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The man, the myth, the legend.

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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?

This Counts

Shhh… don’t tell anyone right now, but I’m supposed to be writing. I was informed that updating the website doesn’t constitute writing. I call bunk.

The temperature’s been dropping here the last few days, with last night actually freezing (I know it was, because I had to walk Sophie in it while she did her business). The cats are loving it, because it means that their little internal furnaces are needed and I won’t kick them off the bed when I’m sleeping. I mean, my bedroom is the coldest room in the house, but that was nice… in the summer, when I had no AC, and slept with the windows open.

I need a fireplace. For some reason, this house doesn’t have one anymore. Judging by the roof, it used to have two. *grumble grumble*

I’ve been outlining a book with another author, one that’s doing the modern dystopia correctly. We both watch Revolution (I may have mentioned the show previously) and we both complain about how that show has jumped the shark. Instead of just couch-complaining, however, I’ve decided to be proactive. I’ve read so many dystopian fantasies/novels lately, and every single one of them have only a small handful of survivors (say, a few hundred) due to the breakdown of society. My collaborator and I both agree that something other than “the government is falling” needs to occur for there to be that few survivors. Even then, I did some math and, killing off 95% of America, there’s still 15 million people or so left.

So we’re breaking it down and we started wondering just how many little “nations” and such would pop up. I figured 19, because there are some isolated areas out west (hell, even my little nook in the mountains is fairly isolated, and I’m only 4.5 hours from DC) and there is bound to be at least a few “strongmen” who think that might makes right (and, honestly, it does… initially. Then everyone’s gunning for you, because you’ve given them a common enemy, and now you’re up a creek). So now I’m looking at getting a large map of the US with no state lines, only geographic markings, and drawing “territories”.

So we’re still outlining and drawing things up, but I can tell you right now that this series is going to be like nothing you’ve seen before. I’m hoping that the agent likes it.

Okay… I think they’re on to me. I need to get back to writing. Here’s a picture. I told you it was cold.

10252013 Front Lawn

Cold for October. Brrr…