Book covers

At first I was a little leery of the “cute” illustration my publisher picked for my book Roger Mantis. They explained the appeal to the target readers, and after a while, it grew on me, too.


I’m feeling even better about it now that I’ve seen the new Kindle cover for Robert A. Heinlein’s Have Space Suit–Will Travel.


This is the cover I grew up with:


Imagine writing Robert Heinlein to ask for story ideas…

And then he sends you a bunch of them.

A wonderful anecdote from SF author Theodore Sturgeon.

The photo in the story is from the Worldcon in Kansas City (MidAmericon). I was there, and you could get books signed by Heinlein–if you donated blood first. I did. The photo in the article is cropped, but you can see the whole thing in the Wikipedia link (and below).  The woman in the photo is wearing a “Mpls. in ’73” t-shirt, which brings back a lot of great memories of SF fandom in Minneapolis in my college years.

Robert Heinlein autographing at MidAmericon, 1976<

Hand in Hand

Via Neil Gaiman’s journal, advice from authors, written on their hands.

Neil Gaiman Hand

There’s a common thread through many of these photos: the idea that a large part of successful writing is just plain sticking to it.

At the Asilomar writer conference, there was an ending ceremony where all of us wrote something to inspire ourselves on each of two index cards. One was burned in a big rustic fireplace (I had a sudden flash of a prim agent reading my reassembled card while sitting on a cloud floating over London) and the other copy was kept. Mine is currently taped to my computer case. It has one word. “Persist.”


Two of the hand photos in the photo gallery have the same word.

Robert Heinlein’s famous “Rules for Writing:”

1.) You must write.
2.) You must finish what you write.
3.) You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4.) You must put the work on the market.
5.) You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

I’d plug the word “excessive” into Rule 3, but I know what he meant–I’ve seen people who have been “polishing” the same manuscript for ten years. Otherwise the same overall theme of “not giving up” is there.