Thursday, 30 October 2008

They'd steal my book, but I'm too clever for them... an idea you often come across in the unpublished writers' circles I frequent. Some people fear that, if they expose their novel on the internet, it will be stolen by unscrupulous agents, publishers, or another author. The next thing they know, it will be in print, with someone else getting the credit and the money.

It's no good telling them that if they can't persuade an agent to take their book on, it's unlikely anyone else will have better luck with it. Pointless saying they'll be lucky if anyone wants to read it, let alone steal it. Because they know better, and you are being naive.

So when a nicely-designed website called Online Novels appeared, giving lists of titles, authors, brief synopsis and a link to five hundred entire novels available to read online, what do you suppose happened?

Well, as soon as I found out my two novels (Torbrek... and Trav Zander) that I'd posted in full on Authonomy were on the site, I wrote to thank the website owner, and I put a link to it on my blog. Yippee, more exposure for my writing! And, given that they are about to be printed on Youwriteon via POD, I hoped I might sell the odd extra copy through the site.

But the news caused pandemonium on the Authonomy forum. There was talk of 'giving your novel away for free', of manuscripts being 'pilfered'. People rushed to take down some of their chapters on Authonomy so they were no longer complete. One chap said,

'What I actually just realized is that there's the damn archiving robots out there and now there is a slight chance a full copy of my book may be archived. '

Another said, 'God, that's scary! Glad I haven't put all of it online!'

Several of us argued that it was in fact excellent publicity; but others emailed so rudely to the nice woman who had set up the site that she decided to take it down.

Online Novels no longer exists.

And I'm rather fed up about it.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Men and women, sex and writing...

The other day I criticised a fellow unpublished writer for making his heroine think about her fiancé:

Sex with ***** was good - and it was frequent.

I told him women tend not to think about sex like this - it's a thought a man is much more likely to have. And it got me thinking about gender differences, and how they affect the way we write, particularly about sex.

Reading sex scenes written by the opposite sex is an education. As a crude generalization, men appear entranced by the mechanics (they'll tell you their hero is getting an erection) while women's interest is more romantic and diffuse. Women will go for quality rather than quantity, and hugs, hand holding, significant conversation and emotion are an important part of the picture.

In fact, considering the difference between an average seduction scene written by a man, and one written by a woman, it's a wonder the planet ever came to be so over-populated.

Monday, 20 October 2008

You can now Follow This Blog!

...but please don't feel you have to...

Just by clicking on the FOLLOW THIS BLOG in the right-hand sidebar you can, should you wish, follow this blog.

I think this means you get alerted to new posts, or something...why not try it, and stop me looking like Lexi No Mates?

Saturday, 18 October 2008

A cheering review...

I am indulging myself by posting a comment I got on Catch a Falling Star, as I was so pleased by it. It is fantastic when a reader gets your writing. It may be the reason why one writes...

Kate Kasserman's own book, Independence, is doing very well on Authonomy.

This is what she wrote, in full:

Hi Lexi! Ariom Dahl sent me your way -- and as soon as I clicked on the link I realized that this was one of the books I've seen talked up all over the place. Well, and now I know why! So, there we go -- I gave you a vote, no question, and since I can see "frenchbob" right below me as I type, I'll just say that I agree that I don't understand why this hasn't been published already. I had to read all ten chapters, and I am grateful to you for not absorbing my evening by posting more...but you might *consider* posting more, and drop me a line if you do ;) ...

So, this is another one of those cases where I've got no criticisms to offer; I didn't even notice any typos. The writing is descriptive, fluid, and very polished, and I have a great feel for all your characters, and the mystery is both CLEARLY DEFINED and very interesting. MY, but Phil certainly seems to have involved himself in, shall we say, a NUMBER of interesting...coincidences. No question that he knows a lot more than he's saying. But somehow, in a book as carefully put together as this, I can't quite see Phil as the main villain; I am SURE you're misdirecting me!

Giving Ric Dog was a good choice. Caz never mentions it outright (relying on and referring only to her instincts), but it *does* make even a scruffy stranger seem more trustworthy when a goofy dog is attached to him. And that's an important thing (although a small one) to establish early on, because while as we go on through the story we see Caz's idealism and straight-shooter naivete, of course we don't know this AT FIRST, and Dog (back when he was just "a dog") helps bring it into the realm of plausibility that she'd give this random vagrant a little toast and a lift.The careful attention (it came across as well-researched and realistic to me, though I know DIDDLY about rocking horses) given to Caz's vocation both develops her as a character (the attention and love she pours into her work, and the fact that it's a vocation for which she's taken risks and made sacrifices) and adds some interesting detail to the necessary transitional parts of the story. HAHAHA, and that scene when Ric DELIBERATELY WITHHOLDS his admiration of her workspace until the very last moment, because he is THAT GOOD at reading people (and, er, manipulating them) was priceless!!

When Caz was talking about her business difficulties, I was yelling at her "RIC CAN SELL! GET THIS MAN ON SALES IMMEDIATELY! I DON'T CARE IF HE'S NEVER DONE IT BEFORE -- HE'LL BE GREAT!" Heh heh...and of course Ric was already two steps ahead of me, and then some...ALSO priceless! (I do psych evals of job applicants in my day-job, and I KNOW A SALESMAN when I see one!!)Anyway, fantastic work, and best of luck!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Getting ratty on forums...

I've been dropping in to the Authonomy forum, to find out what's going on, promote Catch a Falling Star and chat.

All human life is there; people who make you laugh out loud, people you really get to like and a few obnoxious people. And the point of this post is to say; why do people think they can change anyone else's opinion on a message board? It's a rare thing to change someone's mind at the best of times, but the speed with which antagonism builds up on a forum has to be seen to be believed.

It's a bit like the way drivers get extra aggressive when in their cars. And it's a mistake to get involved. I'm sure all my readers agree, the sensible course of action is to ignore and wander off. Don't feed the trolls.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

POD on Youwriteon

Phewph. I have just finished the formatting of my first two novels to send to Legend for Youwriteon's POD deal. It took about two days, including covers with backs and spines.

Luckily I like formatting; I love fiddling about till the text looks its best, and I ADORE dropped caps at the start of chapters. I'd have illuminated capitals if I could, red, blue and gold, but plain dropped caps are pretty good.

To keep costs down, you don't get a proof copy, which means I will have a niggling worry at the back of my mind, until I see the books, that I've made some stupid mistake.

I do hope I haven't.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Cover for POD

Your opinion, please...

I'm hoping to POD my two fantasy novels with Youwriteon, and I've been considering a new cover for Trav Zander.

I'm not sure the old one is neat enough. But I'm not skilled with Adobe Photoshop to do the professional job I'd like on the new one.

Which do you prefer?