After my walk on the beach I arrived at the Metropole for the last day of World Fantasy Con 2013. The days had flown by.
First I went to the launch of the anthology Tales of Eve. I got two copies of the book, one for myself and one for a giveaway on my review blog, so if you want to win a copy, go there now and look for the Teaser Tuesdays post of 12 November.
I got both books signed of course.
This is Adrian Tchaikovsky.
And Suzanne McLeod!
I thanked her again for kindly taking me under her wing the first day at the con and said goodbye. I hope to meet her again some day.
And there were 5 other authors who all had stories in the anthology and signed it as well.
Next there were 2 more panels I wanted to visit:
Coming Up Short.
Is it possible to make a living writing only short fiction?
panelists: Ellen Klages, Richard Christian Matheson, John Llewellyn Probert (moderator), Lynda E. Rucker, Robert Shearman and Steve Rasnic Tem.
(sorry, forgot who sat where)
The short answer to the question if you can make a living of only writing short stories was: No!
The slightly longer answer included:
If you are prepared to earn only a little, you might be lucky enough to get by writing just short fiction.
Ebooks might be your best bet to make a living with writing short stories.
Social circumstances are important as well: UK health care, etc.. makes it easier to make a living writing short fiction than it would be in the US for example.
Other interesting things were:
Robert Shearman stating that the idea that short stories are a stepping stone to a novel is offensive and frutrating.
Ellen Klages comparing short stories with Faberge eggs: A Faberge egg is beautiful, but you wouldn't want a Faberge room.
And then it was already time for the last panel of WFC:
Please Sir, I Want Some More: How to Write That Difficult Second Book.
panelists (left to right): Mark Barnes, Allison Littlewood, Lou Morgan (moderator), Snorri Kristjansson, Laure Eve and Dan *mumbly-something* (Dan was there instead of Sarah Pinborough)
This was yet another very interesting discussion and they mentioned some things I discussed with Jeffe in the past as well.
They talked about how your first novel is like a tsting ground. You haven't sold it yet, so you have all the time to write, rewrite and perfect your story. Then it sells and the publisher asks: Can you write the 2nd book in 6 months? So then you suddeny are working under pressure and have to do things differently, while also juggling editing the first book and things like that. The clock is suddenly ticking.
They also talked about reviews: Read them, but don't take yourself too seriously, because reviews can be confronting. Reviews can challenge you to think about your writing.
There were lots of cool snippets about writing:
If you have one book in you, you will find a new story to tell after that first one.
You don't get to the end of one book if you don't love writing.
You write because you have a calling to write.
Your best work is always the next one.
Agents and editors have good insights: listen to them.
Editorial notes are a guideline, not things you have to do. You are the one to decide which things you change or keep. Things like editorial notes define if you're up for it: pick your battles.
Remember you can do it. You did it with the first book.
Write what you love.
And then it was over!
No more panels, no more book launches...
There would be a big award thing in the afternoon and a last party in the evening, but the ending of WFC was clearly in sight.