One of my stories makes a contest’s short list in a field of 1,400

I’m thrilled to report what I consider to be one of my best successes on the writing contest circuit. My short story, The Pupfish of Miracle Spring, made the short list of ten finalists in The End of Our World contest, managed by Aftermath Magazine, which is based in The Netherlands. The contest drew more … More One of my stories makes a contest’s short list in a field of 1,400

Download the podcast of Carbon Run, chapter one

I was thrilled to work with podcasters Ben Franke and Marie Kammerer-Franke on two episodes of their epic Indie Beginning podcast, which features independent authors, such as myself. They recently published two podcasts related to my work. The first podcast was a reading of chapter one of Carbon Run, the first full-length novel in my … More Download the podcast of Carbon Run, chapter one

Five Questions: Cai Emmons, author of Weather Woman

My Five Questions series is back after a hiatus, and I’m excited to present the answers of Cai Emmons, author of a fascinating new novel, Weather Woman. Climate change plays a big role in this story of a young broadcast meteorologist who discovers a unique talent: she can not only predict the weather, she can … More Five Questions: Cai Emmons, author of Weather Woman

Nine ways to help you start writing climate fiction today

Climate change is the new normal. Frequent torrential rains, extended heat waves, and Category 5 hurricanes affect readers more and more often, and writers need to reflect these experiences in their short stories and novels. How do you incorporate long-term, usually invisible trends in your romances, adventures, mysteries, and other genre fiction, as well as … More Nine ways to help you start writing climate fiction today

How would King Arthur’s knights cope with a climate-changed world?

My wife and I drove from Seattle to Powell’s Books in Portland a couple of weeks ago to satisfy an itch. At this point, I’ve written three novels and eight shorts in the world of Carbon Run, but the project has run its course. Is there another way to explore the idea of a post-global … More How would King Arthur’s knights cope with a climate-changed world?

For me, 2017 will be the Year of the Contest

I’ve been writing professionally for thirty years, and I’ve tended to see entering contests and competitions as a chore. I’m not sure why, except that I’ve never liked competing against other people, preferring to compete against myself. I like to push myself on and on, to see if I can beat my last personal best. … More For me, 2017 will be the Year of the Contest

I’m between projects and I need your help deciding what to work on next.

I’m religious about my work habits. I set aside two hours a day for writing only. I decide what I’ll work on and do that thing until it’s done or the two hours are up. I’ll add 15 minutes here, cut 15 minutes there, work on a lower priority item if I finish the high … More I’m between projects and I need your help deciding what to work on next.

Should you hire a sensitivity reader to scrutinize your novel?

You’ve just finished a novel certain to win a Pulitzer Prize, and you’re particularly proud of one character, an individual not of your race, sexual orientation, and gender. You’ve struck a blow for diversity in literature, one of your core values. Blogger and consultant Mikki Kendall has a suggestion: If you think you’ve done a … More Should you hire a sensitivity reader to scrutinize your novel?

What happens when you remodel your social media platform

If I were to list personal predictions for 2016, they wouldn’t include an email from an agent or publisher with a contract for one of my books. 2015 looked pretty hopeful for Carbon Run, with encouraging words from one agent, who suggested stronger interest if I’d only have a professional editor go over the manuscript. … More What happens when you remodel your social media platform

What Catholic sci-fi writers can learn from Mormon writers.

An unfinished version of this post appeared earlier by mistake. Apologies for my fat fingers. A couple of days after Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened, Washington Post contributor Matthew Bowman pointed out a long fascination by the Mormon community for science fiction and fantasy. Some of the most well-known and best-selling writers in the … More What Catholic sci-fi writers can learn from Mormon writers.

How writers can read The Grapes of Wrath as climate fiction

Great fiction dramatizes times, places and attitudes it was never meant to illuminate. Shakespeare’s plays are loved today, despite the sometimes impenetrable language and unacceptable sexism and racism, because they reveal the universal. For several years, I’ve been interested in how fiction authors deal with climate change, and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is one … More How writers can read The Grapes of Wrath as climate fiction