Blog Articles

Backing Into The Future

By Mary Holland / September 23, 2011

I’ve decided to self-publish Matcher Rules, my first novel, as an ebook. I’m also planning on a POD copy via Lulu, although I have more doubts about that. Why self-publish? Well, this is the end result of a great deal of thought, self-doubt, and research. In an ideal world I’d be able to land an agent, and eventually sign a contract with a professional publisher. The more I query and send out manuscripts the less … Read more

A Woman, A Plan, I Can

By Mary Holland / June 27, 2011

The current novel, The Bone Road, is at the fiddly stage of completion. I’m in a new critique group and I’m getting feedback chapter by chapter. Some I plan to incorporate and some I’m going to ignore. And some I’m still thinking about. None of this is very exciting, and indeed, I can’t drum up much energy to work on it, especially with all the house improvement projects going on. (But that’s a whole other … Read more


By Mary Holland / May 31, 2011

The current buzzword for writers is MARKETING. Every advice page, writer’s blog, workshop, webinar, and the gods know there’s thousands of them, all trumpet the value of marketing. The writer must sell her work, network, develop ‘friends’ — I’m tempted to insert yadda, yadda in this space because the message is everywhere and impossible to miss. My Dirty Secret: I hate marketing. I dislike selling myself or my work. I believe, and I always have … Read more

Wizard Schools

By Mary Holland / April 23, 2011

I’ve been reading Patrick Rothfuss’s The Wise Man’s Fear, the second part of his Kingkiller Chronicle. I always scan the reviews on Amazon when I’m exploring a writer new to me, and I noticed several comparisons with Harry Potter. As far as I can tell, the only similarity between the two is both protagonists attend a school to learn to use their arcane talents. So mentioning this as a point of correspondence is ignorance. It’s … Read more

FOGcon 2011

By Mary Holland / March 14, 2011

Just returned from FOGcon (Friends of Genre) in San Francisco. This was the very first FOGcon, but as a simple attendee I think it went very well. I had a good time, I learned a bit, and I felt I had a lot in common with the other attendees. I can’t talk about behind the scenes, because I wasn’t behind the scenes, but I’m sure other people will. As a writer and as a fanatical … Read more

Grinding Away At Revisions

By Mary Holland / February 18, 2011

The current work-in-progress, The Bone Road, is at the third or fourth revision. By this time, it’s difficult for me to stand back and see anything either right or wrong with the story. I’m too close. One way to get around this is to sit in the most comfortable chair I can find and read the manuscript aloud. Slowly. Hitting every comma, paying attention to every voice. An amazing number of errors show up: typos, … Read more

Very first acceptance!

By Mary Holland / January 25, 2011

My flash story ‘Three Sisters’ has been accepted by Golden Visions Magazine for the Spring 2011 issue. I’m very pleased. Oh hell, I’m overjoyed. (I don’t do blase very well.) Strange are the ways of publications. I tripped over the magazine on a mailing list posting and realized the story was sitting, already formatted and fresh from a rejection, on my desktop. So I sent it out, noting their posted response time was 4-6 weeks. … Read more

Dear Author, Unfortunately …

By Mary Holland / November 16, 2010

As of this date, I haven’t sold a story. I’m mentioning this once and I’m not planning on mentioning it again. This is a page about what I write and the fascination of the process, not how well it sells – or doesn’t sell. There are, as many agents and other writers point out, many many blogs by unpublished authors. I’m doing this page for several reasons, but inflicting my rejection letters on the universe … Read more

Teeny Tiny Genres

By Mary Holland / November 2, 2010

If you call yourself a writer, the first  question everyone asks is What Do You Write? I started answering this by saying ‘Genre Fiction’, meaning I was writing science fiction or fantasy or mysteries, not books about gardening or how I found love in a villa in Italy. It’s a pity this answer isn’t acceptable. People want to know which genre, because most only read in one or perhaps two categories. (“Oh, I only read … Read more