Monday, June 28, 2010

The internet is my friend...sometimes...

It's hard to go through pages and pages of the Internet, following links, and finding doom and gloom at every turn. I remember a few months back following a link an article on the New York Times website all about how print was dead. I wanted to cry. I felt like I'd been born in the wrong age, a day late and a dollar short.

But then sometimes I find links to wonderful things, agent sites that look promising, a writers conference that looks like the perfect place to pitch when Tea Times Three is done and polished. I often wonder where my books will fit in. Or if they will.

I also got a very pleasant and heartening reply to a comment I posted on Stacia Kane's Livejournal

This was my comment: I sure hope the doom and gloom is an exaggeration too! I'm working on something really good right now, but every time I look around the Internet all it seems to say is "You'll never get a publisher/agent/book in print ever! So give up already" And then I feel my hopes and dreams start to shrivel and die.

And her kind reply: All those people saying that? They're WRONG. WRONG. I promise. They said the same thing a few years ago when I got published, and when I got my agent, and when I sold my second series.

I just read something on another blog about someone feeling multiple POVs are a cop out. Tea 3 has lots of multiple POV. Each scene is described from one characters point of view and I chose the character I feel can reveal the most about the scene. But I also have little snippets of their pasts at times and in either the blog or the replies another person said if it's important enough to be included make us feel it. But where is the line? If I include richly detailed past lives for everyone in the little town of Midswich I'd have a 900 novels to write. I'm writing a book about a town as much as anything else.

Well, I suppose a lot of these ponderings can wait until editing. FINISH THE BOOK! My mantra goes! I'm 142 handwritten pages!

And still no followers!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm inventing my own genre

I have decided to invent my own genre because I realized that Tea Times Three doesn't really fit into the general milieu of urban fantasy which usually involves guns, chicks in leather, detectives, corpses and lots of violence.

So the genre I'm inventing is called Cozy Fantasy and it's defined by books like Tea Times Three, slice of life fantasy devoid of lots of guns, chicks in leather, detectives, corpses and lots of violence. LOL!

There are a few people who would argue that there are such sub-genres of suburban fantasy, and rural fantasy. In fact I went to panel on that at the last World Fantasy Convention 09. It was a great panel. But I still feel like that doesn't really fit for Tea Three. But it is a cozy story, where nothing really bad ever happens.

Friday, June 18, 2010

10 reasons why I'm writing

My friend and fellow author Sunny Frazier posted this amusing article on the 10 reasons she's not writing . Well, here are 10 reasons why I AM writing.

1. It keeps me off the streets.
2. It's better than getting a real job.
3. I seem to have all these ideas that insist on being put on paper.
4. It gives me an excuse go to Staples and buy paper.
5. I live in a small town and there isn't a lot to do.
6. I don't have any friends to distract me.
7. Going to the gym a lot sends blood to my brain making it work overtime.
8. If I don't channel my imagination somehow I will not sleep at night for fear of ghosts.
9. The words are coming out good for once.
10. It's really hot outside.

LOL! The real reason is because I have stories I want to tell and I've always had stories. Ever since I was a little kid I was a world builder. Making up my own characters and thinking up stories for them. I thought I was going to be a comic book author and write and draw my own comics but in art school I discovered I HATE drawing my own comics. I had some success as an author of comics but it's difficult to find artists to work with.

Tea Times Three is actually an idea for a comic which I tried to find an artist for. After two or three quit and or were never heard from again, I decided to turn it into a novel. Sunny gave me a few suggestions for it that galvanized me. I'm on page 130 (hand written) and still going strong!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Agents as Publishers- Devil's Advocate

There was a truly excellent blog post by Stacia Kane awhile ago in which she details why agents turning publisher, and staying agents, is a bad idea. And please- read the comments- Scott Waxman comments on the post and clarifies the working relationship and division between the Waxman Agency and Diversion Books.

And check out this link about Diversion Books :)

This is entirely the post of a novice you understand but I've been thinking about this issue awhile now and I'd like to weigh in with an opinion in opposite of the esteemed Stacia Kane.

While I completely understand the potential horror stories of an agent who opens up an e-publisher which I think we can all well imagine, it doesn't seem like all the fears inherent in it are valid. Authors get ripped off all the time by publishers with questionable practices so when a literary agent of such standing opens a publishing house it has as much chance of succeeding and turning into a legit house as anything else.

BUT, the main point I'd like to get to is this: Agents to make money have to sell books. They represent lots of authors whose work they have the highest intention to sell. But what happens when you have a great manuscript that you love and want to see published and none of the major publishing houses will take it? What happens when your mid-list author is cut off and no one picks up their series? There must be an immense amount of frustration on the part of agents who have a good book in hand and have no where to place it. Book agents got in to publishing because they love books and authors and I imagine they face some disappointment when a book is rejected, and not just from the lost income they are facing.

Violation of ethics aside if I had an agent who had exhausted every avenue for my book and came to me and said "I'm starting an e-book publishing house would you like in?" I would unequivocally say yes. Why? Because I want my work to be read. I want more legitimacy than self publishing affords (and I want an agent too!). Because almost any publication is better than no publication at all.

The advice about being careful; what publisher you sign up with or what agent represents you, holds no matter what format the book is being published in and o matter the background of the publisher. Scams abound. Do the research and fist and foremost: FINISH THAT BOOK! That's what I keep telling myself!

Tea Times Three is up to 124 handwritten pages!! 50 or so more and I'll be at about 30,000 words!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Comparing you work to other does not help.

I always feel rather bad that my books don't have more conflict. I mean big conflict-guns blazing, heads rolling, kind of conflict. I read lots of books high on adventure and body counts but when I actually sit down to write my work is inevitably a little quieter and a little smaller than that. And I start to feel bad about that. Maybe if my work doesn't have a lot of violence it won't cut through the noise. Maybe without enough action readers will lose interest.

Setting aside those thoughts is sometimes hard to do. Especially in genre fiction where despite a longing for new visions there also seems to be a deep abiding set of expectations. More so that in literary fiction.

I think I'm going to invent a new genre :) LOL! It's called un-epic fantasy and it's stories that are the slice of life, day to day workings of people's lives but set in a fantasy world. No armies marching, no swords hacking limbs, no massing invasion of Orcs or trolls. Just people, who, despite the local wizard/dragon/vampire/werewolf pack, still have to live their lives.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hello and welcome!

Well, I normally hang out on Livejournal but as my friends pointed out my LJ makes me sound bipolar. I normally only post when I have something to say and that generally involves complaining, freaking out, or sometimes something good.

This blog I would like dedicate entirely to writing. My writing anyway, my hopes to get published- outside the realm of comic books anyway, and the struggles that may or may not entail.

I was originally going to name the blog after the book I'm currently writing Tea Times Three but hopefully I'll have more to talk about than just the one book! So I thought I'd name it after HOW I write which is entirely in longhand. Every book, every comic book script, and short story is written by hand on 3-hole binder paper, college ruled, which I buy from Staples in the 400 sheet pack.

Currently I'm writing two books. The unnamed RFN which stands for the Russian Fucking Novel because I've been writing it for 2 years, it's up to 700+ handwritten pages and is approximately 100,000 word and more. Otherwise I just call it Ambriel after the main character. I don't like to discuss the RFN too much because I don't know what to do it once I finish. It's rather unclassifiable beyond just being 'fantasy'.

Tea Times Three on the other hand I think and very much hope has a place in the world. It too is fantasy but sort of falls more into urban fantasy. The book lacks all resemblance to what I think most people think of as UF though. There are no guns, detectives, chick in leather, or vampires. There is no mystery to solve, no apocalypse to avert and nothing what so ever explodes.