March 19th, 2015

Ad Astra convention schedule!

My final schedule for this year’s Ad Astra has fallen into my hands, and it is large and thorough and voila.

Friday, April 10

1:00 pm Writing Diversity Well

We need diverse books! (We do.) Diversity in both adult SFF—and genre YA—is a big conversation, and representing yourself, others, and your characters well deserves the extra attention.

Join author Leah Bobet for a two-hour workshop about resources, tools, processes to use—and the questions to ask yourself—to write diverse characters well, and what a diverse book means—and doesn’t mean—when it comes time to sell your work. This workshop is open to writers of any and all backgrounds, orientations, levels of physical ability or neurodiversity, or identifications. Come prepared for a respectful, open environment where we’ll learn from each other.

7:00 pm Deconstruction: What Happens When You Take Tropes Apart
Charlotte Ashley, Leah Bobet, Gail Z. Martin, KW Ramsey

Genre fiction thrives on tropes, from the stalwart hero, the damsel into distress, and all the way to the nefarious villain, but what happens when a show takes those tropes and turns them on their head. Join us as we discuss how and why to do this and examine when it’s done right and when it’s done wrong.

8:00 pm SF for a YA Audience
Leah Bobet, Charlene Challenger, E.K. Johnston, Jane Ann McLachlan

Young Adult novels are tricky things – Enders Games was about children and youth – but not for them. Fantasy has managed to get a solid grasp on what the readers want…But Sci-Fi doesn’t seem to be catching on. Why not?

Saturday, April 11

1:00 pm Reading: Leah Bobet and Max Turner
Leah Bobet, Max Turner

2:00 pm Signing Session (2 hours)
Ada Hoffmann, Adam Shaftoe, Anne Bishop, Charles de Lint, David Nickle, Ed Greenwood, Gemma Files, Julie Czerneda, Karen Dales, Kelley Armstrong, Leah Bobet, Marie Bilodeau, MaryAnn Harris, Max Turner, Nancy Kilpatrick, Rio Youers, Sephera Giron, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Suzanne Church, Timothy Carter

4:00 pm How to Sell SF to General Readers as Literature
Charlotte Ashley, Derek Kunsken, Erik Mohr, Leah Bobet

It is nearly impossible to get a non-genre reader to even look at a book – much less read it – unless HBO has kidnapped it for a mini-series. So how do you prove that SF/F is more than pulpy star-ships and elves with perfect hair?

8:00 pm Cutting Contracts and Shaking Hands: Business Basics of Writing
Gail Z. Martin, Gregory Wilson, Leah Bobet, Monica Pacheco

How do you do? Would you like to read my work? Please sign this deal…The world is a scary place – especially when you are just learning how to put your work out there. Here is some helpful advice from seasoned pros in all areas of Writing and Editing.

9:00 pm In Defence of the Evil Empire, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Big Brother
Charlene Challenger, David Blackwood, Leah Bobet, Simon McNeil

A key component of many genre stories, from dystopias through to fantasy stories is the rebellion narrative. Of course, having a hero struggling against an unequal and oppressive power provides an easy source of conflict and gives the protagonist the chance to grow as they overcome a seemingly unbeatable foe. Or as they fail to do so. But rebellion stories in genre are frequently very one-dimensional; the empire in Star Wars is overtly evil. How can we write better and more nuanced rebel stories? And what authors are doing so right now?

Sunday, April 12

12:00 pm Interactive Fiction: No Coding required!
Alice Black, Charlotte Ashley, Leah Bobet, Matthew Johnson

Thanks to tools like Storium and Twine, the ability to make interactive stories is now available to everyone. Find out how to get started without having to write a single line of code.

That is a big schedule — and one I’m very much looking forward to! See you there!

March 9th, 2015

AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES cover!

A lot of things have finalized as AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES trucks along to its publication date (last week of September in Canada! October 6 everywhere else!). So I’m really pleased this morning to be able to show you not just the front cover for AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES:

An inheritance of ashes.jpg

–but also the absolutely gorgeous full jacket:

ashes_Final_wrapart.jpg

Basically it is beautiful, that bird has no head, its headlessness is great, I have no idea how it caws, and I’m excited.

February 16th, 2015

Writing Diversity Well workshop at Ad Astra!

Dropping in quickly to highlight a new development at Ad Astra, the local convention, which it’s a privilege to be part of: Friday workshops!

This year’s programming team has arranged a double handful of attendance-capped workshops for the Friday of the con (April 10th), and they cover a whole lot of ground: How to design games, prop weaponry that rocks, mold making, costumers’ makeup, and of course, writing workshops. Michael Matheson, Julie Czerneda, Ed Greenwood, and I are doing a really comprehensive track of writing workshops through the day, covering everything from the business side to worldbuilding to good self-editing strategies. It’s a tiny professional development conference in a jar.

The workshop I’m running? Writing Diversity Well.

We need diverse books! (We do.) Diversity in both adult SFF—and genre YA—is a big conversation, and representing yourself, others, and your characters well deserves the extra attention.

Join author Leah Bobet for a two-hour workshop about resources, tools, processes to use—and the questions to ask yourself—to write diverse characters well, and what a diverse book means—and doesn’t mean—when it comes time to sell your work. This workshop is open to writers of any and all backgrounds, orientations, levels of physical ability or neurodiversity, or identifications. Come prepared for a respectful, open environment where we’ll learn from each other.

It’s running at 1pm on Friday, April 10th, at the Ad Astra hotel space, and there’s a fee discount for con attendees (or vice versa: there’s a discount on badges for workshop attendees). The workshop signups are available only in advance, so if there’s something you like there, enroll early and often.

Hope to see you there — and hoping this is the first year of something really great!

December 27th, 2014

2015′s First Convention Schedule!

Now that we’re past Christmas and looking right to 2015, my first convention of the year is coming up fast: ConFusion 2015 in Dearborn, MI! Just before the holidays I got my weekend schedule, and…voila.

Saturday, January 17

12:00 pm Diversity in _____________
Issues of race, class, gender, identity, orientation, generation and geography are among the most important conversations being had today both within and across in a broad range of fandoms (SFF, comics, gaming, cosplay, etc.). How do we navigate these discussions in a way that is useful and inclusive in increasingly diverse and global fandoms?

3:00 pm Mass Autograph Session

5:00 pm Effective Role Playing (TEEN FUSION)
How do you stay in character during a RPG so that the game progresses and you have fun at the same time?

6:00 pm What Should I Read Next?
Suggestions of what to read next, based on what you just read and loved

Sunday, January 18

10:00 am Post-Colonial SF
Can our world’s own colonization history help us write the stories of future colonizations? What were the pitfalls? And how can we avoid them? Or are we just doomed to repeat history…

2:00 pm Bobet/Sanford Reading

It’ll be my first ConFusion, and I’m pretty excited. Hope to see you there!

November 6th, 2014

Release date, title changes, and Roadstead Farm

So I did say, at one point, that I’d pass it on when I had more news on a street date for On Roadstead Farm. Well, I have more than that.

We always sort of knew On Roadstead Farm was a title that wouldn’t see print: It gives a little too much of the wrong impression about what this book is. So after a lot of serious and dedicated work here, at Clarion Books, and at Scholastic Canada, I give you the following:

My second novel’s official title will be An Inheritance of Ashes, and it’ll hit shelves in Fall 2015.

Booyah.

October 21st, 2014

Reprints!

It’s a pleasure to announce that “Six”, a short story about vertical gardens, intense brotherly hatelove, and dark scholars with a dark subway train, will be reprinted in The Humanity of Monsters, ed. Michael Matheson, out from ChiZine Publications in November 2015 — it originally appeared in Clockwork Phoenix 2.

Right now the rest of the table of contents is still a partial, but I’m really, really liking what I hear about who else will be there!

More when I have it, and Happy Monday!

September 15th, 2014

Going Out in Public, September edition

It’s fall, and all the literary events at once are on the calendar. Here’s a few places I’ll be!

  • The Friends of the Merrill Collection is hosting a roundtable discussion on
  • Diversity in SFF at the Lillian H. Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library on September 27, 2014. I’ll be a panelist, alongside Léonicka Valcius and panelists will include Charlotte Ashley, Leah Bobet, E.L. Chen, Malon Edwards, and Tonya Liburd.
  • The City of Vaughan, where I grew up, is having its first ever Bookfest on Sunday, September 28th from 1pm to 4pm! I’ll be there with a table to talk to readers, and will be giving a workshop on how an idea goes through the publishing process to become a book at 2pm.

Hope to see you there!

September 1st, 2014

A grants workshop!

Slightly to the side of publication news: Author and editor Michael Matheson and I are running a workshop next Sunday, at Bakka-Phoenix Books in Toronto, on how to write effective grant applications! If you’re a writer at any level, please come on down for a two-hour workshop on tips, best practices, and what grants are available for writers in Toronto!

Tickets are available here from EventBrite for $10, and you get a 10% discount on anything at Bakka-Phoenix Books on the same day for workshop attendance.

July 3rd, 2014

Two! Two convention schedules!

Happy summer! As has been mentioned on the Appearances page, next week I’ll be heading down to the sunny Americas to attend both Readercon in Boston and DetCon in Detroit, with a small Boston chillout in between.

That means I bring you not one, but two (2) convention schedules today!

Readercon

Thursday, July 10

8:00 PM    F    Many Things Worry You, but Nothing Frightens You: Outgrowing Horror. Leah Bobet, Ellen Datlow, Elizabeth Hand (moderator), Kit Reed, Graham Sleight, Sonya Taaffe. In the Nightmare Magazine essay “The H Word: The Failure of Fear,” Dale Bailey wrote about enjoying horror despite no longer finding it horrifying. How does what scares us change as we age? How does horror written for children differ from horror written for adults? Can you outgrow horror, or are adults and children simply frightened by different things?

9:00 PM    CO    Where Is Clarion for Editors?. Leah Bobet, Ellen Datlow, Liz Gorinsky, Bart Leib, Julia Rios, Cecilia Tan (leader). The speculative fiction field has many workshops for writers, such as the various Clarions, Odyssey, and Viable Paradise, not to mention MFA programs like Stonecoast where one can do genre work. But where’s the “Clarion for Editors”? Some of the most vital work being done in our field is coming from web magazines, small publishers, digital publishers, and others who are largely forced to learn to edit “on the job.” This discussion, led by Cecilia Tan, will examine the need for a structured workshop for aspiring and established editors, and propose ways that such a workshop might be made to happen.

 

Friday, July 11

11:00 AM    G    This Whole Situation Is Monstrous!: Supernatural Excuses for Abusive Behavior. Leah Bobet (leader), Liz Gorinsky, Catt Kingsgrave, Natalie Luhrs, Veronica Schanoes, Peter Straub. Paranormal romance for adults and teens often provides supernatural excuses for abusive behavior. For example, in Cassandra Clare’s The City of Lost Souls, a character’s abusive behavior as a teenager stems from his confusion over being turned into a werewolf. Years later the teens reunite, explanations are given, and the boy’s redemption story briefly takes center stage in the narrative. Instead of focusing on abusers’ redemption through human aspects overcoming monstrous aspects, and obscuring the unpleasant truth that abuse is a very human behavior, is there a better way to use the supernatural to talk about abuse?

7:00 PM    ENL    Emotion, Archives, Interactive Fiction, and Linked Data . Leah Bobet (leader), Toni L.P. “Leigh Perry” Kelner, Sarah Smith, Walt Williams. In a 2013 blog post, archivist Mx A. Matienzo drew a line between the “linked data” of interactive fiction (IF) and the connections within an archive of materials and works. Matienzo suggested creating a hybrid of the two that would bolster the emotional impact of fiction with links to relevant factual information—or, from the other side, that would bolster the intellectual weight of nonfiction with more nebulous but equally important information about feelings, thoughts, and experiences.How else can archivists, authors, and others collaborate on hybrid storytelling that brings these disparate components together?

9:00 PM    E    Autographs. Leah Bobet, Rick Wilber.

 

Saturday, July 12

11:00 AM    CO    How to Write for a Living When You Can’t Live Off Your Fiction. Leah Bobet, Barbara Krasnoff (leader), Adam Lipkin. You’ve just been laid off from your staff job, you can’t live on the royalties from your fiction writing, and your significant other has taken a cut in pay. How do you pay the rent? Well, you can find freelance work writing articles, white papers, reviews, blogs, and other non-SFnal stuff. Despite today’s lean journalistic market, it’s still possible to make a living writing, editing, and/or publishing. Let’s talk about where and how you can sell yourself as a professional writer, whether blogging can be done for a living, and how else you can use your talent to keep the wolf from the door. Bring whatever ideas, sources, and contacts you have.

2:00 PM    F    Becoming a Better Reader. Marc Abrahams, Robert Jackson Bennett, Leah Bobet, Michael Dirda, Yoon Ha Lee, Resa Nelson (leader). In a 2013 Twitter comment, Caitlín R. Kiernan wrote, “Too often, the problem isn’t that an author needs to be a better writer, but that a reader needs to be a better reader.” As readers, we can sometimes tell whether we liked a book, but it’s much harder to step outside and evaluate ourselves as ideal readers and how our pleasure/displeasure in a work relates to what the author was trying to do. How can we become different readers, or better readers? What makes one reader better than another, in the context of a given work or in general? Is there even such a thing as a better reader, or are there only readers who are more or less prepared for a particular book?

 

Sunday, July 13
11:00 AM    CL    Kaffeeklatsch. Leah Bobet, James Morrow.

1:00 PM    EM    Reading: Leah Bobet. Leah Bobet. Leah Bobet reads “Mountaineering”, which is a short story forthcoming in Exile Editions’ Start A Revolution: QUILTBAG Fiction Vying for Change.

DetCon1 (NasFic)

Friday, July 17

12:00 PM KaffeKlatsch 1  Kaffeklatsch: Leah Bobet.  A small group discussion led by author Leah Bobet. Your opportunity for a more informal discussion with one of our participants.

Saturday, July 18

12:00 PM Nicolet A  The State of the Science Fiction Magazine Market. Scott H. Andrews (moderator), Leah Bobet, Neil Clarke, Michael Haynes.  Our panelists give their views on the current state of the science fiction magazine market. Is this another golden age? What various business models are in play? How is digital transforming the field? This is a Detention-inspired panel. In 1959 the panelists included editors of Astounding Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Fantastic Stories, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Fantastic Universe.

1:00 PM Mackinac West  Sexuality and SFF.  Gregory Gadow (moderator), Mark Oshiro, Bernadette Bosky, Leah Bobet, Traci Castleberry, David Sklar.  Science fiction and fantasy are genres with great opportunities to explore ideas and concepts without the constraints of current reality. How have these genres explored the complex and multifaceted subject of human sexuality?

2:00 PM Mackinac East  Cross-Platform Narrative: Multimedia on Steroids. Forest Handford (moderator), Dan Berger, Leah Bobet, Tony Daniel, Marc Tassin.  Our panel discusses the pros and cons of integrating various forms of production/performance to deliver a narrative. Comics & music, web & stage, TV & video games—what combinations have we seen and what else could be tried? To what extent are large scale franchises that cross formats integrated cross-platform narratives? How can it be done on a smaller scale?

5:00 PM Ambassador Salon 1  Current Voices: YA Literature.  Aurora Celeste (moderator), Joshua Kronengold, Sarah Zettel, Leah Bobet.  What are the recent trends in YA SF and fantasy? Which writers are currently active in the field? What are the hot new titles? What works do our panelists particularly recommend?

Sunday, July 20

11:00 AM Joliet A  Reading: Acks/Bobet. Rachael Acks and Leah Bobet read from their work.


And that’s the ballgame! If you’ll be at either convention, I look forward to seeing you!

May 28th, 2014

An upcoming piece of fiction.

I’ve spent most of the winter and spring face down in novel revisions and the general logistics of day-to-day life, but:

It’s a pleasure to announce that, after a short fiction hiatus that’s lasted way too long, “Mountaineering”, a story about a boy and a ghost and the South Pole, will appear in Start a Revolution: QUILTBAG Fiction Vying for Change, an anthology from Exile Editions releasing in Spring 2015. The rest of the table of contents is absolutely stunning, and it’s a book I feel very privileged to be a part of.

I’ll post ordering information when I have it, and until then: Hi. Welcome back. I hope to be saying more, and have more to say, as the summer rolls in. :)

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