A New BVC Anthology

One of the wonderful things about working with Book View Cafe is that the co-op gives each of us a chance to explore new aspects of our creative lives as authors. With the support of our fellow members, we can venture into new-to-us waters — sometimes trying new genres, sometimes trying new markets, sometimes… Well, with more than fifty professional authors, there’s almost always someone who can offer good advice on any aspect of the writing and publishing fields.

I’ve never been more grateful for that support than when I recently decided to don a new hat: anthology editor.

Of course, I’ve read short stories for decades. My first published work was a short story — way back in 1999. (“Cat and Mouse” in the ‘zine Not One of Us.)

But until February 8, 2017, I’d never considered editing an anthology.  What happened on February 8? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked an obscure rule to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren as she attempted to read a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King regarding Jeff Sessions (who was then being considered for the post of Attorney General, which he now holds.)

Responding to outrage over Senator Warren’s being silenced, Majority Leader McConnell said: ““She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Nevertheless, she persisted.

Thousands of tweets erupted. Memes were created. T-shirts were printed.

And an anthology was born.

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Practice, Practice, Practice: The Art of Reading to an Audience

So you have screwed your courage to the sticking place, and chosen the thing you want to read. Do you just walk in to your reading with the manuscript in your hand, stand up at the mic (if there’s a mic to be had) and start to declaim?

Maybe not.

Okay, then: should you plan to memorize the story and walk in without copy to read from?

Not that, either.

Obviously, you want to practice some, but not to the point where your own words give you a dreary feeling of familiarity. Continue reading

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BVC Announces The Dwarven Wars by Leah Cutter

The Dwarven Wars by Leah CutterThe Dwarven Wars
Book Three of the Clockwork Fairy Kingdom Trilogy
by Leah Cutter

The Old One will not rest until he destroys the Greater Oregon Fairy Kingdom. Warrior, servant, and royal alike face death.

Old world dwarves threaten as well, plotting a genocidal invasion to steal all the magic in the new land. Continue reading

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Congratulations to Marissa Doyle: Write Touch Readers’ Award

Skin Deep by Marissa Doyle

BVC congratulates Marissa Doyle for her Write Touch Readers Award for Paranormal/Time Travel/Fantasy

First Place
Marissa Doyle: Skin Deep

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When Creative People Don’t Fit In

Today I rerun an essay from my Facebook page, originally published about three years ago, when I was still a Methodist, attending a church undergoing severe upheaval. Our music minister, Bill White, was fired suddenly, for no apparent reason. Below the original essay, I present an update. Continue reading

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Dramatic License

Today I offer the Author’s Note from the first book I wrote as Anne Rutherford, “The Opening Night Murder, ” where I address the issue of dramatic license in historical fiction.

In my associations with other authors, often I’m drawn into debate about the moral obligation of historical fiction writers to be true to historical fact. Other authors I know claim their stories never deviate from history by so much as a single word or thought. Anything less, they say, is Untruth and perpetuates Confusion among the uneducated and ill-read masses.

They lie. Continue reading

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Flowers in Spring

It’s iris season. I used to not be that fond of them. Nor of Gladiolas. But last year we went to an iris festival and wandered through huge gardens of irises and I fell in love. Just the range of colors was stunning. And then they are planted among other cool flowering plants like varieties of lupin, clematis, peonies, and other things. I bought a few bulbs last year (they aren’t cheap) and this year have some beautiful flowers. The blossoms are really huge and I am delighting in all the color.

I’m thinking that I also now need to figure out where to put some peonies and some of that lupine. The latter was so large and had a broader variety of color than I knew was possible. So I’m going to see if I can get some going. And California poppies. I love those and they grow well here once they get going. Continue reading

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Congratulations to the Nebula winners!

SFWA's Nebula Awards

Arabella of Mars by David D. LevineCongratulations to all the Nebula Award Winners, as well as the Bradbury, Grand Master, and Solstice winners, and especially to our own David D. Levine for winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Award: Arabella of Mars (Tor).

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Corporal Violet

Violets. Aren’t they pretty? Such a charming picture to print—or rather, re-print in Ackermann’s Repository of the Arts. The original image was a hugely popular one around France in 1814 and early 1815, so much so that it was quickly banned by the French government and continued to be so on and off for the next sixty years. What could be so controversial about an innocent bunch of spring violets?

Look closely at the image, in particular the upper right hand side of it. Do you by chance see a face in profile there, with a distinctive (and familiar) hat formed by the folded leaf? Directly opposite it on the left side, do you see another one facing it? And between and below them, hard by the stems, is there a third, smaller one? They are Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, his wife Marie Louise of Austria, and their three-year-old son. So what does Napoleon have to do with violets?

The story goes that after Napoleon’s defeat in early spring 1814, while he wrestled with whether or not to accept his banishment to Elba quietly, he was walking in the gardens at Fontainebleau and was given a bunch of violets by a child there. The emperor took it as a sign and declared that he would henceforth take the violets as his emblem and accept his exile meekly, like the shy and retiring violet. But the following day, while again walking in the gardens, he went to pick more of the flowers. According to an account in the Pall Mall Gazette: Continue reading

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Word of Mouth

Recently twelve Book View Café writers participated in a Giveaway in a no-cost effort to try to reach new readers. On the last day, I asked here (mirrored here) how people discovered new books—if they liked newsletters, giveaways, publicity blitzes, etc.

No surprise that most people learn about, and trust, word of mouth over PR blitz, newsletter spamming, and of course the constant flow of Tweets and Facebook exhortations to “Buy my wonderful book!”

But I’ve discovered over the past couple years that telling each other that, yes, word of mouth is the best so get busy and spread that word, is a little like telling people they ought to be grateful: it tends to spark either indifference, impatience, a helpless sort of “When will I get the time?” or “Where do I begin?”—and of course irritation at yet another internet obligation.

Continue reading

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