Dancing to Dirges

Depressing and happy things Tim says, sometimes while drunk

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Just a quick note to say that I was interviewed by Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing while at WFC in San Jose this year. I rambled, but Jonathon did a hell of a job of editing that out. You can listen to it here.

Friday, November 20, 2009


The book's been out for a little while now, and even though the publisher did not initially send out review copies (this has been rectified) there are some reviews filtering out into the world. Of course I read them. On top of that there are readers who go out and buy the thing and read it and then talk about it on their blog. I read those too. I read everything even vaguely related to my book, to be honest. I'm thorough.

There are two general reactions that I'm seeing a fair amount that have me thinking, and I want to react to them in a very public manner. Since I don't have a public way to do such things, I'm going to react to them here on my blog, where my words will rot away into nothingness. As the title implies, there are spoilers herein.

The reaction that I'm seeing a lot that troubles me the most is that Emily, for all her kick-ass-ity ended up as a fairly typical female sidekick who needed to be saved by the hero at the end. It troubles me because it's accurate, and that was not my intention. I want to create complex and strong female characters, so can't help but be disappointed when I blow it. It's called learning, I guess. The reason that things ended up the way they did is because I wanted to screw up Jacob as much as I could. My focus was different. I will say that this was originally pitched as a trilogy, and there are other female characters in the wings that will develop. Should I get to write the rest of the books, that is. No promises.

Secondly, a lot of people wish Jacob had accepted the Avenger's Heart and burned Veridon the fuck down. I understand this. I wanted it to be a hard decision for Jacob. But let's be clear here, Veridon is a city of hundreds of thousands. Do you think they all deserved to die? I mean, we're talking about the atom bomb here, honestly. Jacob wasn't sure what he would have become, what kind of control he would have had. The book was originally called "Darker Angels", a name that came from the short story that described Camilla's origin story. When Camilla is being, ahem, harvested by the Church of the Algorithm she reveals herself as an angel and then goes on to threaten "There are darker angels." Jacob was given the opportunity to become that darker angel, and he declined it because he wasn't sure what it would do to him, to his city, and to the people around him. It was a choice, a difficult choice, and one that he made. Again, the implications of that choice are a major theme in the later books. Again, if I ever get to write them.

Anyway. Reaction has generally been very good. I get a lot of "I read it in two days because I couldn't put it down." While I don't consider myself a very thrilling writer, well, clearly I'm wrong about that. As long as people don't lose sight of the other things going on.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I am good, in all ways.

I am in full and desperate writing mode, plus I have a convention this weekend with panels and readings and, HA!, and autograph session. So if you're in the vicinity of Lombard IL, I encourage you to come out and heckle me. I'll be carrying the Haggler.

I also bought a netbook last night. I needed a dedicated writing engine, because with my current configuration it was too easy for me to get stuck and just log in to WoW to do my dailies and next thing you know it's 2am and I've got 300 words, none of which I like. So this is good. I'm happy. Asus Eee PC 1005HA, for those of you who must know.

And after the battery had charged overnight and I rushed downstairs like a little boy on Christmas (as an aside, I love being an adult. I love being able to declare my own Christmas and just go buy what I want) to set up the box and get my bookmarks lined up, there was a very happy email notifying me of the following review:

Rich Horton reviews Heart of Veridon.

For serious, I'm thrilled. I was nervous when I saw it was Rich, because he's big among sf/f reviewers and his reviews of my early work, while not bad, were not exclamatory in their admiration. It's interesting to me that he notes The Algorithm and A Soul Stitched to Iron when he discusses my stories, because those are the best and closest to HoV.

I like being promising. So all in all, I'm having a good morning. Have at ye!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

WFC Roundup 2009

Usually I feel driven to rush home after WFC and write a post about everything I did and everyone I saw. Not so much this year. Not that it wasn't a great con, because it was, but I think because I'm more balanced this year than I have been in the past. For the last few years I was miserable in my daily life and absolutely ecstatic in my con life. Now, my daily life is pretty good. Not perfect, certainly, but the range between Tuesday morning commute and Saturday night con party is much less than it used to be, emotionally.

Also, I've learned not to drink as much. I just really hate trading most of the next day for a decent night. And I don't really trust myself to not be an idiot while drunk. So even though I was staying up until 2 most nights, I was in fine mental and physical shape each day, and getting back to work has been a breeze. I don't know if this means I'm settling into being a boring person, or if I'm just not that into lying in bed with a killer headache and wondering what I said to whom the night before. *shrug* Call it business.

But it was WFC, and there was business. Couple things I'm following up on that might lead nowhere, but I'm excited.

For those of you wondering what con you should go to if you're a young hopeful, let me give you some stats. At WFC I met my agent and the editor who bought my second book. I can trace both of those contracts back to, respectively, a conversation at Tor's party in Madison and a breakfast in Calgary. Business gets done. Maybe once you're established the other cons become more important for the doing of business, but I haven't gotten to that point.

Of course, the most important thing that happened in San Jose was that I got to meet Colin Peters, whom I've known for years online and never thought I'd see because of the whole "he lives in Japan" thing. But he's on temporary US assignment in San Jose, so we got to shake hands and drink beer and, you know, be human to one another. Non-electronic. It was marvelous.

Anyway. Next year is Columbus (OHIO!) so I'll be able to drive down and actually buy all the books I want rather than just the three books I can stuff into my bag. And maybe this time around I'll try to get on some panels. Sure. That could happen.