July 20, 2017

Caitlin Jans: The Working Writer Interview

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Caitlin Jans: The Working Writer Interview

Caitlin Jans is the editor-owner of Authors Publish, a website and newsletter devoted to providing writers with sources – and resources – for publishing their work. Once a writer signs up, they receive periodic email messages with new leads for their literary aspirations. Caitlin was gracious in answering some questions from the Fictional Café editors about her work, as well as her own writing. FC: How would you describe Authors Publish? AP: We are a weekly eMagazine that publishes information for authors, including reviews of literary journals and manuscript publishers open to submissions from authors. Of course, we have changed a little over the years. We now publish eBooks and special issues that focus on just one topic, but we can still be mostly summed up in that first sentence. FC: What inspired you to…

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April 2, 2017

Faux Fiction Audio: The Cast

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Faux Fiction Audio: The Cast

Writing, reading, recording  and sharing our creative work   Our featured podcasts for March were the first four episodes from “Mickie McKinney, Boy Detective.” The show was written, directed and produced by Ruby Fink, who heads up her own audio studio and staff of talented, hard-working performers of Faux Fiction Audio out there on the Left Coast [where else?]. What began for Ruby as something simply fun to do has turned into her passion. What next? She hopes a business, specializing in producing podcasts and audiobooks for authors. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, you can continue listening to Mickie here [we’re up to Episode 5, “Brawn and Brain”], while you wait for Ruby and her cast to get Season Two up. You can also listen to the Mickie podcasts on iTunes [podcasts, store, search “mickie mckinney”]….

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June 24, 2016

Podcast: David Foster Wallace’s “Infiinte Jest” at 20 Years of Age

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Podcast: David Foster Wallace’s “Infiinte Jest” at 20 Years of Age

The world is divided into two groups: those who have read the late David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece, Infinite Jest, and those who have not. Tipping in at just over a thousand pages, and described on Amazon as “A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts’ halfway house and a tennis academy,” it’s not for everyone. I confess I bought it with high enthusiasm. Couldn’t wait to read it. Now, twenty years on, it’s still resting on my bookshelf, unread. Yet after hearing the people in this New York Times Book Review podcast discuss it, upon the occasion of the 20th anniversary edition being published, I’m ready. Sometimes books are like that, aren’t they? You just have to wait until you’re ready to read it. This podcast was originally netcast…

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June 22, 2016

News and Interview with Nicole Beauchaine

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News and Interview with Nicole Beauchaine

  I recently had a chance to catch up with our Featured Artist for last October, Nicole Beauchaine aka Woodsybug, about her new work. In March, she published her first book: an adult coloring book titled Goddesses. It seems that unlike Trix, coloring is not just for kids. Read on to hear more about it.   The Fictional Café: Congratulations on your new book! First off, what exactly is an “adult coloring book?” I’ve never heard of that before.   Nicole Beauchaine: So, an adult coloring book is just like a coloring book for kids, only slightly more complex designs and subject matter. For instance, my book includes nudity, not specifically sexual, but not exactly for children either.   FC: Good to know! Thanks for making that important distinction. What inspired you to make a coloring book?…

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May 17, 2016

Book Review: The “Brilliance” Trilogy by Marcus Sakey

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Book Review: The “Brilliance” Trilogy by Marcus Sakey

I’ve spent the past few months reading Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance trilogy. It’s been a helluva trip. Set in the unspecified near future – maybe tomorrow? – it’s a story that could have come right off the front page of a major newspaper. Sakey has character development that makes a writer pine and a plotline that’s terribly engrossing. This is a trilogy, so it’s three full length novels: Brilliance, A Better World, and Written in Fire. You can get a plot briefing on Amazon, but the brilliant aspect, for me, is the brilliants. Sakey posits an event occurred some thirty years ago, that humans with extraordinary powers – in a word, brilliance – were unsuspectingly born. Over time, average mortals have grown largely resentful of the brilliants, and some have decided to assure they will never…

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March 25, 2016

An Interview with V.E. Ulett, Author of the “Captain Blackwell” Novels

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An Interview with V.E. Ulett, Author of the “Captain Blackwell” Novels

An Interview with V. E. Ulett, Author of the Captain Blackwell Novels JBR: How did you become interested in writing about the days of wooden sailing ships? VEU: My interest in writing springs from a love of books and reading. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I loved C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series, and even more Patrick O’Brian’s wonderful books. I have a certain fascination with the British Royal Navy of (Admiral Horatio Lord) Nelson’s day, but I don’t read only in that era. Arturo Perez-Reverte’s Captain Alatriste novels are another favorite of mine. JBR: Those tales take place in Spain and elsewhere in the 1600s. In those times, sailors often considered a woman on board a jinx. You’ve broken through that with Mercedes, a woman who can hold her own with the men. It’s…

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November 28, 2015

Interview with Artist Erica Nazzaro

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Interview with Artist Erica Nazzaro

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, I caught up with Erica Nazzaro – our featured artist this month – to talk about her art and the business of being an artist. For those of you following along with our blogs and on social media, you’ll notice a theme this month. We are highlighting the challenges and triumphs of the modern day creative person. Not only must they be exceptional at their trade, but they must also be a savvy business person. When Jack and I met Erica Nazzaro at an art show earlier this year, we were instantly struck by her personality. She was excited to talk with us, forthcoming with information when we asked her questions and followed up with us after taking our business cards. She also asked us to join her mailing list, which…

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July 24, 2014

Willamette Writers Conference Just A Week Away!

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Willamette Writers Conference Just A Week Away!

  One of the leading writing conferences in the country, the Willamette Writers Conference convenes next Friday, August 1, and runs through Sunday, August 3. Launched in 1969, in recent years attendance has topped 1,000 writing and publishing mavens from around the world. If you’re anywhere close to Portland, Oregon, or would like to see what Portlandia is really like, I hope you’ll attend. There are over 60 workshops and special events. I’m particularly flattered to be presenting three workshops in the Master’s Series in Business Writing: Your Professional Writing Career, Writing Your First Book, and Ghostwriting. But more than that, I’m excited to have the chance to meet so many fellow (male and female)  writers and presenters. I thought you might like to meet a few of them yourself. My colleague Jason Brick, who has worked…

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July 14, 2014

Kickstarting Your Next Book Advance with April Huneycutt

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Kickstarting Your Next Book Advance with April Huneycutt

Once upon a time, the process for getting published worked like this:   Step One: Write a book Step Two: Beg an agent to represent that book Step Three: The agent begs a publisher to publish the book Step Four: Wait (a long time) Step Five: Publish   These days, self-publishing, e-publishing and independent publishing give lots of alternatives to the traditional path. For more authors every year, the DIY model of publishing is superior to the old ways. You get a higher commission. The lag between finishing your book and seeing it in print is shorter. You get more artistic control. On the other hand, new publishing has one serious disadvantage as compared to the traditional route: no advance. In fact, it usually requires you to put out some of your own money to hire a professional editor, get the…

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May 4, 2014

Interview With Alex Hughes, Author of “Sharp” and “Clean”

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Interview With Alex Hughes, Author of “Sharp” and “Clean”

I had a chance to meet Alex at last year’s Willamette Writers Conference — of which both I and Fictional Cafe founder Jack are on the presenters’ staff for this year — and she was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions both about her work and the work. 1. Let’s start with the numbers. How many books did you write before writing “Clean?” How many queries did you send for “Clean?” How long had you considered yourself a writer before making the sale? Clean was my third completed novel. Clean was also my learning novel, on which I learned revision, scene structure, story structure, description, pacing, and a whole mess of other lovely and difficult things. By the time the final revision was done for the publisher, I’d taken it through eight drafts. Only a…

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