Tag: janice hardy

Announcing… the ebook edition of On a Red Station, Drifting


Ebook cover

Aka the shiny… Art courtesy of Nhan Y Doanh, and cover layout thanks to Janice Hardy–thanks to both of them for putting up with my (short-term) deadlines and producing such beautiful things. (MC is Linh; the older woman in lower right-hand corner is Quyen. Slightly more detailed view of the original watercolour is here if you’re interested, since Doanh had to cut bits of it off to fit the cover format).

The ebook should be live on amazon within a day or two if I didn’t screw up the Kindle upload…

(and remember you can still get the limited edition hardback with Melissa Gay’s artwork direct from Immersion Press, while stocks last…)

Guest blog: the long and the short of it by Janice Hardy


So, the promised guest blog: WIB pal Janice Hardy is here to talk about that all-important wordcount. For those of you who don’t know Janice: she lives in Florida, holds a dayjob as a graphics designer, and juggles I don’t know how many things–including her awesome blog, The Other Side of the Story, where she gives writing advice for everything from rewrites to snagging an agent. Her middlegrade trilogy The Healing Wars, medieval fantasy with an edge, is currently in progress (vol. 1 was The Pain Merchants/The Shifter, depending on whether you’re UK or US, and vol 2 is Blue Fire, which is out on the shelves now). Janice’s also been translated into German.

Without further ado…

The Long and the Short of it

I’ve always admired short story writers. My favorite writer, Harlan Ellison, is a short story writer and I grew up wishing I could write like him. (For the record, I can’t my style is different, but I can see his influences on my work) I’ve tried to write shorts, but they usually end up feeling like opening chapter of a book.

This used to bother me until I realized that short stories and novels take different skill sets. Many of the same skills apply, but those who can put together a story in 3,000 words think differently than those who use 90,000. Some can do both (like my hostess, Aliette), but I’ve run into a lot of writers who prefer one over the other. Which made me happy, because I was a novelist.


I don’t use 90,000 words. My novels always came in around 60-70,000. And I write fantasy, which usually runs longer than your typical novel. So where did that leave me?

Turns out I’m a young adult author, which fits my natural tendencies to write shorter, as well as my style and voice. But it took me years to figure that out, and I tried a lot of different lengths and markets while finding my niche. And racked up a lot of rejections along the way.

I’ve run into many a writer over the years who was frustrated because they tried to do X but couldn’t. I wonder now how many were like me, trying to write what they thought they ought to be writing, instead of seeing if what they enjoyed writing fit anywhere. Short story writers whose novels fall flat after a chapter or two. Novelists who can’t get a short story to work. Teen writers padding their novels for the adult market. Finding where I belonged changed my writing life for sure, and I doubt I’d be published today if I was still trying to write for adults.

If you’re one of those writers, feeling like you’re stuck and don’t know why, maybe ask yourself if you’re writing the length or genre that suits you. Maybe it’s time to look at what you enjoy writing the most and where those talents might be used elsewhere. Who knows? You might discover skills you never even knew you had.

Blue Fire cover 1Blue Fire cover 2

Blue Fire Blurb
Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barely staying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke from using them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ideas.

Nya finds herself trapped in the last place she ever wanted to be, forced to trust the last people she ever thought she could. More is at stake than just the people of Geveg, and the closer she gets to uncovering the Duke’s plan, the more she discovers how critical she is to his victory. To save Geveg, she just might have to save Baseer—if she doesn’t destroy it first.

Janice Hardy Bio
A long-time fantasy reader, Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, and BLUE FIRE from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel.


Link to Blue Fire Online Retailer


The Other Side of the Story Blog



OK, I’m back, and slowly digging my way out of the morass of emails and related stuff. The weather is grey, cold, and overcast, and we’re having massive strikes in France. Sometimes, I swear, I do wonder why I ever come back from holiday…

Books read: Liz Williams’ Bloodmind, which was great but with what I thought was way too much backstory, until I figured out it was a sequel to Darkland. Sigh. Will go procure original.

Coming up this week, a guest blog by Janice Hardy. And, er, the US release of Servant of the Underworld, next Wednesday (I will not hyperventilate I will not hyperventilate)

Meanwhile, for the Romanian speakers among you, the SRSFF version of my Asimov’s article “The View from the Other Side”, courtesy of Antuza Genescu for the translation (and many thanks to Cristian Tamas for the offer, as usual).

Linky linky


-The very first Angry Robot podcast: set to be a monthly affair featuring AR and genre-related stuff. The inaugural episode features Marc Gascoigne and Lee Harris (who are apparently having loads of fun with this), speaking among others about their new releases and the future of publishing. You can subscribe here (itunes subscriptions forthcoming).
-Many congratulations to Gareth L. Powell, SF writer, occasional co-author and great all-around guy, for signing up with Solaris for his novel The Recollection. Congratulate him here.
-Interesting post over at I09 on “Is avoiding tropes the same thing as telling fresh stories?”
-Janice Hardy has a contest to win an ARC of Blue Fire, second book in her (MG) Healing Wars trilogy. Also, if you’re interested in different approaches, you can see the covers of the US, UK and German editions of books 1 and 2 here.
-Jeff Spock writes about stories for casual games. Fascinating stuff about why cliché and archetypes are good for you.

Happy release day!


Big congratulations to Written in Blood crit buddy Janice Hardy, whose middle-grade novel The Shifter has been released today!

Shifter book cover

Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers’ League apprentices, Nya’s skill is flawed: She can’t push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she’d be used as a human weapon against her own people.

Rumors of another war make Nya’s life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. At first Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she’s faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price; but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?

The book is also featured over at John Scalzi’s blog at The Big Idea, where she talks about the genesis of the novel and of how to salvage bad ideas. Go check it out (and buy your copy if you’re lucky enough to be in the US. Me, I’ll have to wait until amazon ships mine…)

You can go over to Janice’s series blog if you want more information; or to her writing blog, where she has regular posts about writing, rewriting, editing and the publishing process.