Original Fiction

quietheartedfsc: Hello and welcome to the original Fiction panel

quietheartedfsc: I’m your host today

quietheartedfsc: Panelists if you could change your font color to red please?

quietheartedfsc: and if anyone has a question, raise your hand

quietheartedfsc: okay, housework out of the way

quietheartedfsc: Our guests today are Jae, Shira Glassman and Zelma Blitzreiter.

quietheartedfsc: We thank you all for coming

jae_s1978: Glad to be here.

Shira Glassman: Thank you for running the show! Excited to be involved.

zblitz: Good morning.

quietheartedfsc: and I’d like to give each of you a chance to talk about your latest work. Going alphabetically backwards, let’s start with Zelma

quietheartedfsc: Tell us a bit about your novel.

zblitz: Hi, I just released “Journey Lake” a 1970’s coming out novel.  Am working on “Mad, Bad, Dangerous Girls”, 1980’s lesbian romance.

quietheartedfsc: why the 70’s?

Shira Glassman: That name’s a great hook! The second one, I mean.

zblitz: There were struggles in the 1970’s that don’t exist now.  There are still struggles but it was even more challenging then.

zblitz: We can talk so openly now in ways few did then.

zblitz: Thanks Shira

quietheartedfsc: Very true. A lot of that seems almost forgotten now, so I was glad to see someone address it.

LZClotho: I like jumping back ever further, 1940s-50s.

zblitz: Yes, how about 1800’s?

raiderL: 80’s counts like that as well.  Just incremental improvement from the 70’s

quietheartedfsc: I love any type of period work, but 70’s are close to my heart as that’s when I came out.

raiderL: I’ve got one outlined for 1903.

Shira Glassman: <3 I admire anyone who had to do harder stuff than my generation…

zblitz: 1903?  Looking forward to reading that!

quietheartedfsc: closets came fully furnished with A/C and game rooms then.

Shira Glassman: haaaaa

raiderL: Yup, British Guyana.

zblitz: This generation still has plenty of challenges, but they’re different.

quietheartedfsc: Jae, I’ll pull you into this question too. Do you find period work more difficult?

jae_s1978: The research is more extensive for historical fiction, but I love it.

raiderL: I agree, it’s a lot of fun to learn so much about the past thru research

quietheartedfsc: Well, you know how I feel about your old west series. You did excellent research there.

jae_s1978: It is. You just have to be careful not to miss the point where you have to stop the research and get started writing

raiderL: And reading a well-researched period piece is really enjoyable

quietheartedfsc: Gin has a question

jae_s1978: Thank you.

Gin Akasarahsmom: When writing a period piece how often do you catch yourself wanting the characters to do something… say.. make a call on a cell phone… then have to stop yourself? 

jae_s1978: Sorry, Paltalk just kicked me out and I had to log in again.

quietheartedfsc: gin, could you ask again, please?

Gin Akasarahsmom: When writing a period piece how often do you catch yourself wanting the characters to do something… say.. make a call on a cell phone… then have to stop yourself? 

Gin Akasarahsmom: or even listening to a certain song…

Gin Akasarahsmom: one that hasn’t come out yet in your story… so you have to find another one that fits.. LOL

quietheartedfsc: Shira, this would apply to your fantasy novel as well.

zblitz: Sure.  I do a lot of research.  For example, if a song is playing on the radio, I made sure that song was released and on the air then.  Also what were people wearing, what was on the news, etc.

zblitz: You have to immerse yourself in that time.

jae_s1978: True. Even word choice can be different than today.

zblitz: Good point Jae

Shira Glassman: I try to be as “accurate” as possible (I think with fantasy it’s more about consistency than accuracy since you’re making up the world) but yeah, it’s totally happened to me with isolated things

LZClotho: huge point, jae. anachronistic speech or even topics can jar a reader out of a time period very very quickly.

quietheartedfsc: yuri has a question.

yurianimeotaku: Do you try to keep the dialogue in your period works true to the time & place it takes place? And how do you research something like period dialogue?

jae_s1978: Yes. I had to stop myself repeatedly from using the word “okay” in Backwards to Oregon, since that word wasn’t in use in 1851

jae_s1978: A good starting point is to read diaries of people who lived in that time.

zblitz: Read books and magazines papers and watch films from that time if there was film.

Shira Glassman: One thing that helped me feel that I kept my setting more consistent that I know applies to realistic historical fiction, too, was not using words like “lesbian” and “bisexual”

zblitz: Nice research re: “okay”!

quietheartedfsc: Artemis go ahead

Shira Glassman: The people and phenomenons existed, but weren’t using those specific words.

ArtemisFire: When you begin writing a new piece, do you start with an outline or just begin writing and see where the story takes you?

jae_s1978: I’m a plotter, but have become less rigid over the years.

zblitz: I know where I’m headed and where I’m starting.  I write it all through and see where the story wants to go.  Then a lot of editing and rewriting.

jae_s1978: As they say: Writing is rewriting

Shira Glassman: I have an outline and I like to think of my stories as being intricately designed Jenga towers, only in reverse, where I lay out all the blocks where they belong and set them up so that when I get to the resolution of each sub-plot, the bits and pieces were all there waiting to make it satisfying.

zblitz: Yup

Shira Glassman: I got kicked out. What’d I miss?

ArtemisFire: Thank you

jae_s1978: Zelma just agreed. You didn’t miss anything else.

quietheartedfsc: Jae, for the last couple of cons I’ve asked you when something new was coming out and you said basically a month or two. You beat me to the punch this time.

jae_s1978: Hehehe. Yes. This time I was faster. But I’m actually working on a new novel right now too.

quietheartedfsc: Jae’s new book is speculative fiction, a departure from her other works.

jae_s1978: Well, “new” is relative, since I started it two years ago

quietheartedfsc: Would you tell us about it?

quietheartedfsc: Never too many Jae novels

jae_s1978: It’s a series of shape-shifter books. The first one, Second Nature, is a paranormal romance novel featuring a novelist who comes a bit too close to the truth, so the shape-shifters send a soldier to investigate.

zblitz: Intriguing

quietheartedfsc: yuri has a question

jae_s1978: The new novel, True Nature, is about a shape-shifter and a human having to work together to find a deaf kid missing in New York City, a “pup” about to undergo his First Change.

yurianimeotaku: What on earth is “speculative fiction?” How does it differ from Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

quietheartedfsc: speculative basically refers to all things supernatural

quietheartedfsc: vampires, werewolves, shapeshifer

Shatterpath: I like that term.

jae_s1978: Right. Some people even include fantasy and horror in that category

Gin Akasarahsmom: I don’t agree…

Gin Akasarahsmom: sorry… speculative pretty much covers anything and everything…

quietheartedfsc: how so gin?

Gin Akasarahsmom: not just supernatural

Shatterpath: Horror and Scifi have existed for many decades

jae_s1978: Gin, can you explain with which statement you don’t agree?

Shatterpath: the new style of supernatural stuff is so different I’m glad it has its own name now

jae_s1978: True. The focus is different in most newer works.

Shira Glassman: I could tell there was a difference between the “set in the real world but with vampires or demons or werewolves or zombies” stuff and the old-school fantasy set in Fake History with dragons and wizards

quietheartedfsc: I don’t tend to lump them together, but that’s just me.

Gin Akasarahsmom: from Wiki…. Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as related static, motion, and virtual arts.[1]

jae_s1978: I agree. Most people define spec fic as everything not set in the “real world”

quietheartedfsc: true

Cherokee62: @Gin, I wanted to argue the def myself but saw the same wiki as above.  Though I feel Horror is a genre separate from Fantasy and Scifi

Shira Glassman: I’ve just been calling my thing a “dragon book” because when you tell people “lesbian fantasy” the oversexualization of the word ‘lesbian’ makes people assume the ‘fantasy’ is erotic fantasy as in fantasizing, not as in “there is a dragon and magic potions”

jae_s1978: Horror is definitely a genre of its own.

yurianimeotaku: The GCLS lumps everything, except Paranormal into the Speculative catagory.

quietheartedfsc: lol and go the exact opposite of that

jae_s1978: Probably because otherwise there wouldn’t be enough books to hand out an award

quietheartedfsc: I go, rather

Cherokee62: lol and if a cat fit it would be paranormal

quietheartedfsc: raider, go ahead.

Shatterpath: I like what you said about changing the description of what your book is about

Shira Glassman: what, me?

raiderL: This goes back to period writing.  When writing in a period, earlier than or around the 20th century, how important do you think adherence to the exact way that people conversed at the time, idioms, phrasing, etc?  I agree that anachronistic speech can be jarring but do you think we need to really nail the speech?

jae_s1978: I personally think it should be somewhere in between.

Shatterpath: yes. There’s a ‘stigma’ of oversexualization of the fantasy term sometimes, so I like your ‘Dragon Book’

zblitz: I think it’s importan to nail the speech, but not make it stilted.

zblitz: @raider

Shira Glassman: thanks  I also do that because fantasy splits off itself into multiple genres, and “dragon book” gives more information than just “fantasy”.

jae_s1978: If readers can’t understand what the characters are saying, all your research into how people spoke in that time is wasted

Shira Glassman: I’m terrified of stilted speech. I even monitor my own reading choices when I’m in a writing phase, or my characters will start sounding like they’re refugees from an LM Montgomery short story.

alannasky: Meow my question is where can i find your works so i can read them?

Shira Glassman: I don’t think they’re stilted but I’m certainly not writing turn of the century Canada

quietheartedfsc: as a reader, someone saying “gnarly” for example in a 70’s setting would throw me right out.

yurianimeotaku: But I don’t want to see “squishy” in a book set in ancient Egypt.

Shira Glassman: They probably had their own word for squishy back then, though.

Shira Glassman: in ancient Egyptian. Or Coptic. Or something. I’m not a linguist  

Shira Glassman: Alanna, I don’t know who your question was for but I’ll answer for myself if that included me!

quietheartedfsc: Shira’s book comes out in August, Jae’s you can get from Bella, and Zelma’s is on Amazon.

jae_s1978: I even invented my own language for my shape-shifters, based on Sanskrit, but then found that I have to use it very sparingly.

raiderL: This frustrating, I keep getting kicked out and didn’t see half of the responses, there’ll be a transcript of this, right?

jae_s1978: You’ll find all the buy links for my books on my publisher’s website (ylva-publishing.com)

quietheartedfsc: doggy, go ahead

Shatterpath: Speaking of Ancient Egypt or the like, how do you deal with language in a setting like that?

Shira Glassman: My book comes out on eBook August 21 through Prizm Books, and they told me the print edition would be available two or three weeks later on Amazon and through Ingram’s

zblitz: “Journey Lake” is on Amazon as a digital book now.  “Mad, Bad, Dangerous Girls” out soon on Amazon too.

Shira Glassman: My setting is an imaginary tropical kingdom that’s supposed to be Hebrew-speaking, but the book is written in English so it’s like reading The Odessa File and just making a mental note that the characters are really speaking in German.

quietheartedfsc: raider, transcripts will be up starting Wednesday at the latest.

raiderL: ty, qh!

Shatterpath: Yes, I figured that was easiest way to do it.   

quietheartedfsc: yuri, go ahead

Shira Glassman: The secondary protagonist is from “the north” where the native language is supposed to be Yiddish, so she has an accent that’s rendered syntactically (but not with misspellings like ‘vot’ for ‘what’; I find that hard to read)

yurianimeotaku: What made you take that final step and have your work published?

jae_s1978: For me, it was the encouragement of my beta readers.

Shira Glassman: I guess I fell in love with my characters.

jae_s1978: Plus all the reader feedback I got.

zblitz: The encouragement of fanfic readers.

Shira Glassman: Also, there is probably space in the world for Jewish feminist dragon books.

zblitz: @Shira – LOL!  Yes.

Shira Glassman: IRL I’ve been telling people “it’s about a gay woman, a straight woman, and a dragon” and the response is always happy surprise

Shatterpath: yay!

Shatterpath: if it involves a dragon, I’m good

quietheartedfsc: I’m always curious where speculative (using the wiki def) ideas come from.

Gin Akasarahsmom: they come from where all ideas come from… late nights and wine…

Shira Glassman: I’ve loved dragons since I was a tiny child but back then, they were always the bad guys and I never truly got over that. Hence the tag line: “Some warriors fight dragons; others are lucky enough to befriend them. Rivka is awfully fond of hers.”

Shatterpath: have you ever visited the Pacific Northwest? It’s easy to start imagining things. Hell, it worked for that hack, S. Meyer

quietheartedfsc: Jae, what about you?

Shira Glassman: http://shiraglassman.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/within-the-dragons-wings-the-warrior-sleeps/  dragon & warrior napping together

Shira Glassman: (art)

jae_s1978: QH, what was the question? I got kicked out again

quietheartedfsc: you’re on the ralst plan today, jae

quietheartedfsc: I was asking where your idea came from

quietheartedfsc: gin, you’re next

jae_s1978: You mean for the shape-shifter book?

quietheartedfsc: yes

Gin Akasarahsmom: Just wanted to say that Shira didn’t read the right books…. most of the dragons in the books I read were very nice and good.

Gin Akasarahsmom: LOTR dragons weren’t very nice… but the rest of them… very kind.

jae_s1978: actually, it came from watching an episode of Buffy. I told a friend of mine that I could write a better shape-shifter than that, so she dared me to do it

shaych03: dragonriders of pern

Gin Akasarahsmom: exactly Shay

Shatterpath: Ariestess wants me to add in the inspirational spookiness of Oregon’s haunted lighthouse

Shatterpath: OMG! Pern! *swoon*

quietheartedfsc: a round of applause for daring friends. seems they’re helping us in all kinds of ways

Shira Glassman: There’s definitely been a trend in fiction to come up with lots and lots of good dragons. I think everyone had the same reaction all together: “We like these guys! Why do they have to be bad?”

Shatterpath: AMEN

quietheartedfsc: raider, your turn

Alert: raiderL hand was lowered by quietheartedfsc

raiderL: In the ff world we have lots of forums and readers willing to give us feedback.  We put our ideas out there and they respond either negatively or positively.  When writing original fiction have you found similar forums that allow for idea exchanges?  And are you ever concerned about people taking your ideas for their own?

Gin Akasarahsmom: Dragonriders of Pern has been around since the 60’s

Shatterpath: Shira, thank you for the picture

Shira Glassman:  

Shira Glassman: The Pern books are great but I’m talking about when I was five, far too young for things like that. And older legends than Pern. Fairy tales, more like.

jae_s1978: The people giving me feedback are mostly my large team of beta readers. I trust them, so I don’t need to be worried

Gin Akasarahsmom: lol… I see

Shatterpath: you ever need someone to squee over dragons with? I’m your dog! LOL!

Gin Akasarahsmom: I’m writing a dragon/princess story as well…

Gin Akasarahsmom:

zblitz: @raider: I invite readers to email me, because reader feedback poitive or negative (as long as it’s constructive) is so important.  In time I might set up a website for more interaction.

Shira Glassman: @Gin: that’s definitely up my alley

zblitz: If someone finds one of my ideas inspirational, ‘good on ’em’.

raiderL: So advice would be to work on that network of trusted folks?

zblitz: Beta readers, friends, family, readers

jae_s1978: @raider: Yes, definitely. If you find the right team, they’re worth their weight in gold

quietheartedfsc: writer’s groups are good too. If you don’t find out, make your own.

Shira Glassman: The best beta readers and critique buddies will make you feel like you’re getting a vigorous rubdown with sugar scrub; it’ll be a lot of work to sort out their critiques, but they’re helping you be a better version of what YOU already wanted to be

raiderL: I’ve already found one beta online who is pretty fantastic but I’ve never met her.  I think I can trust her but…

jae_s1978: And to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t worry too much about other writers stealing your story ideas. Most of us have too many ideas of their own

Shatterpath: QH? Spotty misses our group. when it was a solid writing group

quietheartedfsc: so do I doggy.

quietheartedfsc: Perhaps next Sunday. I’ll send out an email.

raiderL: There is a writing group in town that I know someone who’s on it.  So you all have found them valuable?

jae_s1978: It might be helpful, but it depends on the people on it.

raiderL: Yeah, it’s a mix male/female, het and lesbi/gay

Shatterpath: I’m grographically challenged and pretty much have to interact on the internet, so I don’t have many face-to-face options

mandygirl78: @jae – I’ll quote from a famous guy who stole something and made lots of money from it (Steve Jobs): “Good artist copy, great artist steal”

quietheartedfsc: after the 2nd Con a group of us got together and from an online group which has a paltalk room. We normally meet every Sunday and it’s proven invaluable  to me.

jae_s1978: Keep in mind that a large writing group is a lot of work.

Shira Glassman: The woman who did most of my beta reading is someone who writes a completely different genre from me and I admire her writing a lot.

raiderL: Good point jae.

zblitz: Look for writers who “get” your genre, whose writing you admire, whom you trust.

jae_s1978: @mandygirl: There are always people who will do dishonest things, but I personally never had a bad experience and I had a lot of beta readers. Dozens, actually.

ariestess: *sneaks over* Didn’t we start the writing group after the first con and TofR after the second?

quietheartedfsc: I stand corrected, aj. You’re right

ariestess: <– hard drive

raiderL: so glad we’ll have transcripts, this is really helpful but I keep getting disconnected…

quietheartedfsc: WE have 5 more minutes, any words of wisdom for the aspiring pub writers out there?

jae_s1978: Yes, I got disconnected half a dozen times too, so if anyone has questions for me after the panel wraps up, send me an e-mail

raiderL: ty jae.

Shira Glassman: I’m going to post my two-sentence blurb to tempt people:

Shira Glassman: It’s hard to find a girlfriend when you don’t know any other lesbians, so the young, nerdy Queen Shulamit hires the legendary warrior Rivka to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other girls like her. But the simple quest quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer.

raiderL: oooh, I’d read that!  Sounds like fun!

jae_s1978: @qh: As someone who also works as an editor, I would say: please learn the writing craft before submitting your manuscript to a publisher.

Shira Glassman: *does little tapdance* and there’s some really great art on my wordpress blog (even better than the dragon sleepy one) because I’ve been commissioning up a storm

zblitz: Aspiring pubs:  If you want to write, write.  Have fun with it.  And when you think it’s ready – share it.   

Shatterpath: I need to draw more…

quietheartedfsc: http://glbtromance.blogspot.com/2013/06/if-you-like-lesbians-and-dragons-and.html

quietheartedfsc: there ya go, Shira

Shira Glassman: I draw for fun but I’m lucky enough to have about five or six suuupertalented friends including one whose day job is graphic design

Shira Glassman: so I’ll let them handle the art and they make me so ridiculously happy.

Shira Glassman: Thanks, QH  

Shira Glassman: Advice: all those writers out there who say the secret is “show up for work”: yes. Do it. Do the thing, finish the book.

raiderL: thank you all for your time!

quietheartedfsc: http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Lake-ebook/dp/B00DRFLM5M

quietheartedfsc: and one for Zelma

quietheartedfsc: http://www.ylva-publishing.com/

quietheartedfsc: and one for Jae

Shatterpath: thank you so much writers! That was very fun!

zblitz: Thanks all!

Shira Glassman: <3

yurianimeotaku: Thank you authors

jae_s1978: Thanks for participating

quietheartedfsc: We appreciate you  being here.

michelle_2011: thanks for the panel

Shira Glassman: Thanks for having us

zblitz: And thanks QH

quietheartedfsc: yw

quietheartedfsc: It was a pleasure meeting you all.

alannasky: thank you guys


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