by Jacqueline Lichtenberg
I already knew I wanted to be a writer, but at 12, that vision is a very inchoate one. How does one make a living? How does one get to be good enough to be worthy of publication? Who will show me HOW?
Jacqueline Lichtenberg had all those answers and more. After the closest critique of any fiction I have received TO THIS DAY, she continued to be available as mentor, information source, adviser (advisor, as I and the English prefer) and, best of all, a wonderful friend.
I discovered Jacqueline Lichtenberg’s Sime-Gen novels, when I was in college. I loved them and read them over and over. Years later I found one of her Vampire short stories posted on the Internet. It was an Urban Fantasy tale about a vampire living in Manhattan who has a new roommate, a nice Jewish young man. However, he’s a bit nervous about sharing an apartment with what seems a very reasonable guy for a vampire. Matters get worse when a demon breaks into the apartment and attacks him in his room. As our intrepid vampire rushes to his friend’s bedroom the mezuzah on the doorpost wards him away, which solving the young man’s demon problem.
I loved that story for its use of the mezuzah and the humor of the not particularly religious Jewish roommate figuring it couldn’t hurt to put it up under the circumstances.
Fifteen years after reading that story my first novel’s been published and I’ve had a number of short stories published. An ezine that featured many of them published them in their first anthology, Flights of Fantasy, Volume 1. The editor asked me for an original short story to include as an exclusive and I gave him a time travel tale with my own take on using a mezuzah against a creature of the night.
So, thank you, Jacqueline, you have inspired me with your stories, your vision, and ideas and now I’m on the road to building a career as a professional sci fi and fantasy author.
R. L. King
I've been a fan of Jacqueline's ever since I picked up "Star Trek Lives."
I hunted down her book "House of Zeor" (which was mentioned in STL!) and fell in love with it--as well as all the others that came after. I've always admired her style and been influenced by her cinematic writing, compelling and interesting characters, and tightly-constructed plots.
In particular, her advice about always making sure that everything in a novel's plot supports and advances the conflict has stuck with me and I think it has made me a better writer.
Up until now I've been writing fanfiction in the Shadowrun RPG world (5 complete novels) but I've taken the leap to publish my own original work. Jacqueline was kind enough to let me include myself on her list of those whom she's influenced, and I'm grateful.
When Anne McCaffrey died recently it made me think of all the great authors whose work meant so much to me as a young reader. Growing up, my imagination was taken to so many wondrous places, was populated by so many amazing characters, and rarely lacked for some creative question to pursue. Now that I am following in the footsteps of those writers, I see ever more clearly how great a debt I owe to them. After Anne passed, I resolved to do my best to tell the giants of literature whose shoulders I am slowly scaling how much their work has meant to me, both as a reader and as a writer.
You are among those I wished to thank. Your writing was inspiring to me as a young adult and remains among my treasured memories of growing into new vistas of story and imagination. When I think of some of the conflicts and struggles that appear in my own writing, I see how clearly they draw on the legacies of House of Zeor and others in that series. I may never achieve such success as a writer, but in undertaking to walk the path of those writers who I admired, I re-learn every day a new appreciation for what their struggles and successes have meant to me as I make the attempt.
Thank you for sharing your hard work and profligate talent with me. It has meant the world.
who also writes as Lorna Barrett and L.L. Bartlett
If it wasn't for Star Trek Lives, I wouldn't be an author today. I'd been a Star Trek fan since I was 11 and was heartbroken when it went off the air. When I bought that book, I had no idea there were people out there writing Star Trek stories--keeping the spirit of the show alive.
While I'd always had stories running around in my head, I never had the courage to put anything down on paper. Yup, my first "real" stories were Star Trek stories.
I tried to write SF and Romance, but it was always mysteries that drew me as a reader and that's what I finally settled on as a genre I wanted to write. It took years of rejection, but today I can proudly say I'm a multi-published author with award nominations and have hit the New York Times bestseller list multiple times.
And all because I once read a book called Star Trek Lives.
Most every aspiring author you meet laments not having someone to teach them. I remember feeling like I was flailing around in utter darkness. Online and through my Enduring Romance book review blog, I’d met Linnea Sinclair (she’s on this list too) through Susan Grant and they both generously helped, but they were on writing deadlines. After finding Jacqueline by following Linnea to the Alien Romance blog I dared to email her. Somehow, she was able to sort through my confused state and nail my problem exactly. It was like the breaking of the dawn.
After that I followed her back and forth between Alien Romance, Sime-Gen, and Editing Circle. I learned about the Intimate Adventure and Theme, but the most life-changing thing I learned was about Story Structure. You see, my stories are born as huge messes no other human being could possibly comprehend and sorting them out does not come naturally to me. I have to work very hard at it. After four years of learning and trying, I finally signed my first contract with Decadent Publishing. And Jacqueline was the first person I wanted to tell!
A. B. Gayle
You know when you walk out of a movie and you go "Hey, yeah, interesting characters, the action really flowed, but what was the the point of making the movie in the first place." What's missing is the "Theme" - what the story is all about.
Over the years, Jacqueline Lichtenberg has covered this topic extensively in her blogs at Editing Circle and Alien Romances. Her advice has helped me understand and make sure that everything I write and edit follows this dictum. It doesn't have to be an "In your face" moral, but it sure helps when you've hit a brick wall and are not sure where to take the story next, or when you've reached the end and feel something's missing...
You are welcome to list me as having my writing influenced by House of Zeor. I can see echoes in A Door into Ocean and Brain Plague, especially in the prominence of intense relationships.
Moira J Moore
I reread Star Trek Lives an embarrassing amount of times, I enjoyed your Sime-Gen novels. But more than that, you just seemed to me one of the "greats" in the world of Star Trek.
Way back sometime in the 70s, Jacqueline Lichtenberg introduced me to a new way of thinking about vampirism with her (and Jean Lorrah’s) Sime~Gen books. I believe they were published by DAW, as I seem to remember they had the distinctive yellow spine that DAW used at the time. That was a very exciting time in science fiction, as it was the beginning of the era where SF wasn’t just a boy’s playground...
When Sime~Gen came along during that heady era, Lichtenberg introduced an entirely new concept of vampirism. The vampire not only as “other”, but also as literally alien. The vampire story as science fiction instead of gothic horror. She introduced the idea of vampires who fed on energy as well as blood, the vampire as symbiote as well as, or instead of, parasite. She put her vampires into science fiction settings, gave them a complex culture and, most importantly, used the Sime~Gen universe to explore the human emotional condition.
Jacqueline's generosity is two-fold. First, she shares her imagination with her readers through her books. Second, she shares her skills in writing through her site. I'm indebted to her for both. She not only talks the talk but walks it.
I've copied and saved almost everything she's posted to her writing school. Her words on conflict, especially, have been extremely helpful. She breaks down the craft of writing in a clear, no-nonsense way. It's a joy to "sit at her feet" and learn. It's also a joy to read her books and watch an artist in action. Dreamspy captivated me.
Margaret L. Carter
Jacqueline Lichtenberg taught me more about conflict and plotting than any other single author. I will never forget the experience of attending a writing workshop conducted by her. Also, her invention of the Intimate Adventure concept articulated the common factor that appeals to me most about all my favorite books.
And too many more to name!
See also : Authors that influenced Jacqueline