Again, big thanks to Yasmine Galenorn and Brian Mercer for appearing together on a successful World Building workshop during the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s summer conference in Seattle. If you don’t know about New York Times bestselling author Yasmine, she’s quite the prolific writer and a shamanic witch. You can learn more about her books at her website. I’d recommended following on her twitter, too.
Before I unplug for a sunny Friday in Seattle, I wanted to pass along that my imprint Simon451 is starting to roll out more information on The Undying prior to the novel’s October release, including a conversation with my editor at Simon & Schuster, the superbly talented Sarah Knight. Here’s an excerpt:
The Undying has what we in publishing call “crossover appeal.” Tell us how you decided to take your obvious literary chops and apply them to an apocalyptic thriller.
Reid:The Undying first came to me as I sat in hotel room in France watching the beginning of the Iraq War on CNN. It was surreal, the feeling of being in a foreign land as my country invaded another. The concept further took root after two women in my family endured some very difficult years—which gave birth to Jeanie, my main protagonist. I guess I wanted them all to have a voice. I’ve always leaned toward writing psychological thrillers. And I dig pop culture as much as a good rush of adrenaline. That all meshed together in The Undying, in its way.
There’s more on the Simon451 website, a newsletter to subscribe to and even a way for writers to submit their work. If you’d like to read more, you can find the entire interview with Sarah here.
I wanted to give everyone a little preview of our Sci-Fi/Fantasy World Building workshop at the PNWA summer conference in case you wanted more information before attending. It’ll be held on Friday, July 18th at 4 p.m. I’ll be on the panel with PNWA Board Member Brian Mercer and best-selling author Yasmine Galenorn.
From the conference program:
World or story, which comes first? Discover how to craft a realistic background for your manuscript: from vampires to space exploration, to new lands, peoples, economies, and beyond. How suspension of disbelief is key to keeping your reader, agent, or editor onthe page. In this workshop, you will learn how to develop and strengthen sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, and all fiction genres to forge an immersing novel; the ins and outs of researching world building; and how to use language, politics, and friendships as tools to create an unforgettable landscape.
Hope that gives you some insight. We’ll be covering storytelling tools, structure, methods, and how to use world building effectively to press your manuscript forward. Hope to see you there. If you’re at the conference, make sure to look me up.
I was saddened this weekend to hear of the passing of the poet Jim Carroll. Back in college, I liked to play basketball, writer, and wish I had the cajones to do real drugs — so Jim was always a great fit. And his writing was simply out of this world fantastic. If you haven’t read his stuff, I’d recommend picking up a copy of his urban coming of NY age story Basketball Diaries. Carroll writer’s “ear” was simply phenomenal. His prose fantastic. Like all writers do, I tried to copy his greatness, failed, but learned a lot. Carroll died of a heart attack last Friday in Manhattan. He was 60.
Here’s an LA Times piece, “Remembering Jim Carroll,” by poet Lewis MacAdams. I’ll borrow an excerpt from the column, quoting Jack Kerouac.
That’s when the poet Ted Berrigan took him to visit Jack Kerouac, who took a look at some of Jim’s writing and said, “Jim Carroll writes better prose than 89% of the novelists working today.”
It’s still true. To read the Rolling Stone obit, click here.
There’s a link within the story above that takes you to the Rolling Stone archives, and an 1999 interview with Carroll, where the poet speaks of a new book, touring, and Kurt Cobain.