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Are you reading the Jane True series yet? Because you really should be. Nicole Peeler is one of my favorite Orbit authors and Tempest Rising was such a great debut novel from a great new voice in urban fantasy. And I know I’ve said it before, but I think the covers Sharon Tancredi has been illustrating are just perfect for this series. Quirky, unique, cool in a slightly odd way…just like Jane True.

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Author post

Writing a Post-feminist Character

Writers have weird quirks. Invoking the muse often involves peculiar rituals — sitting at a coffee shop with precisely the right ambiance, playing precisely the right soundtrack at precisely the right volume (or surrounding oneself with utter silence), using only a no. 1 pencil on college-ruled paper*; I hear all kinds. I’ve also noticed that most of us writerly-types are particular about language to the point of pedantry, understandably. Me? I’ve got a whole list of words I love and hate. There’s no logic to most of them. I love “pearlescent”, hate “eldritch”. The latter is probably the result of too much Lovecraft. No idea where the former comes from. Read the rest of this entry »

Zombie Valentines: For your heart and your BRAAAINS!

And along with the covers for the Zombie Therapy series, I’ve whipped up some zombie valentines to send to your tasty best sweetheart. Go to jessepetersen.net and you can automatically share them on facebook.

Cover Launches Begin Anew: ZOMBIES!!!

Cover design for the Fall 2010 – Winter 2011 is progressing feverishly, but I have an early launch for you guys. Well, actually, editor Devi kind of already leaked the first Zombie Therapy book by Jesse Petersen, but here I have the first TWO covers in the series for you to feast your eyes on! (Get it, “feast”? I know, Groan. Sorry.)

As usual I read a bunch of the first book before I started designing, and Married With Zombies is hilarious. Think Shaun of the Dead for zombie humor, plus a really good snarky madcap romantic comedy. I’m not a big chick lit/romantic comedy gal myself, and I still thought the story was great fun and very fast moving – both in adventure and sarcastic comebacks. So don’t let the pink scare you away, trust me. Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Where does a novel start?

For the reader and the writer, a story starts in vastly different places. You, the reader, will (I hope) shortly be reading a book called The Last Stormlord. You will open the cover and find the first page. That will be your beginning. But for me, that same story started a long time ago. Read the rest of this entry »

A Romantic Comedy…. with BRAAAAINS!

I have the distinct pleasure of introducing a brand new author to the list, Jesse Petersen.  Orbit US has bought three books — the first of which, MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES, we will be publishing in mass market in September 2010.

The book is about two unlikely heroes — a couple on the verge of divorce.  On their way to marriage counseling, they notice a few odd things: a missing guard, a lack of cars on the freeway, and their counselor ripping out the throat of her previous client.

Now it’s up to David and Sarah to work together, save their marriage — and survive in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Black and White

It’s not a popular opinion.  Certainly, it’s not a “sophisticated” one.  But I like black-and-white morality.  Not all the time.  Not every time.  But sometimes, I like good guys who are good, and bad guys that are bad.  I like to have someone to root for and someone to see fall.  I like that, and I like it a lot.  Honestly, I like it more often than not.

This is why I used to like comic books.  The Fantastic Four are good guys.  Doctor Doom is a bad guy.  I know this going in, and I’m cool with it.  I might respect Doctor Doom (more than I really should probably), but I also know that no matter how awesome his robot army is and how justified his egotism (the guy does build time machines in his spare time), he’s a jerk and evil and deserves to get his armored butt handed to him. Read the rest of this entry »

This is part two of an email correspondence between Robert Jackson Bennett and Philip Palmer. Part one is here.

Hi Philip,

Thanks for the kind words about Mr. Shivers! I’ve been thinking about what you’ve said, though, especially in regards to only SFF writers doing worldbuilding, and I find I don’t entirely agree.

There’s a common distinction there between novels about real things – or at the very least plausible things – that can happen in this world that we’re vaguely familiar with, and then there’s the other kind of novel, where it’s about totally impossible things that could never ever happen. These might include spaceships, or unicorns, or time travel, or even triple-breasted whores with erogenous zones several miles in diameter. I find I don’t entirely like that distinction. It feels a bit pat. Read the rest of this entry »

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Palmer to Bennett on Worldbuilding

Editor’s note: Here is Philip Palmer, in an email dialogue with Robert Jackson Bennett. (Publisher’s note: Don’t these guys ever do any work?)

Hi Robert

I finished Mr. Shivers a couple of days ago, and I’ve been mulling about it since.

Why does it make me think of the story of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil?  That’s not the story of your actual novel, but it has that feel about it.  Very haunting. And I loved the sequence in which [THIS SENTENCE IS A SPOILER AND HAS BEEN DELETED – The Guy from Orbit].

What made you pick that world?  And how did you research it?

One of the things I’ve been aware of in the last few years as a science fiction novelist is how ‘world building’ is both a blessing and a curse.  It’s a blessing because creating a world from scratch –  naming planets, creating civilisations, inventing styles of clothing, and sometimes even making up  jargon – is a joy.  And it’s a curse because, well, you can get lost doing that stuff.

My secret fear is that one day I’ll enter the realm of Debatable Space, sit down in a bar with a bunch of spooky aliens and scary space pirates, and never return. Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Back Story: Deprecated

Back when I was a wee lad and just starting to write, I used to create huge, sprawling backstories for my works: Complete histories going back thousands of years, maps and other archival documents, diaries for characters—none of which was ever meant for the book itself. It was just for my sense of realism and to convey a sense of history to the work through the casual dispensation of details that were vetted against each other and thus quietly consistent.

Obviously, I could also have begun this essay with the sentence, Back when I was a wee lad and just starting to write, I had few friends other people could see, but let’s not go down that road. Read the rest of this entry »

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