Posts by Coral

Author Interview: Lawrence M. Schoen

Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 | 0 comments

Author Interview: Lawrence M. Schoen

It’s been a while since I’ve had an author stop by for an interview, so I thought I’d start 2016 off right. Please welcome to my little corner of the internet, Lawrence M. Schoen. Here’s a bit about him to get you going: Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, has been nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, and Nebula awards, is a world authority on the Klingon language, operates the small press Paper Golem, and is a practicing hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues. His previous science fiction includes many light and humorous adventures of a space-faring stage hypnotist and his alien animal companion. His most recent book, Barsk, takes a very different tone, exploring issues of prophecy, intolerance, friendship, conspiracy, and loyalty, and redefines the continua between life and death. He lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife and their dog. Lawrence is here promoting his new book that just came out on December 29th, Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard. Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite before we get to the interview: An historian who speaks with the dead is ensnared by the past. A child who feels no pain and who should not exist sees the future. Between them are truths that will shake worlds. In a distant future, no remnants of human beings remain, but their successors thrive throughout the galaxy. These are the offspring of humanity’s genius-animals uplifted into walking, talking, sentient beings. The Fant are one such species: anthropomorphic elephants ostracized by other races, and long ago exiled to the rainy ghetto world of Barsk. There, they develop medicines upon which all species now depend. The most coveted of these drugs is koph, which allows a small number of users to interact with the recently deceased and learn their secrets. To break the Fant’s control of koph, an offworld shadow group attempts to force the Fant to surrender their knowledge. Jorl, a Fant Speaker with the dead, is compelled to question his deceased best friend, who years ago mysteriously committed suicide. In so doing, Jorl unearths a secret the powers that be would prefer to keep buried forever. Meanwhile, his dead friend’s son, a physically challenged young Fant named Pizlo, is driven by disturbing visions to take his first unsteady steps toward an uncertain future. Now onward, to the interview!   What’s the first word of your book? (You can exclude articles, pronouns or prepositions.) Rüsul. It’s the name of a supporting character who has set out on his last voyage and sets up one of the major plot threads of the novel. The full line is: Rüsul traveled to meet his death. Are you hooked?   Tell me something about your book that I can’t find in the blurb. There’s a weird little kid who can’t feel pain, is considered an abomination by all but two people on the planet, and he converses with trees, rocks, waves, and even moons.   In one word, describe your main character. (You can expand afterwards, but limit your initial response to one word.) Xenophilic. For eight hundred years no one but Fant have set foot upon Barsk, and only a handful have left. Jorl is the most recent of these, having gone out to experience life among other races before the death of his friend brought him home.   Where does your book take place? Tell me about why you picked that location. Most everything takes place on Barsk, a world of endless rain and no major continents. The only residents dwell in arboreal cities built in the rain forests that exist on the islands of two archipelagoes. Some action...

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2015 In Review

Posted by on Jan 1, 2016 | 0 comments

2015 In Review

First, Happy New Year! I’m not much of a resolution maker, mostly because that sort of motivation really doesn’t work for me. Instead, I thought I’d make a ‘this is what I did last year’ post to keep myself accountable for 2016. Submission statistics are thanks to The Submission Grinder which is a fabulous tool for obsessively keeping track of your stories and submissions, if you’re into that, which clearly I am. 2015 Submissions: 89 Acceptances: 2 Form Rejections: 55 Personal Rejections: 17 Compared to 2014 Submissions: 40 Acceptances: 3 Form Rejections: 28 Personal Rejections: 6 My goal for 2015 was to get 60 submissions. I blew that out of the water. I more than doubled my number of personal rejections. While I didn’t get as many acceptances, I think I made more of an impression with editors which is demonstrated by the personals. I also sold my first science fiction story for pro-rates! PLUS, I managed to do all that while moving 3200 miles to my new home which I adore. I’m very proud of my progress in writer land, most especially my membership in SFWA which has been one of my long-time goals. The increased numbers of submissions for 2015 has really helped me dealing with the submission carousel. Don’t get me wrong, rejection still sucks, but when you have 10 stories out at a time each one that comes back stings a little less. Over the holidays my out on submission number has gone down a bit, but I’m hoping to get it back up in the next couple of weeks. Something else I’m excited about is meeting a ton of wonderful writers last year at conventions and events throughout the year who inspired me to want to finish and sell more stories. Joining Codex was the single biggest change in this regard and I highly recommend that any writers out there who qualify run out and do exactly that. My goals for 2016 are a little amorphous. I have two novels in progress that I want to complete this year so I need to back off a bit on my short story writing. I have to finish one novel before a workshop I’m going to in April so that I can pitch it to an agent who will be there. This particular agent has been #1 on my list since I started keeping a list, so I’m hoping to impress her with this one. That’s a pretty tight timeline for me, so we’ll see how that goes. For this reason I’m going to keep the same submission goal of 60 for 2016, hoping to focus more on writing than submitting. All of this means I’m going to be crazy busy (hopefully) and totally not staring at nothing like I’ve been doing the past couple of months when I’m supposed to be writing. Hearts and adorable spotted puppies, -C The Prideful Space Needle photo was taken by the wonderful Jill who is one of the writers I met this...

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Science Affliction #17

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 | 0 comments

Science Affliction #17

Welcome back to Science Affliction! Why? Mostly because I realized I’d collected enough interesting science stuff and nonsense to fill a post. And I haven’t posted in a while on science topics so it felt like it was time. Un) More than you ever thought there was to know about Pluto. Ice volcanoes! Fast spinning moons! Pluto is even weirder than we thought. It’s going to take about a year for us to get all the data from the Pluto fly-by, and I’m looking forward to what else we can learn from our favorite not-planet-planet. Related, we found a new dwarf planet last week that’s even farther away! Just when we think we know so much about the solar system, it throws something new at us. Deux) Can we cure cancer with algae? Maybe. The story is a little more sensational than the study probably warrants, and there are lots of reasons we don’t want to just start pumping ourselves full of genetically engineered diatoms, but the idea of using them to deliver drugs is really interesting. The link to the Nature article has more of the nitty-gritty in the abstract. Trois) This is why we need more studies analyzing chimerism in humans. A paternity test shows a man isn’t the father of his child because the genetic father is actually his (the father’s) unborn and absorbed twin. Really fascinating and lots of story potential! Although Stephen King tread some of this ground already in The Dead Zone. Quatre) Slightly related and equally weird: A woman can have twins by two different fathers! It sounds like the fodder of daytime talk shows (hell, so does number three) but it turns out a woman can have one set of twins with different fathers. And it’s way more common than I would have thought! Cinq) We found a new whale. Seriously. Only discovered a decade ago. Never seen in the wild until this year. Tell me again how there’s nothing new to discover on this planet. This has been your quicky science round-up of the weird and interesting. I hope you found something interesting to get the mental gears turning. -C Bonus) TedTalk by Hans and Ola Rosling about how to be less ignorant about the world. Especially relevant this week is how fear twists our perception of the world. Hat-tip to Daniel Bensen for bringing Rosling to my...

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Hey, You Got Some Science In My Fiction

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 | 0 comments

Hey, You Got Some Science In My Fiction

The hubby and I did our usual anniversary thing last week, dinner and a movie. Yeah, it’s a little cliche, but we like movies, and we like food. So why not? Anyway, the dinner was pretty great, and if you are in the Seattle area I can’t recommend The Pantry enough. We had a wonderful dinner chock full of apples with some fun people. But, that’s not why I brought you here, that was just to set the stage for the real purpose of this post. THE MARTIAN IS AWESOME YOU GUYS. Seriously, I’m not even messing around here. If you haven’t seen it yet, go out and get some tickets right freaking now. I’ll wait. Ahem. Okay, now I’ll tell you why it’s so good. Very mild spoilers follow, but nothing you couldn’t glean from the trailer. Science. That may not be enough to get you out of your seat, but it was enough for me. Good science. Real science. In all its terror and glory. Sure, there were some things I could quibble with, of course there were, but I won’t, because it was real enough. The essence of science is what’s most important, and that’s what The Martian does so, so well. There were none of the fake, dumb scientists of some recent science fiction movies I won’t name *cough*Prometheus*cough*. None of the intellectual dishonesty or fear of exploration that sometimes plagues science fiction in general, and space movies in particular. It was good. It was true. It was magnificent. Writing. The thing that really shone for me in the writing department was the delicate balance of dramatic tension and humor. I haven’t seen a movie that handles the two so deftly in a long time. The tense moments were tense, and then there would be just enough funny to let you relax, but not too much. The humor to me felt completely organic, and that’s pretty rare for me to say. Acting. Okay, I’m not Matt Damon’s biggest fan, not by a long shot. Considering this movie is about 50% Damon taking to a camera in a video journal, his performance is pretty damned impressive. I didn’t have any problem believing he was marooned on Mars or that he thought he was going to die. Resolution. The ending of this movie is a triumph because no one person saves the day. It takes a fucking village. To me, that is what NASA and what the international science community is all about and this movie brought that home for me in a way I’ve never seen another movie do. It gave me all the warm fuzzies. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that a movie about science and about how people all over the world can act together is making money. Hopefully this shows the people holding the purse strings in Hollywood that more than one kind of movie can be made and be successful. I hope it wins a boatload of awards next year. Hearts, puppies, & science-fucking-fiction, -C The...

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Happy Birthday, Evernight Publishing!

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 | 22 comments

Happy Birthday, Evernight Publishing!

Evernight Celebrates 5 Years of Publishing! Thanks to readers like you, Evernight Publishing has grown by leaps and bounds in five years so they’re pulling out all the stops and throwing an extreme BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION BLOG HOP in your honor! That’s right! It’s Evernight’s birthday but YOU get the presents… Prizes include: Apple Watch Sport NEW Kindle Paperwhite Fitbit Flex Evernight, Amazon, and ARe Gift Certificates Plus, each author on the hop will offer his/her own special prize! I’m honored to celebrate this momentous occasion with Evernight. In addition to Evernight’s big giveaway below, I’m going to be giving away one eBook copy of each of my two Evernight releases. a Rafflecopter giveaway   Here’s a look at my Evernight releases: Inspiration for Hire Ramón Santos is a musician who hasn’t written a decent song in years. He owes one more album on his contract and if he misses his date his career might as well be over. Luckily, he knows someone who can help, or rather something. Zuhal is a magical being who sells inspiration, and has helped Ramón find his groove in the past, but there’s always a price to be paid. Ramón might just get the music he needs, if he can survive the encounter.   Skin Deep Mirabel Soto disconnected herself from the many people and places that triggered memories of her husband following his death. She’s avoided everything that might remind her of him for three years and never looked back. Until the owner of Midnight, the BDSM club they frequented, calls her for a favor and she finds what she was missing in the form of a very large, very troubled former marine. Carson Brewer returned from the service broken. Discovering the source of his trauma may be the key to helping him cope with post-military life, but he shuts down whenever he’s confronted about what happened. Only pain brings him peace. Can they both find love and healing in each other? It’s a great time for an Evernight shopping spree because all Evernight titles are 25% off through October 9th at AllRomance eBooks!   Enter to win the Grand Prizes using Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway            Hop to the next stop here:    ...

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