Home » Archive by category "About Writing"

Micro-Mini Manifesto on Self-Publishing

Send to Kindle

Some people stigmatize self-publishing, so when you tell them you’ve published your own novel, their reaction (verbal or physical) amounts to, “OMG you’re self-publishing. Your writing must SUCK.” This makes me laugh. What? We’re not allowed to do something for ourselves?

I prefer to think my writing doesn’t suck, actually. I would love to have an agent represent me. Some agents did sniff at Loser’s Memorial (one even provided some fantastic suggestions that I used) but they all ultimately passed. I think they’re wrong. In fact, I’m a little annoyed that these self-appointed middle men stand in the way of me reaching super-awesome reader people like yourself, and of giving people the choice to choose what books they want.

This could have been problematic back in the day of “forecast and recycle” when printing was slow and cumbersome, and ebooks didn’t exist. Back then, it was so much work to set up a printing press to print a book, publishers would guess how many were going to sell and then recycle (at a loss) those that didn’t. It was incredibly wasteful. Now, thanks to ebooks, that’s a non-issue, as well as Print On-demand, where a printer can spit out a paperback book one at a time with little effort. So there’s really no reason to have gatekeepers. Let everyone publish what they want, let everyone choose to read what they want.

When I’m feeling obnoxious, I call the defenders of the old way The Agentocracy. I just have to laugh that the same gaggle of folks that rejected Loser’s Memorial seem to churn out no end of books that involve vampires or teen love triangles. So please, don’t tell me that the gatekeepers are preserving literature, or culture, or whatever. A superb book on the same subject is “A Reader’s Manifesto” by B.R. Myers. Dude leaves a trail of dead sacred cows in his wake, and it’s fun to watch! (And I’m a vegetarian-ish animal lover, too!)

Someday if I become big enough, I will need the agentocracy to navigate the many offers I’m getting. Fine. Maybe I should just let you watch this clip from the Golden Voyage of Sinbad movie, starting at 9:30. I can’t remember when in my youth I saw it, but this corny scene rang true with me then and describes my nature to this very day. Riches are less than freedom.

I like the idea of being free. So little baggage. I still want to write the absolute best stories in the world, but I like the idea of writing not being my primary source of income. This way, I will write what I have to write and what I feel must be written, and in times of crises, I can fall back on my day job, not fall back on vampires, teen love triangles, or my favorite sub-genre, cops-n-lawyers.

I don’t need a middle man between you, awesome reader person, and me. So here’s my book. Read it or don’t. If you do, let me entertain you, I will give everything I’ve got to make your time worthwhile.

Well, yes. And I’m damn proud of it. Because look at what the publishing industry has to offer. I want to write and I want to be read. And that’s it. Any thing else, like cash and the like, is delicious icing on an already scrumptious cake. So I’ll keep my day job, thank you, since it lets me be free where it counts in my art.

Frustrated Movie Director Writing Style

Send to Kindle

As I write this, it’s only a matter of days before I start making a big deal (i.e. promoting) my next novel, Loser’s Memorial. I don’t know about you, but when I read a work I enjoy, I like to learn a few facts about the person(s) responsible. So there’s a few presumptions here, one, that you are curious about the deviant psyche behind Loser’s Memorial, two, that you enjoyed the novel and want to hear me talk about it. Is that three presumptions? Whoops, looks like we’re getting ready to start! Shhhh…!

About the Frustrated Movie Director Writing Style: I’ve always thought of myself as a frustrated movie director who found his success in writing. I enjoy films but found the process too slow and the medium a bit limiting. Besides, I’ve always believed a word is worth a thousand pictures. Say “parent” to a crowd of people and inside their heads there will be as many images as there are individuals. Plus, writing is so much easier. If I want a fleet of ships in the sea, a few sentences and there they are. No futzing with models, CGI, or anything. That said, each medium has its benefits and drawbacks, and I enjoy them all, but as far as what I want to do as an artist and what fits my impatient, loner personality, prose is my home.

When I write, I usually do so imaging how things would look in a movie. Especially when it comes to action. Movies do action scenes better than any medium. Of course, prose brings to life the inside of people’s minds. Movies try this with voice-overs, but nothing beats having the inside of someone’s head patched directly into your head as you read.

Book Dedications and Why I Don’t Do Them

Send to Kindle

Keen observers (and readers of impeccable taste) may notice there are no dedication pages in my books, or on any of my works. This is because I’ve always felt the person I’ve written the book for is reading the book. When I read a book and the first page says, “This is for my favorite person in the whole wide world, Herkle P. Lipschitz,” my instinct is to go find Herkle and let him know that somehow I have come into possession of a book that is actually his.

So you’ll never see me dedicating a book to someone other than the person who is reading it. This one’s for you, awesome reader person, they all are, and always will be.

Side note: I have to say that the prize for absolute worst book dedication ever goes to Karen Traviss for her dedication in the book Aspho Fields. The book is based in the mythology of the video game Gears of War (an awesome game trilogy!) The dedication reads, “For the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, and all British service personnel in Afghanistan. Because real heroes in the real world are the ones we should be reading about.”

Now I’ve already stated I’m not a fan of dedications and I never do them, but I’ve never actually been insulted by the dedication and scolded by the author for reading her own work, before said work has even begun. I don’t know anything else about Ms. Traviss’ writing, maybe it’s good. I didn’t enjoy Aspho Fields, though. Partly because I was racked with guilt for reading it for some reason. My point here isn’t to insult her, just to point out a dedication was exceptionally heinous, but hey we all make mistakes.