Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Just Who The Hell Do You Think You ARE?

I'm speaking of esnips.com. Perhaps you've heard of them? A lot of writers are talking about them. I sincerely hope you have not taken advantage of their offerings.
esnips.com is a site where you can download illegal copies of books, stories, movies, music, photography--all sorts of things. What they are saying, in effect, is that they do not value any of these things. They certainly do not value the effort put into creating them. After all, they're FREE.
Yeah, yeah, I've heard the excuses which basically boil down to: "It's not cheating the author/artist/publisher/whatever out of anything because I wasn't going to buy the book/movie/song/photo anyway, but since it's there, I might as well have it cause everyone else can."
Well, let me tell you, you are wrong. If you download from any of these sites, even if you weren't going to spend money to have the item anyway, even if you never read or listen to the download, you are pirating.
I don't expect to become rich and famous from writing. But I spend a lot of time, I put a lot of effort into my writing. If you don't want to buy it, fine. But don't download it because it's FREE.
Because it isn't. Ever.
It saddens me that we value our art and our artists so very little. By offering their work to everyone for nothing we are telling them that it is worth nothing. Is that really the message we want to send to our artists? To our society?
If it is, then I might as well keep my writing to myself. I can always print off copies for my friends who enjoy my work. The friends who actually go out and PAY for the book once it's published.
I hope that all the publishers, big and small, will unite to take this site down. We need to send a message to anyone who thinks this is a good idea.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Psychic, etc.

My husband watches a lot of the Sci-Fi channel. Therefore, I'm exposed to some shows I'd probably not watch left to my own devices. And I really like some of them. OK, most of them.
I'm noticing that there's more and more of the weird out there. And not just on the Sci-Fi channel. Heroes and Medium are both on NBC and are both hits. Dresden is doing quite well, I believe on the Sci-Fi channel. I've seen trailer so for several new shows that deal with psychic ability and paranormal activity.
And this is prevalent in books, too. I understand that paranormal romance is the fastest growing segment of romance books right now. And Urban Fantasy seems to be on the rise. Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files) will be the captain of a panel at Romantic Times this April. I've had the pleasure of meeting Jim at a couple of conferences and I'm looking forward to hearing what he thinks about why people want to read about witches, werewolves, vampires, gargoyles, demons, ghosts and anything else that goes bump in the night. The reason this is so fascinating to me is that I've been making notes on a book that I want to work on after I finish the one I'm half done with.
And it wants to be an Urban Fantasy.
At first, I was more than a little surprised. Then I realized that I really like to write things that are just a little over the edge (and if it's the bleeding edge, all the better). So, maybe that's why it appeals to me.
So, what do you all think about the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal genres?

Friday, February 16, 2007

RT Booklovers Convention
This will be my first year. I'm haven't been to a conference for a year and a half, so I'm really, really looking forward to this one. To make it even better, I have three critique partners going. We've been online buddies and cps for several years and they have all met each other previously.
The conferences I've been to before were geared to writers rather than to fans. I understand there are a lot of fans at RT. Maybe one of them will have read one of my books.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

That's the current phase I'm in with my agent query process. I've queried a total of 126 agents for my latest thriller. 66 by email or on-line forms, 60 by snail mail. So, far, I've received 54 responses. Nine for fulls and Nine for partials. Four of the requested partials have been rejected. No really specific reasons except for one agent who suggested that I work on dialog and pacing. I found that interesting because I usually get the most compliments for my dialog and pacing. The others were the basic "not right for me" responses, although one agent mentioned that I "wrote well".
I'm actually pleased with this response. Nine requests out of 54 responses is over 16%. That is a good success rate, I think. Or, perhaps, what I choose to believe.
And if this recent endeavor isn't enough to obsess about, I still have three agents reading the full of another thriller. Two have ahd the full for almost a month. One has had it for almost 3 months. I suppose I could email her and ask about it. But what will I hear? Probably not "Oh, I meant to call you and offer representation, but I forgot. Thanks so much for reminding me." No, I'll either hear that she hasn't gotten to it yet or it's "not quite right for her". I can wait.
And I can obsess.

Friday, February 09, 2007

What's going on. . .
You might think I've been writing like a maniac since I'm done with the query process. But no. First of all, the query process isn't really finished. Now, I get all the responses. Mostly these are form rejections. Yes, it's true. When you query agents, mostly you get rejected. The more you query and the more rejections you receive, the easier it gets. But, so far, I've had really good response on this query (again, thanks to Miss Snark and the HH COM). And that's where the real nail biting begins. It's great that so many agents have liked my hook, but what about the writing? Of course, some agents got a few pages or chapters, so when one of those agents wants to see more, I get a little excited.
So, not so much writing going on just yet. Mostly, I check my email and my snail mail and print out the partials and fulls that are requested. I read blogs. I even clean the house (just a little, nothing to get too excited about).
Oh, and I had some good news. My daughter is in a management training program and just got a real manager position. She's so excited. Of course, I'm just smiling and nodding. No way am I going to burst her bubble.