Josh Roseman
(not the trombonist; the other one)

Welcome to the official website for Josh Roseman, fiction writer and voice artist. You may have seen my writing in Asimov's, or heard my voice on Escape Pod and StarShipSofa. I'm also a web developer, a father, and a human being. I have a full bio here, and a full listing of my published works here. Please feel free to add me to your RSS reader, or to whatever social network you prefer. You can e-mail me if you want me to write or voice something for you. Thanks for visiting.

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Last month I was contacted by author Rosemary Claire Smith, one of my fellow students at Taos Toolbox 2013. She very graciously invited me to participate in a blog tour to help readers discover new writers. If you like dinosaurs, love stories, and adventure, she’s someone to watch. Find her online at rosemaryclairesmith.com.

And now, here are some things that you might find interesting:

What am I working on?

Lots of things. I’m always looking for ideas for cool short-stories as well as novels. My novels-in-progress include one about the anti-Hogwarts, one about vampires in space, and a couple of NSFW ones that I hope to publish under my pen name. I have two novels out for queries to publishers and agents right now; one is a middle-grade story about a girl with an unconventional family, and one asks the question, “what do girls like Buffy do after they save the world?”

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like to think that I differentiate myself with three things:

  1. Characterization — My characters are real people, even if they’re piloting spaceships or slaying dragons. None of them are perfect; none of them are caricatures. They have hopes, fears, dreams, and desires, just like you and me. And they’re rarely writers, because, really, who wants to read about those people?
  2. Language and Grammar — I know my way around the English language, and I am a grammar wizard. I use punctuation and words of varying length to control the reader’s pace as she reads my stories; I want my readers to feel the things I felt as I wrote, and that’s one important tool in my utility belt.
  3. Realistic Endings — Things don’t get tied up in neat little bows. Not in real life. Sure, you killed the bad guy, but now what do you do? Do the police come and pick you up? Do you begin a life of crime? Or does everyone ignore you now, just like they did before? I like exploring the way things end, because they never end the way we expect them to.

Why do I write what I do?

A combination of curiosity, planning, and wish-fulfillment. I’m told that I over-plan everything, that I’m not spontaneous. That’s not entirely true, but it’s not entirely false. Sometimes I write stories because I want to know what it would be like to do thing x, thing y, or thing z; I read, research, and write… until I have the answers I’m seeking. Then I try to make real life fit the story. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes I’m successful.

And sometimes I just see something cool online and it becomes a story. Like that picture floating around Facebook of the list of chores where the three grounded kids can earn “points”, and when they reach 200 points they’re un-grounded. That led to a 6500-word YA-focused fantasy piece about a witch.

How does my writing process work?

I can only write when I’m supposed to be doing something else. Working, cleaning, editing, recording, shopping… as long as I’m not supposed to be writing, I’m writing. It’s kind of annoying, actually. But sometimes I can just sit down and get it done. If I’m in the mood.

I’m what’s called a “pantser” — I sit down and write, and go back and fix the problem areas later. My manuscripts are littered with [square brackets], which I use to remind myself that something needs to go there — a detail, some research, whatever. I write in a linear fashion, too, and if you read my work you can see where I abridge things because I want to get to a certain scene.

For short-stories, I might make a few notes. For novels, I usually write a couple of chapters and then go back and make an outline; occasionally I’ll write a one-page list of bullet-points and use that instead.

Meet more writers:

As part of the blog tour, I’m going to recommend three more writers that you should check out. In alphabetical order:

  • Jonathan C. Gillespie has been writing genre fiction for over a decade. His stories have been publishedin a variety of outlets on three continents, including The Drabblecast, Spinetingler Magazine, and Murky Depths, and have been nominated for a number of awards. He is the author of the Beacon Saga serial and the Tyrant Strategy novel series. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, daughter, and three cats. Find Jonathan online at jonathancg.net. Jonathan’s post will be coming on May 26.
  • Beau Hall has exhausted every creative form of self-expression there is: music, dance, acting, illustration, design, songwriting, and scrabble. After almost 30 years of songwriting, he began to write fiction; currently revising-ad-nauseum the manuscript for the thriller SNAPSHOT, a tale of an old serial killer trying to retire before his granddaughter discovers his darker side. He’s also tracking songs for his upcoming release, “MORE WHATEVER”, the follow-up to his world-wide-selling multi-plastic CD, “UNH!”. Find Beau online at: beauhall.com. Beau’s post will be coming on Monday May 26 as well.
  • Terra LeMay writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Her short fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming from Apex Magazine, Cemetery Dance, Daily Science Fiction, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and other places. Find out more at: terralemay.com. Terra’s post will be coming on Monday June 30.

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to check out Jonathan, Beau, and Terra!

(PS: I’m terrible at self-promotion, but if you like Christmas stories, you might like Secret Santa, which is available for only 99 cents from Amazon.)

(PPS: I know the post title says “again”, but this is my first blog hop. It was too good a bad pun not to make.)

Writers… don’t do this.

I’m sure there’s a version for woman writers as well. It likely involves the MC being mildly overweight (at least at the start), meeting the perfect guy but not knowing it, working in PR or advertising, and eventually having the perfect wedding which is nothing like the one she was expecting.

(via I’m Starting to See a Developing Literary Theme Here - Cheezburger)

scribnerbooks:


annadevries:

cmasonwells:

Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing, via The Trad

Know them. Love them.

Amen.




I remember reading this right before reading the 5th Frank Herbert Dune novel. The thing I noticed most was number 3 — Herbert used “said”, if he used anything at all.

As for #4, I got dinged for that when I submitted my novel the first time around.

And #8 is the pitfall of the fanfic writer. And Laurell K. Hamilton. (Sorry, Laurell, but it’s true.)

scribnerbooks:

annadevries:

cmasonwells:

Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing, via The Trad

Know them. Love them.

Amen.

I remember reading this right before reading the 5th Frank Herbert Dune novel. The thing I noticed most was number 3 — Herbert used “said”, if he used anything at all.

As for #4, I got dinged for that when I submitted my novel the first time around.

And #8 is the pitfall of the fanfic writer. And Laurell K. Hamilton. (Sorry, Laurell, but it’s true.)

(via wilwheaton)

Don’t forget that I run Words!, a Cheezburger site where you can showcase your amusing screenshots from various word games. Just follow these steps and you too can share your love for, for example, Brad’s tushy.

  1. Go to http://cheezburger.com and, if you don’t already have one, create an account. (I apologize for this requirement, but apparently it’s the only way. They don’t collect any personal information — or, at least, they didn’t when I signed up.)
  2. Upload your screenshot.
  3. Tag it “words with friends” or just “words”.
  4. Next time I search for LOLs, I’ll find it and add it to the site. (You can also send me a message with the URL, if you like.)

Alternately, you can just submit the image directly to me and I’ll upload it for you.

Anything less than 4 stars means “NOT RECOMMENDED.” Don’t expect an author to be pleased with 2 or 3 stars, no matter how much you rave in the text. Those stars are the primary way a book is judged. Without a 4 or 5 star rating, a book doesn’t get picked up in the Amazon algorithms for things like “also bought” suggestions. Giving 1 or 2 stars to a book that doesn’t have many reviews is taking money out of the author’s pocket, so don’t do it unless you really think the author should take up a new line of work.

I was not aware of this, and I’m a book reviewer… although not regularly on Amazon.

Anne R. Allen’s Blog: Amazon Reader Reviews: 12 Things Everybody and His Grandmother Needs to Know

Bored at work this afternoon? Why not upload something to my new site, Words! — like a screenshot of something funny, silly, dirty, or high-scoring from your favorite word game.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to cheezburger.com and log in (make an account if you don’t have one).
  2. Upload your image and make sure it’s not private.
  3. Send me a message with the full title of your image or the URL to the Cheezburger page that contains the image.
  4. If I like it, or get a chuckle, I’ll add it to the site.

Sorry that’s so involved; unfortunately, the “quick upload” button isn’t available to anyone but me (the site’s creator).

Words! is a new Cheezburger site I created so you can upload all your funny/witty/amusing/juvenile screencaps from your favorite word games. Enjoy and submit!

(via Words!)

Here are some things I have done this weekend that might be relevant to your interests:

  1. Submitted “Aubade”, “Bittersweet Symphony”, and “Dreaming of Suzanne”, bringing my number of stories out in the wild to 12.

  2. Finished writing a new piece of science fiction and submitted it to the crit group I belong to. Or, if you want to get technical, to which I belong.

  3. Recorded — but have not yet edited — a performance for Starship Sofa.

All of this information, by the way, is available on my twitter, for consumption in small, easy-to-read chunks. Just saying.

I’m terrible at titles. If a story doesn’t have a title when I start writing it, I can sometimes sit there for hours trying to figure one out. Sometimes I’m lucky — “Greener” had its title almost immediately, as did “Aubade”. “My Pillow” is a story about the main character’s pillow; in “Dreaming of Suzanne”, the main character dreams of Suzanne. Simple enough.

But then there are those days when a title escapes me. I couldn’t think of anything funny for “Section 3A”, so I named the story after something discussed in it. It’s a humor story, so I wanted something amusing. “Belief” was a nightmare — it started life as “I For One Welcome Our New Robot Overlords”, but as I wrote it, the story changed so much that that didn’t make sense; while I sold it as “Belief”, I’m still not thrilled with the title. And when I wrote what eventually became “Amid the Steep Sky’s Commotion”, I spent almost two hours finding the perfect Shelley quote for the title (because the airship is named Ozymandias, which is from a Shelley poem) — I eventually found the title in Ode to the West Wind.

And then there are those stories where I’m completely at a loss and I have to find a good song title.

I learned something this past week from the editor of Asimov’s: there is no fair use when it comes to song lyrics. Well, the story I sold them is called “Bring on the Rain”, which is the title of a Jo Dee Messina song (which I’ve never heard; I’m not really into country music). I was looking for songs about rain, and I thought the title fit. Then I ended the story with the lyric “Tomorrow’s another day / and I’m thirsty anyway / so bring on the rain.”

The lyric is gone now. I’m fine with that; it’s not necessary.

Well, as I said in the afterword of 27 Jennifers, when I heard the song I knew that would be the title and the topic of the story. I didn’t know how, but I knew there would be 27 Jennifers, 16 Jenns, 10 Jennies, and one more woman (“her”). It actually worked out really well, and I ended the story with this lyric:

You might be the one that I’ve been seeking for
You might be the strange delightful
You might be the girly who shall end all girls


It makes sense when you read the story.

Well, unfortunately I’m about to e-mail the Dunesteef and suggest they take the lyric off the site, because as I said there’s no fair use for song lyrics. Which, in my opinion, kind of sucks. I mean, I’m pretty sure Mike Doughty is a cool enough guy not to sue people because they like his music, but given the RIAA’s penchant for lawsuits… better safe.

So that’s the lyric that used to be on the story. Now you know why.

Here are various and sundry useful links you might enjoy:

If you’re really interested in my web design and development work, that link up there will take you to my portfolio page.

Here’s the generic “about me” text I provide when I’m having something published. It changes slightly from time to time, but this covers most of it.

Josh Roseman (not the trombonist; the other one) lives in Georgia (the state, not the country). His writing has appeared in Asimov’s, Fusion Fragment, Port Iris, Big Pulp, and in audio form on the Drabblecast and Dunesteef, where he won the 2009 Broken Mirror Story Contest. He is a reviewer for Escape Pod; a writer for MedZilla; and a performer whose voice has been heard on the Hugo-winning StarShipSofa, the Parsec-winning Pseudopod, and the Parsec-nominated Dunesteef. He also has more than ten years of assorted news, features, and sports writing experience. When not writing, he mostly complains about the fact that he’s not writing.

And now, a photo:

Day 288

Why did I switch from my minimalist website to a Tumblr blog?

First of all, updating it is much easier. I can update from anywhere that has internet, and since I have a smartphone with tethering enabled, everywhere has internet.

Secondly, while there are a lot of CMSes out there, I’ve found Tumblr to be the fastest when it comes to posting content. I do wish I could fully install it on my site, a la Wordpress, but them’s the breaks.

Third, Tumblr is exceptionally simple. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, I strongly recommend doing so.

Now you know.