The Maine House

Month: July 2016


With The Dragon Round coming out (and getting some good reviews on Amazon), that means I became a guest blogger.

Writers Digest published an updated version of my post “The 2 Questions You’re Actually Asking When You Ask, ‘How Do I Write a Novel?’” with a much better tagline on Twitter: “How to Go from 0 Words to 100,000?”

And Amacom published my new piece “5 Ways Writers Can Pass the Hemingway Test.”

In a nice bit of happenstance for book promotion, Every Day Fiction put out “Card, Candle and Mirror” and Swords & Sorcery published “Time Is a Lady’s Unerring Blade.”  Deep Magic will include “The Catskill Dragon” in their August issue.

I heard that Lightspeed will include “Fade to Mars” in their October issue. October will also see “Mr. Pony” in Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores for Halloween.” “A Presentation to the Imperial Society of Mancers” probably won’t be out in the Silent Screams anthology until November. The issue of Amazing Stories with “The Sounding Cataract” has been delayed as a result of health issues, and I’d rather see Steve Davidson’s wife get better than see anything I’ve written in print.

This week was devoted, though, to the first Business Writers Conference, where I led two sessions, “What Publishers Want” and “The Why to Buy” on creating a business model for your book before you write it. I’m thinking of turning the latter into an AMA webinar. Plus I got to drive back to Atlanta with my author, Paul Smith, which was great fun–then he got me into the Delta Sky Lounge. I just can’t return to sitting at the gate.

Now back to writing novels.

Library Journal and Kirkus

A very positive review of Dragon Round from Library Journal:


Jeryon has been captain of the Comber for over a decade. When his ship is attacked by a dragon, the crew mutinies and offload Jeryon and Everlyn, the vessel’s apothecary, onto a small boat with no rudder or sail. The two wash up on an island and discover a baby dragon. If they can train the creature, they may be able to make their way home. As Jeryon finally heads back to civilization, he knows that what awaits him will not be justice or rules but political intrigue and revenge. ­VERDICT Power’s debut brings to mind Naomi Novik’s “Temeraire” series, with its dragons and maritime themes, and will keep readers engrossed as they follow his protagonist’s quest for survival and vengeance.—KC

Rock on, KC!

It also was mentioned in a fantasy roundup in Kirkus:

If you crave more traditional fantasy, embark on a quest to find The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan, where the struggle for world dominance is dependent on the magical power found within the blood of the fearsome, but dying, drakes. Or Tony Daniel’s The Dragon Hammer, in which the son of a Duke must rescue his family after they are captured during a surprise invasion by enemy forces.  The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power is a swashbuckling adventure that begins when a ship captain, after being abandoned by his mutinous crew, discovers a dragon and seeks sweet revenge. Taking itself less seriously is The Dragon Lords: Fool’s Gold by Jon Hollins, which has a group of misfits rebelling against the dragons that rule them because (what else?) their taxes they impose are too high.

I’m planning on reading the Ryan myself. I wonder if the reviewer thinks Dragon Round is taking itself too seriously?

In any case, with the great PW review, I’ve now completed the pub industry review trifecta.

Two Days

The Dragon Round comes out July 19, which means that I only have 48 hours before ascending into the heavens on a chariot made of royalty checks and bright-eyed acclaim.

In the meantime, here’s what’s been up:

I had a story accepted by Every Day Fiction, “Candle, Card and Mirror,” which they offered excellent notes on before crashing a year or so ago. Now they’re back and I’m glad to be a part of the project. I can’t wait to hear what their very active Facebook fans say.

I also had a story accepted by Swords & Sorcery, “Time Is a Lady’s Unerring Blade.” The first of my gempunk stories that I wrote, but the third accepted, it will come out this month, a nice plug for Dragon Round. (Note to self: follow up with the publishers of the other two stories to find out when they’ll appear.) I came up with the idea for the world while walking to Chipotle on Eighth Avenue neaer my office at 48th and Broadway. I now go the one on 48th between Sixth and Seventh, which is slightly closer, but it occurs to me that I’ve never had a story idea while going there, so I may have to switch things back.

And the first podcast of one of my stories came out, a wonderful rendition of “River Boys” at FarFetchedFiction. You can hear the episode here.

Up next, “The Catskill Dragon” at Deep Magic and, at long last, “Fade to Red” at Lightspeed in October. If anything will ever win me an award, it’s either of these.

I have a bunch of stories held, so hopefully more good news will be in the offing soon.

The great perk of being a novelist is that other people send you galleys for blurbs. I’ve done this for decades as an editor, but it’s weird and wonderful to actually write one myself, not to mention flattering to be asked. Now I know that a lot of writers just make up something generic to get their names out there, but I’m committed to reading anything people want me to blurb and giving an honest endorsement, if the book’s worth my endorsing it. The Facefaker’s Game by Chandler Birch absolutely is worth it. Here’s what I had to say:

Take Oliver Twist. Add more twists. And magic. And a heist. And ravagers. That will get you close to how much wonderful is packed into The Facefaker‘s Game. The writing is effortless, the pacing quick, and the characters fun, and I’m annoyed that Birch took to heart the adage, ‘Always leave them wanting more.’ Because I want. I’ll be standing on the docks, waiting for the sequel.–Stephen S. Power, author of “The Dragon Round”

Did I have to include my attribution on my own blog? Yes, because saying you’re a novelist never gets old.

On the sequel front, I finished a draft of chapter one of Dragon Tower. Now I’ll write summaries of the other chapters, revise that first chapter to tighten up one arc, and submit them to S&S as my option by the end of August. Hopefully six weeks of sales and their current strategic vision will encourage them to pick it up. If not, or even if so, I’ll also develop my new secret project…

Finally, on the novel front, I’m happy to announce I have a new agent, Paul Stevens at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. He knows so much about spec fic that he might forget more each morning than I could learn in a year.  He’s the perfect person to guide my career going forward.

See you on the other side. I might forget you, but after my apotheosis as a novelist, I’ll have people to remember you for me.


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