What is Solarpunk?

I’ve been fascinated with the concept of Solarpunk for a while. My new story, Riverhag, (which will appear in an anthology soon) is set in a flooded S.E. England 500 years in the future. Thinking about the themes and feel of the story, Riverhag is sort of a Solarpunk fairytale.

via What is Solarpunk?


Play like a girl: Challenging gender stereotypes in spec fiction

Some great examples of challenging gender stereotypes, especially of female-identified people.

mikhaeyla kopievsky

by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky

Today, I’m launching a dystopian anthology with eleven other indie authors. On the Brinkfeatures some amazing stories and most of them feature protagonists that are female, flawed, and ferocious. It got me thinking about my own posts on the subject of gender in speculative fiction and I realised that I never posted the guest post I published on Amid the Imaginary. So here it is in all its glory for you to read:

Challenging the Collective Identity

Just a little while ago, on 14 July, I released the second book in my Divided Elements series, Rebellion. I thought it was kind of fitting that Rebellion was published on Bastille Day, since it is a dystopian tale of revolution set in a post-apocalyptic Paris. Interestingly, 14 July is also celebrated as International Non-binary Day – which similarly held a nice symmetry, since my book is centered on…

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3 Things to Know About Marketing Historical Fiction Novels — A Writer’s Path

by J. U. Scribe What’s your favorite genre? For some it’s romance, others it’s fantasy, sci-fi, or maybe a mystery/thriller. For those that know me well I enjoy reading a variety of genres, so it’s hard to pick one genre over another when I enjoy different books spanning across the many genres of fiction. However if you were […]

via 3 Things to Know About Marketing Historical Fiction Novels — A Writer’s Path

I love reading historical fiction and it’s true that if the author hasn’t researched properly, it can be jarring. I’m one of those readers who tuts at too-modern dialogue or morality. So I knew going into the writing of <i>Escaping Andronicus</i> that I’d better do my research. It did help that early 20th century Bahamas is not well-known because I knew not too many people would catch my mistakes. Then again, finding references was really hard.

Got Books to Sell? Try These 22 Book Marketing Tips – by Frances Caballo…

You wrote that book…now get it into the hands of readers. Do you know your target reader?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Social Media Just For Writers:

How many book marketing tips have you tried?

Probably every single one that you’ve read about, right?

What makes book marketing so tough isn’t that you run out of ideas to market your books. It’s that you have so many different plans.

Well, if you want to make it as a writer, get ready for the marathon of writing and marketing. You’ll always be doing both from now on.

To make life easier for you (or harder?), I’ve assembled a checklist of my top book marketing tips for you.

Continue reading HERE

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The Best Writing Prompts To Help Spark Your Imagination – by Derek Haines… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

on Just Publishing Advice: Are you looking for writing ideas? Take a tour of our list of the best writing prompts. Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, articles or blog posts, you sometimes need a little help to give you a spark of an idea. There are many places you can find creative writing prompts. Our […]

via The Best Writing Prompts To Help Spark Your Imagination – by Derek Haines… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

I love writing prompts. I can’t say that any of my books were created from a writing prompt but I do use them to get my writing going. I’ll choose a writing prompt, fire up Write or Die, set it for 20 minutes, and go. I get some…interesting…pieces. Most will never be shown to anyone. Some make me laugh.

Re-titling Sand and Bones

Book titles are funny things. The title should encapsulate an entire novel, be unique, and be concise. It’s not easy to come up with a title. I struggle with every book I wrote to name it with the Most Marvelous Title Ever. Or at least one that doesn’t suck.

Book # 2 was called Sand and Bones for the last couple of years. I thought it was the perfect blend of spooky and evocative. Tropical island was the Sand and the murder and peril was the Bones.

And then came the Beta Readers. I asked them what the title made them think of. Almost everyone said something about archaeologists and dinosaurs. <facepalm>

Right, back to the drawing board. I enlisted my lovely beta readers and writerly friends to help me brainstorm and distill the essence of the book.

What is it really about? It’s about Clara’s journey into and out of a cult, the Order of Andronicus. A title including something about Andronicus would be appropriate and it even hints at the name of the island she’s visiting, Andros Island. Plus it includes the root word for man and since this IS somewhat about a woman finding her own power and getting out from under a man’s control, Escaping Andronicus seemed to fit nicely.

Oh and a note about Andronicus: it comes from the Shakespeare play Titus Andronicus in which the titular character serves parents a pie made from their sons. While there isn’t exactly cannibalism in my book, there is a certain similarity. No spoilers. The Titus Andronicus suggestion came from my dear friend and fellow author Dover Whitecliff.

There we have it, Sand and Bones is now Escaping Andronicus. Until someone else tells me how that title completely doesn’t work!

How do you come up with titles for your work? Any tips and tricks? Please comment below!

When We First Become Other

White is not the default. Our characters should reflect the true diversity in the world. This makes our writing so much richer and more real.

Sumiko Saulson

When We First Become Other

By Sumiko Saulson

Winner, Fall 2017 Berkeley City College / BCC Voice Essay Contest, “Reframing the Other”

It is the very nature of human self-awareness which creates Othering. From birth, we see the world from a personal vantage point. We first take in sounds, smells and images of our personal tribe: parents, siblings, neighbors and grandparents. They are the village to which Self belongs. This is true even for those of us mainstream America views as Other. So how does one first become Othered? This occurs through contact with multicultural groups, and with mainstream media. Once we view ourselves through the lens of mass media, it becomes possible to reframe Self as Other.

In late 1970s, watching a television show called The Jeffersons. I noticed their neighbors, the Willises, an interracial couple, had one white actor and one black actress playing their mixed race…

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