Writers, morality and the #MeToo fallout

Yet more good reasons to self-publish.

Mad Genius Club

I’ve been pondering whether to write this post for the better part of a week. I’d been hearing rumbling from traditionally published authors about a contract clause that is as evil–their words and I agree–as the rights grabbing clauses that have become common in publishing contracts. But then, several days ago, an op-ed piece appeared in the NYT and I knew what I needed to write. The clause? A morality clause. Yes, you read that right. More and more traditional publishers are now including a morality clause in their contracts.

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Additional Classes

I haven’t watched any of these videos yet, but I perused them and there are a ton of topics covered. There is bound to be at least one which will prove entertaining and maybe even informative.

Mad Genius Club

LTUE – Life, The Universe, & Everything – is a symposium in Utah every February by writers for writers. Unlike Comic Cons where panels are likely to on costuming, and literary cons where the panels are by authors for readers, LTUE panels cover things like “writing action” and “balancing the books”, and “boring beginnings” and things like that.

And you don’t even have to go!

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Reality bites, at least where traditional publishing is concerned

Being a control freak, my desire to self-publish over traditional publishing has always been firmly in place. Amazing to live with the possibility of doing just that without having to resort to utilizing an expensive company to do all of that for you.

Mad Genius Club

From time to time, I’m asked whether I think a writer should publish their book as an indie or try to go the traditional route. Depending on who it is, I might temper my response a little. By that, I mean I will tell them the decision is theirs to make. Then I ask them why they consider going the traditional route. Almost every time, the answer is the same: they want to get into bookstores. You know me. So you know my follow-up question is to ask them where the closest bookstore is, when the last time was they were in the store and how many books a year do they buy from there. Almost always, you can see the lightbulb go off over their head as they consider the question. 

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On Villainy

If you have a spare 1/2 hour watch the video attached to this blog. It’s fascinating to see how the nature of literary villains/heroes can be broken down. In truth, I’d never considered the idea of an anti-villain. The video is intended for working with evil characters in a gaming setting, but it’s just as useful for writers.

Mad Genius Club

As you read this, I’m working toward being on the road again. We’re absconding for parts south, the littles and I. Just a few days, and eating turkey (I think we’ll be eating turkey. I’m not actually sure. I know I’ll be roasting brussels sprouts with bacon, and then mulling cranberries, for my contribution to The Meal.) So I’m writing yesterday, on some thoughts I had the night before, while listening to Matt Colville’s excellent Running The Game series of youtube videos on Dungeon Mastery. Specifically the video on playing evil player characters.

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Couple of Things

Hi ya! Another little update to let you know things are moving in the right direction. I have sent the manuscript for Book III (now officially titled “Exile’s Legacy”) to my editor and I hope to start seeing some edited chapters showing up in my inbox in the next few days. While I await those chapters, I have been working hard on the new cover and I am pleased to say it is nearly complete. I will hold off on the big reveal for a bit more.

In other news, a military sci-fi anthology called “Luck is Not a Factor” came out today. It features nineteen stories by as many authors, one of whom is yours truly. The anthology takes place in the Four Horseman Universe created by Chris Kennedy and Mark Wandrey. The stories surround a number of mercenary groups in the far future after the human race digs itself out of a bad situation and takes their badass selves to the stars. This new book, as well as a couple of its predecessors “Fist Full of Credits” and “Tales from the Lyon’s Den” serve as great introductions to the 4HU. Lots of varied perspectives. Some funny. Some heart-wrenching. Many full of hardcore action.


You Haven’t Lost It

I pretty much go through this exercise in self torture every time I sit down to write anything new. It’s one of the reasons I’ve found using writer’s prompts and then writing like mad for 15 minutes is an excellent way to loosen up. What’s truly amazing is that by forcing all of the self-doubt away and shutting down the internal editor, I’ve come up with some interesting snippets for possible short stories.

Mad Genius Club

Recently I had to reassure one of my fledgelings — one of the early ones, now very much a master herself — that she hadn’t “lost it.”

What is “it” you ask?  It is the ability to write.

This is a perennial and bizarre fear of all writers. I suspect half of you suffer from this. We take a month off — say, to refinish furniture (it’s research, okay? It has now given rise to Busted Marble, Stenciled Murder and Chalked off soon to be visited upon Dyce Dare as soon as A Well Inlaid Death is Finished.  Yes, sure, some stuff needed done around here, but we probably could have waited a year and paid. OTOH I was too far from furniture refinishing to fully get in the mind of someone who does it for a living.  So…) — and then we come back, write and become convinced it’s…

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