Just thought I'd share one of my favorite moments from chapter 2 of Immortal Dreams:
He took a few steps towards her, for no reason other than to draw her attention back to him. “You’re welcome.”
Her head jerked up. “What?”
“You said you came here to thank me. In turn, I said you’re welcome.”
Her cheeks flushed a deep shade of red before she returned to staring at her hands. “Oh…thank you.”
Vouclade snapped a hand out and twisted the chair currently serving as her personal coat rack so that it clipped the back of her knees when it swiveled, disrupting her balance and forcing her to sit down. “How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”
Her eyes widened as her amply padded behind collided with the unforgiving seat cushion. She looked up at him. “What?”
He narrowed his eyes on her. This would be the last time he’d repeat himself for her benefit. “Tell me how you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” When she simply stared up at him, seemingly confounded by his request, he raised his voice, “Now.”
She flinched hard, instinctively fisting her hands. “Uh…I guess…” Confusion washed over her face in an unsteady wave. “I…um…I’d go to the store and I’d buy some, um…bread…and some peanut butter, and then jelly…oh, and a thing of butter. And then after I paid for everything…uh…I guess I’d walk back home and, um…put everything in my kitchen.” She briefly hesitated, as if she weren’t sure of her own words, and then focused intently on where her hands rested in her lap. “Yeah…then I’d get out a plate and a knife…and um, I’d put them up on the counter. Then…I’d get out two pieces of bread and put them in the toaster. And then when they popped up, I’d put them on my plate...and I’d start with a layer of butter then put the peanut butter on top of it.” Her face began to relax as she paused to breathe, allowing a smile to slowly claim her features. “But I’d wait until it melted and got all gooey before I put the jelly on. And then I’d smush the pieces of bread together until they were as flat as I could possibly make them…” She looked up at him just as the smile reached the corners of her eyes. “And then, I guess I’d be so busy thinking about my awesome sandwich and how good it’s gonna taste that’d I’d forget to be nervous about talking to you.”
He offered a curt nod. “Perhaps now we can engage in a non-circular conversation which expands beyond the words, thank you and you’re welcome, wherein you don’t stare at your fingers the entire time.”
Have a great weekend! :)
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
For anyone scratching their head right now, Immortal Dreams is the free novella I'm working on as a special thanks to everyone for waiting so patiently while my agent tries to sell Eternal Hearts (and the series) to a major publisher. I don't have any news on that front yet, but I'll let you know as soon as I do. In the interim, I hope you enjoy this peek at Immortal Dreams, which I hope to release in October...
“Are you sure you’re ready for this?”
Kasey Morris stared up at the sea of snowflakes swirling above the roof of Cook County Hospital for another few seconds, and then turned to face her friend and Mentor, Raze. “Of course I’m sure. I wouldn’t have come here with you if I wasn’t.”
“Just keep in mind what I told you,” Raze said, her husky voice edged with concern. “I know you have this little girl’s vision of a superhero stuck in your mind…but he’s nothing like you remember. And I do mean nothing.”
Kasey glared at her Mentor. If she had to listen to any more of Raze’s thoughts on that particular subject, she might scream. “I have a novel idea - why don’t you let me be the judge of him?”
Raze’s eyes narrowed in response, their deep violet color taking on an eerie, almost unnatural luminescence. “Because it’s your judgment skills we seem to be having the most trouble with lately.”
Touché. Kasey drew in a deep breath. She couldn’t argue that point, especially since she’d Ascended nearly three years ago and still hadn’t passed her final test. “Look, I won’t say I haven’t had some problems, it’s just…I don’t think it’s your place to tell me if he’s what I remember or not. You don’t know how I remember him. You weren’t there.”
“I may not have been there, but it’s not like I haven’t heard you talk about him before. And, mind you, I’ve actually seen and talked to the guy in the past ten years, whereas you haven’t. So, could you at least act like I might actually know what I’m talking about…for once?”
Kasey rolled her eyes. “I never said you didn’t know what you were talking about. I just wish you’d let me do this without all the comments…and the warnings…and all the other crap I’ve been listening to for the last week.” She fisted her hands as frustration welled up inside her. “Please…for the love of God, could you just let me do this one thing without a bunch of coaching first?”
Raze tipped her head to the side, sending a mixture of blond and neon green braids cascading across the shoulder of her black, opera-style long coat. “Did you hit your head on something while we were walking? Do you not understand what the word ‘Mentor’ means?”
“I understand what it means,” Kasey snapped between clenched teeth. “But I don’t need your advice when it comes to him. I agreed to try taking a final test in Chicago instead of New York, because you agreed to let me come here first. Now, you’re either going to keep your promise and let me do what I need to do, in whatever way I need to do it…or I’m going back home. I’m tired of arguing about this.”
“Fine,” Raze grumbled before she turned and started walking away. “I just hope you don’t get so caught up with Dr. Death that you forget what you’re really here for.”
Kasey stared at Raze’s back as granules of rock salt crunched and popped between the sidewalk and the thick soles of her black leather boots. “Uh…aren’t you forgetting something?”
Raze spun on her heel with the grace of a Gothic ballerina. “What?”
Kasey motioned to the massive hospital looming roughly thirty yards to her left. “Where am I supposed to go in there? You said you’d tell me when we got here.”
“But I thought you didn’t want any coaching?”
“There’s a difference between not wanting to hear your opinion on an issue that’s been talked to death, and asking for the directions you’ve purposely been withholding.”
Raze gave a lazy shrug, as if she either didn’t understand the difference, or just didn’t give a damn. “Pediatrics is on the sixth floor. Go to the nurse’s station and ask for Georgia. If you’re lucky, she might go get him for you – but don’t be surprised if she doesn’t.”
Kasey huffed out a breath, which quickly became a burst of steam as it mingled with the frigid night air. “Do you have any intention of telling me what that’s supposed to mean?”
Raze simply smiled. “I’m not sure, but that’s exactly what Kerestyan told me when I asked him where to find Dr. Death. Believe it or not, he didn’t really elaborate. Of course, since I’m already acquainted with the Good Doctor, it’s not like I asked for details.” She blew Kasey a kiss then began back peddling. “Now, if you’ll kindly excuse me – since you clearly don’t need me – I have to go talk to a vampire about a petition. I’ll catch up with you later…hopefully not still here.”
Kasey shook her head as she turned and made her way towards the hospital’s front doors. She loved Raze like an older sister, she really did, but even the most well intentioned sister could talk a subject into the ground so hard you wanted to smack her sometimes.
Not that she’d ever raise a hand to her sister, but even with her recent Ascension to something supposedly greater, her impulses were still exactly that – impulses…and sometimes they were difficult to ignore. Of course, those same impulses were also the main reason behind her ever growing string of judgment issues. After all, it was kind of hard for her to make an educated “live or die” decision for someone when the voices in her mind kept screaming for the death option.
But then, that’s what walking the path of Balance was all about.
Instead of becoming a Zealot, a Paladin who ran around the world hell bent on destroying every supernatural creature they could get their hands on, Kasey had accepted Raze’s offer to walk the road less traveled. Balance meant learning to ignore, if not totally silence, the voices in her head. It meant watching a target long enough to learn about their interactions with the humans around them, before deciding whether or not they were a threat to humanity. If they weren’t, then she could leave them be and make a mental note to check back later. But if they were a threat, well…then she could appease the demanding voices any way she saw fit. And usually, the more violent her final decision was – the happier the voices were.
After slipping between the automatic doors and working her way through the mildly crowded lobby, Kasey ducked into one of the open elevators and pressed the button for the sixth floor. She leaned back against the wall and shivered as a chill slithered down her spine. More than any other place in the world, she hated hospital lobbies.
Granted, the whole “death's waiting room” moniker might’ve had something to do with her feelings, but in her case, there was more. With her, there was always more. She hated the muted color schemes, intentionally designed to be deceitful. The smoky blues, frosted greens, and the dusty reds - the very same colors often found in an 80 year-old woman’s sitting room. Only, in a hospital lobby, every single splash of color was strategically placed to instill a feeling of warmth, of familiarity, of – see, it’s just like being at Grandma’s house!
But it wasn’t like being at Grandma’s house.
And even a dying child knew better…
When the digitized bells chimed and the doors slid open, Kasey stepped out of the elevator and couldn’t help but to smile at the instant and radical change of décor. If some million-dollar interior designer had to create boldfaced lies with color, then this brand of outright extravagance was the only way to accomplish that task.
Here, the muted blues and mauves of the lobby had been exchanged for cartoon giraffes, elephants, monkeys, and lions, all of whom shared the walls in absolute harmony. Painted in every vivid color imaginable, one purple elephant was even kind enough to point her in the direction of the nurse’s station, while the red cobra coiled on its back held up a sign announcing the location of the bathrooms.
How convenient. Kasey chuckled at the thought. But, if nothing else, at least she knew she was on the right floor. The pediatric ward of a hospital was the only place in the world where those two animals could happily team up for no other purpose than giving directions.
Following the instructions so elegantly scrawled on the elephant’s trunk, Kasey rounded the corner and stopped at the nurse’s station, which had been decorated to resemble a lavish desert Oasis.
She smiled when a petite blonde looked up at her from behind the counter. “Hi. My name’s Kasey Morris. I’m looking for Georgia. Would it be possible to talk to her for a few minutes?”
The nurse’s blue eyes narrowed a bit. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said as she cast a glance down to her pastel pink watch. “The Administration office closed an hour ago, and I don’t have any more Food Service applications up here at the desk. Try the Admin office in the morning. They’re open nine to five, Monday through Friday.” She punctuated the obviously pre-programmed response by tilting her head and flashing a blinding white smile.
For a moment, all Kasey could do was blink at the woman. Once again, and damningly so, Raze had been right. If you dressed in all black, had multi-colored hair, or wore shiny pants – you were automatically pegged as an incompetent degenerate.
Kasey flattened her hands on the counter and leaned closer to the snobby nurse. “Look, Barbie, I’m not here for an application. And I really don’t appreciate your assumption that even if I was, I’d only be capable of serving food. Don’t act like you know me.”
Barbie’s cheeks flamed a deep shade of pink. “Oh, my God…I am so, so sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. Wow…” She rubbed a hand down her tanned face, and then offered an apologetic smile. “I've just never seen you before and Georgia’s been doing second interviews for PFSWs for the last two weeks straight and I’ve had five people come in today asking for her when all they really wanted was an application.” She finally took a breath. “But I shouldn’t have assumed. I really am sorry. I honestly didn’t mean to offend you.”
Way to go, freak. Kasey backed off the counter when heat burned her own cheeks. “Yeah, sorry about that…and for calling you Barbie.”
“Oh, don’t bother apologizing for that.” She tugged at her badge. “It's my name.” When Kasey’s mouth dropped open while her brain searched for the words to convey her sincerest condolences, Barbie raised a hand. “Contrary to what you’re probably thinking right now, they really do love me. My parents, that is.”
Kasey shook her head. “Wow. That’s just…unfortunate.”
She shrugged. “I suppose it is, but I’ve learned to live with it.” She smiled again. “So, before I so rudely assumed you were looking for a Food Service job, you said wanted to speak with Georgia, right?”
Kasey nodded. “Yes, please.”
“Is she expecting you? And if not, can I tell her why you’re here?”
“No, she’s not expecting me. At least, I don’t think so anyway. To be honest, I’m not really sure. Actually, what I’d really like to do is see Dr. Nelek, but I was told I had to talk to Georgia first.”
“Oh, yeah,” Barbie laughed. “Not even the Pope could get to him without going through her first. Hold on a sec and I’ll page her for you.” She picked up a banana yellow telephone receiver then dialed a few numbers. “Georgia to PNS one, please. Georgia to PNS one.” She gently set the receiver back on its base with one hand while she ticked off three fingers with the other.
After a delay of exactly three seconds followed by a loud beep, Barbie’s firm but polite words drifted above the entire hallway.
“She should be here in a few,” Barbie said. “But while you wait, can I give you a tiny bit of advice?”
Although she’d had more than her fill of unsolicited opinions for the day, Kasey nodded. “Sure, why not.”
“I’m not saying that you are, so please don’t take it that way, but if you happen to be the kind of person who’s easily offended…you might wanna take a moment to prepare yourself.”
Kasey arched a brow. “For what?”
Barbie pointed to her right just as the rhythmic thump of heavy footsteps echoed in the hallway, and then she beamed yet another blinding smile. “For Georgia.”
Kasey turned her head just as a heavy-set black woman emerged from a junction about twenty feet down the hall. With her Disney purple pants and Mickey Mouse plastered all over the top of her scrubs, she looked to be a fairly jovial woman. However, her stern face told a much different story.
Georgia, at least Kasey assumed she was, stopped a few feet away from the counter and locked her dark brown eyes on Barbie. “Miss Barbie Girl, you best have a good reason for paging me like that.”
Barbie looked over at the older nurse, a smile threatening the corners of her mouth. “I do, Ma’am.” She motioned to Kasey. “This is Kasey Morris, and she wants to see your favorite doctor.”
“She wants to what?” Georgia’s hands went straight to her hips as she slowly turned towards Kasey. “You wanna what?”
Kasey smiled at her. She vaguely recalled the slightly raspy timbre of her loud voice, but the nurse she remembered that particular voice belonging to had seemed a lot younger and quite a bit thinner. “I’d really like to see Dr. Nelek.” She paused to offer her best curtsey. “That is, if you deem me worthy of such an honor.”
One of Georgia’s dark brows rose as her eyes followed an all too familiar curve around the top of Kasey’s head, as if she was admiring a headband that Kasey wasn’t wearing. Her face immediately relaxed into a welcoming smile. “You were one of his patients.”
Kasey nodded. “Not so inoperable brain tumor, ten years ago.”
“Oh, then you were over at the old building.” Georgia drew a deep breath then clucked her tongue. “I sure do miss that place sometimes. But I praise the Lord everyday for this one. It’s a lot easier on the babies with all the HEPA this and the allergen free that. They shoulda just said it keeps the city out and the oxygen in. But you didn’t come all the way up here to hear me go on about that, so come on.” She waved for Kasey to follow her. “Let’s go find Dr. Nelek.”
Kasey hurried forward when Georgia turned and started walking back in the direction she’d originally come from. “Thanks for taking me see him,” she said as she fell into step beside her. “I’ve been wanting to tell him thank you for a really long time now.”
“It’s no problem, Honey. He doesn’t get many visitors anyway, especially grown-up patients, so this should be a nice surprise for him.” She stopped in front of a simple wooden door and pushed it open until it locked into place. “Go ahead and have a seat in here. It’ll probably take me a few minutes, but I’ll find him for you.”
Kasey moved to stand near a circular table in the middle of what looked to be a small meeting room, rather reminiscent of the lobby. “Thanks, Georgia, I really do appreciate it.”
Georgia gave nothing more than a quick nod before she disappeared from the doorway. Her heavy footsteps had barely begun to fade when the purposeful sounds were abruptly replaced by the pop and creak of a metal door opening.
“You have a visitor,” her loud voice carried down the hall.
“What kind of visitor?”
Quiet but strangely resonant, Kasey shivered as the deep voice she’d been waiting to hear for nearly a decade touched her ears. She closed her eyes when heated tears stung the rims, and fought to steady the torrent of emotions clashing inside her while she listened.
“Some cute little white girl,” Georgia said. “I put her down in Interrogation three.”
“Do you mean Interview room three?”
“They’re the same damn thing aren’t they?”
“Hardly. Interview, implies a conversation will occur in a give and take manner, a free exchange of information, if you will. Interrogation, on the other hand, conjures an image wherein one party is forced to provide the other with information they’d prefer not to share.”
Kasey wiped the tears from her cheeks as an involuntary smile spread across her face. After hearing that comment, she had no doubt that voice belonged to the man who’d given her a second chance to live...when every other doctor had dignosed her as already dead.
“Have I told you that you’re a pain in my ass lately?” Georgia asked, her tone far more teasing than angry.
A moment of silence stretched thin until the sharp snap of fingers finally broke it. “Are you just gonna sit there and stare at those test results, or are you gonna go talk to the girl?”
“Do you know what she wants?”
“To thank you. She’s a former patient.”
“Tell her she’s welcome, and that while I greatly appreciate her desire to meet with me in person, I have current patients who require my complete and undivided attention.”
He doesn’t want you. Kasey stiffened as her heart sank. She locked her gaze on the doorway. How could he just dismiss her?
Georgia’s laughter filled the hall. “I am not telling her that.”
“No. That girl came all the way up here just to thank you. So you better get your skinny ass out of that chair and go talk to her. Lord in Heaven, it’s not like a little social interaction’s gonna kill you.”
Yes! You tell him, Georgia. You go girl!
After a brief storm of footsteps, Georgia reappeared in the waiting room doorway, a smile stretched wide across her face. “He’ll be with you in a minute, Honey.” And before Kasey could even say thank you, she disappeared in the direction of the nurse’s station.
Kasey ripped off her leather coat and flung it across the back of the closest chair, then stood up as straight as possible while she smoothed the scooped neck of her snug black sweater. He could walk into the room at any moment. Would he recognize her? What would he say?
Wait, what am I gonna say? She sucked in and blew out a series of shallow breaths. She could do this, she had to do this. But then, but what if she said something stupid? She bit at the inside of her bottom lip as she considered the possibility. What if she made a total ass of herself and he never wanted to see her again?
She looked up when the tip-tap of lighter footsteps registered in her mind, but this time all she could do was stare at the doctor standing in the doorway. Her heart jumped and lodged itself in her throat. The oxygen in her lungs dissipated. Standing right there, in the flesh, was the man she’d waited ten full years to see again.
Long black dreadlocks replaced the silky straight hair she remembered, but aside from that single difference, everything else about him was the same. His handsome face, made remarkable by the high angle of his cheekbones and the sharp cut of his jaw, looked to be sculpted from the purest alabaster. He was an angel in his own right, with his perfect full lips and intelligent gray eyes. The kind of intense, soulful eyes that could make a lasting impression on a girl…the kind of dark eyes that'd made more than just an impression on her.
For once, her Mentor was wrong. Raze had said he'd be nothing like she remembered. But the man standing in front of her now was everything she remembered. Everything.
Kasey cringed when a nearly deafening chorus of unearthly voices shrieked a familiar warning in her mind, drawing her reverie to a jarring halt. Less than a second later, golden sparks exploded all around her, creating a protective barrier meant to shield her from a vastly superior opponent.
She’d half expected this would happen when she saw him again. Something similar had occurred the first time she’d met Kerestyan Nelek, the vampire Lord of New York, and his twin brother Odin. The voices had risen in her ears right before her barrier flared to life, but both had lasted only seconds before they’d completely faded.
Unfortunately, what had happened back then was nothing compared to what was happening now…
Kasey wanted to close her eyes, but struggled against the instinctual reflex as the shrill screams droned even louder, urging her to get as far away from the current threat as possible.
There was only one problem…she didn’t want to run away.
She wanted to stay and talk to him. She wanted to stare into his eyes as a full grown woman, not a little girl. She wanted to rememorize every detail of the doctor who’d haunted her dreams almost every night since she was eleven.
She fisted her hands when her barrier intensified, the sun golden color taking on a more metallic sheen. She ground her teeth together. Damn it! How could she talk to him, let alone do anything else, when the angelic choir freaking out in her mind refused to shut up?
She glared at the ceiling. Yes, Dr. Nelek was a vampire. Yes, he was more powerful than she could ever hope to be. And yes, she knew the expansive gap between their generations made her a lunatic for wanting to be anywhere close to him. But, for the love of everything good and holy, was the extended racket really necessary?
Kasey wasn’t sure whether it was her mental plea for mercy or his powerful voice that finally silenced the symphony…
“Before you commence with your attack, might I request that we move to a more accommodating venue first?”
Although the thought of hurting him had never once crossed her mind, and probably never would, she couldn’t resist asking, “Why?”
He cast a slow glance over the room. “This is but a simple interview room. It was neither designed nor meant for medical procedures. Hence, Georgia would have a very difficult time cleaning what remains of you off the upholstery.”
Kasey could only stare at him. She wasn’t sure what was more unsettling, the succinct way he’d delivered his explanation, as though cleaning her off the furniture was already a foregone conclusion, or the notion that he’d put Georgia in the exact same situation at least once before. Either way, this most certainly wasn't the kind of reaction she'd expected from him.
His sharp gray eyes narrowed on her. “Well, what say you?”
She forcefully willed her protective barrier to fizzle as an entire colony of butterflies took flight in her stomach. “I didn’t come here to attack you. I just…I wanted to say thank you. In person. I wanted to tell you thank you. You know, for what you did...for me...back then.”
His eyes slowly traced the same headband-style curve that Georgia’s had followed earlier. “I do believe this is irony at its finest.”
Kasey frowned at him. “Why would you say that?”
He reached up and adjusted his wire-rimmed glasses. “Because it would appear I saved a young girl, who scarcely a decade later has dedicated her life to killing my kind. If that isn’t irony – I’d be curious to hear your definition.”
Friday, September 17, 2010
|Got Romance Novels?|
|The front door is to the left of the shelf.|
I always chuckle when I hear women talk about romance novels like they’re some kind of dirty little secret. I think the reason is because, like I said earlier, the bookshelves in the pictures above were in the dining room of my old house. And, well…when a visitor walked through the front door of our home…they stepped right into our dining room. My Mom never hid her favored books. She never talked about romance novels like there was anything wrong with them. In fact, she loved them - and was very proud of the shelves my Dad built to hold all of them. :)
Of course, there are a few funny stories that revolve around my Mom’s chosen books. Like the time yours truly, at only 5 years old, told the person administering a Kindergarten maturity test that "my Mom bakes cakes and reads dirty books” when asked what she did for a living. Granted, while all my Mom did was laugh when she found out, I blame my Dad for the statement because he was the only one in the house who called them “dirty books”. And, in my own defense, she really did bake wedding cakes at the time.
|Close-up, 1st shelf.|
So there you have it. Because of my Mom’s insatiable love of reading and her refusal to hide the very books she loved so much, I grew up surrounded by romance novels - literally. ;) And there isn’t a day that I sit down to write my own books that I don’t silently thank her for it.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Now, I got a few e-mails yesterday (after I posted a quick update on Facebook and Twitter) asking what I'll do if for some inexplicable reason the series doesn't get picked up by a publisher...and I have to admit you guys cracked me up with how unthinkable that outcome even was. :) But the truth is - that outcome is more of a possibility than the alternative. More books get rejected by editors than published, so while I won't tell you not to be excited - I will tell you to be cautious in said excitement. We're not quite there yet.
(And to my Mom, who is no doubt shaking her head while she reads the above paragraph, and is probably grumbling something like, "Knock off the pessimism" - I can't...it's part of my genetic code. And the originator of that specific strand of my DNA is probably kicked back in his recliner right now, watching tennis. So go pick on him, not me. ;D )
If the series doesn't get picked up by a publisher, then rest assured that I'll continue to publish it myself. After all, I think I have a pretty good handle on this whole self-publishing thing...and I'm still rather comfortable with the notion. ;) Besides, like I've said before, I owe the fact that I even have an agent to you guys. If you'd never given Eternal Seduction a chance, there's no way Robert would have found out about the series. And for that, I promise you...no matter whose name is stamped on the spine...I'll keep giving you the stories as long as you want them. :D
So, once again, to all of you reading this - THANK YOU!
Have a good weekend!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
|Don't be Kanye!|
Okay, so now that I’ve given you all the updated info that I have, I’m feeling inclined to share a few opinions about all the self-publishing news that’s hit the internet lately. Hence, the Kanye West picture and the caption. ;)
First, while I lurk all across the internet daily, and am especially drawn to any article or blog post with “self-publishing” in the title…rarely do I ever comment on articles/posts about self-publishing, be they good or bad. And it’s not because I’m ashamed of being self-pubbed, or that I don’t have anything of value to add considering my experience…but more because arguing with anyone on the internet reminds me of my hubby’s favorite saying – “It’s like a monkey f$@*#&g a football.” Sure, it might be entertaining for a minute…but in the end it gets you nowhere. :D
I have way better things to do than to spend hours defending self-publishing to people who’ve already made up their minds that nothing good can come from it. To me, arguing about my choice to self-publish is like arguing with a stranger about why I drive a Ford Taurus. I made the choice to buy a Ford Taurus because it suited my needs, I liked the styling, and I loved the price tag even more, which pretty much sums up the reasons why I chose to self-publish. It’s not for anyone else to question, let alone demean me for. It was my choice. Period.
No matter what industry you look at, be it publishing, technology, or even manufacturing, someone will always come up with a different way to do things. And mind you, I said different…not necessarily better or worse, just different. And when a person does set out to do something that goes against the conventional grain, there will always be those who applaud the unconventional method, and those who rail against it. But either way, the different method has still been invented, and you can bet your butt that someone else will come along and change the game again. I suppose, in some instances, it’s evolution at its finest.
Now, don’t get me wrong - are there bad self-published books out there? Oh hell yes. But saying every self-published book is awful…is much like saying every traditionally published book is great. We all know better. Common sense tells us so. Not every song is good. Not every movie is good. Not every TV show is good. Not every book is good. And even the most trusted brands produce a stinker every now and then. But even then, the labels “good” and “bad” are often applied by personal opinion. ;)
Are there self-published authors out there who’ve done a disservice to their brethren by helping to sustain and even promote the unprofessional stigma attached to self-publishing? Uh huh. I cringe every time I read a one or two star review on Amazon where the self-published author makes it a point to comment and insult the reader who wrote the review. If, as an author, self-published or traditionally published, you can’t handle the idea that someone might not like your book , please take my advice – get out of the business now and save your delicate ego for a different pursuit.
Do a lot of self-published authors fan the flames of the “self-publishing stigma” debate by constantly arguing with people from the traditional publishing industry and telling them they’re evil? (For example: All agents and editors are out to get me! They just can’t see my genius!) You bet your monkey and your football. Like I said, I’m a hella good lurker, and I see those kinds of comments nearly once a day. I see self-published authors who constantly claim that they’ve been singled-out by the publishing industry. They’ve been black balled by agents. They’ve been turned down because their fanfreakintasticness is just too much for a mere editor to handle. Seriously. It’s out there. Right next to the same people who, in nearly every debate about the merits of self-publishing, name famous self-publishers like Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and that dude who wrote THE SHACK…
Look, there will always be a few people who successfully buck the system. There will always be a few people who become a marvelous exception to the often lamented rule. But the most important point is this – those people still represent a freakishly small percentage of the whole.
In my opinion, if you’re a self-published author – don’t take the time to constantly argue your case or cause on the internet. Don’t let yourself get sucked in to a debate that doesn’t have a right or wrong answer, because every answer is based on individual and very personal opinions. Don’t comment on every blog/article that chides self-publishing or champions it. And, for the love of all that is sacred to you and yours, don’t argue with or insult readers who leave a bad review for your book.
Go work on your next book. Answer some fan e-mails. Update your website. Go do a guest blog somewhere. Even better, pretend that you’re a traditionally published, bestselling author who has a reputation to protect, and that every word you write on the internet has the propensity to either come back and bite you in the ass – or gain you a new reader. Because I’d be willing to bet that the number of traditionally published authors who stay on top after lambasting their own readers or making a fool of themselves in a public arena…is about equal to the number of self-published authors who go on to secure a lucrative traditional publishing contract.