Friday, October 06, 2006

Frak You, BSG….

I finally finished watching all of the BSG 2.5 episodes, and I’m never going to watch the show again; I’m that mad.

I think the writers of the show completely misunderstand why I’ve been tuning in. I don’t care about the toasters, their plan, or whether or not the lost colonies ever find Earth. I care about the people. I want to see them interact, every day, with each other – on the ship or on the ground, under stress or in peace. I don’t care about the wham-bam action (yes, it makes my heart pound… but why does it make my heart pound? The pretty explosions? Oh, ORANGE! Wow, THAT’s why I’ve been tuning in, because I love the orange explosions so much… oooh, you added yellow, wow-whee.) No, you fraking idiots. Explosions themselves don’t make good drama. For me it’s the characters, and now...









...“one year later” I don’t know these people any more.

I understand that the writers wanted to skip what they perceived as the boring parts (peace) and get back to the Cylon action.

Whatever. That's for crap storytelling, people. Who do you think you are, George Lucas? (Oh, and guess what? I hate HIM, too.)

I think they miscalculated my attachment to these people. For instance, I would have hung on for an entire season of peace, because with 50,000 people struggling for survive on a planet “ruled” by a corrupt president, a degrading military, there isn’t such a thing as “peace.” No, in fact, that’s drama. Human drama.

I want to have seen the military decommissioning – the decisions to do that, the arguments Adoma may or may not have given for continuing it. I want to see what happened the day Starbuck decided to get married (what the frak, btw? Does she really seem like the nagging, yet devoted tent-wife we see in the snippet of the “now”? How did THAT transformation happen?) I want to see Callie and the Chief work through his violence issues (is it just me or has that guy gotten away with murder and assault with almost no consequences?) I want to see Apollo so give up on life that he lets himself get fat (oh, and if there was no longer any reason to tune in, a fat Apollo pretty much clinches it for me; I like my pretty boys, pretty, thank you.) How did the XO become the sole, sober voice of reason, “You and I both know the Cylons could show up any day?” (And his wife stayed on the ship? Five minutes earlier in the episode, he said she could go cat around without him.) Giaus as completely corrupt? (Yeah, he had his moments, but when the nuke blew, he seemed striken… what makes his character interesting is that conflict between being human and being a completely misguided, manipulated cylon-fraker. He HAD been one of my favorite characters. Not no more.)

And now I hear from my friend Rick that they’re going to skip ahead another year or more? I’m supposed to go the BSG site and download a few minutes of condensed storytelling to satisfy my need for ACTUAL CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

No, not interested, thanks.

I’m too mad. And, frankly, I don’t care any more. You rip out the stories of these people and you rip out the heart of the story. That’s a quick bleed-out. I’m done.

Oh, but thanks for the black fighter pilot... too little, too late, especially since he doesn’t get a story. Apparently no one does any more.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

This Just In...

An search just showed that Dead Sexy is now available for Pre-Order! Hurrah!

The Hard, Cold Reality of “Book Tours”

I leave for Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Friday afternoon. I’m headed off to stay with a friend of a friend and stop into OshCON and do a signing at Apple Blossom books in Appleton.

Before I was published, I had this crazy idea that publishers arranged and paid for authors to go on book tour. They don’t. At least, they don’t pay for mine. No doubt there are some authors who get the royal treatment of fifty states in fifty days, the tab picked up by Houghton Mifflin or Penguin USA or whoever, but that’s a select few… and, more to the point, no one *I* know.

How did I end up doing the signing in Appleton, you ask?

Well, sometime after my book first came out in May this friend of a friend in Oshkosh read Tall, Dark & Dead and loved it. He’s also involved with OshCON and he emailed me to see if I was interested in attending the con in October. I said I was, but it’s a bit of a drive for me (several hours by car) and I have a young family at home who will have to make arrangement to survive the weekend on their own. Sensing my hesitation, Phil (my friend of a friend) sweetened the deal: how about I see if I can help you arrange a signing at one of my local bookstores? Or maybe two? “Oh,” I typed, my eyes twinkling, “That’s starting to sound worth it. Especially if you’re willing to make initial contact.”

Because while I love to do signings – what could be cooler than people coming up to YOU and asking for your signature on a book they loved? – I HATE arranging them, especially in places where I’m not local.

I’m not a shy person, but there’s still something in me that inwardly cringes when I have to dial a bookstore’s number and try to convince them that I’m a good bet for a signing. The thing that you may not know about book signings is that they rarely sell a lot of books. I’ve been told by booksellers that if you sell a half a dozen (that’s SIX) you’ve done really well. Many times a bookstore will only order several copies knowing that even those might not “move,” which backfired once… I had a signing in my hometown. It was my first published book. I got some media attention – the Sunday paper ran a huge article the day of the signing, plus my parents told everyone who had ever known me – fifty people showed up. Great for me, except the book store had ordered fifteen copies. Luckily, I’d thought ahead and brought book plates to sign. After that, I started carrying extra copies in my car, though I’ve only had cause to use them once since then.

Normally, it’s crickets. The resounding sound of emptiness.

The class I took in publicity said that the point of book signings is not to sell books, it’s to talk to booksellers and get them excited about “hand selling” (talking up your book to customers who ask, “What’s good?”). Even though I know that’s what I’m supposed to expect, it’s still disappointing to drive (eight minutes or eight hours) to sit in a mostly empty bookstore with that wistful, yet doomed expression of someone whose date is never going to show….

When book signings are local, I can do something to mitigate that depressing experience. I can print up and send out postcards announcing the signing a week or a month in advance to my friends, acquaintances, people to whom I’ve taught classes, etc. Then, usually, some people show up. When the signings are out of town, like this one will be, I’m at a loss as to what I can do. Now that I’m writing romances, there’s the possibility of contacting the local RWA chapter and seeing if they will, at least, run a notice in their newsletter to members… but, this brings me right back to that slimy feeling of asking people to do something for me that doesn’t net them much in return.

A more robust self-promoter than myself would send off press-kits to the area newspapers in hopes that somehow I will have written a press release that makes an Oshkosh reporter psyched that an out-of-towner that has no connection what-so-ever to their city has come to sign one of a million paranormal romance. It’s a tough sell. What usually happens is I work like a dog to come up with a clever hook about my work, write up and print out the press releases, gather up reviews and articles about me for a press kit, go to the effort to make them pretty, yet accessible, spend the money to ship them off…

…And get zero response.

So, I'm off to Oshkosh to listen to their crickets. Wish me luck?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Copyedited Manuscript Delivered

Yesterday evening I FedExed the copy-edited manuscript of Dead Sexy back to New York. I have to say this was the cleanest copy I've ever had to approve... which, frankly, unnerved me. I'm used to having to do all sorts of crazy last minute changes. This time I only had to answer a couple of questions, fix one herb, and that was it.


Still, the book is that much closer to being ready to hit the shelves!

Now, I need to start working on Bloody Smashing... just one more episode of Battlestar Galactica, then I can start...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Respect for arthropods (and other ick!)

When I asked Mason what I should blog about this is what he suggested:

“Dear dot-com.,
Nothing else. Now let’s look at ‘deep sea’ + ‘ocean creatures.’”

He’s just discovered the wonderful powers of google, and that there is a world of images of his favorite things: hammerhead sharks, Brazilian wandering spiders, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, black widow spiders, harvestmen (the arachnid family that daddylonglegs belongs to [pictured]), giant squid, etc. Whenever he sees me sitting at the computer, he always comes up to me and tells me what search words he wants me to use (even when I’m not online.)

I have to say that I have learned to enjoy things -- and by "things" I mostly mean arthropods, a.k.a "bugs" -- thanks to being a parent to a curious boy like Mason. Even though it means sometimes picking up millipeds in my backyard and inwardly thinking "eew".... I tell myself that by not cringing and shrieking like the Nelly Queen I truly am, I am hopefully fostering exploration, etc., etc. for my budding entomologist.