Dear Book Pirates: Taking the stuff we worked months on and passing it around to strangers without paying us doesn't make you a good person. You're not stealing from a faceless corporation; you're stealing from a small group of authors and editors who won't be able to continue putting out the kinds of books you love if people don't pay them for their efforts. We're not asking a lot--a few dollars buys you hours of reading enjoyment, and the legal versions all have sharing enabled, so you can share your copy with your real friends and family. So please, knock it off.
Long story short, don't download books from "sharing" sites. You're hurting real people.
Personally, I'm comfortable with gay characters and gay relationships portrayed the same way straight YA characters and relationships are. But I also can see why agents and publishers might think it could hurt sales in the heartland. And I like the idea that it's out there, available, for people who DO want to read stories with gay characters. People are free to write what they want without fear of being censored or persecuted. And people are free to NOT read it, as well.
Many years ago, I did a fundraiser for Lambda Legal (a nonprofit that provides legal protections to members of the GLBT community). I got the most vitriolic, nasty, and poorly spelled hate mail I have ever seen.
So I think it comes down to this: the people who would be most offended these days may well be the least likely to be reading books in the first place.
Those words send cold shudders through most travelers. I, on the other hand, have been able to get a lot of work done this morning. However, even I have my limits. Really, the delay should not exceed the actual time the flight would take; wouldn't we all agree that's a reasonable rule?
Anyhoo, I'll be in California eventually (although it might've been faster to walk---grrrr). And then I'll be relaxing in the sun, a cool drink in my hand, enjoying the good life... until the earthquake hits and the resulting mudslide buries me.
In two days, I'm heading to Southern California for a week. I want to set up some entertaining stuff and leave it scheduled to post, just in case I have access problems or something while traveling. Soooo, if you have a funny YouTube video, a great article on writing or publishing, or anything else that you think might be of interest, please send me a link through the Ganzfield contact form (watch out for the ninjas) by Friday.
I want you to try something. As you are going about your daily business today, notice the good stuff... and then give people feedback about it. When someone writes something funny on Facebook, "like" it. Compliment someone's necklace in the store. Catch your kids being good. Give your significant other a hug just for being him/her. Build people up and help them grow, rather than criticizing their efforts and tearing them down.
There's so much competition, closed-mindedness, and outright cruelty in the world. I hope we can put some points in the "Humanity is kind of awesome" column, too. It's easy to make the world a better place--just try it.
I got some goodies at Borders, and here's the first offering:
This is part of a GREAT series; I LOVE Nicole's writing style.
For this giveaway, there's a twist, though. Post a comment below with your name (your first name or your blog name is okay) for a chance to win. For additional chances, get SOMEONE ELSE to post your name (or blog name). So get your friends to post yours (tweet them!) and you can post theirs--up to ten posts from each person. Entries must be posted by midnight EDT Wednesday, September 21st. I'll post the winner the next morning.
I went to pick over the carcass in Concord, NH this past weekend. Borders is now filled with just the ghosts of books. I carved out a little piece of the YA section to carry away, since most of what remained was 75% off. Some of my purchases will be given away here in the next few weeks.
They still had a few copies of Minder and Adversary in-stock. Yeah, of course I bought them! But it was the first time I'd ever seen my work on the bargain shelf, and that wasn't a good feeling. At least I was in good company with Richelle Mead; they had a ton of Last Sacrifice copies still in-stock.
In any case, there are still millions of readers in the country and the world. But the places we buy our books have changed, and while we may sigh and wallow in wistfulness over past practices, we need to embrace the new reality and make it work for us.
Please, people--follow the rules of punctuation in your queries and manuscripts! I don't want to stifle your creative process, but commas, quotation marks, semicolons and their various friends and relations exist for a reason. They define and support the text.
Think of them as the underwires and SPANX of prose.
So, if you aspire to write, PLEASE learn proper usage. Read Eats, Shoots & Leaves if you'd like an entertaining education on the subject. I'll forgive occasional typos, but constant errors make writers look ignorant and make their work unreadable.
And I give a posthumous "thank you" to Dr. Cole, who used to take 10 points off for every mis-use (by omission or commission) of a semicolon on our papers.
Maybe because it's a French term, so modern Americans don't know what it means.
Hello, people! If someone sends you an invitation, PLEASE let him/her know if you're going to show up! We're having a birthday party for our 6-year-old twins this weekend, and nearly half of the invitees still haven't rizvipped.
So, how many goodie bags do we need? Somewhere between 16 and 33. And now all my childhood anxiety over being the last kid picked for teams in gym class is bubbling up again.
Um... if I hold a query contest here later this month, will people submit queries?
I looked at the calendar this week and realized A) I need to make a dentist appointment and B) it's fall again. As long-time BFFs know, I try to have a query critique and contest each fall. Soooo, start polishing those queries, because the contest's a-comin'! I'm going to limit entries this year to the genres I know enough about to offer helpful feedback, specifically:
Young Adult/New Adult (e.g., high school and college age)
I'll take query letter submissions via email (not yet! Wait for the official rules to go up!), and then post the original query ripped to shreds with sharp, sharp claws with helpful comments. Winner gets an additional mauling a partial critique. BTW, at least one Spencer Hill author was discovered through this contest. Keep an eye out for the contest to start later this month, and spread the word to those who might be interested, since I'll also give a prize to the person whose link brings the winner into the contest.
I'm getting several preliminary galleys prepped this week, and so I'm spending a lot of time thinking about fonts. Does anyone have a "favorite" font? Serif or sans-serif? 10-, 11-, or 12-point? And what about the section breaks? Do you like to have a little picture or ornament? How about starting new chapters with oversized initial characters? What appeals?