Author Archive

Brainstorming Panels for a Con   Leave a comment

Hey, y’all. While I’ve been juggling projects and health issues and not updating here very much, I seem to have gotten involved with a start-up con in Binghamton, NY . Why Binghamton? Because I don’t travel as well as I used to, so cons within about a three-hour drive of me are the only ones I can really consider going to right now. This means I have a vested interest in seeing a new one be successful. :-)

And on that note, I’m helping them connect with some local authors (again, to the tune of being within a few hours’ drive, because nobody’s likely to drive more than that for a one-day con) and trying to put together a literary track of programming. They’re already doing pretty well on gaming and comics, not that that stops me from thinking about those, too.

So I’m brainstorming panel and other programming ideas over the next half a week or a week. I’d love to get some other people’s suggestions and thoughts. Jump on in–anyone can play. I’ll put in an edit line and add people’s suggestions below it as they trickle in. Comment on other people’s suggestions, too, if you like. If you’re interested in knowing more about the con, here’s their webpage and their Facebook page. Both are a little stale right now–I’ve been told there’ll be an update in the next few days, now that the organizers aren’t up to their eyeballs in grant applications. *g*

Here’s a few to get us started:

Narrative shape in storytelling (literary/media)
The do’s and don’ts of crowdfunding
Science for science fiction writers
The changing face of publishing
Diversity in speculative fiction
20/20 hindsight: changing visions of the future
World-building 101

Edited to add:

From magic realism to superheroes: modern myth in SF/F
All about e-books
SF Outsiders: women, people of color, and more writing SF today
Writing Tech: bringing science and technology into fiction

If you’d like to be a guest and participate at RoberCon, let me know, and I’ll get your information to the organizers so they can contact you.


Posted August 10, 2013 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

“Mother of Waters” now available in Crossed Genres Magazine   Leave a comment

Happy March! And a very happy March it is. I don’t usually get to announce good news again so quickly, but my story “Mother of Waters” is out in the March 2013 issue of Crossed Genres Magazine. Here’s a taste:

She shaped the mud into a tiny manikin, a baby-doll with stubby little legs and arms and a large head. She knelt in the streambed with the dolly in the palm of her hand and pressed her thumb to its forehead and said, “You are Shasa. You are precious water. You are life in the desert. I mark you with the name of God.” Then she swallowed the mud baby.

Eighteen weeks later, she gave birth to me.

Crossed Genres Magazine is kind of fascinating. I already knew their name from some very interesting-sounding anthology calls when they ran a Kickstarter to re-launch their magazine as a monthly release paying SFWA professional rates. But there’s a twist: each issue has a theme. March’s theme is myth.

You can read “Mother of Waters” and the rest of the magazine on the web for free. Each issue is also released in e-book format, and every six months they collect six issues’ worth of stories into an anthology that’s available in both electronic and dead tree formats. So if you like my story or or the magazine or both, consider a donating or subscribing so they can continue as a professionally-paying market after this Kickstarter-funded year is done. They offer two subscription options, one strictly electronic format, the other for both paper anthologies in addition to the monthly e-book issues. It’s kind of a fascinating model and one of the best editing experiences I’ve had with regards to short stories. I’d really love to see them continue it.

FISH, ed. Carrie Cuinn, available through major online booksellers!   2 comments

"Quick Karma" is now available in FISH

“Quick Karma” is now available in FISH

“So how do you screw up your karma so badly that you come back as a goldfish?” Read “Quick Karma,” by April L’Orange, now available in Dagan Books anthology

FISH, ed. Carrie Cuinn, is now broadly available as an e-book from major online booksellers. If you buy it directly from the publisher, you get a nice clean DRM-free version. You can also get it through and if you prefer. The dead tree version should be available soon–I’ll let you know!

Posted February 14, 2013 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Signal Boost: If you care about the future of SF/F…   2 comments

In case you’re not familiar with him, Jim C. Hines is a terrific writer of fantasy and an incredibly thoughtful blogger on a variety of issues. A couple days ago, someone drew my attention to a post he titled “SFWA Presidential Election Thoughts” by stating that if you’re a member of SFWA (I’m not, but hope someday to be), you should read this.

I’d go a little farther. If you care about the future of SF/F in the US at all, read the post. It looks like it’s on the long side, but it reads very fast. The supplemental links…read slower. But as someone who requires articles and opinions to be reasonably well-sourced before I trust them, I appreciated having them there.

In a nutshell, Beale may just be a troll. But in a world where there is a men’s rights movement that legitimately believes women are the evil enemy plotting to take everything from morally right and well-deserving [usually white] men and incidentally causing the downfall of Western civilization in the process…he may not.

The most legitimate of his first five platform points is splitting the Nebulas into two categories, with separate awards for science fiction and fantasy. Speculative fiction has been a lot broader than that for some time now, which tells me he’s out of touch at the minimum. Combined with his assertions (which may be tongue-in-cheek, but I really don’t get that vibe) that women either don’t or shouldn’t write science fiction, I find just the fact that he’s seriously running concerning, let alone what he might be able to accomplish if he actually won the position.

You may not personally vote for the SFWA president, but SFWA does have an impact on how SF/F writing and publication are accomplished in the US, and leadership does matter.

So does public opinion. Forewarned is for armed, and I no longer take for granted that absurdity cannot be elected and determine policy in US and state politics. I really don’t trust that SFWA is somehow better than that. *wrygrin*

Posted February 3, 2013 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

FISH anthology now available, and other publishing news!   Leave a comment

I’ve been waiting excitedly for this one, both because I have a story, “Quick Karma,” in it and because I want to read it. FISH is now available direct from Dagan Books. It will be available through third-party resellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble soon, both electronically and in print. I’ll update you when that wider release rolls around.

The publisher describes FISH as “a genre-bending anthology of delightfully fishy tales,” and so far I agree. The very first story sucked me in, which is almost never the case with me and anthologies for some reason. I consider it a positive sign.

Want to win a copy? The publisher is doing a giveaway at Goodreads. The contest is open through February 15.

More good news: I’ve had another sale! I’m never sure how much I really ought to talk about them before the publication actually happens, but it looks like this one will be published within the next couple of months, both on the web and as an EPUB. The story may also become available some months after that in print format, anthologized with other stories from the same online magazine.

Posted February 2, 2013 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Women Doing Extraordinary Things: Malala Yousafzai   Leave a comment

“All I want is an education. And I’m afraid of no one.” – Malala Yousafzai

Take a Stand for the Girl Who Stood up: Nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize.

This is how you do it. And these are the potential consequences. Go read about an incredibly determined fifteen-year-old girl agitating for education in Taliban-controlled Pakistan. And if you’re moved to do so, sign the petition.

Posted November 13, 2012 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Near-Future Sesame Street Dystopia   Leave a comment

I wrote Sesame Street as near-future dystopian fiction. I’m sure there’s a special level of hell for this.

In a way, this parody is all Mitt Romney’s fault. He’s the one who started the Big Bird meme. But it’s my brain that came up with it and wouldn’t give me any rest until I wrote it all down.

Please note, this is not a story intended for kids–it might scar them for life. It’s twisted, dark humor and quite grim in places. But if that’s your type of humor, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Can You Tell Me How to Get There?

Please feel free to pimp the link, save copies as an ePub or PDF, etc. Might as well share the brain-breakage. *g*

Posted October 26, 2012 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

Tagged with

Word Counts and Page Numbers   Leave a comment

I know I’ve been quiet–sorry about that. A romance release and some editing work have been conspiring against my schedule lately.

Some fellow writers over on Twitter were bemoaning the fact that, pre-publication and especially with an e-book, it’s hard to know how long your book is in terms of page count. Which is always seemed fairly irrelevant to me, as word count is a much more reliable number, but it’s been pointed out to me that page count is the thing potential readers often want to know. So I decided to see what I could find out.

It’s impossible to have an exact conversion between word count and page count, of course, because page count varies based on writing style, form factor, and formatting, but I did find some comparative counts that can be used as a general guideline. Approximations for mass-market paperbacks:

80,000 words = 250 pages
100,000 words = 290 pages
130,000 words = 350 pages

Pages in e-books tend to be a little longer, so page counts tend to be a little shorter at the same number of words:

35,000 words = 90 pages
50,000 words = 150 pages
100,000 words = 250 pages
120,000 words = 300 pages

Trade paperbacks are the real doozy, because there are several different standard sizes and publishers have been known to…creatively adjust margins, font size, and pitch to make a book they feel is “too short” look longer. Looking at a random sampling, in general, the word count stew not appear to be too far off the counts from e-books. Hardbacks may accommodate a few more words per page, but we’re talking a difference of about twenty-five pages between a 130,000 word e-book and hardcover, so it’s probably not worth worrying about if you’re just providing a general word count to a reader before the book has reached final formatting.

Posted October 19, 2012 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

Tagged with

The Nature of Small Publishing   Leave a comment

This is the kind of thing I usually blog about in my editing blog, but this time I’m caught a little more squarely in the damage path than usual. Yesterday I received notice from Escape Collective Press that effective immediately, they are closing their doors. This means, among other things, that the anthologies containing my short stories “Crash” and “Stop Errors” are no longer available.

Without meaning any offense to the Escape Collective, this isn’t particularly surprising. Not because of anything they did or didn’t do, but just due to the nature of small publishing. I liked their concept. I worked with a very good editor there. And while I wasn’t always completely happy with the quality of their anthologies in terms of producing a polished product, they learned from their mistakes. But any such operation is the effort of a very small number of people, and anything from a health problem or family emergency to a simple falling out can bring an end to the business.

I don’t know what In particular ended the Escape Collective, and I don’t need to. That’s their concern, not mine.

It does mean I need to wedge some time into my schedule, hopefully no later than this weekend, to take those anthologies off my page of available books, and then I will need to begin shopping those stories around again. I’ll need to refer to the general guidelines to figure out whether I would still market them as first rights properties or as reprints–that usually depends on the number of copies sold or circulation numbers.

I know some people who’ve told me his eight far rather work with a small press and then a large one, usually from some combination of feeling like they aren’t just a number and the fact that small presses tend to have a shorter production time from acceptance to publication. But this is the trade-off: You never know when some small thing will result in the press going under, and then all the work that went into selling, publishing, and marketing the story in the first place has to be done over.

Posted August 30, 2012 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

Tagged with

United Breaks Guitars   Leave a comment

Sorry to link and run, but I’m running around like a crazy person between romance promo and editing deadlines. This should amuse you, despite not actually being funny.

Not as exciting as when they lost a ten-year-old kid traveling by herself, but still worth noting. Not that I think United is any worse than the other two airlines still in existence in the US right now. I’m kind of of the opinion that the entire airline system sucks in its effort to squeeze every last penny out of air travelers. We might as well laugh about it. :-)

Posted August 28, 2012 by April L'Orange in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,