Sunday, 30 August 2015

Blink and you'll miss it

I woke up to an email on Sunday from West Cumbria Writers, not all of them obviuosly, but one of their number and after reading the mail over a mug of Yorkshire Tea chased up the website and the blog.
I recommend you have a look for yourself.

An interesting collection of short stories for adults by Susan Brice is featured on her website  www.lakestay.co.uk, under the title, Returning Back & Other Short Stories. The brief introduction mentions a few of the topics covered in the book, and one title particularly set me thinking, Is your wardrobe watching you? The idea of a shifted perspective. The header for cheekyseagull.co.uk came to mind.

The picture is a panoramic of South Bay Scarborough, but the way the camera has caught the multiple images and laid them alongside each other makes the outer edges of the bay appear to be closing in on each other. The image became metaphorical, seeing the world through the eyes of a writer is about changing perception.

The universe we create when our characters come to life may superficially resemble the reality we live in, but there are shifts in our perception we aim to desccribe in the stories.

The closing arms of the bay in the photograph are like the writer wrapping up the story, but the picture won't stretch that far, and so, for some of us there are threads, loose ends hanging from the edge of the literaray tapestry we weave.

The picture is complete, but...

There is always "But"

What are the boundaries for the writer, are we the all seeing all knowing, or do we share the perspective of our characters? Whose side are we on, does identifying with one character, or one set of characters mean we are unaware of elements on the other side.

Of course, the panorama metaphor is useful. What is in front of us we can see, laid out and visible and we are aware of what is behind us, but the image is hidden, so we fill in the gaps, we imagine!

It is possible to bend the photograph, and put ourselves in the middle, totally surrounded by the image in a seemingly enclosed world, but we can't see beyond that surface, and writing involves looking beyond the surface.

It's behind you - a much loved cliche from the world of pantomime, the hero arrives on stage to cheers and the villain sneaks up to sieze the moment, and the chorus in the stalls gives up the call!

The section of the panorama we know lies behind the viewer is part of the picture, and there's the crunch. What we imagine about the parts of our writing world we can't see helps the part we see clearly be more real!

How real is your world today?

Monday, 10 August 2015

Something in the air?

Behind the front page of this blog is a list of blogs I follow, one particular favourite is the Passive Voice, that  puts out something to chew over on an almost daily basis. Running through the recent posts I came across Self Publishing is Completely Corrupt.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Smashwords summer event - discounted ebooks

The Mid Year event at smashwords, all through July ebooks are discounted for hours of holiday reading.
Control Escape and What You Ask For are down to 50% of their new price, $2.00 each with the code SSW50 at the checkout. at the end of the month they revert to $3.99, grab a piece of the action and what else is on offer at the July Summer/Winter Sale.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Website update at cheekyseagull.co.uk - smashwords links

At the other place where I occasionally hang out on the web at cheekyseagull.co.uk. I've plugged in a few modifications to the book pages. Each of the Grange Novels now has a direct link to smashwords to make life easier. Simply click on the button that says download or buy now on the home page or on the individual book page and grab your own piece of the action.

Enjoy!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Disruptive Behaviour

Discussion ranges widely about changes in the landscape of publishing over the last decade, and the Passive Voice ran a couple of posts recently about how publishing as we know it wasn't going anywhere.

The biggest shift has been the meteoric growth of self-publishing;not through it's long standing derided Vanities but via the more direct self-publishing across the Internet.

A comment that the Big Publishing House (BPH) would survive, albeit by merging into larger conglomerate has some merit, Penguin Random House have already acquired their entrée into self-publishing via Author Solutions and the links between other publishers and the vanities have been extensively chronicled here and on other blog sites.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Independent Means

Self publishing; a straightforward enough phrase, not complicated, and yet the very words generate confusion. I tried to explore what it means in my last post, along with definitions of Traditional, Hybrid,Vanity and a couple of other types of publisher.

The Passive Voice posts a blog post from The Creative Penn on Happiness and the Self Published Author, and the comments generated an interesting level of discussion around the meaning of self publishing and the continued blurring of the distance between vanity and true self publishing.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Close to the mark!

How close can you get to the ideal of someone else footing the bill for publishing your magnificent opus? The traditional publisher will do that, but what if you decide, or have no other choice and decide to walk the walk yourself.

The traditional/commercial/trade publisher buys the rights to publish, and occasionally the subsidiary from the author. The largest publishing houses and the bigger independents will pay an advance on royalties, which the smaller presses may not. They are highly selective and only a small fraction of the submissions ever reach the bookshelves. For the select few who make it down that road  every aspect of editing, publication, marketing and distribution is taken care of by the publisher; at no cost the author!

A very small number reach the public this way and to read the various offerings in the "How to Get Published" genre - we're looking at a scenario of such improbability you might as well pack up, throw the manuscript in the shredder and grow rhubarb instead.

Yet the manuscript is intact, not mulched for rhubarb fodder and our author is up for the challenge, and the heartache, so where do we go from here?