Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Guest Post with Julie E. Czerneda - The Gossamer Mage

Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

For twenty years, Canadian author/ former biologist Julie E. Czerneda has shared her curiosity about living things through her science fiction, published by DAW Books, NY. Julie’s also written fantasy, the first installments of her Night’s Edge series (DAW) A Turn of Light and A Play of Shadow, winning consecutive Aurora Awards (Canada’s Hugo) for Best English Novel. Julie’s edited/co-edited sixteen anthologies of SF/F, two Aurora winners, the latest being SFWA’s 2017 Nebula Award Showcase. Next out will be an anthology of original stories set in her Clan Chronicles series: Tales from Plexis, out in 2018. Her new SF novel, finale to that series, To Guard Against the Dark, lands in stores October 2017. When not jumping between wonderful blogs, Julie’s at work on something very special: her highly anticipated new Esen novel, Search Image (Fall 2018).


Looking back, the best advice I received was “write the next one.”* It came from the late, wonderful Josepha Sherman, a talented writer/editor I happily came to call friend. Jo gave me this advice very early in our relationship, while I was waiting for Baen Books editorial staff (including Josepha) to decide if they wanted my first book, A Thousand Words For Stranger. (They didn’t, as it happened.)

Meanwhile, I thought Jo’s notion a most excellent one and pulled out another story folder. This one contained the beginnings of Beholder’s Eye. I plunged in and found myself writing with such joy I began to doubt Thousand was worth publishing. (I was wrong about that, as it happened. New authors tend to be.) Not only did I keep busy while waiting for a decision, there and elsewhere, when Sheila E. Gilbert of DAW Books bought Thousand (YAY!), I’d the first 100 pages of Esen’s adventure ready to show her. She bought that book before I’d finished it and before Thousand was published. What a summer!

Since, though? “Write the next one” has become my thing. My first impulse after sending my latest manuscript to Sheila? To open a file and start the next. I can’t wait. I love the fresh story feeling so much, my brain mercifully forgets finishing it will take months. Somewhat akin to childbirth, but I digress.

“Write the next one” is also what I do when I need a kick in the literary pants. It’s the perfect way to remind myself that a bad review (they happen) or less than stellar sales (they happen) are about the past one, not the next. That the only thing under my control is doing better, being braver, having even more fun.

You might think of it as a combination of glee and job security. I decide, in consultation with my esteemed editor, what I’ll write next. Because I will write the next one as long as as the joy of it remains and DAW is willing to publish. How fun is that?

*The second best piece of advice came from J. Michael Straczynski, creator of, among other things, Babylon 5. Not that we’ve ever spoken, but I read a quote of his long ago that stated “courage is a writer’s main virtue.” I wrote that on a post-it and stuck it to my desk for about fifteen years. Which looked better than “fear is the mind killer” from Dune, though I confess that’s my default for big decisions, cliff jumping, and the dentist.

From an Aurora Award-winning author comes a new fantasy epic in which one mage must stand against a Deathless Goddess who controls all magic.

Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic.

Mage scribes learn to write Her words as intentions: spells to make beasts or plants, designed to any purpose. If an intention is flawed, what the mage creates is a gossamer: a magical creature as wild and free as it is costly for the mage.

For Her Gift comes at a steep price. Each successful intention ages a mage until they dare no more. But her magic demands to be used; the Deathless Goddess will take her fee, and mages will die.

To end this terrible toll, the greatest mage in Tananen vows to find and destroy Her. He has yet to learn She is all that protects Tananen from what waits outside. And all that keeps magic alive.

You can purchase The Gossamer Mage at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JULIE E. CZERNEDA for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda.