Category Archives: David Carrico


1636-The-Devils-Opera-smallMost of us are not so egocentric that we write strictly for our own pleasure. We want our work to connect to readers. We want to know that we are touching someone; that our work creates a resonance in at least one reader who feels what we are trying to create in the stories that only we can tell because of who we are.

So first, writers write. That’s the core truth of our craft and art. All of the writing rules boil down to: tell a good story; finish what you start; and edit/revise/polish enough to make it right. If that doesn’t happen, nothing else matters.

Second, we have to connect with readers. You’ve been reading a number of articles this month on ways to accomplish that. I was asked to write about my own experience, because it’s a bit different.

I broke into publishing through Eric Flint’s unique alternate history shared writing universe that is based on his bestselling novel entitled 1632. (Details and background here.)

I believe this is the most successful shared universe ever. It’s approaching seven million words in print, with fifteen novels in print as of next month, eleven anthologies of shorter fiction, and approaching sixty issues of the Grantville Gazette e-magazine (called GG by the regulars). The novels and anthologies, both paper and e-book, are published by Baen Books; GG is published by Eric Flint, but is strongly associated with Baen Books. So this experience is, for all intents and purposes, one in the traditional publishing channels.

I wasn’t part of the core group of fans who started writing what amounted to fanfic and posting it to Baen’s website after 1632 was published. (See details and background link above.) I didn’t enter the picture until after the second issue of GG was published in 2003.

I’d been trying to write a novel for years; had absolutely no experience at short fiction. But I got hit with a story idea after reading the first two issues of GG. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It’s been eleven years since I submitted my first story. As of now, I’ve published close to 300,000 words of short fiction with GG, most of which have been included in subsequent anthologies or my e-book 1635: Music and Murder, published by Baen in 2013.

The thing is, in this venue, I have no control over production, scheduling, or marketing. That’s all in the hands of Baen Books personnel for the books or Eric Flint and the editor (Paula Goodlett) for GG. Nonetheless, I do contribute.

1632 is a group brand, and my contribution is to be professional in the ways I plug into the brand’s operations. First, part of the uniqueness of the GG submission process is that prospective stories are submitted to a forum on Baen’s Bar where they are peer-reviewed for mechanics and story universe continuity and quality of story. Even at this stage of my career I have to do this. Likewise, I am expected to participate in this exercise from the other side of the table; to read submissions and provide critiques. Both the submitting and the critiquing calls for utmost professionalism as I grow both as a writer and as a member of the community.

Second, when the editor(s) call for changes or modifications to the story, accommodate them without complaint or argument—within reason.

Third, contribute to the community:

One way is to share links and information about the 17th century with the rest of the 1632 community. You never can tell what will be helpful to another writer. I had a story jump-started by a list of lute-players at the court of Gustavus Adolphus that another writer had found and linked to the forum.

Another way: Eric schedules annual 1632 “mini-cons” partnered with other conventions around the country. They move around every year.  This year’s mini-con will be held at LibertyCon in Chattanooga. Several of us make an effort to be there every year to support the group brand, to interact with fans, and to be a part of central planning and discussion with Eric about where the series is headed.

Yet another way is to attend other cons, spreading flyers, bookmarks, and other swag, and keeping the 1632 brand in view at other venues. (I have a 1632 Ring of Fire t-shirt I frequently wear.)

Most of the overt marketing is done by Baen Books or by Eric Flint. But I and the other GG authors contribute to supporting the group brand. And in so doing, I help to support my individual brand as well.

The GG enterprise has to date published over 130 authors, most of them first-timers. A significant number of those authors qualified for SFWA membership based on their GG resumes alone. Over the years, Eric has been watching the list of GG authors, and every once in a while he will reach out and tap someone and say “Let’s write something together.” I was the third one he tapped, and the result was my first published novel, 1636: The Devil’s Opera. I was the first GG author he tapped, though, to work on a project outside of 1632. The result was the third novel in his Jao Empire series, entitled The Span of Empire, tentatively slated to be published by Baen in September 2016.

Writing a good story, and being diligent and professional in everything else, those are the keys. Everything else is details.

Shameless plug: Grantville Gazette is always looking for new writers. If you think you might be interested in writing in one of the most interesting alternate history universes around, check out the links mentioned above. If you can tell good character based stories, give it a try. They pay professional rates; currently six cents a word, if I remember correctly.

David CarricoDavid Carrico Bio:
David Carrico has been an avid science-fiction and fantasy reader since January 1963, when he encountered a copy of Andre Norton’s novel Catseye.  He started writing (mumbledy) years ago, but has been selling professionally since 2004.  Most of his work is alternate history.  His first book, an e-book entitled 1635: Music and Murder, was published by Baen Books in September, 2013.  It’s a collection of two different groups of stories which collectively provide the backstory for his second book, 1636: The Devil’s Opera, a novel published by Baen Books in October, 2013, in both paper and e-book formats.  Both books are laid in Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire alternate history universe, and the novel was co-written with Eric.
David is married, has three kids, five grandkids, two great-grandkids, and usually has at least a couple of Basset hounds lazing around the house somewhere.

The Fictorians Have Been Busy!

Contributing to the Fictorian Era represents a very small portion of my continued efforts to further my writing career, albeit it’s an effort I can get pretty passionate about. Like the rest of our regular bloggers, I am committed to growing that career and getting my work out into the world-and of course, the market.

Some of us have been serious about this pursuit for many years, while others have begun the endeavor more recently, but we’ve all made tremendous progress. Today’s post is dedicated to showcasing the work we have collectively sold or published in the last two years.

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Evan Braun. I’ll BookofCreationstart with me. In May 2012, my debut novel was published through a small press in Canada. Called The Book of Creation, it is the first in a three-volume adventure series in the vein of Indiana Jones, with a bit of Da Vinci Code mysticism thrown in for good measure. I wrote a piece about the release of the book last year.

The Book of Creation can be purchased here. The Kindle version is currently on sale for just 99 cents! It is also available on the Nook as well as the book’s official website. The second volume in the series, The City of Darkness, is coming out later this year. Details will be announced right here at the Fictorian Era, so stayed tuned.

David Carrico. In the last few years, David has sold four short stories and one non-fiction piece to The Grantville Gazette, an online magazine featuring stories and articles about the inhabitants of the world of 1632, the first novel in a long-running series by bestselling author Eric Flint. The first of the stories is “Evening of the Day,” followed by three stories co-written with Enrico Toro-“Euterpe, Part 5,” “Cadence,” and “The Duelist.” He also wrote the non-fiction “After the Ring.”

In addition, anotherTheDevilsOpera of his stories, “Suite for Four Hands,” appeared in Grantville Gazette VI, an anthology published by Eric Flint and published by Baen Books.

Most importantly, David has recently teamed up with Eric Flint to co-write one of the official entries in the 1632 series. This new novel, coming out in October 2013, is entitled 1636: The Devil’s Opera. In case you missed it, David recently wrote a post about his opportunity to work directly with one of the most talented writers in the industry. Another post on this collaboration is coming later this month.

1632: The Devil’s Opera can he preordered here.

Colette Black. Colette specializes in young adult fantasy, and has also made several sales. Credited as C.M. Vernon, her short story “Beneath the Skin” appeared in Women Writing the Weird. More recently, she received an honorable mention in the prestigious Writers of the Future contest for her 4th Quarter 2012 entry. She also won the CopperCon 32 short story contest with “Kairo’s Opportunity.”

Finally, Colette’s short story “Demon River” is forthcoming this month in White Cat Publishing’s biannual anthology magazine, Denizens of Darkness. It will be available to purchase here.

Nancy DiMauroApolloRising. Nancy’s debut novella, Apollo Rising, was released by Musa Publishing last September. The story combines romance with Greek mythology. It can be purchased here. She has also released a couple of short story collections, including Paths Less Traveled and Shots at Redemption, both of which are available as $2.99 ebooks. She also contributed to an anthology called Jack Gorman Got Cut by a Girl. These are Amazon links, but note that the books are also available through Musa Publishing’s online store and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Book Store.

Nancy also contributed to Doghorn Publishing’s Women Writing the Weird, along with fellow Fictorian Colette Black.

Mary Pletsch. Mary is still just getting started, but she recently sold her first short story to a forthcoming anthology. Unfortunately, the details of the anthology haven’t yet been released from the publisher. Rest assured, Mary will be writing a post later this year with all the info. Stay tuned!

Joshua Essoe. Joshua’s foray into publishing began a few years ago when he began working with acclaimed fantasy author David Farland on his award-winning novel, Nightingale. For more information about his successful editing business, check out his website. You’ll find an impressive gallery there of all his edited works which have gone on to be published.

In addition to his editing, Joshua has pulled in two honorable mentions for stories submitted to the Writers of the Future contest. His writing has also appeared on Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.

Brandon MDarkTree. Lindsay. Brandon has been actively self-publishing short stories leading up the released of his forthcoming debut novel, The Born Sword. So far the stories include Dark Tree and an anthology entitled The Clans. The provided links take you to the Kindle Store, but Brandon’s works are available across multiple platforms, including Barnes and Noble, Sony, and Kobo. Links can be found at his website.

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This is not an exhaustive list. There are many other books that are coming out soon, as a number of our contributors are working closely with well-respected agents. We are coming out with new material all the time, so make sure to check back here often, as you will see publishing announcements and articles about our writing processes.

Well, readers, now that you know what we are up to, do you have any exciting projects of your own you’d like to share with us? Feel free to discuss them in the comments section.

Tune in tomorrow, when we kick off our third year with a month of posts from true professionals. Throughout April, we’ll be getting people from different fields, from editors to illustrators, to talk about the process of collaborating with authors on manuscripts.