An Interview with Paizo publisher Erik Mona

Sunday, September 9th, 2007 | Posted by Web Master

Robert E. Howard. C. L. Moore. Henry Kuttner. Leigh Brackett. Gary Gygax. For fantasy readers and gamers, these are names to conjure with. And all of them are now roaring back into print courtesy of Paizo Publishing, one of the leading publishers in the fantasy and role-playing fields.

Black Gate Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones checks in with Paizo publisher Erik Mona for all the details about his ambitious new fantasy imprint, Planet Stories, and the classic tales at the center of the endeavor.

READ THE ARTICLE


Potpourri

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 | Posted by Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones

Black Gate 11 and Back Issues

Black Gate 11 continues to find its way to mailboxes and bookstores scattered across the globe. If you folks like what you’re seeing, I sure hope you’ll spread the word and tell your friends to subscribe. Send ’em to the Black Gate site. We’re growing in strength, but we still need your support!  Right now Black Gate is running a HUGE back issue sale with ridiculous discounts, so now’s your time to catch up on any issues you’ve missed. The zombies are getting tired of tripping over the boxes of old issues, so we’re clearing the warehouse. Follow the link for details!

Submissions

John and I are back to reading submissions. Interesting peculiarities pop up while you’re working your way through — John encountered a knot of almost a dozen stories that ALL began either IN a tavern or with characters on their way TO a tavern. I think at this point for either one of us to like a story that starts like that it’s going to have to be written by REH, Leiber, Moore, Vance, or some new lass or bloke with those kinds of chops. Odds are that if you’re submitting your first or second story and it starts in a tavern, you don’t yet have those kinds of chops…

My submission peculiarity popped up yesterday as I suddenly realized the next half dozen stories were all more than 9k words long, and that each of them seemed well enough written that I’d probably be reading my way to the end. It’s probably not fair to the authors, but I think, for my own sanity and for the sake of some feeling of progress, I’ll have to intersperse these long stories with shorter ones that were sent in a little later.

Writing

Some months ago I mentioned I was back to the drawing board as to novel revising. Well, on August the 33rd (so declared by my wife, so that I might hit my goal of revising before the end of August) I hammered out a final new 2000 words and completed the new draft. Out with 20 thousand bad, horrible, evil words, and in with 9 thousand completely wonderful brilliant words. Sure. 

Anyway, in the process of writing I tried out a new technique. Regular visitors may recall that one of the things I was on about the last time I brought up my writing was POV threads — because I’d started from a less-than-thorough outline I ended up with a number of issues that have been dogging every revision. One of those was ending up with POVs that started with promise and then… poof! went nowhere. I found myself inventing scenes to justfy the previous POV choices, which led to novel bloat and, well, boring scenes. So I ruthlessly killed entire plot threads, and as  a result ended up revising in a way I’d never done before. For instance, I finished a new pass of the novel’s final scenes long before August 33rd. What I’d been doing since was strengthening a worthwile point of view thread that needed some added scenes. Rather than revising A to Z, start to finish, this time I’ve been thinking more about plucking out threads, be they POV threads, plot or character development revealed by dialogue, or unfolding dialogue, and working on these as they progressed, shifting from thread to thread as needed — one day I’d be working on one of the mysteries that gets slowly unveiled, the next time I’d be working on a character’s voice and backstory that comes out slowly through dialogue over the course of the book. Every writer’s different, but I think that this method really helped me. Maybe it will help you. Heck, maybe you were already using that method and didn’t mention it to me. Shame on you.

Next I’m going to make another pass that will hopefully be more about honing the language, then pass the thing again to a circle of trusted readers and then, fingers crossed, back out to the wider world. I am eager to get started on a number of other writing projects, including penning some more Dabir and Asim stories, writing some more stories featuring some other characters, drafting another book in a different setting, but most importantly revising and then finding a home for a sword-and-sandal piece I wrote with one of my best friends.

That’s all for now!

Howard Andrew Jones


Back Issue Sale!

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007 | Posted by Web Master

With the arrival of Black Gate 11, it’s time to clear some space out of the New Epoch Press warehouse. And that means it’s time for our very first Back Issue Sale.

Now’s your chance to expand or complete your collection of the magazine RPGNet calls “wonderful… fantasy fans couldn’t ask for a more comprehensive and worthwhile buy.” And Locus’s Nick Gevers says “Black Gate [contains] serious work… and magnificent storytelling.”

For a very limited time, any four back issues are the same price as a new subscription: $29.95, plus shipping and handling. And any eight are just $55! That includes our second and third issues, normally $12.95, and even our rare first issue, priced at $15.95! You can own our first four issues — a $51.80 value — for just $29.95! But hurry. Quantities of certain issues are very limited, and when they’re gone, they’re gone for good.


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