An Impotence of Communication

(Yes, I chose that word deliberately)

Well, as many may have heard, Noble Romance Publishing is going through a shake up. I am not going to directly talk about my opinions on that, except to say things are still in flux and nothing is resolved.

What I am going to talk about is the communications surrounding the situation. Particularly communications between authors at Noble Romance.

For many, the announcement that the Chief Editor was looking to take over the business was the first they realized that perhaps it wasn’t just their little bit of interaction with Noble which was not working the way they understood publishing companies work. One thing you have to understand is that, from what I’ve seen, for many of Noble Romance authors, it was their first, or only if they stayed with the company, publishing experience. They didn’t have anything to compare how they were being treated.

However, the announcement that someone realized things weren’t going quite the way they should and was seeking to remedy it, while raising awareness, also calmed down some of the concern. See? It’s going to get handled.

Then came the news that, no, there would not be a buyout, in fact the main contact for all of the authors was leaving.

Which lead to a variety of responses. And questions. Questions about who to contact, when royalties, which were already later than they typically are (but not as late as they sometimes have been) would be paid, and what was the plan going forward.

During this time, as authors expressed their dismay and concerns to each other, it became clear that many people were having various level of issues with responses from the company, most via their main contact with the company.

Suddenly all these authors realized that they were not alone in having communications issues with Noble Romance. Suddenly it’s no longer ‘just me’, it’s her, and her, and her, oh and him, and… a significant number. But not all, I don’t want to give that impression. There were definitely people with whom the company had maintained good communications.

It seems, though, that a lack of communications with many of its authors was not the only issue here. The parent company, from the lone email I’ve seen, was also left scrambling due to lack of notification of intent by their employee.

I’m sure both sides are feeling angry and mad and sad about the whole thing. Many authors took their voices and created a group where they could air their grievances, compare notes and discuss possible next steps. Steps which some took right away, while many collected the information and waited to see how the parent company would be handling things before making any kind of decision.

(For some reason someone in that group thinks it’s okay to share the venting people are doing, like this is high school and showing they know what the other group is ‘saying’ is cool and will win them brownie points in some adolescent vision of the world. It’s not high school it’s these people’s livelihoods, however whomever is doing this doesn’t have even have the guts to use their own name, so I can’t see them having the maturity to stop.)

So, for many of us it’s a wait and see situation. Will Noble come out whole on the other side? Will their stable of authors remain with them?

Rumor has it there will be an announcement Monday. While it might not be a crystal ball into the future, at least it’ll be a communication. Hopefully one of many going forward.

And I’ll be staying in touch with my fellow authors. Being out of communication with them has led to ignorance in the past, I’m not willing for that to happen again.

So, along with the majority of authors (or at least that is my impression), I’m waiting.

In the meantime, for those interested, links to some other blogs talking about the situation. I’m sure there will be more:

ETA another:
 Gianna Simone

I’m No Angel

Vacuous Minx
– also talks about posting information from the private authors group.

Brita Addams

Casey Harris
– nice hearing from someone who didn’t have problems.

J.S Wayne’s An Ig-Noble Letter

6 of one, 7 of the other: Ellie’s Sentence Saturday.

Seems I’m a bit behind the times. Nothing new. :-)

Following a couple of posts I’ve been tagged in, as well as a Saturday tradition, I’m showcasing six sentences from my current work in progress. Oh, and the second paragraph should also count as my ‘seven lines’ for that meme too, since this is from pg 77 of Warder. :-)

For only a moment, then she[Averill] looked over the wreckage and sobered. She stepped up to the Warder and started asking him questions about the collapse. Mona, again, trailed behind and did not contribute.

Over the course of the next couple of hours the Warder, Cart and his group, along with the Maven and Nic went over as much of the central area of the bridge collapse as they could safely access. With each new finding it became abundantly clear to everyone Weres were deeply involved in the catastrophe. The type of magic used, the signatures left, all pointed to Weres rebelling and loosing control of their magic.

Editing, editing, editing

I’ve been busy with real life and *trying* to get edits done on a novel I plan to submit so I’ve been scarce. Next week, with the blog tour in full swing, I’ll have to stop editing and get back to posting.

My father once described my mother as ‘many tracks, only one train’ and I’m feeling like that these days. If I switch around from thing to thing, I get derailed and nothing gets done. So, editing this week, blogosphere next week to talk more about Ginny’s Capture.

I’ll see you then!

GinnysCaptureFinalSmall

Road Trip Blogging

(or where I’ll be on the information highway over the next couple of weeks)

Yep, it’s time to venture out and visit other blogs. It’s a big, scary world out there, but I’ve got to pull myself up by my straps (note I did not say ‘boot straps :-) ) and venture forth.

My current schedule (do I really need to add this is subject to change? I think not.) I’ve also put as of right now, what I’m likely to be posting about and if there’ll be a giveaway.  Ready, set, let’s go:

MY MINI BLOG TOUR:

March 1    Muse Ampoule     Author Interview

March 13   GraveTells            Character Interview, PDF and $10 Amazon GC (contest open until 3/16!)

March 17  KevaD                    Book Blurb &  Free Read (there was a mix up and my piece as well as the swag didn’t get posted. :-( )progression of writing Ginny’s Capture, LvZ t-shirt

March 20  KBG Babbles        Lesbians? Zombies? Oh my! PDF AND $10 Itunes GC OR LvZ t-shirt OR outdoor thermometer (contest open until 3/23!)

Please stop by and say ‘hi!’.

2 ! Days and Ginny’s Capture *should* be out!

Yay!

Sorry for the late post, but I updated my book trailer and then uploaded it on youtube. With teen boys in the house hogging internet bandwidth, the process took far longer than I’d anticipated.

(finally!)

Viola! the updated video book trailer for Ginny’s Capture.

FOUR days to go and it’s editing time

Four days and it’s editing time. Or at least I hope it is, that’s the general schedule my editor told me to expect this week.

(And yes, for any of you who have been traditionally published, as well as many of you who are published with other e-publishers, getting edits four days out is very tight, but that’s the way Noble Romance seems to work. I’ve been told there may even be some work being done as late as Sunday night.)

However that’s not what I was going to blog about. I wanted to touch on a problem I still have. Or at least I still have *to start*, it does go away.

Where to start.

No, that’s not a commentary on how to approach the problem. That is, in a nutshell, the problem.

Where to start.

I typically begin a story as a pantster, an idea, scenario, character comes to mind. I mull over the permutations, the story starts to spread out. Characters get filled in. Backstory gets created. I start writing fairly early on in this process, often before the whole story arc is set in my head.

I find getting it on paper helps me to learn and organize all those things listed above.

Doesn’t mean I’ve chosen the right place. Actually I’m almost positive I’ll have started at the wrong place.  This is because it sometimes takes me a little bit to figure out what the pivot is.

There are lots of names for this plot device, but I think of it as the pivot, the action which typically happens off screen and before your story starts which then changes the lives of your characters. After this point your characters are forced by the circumstances created by this pivot to react and change and grow.

Here’s an example. In one of my favorite books, Faking It by Jennifer Crusie the pivot is the selling of a painting. This sale happens before the story begins.  Ms. Crusie’s story starts by showing us the main character and her outlook on her life immediately before she finds out.

And that’s pretty much the other piece, isn’t it? Because often, not always, there’s a gradual discovery of the pivot, so figuring out at which point you need to start your story in terms of character growth and story flow is key.

Clearly then, because I start out with vague ideas and characters, I never quite start writing my story in the right place. Only after writing a bit (or a lot) and thinking a lot (never a bit) the story begins to gel, the pivot action becomes clear along with when my characters find out and how they will change due to the new situation.

Which, in a very round about way, leads me back to editing (which now looks like it’ll be pushed off until later today/tonight). With all the set up and exploration I may do, there is a lot of editing which needs to be done. Even once I cut out everything up to the point where I realize I should be starting, I have to cut out explanations and back story which were helpful to me to learn the characters and setting, but aren’t needed in terms of the flow of the story. Recently  I cut a starting chapter roughly in half by removing backstory and over explanations of magical workings. When I put it up for comments in my critique group I was told I still had too much by a good 50%.

While I sit here and wait for the edits on Ginny’s Capture, even knowing this story was in much more polished state than that chapter had been, I can’t help but worry a bit over the changes I’ll need to make. Oh, I know I have poor grammatical habits, there will be those changes for sure. And it turns out I have a tendency to start inner dialog with “well, okay, yes or no”, which my editor already put me on notice for. Those aren’t biggies. It’s, you know, those other things, character arc and back stories which I attempted to meld into the flow of the story I’m most concerned about.

Nothing to do, however, but wait.

 

One Week!

7 days

168 hours

10, 080 minutes.

Okay, clearly not close enough to be doing minutes yet. :-)

And if it’s a week, it means it’s Monday which means (at least this week!) another LvZ story is due out today.

I’ve known Jadette Paige  for almost a decade and, honestly, I didn’t know she was so much of a history buff until she wrote Nether Regions. Amazons and Spartans and gods issuing challenges, great stuff! But I have to say, her incorporation of the music element is one of my favorite parts.

You knew that, right?  Music was listed in the call as a necessary element to the story, which is why the official title of the series is Lesbians vs Zombies, the Musical Review.

Here, all the parameter which were listed in the call:

Lesbians

Zombies

Music

Strong sense of place (even if the place is made up)

Some connection to a college.

While Lesbians and Zombies are clearly the most talked about elements, music is a key part of every story as well. (Which is why, on the LvZ blog, I’ve been posting author ‘sound tracks’).

And, I have to say, I really like how Jadette handled the music ‘requirement’. Of course I like how I handled it too, but my characters live in a world with electronics and access to almost instant music. She didn’t have the luxury of using juke boxes, I-pods or stereos to weave her musical element into her story given the time period the piece is set in.

She more than rose to the challenge.

After you read Nether Regions, let me know what you think.

10 Days and the Countdown Starts!

My first ever published story, Ginny’s Capture, drops in ten days.

Needless to say I’m beyond excited.

And anxious.

And worried.

To keep my mind busy, I’m coming up with a blog piece for each day from now to publication.

So. Ten.

Ten fingers, ten toes.

Heh. Not sure this is going to work.

Oh, I know, how about information I learned while doing research for the story. For instance did you know that UPS never, ever sells their used trucks? Yep, seriously. I have a scene where a box truck is part of the story line and I was trying to figure out how to describe a UPS-like truck without saying UPS. I thought if I read through a description of one for sale I’d come up with some ideas.

But they don’t sell them.

Ever.

Wikipedia has the most comprehensive statement on UPS Trucks, but if you google it yourself, you’ll see there are other sources which verify the information:

When UPS ground vehicles reach the end of their useful service life and are no longer roadworthy (typically 20–25 years or more, but generally when the body’s structural integrity is compromised), they are almost always stripped of reusable parts, repainted in household paint to cover up the trademark, and then sent to the scrapyard to be crushed and broken up. The only exception to this policy is when a package car is repainted white for internal use, usually at a large hub. Prior to scrapping, UPS trucks and trailers are assigned an ADA (Automotive Destruction Authorization) number and must be crushed under supervision of UPS Automotive personnel, which records the vehicle’s destruction, as UPS does not re-sell any of its ground vehicles.

So that was a bust in terms of descriptors, but very interesting nonetheless.

Whew, okay, post for today done. Better start thinking now about tomorrow. Nine, hmm….

New LvsZ release, Dead Kitties Don’t Purr & Contest info

Yay, Amber Green’s book is up and for sale! I pre-read large chunks of this and I have to say the bits about quarantine and the images and thoughts…good stuff there!

A little bit about it:

Amber Green’s Dead Kitties Don’t Purr is a tender story of first love, and of a girl finding her tribe among college students trapped by the government’s draconian efforts to contain a devastating new plague.

In honor of her release, she’s having a give away over at Jadette’s. Comment to win a t-shirt.

She’s also having one over at D. Dye’s spot on Gather for a t-shirt as well as an e-copy of the story. You need to comment to enter and you need to register (free) to comment.

 

Hmm, wonder why I’m waiting for edits. :-)

So, I’m still waiting for my edits. Not unexpected, I’ve been told Noble frequently sends them out 14 days before publication.

Plus, I know my editor is a little busy. Her release for the LvsZ line is coming out Monday.  With all the promotion authors do themselves these days, I’m thinking she’s just a *little* busy. :-)

Her cover:

 

Happy to be patient. Or happy to *try* to be patient!