pbray: (Default)
In film, Alfred Hitchcock is known for his signature cameo appearances. In fiction, Patricia Bray is known for including goats. Goats creep into her stories like secret punctuation marks, leaving tiny cloven hoofprints among the pages. Some call her obsessed, but Patricia has stumbled on a truth that few others know--the universe is made up of five elements, not four-- Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Goats. Now you can show your support for all things Caprid, by pledging $85 you'll receive a ZNB goat mascot autographed by Patricia, guaranteed to contain the secret knowledge known only to goats and their devotees.

Follow this link to learn more about ZNB's latest Kickstarter: Robots, Water, Death, and to make your pledge in order to receive your very own goat mascot.
pbray: (Default)
Just back from the annual bike trip, where we had a fantastic time. Madison, Wisconsin lived up to its reputation as a bike-friendly city. Not only do they have an extensive network of bike paths and bike lanes, but even out on country roads the drivers are incredibly patient and respectful of cyclists.

Carolina Tailwinds remains our favorite company to travel with. Great people, great bikes, and they think of everything, so all we have to do is pedal and enjoy.

Already plotting our trip for next year. In the meantime, here's where we've been so far:

2016 Best of Madison, Carolina Tailwinds
2015 Middle-Tennessee, Carolina Tailwinds
2014 Coast of Maine (Acadia), Discovery Bike Tours
2013 *no trip*
2012 Big Sur--Monterey to Santa Barbara, California, Backroads
2011 Santa Fe/Taos, New Mexico, Bicycle Adventures
2010 Outer Banks North Carolina, Carolina Tailwinds
2009 Black Hills South Dakota, Timberline
2008 Northern Shenandoah VA, Carolina Tailwinds
2007 Crater Lake Oregon, Bicycle Adventures
2006 Canadian Rockies Alpiner, Timberline
2005 Historic Quebec, Classic Adventures
2004 Bryce/Zion Alpiner, Timberline
2003 Finger Lakes, Classic Adventures
2002 Blue Ridge NC, Carolina Tailwinds
2001 Nova Scotia, VBT
2000 Mid-coast Maine (Camden, Castine), VBT
1999 Nantucket weekend, Easy Riders
1998 Middlebury VT weekend, VBT

Trips before Stacey became my personal trainer :-)
1996 Kerry Ireland (9 day), Easy Riders
1995 Maryland Eastern Shore, VBT
pbray: (Default)
I'm working on my notes for my upcoming guest lecture at the Odyssey Writers Workshop. The workshop organizers stress the value of including personal experience into your presentation.

Which brings to mind an unfortunate kayak excursion. The river was extremely low, so much so that we kept stepping out, picking up our kayaks, then carrying them until we found a spot where they would once again float. As the group started to separate across the width of the river, we'd call back to our companions "Not this way!" and "Not this way either!"

Come to think of it, that encapsulates my advice to new writers. Be prepared to try lots of things, and don't be discouraged if you fail. Learn from those who have gone before you, but don't assume something that worked for them will also work for you. Or conversely, just because they failed doesn't mean you won't succeed.

And always keep your sense of humor.
pbray: (bike)
Having fun looking through the bike catalogs, picking our adventure for 2016. Hard to believe I've been doing this for 20 years. And oddly enough I'm in better shape now than I was when I started this.

Here's where I've been so far--

2015 Middle-Tennessee, Carolina Tailwinds
2014 Coast of Maine (Acadia), Discovery Bike Tours
2013 *no trip*
2012 Big Sur--Monterey to Santa Barbara, California, Backroads
2011 Santa Fe/Taos, New Mexico, Bicycle Adventures
2010 Outer Banks North Carolina, Carolina Tailwinds
2009 Black Hills South Dakota, Timberline
2008 Northern Shenandoah VA, Carolina Tailwinds
2007 Crater Lake Oregon, Bicycle Adventures
2006 Canadian Rockies Alpiner, Timberline
2005 Historic Quebec, Classic Adventures
2004 Bryce/Zion Alpiner, Timberline
2003 Finger Lakes, Classic Adventures
2002 Blue Ridge NC, Carolina Tailwinds
2001 Nova Scotia, VBT
2000 Mid-coast Maine (Camden, Castine), VBT
1999 Nantucket weekend, Easy Riders
1998 Middlebury VT weekend, VBT

Trips before Stacey became my personal trainer :-)
1996 Kerry Ireland (9 day), Easy Riders
1995 Maryland Eastern Shore, VBT
pbray: (zombies need brains)
ZNB LLC is currently accepting submissions for these two anthologies, guidelines can be found here.

Here are the authors who have agreed to be part of these anthologies: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Phyllis Ames, Jacey Bedford, Patricia Bray, David B. Coe, David Farland/Dave Wolverton, C.S. Friedman, Walter H. Hunt, Faith Hunter, Katharine Kerr, Gini Koch, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Gail Z. Martin, Larry N. Martin, Seanan McGuire, Juliet E. McKenna, and Jean Marie Ward. Stories selected from the open call will be used to fill the remaining slots.

Submissions must be received by October 31st 2015.
pbray: (zombies need brains)
Zombies Need Brains publishing has just launched their new Kickstarter looking to create not one but two original anthologies featuring an outstanding lineup of authors.

This project will fund TWO science fiction and fantasy anthologies, titled ALIEN ARTIFACTS and WERE-, each containing approximately 14 all-original (no reprint) short stories from established SF&F authors in the field—including Phyllis Ames, Jacey Bedford, Patricia Bray, David B. Coe, Walter H. Hunt, Faith Hunter, Gini Koch, Gail Z. Martin, Seanan McGuire, Juliet E. McKenna, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, and Jean Marie Ward. The books will be edited by Joshua Palmatier & Patricia Bray, both editors of the DAW Books anthologies “After Hours: Tales from the Ur-bar” and “The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity," and the Zombies Need Brains LLC anthologies "Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens" and “Temporally Out of Order.”

Follow the link here to learn more and see all the great rewards that have been lined up, including a Tuckerization in my WereGoat story.
pbray: (crime)
In the latest news from the FBI crime labs, an admission that they've been overstating the likelihood of DNA matches, a problem that dates back to at least 1999.

This is part of a series of reviews that have revealed systemic problems with forensic evidence provided by the FBI. Back in 2012 they revealed similar issues with hair & fiber evidence, these dating back to the 1980s. Not to mention the earlier well-publicized problems with gunfire residue evidence and fingerprint analysis.

Back in 2009 the National Academy of Sciences went before Congress with a scathing indictment of the state of forensic science at all levels of law enforcement in the US, pointing out that the lack of standards and scientific rigor meant that junk science was routinely being presented, unchallenged, at criminal trials. In an optimistic view, one could say the latest report from the FBI shows that they've committed themselves to reform, and are being open about the past.

Or you could say that they are just as likely to learn from this as they learned from the FBI lab scandals in the 1990s...which is to say, not at all. Bad FBI science.
pbray: (Default)
Thrilled to announce that Diversion Books has just released e-book editions of five of my Regency romances. Check out the links below for more information.
pbray: (Default)
Once upon the time there was an attorney who wanted a job where she could set her own hours and work from home. The agent began attending RWA conferences and making connections. Soon she'd signed on a promising crop of unpublished romance authors, including yours truly. With great enthusiasm she began sending their submissions out.

After several rejections, a publisher made an offer on my book. They sent along their boilerplate contract, which we reviewed and asked for a few minor changes. And then the negotiations started. While the changes we'd asked for were straightforward, the byzantine ways of publishing meant that even the simplest of changes required time and jumping through hoops. I remember a phone call where the agent vented her frustrations over the difficulties involved, and how the entire process bore little resemblance to her previous experience negotiating business contracts.

At last the agent presented the final contract for my signature, then informed me that she quit. After spending over a year trying to launch her career, the big bucks had yet to roll in, and she'd realized she was making far less than minimum wage. She set her clients free and returned to the legal world.

In fact she disappeared so quickly and thoroughly that this caused a series of problems, since my publisher kept sending snail mail to her old business address which was no longer valid, and of course the business phone had been shut off. Eventually I tracked her down, not an easy thing to do in the 90s, and managed to get her signature on a document authorizing all correspondence for this title to be sent directly to me.

In the end everything worked out for the best. Since I was orphaned, I was free to look for a new agent, and this time I got my top pick, Jennifer Jackson, an experienced pro with the power of an established literary agency to back her up. The contract negotiations that had mystified my first agent were well known (if arcane) rituals to Jennifer. And when the time came, she had the knowledge and contacts to help me make the leap from romance to SF&F.
pbray: (Default)
I'm thrilled to announce that in February Diversion Books will be releasing e-book editions of five of my Regencies: AN UNLIKELY ALLIANCE, LORD FREDDIE'S FIRST LOVE, THE IRISH EARL, A MOST SUITABLE DUCHESS and THE WRONG MR. WRIGHT.

Over the years I've had to disappoint fans who asked where they could find e-book editions of my backlist. I'm delighted that they'll finally be available, and that new readers will be able to discover and enjoy these stories.

I'll post here and on my website patriciabray.com when the covers are available, and when the titles go live.
pbray: (Default)
Thanksgiving is a time to focus on what's most important to me--friends, family, and community.

So tonight I'm hosting a friend, so she doesn't have to make a long commute in the worst of the storm. Tomorrow I'll be cooking the turkey for David's House, help making the day a bit brighter for families whose children are at the hospital. Then I'll come home, and make a non-turkey dinner for friends. Friday I'll be baking desserts, then heading over to their house for our customary Tday+1 turkey feast.

At no point will I be participating in the Black Friday shopping rituals of megastores, malls, and competitive bargain hunting. There's nothing these stores could sell me that's as important as spending time with friends.

There are so many reasons to be angry, depressed, outraged or sad. And it's easy to feel overwhelmed. I don't have answers for everyone, but for me, the solution is to do what I can in this corner of the world, and to take the time to appreciate the people who make my life better.
pbray: (snow)
Feeling overwhelmed, as I often do as the Christmas season approaches. Lots of stuff going on, and like many women I am conditioned to feel bad whenever I have to say No. Even when saying No is key to maintaining mental health.

So here it is. No. With the following explanation: "You have a great crowdfunding project/I love that you're raising money for a charity/I share your outrage about X and want to help. But between bailing out a family member in a financial crisis and supporting charities in my community, I am completely tapped out."
pbray: (Default)
If you've ever thought about taking an online writing class, you can't do better than starting with one of these: Winter classes from the Odyssey Writing Workshop.

Three classes are available starting in January:

Showing versus Telling in Fantastic Fiction
Course Meets: January 1 - January 29, 2015
Instructor: Jeanne Cavelos
Application Deadline: December 6, 2014

One Brick at a Time: Crafting Compelling Scenes
Course Meets: January 5 - February 2, 2015
Instructor: Barbara Ashford
Application Deadline: December 9, 2014

Effective Endings in Speculative Fiction
Course Meets: January 22 - February 19, 2015
Instructor: C. C. Finlay
Application Deadline: December 26, 2014

Click on the link above to learn more.
pbray: (Default)
For those of my friends who enjoy clever Regencies, and/or fantasy novels with sophisticated worldbuilding and well-thought out magic systems, this is a book not to be missed.

Regency + magic = win. Sylvia Izzo Hunter's first novel THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN combines two of my favorite things-- the intelligence and witty dialogue of a classic Regency romance woven into a fantasy world where Oxford's colleges are the center of magical studies. I loved all the details that made up this alternate Regency Britain, from the cleverly designed magic system, to the seamless integration of the regional languages and local customs. Sophie and Gray's romance is charming, sharing equal time with their quest to foil the sinister conspiracy they've uncovered. The ending is suitably satisfying, while leaving room for more novels in this universe. Both fantasy readers and romance readers will enjoy this book, highly recommended!
pbray: (Default)
Today is the official publication date for THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN, a debut novel from Sylvia Izzo Hunter.

Published authors reading my blog will remember how we felt the day our first novel hit the stores. After months (or years) of telling our family, friends, coworkers, strangers on the street that "I'm an author, Yes, I've sold a book, No, it wasn't out yet, but would be soon," the day had finally come when the book could be found in stores, and ordered online. Looking back I'm surprised that I didn't float away, like an untethered helium balloon.

I'm thrilled that this day has finally come for Sylvia, and hoping it's the first of many successful book launches for her. And I can't wait to read my copy of THE MIDNIGHT QUEEN--a fantasy novel set in an alternate version of Regency England, it's two of my favorite things together, like she wrote it just for me.
pbray: (bike)
This month was the (nearly) annual bike vacation, and our trip took us to Mount Desert Island, Maine, and Acadia National Park. We had a fabulous time, biking, hiking and even a morning spent kayaking. There's something about a bike trip that disconnects you from your daily life--your focus narrows into the day's mileage and enjoying the sights, rather than the latest horrors in the news, or controversies on social media. I did occasionally log on my tablet, but in our downtime I was much more likely to pick up a book.

I need to figure out how to do this now that I'm back in my daily life. I enjoy being able to connect with friends on social media, and follow interesting people, but at the same time it can be a tremendous time suck and source of negative energy. There has to be a better balance.

For those following along, here's the tally of bike tours so far. And yes, we're already talking about which tour we want to take next year.

2014 Coast of Maine (Acadia), Discovery Bike Tours
2013 *no trip*
2012 Big Sur--Monterey to Santa Barbara, California, Backroads
2011 Santa Fe/Taos, New Mexico, Bicycle Adventures
2010 Outer Banks North Carolina, Carolina Tailwinds
2009 Black Hills South Dakota, Timberline
2008 Northern Shenandoah VA, Carolina Tailwinds
2007 Crater Lake Oregon, Bicycle Adventures
2006 Canadian Rockies Alpiner, Timberline
2005 Historic Quebec, Classic Adventures
2004 Bryce/Zion Alpiner, Timberline
2003 Finger Lakes, Classic Adventures
2002 Blue Ridge NC, Carolina Tailwinds
2001 Nova Scotia, VBT
2000 Mid-coast Maine (Camden, Castine), VBT
1999 Nantucket weekend, Easy Riders
1998 Middlebury VT weekend, VBT

Trips before Stacey became my personal trainer :-)
1996 Kerry Ireland (9 day), Easy Riders
1995 Maryland Eastern Shore, VBT
pbray: (bike)
Tomorrow is the annual Prouty Ride to raise money for cancer research, treatment and patient services. I've been riding in the Prouty since 2008, graduating from the 50 mile course to the 77 mile course last year, and doing the 77 again this year. It's a great cause, and if you feel so inclined you can sponsor me here.

Over the years I've done charity bike ride events both large and small, and the Prouty is both the largest and the best organized. But there's a special challenge when you have food allergies--because I'm allergic to peanuts and most nuts, much of the food provided at the well-stocked SAG stops is off limits. I can't eat most brands of granola bars, and likewise the pb&j sandwiches are a no-go. So while I can snag water, Gatorade, a banana or the occasional chocolate bar, for the most part I need to bring my own food. Not the easiest thing to do on a road bike, but for short rides I bring my own Patricia-safe snack bars, and for long rides I've mastered the science of packing sandwiches and keeping them cold with mini ice cubes.

And Pringles. Ah Pringles, my secret addiction, something far too dangerous to have in the house because an open can of Pringles is an empty can of Pringles. But for Prouty day I'll bring a small can of them, because they pack really well, and around mile 50 I'm going to need a treat.

Then of course at the finish line they'll have post-ride bbq. And ice cream, because I can always bike for ice cream.
pbray: (TFB)
As an author, it's always difficult to tell which pieces of promotional swag are helpful, and which ones are a waste of money. The strongest reaction I ever received was for the lizard keychains/bottle openers I gave out for THE FIRST BETRAYAL. The lizards were both fun & useful, and were remembered by Elizabeth Bear when it came time for authors to list their favorite book swag in the essay Love It or Leave It.

One lizard to rule them all....
pbray: (Default)
Means that you believe there's no age limit for getting an Avengers sticker as a reward for a good dental checkup.
pbray: (Default)
I tweeted the other day that I feel like a badly written timeslice algorithm--there's never enough cycles to go around. Whatever I choose to do, there are multiple other things that aren't getting done, and I never seem to catch up.

Of late my writing has been the thing shortchanged. I don't have a deadline I'm working to, and thus it's easy to focus on the other parts of my life that do come with pressing deadlines.

A while back I was invited to attend a writers retreat, and at first I was enthusiastic. Then the realities of trying to schedule this around the day job started creeping in. But in the end, I realized this was something I needed to do, for myself and for my sanity. With a little schedule juggling, I crossed my fingers and said yes. Then I went ahead and booked the plane tickets, so I'm committed.

So now I have a deadline. Three months from now I'll be hanging out with other writers, discussing our works. So I damn well better have something that I'm enthusiastic about working on and sharing.

And cross my fingers that the day job doesn't get any more insane.

September 2016

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
111213 14151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags