This month: How to live like a medieval monk, what I wish I’d known about literary agents, and preserving Jack Vance’s legacy

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief

A Letter from the Editor

Welcome, readers and writers, to the April issue of Books & Buzz Magazine!

Before we get started, I’d like to invite you to join our ChapterBuzz community, where there’s something for everybody. Writers can share their work, both works-in-progress and published books, and readers can delight in a growing library of exciting stories.

Let’s take a look at what’s in this issue:

We start with the cover, where you’ll find author and medieval historian Danièle Cybulskie, who is on a quest to make the Middle Ages as fun, entertaining, and engaging as possible. Her latest book, How to Live Like a Monk, explores how applying some of the traditions and practices of medieval monks to our own lives can lead to better living. “This book illuminates the day-to-day of medieval European monasticism,” her book teaser tells us, “showing how you can apply the principles of monastic living, like finding balance and peace, to your life.” In my interview with Danièle, you’ll hear about how she became a writer by accident, the surprising feeling her fans get from reading her work, and why she sometimes looks to Madonna—the singer—for inspiration.

Then, since he was thirteen years old, award-winning author Matthew Hughes has been a huge fan of science fiction writer Jack Vance’s work. Now, a decade after the legendary author’s death, several writers, Matthew among them, have been given license to create new characters and stories that take place in the universes Vance made popular, as part of a new series. “Which is a wonderful idea,” Matthew says, “because those milieus of fantasy and space opera are far too good to be left to dwindle in SF’s rearview mirror.” When it’s far too easy for tribute stories like these to have a mass-produced feel, Matthew is happy to have built the best castle he could while, as he puts it, playing in another author’s sandbox.

Next, when award-winning author Jane Baird Warren‘s first agent agreed to part ways after losing enthusiasm for the novel Jane was writing, she was crushed. “I’d expected that answer,” Jane says, “but it was still a knife to the gut that she didn’t fight to keep me as a client.” Although she struggled to pick herself up and continue writing, she eventually finished her novel, found a new agent, and landed a book deal—proving that sometimes, the second time’s the charm.

Finally, children’s author Diann Floyd Boehm recounts how her social media routines—which she refers to as “The Beast”—became overwhelming as she joined more social networks. But it didn’t happen all at once. “The Beast crept up on me,” she writes, “promising much but steadily devouring more and more of my time, attention, and energy.” It started with blogs, but when Facebook came along and then Instagram, they were all placing demands on her time in different ways. In her helpful article, you’ll learn how Diann managed to “tame The Beast”—while harnessing the power of social media to connect with her fans.

No need to wait … dig right in and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine!

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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