Hey guys! I just wanted to let you know that To The Best of Our Knowledge, the NPR Wisconsin show that chose my story as a judge’s favorite for their competition, went ahead and dramatized my story anyway, even though it wasn’t one of the top three, they just liked it that much.
If you want to take a listen, you can tune in this weekend to their show on your local NPR affiliate (it’s going out on 221 of them), you can listen to it on their website, or on Soundcloud. I’ve also embedded it below for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
Back in January, my ebook designer, Iris Febres, convinced me that I had to enter my novel into the Boston Book Builder’s Book Show, and I was skeptical. The entry fees were high and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stand up to some of the competition, particularly my old design mentor, Rebecca Saraceno, who I is a shoe-in for whatever category she enters. But it paid off! I am officially a Committee Pick for the Trade Book Division!
Undeliverable is listed in the show catalog, will be displayed at the Book Show, and will be listed on their website, alongside some incredible book designs from all sorts of designers. If you want to see more details of the design, check it out on my Book Design page.
So, May 25th is International and National Missing Children’s Day, and in an effort to help raise funds and awareness for the National Center of Missing Children, anybody who makes any kind of donation to the Center is eligible for a free ebook of Undeliverable, and will enter you into a raffle for a free signed copy!
Here’s how it work: Go to the Center’s website, donate, mark the donation as in Honor Of the Undeliverable Novel, then copy and paste your donation confirmation number into the Rafflecopter giveaway below (along with the donation amount, if you are willing, it’d be nice to see just how much money we raise this month).
If you don’t want to, or can’t afford to make a donation (though even a dollar will net you a free ebook), you still have several ways to enter the raffle for the grand prize of a personalized copy of Undeliverable and Thea of Oz. If you already have a copy of Undeliverable, you can still enter and if you win, your copy will be donated to the organization or library of your choice.
The raffle will go on through the month of May, so share as many times as you like for additional entries!
Today’s post was delayed because I wanted to be able to give you guys a full update, which wasn’t possible until I just got off the phone. As some of you may have known, I’ve started a website called The Speculative Craft, which launches next month, focused on the craft of writing science fiction, fantasy, [insert here]-punk, and every other form of speculative fiction you can think of. It will feature craft articles, interviews, journal spotlights, and classroom resources to help facilitate the teaching of speculative fiction in the classroom.
I can now inform you that the first edition will contain an interview with none other than Tamora Pierce, author of the Tortall and Emelan series, on how she approaches writing, and a spotlight on Black Treacle, a fantastic online journal. Now, if you have subscribed to the mailing list, you’ll get these awesome things on May 15th. However, if you haven’t subscribed, you’ll see this content go up on our website on June 1st. Which means you should probably subscribe now to find out what Ms. Pierce said, just that much sooner!
My flash fiction piece, “Patchwork Flight” was chosen as a Judge’s Choice for the 3-Minute Future’s Contest for To the Best of our Knowledge, a Wisconsin Public Radio program. It beat out over 750 other submissions! Too bad it didn’t win a dramatization, I really would have loved to have a few less degrees between me and my idol, Gates McFadden, but it’ll do…
Hop over to their site to read my story!
I hadn’t been aware of this until recently, but, apparently, there is a problem with ‘review bullying’ on places like Amazon and Goodreads whereby authors and fellow reviewers suffer at the hands of angry people and trolls who use the review section as their bully pulpits. The most recent and egregious example would be a young romance author that received multiple one star reviews before her book was even out with people heaping on the abuse, including rape and death threats. And, when this story went public, a lot of people rallied around her, but there were still a bunch of people who continued to heap on the abuse in reaction to her supporters. As of now, this author has declined to publish her book…ever.
Now, there are two groups rallying around authors to try and stop this kind of behavior: Horror Writers Association and a Change.org petition signed by many high-profile authors. The two groups, however, are taking radically different approaches to the solution of this problem.
HWA has proposed, in an open letter to Bezos at Amazon, that they update their policies in regards to flagging and removing reviews that
- indicates the customer has not read the book, but only a small portion of it, such as a free electronic sample;
- includes spoilers which, once revealed, could significantly reduce interest in the work;
- includes negative personal remarks about the author; and/or
- is focused on the work’s price rather than its content.
The petition, on the other hand, is calling for an end to anonymity in Amazon reviews, allowing only people who had verified their identity to be allowed to post reviews. They feel this will remove the mask of anonymity that most trolls thrive behind and lead to more honest reviews.
After reading the evidence and the various commentaries, I have to say that I think HWA is headed in the right direction, and the petition is entirely wrong. The anonymity of the internet not only allows more freedom of expression (sometimes for the worse) it also protects users. I choose, on forums like Reddit, to use my real name as I also promote my writing on that site and it would be easy enough to figure out who I was anyway. But there are people who have difficult personal histories who may not want someone to stumble across their review of a book or product and then be able to find them. The petition is reactionary and not entirely thought out. By trying to stem the trolls in this manner, they are also punishing people who do not feel safe in having their identities hanging out there for all to see.
Thankfully, at this point, I have not suffered any of the kinds of abuses other authors have, but I know in due time I will receive those scathing and vitriolic comments and reviews. I hope when this happens, Amazon and Goodreads will have updated their policies to better enforce a community which protects the content creators from the angry people who are only there to make trouble and try and tear other people down.
If you haven’t seen it already, there is a competition on Underground Book Reviews’ facebook page for the best book pitch, and I need your likes! Just click here and then click like and I have the chance to win some free publicity! Then share it with everybody you know ;D. Thanks everybody!
Hey everybody, two bits of news for you. First, I sold my very first short story! Yay! I mean, I actually got a real check and everything for it. Super exciting. Fantasy Scroll Magazine will be running my short short, “Grimm’s Home for Geriatric Fae” sometime this summer.
Second bit of news: this journal is now running a Kickstarter! While they offer token payments to their authors right now, they want to be able to upgrade those payments to professional level payments, and they are pre-selling editions of the journal to help with that. They’ve got some amazing talent with stories and interviews in the first few editions, so take a look! And, for all my fellow speculative writers out there, this is an awesome editorial crew to work with, so check out their submission guidelines!