So, the SFWA has begun a really cool little feature I’d like to draw attention to: the SFWA Speakers Bureau!
This is a handy-dandy site for schools, libraries, writing groups, book clubs, and the like to find an SFWA active member near them and get them to come over and give a little presentation, talk, workshop, or whatever. You can see my profile right there if you follow the link, but there are scads and scads of other brilliant folks available, probably somewhere near your neck of the woods.
Just to plug myself a little bit: I am an accomplished Sayer of Things. As a college professor, I profess each and every day, whether anyone wants to listen or not. I have absolutely no sense of stage fright or shame and find speaking in public delightful. Especially if it’s about myself or books or, even better, my own books. I spent years as a professional improviser, so it’s almost impossible to embarrass me, throw me off, or pay me too little money. Get in contact today! I promise you won’t regret it!
In all seriousness, though, I’m very happy the SFWA has set this up. It’s a great resource both for those who take advantage of it and for those doing it, as getting attention in the writer business is a great challenge and getting the chance to talk with and connect to potential readers is invaluable.
Anyway, back to paper grading! Carry on!
You know how your social media feed is starting to sprout all those posts about how hard this year was? This ain’t one of those, folks. Not because it wasn’t hard, but because it was totally awesome.
My (professional) year by the numbers:
Novels Published: Either 1, 2, or 3, depending on how you count. The Iron Ring was released in February, Iron and Blood in June, which are the two halves of The Oldest Trick, released in August. All parts/versions of the same book (my debut), mind you. Yes, it’s complicated. But also awesome.
Stories Sold: 3 (to WoTF, Escape Pod, and Fantasy and Science Fiction)
Awards Won: Writers of the Future Award, 2nd Place, 1st Quarter 2014 (award ceremony was in April)
Memberships Achieved: SFWA Active Membership
Conventions/Workshops Attended: 3 (WoTF Workshop, ITVFest, World Fantasy Convention)
Novels Written: 2 (3, if you count total rewrites)
Stories Written: 6 (only counting complete, saleable stories currently on submission/accepted)
Total Words Written: ~300,000 (an average of about 820 words per day)
Along the way of this bang-up year, I made a bunch of new friends, found new groups of support and keen eyes to read, made a bunch of fans (I think/hope), and even got some fanmail. Hard to beat that.
As for this blog, its followership continues to grow. I’m up over 1300 followers now, which is really cool (and thank you, all of you, for reading…assuming you do. But since you’re reading this that would seem to imply that you…you know what? Never mind.).
What About Next Year?
Well, I’ll still be posting here, of course. In terms of Writing, No Good Deed is slated to come out, though it’s been moved back AGAIN by my publisher to April (no idea why). I would expect to see a few more stories from me to come out, given the contracts I have in hand (or will have shortly). My personal goal is to write more short fiction and publish more of same, score another book deal (hopefully extending The Saga of the Redeemed by another two books, if possible), and maybe even nab myself one of those elusive literary agents.
Stay tuned, folks! I’ll see you on the other side of the New Year!
I was going to post a reaction piece to Star Wars VII, but I’m going to hold off a bit so that more people can see the movie and also for Christmas to pass us by so that more people will be on their computers to actually read it.
I, Auston Habershaw, am now an official active member of the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). Life goal achieved! Level Up!
Now, what exactly does SFWA membership do for me? Hell if I know. I think I get some say on the Nebula Awards now. I get to have access to (another) online writing forum, but this one for big shots. Maybe.
All that, though, is kinda secondary to me. I mean, yeah, I hope I can glean tangible benefits and advance my career with this move, but I see it more as a milestone right now – a trophy I have sought for many years and now, after much work and rejection and so on, I have earned it. It’s official – I am a professional writer.
Now, I’m well aware that I didn’t need to join SFWA to be a professional writer. I already was – I have novel(s) out, stories being published in major markets, won a fairly major award for my writing, and so on. There is something, though, to having that certificate of authenticity. It’s a feather in my cap, and new entry on my CV – a token of recognition. Those are hard to come by in the writing world. Even though I’ve had, by all accounts, great success this past year (and my, what a writing year it’s been!), there have been many times I’ve felt invisible and ignored by the broader SF/F world. I’m out here on my little digital island, throwing messages in bottles, and even though I know the bottles are doing well, it is so rare that they come back to you. The Writers of the Future Awards was great in that way. This, also, is great in that same way. The pros have spoken – I get the secret handshake into their club. Yay me!
Also, thanks to my story up on Escape Pod, “Adaptation and Predation,” I’ve received fan mail for the first time ever. This is also great! More ammunition against my nagging Impostor Syndrome! People out there enjoyed the story enough to drop me a line and tell me so! Wow!
To some of you reading this, I guess this might come across as me bragging. I can see that. The me of just five years ago might have read a post like this and rolled my eyes and said “Pshhh – that guy’s got a book deal and awards and such. Like his ego needs any more stoking!” That, though, is the big secret of the publishing industry: everybody needs a pat on the back from time to time. Sure, you sell a novel and you’re floating with the clouds, but a year later, when nobody seems to have noticed your book came out and you’re realizing you have more to do and oh-my-god what if the next one bombs or what if this last book was such a flop that nobody would ever want to talk to you again, you start to realize that the anxiety and loneliness of the publishing industry isn’t the result of you selling or not selling books. It’s just how it is. All of us, from the top all the way to the bottom of that big barrel we call the SF/F world, are all worried and hoping we’re doing good work and anxious about our futures as writers. It’s just the way it works.
So, in keeping with the spirit of the season, if you have a favorite author whose books you love, shoot them a Tweet or drop them a line somehow and tell them you appreciate them. If you read a book or story and liked it, leave a review in the venue of your choice. They’ll notice, and their day will be brighter for it, whether they be the newest kid on the block or a pillar of the genre. Everybody likes to feel official.
I have big news. Actually, I have a variety of news on the writing front, and so this will be a (long overdue) update on my writing activities:
Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine has bought my short story, “The Mithridatist,” a fantasy story set in Alandar (Akral, to be specific). This is big, big news for me, and for a couple reasons. First, this is a great market that I’ve been reading for ages. When I was a kid, I had stacks of these things piled up all over my room. They’ve published the likes of Ursula K LeGuin, Walter Miller, Stephen King, and tons of other writers I have admired for years. The idea that I’d be in that same publication is humbling and very exciting, to be sure. The editor, CC Finlay, has been extremely encouraging with his rejections to me (I know – it sounds strange, but it’s true) and I’m very happy to have finally met his exacting standards.
The other reason this is big news is that this counts as my third professional story sale (the previous being Analog and The Writers of the Future Anthology), which qualifies me for Active Membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). My novel(s), incidentally, haven’t qualified me yet since I wasn’t paid an advance and haven’t made me sufficient money. Now, though, I get to join (once I figure out how to prove the sale, as it won’t be in print for a while) and take one step further along the road to Serious Professional Author, No Really, You Have Heard Of Me Or Read My Work For Serious. If there were a checklist of my professional goals, we would now be about halfway down the list. Go me.
The next piece of news has more to do with all of you fine people than it does me. My friend and colleague, Zach Chapman, has decided to become a big-time story anthology editor in addition to being a talented scifi writer himself. His editorial debut is to be a time travel themed anthology. I have already promised a story as has the extremely talented Martin Shoemaker, but the anthology needs more. Zach has an open submission period, open now until January, for folks to submit their time travel stories. Submit! He’s paying pro rates, so this is no joke! Do it, and best of luck to you all!
Getting back to me for a moment, we’re approximately three months out from the release date for Book 2 of The Saga of the Redeemed, No Good Deed. The publication date is currently February 23rd, with pre-orders already up on Amazon and other places, as well. Of course, in order to be ready for it, you need to have read Book 1, The Oldest Trick. To make this easier, the first half of book 1, titled The Iron Ring, is going to go on sale next week (I’ll give you the details soon).
For those of you already up to date on the adventures of Tyvian and the gang, here’s my little pitch for Book 2 which, as of this moment, is going to serve as the jacket copy. This is an exclusive, first look at the continuing misadventures of Tyvian Reldamar, grouchy and very reluctant hero:
Cursed with a magic ring that forbids skullduggery, Tyvian Reldamar’s life of crime is sadly behind him. Now reduced to fencing moldy relics and wheedling favors from petty nobility, he’s pretty sure his life can’t get any worse.
That is until he hears that his old nemesis, Myreon Alafarr, has been framed for a crime she didn’t commit and turned to stone in a penitentiary garden. Somebody is trying to get his attention, and that somebody plays a very high-stakes game that will draw Tyvian and his friends back to the city of his birth and right under the noses of the Defenders he’s been dodging for so long. And that isn’t even the worst part.
The worst part is that somebody is his mother.
Sounds cool, right?
Talk to you all soon, and thank you all for your continued support!