Archive | April, 2014

Tours N Reviews N Things

22 Apr

Almost completely moved into my new place – I started a term position at the beginning of this month, so let’s just say it’s been busy. I lucked out and got a place right on base and it’s a lot more space then I’m used to. The dog loves it so far, though yesterday he was playing with one of his new little furry friends and didn’t watch where he was going, so he ended up in a ditch full of water. Is it wrong my reaction was cackling? (He likes to swim and it’s relatively warm out for a change; I’m not that heartless… well, maybe…)

Ah well – waiting on a little bit more furniture, and I have to purge books. I usually donate to the fire halls in Winnipeg because they’re doing another book sale for the Children’s Hospital end of this month at St. Vital – I’ve volunteered before but I’ll be at Fan Expo in Regina with my Publisher – first Con out of Province, we’ll see how this term plays out before I agree to any more. R.J. Hore will be at Keycon, and I’ll be there on Sunday, and I need to wheel and deal to get more time off. I don’t know why, but I always get stuck working May Long.

Our Multiple Author Book Tour is almost over – you have another three days to go and enter and you can win five surprise ebooks from my publisher. I had some fun writing my guest posts even though I’ve been insanely busy trying to hang up my pictures and mirrors without them being crooked with varying success. I’m doing a straight-up review tour starting in June, so if you’re interested in the book and you want to win an Amazon GC, go here and sign up.

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Why Independence Matters

11 Apr

Before I go into my sphiel, me and a few other Burst Authors are in the middle of a Tour – Check it Out.

 

Final Attempt to Plea for the Aurora Awards – nominations shut down in a few days (April 12). And you might be thinking to yourself, “Well, what’s it matter, in the end?” Let’s put it this way – last year, they send out Efiles on all the nominees so people like myself could sample all the award winners and determine the winner. I know it seems very small and trivial a thing, but this is so very important. Now, what I’m not saying is “Vote for someone you think shouldn’t win”, I want people to win by their own merits. But, if you vote for someone small and relatively unknown, that puts their name across other people’s potential reading lists.

 

Why Indie Matters

I did start to write something long. Then I realized everything could be summed up in this old Simpsons Cartoon. Try to watch the whole thing if you can find it online.

To sum the episode up, Lisa reacts to her talking Malibu Stacey doll poorly – and when her concerns go dismissed, she teams up with the original doll’s creator and they create a ‘positive role model’ version. They get squashed when the creators of Malibu Stacey put out a new doll at the same time, though it’s on a bittersweet note, as at least one person bought the doll, and Lisa thinks that maybe the doll will make a difference.

I’m not going to go into sides as to whether Lisa was right or wrong. So long as they retain the quality, self-published authors, small presses, small authors, they all matter because it can challenge the norm, because they’re not necessarily looking at the bottom line as their motive for publication. Notice how The Hunger Games took off, and suddenly there’s a slew of Dystopia movies being made? Not just the YA trend, but Game of Thrones the HBO series is yet another game changer – around the time that series started, CBS showed their own medieval miniseries,  “The Pillars of the Earth” which I lovingly referred to as GoT without all that icky fantasy. It was followed up by a series I seem to love/hate, “Camelot” which casted Eva Green as who’s supposed to be the villain, but I’m getting off topic.

Anyway – when you go into most book stores, you’re looking at products. They’re designed to make money, which while I can’t fault them for, I can’t say really strives any great creative boundaries, either. A lot of books that historically bombed have ended up being our classics (The Lord of the Flies, for example) whereas I’m sure we can all sort of remember reading that popular series when we were kids (R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, my gen)  I’ll bet only a handful of those stories resonate with you.

Small presses battle immense odds just to stay afloat – there’s an insane amount of money spent on advertising and on shelf-space to catch the eye of the consumer.  I’m not saying that no small press has ever put out a bad book, but there has to be a reason beyond money to do what they do. There’s easier ways, believe me – hashing out a living in the arts in general is hard, and people like plays and music, books take work. (I am referring to the public has to sit back and enjoy the play, whereas they have to use their imagination when reading).

C4 Lit Fest Recaps

1 Apr

Before I go on about C4, I’d just like to give a shout out to several nominees regarding the Manitoba Book Awards – you know who you are.

And on that note, go vote for a Canadian at the Aurora Awards. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, I don’t know any Canadians to vote for.” Look at that Manitoba Book Awards Link. Look below to some of the people I was with at the C4 Literary Festival. You have some homework in the meantime.

On to C4!  Don’t know how it went on Saturday, as I almost got stuck in Portage la Prairie Saturday night after my shift. The roads were awful, and even though I know it’s spring, apparently some parts of the continent are being pummelled, so please try to be safe if you’re going anywhere.

I had a lot of fun on Sunday – it seems to me that a lot of the locals, and in particular in the YA Paranormal/Urban fantasy that many authors are for their first choice turning to self-pubbing, which is a topic in and of itself and I think I’ll write about it tomorrow. My beta won an award for Best Speculative Fiction, but I wasn’t at the awards so I’m not sure about who else won. Here’s some of the others I met on Sunday:

 

Book Bloggers – Book 2 Book Met them very briefly – seemed like very nice people. I’m not sure if the other book bloggers were around, or if they ran off to the Junos. Yes, we had to compete with them on Sunday. I think I got every body here, if I missed you, please let me know:

 

JulImmortalRules Guest of Honor – Julie Kagawa. We sat on a few panels together (I panel crashed the first one, though she introduced herself when I walked in with my shinai and made it known I was going to be talking about fight sequences). Seems to write mostly paranormal/urban fantasy YA, her first series being about the fae, the latter series (pictured) about vampires. She’s very nice, not to mention actively practices kali, which is a Filipino study of the sword. Now, if anyone who was there thinks I’m some sort of kendo badass, I was trying to point out I haven’t been active since I went back to school (though I’d like to) she’d probably win.

RhiDeathsentenceRhiannon Paille – Local author, I’m more familiar with her more fantasy series (more fantasy? Last Ciry on Earth seems like it’s still fantasy, but more dystopia fantasy… getting off topic) we were on a panel together on discussing Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. I read Surrender and its sequel Justice and I wouldn’t have initially classified them as YA, but I can see why she did.

FuchsdiscoveryA.P. Fuchs – local author of the Axiom Man series, seems to enjoy the dark/horror side of things (zombies, vampires).I’ve been to a few events with him, he helps educate those interested in the self-publishing route.

GMBG.M.B. Chomichuk – Artist/writer for his graphic novels, we were on a panel together discussing Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.

brokenpieces Rachel Thomas – our resident non-fiction writer, I sat on a panel with Rachel and we talked about what when we write isn’t popular. It was a good panel and I think at one point in time, she thought she offended me. She doesn’t know me very well, so Rachel, if you’re reading this, if you want to offend me, you’ll have to try harder. She spoke a bit about branding and the hybrid publishing tactic.

DarkDaysR.J. Hore – I know Ron so I won’t bore you with anything other then that The Dark Lady is now a trilogy.

ALLISONCOSGROVEAllison Cosgrove – I have not yet read anything by Allison, but it sounds to me like her books are not for the faint of heart when I learned about all the research she did in cults and ritualistic sacrifice on our panel together for Myths, Legends and Ancient Cultures.

7 Gen-coverScott B. Henderson/David Robertson – They’re different people, I’m just being lazy – these two produce some absolutely gorgeous art. I picked up The book of Ezra at Comic Con a few years ago – a lot of their stuff seems less fanciful, more realistic but I really need to catch up on my graphic novels.

LizWar Lizzy Ford – YA paranormal/urban fantasy writer with over seventeen published novels to her name, probably having something to do with the fact that she can produce a full novel in less than two months.

sue Susan Thomas – Author of a novel about when adults go a little too far at band camp. I was always in art in highschool, myself…

Sierdirtyshane Sierra Dean – Urban Fantasy/YA MB writer, we did an author reading panel together.

I also bought some art by a local artist, but I’ll post the link to her tomorrow. It’s pretty watercolors, you’ll like it when I get my phone back to take some pictures.