AISFP 281 – Jeanne Cavelos of the Odyssey Writing Workshop

Mission to Mars This episode is brought to you by Mission: Flight to Mars, by V.A. Jeffrey.

Bob Astor is a Quality Assurance agent working at Vartan Inc. Lately his days have been stressful, to say the least. Butting heads with upper management has put his career on life support. A surprising change in circumstance has Bob going on a business mission to the moon city, Langrenus. On the way, he meets one of the delegates on board the Starbird, a desperate man with a dark past and a very dangerous secret. Through a mysterious series of events Bob finds himself in the middle of an interplanetary crises that no one knows about. These secrets could change – or destroy – all human life on Earth. The key to the answer of the crises is on the Red Planet, Mars. It’s up to Bob, the burnt-out Q. A. agent to rise to the occasion and stem the dangerous tide coming from beyond the solar system.

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Odyssey WorkshopJean Cavelos, founder of the Odyssey Writers Workshop, joins us to to talk

  • writing;
  • workshops;
  • making it as an author;
  • what writers don’t know;
  • what makes Odyssey different from Clarion;
  • where publishing is going;
  • concerns about piracy and an authors’s ability to make an income;
  • HarperCollins competing with Amazon;
  • and so much more.

Odyssey is offering three online courses this winter. Please click HERE to learn more and to gather application requirements.

More about Jeanne and Odyssey, from the Odyssey website: The creation of the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to helping developing writers of fantastic fiction improve their work, has been a dream of Jeanne’s which she has worked to make a reality. 

Jeanne is a writer, editor, scientist, and teacher. She began her professional life as an astrophysicist and mathematician, teaching astronomy at Michigan State University and Cornell University, and working in the Astronaut Training Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. 

But soon her love of science buy gabapentin australia fiction led her to earn her MFA in creative writing. She moved into a career in publishing, becoming a senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, where she created and launched the Abyss imprint of innovative horror and the Cutting Edge imprint of noir literary fiction. She also ran the science fiction/fantasy publishing program. In addition, she edited a wide range of fiction and nonfiction. She worked with such authors as William F. Nolan, Joan Vinge, Robert Anton Wilson, Dennis Etchison, Tanith Lee, Kathe Koja, Poppy Z. Brite, J. M. Dillard, David Wingrove, Barry Gifford, Patrick McCabe, and Peter Dickinson. In her eight years in New York publishing, she edited numerous award-winning and best-selling authors and gained a reputation for discovering and nurturing new writers. Jeanne won the World Fantasy Award for her editing. 

Jeanne left New York to find a balance that would allow her to do her own writing and work in a more in-depth way with writers. She runs Jeanne Cavelos Editorial Services, a full-service freelance company that provides editing, ghostwriting, consulting, and critiquing services to publishers, book packagers, agents, and authors. Among its clients are major publishers and best-selling and award-winning writers. 

Jeanne has had seven books published by major publishers. Her last novel to hit the stores was Invoking Darkness, the third volume in her best-selling trilogy The Passing of the Techno-Mages (Del Rey), set in the Babylon 5 universe. The Sci-Fi Channel called the trilogy “A revelation for Babylon 5 fans. . . . Not ‘television episodic’ in look and feel. They are truly novels in their own right.” Her book The Science of Star Wars (St. Martin’s) was chosen by the New York Public Library for its recommended reading list. The Science of The X-Files (Berkley) was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Jeanne is currently writing a near-future science thriller about genetic manipulation, titled Fatal Spiral.

Recommending Reading:

Tim Napper’s article on the Economics of Writing.
Story Dynamic Characters Character and Viewpoint

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Comments

  1. what an excellent show! I’ve never had the money or time to apply for Odyssey so I’ve had to settle for listening to the audio clips on the website.

  2. Another excellent show. Slightly dispiriting projections about the state of publishing and the expectations of a lot of younger people that our creative efforts should be given away free, but that may change in the future, who knows? I agree with the woman who loaded up her belongings and came to the workshop with only 100 dollars to her name. If we write simply because we cannot NOT write that’s a good enough reason to do it. And, if we are lucky enough to get an appreciative audience, even better. And if we make a few bucks in the process, better still. But, we keep doing it regardless.

    I loved Robert McKee’s STORY – although it’s mainly about screenwriting, the principles apply to all stories, novels, short stories, whatever. Similarly, I could recommend Hollywood guru, Christopher Vogler’s WRITERS’ JOURNEY: MYTHIC STRUCTURE FOR WRITERS. Christopher uses the Hero’s Journey template, shows how it’s applied to stories – and, Christopher created the template that Hollywood screenwriters use successfully to this day, turning average stories into excellent ones.

    • Shaun Farrell says:

      Thanks for the book recommendation, John. The story of the young girl who became homeless to attend the workshop was unbelievable. That is commitment, though I don’t recommend anyone do that. The issue of pricing is certainly of interest. I think my generation needs to step up, regain our honor, and purchase entertainment through appropriate channels, rather than stealing it because of the ease of the internet. This trend toward piracy and convenience is not a good one for artists.

  3. I really enjoyed this podcast. I would love to see more like it.

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