Sunday, August 01, 2010

The cat's out of the bag

Well, this week we finally announced much of the stuff I've been working on lately over at Silverthought Press.  You can read the entire announcement here, but I'll give you the short version and a few other insider tidbits.

1) Of course the biggest news from this announcement is the episodic video podcast that Silverthought will be producing called Breakfast With the Author.  The first episode of the show is already complete and ready to go and it will be revealed with the site re-launch in August.  The premise of the show is I have two authors come to my home and I personally cook them breakfast, after which we sit and eat and talk shop about writing, publishing, literature, and life in general.  The show is completely unscripted and uncensored, and gossip and hijinks are encouraged.  Preview audience reaction to the first episode has so far been universally positive, so we're very excited to bring this to our writers and fans as well as utilize it as a bridge between Silverthought Press and the rest of the independent literary world. 

The indie lit world is thriving nationwide right now, despite a sluggish economy, and it continues to thrive on a spirit of cooperation and collaboration that's really quite extraordinary.  One thing I've seen over the past two years in the indie literature world is that the very best authors, editors, publishers, and critics tend to promote this interconnectedness with events, podcasts, festivals, readings, parties, and workshops that include cross-genre and cross-platform artists and creative people.  In that these have been enormously successful when paired with people willing to put their own ego aside and work for the good of the creative community, this is the direction I most wanted to help Silverthought Press move towards when Paul announced that he was promoting me to full editor.  I think you'll love Breakfast With the Author.  The first episode is 25 minutes long and will premiere very soon, so stay tuned.

2) Silverthought Press is moving to a new and improved submissions framework, which will streamline the process and make it easier than ever for us (meaning Paul the Executive Editor, myself, and the other Associate Editors) to read and respond to submissions.  Our vision for this going forward is to respond to each and every submission and efficiently provide each submitter with substantive comments and read confirmation.  We are still working out the nuts and bolts of this, but it's looking very positive at this point.

3) We are offering a new set of resources on the forum for our established authors.  The Author Resource board will consist of helpful tools (articles, how-to's, and possibly mailing lists) for our established print authors to market and promote their books.  This is already in place and will be available soon.

4) The 2010 release schedule includes a book called Human Sister by Jim Bainbridge.  It's been largely radio silence so far on Human Sister, but I can report that I participated in one of the final edits of the book and it's truly incredible.  We see a lot of great work submitted to us, but Paul and I agreed that this manuscript was one of the best we've ever seen.  It's just stellar on many, many levels.  It's highly original, whip smart, and readable as all get out.  It may very well be the sleeper speculative fiction hit of 2010, and I highly recommend checking it out when it arrives.

5) I'm also happy to announce that we've successfully secured artwork for the cover of The Damnation of Memory (my upcoming novel) by a very talented core member of the Chicago artistic community.  Deborah Lader, founder and director of the Chicago Printmaker Collaborative and one third of the terrific folk-fusion band Sons of the Never Wrong, will be the cover artist for the book.  I'm a huge fan of the Collaborative's vision and scope, and of Deborah's work in particular, and though we're not quite ready to reveal the cover image itself, I'm convinced there couldn't have been a better image to wrap the story in.  A very special thank you to Deborah for working with us on this one, and I can't wait to show it off.

So that's what I've been working on for the last few weeks, in addition to doing some writing and editing of my own work.  I've got some pictures from the Orange Alert reading series that I did last month with Jason Fisk, Joseph G. Peterson, and Goldie Goldbloom, and I had a very fun time with Amy Guth, Leah Jones, and Jason Fisk at the Printer's Ball on Friday night.  Pictures and video links will be forthcoming when I return from Wisconsin.

Oh, right: in other news I'm in Wisconsin!  My mother and father-in-law are celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary this weekend and the entire family is in Elkhart Lake, WI for the weekend and part of next week.  So far the weather has been beautiful and the hotel is lovely, but of course the best part is just spending lots of good fun times with the family!  More on this, and pictures probably, on my Facebook profile.

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