Archives for category: Copyeditors

It turns out that writing can be tricky business. You would think not, in these days of push-button churning out of words and push-button editing. But perhaps it is trickier than ever, now that we are wedded to a keyboard and not writing by hand in pen or pencil. Some writers—Jennifer Egan springs to mind—say they write first drafts by hand, then transfer the words to a computer. Others swear by read-throughs, which is always a good idea since then you can hear the sound of the language. When you are speaking spontaneously—not a rehearsed speech—you seldom think about your word choices. The words just flow. But when you write for publication, suddenly word choices become significant. And oddly, sometimes difficult to control.

You want to have a voice. You want to have a distinctive sound in your written work. See? That was a repetition. A deliberate repetition.

I’m talking about inadvertent, unconscious repetitions of words, usually distinctive words beyond the usual “but” and “and” that are only too easy to write and detract from the bold, precise language you want to use. A writer in a workshop I once participated in called it “writer’s echolalia.” I see it frequently in published fiction that has been analyzed by several pairs of professional eyes—the writer herself, an editor, a copy editor, and a proofreader.

Writer’s echolalia is tough! I have a wonderful copy editor at The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction who catches my inadvertent repetitions.  She is terrific! And often surprises me. Working with her on my stories to be published in that magazine has newly raised my consciousness about this issue.

[In 2015, I published two well-received stories in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, “Teardrop” in the May-June 2015 issue and “Tomorrow Is A Lovely Day,” in the November-December 2015 issue. These were both chosen by Gordon Van Gelder. I published “Anything For You,” in the September-October 2016 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This story was chosen by the new editor, C.C. Finlay. “Riddle” has been published in the September-October 2017 68th anniversary issue of F&SF, and “Aurelia,” will be published in the January-February 2018 issue. “Dangerous” will appear in Welcome to Dystopia, an anthology to be published by OR Books in early 2018.]

But even a lot of the pros can’t catch it.

The longer the manuscript, the more difficult it is to catch this stuff. It is often only when you boil things down for print publication, are down to the wire, need to blow through 130,000 words in a few days, not a few years—when you see those clean, shiny proofs ready to go off to the printer—that you can spot writer’s echolalia.

I recently had that privileged and unique experience preparing The Garden of Abracadabra for print publication. As I was up, burning the midnight oil, I noticed I had used the word “still” repeatedly.

I like bold, precise words, preferably monosyllabic, that get the job done. But it turns out that the word “still” has several different meanings and I had used it in all those meanings.

Still can mean “motionless”: “She stood in the darkness, silent and still.”

When I checked Webster’s Tenth, I discovered that “still” in this context can also mean “silent.” So that sentence has a redundancy. But to me, “still” connotes “motionless.” In the spooky library of The Garden of Abracadabra, the suit of armor stands “silent and still.” He’s quiet and also motionless—until he unexpectedly moves.

Still can also mean “nevertheless.” As in, “I was angry with him. Still, I wanted to talk to him.”

And “still” can mean that which remains the same. As in, “I loved him still.”

A good thing I hadn’t dreamed up a subplot with a demon at the apartment building brewing illegal moonshine in a distillery! I would have had yet a fourth use for “still.”

I globally searched for “still”—thank you, Microsoft Word for this invaluable function! Twenty percent of the usages of “still” were exactly as I wanted them. And got the job done boldly and precisely. But eighty percent of the “still” sentences could be rewritten to better effect. Which I did.

So there you have it, my friends. Watch out for writer’s echolalia when you’re polishing a manuscript!

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748  or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! ORDER at https://www.createspace.com/title/7675783 and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/.

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order on Amazon IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Last night, I sent back the answered copyedit tags for my story, “Tomorrow Is A Lovely Day,” to be published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

I love answering copyedit tags. Here’s what happens: another publishing professional goes through the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb and proposes some final polishes.

As the author, you exercise your judgment as to whether you agree with the proposed changes or not. You also get a chance to look the piece over one more time—usually many months after you wrote and sold it. So you’ve got a new perspective. It’s always good to look at a piece with eyes freshened by the passage of time.

I respect good copyeditors so much, I posted a blog, “In Praise of Copyeditors.” Here’s the link: https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/21/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-11-in-praise-of-copyeditors-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

I’m happy to say there wasn’t much to address other than some punctuation issues in “Tomorrow Is A Lovely Day.” This will be the second of two stories I sold to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction last year.

The first story is “Teardrop” and it’s officially a Go. “Teardrop” will be published in the May/June 2015 issue.

I’ve sold previously to F&SF when another editor was helming the magazine. One story, “Destination,” appears in Strange Ladies: 7 Stories.

I’m so honored and excited to publish again in one of the most highly respected science fiction and fantasy magazines continuously in publication since 1949.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

More breaking news!

I just received the copyedit tags for “Teardrop” from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Wow, that was fast!

The copy editor did an excellent job of digging into the minutia, following through on tiny details, and finding the spots where I occasionally and inadvertently indulged in what I call my writer’s echolalia—that is, needlessly repeating what are usually junk words in close proximity.

Sigh.

I sometimes find published works where the same little writer’s tick occurs, so it’s not uncommon. And their copyeditor didn’t catch it!

Gordon tells me that my story should be published in another two or three issues from when he receives my response, which he did today, and has the story typeset.

Which places my publication date (hopefully!) around Spring, 2015.

So excited to be published in such a longstanding and respected professional venue!

So there you have it, my friends. A professional copyeditor makes the difference between a polished piece fit for publication and something less so. I think so highly of copyeditors, I wrote a blog about them, In Praise of Copyeditors. Here’s the link:

https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/21/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-11-in-praise-of-copyeditors-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

Some years ago, I wrote tax law books for a national law book publisher. I’d practiced tax law in a big San Francisco firm for a few years, but the time and commitment were overwhelming and I wanted—I needed–to work on my fiction.

Odd as it sounds, writing tax law books was easier.

The process went like this: my editorial director assigned me a topic, say, the charitable deduction. I researched the topic and wrote the chapter. I turned the manuscript in to my executive editor, who checked my research and tagged the manuscript for structure, language, and citation of authorities.

The editor returned the manuscript to me, and I responded to the tags and made changes. When the editor signed off, he or she then turned the manuscript over to a copyeditor.

We cranked out books on unforgiving deadlines. The director set up a production schedule for the hardcover book with facilities on the East coast before I had written one word.

We who wrote and edited substance were attorneys licensed by the State Bar of California and enjoyed window offices in a downtown skyscraper. The copyeditors, usually English majors, labored in interior cubbyholes. Like most business offices, we had a hierarchy and the copyeditors, all brilliant and educated folks who were probably working on their novels after their day job (as was I), harbored a bit of a grudge toward the lawyers.

Writing and riding. The two words sound almost the same, don’t they? I’m a huge fan of Blackfeet Indian pencils. I like to jot notes with Blackfeets. A sharpened point glides a soft, fine line onto paper that erases easily. Best of all, each pencil has a teeny, tiny Blackfeet Indian riding on a galloping horse. Love that horse and rider.

When you think about it, riding a horse is a lot like writing. The rider (your mind) guides the brute force of the horse (your material).

During my childhood and teens, I rode horses, trained at an academy, and competed in shows, winning seven ribbons in my day. I studied under a professional rider; I’ll call her Mrs. Grant. There she would stand at the center of the riding ring, a stern, silver-haired lady impeccably clad in canary breeches, black riding boots, and a tweedy hunting jacket. She would shout things like, “HEELS DOWN AND TOES FORWARD, MASON, YOU LOOK LIKE A DUCK.”

I loved riding horses. I did not love Mrs. Grant. But, like my fellow terrified riding students, I desperately wanted to please her. And she was always, always right.

The grudge match between the copyeditors and the lawyers sometimes went the other way when a copyeditor trudged from his or her dungeon down the hall to a lawyer-writer’s castle. After wrestling a manuscript out of thin air, many a lawyer-writer took a dim view of his or her masterwork beset by a million yellow tags, all of which had to be addressed in the space of two or three days.

My copyeditor, a stern, auburn-haired gamine in a slouchy sweater and tweedy slacks, would deposit my manuscript bristling with tags on my desk. Within, I would find comments like, “YOU’VE USED THE WORD ‘CONSTITUTE’ FORTY TIMES IN THIS MSS. ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT THE CHARITABLE DEDUCTION OR ORANGE JUICE?”

My copyeditor reminded me a lot of Mrs. Grant. I did not love her, but she was always, always right. And helped make my manuscript a polished piece of work publishable in a forty-dollar hardcover book. Which is just about as good as a blue ribbon won in a riding competition.

So there you have it, my friends. Here’s to you, my copyeditors. Your obsession with usage and punctuation has become mine, and everything I’ve learned about how to polish a manuscript for publication I’ve learned from you.

Previous Blogs in this Series:

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 1: Introduction https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/03/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-1-introduction-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 2: Who’s Reading? https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/07/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-2-whos-reading-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 3: The Shady Case of Fifty Shades https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/04/17/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-3-the-shady-case-of-fifty-shades-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond Part 4: The Comet and the Long Tail Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-4-the-comet-and-the-long-tail-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 5: Authors’ Market Share Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/02/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-5-authors-market-share-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 6: Ebooks Versus Print Books Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/07/18/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-6-ebooks-versus-print-books-lisa-mason-sfwapro

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 7: Unlimited or Not Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/08/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-7-unlimited-or-not-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 8: Print Books in 2013 Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/13/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-8-print-books-in-2013-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 9: Amazon Vs Hatchett Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/16/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-9-amazon-vs-hatchett-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

State of the Biz: Publishing in 2014 and Beyond, Part 10: Conversations with Author Elle Emerson Lisa Mason #SFWApro https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/08/20/state-of-the-biz-publishing-in-2014-and-beyond-part-10-conversations-with-author-elle-emerson-lisa-mason-sfwapro/

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo; My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters. Thank you for your readership!

A while back, I wrote tax law books for a national law book publisher. I’d practiced tax law in a big San Francisco firm for a few years, but the time and commitment were overwhelming and I wanted—I needed–to work on my fiction.

Odd as it sounds, writing tax law books was easier.

The process went like this: my editorial director assigned me a topic, say, the charitable deduction. I researched the topic and wrote the chapter. I turned the manuscript in to my executive editor, who checked my research and tagged the manuscript for structure, language, and citation of authorities.

The editor returned the manuscript to me, and I responded to the tags and made changes. When the editor signed off, he or she then turned the manuscript over to a copyeditor.

We cranked out books on unforgiving deadlines. The director set up a production schedule for the hardcover book with facilities on the East coast before I had written one word.

We who wrote and edited substance were attorneys licensed by the State Bar of California and enjoyed window offices in a downtown skyscraper. The copyeditors, usually English majors, labored in interior cubbyholes. Like most business offices, we had a hierarchy and the copyeditors, all brilliant and educated folks who were probably working on their novels after their day job (as was I), harbored a bit of a grudge toward the lawyers.

Writing and riding. The two words sound almost the same, don’t they? I’m a huge fan of Blackfeet Indian pencils. I like to jot notes with Blackfeets. A sharpened point glides a soft, fine line onto paper that erases easily. Best of all, each pencil has a teeny, tiny Blackfeet Indian riding on a galloping horse. Love that horse and rider.

When you think about it, riding a horse is a lot like writing. The rider (your mind) guides the brute force of the horse (your material).

During my childhood and teens, I rode horses, trained at an academy, and competed in shows, winning seven ribbons in my day. I studied under a professional rider; I’ll call her Mrs. Grant. There she would stand at the center of the riding ring, a stern, silver-haired lady impeccably clad in canary breeches, black riding boots, and a tweedy hunting jacket. She would shout things like, “HEELS DOWN AND TOES FORWARD, MASON, YOU LOOK LIKE A DUCK.”

I loved riding horses. I did not love Mrs. Grant. But, like my fellow terrified riding students, I desperately wanted to please her. And she was always, always right.

The grudge match between the copyeditors and the lawyers sometimes went the other way when a copyeditor trudged from his or her dungeon down the hall to a lawyer-writer’s castle. After wrestling a manuscript out of thin air, many a lawyer-writer took a dim view of his or her masterwork beset by a million yellow tags, all of which had to be addressed in the space of two or three days.

My copyeditor, a stern, auburn-haired gamine in a slouchy sweater and tweedy slacks, would deposit my manuscript bristling with tags on my desk. Within, I would find comments like, “YOU’VE USED THE WORD ‘CONSTITUTE’ FORTY TIMES IN THIS MSS. ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT THE CHARITABLE DEDUCTION OR ORANGE JUICE?”

My copyeditor reminded me a lot of Mrs. Grant. I did not love her, but she was always, always right. And helped make my manuscript a polished piece of work publishable in a forty-dollar hardcover book. Which is just about as good as a blue ribbon won in a riding competition.

So here’s to you, my copyeditors. Your obsession with usage and punctuation has become mine, and everything I’ve learned about how to polish a manuscript for publication I’ve learned from you.

About Lisa Mason

A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Literature, the Sciences, and the Arts, and the University of Michigan Law School, I’m the author of eight novels, including SUMMER OF LOVE (published by Bantam, a division of Random House), a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book and Philip K. Dick Award finalist, and THE GOLDEN NINETIES (Bantam, a division of Random House), a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book.

I published my first story, “ARACHNE,” in Omni and have since published short fiction in magazines and anthologies worldwide, including Omni, Full Spectrum, Universe, Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Unique, Transcendental Tales, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Immortal Unicorn, Tales of the Impossible, Desire Burn, Fantastic Alice, The Shimmering Door, Hayakawa Science Fiction Magazine, Unter Die Haut, and others. My stories have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

If you like a work, please stop by BarnesandNoble.com or Amazon.com and “Like” it, add stars, write a review, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

New! Romantic suspense fans! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook and Kindle! Also on UK Kindle.

If you love romantic suspense or historical mystery, this is both. Please give Lily Modjeska a try!

Coming soon! Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus in affordable installments. The Omnibus Edition will include all four books.

Lily is a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896: repressed and dependent on her husband. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

Urban fantasy fans! THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

Also available in affordable installments as THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA TRILOGY on Kindle, Book 1: Life’s Journey, Book 2: In Dark Woods, and Book 3, The Right Road. Get started on UK Kindle

and on Nook, Book 1, Life’s Journey, Book 2, In Dark Woods, and Book 3, The Right Road.

This just in from Goodreads! Alan writes: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more.:D”

At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus. She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and each apartment is a fairyland or hell. On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before. Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation and torn between three men, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between Humanity and the Demonic Realms, uncover mysteries of her own troubled past, and learn that the lessons of Real Magic may spell the difference between her own life or death.

“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.”

Fun and Enjoyable Urban Fantasy January 12, 2012
By D. Pflaster
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a very entertaining novel- sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more.

Science fiction and mainstream fans! The Bantam classic is back! SUMMER OF LOVE, A TIME TRAVEL (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

Nineteen five-star Amazon reviews
“Summer of Love is an important American literary contribution.”
“This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.”
“More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well.”

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

New! Summer of Love Serials are available in seven affordable installments free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Get started with Summer of Love, Serial 1: Celebration of the Summer Solstice. Also on UK Kindle

Science fiction and mainstream fans! The Bantam sequel, THE GILDED AGE, A TIME TRAVEL (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

The year is 1895 and immigrants the world over are flocking to California on the transcontinental railroad and on transoceanic steamships. The Zoetrope demonstrates the persistence of vision, patent medicines addict children to morphine, and women are rallying for the vote. In San Francisco, saloons are the booming business, followed by brothels, and the Barbary Coast is a dangerous sink of iniquity. Atop Telegraph Hill bloody jousting tournaments are held and in Chinatown the tongs deal in opium, murder-for-hire, and slave girls.

Zhu Wong, a prisoner in twenty-fifth century China, is given a choice–stand trial for murder or go on a risky time-travel project to the San Francisco of 1895 to rescue a slave girl and take her to safety. Charmed by the city’s opulent glamour, Zhu will discover the city’s darkest secrets. A fervent population control activist in a world of twelve billion people, she will become an indentured servant to the city’s most notorious madam. Fiercely disciplined, she will fall desperately in love with the troubled self-destructive heir to a fading fortune.

And when the careful plans of the Gilded Age Project start unraveling, Zhu will discover that her choices not only affect the future but mean the difference between her own life or death.

“A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” The New York Times Book Review

Thriller fans! My sexy thriller, SHAKEN, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished in Europe and South America, is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

Emma J for Joy Pearce is at her editorial offices on the twenty-second floor of Three Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco when the long-dreaded next Great Earthquake devastates the Bay area. Amid horrific destruction, she rescues a man trapped in the rubble. In the heat of survival, she swiftly bonds with him, causing her to question her possible marriage to her long-time boyfriend.

But Jason Gibb is not the charming photojournalist he pretends to be. As Emma discovers his true identity, his mission in the city, and the dark secrets behind the catastrophe, she finds the choices she makes may mean the difference between her own life or death. Dark romantic suspense!

A List of Sources follows this short novel.

The Story That Sold To The Movies. TOMORROW’S CHILD began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is in development. On Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

A high-powered executive is about to lose his estranged teenage daughter to critical burn wounds and only desperate measures may save her life.

The ebook includes my blog, The Story Behind The Story That Sold To The Movies, describing the twists and turns this story took over the years.

New! HUMMERS was published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, chosen for Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 5th Annual Collection (St. Martin’s Press), and nominated for the Nebula Award. Free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

Laurel, in the terminal stages of cancer, is obsessed with the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Jerry, her homecare nurse whose lover is dying of AIDS, gives her a surprising gift. A hummingbird feeder. As Laurel comes to grips with her own death, she learns powerful and redeeming lessons about Egyptian Magic from the hummingbirds that visit her.

New! Literary fans! THE SIXTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF HYSTERIA, published in the acclaimed anthology, Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam), which also included stories by Neal Stephenson, Karen Joy Fowler, and Jonathan Lethem, is free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

The year is 1941, and Hitler’s armies have swept across Europe. Nora, a budding young Surrealist artist, has fled to Mexico with B.B., a much older and acclaimed Surrealist playwright down on his luck. Hundreds of European artists and writers have formed a colony in Mexico City, and Nora befriends Valencia, a fellow Surrealist artist and refugee. Together the friends explore Jungian psychology and the power of symbols in their Art. But Nora is plagued by an abusive relationship with B.B. She embarks on a harrowing journey deep into her own troubled psyche.

The novelette was inspired by my favorite Surrealist artists, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. An Afterword describing Carrington and Varo’s lives and a List of Sources are included in the ebook.

New! Historical fantasy fans! EVERY MYSTERY UNEXPLAINED, published in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), an anthology that included stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kevin J. Anderson, is free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

The year is 1895, and Danny Flint is a young man living in the shadow of his controlling father, a famous stage magician whose fortunes are fading. Uncle Brady, Professor Flint’s trusted assistant and business manager and Danny’s best friend, cannot stay in the same hotel as them—Uncle Brady is African-American. Danny is grieving over his mother’s recent accidental death, for which he feels he is to blame.

Danny and his father will confront the ethical dilemma between spiritualist séances and faked séances performed by stage magicians like them.

He will learn to reconcile himself with his grief and guilt, learn the secret of Uncle Brady’s identity, and assume his place at center stage as a talented magician in his own right with the help of a mysterious beautiful lady.

New! Historical fantasy fans! DAUGHTER OF THE TAO, published in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism), that included stories by Charles de Lint, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert Sheckley, and Ellen Kushner, is free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

Sing Lin is a mooie jai, a girl sold into slavery at the age of five to a wealthy merchant in Tangrenbu, the ghetto of her people in the new country across the sea. One lucky day, while she is out shopping by herself, she meets another mooie jai, Kwai Yin, a bossy, beautiful girl two years older. Kwai has a secret. Before she was sold into slavery, she had a Teacher who taught her about Tao Magic.

But Sing watches Kwai succumb to the terrifying fate of all slave girls in Tangrenbu.

Soon Sing is destined to go to the same fate. But will her invocation of Tao Magic save her?

New! Humor fans! Fast, fun, free! U F uh-O, A SCI FI COMEDY, my screenplay for a producer looking for the next “Galaxy Quest” or “Men in Black” that evolved into a novella, is free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

Nikki and Josh really want a child but have infertility issues. Gretchen and Mike have the same problem. When Nikki meets Gretchen at the Happy Daze Family Clinic in Pasadena, they discover that they share a love of music and have asked for a donor with musical talent. Nine months later, they give birth to very unusual babies and, seeking an answer to why the kids are so special, they meet again at a pediatrician’s office. And the search is on: who—and what—is Donor Number 333?

Filmmakers and screenwriters! TESLA, A WORTHY OF HIS TIME, A SCREENPLAY, which was read by the producer of “Aliens” and “The Abyss” and is currently under consideration at another L.A. producer, is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle. A List of Sources is included in the ebook.

Genius. Visionary. Madman.

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) was the pioneering genius who invented the AC electrical system that powers our world to this day, as well as radio, remote control, the automobile speedometer, X-ray photography, the AND logic gate that drives all our computer systems, and countless other devices and precursors to devices such as cell phones, television, and the Internet that we so effortlessly use today.

Strikingly handsome and charismatic, fluent in half a dozen languages, mathematics savant and master machinist, a reed-thin perfectionist who quoted poetry like a Victorian rapper, Tesla became one of the most famous men of his day. Friend of tycoons like John Jacob Astor and Stanford White and celebrities like Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt.

Yet Tesla was an intensely driven and lonely man, beset by inner demons, and cursed with a protean inventive imagination a century ahead of his time. He died in obscurity and poverty and, to this day, his name is not widely known. How did that happen?

Blending historical fact with speculative imagination, I explore the secrets of the Inventor’s inner life and his obsession with Goethe’s Faust set against the backdrop of sweeping technological changes at the turn of the twentieth century that have forever changed the world.

New! Erotica fans! For a short, erotic, new adult novel, try Eon’s Kiss by Suzanna Moore, exclusively free on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

Our sexy paranormal hero is not a vampire or a werewolf! If you’re looking for something sweet and steamy, check it out!

On the eve of what Jenna Coltrane believes will be Brett Becker’s marriage proposal, tragedy strikes her life—not just once, but twice. In the midst of trouble, she encounters Eon, a regal young man unlike anyone she’s ever met before.

With him, she enters the magical world of the Arbor, discovering love, passion, and beauty beyond her wildest dreams.

But Jenna cannot stay in Eon’s magical world for long–she’ll die. And Eon cannot stay in Jenna’s ordinary world—he’s a god. They can only meet through the Gateway Tree.

When Jenna discovers that Becker Construction plans to destroy the Arbor and build an office-condo complex on the site, she becomes the leader of an environmentalist movement to save the Arbor. But Becker Construction will stop at nothing and Jenna is swept up in a struggle in which her love for Eon and her very life are at stake.

Coming soon! Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, a collection of stories published in magazines and anthologies worldwide will be on Nook and Kindle in early 2013. Also forthcoming is The Quester Trilogy, an ebook adaptation of my early cyberpunk classics, Arachne and Cyberweb.

If you like a work, please stop by Barnes and Noble or Amazon and “Like” it, add stars, write a review, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

A while back, I wrote tax law books for a national law book publisher. I’d practiced tax law in a big San Francisco firm for a few years, but the time and commitment were overwhelming and I wanted—I needed–to work on my fiction.

Odd as it sounds, writing tax law books was easier.

The process went like this: my editorial director assigned me a topic, say, the charitable deduction. I researched the topic and wrote the chapter. I turned the manuscript in to my executive editor, who checked my research and tagged the manuscript for structure, language, and citation of authorities.

The editor returned the manuscript to me, and I responded to the tags and made changes. When the editor signed off, he or she then turned the manuscript over to a copyeditor.

We cranked out books on unforgiving deadlines. The director set up a production schedule for the hardcover book with facilities on the East coast before I had written one word.

We who wrote and edited substance were attorneys licensed by the State Bar of California and enjoyed window offices in a downtown skyscraper. The copyeditors, usually English majors, labored in interior cubbyholes. Like most business offices, we had a hierarchy and the copyeditors, all brilliant and educated folks who were probably working on their novels after work (as was I), harbored a bit of a grudge against the lawyers.

Writing and riding. The two words sound almost the same, don’t they? I’m a huge fan of Blackfeet Indian pencils. I like to jot notes with Blackfeets. A sharpened point glides a soft, fine line onto paper that erases easily. Best of all, each pencil has a teeny, tiny Blackfeet Indian riding on a galloping horse. Love that horse and rider.

When you think about it, riding a horse is a lot like writing. The rider (your mind) guides the brute force of the horse (your material).

During my childhood and teens, I rode horses, trained at an academy, and competed in shows, winning seven ribbons in my day. I studied under a professional rider; I’ll call her Mrs. Grant. There she would stand at the center of the riding ring, a stern, silver-haired lady impeccably clad in canary breeches, black riding boots, and a tweedy hunting jacket. She would shout things like, “HEELS DOWN AND TOES FORWARD, MASON, YOU LOOK LIKE A DUCK.”

I loved riding horses. I did not love Mrs. Grant. But, like my fellow terrified riding students, I desperately wanted to please her. And she was always, always right.

The grudge match between the lawyers and the copyeditors sometimes went the other way when a copyeditor trudged from his or her dungeon down the hall to a lawyer-writer’s castle. After wrestling a manuscript out of thin air, many a lawyer-writer took a dim view of his or her masterwork beset by a million yellow tags, all of which had to be addressed in the space of two or three days.

My copyeditor, a stern, auburn-haired gamine in a slouchy sweater and tweedy slacks, would deposit my manuscript bristling with tags on my desk. Within, I would find comments like, “YOU’VE USED THE WORD ‘CONSTITUTE’ FORTY TIMES IN THIS MSS. ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT THE CHARITABLE DEDUCTION OR ORANGE JUICE?”

My copyeditor reminded me a lot of Mrs. Grant. I did not love her, but she was always, always right. And helped make my manuscript a polished piece of work publishable in a forty-dollar hardcover book. Which is just about as good as a blue ribbon won in a riding competition.

So here’s to you, my copyeditors. Your obsession with usage and punctuation has become mine, and everything I’ve learned about how to polish a manuscript for publication I’ve learned from you.

About Lisa Mason

A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Literature, the Sciences, and the Arts, and the University of Michigan Law School, I’m the author of eight novels, including SUMMER OF LOVE (published by Bantam, a division of Random House), a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book and Philip K. Dick Award finalist, and THE GOLDEN NINETIES (Bantam, a division of Random House), a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book.

I published my first story, “ARACHNE,” in Omni and have since published short fiction in magazines and anthologies worldwide, including Omni, Full Spectrum, Universe, Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Unique, Transcendental Tales, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Immortal Unicorn, Tales of the Impossible, Desire Burn, Fantastic Alice, The Shimmering Door, Hayakawa Science Fiction Magazine, Unter Die Haut, and others. My stories have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

If you like a work, please stop by BarnesandNoble.com or Amazon.com and “Like” it, add stars, write a review, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

New! Romantic suspense fans! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook and Kindle! Also on UK Kindle.

If you love romantic suspense or historical mystery, this is both. Please give Lily Modjeska a try!

Coming soon! Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus in affordable installments. The Omnibus Edition will include all four books.

Lily is a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896: repressed and dependent on her husband. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

Urban fantasy fans! THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

Also available in affordable installments as THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA TRILOGY on Kindle, Book 1: Life’s Journey, Book 2: In Dark Woods, and Book 3, The Right Road. Get started on UK Kindle

and on Nook, Book 1, Life’s Journey, Book 2, In Dark Woods, and Book 3, The Right Road.

This just in from Goodreads! Alan writes: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more.:D”

At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus. She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and each apartment is a fairyland or hell. On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before. Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation and torn between three men, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between Humanity and the Demonic Realms, uncover mysteries of her own troubled past, and learn that the lessons of Real Magic may spell the difference between her own life or death.

“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.”

Fun and Enjoyable Urban Fantasy January 12, 2012
By D. Pflaster
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a very entertaining novel- sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more.

Science fiction and mainstream fans! The Bantam classic is back! SUMMER OF LOVE, A TIME TRAVEL (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

Nineteen five-star Amazon reviews
“Summer of Love is an important American literary contribution.”
“This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.”
“More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well.”

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

New! Summer of Love Serials are available in seven affordable installments free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Get started with Summer of Love, Serial 1: Celebration of the Summer Solstice. Also on UK Kindle

Science fiction and mainstream fans! The Bantam sequel, THE GILDED AGE, A TIME TRAVEL (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

The year is 1895 and immigrants the world over are flocking to California on the transcontinental railroad and on transoceanic steamships. The Zoetrope demonstrates the persistence of vision, patent medicines addict children to morphine, and women are rallying for the vote. In San Francisco, saloons are the booming business, followed by brothels, and the Barbary Coast is a dangerous sink of iniquity. Atop Telegraph Hill bloody jousting tournaments are held and in Chinatown the tongs deal in opium, murder-for-hire, and slave girls.

Zhu Wong, a prisoner in twenty-fifth century China, is given a choice–stand trial for murder or go on a risky time-travel project to the San Francisco of 1895 to rescue a slave girl and take her to safety. Charmed by the city’s opulent glamour, Zhu will discover the city’s darkest secrets. A fervent population control activist in a world of twelve billion people, she will become an indentured servant to the city’s most notorious madam. Fiercely disciplined, she will fall desperately in love with the troubled self-destructive heir to a fading fortune.

And when the careful plans of the Gilded Age Project start unraveling, Zhu will discover that her choices not only affect the future but mean the difference between her own life or death.

“A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” The New York Times Book Review

Thriller fans! My sexy thriller, SHAKEN, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished in Europe and South America, is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

Emma J for Joy Pearce is at her editorial offices on the twenty-second floor of Three Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco when the long-dreaded next Great Earthquake devastates the Bay area. Amid horrific destruction, she rescues a man trapped in the rubble. In the heat of survival, she swiftly bonds with him, causing her to question her possible marriage to her long-time boyfriend.

But Jason Gibb is not the charming photojournalist he pretends to be. As Emma discovers his true identity, his mission in the city, and the dark secrets behind the catastrophe, she finds the choices she makes may mean the difference between her own life or death. Dark romantic suspense!

A List of Sources follows this short novel.

The Story That Sold To The Movies. TOMORROW’S CHILD began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is in development. On Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle.

A high-powered executive is about to lose his estranged teenage daughter to critical burn wounds and only desperate measures may save her life.

The ebook includes my blog, The Story Behind The Story That Sold To The Movies, describing the twists and turns this story took over the years.

New! HUMMERS was published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, chosen for Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 5th Annual Collection (St. Martin’s Press), and nominated for the Nebula Award. Free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

Laurel, in the terminal stages of cancer, is obsessed with the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Jerry, her homecare nurse whose lover is dying of AIDS, gives her a surprising gift. A hummingbird feeder. As Laurel comes to grips with her own death, she learns powerful and redeeming lessons about Egyptian Magic from the hummingbirds that visit her.

New! Literary fans! THE SIXTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF HYSTERIA, published in the acclaimed anthology, Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam), which also included stories by Neal Stephenson, Karen Joy Fowler, and Jonathan Lethem, is free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

The year is 1941, and Hitler’s armies have swept across Europe. Nora, a budding young Surrealist artist, has fled to Mexico with B.B., a much older and acclaimed Surrealist playwright down on his luck. Hundreds of European artists and writers have formed a colony in Mexico City, and Nora befriends Valencia, a fellow Surrealist artist and refugee. Together the friends explore Jungian psychology and the power of symbols in their Art. But Nora is plagued by an abusive relationship with B.B. She embarks on a harrowing journey deep into her own troubled psyche.

The novelette was inspired by my favorite Surrealist artists, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. An Afterword describing Carrington and Varo’s lives and a List of Sources are included in the ebook.

New! Historical fantasy fans! EVERY MYSTERY UNEXPLAINED, published in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), an anthology that included stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kevin J. Anderson, is free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

The year is 1895, and Danny Flint is a young man living in the shadow of his controlling father, a famous stage magician whose fortunes are fading. Uncle Brady, Professor Flint’s trusted assistant and business manager and Danny’s best friend, cannot stay in the same hotel as them—Uncle Brady is African-American. Danny is grieving over his mother’s recent accidental death, for which he feels he is to blame.

Danny and his father will confront the ethical dilemma between spiritualist séances and faked séances performed by stage magicians like them.

He will learn to reconcile himself with his grief and guilt, learn the secret of Uncle Brady’s identity, and assume his place at center stage as a talented magician in his own right with the help of a mysterious beautiful lady.

New! Historical fantasy fans! DAUGHTER OF THE TAO, published in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism), that included stories by Charles de Lint, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert Sheckley, and Ellen Kushner, is free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

Sing Lin is a mooie jai, a girl sold into slavery at the age of five to a wealthy merchant in Tangrenbu, the ghetto of her people in the new country across the sea. One lucky day, while she is out shopping by herself, she meets another mooie jai, Kwai Yin, a bossy, beautiful girl two years older. Kwai has a secret. Before she was sold into slavery, she had a Teacher who taught her about Tao Magic.

But Sing watches Kwai succumb to the terrifying fate of all slave girls in Tangrenbu.

Soon Sing is destined to go to the same fate. But will her invocation of Tao Magic save her?

New! Humor fans! Fast, fun, free! U F uh-O, A SCI FI COMEDY, my screenplay for a producer looking for the next “Galaxy Quest” or “Men in Black” that evolved into a novella, is free exclusively on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

Nikki and Josh really want a child but have infertility issues. Gretchen and Mike have the same problem. When Nikki meets Gretchen at the Happy Daze Family Clinic in Pasadena, they discover that they share a love of music and have asked for a donor with musical talent. Nine months later, they give birth to very unusual babies and, seeking an answer to why the kids are so special, they meet again at a pediatrician’s office. And the search is on: who—and what—is Donor Number 333?

Filmmakers and screenwriters! TESLA, A WORTHY OF HIS TIME, A SCREENPLAY, which was read by the producer of “Aliens” and “The Abyss” and is currently under consideration at another L.A. producer, is on Nook and Kindle. Also on UK Kindle. A List of Sources is included in the ebook.

Genius. Visionary. Madman.

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) was the pioneering genius who invented the AC electrical system that powers our world to this day, as well as radio, remote control, the automobile speedometer, X-ray photography, the AND logic gate that drives all our computer systems, and countless other devices and precursors to devices such as cell phones, television, and the Internet that we so effortlessly use today.

Strikingly handsome and charismatic, fluent in half a dozen languages, mathematics savant and master machinist, a reed-thin perfectionist who quoted poetry like a Victorian rapper, Tesla became one of the most famous men of his day. Friend of tycoons like John Jacob Astor and Stanford White and celebrities like Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt.

Yet Tesla was an intensely driven and lonely man, beset by inner demons, and cursed with a protean inventive imagination a century ahead of his time. He died in obscurity and poverty and, to this day, his name is not widely known. How did that happen?

Blending historical fact with speculative imagination, I explore the secrets of the Inventor’s inner life and his obsession with Goethe’s Faust set against the backdrop of sweeping technological changes at the turn of the twentieth century that have forever changed the world.

New! Erotica fans! For a short, erotic, new adult novel, try Eon’s Kiss by Suzanna Moore, exclusively free on Kindle Prime until March 1, 2013. Also on UK Kindle.

Our sexy paranormal hero is not a vampire or a werewolf! If you’re looking for something sweet and steamy, check it out!

On the eve of what Jenna Coltrane believes will be Brett Becker’s marriage proposal, tragedy strikes her life—not just once, but twice. In the midst of trouble, she encounters Eon, a regal young man unlike anyone she’s ever met before.

With him, she enters the magical world of the Arbor, discovering love, passion, and beauty beyond her wildest dreams.

But Jenna cannot stay in Eon’s magical world for long–she’ll die. And Eon cannot stay in Jenna’s ordinary world—he’s a god. They can only meet through the Gateway Tree.

When Jenna discovers that Becker Construction plans to destroy the Arbor and build an office-condo complex on the site, she becomes the leader of an environmentalist movement to save the Arbor. But Becker Construction will stop at nothing and Jenna is swept up in a struggle in which her love for Eon and her very life are at stake.

Coming soon! Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, a collection of stories published in magazines and anthologies worldwide will be on Nook and Kindle in early 2013. Also forthcoming is The Quester Trilogy, an ebook adaptation of my early cyberpunk classics, Arachne and Cyberweb.

If you like a work, please stop by Barnes and Noble or Amazon and “Like” it, add stars, write a review, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

A while back, I wrote tax law books for a national law book publisher. I’d practiced tax law in a big San Francisco firm for a few years, but the time and commitment were overwhelming and I wanted—I needed–to work on my fiction.

Odd as it sounds, writing tax law books was easier.

The process went like this: my editorial director assigned me a topic, say, the charitable deduction. I researched the topic and wrote the chapter. I turned the manuscript  in to my executive editor, who checked my research and tagged the manuscript for structure, language, and citation of authorities.

The editor returned the manuscript to me, and I responded to the tags and made changes. When the editor signed off, he or she then turned the manuscript over to a copyeditor.

We cranked out books on unforgiving deadlines. The director set up a production schedule for the hardcover book with facilities on the East coast before I had written one word.

We who wrote and edited substance were attorneys licensed by the State Bar of California and enjoyed window offices in a downtown skyscraper. The copyeditors, usually English majors, labored in interior cubbyholes. Like most business offices, we had a hierarchy and the copyeditors, all brilliant and educated folks who were probably working on their novels after work (as was I), harbored a bit of a grudge against the lawyers.

Writing and riding. The two words sound almost the same, don’t they? I’m a huge fan of Blackfeet Indian pencils. I like to jot notes with Blackfeets. A sharpened point glides a soft, fine line onto paper that erases easily. Best of all, each pencil has a teeny, tiny Blackfeet Indian riding on a galloping horse. Love that horse and rider.

When you think about it, riding a horse is a lot like writing. The rider (your mind) guides the brute force of the horse (your material).

During my childhood and teens, I rode horses, trained at an academy, and competed in shows, winning seven ribbons in my day. I studied under a professional rider; I’ll call her Mrs. Grant. There she would stand at the center of the riding ring, a stern silver-haired lady impeccably clad in canary breeches, black riding boots, and a tweedy hunting jacket. She would shout things like, “HEELS DOWN AND TOES FORWARD, MASON, YOU LOOK LIKE A DUCK.”

I loved riding horses. I did not love Mrs. Grant. But, like my fellow terrified riding students, I desperately wanted to please her. And she was always, always right.

The grudge match between the lawyers and the copyeditors sometimes went the other way when a copyeditor trudged from his or her dungeon down the hall to a lawyer-writer’s castle. After wrestling a manuscript out of thin air, many a lawyer-writer took a dim view of his or her masterwork beset by a million yellow tags, all of which had to be addressed in the space of two or three days.

My copyeditor, a stern auburn-haired gamine in a slouchy sweater and tweedy slacks, would deposit my manuscript bristling with tags on my desk. Within, I would find comments like, “YOU’VE USED THE WORD ‘CONSTITUTE’ FORTY TIMES IN THIS MSS. ARE YOU WRITING ABOUT THE CHARITABLE DEDUCTION OR ORANGE JUICE?”

My copyeditor reminded me a lot of Mrs. Grant. I did not love her, but she was always, always right. And helped make my manuscript a polished piece of work publishable in a forty-dollar hardcover book. Which is just about as good as a blue ribbon won in a riding competition.

So here’s to you, my copyeditors. Your obsession with usage and punctuation has become mine, and everything I’ve learned about how to polish a manuscript for publication I’ve learned from you.

Visit me at http://www.lisamason.com.