Update, and moving on

By Holly Lisle

I want to thank everyone who e-mailed me or posted here offering condolences on the closing of Rebel Tales. And I’d like to reassure folks who were concerned that my closing Rebel Tales meant Kirsten Anderson/Kate Ferreri/whateverthehell-her-name-really-is had somehow “won” that they need not worry. She hasn’t won anything.

At the point where I discovered I had created something that could be badly misused, by discovering someone who had already misused it, I had two choices. I could pretend it could never happen again, or I could face the truth that if it had happened once, it WOULD happen again.

Yes, closing Rebel Tales is a huge loss for me in many ways, both financially and in terms of losing something I loved. It is a heartbreaking blow for the editors I actually did choose and for the writers they chose— though as I write this, there is a possibility some good may still come from this for them, anyway.

But if I decided to preserve my investment rather than my integrity, I wouldn’t be worth much as a human being.

I made the human choice. The moral choice. Not the dollars-and-cents choice. I closed Rebel Tales because it was the right thing to do.

I spent yesterday in a sick-to-my-stomach blue funk. I shed my tears. I’m done with that.

Now I’m moving on.

I still have fallout to deal with in terms of working to prevent Kirsten Anderson/ Kate Ferreri from profiting from her actions.

But I have a couple of promised courses to deliver, and a book to write, and deadlines to meet. I hope to be able to put the stand-alone version of How To Write Your Series on sale tomorrow.

My final word on this?

Life kicks you. So what? If it doesn’t kill you, you stand up and get back to living.

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

Courses, classes, and novel for 2011

By Holly Lisle

So…I’ve been MIA for a bit more than two months.

I’m back now, and ready to get down to the cool stuff, but before I get to that, here’s where I’ve been, and why:

After losing just about six months last year to constant migraines, vertigo, and there for a while the dread that I was going to drop dead any minute, I took time off from all my work except for answering customer service e-mails. I was off from December 17th to January 10th. Which is why there were no writing diary posts, no regular e-mails, and nothing else from me.

During that time, I didn’t have a single migraine, I only had one regular headache, and I had no vertigo. And I thought, cool. Rest fixed it. I’m all better.

Within two days of getting back to work, I was having migraines again. Every day. My second week back to work, the vertigo came back. Granted, I was doing taxes, dealing with a massive software glitch on one of my sites and world’s worst customer service, and updating websites, and it was frustrating, exhausting, and—except for spiffing up the sites, which was fun—it sucked.

But it had to be done, so I gritted my teeth and did it.

It demonstrated something I’d started to suspect when my vacation cured the migraines and vertigo, though. I can’t prove causation, but I have a strong enough correlation to think the migraines and the vertigo are both work-and-stress induced.

But a girl’s gotta eat. And if you wanna eat—at least in the world of the self-employed—you gotta work.

Enough background. Move to what’s cool.

I put together my schedule for the year, and did everything I could to make it sane, livable, cool, and fun for myself, while allowing me to fulfill promises I made last year before my life went south on me. My main objective in this is to create wonderful things while not living in daily pain—but I hope what I have planned will be fun for you, too.

So here’s my 2011.


Educational, but already gone, eaten alive by income tax prep and upgrading websites. Taxes are done, websites not so much. Such is life.


Starting today, actually. I’m doing the new stand-alone course How To Write A Series (which will also be the free graduation bonus for How To Revise Your Novel students who complete the course).

  • Week 1: Fundamentals
    • The 192 different types of series (yes, really—there are 192, and you’ll learn to identify every single one
    • How to make sense of them
    • How to choose the series type that’s right for you
    • Designing your series (It’s going to be a busy week)
    • Lesson will post on Feb. 7th, Live chat will be on Feb. 9th.

  • Week 2: Writing Your First Book
    • Presenting your characters
    • Establishing your world
    • Using your limitations
    • Controlling your story
    • Bringing in your ending

    Lesson will post on Feb. 14th, Live chat will be on Feb. 16th.

  • Week 3: Maintaining Your Series
    • Tracking and connecting your stories
    • Developing and using timelines and other series tools
    • Planning and writing follow-up novels
    • Designing a bullet-proof exit strategy
    • Lesson will post on Feb. 21st, Live chat will be on Feb. 23rd.

  • Live discussion: Q & A
    • If you’ve taken the course as I’m creating it, you can buy one of a limited number of tickets to attend the live session after Lesson 4 with me where I’ll answer questions on your series and brainstorm with you, or…
    • You can send your questions to me beforehand at a special e-mail address, and I’ll answer the best of them during the same live session.
    • Either way, every student will have access to the video and transcript of the Week 4 Q & A, which I’ll post to your student page as quickly as possible after the live session.
    • Lesson will post on Feb. 28th, Q & A will be on March. 2nd.

IMPORTANT: The How To Write A Series course has ONLY one live Q&A at the very end of the course.

The HTTS Walkthough has weekly live chats. I wrote this post sometime after 1 a.m. this morning, I had been working since eight in the morning, and I got the details of the two courses mixed up. I apologize for the error.

The stand-alone price for the four-week course will be $97, and will include mindmap, lessons, videos of techniques I use while prepping to write Book III of the Moon & Sun series (with transcripts), step-by-step instructions, my own proven system for keeping a series tight and not letting quality degrade with subsequent books, series worksheets, the course completion Q & A, and more.

If you receive the course as your graduation gift for completing How To Revise Your Novel, it is, of course, free.


Starting March 7th, I’ll begin creating content for the first month of the long-awaited, long-delayed How To Think Sideways Walkthrough. There’s been a lot of speculation about the Walkthrough. So here’s what it it, and how it will work.

I have to get the third book of the Moon & Sun series done this year. The kids who want to read it have waited too long already. So for the walkthrough, I’m going week by week through my own Think Sideways process, building Book III while I document what I’m doing and why. Documentation will take the form of notes, screen shots, new Technique videos (with transcripts), and pdf mini-lessons where I think they’ll add value and give you something new and useful. (I learn something with every book I write. I don’t know what I’ll learn this time, but when I learn it, so will you.)

Each week I’ll also offer a VERY space-limited, first-come, first-serve video session where I’ll take questions from students about problems they’re having with that week’s lesson in relation to their current project, and I’ll use a whiteboard to brainstorm directions they can take with problems that are stalling their stories. There will be an additional charge for the live session. ALL students will receive these videos (plus MP3s and PDF transcripts) as part of their course, as quickly as I can upload each. (TRANSCRIPTS TAKE LONGER. I have to pay someone to do them, and the person I hire has to do each one by hand.)

Either way, you’ll learn how to troubleshoot problems with your story by seeing it done live, and hearing the back-and-forth discussion between the students in the live session and me.

Current students, students who join How To Think Sideways before March 1st, and course grads will all receive the walkthrough at no extra charge. The price of How To Think Sideways will go up on March 11th, when I upload the first new material, to reflect the added content. All students who join the course on March 11th or later will pay the new price.

April – September

The HTTS walkthrough, writing Moon & Sun Book 3, revising Book III, and sending it off to my agent.


Start the loooong-delayed Holly Lisle’s Create A World Clinic.


Finish Create A World Clinic and make it available through Novel-Writing School, and via Kindle, iBook, and Nook.


Off. I’m going to need it.

January 2012

Tax prep. Oh goodie.

…After that…

I’ll surprise you. I have some things already on the calendar. But it’s not full, so I’ll surprise me, too.


Because Rebel Tales now has full editors who have their full season guidelines posted, we’re now open for story submissions in a BIG way. Writers, I’ve made resources easier to find, and have made the query desk one clink from any page on the main site.


Join us in our quest to create a great new serialzine while bringing back the midlist, and to create writers who are making a living from their writing while writing great stories.

Ask questions here, let me know what you think.

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

WABWM — Jace and the Job

By Holly Lisle

More words on HELP WANTED tonight. Again, I’ve not been able to work on this regularly. Because of the headaches, I’m at a creative low ebb…but tonight I got 554 words in a bit over 30 minutes, and this through the headache.

I figured out how Jace’s job works, which is a big deal, because she ends up with just about the most dangerous job in the universe.

Use this thread for WABWM for the next few days. I’ll do my best to write more this week, but I’ve been trying my best to get the site fixed up before I take the Christmas/ New Year holidays off to spend with family, and I don’t know that I’ll have the opportunity to work on it again before I come back next year.

January 10th is my “end of vacation” return date. I’ll be doing customer service during my vacation because I don’t want to shut down all the courses—but that’s it.

Anyway. How did your words go?

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

Jace, Quin, and the Baseball Bat

By Holly Lisle

My main character, Jace, has developed a Type A personality. Quin, ostensibly her butler, has the same Type A personality. She’s American, he’s British, and neither of them sees eye to eye on much of anything.

Each of them is determined to get the other to work the way they think work should be done. A baseball bat gets frequent mention in tonight’s scene.

The story is up to 9,677 words, 709 of which I wrote tonight. And at this point, I have diverged enough from my outline that I’m going to run over the 12,000-word-limit I set for myself.

I may end up cutting in revision. I may not. I really like what I got, though. I had fun writing it, and I made myself laugh a couple times.

So. After days and days of not writing any fiction, I’m back on the board.

How are your words coming?

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

The butler did it

By Holly Lisle

531 words tonight, a few more earlier in the week.

Jace has now met Quin, the butler.

Butlers in space. Who’d’a thunk?

Anyway. There was writing, I got words, and if I seem to me to be drifting a bit off track, I am acknowledging that this is first draft, and first draft always sucks to some degree.

I will joyfully embrace the revision when Help Wanted is done.

How are your words coming?

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

A new character arrives

By Holly Lisle

I knew Jace Winter would be meeting Kih Soh Hohito in this section. What I did not know was that a new character, Quin, would appear.

Yet his arrival makes perfect sense. I don’t know him yet. I have an idea of what he’ll have to do in this story and the ones to follow, but I don’t yet know who he needs to be.

Again, in first draft this feels way too expository. But it IS first draft, and I’ll do a brutal once-over before I submit it.

527 words tonight. How about you?

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

The funny thing about humans

By Holly Lisle

I’ve been working on Help Wanted on and off as I’ve had the energy. Last time I updated the WIP bar, I had 6013 words total in the story. I now have 7654, so that’s 1641 since I last posted. Not 500 a day by any means, but still something.

Today I got to figure out what is cool enough about humans that we’re sought out for … well, something that would be a spoiler if I explained it. So I won’t. But I like what I got. Chapter 3 is done. Three more to go.

How are you doing with your words?

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

“Not Quite Who I Had In Mind”

By Holly Lisle

518 words, bringing me over 6000, so halfway done.

What I got tonight is too expository, and I’m going to have to fix it in revision, but the bones of it are pretty good—and it sets up the “reason why” for what I hope to write as a a series of short stories.

How were your words?

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