Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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I mentioned this on Facebook, but I finished another fantasy novel the other day. It's called The Serpent Sea, but at the moment it has no chance of being published because it's set in the same world as The Cloud Roads, which hasn't sold to a publisher yet. But it's still feels good to finish it.

I'm also working on a YA fantasy, and I'm about a little more than halfway through it, but it doesn't have a publisher yet either.

I don't tend to talk about what I'm working on here, because I don't like to talk about unsold work, because people tend to keep asking when it will come out, and I have to keep explaining how it's not sold yet, which is not fun. (And believe me, if I sell another book, you will be hard-pressed not to hear about it, because I will talk about it a lot, everywhere.) But I've found that if I don't talk about it at least occasionally, I get emails asking why I'm not writing anything anymore. Which is not fun either, when you're spending most of your time writing.

Since I fled my last day job, I think the only year when I didn't finish a book was 2007, when I scrapped the fantasy novel I had been working on. (The salvaged material from that book is the Giliead and Ilias stories that have been/are being published in Black Gate Magazine.) I'm also hoping to finish the YA fantasy this year too, which will be two books finished this year and so that'll make up for 2007.

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I'll keep my fingers crossed! And so will my congoing buddy J.

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept of one of the best fantasy authors alive having a hard time selling her work.

Thanks. :) There are a lot of other writers in the same boat, right now. The boat's getting really crowded, actually.

Bail! Bail faster! *grin*

*I'm bailing as fast as I can* *splash splash*

It is disheartening (to put it mildly) to see the trend. Shelves stuffed with many truly BAD vampire books that are imitations of the currently popular ones (and there ARE some good ones--but also there is a slew of bad ones) taking up shelf space when we could have a good variety of material from all sorts of talented people, vampire AND non-vampire. Why must the industry glom on to whatever theme there is in a successful book and over-saturate the market with poor imitations? The successful book typically comes outta nowhere and is NOT "the hot topic" that was last seen on the scene. That's what confuses me. These people are intelligent, the industry insiders, so why are they trying the "do more of the same" when it's obviously not going to work? Because the magic usually works ONCE.

This brings up the entire issue of "what's the use of writing something that can't ever be published" and "why waste your time?" My family brings that up with me all the time. This used to stymie me and shame me until I realized . . . hubby plays an online rolegame in which everyone pretends it's real and they spend real money to buy their game characters new horses and such . . . and my mother watches CNN and shouts at the TV all day. Are they ending up with a unique creative product at the end the way I am??!! No!! Surely there is value in what we are doing, even if its worth goes unrecognized.

_Ars gratia artis._ Art for art's sake. (The MGM motto.)

(and, as I promised my crit partner, here's the link to the opening of my novel that is in the contest:
*cringe* But I promised I would sign every outgoing message with that until the contest ends on Nov 1st, just in case anyone's curious.)

Re: Bail! Bail faster! *grin*

Yeah, trends like that are always tricky, and the popularity can drop off abruptly. I always think it's better if people don't write to trends unless that's what they really like to read. For one thing, if you don't read a lot in that subgenre, you're in danger of reinventing the wheel with it. It's always better if people are writing the kind of stories they're excited about.

It is good to hear you're still writing. I figured you had to be, but it's still nice to hear it. It does make me wonder what's wrong with the publishing industry that you're having trouble selling your work. You are a very seriously talented writer.

Thanks very much. :) There are a lot of other writers in the same situation, now. It really sucks.

Yeah I guess it's understandable given the economy. I really hope that improves in a more noticeable way soon.

You can let the publishers know you have at least one guaranteed sale for each book.

Make that at least two.

From the reader's standpoint, it's pretty frustrating to see the things I'd like to read getting held up like this; I wish you the best of luck finding publishers for everything.

i'm crossing my fingers for you. seriously. i don't understand why you should have trouble. you're amazing. i hope for everyone's sake that this economy turns around soon, and publishing works out the kinks.

I can't believe anyone would *not* want to publish your work. What's going on in their minds?
(Yes, I know the technical answer; but I still think they're out of their trees. I would certainly buy any book by you, YA or grownup.)

My fingers are crossed for you to get your books published - and for all of us to be able to read them soon. I'm madly impressed that you're going to be finishing two books this year. That's a lot of effort and determination.

Thanks :) I think I'm actually getting a bit more prolific as I get older.

I look forward to reading all of these books eventually.

Also, I just saw A Walk out of the World on your sidebar! Did you read The Marrow of the World too? I don't think I know anyone else who read these obscure Cdn fantasies from the 70s, but I discovered them as a teen & still love them (the Trina Schart Hyman illustrations in the hc edns are marvellous).


Yes, I found both of them in hardcover at the Fort Worth Public Library when I was a kid, and then later got copies of them in paperback. Those were great books!

What is your agent saying about the books?

She liked The Cloud Roads, but hasn't read the other two yet, except for about the first 40 pages of the YA. The Cloud Roads is still being looked at by publishers, it's just been making the rounds for over a year, with no response.

I don't understand why a publisher hasn't snatched up The cloud Roads yet. I guess I was really asking about the YA books since that's the hot market at the moment.

Yeah, I think YA, especially YA fantasy, is doing really well right now. So hopefully that book will have a better chance.

Here it's a shame that the writing business isn't more like the music business. If you were a band we liked you could sell us a rough, unfinished mix of your new novel to enjoy while still shopping it to labels, or let us subscribe to you in exchange for yearly output.

A pity we're trapped inside a systems where I need an irrelevant third party to broker your art for my consumption ;(

Yeah, I do think publishing will change for the better over the next couple years or so, especially as more publishers start taking better advantage of the ebook market, but right now things suck.

Brilliant! Some day we will get to read those books. If only there were more your devoted fans could do than sending mind-control rays at publishers telling them to buy your MSs...

In packing some stuff I found some of your books I had misplaced. So now I am rereading some stuff I read a long time ago.

Heres to hoping you find a sane publisher soon. Thinking good thoughts in your direction.

Heartened to hear that the books exist - I was afraid that you'd had to give up writing - but madly frustrated that I am not able to read them. Aren't there any publishers out there who read and love their own products?

Thanks :) I think most editors love the books they put out, but with the economy and the way chain stores order books, and all the other problems, sometimes there's no choice.

I'm glad to hear this update, too, though wish it was a shout-from-the-rooftops message that the next book had sold.

Not long ago, while looking for something else in my house, I ran across my copy of Wheel of the Infinite and have been rereading it. I was just thinking the other night how much your books have the depth of worldbuilding and character interaction to repay rereading.

Thanks :) I love to hear that people are rereading my books.

I am very much hoping these sell, because I just love your books, and I want to read them. :)

Congratulations on finishing the book. I hope they all sell soon so that I can read them. I find it frustrating to know that there are books I'd like to read that publishers don't want to publish and that when the books I want to read do get published, way too many of them never make it to the shelves of the stores I have access to.

Thanks! And yeah, the good thing about online booksellers is that you can usually order the books that don't make it into the stores; the bad thing is, if the books don't make it into the stores, you're probably not going to know they're available.

Not knowing what's available that I might want is definitely a problem with online bookstores. They're great for ordering books by authors I know I like or even for books trustworthy people have recommended, but they're not very useful for figuring out what new authors I might like.

I went into Borders yesterday because I had a 30% off coupon. No less than three store employees asked me if I needed help finding anything. I felt the urge to yell at them about the fact that the problem isn't with finding what I want, it is with what I want simply not being there to find. Since I know they aren't likely to be responsible for that problem, I refrained from yelling at them. I need to figure out whether the problem is with the local store specifically or Borders in general so that I can contact appropriate people to complain. I'm getting really frustrated.

If I can't lay my hands on books by established authors, what chance do new authors have of coming to my attention?

Hopefully this won't show up twice. I tried replying earlier, but I don't think it worked due to internet connection problems.

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