The Best Little Writing Workshop in ANYWHERE
Ok. So. What do Octavia Butler, Kelly Link, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ted Chiang, and Glen Cook have in common? Well, they’re all great speculative fiction writers, and they all went to Clarion. So did a ton of other writers you’ve probably read and enjoyed. Every summer since 1968, a handful of aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers come to Clarion to learn the tools they need to achieve their dreams.
Those of you who’ve known me for a long time know how much Clarion means to me. So this year, I’ve decided to participate in fundraising for Clarion via their Write-a-Thon. During the next six weeks (June 24 to August 4), I will be following the adventures of this year’s participants, and writing along with them.
New Project Ahoy!
My epic fantasy novel THE AFFLICTED is out on submission right now. I may hook an agent with it, I may not. The crucial thing for me to do at this point is to keep moving forward with new work. So, I have a rough outline and two chapters of a new novel, and my goal for the Write-a-Thon is to crank out 30k more words on it.
The novel, tentatively titled MY DEAR WATSON, is a science-fantasy, set on an alien planet settled by folk who longed for simpler times. In the early years of the colony, most of the great works of technology and art were purposefully destroyed by zealots. Of literature, only four books survived; the Bible, Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, the collected works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a book on Buddhism, making, hundreds of years later, for an odd culture indeed. So that was the setup; here comes the pitch:
Young Merre Noone must find an apprenticeship; without a place in the world, it is only a matter of time before the dragons eat him, payment for the services they render the city.
Merre’s not picky; any job will do as long as it gets him off the street. But when he wins a lottery to become the new Watson — the investigative assistant to the king’s magician — Merre thinks it might be better if he just jumped down the nearest dragon’s gullet. Everyone knows the Watsons never live out the year of their indenture.
Despite his fears, Merre finds himself fascinated by his new master, the prickly, brilliant, cross-dressing Zel. Zel hates the dragons and their flesh price, but without them the city will be overrun by demons who will massacre all. Though demons are senseless, vicious, apex predators, Zel is convinced there is an underlying motivation behind their attacks.
The trail leads Zel and Merre from a gentlewoman’s parlor to the basement of a brothel, from the palace’s treasure-vault to a penal colony on a remote island. Together they uncover a horror beyond anything they dreamed; one that will topple the city they love. Still, there is no other choice; they must reveal the truth.
If they are not silenced first.
I hope you’ll help out by visiting my profile on the Write-a-Thon Website and sponsoring me. Every contribution will help motivate me to reach my goal, while also helping out future writers. Is there anything more badass than being a patron of the arts? Nope, nothing. Nevertheless, allow me to sweeten the deal: donate $25 or more and I’ll create a character in your honor! I’ll be updating both this blog and my author profile with excerpts so you can watch the weirdness unfold, and donors are welcome to beta-read the finished product, if they wish.
Clarion exists through donations from people who love science fiction and fantasy, people like you and me. Please, help out! Every penny counts.