Sunday, July 10, 2011

Update: Chili, Bookish Things, and Pirates

Is the weekend over already? Nooo! At least I have a few things to show for it, like a magic pot of chili. Daniel's chili is always good, but it's pure a.m. gold when made at midnight with Stax playing in the background. (Stax records was like Motown's much cooler older brother that snuck him out of the house and got him into trouble- the good kind.) I've also had a lot of fun on FaceBeast... uh, Facebook... this week. But best of all, I have achieved some weird WIP zen:
Thursday: 536 words on "Silver and Shadow"
Friday: editing on Blake House
Saturday: editing on Blake House and 831 words on "Silver and Shadow"

A word about these WIPs:
The Resurrection of Blake House is in its first round of edits. This feels really good, because it's been in limbo for so long. Part of the reason for this has been the total focus I put into the Gifts books. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do two completely different projects at once. I've been working at it for a week or so now, and so far so good. It's good to have a direction and be excited about the project again. It's also fun to be working on something more adult. I'd have to describe this novella as a ghost story/ time travel/ fantasy romance, and then go and choke on all those hyphens. :)

"Silver and Shadow" is a Gifted Blood novelette. Set immediately after the end of Book 1, it's told entirely from Ethan's point of view. This makes both current WIPs in 3rd POV, which is also a nice change. The first two Gifts books were both in 1st POV, something I'd never attempted before. So what's the difference between a novelette and a novella, and why do I care? Length is a pet peeve of mine. I hate downloading a "novel" for my Kindle only to discover it's 10,000 words long. I want to be precise, so my audience knows exactly what they're buying. I go by SFWA and Nebula guidelines, which are something like:
Short story: up to 7,500 words
Novelette: between 7,500 and 17,500 words
Novella: between 17,500 and 40,000 words
Novel: 40,000 words or more (NaNo sets the bar @ 50k... or 55k?)

A bit of unpleasantness: A whole bunch of my time this week has been consumed with my first bout of major piracy. So many authors have different stances on this. Some don't bother taking down torrents, figuring a certain segment will always steal. I know others who do fight it, though. Very successfully, too. Plus there's the shock and rage of it, and then amazement at the sheer volume. I mean, wow. If these people were buying, I'd turn into Kindle Klaus. I swear I would. But they're not, and I'm left weighing the price of Dance with Dragons against a day's groceries or at least a dozen or so Indie reads I really want.

Silver lining: While I ponder all of this, one thing has become crystal clear. Thank you, thank you for supporting me and my writing, because it gets easy to want to quit when things like this happen. As a way to say thank you, I am offering discounts on upcoming releases and exclusive content not included in the pirated versions. Those of you who haven't read Darkness yet should make sure you sign up for my newsletter. I'll be sending out a discount code to subscribers. Also, subscribers will get first shot at early releases, playlists, news, and announcements. I promise I'll only email you with pertinent book-related information, because I hate spam too. And did I say thank you? One more time: Thank you!!!!!

Trends to watch: I'm keenly interested in how Indie writers are changing and sometimes creating new publishing paradigms. I found a couple of interesting developments this week. Here's one I'm really excited about: Dark Side Publishing, co-run by authors Megg Jensen and Karly Kirkpatrick. Dark Side seems to combine the intimacy and adaptability of a collective with the efficiency of a more traditional agency approach. It's a compelling combination, providing a cohesion that informal, but nonetheless supportive, groups of writer friends can offer each other. Dark Side currently has four authors (including G.P. Ching and Angela Carlie) who write YA.

Ok, so, that's the week in letters. Stay safe, happy, and creative! -VK


  1. Awesome progress this week! I know what you mean about the piracy - I see both arguments. I'm glad that you're taking them on because for indie authors, I really think it matters. For bookoo popular things, I know it still matters, but it also helps increase their popularity so I see why they don't bother. Not that it makes it right.

    Good luck with everything this week!

  2. Thanks, Lauren! It's just something @ the digital age- if only digital pirates looked like Johnny Depp. I figure I'll try carrots instead of sticks, you know? So thanks for signing up. And a good week to you, too!

  3. Piracy sucks. I'm dealing with it too. grrrr. *throws karma stick at them*

  4. Ha! Karma stick. I like. It would make a good band name. :)

  5. Unfortunately there are those who suffer from delusions of pirate grandeur. This will always be the case, but somehoe we endure (*sigh*). I felt the same way about shoplifters when I worked retail, so now it's one of my hotbuttons. Too bad we can't reverse-virus them in the e-pub code, or block them like they do with DVDs.

    Still, on the bright side, it looks like you had a great week goal-wise. Here's to continued progress! :-)

  6. Cool site you have here Vicki. Love the background and the cool entry process.

    On the post, piracy is the saddest thing in the world. But then cavemen has always been apt to steal ones rock and then hit the person they stole it from over the head. Piracy is one of those things that needs better laws and regulations, not just on a national level but on an international one as many acts of piracy originate from other locations.

    I'm glad to see you are taking the high road but lets hope that in the future, better (and intelligent) ways are found to protect creative work.

    You're making incredible progress. Stay with the positives :)

  7. Congrats on your goals! Ugh on the piracy. This is my first round of ROW80 and I'm loving it so far. it's great to see what other ROWers are doing. So inspiring. :D

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm glad I could inspire you, if just a little bit.

    Sorry you were a victim of piracy. :( Not cool.

    Hopefully see you around during future check-ins!

  9. Hey Gene! Thanks for your own positive attitude! It helps. Sonia and Jessica, thanks for stopping by. It's hard to believe it's been just about a week now since round 3 started- there are a lot of really focused people this round. Can't wait to see what we get done!