Life update: As you may know, I started making bread! Here are my loaves from the past month. I’m proud of them all, even if none are perfect.
Author Life News
If you haven’t read through the January issue of Fireside Magazine I guess edited, all of the stories are available for free to read over on their website. And the second issue I worked on with them is starting to release. The February issue marks Fireside Fiction’s 100th issue, and I am glad to have helped choose and work on the stories for that issue. It’d mean the world to me if you supported the authors, other editors, and publisher by grabbing a copy or sharing some of the stories. The first story out from the February issue is Premee Mohamed’s Seen Small Through Glass—a chilling and thrilling read!
At the end of last year or the beginning of 2022, I was accepted into Futurescapes a 3-day speculative fiction workshop where writers are paired up with award-winning authors, agents, and editors in the field to work on their manuscripts and queries. It’ll be my first time attending something like this, and I’m excited to learn a thing or two about what’s holding the book I’m querying back.
I also have an upcoming class I’ll be teaching through Clarion West all about intentions for writers. It’s free and in a q+a lecture-style! So come by, ask your questions about intentions, and learn how to write and work in a way that’s more aligned with what you want to do with your craft. The class is a dream come true. While I’ve applied to Clarion West two times (haven’t gotten in yet) to know they think I’m solid enough to teach a class and partner with, that’s a nice feeling.
Over the past month or so, I’ve been up for a couple of dream game writing jobs. Not only are the positions exactly up my alley, but I’d be working on teams with creators and designers I admire. While I didn’t get one of the jobs, I’m still in the running for the other. I should know by next week, whether or not I’m still being considered or not. So keep your fingers crossed.
While I wait on news about that, my sci-fi thriller novel Out of the Machine is still out on query with a whole new batch of agents. Based on the data and reports so kindly supplied by Query Tracker, I think I’m in the maybe pile for all of the agents I’m currently querying. I also received a rejection back from one of the editors who had requested the full manuscript. While it was ultimately a no, he had a lot of helpful and encouraging comments.
I want to dive back into the manuscript and make some fixes and changes based off of his remarks, but since I’ll be working on it at Futurescapes in March and won’t be querying it again until April, I know the smarter decision is not to tinker while it’s being considered and to wait until it’s no longer out on query. What I will do, though, is take the comments he had about the style of my writing and work on those in my future works and during my practice sessions.
My next books, Twilight Children and Line Byline are both coming underway nicely. Twilight Children is my gothic vampire not-vampire horror novella that I’ll be writing in March. I’ve been sketching and drafting characters, themes, symbols, etc. for the past couple of months while reading through vampire novels, watching vamp movies, and playing vampire games that remixed or reinvented the genre. Line Byline is my nonfiction writing craft book focused on teaching writers how to write and sell fiction in the 21st century.
Since that book is going to be a bit more extensive and quite a few thousand words longer, I’ve outlined all of it and am writing summaries for each chapter to help guide me. They’ll also come in handy as I make the decision to take the book the self-published or traditional route. A few writing friends have urged me to take the traditional route since there aren’t a lot of craft books focused on both writing and selling fiction from queer Black women it’d be a huge hit. But time will tell, which route will be best for the book.
My articles for Writer’s Digest are going to start coming out over the next few months. They’ll all be in the print magazine edition, starting with the March/April issue. I was working on a piece for WIRED about representation in game design roles, but it got the ax after several revisions. It’s a bummer, but it happens. I have plans to pitch it to other publications this month that I think will be into publishing it. I’ll also have a couple feature articles coming out in The Writer around getting out of the slush pile and writing a specific type of horror over the next few months.
I’m also spending 2022 doing a deep study of syntax and voice. Last month, I read through Spellbinding Sentences and performed a fair amount of the exercises included in the book. I’ve been doing the exercises with Twilight Children in mind, so they’ve been very helpful at getting me to develop certain aspects of the world while building my sentence-building and word choice skills. I’ll be going through the rest of the exercises from the book throughout February as I continue developing Twilight Children in preparation for my drafting session next month.
As part of my syntax study, I performed some copywork of a story recently published in Clarkesworld Magazine, as well as, analyzing The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab for how writers construct their sentences and paragraphs to convey story details, action, exposition, characterization, and emotion. It gave me lots to think about when it comes to weaving together a story.
In February, I’m going to continue analyzing Addie La Roux and do another round of copywork on the Clarkesworld story from January. This time, I’m going to rewrite the sentences with new information while still keeping their construction and flow. I’ll also move on to the book Sin and Syntax, which I haven’t read but heard great things about.
We’ll see how my study and work pay off as the year falls away. I’ll be doing monthly posts about my life and updates, mostly for myself to have a record of where I’ve been and where I want to go, but also for people who want to support or follow me. Being a writer is weird. It’s all work and all play all the time—but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Next week, I’m going to share a bit about what books, shows, games, (breads!breads!breads!), and movies I’ve been consuming these past couple of weeks.
Stay up to date on where I’m publishing, what I’m working on, and more!