Kim Harrison's Blog, page 84
May 3, 2012
May 2, 2012
People love to categorize in order to understand, and though the writing field doesn’t have many recognizable periods like art does with its Renaissance, Romanticism, Modern, Contemporary, and whatnot, I think that there might eventually be a name for a short span, maybe a decade or so, of writers that wrote, or more importantly, got their start, in the two decades to either side of this century. Call them transitional writers of the 21st century, maybe? See, I got to thinking this morning.
I learned to type on a typewriter, but delivered my first manuscript on paper run through a printer, and my latest delivery was by email. Research was done in the library or book store, now it is on the web using questionable sources. Promotion was the realm of the NY professional when I began, and now if a writer doesn’t have an internet outreach of their own, she is considered impersonal or perhaps hard to market.
When I first published, bookstores would allow you to come into their store and sit for two hours and sell eight books–now if you can’t move a book a minute, you can’t come in. Bookstores were brick and mortar when I began–all of them. There was no Amazon, no electronic book, no self-publishing that wasn’t looked down upon. You wrote a book and hoped to God that someone in NY liked it enough to push it through their marketing system.
Agents were mostly men, and they did their deals over martini lunches with other men. Now your average agent and editor in genre fiction is young, female, and probably got her start doing what she did for those old guys, old guys who are becoming as hard to find as a bookstore in a mall.
Writing used to be a civilized situation for the introvert you needed to be to write the book in the first place. You wrote the book. You gave the book to an agent. Agent sold the book. You did a book tour if you were lucky. You got a big/small screen deal for the movie of the week if you had been in the industry forever and your name was in everyone’s lexicon. Today it’s a bit different as household names are often made in six months, not developed over twenty years, and that works too. Perhaps that’s the point. Publishing has changed, but it still works.
Still . . . there are only going to be a limited number of writers who worked in the old system and adapted to the realm of websites, electronic books, virtual tours, book trailers, and entire manuscripts lost because of a bad hard drive. I slipped into this group as I usually do, by the skin of my teeth, right at the end when the turnover in NY began with the advent of personal computers becoming more personal. Did I see it all? Heck no, but I did deliver my first manuscript using the US postal system with no electronic copy attached. I did have the luxury of being able to develop my website myself slowly over time because back then, no one expected much. I have had the chance to work with an old school agent, a new school editor, and an aggressive publishing house, thereby getting the best of both worlds.
Was it harder to become published in this transitional phase? I have no idea. It’s never been easy, but with all the changes that have occurred, it’s clear that there are more ways to accomplish it. Me, I’m glad I got a taste of history, because there was a beauty there that I’m seeing slowly slip away under the crass quickness that the internet and computer foster. But you can still find islands of calm professionalism, and it’s the islands that will endure, adapt, and continue to shape through and beyond the transitional writers.
April 30, 2012
I had a great couple of days in the garden this weekend, spending my time doing hour jobs that had been collecting, stuff like changing out the batteries in the landscape lighting, clearing out the leaves from the pond, repotting the seeds I started a while back. But there were new things, too, like a landscape tree settled into the spot we took a broken porch down last fall, and I put in 25 strawberry roots under the cherry tree. Sure, they will have to be moved eventually, but for the next ten years, they’re going to look good. I’ve only got so much sun, and everything is placed for it.
Today I’m paying for it, though, being physically tired and ready to sit and let my fingers move me. It’s finally raining, too, which is great. We’re behind on our rain. I’m still trying to decide if I lost a few above-ground hosta or not. They looked a bit transparent when I pulled the frost guards off Sunday. I’m giving them a few days before I cut them off and make them start from the ground up again. I think they are okay . . .
My pond is looking posh again, and the frogs have taken up spring residence. I had it cleaned it out–splashing and dipping–before I saw this guy inches from the edge. I think he was either too warm or too cold to want to move, trusting his hiding spot to keep him safe. The water lily is sending up little leaves, and the reed overwintered great at the bottom and is now again half in, half out in one of the upper levels. I’m hoping that we’ve seen the last freezing temps, but I know that we’re at risk until the end of May. It’s going to be a long four weeks. . .
I kicked my keyboard’s butt Friday, and am moving forward into old/new material. I’m not sure I like what I wrote Friday, but it can stay for now until I get a little deeper.
April 27, 2012
Seriously, I’m not speaking in metaphors. My glasses were so filmy I thought for a second it was foggy. Today’s words are TGIF and why-did-the-recycling-truck-miss-us-yesterday?
Yesterday’s expected chapter and a half turned into a solid chapter, no half, so I’ll be smacking that keyboard into submission today to get my new chapter written in its entirety before I call it quits for the week. I like the changes I put in yesterday, simplifying the plot and setting up a conflect that wasn’t there before but should have been. Today will be one of choices, so I’ll probably be using a pencil and paper for a chunk of time before I dive in and start some dialog. My temptation is to do dialog and then sit on it the rest of the weekend, but I am feeling pinched, so will risk having to rewrite this one again and try to get it all on paper today.
Garden watch: I don’t know . . . I don’t think it got as cold as they said it would, but I’m glad I covered my hosta anyway. As Mud said, everything else can handle a little frost, but some of my hosta are heirloom size and variety, and I didn’t want them to start from scratch. Besides, if they die from frost, what will the deer eat? -snerk- I might just leave them covered since they’re still getting light/moisture, but the ones under buckets I did open. There was condensation on them, so maybe I saved them after all. Oh! And my cherry tree does have fruit coming. Not a lot, but some. Yay!
P.S. Why did my blog program suggest I tag this post with vacation, travel, and yoga? Yoga? Really? Was it the word pinched?
April 26, 2012
Made good progress yesterday on the editorial rewrite, as expected. Today should be a mix as I breeze through another chapter and then everything screeches to a halt while I write a new chapter. Should be interesting in that I’ve not seen this character for a longtime and there aroe bound to be some changes. Today is going to be stressful . . .
Tonight is going to be worse, though, as we are dead center of the latest freeze warning. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ve got two plants I will definitely cover, but the rest? Frustrating.
April 25, 2012
It’s mid-week, and I’m ready to rock and roll on the rewrite, having finished a great deal of the brand new chapters. I still have to go over them again, but they are done and I’m moving forward. I’ve got at least two days of light editing, so by this time tomorrow, I’ll feel a lot better about where I am. April is almost gone, and that’s not a bad thing. I’ve been watching the weather very closely, and though we are dipping down very close to freezing, we’re not quite getting there. Everything is out now, and I would hate to have the vegetation damaged by frost and have to start over.
Today I’ve got a picture of the puppies chillin on their chair in my office. They like my new space as much as me, and can crab at squirrels and chipmunks all day.
Also, Dead WItch Walking read by Ms. Gavin is on Sirius XM 80. I thought it was for one week, but no! It seems they’re going to read the entire thing! DWW has the 9:00-10:00 am slot M-F, and the midnight hour 7 days a week. Weekends have multiple chapters at midnight. If you have Sirius, you can set it to record and listen at your leisure. Rock on, Rachel! ()
April 24, 2012
I intentionally went to bed late last night in the hopes that I would be exhausted enough to fall asleep fast and stay there. It’s that time in my editorial rewrite where I’m feeling as if I should be moving faster, and I’m not, so I tend to lay awake in bed and stew about what comes next. When I break it down and look at what I’m doing, my pace makes sense (lots of new material in the beginning) and I truly am making progress, but when I see the chapter number I’m at, I look at the calendar and cringe. Today is the last of the brand new chapters I have to create for a while, so the rest of the week should be satasfying in terms of page count. I hope so. This is frustrating.
As for the new chapters? I’m liking what I’m seeing. There’s a good base there, but I need to go over them again and add in the small, tiny observations that pull it all together. If it was a cake, I’d have the icing on but not the frosting flowers, the little things your eyes light upon and make you go “ooooo.”
If you put in for a Manic Monday book yesterday, chances are good that you got one or both (if you ordered both) Guy is trying to untangle the mess of having orders on two emails, and will be sending out invoices today and probably tomorrow, so hang tight. :-) He’s got a lot to work through, and I plan on helping him fold boxes and such tonight.
April 23, 2012
Guy’s email has changed today. Our internet service went out at 8:30, and won’t be up till after noon. His temp emil for this manic Monday is email@example.com. Sorry about this.
Manic Monday books are gone! Thank you, everyone. Guy has not yet emailed the “winners” with their invoice, so don’t panic if you haven’t heard from him yet. He has been checking both emails, so if you emailed him on the vampcharms address, you’re good. :-)
After a long hiatus, Manic Mondays are back! I’ve got two for you today, and you can get one of each as long as supplies last. Up for grabs today is a signed (not personalized with a note) For A Few Demons More, and a signed Outlaw Demon Wails. These are hardcovers, so if you do order both, they will come in two packages to help reduce shipping cost. (crazy, but true.) The tattoo freebie for A PERFECT BLOOD will be in there, as well.
The skinny: Guy will begin taking orders at noon today, EST. (Don’t email him now. Wait for noon.) The cost covers the shipping and handling. USA shipments will take two weeks from when we ship, international will be a bit longer as there are forms to fill out and longer shipping times.
Shipping and Handling for each book is $9.00 in the US, $16.00 to Canada, and $22.00 to Mexico, and $25.00 everywhere else. If you are in Germany, please allow for a long shipping time as everything gets hung up in customs. To make this as painless and fast as possible for Guy, we are taking Pay Pal only. Unfortunately we can’t combine any other merchandise in with this, but as I mentioned, you’ll get Rachel’s pack tattoo. Domestic will ship Media Mail. International will go out as First Class.
If you are interested, at noon, EST today, (no earlier) send an email to Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org with the words FDM in the subject line if you want For A Few Demons More, or ODW in the subject line if you want an Outlaw Demon Wails. Do not order both in the same email, or you’ll only get one book. If you are among the first 97 for ODW and 60 of FDM, he will send you an invoice(s), so please include your shipping address in your initial email. If you do not include your shipping address in the initial email, he can not ship you your book(s), and your order will not be acted on. No address=no book. PayPal doesn’t always put the address in, and it’s frustrating. We don’t do anything with your address but ship you your book(s). We don’t have the time to do anything wicked, and I hate it when people sell mine, so . . .
As usual, I’ll update this post when they are gone to help avoid confusion. If you miss out, I’ll be having more shipping and handling give aways, and the tattoos are still available if you send me a SASE Click for how to send me a SASE
April 20, 2012
Vampiric Charms is closed, but there is still stuff hanging around in my house. Look Monday for a special, one-time offer as Guy clears off another shelf. This time it will be hard covers of FOR A FEW DEMONS MORE and THE OUTLAW DEMON WAILS. I’ll have all the particulars for you tomorrow, but the price will include shipping.
Also, I’ve gotten a lot done in my week hiatus from posting, so I’ll be back on Monday as well. :-)
April 16, 2012
I know I said I was going to take a week off from posting, (Ask Kim a question is still open) but I wanted to let you know that Dead Witch Walking is on Sirius XM Book radio this week at 12:00-1:00am and 9:00am to 10:00 am Eastern Standard Time. Monday is chapter one, Tuesday is chapter two, and so on until we get through chapter five.
Please feel free to pass this on! Book Radio is channel 80. Here is a