Friday, July 30

An Introduction

Although you can read "about me" in the sidebar, I thought it would be nice to start off with something about who I am right now, as opposed to all that history.

Active Projects:
Twenty First Century Wicca
A non fiction book on Wicca--slightly more than your average Wicca 101 book. I never thought I would be contributing to the non-fiction book world; in fact, I was staunchly against it for many years. Then one morning, I woke up and started writing a book...

The Necromancer's Apprentice
A fiction novel that I suppose could best be called 'paranormal urban fantasy' -- sub-categories keep changing.

It's actually a book I wrote seven or eight years ago, but then chickened out when it came to publishing. Shortly after starting work on the non-fiction book, I pulled it back out again and blew off the proverbial dust. I had expected to quickly go through the manuscript doing and have it ready to go... instead, I'm making major revisions. The upside is that I think I've grown tremendously as a writer over the last six or seven years, mostly because of the work I've been doing in the realm of fanfiction. The feedback I've received from readers had been both incredibly helpful and amazingly heartwarming. Anyone who doubts the validity or merit of fanfiction writing really doesn't get it. (There are several essays on the Web rallying against the "evils" of fanfiction writing. Needless to say, I couldn't disagree more.)

With any luck, the covers for both books will be done within the week.

Both books should be available by February 2011.
Both are going to be "self" published (subsidiary or POD published) through Lulu and CreateSpace.

My reasons for shying away from traditional publishing are:

1) Let's be honest, getting one more Wicca 101 book published is going to be difficult, even if I feel do happen to believe mine is more than just another Wicca 101 book. Besides, you couldn't pay me to go to the top (or at least most well known) American publisher of Pagan books. They've screwed over too many good people.

2) My fiction novel did make its rounds. I got rejection letters; that's ok, it was actually kinda fun (yeah, ok, maybe I'm weird, but I got some really good rejections--good as in positive, so I kept submitting it to different publishers.) My last straw came with the rejection letter informing me that the publisher (some little house, no I don't recall who) liked my sample chapters and wanted to see more, but why had I not submitted my marketing plan? See, they couldn't accept any manuscript without a solid marketing plan because they didn't have a marketing department--not even somebody whose job it was to handle press releases (and we are talking traditional publisher, not vanity press.) They needed to know how and where I planned to sell my book. Excuse me? I have write it and do ALL of my own marketing? For 5% royalty? You're kidding, right? That's when I started looking at "vanity" presses because at least there you know going in you have to do all your own leg-work.

I finally decided on Lulu because a) I know two other authors who have used them and are happy with the experience; b) they have an excellent BBB rating; c) the price is right. I am also planning on going through Amazon's CreateSpace to get into Amazon and Kindle. Oh yeah, and I'll be doing lots of leg-work!

3) I am not a control freak, but I do like the idea of having sole control over content, including any illustrations I might want to add and what the dang cover is going to look like. I'm sick of book covers that inaccurately reflect the content of the book. It's a stupid pet peeve, but there you go.

4) I've done my research and I am not going in starry eyed expecting to have the next Eragon on my hands. Yep. It started out as self-published. Are you as surprised I was when I first learned that? But really, I'm not expecting to make the New York Best Seller's list, I just want to get a good book into the hands of people who will enjoy it.

5) This is going to sound horrible, because after all, who am I to criticize... but I was just at the bookstore yesterday and there was a book that caught my attention. I read the blurb. If anybody other than a well known author had pitched that tripe to an editor, they would have been laughed out of town. No, really, it was just that bad. And no, I won't say what or who because I'm trying to play nice.

The book sitting next to it (by another author) didn't sound any better. I don't understand what motivates editors to choose one manuscript over another; sometimes I'm not so sure it's the merit of the writing. Or maybe, in this economy, they're looking for deals that look like sure-things. In that, I don't necessarily fault editors or publishers, but that makes it very tough for the unknown author to get anywhere. So with eyes open, I go unabashedly into the world of Print on Demand "publishing."

I'm also (and equally unabashedly) continuing to work on my fanficion stories (not for print/profit, let's not have any misunderstandings!) No, I won't be posting them here. There's a link at the side that will take you to the main page (but if any of my readers happen to stop by, feel free to drop a 'howdy!' You guys have really, truly, made a difference in my life.) I am currently working on a story set in Torchwood's future--or at least Captain Jack's future--continuing his and Kam's story.

Not So Active Projects
I'm still plugging away on my own tarot deck, but as other projects come up or come to the fore, that one keeps getting pushed aside, mostly because it is lengthy and involved... I mean, really, 78 pictures? I'll be posting the cards that I have finished shortly. They won't be professional digital captures like the artwork displayed at the top of this blog or at the sites to the side (thank you to Titan Photolab of Troy MI, for doing an awesome job!)

Future Projects
I am developing a romance based on the Kae/Wynn story arc in my Torchwood story Short Stories. ("Short" is definitely a misnomer. The story in question is called "Breaking Branches" and begins in, I believe, Chapter 103.)

I have developed at least one of the 'cannon' characters into an original character, based in part on research I was doing for my own career a few years back. I came across a posting for the CIA. They were hiring for librarians. Let me tell you, if I'd had my masters, I would have jumped on that and happily moved to Virginia, just to be able to say I was a CIA Librarian (not that I think I could actually have told anybody, but anyway... doesn't it sound cool? Or am I just a nerd at heart?) Anyway, those who have read the Fanfic can probably figure out which of the uncles is the librarian. I'm thinking his partner will be ex-military and working for either another branch of the government or the police. I'm a crime-drama junkie, so making him a detective wouldn't be much of a stretch.

The other book project that I have the works--strictly in the research phase--is a romance (m/m) set in the 1950's. The idea came about through a combination of things, one of which was a conversation my husband and I were having about how tough it must have been to be gay or bisexual even as little as fifty years ago. In part, this conversation was spurred by another conversation we had with a former roommate, a young gay man who insists that gay history doesn't matter, it's not a part of his personal worldview. I was amazed to the point of speechlessness. So I guess part of wanting to write about gay history in fiction is because I believe it is so important to remember where we've come from and the struggles others had to go through.

Lastly, I'm working on a heavily illustrated re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. But I think I'll save talking about that one for another post...

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