Matthew Hughes: the Archonate

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Creative Ink Writers’ Festival

The weekend of May 6 to 8, I’ll be doing panel and blue-pencil work and presenting a workshop at the Creative Ink writers’ festival at the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre, In Burnaby, BC, where I went to high school and university, all those years ago.

I’m doing three panels:

  • Getting Started – how to begin a writing project. It’s on Friday, May 6, at 4 p.m.
  • Creating Believable Characters – tricks and techniques to take the cardboard out of characters. That’s on Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m.
  • Adding Mystery to Your Fiction – there are different rules for writing mysteries compared to other genre categories. Saturday, May 7, at noon

The workshop is Elements of Story. I’ll run through the basics of story mechanics then we’ll make up a story or two from the usual components. Saturday, May 7, at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, May 8, from noon, I’ll be doing Blue-Pencil Café, a standard part of writers conferences. Individual writers bring a pro author, editor, or agent a few pages of their work and get an instant critique. Tip: it’s best to bring me the opening pages of a novel or short story. I can tell a lot (and often help a lot) from an opening.

I’m not the only attraction at Creative Ink. Guests of Honour are bestselling author Carrie Vaughan and World Fantasy Award-nominated artist Galen Dara. Good old Robert J. Sawyer, who always gives excellent value for money at writers’ conferences, will deliver a keynote speech.

This project is the brainchild of my SF Canada colleague, Sandra Wickham, who deserves a medal and a big slice of cake for putting her heart into helping other writers. I wouldn’t be surprised if the conference sells out, so get over to the website now and sign up.

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“Loser” — a free read

I’m normally apolitical in my fiction. It’s hard to take a political stance on the activities of fantasy-world wizards and far-future master criminals.  The issue would be abstruse at best.

But the current situation in the American political scene has intruded upon my awareness to such an extent that I just had to write a “what-if” story that I was pretty sure wasn’t going to sell to any of my usual markets, the pro magazines. For one thing, they work on lead times of up to a year, and this story might turn from a what-if to an alternative-history piece any weekend now. For another, if it comes true, having published it might be a real problem.

So, having bounced it off two mags, I thought I would just offer it as a free read to anyone who’s interested. Please don’t send me tweets and emails. It’s out of my system and I’m happy to see it go.

It’s called “Loser” and you can read it here.

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Epiphanies cover art

Here’s the cover art for “Epiphanies,” the fourth (and I think final) Luff Imbry novella from PS Publishing.  It’s by Ben Baldwin, who has done the covers for the previous three novellas as well as some of my self-published backlist books.  I think he captures the feel of the Imbry stories perfectly.

Epiphanies cover

I think we’re going to do a launch of the novella at Eastercon (Mancunicon) in Manchester in late March.  I’ll update with more info as I get it.

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Where I’m going to be

I’m going to be at Mancunicon (UK Eastercon) in late March and VCon in Vancouver in the fall. I’ll probably do Orycon in November, and for sure if I’m shortlisted again for the Endeavour Award. And I’ve just bought a membership for WorldCon in Kansas City in August.

I’m going to do some kind of how-to presentation, maybe story mechanics, at a writers festival called Creative Ink in Burnaby, BC, Canada in early May.

I’m thinking about World Fantasy in Ohio for October.

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Fools Errant and Fool Me Twice in paperback

I should have done this back when I started offering print-on-demand paperbacks through Amazon’s CreateSpace subsidiary, but better late than never: my first two fantasy novels, Fools Errant and Fool Me Twice, are now available as POD paperbacks, for $12.99 each, from the CreateSpace store:

Fools Errant

Fool Me Twice

Together, they’re the coming-of-age story of Filidor Vesh, apprentice Archon, who later became a pretty good Archon in his own right and had dealings with Henghis Hapthorn and took an interest in the doings of Luff Imbry.

Fools Errant was written when I was less than half the age I am today and hadn’t yet learned not to go over the top.  Fool Me Twice is a more mature book but still a farce.  But people read them and like them, so who am I to argue?

These editions have been designed and formatted by the exceptionally able Bradley W. Schenck, Hero of the Archonate (he has the medal), and upcoming Tor author.


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