post a middle section to the 13-lines topic for lack of another resource. I figured it might be nice to have a place where someone could explain the lead in and where the bit fits in the story.

    I don’t want to hit the spam filter here, so click on my name and you’ll go to the site. The section is called Tough Spots. I may change the domain, if my other site gets off the ground.

  180. Ivyon 07 Jul 2007 at 9:24 am

    Should I resubmit that first 13 lines submission? I can’t pull up the page.

  181. Adamon 07 Jul 2007 at 10:57 am

    Hi Ivy,

    The same thing happened to me with my dragon story intro. I resubmitted but then Kevin emailed back querying why I had done it. I think he’s probably away or something and he’ll sort it when he’s back — my guess.


  182. Bradon 10 Jul 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Lois Tilton,
    I would like to speak with you about Vampire Winter, which I read when I was in high school. Times have changed and now I am a screenwriter, but still in love with what I consider a book destined to be a movie. (Especially with 30 Days of Night coming out)
    I believe you knew one of my high school friends, Christian Vande-Velde (He’s currently riding in the Tour de France). I believe some of his family member lived next door to you.

    I’d prefer not to discuss specifics on an open forum so if you get this message, please email me directly.

    Thanks much!

  183. Carol Bergon 14 Jul 2007 at 4:33 pm


    I wrote just for fun for almost ten years before I even looked at getting published. I was working full time during those years. Transformation was published in 2000, and I left my day job in 2002. My ninth book just came out in May.

    Do I wish I had a different career…? Simple answer – no way. I’ve had several careers, one (software engineering) that was both lucrative and enjoyable, and none of them compares to creating memorable characters and their stories.

    Do deadlines and commitments make writing less fun? Simple answer – no. The writing itself is still enjoyable.

    What deadlines and commitments create is the drive for completion and excellence–which in turn makes my work better than it ever could have been when I was just putzing around. No, I can’t just put the book aside until a better idea shows up, which means I have some frustrating days as I try to work through problems. But the result is an incredibly better work. And then I get to share it with readers and hear how it has touched them…and there is just nothing like it.

    There are writers who insist that maintaining the day job in parallel with the writing career is the only way to go. The varied stimulation and the relaxation from having a steady income can actually promote creativity. I was certainly more disciplined about my time management while I was still working. But then I was fortunate to have an opportunity for a lucrative separation from the day job at a time when I had commitments enough to write full time.

    Good enough?

    Good luck,

  184. Adamon 27 Jul 2007 at 6:55 am


    Is there any reason why 13 lines doesn’t seem to posting my most recent intro? I can resend it but don’t wish to duplicate unless it’s been lost.


  185. Seaboe Emmon 27 Jul 2007 at 10:24 am

    Adam, Kevin is out of town and he is frequently the poster.

    Plus, sometimes they get behind in their e-mail.

    I’d wait until after Comicon to start worrying.


  186. Adamon 27 Jul 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks, Seaboe.

    I guessed he might be away. I sent it about 8 days ago, so I was concerned it may have been lost.

    Although, I really don’t know why I am moaning. I regretted hitting the send button two seconds after sending it. I spotted I had left out an entire word!

  187. Ivyon 04 Aug 2007 at 8:04 pm

    Is anyone here on Twitter or Facebook? I’m trying to find writing friends on Twitter especially. My Twitter id is Kehinde and my Facebook profile is linked from my home page (actually, so is my Twitter profile).

  188. Adamon 06 Aug 2007 at 1:32 pm


    Does anyone know when 13 lines will resume? I could not find out when Comicon finishes online and so have no idea when Kevin will return.

    I have re-sent an intro and I check a few times each day (in an obsessive kinda way!) but, alas, no joy!


  189. JB Armstrongon 10 Aug 2007 at 9:30 am

    Ooooh, now I feel like a total n00b. I sent in 13 lines and thought maybe I was rejected or something.

  190. Adamon 10 Aug 2007 at 4:00 pm

    13 lines has never been off-line this long before, not since I have been visiting this site.

    I was concerned they were rejecting me too!

  191. Seaboe Emmon 15 Aug 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Looks like they took August off.


  192. Ivyon 17 Aug 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Anyone who wants to post to my site, let me know. Love to have you.

  193. Adamon 17 Aug 2007 at 4:53 pm

    I have posted my 13 line intro on your site, it was very helpful.

  194. Debbie Whiteon 18 Aug 2007 at 11:19 am

    I also have a blog where people can get their writing critiqued. I figured that there were so many places for people to post the first 13 lines of short stories that I didn’t need to do that, too. However, I’d be happy to critique first 13 lines on my blog if people want me to.

  195. Jesson 19 Sep 2007 at 1:26 pm

    For whoever did the website – where are the gorgeous images in your header from? I see the format listed at the bottom as “adapated from” Fall Season but that doesn’t help me figure out the pictures.

  196. Charleson 19 Sep 2007 at 3:30 pm


    There is a link at the top right hand part of this website (just below those wonderful images) that will take you to the “About The Artists” page

  197. Jesson 20 Sep 2007 at 9:48 am

    Ugggh thanks, Charles. And I was so careful to look at the bottom for the theme and stuff so it wasn’t a stupid question, and here I looked right OVER the answer. D’oh.

  198. Adamon 24 Sep 2007 at 6:33 am


    Does anyone know what is happening to 13-lines? I note that Kevin doesn’t seem to have posted anything on the site at all and, as he seems to post all the 13 Line critiques, I was wondering if everything was ok.


  199. Adamon 29 Oct 2007 at 3:37 am


    I left it a month, but will ask again now.

    Anyone have any idea when 13 lines will re-start? I know you are all pretty busy being writers and all!


  200. Adamon 13 Nov 2007 at 10:44 am

    Just wondering when 13 lines will resume?

  201. Annon 08 Dec 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Is there anywhere on the web (I’ve looked myself with little success) where I can find a comprehensive list of conventions? I have a book coming out and the publisher works with the niche marketing concept.

    Sure, a gardening book can be sold at a nursery. But when it comes to fiction, where do you go? With science fiction, the only other avenue I could think of was the conventions. And maybe comic book stores? It could easily fly as YA SF. And it’s a funny space opera like Dr. Who or Flash Gordon.

    Any answer would be appreciated.


  202. Kate Elliotton 10 Dec 2007 at 2:57 am

    Ann, you can start with Locus Magazine. Their web listing of conventions isn’t comprehensive, but it’s fairly extensive.

  203. R.on 15 Feb 2008 at 1:30 pm

    After transferring all my manuscripts’ bits and pieces into Scrivener, I spent the next few days re-arranging my files’ hierarchy — I can actually find stuff now! [yay!]

    During all that frenetic shuffling, I discovered a few things: the story arcs and plotting are solid, characterisation is strong and organic, the dialogue flows in a very human fashion, and the make-believe world is believable.

    However [tragic sigh], my prose is unforgivably abysmal.

    Can anyone suggest methods or techniques or exercises to help me remedy this problem of clunky and awkward prose? Does reading or writing poetry help?

  204. Seaboeon 15 Feb 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I made my first professional sale over a year ago (the story was published in JBU in June 2007). However, I’m having trouble believing in it. That is, constantly find myself thinking that the real reason the story sold is because I’d previously met the editor. Or because they felt bad for sitting on it so long. Or [fill in the non-writing-skill related reason of your choice].

    Has anyone else had similar feelings? How did you get over them?


  205. Kate Elliotton 23 Feb 2008 at 9:48 pm

    R., read books written by people who are praised for having good style, or just read as widely as possible and start trying to figure out why some writing reads smoothly and others clunky. As you begin to recognize good prose, you’ll start seeing how it works and being able to transfer what you’re learning to your own writing. Much of it is simply experience – and that just takes time and patience.

    It never hurts to read and write poetry, as a general thing!

  206. Kate Elliotton 23 Feb 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Professional editors don’t buy stories for those reasons; they buy them because they think they are good enough to publish.

    As for those feelings? The truth is, you may never get over them. I never have. What I have learned to do is recognize I’m having them, recognize that I will have them, and accept that I have them. Then, as much as possible, I set them aside, or into a box, or in the backseat, or whatever, and go forward. In other words, nothing you’ve described is abnormal! Embrace your doubts! They’re part of being a writer.

  207. R.on 24 Feb 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks, Kate, will do!

  208. Seaboeon 25 Feb 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you, Kate.

    I find it interesting that after years of workshops, writing, reading and talking to other writers, I find it so much easier to accept criticism than praise. I’m reassured to find that it’s normal.


  209. Valtamerenon 26 Feb 2008 at 4:11 pm

    I just discovered this site last week… all postings are of 2006 and 2007 or earlier… does nobody use this sight anymore? :(

  210. Kate Elliotton 26 Feb 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Valtameren, there are a dozen posts from 2008 that are currently on or have appeared on the front page.

  211. Valtamerenon 28 Feb 2008 at 4:29 pm

    I’m sorry! I was mainly aiming that towards the 13-line critque. Can you tell me anything about that?

  212. Valtamerenon 07 Mar 2008 at 1:19 am

    Awesome… I guess nobody is going to answer my question about the 13-line critique page.

  213. Kate Elliotton 07 Mar 2008 at 1:53 am

    Alas, I have been working on my most recent novel (for which I have a strict deadline that is rolling closer and closer) and have not had the time I’d like to have for DeepGenre. I have not checked out the 13-line critiques in quite a few weeks, unfortunately.

  214. Valtamerenon 08 Mar 2008 at 11:30 am

    Do you run this website all alone? :(

    I don’t think I’ve read any of your books. 😮
    What genre do you mostly write?

  215. Narda Weberon 24 Mar 2008 at 11:58 pm

    My question is for Katharine Kerr–I read the Deverry series several times, and just love it! Any inkling when “Shadow Isle” will come out? I never read any fantasy before my daughter introduced me to your books, and now I’m hooked. I’m gonna make myself read this last book v-e-r-y slowly, to make it last, then start all over again. Thanks for a great tale, a fascinating story, exceedingly well told.
    Narda of the all-night eyes

  216. Ariaon 31 Mar 2008 at 10:01 am

    I’m not positive on this, but according to, “Shadow Isle” will be out May 6th., however, has been known to be wrong so, like I said, I’m not completely sure about this.

  217. Laurieon 01 Apr 2008 at 3:46 pm

    You know, I was about to pre-order the Shadow Isle on Amazon for a discount price and then I thought about it. When you do that, does the author get less money from that sale?

  218. Debbie Whiteon 01 Apr 2008 at 5:48 pm

    When you do that, does the author get less money from that sale?

    Short answer: no.

  219. Valtamerenon 14 Apr 2008 at 5:10 pm

    (Don’t read on if you haven’t read them.)

    Carol Berg,

    I loved Flesh and Spirit so much that I wanted to marry it and make babies. After I read it, I pushed an old lady out of the isle at Borders to get Breath and Bone.

    Statement: Flesh and Spirit was full of action, tension, and made you want to rush out and buy Breath and Bone immediately… why is it that B&B is soooooooooooooooooo slow compared to to F&S. The story makes a deadweight halt…

    Question: Why???? Why did Valen get stuck with Saverian? Why did the story build you up so much on the bastard prince cutting out eyeballs… and then it turn out to be something not so spectacular as your brain thought it would be????

    Statement: I’m sad. :(

    Another Statement: I’ve changed my favorite series to Rai-Kirah.

    Statement: Sorry if I made ya mad/ hurt your feelings. I love your writing… B&B just made me angry though. F&S was better.

    Suspicion: Evil publishers rush your writing?

    Humility: You are still the lordess of all authors! 😀

    Applause: You rock. Keep on rocking, rocker!

  220. Kate Elliotton 17 Apr 2008 at 4:02 pm


    sorry for the belated reply. I don’t run the site alone, but I think all of us get overwhelmed by deadlines periodically, and it appears that right now we’re all kind of swamped.

    I write fantasy and science fiction. You can find a recent interview with me at Book Critic.

  221. Valtamerenon 23 Apr 2008 at 9:40 am

    It’s okay Lady Elliott, *grins* I completely understand. Publishers just need to can it and let you take your time, when you get rushed, it doesn’t turn out the way it should. And, I’ll head over to your website now and check you out.

    One of these days… You’ll see my books up on that fantasy wall along side yours!

    One of these days… :)

  222. Beth S.on 29 Apr 2008 at 4:39 pm

    What has happened to the 13-line critiques? There’s been nothing new posted there in a long time.

  223. Beth S.on 29 Apr 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Coming back to add —

    Sorry, didn’t mean to pile on another inquiry about 13 lines when the question has already been asked several times. I should’ve taken time to read farther back in the thread.

  224. Kate Elliotton 29 Apr 2008 at 7:47 pm

    BethS: S’okay. In my case I’ve just been swamped but am hoping things settle down asap and I can post here regularly again.

  225. Carolon 30 Apr 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Kate, I have just started reading Shadow Gate, just wanted to let you know I love the style of your writing (always have!) its so lyrical and expressive. Keep up the good work…I can’t wait to get further in the book!

  226. Charles Garzonon 05 May 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Sorry, but I must ask, if I do the thirteen lines critique lines wrong…will some scream at me or something, so I know what I did wrong? Don’t worry I think I did everything right, but I may have overlooked something…ya never know these days. I see that there has not been alot of submission here lately, its ok for me to submit? what happened? I know kate is swamped but what happened to everyone else?

  227. Valtamerenon 08 May 2008 at 12:09 am

    In reply to Charles Garzon:

    I’ve kidnapped them all and stuffed them in my pockets! Only Kate has been lucky enough to avoid it so far, but her luck is about to change! I have a few tricks up my sleeve. (And that damn rabbit can’t have any!)

  228. Valtamerenon 08 May 2008 at 12:47 am

    All right~ I know I just posted an hour ago, but I have a serious question. I’m finally ready to send a prose out to publishers. How do I make it look professional? Aaaaaand, how do I distinguish the fake I-want-to-suck-the-money-right-out-of-your-pockets publishers from the real ones? I was trying to find information on submitting to HarperCollins but they don’t have anything on their websites. My first novel is fiction, not fantasy or sci-fi. I figured I’d get my start with the easy stuff first. Riiiiiiiight… so really, KATE M’LOVE- Help meeeeeeeeeeeeee! *Puppy dog face.* Gosh, don’t ya feel attatched to me already?! 😛

    I’ll be waitin’, and readin’ over other parts of the site trying to find my answer until you pave the easy road for me and reply to this message.

    P.S: If and when it ever gets published, ya’ll are gunna buy it right?

    -Subliminal messages are fully intended.-

  229. Charleson 08 May 2008 at 11:23 am

    Being charming are we…
    Is kate the only help you ask for???
    What genre are you writing?
    Suspense, Mystery, Romance…
    Do you use writers market books? They should be useful for finding credible publishing companies (they even mention what kind of genre most of them favor). Also,you might have to look at some of the publishing companies who want to own you rights (don’t use those), some will also make you sign a contract that makes you use the same publisher for every book…make sure you don’t find those.
    Also, look for royalties!!!!!…(that’s percentage of money they pay, if you don’t know).
    Then again, I’m just a novice writer…so you might want to wait for another reply…

  230. Anyaon 08 May 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I’ve tried to post, somehow it didn’t work, too many links perhaps?

    Anyway, HarperCollins does not consider unsolicited manuscript unless you write romance novels. Take a look at their website again, somewhere in the middle, under the header “Top Links” you’ll find “submissions”. Most publishers (certainly all the big ones) have information about how to submit to them on their websites, but few will consider unsolicited novel manuscirpts.

    Have you considered finding an agent first?

    As for how to avoid scam publishers or agents, check out

    http: //

  231. Valtamerenon 09 May 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Well, Charlie; May I call you Charlie? Good, great, grand… I am the scum beneath the novice writers shoes only hoping to evolve one of these days. ;D I only asked for the help from Kate because only Kate has ever responded to me. (Other than you of coarse, but that was only as of late.)
    I don’t suppose you could catalog my manuscript under a catagory. It simply is what it is, fiction. I would consider it a dry humor drama. You know… the kind of thing you really “shouldn’t” laugh at but do anyway and you can’t distinguish whether it’s sad or funny. You want to laugh and cry at the same time.

    Writers market books? (I swear I’m secretly not as dumb as you now think I am. 😀 )

    As for being charming. I’m guessing I am charming since you asked that question. :O

    I’m so piss-poor it isn’t even funny. I can’t afford an agent. Aaaaaaaand, I live in the middle of Podunksvillefieldale. (Totally a real place, y’know?) I want to publish a book and then I’ll buy an agent! As for HarperCollins… I chose them because my all time favorite fiction novel was published by them: In the Land of Winter. (READ IT NOW, me commands you. 😛 )

    P.S: CAUTION- With words, I make eyes bleed.

    I’ve had experience of submitting a single manuscript to a company that would accept a poem on the different flavors of ice cream that you enjoy (or don’t enjoy, whatever your prefernce. “I like ice-cream IT SO YUM… Dude do you have any gum?” You know… deep emotional stuff like that.). Unfortunately I ALMOST became victim of the WL Writer’s Angency.

    Permission to LoL if you want to. 😛

  232. Anyaon 10 May 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Agents only get money from you if they make a sale for you; then a 15% commission is most common, or 20% for foreign sales. An agent who charges reading fees is more often than not a scam.

    And if HarperCollins say on their web page that they don’t look at unsolicited manuscripts then I believe they mean that they won’t look at unsolicited manuscripts.

    If you’re serious about wanting to be published, check out e.g. the prededitors page I mentioned earlier and find out about agents, publishers, how to query, how to submit, how to revise, how to write a synopsis, etc. Another place with lots of info and useful links is www dot hollylisle dot com/fm/

  233. Charleson 10 May 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Yep man, I tried….but Im also trying to self publish my own first book…I not much into publishing via company. Those contracts scare me. Told you I was a nieve newbie.

  234. Charles G.on 10 May 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Valtameren, you are hilarious… your sense of humor sounds like mine… a little twisted.
    Now, I would love to ask anyone who is open to answer. I submitted to 13 lines without any success or any sign updates. I’m not trying to rush anyone in charge of that, because I understand things happen and life is life…ya never know when you’ll end up in Valtameren’s pocket.
    Does anyone know of any other community, that could tell if I suck or I’m just plain awsome? I’m working on two short stories and I would love to submit them to a magazine.

  235. Valtamerenon 10 May 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Anya – Thank you very much for the information I will put it to good use. I am serious about getting published. My goal is not to be rich, but to artistically inspire somebody even if it is only one person. I shall look into an agent. 😀

    Charles – Hey did you know there is another Charles in this thread? We should string him up and beat him like a pinata! (Good luck on self publishing! How does that work?)

    Charles G. – Hey, my friend, you will be next to explore the various terrains of my pocket! (After I get ol’ Kate in there, of course. Good luck with the 13 line critique. I submitted my first one back in the Stone Age (when I first discovered the sight in January-ish.) The gods and goddesses who govern this HTML universe are absorbed in their personal life. How selfish of them, right? (Haha, that was a joke for those of you who didn’t get the hint of sarcasm. ;D)


    “There is no I in team.”


    “Now there is.”

  236. Charleson 11 May 2008 at 1:44 am

    Well Valtameren,
    Same Charles…only I realized there was a Charles somewhere else here so I added Charles G. for garzon.
    As for self publishing, you get a cover designer… some one to proofread…handle license issues if you copied a song liric… got to book printing company, print about 500 copies…costs about $5,000 (can’t disappoint yourself). But hey, your pisspoor and you have to pay nothing for a publishing company.

    Ohhh, there is a m & e in team.

  237. Anyaon 11 May 2008 at 2:15 am


    www dot critiquecircle dot com
    www dot writing dot com
    www dot critters dot org
    sff dot onlinewritingworkshop dot com (this specializes in scifi, fantasy, and horror — costs 49$ a year, one month free to figure out if you like it.)

    just to name a few.

    Gook luck and keep writing!

  238. Kate Elliotton 11 May 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Fortunately, for me at least, I am still at large, although it was a close thing there for a couple of days.

    Carol: Thank you!

    Valtameren: the library is your friend. Besides the aforementioned (I think by Charles) Writer’s Market, you may be able to find books like “How to Be Happily Published” which give a step by step description of, well, how to go about trying to get published.

    Also, Anya has offered some excellent links to online writers’ workshops and to sites like prededitors, places that talk about what you want to avoid. Writers Beware is another one.

    Good luck!

  239. Valtamerenon 11 May 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Charles: There are no new ideas, only old ones reincarnated.

    Kate: Thank you, thank you. The library is not my friend though. It is a vicious monster that attacks nearby children. At least that is what I have convinced myself into believe. People just don’t read as much as they should nowadays.

    My biggest fear is taking that big step only to find out there is nothing to step down on. I need solidity; I need good criticism before I make a leap into a pit of publishers.

    Everyone was born with one wing, so in order to fly we must embrace one another.

  240. Kate Elliotton 11 May 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Seriously, try some of the online workshops Anya noted.

  241. Charleson 11 May 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Valtameren…ya killin me hea! (no seriously I think you make my stomach hurt I laughed so hard)
    There are always new ideas… Just that they can all be traced back like the family tree. By the way Anya… what do you write? (assuming you write).

  242. Anyaon 12 May 2008 at 7:53 am

    Charles (and Valtameren),

    Of course I write (Fantasy). I’ve been trying to get published several times and I hope to finish my trilogy this year and give it another go.

    Imho, a writer must do the following before he can be published:

    I) Read, read, read.

    II) Write a novel (first draft).

    III) Improve your craft. Read a couple of how-to’s on topics that you struggled with during writing your first draft.

    For example, I once received a rejection from a (German) publisher along with a 3-page analysis of why my novel was not yet quite publishable. One of the things they bemoaned were “structural problems.” So I checked out Jack Bickham, “Scene and Structure” — which turned out to be a great help and one of only seven how-to’s on creative writing that I’ve since found helpful (and I’ve read loads and many are either chit-chat without structure or much content, or sometimes even total rubbish…)

    Those (imho top) how-to’s are:

    1. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Brown and Dave King.
    2. Scene and Structure, by Jack Bickham
    3. Description, by Monica Wood
    4. The First Five Pages, by Noah Lukeman
    5. Characters & Viewpoint, by Orson Scott Card
    6. Plot, by Ansen Dibell
    7. Heroes and Heroines, by Cowden, LaFever, Viders

    P.S. There is none on dialogue that I found helpful, BUT #1 above contains four chapters on dialogue that cover everything you need to know.

    IV) Rewrite your novel.

    V) Workshop (part of) your novel.

    This step might not be as necessary as the others, but I found the workshop (OWW) very helpful.

    VI) Rewrite or Revise your novel.

    VII) Reread your novel in “one go” to catch errors in logic, pacing, structure, etc. Revise your novel accordingly.

    VIII) Work through your entire manuscript again, and make sure your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are impeccable.

    Famous bestselling authors might not have to do this, but first-time authors do.

    IX) Learn how to write a query letter, synopsis, and how to format a manuscript.

    Check out e.g. “Your Novel Proposal,” by Camenson and Cook. There’s also a lot of advice on the internet, of course, e.g. a free download here:

    www dot lukeman dot com/def2 dot htm

    X) Research agents and publishers. Find out exactly what each of them publishes/represents, how they like to be contacted, who their other clients are, and whatever else you can think of.

    XI) Query. Send each agent exactly what s/he wants. Exactly the number of pages/chapters that agent wants to see. If s/he prefers snail mail, send snail mail, if s/he asks email queries containing the word “query” in the header and the sample chapter as plain text in the body of the mail, send an email containing “query” in the header and the sample chapter as plain text in the body of the mail.

    XII) If an agent/editor is interested: be as cooperative as you know how to be. Don’t be a diva. Don’t be defensive. Always be polite.

    If you did all this and are still rejected, you can be sure of my sympathy. If you didn’t do half of it and are rejected, I will probably say, “Well, do your homework first, then try again.”

    Oh, did I mention, the most important thing? Perseverance. ;o)

    Good luck to you!

  243. Anyaon 12 May 2008 at 8:16 am

    P.S. If this sounds a bit much, well, it is, but then again, a year or so ago, I didn’t even know what “unsolicited” meant.

    Writers must be able to dream and hope against hope, but when they reach the point where they want to start querying, a dash of realism goes a long way to avoid some of the rejections and heartache.

  244. Charleson 12 May 2008 at 10:16 am

    And I thought self publishing was harder…I guess its harder when your depending on someone who barely knows you and your writing. Although I need someone to edit my work.

  245. Anyaon 12 May 2008 at 10:44 am

    Actually, I think you need to know more, not less, if you want to self-publish. ;o)

    > I guess its harder when your depending on someone who barely knows you and your writing.

    Ah, but an agent knows the market, the publishers, the editors, the law, the fine print, and exactly which tax form you will have to fill out if you’re not a U.S resident, and . . . loads more.

    > Although I need someone to edit my work.

    Standard fees for proofreading are $6 per page (and that’s Standard manuscript page of 300 or so words).

  246. Charleson 12 May 2008 at 11:11 am

    So far…the only laws I know of…are the ones that apply if you copied a song lyric (license) (mine was $300 total). Copyright don’t engage till 6 months sent in manuscript. I’m a U.S. resident…who plans to distribute in U.S. so….I guess I shouldn’t worry much…just expense, and book design (around 5g’s)
    but then again…that’s all I know so far…

  247. Anyaon 12 May 2008 at 1:17 pm

    typo in my long post, it’s

    1. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne (with an e) and Dave King.

  248. Valtamerenon 12 May 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Charles, Charles G., Charles Garzon, Charlie – What kind of book design are you looking for? I’m a better artist than I am a writer. 😉

    Anya – Wow… you’ve almost written a whole trilogy and they’re still refusing you? We should kick some publisher butt. They can’t always tell what people will love or hate.

    If somebody is going to publish Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series, they’d publish anything. I read one book of that and the horrible writing made my brain bleed. Every description in that book wasn’t a description at all, it was a reference to a movie.

    If you’re better than that, I’ll buy! 😀

    All time favorite multi-published author: Brian Jaques.

    What about you guys?

  249. Anyaon 12 May 2008 at 4:49 pm

    > you’ve almost written a whole trilogy

    Nah, I’ve written an entire trilogy, I´m 2/3 through the fifth draft. And it’s not really a trilogy but one story, so it’ll be tough to place. That really worries me.

    > We should kick some publisher butt. They can’t always tell what people will love or hate.

    Ah, but they can tell which books they want to publish: it’s their company after all, not mine. ;o) And they know their sales figures much better than I do.

    Besides, I haven’t queried U.S. agents yet (or UK, Australian, or any other English-speaking agent for that matter) but hope to do so by the end of the year.

    P.S. My favorite author of all times? It’s a tie between J.R.R. Tolkien and Thomas Mann.

  250. Valtamerenon 12 May 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Aww Anya, I really wanted to kick some butt. :(
    Now I’m disappointed.

    My biggest problem with writing is finding a plotline to fill the things in between the story. I can tell what happens at point A and then tell what happens at point B; but I have a hard time telling what happened in the meantime. I tend to get… sidetracked.

  251. Charleson 12 May 2008 at 11:48 pm

    My hugest problem is the time…squeezing writing into my prioritized life (education being the mayor priority), and focus… But I have very good plot (a little repetitive sometimes…but alright at everything else). Book desing for me… I’m looking for dark…gloomy design (its a gothic novella). Shows a man opening a door with bright light on other side. The whole book will be black and white cover art will be laminated on the hard cover. The man is nothing other that a shadow in the dark, very little of his color and physical shape is revealed…
    Designed font and set up already. With word, even the a page size…half a computer page
    When I mean laminated (have you he seen the cover of Of Mice and Men?)

  252. Valtamerenon 13 May 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Okay, just to make sure I understood this correctly.

    You want a black and white artwork of a man opening a doorway to a bright light?

    Would you prefer an artwork done with charcoal crosshatch or clean and cut with photoshop?

    Do you want it to look as realistic as possible? Like an actual photo of nothing but darkness, a doorway, and a man?

    Or do you want it to look cartoony yet serious like a comic book?

  253. Charleson 14 May 2008 at 10:21 am

    Which ever is most convinient… I personally think a charcoal crosshatch would be very good… but if its easier and cheaper to go photo shop,that would be awsome. For crosshatch, a comic/anime drawing would be good because there is going to very little light shown for everything else… and I think it will be good for the younger population…teens in other words (I don’t picuture little kids readingthis).

  254. Valtamerenon 14 May 2008 at 5:15 pm

    I’ll do several variations and see if you like any of them. I love getting inspiration. Even if you don’t want it/ like it; I’m going to enjoy it. It will give me a chance to get some feedback.

    Give me a couple days and I’ll set up a cheap webpage where you can just go and view the pictures.

    And anime isn’t for younger people. 😛 It’s for adults! 99.9% of the storylines are too mature and too complex for children to view.

    If Dragonball Z went without being edited in America, I garuntee it would be rated M for mature. 😛

  255. Charleson 14 May 2008 at 7:16 pm

    haha…cool man…I’m getting excited myself.

  256. Valtamerenon 14 May 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Try not to get TOO excited. I’d like you to save some for a rainy day, then you can pull out the excitement and smack the rainy day in the face.

    Anyway, is it too prying to ask what your novel is about?

  257. Charleson 15 May 2008 at 11:59 am

    Valtameren— don’t worry about my excitement…my rainy day has came and went, and its still looking cloudy.

    As for the novella…this novella is about a vampire/werewolf/human hybrid who recounts his tale from two hundred years ago. It sets up perfectly for a series. Picture Angel, only he is a victim of severe misfortune, grief, and torture. The scene first starts in Prussia…and slowly migrates westward (some of the cities are made up though).
    I plan to migrate with this series up until the present day.

  258. Valtamerenon 16 May 2008 at 1:13 am

    Go there Charlie, there are two CONCEPTS up. If you like one or both I can start turning them into real works of art… if not, I can go back to the drawing board.

    Your novel reminds me of Underworld. 😛

    Why’s it looking cloudy?

    (I’ve tried posting this message five hundred thousand times; it never works. Sorry if you guys get spammed with the same messages over and over. Just delete ’em if there is more than one with the above URL in it.)

  259. Charleson 16 May 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I’m just catching up on posts at this site as work has had me swamped. For a moment, I was reading through this thread saying to myself: “When did I have this conversation with Valtameren?”

    Then I realized there’s another Charles on board. Whew…

  260. Charles G.on 16 May 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Charles: Yeah sorry about that man…I’ll put an initial next time. I did once, but I thought you weren’t comming back… so I stopped.

    Valtameren: Hombre they are rough drafts right…neva mind… You photoshop one (man is too small). Your other one (The graphic art is alittle blurry). Both has promise though, I like the set up of the drawn one, and the sharpness of the other one.
    I’m really glad to working with you on this.

  261. Charles G.on 16 May 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Ohh…an no really its cloudy where I live, and my life is fixen to a little diffrent (meaning complicated).

  262. Valtamerenon 16 May 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Charles – You don’t remember chatting me up all of the time! *Gasp.* I thought what we had was special! 😛

    Charles G. – 😀 😀 😀 That isn’t telling me anything. All I have to go on is what you say.
    You’re not saying, “Hmm I like this one, work on this one.” or “I don’t like either of them; keep on trying.” I know they’re small and blurry… that’s why they’re rough drafts. 😛 C’mon! Give me more to work with. You want me to work on some other ideas or keep making variations of these two? How do you picture it looking in your head? *Karate chops Charles G.* 😀 😀 😀

    What do you mean your life is fixen to a little different?

    Are there many books about necromancy out on the market?

    ’cause I had a really psychotic dream that spawned an even greater story! ;D

    “You don’t have to be anybody because being somebody doesn’t make you anybody anyway.”
    -Gia Carangi

  263. Charles G.on 17 May 2008 at 12:26 am

    I dream some of my scenes too…
    Ok hombre…I like them both…they are great (I can actually envision this art now…especially once you work on that…I didn’t have nothing much to say…chill, that means your right on target)…ok I’ll admit the one that looks photoshoped needs to have the light be more pure clean light…like blank sheet of paper clean.
    Now… I a greater detail for you…I had envisioned this man opening a door, the door is not completely open. The bright light shines brightly through the door…but the man is comming from the darkness into the light. Now…I love the other pictures…actually I was pleasantly surprised, when I got a closer look at them. Both seem like they would make sense. (simply because the hideaway, can mean the the man is hiding away from the total chaos of the world…the darkess of the room or place on the other side symbolizes his shield)
    Ok I’ll give an answer to your prying question… I am suffering from nervousness (this from being worried that I’m getting into something in my life that is a little over my head)… Another hint I have is that I’m going to ask you another question “how old do I sound like or read?”

    Ohh…another thing…you’re publishing something…what’s the name of you satirical novel?

  264. Valtamerenon 17 May 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I’ll suprise you that neither one of those drawings were done by hand or Photoshop. Both were done in Windows Paint, hehehe. I just did some quickies for us to get ideas. I’ll work on them and then one other of someone actually opening a door.

    Hmm… your age of writing sounds to be between the ages of twenty and forty-five (I said forty-five because you’ve used the word hombre a bazillion times. I’ve only ever heard people older than myself use that. Sorry to burst your bubble if I did. Oh, and since you used the word anime… it also suggests you’re younger than 45. Everyone above the age of thirty-five usually, but not all the time, calls them simply cartoons.) Mid twenties to mid thirties is my final answer.

    My writing seems younger than I actually am. I like to portray my playful side of my spirit. It gives my speech personality and oft’ times I portray myself as various animals. I have yet to do it in here. 😀

    As for the name of my potential novel: Deadlands

    And no… it isn’t about zombies, lol.

    And I don’t “pry” information. It is given freely because deep down inside, people want to give it. They only pretend like they don’t want anyone to know to either a) keep attention on themselves because people keep asking them “what’s wrong” and stuff or b) they are too afraid of what the person they’re telling it to will say or c) they think it’s nobody’s business.

    I have a unique pattern of believing that everyone and everything is everyone’s business. The problem lies in the way people handle that business. People should take care of one another, instead we lie solely on ourselves never expecting someone else to support us… but when that crucial time comes that we really need somebody we don’t have anybody because we’ve pushed everyone out the door by saying, “It’s none of your business.” Had we just swallowed our pride and told our business, we’d have someone to understand it. But since 95% of people gossip and abuse the information you’ve given them. It really comes to the point where it is nobody’s business.

    “Hi-ho there, Kermit-the-Frog here, coming to live from Sesame Street. This ramble was brought to you by the letter A.”

    TO THE WEBMASTERS – I’m sorry, but the curtains in this room doesn’t match the mood. You people think maroon is a great color, but it’s not! I hang up white ones with little duckies instead. It gives that sort of psychotic feeling when you stare at them for too long. :)

    Oh, and I apologize if this thread is getting out of hand with posts that are not questions relating to literature. If it upsets ya or anything just let me know and I’ll take my babble elsewhere. I don’t wanna cramp the margins! 😛

  265. Charles G.on 17 May 2008 at 6:28 pm

    I’m glad you portray me as older…I’m perhaps older than my years then…truth is, that when you were fifteen I probably wasn’t born yet. The hombre, I used it because my dad used it, and I’m also sort of bilingual.
    You don’t sound very young by the way…it takes a certain genius to have the sense of humor you have. Have you noticed that I get your jokes, but I cannot sound as funny as you are… (I don’t have the wisdom to be that kind of funny).
    The deadlands is probably about a sad and depressing family (that is sickly funny in some sick and twisted way)…or a graveyard (no zombies…but people who work in a funeral home). My two guesses….please enlighten if you might…
    Cool…paint huh….I see the boxes on the second idea…that kinda struck me as funny.
    If ya wanna talk somewhere else…name the place and I’ll be there…you’ve probably been the most promissing person out my whole book publishing project (I need ya man!!!! (lol))

  266. Valtamerenon 18 May 2008 at 2:09 am

    I’m twenty-three. And it doesn’t take wisdom to be funny, only an oppertune moment and a right use with words. You can email me if you wish. It’s

    I sort of figured Garzon was a Latin name. I took a half semester of Spanish in high school. It was the only alternate language offered. I would have liked to learn German, Gaelic, or Russian.

    Deadlands is most likely going to end up being a triology.

    It’s about civil war between three nations. After the war disease and famine and all that good stuff break out. One disease in particular is Death. People are catching death and of coarse, dying. It takes place in a small village after a calm period. A young boy watches as his entire village is taken by the disease, but yet he doesn’t catch it. He decides to seek audience with the king and travels to the capital city. During his audience a mysterious man assassinates the king and the crime is blamed on the young boy. He is scheduled to be hanged in the morning…but… *DUN DUNN DUNNN.*

    Have I built any suspense?

    There were no boxes used. Just the spray paint function and the copying and pasting of a real picture of a door, lol. Now I’m just doodling those ideas down on actual paper with pencils and stuff. It’s a big long process that I might have finished by the time you get your book finished. xP

  267. Constance Ashon 18 May 2008 at 8:07 pm

    I’m curious. How do you have a “civil war between three nations”?

    As I’ve always been taught a civil war is between factions and / or parts of a particular nation.

    Nations in the plural have a war between them or among them, if there is more than two.

    At least that was how it’s always come across in my history studies.

    Love, C.

  268. Valtamerenon 19 May 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Sorry I from the south and know no better.
    All wI know is that history is about the past.
    I tries to speak the right way but I ain’t got no English.—
    Thanks for point’n that out though.

  269. Valtamerenon 19 May 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Whomever posted that previous message was not myself responding. Please delete it and whomever is posting under my name, never do it again.

    Your history teacher lied. These are straight out of the dictionary:

    1. of, pertaining to, or consisting of citizens: civil life; civil society.

    War – 1. a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.

    Civil War – A war between factions or regions of the same country.

    Nation – 1. a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own: The president spoke to the nation about the new tax

    Nations can be considered as territories within the same country. They split into three different factions because of three different ways of thinking.

  270. Charleson 20 May 2008 at 11:55 am

    U la la… that was fairly knowledgeable.
    I also have to add. The actual civil war was between, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America. Two different countries… just like Texas was once a country of its own.
    Therefore, the term civil war can actually be between anything. As long it troubles two coutries of the same heritage.

  271. Valtamerenon 20 May 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Lol, well then Charles, Civil War wouldn’t exist. Nobody is of the same heritage. We all have mixed nationalties in some way, shape, or form. No one is Pedigree anymore. We’re all mutts. 😀

  272. Charles G.on 20 May 2008 at 1:28 pm

    all…true…you know what I ment Valtameren

  273. Valtamerenon 21 May 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Carol Berg~
    You writing any new books? 😀

  274. Valtamerenon 25 May 2008 at 11:44 pm

    When writing a first person short story is it possible to over use the words, “I” and “myself” when actually referring to yourself. Is there anything else you can write in it’s place?

    I’ve written a first person story, but someone seems to think I’ve overused those words. I’ve reread my story three times and can’t see a problem with it. Not every line in it is about the one who is telling it. Some lines start about other people, and other lines start different ways all while keeping the same direction: The narrorartor talking about herself and things that went on in other peoples lives around her.

    I’m confused, lol.

  275. Charles G.on 27 May 2008 at 8:56 am

    Poor…poor…Poor! Valtameren…
    Anyways, I came to ask about the writing. Do anyone of you guys ever come up with a story from a song. Not listening to the song, but reading its lyrics?

  276. D.Privonitzon 17 Jun 2008 at 3:37 am

    Will there be a sequel to ‘Palace’ by Katherine Kerr and Mark Kreighbaum ?

  277. Brendan Podgeron 18 Jun 2008 at 3:15 am

    The already is. It is by Mark alone and titled “The Eyes of God”. It is out of print (and selling for grotesque prices on Amazon).

  278. Carol Bergon 19 Jun 2008 at 10:19 am

    Valtameren wrote:

    Carol Berg~
    You writing any new books?

    Yes, indeed. Roc just bought a new three-book series, tentatively titled The Sabrian Veil. The first book, Unholy Alliance (also tentative) scopes out thusly:

    A trio of unlikely confidential agents – a foppish nobleman, a disillusioned student of magic, and a brooding practitioner of the dark arts – are hired to investigate murder and hauntings in a world where natural science has supplanted failing magic.

    I am exploring the development of this story on my personal blog Text Crumbs ( Sorry I’ve been absent from Deep Genre. I’ve been embroiled in scoping out this new book while in the midst of lots of family events.

    Thanks for asking!


  279. janemarieon 04 Jul 2008 at 11:24 am


    My new book Ravens Deep has just been published. It is a Vampire/Gothic/Romance primarily set on Exmoor. My website is and there you will find a detailed synopsis and author interview if this is your type of genre. This site was recommended by an author as being better than many other type genre sites, and judging by various comments, people here seem to be well read and informed.


  280. janemarieon 04 Jul 2008 at 11:29 am


    My new novel Ravens Deep has just been released. It is a Vampire/Gothic/Romance primarily set on Exmoor in South West England. My website is and a full synopsis and author interview can be read there. If you have the inclination please check it out. This site was recommended to me, and judging from the comments I have read members seem to be well read and informed.

    Jane Jordan

  281. sarahon 22 Oct 2008 at 8:13 am


    Do you need to get work copy righted before sending in to publishers?

  282. Deb Son 03 Nov 2008 at 11:18 am

    I’m new to this website, so I hope I’m not stepping on anybody’s toes by answering your question… But no, you don’t need to get your work copywrited before submitting. No legit publisher would steal anyone’s work.
    Deb S.

  283. Stacyon 13 Nov 2008 at 2:20 pm

    How does the blurb process work? I’m confused as to when in a publication process blurbs are sought, how a new writer gets them, and who is responsible – publisher vs. author. Basically, any insight would be a help!

  284. Kyreenaon 03 Jan 2009 at 2:02 am

    This is addressed to anyone who can enlighten me:

    I’m currently reading Kate Elliott’s “Crown of Stars” series (I’ve just finished the 4th book), and there are a few things that confuse me, and it’s making things hard to understand or pick out.

    1. I can’t figure out what the Daisanite religion states exactly. Every now and then it gets angry at things like saying that God had a son and he was composed of both human and God, saying that it is heresy. But that is all I can figure out that is heresy. I don’t understand what it is that Tallia and the others preaches, that is heresy? What are they saying that is false according to the generally accepted scripture in the Daisanite reilgion?

    2. Who is the “Blessed Daisan”, the Son of God?

    3. And somewhere along the line, it started getting explicity mentioned that Sanglant has a hunched back or malformed shoudlers. Was that from his captivity under Bloodheart? Or was that something he inherited from the Aoi? Or is that something else?

    4. Why was Taillefer so special and beloved? Is that something revealed later in the series? Or was he just so revered because he was Emperor? It doesn’t make sense to me why it’s so important that his bloodline be continued as it has never been revealed that he had any particular talents, plus surely there were Emperors before him?

    Sorry for this onslaught! I really, really love this series; I just have to know everything I can about the world in which the story is set!

    If I asked any questions that will be further revealed later in the series, or ruin the rest of the story for me, please just say that I will find out. But I’d love any enlightenment anyone can provide! Especially with regards to the first question. I’m finding the question of heresy frustrating, as I don’t know what it is that they are saying that is heresy!

  285. Kate Elliotton 04 Jan 2009 at 3:34 am


    Thanks for your kind words about Crown of Stars.

    I’ll try to give some quick answers.

    1. One of the conflicts in the series is that between the old traditional form of the Daisanite religion, in which Daisan is a holy man but a man, not with any divine substance in him, and that of the heresy, which suggests that Daisan is partly divine and partly human. This is based on one of several disputes in early Christianity, in which there was quite a bit of argument over what was Jesus’s actual nature — human, divine, or mixed, or ? some other combination. Any person who believed one way thought that the way others believed was the heresy. The other element of Tallia’s heresy is that the older Daisanite beliefs talk about both a Mother and Father of Life, who are equal divine figures, but Tallia’s heresy speaks specifically of a Mother (God-in-female-form) and Her (divine) Son (which is how the heresy defines Daisan). One reason the old traditionalists don’t like this is that it makes the blessed Daisan’s prayers and accomplishments purely divine in origin rather than having any human agency, if that makes sense. Also, sometimes, people just argue over whose version is right because the person who gets to define what is “accepted” and “standard” then rests in a position of power.

    2. The blessed Daisan is more or less the religion’s version of Jesus Christ, that is, the figure around which the early religion coalesced and developed.

    3. Not sure what this refers to. Sanglant never gets a hunched back or malformed shoulders. If you could give me an exact quote or two I might be able to figure out what it refers to.

    4. Taillefer is kind of the local equivalent of Charlemagne. He was a major ruling figure, and had a lot of power that no one since has wielded quite as widely, so everyone wants to be related to him. This is typical of many countries with a history of kings, in that one kingly figure will have a special aura about him that later kings wish to emulate or claim kinship to.

    These are perfectly fine questions. If you ever have the interest, find a good history of early Christianity and read about the disputes in the early church. They are quite eye opening.

    Best wishes, and Happy New Year!

    Kate Elliott

  286. Jesslynon 08 Jan 2009 at 12:52 am

    Question for all authors in general an Ms. Kerr specifically–

    I am a recent fan and Kindle convert. My resolution for 2009 is no more printed books. For those of you that do not have books available in ebook format, is that your decision or the publisher’s decision? Also, if you have any say, can you request that the publication of one book in any series into ebook format be accompanied by the remaining/previous books in the series?

    For Ms. Kerr, is there anything you can do to push your publisher into getting the entire Deverry series into ebook format? Or at least the Dragon Mage portion?

    Thank you for your consideration and looking forward to future books from all.

  287. sarahon 17 Feb 2009 at 7:46 pm

    For anyone who is a fan of the forgotten realms.
    I have a story I wish to write but do not know whether just anyone is able to write a story based in the forgotten realms area, mentioning places that exist in those stories.
    I don’t know whether anyone is able to give me any advice on this but I really need to write this story, I can’t stand it bouncing round my head any longer!

  288. Carolineon 19 Feb 2009 at 5:56 am

    I have a question regarding the language in the book.
    I was very disappointed when I found out that “The Spirit Stone”, “The Shadow Isle” and the last book yet to come, isn´t going to be translated into swedish. I have read every book from “Daggerspell” to “The Gold Falcon” and now I don´t get to know the end? Sure I could read the last three books in english, but it´s not the same thing and it would ruin the story for me if I would have to look upp every fifth word in a dictionary
    My question is simply, why? Why are you stopping the translation after twelwe books? Who is in charge of that?

    // Disappointed reader

  289. Jess Kennetton 23 Apr 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Merry Meet.

    First off. Katharine, i love your books. Really can not wait until the last book comes out.

    Second. I have had a love for writting since i could start writting. :)
    However i have been inspired, through role playing online with groups, to actually try my hand properly at writing. In my mind i have the details, the vision. But it is hard to put on paper. :) Again, this vision i have has many pages, possibly a novel. How do you make an idea work, make it last for a novel? Otherwise my story will just be a long shortstory.

  290. Maureenon 04 May 2009 at 5:49 am

    Firstly, Katherine I love the Deverry Saga and I was wondering if you could tell me when the last bok was coming out?

    secondly, im writing my first book and i wanted to acknowledge fantasy authors who inspired me. is this a bad idea as people for whatever reason could feel im plagarising from other authors ideas?

  291. sakshion 30 May 2009 at 12:49 am

    I wanted to ask you that ” What do you mean by nighmere?

  292. Maureenon 08 Jun 2009 at 6:25 am

    I was just wondering if any of you guys write poetry and have had it published. I love poetry but it is so difficult to find fantasy poetry around thats decent

  293. Kate Elliotton 11 Jun 2009 at 1:42 pm


    I rarely write poetry, and have made no attempts at publication, so alas, I have no advice for you.


    I’m going to mention that the last book in the Deverry Saga may be published this fall; Katharine is close to finishing the first draft (she probably hasn’t seen this thread).

    Also, there is absolutely nothing in wrong in acknowledging writers who have inspired you. Most writers I know do it.

    Sarah – sorry for the belated reply. Forgotten Realms is a trademark, so you would need to contact them for permission.

  294. Maureenon 11 Jun 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Thankyou for replying Kate,

    do you know if any of the other authors on this website write poetry? I’d just be interested to read poetry written by a fantasy author. I think it would be unusual and different- another way of looking at poetry.

    and thanks for the Deverry update. My friend and I are very excited for the last book!!!

  295. Kate Elliotton 11 Jun 2009 at 11:40 pm


    google the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

  296. maureenon 30 Jul 2009 at 2:34 am

    As a 19 year old who writes fan fiction on the days she gets stuck on her story as a way of still exercising writing skills, I was wondering what authors on here thought about it. Dou you think it’s a valid form of writing or does it become too close to plagarism? I was just wondering what people thought

  297. Megan Ewenon 01 Aug 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Can you help me?Im eleven years of age and when i grow up i would like to be an author.I want to be as big as Jackqueline Wilson, Enid Blyton and J.K Rowling.My mum said to start earliy and get a good head start!So thats what i’ve desided to do im also going to be going to the dance academy and perform.Can you give me some tips about being an author?Like how to pick a title because thats the main thing apart from the story.Im not sure what sort of story i want to do.Since im a kid i havent really expereanced much thats why i need your help!Give me some pointers i want to finish my book and become famous!

    Thanks a bunch x

    Love megan the wrritter to be! x

  298. Kate Elliotton 01 Aug 2009 at 11:21 pm


    I don’t myself write fan fiction, nor have I ever written it. My opinion is that what you do in the privacy of your own home, for your own pleasure, is not plagarism. I don’t see anything wrong with it, especially if, as a sideline, it helps get you going on your own stuff later.

    Someone who tried to pass off fan fiction as a world of their own making or who wrote fan fiction based on another writer’s work and tried to sell it for $$, would be in violation of copyright. But that’s quite different than just writing something in private for your own enjoyment. imho

  299. Kate Elliotton 01 Aug 2009 at 11:23 pm


    there’s really only one pointer I have for you:

    Write, and then write more.

    That’s it.

    The rest will either happen, or it won’t, but you’ve got to write and write and write if you want a chance to make it happen. Good luck! And enjoy your writing!

  300. Maureenon 03 Aug 2009 at 1:49 am

    Dear Kate,

    I realised afterwards I didn’t explain myself correctly. There is a website called where people publish their fan fictions under usernames and other people can review. However, as a fan fiction site, everyone knows that it is not your work and disclaimers are put at the top of the piece you write. There is also a list of books/movies that ask that you do not publish work about those series/films and if you break that rule you are banned and your fanfiction is deleted. I have written some stuff on this website and gotten reviews from other people my age on there. However I’m assuming your answer would still stay the same?


    Ps- you seem like a really dedicated poster, despite being a successful author… you have my respect/thanks :)

  301. Dominique Bibleon 10 Oct 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I can’t seem to see the email address for the 13-line submissions.

    All it says is 13 line email address…



  302. Anonon 14 Oct 2009 at 2:52 pm

    The 13 line critique is no longer active

  303. Maureenon 27 Oct 2009 at 6:46 pm

    this is not a question but there wasn’t anywhere else to post this.

    KATHERINE KERR’S LAST DEVERRY BOOK COMES OUT IN AUSTRALIA NEXT MONDAY. i nearlly cried from happiness. the amount of time i have read and re read that series. all of my copies are nearlly in pieces from how many times ive read and reread them. i read them at least 4 times a year and speculate with my brother on what will happen in the end. It’s a little sad that it must end but still, i think ill explode from excitement.

    I believe the UK and US dates are similar and you can preorder the book if you like too.

    if Katherine comes back on the website I just wanna say thanks for this astounding series… my brother and I have loved and hated characters in the saga for years, to the point where they seem real to us now (though in a healthy way lol). lol the other day my mum asked if anyone had rang while she was out and my bro said Nevyn instead of no one. it was great.

    thanks for being consistent with publishing this series too (one every year almost :) ) one of my pet hates about fantasy series is the amount of time authors take to publish them. my second fave author of all time, Isobelle Carmody, is a case in point. I waited 9 years for the next obernewtyn book to come out last year.

    anyway thanks again for a wonderful series and i am sure the last book will be everything I hoped it would be.

    To admins: sorry if this was the wrong place to post this but i just wanted to let people know The Silver Mage is near

  304. Carolon 27 Oct 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Next Monday? Yay! I can’t wait! I had thought that it would be out later on this side of the world. Thanks for letting me know Maureen.

  305. Maureenon 29 Oct 2009 at 2:40 am

    Katherine Kerr, did you know that Within Temptation has written a song from the perspective of Nevyn about Brangwen/Jill. The song is called Jillian and the lyrics are below;

    I’ve been dreaming for so long,
    to find a meaning to understand.
    The secret of life,
    why am I here to try again?

    Will I always, will you always
    see the truth when it stares you in the face?
    Will I ever, will I never free myself
    by breaking these chains?

    I’d give my heart, I’d give my soul.
    I’d turn it back, it’s my fault.
    Your destiny is forlorn,
    have to live till it’s undone.
    I’d give my heart, I’d give my soul.
    I’d turn it back and then at last I’ll be on my way.

    I’ve been living for so long,
    many seasons have passed me by.
    I’ve seen kingdoms through ages
    rise and fall, I’ve seen it all.

    I’ve seen the horror, I’ve seen the wonders
    happening just in front of my eyes.
    Will I ever, will I never free myself by making it right?

    I’d give my heart, I’d give my soul.
    I’d turn it back, it’s my fault.
    Your destiny is forlorn,
    have to live till it’s undone.
    I’d give my heart, I’d give my soul.
    I’d turn it back and then at last I’ll be on my way.

    Jillian our dream ended long ago.
    All our stories and all our glory I held so dear.
    We won’t be together
    for ever and ever, no more tears.
    I’ll always be here until the end.
    Jillian, no more tears
    Jillian, no more tears

    I’d give my heart, I’d give my soul.
    I’d turn it back, it’s my fault.
    Your destiny is forlorn,
    have to live till it’s undone.
    I’d give my heart, I’d give my soul.
    I’d turn it back and then at last I’ll be on my way.

  306. TraceyLeaon 10 Nov 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I have a general question about trademarks and copyrights of products/items used in fiction works.

    I am from Australia and my current project, Broken Cast, is aimed at the late-teen/early 20’s age range and as part of the story my main characters are in places and using everyday identifiable items (like search engines, watching TV. shows and at Universities or other venues) as part of the plot and these items are also used in some extent to assist in reader identification with my characters.

    It would be great if someone could discuss/provide some general guidelines governing the use of these items as part of a plot, getting past the impact of restrictions like this as a writer and any acknowledgements or changes that would be needed to make sure that my work was not infringing any copyright or trademark restrictions.

    I also understand that laws in this area would be different depending on the country you are in, but surely being aware of the implications of using these everyday identifiable items in a fiction work would be useful for writers trying to get their work published and the writing community in general?

    Any information/discussion would be MUCH appreciated.


    P.S. I apologise if this is dealt with elsewhere, I did a Google search :p

  307. Kate Elliotton 22 Nov 2009 at 7:15 pm


    That’s actually an excellent question, and I don’t know the answer. I will ask my fellow DeepGenre-ites and if any of them know, I’ll post an answer on the front page.


    I think Kit may not see this topic — I’ll forward those lyrics to her! What can you tell me about the group. Also, I hope you saw the 15 Days of Deverry we ran recently. Check out the front page for more info.

    re: 13 Lines: my apologies but between one thing and another that feature is down right now.

  308. Maureenon 28 Nov 2009 at 8:32 pm


    I was there as dweomeroflight :) and I even was lucky enough to win a prize lol.

    The band that wrote Jillian (I’d give my heart) are a Dutch symphonic metal band called Within Temptation. I’ve only really just discovered them so I can’t tell you alot but as far as I’ve discovered they’ve just started getting bigger over in Amnerica, Uk and Australia now. Their music is often along fantasy lines (a bonus for nerds like me) or are nature themed or pacifist themed.

    Fantasy inspired songs by them include The Swan Song (referring to the legend of the princes turned into swans), Forsaken (reminds me of the Time Lords), The Howling (gothic references), Ice Queen (from the myth), Never Ending Story (self explanatory), and I suspect Utopia (having watched the Dr Who episode of the same title I am almost certain they wrote this song about the ep.) Other songs use fantasy inspirations such as choirs, strings and an epic sound.

    Their other songs are also astounding. I’d reccommend Mother Earth (strong fantasy sound harking back to the days of earth worship) and Our Solemn Hour (a pacifist song about WW2 set to Churchill’s victory speech)

  309. TraceyLeaon 01 Aug 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I have a question regarding description of feelings and environments in a scene…

    I am currently in the process of writing my first novel Empty Choices as well as my first series Broken Cast. Over the last few months a few writing associates have formed a group which has developed into a writing critique group. Submitting a few thousand words every two weeks for critique has been generally helpful as we all write under different genres with very different styles, it gives us a very broad number of opinions on our work.

    I do however had one member of our group who is consistantly telling me that I am being about 25% too verbose in my descriptions of the scenes and feelings my characters are experiencing. I feel this is part of my writing style and I am not sure she gets that I’m not after edge of the seat action, built around conversation (like a movie script), all of the time. The other group members are all positive about this story and even though she thinks it is verbose she is always keen for my next chapter.

    I trust that my audience is happy to fill in most of the detail in their head while they are reading. But there are somethings I like to describe like:

    It was wrong for this day to have dawned so beautifully. Crisp, clear blue sky, the autumn leaves of the promenade contrasted against it and these last few days they had started to fall from the trees, coming to rest on the promenade itself.

    Is there a limit to the amount of description I should use even if it works and the story remains a page-turner?

  310. Charleson 17 Feb 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Is this website alive?
    It’s last post was in January 2013? 😀