Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Welcome, Marjorie Liu

We have another treat for you today. Marjorie Liu is not only and amazing talent, she is one of the nicest people I know, despite the fact that she's gorgeous:o) And check out all the fun things she's got going. Marjorie has generously offered to give away an autographed copy of her brand new release: THE IRON HUNT but you have to comment to win :o) Please give her a warm, topdown welcome ...

Four years ago this month I sold my first book, and while I never take for granted the fact that I now write full-time, for a living, it’s amazing how all the things about publishing that were once a distant mystery, have now become -- well, not exactly commonplace -- but at the very least, familiar. I mean, when I used to go into a bookstore or library, it was magic – possibilities abounded, the air was light with words, and the smell of the paper, the texture of the covers, the art – all of it was beautiful. It still is.

But now that I’ve seen the other side of publishing – now that I know what goes into making and selling books – my focus has changed. Books are still magic, but now I’m keenly aware of the people behind them – authors, especially – and I wonder about those individuals more than I ever used to. Before I sold that first book, I never thought much about authors – or rather, I did not want to impose myself upon them. I never wrote a single letter, I never considered attending a book signing. If I saw a signed book in the store, I would be inclined to pick it up – but meeting that writer? In high school, I remember having the chance to talk to Robert Jordan. He was at a signing, sitting completely alone – I loved his books and he was larger than life. I was too shy to hardly even look at him.

I wish I had done things differently.

That’s all changed now. Suddenly I’m an author – and authors are people, too. Not just imaginary stick figures, or ghosts, lingering in that netherworld behind the pages of a book. Someone wrote those words. Physically put them down, then lovingly – or in a great rush, with the fear of a deadline – revised them. Stuff happened, to make the book I see on the shelf. Every book, filling every corner of the library or bookstore. It’s still magic – but now it’s a human magic – and I realize something that I never did before:

Authors like to be talked to.

I’m speaking in generalities, of course. I’m sure there are some writers who hate being pestered by readers, but if they exist, they’re a rare breed. Authors are often a solitary bunch, by necessity or choice, but we like to be sought out. We love it. When lightning strikes between story and reader, there’s nothing better than being told so. Even if a reader did not care for a book, an author with an ear for careful criticism does not always mind such words. It still means you read the book.

So, though it might seem absolutely ridiculous that this is my big lesson from publishing – there you go. I can see beyond the books now, to the people who write them – and while there’s still a mask, a wall, between author and story and real world, it’s not what it was. When I read a book I love, I now write the author. When I happen to be in a bookstore where a signing is going on, I stop at the table and say hi. I’m still shy – but the distance between my sentiments and the person on the other side of the book no longer feel so deeply insurmountable.






Do any of you have questions about the publishing world? Or if you are published, what was your biggest lesson or surprise about the business?

Thanks for having me here!

This is a big summer for Marjorie’s books: the first in her new urban fantasy series, THE IRON HUNT, just hit shelves – and if you’d like to read and listen to an excerpt, you can visit this site: (http://web.mac.com/marjorieliu/Site/The_Iron_Hunt_Excerpt.html). Also out is an anthology of paranormal erotica, HOTTER THAN HELL -- and coming this August, the eighth Dirk & Steele novel, THE WILD ROAD – as well as NYX #1, a Marvel Comics X-Book that Marjorie is writing, about mutant teens living homeless on the streets of New York City. To learn more, visit her at: www.marjoriemliu.com

To purchase The Iron Hunt from amazon.com go to: http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Hunt-Marjorie-M-Liu/dp/0441016065/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196920602&sr=1-1


36 comments:

ireadwhat said...

I just wanted to say that I can't wait to read the Iron Hunt and I really appreciate all that you have accomplished so far.

juniper_breeeze said...

I cant wait to get my hands on Iron Hunt. Its SOOO COOL!

Michele Hauf said...

Love the covers! Can't wait to get a copy of Iron Hunt. So great to have you riding in the convertible with us today, Marjorie!

My biggest lesson was that, after you sell the first book, it doesn't all come easy following. You still have to work to sell that next book. And published authors get rejected all the time.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Marjorie
Fantastic covers and your new pub photo is amazing!
People are shy about approaching authors, aren't they? I love to talk with readers and so appreciate it when they overcome their own shyness to approach me.
As to what I've learned - it never gets any easier. I I'm currently writing my 40th sold book. Whew! And there are days (LIKE TODAY) when I still wonder what the heck I'm doing. It's frustrating.

Marjorie Liu said...

I'm so happy to be here today, and thank you all for the kind words!

Michele: I felt the same way. I kept thinking my life would change dramatically, but the day after I sold, it was the same-o, same-o.

Cindy: Thank you! And 40th novel? Fantastic! But even when it gets frustrating, I can't imagine doing anything different.

Nancy Henderson said...

Other than the writers at my local RWA chapter, I've never met any authors until I attended RT this year. I was speechless. I normally never shut up. LOL! I couldn't talk to any of them. I had so many questions, but I just froze up. Oh, well, maybe I'll grow some courage by next year. Can't wait to read The Iron Hunt!

Tarot By Arwen said...

My first introduction to you was in the Crimson City series. I was so hooked. I went out and bought your next book. The Dirk and Steele series has been fascinating. My fave so far as been "Soul Song" which I grabbed for the cover art and then realized it was a Liu as well. Double score for me.

I am also an author and boy do I get what you are saying. I never realized that authors wanted to talk as well. I always tried to give them their "creative space" (insert reverberating voice). Thanks for a great blog and thanks for the amazing stories!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Marjorie. Great post. I love your books. Iron Hunt sounds great. :)

Lisa (alchemuse) said...

Hi Marjorie! Love your Dirk & Steele books and can't wait to read Iron Hunt!

Cheers!

catslady said...

As a reader I wanted to say your books sound extremely interesting and I especially love your covers!

Cathy said...

I auto-buy all the Dirk & Steele books, they are that good. Can't wait to read both The Iron Hunt and Hotter Than Hell.

Anna And Sean said...

Hi Marjorie! I love the Dirk and Steele books and I am especially looking forward to the Marvel comic. I thought your post was really interesting because I am on the other side- no writing for me, just lots and lots of reading. I always hesitate to write to my favorite authors and it wasn't until I found this blog that I started posting at all. I enjoy the online blog forum because it feels friendly- we all lead different lives and yet we have many different things in common. I would love to meet some of my favorite authors but as of yet I have not attended any signing events. Who knows? Maybe soon. Anyways, I can't wait to read all the new books!

Jane said...

Hi Marjorie,
I'm really excited about your upcoming issues of NYX. I'm a big comics fan. Are you a fan, too? How did you get the comic book deal?

Debra Dixon said...

Welcome, Marjori--

We're pleased to have you in the convertible.

THE IRON HUNT look fabulous. I've got it in my cart at Amazon.

mec said...

Hi, Marjorie

Love the Dirk $ Steele books-
looking forward to reading Iron Hunt and the other twoeleases this year.

Wendy said...

Hi, Marjorie!

Just wanted to say that you have such a way with words, it's lovely to read them. Your books are great to lose myself in and I'm really looking forward to The Iron Hunt.

Congrats on your new releases! :)

Marjorie Liu said...

Thank you so much, everyone! I appreciate this tremendously!

Jane: I've been a comic book fan for a long time, and I first got my foot in the door when I wrote an X-Men novel for Pocket, in conjunction with Marvel. That got me noticed, and began the slow process of deciding what project would fit me best at Marvel. Here's one article about it:

http://comics.ign.com/articles/867/867654p1.html

Estella said...

The Iron Hunt sounds like an excellent read!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Marjorie! Congrats on being so busy! As a writer, that's good, right? :) The Iron Hunt sounds terrific, and I love the cover!

Can you share your call story about your first sale? And congrats on being so many beyond that now!

Tez Miller said...

No questions (off the top of my head), but I'd love to be in the running, please, if you're willing to post to Australia.

Have a lovely day! :-)

Marjorie Liu said...

flchen1:

My call story was fairly simple. Chris Keeslar had requested the full manuscript of Tiger Eye, and about three weeks later, I received an email from him -- very short, just one line, saying that he wanted to talk to me about the book, and that I should call him.

I had a mini-meltdown -- asked someone if they thought it meant what I thought it did -- and then called. I think I said some remarkably stupid things during the conversation, but I asked Chris to let me have a couple days to find an agent, and that was that!

kimmyl said...

I can't wait to read Iron Hunt. I loved the cover The Wild Road.

Do you plot out your stories first or do you let the characters lead you?

kimmyl said...

Marjorie do you get into anime also?

Lori T said...

Hi Marjorie~

I can hardly wait to read Iron Hunt and I absolutely love the cover.

I do have to agree with Cindy that you are absolutely gorgeous!

tetewa said...

I love the Dirk and Steele series. Congrats on all your latest releases, looking forward to them all!

Marjorie Liu said...

kimmyl: Thank you!

I usually have a general idea of where I want the story to go, but after that, I let the characters rule the roost and just go wild. It's a fun way to write, very unpredictable -- which can also be stressful, as well, especially when the deadlines loom!

I'm a novice anime fan, though I do love the Appleseed movies. Does that count?

Marjorie Liu said...

Again, I can't thank you enough for all the kind words, and for having me here! You guys are wonderful! Thank you, too, Cindy!

Love,
Marjorie

Cindy Gerard said...

Marjorie - It was wonderful having you in the convertible today. Much luck on your new releases!

robynl said...

Hi and welcome Marjorie,
the book does sound great;
Is there a special feeling holding the book in your hands once it is finished and for sale? Seeing the name on the book and it is your name? Thanks.

Marjorie Liu said...

robynl:

Hello! It's an incredible feeling to hold a finished book in my hands, and to see it in stores. Especially as not so long ago I was dreaming of the impossible day when I would be published. It's a dream come true, each and every time.

Gennita said...

Hi Marjorie,

(pulling out notebook and pencil) First, can you tell me which cover gods do you ask for beautiful book covers like yours? Or cover demon...I'm not judgemental. Second, what kind of sacrifice do you use? Does it involve a lot of cheesecake? For some reason, I remember cheesecake was an important ingredient of sacrifices to cover magic. Third, how do you get the knots out of your beautiful hair when you ride with the top down with these wonderful ladies here? I still have problems with tangled hair from my last trip here.

Thank you for creating such unforgettable heros and heroines, btw. Oh, you owe me one cheesecake in SF. For cover luck.

Woof.

Cindy Gerard said...

Jennita - if anyone owes anyone cheesecake I think you owe me :o)

Gennita said...

Heh, Cindy, I'll buy you cheesecake and your choice of mad author magic brew. ;-)

Cindy Gerard said...

Oh, no ... Not the mad author magic brew!!!!!!!
Or maybe, yeah. Bring it on :o)

Marjorie Liu said...

Dudes! Cheesecake is my middle name! (though I prefer to offer up the pumpkin walnut flavor to the cover gods -- my hair is too tangled at the moment, to be helped).

WOOF!

Cindy Gerard said...

That's dudettes to you, dear one :o)
I think I smell a gathering with walnut and pumpkin and calories and magic author brew. See you in SF :o)