Coverfly Pitch Week 2021

Excellent news! LCPA and my profile have combined to get me noticed! I’m part of Coverfly’s excellent Pitch Week program. We had an information call this week and then the invitations were sent out. I’m really excited to have a meeting as only about half of those chosen get actual meetings. They do a lot of work to interest industry professionals and get our materials in front of them.

For more information on Coverfly click here.

Auroras Coverfly
Aurora Awards – always hoping for a third!

Dec 2020 Book Launch – Stellar Evolutions

There is an online book launch for Stellar Evolutions this Monday, December 1, 2020.

It’s available to SF Canada members and others via FaceBook.

I will not post the link here as I’ve seen at least two examples of ‘zoom bombers’ and I don’t want interruptions to the event.

So pleased to be in this book! I congratulate Rhea Rose on the creation of this ‘Best of” volume as well as R. Graeme Cameron for his hard work editing and producing Polar Borealis!

November 2020 Stellar Evolutions

Stellar Evolutions is published and available on Amazon.ca for kindle and is also available as a print book if you like on Amazon.ca. Stellar Evolutions contains two of my poems: A New Day and Law of Love. This anthology features poetry and stories in the areas of science fiction and fantasy.

About Stellar Evolutions

Stellar Evolutions cover

A particularly interesting collection because it features emerging Canadian writers, covers a broad swath of Canadian speculative fiction, and includes as much poetry as prose.” –Robert Runte–Author, editor, critic of Canadian speculative fiction.

Oh, Canada! Welcome to this world-bending collection of speculative writing Canadian style. Between these boreal covers, a compilation of must-read fantastic fiction by trending and diverse authors will take readers to the next level of story discovery.

This gathering showcases stories and poetry by many award-winning, award-nominated, yet diverse authors’ and their best works, selected exclusively from Polar Borealis Magazine, a Canadian speculative fiction publication dedicated to discovering the finest ideas in a large land of divergent narratives. folklore where sleepy felines are purrfectly unpredictable, if not damned.

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2019

I’ve decided to do Camp NaNo this month- to get some distance on my short story projects.

My top goal is 20,000 words, not fifty thousand because, with my schedule, it is very hard to get to 50k. I have about 4 stories to work on. One of them is very English – with a manor Dragon and a little girl. One is all space opera and cats. Another is based on a fairy tale, which I used, then, just lately realized that the original tale changes lead characters halfway through… so that will have to be fixed.

UPDATE: I’m on April 9th and now about 5 thousand words in. Part of this is my really extended Dragon story. I’m just letting this story unwind as it goes. I’m enjoying it which is terrific. It’s too long already to be sent to most short story markets though, so it will have to go to a novella market or be personally published. I could do a D2D publication again, but promote this one more? I don’t know. I’d like to get some beta readers before I go too far with publication on my own. I’ve read some very bad self-published books by other Canadian authors in SF.

The photos below are from close to my daughter’s high school. It was an astounding day and I got some lovely shots. I met the very elderly woman who planted that thirty foot magnolia when it was just a little twig.

Below, I’m using a new photo from Unsplash, which is a great free photo resource.

Photo by Andy White on Unsplash

http://campnanowrimo.org/campers/russetcat/projects

December 2018

I’ve been busy lately. The creative work got pushed to the back burner for a while.  However, I completed and sent out two new stories in the last couple of months. So that’s progress. I received good news regarding a reprint of a story. Plus, an editor has asked me to rewrite a story that he liked but found some difficulty with, so I’m hoping I ultimately sell that. I’m pleased to hear from a Canadian magazine that my story is in the last selection round there. Crossing my fingers because if I get into that magazine, it’s a new one to me and very well distributed.  December 9th – I had another ‘2nd round’ email which makes me very happy as this one was for a prestigious USA magazine!

This morning I received my contract for the poem “Dangerous Gods” to be published in Polar Borealis #8 this month. So I’m excited about that.

Also, it’s the holiday season and I’ll take some time off my day job to work on creative endeavors.

Story Accepted by Neo-opsis Magazine!

“Wrasse” accepted by Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine! October 2017

Really excited to be in Neo-opsis which is one of Canada’s leading SF magazines!

For subscriptions, go to  Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine

VCON 41 Countdown…

I’ll be attending VCON41 in Surrey, BC again this year Sept 30 to Oct 2, 2016.  So far I’m scheduled in as:

Friday 

  • Panel on  “Upcoming television SF Television” 19:00 – 19:50

Saturday 

  • Panel “What is it about Dragons and Other Fabulous Beasts?” 22:30-23:20 

Sunday 

  • reading from one of my stories Sunday 10 – 10:25
  • Panel on Building Monsters 12 – 12:50

VCON is always a blast as well as having great resources for writers and other SF/F creators!

This year’s themes are puppetry in SF/F and the small presses. The great thing about general Cons like this is the variety – of things to do, people to meet and so forth! 

GOH is Robert Sawyer.

I’ll be working on a costume for J too, based on the latest Star Wars movie! My non-writer friends can always find panels on science or art.  It’s a great all-around good time.  

Find info at http://www.vcon.ca

How to get into TV & Film in Canada

Jwithpuppetback

  • My advice is twofold:

1.  Look for a day job in film.

Anyone interested in film and TV should work in it even for a short time – in any capacity!  Look for ways to get onto a film union list, starting as a PA maybe even? There are many jobs, too, not all of them on shoots.  This  includes the behind-the-scenes stuff or animation, distribution, etcetera.  That way you really get a feel for your field & make contacts.  I’m not a hugely successful TV writer, but I’ve sold over 15 scripts and all of them due to personal contacts – not the 2 agents (!).

2.  Sell what scripts you have in the best way possible.  I often use a real estate metaphor, because it is the same, believe it or not.  As I learned the hard way, a local agent here like Integral or Characters won’t ‘sell’ your big script or new TV series idea.  They’ll offer the ‘houses’ they have at their level – think Surrey.  If you have a Shaughnessy mansion of a script, go to an LA agent.  Many of them will look at new stuff from young writers. I will say that even a Vancouver agent would be good to start your talks with any producer though.

In this light, check out the Writers Guild of Canada. You can’t join until you have a credit, but they sometimes have open events and checking the website for good materials and references is good. WGC is the Canadian version of the WGA, in fact we have sharing $$ agreements with them.

So, for example, if you are ready to look for an agent, look at the public list on the WGC site: http://www.wgc.ca/resources/agents.html

It’s usually possible to meet with Canadian agents if you have a project.  I’m currently not agented, due to the fact that I had to turn down the last 3 offers in a row (for bad reality shows that pay poorly).

All my work’s sold solely due to industry contacts but having an agent may have gotten me ‘in the door’.  I have had 2 agents, both Canadian and neither earned me a cent I didn’t find myself.  However, if you have a fantastic script, ready to go, for a movie, for example, you should try to get an agent to help you sell it.

I usually write TV episodes, so my work’s differently focused. If it’s a huge script – the Hollywood style ones have to be agented in the USA – our agents just don’t have the contacts to sell huge scripts.  Check out the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory for ‘who to send it to’. https://www.writersstore.com/hollywood-screenwriting-directory  It costs $29 US but is worth it.

Links:

TO film list – good for applying to current films. These are often updated: https://www1.toronto.ca/static_files/economic_development_and_culture/docs/currently_filming.pdf

BC file list – from the DGC site

https://www.dgc.ca/bc/production_list/Production%20List.pdf

Unions to check out:

Vancouver: ACFC is the easiest to get into. They don’t have ‘all’ the productions but they usually have something and are more willing to train.  See http://www.acfcwest.com/become.html

ACFC also has a list of great links for beginners in film: http://www.acfcwest.com/industry.html  They have a Production Office area and it’s good if he wants to get some local experience.  Pay rates are lower than IATSE and hours sometimes longer but it’s a way in. Most ACFC members eventually join IATSE.

IATSE:  This I’d recommend only if he’s going the ‘office’ route first.  https://www.iatse.com/ Local 891 is Vancouver.  It’s more or less a route to get into an office and see production and work from there.

DGC: This is where locations starts, also directors.  But I never have seen Locations lead to writing gigs, they’re too far from the office and the writers.  If directing is your interest, though, it’s good.  They have offices in Vancouver and TO.

http://www.dgc.ca/en/index.cfm

The TV and film world can look like a jungle, but I’ve had some great experiences and earned a lot out there at times!

Cat

p.s. Below is from http://thecollectortv.com/36.html  and is the listing for 1 of my Collector tv series episodes.  Producers: Larry Sugar, Showrunners: Jon Cooksey and Ali Marie Matheson. The Collector is a wonderful show – a dark fantasy & I thoroughly enjoyed writing two episodes for it!

Collector website Ufologist