27 May 2009

Celebrity books

Okay, I admit it, it annoys me. I know I should rise above it but... you guessed it, I fail miserably.
To what do I refer you inquire?
Celebrity books, this case the hijacked ship's captain getting a book deal.

Most writers slave away in anonymity. Trying to bring to life the stories in our heads in a way that will entertain readers - bring them back for more. We dream of simply getting our books accepted (most of us know huge book deals are even more fantastical than the fiction we create), and put hours of work into writing and editing, then suffering the awful wait and possible rejection when we send our babies out into the cruel, cruel world.

Then there are celeb books. Whether they be long term or flash in the pan celebrities, books deals seem to tumble into their laps. Had these people ever even thought of writing a book (or getting it ghost written) until someone offered them mega bucks - probably not. Do they really care about the book or the readers - probably not.

I'll be lucky if I can afford a new fridge with what I'll earn from my first book; they get to go home and swim in their money, without having put in the hard graft to get there. I'm not saying this fellow, Captain Richard Philips, didn't do a brave thing; but it's hard not to be annoyed when someone who doesn't care about your dream, gets your dream.

Anyway, enough bitterness. Before I head back to my writing cave I'll leave you with a link to an article "When Love Is Strange: Romance Continues its Affair with the Supernatural".

Music: Underworld
Currently reading: Still going on "The Chaos Crystal";
I've been editing/writing in the evenings and I haven't found time to finish this one.

20 May 2009


The International Digital Publishing Forum’s annual Digital Book conference was recently held in New York.
Publishers Weekly had a short article that discussed, amongst other things, the issue of DRM (Digital Rights Management).

...e-books are a sector that is growing steadily, experimenting and diversifying its products and practices and working to identify consumers and their e-book reading and buying habits. The most obvious themes at the afternoon session of DB 2009 were the importance of both women readers and the romance genre to digital publishing as well as the promotion of IDPF’s epub standard and the industry’s problematic response to DRM....
Long identified as voracious trade book readers, women were identified as the prototypical e-book reader, while the romance genre—with hundreds of new releases each month—is just as robust in the digital publishing sector as it is print. More than ever Digital Rights Management—and even the notion of e-book piracy—was portrayed as more of a problem to the developing e-book market than e-book piracy itself... (full article)

I have mixed feelings on DRM. I can see the point in protecting author and publishers rights over copy, and trying to prevent piracy, I really can but...
DRM gets stripped off every day by pirates and causes nothing but grief for legitimate purchasers.
DRM can mean you can't shift an eBook from one medium to another (e.g. eBookReader to PC), it can be almost impossible to re-authenticate if you need to (e.g. hard drive crash or new PC), and the authentication process can be difficult and burdensome. DRM has even been nicknamed 'Driving Readers Mad'.
Not only that but there is evidence to suggest there is a higher rate of piracy with DRM than without. Choosing to purchase a potentially difficult DRM eBook or pirate one that won't have the same problems - for some people this is a no brainer.
E-publishers need to make buying a book so easy that readers won't even think of going to the hassle of downloading it illegally, they'll just buy it.
With the increasing popularity of eBookReaders, and the introduction of new ones onto the market, DRM is an issue that needs to be looked at and considered carefully before it smothers this growing market. Being anti-DRM does not mean being pro-piracy.

For those who are interested some additional links.
On a lighter note, I spotted this in the news the other day...

Bra Boosts Clevage When Aroused.

Slovenia-based Lisca lingerie's Smart Memory Bra alters its shape when the wearer's body temperature changes, pushing breasts closer together when a woman gets flushed after seeing someone attractive.

Designer Suzana Gorisek said: "As a woman's body changes, so the size of the bra changes. That's the advantage of this bra." As soon as the wearer's temperature decreases the bra deflates. ...

[And even more hilarious] ...

Earlier this week, underwear firm Triumph International showed off their new bra offering, which boasted a ticking clock on the front. The bra is designed for women who are looking for a husband, and the only way to stop the clock counting down is to slip an engagement ring into the mechanism. When the jewellery is put in place, the clock halts and Felix Mendelssohn's 'The Wedding March' begins to play. The bra is yet to go on sale. ... (full article)

music: Gnarls Barkley
Currently reading: 'The Chaos Chrystal' by Jennifer Fallon
The last in her Tide Lords series. For any one who is interested this series is not romance (none of her books are) it's straight fantasy.

14 May 2009

For writers out there

Having trouble with your characters not co-operating, or your plot exploding, Holly Lisle has posted the first two of a series of writing tip videos (what she calls crash testing for writing).
She takes a sample piece writing and gives examples of how to make it more powerful...

The case of the exploding cat:
  • Plot crash
  • Characterization crash
  • Style crash
  • Structural crash

The case of the undead patrician:
  • Viewpoint/filter crash
  • Priority crash
  • Human nature crash
  • Structural crash

Part 1

Part 2

If I can work out how to get this as one video instead of two I will (for some reason I can't make the code on her site work).

Holly Lisle strongly believes in paying it forward in term of giving advice to writers and I recommend giving these a watch. Her website.

Music: Beats international
Currently reading: Still reading 'Palace of Impossible Dreams' by Jennifer Fallon

11 May 2009

The Editing Letter

Lara Zielin has created a little video showing her first contact with "The Editing Letter" while working on her debut novel "Donut Days".
I got a nice chuckle out of this one....

Music: Madness
Currently Reading: 'The Palace Of Impossible Dreams' by Jennifer Fallon

07 May 2009


Shifting from books to movies today... I saw Fast and Furious the other day so I thought I would blather aimlessly about my movie viewing plans for the next few months.

Fast & Furious: This movie carries on from the first installment "The Fast and the Furious". (Same cast as well.) If you liked the first one, you'll like this one. Fast cars, unbelievable special effects etc... There is actually more story/better dialogue than "Tokyo Drift" - but it doesn't take much to get over that threshold. Never saw 2 Fast 2 Furious - no Vin Diesel :)

Now for the things I haven't seen:

Wolverine: I enjoyed the X-men movies (although the first two were better than the third I thought) so I'm looking forward to this. Hugh Jackman reprises his X-men role.

Terminator: Christian Bale takes us into the future to join the fight against the machines. Again I liked the first two Terminator movies but the thought the third was weak (John Connor really wasn't believable as the prospective leader of the resistance, the girl had more gumption).

Public Enemies: Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, and writer-director Michael Mann, give this movie a jump start even before reading the gangster movie blurb. Based on a true story apparently - how closely? Well, this is Hollywood after all...

Star Trek: Prequel to the original series; we see the start of Kirk and The Enterprise. I'm not a Trekkie but this looks like it has potential to be a good yarn. Simon Pegg (from "Shaun of the Dead") plays Scotty, and a New Zealander, Karl Urban, plays Bones.

From this you can probably determine - yes, I like action movies; yes, I like Sci-Fi; and yes, some of these may include eye-candy.