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Tim Powers: Ask Me Anything

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Tim Powers
(@timpowers)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39

Tim Powers is an international bestselling author whose works include The Drawing of the DarkThe Anubis Gates (winner of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award and the Prix Apollo), Dinner at Deviant’s Palace (winner of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award), On Stranger Tides (inspired the Pirates of the Caribbean movie of the same title), The Stress of Her RegardLast Call (winner of the World Fantasy Award), Expiration DateEarthquake WeatherDeclare (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and Three Days to Never.

Tim has taught at the Clarion Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop at Michigan State University six times and currently teaches the annual Writers of the Future workshop. He has been involved with the Contest since its early years, serving as one of the instructors (along with Algis Budrys and Orson Scott Card) at the very first official WotF workshop in Sag Harbor. He was formally inducted as a judge in 1993.

Tim will begin answering your questions at 1:00 p.m.

EDIT - Well, that's all, folks! Thanks for your questions, and thank you, Writers of the Future, for hosting this event.

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Topic starter Posted : April 24, 2021 11:11 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

This was posted by John Goodwin on Facebook: "We are hosting our first AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Writers of the Future Judge, multiple World Fantasy Award Winner, Tim Powers. The Writers of the Future forum has just been upgraded after winning the Critters Best Writer Forum Award. Save the date and share the news!!! And be sure to check out the Forum! It's free and open to anyone who joins the Forum.

https://www.writersofthefuture.com/forum/online-workshop/

NOTE: So that everyone can have a good time, we will enforce our Anti-Harassment Policy to everyone participating."

Saturday, April 24th, 2021. 1-3 pm PST. Mark your calendars!

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : April 14, 2021 11:57 pm
Reuben and David K liked
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Bronze Member
Posts: 54

Very excited for this.

I was part of the Q and A with Dave Farland a couple of weeks back- what great opportunities!

triumph

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Posted : April 18, 2021 7:20 pm
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 808

What an awesome idea. Definitely will be here at the prescribed time.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : April 19, 2021 5:49 am
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 211

Very excited for this! Wouldn't miss it

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- Pending
"The Last Dance" to be published Feb. 2022 in the LTUE Anthology, Parliament of Wizards
"Never give up. Never surrender." - Galaxy Quest

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Posted : April 19, 2021 6:42 am
Wulf Moon liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

Start making your list of questions for Tim Powers! And please help us promote the event by sharing to your social media. You can copy and paste the file. It really helps. Thank you!

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : April 19, 2021 9:37 am
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Member
Posts: 99

So how does the AMA work? Are we asking questions here on the forum?

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, P, P

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Posted : April 19, 2021 7:35 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

@craydimensional. If it works like others, John Goodwin will post where in here Tim Powers will be present, and then you post questions in that thread and he’ll respond to them. I assume John will post location (likely here) and instructions as we get closer. Tim is really fun, one of my favorite writers. Don’t miss it, and come with thoughtful questions. Cheers!

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : April 19, 2021 8:26 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

A reminder to all in the Forum. It's rare to get one-on-one time with a literary giant like Tim Powers, and that's what he is. A GIANT.

This Saturday we have a special event happening in the WotF Forum. It's an Ask Me Anything AMA event with bestselling writer extraordinaire, TIM POWERS. If you don't know that name, go get a copy of ANUBIS GATES. Or ON STRANGER TIDES, my personal favorite. Tim is one of the most literary writers in speculative fiction. He's also funny and is an intellectually stimulating person to hang out with. The event will be held here Saturday, April 24th, from 1 pm to 3 pm PST, on this Forum, in this very Writers of the Future Online Workshop Topic. 

Don't miss out! Tim Powers is a judge of this Contest and in my opinion, one of the most creative writers alive today! 

Bring good questions about the Contest, about writing, and about stories Tim has written that you've enjoyed! It's an AMA!

See you there!

Wulf Moon
Forum Moderator

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : April 22, 2021 12:51 pm
jannerenberg
(@jannerenberg)
Active Member
Posts: 6

Tim: Will you comment on your story "On Stranger Tides" - Did you enjoy the movie and how it portrayed your story? Thank You, Jan

 

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Posted : April 24, 2021 12:27 pm
empressed
(@empressed)
Bronze Member
Posts: 89

Tim, "Stress of Her Regard" is one of my top three novels of all time. (Just reread it to figure out structure.) Is it considered taboo to bring books for signing to the WotF conference? Planning on winning someday....

Victoria Dixon
Author of Mourn Their Courage
a 2010 Sandy Writing Contest Finalist
A Tribble Ate My Lunch: a Star Trek Cookbook (unpublished)
R=22
HM= 6
SHM=1

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Posted : April 24, 2021 12:36 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084

Our show is about to begin in thirteen minutes! I can see John Goodwin is already here. Looking forward to this! Tm Powers is my writer hero!

 

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : April 24, 2021 12:47 pm
Tim Powers
(@timpowers)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39
Posted by: @jannerenberg

Tim: Will you comment on your story "On Stranger Tides" - Did you enjoy the movie and how it portrayed your story? Thank You, Jan

 

Well actually the movie had pretty much nothing to do with my book, but that's okay. It really couldn't have had, since the movie was the fourth in an ongoing independent series! But I've liked all the "Pirates" movies, so I had no objection.

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Topic starter Posted : April 24, 2021 12:54 pm
Wulf Moon, EmilyGoodwin, CCrawford and 2 people liked
Tim Powers
(@timpowers)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39
Posted by: @empressed

Tim, "Stress of Her Regard" is one of my top three novels of all time. (Just reread it to figure out structure.) Is it considered taboo to bring books for signing to the WotF conference? Planning on winning someday....

By all means bring books to be signed! And thanks for the nice remarks about Stress of Her Regard"! Hope to see you at the WotF conference before too long!

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Topic starter Posted : April 24, 2021 12:58 pm
Wulf Moon, John Goodwin, EmilyGoodwin and 3 people liked
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2084
Posted by: @timpowers
Posted by: @empressed

Tim, "Stress of Her Regard" is one of my top three novels of all time. (Just reread it to figure out structure.) Is it considered taboo to bring books for signing to the WotF conference? Planning on winning someday....

By all means bring books to be signed! And thanks for the nice remarks about Stress of Her Regard"! Hope to see you at the WotF conference before too long!

If Tim has time, he'll likely draw you a cool illustration in it, Victoria. It's really fun to watch him do this. 

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss "Shaken, Not Stirred" & "Behind the Scenes" & "Nail Your Opening" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon.Click HERE to get yours!

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Posted : April 24, 2021 12:59 pm
David Hankins
(@lost_bard)
Advanced Member
Posts: 33

Tim,

When submitting to an agent, what advice would you give for the biography when the author doesn't have writing-specific credentials? I'm changing careers and have struggled with what to say about myself and what is not relevant. 

-David

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:01 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Henckel
(@henckel)
Silver Member
Posts: 402

Hi Tim, in a three novel series, if you wrote book 1 in 1st person and found the continued story required other POVs would write books 2 and 3 in multiple 1st person perspectives or in multiple 3rd person POVs?

(2014) V31 Q1 – R
(2018) V35 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q3 – HM
(2019) V36 Q4 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q1 – R
(2020) V37 Q2 – HM
(2020) V37 Q3 – SHM
(2020) V37 Q4 – Finalist
(2021) V38 Q1 – Semi-finalist
(2021) V38 Q2 – tba

Publications
2019 Writing Bloc Cooperative – Escape Anthology
2020 Sci-Fi Lampoon – Winter 2020 Issue

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:01 pm
Wulf Moon liked
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Member
Posts: 99

@timpowers I understand that in fiction passive voice is frowned upon. However, I find I start of using it a lot when I start descriptive settings. What is your view on using passive voice for some of the description. 

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, P, P

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:01 pm
Wulf Moon liked
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 207

Tim, if you had one top piece of advice to give aspiring writers, what would it be? 

v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, HM, SHM
V38: SHM, ??
Indie author of The Lex Chronicles (Legends of Arameth), and the upcoming Leyward Stones series. http://ccrawfordwriting.com
I also have a newsletter and a blog!
Upcoming short story publication in DreamForge Anvil, sometime in 2021!

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:02 pm
Tim Powers
(@timpowers)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39
Posted by: @lost_bard

Tim,

When submitting to an agent, what advice would you give for the biography when the author doesn't have writing-specific credentials? I'm changing careers and have struggled with what to say about myself and what is not relevant. 

-David

Hi, David -- I'd mention only such biographical details as might be relevant to the book -- onetime Secret Service agent, astronaut, pickpocket, etc! -- and I'd keep it brief in any case. Really the book should speak for itself!

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Topic starter Posted : April 24, 2021 1:04 pm
Sinocelt, John Goodwin, EmilyGoodwin and 4 people liked
Thegirlintheglasses
(@thegirlintheglasses)
Bronze Star Member Contributor
Posts: 171

I have 2 if that’s okay. Smile

1. What inspires you?

2.What do you look for in a winning story?

Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R-F-F-HM-HM-SHM-HM-HM-SF-PF-2nd place!
Published Finalist Volume 37 Quarter 4
Second Place Volume 38 Quarter 1

First publication was "Perfectly Painted Lies" published in Deep Magic Spring 2021 and reprinted in the anthology, Best of Deep Magic Volume 2.
Learn more about me at rainsdonwrites.com

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:04 pm
empressed
(@empressed)
Bronze Member
Posts: 89

@wulfmoon I saw a picture of yours. 😀 Didn't realize it was from the conference.

 

 

This post was modified 2 months ago by empressed

Victoria Dixon
Author of Mourn Their Courage
a 2010 Sandy Writing Contest Finalist
A Tribble Ate My Lunch: a Star Trek Cookbook (unpublished)
R=22
HM= 6
SHM=1

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:04 pm
Wulf Moon liked
John Goodwin
(@johngoodwin)
Active Member Moderator
Posts: 10

Tim, I understand you were friends with Philip K Dick. How did that come to be and how has he influenced your writing, if at all?

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:04 pm
Wulf Moon and Henckel liked
Tim Powers
(@timpowers)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39
Posted by: @ccrawford

Tim, if you had one top piece of advice to give aspiring writers, what would it be? 

You've heard it before, but -- read ceaselessly, and not just fiction, and not just current stuff; and write ceaselessly, and get what you write to editors.  (Also, re-read books that affect you! It's on the second or third re-read that you see past the scenery and catch on to how the writer got the effects.)

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Topic starter Posted : April 24, 2021 1:06 pm
AliciaCay, Reuben, Sinocelt and 8 people liked
jannerenberg
(@jannerenberg)
Active Member
Posts: 6

Tim, Forgive me for not having read "On Stranger Tides" yet but I just learned that you wrote it. When your book was purchased and optioned for the movie, will you discuss the process of having sold a book and then having it completely remade? I know that most movies don't follow books (which is why books are usually better). Is it painful as a writer to see your work changed?

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:06 pm
Henckel and Wulf Moon liked
Scott_M_Sands
(@scott_m_sands)
Bronze Member
Posts: 54

Tim,

As an unpublished author approaching a traditional publisher, is there a minimum or maximum word count you'd suggest for a novel?

Thanks so much  for your time!

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:07 pm
Wulf Moon and Henckel liked
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Bronze Member
Posts: 99

@timpowers What inspired you to become a writer? Do you think it’s ever to late in life to start?

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, P, P

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:08 pm
Henckel and Wulf Moon liked
Tim Powers
(@timpowers)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39
Posted by: @henckel

Hi Tim, in a three novel series, if you wrote book 1 in 1st person and found the continued story required other POVs would write books 2 and 3 in multiple 1st person perspectives or in multiple 3rd person POVs?

Multiple first person might get confusing, but multiple third person is generally no problem, as long as you make it clear when you switch from one perspective to another. 

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Topic starter Posted : April 24, 2021 1:09 pm
Sinocelt, Wulf Moon, John Goodwin and 2 people liked
Tim Powers
(@timpowers)
Advanced Member
Posts: 39
Posted by: @scott_m_sands

Tim,

As an unpublished author approaching a traditional publisher, is there a minimum or maximum word count you'd suggest for a novel?

Thanks so much  for your time!

Minimum these days seems to be about 80,000 words, and maximum is about 150,000. (And I think you're smart to approach a traditional publisher! I'm dubious about self-publishing.)

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Topic starter Posted : April 24, 2021 1:10 pm
Reuben, David K, Sinocelt and 7 people liked
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 696

Hi! Thanks for being here and doing this. On Stranger Tides is one of my all time favorite reads - gave me such a book hangover. 

I’m working on a big multi-POV historical fantasy novel of my own. What are your thoughts on pacing and character on a book this big and complex? What challenges did the drafting of On Stranger Tides go through? Any thoughts that would help?

Thanks again!

V34: R,HM,R
V35: HM,R,R,HM
V36: R,HM,HM,SHM
V37: HM,SF,SHM,SHM
V38: F, P
Available for critiques - PM for availability.
www.rebeccaetreasure.com

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Posted : April 24, 2021 1:12 pm
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