Thursday, June 28, 2018

Questions for Your Beta Readers

Your novel has been edited within an inch of its life, gone through to your critique partners and developmental editor, been edited some more and you're ready for the final feedback loop. You're ready to send your book to your beta readers.

It's tempting to send your manuscript along with a "what do you think?" and leave it at that, which totally works for some people, especially those with whom you have a long history of sharing your writing. But with others, you're going to want to provide more direction about the type of feedback you're looking for.

I always send the below list of questions to my beta readers with the caveat - I know you're not a professional editor so I've provided the below questions as guidance to frame your reading. Do not feel compelled to give detailed replies to each! You're my last reader before my book hits the virtual shelves and I'd rather know what's not working before piling up bad live reviews!

A.    Opening:
  • Were the first paragraphs and first page compelling? Did they make you want to keep reading? If not, where did you stop reading?
  • Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is, what’s going on, and where and when it’s taking place? If not, what were you confused about at the beginning?
  • Did the story hold your interest through the first few chapters? Or is there a point where your interest started to lag?

B.    Characters:
  • Could you relate to the main character? Did you feel her/his pain, joy, fears, worry, excitement?
  • Which characters did you connect to and like? (or love to hate)
  • Are there any characters you think could be made more interesting/developed more?
  • Did you get confused about who’s who in the characters? Are there too many characters to keep track of? Are any of the names or characters too similar?

C.    Dialogue:
  • Did the dialogue sound natural to you? If not, whose dialogue did you think sounded artificial or stilted?

D.    Setting
  • Were you able to visualize where and when the story is taking place?
  • Did the setting pull you in, and did the descriptions seem vivid and real to you?

E.    Plot, Pacing, Scenes:
  • Was the story interesting to you? Did it drag in parts?
  • Which scenes did you really like?
  • Which parts were exciting and should be elaborated on, with more details?
  • Which parts bored you and should be compressed or even deleted?
  • Was there anything that confused, frustrated, or annoyed you?

F.    Writing Style/Tone/Voice:
  • Do you think the writing style fits the story and genre? If not, why not?

G.    Ending:
  • Was the ending satisfying? 
  • Was the ending believable?

H.    Grammar, spelling, punctuation:
  • While you were reading, did you notice any obvious, repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors?
Do you use beta readers? What kind of guidance do you give them, if any? Are there additional questions you'd add to this list?

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Unique Agony of Imagination Whiplash

A post by Mary Fan

I have a bad habit of overcommitting myself. The cycle usually goes like this: I work hard on a writing project, I get tired, I tell myself I deserve a break, I bum around and produce nothing for a few weeks (or months), then I feel guilty about wasting so much time and decide to work even harder on writing projects. Then I get tired, tell myself I deserve a break, bum around, feel guilty… etc. etc. etc. In the beginning, I only had one or two writing projects to deal with, so I didn’t realize this was what I was doing. But things compound over time—mostly because I have the bad habit of starting series that need sequels while also wanting to write all-new things.

I’ve been in an especially sticky situation for the past year and a half or so—overcommitting myself so much, I had to use a spreadsheet to keep track of this all. I think I was overcompensating for an especially terrible 2016—a year in which three book projects fizzled (jerk co-author, deadbeat publisher, agent break-up). 2017 would be different—I’d publish ALL THE THINGS. That attitude spilled into 2018… and now, I’m totally screwed (I can totally write a book in three weeks in time for my critique group’s deadline…)

One thing I didn’t account for while scribbling down my schedule—Write this short story next week! Spend the following three weeks working on the full-length novel! Abandon that novel at whatever stage it’s in because the anthology needs editing by a certain date to make its release date!—was the imagination whiplash. See, I was treating book projects as a to-do list. First, sort the laundry and dump it in the machine. While that’s running, vacuum the carpet. Stuff like that. Thing is, when you’re vacuuming, you probably aren’t still immersed in the brain-space of sorting laundry.

Not so much with book projects. As any writer will tell you, authoring something means diving deep into another world. You start living and breathing the fictional realm. Sometimes, it takes a spell to get your head into the project. And once you’re in, it starts feeling like a part of you. You start thinking like your characters, seeing the story through their eyes. You start mentally living in your setting. The book world starts to feel more real than the real world. (Or is that just me??)

Thing is, it can take a spell to immerse yourself in the first place. And then, even after you’ve hit “submit” or “publish” and can’t touch the manuscript anymore, your mind lingers in that world. Back when I was only working on one thing at a time, I’d take a writing break to let it fade before starting the next thing. But since the Era of the Spreadsheet began, I haven’t had that luxury. One day, I’m working on a contemporary fantasy. The next, I’m drafting a sci-fi mystery, whipping myself into a totally different world. It’s… disorienting. Makes me want to yell at my computer, “WHERE AM I NOW???”

So far, I’ve managed to keep myself from getting these story worlds mixed up (at least in the writing and editing stage… I’ve definitely gotten some characters mixed up while plotting, but so far I’ve managed to catch myself before the real work begins!). But I wonder if it’s just a matter of time before my space-faring viola player accidentally shows up in the haunted forest instead of my champion monster-slayer. Actually, that might be a fun crossover…

Anyway, I know there are plenty of writers out there who hop from project to project. Maybe they get imagination whiplash too. Maybe it’s just me because I get too pulled into my fictional realms.

How about you? Does you ever get confused when switching too quickly between projects?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

It's the End of the World! Interview with Ryan Casey

Grab your freeze-dried food and settle into your bunker and let's give a warm welcome to Ryan Casey, indie author of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. He stopped by ATB to discuss his work, offer advice on how to survive Armageddon, and recommend excellent film and television shows in case we can still get Netflix when the world ends. 

Welcome Ryan!

I'll go first.

What do you think it is about dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction that engages readers so much? Because I’ve got to be honest, it’s feeling awfully close to reality these days. Is it still escapism?

Good question. It’s something I think about a lot. I’ve always enjoyed apocalyptic fiction myself in varying forms. 28 Days Later was a life-changing movie when I was younger, and I Am Legend is a book that has always resonated with me.

There’s an argument that deep down, a lot of people kind of crave an apocalypse—without that sounding too weird. Apocalyptic fiction, I feel, allows them to experience that world vicariously and in a safe environment. Just like horror allows people to scare themselves to death in a safe environment, and likewise with other genres.

Or maybe that’s totally wrong. But there’s definitely something to the uncanny of an apocalyptic world that I think draws readers in, because it lets them ask all kind of moral questions that are very much present in their lives today without having to actually face up to the answers.

I’ve done a lot of research on how people would react to an event like some of the ones described in my books. The answers aren’t always as uplifting as you’d like to believe.

But again, we’ll never know for definite.

Ryan Casey

What skill(s) should we learn in order to survive an apocalypse? Or should we simply be hoarding items and buying a 12-month supply of freeze dried food that’s advertised at Costco (do you have Costco in the UK)? 

You’ve put me on the spot now! It’s in the books, honest!

I went into writing Blackout, my first EMP survival book, back in 2016, with actual limited knowledge about how to survive an apocalyptic event. I had to bury myself in a lot of research. Honestly, it’s fascinating. There’s so many people way more qualified than me that spend their lives dedicated to thinking about this kind of thing, and it’s honestly very admirable.

I know a lot more now than I did in 2016. There’s a few essentials I’d start with. Making sure you’re stocked up is important, however if you live in a suburban area, you want to get away from there and into the countryside as soon as possible.

So knowing things like how to collect water and make sure it’s safe to drink, how to cook in the wild, how to stay warm and clean, how to hunt and trap… those things are the most important things, actually.
Which hurts me ethically, as a vegetarian of three years.

And yeah, we have Costco too. There’s been a few of those places in my books. Tl;dr: things usually get messy.

You pride your work on its rapid pacing. How you balance the story action with the emotional stakes? Do you find that you need to slow it down at certain points so readers can catch their breath?

Yeah, it’s a fine line to walk. Pacing is something I’ve always been conscious of. That said, like you point out, it can’t be constant action every scene.

I actually prefer writing the quieter scenes, believe it or not. I just find the introspective stuff and character building flows a lot more easily for me than the mechanics of action scenes.

I try to have a rule of thumb that works for me that’s kind of a cause and effect sort of thing. If there’s an action scene, there has to be a reaction to it. Even if it’s pretty full-on on the action front, reaction is just as important.

Otherwise it’s just one long slog of action scenes and no emotional investment, which isn’t fun for anyone—as much as it might sound fun.

What’s currently the biggest challenge to your writing? 

The fear that one day this amazing publishing journey is going to come to an end.

I’ve had ups and downs since I started publishing in 2012. I’ve learned things the hard way. I’ve followed false prophets and hampered my own progress, only to fall in with some great, inspirational communities and make some really good friends.

The fear is that one day, Amazon or someone is just going to turn around and close the door, or change the publishing landscape all over again.

I’d have to learn to adapt… much like one of my novels. I guess it’d be my own autobiographical, real-life post apocalypse event.

What are three tips you can give fledgling indie authors writing in your genre?

Just three? :(

Firstly, do your research. I know, I know, it sounds boring, but fans of this genre are wonderful and when you get things right, they love you for it. So it pays to just know a bit about the genre you’re writing in before you throw yourself into it headfirst. Same applies for any genre, I’m sure. Do that and people will love you for it.

Secondly, get yourself an amazing cover. Seriously, I know we’re not supposed to judge books by their covers, but we do, and that’s always going to be the case. You want a cover that absolutely screams of your genre. You can be original in your prose. Make sure that cover looks like your genre.

Thirdly, maybe most importantly, don’t be afraid to get creative. I know, by its nature, writing is creative. But there’s a myth that you have to write cookie-cutter fiction in order to make it in the indie publishing world. It’s not true. You hit some genre tropes, sure. You give yourself a well-defined cover, absolutely. But follow your instincts. Don’t be afraid to do something daring. This is what gives you personality. This is what keeps people coming back.

Just don’t kill the dog.

What actor would you want to play your main protagonist(s)?

Weirdly, I’ve never done this before on any of my books. I’ve had side characters that look like actors in my imagination, but never for the protagonists.

But hey, I’ll take anyone. I’ll do it myself if they make a movie out of my stuff, if budget’s an issue. Get Netflix on the phone ASAP.

Who are you currently reading?

I’m reading Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. I saw the film by Alex Garland and found it absolutely spine-tinglingly haunting and original, and the book is just as good. It’s so mysterious, leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever read.

I’m also reading Siddhartha’s Brian by James Kingland, which is all about the neuroscientific studies into ancient Buddhist practices. Secular Buddhism is an area I’m really interested in, so this is right up my street.

Recommend a movie or TV show for fans of post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction. Or throw out any recommendation. (I, for one, love British crime dramas.)

TV-wise, I would say The Walking Dead but I feel like it’s gone off ever since that cliffhanger at the end of Season Six. Westworld is really good, and I’m a fan of an older British show by the Black Mirror creator called Dead Set. Give it a try if you fancy a different take on the zombie genre.

Movie-wise, other than Annihilation, I really really loved A Quiet Place. I found it absolutely visceral experience in the cinema. There was a guy crunching popcorn in the seat in front of me and driving everyone mad. I went out of it whispering. Really tense cinema.

You can follow Ryan on Twitter. Or check out his website here and there's an offer for a free book.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Google Search: Why did my...

Hello. It’s the cat again. 

I posted for my human once before. You can find it here. Today I’m completing her Google Search segment for her. Here’s one of her recent searches with the resulting Googlebot suggestions:

First, I’ll never understand why humans are so fascinated with poop. My human even puts some of my poop in a bag a few times a year and takes it somewhere. Then she comes home and praises me for having ‘clean poop’. And she wonders why I try to escape sometimes.

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about poop. Sorry. I’m here to tell you why your cat peed on you. Or more specifically I’ll give you 5 reasons why cats pee on their human authors.

1. Lack of Dedication
As outlined in the previous post I wrote, cats do a lot for their human authors. You’d think that would earn us at least one book dedication. We cats can forgive being passed over for spouses, children, and even parents. It’s when our humans pass us up for second-cousins-twice-removed or some other insignificant relationship. A few human authors have gotten it right—and I can assure you they did not get peed on.

2.  Dogs in Books
I don’t need to explain this one. Obviously, we’re going to pee on you for this lack in judgment.

3. The Zone
All human authors fall into ‘The Zone’ during their writing process. This is when the real work gets done. Their fingers are flying across the keyboard and all else is forgotten. Including our food. This is unacceptable. The food bowl needs to be full at all times. Even if we’re not going to eat it. All cats know we will perish the moment the food line falls two kernels below the top of the bowl. Peeing is the most effective way to quickly pull a human author out of ‘The Zone.’


I changed my mind. I’m only going to give you three reasons. I’m bored with this topic and am off in search of a sunray. Really, if you don’t know why your cat peed on you then you deserved it. Now go Google something about poop.

~ The Cat

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Can you write in a genre you don't love reading?

Image credit

A Post By Jonathan

Greetings all! So, this is the second blog post in a row I've written while on a business trip. I'm starting to realize that I should probably plan these things better...

Anyways, during these business trips I usually listen to a lot of audio books. To give you an idea of just how much, I recently finished the entire Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, which is about 1,232,820 words, so "books on tape" don't usually have trouble keeping my interest. The books that I've been listening to lately have either been hard SciFi or high Fantasy, so with my next book I thought I might try out some Middle Grade, since that is the genre I write in...

I usually don't buy MG audiobooks because most of them are pretty short and if I'm going to spend $15.00 a month for Audible I'm going to get my money's worth. But I recently heard about a new up and coming MG/YA author (who is supposed to be the next JK Rowling... since both of their debuts went for crazy money at auction), so I figured I'd give the book a try. Well, I'm barely past the first five chapters and am having a heck of a time sticking with it. It's okay, but the exposition is way overdone, as is the narration. Still, what I'm really worried about is that it's not the book, but the genre I'm cooling off on.

I'll be honest, it was Harry Potter that got me excited about MG in the first place. I just love all the adventures kids can get into together and the coming of age story tropes. But since that series ended, it's been tough finding anything in my genre I'm super excited about. I liked the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins of Hunger Games fame, mostly because of her to-the-point writing style and also the Penderwicks series. I kind of liked Percy Jackson, but not so much. I guess when I read, I want to experience more of an adult adventure (one that I can picture myself in), but when I write, I love getting my young(er) characters in and out of trouble.

Does anyone else have this "problem?" Are there times when you would rather read in an area that you don't necessarily write in? I guess since I've started writing, I feel like reading needs to be about half research and half leisure, so how can I research if I'm reading out of genre?

In short, can you write in a genre you don't love reading? Would be great to hear from other writers out there who struggle with this (if they exist!). As always thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 11, 2018

What's the Status of Your Literary Estate?

Another quality post brought to you by Steve!
Hey everybody!  Remember last month how I said my plate couldn't possibly get any fuller?  Well, guess what?  Yeah, that's right.  I'm now overseeing the author programming track for Shore Leave 2018, which is its own enormous undertaking.  But I agreed to that.  Last week, though, something else happened which I didn't agree to, and I wish had never happened.

At about 3:00 pm Thursday I was working at my day job, when my phone rang.  It was my friend and mentor Brian Keene, whom I've written about here on the group blog once or twice.  The funny thing is, Brian never calls me at work.  I told him jokingly one time that one of his prank calls nearly got me fired, and he either took that seriously or still thinks it's true, so I'll usually just get a text that says "is it okay to call" if it's during the work day. 

So I was a little surprised to see the call.  In the space of about thirty seconds he said he'd been badly burned in a landscaping accident and that I should get in touch with Scares That Care founder Joe Ripple and see about starting a GoFundMe fundraiser now.  See, like many freelance authors Brian has no health insurance, a problem that is only compounded when a freelancer is unable to work.  So an accident like this is like a double blow.

I could spend this entire blogpost outlining why I hope you'll contribute to the fundraiser, which you can find here.  And I hope you do.  But I've already done that elsewhere, and I also think that Brian would want this to be an instructive experience for young and aspiring writers.  So let's do that instead.

The reason why Brian called me (after his immediate family and the ambulance, of course) is because I'm the executor of his literary estate.  So what does that mean?  Well, it means that when Brian does finally shuffle off this mortal coil, many, many decades from now after getting to see his sons grow up into fine young men, I will be in charge of overseeing his body of work. 

You're probably more familiar with the executor of someone's will.  The executor is a lawyer or trusted friend who ensures that the kids divide the money evenly, the house stays in the family, and Aunt Ginny gets that cuckoo clock she always had her eye on.  Well, a literary estate is similar to a financial estate, except that it only applies to the art you've produced.

For instance, two of my novels were released by their original publisher this year.  It was my decision, then, to seek a new publisher, let them remain unpublished, or self-publish them.  I elected to self-publish them. 

Now if, Cthulhu forbid, I had gotten into a car accident and been left in a vegetative state, what would have happened to my books?  Well, basically they would have been in limbo.  I have no heirs and I'm recently divorced.  I suppose my father, or possibly my estranged mother, would be considered my next of kin.  Now my parents have no idea what I would want done with those books.  And even if they took their best guess, they likely have zero wherewithal to accomplish it.  If I told you to self-publish something tomorrow, and you didn't know anything about self-publishing, how long would it take you to figure it out?  Not to mention, would they have known what edits I wanted?  What forewords, what blurbs?  What kind of cover I would have approved of?  That stuff would be difficult for someone who knows me very well to figure out.  For my parents it likely would be impossible.

Oh, and by the way, they'd be doing all this while mourning me and trying to figure out my funeral arrangements.  Yeah, right.  I'd probably prefer for my sister to run my literary estate.  But she's not my next of kin, so in the absence of anything written down, she wouldn't have any claim to it.  Any publisher that attempted to reach out to me?  Well, she wouldn't have the passwords to my email account.  Amazon tries to pay me?  Well, they can't pay a dead person, and how is someone else going to claim that money?  What about my unfinished work?  Will that be published, unfinished, as with Douglas Adams's SALMON OF DOUBT?  Or will she be able to find someone I trust as an author to finish my work and publish it?

The truth is, though, that I wouldn't really want my sister to run my literary estate, either.  She's a more-than-capable nurse, social worker, and anything else she puts her mind to.  But realistically I wouldn't want her to have to spend the next ten years learning the publishing industry the way I have.  So it would make more sense for me to name, say, Mary or Kimberly or as my executor.  They know me, I trust their judgment, and while they'll probably miss me, they won't exactly be overcome with debilitating grief and unable to function when I die.

Which brings me back to Brian.  You might wonder why Brian, who's been in the industry for twenty years, and has scads of friends all over the field, would name somebody he's only known for three years, close though we may have become in that time.  Well, basically I just laid out the whys and wherefores for you.  Brian knows that I'm eager, young, organized, and ambitious.  I also have a day job, so I wouldn't be put in the position of being a full-time author neglecting his own writing in order to manage a literary estate.  We're close enough that he trusts me, but not so close that I'll be despondent and unable to actually do my duties for months or even years. 

A literary estate is a burden to manage.  Frankly, I'll be fielding phone calls from every idiot who thinks they can make a buck riding the back of Brian's corpse.  So I don't want you to misunderstand how laborious an undertaking this is.  Nevertheless, whoever you are, wherever you are in your career, you need to have a literary estate.  No one wants to think about their own death, but in the same sense that you can't just ignore life insurance or your will because it's icky to think about death, you can't ignore establishing your literary estate, either.

The good news is, you don't have to shell out a single dime to a lawyer to set up your literary estate today.  Just go to Neil Gaiman's blog and follow the instructions in this blogpost.  At least have that on file.  If you do have the means to speak to a lawyer, that's always preferable, but this is a fair enough stopgap measure.  Don't leave your work in pieces for your loved ones to try to pick up.

What about you?  Have you thought about what will happen to your work when you pass on?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

What Are Your Core Projects

By Cheryl Oreglia

I have the privilege of a rather unique perch for observing personalities. Unobserved, or at least tolerated, I eavesdrop on private conversations, and interpersonal interactions. It's my work and I'm paid to do it. I teach high school and from my podium the view is spectacular. Through a sea of human subjects I've learned to appreciate the amazing variety of operating systems we lug around with us ~ ones that prosper, ones that get us by, and ones that fail.

It's not surprising that my favorite types have remained consistent through the years. Teacher's pet is a real thing. I'm enamored with well grounded people, someone who is present, confident, and reliable but does not lack kindness or empathy. That's a deal breaker. There are also appealing types who are shy, still developing a sense of self, who after four years of high school emerge as confident empowered women. I throughly enjoy the enthusiastic types who serge with energy, are lively, and although hard to contain, they are a joy to be around after a few cups of coffee.

The displaced, depressed, angry types don't scare me as much as the apathetic, judgemental, rude ones, who absolutely could give a damn about anything but their cell phones, and deplore you for giving them a poor grade? But even these types have hope because we are not glued to one phase, one roll, one way of being in the world.

It is rare for a student to surprise me. They stay pretty true to form throughout the high school years. I've discovered again and again how early childhood experiences are the dominating factors in developing a strategy for coping with life. Children emulate the adults who care for them, if the adults don't have it together, neither will the children but when they do, it's magic.

Experience is powerful, it shapes the lens with which we view life, the more poignant the experience, the more efficacious it is to our foundation. Some things can not be undone and that can be good especially when it comes to a loving family, strong values, constructive guidance, laughter, and loyalty. Violence, ridicule, neglect, and bullying can sentence a person to hell on earth. Anyone can survive in life but to thrive is a gift. 
"I'm a big personality. I walk into a room, big and tall and loud." Adele
So of course this got me thinking about free-will and our ability to choose right from wrong, healthy vs insalubrious, apathy or engagement, patience over temper. Is it possible to ignore formational experiences, break free from engrained patterns of behavior, and choose the attitude we would like to adopt on any given day? Most people would prefer to stay in the rut they dug for themselves then opt for change. I'm one of them. 
Henry Morgan "people with insufficient personalities are fond of cats. These people adore being ignored."
Of course there is the case of the introvert vs the extrovert, from my laboratory I started observing and storing information, this is what I found. Regardless of the machine that drives you (intro or extro) when a student has a core project they will employ most any strategy to get the work done. Engagement is critical. The introvert can give a polished presentation in front of thirty students if need be, the extrovert can dim themselves in order for peers to shine, and I realized together the possibilities are endless. 

I pride myself on being calm and kind in most situations (Larry has his own perspective but he's wrong) but when my mother was sick and I needed an approval for treatment, a key to the front gate, or an emergency appointment I was ruthless, determined, downright rude if need be. My core project was mom and I was able to pull up aspects of myself (the bitch was a favorite) that I did not know existed in order to serve her needs. This is who we really are (not bitches, you know what I mean), our personalities are in service of our core projects, and even when it is not comfortable we are able to meticulously resurrect a variety of characteristics when needed.
"If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature." Bruce Barton
Does awareness matter? If your entire adult life is tethered to formational experiences, patterns we continually recreate, where is the space for improvement? Is there space? Or are we "predestined" so to speak to be enslaved to our histories? This is what keeps me up at night. You? 

We're not always what we seem. What are your core projects? 

I'm Living in the Gap when I'm not Across the Board

Monday, June 4, 2018

I Hate Introductions

Introductions suck. The whole thing starts with a teacher telling you to stand up the first day of a new school year and asking you to tell the class a bit about yourself. You're uncomfortable and have no idea what to say. As years go by, you get better at it. You do it in school, college, parties, office meetings, and other places. You start to develop go-to answers and short spiels, but the core of the thing never changes: you're always asking yourself "What the hell should I say?" Anyway, here we are again. Hi, my name is Gabino Iglesias and I do a lot of stuff. I will tell you about that stuff now and hopefully it'll work and we can all walk away from here with genuine smiles on our faces.

Okay, so here we go. Author Garrett Cook once called me "an inveterate blogger." That has changed  a bit because venues use different names, but the idea at the center of that still applies. I write books and short stories that are crime, horror, bizarro, or all three at once. My last novel, ZERO SAINTS, was translated into Spanish, optioned for film, and nominated to the Wonderland Book Award. I review book regularly for venues such as Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Criminal Element, PANK Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Crimespree Magazine, The Collagist, Heavy Feather Review, and many other places. I am a columnist for LitReactor and CLASH Media. I am the books reviews editor for PANK Magazine and the TV/film editor for Entropy Magazine. get the point: I try to stay busy. Oh, and I'm finishing two novels and working on a third book that is a posthumous collaboration with the great J.F. Gonzalez. Hopefully that covers the professional part.

Now comes the important part. As a blogger/writer/columnist, I love to take on topics I feel strongly about, even when they are touchy or regularly get me hateful emails and tweets. I'm talking about things like diversity in fiction, waging war on submission fees, and destroying unconscionable publishers and editors. In other words, my main goal as a writer and reviewer is to stand up for equality, support indie writers in any way I can, and be a voice for POC, women, and LGBTQ authors. That sounds nice, but I don't always go about in a nice way because we live in dark times and a lot of people are trash. Yeah, maybe I wouldn't share that in an office meeting, but it's okay to do so here so you have an idea of what to expect.

Well, that's it. We survived another introduction together and it wasn't too bad. I'm stoked to be joining the fine folks who already make Across the Board an awesome place and look forward to adding my bits of sugar and salt to the mix. Stay tuned. If you need me or want to chat in the meantime, you can find me on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias. Thanks for having me. Cheers.
Blogger Template by Designer Blogs