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My tweets

  • Wed, 19:50: Testing the hashtag.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 19:55: I don't use Twitter every day, it's more something I read. Hope I don't have to do anything too fancy.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 19:57: If you run out of questions before the full hour is up, don't be afraid to cut it off. Cooking, etc.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 19:58: Pleased to join you for my first-ever Twitterchat.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:02: (two kids now, we had a little girl in July)#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:04: Yeah, I'm one of the first sf/fantasy authors to make the jump from ebooks/print-on-demand to traditional publishing.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:04: Thanks, this is a new experience for me, using Twitter like this. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:05: First question - interest - started with movies. I liked the "big bug" features and stuff like Pal's War of the Worlds..#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:06: My dad was a big sf reader and gave me my first books. I started with the "Lensman" and "Skylark" series by E.E. "Doc" Smith..#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:07: I think my dad named me after his favorite author at the time - my mom claims it's a mix of ee cummings and T.S. Eliot, her faves #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:09: I moved on to Saberhagen's "Berserker" books, Alan Dean Foster's Humanx, McCafferey's Pern, and then Dune and Azimov and Heinlein #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:10: Then I started playing first-gen D&D (later AD&D) and started reading the famous pulp S&S guys like R.E. Howard.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:11: I did a little poetry in Dragon Champion. Publisher's Weekly had nothing good to say about it, but they said it anyway.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:12: Writing for publication? I wrote a lot in HS and college, and always thought of doing a novel, but I was busy earning a living.. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:13: I had an early mid-life crisis in my thirties and got serious about the writing (this was mid-90s). . #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:13: I wrote a very bad first novel, and from that experience learned that I had to write first to entertain myself...#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:14: So I started the Vampire Earth, which mashes up a lot of elements I like in my fiction: post-apoc, alien invasion, monsters...#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:15: Completed Way of the Wolf in the late 90s, then went to work selling it and writing the next couple. ...#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:16: It wasn't so much that I was certain of publication, it was more like I had nothing better to do :) I was selling furniture then.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:18: No, didn't study it at school but I dabbled in journalism back then. Writing is a trade, not a profession. You learn by doing. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:19: I have read a lot of books about writing, though, trying to learn. I still read them. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:20: Yes, full time writer. I used to do a book about every six months, but with the kids, it's more like 9-10 mos to do a MS. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:21: I wrote Dragon Champion just because I wanted to do a anthropomorphic animal book and I love dragons. I had to sell it, too. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:22: From the time I wrote "The End" it took about a year to sell, as I remember. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:23: Generally I start with the world. With a built-out world you automatically have some plot points and character background.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:23: I tend to do a very loose, 1-2 page outline.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:24: Only time my outline was longer was the Lara Croft book -- every little twist and turn had to be approved by the game people.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:25: I used to put characters and location notes and stuff on index cards, but now I use Scrivener.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:26: Yes, with Lara they dicked around with the outline for seven months or so, then expected me to write it in a month.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:27: Still, worth it for the experience. Plus I gamed her a lot, so it was just plain cool to be able to do my own Lara story. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:29: With the Age of Fire books, it seemed like an elegant thing to do. Write three unique stories beginning with a "Rashamon" scene #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:30: Then try and tie them back together. I'm sure someone's done it before me, but no names leap to mind with a big series.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:30: Yes, I also play Warhammer/40k, I'd kind of like to do a book for them, too, if I could find the time.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:32: With Age of Fire, I only knew from word one that the Copper would end up leading (and then losing) a dragon empire.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:33: And that the three dragons would have to set aside their differences for the good of their kind.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:33: Also, that the final three books would show that each of them were partly right, partly wrong in their philosophies...#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:34: ...about how to deal with the homnids.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:35: Drakine just sort of grew on its own. I just wanted a few words to add verisimilitude, I didn't want to invent a whole tongue. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:35: There's a bit of German in it, which seems a very dragony language.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:36: Epic fantasy? I suppose time-scale is what distinguishes it from regular fantasy.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:37: You're either covering a big chunk of world (Tolkien) or a big chunk of time (Azimov). #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:39: Yes. But it's just my opinion. Someone else might say an epic has a big, Tolstoy-like roster of characters.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:40: I didn't do much research on dragons because they're such an impossibility. I more tried to come up with sensible reasons...#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:41: ...for making their legendary attributes (like hoarding gold or living underground) have a natural biological source#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:44: ...and while essentially making them people, give them a set of biological imperatives as well as species-specific cosmology.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:46: Yes, Dragon Fate should be on the shelves any day now. Pub dates don't matter for a guy like me. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:49: Yes, I think "epic" just means biggish or longish. Exact content doesn't matter, provided it's fantasy.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:49: VE series is ongoing. Just sold 10 and 11.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:50: I like vampires and I was sick of the emovamps. I wanted to make them nasty again.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:51: VE was always going to be a long series.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:51: Keeping it fresh is tough.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:54: My writing process used to be write in the morning, editing and other business in the afternoon#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:54: Now I just have to grab time when my wife can be with the kids or they're asleep. I have a tough time when I can hear them.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:56: Betas are still important, but they tend not to get enough time with the books because I'm so near -- or past, *gulp* deadline.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:58: I can't draft to music. Sometime's I'll have a move going as background noise. I do edit to music, though. #sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:58: I like just a little bit of background business while I'm drafting. I'll work at the library or a coffee shop to get that.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 20:59: Wow, the hour's fading fast, as OMD said.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 21:00: I'm doing a big story that's like Flash Gordon crossed with a Cecil B. DeMille bible epic.#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 21:04: Happy Thanksgiving, all. Thanks for the excellent questions!#sffwrtcht
  • Wed, 21:06: If anyone wants a more in-depth answer, I can be contacted through the http://t.co/qCvP4YXH website.#sffwrtcht
  • Thu, 09:38: Giving the dead bird a nice oil rubdown always makes me feel a bit silly and sad.

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