Edward Willett

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The Space-Time Continuum: Steam-Engine Time

Here's my latest column from Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. All forms of art, from the visual to the theatrical, from motion pictures to literature, tend to go through movements. One reason for this is simply copycatting, something that is most clearly seen in the motion picture industry: somebody makes a movie about, say, competitive cross-stitching, and it’s such a hit that suddenly there are a dozen more films about the cut-throat world of fabric-related competition. Another reason is conversation: artists within the same genre naturally react to, protest, and comment on the work of others within their genre. But sometimes, and especially in science fiction, it’s because it’s ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:05, March 28th, 2018 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: What do writers owe their readers?

Here's my latest column from Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in George R.R. Martin’s bestselling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, still doesn’t have a release date, six years after the release of A Dance with Dragons. (And there’s a final book, A Dream of Spring, to come after The Winds of Winter.) Readers of the series are understandably antsy. Some have been downright rude about it, prompting Neil Gaiman to famously tell a reader that “George R.R. Martin is not working for you.” (Well, he put it that way the second time he said it: his original formulation was…pithier.) But ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:40, January 20th, 2018 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | 1 Comment »

First description of Worldshaper, my next novel for DAW Books

The release of Worldshaper, Book 1 in the Worldshapers series, is still 10 months away (it's set for September 2018), but that's not very long in publishing terms. My editor at DAW Books, Sheila Gilbert, and I are already talking about cover art. And I've also been asked to write "sell copy" describing the book. Here it is, the first public description of what to expect: Worldshaper By Edward Willett Book 1 in the Worldshapers series For Shawna Keys, the world is almost perfect. She’s just opened a pottery studio in a beautiful city. She’s in love with a wonderful man. She has good friends.  ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 15:39, November 9th, 2017 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: What’s the Big Idea?

Here's my latest "Space-Time Continuum" column from the Saskatchewan Writers Guild's magazine Freelance. “Where do you get your ideas?” is a question every author has heard multiple times. I usually say something about how story ideas are all around us, and give some examples. But recently I’ve realized there are two different kinds of ideas at work in a book: the idea that starts the book, and the idea at the heart of the book—what you might call the “big idea.” Or, at least, that’s what I’m going to call it, because that’s what bestselling science fiction writer John Scalzi calls it in his popular blog “Whatever," where for years he has generously ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:15, August 6th, 2017 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: Aliens in Science Fiction

Having just posted my column from the February/March 2017 issue of Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild (see previous post), it behooves me to be more timely and post the most recent column, from the April/May issue. And here it is! I remember being confused, as a kid, the first time I encountered the term “illegal aliens.” “Alien,” to me, had only one meaning: intelligent creatures from other planets. How could they be illegal? I wondered. Not being from this planet, were they really subject to its laws? Yes, I was a weird kid. Aliens are one of the great tropes of science fiction, as the length of the article in the ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:15, May 21st, 2017 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: Creating Magic Systems

This is a belated posting of my column from the February-March 2017 issue of Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. Don't know how I missed posting it, but better late than never! Most fantasy stories include magic: that’s kind of what makes them fantasy. (In fact, if I had to distinguish between fantasy and science fiction, I’d say, “The fantastical stuff in fantasy is ascribed to magic. The fantastical stuff in science fiction is ascribed to advanced technology.”) However, different authors take different approaches to the use of magic in stories. In older books of the fantastic (think The Lord of the Rings), magic is (in the words of Brian ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:05, May 21st, 2017 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns, Writing and Editing | 2 Comments »

A long, in-depth interview with…moi! (Trigger warning: includes questions about religion and politics)

Recently Everitt Foster over the blog A Natural Reaction asked me to answer some questions for an online interview, one of a series he's been conducting with authors who have been early adopters of the new social media platform Gab, a would-be Twitter rival. (My handle over there is ewillett.) You can read the interview over there, or you can read it right here, if you want to know more about me than you probably actually want to know about me. I even talk about religion and politics. Quelle horreur! Tell me a little about how you were raised. What was your family like? Did they encourage reading, writing and artistic pursuits from a young age or we’re ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 15:47, December 5th, 2016 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

What does writing success mean to me?

The Flames of Nevyana blog tour has wrapped up! The final two stops of note were this long review of the book from Jorie Loves a Story (too long and detailed to easily excerpt, so read it in situ), and an interview from Melissa Yaun-Innes's blog, of which here's a large chunk (Just in time for Hallowe'en, it's headlined, "Crawl into Edward Willett's mind")... Q. What does writing success mean to you? Awards, money, readers, all of the above? To me, what feels like success varies depending on the day of the week. Well, not quite, but almost. When I receive an award (and I’ve received a few—a Saskatchewan Book Award for my YA fantasy ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:02, October 30th, 2016 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

A long interview with me from Books Chatter

The Flames of Nevyana blog tour continued today with this long interview at Books Chatter. I had fun answering these questions. A very warm welcome to Edward Willett (a.k.a. E.C. Blake); thank you for joining us on BooksChatter! What was the inspiration for Flames of Nevyana? "I was driving from my home town of Regina, Saskatchewan, to Meadow Lake, about 500 kilometres further north, to do a reading at the library. Whenever I’m on my own in the car on a long trip I do a lot of thinking about writing, and on this occasion I deliberately set myself the task of coming up with a new idea for a YA fantasy ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:11, October 22nd, 2016 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The world of Flames of Nevyana

From the ongoing blog tour for Flames of Nevyana, here's today's guest post from Lisa's Loves (Books of Course): The world of Flames of Nevyana began with a simple kernel of an idea: the magic of electricity. I was driving from my home town of Regina, Saskatchewan, to Meadow Lake (about 500 kilometres north) for a library reading/presentation, and passing the time by trying to come up with a new YA novel idea. I got to musing on what is known in science fiction circles as Clarke’s Law: Arthur C. Clarke’s famous dictum that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I reflected on the fact that what we accomplish with ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 7:35, October 19th, 2016 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »