Summer Roundup!

This summer has simply flown by, and I’m appalled we’re nearly halfway through August already. My writing has ebbed and flowed these past few weeks but I’ve been staying busy, even if it hasn’t always translated into words on the page. Behold:

June

To celebrate the release of The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth by Roc, including my story “Against the Wind,” I participated in the anthology’s book launch in Santa Fe (which I talked about last time). There was also another author event a bit closer to home in Albuquerque at Page1 Books. I joined editor S.M. Stirling and fellow contributors Jane Lindskold, Emily Mah, Victor Milán, and John Jos. Miller.

Milan, Miller, Lindskold, Me (answering a question), Stirling, & Mah

Milan, Miller, Lindskold, Me (in orange), Stirling, & Mah at Page 1 Books in ABQ.

I’m so happy to be a part of this anthology, and am still thrilled with the review of my story in Open Letters Monthly.

July

I spent most of July on the East Coast, three weeks plus recovery time. There I visited with friends and family but also used the trip as an opportunity to attend Readercon in Boston. I’ve heard tremendous things about the convention over the years and decided my travel dollars would be better spent attending Readercon instead of this year’s Worldcon, which has been mired in controversy after controversy.

I had a wonderful time at Readercon, particularly the part where I got to hang out with some of my SF/F writing friends and make new ones. I was also able to meet Bart R. Leib and Kay T. Holt of Crossed Genres Magazine and thank them for not only publishing me twice in one of their anthologies as well as their magazine, but also giving me my first pro sale. So that was a special moment as well.

While I was in Boston, I also met with my agent Lana Popovic where, over a delightful lunch, we plotted world domination—er, rather discussed my next project. She’s closed to queries at the moment, but I highly recommend her if you are looking for an agent with a strong editorial eye and market savvy.

When I returned to New Mexico, I learned my short story “Jump Cut” published in the Journal of Unlikely Cryptography earlier this year had been nominated in Lady Business’s Short Fiction survey from Jan to March 2015.

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A heartfelt thanks to whoever nominated my story! I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know about this site, but I’ll be participating in the Lady Business’s quarterly recommendation periods to come, and I hope you will too!

Finally, the end of July saw the release of Vic Milán’s The Dinosaur Lords from Tor. I got a sneak peak of the book while it was being workshopped, and know you are in for a treat if you like Dinosaurs and epic medieval battles!

dinolords

August

This month has been thankfully quiet so far, allowing me to get back into my writing routine and get caught up on things. However, I’m looking forward to participating in my local convention Bubonicon at the end of the month.

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The theme this year is “Women of Wonder” with co-guests of honor Tamora Pierce and Catherynne M. Valente, toastmistress Mary Robinette Kowal, and guest artist Ruth Sanderson. August 28-20th at the Albuquerque Marriott Uptown.
I also want to mention that The Future Fire magazine is celebrating ten (!) years of publication! They published my story “Digital Ligatures” last year, and I encourage you to check out their stories and support their crowdfunding campaign by preordering the celebration anthology.

TFFX

That’s it for me. Happy writing!

Recap: The Change Anthology Release Party

A week ago, I drove up to Santa Fe to join S.M. Stirling and eight other contributors to The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth anthology for the release party at the Violet Crown Cinema in the historic railyard district.

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George R. R. Martin was our host, and he introduced Steve to an enthusiastic crowd, joking that he was confused as to why Steve chose to focus an anthology on menopause. He didn’t, of course. The Change was established in Stirling’s post-apocalyptic novel Dies the Fire, where all electronics, explosives, and internal combustion engines mysteriously cease working and humanity must find a way to survive. Since then, eleven other books have followed, some hitting the New York Times bestsellers’ list. Steve provides a great introduction to his world (and a tasty recipe!) in the Book Bites feature on Fran Wilde’s blog.

The anthology is testament to the success of Stirling’s Emberverse novels and their enthusiastic fanbase, and Steve announced that if the anthology sells well, another one could be in the works. For The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth, he asked his writing friends and colleagues to contribute stories.

The Change anthology participants at the Violet Crown Cinema. S.M. Stirling fifth from left.

The Change anthology participants at the Violet Crown Cinema. S.M. Stirling fifth from left.

Going from left to right, we’ll start with Diana Paxson. She flew in from California for the event, and Steve said her The Chronicles of Westria novels were a huge influence on him, so much so he’s named the Emberverse version of California Westria. Of course, that’s where she chose to set her story as well.

Next is Kier Salmon, who since the beginning of this series has served as Steve’s Wiccan adviser, given the role of the religion in the books, and edits the Emberverse fan fiction site. She was able to adapt one of her beloved fan fiction pieces for the anthology.

Jane Lindskold is a prominent New Mexican writer, currently with a science fiction series with Tor that starts with Artemis Awakening. Her story for the anthology is set in the Southwest, a part of the world that hasn’t really been explored in the Emberverse books.

Similarly, Walter Jon Williams, another well-regarded New Mexico writer, chose a story setting that fell outside the reach of the books, a nautical tale rife with politics in post-Change Venice. He provides more context about his story in his blog post Time for a Change.

Stirling, the central figure in the picture, chose to write a side story about the main character from The Golden Princess, book ten in the series.

Next to him, Victor Milán, another New Mexican writer, whose Dinosaur Lords releases next month from Tor, chose to explore the post-Change environment in Mexico. And you can learn more about the inspiration for his story in the blog post The Change: Sandbox Play.

John Jos. Miller, also based in New Mexico, long associated with the Wild Cards franchise as well as the comics and graphic novel industry, explored what happens to zoo animals and the humans still struggling to survive in post-Change Florida by updating the Tarzan trope.

M. T. Reiten, a local author and finalist in the 2005 Writers of the Future Contest, used his doctorate in physics to explore what scientific principles had changed and what that actually meant for society in his story for the anthology.

Emily Mah, also known as E. M. Tippets in romance circles, mined her LDS background to show how the Change affected a number college students at a faith-based college. Emily also has the honor of being tuckerized by Steve in the series.

Finally there’s me on the right end if you squint!

I’d been in a critique group with Stirling, Miller, Milán, Reiten, and Mah for about a year when Steve invited me to write a story for the anthology. I admit I was a little freaked out when that happened. It’s a huge honor to be asked, and it implies a lot of trust on his part in my abilities. And I almost said no, since I didn’t want to let him down with whatever story I came up with.

But I couldn’t ignore the opportunity, so I wrote my story “Against the Wind,” sent it in to Steve, and was beyond thrilled when he accepted it.

A review from Open Letters Monthly says:

“But there are more than enough standout stories to make the volume a must for Change fiction fans. In Lauren Teffeau’s “Against the Wind,” for example, a single father named Mitch – with his young son and daughter as crew – has survived the early days of the Change by using his wind-powered yacht to scavenge dead vessels at sea off the west coast of Alaska. Teffeau does a very effective job of describing some of the horrors they encounter at sea, and she’s equally effective with the more complicated dangers Mitch faces when trying to barter his scavenged goods with a man named Dixon, head of a new and growing settlement that’s becoming more and more wary of his business.”

Needless to say, I’m grateful to Stirling for the opportunity to play in his world and that people seem to like the story so far!

A candid of S.M. Stirling, George R. R. Martin, and Walter Jon Williams during the celebration after the panel

A candid of S.M. Stirling, George R. R. Martin, and Walter Jon Williams during the celebration after the panel

The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth is a great introduction to Steve’s world or a nice companion to his novels, so please consider purchasing it from your local bookstore. If it continues to do well, there just might be another volume in the future!

And if you live in New Mexico, join us at 4pm on Saturday, June 27th at Page1 Books in Albuquerque for another author event with Stirling showcasing the anthology! See you there!

New Mexico Events for The Change Anthology Release!

This June, The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth releases from Roc, and I’m honored my story “Against the Wind” will be included in the anthology. Stories are set in New York Times best-selling author S.M. Stirling’s post-apocalyptic Emberverse, where all electronics, explosives, and internal combustion engines mysteriously cease working and humanity must find a way to survive.
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The anthology — with stories from SF luminaries including Stirling, Harry Turtledove, Walter Jon Williams, John Birmingham, John Barnes, Jane Lindskold and others — is a great introduction to Steve’s world or a fun companion to his novels.
To celebrate the release, the following events are planned:
Kicking things off on Monday, June 15 at 7pm, a number of contributing authors (including me!) will be joining S.M. Stirling at George R. R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema in the historic Railyard District of Santa Fe. Following a panel discussion, there will be a mass signing with the anthology contributors.

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Then on Saturday, June 27 at 4pm, another panel discussion and signing will occur at Page 1 Books in Albuquerque, which has been locally owned and operated for over thirty years. If you are in the area, please join me and many of the local SF authors in the state.
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If the timing for these two events doesn’t work, you can always catch the contributing authors at an anthology-based panel at Bubonicon this year—New Mexico’s oldest science fiction and fantasy convention.

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The theme this year is “Women of Wonder” with co-guests of honor Tamora Pierce and Catherynne M. Valente, toastmistress Mary Robinette Kowal, and guest artist Ruth Sanderson. August 28-20th at the Albuquerque Marriott Uptown.
Mark your calendars!

The Drafting and Revision Process with Lori M. Lee – The Infinite Blog Tour

Today, I’m thrilled to host young adult author Lori M. Lee on her tour for The Infinite, book two in the Gates of Thread and Stone fantasy series from Skyscape. The novels are about a young woman named Kai who can manipulate the threads of time and finds herself at the center of a conflict between the gods. Each volume has a great mix of action, adventure, and romance, not to mention twisty plots that will keep you guessing. Lori is an amazing author and friend, so please welcome her!

TheInfiniteBlogTourBe sure to check out the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!


The Drafting and Revision Process for Lori M. Lee

I’m an outliner. I spend a lot of time just preparing to write the book. For one of my books, I have an 8-page glossary and nearly 50 pages of world building. The outline is 24 pages. All that took over a month before I was even ready to put down some words. Some of you are shaking your heads at me and muttering, “Weirdo.” You’d be right ;)

Once I’ve got my outline, I can complete a first draft in four weeks. This is usually a 40k – 50k bare bones draft that needs a lot of fleshing out. This isn’t always the case (The Infinite was a 70k first draft), but it has been for most of my manuscripts. In the second draft, I fix any major plot or pacing issues. I take my time with it. I go through sentence by sentence, rewriting and tweaking every line and bulking it up. I do this a third time if necessary before I feel it’s ready to be seen by my CPs.

Once it’s in my CPs’ hands, I take a break and work on other things or I veg out to Game of Thrones. Then when they return the ms (they are always so fast, I love them <3), I do another round of revisions based on their feedback. Then I either send it back to them for a second read and/or I pass it on to my agent. She always has great things to say, so likely I will do another round or two of revisions with her as well.

Sometimes, she won’t like it and decide I need to start over again. That’s always hard to hear, but also always on point. And sometimes she’ll love it, and we’ll prepare to go on submission :)

Hope that was somewhat insightful into my process!

About the Author:

lori_smallLori M. Lee is the author of young adult fantasy novels Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite. She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram


Gates of Thread and Stone

Gates-cover-FINAL-medIn the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

IndieBound | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Brilliance Audio | iTunes

The Infinite

TheInfiniteThe walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.

Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.

To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.

In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known.

IndieBound | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Brilliance Audio


Praise for Gates of Thread and Stone:

Lori M. Lee excels in building a world of intrigue, oppression, and magic amidst a Labyrinth setting as twisted and winding as the secrets hidden inside her characters’ hearts. Fans of strong heroines who don’t need a boy to hold their hands, action-packed fighting scenes, and whispers of steampunk and mythology, will find themselves wishing they, too, could manipulate the threads of time, if only to stay inside the story a little longer.”

A.G. Howard, New York Times bestselling author of the SPLINTERED series

A fast-paced, heart-wrenching whirl of a story full of magic, immortals, and a romance that will leave readers gasping for more. I adored the tough, scrappy narrator and fell in love with the boy chasing after her heart. Lori M. Lee introduces us to a fantasy world unlike any other and gives us the first taste of an epic love story in the making. I can’t wait for more!”

Mindee Arnett, THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR series and AVALON series

Inventive, romantic, and gripping. I was hooked from the first page!”

Amy Tintera, REBOOT and REBEL

A thrilling adventure in a vivid world, GATES OF THREAD AND STONE is the kind of book you want to read both fast and slow: fast to find out what happens next and slow to savor the journey. I couldn’t put it down.”

Sarah Beth Durst

Lee has woven a captivating fantasy that will thread its way into your heart and pull you into a world of magic and intrigue.”

Christina Farley, GILDED and SILVERN


And….Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Jump Cut” in Unlikely Story #11 Now Live

I’m happy to announce my cyberpunk story “Jump Cut” is now live in Unlikely Story #11, The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography!

VideoDrone by Linda Saboe

“Jump Cut” includes hover cross, gambling, and a dash of film theory. To learn more about the inspiration behind the story, check out my related Pinterest board and my author interview with Unlikely Story. The story is a personal favorite of mine and holds the record in close-but-no-cigar rejections out of all my short pieces. I’m just glad that the unlikely editors of Unlikely Story loved it as much as I do!

Be sure to check out the entire issue for stories by Levi Sable, Curtis C. Chen, Barry King, Fiona Moore, and Joseph Tomaras:

you’ll find stories exploring the limits and possibilities of technology and the various ways it defines, enhances, and intersects with humanity. An unorthodox application of a 3D printer; the creation of private worlds; hacking the human brain with extreme video sequences; parents customizing ideal children through knitted code; a self-aware AI taking up the pirating life; and a cult seeking transcendence through transformation — all of these stories explore coding, hacking, cracking, and our relationship with technology in most unlikely ways. (Editor’s Note, Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, Issue 11)


In other news, there’s only a week left to get a print copy of Fat Girl in a Strange Land, the 2012 anthology from Crossed Genres Publications, featuring my story “The Tradeoff.”

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To learn more about the anthology, check out the CGP website.