If you have registered for the conference and are mailing a check rather than paying by PayPal, we ask that you do not include other items with your check such as your proposal overview (for meetings with agents) or your submission to the Agents Panel (“The Hook”), etc.

The reason for this request is that our Treasurer is the person who is taking checks, while our Registrar is a different person and is handling the various optional activities associated with the conference. She will instruct you on how to send your submissions.

Thanks very much for your cooperation.

gabrielSquailiabyBillWrightThis interview was conducted by Ilya Parker, panel moderator for Extraordinary Seeds at this year’s WriteAngles conference.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

It was kind of an always thing. I remember thinking up books as young as seven or eight. I had my mother transcribe my first attempt, because she was a newspaper editor and typed impossibly fast. As I went through elementary school I got more serious and mapped my first fantasy world. Then I picked a random kid and had him draw a line on the map: the hero’s journey. Then I built the plot around it.

Okay, how long did it take you to write DEAD BOYS?

DeadBoysIt depends on what you consider writing. I had the idea for the world in 2000, but the first draft was absolutely awful, with nothing worth keeping. I kept kicking the idea around, and years later I tried what I call the William S. Burroughs version, which had the physical comedy that ended up staying. The final version took me a year and a half, full time. Then my editor and I pulled it apart for about four more months. So depending on how you calculate it, it’s either fourteen years or almost two.

Are you working on DEAD BOYS II?

No, what I’m working on is a cousin, but not directly related. The seed of the idea came from what would have been DEAD BOYS II, but I decided not to do anything further in the “Land of the Dead,” at least for now. This one is inverted, with living characters. This story uses life and vital organs to talk about death and mourning, whereas DEAD BOYS is a book that is pretending to be about death and is really about life, about how to deal with existence.

You have been writing your whole life and your first novel just came out about six months ago. You’ve made the transition from writer to published author. What are the differences?

I’ve seen two things happen simultaneously. On one hand I have a lot more confidence. My psychic water level has risen, the doubt has quieted. At the same time, I don’t think as highly of myself or my work. It used to feel more like I was a misunderstood genius. Now it feels like I’m very, very fortunate to be allowed to write books. The criticism that I levy at myself hurts less, while seeming more valid.

Has it changed your writing practice?

In terms of the writing itself, it’s not as if I’m sitting down and feeling the eyes of many readers scrutinizing what I’m doing. I’m mainly thinking of how it sounds to me. I read everything aloud. If it sounds like garbage, I throw it away. The difference, in terms of process, is that after I’m done, I just don’t regard it as finished anymore. It used to be that I’d write something, I’d polish it, and I’d consider that the finished product. Almost as if I was challenging the world to disagree with what I had done. It was hard for me to believe any editor was going to find any fault with it. [He laughs.] That is a form of arrogance that has been smacked out of me in the best possible way.

What are your goals moving forward?

I have no idea what kind of books I’m going to be writing five or ten years from now, and I like that. Right now my goal is to see what happens when I produce more quickly, when I’m less precious. What happens when I produce a book every year or two? The writers that I’d like to emulate tend to be prolific. That’s what I’m more interested in right now, instead of laboring over perfect works, or shooting for a really wide audience.

I’ve noticed you are very active on Facebook. I’ve seen poetry there. Are you a poet as well as a fantasy novelist?

I have what Lawrence Ferlinghetti termed poetry seizures. I write poetry for extended periods and I can’t stop. Then when it’s done, it’s done. I don’t miss it when it’s gone, but when it’s there I can’t turn it off. The reason that I put everything I did on Facebook over those two years or so was because my focus was on being accessible as a writer and as a human. It made sense to me to try to appeal to people directly as I could, and composing explicitly for status updates seemed like as good a way as any.

Do you have any favorite interview questions?

Not yet. I’ve gotten used to the questions people ask when I’m at Barnes and Noble, foisting my books on strangers. What’s interesting is that those questions tend to be the same in a single bookstore, but they change from one to the next. In Albany everyone wanted to know how long it took, while Kingston was more philosophical.

More about Gabriel.

Author photo by Bill Wright

registrationformwithHandWe are now accepting registrations.

BabaYaga'sAssistantMarikaMcCoolaMarika McCoola found out quite recently that her book BABA YAGA’S ASSISTANT is on the New York Times best seller list, ranking #3 as a graphic novel. Congratulations, Marika, and we look forward to hearing from you on October 17 at the Extraordinary Seeds panel.

PeterNelsonThe following interview with Peter Nelson was conducted by Joan Axelrod-Contrada, moderator of the Secrets of Successful Writers panel at this year’s WriteAngles conference.

Why did you become a writer? When did the writing bug first bite you?

I dictated a book of poems to my mother when I was four or five. It began “Two squirrels collecting pearls . . .” And so on. I also illustrated it. Then I won a poetry contest in second grade and read my poem to an auditorium full of Minneapolis elementary school teachers. The poem was called Hail the Mighty Golfers. Illustrated that one too. I was always writing little stories and skits and making imitations of Mad Magazine or comic books – In other words, I don’t know when I became a writer, but it never occurred to me that I couldn’t be one. Never a day when I had to make a decision to become something I had any doubts about. The decision to try to MAKE A LIVING as a writer came with a week to go in college when my writing professor told me I was good at it and suggested I get an MFA, at which point I was launched on the path.

What is the most rewarding part of being a writer?

Finding out how the stories I begin end. That’s the process, wondering, “What would happen if . . .?” And then writing until I discover the answer.

The most frustrating?

Divining the ways of the publishing marketplace.

Can you tell us about your latest release?

The last book I published, FINDING REILLY; SAVING MYSELF, was in collaboration with a man who rescued a dog from a slot canyon in Arizona and, in the process of rescuing and seeing through to the dog’s full recovery, discovered the origins of his own bullying as a child. Though oddly, I realized, as we worked through his life story, that he was somewhere on the Aspergers/autistic spectrum and unable to see things about himself that were quite evident to me. I was writing his story, but I knew his story better than he did.

What inspired it?

I got a call from an agent looking for a writer to collaborate on the project, and she knew I’d written about dogs before.

You’re sitting on the Secrets of Successful Writers panel at this year’s conference. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re planning?

I am planning to wing it. That is, I’ve taught and talked about these things my entire life and while I’m not sure I have any secrets, I’ve learned a few tricks here and there.

What are you working on now?

I have, lately, been working with a collaborator in Hollywood on a number of film projects. We have multiple irons in the fire, but to mix a metaphor, it gets to feel like herding cats. I have literary projects in the works as well, including a memoir, and I grab an hour here and an hour there to move everything forward.

Where can we find you online?

You can’t, though if you google my name, there’s another guy with my same first name, last name, and middle initial, and he writes books (and has a TV show) about tree houses. I used to have a website, and I should probably restore it, but it seemed for the most part like a waste of time and money to maintain. There are probably writers who know how to monetize the Internet, but I’m not one of them.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Just that I look forward to meeting everybody.

avitalnormannathmanLiz Bedell interviews Avital who will appear on the panel Writer as Entrepreneur: Getting Your Book Out There, on October 17.

Why did you become a writer? When did the writing bug first bite you?

I’ve been writing since elementary school! The fact that I wasn’t paid for it then didn’t stop me and I would fill notebooks upon notebooks with stories. I ended up becoming a writer because that feeling that I just had to write never quite went away.

What is the most rewarding part of being a writer? The most frustrating?

Sparking conversation and debate with what I write, and getting to hear the stories of others who were inspired by something I wrote. The most frustrating is that as a freelance writer it’s a feast or famine world.

Can you tell us about your latest release?

I write non-fiction, so I’m continuously being published both online and in print with articles, interviews, and op/eds. You can read some of my weekly columns at SheKnows.com!

You’re sitting on the Writer As Enterpreneur: Getting Your Book Out There panel at this year’s WriteAngles Conference. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re planning?

I’ll talk a bit about how social media is instrumental in helping promote a book, and even if it can feel overwhelming — it’s worth it!

What are you working on now?

I’m working on my second book, The Perfect Birth Myth, which will take a look at the birthing industry in the US.

Where can we find you online?

At The Mamafesto.com and tweeting at @TheMamafesto.

mirabartokOnly a few years ago Mira Bartok, author of The Memory Palace, was a panelist at WriteAngles. Now publishers are vying for her uncompleted manuscript and plans are afoot for a movie!

It may not prove that all our panelists will meet with fabulous success but it does provide additional evidence that we attract fine panelists.


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