All The Money

If someone tells you don’t write fantasy, it won’t sell, well there’s a few things you can point out to that person.

First, their information is from pre-1977. Point that out to them. Highlight it in big neon letters. Because 1977 was the year Terry Brooks topped the New York Times Bestseller List with a fantasy novel. This ushered in a new era of fantasy novels selling pretty well.

The second thing is to show them research that states how much the top ten fantasy writers earn. Wikipedia is a good place to start but like everyone who’s ever heard of it (ie everyone but grandma) knows, Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and shouldn’t be taken as gospel.

J K Rowling has earned a billion dollars. What she did was write a good children’s book for children and found a publisher who tried the radical notion of giving it to a child to read. (They asked for more) While it’s true she didn’t start out so well, initially, well, you know she now has approximately All The Money.

George R R Martin has half that, and when Winds of Winter is released, he’ll have approximately All The Money too.

Stephen King has several books, many of which turn into successful movies, and he mixes it up between proper, supernatural horror and non-supernatural suspense thrillers. You don’t need figures to know he’s doing well. But his net work is approx. $400 million. How is that not profitable?

And don’t even get me started on Patrick Rothfuss, we’ll be here all night.

Finally, point out that Young Adult fiction is in high demand, and will probably be so for as long as there’s a YA market. It’s hot, but there’s no telling how hot it’ll stay or for how long.

DON’T write something because it’s Hot Right Now. It’ll be cold by the time you publish it. Write what you’re passionate about, and market it, and get it professionally edited, and pay good money for good cover design, and you’ll have a good chance of a return on investment. Authors should have other revenue incomes, sure. It’s a fickle business and there’s no guarantees. But those who succeed repeatedly are the ones with professional attitudes and who’ve done the hard work and their homework too.

And you can always write crime fiction.

Except you shouldn’t do that just to get rich, as it’ll be an obvious cop-out if you know you’re not interested and no-one will buy it. Write crime fiction because you like crime fiction. Write memoirs because you like memoirs. Write speculative fiction because you enjoy speculative fiction. Write what you’re passionate about, and it’ll show. That will win you serious points. There’s few guaranteed strategies, but if you follow these guidelines, you’ll maximise your chances.

Probably.

And when the haters hate on you, just keep going. You’ll be able to laugh at them from your mountain of gold. Theoretically.

Doomsday Prepping (please don’t shoot me)

Doomsday Preppers. You may be inclined to make fun of their “silly notions” that the world will end, but maybe they have the right idea.

That makes me sound like one of them. I’m not. I’m just a writer who is fascinated by apocalypse literature, films and the like. It’s my autistic focus-passion. That, and fantasy.

Now, I don’t believe preparing for the end of the world is such a great idea. But I do believe that having a few extra boxes and cans of food in case of emergencies, that idea’s not so bad.

Emergencies happen, often with little or no warning, and people rush out and buy up on essential food big time, leaving none for anyone else. They panic-buy.

Preppers think those people are silly and manage to put some food in storage. That part isn’t stupid. It’s just being prepared for various circumstances. It’s a just-in-case measure.

Except, from what I’ve read, they bring the apocalypse – be it Revelations or zombie or other – into it.

Here’s the thing. 1: in the Bible, it states that only God knows the hour upon which he’ll unleash Armageddon. Him and Him alone. Not us. So our efforts to be prepared for Revelations are laughable. And 2: if you’re a devout Christian, you’ll be… well, it gets a might fuzzier there. Probably go to Heaven, and if you died before then, you’d be resurrected in the new Heaven or the new Earth or something. Like I said, fuzzy.

As for the zombie apocalypse, well, popular culture loves that shit and this generation I’m a part of is amazingly keen for one, by the sounds of it.

Are Doomsday Preppers Americans with tonnes of guns? I haven’t met any, myself, but a couple follow my blog, because of my writing of apocalypse fiction. (I felt legit when that happened). I don’t want gun-toting American DP’s coming after me, enraged and loaded for bear, so if I’ve offended any with this post, I’m sincerely sorry. Please don’t shoot me.

I visited a couple Doomsday sites that followed me, and there’s wisdom there, but also I saw what looked like conspiracy theory news sources. I don’t put much faith in those, though I also don’t trust the media because anyone with a brain knows they skew things to their own biases and show things that can be taken out of context to make certain persons look bad (all of them, I’d say).

So in summation, I think stockpiling a few cans of food isn’t a bad idea – heck, even the Bible says to store up for winter/lean times on multiple occasions – but I don’t believe that we can ever truly be prepared for the apocalypse. Unless it’s zombie; we’ve got that shit covered.

And we’ll look so cool and badass doing it. That’s a bonus.

Finished a story

I think I’ve finished one of the short stories, Catalyst, which is the one where Jess becomes a psychic sniper. I’m kinda keen to show it to my group. I’ve sent it to one person, might send it to two more, but ultimately it’ll be the submission for November’s Vision.

Next is Silicon Dolls, about the three female characters being hired to take on a monster or two by a rich benefactor.

Then I don’t know what. Finish Children of Fire, I guess. I should be starting NaNoWriMo at that point, and if I do that it’ll be so much easier to get the magical 50,000 words done – as 30,000 have already been written. (Don’t tell Mel)

So yeah. That’s the update. It didn’t take as long to finish Catalyst as I thought it would, even if the last part was Discovery (I’m not great at that). I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out.

Ideas I’m working on

I should be planning for NaNoWriMo – I’ve got 3 options that I’m interested in pursuing this year: a superhero novel, another apocalypse novel (part 1 of a possible trilogy) and finishing Children of Fire, which I’ll probably end up doing because it needs to be done – and I’m keen to do any of them.

Instead, I can see myself working on short stories, either of two, both set in COF’s world and starring Jess, everyone’s favourite psychic sniper.

People want to know how that happened – how she became a psychic sniper. So I’ll give them that. (Hint: it involves bugs.)

But I might give them another story, about her, Sarah and Rachel joining a team of ass-kicking ladies in power armour slaying various Neo-Brisbanian monsters. Just as soon as I figure out what the story is, that is. I have no idea. “Four ass-kicking women fighting monsters” is about as far as the idea’s progressed. I’ll have to plot it. And that right there is the thorn.

Of course I *could* just do discovery writing. I’m unpracticed at it, but my plotting stage material is often discovery-process-made anyway, so it’s not without precedent (ie the plot I figure out via discovery, not the actual prose; I have a few methods for plotting, but none have really stuck with me as Holy Methods of Plotting, except maybe Kathy Yardley’s).

Vision can only have one of these for the November meeting. I think it’ll be Catalyst, the psychic sniper one.

Speaking of ideas, I have two for blogs: one is action movies + wine. It’d be reviews of wines and action movies from the perspective of someone who isn’t a movie critic (or wine critic) but one who has seen a LOT of movies and knows a thing or two about how they’re written and acted and made, and who would have to figure out how to grade wine. I’m not an expert on the latter, even less than the former, but the “everyday person” angle would be a draw. Not sure how big a draw, but I imagine people might find it interesting, as nobody associates wine with action movies.

The other, I can’t actually remember right now but will no doubt occur to me the second my head hits the pillow (and after I’ve turned the computer off, obviously).

Final Fantasy 15

Oh man, from what I hear about this game, it’s sounding pretty cool. I won’t know till I play it, and I probably can’t play it until I’m rich (anyone wanna buy me a PS4? I’ll love you 5evar!) but I will be keenly anticipating reviews from critics who aren’t Yahtzee, because Yahtzee hates everything on principle and it’s hard to tell what he *actually* thinks of something, because he’s so (hilariously) negative. Something resembling an actual *review* is what will decide it for me.

The main conceit of 15 is that it’s based on the real world. Not quite the “IS the real world” that I thought it might be, from the first video I saw, but that’s okay. Close enough. In fact, the images I’ve seen are chillingly realistic and modern. This is an interesting concept for a Final Fantasy game. Usually it’s a medieval landscape; this one seems to have a mix of swords and guns, a la FF7 and FF8 and also FF12 (I don’t know about 11, or 13, never played it, but “it gets good about 20 in” doesn’t really cut it for me) and there’s cars and you can drive around and the combat is very Kindgom Hearts where you swing a sword around with a button press and it’s very realistic, for a final fantasy game. The characters are very realistic, the world is realistic and modern, the characters are from a sort of mafia and they live in a country with the sole remaining Crystal – a staple of basically every FF ever. (I don’t remember much of the little I’ve played of FF1, and 2 and 3 I haven’t gotten my hands on, but 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 12 are all about dem crystals).

I’m cautiously optimistic, because the last few haven’t appealed to me or didn’t really grab me, and I go through phases with 10, where I either like it – not love it – or outright hate it (Tidus being annoying as fuck). What I’ve seen and read about, coincides with Square Enix apparently saying that their latest fantasy rpg did well and people cared about it, so they’ll be caring about their rpg’s more. I don’t know if that translates to caring about 15, but I seriously hope it does. The last one that it felt like they cared about was 9. NINE! (not a bad game, but not one of the best – that award goes to 6, 7 and 8 in the popular zeitgeist of the western world). So. Cautiously optimistic. Fingers crossed that “caring about it” means “good”. Because there hasn’t been a good one in over a decade. Some okay ones, but not good ones.

Also, it has cars, guns and mechs. Which my favourite – 8 – also has. Coincidence? I hope not.

Even heroes have a past…

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/08/guardians-of-the-galaxy-evolution-of-heroism

This is, I felt, an excellent article talking about heroes, what they were and what they’re becoming these days, and a bit on the nature of villains, because heroes are those who respond to villains.

I don’t really read articles any more. This one I read to the end. That’s really all you need to know.

Spoilers abound, but if you follow my blog you’ve probably seen all of these anyway.

I’m pleased to report that I’m a little more active with my writing, on the tail end of a slump that started before the BWF and only ended on the weekend gone. My latest efforts involve that Jess short story you all want, about how she became a psychic sniper; that superhero prologue you didn’t ask for but when the muse hits you just write that thing out, no questions (okay, maybe you interrogate the idea, if you need to/it helps); and some Children of Fire that involves goblins with rocket launchers because urban fantasy. Feels good to be back in the game. I needed this, thus confirming that I am in fact a writer.