The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence Available Now

stfox_cover_RGB_WEBToday The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence is officially released into the wild. Thanks so much to everyone for their support, especially the brilliant team at Unsolicited Press for all the time and hard work put into the book’s creation and promotion, and to Erin B. Lillis for the rockin’ cover art (and upcoming audiobook version)! Putting this book out into the world has been a goal I’ve worked hard towards over the past few years, and to see everything finally coalesce has been so fulfilling.

Some early review snippets:

“Reyburn’s speculative fiction rebels, recoils, and launches debates across the table.” – PR

“An absolute gem! Corin Reyburn writes speculative fiction to be read with great fervor.” – wordybirdy

“If rebellion is what you like, then you will LOVE Corin’s book. I read to the end and wanted more!” – Miriam L.

The book also received a shout-out on Tor.com’s list of new genre-bending books available this month.

An excerpt is up at Medium.com.

For press information, get in touch with Unsolicited.

Want a rebel playlist to go with your rock n’ roll revolution? Saint Fox and The Independence is all about the power of good music, so here’s a YouTube playlist of some hot tunes that inspired the book.

Thank you!
– Corin

Advertisements

“Rabbit’s Foot” out in Mojo/Mikrokosmos Journal…and Thoughts on the MFA

golden gate bridge during nighttime

Photo by James Donovan on Pexels.com

My short story “Rabbit’s Foot” is out now in Mojo, a publication run by MFA graduate students at Wichita State University. This story got me into my own MFA program at OSU—a place where I’m learning, thriving, and working harder than I ever have. While MFAs aren’t for everyone—and I’m in the camp that doesn’t believe you necessarily need one to be a successful writer—it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so far, largely due to the network of people I’m privileged to be working with, and the challenging but rapid growth opportunity of teaching college English right off the bat.

Interested in an MFA? My advice—research, research, research. I’d also advise against programs that aren’t fully funded. Many funded programs are notoriously difficult to get into, but depending on your economic situation (and if you’re a writer, odds are it is indeed a situation), you might not want to go thousands of dollars into debt when considering the potential financial payoff of the degree you’re seeking. For me, the payoff of the experience so far is largely untethered to my career and finances—I am rewarded in so many other ways.

A great resource for checking out what different programs have to offer is Poets and Writers MFA database. Be sure to research the faculty, too, they can make or break the experience for you.

Back to “Rabbit’s Foot.” This story is about a mixed-race stoner kid who befriends a man called Pigeon at the retirement home where he works. It deals with complicated morality, among other things, and is set in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, where I grew up.

“Pigeon hasn’t said a word to me in five days. But that’s not unusual.

By now I know the signs so he doesn’t have to bother with talking. A slap of his wide palm on the side of his chair means dim the lights. That clucking noise he makes in the back of his throat means close the window. A grunt means change my fucking man diaper…” [read more >>]

Thanks as always,
– Corin

EscapePod Interview in Dragonscale Clippings

grey and orange spaceship
Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

I have a little interview up with Freya Pickard on her imaginative book blog Dragonscale Clippings, where she features authors that have new books out in her escape pod simulated scenario known as EPod interviews.

Read on to find out how I answered the question of what 5 items I would take with me into an escape pod as I flee certain peril, drifting in space with nothing but a hope and a song…

Who is inside the lastest escape pod to arrive? If we just open the door – sorry, it’s a bit dented… And the oxygen levels are showing as severely depleted… Out fall two cats and – who’s this? Welcome back to civilisation, Corin Reyburn! What did you take with you? [Read more >>]

I Finished My Book. Now What? A Q&A with Answers to Common Post-Writing Questions

book dreams

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Writing a book is one thing, editing another, and publishing yet another thing entirely. Throughout roughly the past ten years of my life, during which I’ve considered writing my career (monetary input notwithstanding), I’ve gathered some information and experience that may be helpful to other writers. Here are answers to some common questions about what comes next after you complete that first draft, and how to get it ready to share with the rest of the world.

What do I do after finishing my first draft?

Edit, edit, edit. Preferably after you’ve given your manuscript some time to breathe, a couple of months, maybe longer—it really depends on what works for you. When you’re ready to dive back in, make sure you take the time to look at your story from a macro levelAre my characters consistent? Does the plot flow organically? Are there any continuity problems? Is this really the best POV for the story? Is my voice consistent?, and a micro-level—meaning sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, consistency in naming conventions, etc.

Edit the whole damn thing, then edit it again. Join a critique group. If you don’t know where to find one, try Meetup.com, night classes at a local college, your local bookstore, or online. Take the good feedback, leave the rest.

Edit it again.

And again.

Think you’re done?

Nope.

One more time.

And it won’t be your last. If you’re serious enough to seek a publisher, you’ll be editing the manuscript a few more times with them. If you’re self-publishing, seriously consider hiring an editor (if you’re looking for an editor, try upwork.com) before you publish, no matter how good you think you are. If you’re really experienced and have workshopped your full novel with other eagle-eyed, experienced writers, then perhaps you don’t need an editor before attempting to publish, but it (usually) never hurts.

How do I publish?

There are dozens of articles out there on how to get your book published, and what works for you will depend on a number of factors such as who your audience is and what you want and expect out of having your book published. Are you in it for the money? For fame? If so, you’re in the wrong industry, my friend. Yes, big successes do happen, but they are few and far between. Are you in it because you love writing, love your story, and want to share it with other people? Good. Keep reading.

I’ll tell you a little about how my process works once I’ve edited my book to death and finally deem it ready to be put out into the world. First, I gather a list of agents I think may be interested in representing the book. There are various agent databases out there—I find the Poets and Writers Literary Agents database to be one of the most current and informative. Then I write a query letter. I send that letter off to the most fancy-pants agents likely to reject me first, then move down the list. My list also includes small presses—for Saint Fox and The Independence, my first novel, my query letter received a few requests from agents for the full manuscript, and ultimately ended up being accepted by Unsolicited Press, a Portland-based small press whose motto is “No Bullshit. Just Books,” and who I had a great experience working with.

How do I write a query letter?

Read other query letters in your genre. Subject yourself to the pain and beauty of the Query Shark blog. Post your query on agentqueryconnect.com for feedback and critique from other querying authors.

How long should my book be?

As with most things, there’s some debate on this. So far the novel-length works I’ve written have been sci-fi, and I’ve previously read that you don’t want your sci-fi novel to be less than 80K, though recently I’ve come across articles saying that shorter works in the range of 60-70K are now in vogue as our media-inundated attention spans shrink. My first longer work, Subterran, was a novella at 57K—too short for agents to look at. Do some research on word counts for your desired genre—YA and middle grade, for instance, will have shorter word count expectations, while epic fantasy will naturally be longer.

Do I need an editor?

If you want your book to be good, then yes.

Do I need an agent?

Again, it really depends on what you want out of it. I always encourage shooting for the moon, but it is a notoriously tough industry, and a lot of time and energy can be spent on something which may never come to fruition. Know your worth, take stock of how long you’ve been writing and how much you’ve improved over the years, listen to your teachers who should be able to tell you honestly if your current work has a shot or not. Guess what? If this book doesn’t hit, it was a learning experience. The next one may be the one that takes off, but be aware that you will put more time into it than what you might expect to get out of it. Understand it’s the long haul, learn to appreciate the process, and leave room in your self-development for your expectations to change.

While self-publishing has its pros and cons, which have been talked about at length all over the internet, it is easy enough for anyone to do, and, if you’re good at marketing, you just might make a bigger splash on your own than if you go the traditional route, which, word on the street is, ain’t what it used to be. If an agent sells your book to a publishing house, yes, they’ll put together a marketing campaign for you, they can help you make a beautiful book, but many have full client rosters already, and the new clients they take on are a microscopic slice of a statistical pie. If you know your audience, you might just want to try going it on your own, at least for the first book. Hire an editor, an illustrator, a graphic designer, a computer assistant if you’re not too computer-savvy. I was lucky enough to have a small press behind me for my first go-around, but you can essentially build your own press, and sometimes for less money than you’d expect. I’ll say it again—it depends on what you want out of it.

Where do I find a publisher?

Your agent finds a publisher. If you’re submitting to small presses, you don’t necessarily need an agent. Whatever you do, don’t go to vanity publishers—these are places like iUniverse that charge you high amounts to do something you can do yourself and will publish any book as long as you pay them. Do your research. Read reviews on agents and publishers—agentquery.com is a good resource both for finding agents and looking up experiences and statistics from others who have submitted to those agents. Talk to other writers.

As always, be open to possibilities, to connecting with others, to learning. Though it may seem intimidating, there are more options out there for publishing than ever before, just be realistic, and be grateful for any opportunities that may come.

Best of luck,
– Corin

 

CORIN REYBURN is from Northern then Southern California, and now finds themselves in Corvallis, Oregon where there are better trees. Corin enjoys transmuting cosmic energy, cats more than people, and the use of unconventional instruments in rock n’ roll music. Corin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Critique and is now working on an MFA in fiction, both via Oregon State University, where they also teach writing composition. Reyburn has work featured in Medium, M-BRANE SF, Subtopian Magazine, The Molotov Cocktail, Jersey Devil Press, and The Gateway Review, and co-produces the speculative fiction podcast SubverCity Transmit. Corin’s debut novel The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence, about passive warfare by means of digital commerce infiltration and the sweet sweet sounds of the electric guitar, was released by Unsolicited Press, and is available through Amazon and other retailers.

Writing Heart Drunk

artistic blossom bright clouds

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A friend of mine has this quote oft attributed to Hemingway framed on her wall: “Write drunk. Edit sober.” While I’m not much use writing drunk and do most of my writing and editing sober (though the occasional glass of wine, can, of course, spark sheer brilliance at times), there is something to be said about the parts of our brain, our hearts, our spirits, everything that makes us, that get kicked into high gear during these seemingly contrasting components of the writing process: writing and editing.

When my writing is at its best, I am writing from the heart. I am expressing something universal that I’ve always known is there, and I am not thinking about it too hard. A meditation teacher in a group I attend was recently discussing the idea that the heart has a brain—how the heart, in essence, has thousands more neurons than the brain, and these neurons can sense, feel, and learn. As I am a science fiction writer and not a scientist, I often share pseudo-scientific information I find fascinating, so feel free to research this on your own and try to debunk it if you must—but the idea that the heart knows things, and even more, knows things innately that the brain would have to think hard about to understand, is something we’re all familiar with.

My writing is most enjoyable—and I believe most successful—when I’m not really thinking about it, when I’m writing from my heart and spirit.

In contrast, editing is an experience of the inferior head-brain, a left-brain exercise that can feel more like math than art. It is a labor of love, but make no mistake, it is labor. It may be different for you—I know some writers who love editing. For me, yes, there are moments of clarification, even wow moments within the editing process, but for the most part, it is Work. It is spending ten minutes wondering whether to leave in or remove a comma. It is moving a paragraph or chapter to a different spot, connecting the pieces, then moving it back again. It is realizing a character’s dialogue isn’t realistic, or that the character lacks the catalyst to perform the action they are doing.  It is reading through your entire manuscript for the fifteenth time as the words on the page began to blur, it is tossing and turning in bed, it is solving plot problems in the shower, it is self-doubt, it is asking ‘why am I doing this?’

Is it, perhaps, because of love?

Yes, it is.

I love writing.

But I do not love editing. I edit because I love writing.

Writing gets me drunk on love, gets me into a heart space. It keeps me sober, keeps me wide-eyed, keeps me on my toes, keeps me learning.

So I put in the work. I put in the time.

It’s what we do for the things we love.

T-Minus 5 ‘Til Book Release

Looks like we’re about ready for lift-off—The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence is set to be released on June 12, and a couple of things are on the horizon in line with the book’s promotion. First, I’d like to call attention to an article you can spot through the passenger’s side window, “The Beauty of the Present Tense,” published on Medium.com, where I meander through my affinity for the present tense in writing, the meditative aspects of “being present,” and what the lack of verb tenses in the Chinese language may mean.

Next up on our left, a pre-release interview with me is up on the publisher’s website, short and sweet. Thoughts on writing, fears, and why Philip K. Dick wouldn’t like my cooking.

An announcement of the book’s release, including a brief, flattering blurb from an editor at Lone Wolf Press, is up at broadwayworld.com.

And, if you happen to be in the Orange County area, I’ll be reading an essay live for 1888 Center’s Why We Write Roadshow on June 20, tickets available via the link.

The Rise of Saint Fox and The Independence—about a financial revolution made possible through love of rock music and a little bio-technology—is available for pre-order on the publisher’s website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, AbeBooks, IndieBound, and a few other landing zones.

Thanks for your support; it means a lot. See you on the other side.

– Corin

Subterran on Wattpad

subterran_cover_art3My novella Subterran was previously published via the online platform JukePop, which is no more, so I’ve added it to Wattpad.  I recently became aware of the term neo-noir, and think it describes Subterran to a T. Psychedelic neo-noir with a shot of paranoia and a frosty metallic crunch. We’re dancing through a subterranean Antarctic commune with Jonah, a bioenhanced technosexual who loves candy-drip nightclubs and doesn’t know what’s about to hit him. Read if you like, let me know what you think. Cheers, – Corin.