Migraines and Vertigo Redux

By Holly Lisle

I started having headaches about halfway through last week.

On Friday, they turned into migraines and icepick migraines.

On Saturday, the vertigo returned, and the headaches stayed.

I got a few hundred words written on Saturday and again on Sunday on WARPAINT, but did not do anything online.

I’m working on LESSON 23 of the Self-Pub Expansion of HTTS today, and again, am working through migraines and vertigo.

I’ll answer the additional story and writing questions from the party as quickly as I’m able, but it won’t be today.

I apologize for the delay. I had a wonderful time at the party. Thank you again for coming.

Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

Production Covers and NEW Afterwords: Arhel Trilogy, and Sympathy for the Devil

By Holly Lisle

First, I’ve decided to write a new afterword for every one of my books I reprint. One of the things I did last week. ūüėÄ I had a lot of fun writing them, and got to talk about the experience of writing them, and then working with them again years later.

I also got the entire Arhel Trilogy finished in CreateSpace (awaiting proofs), along with the third version of Sympathy for the Devil.

ALL the covers underwent some major morphing—I discovered that borders don’t work for CreateSpace, and as a result, was forced to completely rethink my whole Arhel Trilogy design, to the serious benefit of the books.

Take a look at the new covers. The Arhel covers are complete overhauls. They have some of the same elements, but a much livelier feel.

The Sympathy for the Devil cover has a blue sky, courtesy of the “no borders” issue, and again, I think benefits from it.

All images are clickable so you can see the larger version.

The NEW Fire in the Mist

The NEW Fire in the Mist

The NEW Bones of the Past

The NEW Bones of the Past

The NEW Mind of the Magic

The NEW Mind of the Magic

The NEW Sympathy for the Devil

The NEW Sympathy for the Devil

Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

Discussing “I’ve quit Big Publishing” to publish myself

By Holly Lisle

"I Quit!"

"I Quit!"

Below is the start of an article that’s been a long time coming.

After years of publishing my fiction through big commercial publishers, with thirty-two novels sold to the big New York houses as well as to international publishers around the planet, and more than a million books in print, I have decided to move to self-publishing my fiction.

Why am I going to start publishing myself?

First, because books don’t stay in print anymore with major publishing houses, and my 32-novel backlist has just about vanished.

Second, because I know self-publishing works, and doing this will allow me to write the books I want to write the way I want to write them, and present my stories to my readers without an intermediary.

Read the rest, then follow the link there to come back here…

I imagine it seems a little crazy to walk away from twenty years of publishing with the major New York publishers to go into indie publishing and do all the work myself.

The thing is, as fun as it is to walk into a bookstore and see your novels on the shelf, the rest of the experience gets old fast. Prior to reading John Locke’s book on self-publishing, I was going round and round with myself about giving up on fiction altogether.

I was already publishing non-fiction (my writing courses), and the experience was FUN.  And all the frustration, headaches, and fury associated with my fiction career stood in stark contrast to me being able to talk live to my students in a forum, get immediate feedback on work, and, frankly, get paid regularly.

But I LOVE writing fiction.¬† I didn’t want to quit—I simply didn’t see a way to make it fun again.¬† To make it as immediate and joyful for me to create as my nonfiction.

When I read Locke’s book, I saw myself.¬† Someone who does not care about the numbers, who is not interested in constantly pushing for more readers, who wants only to write stories people love and to get them to the people who will love them.

Being a “team player” has never been my strong suit.¬† Not school, not in nursing, not in writing.¬† I’m not writing for everybody, and I’m not interested in pretending I am.¬† I want to write for the folks who already love what I’m doing, not to have someone constantly push me to make my work blander, safer, and more commercial so it will appeal to people who don’t like what I’m doing.

I was BORN to be indie.  And now I can.

I hope you’ll join this adventure with me.


Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

Discussing “Fun…With Teeth”

By Holly Lisle

Fun...With Teeth

Fun…With Teeth

Back when I first got published, I signed a lot of my books with a little extra exuberance—I drew a toothy smiley face and wrote in under it the words “Fun…With Teeth.”

Which was how I saw my fiction—I always wanted my readers to laugh, but I wanted some real edge in there, too.

Because, let’s face it. Sometimes I want to scare your socks of.

As the wear and tear of publishing (and some pretty hard times in my life) began to get to me, I lost some of that exuberance. All of my books have funny places in them, but with some of them, you have to wade through a whole lot of darkness to find it.

But when I decided to walk away from the meat grinder that is professional publishing, to deal directly with my readers, and to publish my own work, something strange happened. It was as if someone switched on a light inside me.

I was digging through my early works, the ones for which rights have reverted to me, and I discovered how funny some of those early books were.

I’d forgotten. From cats with hands who liked to play with matches to winged horses with bad brakes to a Miata-driving, beer-swilling dragon to infesting the entire state of North Carolina with the denizens from Hell (to the serious detriment of Hell), I had a lot more fun back then.

I want to find my way back to that.

I’d like to have you share a part of my return to laughter. In my case, laughter with really big, sharp, pointy teeth.

In the next couple of months, as I start getting my reverted novels converted into digital and print versions and moved onto platforms like Kindle and iBooks and Nook, I’m going to put together a little private membership site especially for the folks who like my fiction. You’ll have a bulletin board there where you can talk to each other, and tell me what characters you’ve missed and who you want to read about next, as well as a place where I’ll post some snippets of work in progress, cover images, and news about each book as I release it.

I don’t know what else I’ll put in there. But it’ll be free, and I’ll make sure to include some nice surprises from time to time.

Here’s the place to ask questions, offer your wish list, comment on my radical career change…

I’m glad you’re here.

Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

Rebel Tales has closed.

By Holly Lisle

Due to the nature of the actions taken by Ms. Ferrari, and to how these actions reflect both on Rebel Tales and on me, and because I cannot guarantee that some other person will never misrepresent himself and his actions while using my name and the name of Rebel Tales as cover for wrongdoing, I have made the decision to close Rebel Tales permanently.

I have not made this decision lightly—I have taken consultation and come to the conclusion that this is the only viable decision I can make. I do so with a heavy heart.

I apologize to everyone who held the same hopes I had for this endeavor.

I hope someone else will pick up the banner to create a new midlist for writers.

Holly Lisle

Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

Misrepresentation by former Rebel Tales PROSPECTIVE editor

By Holly Lisle

URGENT: For all writers and other folks interested in working with—or already working with—REBEL TALES.

Over the weekend I received an entire series of emails forwarded to my by REBEL TALES editor Kari Wolfe, who was contacted by a frustrated author after a former PROSPECTIVE editor of Rebel Tales misrepresented herself as a full editor with an upcoming season this March, with the authority to offer contracts.

Kate Ferrari, the ex-prospective editor, also SIGNIFICANTLY misrepresented REBEL TALES as an already up-and-running publishing house, not as a shoestring work-in-progress.

Further tracking by Kari Wolfe reveals that Ms. Ferrari also contacted other authors making the same claims.

While the other folks working on Rebel Tales with me and I know the person in question as Kate Ferrari, correspondence with one of the authors reveals she also used the names Kirsten Ferrari, and Kirsten

Please understand that while Ms. Ferrari acted directly against clearly defined guidelines in her role as a prospective editor, and also acted without my knowledge and consent, and although she is no longer associated in any way with Rebel Tales, as the publisher of REBEL TALES, I’m the person responsible for cleaning up the mess she left behind.

If you were contacted by Ms. Ferrari and sent her a story, please put all correspondence between you and Ms. Ferrari into a copy-and-paste text file, and create a help ticket at:


I will work with you to correct problems arising from Ms. Ferrari’s actions.

I apologize deeply for what has happened, and I will take every step necessary to make sure nothing like this happens again.


Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

Rebel Tales Submissions Go Live

By Holly Lisle

You’ve probably read about my war for the midlist—to recreate something that should never have been destroyed.

You may have read my New Year’s Resolution.

Well. I’ve almost got one piece of the puzzle done. And I just turned fifty a couple weeks ago, so I’m even almost on schedule.

Holly Lisle’s Rebel Tales is accepting submissions NOW—however, we’re still in beta, so they are not yet OPEN submissions. If you would like to submit your story to Rebel Tales (and currently we’re seeking Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal, and Suspense), please sign up to the Rebel Tales Priority List and get your Rebel Tales Query/Synopsis manual.

If you’re not sure what we’re looking for, here are the critical links:

And if you want to meet other folks involved in this, join the Rebel Tales Community.


My editors and I are waiting. Let’s create something wonderful.

Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

Updated Writers’ Guidelines for Rebel Tales

By Holly Lisle

Due to a number of questions via various channels, I’ve updated the Rebel Tales Writers’ Guidelines.

I’ve done a lot of clarification on payment, and other smaller clarifications, added some new definitions, restructured the page so that writing guidelines are first, publishing information is second, and submission guidelines are third, and corrected errors pointed out.

If you’re interested in writing (or editing) for Rebel Tales, check out the guidelines, and ask any questions about them here.

Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

Rebel Tales Writers’ Guidelines Now Posted

By Holly Lisle

They read like a short, curmudgeonly course on how to write fiction, but I have them up and posted.

You can read them here:
Rebel Tales Writers’ Guidelines

As noted elsewhere, I’m NOT ready for submissions yet. But you may have to write a whole new story to fit the guidelines, so I’ve posted them first.

You are welcome to ask questions about the guidelines. Just don’t ask if you can send in your story early.

Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved

2YN: The Two Year Novel–Year 2 now available

By Holly Lisle

2YNY2-Two Year Novel, Book 2I’m delighted to announce the arrival of the second and final volume of Lazette Gifford’s standing-room-only 2-Year-Novel course. Buy today, read today!

Contents¬†© Holly Lisle. https://hollylisle.com All Rights Reserved