Monday, December 29, 2008
CSFF Presents: The Lost Genre Guild--What It Means for Authors
I did something very silly. I posted my original interview for the CSFF tour of the Lost Genre Guild two weeks early. Therefore, I invite you to click here for an excellent interview by LGG founder Frank Creed.
For those who don't want to click around: The Lost Genre Guild is a community of authors working together at the intersection of our God-given talents and passions. Quality, entertaining speculative fiction (sci-fi, horror, and fantasy), has such ministry potential. Its mission is to raise awareness and respect for Biblical and Christian speculative fiction, and to encourage, educate and support the writers of such fiction. (From the interview)
Simple mission with a big effect. Its members have found not only moral support for their writing, but practical support that has led to novels and stories written and works published. Today, I present three successful LGG members: Terri Main and Grace Bridges, and myself.
Book published and magazine: Creative Calisthenics: A Workout for the Writer's Imagination and Wayfarer's Journal.
Why did you join the Guild? Frank asked me to join. Mostly he wanted me to share some of my marketing experience. I was still separated from my fiction writing roots. I had been away from fiction writing for nearly 20 years, except for a few things I wrote as part of personal therapy. I shared them with others of similar troubles, and they loved them, but, hey, we were emotionally distressed, you like anything that doesn't make you feel so alone. I didn't come in as a writer--only a bit as an editor of a ezine, mostly as a marketing expert. Little did I know it would stir up an ember that had nearly gone out.
What have you gotten from the Guild? Restoration of the joy of fiction writing. Whether I ever get a book contract, I have recovered those vicarious adventures writers have as they follow their characters chasing a story.
Are you a better writer because of the Guild? Yes. I'm writing more. My imagination is always being stimulated by some discussion or other. I am challenged to bring my "A" game by being accountable to others.
Tell us a little about Wayfarer's Journal. Wayfarer's Journal seeks to publish science fiction stories with a spiritual or ethical component. That doesn't mean it will always be a story about Christianity or Christian doctrine directly. I have a couple of potentially controversial stories ready to go into the next issue which have that type of moral or ethical component, but without any direct reference to Christian doctrine. I'll be releasing that issue about the first of January. WJ also publishes a limited number of semi-scholarly articles about science fiction with a spiritual element. It is intended to fill a niche for a pure science fiction publication. Most of the Christian speculative fiction e-zines are heavily focused on fantasy. Nothing wrong with that. I like fantasy, but science fiction seemed to take a back seat. So, I decided to find a niche not being covered at this time. We currently get about 180,000 hits a year.
Did your being in the LGG influence the creation of the WJ? If so, how? Certainly, it influenced the development of the site. Many of our writers are LGG writers. And I got encouragement and support from the various LGG members. They also have helped promote the site.
One of the things I find wonderful about LGG is that although we are in the same "business," we are not competitors. We all know we work "for The Boss," as Frank says. We help each other succeed, and everyone else's success is celebrated as if it is our own. Here's the secret: It is our own. When another LGG member breaks through with a popular website or a good selling book, that helps the entire genre. By helping each other, we not only have more joy on the journey, we also make the journey more productive for all concerned.
Name of book: Faith Awakened
Why did you join the Guild? Daniel Weaver invited me from Myspace to join his crit group. Then this guy called Frank pulled it all together and I was there right from the start. I'd been working on a sci-fi novel for some years and thought this could help its progress--and it did!
What have you gotten from the Guild? Ooh, where do I start? Fabulous critique partners, reviews, hospitality, moral support, hugs real and virtual, publishing and co-writing opportunities...
How are you a better writer because of the Guild? Critiques are probably the single biggest factor in my improvement. Folks who tell you the truth about your work are worth their weight in gold!
Do you have a personal success story (publishing, sales, etc.) that is a direct result of your participation in the Guild? The Guild encouraged me to self-publish my first book and told me in no uncertain terms to ensure the quality meant no one could ever tell it was self-published. That book has sold 500 copies. Due to further support from the gang, I'm about to launch an independent press. And when I trekked across the States on my way home, so many LGG folks opened their homes to me. It was wonderful to meet them in person!
Books Published and magazine: Infinite Space, Infinite God and Leaps of Faith, and Faith-Filled Fiction.
As for me, the Guild has provided some great friendship, a place to bounce ideas and get feedback and critique, and discuss what it means to write faith-filled fiction. On a practical marketing side, I've participated in a book fair with Frank and Cynthia, where we promoted LGG books and books of the Catholic Writers Guild. I also found a publisher for Leaps of Faith, an anthology of Christian SF, through the Guild, and have sold some stories thanks to leads from this group. Every day, we have active discussions going on topics ranging from someone's latest story idea to working out kinks when publishing with Lulu to market news to ideas to sell our books.
If you are an author of Christian Sci-Fi, fantasy or horror, this is THE group for you to join!
For more about the LGG, including the great fiction by its authors: http://www.lostgenreguild.com/
Learn what other bloggers have to say about the LGG:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Lost Genre Guild
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte