Join me for Workshops in Aspen and Seattle

Aspen, Oct. 13 2018: One-Day Workshop

10am-4pm. $95 Get more details and register

I’ll be teaching a one-day workshop that concentrates on plotting and storytelling. Through exercises and discussion you’ll learn practical techniques for creating dynamic plots, believable characters, and scenes that matter.  The workshop is brought to you by  Aspen Words, part of the Aspen Writers Network.  Get more details and register here.

Seattle, Nov. 11 2018 1-Day Intensive Novel Workshop

West Seattle, 10am-5pm, $110.

To register and get more info, contact Leslie Howle at lhow21@gmail.com  or call her at 206-799-2030

This hands-on, personalized workshop is limited to six writers.  It’s designed for people who are currently working on a novel, whether they’ve finished a draft, have started writing but haven’t finished, or are laying the groundwork for a book. The goal is that each writer walks out with the tools and new ideas to tackle the next draft and finish the novel.

You’ll send in advance a synopsis of your novel (1 to 5 pages)—even if you’re not sure how it ends. Also send a few paragraphs about issues or problems that you want to work on: plot, character development, openings and endings, world building, point of view… anything at all.  If you’ve started writing, also send the opening chapters, up to 50 pages. In return, you’ll receive everyone else’s materials, so come ready to discuss them.

At the workshop, we’ll discuss each book in detail, starting with the plot skeleton: Do you have a plot that tells the story you want to tell, and arrives at an ending that’s satisfying? We’ll discuss how to make each chapter dramatic and emotionally engaging, how to keep the story moving, and how discovering your theme can shape your rewrite.

Seattle Jan. 20, 2019 Clarion West 1-Day Workshop

Details to come.

 

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2018 Appearances

I’ll be at Worldcon 2018 in San Jose

Thursday thru Sunday, August 16-19.

I’ll be around, mostly in the bar, but also at these events! Stop by.

Autographs–Friday 10-11 (autograph area?)

Ready, Steady, Flash–Friday 2-3pm: Flash writing gameshow!
Room 210C in San Jose Convention Center

Signing at Tachyon tableSaturday 2-3pm in Dealer’s Room.

 

Worldcon 2017 Schedule

I’m headed off to Europe in a few hours! Stopping off in London to visit with Richard Arcus, the editor of the UK version of Spoonbenders, and his team at riverrun/Quercus. Then Liza and I will be jumping over top Helsinki Tuesday night for the start of Worldcon.

I have a few things scheduled–stop by! Otherwise, look for me in the bar. (I don’t actually know which bar.)

Thursday Aug 10, 7pm: Panel on the Impact of Awards. Do they matter? Come find out.

Thursday Aug. 10, 9pm: I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue! The British radio “antidote to panel shows” hosted by Tor.com’s Lee Harris. Kameron Hurley and I will face off against Mur Lafferty and Emma Newman. There will be singing. Hilarity shall ensue.

Saturday Aug 12, 5pm. Signing. You bring it, I’ll sign it.

 

 

 

San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Schedule

I’m on the road right now, in sunny Los Angeles. I should have written several blog posts about my recent stops in Chicago, Cambridge, Readercon, and Brooklyn, accompanied by pictures, seating charts, and video recordings. Sorry about that.

Tonight I’ll be reading at Book Soup in West Hollywood, then tomorrow I’ll be in Scottsdale, AZ at the Poisoned Pen.

But after THAT I’ll be at the Beast with a Million Heads, San Diego Comic-Con.

You can find me hanging arounb the Penguin Random House booth, 1515-I, at a panel I’m doing on Saturday with several other wonderful writers, or in one of the hotel bars.

Here’s the sked, as the kids say:

Saturday 11:00AM — Signing at Booth 1515-I. Stop by for free swag!

Saturday 1pm – Room 28DE. Panel on Genre Bending, with Charlie Jane Anders, Ryan Graudin, Emily Lloyd-Jones, Peter Clines, and Marjorie Liu.

Sunday 11:30AM — Signing at Booth 1515-I. More free swag!

 

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Readercon 2017 Schedule

The big event: The Spoonbenders launch party! Please come by at Saturday, July 17, 9pm in the Blue Hills Room. We’ll have wine and snacks!

Other items on the schedule:

Friday July 14
11:30 AM B Reading: Daryl Gregory. Daryl Gregory. Daryl Gregory reads from Spoonbenders (Knopf).

1:00 PM AT Autographs. Ellen Datlow, Daryl Gregory.

Saturday July 15
10:00 AM 6 The Life-Changing Magic of Outlining Your Novel. Daryl Gregory, Elaine Isaak (leader), Yoon Ha Lee, Mark Oshiro, Terence Taylor. Developing a novel outline can be nearly as complex a process as writing the novel itself. Our panel of plotters will discuss the many techniques they’ve used for developing the skeletons of books, and consider which outline creation skills and tools lend themselves to particular genres and styles of writing. Hybrid methods of outlining and making decisions on the fly will also be discussed.
1:00 PM 6 Round Robin Reading. Michael Blumlein, Gillian Daniels, Daryl Gregory, Ilana Myer, Cecilia Tan. We’ve gathered authors for a group reading, but rather than the traditional reading where each reads their own work, each will read the work of one of the other participating authors! A fun twist on traditional readings, inspired by Malka Older and Max Gladstone.

3:00 PM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Daryl Gregory, Liza Groen Trombi.

9:00 PM — The Aforementioned Launch Party! Blue Hills Room

Spoon tour Colorado

I have become the road warrior. I have a Rollie. I have a backpack heavy as spent uranium. And I am not stopping until Furiosa drags my carcass back home in three weeks.

The main part of the tour kicked in this week, first with a visit to the Tattered Cover in Denver on July 5. Knopf put me up in the Brown Palace Hotel, which at first sounded like a mixed message, kinda like the Beige Taj Mahal, but was in fact a beautifully fancy 120 year old hotel. My pal Alistair Kimble stopped by ///before the show, and we had a nice steak dinner. Don’t tell Alistair’s wife, because they’re vegetarians at home.

And then the signing and reading, hosted by Derek Holland of the Tattered Cover. This was the Colfax Ave store, which is huge, and is in a building that was once a theatre. I did the reading and a little cutlery bending, which was fun.  Then Alistair, who looks better in a fedora than anyone I know, took me too a local speakeasy called… The Speakeasy. The cocktails were quite fine.

The next day, Alistair gave me a tour of where he works. Did I mention that his day job is being an FBI agent? Yeah, he’s that cool. Alistair is his pen name. His first book,co-written with Eric Flint, is coming out in the fall.  It’s called Iron Angels, and it’s already on Publishers Weekly’s list of Top 10 SF, Fantasy, and Horror books for fall.

After the tour,it was north to Fort Collins for an appearance hosted by Old Firehouse Books. The latter took place in the Old Town Library. It turns out–and I did not know this until I got there–that by statue, every building in Fort Collins has to start with the world “old.”

I got to meet lots of great people who’d been reading my books, including one guy who came with all the Planet of the Apes issues I’d written–I signed ’em all. My friend Barb Sebek, whom I hadn’t seen since high school, came out, and afterward we had locally brewed beers and talked about the musicals we’d been. Barb had the most beautiful voice in Hinsdale South High. Now she’s a professor of English at Colorado State, focusing on the 16th and 17th century, and definitely does not need to brush up on her Shakespeare. She’s the expert.

That last picture in the mosaic was taken on my way out of town, at the Denver Airport. Spoonbenders was sitting in the Tattered Cover airport bookshop. I’d never had a book in an airport shop before, so was able to scratch that one off the bucket list.

Now I’m in Tampa, in a very nice area of town. I’d say that Tampa’s main export was humidity, except that none of it seems to leave the area. I’ve got tomorrow off, and then Sunday I read at the Oxford Book Exchange. More later!

 

SpoonTour 17-Seattle

The Spoonbenders tour kicked off a week early, on June 20. I was teaching the first week of Clarion West (a fantastic experience, with very sharp and lovely students, which I need to also blog about) and then appeared at the University Bookstore for their Clarion West reading series. Knopf PR wizards worked with bookseller extraordinaire, Duane Wilkins, to get early copies of the book to the store.

We packed the room, and I had a blast–though not even my vast mind powers could keep the microphone in its holder.

Bay Area Double Spoon Launch!

People of the bay area: No matter what side of the water you call home, one thing unites us in these troubled times: I want you all to buy my books.

Spoonbenders is being published on June 27 (uh, that’s 2017, Google Search Bot finally finding this page). I’ll be doing a signing and mercifully quick reading at two–TWO!–locations that week. I’d love to see you.

East Bay! Tue. June 27, A Great Good Place for Books, 7-8:30pm.

Come to the bookstore at
6120 LaSalle Avenue Oakland, CA 94611

After, we’re going to walk down to Crogan’s (6101 LaSalle Ave) for drinks. Stop by even if you can’t get to the bookstore!

San Francisco! Wed. June 28, Borderlands Books, 6-8pm. With wine & snacks!

Come to the bookstore at
866 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 

Then stay for free wine and snacks!

Teaching Clarion West 2017

In a few weeks I’ll be teaching the first week of Clarion West. This means a lot to me. It feels like coming full circle.

I went to Clarion (the original Clarion, sometimes called Clarion East, which at that time was being held in East Lansing, MI) back in 1988, and the experience was hugely important to me, one of the landmark moments in my writing life. There’s B.C. — Before Clarion — and everything after.

Before Clarion, I’d never talked to a writer more than a couple minutes, and I’d never met a published science fiction writer. I didn’t know about cons, or how to submit to magazines–and forget about novels. Becoming a writer was like choosing a career as an alligator wrestler: I knew the job existed, and I’d seen it done on TV, but where do you get the alligators?

I had wonderful teachers for those six weeks–Tim Powers, Lisa Goldstein, Samuel R Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kate Wilhelm, and Damon Knight. I learned a lot from them, and learned even more from reading them constantly in the years since. Stan and Tim have become friends.

I also learned a tremendous amount from my fellow students.  Here’s a pic of us goofing off, courtesy of pal and fellow student Mark Tiedemann. I’m in yellow, juggling. Yes, it was the 80s.

new-fantasy-thugs

L-R: Lou (L.A.) Grinzo, John Brazier, Daryl Gregory, Kimberly Rufer-Bach, Kelly McClymer, Mark Tiedmann, Peg Kerr Ihinger, Brooks Caruthers, Sharon Wahl,Nicola Griffith, Kelley Eskridge, George Ruefener, Glenda Loeffler, Sue Ellen Sloca, Mark Kehl,   Paula Robinson,  Andrew Tisbert. (Paula Robinson not shown.)

I’ve been lucky enough to stay in contact with a lot of these folks over the decades, and some are friends for life.  Lou and I trade emails all the time. I saw Mark last week at the Nebula Awards. I went to Andrew’s wedding a few weeks ago. Kelley & Nicola live in Seattle, and I’ll see them when I go teach. I love them all, even the ones I haven’t seen since 1988, because of how important they were to me then.

This past week I’ve been reading through the 2017 students’ submission stories and personal essays, and one thing is clear: These students are more accomplished, on average, than my class was. Most of them have already published short stories, and one submission story was already in a year’s best collection. They’re also more diverse, and come from countries around the globe. They all belong at Clarion.

My job is to give them a  supportive but challenging first week. I know I’ll do a little damage to them–because that’s what workshops do, they break you down a bit and dent your ego so you can see how far you need to improve — but I’ll try not to damage them permanently.

It’ll be fun.

 

SF in SF with Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amara

This is old news, but I wanted to get this on to the website because I enjoyed it so much. On September 30, 2016 I was the guest moderator at SF in SF, where the guest guests were Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amara, there to discuss their book, Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg. My job was to prompt them to talk, which, if you know Bob Silverberg or have met Alvaro,  was no trouble at all. It was a lovely, wide-ranging discussion of Bob’s life and work.

Here’s the podcast recording of the evening, thanks to the lovely folks at SomaFM.