First Deadline Looms Before Us

Hear ye, hear ye, all spekkies! It is with great excitement (and some sorrow for some of you) that we announce that there is only TWO MORE DAYS to take advantage of the Early Bird Registration. *gasp* I know!

13043378_1112040988826212_4094631329235465419_nRight now, the regular conference registration is $299 (not including room and board). On May 1, the price goes up to $349. That’s right. You better hop on over to the registration page and get ‘er done. Oops . . . wrong crowd.

Added incentive to hurry up and register:

  • Paid critiques are selling out quickly. We have some amazing editors, like Ben Wolf and Avily Jerome. Take advantage of their knowledge and expertise to help you make your writing stronger and more appealing to readers and publishers!
  • Appointments are first come, first serve. So, if you want an opportunity to talk with people from various publishers and agencies who love spec . . .
  • Don’t let the conference photographer appointments fill up before you’ve had a chance. Emilie is a fabulous head shot artist who has made even me (Ralene) look good! You get a 15-minute photo session where she takes a bunch of pics, and you get copies of the top 3 (your choice of which those are). For more information, you can e-mail Emilie at eacreativephotography [at] gmail [dot] com.
  • Get the best volunteer spots! We’re always looking for people to help out at the conference. There are spots for greeters, time keepers, book store watchdogs, and more. You can indicate your interest on the registration form.

So, you see, now is the time! Pull together those pennies, scrounge the couch cushions one more time, sell some blood (but not your soul), and register for Realm Makers 2016. If you need an excuse, Robert Liparulo said you could.

conference-97In other news, a couple of reminders:

  • Today is the last day to enter for the Realm Makers Excellence in Editing. See the link for more details.
  • We are going to have a conference booklet this year, and we’re selling ad space! Do you have a book coming out soon? Do you have a service to offer writers? Do you just want to support Realm Makers while getting your face out there? Check out our sponor/ad page!

This year’s conference is set up to be the best yet. We are so excited to share our time with you this year. Writing can be a lonely pursuit if we let it, with conferences like Realm Makers, like-minded people aren’t in a galaxy far, far away.

What are you looking forward to with Realm Makers this year?

Into the Mind of C.W. Briar

Welcome back, Spekkies. Today we are delving into the mind of author C.W. Briar. Enjoy!

What are you most looking forward to about this year’s conference?

It was a wonderful experience to meet and talk with everyone last year. I’m looking forward to hanging out with the Realmies again. Also, Philly cheese steaks.
Will you be coming in costume to the Awards Banquet?

Continue reading

2016 Excellence in Editing Award

By Kathy Ide

Having been a professional freelance editor since 1998, I believe in the power of a well-written and well-edited book. With all the self-publishing and small-press publishing going on these days, it seems there’s a plethora of books out there that aren’t as well edited as what the big traditional publishers have put out in years past. However, there are still some authors who care enough about the craft and their work (and their readers) to invest the time, effort, and sometimes money to make sure their books are as polished as they can be, so that they are as powerful at touching hearts and changing lives as they can be.


I want to honor those authors. And I’ve come up with a way to do that. Continue reading

Into the Mind of Lelia Rose Foreman

Welcome, Spekkies, to our interview with author Lelia Rose Foreman!

Thanks for joining us, Lelia!

What are you most looking forward to about attending this year’s conference?

There’s two things: I am looking forward to some more great lectures and I’m looking forward to meeting people I otherwise only know on Facebook.

Will you be coming in costume to the Awards Banquet?

That depends. If I can still fit in my costume, I will.

How many books do you own?

A couple hundred I think. I can’t go and count because most of them are hiding in boxes waiting for my new house to be built. When I homeschooled, I owned thousands. I’ve sent five pallets of books to Rwanda.

How many books have you read so far this year?

Maybe forty. Maybe fifty. I don’t keep track very well. As soon as I finish a book I give it away, or take to a used book store, or donate to a thrift store.

What book has made the most impact on you?

I assume you mean besides the Bible. There are two main books I can think of off the top

of my head. In the fifth grade I started on my mother’s row of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. When I reached and read Fall of Moon Dust by Arthur C. Clarke, it was like an instant
addiction to cocaine. I proceeded to start with the As and read every single science fiction book in the local library. (There were fewer of them then. They filled only one five feet wide by seven feet tall bookcase.) The second book I read at age thirteen:
God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew. That changed my walk with God.

How many books did you write before being published?

I’m going to go with three unless I remember some more before the interview is over. I also wrote a number of short stories and things that did not become finished books.

What was the inspiration behind your most recently published book?

I attended a science-fiction convention in Austin, Texas I think it was. On the strength of selling a short story to Damon Knight, I was invited to speak on a panel that was to analyze Jeremy Somebody’s doomsday book about how we mustn’t muck around with sacred evolution and because we (collective humanity) were mucking around, we were all gonna die. I had the fun of watching an entire roomful of people have a collective heart attack when I said that after four years of studying biology, biochemistry etc. I no longer believed in evolution. I certainly did not consider it sacred. So that was a bit of a ruckus.

After that I attended a lecture on the creation of aliens. An artist did sketches as the audience threw out ideas. First we determined what sort of planet the alien was on, the geography, day length, atmosphere etc. Then we began on the body of the alien that the artist arbitrarily named Irving. Oh, that was fun. After the conference, I could not get that alien out of my mind. I changed his name to Ur-Veena, wrote a short story about him and sent it to Analog. Stanley Schmidt wrote back that the story wasn’t quite special enough, but could I send him another? At the time I didn’t HAVE another story and was not experienced enough to understand what a big deal his rejection was. So I set it aside.


We moved from San Antonio to North Pole, Alaska, again living near the AF base but not on the base because one of our children screamed. A lot. I still thought about Ur-Veena from time to time and wondered if I would ever write again as I raised five children, two of whom were brain-damaged. One day as I walked out of a closet, I suddenly had the story. I literally stood there with my hands out, palms cupped upward. I looked at my left hand. That held the beginning of the story. I looked at my right hand. That held the ending. I wasn’t sure what went in the middle yet, but was sure I could find it, and I did. The seventy-sixth publisher I sent the book to accepted it. Over twenty years later I have the rights to the book. I write differently now than I did then, so I’ve rewritten Shatterworld and the two sequels, Circumnavigation of Shatterworld and Pacifists’ War, and plan to self-publish soon.


What is your goal in and for your writing?

Let’s make that goals. At one time I had the goal or ambition to win a Hugo. Always I have

wanted to think through alien places. For some reason I’m really fond of ‘different.’ In a way that I am unable to articulate coherently, I want to ‘touch’ people. I would like to think I want to glorify God. Well, I’ve given up on the Hugo. Now I want the Shatterworld trilogy and the YA science fiction series I’m working on with my oldest son (Tales of Talifar) to make enough money that the tithe will support a pastor I love in Rwanda, and the rest will contribute to the house we’re building for us and our daughter and her caregiver to age in.
We are looking forward to fellowshipping with you at this year’s conference, Lelia! Thanks for giving us a peek into your mind.



Lelia Rose Foreman has raised and released five children as the USAF moved the family to Japan, Texas, and Alaska. She and her husband now live in the Vancouver that isn’t in Canada. They lead boring lives, and after the terror they have lived through, they like boring. Despite that, she tries to write exciting stories.


Into the Mind of Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Spekkies, we’ve got a real treat for you in the upcoming days. We’re going to be interviewing multiple authors who will be with us at this year’s conference. Let’s get to know them a little before we meet them in person. Today we are interviewing author Laura VanArendonk Baugh!

Welcome, Laura! Thanks for sitting down with us today. 

What are you most looking forward to about attending this year’s conference?
That’s hard to say. I want to network with other Christian writers, just to know I’m not alone; sometimes the geeky writing community can feel a bit slanted. And I want to work with people who take writing seriously and professionally.
I’m considering pitching some new work at the conference, but that’s very up in the air, still.
I’d better set real some conference goals, however, or I won’t know if I had a successful conference!
Are you a panster or a plotter? 
Um, yes?
More of a pantser, if you insist I choose, though it’s an ugly word and I wish we had an alternative. I usually have a vague idea of where the story will go, with at least a half-dozen bullet points of plot events, but from what I observe in my plotting colleagues, that does not count; not nearly enough index cards, color-coded pens, outlines, and notes. But I get to read my story fresh just like any other reader does!
What is your favorite TV show?
Not to go all hipster on you, but you’ve probably never heard of it.
No, really, I have a whole blog post on the Machiavellian studio reasons why you haven’t.

Remember WENN is a brilliant drama about a 1940s radio station, but that’s putting it too simply. It had tight, powerful writing, fantastic characterization, and was just plain entertaining. It’s worth looking up.

And I should probably mention that I don’t really watch TV (no time!), so many of the usual suspects for favorites aren’t on my radar. I did make a point of joining others to watch Agent Carter, but that’s the only current show I’ve seen in a long, long while.
What is your #1 writer’s resource that you cannot live without? 
Is it cheating to say the internet?
Seriously, it’s amazing to be able to look up divination practices of a thousand years ago and then run them through a translator for free. Then you open a new tab and check the phase of the moon on a particular night in history. You pull up aerial photography and strangers’ vacation photos to get a visual feel for a place you’ve never been. Then you check an encouraging email from a colleague and write a blog post to answer a reader’s question about your world. How cool is this?!
Will you be coming in costume to the Awards Banquet? 
Yes. I’m a cosplayer who even includes cosplay in some fiction (, so definitely, yes. There is some question as to which costume — space is a consideration in travel — but I’ll be in costume!
Thank you again, Laura! We can’t wait to meet you.
Laura was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth or developed motor skills, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she had become a behavior analyst, an internationally-recognized and award-winning animal trainer, a popular costumer/cosplayer, a chocolate addict, and of course a writer. Find her at