Copyright @1997,'98,'99,'00, '01, '02, '03 

THE ART OF FICTION (and living a life)                  

          Billie Sue Mosiman

January 15, 2004

I've just finished writing my first western novel, GOLD DUST DREAM. It should come out from Five Star later this year or early next. It concerns a young couple in 1849 who travel from Galveston, Texas to the gold fields of California. I've always greatly admired the western novels of Larry McMurtry and hope my novel will be at least half as entertaining.

If you enjoy the writing world and writers, please check out the new webpage my friend Ed Gorman has up online. It's at http://www.edgorman.com. He has been kind to me for many long years and he's a fine writer of mystery, suspense, and westerns. On his site you'll find a "journal" type page like this one. Ed's got a fine mind and was editor of MYSTERY SCENE Magazine, besides knowing most of the people in the crime/mystery fiction industry so he has a lot to say about his interests.

I am still reading historical fictions set in Rome. I've been reading in this area for a couple of years now and the more I know about Rome, the more I see the similarities between that ruling era and the one the United States enjoys today. I also see some striking similarities in Rome's downfall and the slow disintergration of our own country's greatness. It's sad to me because I think the U.S.A. is the best and brightest country the world has ever seen. But great things crumble if they aren't preserved by the people, if they aren't protected, if the people get too satisified or too distracted to care about it. Or if they take it for granted. I think in these days all Americans need to stay still and study their country closer to see if it is healthy or having troubles. I think we should be ever vigilent about protecting the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the rights of individual citizens. It is probably not always wise for a writer to be political, therefore, I merely want to state my case as a regular citizen and mention no particular political party. I simply feel an unease about the direction the nation is headed and urge my fellow Americans to pay strict attention from this day forward. Because it is our country. It is greater than Rome ever hoped to be. It stands tall in the world and because of that the responsibilities are inherently greater. We are called upon to lead the way properly and justly into the future. If you feel, as I do, that our personal rights are being whittled away little by little, and the country is different than it used to be, different in ways that limit personal freedom and expression, then we must all speak out and protest. Not just me. Not just the wriers. Not just the politicians, either. But all us--the people. This country belongs to us, the citizens. Now is not the time to lose ourselves in "reality" TV or easy entertainment, or to work ourselves to death for a living with no time left to give a thought to the country we live in. Now is the time to give a little thought to how things are, how they used to be, and how they may become if we neglect to notice the changes and raise a voice.

November 22, 2003

Last month my first short story collection was published in hardcover by Wildside Press. DARK MATTER contains many of my published stories gathered from various venues and three unpublished new stories. You will find vampires, serial killers, werewolves, shapechangers, and just all around strangenesses. You can find an autographed copy at http://wwww.shocklines.com where it hit the bestseller list the first week it was available. I hope to do more collections of my stories later on. In January and February 2004 my suspense novel, BAD TRIP SOUTH, will be available in bookstores, libraries, online at amazon, bn.com, and shocklines.com (autographed copies at this site). BAD TRIP SOUTH has a long history and is a novel that is dear to me. Combine an escaped convict and his half-crazy girlfriend with a cop, his wife, and a talented ten-year-old girl as hostages on a very, VERY bad trip south to the border. Think about a Tarantino movie as a novel and you're getting close. Only, of course, this is pure Mosiman insanity. I do hope my fans will find this new novel early next year because I think it's my best effort in twenty years of writing novels. It is being published by Five Star Mystery in hardcover. Watch for this debut and I'll be talking to you here on the flipflop.

January 23, 2003

Hello, you readers. I've now completed a trilogy of vampire novels called the Vampire Nations Series. They're published by DAW Books and the titles are: RED MOON RISING (BOOK 1) 2001 MALACHI'S MOON (BOOK 2) 2002 CRAVEN MOON (BOOK 3) 2003 It has been a great run and the vampires have become my very best imaginary friends. Am I in the characters or are they in me? Maybe a little of both now, after three years and three novels. I like them very much and I hope you will too. It's a whole other world, as they say, and what is better than getting lost in our fictional worlds? This year has seen the publication of my first hardcover novel in the United States. Several years ago the UK published many of my novels in hardcover and paperback, but FINAL CUT, from Five Star Mystery, is my first US publication in hardcover and it is a lovely thing. If you're a bibliophile you'll know what I'm talking about when I call a book lovely. The feel of it, the heft, the slickness of the cover, the spine, the sewing of the pages, the creamy paper, the new smell. FINAL CUT is that and more because it is another first and a writer's first anything is special to her. I expect my novel, OUR TRIP SOUTH, will be bought for publication this year. It is a suspense novel, quirky, strange, and something I care a lot about. Also, I hope that Wildside Press will be doing my first collection of short stories. It will be called DARK MATTER and will include a foreword that I've included to talk about what short stories mean to me and how I became a short story writer..what my influences where, that sort of thing. I am reading a great many historical novels lately, preparing to write a western for Thorndike Books. That just about catches things up. I hope not to let this journal go so long without an update from now on. If I'm not here, I'm writing more books, though, so that's something.

September 7, 2000

Have rescinded offer to upload TRIP SOUTH. Experiment failed. Evidently you need to spend about two hundred grand in advertising first.   I'm sorry about that.  I really wanted to reach my readers through the internet.

I'm beginning work on my second vampire novel in my series.  The first one is titled RED MOON RISING.  The second has no title yet.  Tomorrow or Monday the first pages get written.  I have a contract for a western novel, also, due to the publisher by May 2001.  Needless to say, I'm going to be very busy.

August 11, 2000

Please note the offer on my homepage for TRIP SOUTH, my new suspense novel unavailable anywhere until now.  It is being offered in the same spirit and manner as Stephen King's THE PLANT.  The first two chapters will be free, if you're not going to pay the $1.  I hope, of course, that you do pay the $1.  It will insure, if enough of you pay the $1, that all the chapters will be online for download--meaning you'll read this entire novel and have only paid $1 for it.  Print it out, read it at home in your easy chair.  The next and subsequent chapters will be online once enough donors have paid $1 to read the chapters.  Donors will pay through Paypal online at http://www.paypal.com by sending the $1 payment to me at my email address, bmosiman@swbell.net.  Once there have been a reasonable number of donors, the rest of the chapters will be put up.  Please bookmark my homepage and be a patron of the arts and the first to read TRIP SOUTH.  The book will be copyrighted in my name and I ask that you not copy and give the chapters away to others, though I cannot stop you.   There are copyright laws and piracy of creative work is theft.  As King says, "Don't steal from the blind newsboy."  If the book does not generate enough income, the rest of the chapters will not appear for sale on this website or anywhere on the internet at any amount.  Yes, you will have paid your $1 and read approximately ten thousand words of the novel at that point.  Consider it a short story without an ending and it didn't cost you much, did it?  Writers cannot live on air or write for free or give away their work.  Tell your friends about this book and this site, send them here to see what's happening. 

Stephen King, as wonderful as he is as a writer, cannot be the only writer in all the world you would like to read.  Is he?  If he is, I am doomed; all writers everywhere are doomed.  If he is just one of the writers you like to read, then this experiment has a chance.  Perhaps a slim one, but a chance.  Show me how right I am.  I trust in you, my readers.

 
AUGUST 10, 2000 

I've done a little updating to these webpages.  I hope to put up new photos soon.  It's been hot in Texas.  As if it isn't always hot in Texas.  But every year the drought comes and with it a plague of grasshoppers who eat the peaches off my trees and every living green leaf they can find. 

I hope some of you will come to my book discussion area on the CNN site.  I need company there!  You can get to it by clicking on the link on my first home page.  Let's talk books and writing, y'all.   Or better yet, spend a buck and read TRIP SOUTH!

I have a newsgroup you might want to monitor or contribute to.  It's on the sff.net site under authors and then under my name.

RED MOON RISING, my vampire novel, will probably be out from DAW BOOKS at the end of this year or beginning of 2001.  Watch for it.  Also, my out-of- print titles will soon be available for sale through amazon.com, watch for them to come out as new trade paperbacks.  Later this year or early next there will be a hardcover publication of my last novel, PURE AND UNCUT, originally only published in the UK by Headline Books.  It will be titled FINAL CUT.  Please watch for it and order it from amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.  The first chapter is here online for you to read.

JANUARY 13, 2000

We've made it into the new millenium.  It's great, isn't it?  I've finished my novel, RED MOON RISING.  As soon as I find out the publishing schedule, I'll announce it here.  Take a look at the photos page, I've added some pictures recently.  

If you want to see an article I wrote for barnesandnoble.com titled THE TOP TEN THINGS FIRST NOVELISTS DO WRONG, go to the B&N site and from there to the Writer's Board.  Don't expect to be patronized.  I tell it like it is, but then that's the only way I know to tell it.

My ranch is growing.  We just saw a new baby calf born yesterday.  It's a bull calf so I'm not sure we'll be keeping it, may have to trade him for a heifer, but he's really the most beautiful animal, all pink and white and tan.  

I'll begin work on my next novel in the vampire series soon.  It's to be turned into the publisher, DAW, in November 2000.  I don't have a title yet.  I'll post it here when I do.  

AUGUST 11, 1999
Whoa, new home page background paper!  It takes so little to please 
me.  Bunch of little red stars on a blue background.
Am I a star? If so, I'm like the stars on the background paper--one among 
more than you can count.  
What's this about Microsoft thinking about giving free internet access if 
you use their platform?  Is that kind of 
interesting or what?  Sure would mess up some IPs who charge twenty bucks a 
month, now wouldn't it?  Isn't it great 
watching all this stuff work itself out?  I think so.

Have I ever mentioned I have a small ranch in Texas?  It really is small, 
but we have chickens and soon will have 
cattle.  Not many cattle, just four to begin with, but cattle all the 
same.  I'm turning into a farm woman
right in front of my own eyes.  I lived in the country as a child and 
couldn't wait to flee it just as soon as I 
was old enough.  And now I've come back to it. Funny how things happen.

June, 1999
You may notice there are new photos here in the gallery.  I'll 
update those every six months or so, let you keep up
with what we look like and what we're doing.  There's even an old photo of 
me when my children were young.  I
just knew you might like it.  :)  There's also a serious photo of me up.  I 
don't especially like it, but my
daughters insisted it was a good one.  To my way of thinking, there 
are no good photos of me.  I'm not what you'd
call photogenic. 

You may also notice a link from the top of my page that has a CNN sign on 
it.  That will take you to the new 
"Ask the Author" board on CNN's Interactive Website.  It's a great place to 
chat and talk about your favorite books,
if you do or if you do not like vampire fiction (my new novel in 
progress), and the writing life.  The site 
supposedly gets 50,000 page views a day, so come on over and let the 
world watch us discuss one of the most 
important things in the world--books.  I'd sure like to say hello to you 
there.  I'll be hosting a chat on that
CNN site on August 31.  Be there.  Okay?

I'm working on a new novel for DAW Books titled RED MOON RISING.  Between 
novel writing and keeping up with the
CNN "Ask the Author" message board, I hardly have any time to call my own.  
But who needs to own time anyway,
right?  Talking with fans and writing novels, what else am I supposed to be 
doing?

APRIL, 1999

I still have the web cam and haven't had a chance to set it up on the page.  It'll happen; I just don't know when.  A writer friend of mine, Douglas Clegg, has set the net on fire by offering chapters of his novel, NAOMI, by email subscription.  It seems Publisher's Weekly, several newspapers, and websites, and even someone at a publishing house is talking about it.  We all hope Doug fares well and that his novel proves to the net that authors can reach their audiences without a publishing house's three-hundred thousand dollar publicity investment.  

Maybe all of us should offer a book by email subscription for free.  It would let you know who we are and what our novels are like before you buy one.  I've come very close right here on this home page by giving you a short story and links to others, first chapters of novels, and now this journal where I hope to keep talking to you--if you're interested.  (And if you are, let me know sometime in email, okay?  bmosiman@swbell.net )  It is so much nicer to get your fiction via the net, where you can print it out and read it at your leisure than to have to make a trek to the bookstore or order and wait for delivery through regular mail.  If it doesn't catch on, it should.  All authors really want to do is communicate their stories to their readers.  Sure, we want to earn a living at it too, but the secret is out.  The truth is that we write because we are writers, not because we expect to get rich.  We write stories to share with readers first and foremost.  If we can find a way to communicate with you our works directly, for a small fee (for much much less than publishing has to have to cover expenses) then we would be plumb happy about that.  I know it's going to work out.  I just don't know when.  

SALES: I should begin work soon on a series of novels for a NY publisher, once the contract is cleared for them.  I'll announce that sale and talk about the work in progress just as soon as it's firm.  

CRITIQUES: Some of you may have noticed that I offer a novel critique service on my home page called NOVEL MENTORING.  I have trouble being a hired hand to other people, middlemen, who have rules and regulations and take a cut for the work that I do.  So I'm going public with the offer to do Novel Mentoring myself, on my own, without fanfare and hype, without middlemen and their rules.  I'm good at this.  I have dozens of satisfied clients to prove it.  In fact, I would wager that I am among the best there is at helping new authors get their manuscripts in shipshape for presenting to editors.  If you're interested in this and you're tired of paying exhoritant prices to so- called teachers and instructors and critiquers who have never published a novel in their lives (or one or two novels ten years ago), but who think they can critique yours (they can't, no matter what they promise or how good they promote themselves), then contact me at: bmosiman@swbell.net. I'm fast, I'm fair, and I'm the best you'll find to help you move toward getting your shot at the marketplace.  Rather than trying to teach thirty or forty students online, where time is limited and personal attention is at a minimum,  I knew this snail mail critique offer  just might make the difference between a sale and a rejection for some talented writers.  At the very least, you'll be read and hear an honest response from a professional rather than an amateur, and at a certain stage in the writing of novels, that's the help often needed.

MOVIES I LIKED LATELY:  CLAY PIDGEONS, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME.  Check them out.

AUGUST, 1998

Well, it seems I'm not keeping up with my journal as much as I wanted.  Life, she interferes.  I've seen WIREMAN, my first novel, reprinted this year.  It was well reviewed and received, it seems.  You can find it at Amazon.com.  You can see the cover on my "Novel" page.  Later on, when life, the bitch, frees up the time, I intend to put up a bulletin board here so that we can talk, you and I.  And not only that--watch out!--I have a web cam and will put my live mug on my website one day a week for a couple hours.  I know you just can't wait.  But really....check back on my home page here and when the cam's up and LIVE, you'll see a notice.  Keep watch.  You'll get to see an author at work.  Yup, that's what I'll be doing.  Exciting, yes, I know.  But hey, other live web cams show aquariums or people asleep in their desk chairs in their undershorts.  Won't watching a writer write be slightly more interesting?  You decide.  I may even dress in my bathrobe.  Oh man, what a thrill!  Actually, I'll dress in whatever I dress in.  No nude shots from me, buster, so fergitaboutit.  But I WILL write when the camera's rolling.  Watch me staring at the screen, typing like mad.  Watch me smoke (I'm trying to quit, don't hassle me.)  Watch me drink coffee.  See my messy book-lined office. It will be tremendously more exciting than watching someone Writing a Story In a Bookstore Window.  You'll see.  Would I lie?  Not on my puppy dog's life, hon.

Speaking of dogs.  I have three.  I know, you probably don't care.  Well, this is my journal and this is my life, so get used to it.  The dogs are two toy poodles and a  half SharPei/half Rottweiler--what can I tell you?  The female poodle is named Renault and she's black.  She'll be a year old in Feb, 1999.  The male poodle is named Peugot and he's red.  He was a year old this past June.  Early next year they will mate and have pups, most of which are already spoken for.  The mix dog is male and his name is Red.  He's red, of course, like Peugot.  Much larger than a poodle.  Very sweet-natured and the finest watch dog I know.  Why did I name the poodles after cars?  My husband is a technician.  Blame him.  Why did I name the mix-breed Red?  Figure it out.  I'm just a wild and crazy person.  Creative, you know.

Movies that have impressed me lately: AS GOOD AS IT GETS, GOOD WILL HUNTING, U-TURN.  Music CD albums that have impressed me lately: RIGHT OF CENTER, Natalie Umbruglia.  Books that have impressed me lately: FEAR NOTHING, Dean Koontz.  Dean's just getting better and better.  Best nonfiction writer you ought to check out: PAUL THEROUX.  

That's what I ought to do.  Give you a list of some of my favorite novels and authors.  Point you in some good directions. Later.

In another month or so I'll archive the earlier parts of this ongoing journal so you don't have to read all the old stuff.  Nice of me, don't you think?  I am nothing if not courteous of my readers.  Stay tuned...


May, 1997  

I hope to make this an ongoing journal, a cybertalk with the world.  If you like the idea, drop back by, add this to your favorite places, link to me, and we'll see what kind of trouble we can get into and what kind of racket we can make.  I'll talk about agents, editors, publishers, genres, gaming, movies, the internet, and entertainment in general.  Plug in and turn on.  Since we lost Timothy Leary, someone had to say it.

In the meantime, check out DEATH IN DIXIE, an anthology of mystery and suspense stories, edited by yours truly and Martin H. Greenberg. It's a trade paperback from Rutledge Hill Press, on sale now at Amazon Books online.  Berkley Books liked it so much, they made a mass market paperback offer.  It was released (May 1998) under the Prime Crime imprint.  

While  I'm getting my thoughts together here, visit my other web pages featuring the work itself--novels, stories, articles, columns.  Or read the first chapter of my latest suspense novel, PURE AND UNCUT, or else the short story I've put online here.  There's a link at the bottom of the page for PURE.  I know you want to stay busy.

I'll be back, me sweetpeas.


JOURNAL ENTRY:  End of May, 1997:

I just got through websurfing and entered chat at Omnivision (http://www.omnimag.com) where the live online guests were Gardner Dozois, Jim Freund, Ellen Datlow, and Gordon VanGelder--all well-known and respected editors at sf/f magazines.  They were wondering if e-zines were going to make it.  Make money, that is.  It seems the concensus is corporate sponsorship will pay the way.  If the advertising works for the corporation, the fiction will survive on the web and editors and authors will be paid for their work.  If sponsors don't pay the load, it just ain't gonna fly, lads and lassies.

 I suggested that perhaps authors could offer their novels online in installments, each installment paid for by the websurfer and downloaded to his or her computer.  Datlow didn't seem to think that would work for anyone except Stephen King.  Well, I just don't know about that.  What do YOU think about that?  If you pay for installments of a novel at the grocery store, why not on the web?  Hmmm?  Face it, distribution is difficult for print media.  The web completely fixes that problem.  Of course, authors selling works directly to the consumer (reader) through the web cuts out all the middle men.  Would that bring the publishing industry tumbling down?  Not even I want that.  Or would it just be one more way for the reader/consumer to get his read fix?  It's relatively cheap for the computer owner at home to print out an installment of a novel.  Take the pages to an easy chair or to bed, prop up a pillow, lean back and read.  Either keep the pages and add the new installment to them or toss them.  It's on your computer, remember?  You can print it out again if need be.

I just don't know why this wouldn't work.  You tell me.  Why wouldn't it work?  In fact, want to pay me for the next chapter of my novel, PURE AND UNCUT?  You decide.  And if you have a few loose bucks, a very few, let me know. I'll tell you where to send the check, then I'll email you the next chapter.  Let's prove to them it can too work!  I gave you chapter one free (see below).  If you want to read more, why, you just let me know.  We'll work out something.  Let's make the web alive with fiction--no, not all of it free.  I'm no fool.  I write for a living, thank you.  I pay for your cars you're assembling, your paper you're making, your food you're serving, your medical care you're dispensing, the programs you're programming, etc, etc, etc. Writers have to get paid too.  It's in our contract with the Higher Ups.  You know who they are, don't you?  Well, hell, then I'm not telling you!

When I have more thoughts worth putting here, I'll be back to put them here.  Bookmark this page.  I want to talk to you.


APRIL 6, 1998--

The web is not a place for reading novels so I rescind my offer to supply chapters of my novels either by email or on floppy disks through the regular mail.  Therefore all you will get from me in that department is one chapter (PURE AND UNCUT) here and one chapter (WIDOW) there (at Dr. Casey's Horror Cabinet home page).  See?  You should have taken up my offer.

I'm branching out onto the web to teach the novel in June, 1998.  You can find me in that capacity (as a teacher) at:(deleted, as I no longer work there- - 9/00) I teach four classes a year.  I'm not so tough, but I am inspiring, or so they tell me.  And I answer anything you want to know about the publishing business and the writer's life, if you only know what to ask.  If you're serious about fiction writing, check it out.

If  you like to read author's topics on the web, you can find me here on SFF.net doing that thang.  And on the Genie network...for as long as the lights are on there.

See you later, gator.

Read PURE AND UNCUT, Chapter One

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*This page is protected by copyright, 1997/1998/1999/2000 by Billie Sue Mosiman.  Absolutely no duplication, forwarding, cutting, pasting, changing, archiving, publishing, or anything else you can think about doing you ought not to be doing.  Play nice.*  


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