Latest Publications

Among Others by Jo Walton

One of the perks of being a writer is that sometimes we get to read books before they are published. Not just our own books, which we have to read many, many times before they are published! I am talking about ARC’s or Advance Reading Copies. Robin Hobb gets several of these a month, and I have no scruples about stealing them and reading them.
In a recent stack, there was a real gem. Among Others by Jo Walton is not what I usually expect in a fantasy book. And it wasn’t like anything else I’d ever read by Jo Walton. At one point, late at night, after I’d decided my eyes had blurred often enough that it was time to turn off the lamp and go to sleep, I found myself thinking, “But doesn’t she know that we’re not supposed to write about the real magic?”

And that was a thought that I hadn’t expected at all.

I don’t really do book reviews and I detest spoilers. So all I’m going to say about this book is that it will be from TOR sometime in 2011. And that if you love SF and fantasy, if reading it formed your teen years, if you do remember the magic you used to do, if you remember the absolute joy of first discovering those books, well then, watch for this book and buy it when it comes out.

Among Others by Jo Walton. This is one of those books that you want to read first and be the really cool person who recommended it to all your friends.


Take a Nap

My fellow Americans,

While driving home today from the grocery store, I deducedwhat is wrong with the American people.  It could be remedied with a new holiday.

Nap day.

We are all tired. And stressed. Everyone has a nasty little headache.  And none of us dare to take time out to nap.

President Obama, if you wish to see change and hope, please decree a national nap day. Give us a day on which all retail is required to shut down.  A day when it is illegal to have a picnic or a parade or work in non essential activities.  All curtains must be drawn, all houses still. No lawnmowers. No jogging or cleaning the cat box or sweeping the steps or any of the other tasks we do whenever we are given a spare moment.

Everyone would have to take a nap. Everyone.

And we would awake a calmer, more rational and perhaps even optimistic people again!


I’d love to sign your books!

Robin Hobb is going on a book tour in May, and of course I’ll be along for the ride. 🙂
Here’s a very quick listing of places where I’ll be. As always, I’ll be glad to sign all books whether by Lindholm or Hobb.

May 11 at 7 PM. University Book Store, Seattle, WA
May 12 at 7:30 PM Books Inc on Castro St. in San Francisco, CA
May 13 at 7 PM Borderlands in San Francisco, CA
May 14 at 7 PM Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, CA
May 15th at 2 PM Barnes and Noble at Black Lake Blvd in Olympia WA
May 16th at 4 PM Powells Books in Beaverton, OR
May 20th At 7:30 PM Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Is, WA
May 22 at 1 PM Uncle Hugo’s books in Minneapolis, MN
May 24th at 7 PM Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, WI
May 25th at 7 PM Next Chapter Bookstore, in Mequon WI

Books on my Desk

So, what books have found their way onto my desk this month?  Some old, some new!

Old first.  On a recent plane trip I took The Dreadful Lemon Sky along with me.  Many readers will recognize that title as vintage Travis McGee from John D. MacDonald.  I’m pleased to say that Travis and the Busted Flush have stood up well to the passing of years, and that I can still whole heartedly recommend the entire series to readers who like a good stew of mystery and adventure.

In memorial to Robert Parker’s passing, I journeyed back in time to The Godwulf Manuscript, the very first Spenser novel.  And again, this is a book that has stood the test of time for me. The spot-on descriptions of dress, decor and hair transported me back in time.  Ah, Spenser!  I’m going to miss you.

Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy is next on the list.  This one is my SF fix for the month.  I read a proof of this first novel; it will debut on May 10, 2010.  I think this book will be satisfying for readers of SF and fantasy alike.  Plenty of plot, hardware and science for SF buffs, and lots of characterization and human conflict as well.  Recommended. Robin Hobb and Sara Creasy will soon be doing a Babel Clash, an on line discussion. Check the Robin Hobb site for the time and place for that.

And finally, a book I haven’t finished yet but am really enjoying.  Freakonomics.   I shrugged this one off when it first came out.  I shouldn’t have.  It’s a book that entertains, challenges assumptions, and makes me think about things that I wouldn’t ordinarily consider.  I’m not sure that I agree with all the conclusions, but they do seem to have the numbers to back up the theories.  So, recommended!

Robin Hobb will be doing a substantial US book tour for Dragon Haven, and as usual, I’ll be along for the ride! 🙂   Please check for the complete schedule. I’m always happy to sign Megan Lindholm books as well!

I’ll hope to see a lot of you in May as I wander through various US cities.


April Showers

Or in this case, a pretty violent storm for the northwest! Lots of wind and rain and falling branches. Even so, it did not develop into the all out windstorm that we were all expecting, thank goodness!
My tulips are now up in full force, and my daffodils. As I do every year, I’m wishing I planted more last fall. I lose a certain number to the squirrels each winter. Even so, the front yard looks pretty good here in Tacoma.

Down at the old house, I’ve made a serious effort to rejuvenate what was once my garden and lawn. And I’ve been rewarded with all sorts of forgotten and neglected plants making surprise appearances. Random daffodils and narcissus. A fairy rose that I thought was gone forever. And, despite some very enthusiastic pruning by the local deer population, the little plum trees look as if they will survive. There is one that is very battered as the deer used it to rub the velvet off their antlers, but it is sending up some shoots and it may yet live for another year.

So. Spring. The most forgiving season of the year.


Happy New Year!

January 8th, and I’m back and busy at my desk. 

I’m pleased to say that Robin Hobb and I have sent off the manuscript for a short story collection called The Inheritance.  It’s a collection of stories by both Lindholm and Hobb, some old, some new, some previously published and others that have never seen print.

I’m beginning the new year with a head full of short story ideas, and not enough time to write them all.  But I certainly prefer that to not having any ideas!

Best wishes to you all for a peaceful and prosperous 2010!


The Ghosts of Christmas Past

I’ve lost track of when the fruit cakes first began arriving.

But every year they faithfully came in December.   It was addressed to me, at my address, but I knew it was for my Dad. 

There was the cardboard box from the Collin Street Bakery in Texas, with the note on the outside that said it was a gift from Beverly. I always called her Aunt Beverly even though technically she was a cousin, because she was my father’s cousin. She and Francis, as she called him, were raised almost together, and the three, along with another cousin Sonny (much better name than Clarence!) were as close as siblings.

My father always told me that his cousins Beverly and Helen were as beautiful as angels. She was younger than he was, and I think he felt he was her protector.  Their houses were a few blocks apart in a town called Hollywood, California.  She was a beauty, and he was able to get part time work riding horses or doing fencing scenes in movies.  My impression was that it was a kinder, more elegant time.

In our house when I was growing up, there were books inscribed ‘from Beverly to Francis’, the sort of books that cousins gave each other once upon a time. Adventure books and story books and books of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry. All the history of an affectionate childhood could be summed up in those gift books.

Their affection followed them into old age. They lived in different states, she in her beloved California, and he in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, and then Washington. Contact became less frequent but more important because of that.  She still sent him books, and as he grew older, I helped him see that Sees Chocolates were sent to her. In all the essential ways, they still knew one another well.

The fruit cakes are excellent, every year.  I know, some people are fruit cake impaired and do not understand the savor of glace cherries and fat raisins and pecans both whole and in pieces.  But these are excellent fruitcakes, only a shade away from the goodness of home made.

Every year since they began arriving, I’ve always had a generous slice, and often more than one.  This year was no exception.

The fruit cake came, and we opened it and shared it. Tonight the last slice was eaten. By me.

Both my father and Beverly have been dead for years now.  I imagine she arranged that yearly gift  as an automatic delivery.  She was thoughtful that way.  I suspect that my cousin Kathy continues to fund it, another thoughtful gesture.

Each year, the fruit cake arrives from Beverly, and with it the warmth of a ghost friendship, the friendship of those Californian cousins.  Once they were children, then teenagers, adults, and then elderly.  The friendship lasted and ultimately it lives on.

Merry Christmas!


The Christmas Rant

So, the Christmas Season is upon us! A time for bells ringing and lights on houses and buying gifts and renewing ties with seldom seen relatives.

Now, if you expect me to be cranky about this, you should stop reading right now. I love this season. I love the smells of evergreen and nutmeg and ginger, and the sounds of the bells and Christmas carols on the radio. I like secrets and surprises and the Advent wreath on the table and counting down the days as we open little doors on an Advent calendar.

When I was a child, Christmas was a wonderful time in our home. A time of hope and magic and extra kindness and all sorts of cookies. Days off from school in the heart of a Fairbanks winter, with dark and snow outside and light and warmth inside.

Tonight, I will mix the triple batch of dough for the gingerbread candles. We will light two candles on the Advent wreath on the table. We will drop hints as to shopping we must do, and talk about what to get Uncle Steve and what to mail to Alaska for Auntie Mo.

And it is all so very good. So I hope all of the rest of you who share my holiday are enjoying it as much as I am. And to those who have a different holiday, or even no holiday this time of year, my very best wishes also!


Harlequin Horizon, vanity press

At conventions and via email, I am often contacted by aspiring writers, young and old.  Many people know how to sit down at a keyboard and put a story together.  How that story gets from your fingers to the pages of a book or magazine is often less clear.

And that is where scam artists, unscrupulous ‘agents’ and fake publishing houses have a field day.  When aspiring writers go out on the internet to look for information on how to be published, the first listings they will get on any search will be vanity publishers such as PublishAmerica and AuthorHouse.  No matter how they present themselves, it boils down to this.  The would be author gives them money.  The book is created.  There is no distribution system in place, so the book does not get into stores.  The bright writing future does not materialize.

It pains me that a long-respected romance publishing house, Harlequin Books, is now getting into the ‘dream selling’ business.

For a very accurate and well written summary of the situation, please look here   Jackie Kessler does a great job of explaining all this.  I commend her analysis to your attention.

Romance Writers of America also addresses the situation, as does Science Fiction Writers of America.

In these hard economic times, unemployed people sometimes say to themselves, ‘Well, the silver lining is that I can finally work on the book I’ve always dreamed of writing.’   I’m sure that the number of  unsolicited submissions has increased at all the publishing houses.  But to decide to prey on those you don’t judge worthy of regular publication is, to speak plainly, shameful.

Harlequin, I expected better of you.


Megan Lindholm site has a new look

Please drop by to see the new, improved and totally updated website. Let us know what you think.