Genre-la Speculative Fiction Writers’ Conference

Education and Inspiration for Writers of Speculative Fiction

Next weekend (Jan. 27-29) is the 2017 Genre-LA™ Creative Writers Conference in Culver City, California, (location details) where more than 30 published masters of the genre, literary agents, editors, publishers, best-selling authors, industry experts, Hollywood veterans, educators, and publishing professionals will share their experiences and secrets to help take your writing to the next level and guide your career on the path to success.  Save up to $100 on a Single Registration: http://www.wcwriters.com/club.  

Now Write! Panel: Special Techniques of Expert Speculative Fiction Writers and Filmmakers

Get inspired and learn how to take your writing to the next level with this Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror panel, Friday, Jan 27, 5:45-6:45 immediately followed by networking cocktail party at the Conference.  Have fun taking your imagination where it needs to go to write effectively in these mind-bending genres.

Filmmaker/educator/former studio exec and two-time Now Write! contributor Devorah Cutler-Rubenstein will discuss intriguing ways to give sentience to ordinary objects.

Acclaimed writer/producer/director Pen Densham (Outer Limits, Twilight Zone TV Show revivals) will talk about his unique approach to creative mashups “Writing Into the Spiritual Unknown.” (Check out Pen’s FREE Creative Person’s Success Manual and his awesome screenwriting book Riding the Alligator.)

Special guest Pamela Jaye Smith, award-winning producer/ director/author and mythology expert.  She will discuss how to use myth, magic and metaphysics in your stories.  Let her be your guide into the geography and psychology of these other realities and learn ways to use them to give your stories internal integrity and unique power.

Moderated by Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson.

Now Write! Chinese and Korean Editions

iuHappy Chinese New Year!

It’s the Chinese Year of the Monkey – the Yang Red Fire Monkey. Education, building businesses and following creative dreams are highlighted.  

So the Year of the Monkey is truly a perfect time to start working with a Now Write! book to practice and improve your writing in general or find inspiration for a specific project.

A hardback Chinese edition of  Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror is available now.  A Korean edition will be available this spring.

The Chinese edition of Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror has a yellow cover.  The bird perhaps refers to Edgar Allan Poe’s crow-?  While the Korean cover art remind me of Polish versions of American movie posters.  Pretty cool, huh?

Now Write Scifi China & Korea
Chinese and Korean editions of Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

A Korean edition is also being released for Now Write! Mysteries.

Now Write Mysteries Korea
Korean edition of Now Write! Mysteries

There’s already a Chinese edition of Now Write! Screenwriting a Korean edition is on the way in June, 2016.

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NWScreenchinese
Chinese edition of Now Write! Screenwriting

Chinese editions of Now Write! Screenwriting and Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror are published by China Remnin University Press, available at crup.com.

The Korean editions of Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, Now Write! Mysteries and Now Write! Screenwriting are being published by Darun Book Publisher.

My Visit With Harlan Ellison

Harlan-Ellison-smMeet Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison is a beyond-prolific writer, a living legend and probably one of the most notorious contributors to the Now Write! series. When I consulted film industry friends on approaching Mr. Ellison about contributing to Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, the response was invariably, “Don’t bother.”

Harlan’s philosophy: “We’re all stupider than we should be.”

Harlan has a reputation for being, er, um, ah, difficult. He once sent a dead gopher to a publisher (an incident he recounted with glee during my visit.) He’s also known in the entertainment industry for being lawsuit-happy, most famously settling out of court with James Cameron over Cameron’s admitted use of one of Harlan’s Outer Limits episodes for TERMINATOR.

Despite the warnings, I was undaunted in my quest to include him in the book.
Still I was a little surprised when he graciously agreed to allow a reprint of an
article he wrote in the seventies with the new addition of a writing exercise that
cropped-book-coverwould make it fit for our Now Write! format (“First, There Was The Title” in the “Theme and Meaning” chapter.)  I honored his specifications – including the registered trademark symbol after his name – and we’ve never had a problem.

After the book came out we had a phone conversation in which he gave me a lot of good advice as an editor, and invited me to his home for a face-to-face visit.  An offer I couldn’t refuse.

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THE LOST AZTEC TEMPLE OF MARS

“Harlan’s home, high in the hills above Sherman Oaks, is a work of art and a wonder to behold. My meager talent at tippy-tapping out words falls far short of coming to grasp with the idea of the concept of describing Harlan’s home. Even Ray Bradbury would pause and frown in thought. This is Ellison Wonderland, and evidently, it has undergone a re-christening, as Harlan’s address as listed in _Contemporary Authors_ Vol. 46, New Revised Edition, 1995, reads The Lost Aztec Temple of Mars, CA.”

(Quoted from his website – where you can find a lot more Harlan FAQs.)

MY VISIT WITH HARLAN

He had suffered a recent stroke, and I found Harlan physically weak, but mentally quite strong. He wasn’t able to give me a tour but still allowed me to roam his domain, which really is a work of art: the décor and mind-boggling collections of books, art and kitsch, custom ladders, odd-shaped rooms, secret entrances and Aztec exterior made this a fitting home for a one-of-a-kind eccentric genius like Harlan.

These pictures can’t possibly do it justice, but may serve to give you some idea:

his office
Harlan’s office

 

Harlan can quote from his thousands of stories and books, as well as rattle off how many of each glass, knife, comic book or action figure he’s collected. Despite his recent stroke, the man’s mind remains sharper than a steel trap, which he claims is both a blessing and a curse. I believe him.

During several hours of candid conversation we hit it off better than I expecting, including an in-depth discussion of philosophy and relationships.

I learned he had a close friendship with Robin Williams, who he said was too gentle and kind to ever be at ease in the cutthroat entertainment industry.

dean5He spoke glowingly of Roger Dean, designer and artist best known for fantasy posters and album covers for conceptual rock bands, and who shared a common experience of suing James Cameron – in Dean’s case it was for his paintings being the inspiration for much of the look and feel of AVATAR. (Enjoy Dean’s desktop downloads.)

PW-SR-0813Harlan also introduced me to Pen World Magazine, which we both sort of drooled over before his lunch arrived. I had been invited to stay but didn’t want to wear out my welcome.

Harlan is a true character, a bit of a curmudgeon, definitely not the type to suffer fools. I’m grateful he didn’t deem me as such – it was a surprising and memorable visit indeed!

Now Write! Editor, Laurie Lamson

FYI there’s a Harlan Ellison YouTube channel.

West Coast Writer Conference: June 26-28, 2015


GLAWC_MasterStretch

Greater Los Angeles Writers Society: West Coast Writers Conference

Now Write! has the pleasure to be involved with the Greater Los Angeles Writers’ Society (GLAWS) conferences.  Now Write! hosted lively panels with contributors from several of the Now Write! books at the last 3 conferences. These are friendly, affordable writers’ conferences with a lot to offer writers at various levels from beginning to professional.

The upcoming conference June 26-28, 2015 is the biggest of the year and takes place at L.A. Valley College.

Participation by Now Write! contributors and editor:

Friday, June 26, 2015

Marilyn Atlas2:00pm:  Now Write! Screenwriting contributor Marilyn Atlas will be on a panel: “How To Pitch a Literary Agent or Publisher.”

5:45pm:   Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson will moderate a panel: Techniques for Editing Your Own Work and When to Hire a Pro.”

5:45pm:   Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor Steven Barnes offers a class: The Professional Writer’s Tool Kit” (Laurie wishes she could be in both places at once!)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Brad.thumb1:45pm   Laurie and 2-time contributor Brad Schreiber will present a creative writing workshop featuring Brad’s exercise in Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror:  “Metamorphosis.” Laurie will also share her top 10 favorite exercises selected from all of the books in the Now Write! series.

1:45pm Steven Barnes participates in a panel: “After the TV Pilot – What it Takes to Write a Successful Series”.

See the Conference Schedule.

See the Conference Registration Page.

Contributors’ Recent Work

Now Write! Contributors’ Recent Work

The holiday season has arrived and it’s a wonderful time to enjoy the work of fellow and sister writers.  Great writers make great readers… and vice versa! There’s something here for everyone including literary fiction, creative nonfiction and mysteries.   See also the recently updated: Writing Books by Now Write! Contributors for gift ideas for writers and a chance to win a FREE GIVEAWAY.

voyageof-strangersVoyage of Strangers audio book by Elizabeth Zelvin (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Lake Union Publishing (Sept. 2014)

The year is 1493, and young Jewish sailor Diego Mendoza has returned from Columbus’s triumphant first voyage with tales of lush landscapes, rivers running with gold, and welcoming locals. But back home in Spain, Diego finds the Inquisition at its terrifying peak, and he must protect his spirited sister, Rachel, from betrayal and death. Disguising herself as a boy, Rachel sneaks onto Columbus’s second expedition, bound for the new lands they call the Indies. As the Spaniards build their first settlements and search for gold, Diego and Rachel fall in love with the place, people, and customs. Still forced to hide their religious faith and Rachel’s true identity, the brother and sister witness the Spaniards’ devastation of the island in their haste to harvest riches. 

PatBooneFanClubPat Boone Fan Club by Sue William Silverman (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Univ of Nebraska Press (March, 2014)

A one-woman cultural mash-up explores identity among the mishmash of American idols and ideals that confuse most of us—or should. Pat Boone is our first stop. Now a Tea Party darling, Boone once shone as a squeaky-clean pop music icon of normality, an antidote for Silverman’s own confusing and dangerous home, where being a Jew in a Christian school wasn’t easy, and being the daughter of the Anti-Boone was unspeakable. And yet somehow Silverman found her way, a “gefilte fish swimming upstream,” and found her voice, which in this searching, bracing, hilarious, and moving book tries to make sense of that most troubling American condition: belonging, but to what?

escapeofmalcolmpoeThe Escape of Malcolm Poe by Allison Burnett (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Writers Tribe Books (Sept. 2014)

For the past ten years, Malcolm Poe has dreamt of escape. His plan is simple: The day his youngest child starts college, Malcolm will leave his devoted wife to resume the creative life he abandoned for marriage. As the hour of his departure nears, Malcolm buys a blank notebook to chronicle the riot of his memories, passions, regrets, and aspirations – an ascent into the deluded imagination of a middle-aged man who believes it is never too late to start over.

Mothers and Lovers mothers&loversby Maria Flook (Now Write! Fiction contributor)
Roundabout Press (Dec. 2014)

College professor April O’Rourke is in over her head when she moves next door to a family in trouble, including a teenage son, who has returned home from reform school.  She is mesmerized by her young neighbor but his unorthodox bond with his mother has earth-shaking consequences for everyone. This sweeping novel overturns sacred traditions and maps the scissoring boundary lines of family ties and carnal attraction.


The Armor of God, Vol. 1 armorofgodthe first book in a trilogy by Diego Valenzuela (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor)

(Oct. 2014)

A once-beautiful planet razed by a malignant alien virus shields itself from the wreckage of the world: one remaining human settlement is a domed city, where the last humans live comfortable lives, awaiting their inevitable extinction.

Eighteen-year old Ezra Blanchard must take part in military service, but when the army discovers Ezra’s blood possesses extremely rare qualities, he is trained in Zenith, a top secret facility where Ezra discovers humanity’s last glimmer of hope.

Quiet Dell quietdellby Jane Anne Phillips (Now Write! Fiction contributor)
Scribner; Reprint edition (July, 2014)

In Chicago in 1931, Asta Eicher, a lonely mother of three, is desperate for money after the sudden death of her husband. She begins to receive seductive letters
from a chivalrous, elegant man named Harry Powers, who promises to cherish and protect her, ultimately to marry her and to care for her and her children. Weeks later, Asta and her three children are dead.

Emily Thornhill, one of the few women journalists in the Chicago press, wants to understand what happened to this beautiful family. Determined Emily travels to West Virginia to cover the murder trial and to investigate the story herself, accompanied by a charming and unconventional photographer equally drawn to the case. These heroic characters, driven by secrets of their own, will stop at nothing to ensure Powers is convicted.

River CityRiverCity (a Jason Colefield Mystery) by Doc Macomber (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Floating Word Press (April, 2014)

As a frozen fog lifts, River Patrol Deputy, Jason Colefield, motors ashore on idyllic Sauvie Island to recover a body. Colefield has a history with the island and any return triggers unpleasant boyhood memories. This visit he comes face-to-face with his childhood nemesis who leads him to the bullet-riddled body of a young boy he claims he stumbled upon while hunting. Colefield suspects the man is lying but it will take more than just gut instinct to prove it. As the story unfolds, with more twists and turns than the majestic Columbia River, island life is disrupted, family secrets exposed and it becomes clear the past isn’t done with him.

PayoffPayoff (a Simon Fisk novel) by Douglas Corleone (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Minotaur Books/ St. Martin’s Press (Aug. 2014)

When movie studio mogul Edgar Trenton’s teenage daughter, Olivia, is kidnapped during a violent home invasion in Calabasas, California, former U.S. Marshal Simon Fisk is called upon to ensure a smooth ransom exchange. But once it becomes clear that the kidnappers never intended to return Olivia to her parents, Simon must follow a lethal trail that will lead him from the powdery white sand beaches of the Cayman Islands through the wild jungles of Costa Rica, and into some of the darkest and deadliest cities of South America.

GoodasGoneGood As Gone (a Simon Fisk novel) by Douglas Corleone (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press (Aug. 2013)

Former U.S. Marshal Simon Fisk now works as a private contractor, tracking down and recovering children who were kidnapped by their own estranged parents. He only has one rule: He won’t touch stranger abduction cases. He’s still haunted by the disappearance of his own daughter years ago when she was just a child, still unsolved, and stranger kidnappings hit too close to home.