Missing @RAGBRAI_IOWA

Lee French discussed NOT participating in the quintessential bicycle marathon through the heart of America.

Lee French

Today, I should be in Iowa. Instead, I’m in Puyallup, waiting for our house to clear after some work was done on our floors and getting ready to work Oregon Trail Days in Tenino this weekend. Monday, Jeffrey Cook and I leave for our leisurely drive to Indianapolis for GenCon.

But I should be in Iowa. I knew I would miss not doing Ragbrai this year, but I didn’t realize until this week that I would miss it this much. It feels like I’m letting my bicycle down. Since I knew I wasn’t going, I haven’t been riding. I’ve been working instead.

(See: Backyard Dragons, Ethereal Entanglements, Illusive Echoes, Merely This and Nothing More, and Unnatural Dragons, all released this year already. )

Corn isn’t the same without Iowa. Neither is bacon. I’m not saying bacon tastes like sawdust or anything, it’s just not the same as when it’s mixed…

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#CapitalIndieBookCon: Aftermath

On Saturday I was a vendor at the first of what I think will be a great new Indie Book Con tradition, begun by the wonderful people at Clockwork Dragon. Lee French describes how it began and how it went!

Lee French

As I type this, it’s Sunday night and I’m tired. Saturday, I got up at 5 and couldn’t get back to sleep because I knew I had to run a book fair that day and fifty billion things bombarded my brain–things to remember, things to do, things to take to the car, things not to do.

Folks, I put on a book fair, and it rocked. Jeffrey Cook, my ConBuddy, handled the volunteer side of the affair, among other things. A dozen people did that volunteering to make it really work. My part was all the logistics and venue management. Bookkeeping, paperwork, contracts, payments, spreadsheets, lists, badges, phone calls, emails, maps, arrangements, dragons, tacks, safety pins, tables, chairs, disaster management, tact, mailings, setup, and teardown. So everything I normally do, but times fifty.

From about 6am to 7am, I kept remembering things I need to put in the car. I’d…

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On Being a Professional Writer #amwriting

Lee French talks about her writing life, and questions she is asked most often when on a panel at a convention. Good information!

Lee French

I participate in a few forums and chat rooms where people ask a lot of amateur author questions. Before I go any further, I have nothing against these people. I had all these questions when I started too. The entire reason I hang out in this places online is to be helpful, and hopefully pick up a few kernels I didn’t know along the way. Sometimes, people who know less than me ask questions in areas I haven’t encountered or considered, and then I learn something when others answer. It’s also a good way to discover new cover artists and editors, and to find people to join online book release parties.

Several questions are asked over and over, and they’re very basic questions.

Q: Do I need to hire an editor for my first book? What kind?

A: Yes. Absolutely. Whether you’re self-publishing or not, do it. It’s usually best to…

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I’m Going to Westercon! #westercon69 | Scripturience

Lee French will be at Westercon, details here:

Source: I’m Going to Westercon! #westercon69 | Scripturience

New Releases and Excitement! #free #ebooks

Our own Lee French has a new release in her YA Spirit Knights series, Ethereal Entanglements. Pick it up at Amazon!

Lee French

This past Tuesday, Ethereal Entanglements released. This is book 3 of Spirit Knights, a young adult, paranormal, modern fantasy series about ghost hunting in Portland. Book 4 will have to wait a little while, as I have some other projects with deadlines to deal with. Hopefully, Ghost Is the New Normal will be out in time for Norwescon 2017.

If you missed it, Girls Can’t Be Knights rocketed up the Amazon charts to reach subcategory bestseller status on June 15-17 as a result of some professional promotions work, and it’s now in a whole lot more hands than it was before. I need reviews, though! If you’ve read it, please leave a review. A sentence or two is fine.

I also need reviews of book 2, Backyard Dragons. Comment with a link to your review of Knights–because book 2 has a much better grounding if you’ve read book 1!–and…

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Rebooting Beloved IP #rant

Author Lee French discusses the modern obsession with remaking iconic movies, and does so with class.

Lee French

I’m busy, so I didn’t read anything this week. Instead, I took a few minutes to watch the new trailers for the MacGyver reboot and Star Trek Beyond, and I ran across a heated discussion about the new Ghostbusters movie. All these are reboots of beloved intellectual properties.

Note: I happen to like every single Star Trek movie ever, even the “bad” ones. I like some of them more than others, and a few fare much better in rewatching. Still, I’ve enjoyed them all.

I don’t understand. Why is it necessary to reboot things we loved ten, twenty, thirty or more years ago? What is the magic reason we can’t take some IP that did phenomenally at the time and imagine what life is like that many years later? Why does it have to be a redo instead of a continuation?

In the cases of both Ghostbusters and MacGyver, the producers and writers…

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Dad’s Not Coming #flashfic

“You know Dad’s not coming, right, Mom?”

Eveline pursed her lips and frowned. “He said he’d be here.”

Jack rolled his eyes. “Yeah, sure.”

She sighed, straightening her older son’s tie. It had tiny silver dragons on a black background. “I’m here.”

One side of his mouth quirked up into a smirk. “And he’s not. You should have an affair. It’s not like he’d notice.”

“I think you should, too, Mom.” Brian grinned behind her, holding out Jack’s mortarboard with the tassel now attached. “Find some guy who’ll stick around and likes to play baseball.”

“Boys, that’s not funny.” Despite with her stern words, she echoed Brian’s grin. “What’s important is that I’m very proud of you, Jack. I know you wanted to be Valedictorian, but getting accepted to Stanford is a big deal.”

“Yeah, Super-nerds are super.”

Jack sniffed. “You’re just jealous.”

Brian stuck his tongue out. “Not. Get back to me when you can throw a ball more than ten feet.”

“Alright, alright. Enough of that.” Eveline stepped back while Jack zipped up his graduation robe and sat the mortarboard on his head. Pulling out her phone, she took a picture of him posing for her with a confident smile, and stifled back what she wanted to say, knowing it would only embarrass him. “You look handsome, and I’m sure Jennifer will swoon in your arms.”

Jack grinned and put an arm around his brother’s shoulders. They headed for the front door. “Aren’t you going to ask if I have protection?”

“Should I? Do I need to nag you about that?” Eveline picked up her purse as she followed behind them. “I could plan to text you about it every day when you go off to school. Even better, I could call you at midnight to ask.”

Both boys laughed. “Nah, it’s cool, Mom.” Jack stopped and hugged her, making her fight back tears. “You’re the best Mom ever. I promise to call if I drink and need a ride tonight, and to not let any of my friends drive drunk. I also promise not to get Jenn knocked up tonight.”

“I love you, both of you.” She grabbed Brian’s hand and dragged him into the hug. “Come on, let’s get it all out here so Jack can be manly and stoic for his friends.”

They shared the hug for a long few seconds, then broke apart and walked out the front door. Jack gave Eveline his arm and they walked together down to the street, Jack waving proudly to the neighbors. It took them ten minutes to reach the school, where Brian and Eveline left Jack to line up with his fellow graduates. The good seats were already taken, but Brian promised to slip up to the front and get some pictures when it started.

Eveline sat with a program clutched in her hands, craning her neck around to watch for her husband. He missed everything, but surely this would get him here? Brian put a hand on her shoulder and shook his head. Patting his hand, she sighed and nodded. For the thousandth time in her life, she stopped looking, put him out of her mind, and enjoyed the event.


Lee French is a member of the Edgewise Words Inn staff. She has published several fantasy and science fiction novels.