In the Top Ten

Author M.M. (Mary) Buckner writes science fiction, and she does it well. So well that she is on the Barnes and Noble 2009 Top Ten list in her genre. Thursday night, she was the guest speaker at the Barnes and Noble store in Cool Springs for its monthly Writers Night meeting. A dozen or so local writers gathered to hear Mary talk about the craft of writing and the whats and hows of publishing, as well as social media.

Mary is a graduate of the University of Memphis and has an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. She has published four novels: Neurolink, Hyperthought, War Surf, and Watermind. Hyperthought was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award and War Surf won the award.

The big question on every writer’s mind is how do I get published? and Mary advised subscribing to Writers Market online and using its lists of publishers and agents. It’s a great idea to have an agent, she says, but not necessarily first. Once you have a book published by a company that accepts unagented submissions, it is easier to get an agent. The third manuscript Mary wrote was accepted for publication, and then she got an agent.

Mary said she believes in critique groups, in workshops, in reading about the craft of writing, and in reading the best books out there, those that have won prizes.  Regarding craft, Mary described how every story is about the thing and the other thing. The best stories will have some deeper universal truth that isn’t really stated, but when you reach the end of it you will realize that that is what it was all about all along.

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