publish

Copyrights and Other Thoughts

I’m not an expert on this stuff. But I’m a writer, so when people are talking about stuff, I have to take notice. Scott Turow, president of the Author’s Guild, had an interesting article in the New York Times today that every author should read, so I’m posting the link here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/opinion/the-slow-death-of-the-american-author.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&nl=opinion&emc=edit_ty_20130408

I’m sure those in the know will discuss it fully as it makes the rounds. I will say that as an author who lives and works outside the US, starving for my art has always been the likely reality. Very few people ever encouraged me to write, even friends that read and liked my work. There is simply no outlet here. Publishers are few and mostly do textbooks or assist in self-publishing those with the money to take such a route. Publishers that might publish a Caribbean author’s work are based in the UK and have the entire Commonwealth as their slush pile. With such odds–and writing genre fiction as I do, instead of contemporary literature or the usual post-colonial stuff–I never got anywhere querying agents and publishers in the UK. Most didn’t bother to reply. I have no idea if the expensive mail packages I sent ever went anywhere, and in the past, no way to follow up. Thank God for the advent of email!

The internet opened up worlds to me. I joined the best writers’ site ever in 2001, The Online Writing Workshop for SF, Fantasy and Horror, learned all there was to learn about the industry, all while genre itself was opening up to email and the internet far faster than publishers and agents in contemporary literature. I would have no book deal and no way out of the Caribbean without the OWW.

But I also knew I would never make a cent just by being a good writer. I had to sell overseas.Now it seems even as we have the self-publishing market opening up writers to make more money on their own, the internet has begun to shrink our usual revenue streams, and in ways that may affect the new ones over time as well.

I feel as though we are living in a time of great flux. I do not think it will be for long–it will probably take five, at most ten years, for the industry to settle down and find its new legs. But there are many, many changes to go before that happens. It’s premature to call Amazon the great devil, but it’s also premature to thank them for the dubious pleasure of Kindle Select. In the end, for the moment, I think this industry is less about good guys, bad guys and who’s right or wrong, and more about everyone making a mad dash toward one new thing or another, trying to get on top of everything they think might eventually replace the old order.

In other words, we’re all just trying to survive and not get left behind. In a despearate scenario like that, I think we should be careful to not get caught backing one side or another. I think it’s better to watch, listen, learn and take the best decision you can for yourself at the time, given your circumstances. We can’t protect ourselves from every bad thing that might be out there. But we can make sure we go into this industry with our eyes open, understanding that in this new world, we are now the masters of our own fate.

And perhaps that in itself is such a wonderful thing that despite whatever else the future might bring, it is enough to hope that it will all work out for the best.

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Guardian – New Short Story

So, I have a new story up. This one arose from a writing exercise, although the idea had been in my head for years.

I won a prize of a year of short story writing mentorship from an established editor in a contest on my writing forum and the editor’s first challenge to me was to write a story with the word sacrifice.

Sometimes I need triggers to do things. I’m the worst procrastinator ever. Took me months to get around to those two stories. Thank God the editor was also a dear friend and willing to wait.

*Shameless Plug* That editor is CN Lesley, and her debut fantasy novel ‘Darkspire Reaches’ will be released shortly from Kristell Ink. I’ve had the pleasure of reading the beta manuscript and it was AMAZING! You can find out more and pre-order from her website, http://www.cnlesley.com.*End of Shameless Plug*

Back to your regularly scheduled programme.

I had been kicking around the idea of two star-crossed lovers meeting again after a long time, but they’re on opposite sides of the same war. This is what resulted. Not quite what I expected and I’m not sure I’ll ever publish it. It’s definitely in need of more polish.

But tell me what you think. Go read it and if you decide to vote or like it, thanks very much. It’s really appreciated.

Click right here to read Guardian  

or

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  check out the Trunk and read my other short stories too!

The Next Big Thing

I’m participating in a fun author blog hop called The Next Big Thing.

I was tagged for this exercise by the talented Susan Elizabeth Curnow, who has a wonderful science fiction novel out called Game of Adversaries.

I was lucky enough to read this book at the beta stage and I’m so happy I get to finally see it in print and check out the published ending!

She blogs at http://susanelizabethcurnow.weebly.com/games-of-adversaries.html. Her scifi novel presents unforgettable characters and inventive alien societies clashing over the future of an incredible world.

What is my next big thing?
A science fiction mystery novel coming out in the fall of 2013.

What is the working title of your book?
Lex Talionis (The Law of Revenge).

Where did you get the idea for the book?
Several things came together in my head one night while I was lying in bed. Bats in the roof were keeping me awake, and I’d just seen what my 9 year-old mind thought was one of the best movies ever. A made for TV romp called Ice Pirates. I started thinking about mercenaries flying around space, and how cool it would be if the leader was a tough-as-nails girl.

What genre does your book fall under?
Science Fiction Mystery. Is that even an established genre? No idea.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Lex: Well, that’s a tough one. She’s not classically pretty to my mind, but she’s arresting. I must have dark hair, even if I have to give up her green eyes. I recently discovered Rachel Nichols in Continuum and I like her because she reminds me of Lex, but she’s a bit older than I’d want.

Elena Satine isn’t bad either, but she’s also older. Chloe Grace Moritz and Hailee Stanfield can act the part, and they’re young enough, but are they too young?

And I’m taking this waaaayyy too seriously now.

Michael: Tom Sturridge

Colin: Matthew Morrison might be okay

Anton: Idris Elba in lieu of someone bigger. If I could have someone the size Michael Clarke Duncan and with Idris’ acting chops I’d be in heaven.

Andor: Steven Amell  or Sam Worthington

Ru-ad: Ben Kingsley or Bill Nighy

Oux: Andy Serkis ::grin::.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A young woman searches for the her identity–and the men that murdered her–with the help of the alien that brought her back from the dead.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by Dragonwell Publishing. http://publishing.dragonwell.org/

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It’s been in existence in one form or another since I was a teenager. However, I sat down and finished the first real draft over a period of about six months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m not sure I have a genre to compare it to.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
When I came up with Lex, there weren’t a lot of kick-ass leading women in science fiction. I wanted to write about a real person, with problems, flaws and loves, and I wanted her to be strong and unique, but vulnerable too. I wanted a kick-ass woman I could relate to.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
At its heart, it’s about revenge and the consequences of choosing that course of action. But the universe Lex lives in has humans practically on the bottom rung of the ladder, and I also explore the future of eugenics and how it might influence warfare.

Next up, I’ve tagged awesome authors to participate and tell you about their Next Big Things:

Walter Williams http://renakuzar.livejournal.com/ has a historical fantasy novel coming out from Dragonwell this year called The Garden at the Roof of the World. I had the pleasure of seeing early drafts of this book, and I can tell you, he’s captured the past in beautiful passages that make our history as interesting and wondrous as an alien world.

Tara Maya http://taramayastales.blogspot.com/ has book 6 of her Unfinished Song series launching soon. If you’re looking for a fantasy with a unique magic system, these books are for you!

Welcome

Hello and Welcome!

This blog is about me, you and the stories in-between. I’ll be talking about what moves me, what inspires me, what frustrates me–anything and everything about the craft of writing. As I’m also in the middle of publishing my first novel with an indie publisher, expect to see some of the process as well.

I will probably update this once a week. I’ll only do more if I find I have more to say. But sometimes the blog will be about other things I like too–for example, movies, books, and my mostly quiet life in the Caribbean with my extended family and my shared puppy, Loki. (How is he a shared puppy? Well, he has two mommies, a grandmother, a grandfather and a daddy to start with!)

Feel free to check out the rest of the site. I’m most excited about the area called ‘The Trunk’. There, I’ll post free stories that are finished, but unpolished, polished but never sold, even stories that sold. I’ll also have stories from different stages of my writing development (let’s just say I started a looong time ago). I hope that it will tell you something about me, what I write and where I’m coming from as a writer. Some of those old stories are unsalvageable. Others might be. You, dear reader, get to choose which is which. There is a poll under the stories and if you like an unfinished or old story, then vote on it and I’ll finish the story, just for you. Or re-write it, if that’s what you want. I won’t do so until I get more than a few votes so feel free to vote away.

That’s it for now. Don’t be a stranger.