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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-07-23 18:13
Subject: [personal] Open questions thread
Security: Public
Tags:personal

I officially declare this an open questions thread. Ask me anything. I make no promises about the answers, of course. (Response times may be delayed due to travel and other events.)

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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willyumtx
User: willyumtx
Date: 2008-07-24 01:23 (UTC)
Subject: Dreads?
Have you thought about getting dreads? It would be cool with a white trenchcoat and sunglasses.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/images2/MatrixTwins.jpg
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 01:25 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Dreads?
Yeah, but they don't come out again, so I'd be stuck with dreads or short hair...waaah.

(Plus I'm not cool enough, and a bit too white.)
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2008-07-24 01:55 (UTC)
Subject: More than a signing...
I'm trying to wrap my head around the possibilities for promoting an anthology one of my stories will appearing in.

What are your thoughts about doing signings for multi-author anthologies?

Is it useful to do things (formal Q&A, mini-forum, mini-panel) at signings?

How much should an neo-pro author rely on the publisher's marketing dept. (or whoever) to arrange signings?

(The anthology is the Intergalactic Medicine Show anthology from Tor, due out in August.)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 02:28 (UTC)
Subject: Re: More than a signing...
I love Tor as if they were my own publisher (ahem), but in general a publisher's marketing department will spend very little, if any, time on signings for an antho. The exception in the case of this book would be OSC's involvement, which can draw their support, but that's unusual.

By the same token, having done multi-author antho signings, I can say they're probably even more of a crapshoot than novel signings. You should definitely do them if you can arrange, but moderate your expectations of the experience.

A signing often has a bit of a reading up front, but be mercifully brief. I will also often give a short talk, about the history of the book (or story) in hand. That loosens people up and segues very nicely into some open-ended Q/A.

Put together two or three signings in your area. (DC, right?) Genre bookstores are much better candidates that big box bookstores. You can never starting gaining that experience too soon.
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Elspeth
User: evaleastaristev
Date: 2008-07-24 03:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What's the clutziest thing you've ever done?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 12:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow. That takes some thinking. In the most usual sense of "klutzy", probably the spectacular bicycle wreck engendered by me failing to check my front fork quick release, then popping a wheelie in rush hour traffic to avoid an unexpected divot in the pavement. Physics took over, with predictable and unpleasant results. (Though I do tell it as a good bar story.)

As for things which are metaphorically klutzy, I could write a book.

Wait, I have.
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calendula_witch: Peanut M&Ms
User: calendula_witch
Date: 2008-07-24 03:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Peanut M&Ms
How's the antibiotics/probiotics scenario going? Sounds like no news (or less news) may be good news? Or maybe I'm an eternal optimist.
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Jay Lake: food-peking_duck
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 10:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:food-peking_duck
No news is pretty much good news. Yesterday evening was a bit rough due to a combination of the extreme hydrophilia of this medication, and a dodgy food choice at dinner — I tried 1/2 a piece of pizza, and really shouldn't ought to have done that. By and large I am much improved.

Thank you very much for asking.
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selfavowedgeek
User: selfavowedgeek
Date: 2008-07-24 03:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
1. Do you find particular times of the day/night are more conducive to your output?

2. If you've ever gone on a writerly binge, what's the most K's you've written in one fell swoop?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 12:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
1. Do you find particular times of the day/night are more conducive to your output?

I rarely write early in the morning. Which is the opposite of a lot of writers I know — getting up early to work while the household is asleep is a common practice. Beyond that, as time and interest permit.

2. If you've ever gone on a writerly binge, what's the most K's you've written in one fell swoop?

About 22,000 words in one sitting, when I was writing the first draft of Trial of Flowers.
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sheelangig
User: sheelangig
Date: 2008-07-24 04:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

What do you want your tombstone to say? Besides "Not Here", of course...
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 12:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

For serious, I supposed I'd go with "Dad, writer, friend" or some variation there of. I'll probably come up with a clever epitaph someday.
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frabjouslinz
User: frabjouslinz
Date: 2008-07-24 04:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
For some reason, my tired brain read that as "Opera Questions thread." So random opera questions - do you have a favorite opera? Do you like opera at all? Do you like PDQ Bach-type parodies of opera? If given a choice between musicals or opera, which would you choose?

If Don Giovanni were playing real soon and you could go, would you? WOuld you make him sing tenor? (Tenor eleven miles away! Oh, sad music teacher jokes, ow, ow...)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 12:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Tommy, maybe. Classical opera doesn't do a lot for me. I'd probably choose a musical because people shouting at each other in Italian for four hours to orchestral accompaniment isn't quite my cup of tea. (And yes, I've been to a number of operas, just to see what I was missing.)
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User: creed_of_hubris
Date: 2008-07-24 04:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
How much future monetary value do you see in your published short fiction? Would you consider putting some (more) of your stories up on the web for free, if you were convinced that the extra exposure would drive sales of your current books?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 12:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Almost all the future monetary value in my published short fiction lies in the (extremely unlikely) possibility of a movie option at some point. Until I got sick, I ran biweekly reprint here on the blog for some months, a practice I really need to resume, precisely for the reasons you suggest.

If you want to look at them:

http://jaylake.livejournal.com/tag/fiction
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User: hkneale
Date: 2008-07-24 05:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Clue Fairy
If you were to be a woman for an entire year, what would you do?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 12:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
:: laughs ::

You know how to ask them, don't you? Live my life, have adventures, do what I want. Not much different from my current recipe, except for the underwear.
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jeffsoesbe: spiderjerusalem smoke and type
User: jeffsoesbe
Date: 2008-07-24 06:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:spiderjerusalem smoke and type
Back in your "write a story a week" days, were you also submitting a story a week? And how did you handle revision of the story of the week - light cleanup, medium rework, total rewrite - before sending it out?

Thanks,

- yeff
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 12:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I submitted everything all the time, basically. At times I had 50 stories in circulation. Sold a lot of them, too.

Revision depended on the story. Some went out in first draft+light line edit (those tended to sell the quickest.) Some took more work, about which I am historically quite lazy. Some got canned and never saw the light of day.
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User: ex_kaz_maho
Date: 2008-07-24 12:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Gnashers!
Could you tell us more about Green? I adored the cover art you posted a while back...
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-24 16:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Green

Well, city-fantasy (as opposed to urban fantasy) about a girl kidnapped into slavery across an ocean at the age of three and raised as a courtesan, while secretly being trained to assassinate her future husband. She tries to escape both fates and return to her birthplace, but is eventually drawn back to who she made to be.
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jeffsoesbe: bald man thinking
User: jeffsoesbe
Date: 2008-07-24 16:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bald man thinking
Do you think Obama can win the election?

I do, but at times I fall into dread that the neo-con FUD machine will get going full-speed and combine with the all-day pass the media seems to give McCain to pull out a win.

And in that case, I shudder to think of the result. Great for dystopian SF, lousy for the country and its people.

Thoughts?

- yeff
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User: autojim
Date: 2008-07-24 18:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Saw this on ABC News last night:

Coverage on the network nightly news ("traditional" 3 networks) of Obama since June 1: 114 minutes. Of McCain: 48 minutes.

And that's before this week's Obama Pretends He's Already President World Tour 2008.
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User: janellelohr
Date: 2008-07-25 06:20 (UTC)
Subject: Con advice
I've been to Potlatch twice now, and enjoyed it greatly both times, but I haven't done any other cons. I'd like to venture out of my cave socialize with like minded folks more than once a year, but I'm a little overwhelmed by all the con options out there. Do you have any particular con recommendations, or tips for researching them on my own? I'm more of a wannabe writer than a purest sf fan, if that affects your answer.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-25 13:06 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Con advice
If you've been to Potlatch I presume you live on the West Coast. My best advice is to identify the area/regional cons near you and hit them for a couple of years. Cons are very friendly places, but they don't always feel that way to a newbie, especially a newbie flying solo.

So, for example, in Seattle, RustyCon, Norwescon, Foolscap. Plus maybe a road trip to RadCon and OryCon. Some combination of those would be a good first year strategy.

The bigger cons like WorldCon and World Fantasy you should save until you have some "con legs", in my opinion. If you're serious about wanting to be a writer, World Fantasy, WisCon and ReaderCon are all great investments, but they all involved extensive travel for us West Coast types.
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sheelangig
User: sheelangig
Date: 2008-07-25 18:04 (UTC)
Subject: Oh piffle

That last thing went anonymous.

The question is/was, what is the point of cons, particularly for the non-writer?

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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-25 20:09 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Oh piffle
Sure. With a few exceptions, Cons are generally run by and for non-writers. (As opposed to retreats, workshops or writing conferences.) If you like books, movies, costuming, drama, toys, paraphernalia, etc. of a genre nature, there's loads to do. Usually only 10-25% of the Con's programming is dedicated to writers -- but if you read about Cons here, that's what we talk about.
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jeffsoesbe: bald man thinking
User: jeffsoesbe
Date: 2008-07-26 04:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bald man thinking
So, what's coming up in the next six months or so for you, writing-wise?

It seems like the recovery from cancer surgery is going well. Haa the cancer experience changed how you approach the writing work or your writing plans?

- yeff
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-07-26 21:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The Magic 8-Ball says, "Reply hazy, try again later..."
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