Interview Transcripts

Deborah J. Ross, Fantasy Writer: Writing in Spite of Life 6/16/05

Event start time:

Thu Jun 16 18:46:24 2005

Event end time:

Thu Jun 16 21:06:14 2005



Legend:
Questions from the Audience are presented in red.
Answers by the Speaker are in black.
The Moderator's comments are in blue.

Mary Rosenblum

Hello, all!

 

Welcome to our Professional Connection live interview.

 

Tonight we're again chatting with Deborah Ross, Sf and Fantasy writer and a personal friend of mine.

 

Deborah Ross grew up mostly in California and Oregon, grew her hair long and protested everything during the sixties. It took her three academic degrees (bachelors in biology, masters in psychology, doctorate in chiropractic) to figure out that the true "work of her heart" was storytelling. She has also studied martial arts, lived in France (an "alien-encounter" if there ever was one), and become a single working mom

 

Writing as Deborah Wheeler, she published two sf novels, JAYDIUM and NORTHLIGHT, as well as short story in ASIMOV'S, FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, STAR WARS: TALES FROM JABBA'S

 

PALACE, SISTERS OF THE NIGHT, and almost all of the SWORD & SORCERESS and

 

the DARKOVER anthologies. Her recent projects include a Darkover trilogy with the late Marion Zimmer Bradley: THE FALL OF NESKAYA (DAW 2001), ZANDRU'S FORGE (DAW 6/03) and A FLAME IN HALI (forthcoming 6/04). Her story, "Heart-Healer," appears in the DAW 30th Anniversary Fantasy Anthology.

 

She has managed to write in spite of a LOT of obstacles tossed in her way by life, and do it on deadline, and quite professionally!

 

So welcome, Deborah! It's so great to have you back here again!

Deborah J. Ross

Great to be here, Mary. Hello, everyone!

Mary Rosenblum

For our new visitors here, want to tell us how you got started writing? What told you you were GOING to be a writer?

Deborah J. Ross

I started writing in 4th grade, mostly horse and dog stories.

 

and kept writing, whatever struck my imagination, but didn't take it seriously

 

until I "burned out" as supermom when my first child was 9 months. It’s the thing I've always loved to do,

 

fought for time to do, dreamed of.  Then one of my patients (when I was still a chiropractor) started a women's

 

writing group, and I got so excited I wrote this story I'd been using as a go-to-sleep fantasy.  I wrote 200+

 

pages in 6 weeks with an infant! That was, as they say, that.

 

So, anyone want to talk about how to write with an active baby in the house?

Mary Rosenblum

Quite a few, I'm sure! LOL...I was in the same boat.

wingedwarrior24

Can you walk us through a typical work day for you?

Mary Rosenblum

DO you have a typical work day, Deborah?

Deborah J. Ross

I'm up around 6:30, do personal recovery journal, exercise a bit, eat, practice piano. Usually done around 10,

 

try to get in at least an hour before breaking, sometimes nap after lunch, then a solid 3-4 hours in the afternoon.

 

If I'm on deadline or really cooking, I'll write after dinner, but usually not. My best time has changed over the years.

 

It used to be mornings, now I get this amazing second wind around 5 pm and am very productive then.

 

Since I'm working on 2 major series, I go back and forth, dipping into each one frequently to keep my mind working on it.

Mary Rosenblum

Does changing from one project to another keep you from getting bogged down or blocked on one project?

Deborah J. Ross

Exactly. I can be stuck on one, and still be able to be productive on the other. Sometimes, one just takes over, and I try to go with it.

 

When I was fairly new, I couldn't do this. I had to focus on only one project at a time

 

because I was learning writing craft at the same time, and that's two major things right there!

ashton

With all that's happened and continues to happen in my life, I feel overwhelmed and swamped. All I want to do is write but I'm so stressed that I can't think. I'm not one to blow deadlines and I've had to do it time and time again. How do you get past all of the chaos and still get it all done and done right and speedily?

Deborah J. Ross

I think first you have to take care of yourself, to carve out quiet time to nourish your soul and replenish your creative energy.

Deb

And the second important thing is to think in terms of small steps. Remember the beginning of CONTACT, when Jodie Foster

 

is learning to use a ham radio.. "Small moves..." Set goals you can reach, like just reading over the last paragraph you wrote

 

then maybe just one more sentence... then just one more paragraph... one page over the course of a day.

 

And CELEBRATE! Praise your creative self. We all do better with rewards and feeling good about ourselves.

 

On deadlines... I don't work well under pressure, so I'm always early. If I rush, I miss the good stuff that comes only when

 

I've really thought things through. Editors can be very understanding if you let them know you'll be late.

wolf122

Thank you Ms. Ross for joining us. Question: Due to working 40+ hours and an internship, my creativity had 'dried up'--I couldn't write even a sentence. In the future, what tips do you recommend to combat this type of dry spell?

Deborah J. Ross

Turn it into a private juicy spell.

Debor

Even if you can't write on paper/screen, spin stories in your head while you wash dishes, walk the dog -- not drive the freeway

 

of course, but use bits of dead time and just indulge yourself with the worst kind of wish-fulfillment guilty pleasures. You will be

 

creating a treasure trove of delights for when you can sit down and write. Nothing creative is ever wasted, and this "fallow time" can

 

yield amazing stuff later.

Mary Rosenblum

And maybe carry a notebook or handheld tape recorder, Deborah? To 'take notes'?

Deborah J. Ross

Definitely. I keep a writing journal, sometimes separate from my personal journal, sometimes all mushed together.

writeaway

What is a personal recovery journal?

Deborah J. Ross

I went through a personal crisis about 9 years ago and got into a 12 step program; I write about the issues and insights that help me be

 

sane. We can talk about this if you like. The crisis was the aftermath of a family death by violence, and since the killer was on cocaine and

 

alcohol, I joined Al-anon (for family and friends of alcoholics, or who have been affected by someone's drinking).

 

I find that my writing is an incredible tool for healing and growth, but also that I need to keep using those recovery tools

 

in order to keep writing when things get tough.

robb813

How do you find the creative spark within while in the midst of a major emotional turmoil like, oh, say, Divorce? How does one keep that open part of themselves clear?

Deborah J. Ross

For myself, I need a place where I can write about what I'm feeling now

 

and keep it separate from my professional writing. After the murder (it was my mother who was killed, in a spectacularly brutal

 

crime), I wrote a series of stories, metaphors for grief, anger, revenge, and unfortunately some of them made it into print.

 

Now, I think I'd write them only for myself. If I have the space to just feel those things, I'm more likely

 

to be able to set them aside and work on the project at hand. Of course, what I'm going through

 

will affect my writing, but it's part of craft to be able to take that energy and use it to drive the story and characters.

Mary Rosenblum

Do you think that because you write fantasy, and thus could bend and shape your story worlds as you wanted

 

that it was easier to integrate your personal feelings into fiction than it might have been

 

had you been writing something like mainstream?

Deborah J. Ross

Since I also write sf, I have to say no. I don't think the specific genre is nearly as important...

 

as writing from my guts. If I wrote horror, I'd have a ton of stories!

 

Some day

 

I'd like to write a semi-autobiographic mainstream novel about survival and healing, based on what I went through.

writeaway

Thank you for such a personal answer. My father was also killed in a brutal double murder.

Deborah J. Ross

[[hugs]] That is so hard. Do you have to deal with parole hearings?

writeaway

His murderer was never caught.

Mary Rosenblum

I'm so sorry, write!

Deborah J. Ross

That is a heart-breaker. When we were on our way to the sentencing

 

we stayed with some friends, and his mother had also been raped and murdered 20 years ago. I asked him

 

how he lived with it, and he said the first years were the hardest, because every man he'd pass on the street, he'd wonder

 

if was him. But over the years, he found such peace, his spirit shone with it. I knew then I wanted that same peace, even if it took

 

20 years to create it inside me. I was determined not to let myself become another victim of this hideous monster.

 

So every story I write,

 

every moment of joy and creativity, is a triumph!

Mary Rosenblum

You know, these are personal tragedies of a scale that most of us, hopefully, will not have to face...but I think the important thing here is that you found your ways through it, and did not let it become an insurmountable wall to stop you from writing...or living your lives, for that matter.

 

That is a tremendous achievement, both of you.

Deborah J. Ross

I think it's so important

 

not to compare my pain with your pain. My story is spectacular, but so is writeaway's.

 

But even if it's on a much smaller scale, pain is pain, and all suffering deserves compassion.

gail

I'm currently suffering a crisis of faith in my own writing ability. Has this ever happened to you and, if so, what enabled you to "stay the course"?

Deborah J. Ross

Oh, with just about every story...

Mary Rosenblum

J

Deborah J. Ross

I try to give myself permission to be really, really, REALLY awful. To write total drek. To write stuff so bad

 

it makes me laugh. And guess what? I always find

 

it's a whole lot better than I thought.

 

Then I promise myself that the only draft that counts

 

is the one on the editor's desk, and I won't sent it out until I feel okay about it.

 

So even if it sits in the trunk, I'll have done it for myself and learned something, and gotten just a bit better.

 

The only way to fail

 

is to stop trying.

Mary Rosenblum

And you know, I don't know any professional writer who doesn't agonize about their work...suffer multiple crises of faith...do you?

Deborah J. Ross

I know a whole bunch of wannabees who are convinced of their greatness, but no professional writers!

Mary Rosenblum

LOL

wolf122

I will be attending Chiropractic school next summer--did you find that the studies prevented you from completing whole stories, or did it just take longer to finish the works?

Deborah J. Ross

I think the important thing is to write the stories that are in you, in the length that is right for them

 

and not to worry about how long it takes. You will be filling your mind with the most amazing wonderful stuff

 

anyway. Do keep a journal of story ideas for later when you have time!

Mary Rosenblum

You know, one thing that I think is pretty typical is that sense of 'now or never'... Writing is for life, not 'this month' or 'this year'.

 

Maybe we have to learn that later on?

Deborah J. Ross

Some never do, I fear.

 

I went through a hard time when I fell apart, about a year after the first parole hearing

 

and I couldn't concentrate at all well. I certainly couldn't write a novel

 

and did only a few short stories on invitation to anthologies.

 

I know so many wonderful writers who have had dry spells but didn't give up. I think

 

we come back richer and with greater judgment and patience with ourselves.

 

It was in that time

 

that Marion and I began working on a series of "Darkover novels:" and I will always be

 

grateful for the "hand up" that got me back on my feet in terms of novels.

Mary Rosenblum

(Marion is Marion Zimmer Bradley)

Deborah J. Ross

Yes. We planned 3 novels together.

 

And then she passed away, so I wrote them, and both readers and editor loved what I'd done.

 

So there are 3 more in the works, and I want to keep writing them, as long as the readers want them

 

to keep her vision alive; I've shown myself I can do that AND do my own original fantasy, too.

 

The best of both worlds.

Mary Rosenblum

That is cool, that you can capture her voice and universe and keep your own as well.

paja

I'll buy them! Don't stop writing Darkover.

Mary Rosenblum

A fan!

Deborah J. Ross

Some of it is the luck of the draw

 

that the way I naturally write is very close to her authorial voice. And thank you, paja!! I just turned in the next one,

 

THE ALTON GIFT. No pub date, but I expect next summer. Meanwhile, I'll keep posting snippets on my website

 

for lovely readers like you.

Mary Rosenblum

http://www.sff.net/people/deborahjross

luv2write

How do you make yourself set aside time to write when life seems to gobble up all of your waking hours?

Deborah J. Ross

Priorities and rewards, like if I write one page/paragraph/whatever, I can then do something special. I don't write well

 

when I'm too tired, so I try to do it early in the day. I try to respect what I need to write. Sometimes, that includes a warmup, like

 

a pass through sff.net topics or rereading something I'm tickled with. I also pay attention

 

to what's going on when I'm noodling around wasting time. What is it I really need? I've unplugged the TV because it's too

 

addictive for me. Look at what gets in my way.

 

Sometimes it takes me a while to "settle down" but if I don't have that time, I need to figure out ways to

 

short-circuit it, to use the time I have more efficiently. I did learn how to do that

 

when I had small kids, to write in tiny periods of time, like 10 minutes.

 

To do that, I had to have the next scene crystal clear in my mind, and then I'd type like mad.

luv2write

I usually find little snipits of time to jot down parts of a story, but I'd love to just sit and write till I can go no further. Just seems like there's no time.

Deborah J. Ross

Can you set it up to go away for a day? Take laptop or typewriter, rent hotel room, send for room service?

 

When I lived in France in 1991, both my kids were in school

 

and for the first time, I had 6 unbroken hours to write. I'd charge into a scene and then run out of steam

 

because I was used to sprint writing. I had to learn to write marathon .

 

Cynthia Felice used to talk about taking weekends to write, I think in the RV on their property. She had a very

 

supportive husband, and set it up to get everything else done during the work week.

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, what a gem! I'd love one of those! :-)

Deborah J. Ross

I had to marry another writer to get one First hubby hought my writing was a trivial hobby, but wasn't as bad as my new husband's ex, who was jealous of his writing, and insisted he drop what he was working on and watch TV with her. Needless to say, he hates TV, so my not wanting to have cable is not a problem, as they say.

luv2write

Wish I could. Full time job, 6 kids and 4 grandkids keep me running. I always write my first drafts out by hand. I love a week in a cabin somewhere.

Deborah J. Ross

Then ask for it for a birthday present! This is the very best, most loving thing they can do, but you have to ask for it, let them know

 

how important it is to you.

 

On carving out time...

 

recently, my doc advised me to drastically increase my physical activity (nasty lipid profile, no more doughnuts!) That means

 

60-90 minutes a day. If I want to stay healthy and avoid a heart attack, it's not negotiable...

 

so if I can do that for my physical health, I can be just as dedicated to making sure I have the time and quiet

 

for my creative health. Too many of us put our work second to everything else

 

and we forget that no one, since the beginning of time or until the end, can speak with our unique voice. Each story is a

 

precious gift to the world. To me, that deserves great care and respect.

Mary Rosenblum

Hear hear!!! Applause applause!!!!!

oddangel

I find that a good bit of exercise can clear my mind, too!

Mary Rosenblum

Sure works for me! :-)

Deborah J. Ross

Yes, indeed. When I worked full time

 

I'd take my lunch hour and walk up into the hills

 

and think plot and act out scenes in my mind (and sometimes out loud) and come back

 

not only relaxed but all charged up, and often that creative energy would last

 

until I got home, but even if it didn't, that regular play time of the spirit kept the well full!

aulait

What are the ways you use to settle down to write?

Deborah J. Ross

Talk out loud, write out any problems that are blocking me...

 

I love "morning pages" from THE ARTIST'S WAY (Julia Cameron) or Natalie Goldberg's writing exercises,

 

where you just keep your hand moving and let words come, so that I can get through the mental chatter and

 

inertia. I've learned to recognize "ignition" and then I'm ready to work. Another technique is to call a fellow creative

 

person. Not necessarily a writer, but someone who knows the process. Just moan and groan and get off the pity pot, as they say.

 

Or, as I've said, reading something I've written that I'm pleased with, so I have a goal in mind.

gwanny

I am a procrastinator. I have learned to put an ear plug in my right ear (I am deaf in my left one) and block out the world. Problem is, I procrastinate about putting in the ear plug, LOL. I have figured out a way, thru the earplug, to block out distraction, but have yet to figure out how to conquer my procrastinating ways. Any advice?

Deborah J. Ross

I have some trouble getting my fanny in the chair, so that's my version. Be right back... gotta check a book title

 

with some cool ideas about procrastination.

Mary Rosenblum

Deborah has some of the most practical advice to offer about the reality of everyday writing that I've heard from anyone. :-)

Deborah J. Ross

BECOMING A WRITER by Dorothea Brande. She wrote it in the 1930s and boy, was she right on.

Mary Rosenblum

Ah, I don't think I know that one, Deborah.

 

Good advice in it?

Deborah J. Ross

Amazing insights about making friends with your creative mind. Yes, excellent exercises and insights.

 

You can train yourself to be able to write on schedule in a non-coercive way.

 

"Cultivating a writer's temperament," as it were. There's craft and then there's inspiration, and if we insist

 

on waiting for inspiration, we discourage it from ever speaking to us.

 

But we can train our minds, like training our muscles, to sit and produce words, thereby inviting

 

that creative muse into our work. I'm not saying this awfully well, but the book is a gem.

 

John Gardner did the foreword, and I think he "discovered' the book.

Mary Rosenblum

Becoming a Writer (amazon.com)

Deborah J. Ross

Great.

Mary Rosenblum

And I heartily agree with you that if you wait for Inspiration, she goes elsewhere!

aulait

What do you mean by non coercive ways?

Deborah J. Ross

Not being brutal to your self-esteem, mostly. Treating yourself as a writer

 

with respect and care. I'm not big on "discipline" or too high expectations or punishment

 

because I think we all do the best we can, and if we're having trouble, we need loving help, not condemnation.

Mary Rosenblum

Not telling yourself you're a failure, in other words

 

if you don't stick to a 'five page a day' goal?

Deborah J. Ross

Bingo!

Debo

I also love the idea

 

of rhythms and seasons. If it's July in your heart, everything is blooming, ripening, the world is filled with bounty

 

but if it's January, everything looks dead, only underground, magic is happening. Roots are going deeper, soil is

 

recovering, everything is resting and getting ready. You can't have July all year round!

Mary Rosenblum

Good point.

gwanny

My psychologist ( I am NOT ashamed to say I have one) tells me that procrastination comes from perfectionism. If we cannot produce that which we feel is "perfect", we do not produce at all. Hence, we miss out on many golden opportunities. Would you agree?

Deborah J. Ross

That's a wonderful insight, and one reason I frequently tell myself it's okay to write drek. In fact

 

I was very heartened to talk this issue over with a writer friend, someone whose work I greatly admire

 

and she confided in me that her first drafts are so bad, NO ONE sees them, not even her most trusted first reader.

 

She does 2 or 3 drafts before showing them to anyone. Thank goodness! I thought. There's hope for me!

Mary Rosenblum

I think that is a problem that afflicts many writers at all stages of craft and career.

 

That perfectionism.

oddangel

Have you gotten good at estimating the amount of time it takes you to write something? Or does it vary? I want to figure out how to not run out of time just before a deadline.

Deborah J. Ross

Yes, I have, but I've been writing professionally for 23 years now. I may have bitten off more than I can handle with 2 major series, so.

Debo

I reserve the right to change my mind! It's helpful to me to set intermediate goals, so if I'm aiming for 500 ms page novel, I try to have

 

half done somewhat before half the allotted time, so I can finish and do a pass or 2 before sending it out. It’s also useful to me

 

to alternate revisions and drafting because they use different "mental muscles" and I need reminding while drafting that I can

 

indeed fix things later!

robb813

Not to sound like a total newbie, but in general, when writing a novel or short story, is it best to just write it all out - going for broke - or to really outline, characterize, structure, etc. before telling the story?

Deborah J. Ross

robb813, everyone is different. Now I outline because it does save me time; it practically counts as a revision. But when I was first

 

writing, I very much needed to just "take a flying leap off the edge of reality" and let the story take me where it would. I don't world-build

 

or make character sheets or outline too tightly, because most of the time, I don't know what to ask until I'm in the middle of the story,

 

and I like to build my characters as I get to know them and have them start talking to me. Find out what works for you, though.

Mary Rosenblum

And I think most peoples' writing style...how they do it...changes as they grow and gain experience.

Deborah J. Ross

Yes, I'm finding

 

that I now "short-cut:" processes that used to take me much longer.

 

But also, I will stop and think things through, that once I'd just skim over. My 'something is not right' detector

 

is much more sensitive than it used to be, so I make far fewer false steps.

 

But I had to

 

make those mistakes and learn how to get myself out of tight corners first.

gxknight

Do you think quality ever gets sacrificed for a deadline?

Deborah J. Ross

Absolutely, gxknight. And it gets into print, which is a shame. Sometimes, I just want to grab the author

 

by the lapels and demand why they didn't do the story justice, but mostly I'm nicer than that .

 

I don't know why they made the writing choices they did, and also in today's market, it's much harder to build a career

 

or support yourself if you turn out infrequent, exquisitely crafted stories instead of a pulp novel every 3 months. Sigh.

wingedwarrior24

When you finish a project, do you let it sit awhile before you go to editing?

Deborah J. Ross

I'll do a read through and then noodle around while it's still fresh in my mind, and fix anything glaring. Then I do have to set it

 

aside, and often I will send it out to trusted readers during this time. And -- very important -- work on something else. Then

 

I'll take the readers' comments and do a serious edit, most of the time. Sometimes, I'm on deadline, and if that first draft isn't too bad

 

and it's an editor I trust, I'll send that off. These are books written on contract or option. I'd never try to sell something on spec unless

 

I knew it was the very best I could make it. But that set-aside time is crucial. I've even been known to stick a ms in the refrigerator

 

"to cool it off."

Mary Rosenblum

J Does it melt the ice?

aulait

How much time does a publisher usually give to write a novel?

Deborah J. Ross

aulait, you negotiate that as part of the contract, and it depends too on how much of it

 

you have written when you sign. That is, have you already submitted a proposal (synopsis, 3 chapters or 100 pages)? A year is about average

 

I think.

speckledorf

I love the idea of celebrating our creativity. Do you reward yourself when you finish a project?

Deborah J. Ross

Oh yes. I sometimes get a massage, or just play.

 

I love to dance, and my youngest daughter, now 19, is still at home, so we go out and do silly girl things

 

or DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) or commit panty therapy at Ross 4 Less. Or spend too much money on sushi. I live in

 

the mountains

 

so it always feels like vacation anyway. And I hoot about it online or call my writer buddies and burble.

Mary Rosenblum

All good celebration things! :-)

sunset1

Can costs stop a good writer from getting started?

Deborah J. Ross

sunset1, I think writing is one of the few creative fields

 

where you can get started for very little. Computers are nice, but there are still lots of writers

 

who work on battered old typewriters, paper's not that expensive, neither is postage, compared to oils and canvas or a grand piano.

 

The internet is nice (as we are all living proof here) but not essential.

Mary Rosenblum

And publishers ...legitimate ones...do NOT charge YOU money EVER, sunset. They pay YOU.

Deborah J. Ross

Same for agents.

 

Money flows TO the writer, never away.

Mary Rosenblum

Yep.

 

If it goes the other way, it's a scam or a vanity press.

Deborah J. Ross

Check out the Writer Beware

 

link on the SFWA website for suspect agents & publishers.

oddangel

But what about contests? Those often cost money to enter. How much is too much to pay for a contest?

Deborah J. Ross

Anything is too much to pay.

 

I think contests are mostly egoboo, and I'd rather new writers work on craft, not competition.

 

Delete... that's all.

Mary Rosenblum

There is a good website to check for all things publishing.

 

Preditors and Editors. They evaluate publishers, agents, contests and the like

 

for legitimacy.

Deborah J. Ross

I have to admit

 

I did send an entry to the Gryphon Contest when Andre Norton ran it.

 

I think it only ran for a couple of years. What she told me was that my story was professionally

 

publishable, but she wanted something wildly original, and I don't believe the person who won that year

 

ever sold anything. So exactly what was the contest rewarding?

wingedwarrior24

What about paying for guidelines?

Deborah J. Ross

Good heavens, who is asking for money for guidelines? What a way to finance a magazine! That's on a par

 

with reading fees.

Mary Rosenblum

I haven't run into any...yes you have to pay for postage and you have to pay for sample copies...the cover price. That's all.

paja

I'm often stopped in my writing by the fear that what I write about might come to pass, or that my writing about bad things will cause them to happen. Have you ever faced down this sort of thing?

Deborah J. Ross

paja, that's a new one for me. Sometimes, I realize I've written some truth I have been hiding from -- usually because it is too

 

painful to come to light in any other way. But I don't think I have any power to influence events or other people. There are recurrent

 

discussions whether if you write about some horrible crime and someone actually commits it and says he was influenced by

 

your idea, whether you are responsible, and I think on the whole, not. People are responsible for their own actions, and criminals

 

are experts on blaming everyone else but themselves. I do not, however, write horror except for borderline dark fantasy, or about

 

really horrendous crime and things like that. I am not sure what I would do if one presented itself to my imagination and demanded

 

to be written. I'll have to see what I'd do with it.

wingedwarrior24

Did your writing brush off on your little ones?

Deborah J. Ross

A little, wingedwarrior. Both kids are comfortable with story telling. Rose, the 19 year old, does some fanfic and lots of role playing games, but

 

Sarah is more visual. they're both readers, of course

ashton

What's the most important thing you've carried with you as a writer?

Mary Rosenblum

(Great question, Ashton!)

Deborah J. Ross

You don't ask easy ones, do you, ashton? I suppose that hard things can be survived with dignity and compassion.

 

And love has an amazing potential for healing even the deepest hurts.

 

All the rest is technique.

Mary Rosenblum

Deborah before we run out of time and YOU run out of finger strength...tell us what is on the shelf and what is coming out?

Deborah J. Ross

As I told paja, I just turned in the next Darkover novel,

 

THE ASHTON GIFT.  No pub date yet but probably next summer. I'm at work on THE SEVEN-PETALED SHIELD, an original

 

fantasy, and noodling around with SABERTOOTH WORLD, a YA series (with, guess what…sabertooths!) On the shelf

 

3 Darkover novels (Marion Zimmer Bradley is primary author, although the writing is all mine); THE FALL OF NESKAYA, ZANDRU'S FORGE,

 

A FLAME IN HALI. They're all in paperback  now. Out of print but still available, as Deborah Wheeler, 2 sf novels, JAYDIUM and NORTHLIGHT.

Mary Rosenblum

Oh, I like the Sabertooth world. And you have bits from some of these on your website, right? Deborah's Website

Deborah J. Ross

All but SABERTOOTH. I'm still noodling. It is a reworking of a post-falling-apart project, once entitled PREHISTORIC ALIEN

 

RUINS FROM HELL, which tells you a bit more about the world. I think it can be a YA series, but haven't shown it to my agent yet,

 

just discussed it, and he's enthusiastic, but I don't want to take too much time from my formal contract commitments.

 

This also goes to show you

 

that working titles can be less than optimal. You have to call it something, after all.

Mary Rosenblum

Ah, I NEVER reveal my working titles... LAME!

writeaway

I love that title J The Seven Petaled shield

Deborah J. Ross

Thank you. It's one of those titles

 

that was right on the first time! I'm so stoked about this world and its cultures. I based it on the Romans and

 

Scythians, with ancient Jewish lore for a third culture; did a series of stories in SWORD & SORCERESS to try out the world --

 

"Azkhantian Tales," and finally dug in. My hero is about to get captured by the "Romans," sent off as a galley slave, and attacked by

 

pirates. When in doubt, attack by pirates

Mary Rosenblum

I’m chuckling. Just did that in my orbital platform universe...you're right! Never fails!

Deborah J. Ross

Wow, pirates in orbit!

Mary Rosenblum

Oh you bet!

 

Deborah you are always such a great guest!

Deborah J. Ross

Thank you so much. This has been great!

Mary Rosenblum

Thank you SO much for coming and I will drag you back here again if I can!

Deborah J. Ross

it's a deal!

writeaway

It sounds exciting!

gwanny

TY, Deborah, for being with us. I hope you return to us soon

 

You are all great, and I look forward

 

to reading your stories in print!

Mary Rosenblum

Thanks so much for coming! You have the BEST advice!

 

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