The Halfling and the Spaceman

Marie Vibbert, Author

June 11, 2023 Season 2 Episode 23
Marie Vibbert, Author
The Halfling and the Spaceman
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The Halfling and the Spaceman
Marie Vibbert, Author
Jun 11, 2023 Season 2 Episode 23

Today we’re talking with Marie Vibbert.  A writer whose work has appeared in science fiction magazines including Analog Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, among others.  She has also begun publishing novels!

References and Links:
Twitter: @mareasie
Instagram as Marie Vibbert. 
 Facebook as Marie Vibbert
Google Marie Vibbert

Show Notes Transcript

Today we’re talking with Marie Vibbert.  A writer whose work has appeared in science fiction magazines including Analog Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, among others.  She has also begun publishing novels!

References and Links:
Twitter: @mareasie
Instagram as Marie Vibbert. 
 Facebook as Marie Vibbert
Google Marie Vibbert

Marie Vibbert, Author

[00:00:00] Halfling: Thanks for tuning into The Halfling and the Spaceman: Journeys in Active Fandom. We're having great conversations with people that have turned their love of fandom into something creative. We're fans talking to fans, and today joining us is Marie Vibbert, a writer whose work has appeared in science fiction magazines, including Analog Science Fiction, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction among others.

[00:00:28] Halfling: She's also began publishing her novels. Welcome to the show, Marie.

[00:00:32] Marie Vibbert: Wonderful to be here.

[00:00:33] Marie Vibbert: Thank you. 

[00:00:34] Halfling: well, thank you. We're, we're glad to have you. Um, and, uh, it's, it's nice that you're able to sit out on the porch and, and, you know, enjoy the weather while we're doing this. A little envious because it's a little gray and not the best weather, uh, here, but that's okay.

[00:00:50] Halfling: We're, we're gonna have a great time. So let's get started by you just telling us a little bit about yourself and your background.

[00:00:58] Marie Vibbert: Okay, well I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and I've lived in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland my entire life. My father was a construction worker and the first home I remember was the East 200th Street projects. So I, I come from a relatively, poor background and I write a lot about working class characters and I care about those issues.

[00:01:21] Marie Vibbert: Um, social safety nets and labor rights. Like, if it wasn't for school free lunches, I'd have starved to death in third grade. But I had a near full ride Case Western Reserve University, and now I'm a computer programmer for Case Western Reserve University. I never left.

[00:01:41] Halfling: Oh, well that, that's great. So you incorporate elements of your personal background and growing up and everything, and those type of issues that you had to deal with. You, you incorporate those into your work, I mean, into what specific your writing? 

[00:01:57] Marie Vibbert: and I have And I have so many stories set in Cleveland. I could publish a Cleveland science fiction anthology tomorrow. I've got like 30 published stories that are set in Cleveland, but

[00:02:08] Marie Vibbert: hometown girl.

[00:02:10] Halfling: Well, that great. Um, you know, I think, I think writers, I've always heard that writers should write what they know. I mean, I'm, I'm not a writer, but, uh, but that's, that's what I have always heard is that writers should, should write about the things that they know. So, uh, so Okay.

[00:02:29] Marie Vibbert: It's okay. I think it's also okay to write about what you don't know. That's what, um uh, research is for.

[00:02:35] Halfling: Well, that's true. That that is true. Very good. Very good point. Um, course, I guess it depends on what you want to write too, in terms of, like you said, research. Are you researching for more, like actual historical stories or, you know, are you just trying to write? I guess it just depends, but yes, you definitely have a very valid point there with the research.

[00:03:00] Halfling: Uh, okay. Ed, I'm gonna get my foot outta my mouth and le leave it on Spaceman.

[00:03:06] Spaceman: Oh, so I can put my foot in my mouth. Okay. I

[00:03:09] Halfling: Go for it.

[00:03:10] Spaceman: You are? Okay. Well, Marie, one of the things that we've noticed is that people who are creators tend to start it out as fans. So what was the first time you found yourself as a fan of something?

[00:03:27] Marie Vibbert: So my working class family, um, kept the Sabbath holy with Star Trek every day at six. Um, and that's like grandparents Um, We, we were a Treky um, but I didn't think of it as fandom at first, but when I look back on it, like we always talked about the shows as a family, and one of the first things I wrote I, I just got frustrated, like at the limited roles for women in Star Trek.

[00:03:55] Marie Vibbert: This was original series, um before NextGen came out. And I wrote a fan. I, I didn't know the, the word fanfic back then, but I wrote my own episode with an all female cast of the USS Um, but I, I made sure that they had a yeoman who was a handsome young man who the captain kept flirting with. Um, I was really mean in that one. I was, I have no idea how old I was, like 10, 12. Also Star Wars first movie my I went to was Star Wars and I remember just being violently jealous of Violet Wiskowski cuz she had action figures. And no one would buy me action figures cuz they were too expensive. So I had to go to Violet's house. But the funny thing is, with all of the influence of science fiction coming from my family, When I was a tween and a teenager and voraciously reading science fiction paperbacks, I was a mad Asimov fan, Heinlien fan, CJ Cherry fan, Andre Norton fan. And my dad was like, that's junk food for the mind. read 

[00:05:05] Halfling: Oh, 

[00:05:06] Marie Vibbert: You should only non-fiction. Yeah.

[00:05:10] Marie Vibbert: But definitely by that point, by the time I was a teenager, I knew I was a fan of science fiction and I couldn't live you know, four or five paperbacks a week. And in, when I was in um, me going going to Case was, was amazing because it's a very nerdy school. And for the first time in my life I was surrounded by my people, the nerds.

[00:05:38] Marie Vibbert: And I was in awe these, you know, boys who were like two years older than me, but I treated them like they were 20 years older than me. So much more sophisticated. But they had, they had comic book subscriptions and they had D&D manuals Oh, and they took me to Marcon my first science fiction convention where I had my first experience of being told I wasn't a real fan.

[00:06:00] Spaceman: Oh, I 

[00:06:01] Halfling: I'm so 

[00:06:01] Halfling: sorry. Oh my gosh. Wow.

[00:06:05] Marie Vibbert: yeah, I was 18, I was a college freshman. I was probably wearing a case, Western Reserve University And I didn't actually pay to get into the convention cuz it was too expensive no money. Um, So I was just hanging out in the lobby area and I was like, shyly trying to talk to people and they were like, hi, um, so this is a science fiction convention.

[00:06:24] Marie Vibbert: I really love science fiction. Do you wanna talk about it? They're like, what do you like? I'm like, Asimov and Heinlien, um, and Andre Norton. And they're like, of course. Name something that someone who's a real fan would read. And I um, I just finished this book called, you Know, whatever, and they're like, yeah, have you ever read, you know, I don't even know what they said, probably Snow Crash.

[00:06:51] Marie Vibbert: I'm like, no. Huh? You're not a 

[00:06:52] Spaceman: Oh,

[00:06:53] Spaceman: man, 

[00:06:53] Halfling: that's (some)

[00:06:53] Halfling:  typical (gatekeeping) wow

[00:06:55] Halfling: right there.

[00:06:55] Halfling: I I, I was 

[00:06:56] Halfling: about, 

[00:06:58] Marie Vibbert: was People, no, 

[00:07:00] Halfling: Well, I wasn't planning on us getting into that topic, uh, with you, but No, no, no, 

[00:07:07] Spaceman: no,

[00:07:07] Halfling: no. It, it is something that we have talked about repeatedly on, on our podcast is, is the, the whole issue of gatekeeping

[00:07:16] Spaceman: (down) with gatekeeping.

[00:07:17] Halfling: yes. Serious.

[00:07:18] Halfling: Seriously, we 

[00:07:19] Spaceman: all are 

[00:07:20] Halfling: You know, we, we, we feel like that there is room and fandom for everybody, and fandom is fun, and it should never be about limiting somebody else's fun or ability to participate. And the more I.

[00:07:36] Marie Vibbert: How does it make it worse for them? That what if I only like Asimov? You know, that doesn't, 

[00:07:42] Halfling: No, no. What you, exactly the point it's is, people should be able to like what they like and not be judged because that's their thing, just because you don't like a, you know, certain author or you've maybe never even heard of the author, so you don't know if you would like that person or not.

[00:07:59] Halfling: I mean, you know, that's, on, that's, that's on that other person. That's not on you. You, you, you do, you, you like what you like and do your thing. But, you know, we, we, we don't tolerate the issue of, of gatekeeping. And, and I sadly would've been one of those that, that, had I been to conventions when I was younger, I probably would've been one of those people that, other people would've said, oh, you can't, you know, you're not a real fan.

[00:08:27] Halfling: So, 

[00:08:28] Marie Vibbert: But the funny thing is, On the other side of things. So the, the boys who were all Theta Chi, who, who took me down to the convention, I ended up being Dream Girl of Theta Chi, if you can believe that.

[00:08:40] Marie Vibbert: Um, the Theta Chis all told me, oh, you'll have a great time because there's no women at these conventions and you're young and cute, so everyone will wanna pay attention to you.

[00:08:51] Marie Vibbert: The only women are gonna be the booth bunnies. And I was like, can I be a booth bunny? And they're like, no, you don't wanna be a booth bunny because you're a real nerd. But I got there and the first thing I noticed was everyone at the registration table was female. At least 50% of the people milling around were female.

[00:09:07] Marie Vibbert: And I was not especially young or cute compared to the average woman at the science fiction convention. So I think it was, yeah, there was a problem with gatekeeping and sexism and science fiction back in the nineties, but it, a lot of it was because people weren't seeing what was there.

[00:09:25] Spaceman: Well, and you had mentioned, uh, talking about the original series of Star Trek, and my personal position on that is Nyota Uhura is probably the most important character in science fiction history because of that whole representation issue.

[00:09:40] Marie Vibbert: Yes. And she was representational for me, just being a woman, having a job, you 

[00:09:47] Halfling: Absolutely. I mean, she, she got command of the ship. At one point.

[00:09:53] Marie Vibbert: She's a, she's a military officer.

[00:09:55] Spaceman: Right.

[00:09:56] Halfling: Uh, 

[00:09:57] Marie Vibbert: Go 

[00:09:58] Spaceman: Yes, definitely. I, I actually have a friend who, uh, named his, uh, daughter, uh, Uhura.

[00:10:04] Spaceman: Well, I think that they, they were a couple of nerds, so, you know.

[00:10:08] Halfling: Yeah. Probably could have guessed that. Yeah. 

[00:10:11] Spaceman: Yeah.

[00:10:11] Spaceman: Yeah. Uh, so what sparked your early interest in writing? So you, you got this little background in fan, your friends took you to the, comic Con, you, you've been a voracious reader. What made you take that step from being the person who consumes media to person who has to create their own?

[00:10:29] Marie Vibbert: Honestly, I was writing very early, very, very early, so long before I wrote that Star Trek fan fiction. Like in first grade when I was learning words, I loved to take the vocabulary words for that week and try to write a short story based on those vocabulary words, just using the words I knew how to write.

[00:10:51] Marie Vibbert: Ironically, I was terrible at spelling. But then in second grade, Mrs. Freeman, our second grade teacher, Had us write stories, and we had to write them out, you know, on the paper with the dash line in the middle and print it carefully that we could transfer it onto plain sheets that were stapled and folded.

[00:11:12] Marie Vibbert: I was hooked hard. I, my story was science fiction, of course. It was about a, it was called Jimmy's Planet, and it was about a young boy who was blue-eyed and blonde haired because Yeah. Patriarchy we're soaking in it, who builds a rocket ship in his backyard and flies to a planet where he meets two twin girls with green hair.

[00:11:33] Marie Vibbert: That was my self-insert. I'm the alien of my own first story. But there's a scary monster. So he goes home again. The end, weirdly enough, one of my better plots in, in my early writing, I was so hooked. I went right up to Mrs. Freeman when we were done, and mine was the longest story in the class. Everyone else was doing like a poem.

[00:11:53] Marie Vibbert: If you, there was a poem about rainbows you could copy down if you didn't wanna write your own story. And I think 70% of the class did the poem about rainbows. And I said, Mrs. Freeman, this is it. I wanna be a writer. And she said, oh, sweetie, girls are good at writing when they're in school because they pass notes in gossip, but boys become writers.

[00:12:15] Marie Vibbert: And I was hooked. And I was like, all right, Mrs. Freeman, I'll show you. I started carrying around, scrap paper everywhere and stapling scrap paper into booklets and writing stories. And I always had a book with me called My Book Bag. And I, I demanded people read my stories. I was from second grade on, I wanted to be a writer, and to write science fiction specifically.

[00:12:41] Marie Vibbert: Now, obviously there's a tiny bit of a gap between writing my first story at eight years old and selling my first story at 39. But it was always my ambition.

[00:12:55] Spaceman: Well, I'm not gonna tell you how old we are, but you can tell by all the gray hair over here that we are. We're not that young, and we just started this podcast a year ago or

[00:13:04] Halfling: Not even a

[00:13:05] Spaceman: Not even. Even a year ago, so that, don't feel bad about selling your first story at 39.

[00:13:11] Marie Vibbert: There's 

[00:13:12] Spaceman: no deadline. That's right. As long as you're not in the box, you're, uh, you've got plenty of 

[00:13:16] Spaceman: time. 

[00:13:16] Halfling: That's it.

[00:13:19] Spaceman: can, can we talk a little bit about the progression of your writing? So you, you started off and you decided you really wanted to be a writer. Can you tell us about, a little bit about the progression of your career and along the way some of the things you've written.

[00:13:34] Marie Vibbert: Sure. So obviously I started off with these little clip together things that I carried around. I started writing my autobiography at 11 because there's a certain type of person who decides, yes, I've lived enough. I must write my autobiography at 11, uh, which turned into my first science fiction novel because I think I made it six pages before.

[00:13:55] Marie Vibbert: I gave myself an afterschool job with the intergalactic space spy agency, I had a sassy best friend transforming robot on a bicycle that transformed into a spaceship. I gave it to my friends to read. They all loved it. And I showed it to my school teacher. And the school teacher was really impressed.

[00:14:22] Marie Vibbert: And in, I think seventh, or no, it would've been sixth or seventh grade. One of the other girls in my class, Kimberly Smith, gave me a typewriter, which was an old teaching typewriter that had been her mother's. It had no markings on the keys, so I had to put masking tape and write what each key was, which I learned by hitting them.

[00:14:48] Marie Vibbert: But I then typed my novel onto half slices of paper, or because I knew that, you know, it had to be half page size to be an paperback, and I made really nice margins, and I drew the capital at the beginning of each chapter with a centered title for each chapter and a centered number on the bottom of each page.

[00:15:09] Marie Vibbert: But you know what I didn't do? I didn't put any spaces between sentences. I recently looked back at it. I didn't know that you had to put a space after a period. I put spaces between words, but every period it was 

[00:15:22] Spaceman: You were just a trend, a trend setter. You know, they don't do that anymore. It messes up the, uh, desktop publishing software if you put in extra spaces.

[00:15:32] Marie Vibbert: I know I, well, no spaces at all though. Like I was like, punctuation is as good as a space and I just crammed the letters together. But then when I was a freshman in high school, I brought this, 300 half sheets type to my freshman English teacher and said, I wrote a novel, can I get a computer lab pass so that I can type it into the computer?

[00:15:58] Marie Vibbert: And she was, For no reason at all. Impressed. Um, it's a terrible novel. I still have it so I can tell you it's terrible. It's full of cliches and actually some very mean humor. Do not trust a preteen with humor. But I got the computer lab pass, which kind of might have also resulted in my eventual IT career because I was a computer lab aid in high school.

[00:16:23] Marie Vibbert: I learned to, I could do anything with an Apple two and a image writer, two Gs, uh, image writer printer. I could do anything with those things. By the end of four years of high school, I typed out the novel. I edited it extensively, and I submitted it for publication in 1992 and got lovely personalized rejection from DAW, like on paper, handwritten.

[00:16:48] Halfling: Right.

[00:16:49] Marie Vibbert: My teacher had said, now you can mention that you're 16 in your cover letter. And I was like, I wouldn't dare. This will sell on its own merits. I got it into my head that I had to sell a novel before I turned 18 so I could beat Asimov's first story coming out when he was 18. And I didn't,

[00:17:09] Marie Vibbert: it takes a long time to hear back from on novels back then when you could directly submit to publishers.

[00:17:15] Marie Vibbert: I remember asking my friend Mary Turzillo, like, what's the slush pile like for novels? And she was like, there is no such thing. Oh, what a halcyon day That was. If only I could have written as good back then as I do now. But yeah, I, and I had, I wrote other novels too. I was strictly novels in high school. And another one of the novels I wrote as, I think I wrote this either as a high school freshman or in eighth grade, and that wa would eventually become Galactic Hellcats, my first real novel, which came out in 2021, real novel.

[00:17:51] Marie Vibbert: So I had like three novels. That I was shopping around while I was in high school and I got my high school to pay for me to go to a writer's conference. It cost a hundred dollars. I saw like a flyer in the library and I just went into the principal's office and was like, can you guys send this me to this?

[00:18:10] Marie Vibbert: I need a hundred dollars. And they said, absolutely. And I went to that conference and that's where I met Mary Turzillo, who has a Nebula Award, and she was for no good reason, impressed that this 16 year old had three novels. And she invited me to join her writing workshop, vacation Sushi hamsters. I joined that workshop at 16.

[00:18:34] Marie Vibbert: I wrote my first short story for that workshop because they're short story workshop and they needed a short story to vet me. It was terrible. It was about spies, unionizing on the moon, and it was full of cliches and stereotypes. But again, very on brand for me. Spies and unionization. Two things I really love.

[00:18:57] Marie Vibbert: Um, I went to college. I took Mary Grimm's creative writing class, I think four times because they let you take it as many times as you want. And I, my intention was to major in geology, but I got a double major in English because of that, because I kept taking creative writing every single semester so I could write a short story for class.

[00:19:22] Marie Vibbert: And I started sending short stories to magazines. I remember it being a huge expenditure for me at the time because again, you know, I'm work study, scholarship kid, barely have any money at all. That doesn't go straight into the thousand dollars a semester. I had to pay for tuition.

[00:19:45] Marie Vibbert: That was supposed to be the parental contribution, but I wasn't asking my dad for a thousand bucks.

[00:19:49] Marie Vibbert: I was working hard. I was working work study, I was working over the summers, but I was saving money to print things and mail them. Cuz back then in the nineties you had to mail everything and print

[00:20:03] Marie Vibbert: Book rate. Ooh. And I sold nothing. Obviously I got lots of rejection letters and after college I didn't get a job and I got depressed and I got Crohn's disease.

[00:20:17] Marie Vibbert: And let's just say there were some hard years. There were some very hard years where all I could do was work my three minimum wage jobs to keep rent and eventually find a job with insurance so I could find out why I couldn't eat and kept going to the emergency room, and 

[00:20:37] Marie Vibbert: nearly died again. I. Ask me about our healthcare system. Okay, got it, got it, got it. No, like I went to that emergency room a hundred times. Like we have no idea what's wrong with you and we can't run any tests cause you don't have insurance. Uh, it's probably the flu. I had probably the flu for four years. I weighed 98 pounds and finally like the first time I went back after getting health insurance, they're like, oh my God, let's run some tests.

[00:21:04] Marie Vibbert: There's something wrong with you and it might be Crohn's Disease. And it was, okay. Sorry, that's beside the point.

[00:21:13] Spaceman: No, all of this, all of this reflects on your personal journey. 

[00:21:17] Marie Vibbert: So I was floundering again. You know, here I am. I'm in my late twenties, early thirties. I've wanted to be a writer my whole life. I've tried to be a writer my whole life. I've had zero success other than appearing in like the school literary magazine. And selling a couple of poems when I was in high school, finally, what changed things for me other than achieving middle class respectability.

[00:21:46] Marie Vibbert: So I had free time, uh, which is wonderful, was my twin sister. Gracie challenged me. She said, I think the only reason you have, because I was like, I'll never tell a story. I'm just not good enough. She's like, it's just that you're not submitting enough. Cuz every time I got a rejection letter, there would probably be like four or five months of me saying I was terrible and I was never gonna write again. I had this thing for a while where if a story got rejected once, that was it for the story. It was obviously not good enough, and I didn't send it back out. They just retired it immediately.

[00:22:19] Marie Vibbert: Oh, Youngme, what a fool. What a fool. So Gracie, who doesn't like anyone calling her Gracie but me. So Grace said, I will buy you a present for every hundred rejections and it'll be a good present.

[00:22:38] Marie Vibbert: I was like, oh, well my sister does buy me nice presents every year. I am. Okay. So I started counting my rejections and when I got that first hundred after counting, she bought me a really cute swimsuit. And it's one, it was like $70 swimsuit, which I had been coveting for years, but not buying because it was a $70 swimsuit, retro with polka dots.

[00:23:01] Marie Vibbert: And she bought it for me and I've always wanted it, and now I have it. And that lit a fire under me and I was like, we're getting another hundred. And I started submitting so much that Grace was like, okay, we're, um, I'm, I'm getting kind of low on my budget for presents for you here. We're gonna reset when you sell.

[00:23:21] Marie Vibbert: And at about, I think it was about 700 submissions, I sold my first story and. I started after that one. I sold one story in 2013. I sold two in 2014, and I've sold at least three a year since. It just took off because I faced the rejection monster and slated it for 

[00:23:48] Halfling: Well, and, and that's something that we, we hear from writers all the time is don't get into writing if you aren't willing to face that, because that's what it is. It's, it's brutal and, and it hurts. And, but you better be used to it. You better get used to it because nobody gets their stories accepted right off the bat, and you

[00:24:10] Halfling: have to.

[00:24:11] Marie Vibbert: There's no such, yeah, there's no such thing as a story. So good. It will sell and there's no such thing as a story so bad it won't. It's, it's all subjective. It's all based on what the magazine needs. They're not rejecting you. They're not rejecting your mind or your vision. Or your talent. Yeah, the things that I didn't listen to until I got better at started the selling stuff, but it was all true what my friends were saying.

[00:24:38] Spaceman: I just came up with a a saying that her perseverance is the successful author's superpower.

[00:24:47] Marie Vibbert: Yes,

[00:24:48] Halfling: there you go.

[00:24:51] Marie Vibbert: I did not have the quickest journey, but it was definitely a persevering one. It's a marathon, 

[00:24:58] Halfling: Well, that, that's it. You know, and, and you, but you did it. You did it. And so now, now you're here talking to us about, about that journey, and, and we, you know, we're happy to. Says, know that you, you are having the success that you are. 

[00:25:15] Marie Vibbert: I got a Wikipedia (page now)

[00:25:16] Halfling: know. I (saw)

[00:25:17] Marie Vibbert: It's so cool. 

[00:25:18] Spaceman: Hey, you're, unless it's changed since last week, you're doing better than us now.

[00:25:24] Halfling: we gotta work

[00:25:24] Spaceman: Yeah. We, 

[00:25:25] Spaceman: we gotta, we gotta strong arm somebody into writing a Halfling and spaceman 

[00:25:28] Spaceman: Wikipedia page 

[00:25:29] Halfling: (there you) go.

[00:25:29] Spaceman: us.

[00:25:31] Halfling: Um,

[00:25:32] Halfling: well, 

[00:25:33] Marie Vibbert: Didn't even ask. Yeah, sorry.

[00:25:36] Halfling: now I, I wanted to ask you, because you have written, you know, you've written poems, you've written short stories, and now you're working on, novels. So, you talked about, writing stories in school and in college. But at what point did you start writing poems and, and was that something that you always, wanted to do?

[00:25:57] Halfling: Was that a fallback or did you start off actually writing poetry? What was that progression as he used before?

[00:26:07] Marie Vibbert: I feel like poetry is, is almost its own. Well, it is its own thing. I started writing poems in school when we learned how to do poems, and I was like, Ooh, this is fun. This is another way to play with words. And I had early success with poetry, I think because I was good for a teenager. I sold a poem to Cleveland Magazine, which was like, I wrote this poem about how much I love my city.

[00:26:30] Marie Vibbert: Of course they ate that up and I won various poetry contests throughout school. I got to read a poem at Lake Erie College cause I won the regional writing teen poetry contest. And my poem was in a calendar when I was a senior my senior year, I tried to write a poem for every member of the senior class.

[00:26:56] Marie Vibbert: I made a little book with a poem about every member of my senior class. A little bit cringey I think, and I took poetry classes in college. At some point in college I went from, Ooh, poetry is fun and easy to starting to get rejections cuz I was no longer a kid. And people were like, okay, we're not gonna put up with this sing-songy crap.

[00:27:15] Marie Vibbert: And I felt like I didn't know how to write poetry and I didn't understand poetry and what is poetry. And I took a lot of poetry classes and I had one poetry class, which was one of the worst, most painful classes in my life because we had a little petty dictator for a professor. He was some famous poet.

[00:27:34] Marie Vibbert: I will not give his name. He is dead to me, but he was very harassing to his students. He was on the record as saying that he, if he didn't make someone cry every class, he wasn't doing his job as a poet

[00:27:46] Marie Vibbert: and he would harass pe especially. He was an African American gentleman and he especially, uh, harassed the African-American students.

[00:27:54] Marie Vibbert: It was very uncomfortable but he made me so angry that I worked so hard on my poetry that semester and I think it, it actually really transformed my poetry and made me a better poet, God damn it. So, he, uh, it could, because it was shortly after that class that I sold my first poem as a adult.

[00:28:17] Marie Vibbert: One of the poems I wrote for that class I sold to Abyss and Apex Magazine, and that was the beginning of my adult poetry selling career.

[00:28:30] Marie Vibbert: And I sometimes I just have ideas that are like poet poems and I have to sit down and write them. And I have way more half started poems than half started stories. I think for whatever reason, I'm much more disciplined about turning an idea into a story, into a full draft than turning an idea into a poem, into a full draft.

[00:28:57] Marie Vibbert: I guess I play more with poetry.

[00:29:00] Halfling: That's interesting I don't know, I guess I always imagined that writing poetry would probably be a little easier than writing in a full fledged, story. Either a novella or, you know, novel, anything like that. But I guess, I guess you put more, I don't know if you put more of your soul into a poem, maybe.

[00:29:22] Halfling: I don't know.

[00:29:24] Marie Vibbert: I think it's like the kind of art that writing a short story is, is the art of building something. Making a vase, making a birdhouse, and I know how to do those things. There's a structure to it. Poetry is more subjective. It's like flower arranging or interior design. It's something that I struggle more with.

[00:29:55] Marie Vibbert: And I'm less satisfied with my poems. Most of the poems that I've sold, I've sold about 42 since I started Keeping Track. I don't remember the ones I sold as a teenager and I don't have them written down. But since I started keeping track, they'd have like 10 to 20 drafts before I submit them.

[00:30:15] Marie Vibbert: Whereas a short story generally is more like, you know, between three to five drafts.

[00:30:20] Halfling: I've actually had a chance to read , some of your blog posts that have, have really enjoyed them. When did you start blogging and did that come early on? Because we've heard some people that started with blogs and then moved on from there to short stories and then novels, you know?

[00:30:37] Halfling: So was that kind of your progression or, or did you just decide after you started writing that you were gonna start a blog?

[00:30:45] Marie Vibbert: I started the blog as a hopes that it would build my platform as a writer and back when I was struggling to sell anything. So I started blogging before I sold my first short story, and it was back in the days of Live Journal, if you remember Live Journal.

[00:31:04] Marie Vibbert: It would've been like early two thousands.

[00:31:06] Halfling: Oh.

[00:31:07] Marie Vibbert: But I definitely like blogging and now it's something that I just do regularly. I always have a lot to say. Sometimes I want to spout off, like I know what I'm talking about, usually about writing and the blog gives me this outlet where I can just tell the world my opinion because my opinions are correct, like everybody 

[00:31:30] Halfling: Uh, well, that, that's what everybody thinks is their, their opinion is the right opinion that's what a blog is for. So there you go.

[00:31:39] Marie Vibbert: I try to be honest, I do try to be honest, but the blog has stayed with me through being a professional football player through, being a fighter in the S C A. I've gone through so many stages of life blogging.

[00:31:54] Halfling: Well, that's good. I mean, you know, it, it gives you an outlet to, that's not specifically writing, you know, a story, but it's writing about topics that are relevant to you and what's going on, so that's great.

[00:32:10] Spaceman: And that brings up a, question that's not even on anything we've discussed is that, now that you're a professional writer, what do you do that's geeky for fun? You'd mentioned the SCA, are you still active in the SCA or do you, do you do other things?

[00:32:24] Marie Vibbert: I'm not as active as I used to be in the essay, but I am active. I gotta get my armor fixed. I wanna re off. Uh, I've been mostly too busy and.

[00:32:35] Marie Vibbert: Sorry. You don't care 

[00:32:36] Marie Vibbert: if I'm 

[00:32:37] Spaceman: no.

[00:32:37] Spaceman: No, no, We do, we're actually 

[00:32:38] Spaceman: played (SCA)

[00:32:39] Marie Vibbert: do this. I do scribble stuff . I go to conventions to promote my books now, but honestly, I still enjoy them as a person at the convention and like, ooh. One of my favorite talks I attended recently was about the engines on the enterprise and how they evolved over time and it was really cool.

[00:32:57] Marie Vibbert: So I still geek out and I

[00:33:02] Marie Vibbert: still watch any movie that has a space battle in it. If there's a space battle, I'm there opening night. Wait, I'm sorry. I am that person. My husband might wanna see a romantic comedy, but I'm like, hmm, no space battle.

[00:33:18] Spaceman: We need a movie that is a, a romantic comedy with space battles. I would pay good money to see that.

[00:33:26] Marie Vibbert: Ooh, I (should write that)

[00:33:26] Halfling: Yeah, you should.

[00:33:28] Marie Vibbert: Putting it on the idea 

[00:33:29] Marie Vibbert: file, romantic comedy, 

[00:33:32] Halfling: You could, and you (should)

[00:33:33] Marie Vibbert: You know, do like a screw ball, kind of comedy of errors. I love Comedy of errors,

[00:33:39] Halfling: those are fun.

[00:33:40] Marie Vibbert: a comedy of errors in space. Going right in the idea file. Thank you. Next novel. Here we go.

[00:33:47] Spaceman: So when you were in the SCA and you said you were a fighter, did you do heavy fighting or did you do fencing?

[00:33:54] Marie Vibbert: Heavy. I was squared to Sir Ryan Belimo.

[00:33:58] Marie Vibbert: The best thing I ever did is, I mean, I wasn't that good, but I did win a pot of arms in Raging Castle in Wales, which was amazing. That was an amazing night. And the, the gallery prize was this exquisite, handcrafted silver and emerald broach, which I still have.

[00:34:19] Halfling: sounds lovely.

[00:34:21] Spaceman: Of the many, uh, fandom activities and hobby activities that the Halfling and I have taken on over the years. The SCA was one of them for a while. 

[00:34:28] Halfling: Aw. Mm-hmm. 

[00:34:29] Spaceman: So neither one of us were fighters. We both liked to cook, so we cooked for feast and things.

[00:34:36] Marie Vibbert: And long before I had my own Wikipedia page, I was cited on Wikipedia for the definition of chaperone and henan because I wrote a complete anachronistic on the hats of the 15th century. That was technically my first publication, A chatbook on the development and construction of Northern European women's head dress in the 15th century.

[00:35:03] Spaceman: Now see that's interesting. That's cool. And, and you know,

[00:35:09] Marie Vibbert: I am a huge nerd about costuming and. I still belong. I mean, obviously I still belong to the SCA and some of my SCA friends and I have a costume club for one cuz one time period or even all of the middle Ages is not enough for us. And we have costume tea (parties)

[00:35:27] Spaceman: now that sounds fun. That sounds fun. So Halfling, why don't you, uh, take us, uh forward, um, at this point because I think that, uh, everything that we were gonna touch on I've already touched on.

[00:35:41] Halfling: well, so I guess one of the things is, you know, you have talked about the process of writing and getting rejected and then being pushed by your twin sister, to just, just really submit and, and submit, you know,, but. I take it from what you've said, that it's gotten a little easier for you.

[00:36:03] Halfling: Is it because you have already become published and I mean, do you think that they look at your work a little differently now that you've got some of that behind you?

[00:36:14] Marie Vibbert: I honestly don't know. The other way I geek out and waste my time between submissions is I keep track of statistics and my acceptance rate has definitely gone up, like I get accepted more quickly, per number of submissions. But rejections per story has not gone up.

[00:36:33] Marie Vibbert: It's just, I think I'm producing more. I do think, yeah, maybe I get some name recogni. I think name recognition might get you out of the slush pile, but to get a sale, you just have to have the skill. And I, like I said, I, I'm a Midwesterner. I just froze up because I was about to compliment myself and I couldn't do it.

[00:36:56] Marie Vibbert: But I know how to craft a story/ I do. I'm, I. Fairly certain that I'm better at it now than I was before, but I'm by no means am I selling every story I send out. I still have not convinced Sheila Williams to buy anything from me either, though. I've sold 14 stories to Analog and three to F N S F.

[00:37:18] Marie Vibbert: Asimov's remains my white whale. They've bought poems for me, but never a story. I keep challenging myself on the craft. A couple years ago I made my goal to write flash fiction, because I hadn't sold a flash fiction and I really wanted to sell something to Nature Futures, which had to be like 400 or 980 words long.

[00:37:42] Marie Vibbert: They have like this narrow window because it was a one column. In the magazine is where they print the story. So your story had to be between like 800 and 980 words long or something like that. It was a narrow window. So I shot for that window and at the end of the year I sold a story to Nature Futures.

[00:37:59] Halfling: Very cool.

[00:38:01] Marie Vibbert: But learning to write short really emphasized structure for me, and it helped my longer stories. And so after that, I decided to go the other way. I'm like, I've never written a novelette or a novella. And so for the past three years I've been struggling with Novelette novella. And I sold my first Novelette, my first novella, and my first Novelette was nominated for a Nebula, which is pretty, pretty (dope)

[00:38:27] Spaceman: Congratulations. 

[00:38:29] Halfling: it is. That's awesome. What now? Now is that for this year? Is that that

[00:38:34] Marie Vibbert: Yeah. Two 20. 2020. Well, it came out in 2022. It was nominated this year. I didn't win. The Nebula awards were given out like three weeks ago now. 

[00:38:45] Marie Vibbert: Um, but I got to go to the ceremony and I got to wear a pretty dress that I spent weeks tailoring and sewing tiny star beads to

[00:38:57] Halfling: Well, that, I mean it, you know, not to sound cliche, but it's an honor just to be nominated. I mean, you know, for, for real. I mean, you know, so.

[00:39:07] Marie Vibbert: It is, it's, it is a cliche and I always thought that they were not being sincere when they said that, but having been nominated, I really understand how much it feels good, how validating it is, how wonderful it is. It is winning an award of itself. I mean, I get to share the nominated for the 2023 Nebula Award with a whole group of wonderful

[00:39:39] Marie Vibbert: people. And that's (pretty cool)

[00:39:41] Halfling: It, it is, it is. And hopefully that's just a taste of the things to come in the future for you. Well, as you keep, keep using that word, persevere, you know.

[00:39:52] Marie Vibbert: Yeah. I will say the thing that I haven't been able to do yet is find an agent, so I'm still struggling with that. The whole reason I started selling, writing and trying to sell short stories was because I couldn't sell a novel or find an agent, and my friend Mary said, sell some short stories first.

[00:40:11] Marie Vibbert: That'll get you recognized as a pro and that'll help you get an agent and sell a novel.

[00:40:17] Marie Vibbert: And, uh, it did eventually, it just took a lot longer than I thought because my first novel was bought by an editor who had bought one of my short stories who was following my Twitter because he had bought one of my short stories and I happened to tweet.

[00:40:34] Marie Vibbert: Oh, there's so much I should be working on, but I keep going back to edit the Space Biker Gang novel and within four seconds direct message, can you send that to me? We're gonna start publishing novels instead of just anthologies. And I was like, here you go. I have a really bad cover letter.

[00:40:53] Marie Vibbert: I've not been able to get an agent, but I thought, female biker gang and outer space rescues. Gay Prince was a great, elevator pitch, but you know, 46 rejections later. And he is like, it is a great elevator pitch. It is a bad cover letter, but I'm gonna read it. And he read it and he was like, wow, this is really good.

[00:41:10] Marie Vibbert: And it went on to be long listed by the British Science Fiction Award. It was the best seller Vernacular books ever had. Unfortunately, a Vernacular books is no longer 

[00:41:19] Marie Vibbert: publishing, but. So when people ask me, so how do you sell a novel? And I'm like, I tried for 30 years and I sold it on a tweet. I really can't help you. Not a replicable journey.

[00:41:34] Spaceman: Well, networking is everything

[00:41:36] Halfling: Yeah.

[00:41:37] Halfling: It, it, it really is. It so, so often it's not what you know, it's who you know, so

[00:41:42] Halfling: who they know.

[00:41:44] Halfling: and, and who and who, who they know. That's, that's right.

[00:41:47] Marie Vibbert: And the best networking is the networking that you don't think of is 

[00:41:50] Marie Vibbert: networking. 

[00:41:50] Spaceman: That's true. That's (true)

[00:41:52] Marie Vibbert: I think 

[00:41:52] Halfling: Yeah.

[00:41:54] Marie Vibbert: cuz I definitely didn't think of it as networking. I just thought of it as, ooh, you want robot stories? I have a robot story

[00:42:03] Marie Vibbert: and I'm gonna tweet random nerdy stuff and we're gonna get along online because I'm just saying what I feel.

[00:42:10] Marie Vibbert: I think my advice. If I'm gonna be like pontificating and vicey to the audience, is to go to conventions, go to nerd events, go to the SCA and make friends, and make friends with the people who are your peers. Don't try to kiss up to the presenter at the front of the room. That person has 20 other people trying to kiss up to them.

[00:42:35] Marie Vibbert: It's the people sitting next to you in the audience who are going to end up being your beta readers, who are going to be on this journey with you. And someday they're gonna be the big important writers too.

[00:42:48] Spaceman: One thing I'd like to add to that, it's don't be afraid to talk about your work.

[00:42:52] Marie Vibbert: Ooh, ooh. That is scary though. But yeah,

[00:42:56] Marie Vibbert: learning to pitch is hard. This may be part of why I don't have an agent and why I'm so terrible at cover letters is this fear of bragging super, fear of bragging super, fear of misrepresenting things. I'm like, well, actually it's, it's like Guardians of the Gala, but no, it's not anything like that.

[00:43:12] Marie Vibbert: And, and it's a biker gang in outer space, but they're not really biker gang and, and it's a space motorcycle, but okay. It's not really that, and I'm so sorry. It's not any good. Nevermind. Instead, like, somebody else over there is like, it's, Bridget Jones'. Diary meets Guardians of the Galaxy. Buy it now. Yeah. Oh, okay. I, can't do that. I'm trying, I'm trying so hard to learn to do that, to be confident enough to pitch my things and to sell them. It's not bragging. It's not bragging if (its true)

[00:43:47] Halfling: That's true. Well,

[00:43:48] Halfling: that's, that's, that's absolutely right. And, and, and you do have to have some confidence in, in yourself and in your work. I mean, cuz if you don't have confidence in what you're saying and and the work that you're trying to promote, then that's definitely gonna come across and other people are gonna look at it and go, Hmm, well she's a little iffy on it, so.

[00:44:12] Halfling: Yeah.

[00:44:13] Marie Vibbert: Oh, I learned that lesson in the SCA too. Like we was doing face-to-face judging and I mentioned things that were, that I found as flaws in my costume and I found other people didn't mention their flaws. And when I looked at the judging sheet, everything I mentioned was a point down.

[00:44:30] Marie Vibbert: Awesome. I just cost myself a first place.

[00:44:34] Spaceman: So that's kinda like the opposite of rhino hiding and fighting.

[00:44:39] Marie Vibbert: Yes.

[00:44:41] Marie Vibbert: Don't get me started on worrying that I was taking shots too light.

[00:44:46] Halfling: Uh, well, for, those in the audience that may not know what that is brief, briefly, they're some fighters that when a fight is being judged that, if they take a blow, they'll always call it light, despite the fact that, the reality is that you could have just taken that person's leg off or something like that, but they're always gonna call the blow light.

[00:45:12] Halfling: That's the rhino hide part. Am I getting that right? Because I'm not a fighter, I mean, but. Okay. It's been a while since we played SCA, but, anyway,,

[00:45:25] Spaceman: All right, let's, let's get back to the literature.

[00:45:27] Halfling: yeah. 

[00:45:27] Halfling: Yeah. 

[00:45:28] Halfling: So, you've talked about a little bit of the challenges that you faced and the fact that you're still struggling to try to , find an agent. But, have there been challenges, well, obviously there have been challenges that you've been able to overcome, but talk a little more specifically about those challenges and what you did do to overcome those challenges.

[00:45:52] Marie Vibbert: There's definitely a lot of, when I look back, a lot of standing in my own way, believing that I had to come up with a completely new plot. I couldn't write anything that had been done before. Listening to the people who complain about. There's no explosions in space and you can't do this, and you can't have aliens that speak English and you can't do this and you can't do that.

[00:46:20] Marie Vibbert: And then listening to those people and making a list of things I couldn't do and not doing them either though. I bet those guys' favorite novels had English talking aliens and explosions in space. You know, it!

[00:46:34] Marie Vibbert: I mean, I've written a lot of hard science fiction and I love hard science fiction, but there are other kinds of science fiction too, and it's not fantasy automatically because it has F T L or that was the other thing people telling me that's not science fiction, that's fantasy. So I literally had somebody tell me my story was fantasy because I had a time machine, even though it went into the spin glass that made the time machine work and had all this physics in it.

[00:46:59] Marie Vibbert: So I sent it to beneath Cecil Skies and got a very fast rejection letter. It's not fantasy. I have a whole blog post about that. 

[00:47:08] Halfling: Hmm. 

[00:47:08] Marie Vibbert: So a lot of being too critical, aiming the bar way too high trying to fly before you crawl. Like I had to redefine the genre. Before I sat down and tried to write a competent story.

[00:47:24] Marie Vibbert: I had to slow down and I had to say, sit back, write something with a beginning, middle, and end. Can you do that competently? And at first I had to copy, one of my first stories that sold was called Deshaun Stevens Ship Log. It was Bridget Jones' diary, but in space with a male protagonist.

[00:47:50] Marie Vibbert: And I wrote that. In that time when I was like, slow down. Let's try to just write a competent, plotted story, and I picked that. So I liked to Bridget Jones's diary. So yeah, and self-esteem issues, fear of rejection, taking rejection personally. All of that were struggles that I had to overcome, and a lot of it is just, there's no fun trick.

[00:48:19] Marie Vibbert: A lot of it is just practice, practice, practice, Do it and do it, and do it, and do it again. Another way I think I leveled up from wannabe to published author was the Clarion Write athon. My friends were bugging me, Marie, you should go to Clarion. You should go to Clarion. You should go to Clarion.

[00:48:42] Marie Vibbert: I was like, I'm the wage earner for my family. I get two weeks of vacation. I can't go to Clarion. But I thought I could do the Clarion Write-a-Thon, which is the Clarion. Clarion for those who don't know, is a writing workshop. It's six weeks, it's a residency. You you live on a college campus and they have six professional writers.

[00:49:08] Marie Vibbert: Big names come and each one teaches a week, and the last two weeks are the same two professors for two weeks, and the team teach it, which is really cool. We had Karen Joy Fowler and Corey, Doctorow and Nalo Hokinson, I mean really great writers

[00:49:25] Marie Vibbert: and it's expensive and it takes six weeks of your life. And I felt that was outta my reach to raise money. They did an annual write a song, which was like a. Readathon, a bikeathon, a whatever, athon. You sign up and you pledge that you're going to write so much and people will donate money if you meet your goal.

[00:49:49] Marie Vibbert: I set my goal to write 50 short stories, full, complete drafts in six (weeks)

[00:49:55] Halfling: wow. My 

[00:49:56] Halfling: gosh. 

[00:49:57] Marie Vibbert: So it was a little bit more than a story a day, and I did it. 

[00:50:03] Marie Vibbert: I cranked out 50 short story drafts in six weeks, and I didn't do much else those six weeks, but I cranked out these story drafts. I remember we like, we went to Cedar Point one of those days and I'm in line with a little pencil and pad writing a story about rollercoaster ferries.

[00:50:23] Marie Vibbert: So what that exercise did for me was, first off, it made me concentrate on basic structure, beginning, middle, end. It had to have a beginning, a middle, and end, and be over a thousand words. Those were my rules,

[00:50:40] Marie Vibbert: and so it really got me to think about what does it mean to have a beginning, a middle, and an end?

[00:50:46] Marie Vibbert: What's and end like, uh, okay, idea, idea, not story, story need, beginning story, meet, end. What? Ah, and because there was such a tight deadline, I couldn't be precious about it. I just had to go with it. It also taught me that I could come up with 50 ideas, which again, made me less precious about my ideas. The more I wrote, the more ideas flowed.

[00:51:12] Marie Vibbert: Now, there were days when I would have like three days in a row without writing anything because I would be blocked and. Writer's block is not the inability to write writer's block is simply self-doubt, not trusting yourself to write. And then I would write something silly just to get it out there.

[00:51:31] Marie Vibbert: I wrote some very silly things, space ponies, time traveling, noir robots. The funny thing is I did a blog post recently, 10 years after the 2000, this was 2012 that I did

[00:51:46] Marie Vibbert: this, and in 2022 I posted the 10 year postmortem, and I had sold half the stories that I wrote for that 50 now over 10 years and many subsequent drafts.

[00:52:00] Marie Vibbert: But part of the problem that. Starting out writers have is when you've only written, you think, I'm gonna write one story and it's going to be perfect. I'm gonna write one perfect story, and it's gonna be the story that breaks in, or it's gonna be the story that's so special, so different, so niche that it breaks in.

[00:52:18] Marie Vibbert: And that wasn't it. It was Bridget Jones's Diary in space churning stories out made each one less a piece of my soul, easier to send out, easier to have rejected, and it also made me a better writer.

[00:52:38] Halfling: Well, that's, that's a. Impressive though. I mean, you know, just hearing, you know, you had to crank out these 50 stories in such a short period of time and then to find out that you sold over half of 'em over a period of time. That's pretty remarkable in my book. Uh, so, so kudos to you. 

[00:52:56] Marie Vibbert: if you go to my blog on and click on write-a-thon 

[00:53:00] Marie Vibbert: is one of the tags, you'll find the (the blog post that details...)

[00:53:01] Halfling: I, I'll, I'll have to read that one. That's, pretty cool. That's pretty cool. Well, okay. We'd like to ask the question if there's any one particular person that has inspired you along your journey.

[00:53:17] Marie Vibbert: Obviously Mary Trilla, who I've mentioned many times, has been like a writing mom to me. She has done so much for me in teaching me about writing. And her husband, Jeff Landis, who has given me the courage to be able, I thought I was too stupid to write hard science fiction ear, though. That's what I really wanted to write.

[00:53:41] Marie Vibbert: And he was the one who was like, just look up the things you don't know, Marie. Oh, you mean I don't have to just know off the top of my head how an orbit works. I can look it up. Thank you Jeff. I'm also gonna give a shout out to Bruce Springsteen. Not that I'd ever met Bruce, but reading about him and his career and how he started out getting a terrible contract and not promoting himself and making all the mistakes, but he survived and his music endures and I think.

[00:54:20] Marie Vibbert: If I could be a celebrity someday, I'd like to be the kind of celebrity. Bruce Springsteen is where he's just enjoying music and living his life. 

[00:54:27] Halfling: That's not, not, not a 

[00:54:29] Marie Vibbert: Does that, does that sound pretentious? That sounds a bit

[00:54:32] Halfling: not, no, no. I mean, you know, he's, he's got a lot of admirable qualities and, and like you said, he is, he's got his own story of, you know, trying to become successful. So that's cool. That's, that's cool.

[00:54:46] Spaceman: It looks like it's about time for us to wrap up. Do you have any particular advice for young people or maybe not so young people just starting out with their writing careers that you wish you would've known when you got started?

[00:54:59] Marie Vibbert: write what you want to write. It's okay to want to write it. No one is going to judge you. Well. Some people are gonna judge you, but they don't matter. The real gatekeepers in the industry are not the well actually guys hanging around on the internet telling you what you can't do. The real gatekeepers are some very quiet, nerdy people just like you.

[00:55:23] Marie Vibbert: The editors is what I'm talking about. 

[00:55:25] Marie Vibbert: Another thing that helped my career was, and again, I can't say enough for the whole, write more stories, write more drafts, treat it as exercise, treat it as weightlifting, and you'll get stronger. Because when I was making all those stories, I, I had to keep coming up with ideas so I could no longer veto my ideas.

[00:55:51] Marie Vibbert: I could no longer say, no, you can't write that because it's not right. It's, or it's too niche, it's too Cleveland. Nobody's gonna want that. No, I had to just keep writing what came to me and my writing got better when I wrote what I really wanted to write, which seems like such pat advice that you hear all the time.

[00:56:16] Marie Vibbert: But when you struggle with self-esteem issues, it can be very hard to tell yourself, it's okay. Your ideas are valid, your ideas are just as valid as somebody else's. I would be in these writing workshops where they would like give a prompt and people would respond to the prompt and I would respond to the prompt and they would say, wait, no, that's the obvious response.

[00:56:37] Marie Vibbert: I can't do that.

[00:56:38] Marie Vibbert: And then I would sit there and like not write anything, and then people would read off their responses and I'm like, actually my response was better.

[00:56:46] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:56:47] Marie Vibbert: Oops. 

[00:56:48] Spaceman: Well, can you tell us about any up and coming stories that you've got? Anything that we can expect, with your name on the cover?

[00:56:58] Marie Vibbert: Oh yes. So I am of course shopping around two novels right now. If you know any agents or people looking for novels, let me know. One of which. Is, Quixote Ugly? It's, Don Quixote Meets Urban Fantasy. Grad student goes mad reading Urban Fantasy and decides she's a paranormal investigator. The other one is Mo the Stupid, Ork Story from the point of the Ork.

[00:57:25] Marie Vibbert: Okay. Got a, got it. Maybe there's a, it's worked for me before. Maybe there's a publisher listening. Short stories, electric Tea will be reprinted in the big book of cyberpunk. I have a story about a 15th century handmade in Alchemist, which will appear in analog, I think the first time. My SCA research has actually made it into a short story.

[00:57:50] Marie Vibbert: I will be in the upcoming Baen space for anthology and a story called Cheaper to Replace will be in Clark's World, and a story called The Caregivers will be in Apex Books, robotic Ambitions. So those are the things I've got in the pipeline.

[00:58:10] Halfling: Cool. What about any conventions that you might be going to.

[00:58:15] Marie Vibbert: I will be at Confluence in Pittsburgh in July. I will also be at, um, wait, wait, wait. I gotta, I'm don't laugh. I'm going to my blog and I'm looking at my upcoming appearances blog post cuz I have to, cuz I'm so 

[00:58:33] Spaceman: We have the same problem, but you know, most of it's just random personal stuff that's only tangentially related to the podcast

[00:58:43] Spaceman: and, and 

[00:58:43] Spaceman: conventions. 

[00:58:44] Marie Vibbert: On July 7th through July 9th. I will be this a special guest my first time being a special guest at in conjunction in Indianapolis. And then Saturday, July 15th, I will be at the Columbus Book Festival in Columbus, Ohio at the Metropolitan Library.

[00:59:06] Marie Vibbert: And July 21st to July 23rd, I will be at Confluence in 

[00:59:11] Marie Vibbert: Pittsburgh, which is a really cool convention. And I will be at, Pensic august. 

[00:59:20] Halfling: Yeah, which is not really a convention.

[00:59:23] Halfling: It's, it's a 

[00:59:24] Marie Vibbert: It's not really a convention that they're, if the SCA people have stuck around through all the talk of, uh, of writer happening and research, who might find me at the camp of the three Bears.

[00:59:36] Halfling: Cool. Um, well, I have a question. This is just a personal question. Do you happen to know a writer who lives, oh, I can't remember exactly where she lives, but her name is Joelle Presby.

[00:59:51] Marie Vibbert: Of course I know Joelle. Yes. She lives in, uh, I think Twinsburg, Ohio, but she's in my, she's in my writing workshop with 

[00:59:59] Halfling: okay. 

[01:00:00] Halfling: Oh, okay.

[01:00:01] Halfling: All right. I had a feeling that she traveled at least in a little bit of the circles, same circles, so I wasn't sure, cuz I, I, I knew she couldn't have been too far away and, and when she, when you mentioned MarCon, earlier, I thought, okay, she was just there. Or she's, yeah, I think they just had it.

[01:00:21] Halfling: Anyway, so yeah. Okay. Okay. I was just curious. I had a feeling that she probably did. She was on our show, a while back. 

[01:00:28] Spaceman: She was a big help for us when we were first getting 

[01:00:31] Halfling: yeah. 

[01:00:33] Marie Vibbert: She's a super generous and kind person, and we have (a lot of fun together too)

[01:00:37] Halfling: Yeah. That's great. We're hoping to meet her, in person someday. Um we're hoping to meet a lot of people that we've had on the show, 

[01:00:45] Spaceman: but we gotta drive farther a field, I can't expect somebody who lives in California to come to us. All right? So let's get back on track.

[01:00:53] Halfling: So tell us where people can find out about you and where they can get your, where they can get your works.

[01:01:02] Marie Vibbert: If you go to, I have links to all of my novels, um, where you can buy them. Um, the audiobook and the eBooks and the paperbacks. I have links to all of my short stories that are free online. Sometimes I sell to online magazines and that's great cuz I can link it forever.

[01:01:21] Marie Vibbert: And I'm on Twitter @mareasie.

[01:01:24] Marie Vibbert: I am on Mastodon as Reasie at Wandering Shop. I am on Instagram as Marie Vibbert. I'm on Facebook as Marie Vibbert, Google Marie Vibbert. out there. I'm actually long before I became so famous. I was almost always the top hits for my own name because it's an unusual name. There are only very few people with the last name ever. It's not even a popular name in France where it comes from. 

[01:01:58] Halfling: We will make sure to get that information in the show notes so people can find you and, enjoy your works.

[01:02:04] Spaceman: Well, thank you so much for talking with us today. We've had a great time getting to know you and getting to hear about your journey into active fandom. We also wanna thank our listeners for tuning in today. We hope that you've enjoyed and perhaps become inspired by today's guest, Marie Vibbert.

[01:02:21] Spaceman: We want to give Marie a huge thank you and shout out for joining us today. And this is the spaceman of the Halfling and the Spaceman over and out.

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