Thursday, May 26, 2011, 1:24 PM
Just a quick note to let you all know that my panel schedule for Phoenix ComiCon can be found here. You'll also be able to find me at Table #638 signing books. Hope to see some of you there!
Thursday, April 21, 2011, 8:17 PM
Just got my final LepreCon37 schedule:
*LIT – COLLABORATING WITH YOUR IMAGINARY INTERNET FRIENDS, 9-10 PM, Delores
*LIT – MINORITIES IN SF TODAY, 2-3 PM, Joshua Tree
*READING, 3-3:30 PM, Palm E
*AUTOGRAPHING, 3:30-4:30 PM, Dealers Room
*LIT – REQUIRED READING, 5-6 PM, Boardroom
*SOC – RELIGION WITHOUT GOD, 12-1 PM, Xavier
I'll be reading an excerpt from my upcoming DDO novel, The Shard Axe, so if you'll be in Tempe, AZ that weekend and would like a sneal peek, stop by! Hoping to see some DDO/Eberron fans there!
Saturday, February 12, 2011, 8:16 PM
As promised, here is my ConDor 2011 schedule:
*Sat 2/26 - 10 AM - Crescent Room
Creating A Non-Vanilla Hero - Sheila Finch, Marsheila Rockwell, Jefferson Swycaffer, Kevin Gerard, John Oliver
*Sat 2/26 - 12 PM - Crescent Room
Christian F/SF - Ron Oakes, Sheila Finch, Marsheila Rockwell, Lynn Maudlin, Nancy Holder
*Sat 2/26 - 4 PM - Fairchild Room
SF Poetry Reading – Deborah Flores, Samantha Henderson, Deborah Kolodji, Marsheila Rockwell
*Sat 2/26 - 5 PM - Fairchild Room
SF Poetry Reading – Deborah Flores, Samantha Henderson, Deborah Kolodji, Marsheila Rockwell
*Sun 2/27 - 10 AM - Crescent Room
Writers as Readers - Merrie Destefano, Sherwood Smith, Sheila Finch, Marsheila Rockwell
*Sun 2/27 - 12 PM - Dealers' Room
Autographs - Merrie Destefano, Marsheila Rockwell
(I'm not actually on the schedule for the poetry readings yet, but I'll be there and be reading, so come join us!)
Sunday, January 30, 2011, 3:13 PM
Just a brief note to let all the folks here know about my new book, The Shard Axe, the first official Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited tie-in novel, which will be released September 6, 2011. Mark your calendars (pre-orders are always welcomed)!
Monday, November 8, 2010, 11:49 AM
Just taking a quick break from revisions on my latest Eberron novel to post my schedule for TusCon 37:
*Saturday, 11/13, 1 PM (St. Augustine):
Guerrilla Publishing: self promotion, serializing online, traditional vs. alternative paths Daniel, Ochse, D.Summers, Twohig, Rockwell
*Saturday, 11/13, 7 PM (Garden):
*Sunday, 11/14, 12 PM (St. Augustine):
Buddy stories: A kind of romance? McKiernan, Mertz, Welch, Rockwell
*Sunday, 11/14, 2 PM (Copper):
The continuing success of cross-genre books: What does paranormal romance have besides kinky sex? S.Butcher, Knowles, Krinard, Mariotte, Rockwell
Hope to see some of you there!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 10:58 AM
Here is my RinCon schedule, complete with signings:
*Sat, 10/9/10, 2 pm -- Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies, Oh My!
Panelists: Yvonne Navarro, Westen Ochse, Jeff Mariotte, Marsheila Rockwell
*Sat, 10/9/10, 4 pm -- signing w/Michael Stackpole (Mysterious Galaxy signing booth)
*Sun. 10/10/10, 10 am -- Writing Media and Gaming Tie-Ins
Panelists: Jeff Mariotte, Michael A. Stackpole, Marsheila Rockwell
*Sun, 10/10/10, 12 pm -- signing w/Michael Stackpole & Jeff Mariotte (Mysterious Galaxy signing booth)
*Sun, 10/10/10, 2 pm -- Science Fiction versus Fantasy
Panelists: Sam Sykes, Gini Koch, Marsheila Rockwell, Jeff Mariotte, Michael Stackpole
If you're planning on being in the Tucson area this weekend (or, you know, anywhere within a 500-mile radius), drop by!Â It's going to be a blast!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010, 11:48 PM
Got my panel schedule for CopperCon 30:
*Sat, 9/4, 9-10AM, Court A.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
LIT - Science Fiction vs. Fantasy
*Sat, 9/4, 1-2PM, Court A.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
LIT - What IS SF?
*Sun, 9/5, 9-10AM, Annex.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
LIT - D.I.Y. Media Promotion for Authors
*Sun, 9/5, 6:30-7:30PM, Breakfast Nook.Â Â Â Â
LIT â€“ Reading
*Mon, 9/6, 11AM-noon, Court A.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
LIT - Christian Science Fiction
Mark your calendars!
Thursday, June 10, 2010, 6:05 PM
I gave a talk today to about 40-some high school students.Â It went pretty well (no one fell asleep that I could see, so I'm calling it a success).Â As part of the talk, I put together a list of helpful internet resurces for writers, so I thought I'd pass it on here:
Ralan.com â€“ Â www.ralan.com/
Duotrope's Digest â€“ Â www.duotrope.com/index.aspx
Mindflights â€“ Â www.mindflights.com/guidelines.php
Spaceports & Spidersilk â€“ Â samsdotpublishing.com/SpacespidersGL.htm
Beyond Centauri â€“ Â www.samsdotpublishing.com/beyondguide.ht...
"Professional" Writer's Organizations
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) â€“ Â www.sfwa.org/
Horror Writer's Association (HWA) â€“ Â www.horror.org/
Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA) â€“ Â www.sfpoetry.com/
Absolute Write Forums â€“ www.absolutewrite.com/forums/
Forward Motion for Writers â€“ www.fmwriters.com/index.html
Writer Beware â€“ www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/
SciFi Conventions â€“ www.scificonventions.com/
Agent Query â€“ www.agentquery.com/
Castles High and Fair â€“ www.marsheilarockwell.com/
Tuesday, June 1, 2010, 7:10 PM
This is the guest blog I did for Coyote Con.Â I thought some of you folks here might enjoy it as well.
TIE-IN DOESNâ€™T MEAN PHONE IT IN
by Marsheila Rockwell
Weâ€™ve all heard the comments.Â Okay, well maybe you havenâ€™t, but those of us who write tie-in fiction have.
â€śâ€¦second-tier storytellingâ€¦â€ť â€“ David Gerrold, author of about a billion novels, some of which are (gasp!) tie-ins
â€śâ€¦a dead-end, creatively speakingâ€¦[presenting] the poorest face of the genreâ€¦â€ť â€“ Alan Beatts, owner of SFâ€™s famed Borderlands Books, which refuses to even carry tie-in fiction
â€śâ€¦demonstrates [the] low standards of the drooling massesâ€¦â€ť â€“ some random guy on a message board
â€śâ€¦you write what?Â Eeewwwwâ€¦â€ť â€“ my neighbor (and probably yours, too)
Why does tie-in fiction get such a bad rap?Â Why are writers of tie-in fiction assumed to be hacks who arenâ€™t good enough to get their own stuff published?
Well, like any good insult, thereâ€™s a grain of truth to it.Â As Kevin J. Anderson admits, â€śBack around the seventies or so, novelizations and tie-in books were, for the most part, execrable and often written under pen names for a quick buck.Â Thatâ€™s just the way the business used to be.â€ťÂ But thatâ€™s no longer the case.Â Nowadays, he goes on to say, â€śbig name authors are falling all over themselves to writeâ€ť tie-in fiction, and, indeed, the member list of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW) reads like a veritable Whoâ€™s Who of genre authors, including Mr. Anderson himself.Â The â€śbad quickie books from the pastâ€ť would seem to be, for the most part, just that â€“ a thing of the past.
And yet the perception of tie-in work as substandard persists.Â Why?
Iâ€™ve noticed a few gripes in my own (admittedly short) tie-in career that seem to pop up with tiresome regularity, and those are the points Iâ€™ll address here.Â First, there is the notion that tie-in work is somehow â€śeasierâ€ť to write than original fiction, since tie-in writers already have the setting/character/plot/what have you laid out for them.Â Second, people think that because the work is part of a larger universe with a â€śbuilt-inâ€ť fanbase, writers of tie-in fiction donâ€™t have to work as hard to attract and keep readers.Â Third â€“ and this is my personal favorite â€“ is the contradictory idea that writers of tie-in fiction are wasting their talents/cheapening themselves/demonstrating their lack of ability by doing work for hire rather than trying to get their own original work published.
Letâ€™s address that first fallacy â€“ that since youâ€™re working in a setting someone else created, with characters that someone else created, following a plot that someone else created, your task of writing an interesting story is somehow easier than if you had to create all of those things from scratch.Â To that I say, Bullocks!Â To date, Iâ€™ve written dozens of original stories (and a few novels that will hopefully see the light of day sometime soon) and two tie-in novels, and Iâ€™m here to tell you that the tie-ins were much more difficult to write.Â Why?Â Precisely because there are already so many things that other people have created.Â You have to find a way to make your story and characters stand out in a world where you donâ€™t make the rules.Â In an original story, if you want to submerge a continent, kill a king or just invent a really cool creature to fit the needs of the story, you are only limited by your own imagination and whatever laws youâ€™ve laid down (which in a fantasy setting, can be tweaked, if need be).Â You donâ€™t have that kind of freedom with tie-in work, yet you still have to write a story that is as engaging as any of the original work filling up the other two SF/F aisles in the bookstore.Â That, my friends, is not an easy task, and anyone who implies otherwise has never tried it.
The â€śfanâ€ť argument is a fun one, too, and one that does disservice to both tie-in authors and their readers.Â Star Wars fans, these detractors say, will buy â€śanything with a lightsaber on it, regardless of quality.â€ťÂ (Admittedly, this quote was about video games, not books, but video games are just another form of tie-in writing.)Â Only someone who is not a fan themselves could make such a sweeping and erroneous statement.Â If anything, the opposite is true.Â In my experience, fans of a setting are often at least as familiar with it as the authors are (many are more so), and mistakes will not be forgiven.Â Fans form tight-knit communities and have many authors from which to choose â€“ if your work in the setting isnâ€™t up to par, word will get around, and your sales will reflect that.Â And as your sales go, so goes your tie-in writing career.Â Having a â€śbuilt-inâ€ť fanbase for the setting youâ€™re writing in may get you some initial sales, but it will not sustain your career if you donâ€™t have the writing chops to deliver stories that those fans want to read, period.Â If you donâ€™t believe me, just google â€śworst (insert fandom of choice here) bookâ€ť and see how many of the mid-list* authors mentioned are still writing books (under their own names, anyway).Â Â
(* â€“ I say mid-list, because the Big Name Authors will survive, no matter how many people hate a particular book â€“ theyâ€™ve got the backlist and the track record to absorb even a â€śworst bookâ€ť tag.)Â Â
Finally, thereâ€™s the contradictory â€śwasting your talent/not good enough to do anything elseâ€ť accusation.Â Vonda McIntyre wrote a great article a few years back on her own experiences writing tie-in fiction.Â Ms. McIntyre, who has won both the Hugo and the Nebula Award (twice), cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to fall into the â€śnot good enoughâ€ť category, so why would she â€śpolluteâ€ť herself by writing tie-in fiction, after having received the highest accolades the genre has to offer a writer?Â In her own words, â€śThe folks who invited me to write it knew Iâ€™d been fond of the series and they trusted me to treat the characters with some respect.â€ťÂ Her reasons are my reasons, and the reasons of all the people I know who are currently writing tie-in fiction.Â We do it because we love the setting(s).Â And because we love them, we give those books the same care as any of our own original work.
Which is the number one reason todayâ€™s tie-in work is not crap, despite what you may have heard to the contrary.Â You only have to look at the New York Times or Publisherâ€™s Weekly Bestsellers list for any given week to see the truth of that, but I have a better idea.Â If youâ€™ve never read tie-in fiction, give it a try.Â Check out some of the authors in the articles Iâ€™ve cited.Â Choose Ms. McIntyreâ€™s work, or Mr. Andersonâ€™s (or, heck, you know, maybe even mine).Â You donâ€™t even have to buy anything â€“ head down to your local library.Â If they donâ€™t have it, they can get it.Â What have you go to lose, besides an outdated misconception? Â
1 â€“ www.sfsignal.com/archives/2008/09/mind-m...
2 â€“ www.metafilter.com/79266/KHAAAAAAAN
3 â€“ www.iamtw.org/art_are.html
4 â€“ www.massively.com/2010/04/24/the-daily-g...