Friday, March 26, 2010

On Selling One's Soul

I was recently looking at a book I wanted to buy on Amazon (yes that book) and saw next to the hard copy price "Also available on e-book" with another, lower, price next to it. I shuddered. I don't think its any secret that I don't like e-books or those little things with buttons that hold them --Oh how I hate buttons --but I'm not against them. If you want to paint your house pink with olive green pansies on it go ahead. I don't understand it or like to look at it but so long as you don't paint MY house pink with olive green pansies I'm not going to complain. At least not that much. But when I was staring at those words "Also available on e-book" I wondered something. Will my books be "also available on e-book"? MINE? I didn't like the idea but I doubted I would have any luck explaining to an agent that I was not going to sell my electronic rights because I don't LIKE e-books. And then another word struck out at me.

Sell. The book won't be 'mine' anymore.

Wait. What?! This thing I have poured myself into for the last four years. The thing that I have stressed and obsessed over to find the right words. The compilation of all my hopes and loves and fears when I can not find direct words to express them won't be MINE anymore?

There is of course an obvious compensation for this. Money. But I am afraid I am one of those idealists/purists/snobs who doesn't write for money. Not that I don't like money and if one day I can make some for my work and spend less time looking for a day job I will be very pleased indeed but I write because . . . I write. I always have. I always will. It is a way to express myself and partake in something outside of myself and more about the experience of the process than the end result. Money is not enough to compel me to give up ownership of something so close to being a part of my soul.

What is worth it then? I am giving up the say in what happens to something precious to me. What am I gaining? The answer to that is simple and throws all my worries out the window in heartbeat. The chance to share. People will read my story. They might even enjoy it. That is worth it being contaminated by e-book form.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Five Days

Five Days. I broke down yesterday and just finished the excerpt instead of milking chapter by chapter so I now have five days of waiting without solace instead of three.
Ok, I am exaggerating. Even I'm not that obsessed. Probably.
So now I'm not only waiting but waiting IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK. Is it bad that I still get so involved in stories about people that don't actually exist that I can't stand the thought of leaving a character in peril by *gasp of horrors* putting the book down? I mean Sophos was a slave for Eugenides' (referring in this instance to the god of thieves) sake! When will he finally decide to escape? How did he he get to Attolia? Will he ever see Eddis again? Tune in next time . . .
Next time is in five days. Too long. To console myself I will post this book trailer

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not to Dream

Have you ever been stalked by a concept? As in everywhere you turn the same idea is being discussed? (and I don't mean the latest gossip trend or political controversy.) Things that shouldn't have anything to do with each other start linking together in your head and all point to the same concept. It's a bit creepy but also kind of awesome. Like suddenly discovering the theme of your own story. Or at least this week's story.

This week's theme for me seems to be, breaking things down. One step at a time. Only setting goals I can control. Don't give up. patience.

Its not quite as mind blowing as some of the other concepts I've been stalked by. As in its a common theme for blogs and the kind of books I've been reading anyways but its still there. Waiting for me to notice it.

I've heard a lot of people refer to writing as a dream, whether their own writing goals or after I've told them mine but I'm not sure I like that description. Not because of the unreachable connotations of the word. In my sick, cause thirsty mind that would only make it more appealing. But because 'dream' implies perfection. There is way too much pressure involved in making a 'dream come true'. Not only does it sound too big to tackle but it makes you feel like once that goal is reached everything will be perfect so that once you do get that book published (or house built or promotion or vacation) and everything is not perfect you feel let down like you haven't really achieved anything at all.

Thus I think I am against our culture's preoccupation with 'dreams'. I prefer the less fantastical word 'ambition'. Ambition is a word that can be broken down into steps. It is a goal that can be achieved and then passed on for your next ambition without any disappointment.

Maybe I'm thinking too small. Maybe I should opt with the more romantic word, the one full of magic and fairy dust, maybe 'ambition' sucks all the life out my goals, but I think I'm OK with that for the time being. I can do with a little less luster if it means actually getting closer to that end.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Count Down: Eight Days. For real this time.

Eight Days left. Wait I've already been here haven't I? I was worried that some of my excitement was fizzling out but, as of yesterday I came across this

six chapter excerpt. (sorry, I really don't know how to do links yet. One day I might take the time to figure it out. Then again maybe not) At any rate, on reading the prologue and first chapter, (which I did despite my dislike for e-books) my excitement has remounted and I now must pace myself in the next five chapters I have.

Somehow reviewing pieces of an unpublished book when I'm not an official reviewer doesn't fell right, but I will say that so far I am not disappointed. I love the way Megan Whelan Turner messes with style and format so much. You just never know what she's going to do.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"The King of Attolia" 15 Days.

15 days. This time I'm sure. I promise. March 23rd is the day. (the one good thing about not actually having any readers is I don't have to be embarrassed about counting almost all the way down to the wrong date.)

Its been almost a week since I finished The King of Attolia so some of my enthusiasm will have worn down. Sad but true. I do, however, think it was a fabulous book. The first time I read it I remember being frustrated that it was from Costis' point of view mostly instead of Eugenides but, maybe because I was forewarned this time around I liked it.
In the first book Turner tricks us by not telling major pieces of information about the character even though it is first person. As fabulous as that was she can only get away with it once. So, the Queen of Attolia is told in third person. All very well. That way you have more characters' heads to sort out and we are still surprised. Still, after those surprises we know more about those characters as well and can sort out what they'r really thinking much faster. It King of Attolia she needed another angle to come from because even if we aren't entirely surprised with all of Eugenides' escapades Costis is and we can enjoy his confusion. it also helped to show Gen proving himself --which is mostly what the plot is based around. If we were in his head the entire time we would never have seen him as the whinny little guy who doesn't want to be king and at the end, because so much of Eugenides' character is a mixture of extreme vulnerability and amazing prowess, we wouldn't have seen the strong leader that his guards learn to recognize him as.
That said, I don't think the book is quite as amazing as the first two. Don't get me wrong. It is good, and a necessary link between the Queen of Attolia and, I'm guessing, Conspiracy of Kings. We need to see how he gain the loyalty of his subjects, but most of the book is more antics than a heavy plot. Not to say for a moment that those antics aren't entertaining or that there is not plot at all. Still, it is not quite the riveting compilation of events that just fit together so perfectly by book's end that The Thief and The Queen of Attolia are.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh dear . . . . 21 days

Well I am embarrassed, though probably even more disappointed. The release date for Conspiracy of Kings is NOT March 10th but March 23rd. I lament. I scream. I throw things --ok that one is an exaggeration but it is still truth to say that I am not pleased. I'm still trying to remember where or when I heard that it was March 10th. Possibly my own invention entirely. All I can remember is remembering that it was March 10th . . . I apologize to anyone who might have been following and have been as excited as I was (two extra weeks. So much for having the re-reads fresh on my mind)

Well, let us begin again

MARCH 23RD is in

21 days

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Queen of Attolia: Countdown 8 Days

Wow. Eight days. One day more than a week. You know the transition from *I-am-excited-because-I-know-this-will-be-great-and-it's-coming-up* to *Oh-my-god-oh-my-god-oh-my-god-oh-my-god-its-so-close-I-can-already-see-it-and-its-gonna-be-better-than-great*? I've just made it.

I think this largely has to do with the fact that I just finished re-reading The Queen of Attolia and am now almost done with the King of Attolia (but I will hold comments on that until I've given 'The Queen'a good run through). I'm wondering if I ought to have put off reading them another couple of days because now I'm going to have a whole week to suffer through in fresh suspense. But I've survived FOUR YEARS of that suspense right? What's another eight days?

A life time. That's what.

It is odd the things I remembered from The Queen of Attolia and the things I forgot. I remembered the scenes in the dungeons, and the 'calve's love' scene on the stairs and the kidnapping of the magus and Gen's excessive sulking, the eatings, his divine message of "stop whining". I completely forgot about the betrayal of the gods and the shattering glass. Him visiting the wounded. Mostly I forgot how much he grows up in this book. How fierce he becomes. How much pain he goes through. How crazy he is.

Before when I read this book I though it was a good story but I also got tired of listening to Gen sulk because I wanted to more involved in the action of the story. Now I realize that that IS the action. The irrepressible thief gets caught. He looses his hand. He looses his livelihood and possibly who he is is destroyed and he has to find a way out of that. Maybe its because I've done some growing up myself since I was sixteen (despite all the measures I've taken against it). I don't know, but I've found his sulky, bitter behavior not only understanding but also entertaining and in many ways moving. And the betrayal of the gods at the end --just when you think that everything is finally resolved and working itself out --hit me like a lightning bolt.

Well done Megan Whelan Turner. Well done. (because you know . . . be approval matters . . . and stuff)