Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

Reading, Reading, Reading

I have been writing a few short stories (and will get back on the submission train this month), but for the last month, mostly what I have been doing with spare time is reading novel submissions to Sofawolf (and one to the writing group). I admit that in between I read Iain M. Banks’ “Excession,” which was quite delightful. Do you think we could get him to write a furry book? Sorry. Anyway, the novels were generally fun. All of them were interesting, and only one do I need to write up a lot of critique about. One of them you’ll see from Sofawolf later this year (it was past being a submission, technically speaking; this was an editing pass for an already-planned release): Michael Payne’s followup to “The Blood Jaguar.” It’s a lot of fun, and while it bears some stylistic similarity to the first novel, it’s also written differently. It expands on the world and the religion from “The Blood Jaguar” and introduces some new, delightful characters.

The others I can’t really talk about yet, but I think you will see at least one of them from Sofawolf in the next few years.It’s rare that I read a full  manuscript for Sofawolf. We get 20-30 submissions a year, and of those, about 75% can be rejected based on the query/synopsis/sample (here is a hint: if your query letter/synopsis contains spelling or grammar errors, you will have a hard time getting past that stage). Of the rest, probably about 80% don’t survive the reading of the first three chapters. But it is cool, when I get a submission that does grab me, to imagine it in a Sofawolf edition. So this round was pretty exciting in that I was reading at least two books I felt pretty confident we would end up publishing. In Michael Payne’s sequel, I got to imagine the art as I went through it. I am out of novel submissions for the moment–that is not a hint to send yours in, though. :) I have “A Short History of Myth” to read, courtesy of a friend, and a bunch of Hugo candidates for the nominating.
(If you are nominating for Hugo awards, btw, my story Erzulie Dantor is eligible. Just sayin’.)

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