Here, There, Everywhere

This past weekend was MileHiCon in Denver. I went for the first time and had a fantastic couple of days. I moderated a panel on writing short stories and one on dystopian fashion, and I really enjoyed the resulting conversations with my fellow panelists. Plus getting to see Connie Willis, Carrie Vaughn, Paolo Bacigalupi, and a bunch of friends from the NM writing community all in one place was wonderful.

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A view from the hotel lobby that reminded me of New Worth

MileHiCon is also the very last event I have planned for Implanted’s launch. Which would be sad if I wasn’t so exhausted from doing all the things these past few months. I cannot wait to get back to my old writing routine and the projects I’ve had to set aside. So it’s not so much an ending but another beginning, right?

I’ve already talked about the Implanted launch party and the joint event I did with Rebecca Roanhorse at BookBar. But a few weeks ago I also had an event at Bookworks in Albuquerque and another for my alma mater Clemson University.

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The Bookworks appearance was a lot of fun, and I got a chance to talk with some of the attendees and staff in greater depth than some of the other events I’ve done this year thanks to the welcoming space.

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Then, roughly a week later, I went back to Clemson where I went to undergrad. Thanks to Thompson Mefford who’s been a good friend all through college and beyond and is now a professor there, I was able to speak with aspiring writers in Clemson’s Honors College. I was a member of the Honors College as well back in the day, so it felt a little like coming full circle. I was super impressed by the enthusiasm and insightful questions the students had and hope they’ll keep writing!


In addition to all these events and convention appearances, I’ve also done a number posts around the interwebs. Latest highlights include:


Here’s a recap of some recent reviews of Implanted that make my heart happy. Needless to say I’m thrilled people are enjoying the book!

Having Faith Book Reviews | The Return Cart | Hopeless Bibliophile

The Albuquerque Science Fiction Society said in the October issue of ASFACTS that “Teffeau has created a fast-paced, exciting novel with great worldbuilding,” along with other nice things.

Plus in my first video review (!) Tod Foley of This is Fractopia also had some great things to say about Implanted and how it relates to fractopian fiction:

 


Finally, the audiobook version of Implanted (!) is finally out in the world. It’s narrated by Lauren Ezzo and produced by High Bridge Audio. I hope you’ll take a listen!

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That’s it for me!

One Week To Go!

Did you know there’s only one week to go before Implanted is loosed upon the world?

Implanted-glitch (faster)

 

Things are rolling along–make that steamrolling–and I wanted to briefly check in before I head to Austin for ArmadilloCon later this week.

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I had a great time at RWA Nationals in Denver. It was intense, inspiring, and I left with lots of new contacts and things to think about. This is me (furthest on the right) and my New Mexico chaptermates having a blast:

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When I got back to town, the amazing Fran Wilde put together a worldbuilding roundtable with a group of awe-inspiring SF authors, including me, Mike Chen, Malka Older, Peng Shepard, and Tade Thompson. Check it out at Tor.com.

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I also got interviewed by the great team at Unreliable Narrators, where we talk about Implanted, the path to publication, and some of my influences. I had a lot of fun with their thoughtful questions.

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Finally, early reviews have been trickling in, which is gratifying to see. Even more so since people seem to like Implanted! Special thanks to all the reviewers who took a chance on a debut author.

Rainy Book Reviews | The Everlasting Library | Brian’s Book Blog | Elle Loughran | Splattergeist | The Literary License Podcast

Hopefully one of those convinced you to preorder the book, if you haven’t already!

Recent Oddments

Lots of things have been happening behind the scenes of late. Lots of writing (of course!) as well as editorial and administrative stuff to get my novel Implanted out into the world. But the busyness is helping to keep my nerves at bay as review copies are getting prepped and I start turning my attention to promotion.

In fact, I was recently interviewed by the wonderful people at the Breaking the Glass Slipper podcast, where I was able to talk about my influences in writing the book. I had a lot of fun with the questions, so be sure to check it out:

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In other news, my story “Glitch,” appearing in Shohola Press’s Abandoned Places anthology, got a shoutout by SFF Reviews, and they also liked the anthology overall, so that’s always good to hear.

Finally, a few weeks ago, I was able to participate in the Jack Williamson Lectureship, which is held at Eastern New Mexico University every year. S. M. Stirling was the guest of honor, and luminaries like Connie Willis and Walter Jon Williams were in attendance as well. Fellow NM authors Emily Mah and Sarena Ulibarri, who is also editor in chief of World Weaver Press, were also guests, and it was just plain fun to hang out and talk shop for the weekend with other SFF enthusiasts in the community.

 

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That’s it for me. Stay tuned!

A Secret Vacation from Social Media

I’m baaack…
If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, that’s a good thing. Because I worked hard to make it seem like I was here even though I wasn’t.
I’ve taken time off the blog before—a week every now and again for vacation, the holidays, or whenever real life gets too crazy.
But when I found out I’d be joining my husband for a three-week trip to Germany and Spain, I was left with a tough choice. Either let the blog go dark for an obscenely long time or work harder than I’d like to keep the blog up-to-date.
I chose the later option while I spent the majority of this past month in Europe. And here’s how.

Get Organized

I was lucky in that I had advance notice of our travel dates. So I created a list of priorities that I wanted to accomplish before leaving town. Everything from reaching certain milestones on my various projects, ensuring all my critiquing obligations were met, and preparing blog posts in advance.
Knowing what I needed to run when was hugely beneficial. In my early blogging days, I always had a blog post or two ready to go in case I needed it. However, that fell off as my writing obligations increased. But it was good to remember just how smoothly things could go with the right preparations in place.

Get Tech

The post scheduling feature on Blogger (also available on WordPress) also helped tremendously. Although we were told we’d have internet access at the hotels we were staying at over the course of our trip, who knew how that would work out in actuality (Spain had the worst internet b-t-dubs). That combined with the time difference and the fact that I would be more focused on having a fantastic time in Europe instead of micromanaging my social media, it made sense to have my posts ready to go in advance.
The other tool in my arsenal? Tweet Deck. Some of you are already familiar with it, I’m sure, but I just started using it this Spring, and it’s “schedule tweets” feature was hugely helpful in creating the illusion I was still around in the digital ether. Took the spontaneity out of my tweet stream, yes, but it was a big help keeping my Twitter profile active.

Get Help

But in the end, I didn’t do it alone. When I found out I’d be gone, I solicited help from a few of my writerly friends. I staggered their interviews between regular posts, which lessened the burden on me to create new content.
In case you missed them, be sure you check out the interviews with some great fellow writers I have the utmost respect for:

I was happy I could keep the social media machine rolling while I was away, even though it required a lot of work. What techniques or shortcuts do you rely on to stay on top of your social media obligations?
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Interview with Fran Wilde

Today, please welcome SF/F writer Fran Wilde to the blog!

I met Fran at Taos Toolbox and was impressed by her ability to fuse lyrical writing with genre fiction. She became a full SFWA member in July 2012 and scored an agent (!) in May 2013, and I’ve asked her here to share a bit more about herself and her writing journey.

Please tell us about your journey from when you first decided you wanted to be a writer through now.
Are there children in the room? Best ask them to leave, this gets messy…
I was a writer the moment I realized you could make words stick around by writing them down.
Mine is a storytelling family (some relatives use circular breathing so they can’t be interrupted; others tell fantastic yarns that end with ‘Whelp. So that happened.’). I grew up listening to their stories – some of which changed each time they were told. When I wrote my stories down, they stayed put. I liked that.
And more than anything, I was a reader. I got my own library card as soon as possible, and I was on a first-name basis with the local indie bookstore owners. I read everything I could, especially if it had spaceships, universe-sized intrigues, computers, fantastic creatures, strange people, or, better, all of the above.  Some of what I read wasn’t viewed as appropriate reading for me – I got told that a lot. I read it and loved it anyway.
Two years after I completed my MFA, I set aside the manuscript I was working on in order to focus on three things that paid the bills: teaching, copywriting (mostly for engineers and tech), and programming. While I wrote during that time, I didn’t send anything out, and I didn’t have a community of writers, save for a few dear friends who kept reminding me who I was. Finally, one day I snapped and wrote half a story – and the next day I wrote some more, and soon I was back on a regular writing schedule. And this time around, I gave myself full permission to write what I wanted to write.
No big shock, then, that my new stories had space in them. And programming, and engineering. And poetry. And strange creatures. I found a resource online –the SFF Online Writing Workshop – and critiqued there for a while before dropping a story in to see what would happen.  That led to finding my first crit buddies – several of whom I still exchange work with.  Five months later, I went to Viable Paradise and Jim MacDonald and the instructors at the Martha’s Vineyard workshop told me I wasn’t really a short story writer. They dared me to try to write a novel in 90 days. And I met more of my community. That was fantastic.
A similar thing happened at Taos – where I met you! And I’m a better writer for it all.
You have both a Masters in information architecture and interaction design and an MFA in poetry, which are very different fields. How does this background inform your writing?
Programming and poetry share more in common than you might think. I’d love to see a poem written in regular expressions that actually compiles into something.  I love the places where the two meet: interactive narratives, using hypertext and gorgeous graphics. I love graphic novels too.  And I’m very aware of sensory stuff – particularly the sounds words make – sometimes too much so. I get caught up in nets of sound.

What piece of writing advice has been key to bettering your craft? 
Easy is the enemy. Keep writing, every day. Put that amazing draft away for six weeks, then look at it again, with a critical eye.
I had the good fortune of reading the amazing novel that got you agented. Please share a bit about the book and what you’re working on now.
Bone Arrow is a science-fantasy YA novel that demanded to be written. I love building worlds, and this one’s a lot of fun, and strange, too. Think Cirque du Soleil meets the Codex Seraphinianus. But what I love best is the characters – because once I gave them the space, they ran with it. I had all these things planned out for them and instead, they did their own things, a lot of which completely surprised me.
Right now, I’m working on a second generation story set in the same world, with different characters. There’s a related short story coming out in the Impossible Futuresanthology in August, called “A Moment of Gravity, Circumscribed”.
And I’m working on a novella set in a different universe, and revisions to my first novel, Moonmaker, which is more tech-driven.  I usually keep a lot of projects going so that if one slows down or I need to stick it in a drawer, I can pick up another.
What is important for a beginning or intermediate writer to understand about writing for publication?
Ah. This is the hard part. Rejection isn’t personal. It feels personal. It can feel like you’ve been judged as not worthy – like you’re not really a writer when you get that “unfortunately”.  But writing for publication is all about ‘Right time, right editor, right story.” Pro writers get rejections too. The key is to send that story back out – and to keep sending it out. I need to do that with a few stories, actually. [Bad writer: no biscuit.]
Another good idea is to volunteer to read slush for a magazine in your genre. Keep an eye on your favorites via Twitter and Facebook. Editors sometimes post requests for new slush readers there.  Once you see the scope of a typical slush pile, you’ll realize it’s not personal. And hopefully that will help you start to feel more confident about your writing and your submissions as well.
Thanks so much, Fran!
Thank you Lauren! It’s always great to talk with you!
You can find Fran on Twitter [@fran_wilde] and stay up-to-date with her writing through her blog: http://franwilde.wordpress.com/
                       

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