Your Success as a Female Author of SF & F

Your Success as a female author has challenges. One of them is to find mentors who inspire you no matter where you are in your career path. In my last two Monday posts, I shared the names of many women writers who have been very successful writing fiction. (If you missed them read “Who Does Your Greatest Success Look Like” and “Are You Aiming for Their Writing Success?”) The field of science fiction and fantasy novels has been dominated by men for a very long time. Being a female author of SF & F (science fiction and fantasy) increases the difficulty of reaching success. Yet, more and more women authors are entering the field. And many of them are flourishing. Let’s take a brief look and see if you can find a mentor or two. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration to carry you through NANOWRIMO and the rest of your career. The Best-Selling Science Fiction by Women The best-selling books by female author of SF & F is difficult to determine. Methods of collecting that information are so variable as to make the data useless. Turning to Ranker again, I looked up the 100 best science fiction authors. The complete list is here. […]

Empower Yourself

Sometimes mentors fall into your life. You didn’t know you needed one, but a mentor arrived at the right time. However, sometimes you must empower yourself. Take control. Search out the mentors you need. We all need mentors from time to time. Often we need different mentors for different phases of our growth. While it’s easier today to find women’s voices and women mentors, it’s not always easy to empower yourself. Unlearn First The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. We are filled with the popular wisdom of several centuries just past, and we are terrified to give it up. — Gloria Steinem, American activist Unlearning isn’t easy. Often, without even knowing it, we cling to ideas, beliefs, and misbeliefs. Those closely held thoughts often are the result of events you could not control. Empower yourself by taking your power back from the events you couldn’t control. What You Can Control You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. – Maya Angelou As a child, you have no control over what happens. Sometimes someone has smashed and […]

7 People Who Changed My Writing Life

In this month of Thanksgiving, I have reflected on some of the things for which I am thankful. Today, I recognize the seven people who changed my writing life. These people were generous with their time, their knowledge, and their encouragement. I hope this chronological list expresses at least a small portion of my gratitude for their gifts to me. 1. Madeline L’Engle. Shortly after it won the 1963 Newberry award, I read A Wrinkle in Time. I fell in love with Meg, the witches, and their world. Fast forward to the early 80’s. I was an aspiring writer and the mom of a three-year-old. I had the opportunity to go to a writer’s conference out-of-state. Ms. L’Engle was a presenter at that conference. I submitted one of my manuscripts for her critique. The appointed hour came and I was sick with nervousness. Ms. L’Engle was gracious, and kind, and talked about my manuscript for thirty minutes. She told me I should expand my story into a novel. What a shining moment! I thought my heart would explode! I hope Ms. L’Engle knew how grateful I was for her encouragement. 2. Warren Norwood. Warren Norwood is the second of the […]