July 12th, 2010

writing

Clarion 2010

Look out for:

Gregory Bossert. Stacie Brown. John Chu. Nick Farrar. Erin Gonzales. Jessica Hilt. Jennifer Hsyu. Adam Israel. Dustin Monk. Tamsyn Muir. Laura Praytor. LaTisha Redding. Dallas Taylor. Leah Thomas. Karin Tidbeck. Tom Underberg. Kali Wallace. Kai Ashante Wilson.

It took me the best part of a week to learn their names -- mostly I just called 'em all "Kid," as in, "Hey, kid, not half bad" -- and it may take you a little longer. But you'll know some of those names eventually. They're the students at the Clarion Writer's Workshop, Class of 2010, and I've just spent a week reading their stories, eating wretched cafeteria food with them ("No trays for you!"), and telling them what a proud and terrible thing it is to be a science fiction and fantasy writer.

I learned 'em up good, you betchum. ("Your title sucks.") Despite which, most of them seem bound and determined to go on with this writing madness.

Delia Sherman taught the first week. I was the second. Now they're in the tender hands of Dale Bailey. Next week Samuel R. Delany comes in. Jeff and Ann Vandermeer finish 'em off.

That's the kind of gauntlet you have to run at Clarion. Small wonder it's been going since the late 60s. A "writer's boot camp," the workshop has been called. Rightly. Which I guess makes me a drill instructor. (But I'm a very CUDDLY drill instructor, really).

It was a great week, though. Despite the food. (I did order in pizza for everyone one night. Luigi's. Hey, pretty damn good, actually. Better than I expected for San Diego).

And there was some real talent in this class. Oh, sure, talent's only part of what a writer needs to make it... craft also comes into it, along with persistence, professionalism, persistence, dedication, persistence, and a good dollop of luck. Oh, and persistence, did I mention that?

But remember those names. You'll be seeing some of them in the magazines pretty soon, I figure, and in a few more years, you'll be reading their books.
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The Casting Carnivale...

... continued whirling madly while I was off in San Diego, offline and out of touch.

Names have been leaking out all over the place, I discovered last night on my return. (Some are a little premature, since no deal is yet in place). In this age of Twitter and Facebook and social gaming, the days of managing and controlling the flow of information may be behind us. I could give you hints about new cast members... but what's the point, when their names and vitae are already up on half a dozen other sites and blogs?

So only one hint for today. Expect big news about a small digit, very very soon. But not here. Look for that somewhere else.

Meanwhile, I'll confirm a few of the actors whose names have already leaked, for the six of you who maybe haven't heard yet.

Back soon.
Spain

Two For The Watch

The ranks of the black brothers are beginning to fill up.

The part of Rast, one of the nastier of Yoren's recruits, will be played by a young British actor named LUKE MC EWAN, a 2009 graduate from the Oxford School of Drama.



More information about Luke can be found at http://www.spotlight.com/6697-3497-3183

And as SAMWELL TARLY, we've cast a very talented newcomer named JOHN BRADLEY-WEST:



The side used in the auditions for Sam featured the scene where Sam tells Jon Snow how his father Lord Randyll dispatched him to the Wall. A difficult scene, but Bradley-West did an amazing job with it in his reading. This was one of the toughest calls, at least for me, since there was another talented candidate who was also very strong, but in the end JB-W's heartbreaking performance could not be denied.

Bradley-West will be graduating from the School of Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University on July 16. I am told this was his first professional audition, and I imagine it is his first professional role as well. Going straight from graduation to a pretty significant part in an HBO series... hey, it doesn't get much better than that. He'll make a great Sam. (And if the show lasts till season four, he may even get a sex scene!)

Expect four more black brothers to be joining them soon.

And now their watch begins. Let's hope it lasts seven seasons.
Spain

The Dancing Master

I can also confirm that we have cast Arya's dancing partner. Playing Syrio Forel, former First Sword of Braavos, will be MILTOS YEROMELOU.



The London-based Yeromelou has done a lot of stage work, including Shakespearian turns at the Globe and with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He's played a hunchback, a panther, a clown, and a Beast (not Vincent), he's familiar with TinTin and Narnia and neanderthals, and he knows which end of the sword you stick 'em with. Some of that would have been used as hints, no doubt, but his name got out before I could start hinting.



I hear that Miltos and Maisie are already sparring on Twitter.

Just so.