More advice for authors

Seth Godin has a post featuring his short-list of advice for authors. While Seth is a non-fiction author, and his advice was aimed specifically other non-fiction authors, much of the advice holds true. He has some great advice on hiring your own editor, giving away copies, the value of blurbs vs. blog mentions and much more.   [Read more...]

This author wants to fight you

Craig Davidson, a novelist from Canada, has cooked up an interesting promotion for his novel, The Fighter. Quite simply, he wants to fight you. Seriously.

If you are a noodle-armed fancy lad, I will not fight you.
If you are a good man with a noble heart, I will fight you.
If you suffer some debilitating mania or dementia, I will not fight you.
If you are here to kick ass and chew bubblegum (and you're all out of bubblegum), I will fight you.
If you are missing one of more of the following limbs: arms/legs, I will not fight you.
If you are known by one of the following nicknames---"The Hammer," "The Mangler," "The Wizard"---then yes, by all means, I will fight you.
If you are over 80, have a heart condition or an irritable bowel, I am sorry but I cannot fight you.
If you have the courage of a lion and the guts of a burglar, I will fight you.

So, if you are interested in fighting or know someone who might make a good fight, email me and I will see if we can't arrange something. I'm dead serious. It will be a real boxing match, four rounds probably, staged at some suitable public venue. In Toronto, most likely. We shake hands afterwards, head out for a beer, and that's that. An experience to tell your grandkids about (I certainly will). No hard feelings, even if you knock the tar out of me. I'm good like that. You'd be doing me a favor, really. We'll get the whole match on video and post it on the website, too.

I'm serious as death about this. I think it would be a kick. Who else promotes their book like that? I love my publicist. He rocks hardcore. Let's help him do his job and find someone for me to fight, shall we?

And it looks like he just might have a taker. Line up, all of you without bubblegum... Thanks to Lora for the link.   [Read more...]

Good advice, but a misconception from an award-winning author

I shall start by saying I count Robert J. Sawyer as a friend. I've had the opportunity to meet him on more than one occasion, exchanging phone calls and emails which had nothing to do with the many interviews I've had with him on a professional level. I think he's a swell guy, a smart guy and is completely informed on a wide range of topics. But that doesn't mean he's not wrong in this case.   [Read more...]

Evo narrates for Variant Frequencies

Recently, I was asked by Rick and Matt from Variant Frequencies to narrate one of their shows. They feature an eclectic mix of original short fiction and I've been following them from the beginning. My piece is entitled The Last Frequency, and it was a lot of fun to do. I'm sure you'll agree it was a part almost written for me! 🙂
  [Read more...]

Another tool for writing you novel

Jakko has been following the conversation on the writing tools I've been posting. He says:

Let me point out Ulysses, an application that's [also] targeted at writing and nothing else.
I've been using Ulysses for over a year now and I love it. A lot of the functionality is similar [to the other tools posted], but to me it feels a little bit more uncluttered and it has the best full-screen editor ever. Yes... EVER!

There's one big drawback though... it's way more expensive, but you can try it out for a month and see if it works for you.

In the end it will probably all come down to personal preference and I just happened to fall in love with Ulysses and had to pay the (steep) price. Couldn't live without it anymore!

Here's the site:

On a side note, I'm growing even more pleased with CopyWriter. I just moved all my CultCast writings over there and coughed up the $29 to get a full version.   [Read more...]

Of futuristic twists on classics, and getting paid for fanfic

A few weeks back we interviewed Naomi Novik and learned that she cut her writing chops in the world of fanfic before getting her big three-book deal from a major press.

Today I received a note from Erin McCole-Cupp informing me of two things of related note:

Jane_E is a near-future translation of Charlotte Brönte's classic Jane Eyre. What might be of even more interest to you and your audience is that through the publisher we are running a "Get PAID For Your Fanfic/Fanart" contest [info soon published on her site]. We're making Jane_E an open source novel, if you will.

My familiarity with Jane Eyre is limited to the adapted audio book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde sent to me by Mark from Memphis. I must have skipped that part in English Lit.   [Read more...]

Evo and Steve Eley (Escape Pod) speaking in September

Last year's Portable Media Expo was a blast. Not only did I get to hold Podcasting for Dummies in my hand for the first time, I also got to meet a bunch of very nice people in the podosphere. Within hours of arriving, it was obvious that I would be going back.   [Read more...]

SFF Audio: Harlan Ellison interview

The boys from SFF Audio have a treat for scifi fans.

They have an interview with Harlan Ellison, one of the most revered and maligned grand masters of science fiction.   [Read more...]

Help for the scriptwriter

Kudos to Kreg, co host of Technorama, for adding one more piece of software to help writers. celtx is the tool he prefers, which is more appropriate for script writers than the budding novelist (or non-fic writer like me). I've bounced around the site and it seems like a rather full-featured tool. For Windows, Mac and Linux users.   [Read more...]

Mac tool for helping novelists

A few days ago, I posted a link to a PC-based tool for novelists. But I'm a Mac guy, so I couldn't say much more than "here it i". But fear not, fellow Mac-users. I have good news.

Yesterday I downloaded a copy of CopyWriter to my machine. I've only been playing with it for about 15 minutes, but ohmyholycrapisthiscool! It's elegant, clean and does exactly what it needs to do: no more.

I abandoned Word as my main writing tool months ago. Why? Because it's a word processor. That implies that the words are already on the page and need processing. It does nothing to help me write, other than give me red and green squiggles.

CopyWriter skips all that. It helps me stay organized, and even on track with my writing goal. It's light wait, efficient and seems to be right up my alley. I'm going to stick with it and see where it takes me.   [Read more...]

Tools to help with your novel

Looking for an application to help you with writing that perfect novel? Have a budget of near zero to spend on such endeavors? Check out yWriter and see if it's for you.

This Windows-only application was written by a guy who's a novelist and a programmer who tells us...

... yWriter is the result of 3 or 4 years of development. I really struggled over my first novel because I wrote whole slabs of text into a great big word processor file and tried to make sense of the whole thing at once. I then tried saving each chapter to individual files with great long descriptive filenames, but moving scenes around was a nuisance and I couldn't get an overview of the whole thing (or easily search for one word amongst 32 files) In the end I realised a dedicated program was the way to go, and yWriter is the result. It may look simple, but as the author of three books written with this tool I can guarantee it has everything needed to get a first draft together.

Best of all, yWriter is free.

If you give this a test drive, please let us know how it worked.   [Read more...]

Look ma! No splash page!

Many of you will notice that the terribly annoying splash page has been removed. You are very welcome. Others of you will notice that our less-than-literary podcast, Wingin' It! has been removed from this page.

Never fear, it didn't go far. For mature audiences, it can be found at It needed to move, and it has.   [Read more...]

Social networking for parties.

I've been half-heartedly following social networkings rise in popularity over the last six months or so. About five weeks ago, some really smart people I listen to (yes, I do think there are smart people out there, perhaps even smarter than I) lifted the conversation to a new level. So now I'm paying attention. And just playing in general.

The coolest thing I've seen in the last five minutes is Eventful, a social network for gatherings, events and (as I've recently made it) pool parties! Wil Wheaton (biggest one in four counties) turned me on to the site today, and I've been playing. Set up my own Performer profile (Evo = Evo, remember) and added a few things to the list.

If you are an event coordinator or involved with any cons, get your arses over to Eventful and sign up. It's got auto-updating to a bunch of other sites and the interface is pretty intuitive.   [Read more...]

Lessons from Mur

For those of you who enjoyed Mur's Geek Fu Action Grip essays on tDP Wingin' It!, you can now buy the collection of those essays and more in print or as an ebook from Lulu Press!   [Read more...]

Evo on The Bitterest Pill

On my quick trip to sunny (raining) Southern California last week, I stopped by the lair of podcasting legend Hudson Klass. Hudson's father (Dan) and I sat down behind the mics for a while and had a nice conversation on The Bitterest Pill while our sons plotted their plans to take over the world.   [Read more...]

Killer Bunnies Goodies

Let me start by saying, John McCoy, that if I get sued for putting this stuff up there, I'm going to personally send Quite Irascible Diffractable Cheese Balls up your arse.

For the rest of you who have been emailing, phoning, and commenting your whines and pleads... I present the Killer Bunnies Goodies zip file, as provided to me by John. Extra bucks, colored mats and markers for use in the game. Play safe!

According to John:

I don't think those are licensed. I got them from the Yahoo! Group for Killer Bunnies.

Let's hope not. I'm putting these up in good faith that they are materials which are designed to make the experience of Killer Bunnies, which is already incredible, even better. If someone finds that I should not have done this, please let me know instead of sending threatening letters, OK?   [Read more...]