On the blog, No Wasted Ink. She asked good questions.
Other e-vendors and paperback coming soon.
Lost in Time
The year is 1910, and unemployed teacher Claudia Ogden is at the end of her rope. With nowhere to go and no one to rely on, she has no future at all. On the rumor of a job in a small, remote town called Conconully, she decides to bet what’s left of her life on it.
But when she arrives, and to her relief is hired, what at first seem like small eccentricities loom ever larger and more inexplicably, mysteries that make no sense. That is, until she meets Conconully’s accidental magician, who wants her to save them.
But from what?
You can read the first chapter here.
Some of you have seen this already. And I want to thank Tracy MacShane, who taught me how to cut out a piece of art from its background, which has confuzzled me for a long time. Thank you, Tracy!
I have done some re-branding for the covers of Tales of the Unearthly Northwest, as well. Here are the new covers for Sojourn, and for New Year’s Eve in Conconully. I will be changing those on all of the major sales sites very soon.
In which I am asked what I think are some rather interesting questions: http://www.niwawriters.net/m-m-justus.html
This is a great organization, by the way. If you’re going to be at WorldCon in Spokane in August, stop by the NIWA table in the dealers’ room and say hello.
Peggy Henderson, a fellow writer of Yellowstone, tagged me to talk about seven things in my writing life. That’s going to take some thinking.
1. I’ve been writing a good chunk of my life. I started keeping my first journal on a trip to Alaska when I was fourteen, and I wrote my first fiction — an extremely bad case of Mary Sued fanfic of the shortlived 70s TV series Apple’s Way — not long after that. I kept voluminous journals (no longer in my possession, alas) in high school and college, wrote a lot of really bad poetry during the same time frame, and was only stopped dead in my tracks by the creative writing teacher from hell when I was twenty-one. I didn’t start writing again until my thirties, but have been ever since.
2. It took me twelve years, off and on, from the time I first came up with the idea for Repeating History, until I actually had a published book in my hands. I wrote at least three other books (none of which have seen, or are likely to see, the light of day) during that time, too, though. And wasted a lot of time receiving rejection letters from tradpub and agents that said, in essence, “I really like this, but I can’t sell it,” during that time, too, before self-pubbing became a viable option.
3. I’ve built two iterations of my own website, the first one hand-coded using Notepad and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Website (I still own my dogeared copy), and the second one using self-hosted WordPress, which was both orders of magnitude easier and much more professional-looking. I’m rather proud of that, and of the fact that I do all my own graphics work, too. That was a steep learning curve for me.
4. I vastly prefer writing about fictional versions of real places, and preferably real places I have visited, or, in one case, lived in briefly. I also vastly prefer to write about ordinary people dumped into supernatural circumstances than to write about people who are supernatural themselves. I firmly believe there’s magic in the world, even if the only place we can write about it is in fiction.
5. I use the “event horizon” method of plotting, as once described by Lois McMaster Bujold. While I do usually have a last line or scene that I’m aiming for, what I do is plot until I hit the event horizon (the point where I can’t figure out what happens next), then write up to that point, then plot to the next event horizon, and so forth and so on, till I get to the end.
6. NOT a fan of marketing my books. I worked in advertising in a past life, and so have an extreme allergy to being marketed to, which means I don’t want to inflict that on anyone else. This makes life difficult. Also, unlike writing books, marketing them does not have a clear beginning, middle, and end. That’s very frustrating.
7. Most of my book ideas come from odd things I find, or from historical events, or from natural disasters, of all things.
I hope you enjoyed this little venture into sharing my writing life with you. If you have any questions, please be sure to ask!
And someone else who gets what I was trying to do. Love it.
I do love it when a reviewer understands — and likes — what I was doing with the story.
If you’d like to know something about what makes the writerly part of me tick, you might want to check this interview out.
Megan Cyrulewski asked me some thought-provoking questions.