Yes, yes, there are more books, and now I have to write two for the series a year through 2014.
It all started when book five (Oblivion) at last began to crystallize in my head. Writers probably know what I mean when I say a book has to simmer in the brain for awhile as we do things that don't look like writing--jogging/walking, doing the dishes, staring blankly out the window--so the story can shape. Sort of like working with dough. The ingredients are there but they're a bit of a mess, mushed together, and even if you've tried to shape it, you don't really know how big it will be, if it'll collapse when it's cooked, what the consistency will be, etc. I'd always been a big fuzzy on Oblivion except that I knew it was The Book Wherein I Deliver On Plot Threads Introduced Earlier and it initially did a lot of simmering when I was hacking and slashing on my old Xbox years ago.
Then I realized how it was going to end.
And more books took shape.
So I did what anyone would do...I pitched them to the boss man. He accepted. I'll answer some FAQs below.Read more
The last couple of weeks have been hella entertaining if you follow the shit happening in the epiracy community.
In essence, about two weeks ago there was an international raid (involving, I think 14 countries and mostly in Europe) that targeted major piracy networks and ISPs and several people are, I believe, being detained. It was an effort to get a loose, unofficial organization called The Scene--a group that pirates movies and music before release and is responsible for cracking a lot of software. On top of that, a few popular forums for facilitating the pirating of ebooks were shut down due to some badass authors.
Several popular pirate sites were down for days, and sometimes a whole week. They've mostly come back, but some that prominently feature ebook piracy have either closed their ebook sections or are suffering from even more downtime. I find that kinda odd considering the raids certainly didn't target those pirating ebooks, but a hell of a lot of authors now are being AWESOME and defending their work.
And the pirates are ANGRY! Long diatribes are popping up about evil authors attacking such wonderful readers, blah blah.
I fully admit to cackling like a hyena the past few days.Read more
If you read Wolfe, you know there are a lot of loose ends. This is because I never saw either book as being remotely about plot--both are purely about the main character's arc. And I realize this bugged some people. But I did, ultimately, see where things were headed (her "destiny" as is alluded to repeatedly in both books), and figured I'd wrap this up in an anthology of shorts.
I called it Changed, for some obvious reasons and some not-so-obvious reasons.
(This paragraph is for River/Wolfe readers) The set up of the antho had one main, present day story, divided into multiple parts. In between were short stories from different character POVs in different points of time. I'd written two already: "Rebellion" was from Daryl's POV and took place the night he bit River, while "Doe, A Deer" followed Jewel Doe about two weeks prior to the start of Wolfe (if you've read it, you know what her condition was by the end of it and might guess what the story was about). Other shorts involved Kia and Noah from Wolfe, Danielle from Wolfe (as a possible love interest for Charlie), Gray and Rick Nacy from years before the start of River, as well as one short that followed the young hunter River runs into towards the end of Wolfe. I also wrote the opening for the main, present set storyline and plotted out where it was all going.
I'm putting the rest of this behind a cut because a) I'm posting an excerpt from Changed and there may be people who might not want to read it, and b) I'm tying this to a larger issue that you can probably guess about by looking at the tags for this entry. But if you do keep reading, please know that I deeply appreciate it. Read more
Well, it's been a busy month. I wasn't around for a chunk of it--physically, as in I wasn't home and away from my PC, and mentally/emotionally as in I retreated from everything.
Yesterday I watched Amelie. It would likely surprise no one that it's one of my favourite movies, however it probably would surprise people to know that of all the movie characters that ever were, I probably identify with her the most. Not that I do good deeds for people (eww, no--I'm evil), but her inability to relate to others and build relationships. My social circles consist of people who are friends with each other, and then there's me, off to the side, stuck in her own head and not really a part of things.
Which is probably why I'm okay with uprooting my life and moving in a few months to a place where waitresses stare at me funny when I request a meal that doesn't include meat. I'm going to be a distant hermit no matter where I go.
And you know, I don't really have a point in saying this; it was just on my mind and I've been silent for weeks, so I thought I'd ponder it 'aloud' on the blog. I feel Amelie-ish a lot of the time. Only with less awesome hair and sans the cute, quirky guy to borderline stalk.
* Facebook has changed their "Become a Fan of" button to "Like." So while initially I kind of ignored my FB page and never really invited anyone (as the number of invites I get to things often drives me batty) because I didn't want to force them to be a "fan" of me...now I'm kinda insulted that more of my friends' list doesn't "like" me. Is it because I'm distant and Amelie-ish? http://www.facebook.com/pages/Skyla-Dawn-Cameron/9912704791
This story did have a somewhat happy ending, which has gone to show that it IS possible for authors to reach the people illegally uploading their work and, in some cases, nip this problem in the bud. (Of course, a few months ago Jaime also spoke to one Sarah Sandford from Australia--specifically, from the Wangaratta area, I believe--who had requested illegal copies of her work...Sarah assured Jaime she wouldn't do it again, and then just last week tried to steal one of my books. She had no excuses or apologies for ME when I asked about it.)
Stuff I Tangentially Contributed To:
* Well, I acquired and edited the book, so...that's where my contribution begins and ends in this case. But I love the book so much that I want you to purchase it and love it too, so behold Sarah-Jane's fabulous trailer for Thief!
Stuff I In No Way Contributed To But Dig:
* Lili Saintcrow talks about how she's not the enemy in ebook pricing (and how neither is her publisher). Besides the fact that her post is AWESOME and very right, something interesting comes up in the comments that I think about a lot.
Sometimes it seems, as writers, that we can't say anything without readers perceiving us as insulting them. What I don't think people understand is that...you haven't seen an author's inbox. Most people wouldn't BELIEVE some of the stuff "fans" say to writers. I'm a nobody, and I get everything from backhanded compliments to hatemail. Saying "Please don't complain to me about something out of my control" isn't being disrespectful to readers; it's a request for respect and a showing of transparency about the business.
(Tangent: I'm also sympathetic because in my job I *constantly* get yelled at for Shit Out of My Control. And then I explain how and why it's out of my control and *still* get yelled at.)
* In a similar vein, Jaime pondered how to respond to negative reader letters. (My opinion? If it's angry/insulting/provoking, I don't answer it. Sometimes I try, but if an email ticks me off, it gets starred for a later reply and then I tend to forget about it. Moral of the story: expressing your displeasure with a book is fine, but try to be nice if you're writing to an author personally. We are actually people.)
There's a pause button on life, right? Something I can press to just let me get caught up? How about "restart level"? That would be handy.
I think I play too many video games.
Last weekend was the slush pile survivor workshop, which I ran with a fellow editor. It was lots of fun and we got great feedback. Of course, that also meant we were busy prepping from mid last week straight until the day of the workshop. Then I got a headache Saturday night, which continued until yesterday (at which point I realized it was coffee withdrawal, and promptly pumped caffeine into my veins), so I spent Sunday in bed reading.
I had 330 emails to deal with Monday morning.
A bunch of them, as I scroll through, are from the same people asking the same questions because I haven't answered yet. I'm totally stuck with how to address this kind of thing. Am I supposed to have an auto-responder saying "I swear I got your email--just give me a few days to get you an answer"? Am I supposed to email everyone I know every time there's life stuff going on/illness/etc to say "If you send me something, I won't get back to you until next week"? Should I add a block to my blog that has a current Skyla update?
I have no answers, beyond "get a secretary" but that's not an option at this point. But stupid February was all sneaky again and ended without me finishing the stuff I had to get done for February. I don't even have the latest CotA chapter ready to go, so that'll likely have to wait until the end of the week. Ugh.
Now. Round up of links.
* Adrienne Jones talks about the inspiration behind her novel The Hoax. Mundania is re-releasing it shortly, revised and with a snazzy new cover. I'll tell you when it's available so that you can buy it because Adrienne is awesome.
* Mundania is closed to submissions still. Normally we re-open in March, but there's just too much going on right now and it wouldn't be fair to hold subs for a few months before we have time to evaluate them. This time, we're waiting until June. And yet I'm still getting subs and questions from people about it. Writers, it should go without saying, but: when the info on the submissions page of a publisher's site contradicts sub info from another website, go with what the submissions page says.
Many authors feel differently than me and Jaime, and a host of others. Now, although I think writers should have a united front on this, I don't feel it's my place to tell others how to feel about their work being stolen.
Do you get that? It's not my place to tell others how to feel.
Some don't see piracy as a big deal. Maybe they don't have to rely on their writing income for bills (my royalties this month can cover groceries so I'm THRILLED) and they're happy just to be read. Maybe they see no problem with the work being shared around freely and they feel that a reader gained is a reader gained, even if it happens illegally.
Okay. Great. That's valid and fine for them. But that's the beauty of intellectual property rights: the creator can choose how and when the work is reproduced. The creator can say, "Sure--pirate away!" So while I won't tell others how *they* should feel about their work being freely shared, by the same token I'd prefer if they didn't tell Jaime and me how to feel either. You know what? If someone obtains my work via illegal mass downloads, I don't see the simple "oh well, I gained a reader--who cares if they didn't pay for my product?" view. Writing is part of my job. I'm well within my legal--and moral--rights to expect payment for the entertainment I provide. So if someone refuses to obtain my work legally, I don't *want* them as a reader. I don't want them as a fan. I'd rather not be read than have my work pirated. And I have every right to feel that way and express my opinion--without others trying to silence me--as the owner of the intellectual property rights of my work. So for those who would like to tell me and Jaime how to feel about piracy, you can go fuck yourself with a fucking loaf of bread.
Today an author who is much more famous than me and makes way more money casually said, in the context of a story about another writer, that he thought there was no greater flattery than someone stealing your books.
As a small press author who's first novel has been illegally downloaded more times than it was purchased in ebook (no small feat, as the ebook did well), I'd like to say that is unequivocally shit of the bull variety.
Real fans don't steal books. Readers who truly *love* books don't steal them.
(clipping this now to save those tired of my bitching--you're quite welcome to skip this entry)Read more
I've seen many conversations the past month or so about epiracy. eBook readers feeling like publishers make reading ebooks legitimately hard on them and upset by resentful authors ranting about piracy, people claiming that they're turned off of buying an author's work when they hear about them being vocal about the issue.Read more
And the winner is...the lovely and wonderful Jasmine Santos! Jasmine wins her very own copy of any of my books in print (or an advanced review copy of a new one), as well as a $10 gift certificate for Fictionwise. Jasmine, I'll be dropping you an email, so givesomethoughttowhatbookyoumightwant.
Thanks to everyone who blogged about about e-piracy for me!
Okay, I just wanted to expand a little on my previous post on the e-piracy of River.
I'm not trying to be a whiny little bitch about this. River has been pirated before, and I'm sure it will continue to be.
The reason so many of us squawk about it isn't just the money aspect (but that's certainly part of it for electronically published authors). It's because publishers look at sales numbers when deciding to select an author's second or third book for publication. This is also why I encourage people--whenever possible--to purchase books new rather than used. If you appreciate writers and the work they provide, a copy of their work purchased through legal channels is the best way to support them (as well as writing reviews for sites like Amazon). The publishing industry is suffering right now across the board due to the economy. Acquisitions departments are freezing, editors are losing their jobs, and both new and midlist authors are facing a lot of obstacles.
Unemployment is on the rise, and most of us in the arts are barely scraping by (or, in the case of yours truly, basically not scraping by at all). But just because readers maybe can't afford to buy a lot of books does not give them the right to obtain them illegally--not when there is so much out there for free.
Anyway, I'll stop whining about this now. :-P But I encourage you all to continue whining on my behalf, LOL--the contest is still going on, so please continue to spread the word and further the discussion. And, of course, if you so feel inclined, tell people requesting illegal distribution of work and people illegally distributing work that e-piracy hurts writers (and ultimately readers, who won't have anything to read if people stop publishing writers).