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Contest Winner!

My short story, 'The Divvy', won an award for 'Propulsive Scene and/or Plot Line' in the 2015 Stoneslide Story Contest. They may include it in their anthology or publish it on their website; as soon as I know I'll post here and on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Propulsive scene and/or plot line: “The Divvy,” by Mary Holland, starts with an unwanted and burdensome gift and moves at tremendous speed through complications and challenges, barreling toward revelation, all the while assembling a fantastical and convincing world.

'The Divvy' is an outtake from The Bone Road. Originally, it was a bridge chapter between part 1 and part 2, and it was told from Jak's POV. But it never fit, so I tossed it into the edit folder where I keep the deathless prose that I cannot bear to part with, i.e., large hunks of text that don't quite work but which I cannot delete. This is the only way I can edit out large globs of text.

When it never did end up in the book, I rewrote the story from another POV and submitted it to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. They rejected it, but suggested changing the POV (again!) to the primary character instead of to an observer. So eventually I rewrote the story a third time and, trust me, changing a POV is much harder than writing a new story from scratch. Beneath Ceaseless Skies asks authors not to resubmit revised work and I took them at their word, so as other opportunities came up it went out and came back. I've lost track of how many times.

I'm so pleased it won an award, and that an impartial editor liked it. If you've read The Bone Road you know it's a complicated world with an oddball premise. Boiling that down without dumping a heavy explanation on the reader's head was a hell of a lot of work. I'm so happy it paid off.


Upcoming: Other Writers' Books

Before I was a writer, I was a reader. And if I have a choice between reading a new book by one of my favorite authors or working on my own, I smother the guilt (all writers struggle with guilt on a daily basis unless they are actually WRITING) and curl up and read.

If you're on my favorite author list, I buy your new title in hardback. Because that's the way I grew up reading books and that's how I enjoy reading most. There's something so exciting about a new story by a great author in hardback: it's finally here and it's tangible. If you're on the top of my favorite's list, I buy the hardback, the ebook, and the audiobook. Because I will listen to your book while walking, I'll read it in the doctor's waiting room, but the first time I read it will be in the hardback. I'll get a paperback if that's all there is but if I have a choice, hardback. This explains why my house is over-stuffed with books, but that's another post.

I search Amazon for my favorite authors. I sort their titles by publication date, winnow out the other, lesser, authors that Amazon doesn't bother to exclude, and see if there's something upcoming. I put the lay-down dates on my calendar. It's like waiting for Christmas, except Christmas comes several times a year.

Right now, I'm counting down to October. Three of my favorite authors are publishing new titles in series I follow. And here they are:

Tanya Huff, An Ancient Peace. Peacekeeper #1: This is a continuation and a spinoff of her Torin Kerr or Confederation series. It's space opera, very funny and very well done space opera, with a kick-ass heroine. I've reviewed the previous books on Goodreads and now that Torin is no longer a Marine Gunnery Sergeant I'm hoping she will kick some more ass in new parts of the galaxy. Publishing Oct. 6.

David Weber, Hell's Foundations Quiver: This is volume 8 in his Safehold series. I only buy Weber in hardback, because the extended committee meetings can be painful in audiobook, and I find the size difficult to navigate in ebook. But he has me hooked on the story and I'll stick with him to the end. I've talked about Weber in detail on this blog, and all the caveats still apply. But essentially fascinating. Publishing Oct. 13.

J.K. Rowling, Career of Evil: The third volume in her Cormoran Strike series. Fantastic mysteries with great character, although they seem to be getting darker and darker. This one is supposed to be the creepiest yet. I can't wait. Publishing Oct. 23.

I wish these publishing events were spread out a bit more. It's not that I can't read all these in a month; I can because I'm a speed-reader, or at least very fast. But it seems unfair (boo hoo, life is unfair!) that after months and months of none of my authors publishing anything three of them should be publishing in one month. I'm living on crackers without cheese and in October I'll get a big box of chocolate. Life is so hard.



Publication and Sale: The Dog of Pel

The Dog of Pel is now available in ebook on Smashwords and Amazon. The paperback should be available on Amazon later this week.

As a celebration (because I'm always so damn relieved to get this far!) the ebooks of both Matcher Rules and The Bone Road are on sale at both vendors for $0.99 during July and August. Or longer if I feel happy.