WordCrafter’s New Beginnings Writer Conference next week, featuring me (and others)

Next week, WordCrafter is holding a virtual conference, the “New Beginnings Writer Conference.” The event will open on Monday the 3rd of May with a free virtual cocktail party from 10am-5pm Eastern time on the event’s Facebook page.

Then on the 4th and 5th, there will be a whole bunch of panels and workshops and things. You can either get a $50 all-events pass that gets you into everything, or you can pick and choose which events you want to go to for $5 per event.

The ones I’ll be doing include a Business of Writing workshop on Tuesday the 4th of May at 4pm Eastern, a Writing in Licensed Universes workshop on Wednesday the 5th of May at 1pm Eastern, and a panel on the Importance of Setting on Wednesday the 5th of May at 4pm Eastern alongside Mario Acevedo, Dan Alatorre, Russell Davis, and Jim Nesbitt.

Besides me, Mario, Dan, Russ, and Jim, the guests include Kevin J. Anderson, Chris Barili, Jeff Bowles, Anthony Dobranski, Paul Kane, Kevin Killiany, L. Jagi Lamplighter, Geoff LePard, Radha Marcum, Ellie Raine, Erin Robertson, and Rick Wilber.

Come join us!

glad that year’s done with…….

There was, obviously, a lot of bad in 2020, most of it centered on the global coronavirus pandemic and the spectacular botching of how to handle it by the corrupt, incompetent administration, which had a trickle-down effect of people being overwhelmingly stupid in the face of this virus.

After a pretty good January and February, March brought upon lockdowns from COVID-19, and since then, there have been very few humans I’ve spent any time within six feet of while unmasked. The ongoing dumpster fire that the world has been this year has been a nightmare, from the obvious big things related to the pandemic to more direct impacts on us, such as the hurricane that took out our power for four days in August, not to mention the appalling number of deaths of people we know.

Thank fuck for the Internet, and in particular for Zoom, Skype, Streamyard, Google Hangouts, et al, which enabled me to be in contact with other folks even if I couldn’t be in the same physical space. Not to mention the utility of Amazon and Etsy and other online shopping sites, most especially Instacart, through which we’ve been buying all of our supermarket groceries since March.

There were good things about 2020, and I want to remember them as we ring in 2021.

We start with my family, both blood and chosen, about whom I cannot say enough good things and whom I love immensely. My wife Wrenn, obviously, as well as our housemate Matthew, the Forebearance (Mommy, Daddy, the Tall Fuzzy One, and the Infomancer), the Godmommy, ToniAnn, Kyle, Meredith, Sas, and Anneliese. Plus, of course, the various fur creatures, our own Kaylee and Louie, as well as Hima, Spot, Professor Zoom, Loki, Thor, Jazz, and Tempura.

Through the magic of Zoom, as well as the web site PlayingCards.io, we were able to have a weekly poker game. Being able to play cards with my dear friends most every week was a joy, and huge thanks to Glenn, Peter, Pete, Lucienne, Dave, Aaron, and Ian, as well as Dave-Dave and Jack. It was especially nice to have Pete & Lucienne back in the game, as they hadn’t been part of our monthly poker games since they moved to Florida a while back, and thanks to this setup, they could rejoin us, which made us all hugely happy.

Zoom has also enabled our dojo to continue to function. From March to July, all our classes were virtual, held over Zoom with each student in their homes over the screen. In the summer, the dojo reopened, but the classes were hybrid, with a limited number of in-person students allowed and others able to take class over Zoom. I’ve been sticking with Zoom, myself, as it just feels safer to me, and it’s been going well. (Leaving aside any other considerations, I’m saving myself two fifteen-minute drives to the dojo, not to mention trying to find parking….) Unfortunately, my teaching has been curtailed — my afterschool karate classes stopped in February, and I have no idea when, or even if, they’ll pick back up. I have been doing some one-on-one karate tutoring however, both in person and over Zoom.

I started a YouTube channel this year, KRAD COVID readings, which has 169 subscribers, and which seemed to be quite the hit. I read almost all of my short fiction over the course of 90 episodes (plus some extras, like an essay and a holiday reading of Dylan Thomas), which ran three times a week most weeks. My plan for 2021 is to cut back to weekly, and to cover the only short fiction I didn’t read. More on that in another post…..

My writing for Tor.com didn’t slow down even a little bit. The debuts of Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks, as well as the third season of Star Trek: Discovery, kept me busy writing reviews each week there was a new episode, plus I reviewed comic book adaptations Warrior Nun and The Umbrella Academy, and continued “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch,” catching up to real time in January, then reviving it in June and December to look back at the new superhero adaptations in the prior half-year. And, of course, the big project, which I kicked off in January of this year in time for that show’s 25th anniversary: the Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch. I got through most of the first four seasons this year, and am looking forward to diving back in in the new year, starting Monday with “Demon.”

My fiction writing was a bit slower. I had two collaborative projects that finally got done this year, though both took longer than expected. There was To Hell and Regroup, my collaboration with David Sherman, which I not only finished, but which eSpec Books successfully Kickstarted and published. I also finished my second collaboration with Dr. Munish K. Batra, Pigman, currently with our agent, while at the same time gearing up for the publication of our first collaboration, Animal, which will be out next week from WordFire Press.

Because of the delays getting those two finished, my goal of writing both Feat of Clay (the sequel to 2019’s A Furnace Sealed) and Phoenix Precinct (the next in my long-running fantasy police procedural series) in 2020 didn’t happen, but I’ve now started on Feat of Clay, and Phoenix Precinct will happen after that. Munish and I are also talking about a sequel to Animal, I’ve got an original mystery I’ve been wanting to write for over a decade now, and I’ve got a comics project that I can’t talk about yet that will also keep me busy for a good chunk of 2021.

I also got a few pieces of short fiction written, including “The Gorvangin Rampages,” which I supported via Indie GoGo at the end of 2019 (still have to write the second story of that crowdfund, “Ragnarok and a Hard Place”), “Unguarded” (which will be in Horns and Halos, another eSpec project that was Kickstarted this year, and which will be out hopefully in the spring), and “In Earth and Sky and Sea Strange Things There Be” (for the charity anthology Turning the Tied, to be put out by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers).

One thing the apocalypse of 2020 enabled me to do was catch up on a lot of TV and movies. I finally caught some shows I’d been meaning to see (e.g., Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels), I saw some movies I’d been meaning to get around to (e.g., Coco and Bedknobs & Broomsticks). We’ve also been rewatching some old favorites, including MacGyver (the original from 1985), The West Wing, and Stargate SG-1. This also provided me with reviewing material for my Patreon (which, despite the economic hardships of this year, got a bunch of new patrons!).

We also did a lot of stuff around the house that we’d been meaning to do, all of which are vast improvements. We bought three different shelving units for the dining-room area that are aiding tremendously with storage, we bought a bunch more containers for things, we put up two shelves in the bathroom, and then added another small shelving unit after our sink was replaced with one with a smaller footprint, giving us room for a little shelf thingie. We also got a bidet for the toilet, a new floor lamp for the office, a sound bar for the living room TV, and best of all, a chest freezer! We’re trying to do fewer shopping trips where we buy more stuff, and for most things that’s fine, but when it comes to things like meat, we needed to freeze a lot of stuff, and our fridge freezer was proving inadequate to the task. Having two freezers has been a huge blessing.

While travelling to conventions stopped happening after the calendar flipped to March, there were plenty of online events over the course of the year. Lots of folks interviewed me, there were some writers events, and many of the conventions I was going to attend (HELIOsphere, Balticon, Dragon Con, Shore Leave, Capclave, Philcon, Bubonicon) did virtual versions instead, which were very successful. In particular, I want to single out the Dragon Con American Sci-Fi Classics Track, which did a series of “Quarantine Panels” throughout the year, and also had some of the best programming of the virtual Dragon Con in September.

Finally, I want to thank all my fans and readers and supporters. I’m not a person given to depression as a general rule, and my bad moods tend to be measured in minutes. That has, um, not been the case this year, and I’ve spent more time depressed and sad this year than in all the previous years combined. But when those bad moods have hit, one of the things that have gotten me out of them has been someone discovering my writing and letting me know, either through an e-mail or a Tweet or a Facebook post or a review on Amazon or GoodReads or a blog entry or a comment on Patreon or whatever. Just in general, the support that folks have shown me has always been heartening, this year more than ever.

Plans for 2021 include getting vaccinated (duh), looking forward to a new administration, hoping that things improve and progress to the point where we can gather in large groups again (hell, I’d settle for gathering in small groups), to continue writing and editing and training. There’s some karate stuff that was supposed to happen in 2020 that didn’t, and might happen in 2021 (depending on how things progress), and I have lots and lots and lots of projects, which is good.

Happy new year, everyone!

my keynote speech for C3

This past weekend, I was a keynote speaker at Creatures, Crimes, & Creativity, a conference for genre writers of all stripes — mystery, SF/fantasy, horror, thriller, etc. — and it was tremendous fun. The conference includes meals, and both Friday and Saturday night’s dinner features a keynote speaker. Friday was me, and here’s the text of the speech that I gave. It was very well received, and in fact Saturday’s keynote speaker, thriller writer and all-around awesome person Jamie Freveletti, wound up rewriting her speech after hearing mine, which was extremely flattering.

Anyhow, here ’tis:


Good evening everyone. I’m Keith R.A. DeCandido, and I’ll be your keynote speaker this evening.

About 10-15 years ago, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith used to run writing workshops in Lincoln City, Oregon in a beautiful house near the ocean. They had a saying up on the wall of the main room of the house and it was the one piece of advice they gave to everyone who took one of their workshops:

You are responsible for your own career.

It seems so simple when you say it out loud, doesn’t it? But it’s something a lot of writers—aspiring writers, new writers, longtime successful writers—don’t quite cotton to. Because there is one simple truth about being a professional writer that not every writer is able to wrap their minds around.

There’s a perception that writing isn’t “real” work. This is nonsense, of course, but in this country in particular there’s a perception that the only worthwhile labor is that which has immediate practical value. The horrific legacy of the Puritans who were among those who colonized North America is that art isn’t as valued as practicality.

Because of that, artists are often viewed as inferior, or at least not as worthy of being paid. Two of my least favorite phrases are “art for art’s sake” and “the starving artist.” Art is never for its own sake, it’s there to be consumed, and in our capitalist society, that means in exchange for money. Yet so often writers are the last ones to be paid, if they’re paid at all. Web sites that would never dream of not paying their web designers or server hosts gleefully decline to pay writers, as if their work isn’t actually important. (Never mind that their web sites would just be a URL with maybe a graphic or two without those writers.) Artists should never be starving.

Mild digression: I write a lot of media tie-in novels, which are work-for-hire—Star Trek novels, Farscape comics, Doctor Who short stories, etc. It’s my writing, but I don’t keep the copyright nor own any controlling interest in the fiction, and everything I do has to be approved by the licensor. Often, tie-in fiction is derided as not being “real” fiction, and that it’s keeping people from doing “real” fiction. To those people I love to point out that Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling was a media tie-in work-for-hire. It was a tie-in to the Bible, and he had to do it with the approval of the licensor—the Pope, in this case. Of course, the counterargument comes into play here, too, as Michelangelo really wanted to be making sculptures, not painting ceilings, but he had to pay the bills.

Because yes, Michelangelo was paid to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Hundreds of years later, it’s a work of art we study, but back then, it was how an artist made his living. For that matter, William Shakespeare desperately wanted to be a poet, but writing plays allowed him to feed, clothe, and house himself.

Anyhow, those who demean the profession of writing are almost always people who’ve never tried it—or if they have, they’re really bad at it. Writing is hard work, and it’s incredibly difficult. Which makes sense—if it was easy, everybody would do it.

And if you want to do it professionally, you need to get yourself in the mindset of being professional about it. Even if people ask you when you’re going to get a real job, or ask you what your day job is—or worse, they ask why you’re not living in a mansion lighting your royalty checks on fire with cigars. There’s this really bizarre perception that the moment you sell a single novel you’re wealthy for the rest of your life.

Another mild digression: a few years ago, I was, shall we say, between checks. Long-term, I knew things would be fine once a few projects came through, but in the short term my wife and I had absolutely nothing. In desperation, as we were horribly late with rent, we started a GoFundMe so we could at least catch up in the short term. We actually made our funding goal in a couple of days, which was awesome, and I gave everyone who donated a free short story as a thank-you.

The reason why I bring this up is because one person on a Star Trek bulletin board I frequent expressed great confusion as to why a writer as successful as I am needed financial help. Did my investments go sour or something?

Reading that caused gales and gales of laughter in my house. I rather delicately pointed out to this person that my portfolio was entirely tied up in food and shelter. Most writers aren’t Richard Castle or Robin Masters or even a not-fictional writer like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. We’re all just people trying to work for a living, and we get paid worse than most. Hell, my average advance for a novel has actually gone down in the last twenty years, even as the cost of living has gone up.

Anyhow, I’ve been doing this for a bunch of years now. I actually have no idea when I went from being one of the young up-and-coming writers to a grizzled veteran, but here we are. I didn’t actually accept that this change had happened for a long time, mind you. And then in 2015 I was on a panel at a science fiction convention about breaking into writing. There were six of us on the panel, and we started off by each telling our stories of how we made our first fiction sale. To my horror, I was the only one on the panel whose first sale was in the 20th century.

As a rather reluctant grizzled veteran, I’m repeatedly asked for advice or bits of wisdom or sound bytes or whatever. And I have a bunch of different stock answers for advice about writing, but the one that I think is the most important—because it’s one that aspiring and new writers don’t hear often enough if at all—is this:

If you’ve decided to become a professional writer, then you have made the decision to become a single-proprietor small business.

It doesn’t matter if this nascent business you’ve formed isn’t actually earning any capital yet, or at least not much. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only sold one short story and have a ton of novels out with agents or publishers or whatever. The point is, you’re running a business, and you don’t have any employees.

And that’s how you have to look at it. This is work. This is a job. No, you don’t clock into an office every weekday at the same time, but that doesn’t make it any less a job. Every time you submit something for publication, you’re going on a job interview.

The worst thing you can do is treat it like a hobby. Another phrase I can’t stand is, “I would love to write, but I just can’t find the time,” as if time is something that rolled under the couch. If you want to be a professional writer, you make the time, and if you can’t do that, then this may not be the business for you.

Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with writing being a hobby, but then there are no expectations of professionalism there. Lots of people just write for the fun of it, and that’s perfectly fine.

However, if you’re in the business of producing writing for the public to pay for and consume, you have to treat it as a business.

And you’re your own boss. Which means your boss really needs to be a hardass. Because nobody else is going to do it for you.

Because you are responsible for your own career.

It’s much easier when you’re in a more traditional office environment. Everything is laid out for you by your supervisor, or by other externally imposed factors: you come in at a certain time, you go home at a certain time, you get scheduled breaks at various times, and what work you need to do is generally presented to you by someone above you in the company hierarchy.

Of course, if you own the company, you’re the one who gets to make those decisions. And when you’re a writer? You own the company.

Some things are still externally imposed—like deadlines—but nobody else will make you do the work. Not your agent, not your editor, not your accountant, not your significant other, not your parents, not your children, not your grandchildren, not your pets. Especially not your pets, particularly if they’re the type to jump into your lap when you’re trying to write. Not that I know anything about that.

The only person who can make you do the work is you.

Yes, to become a writer, you need to be able to string sentences together in an interesting, thought-provoking, and/or entertaining manner. It’s important to have the skills. But you also need self-discipline. You need to put your posterior on the chair, you need to put your fingers on the keyboard, and you need to actually put one word in front of the other until you’re done.

Because you are responsible for your own career.

It’s not easy. Like I said, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Back in 1960, a group of guys became the backup band for a singer named Ronnie Hawkins. A few years later, that same group would back up Bob Dylan when he went from acoustic to electric. They were called, simply, The Band, and in 1976, after sixteen years on the road, they decided to call it quits. (At least initially. Most of the band wound up reuniting shortly after that, but that’s a whole different story.) To celebrate their career, they did one last big farewell concert, with a bunch of special guests, which was called “The Last Waltz.” Martin Scorsese filmed the concert and also interviewed the members of The Band. The concert/documentary movie was released theatrically and also called The Last Waltz, and I highly recommend it for anyone who’s a fan of rock and roll music. Anyhow, guitarist Robbie Robertson said something that always stuck with me, when talking about sixteen years on the road playing clubs and bars and arenas and stadiums: “It’s a goddamn impossible way of life.”

Being a writer is a goddamn impossible way of life.

You’ll notice, though, that that hasn’t stopped me. This year is the 20th anniversary of my decision to go freelance, and since that day in 1998 that I quit my full-time job as an editor for Byron Preiss Multimedia Company, I have been solely responsible for my own career.

It isn’t easy. It’s sometimes awful. I mentioned the GoFundMe earlier, and that wasn’t the only time I’ve been in deep financial straits over the past two decades.

I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve been able to make a living doing this, but one of the ways I’ve done so is to do a lot of different things at once. Sometimes I’ve taken on part-time jobs here and there that had nothing to do with writing—I worked in a high school library and for the U.S. Census Bureau at various points. And being a freelancer is sometimes a detriment, as my wife and I discovered when we were apartment hunting two years ago. Some landlords wouldn’t even consider renting to us because we didn’t have W2s that showed a steady income. We didn’t have real jobs, so we were considered a risk. That damn Puritan work ethic getting in the way again.

Even when it’s just writing related, I do a lot of different things at once. A typical week for me includes writing whatever my current work of fiction is, thinking about the next two or three works of fiction, going over edits and/or page proofs of already-completed works of fiction, the regular nonfiction writing I do for both Tor.com and for my Patreon—the latter of which is totally awesome, and you should go support it, link at DeCandido.net, ahem ahem—plus I also teach four karate classes every week, I take classes at my karate dojo, plus I do editorial work here and there on a freelance basis, plus all kinds of paperwork and other nonsense. Oh yeah, and I like to do things with my wife, my family, and my friends every once in a while, and I do like to eat and sleep at least occasionally.

Like Robbie Robertson said, it’s a goddamn impossible way of life. And the only reason it works is because I make myself do it.

Because I am responsible for my own career.

This is not to say that you’re 100% alone, mind you. While writing is a solitary profession, being a writer can make you, if you so desire, be part of a very large community. Just by being here at this conference, you’re making yourself part of that community. While it’s not true of all writers, obviously—because there’s no such thing as an absolute, including that statement—many writers are very open to helping each other out.

Some people, I’ve noticed, have trouble grasping the notion that writers are helpful to up-and-coming authors. I’ve actually heard people deride the practice, saying that we’re helping our competition, which is a stupid way to look at it. There are always going to be books published. There are always going to be more books published. The sheer tonnage of books that come out every single month makes the notion of competition among authors to be stupid. There’s too many readers, too many books, for that to matter or be taken seriously. We’re all in this together.

Talking to other writers and other people in publishing also can only help you. Some of the best work I’ve gotten in my career has come from my friendships with other writers, especially since sometimes those other writers are also editors.

Sometimes those interactions will be in person, whether at conventions and conferences like this one, or events like the Writers Coffeehouses curated by the Liars Club, or statewide writing conferences, or intensive writing workshops.

There’s also online interaction. Ever since getting online became a thing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the writing community has embraced the Internet, whether it was GEnie, CompuServe, and Usenet in the 1990s, MySpace, LiveJournal, and AOL in the early 2000s, or Facebook, Twitter, and tumblr now, writers have often congregated online to chat and network and promote themselves.

How much of an online presence you have is up to you, of course, and you have to be careful to not let that online presence overwhelm you or distract you from writing—but there shouldn’t be so little of it that nobody knows you’re there, either. It’s a balancing act, and it’s up to you to find that balance.

Because you are responsible for your own career.

Writers are always giving advice to other writers, and this speech is no different. The important thing is to listen to all the advice and to consider all the advice, but don’t necessarily take all the advice. Most of the time, the answer to any question about writing, about publishing, and about the creative life in general is “it depends.” There’s rarely only one right answer, and usually what’s the right answer for me isn’t going to be the right answer for you, that neither will be the right answer to the writer sitting next to you. You have to figure it all out for yourself.

Because you are responsible for your own career.

Thank you very much, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.

I’m a keynote speaker this weekend at C3


For the first time ever, I will not be attending New York Comic-Con, unless I’m able to get there for a bit on Thursday, though that’s not likely given a personal thing that came up.

But Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I will be at the Creatures, Crimes, & Creativity Conference in Columbia, Maryland. I will be the keynote speaker at the dinner Friday night, and will also be doing panels, signing autographs, and selling books for the rest of the weekend.

Here’s my schedule:


3-3.45pm: “Classic Monsters,” w/Chris Bauer, Eric Gardner, BR Kingsolver, and Austin S. Camacho (Merriweather Room)

5-6pm: book signing (Lakeview A)

6-7.30pm: dinner with my keynote speech (Terrace Ballroom)



1.15-2pm: “What Goes Bump in the Night: The Paranormal,” w/Melissa Caribou Annen, Andrew McDowell, and Eric Gardner (Merriweather Room)

3.15-4pm: “Reflections of Humanity in Sci-Fi & Fantasy,” w/Glenn R. Parris, Debbi Mack, Andrew McDowell, and F.J. Talley (Lakeview A)

5.15-6.15pm: book signing (Lakeview AB)



9.45-10.30am: “Fan Letters: Tales from the Fan Dark Side,” w/Rick Ollerman, David Swinson, and Rebecca York (Merriweather Room)


Authors Day at the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour


Pictured above: authors in the transporter! L-r: Peter David, me, Scott Pearson, Robert Greenberger. (Dave Galanter was elsewhere.)


We had an absolutely wonderful time at the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga, New York. Hosted by James Cawley and his amazing staff, folks who bought the tour of the painstakingly re-created set also got to meet five authors: me, Peter David, Robert Greenberger, Dave Galanter, and Scott Pearson. All of us had books and things to sell, and we each gave a talk as well.


Pictured above: the facade of the set tour and the city hall where the individual author talks took place.


Just as when a bunch of us went last year, we all nerded out so much when touring the sets, which had more stuff than last year — sickbay now has the decompression chamber from “Space Seed,” and engineering has the big piece of machinery on the side where Kirk and Finney fought in “Court Martial.” The bridge is now a full circle, and they have some more props and things.


Pictured above: me in the captain’s chair looking solemn and serious, like I’d be for the first 55 minutes or so of the episode, then laughing as I would in the last five minutes as someone makes a stupid joke and we all have a good laugh over the executive producer credit.


It was especially fun to see Peter, his wife Kathleen, his daughter Caroline, and Scott’s daughter Ella — who, unlike the rest of us, had never been to the set tour before — completely nerd the fuck out over the set.


Pictured above: Peter David in the captain’s chair, his wife Kathleen O. David standing behind him.


There were a steady stream of people throughout the day. Some were there to see us, some were just there to tour the set and got bonus authors. We each gave our talk at a nearby hall, and all of us had capacity seating. (Don’t be too impressed — there were only about a dozen seats. But they were filled, dammit!)

Pictured above: Robert Greenberger’s books, Dave Galanter with his wife Simantha Galanter and Dave’s books, me with my books, Peter David and Kathleen O. David with Peter’s books (they were looking down at their phones, and I said, “Look up!” and they took me literally), and Scott Pearson with his books.


As much fun as it was to be at the tour and to sell books and to meet fans and to do podcast interviews (I did two), the best thing about the weekend was getting to hang out with the other authors, who are all also dear friends. We got to have breakfast and dinner and dessert together, and just spend time chatting about life, the universe, and everything. Usually we only see each other at conventions, and such opportunities are few and far between. The lighter atmosphere of this event (only one day, not much programming) was much more conducive to socializing, and it was very welcome.



Pictured above: the gang at dinner. L-r: Robert Greenberger, Mike Rizzo (one of the staff at the set tour), me, Wrenn Simms, Simantha Galanter, Dave Galanter, Ella Pearson, Scott Pearson, Caroline David, Kathleen O. David, and Peter David. (Not pictured: Marybeth Ritkouski, another of the staff at the set tour, mostly because she was actually taking the picture.)


We also got to spend time with our dear friend Carol, who lives up there, and also eat yummy food and go to Wind Chill for ice cream (which we always make sure to do when we’re up there because they have really yummy ice cream) and go to the Burleigh Luncheonette because it’s a delightful 50s throwback. We did not get to the used bookstore, sadly.

It was tremendous fun, and while we won’t be able to get back up there for Trekconderoga in August (it’s too close to Dragon Con), we’re looking forward to going back some time soon.


Pictured above: Captain Bob!!!!!

see me in Ticonderoga this weekend for Star Trek Author’s Day


On Saturday the 23rd of June — this Saturday — it will be “Author’s Day” at the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga, New York. This tour is a painstaking, and amazing, re-creation of the studio set from the original Star Trek in the 1960s. In addition to the tour, on Saturday you can also meet a bunch of nifty Trek authors. We’ll not only be signing and selling books, but we’ll each be giving a talk:

  • 11am: Dave Galanter (Crisis of Consciousness, Troublesome Minds) and Scott Pearson (The More Things Change, Honor in the Night)
  • 12pm: Keith R.A. DeCandido (Articles of the Federation, Q & A)
  • 2pm: Peter David (New Frontier, Imzadi)
  • 3pm: Robert Greenberger (A Time to Love, A Time to Hate)

So come up and see us!


Ghost Town Writers Retreat was excellent


Meant to post this sooner, but I got sick the last day I was in Colorado, and I’m awash a combination of 1) feeling better, 2) GISHWHES, and 3) revisions of a project, but I wanted to say that I had a superb time at the first-ever Ghost Town Writers Retreat. Organizers Mike Hance, J.L. Benet, and my friend Jhonette Perdue did a superb job of putting together a good weekend for aspiring writers, with authors, agents, and editors dispensing wisdom and having chats and generally participating in an atmosphere of bettering ourselves and our careers.


It all took place in Georgetown, Colorado, about an hour west of Denver — and also 3000 miles higher. Denver is called the mile-high city for a reason, as it’s 5000 feet above sea level. Well, Georgetown is nestled in the Rockies at 8000 feet above. This would explain why I was woozy on Sunday…………

Georgetown is an old silver mining town, and these days it’s a tourist attraction, mainly for its rustic qualities. You go there and it’s like the 21st century never happened. (Well, except for having wifi….) It’s charming as all heck, and full of nifty history. Possibly my favorite part of the weekend was being able to test the first run of Tesla’s Alternating Ale from the local brewery, which they debuted for us. (Tesla built the power station that still services Georgetown to this day.)

Anyhow, I did talks on career management, navigating the submissions minefield, professionalism, time management, and writing in other people’s universes, plus I got to join Mario Acevedo for an informal chat in one of the local bars.

All in all, it was an excellent weekend, and one I’d gladly do again. If you’re an aspiring or starting writer, I’d recommend trying the retreat next year.


my updated schedule at the Ghost Town Writers Retreat


I’ll be one of the featured speakers at the Ghost Town Writers Retreat this coming weekend in Georgetown, Colorado. The full schedule has been posted, and here is my part of it:


3-4pm: “Making Time to Write” (Heritage Center, Room 1). New writers often say “I can’t find time to write,” as if it rolled under the couch or something. I discuss time management and how to carve out time to get those words cranking.

5-5.30pm: Book Signing Event (Heritage Center, Rooms 1-3). All the authors will be selling and/or signing their books.


3-4pm: “It’s a Career Whether You Make Money or Not” (Heritage Center, Room 3). A professional writer is also a single-person small business. I explain what that means, what the pitfalls are, and how you have to manage your career as a writer, regardless of whether or not you make your living at it.

6-7pm: “Playing in Someone Else’s Sandbox” (Heritage Center, Room 2). I’ve been writing and editing licensed fiction and shared universes for 25 years, and I share insights on how the creative process differs when someone else created the world you’re writing in.


11am-noon: “Navigating the Submissions Minefield” (Heritage Center, Room 1). Okay, you just finished your story or novel. Now what? I discuss the many options and routes to publication.


There are also going to be readings throughout Saturday morning, and I may be doing one of them.

Hope to see folks there!


my workshops at the Ghost Town Writers Retreat


The first weekend in August, I’ll be at the Ghost Town Writers Retreat in Georgetown, Colorado, and they just announced the latest round of workshops, including the four I’ll be doing:

Making Time to Write: New writers often say “I can’t find time to write,” as if it rolled under the couch or something. Keith R.A. DeCandido discusses time management and how to carve out time to get those words cranking.

Navigating the Submissions Minefield: Okay, you just finished your story or novel. Now what? Keith R.A. DeCandido discusses the many options and routes to publication.

It’s A Career Whether You Make Money or Not: A professional writer is also a single-person small business. Keith R.A. DeCandido explains what that means, what the pitfalls are, and how you have to manage your career as a writer, regardless of whether or not you make your living at it.

Playing in Someone Else’s Sandbox: Keith R.A. DeCandido has been writing and editing licensed fiction and shared universes for 25 years, and he shares insights on how the creative process differs when someone else created the world you’re writing in.


two conferences I’ll be attending

Haven’t mentioned these yet, and thought I should — I’m doing two writers conferences this year, both places I’ve never been to before, and they ought to be both spiffy and keen.


From 3-6 August, I’ll be at the Ghost Town Writers Retreat in Georgetown, Colorado, alongside Brian Keene, Sara Megibow, Don D’Auria, Stephen Graham Jones, Mario Acevedo, Josh Viola, Mary Sangiovanni, Jeanne C. Stein, Shelley Adina, Guy Anthony De Marco, Jon Bassoff, Sean Eads, Travis Heermann, David Boop, and more. I’ll be doing a bunch of talks on various subjects, as well as a “Tossin’ One Back” gab session with one of the other author guests.

Then on 4 November, I’ll be the Featured Author at the Providence Literary Festival in Providence, Kentucky at the Providence Community Building. I’ll be talking and signing and doing other nifty things there, along with a mess of local authors. Discounting a couple of times at the Cincinnati Airport (which is actually located over the state line in ol’ Kentuck), I’ve never actually been to Kentucky before, so that’ll be cool.