M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Facts and Opinions about Publishing

The Read:  Karen Marie Moning leaves Mac in a pile of hurt and in a situation she's been resisting since the beginning of the fever series -- a sex-slave to a fae.  Actually, I'm having a little problem understanding why the publicity stresses the sex bit.  A lot of the comments I've read about the books emphasize the sex too, but there's really very little sexual activity ... just smoldering.  At her site, Moning does assure her fan base the sex is coming; that she hasn't totally given up on romance.  [The genre of her Highlander series.]

Faefever leaves the reader hanging with Mac under the thumb of the renegade fae who killed her sister.  Just the "low note of despair" to leave you MC in the middle of the series.  Halloween has happened, and the rituals to keep the walls between the fae and human worlds have failed.  Riots of Unseelie fae and humans are occurring in spite of police efforts.  Mac decides to retreat to her bookstore safehaven, but the lights are out.  Then, when she calls her fae prince's name, it falls to the ground and disintegrates.  Mac's on her own what may be the most dangerous night in human history.  In short, a fantastic mid-point series ending which ties up all her efforts to save the world ... and let's them disintegrate in her hands.   I'm sure it pulled in lots of sales for the hardback Dreamfeaver which is the fourth book in the series.  (Cheapskates must have strong backbones to wait for the mass paperback.)

Moning used a wonderful twist to push Mac out of her safe place and make her vulnerable -- shooting out the flood lights that kept her safe from the human-eating dark shades, a nice quick way to introduce the implications of modern technology into tradition-based fantasy.  For two books, the floodlights worked to keep away the human-eating dark shades that have created swathes of "dead zones" in the middle of Dublin.  The lights have just sat there in plain view unless they were turned off in a previous attempt to kill Mac.  Then, one of the bad guys comes along and shoots them out.  Gotta love it.

Web Comments:  Ever wondered about which way was best to sell your novel?  Jim Hines, a fantasy author, did a survey on how over 200 authors sold their first novel.  Everybody seems to have theories about what's going on in publishing, but he's offering us some actual data on the importance of agents and whether you need to sell short stories before you sell your novel.  Check out:  http://tinyurl.com/yhmyltg  [In case the tiny url doesn't work:  http://www.jimchines.com/2010/03/novel-survey-results-part-i  ] 
I liked the survey because it offered some facts to back up the opinions.

One another web note:  you might want to check out Moning's website:  http://www.karenmoning.com/
I think this is well done, if a little garish at the moment, and you may gain some insights from it.

Now for the non-publishing part ...

Progress:  Went into retrograde for Maren.  I went back over the four chapters I drafted and revised, mostly removing inconsistencies and explaining things better.  Or, should I have said, showing things better?  Whatever.  I've got over 6,000 words down and a third of the month to go, so I'm behind.  I figure I need to get 12,000 words a month into the computer in order to finish the draft in a reasonable amount of time.

Trivia:  Am going down to Loveland again to check out the Susan Wechsler mosaics.  I found a spot on my office wall where a small one might fit.  Am I the only one who would spend a couple hundred for a piece of artwork and hang where no one will see it but me?
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