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Author: August

Everything I know, I learned from talking animal stories

Dramatic, right? But ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you it’s accurate. Many of my literary models of heroism and virtue were people who ran on four legs, not two. Even now, I can’t get away from writing talking animals (case in point: my novel Daugment). Looking critically at which childhood stories have stuck with me, I’ve found several other reasons why a talking animal makes an incredibly powerful storytelling tool. Talking animals…

Living computers

I’ve seen the Living Computer Museum‘s neon green sign fly past for five years now, and only this weekend did we stop in. And thank god we did. What a trip. It seems modest enough at first, though as delightful as you might expect – all neon and big displays and the bright colors you’d expect of an exhibit on modern technological superpowers, like self-driving cars, virtual reality, and big data. There was a display…

Attention almost-authors! I want to interview you.

Do you have a book that’s nearly there? Are you a few drafts — or even just a few cover letters — away from being a published author for the first or the tenth time? I’d like to interview you! I think it would be interesting to interview writers who haven’t gotten to the finish line yet. Because we’re all there on something in our lives. It can be a lonely and disheartening place to…

Writerguilt

writerguilt, n. the intense feeling of failure and existential doubt that occurs when words are not being applied to pages Writerguilt is the nagging feeling that the world is waiting for your words. Writerguilt is also self-indulgent. Breaking news: The only person waiting for you to write is you. But someone’s waiting on me! I hear you insisting. Fine, sure. Deadlines are real things. But editors, agents, and publishing companies work with writers who produce.…

crows

crows laughing and bouncing and sharpening their beaks crows rustling their feathers lost in their own shadows crows in a jagged line on a telephone wire crows dipping in a rosy puddle crows gathered round the fallen crows streaming towards the sunset weighing down the boughs allopreening, lost in a private moment crows swooping in front of cars and stooping on the gas station roof and rooting through the trash crows foraging in trios, loosely…

Cooking and writing

I’m extremely lucky to be married to a former chef who catered for sitting presidents. Yes, I certainly get all of the consumption benefits of having a chef under my roof — but more importantly, I get a world-class firsthand education in how to food. I haven’t just learned “how to make a dish that tastes good.” That’s actually pretty simple: Follow a good recipe. What I’ve really learned is how food behaves. What the…

The Parentheses Process

I love details. They’re sort of the hallmark of my style, especially in my short stories — I choose very specific but arbitrary details, putting down broad strokes about a world I hardly know yet. I’ll describe how the clay coins of the realm feel in one’s hand, for example. Or the name and earthy smell of the new-fangled liquor everyone in the land is addicted to. But sometimes, instead of getting caught up in…

View from the office

Moving sucks. Especially when you get caught in an inch of snow for three hours, five minutes away from each of your two homes (former apartment, future home). But, this place was totally worth it. This is the view from my desk, or something like it, when we eventually get the combination library-office set up. (!!!!!) No complaints here. The whole studio team is here, too, all under one roof. The Shames have, as they…

Why Daugment is free for libraries

Thanks to Smashwords’ super cool distribution plans to Axis360, OverDrive, and now bibliotecha (as well as their Library Direct program), my novel Daugment is available for free to libraries. I could charge for it, but…first of all, that seems horribly mean, and second of all, I have three good reasons for making it free. The altruistic reason: Libraries and librarians are awesome. Several of my good friends are librarians, and of course, avid readers themselves. They help…

My debut novel: Daugment

Did you obsess over Brian Jacques’ Redwall series and Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars tie-in novels? Do the names Clare Bell, Deborah Chester, and James Gurney ring a bell? Are there tattered Ray Bradbury and C.S. Lewis books on your shelves? Then I proudly present…your next read. Daugment is the (I’m so sorry) tail of Pitney Scolan, Pit for short, a brilliant military mind on the brink of retirement to his own private planet, where no…