Saturday, January 23, 2010

Escapism and Bankruptcy

Have you ever read a book where the story is so well written you forget you're reading words? All you feel are the emotions the words evoke and you get lost in the pages.

That's true escapism.

The time is set, the place is lavish in your mind, the action is immediate from the very first sentence, and the characters already feel like they're people you know.

It's a rare book that will allow you to see everything so spot on it reaches out and settles in your mind like a great movies would.

All right, I'll tell you what book I'm reading that has me giving such praise. Mo Hayder's, Skin.

It's a detective thriller set in England, and is the 4th in a series. I came across it in my local library and will have to get the first three as well.

Now, on to the kick in the teeth news I received earlier this week.

On Monday, a frantic phone message from the publisher who did my Eyes of Garnet series asked me to read his email and get back to him ASAP.

I never received an email from him, and I have nothing to say to him unless he wants to talk about royalty payments—of which I've not seen for 14 months. Not a penny from Sightless or Double Vision.

So I emailed him telling him to resend his email and I'll read it and get back to him.

The next day, I received a letter in the mail saying James Rock & Co., Publishing is going bankrupt!

Needless to say, I was pissed to the max. I called him and he immediately told me he had cancelled the bankruptcy claim.

At that point I was still only somewhat relieved because when I asked when I'd receive my royalty check, he said—after promising once again he'd send it within the 30-60 days—he didn't know when he could get MY money to ME. Mind you, he has already taken in the money from the sales of my books, but has chosen to run his business with it instead of sending it to me.

I called my agent and she wasn't all that hopeful I'd ever see it without spending more money than he actually owes me to take some sort of action against him.

Perhaps I should be write a book questioning the sanity of those of us who choose this path...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In the Meantime...

So, what does a writer do when awaiting approval from a publisher?


I had nearly 60 pages written on Gregor's next adventure when I was asked to rewrite Despite Them. I set the new story aside for a few months to go back and live in Despite Them. It was easy as it was already complete, I just needed to flush out my characters a little more.

Yesterday, I opened the as-yet-untitled next story and read through it. With a memory like mine, it wasn't like revisiting an old friend, it was more like, Hey this is pretty good, but where the hell was I going with this story line?

I have characters in there that apparently were going to be integral to the plot, but damned if I know how. I've reread it several times and am trying to get back into what Gregor was thinking. As with all of my characters, they speak to me, so I just need to start writing again, even if it makes no sense. I trust that he'll (Gregor) guide me to where he wants me to go.

He'd better!

So how does a story line come to me? If my characters aren't guiding me, I tend to read or watch movies to immerse myself into the time period, speech, and scenery. There's always a pad of paper and pen nearby for my epiphanies, then I can steer the plot along until my characters pick it up and run with it.

I never call it a writer's block because to me there's no such thing. Whether it's good or bad, there's always something to write about. It may not be the next paragraph or chapter, but it could be a scene that will morph into a twist or turn, or even a new character.

The process works for me, while other writers might simply see me as daft. Whatever. As long as I get back on track—and I will—I'll just stay the course and wait it out.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

As the New Year begins, I'll not start out by preaching about resolutions. I profess, I enjoy doing things in my own time. I'm not a procrastinator—quite the opposite. I've mostly been accused of doing things too quickly.

What I mean is why wait for the New Year to make changes in your life?

Anyway, after having a week and a half off from work, I've finally managed to complete the rewrite of Despite Them. It's off to a copy editor then will be sent to Grace.

I know I keep saying this, but having an open enough mind for constructive criticism has made this book so much better. I added over 3200 words to it and did NOT get Gregor laid.

I know consummating the act is what Grace told me the editors wanted to see, but two things compelled me not to do it.

1) No matter how I tried, it just didn't add to the story or fit in anywhere.

2) It's not a Romance, it's an Adventure, which means, though there is sex in the story, it's not four pages of foreplay enough to heat the room on a snowy day.

I hope Grace and the editors at Pocket Books see it that way, as well. I did mention to Grace that the next Gregor adventure begins with a sex scene, so It's not as though he'll never have a release. While I may kill off my characters as easily as one swats at files, even I'm not that twisted!