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Wronged Way


Cedar had an interesting post yesterday over at the Mad Genius Club (I actually missed the original post because I’ve been buried by basketball and finishing a book) and after reading it, I got to thinking (run! hide the women and children! he had two brain cells crash into one another on accident!) about professionalism in the publishing industry and how technology has changed the way it works.

I’ve been watching author interaction with fans now for over 7 years, mainly because I wanted to learn how to interact with my fans (all twelve of you… hey guys!) and what not to do. Then it dawned on me that I probably shouldn’t air my grievances against a publisher out in public (this is…. wise, one would think). This should be common sense but then you throw in the whole Internet thing and suddenly common sense takes a backseat to raging on a keyboard at the world.

Too often these days people forget about decorum because they are protected by the anonymity of online interactions. The web can protect folks from repercussions of their words online and gives people a false sense of courage. It’s easy to slam someone when hiding behind a firewall. It’s far more difficult to do it in person, to their face. There’s always the off-chance that calling someone a foul name to their face will get you kicked in the nuts.

One of the things I fall into the trap of is reading about when people are piling on an individual about some stupid thing they said or did online and nodding along, saying “Yep, they deserve what they’re getting right now.” It’s not really fair because, more often than not, what was posted was probably in the heat of the moment and the person wasn’t thinking clearly through their rage. I’ve been there, done that, copyrighted the hell out of it, so I understand completely.

So when Cedar talked about professionalism, I was kinda taken aback by the tone of some of the commentators on the private forum who had saved the epic rage-quit letter in question.

I felt that too many people wanted to revel in glee at the misfortune of the person in question (seriously, go read Cedar’s piece. It’s pretty good) and focus on the negativity, instead of feeling sorry for the author who felt that a rage-letter to her publisher was the way to go. I’ve seen many careers in the past go down in flames because of letters like that. Nowadays? Not so much, because most authors understand that everything they do online stays online. Publishers also understand this, though to a lesser extent. Authors talk to one another, as do publishers. It’s very easy to find oneself under a blacklist when you bad mouth a publisher (alternatively, piling on another seems to benefit others, but that still doesn’t make it right).

While I haven’t always been pleased with some of my past publishers and how they treated me, I kept my grievances mostly private. I’ve warned a few authors away who I felt may have been harmed in their business dealings with those publishers, but overall I simply let it be. It doesn’t help me one bit to attack someone who I don’t like or have worked with in the past.

Now, I know I’m not perfect. Sometimes when I get all worked up and pissed off I will go on a warpath (the Empress Theresa incident is a good example), but I do try to avoid this. In private, at home? With my cats staring at me like I’m insane? Oh yeah. They know how I feel. But everyone else? Nope. That stays between me and the cats (who were probably ignoring me anyways, so I’m good there).

What do you think? Should authors publicly call out publishers and other authors who they dislike or feel as if they’ve been wronged by?

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It’s Here!


kaiju apocalypse rough draft

Big news today!

Kaiju Apocalypse is out and available via ebook over on Amazon. Best part about this? Amazon Prime members get it for free!

Yeah, thought that would get your attention.

So go forth, buy it, pay for my kitties’ kibble (and Sophie’s treats).

If you don’t, you probably don’t love kitties and puppies and, more than likely, hate rainbows and jelly beans too.

The Accidental Lecture


I sent off Homeworld: Rockfall to my coauthor Eric Brown yesterday afternoon. The first draft is done (yeah, I was slacking) and though it “only” took about 5 weeks to write, that was a rough five weeks.

While the book itself isn’t the longest thing I’ve ever written (I’m looking at you, Corruptor) it is, by far, the grimmest. I don’t think I’ve ever dug that deep into the MilSF genre before when writing. Not even Wraithkin went that dark, and considering what Wraithkin is all about, that’s saying something. To match Eric’s style, you need to channel your inner David Drake (if you have one of those) and try to keep up. Eric’s a very talented guy who is more known for horror than MilSF (at least, for me in any case) but when he wants to, he sure can imitate Drake nicely.

That’s not a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong. There are thousands of writers out there who wish they could sounds like David Drake. Eric’s one of the few who can pull it off.

My poison ivy is finally clearing up. My right side of the face is cleared at last, though the skin is extra dry (and flaky… ewwww), I can see my eye now without having to search for it. It still “feels” a little weird, like I still have some swelling around the zygomatic area, but all in all I call myself “healed”.

Still haven’t gotten my deer yet. I’m… perturbed by this. Of course, last time I didn’t get my deer until the last day of hunting season, so if the pattern continues… man. I’m going to be out there freezing my butt off again. The good side to that, though, is that if I get my deer at dusk, then I’ll be able to just hang it up in the shed and finish skinning  it the next day. The downside? Skinning it the next day, when the deer is nice and cold and stiff.

The things I do so I can make my chili…

Okay, so I need to rehash my brain and get out of the MilSF set that it’s is. While I should buckle down and finish WraithkinRockfall is still stuck in my mind and I really am worried that the two will seem too similar if I try finishing Wraithkin now. So I’ll need to get something “fun” written, like a Tobias Fox story (which I owe 6 of right now) or my little short, I, Godslayer. This should allow me enough time to “reset” and get the right frame of mine back for wrapping up Wraithkin and shooting it over to the agent to see if he likes it. I originally thought that I would have Unholy Vengeance done before October 31 but since I’ve barely cracked 10,000 words… I think it’s going to be closer to February by the time that one gets done. But still, at least I have some sort of time frame now as to when I hope to get things done.

“Hope” being the key word here.

Next week over at Shiny Book Review, my interview with author Kal Spriggs will be going live. Kal was a good sport about being interviewed, and barring some technical difficulties, his interview should be up on Monday. Barb is interviewing the polymath/rocket scientist/author Stephanie Osborne soon as well, and then there’s going to be one other interview going up a few weeks after that. Yes, we’re still doing book reviews, but right now interviews are easier on us (mostly). I still have three books I need to review (Mike Resnick’s The Doctor and the Dinosaur; Seanan McGuire’s Discount Armaggedon, and Misty Massey’s Mad Kestrel (which I’d been meaning to review for monthsnow). Barb’s got a full plate on her hands as well, so bear with us.

Other than that, my con schedule for 2014 is starting to fill up. I have a secret desire to attend Worldcon next year but unless I come into a lot of money, I doubt I’ll be making the flight to London, no matter how much I’d love to go. I’ve never been to London (or England) and it’s on my bucket list. Yeah, it’s weird that I’ve been throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe, but haven’t gone to London. NASFic is a possibility, since it’s in Detroit and is close enough-ish to drive. But for right now, I’m only attending MysticonRavencon and Libertycon. I had to turn down an invite from MidSouthCon since they are too close to Ravencon, and I usually give con preference to whoever asks me first. I’m still toying with the possibility of Congragate but since they’re very close to Libertycon, that might present some problems.

I’ve already seen people gearing up for NaNoWriMo, which is always confusing for me. I mean, while you’re “prepping” for NaNo, you could be, oh I don’t know, writing? I understand that a lot of people enjoy the support of other writers during NaNo, and I guess that makes a lot of sense, since everyone wants to be told that their writing is awesome and that they can do it. But I think that’s also a potential downside to NaNo as well. Everybody is so busy cheering one another on that, somewhere in the mist, the entire goal of “writing” gets lost. Skewer me all you want (I know you will, Mandi) but if you’re too busy applauding and cheering everyone else, then when do you have time to write for yourself?

Writing is a job. That’s the mindset that anyone wishing to be a writer full-time has to accept. There’s a set time you write, and you stick to that. For me, it’s from 9am-1 or 2 pm, depending on what my deadline is. I do this every day, Monday through Saturday, unless I’m out of town on Saturday. It sucks writing in the mornings, because my brain is fragged and I haven’t really woken up yet. But it’s beneficial as well, because I’ve now established a pattern of consistency and, as you may have read up top, my coauthor and I wrote a novel in 5 weeks. That’s… insane. Really.

Set your writing goals, then stick to them. It gets easier.

Wow. This got long in a hurry. And I got to lecturing. My apologies. Here is a picture of my cat.

Casper

Trolling For Love


I made a huge mistake today. I got sucked back into Wikipedia.

There’s just something amazingly addictive about updating wiki pages while adding information, updating, and even deleting irrelevant material. It’s not as though I have nothing else to do (he writes as he stares at the open word document which has been mocking him for three days). But there’s just this… sense of accomplishment? I don’t know. It could be why a lot of wiki editors are fascist thugs when editing. They don’t like being told they’re wrong. Or they just enjoy being trollish.

Don’t forget that at the end of this month, Dreamers in Hell comes out. If you haven’t already, you should probably pick up Lawyers in Hell (which I’m in) and Rogues in Hell (which I’m not in) for some back story. Naturally, the books don’t necessarily “need” one another, but being able to follow serial stories like Janet Morris’ Eshi epic (I don’t know what else to call it) really makes a difference when reading the books as the series. Plus, you get other serial characters as well.

Let’s see… have you bought Michael Z. Williamson’s latest work, Tour of Duty, yet? It’s a short story collection (“anthology!” the sheep bleat in the distance) and it’s available now. Larry Correia has Warbound coming out in August. I’ve read it and it is an amazing finish to the Grimnoir Chronicles. I’ll have my copy of MHI for him to sign at LC26 this month, since this copy is #10 I’ve had to buy (people borrowing the book and not giving it back). I figured “Buy 10, get an autograph for free” or something.

Counting down until Mental Ward: Echoes of the Past is released. Gotta love all these books coming out.

Oh, I also am writing the following stories as we speak (type? converse digitally? technology is making idioms weird):

  • Blighted 
  • Most Faithful
  • No Time For Love
  • Pillars
  • Sacred Hunt
  • The Messenger

Those should keep me busy for the next few months. If not, I can always finish Wraithkin, edit some Christian Cole, or pound out Unholy Vengeance.

 

Edited For Content


I didn’t meet my writing goal the other day, so I didn’t get to paint. Came close, though. But close doesn’t cut it when you have deadlines.

Trust me. Editors hate when you start an email off with “So I was trying to work out some of the plot details and…”. You may as well be admitting “I was on Reddit and next thing I know I’m watching cat videos at 4 in the morning.” Editors — so damn particular, right?

I was looking over the Horror Writers Association guidelines the other day and realized that half of their referring links were either dead or completely worthless. Now, I’m not a member of the HWA (yet), but one would think that their website would have relevant information, like, for example, which publishers qualify. I mean, people dog on the SFWA at times, but at least they have a comprehensive list about what publishers make a writer eligible for membership, what publishers are on probation, which ones are blacklisted due to a variety of reasons (which they list).

It makes me wonder if the HWA is in a position much like the one the SFWA was during S/He Who Shalt Not Be Named* was the president.

Of course, making things easier would be difficult, due to the absolute flood of information that is on the internet right now. There are so many websites and various random bits of info that piecing together a comprehensive list of magazines and publishers who might be eligible is a nightmarish task I would only wish upon my high school geometry teacher. Yes, yes, I’m complaining. But since I feel that my opinion is relevant (hey, I’m delusional that way… I know I don’t hit the pop culture relevancy status until I start a flame war on a YouTube video comment section), I get to whine and complain to my heart’s content.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like the concepts behind the organizations like the SFWA and HWA. Writers have a hard enough time researching material for their own books (what, you think all of us can pull random quantum physics out of our asses? Even Travis S. Taylor has to research once in a while, and he’s a freaking rocket scientist!), much less time to make certain that a book they’re writing is eligible for such-and-such market or award. There’s a lot of information that should be available to writers, like resources for what to do if your work has been plagiarized, or how to protect yourself against unreasonable or predatory publishers and agents (yes, they do exist).

I’m not going into the things that the organizations do that piss me off, however. That’s not my mission, and quite a number of them are deeply personal more so than professional (though there are a few things that affect me on a professional level as well).

By the way, I’m still claiming to be a SF writer, despite selling more horror stories than anything else. It’s my delusion, damn it.

*Openly vague so that your personal least favorite SFWA president can be added.