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Haven’t been moved to post anything here for a week or so, though I have been writing…er, researching life in North Carolina in the early 20th century.  Ugh!  I now know why writing a historical romance never had any appeal for me–way too much research!  I have a love/hate relationship with research–sometimes I find it fascinating and others it bores me to tears.  But, if you’re going to write about another time you’d better do your research.  Because I guarantee if you don’t, you’re going to make a mistake and sooner or later someone’s going to catch it.  If you’re lucky, it’ll be one of your critique partners or maybe even your editor, but if it slips by those eagle eyes and gets out to the reading public, well, then, all I can say is you get what you deserve.

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about…well, actually, now that I think of it, that is what this post is about–an author making a serious mistake and getting caught.

Okay, so a little backstory here.  A couple of days ago, my sister emailed me and called my attention to a thread at the Amazon romance forum: “Help!  My negative reviews are being deleted!”  Which, as I’m sure you guessed, has to do with DeborahAnne MacGillivray and her nefarious practice of getting what she considers negative reviews of her books deleted from Amazon.  I read the comment my sister highlghted and, well, let’s just say I panicked a little bit.

Why?  Because the commenter, Steven Hedge, wasn’t too happy with an author named–drumroll, please–“Caitlin Hunter.”  I picked up on the different spelling immediately of course, but still I had one of those OMGWTF! moments, thinking he was talking about me and wondering what I’d done to upset him so much.  So, after a full five minutes of staring at that name, I came to my senses enough to comprehend what I was reading and realized he wasn’t talking about me at all, but about another author.  The next comment–thank goodness!–had a link to the alleged Caitlin Hunter’s Amazon page which I immediately clicked on…

only to see the author’s name was “Caitrina Hunter.”  Whew!  Close, but no bananas.  Still, I posted to the thread and identified myself and my pseudonym, saying I hoped when my book comes out in August and is available on Amazon, the readers involved in this thread wouldn’t mistake me for her.  Mr. Hedge was kind enough to understand where I was coming from and responded with an apology then went back and corrected his mistake.  I wrote him back to thank him and then didn’t think much more about it.

But I did subscribe to the email feed on the thread and a few minutes ago a post came through saying Caitrina Hunter had posted something on a blog which everyone there needed to see to believe.

Well, that was an understatement.  I’ve now read her post three times and I still can’t believe the vitriol spilling out of this woman’s keyboard.  Seriously, this is much more than an author behaving badly, this is an author who appears to be teetering on the edge of insanity.

Here’s the link, if you’d like to read it for yourself.  Fair warning, it’s not very pretty and I sincerely hope Ms. Hunter comes to her senses and takes it down–soon!  We’ve all seen authors behaving badly before and I guess nothing should surprise us these days after all the stuff that’s come to light in the past few weeks about Ms. MacGillivray, but this one, well, I’m…speechless.  Beyond the petty viciousness of the entire thing, I can’t imagine any romance author having the nerve to call out Nora Roberts, much less the Ja(y)nes at Dear Author.

<sigh>  I guess this is what they mean when they say someone is TSTL (too stupid to live).  Although, I’m thinking maybe we need an entirely new acronym for this one: TITIWOH (too insane to interact with other humans).

The thing is…I keep hearing how important name recogition is to an author and how I need to get my name out there and get it noticed, but damn!  I hope and pray by the time August rolls around and my book is released, all this will have blown over and no one will remember her name.  I’d really hate to have to come up with a new pseudonym, but if people see my name and connect me with her, I might have no other choice.  Because well, batshit crazy is not what I want people thinking when they see the name Caitlyn Hunter!

On the other hand, they say even bad publicity is good publicity, so…

Edited to add:  Mr. Hedge has gone above and beyond the call, apologizing to me not only on Amazon, but also on Dear Author and I’d like to offer a special thank you to him for his graciousness.  And really, what author wouldn’t want a someone like him in her corner?  It makes me question Caitrina Hunter’s sanity even more.  So, Mr. Hedge, my heartfelt thanks and I really hope Amazon has the good sense to listen to you, Reba and the others and do the right thing regarding this situation.

My husband’s been out of town this week and despite my love of solitude, I find myself missing him–he laughed when I said as much in our nightly phone call last night.  You see, he understands me and he knows how much I value my “alone time”, especially now that I’m writing.  But even before that, I loved it when he had to travel and I got to stay “home alone”.

What prompted me to tell him I missed him?  Well, something happened yesterday and I wanted to tell him about it, but since he’s in Raleigh on a business trip, I kept it to myself–for now! 

What happened?  It wasn’t anything monumental or life-changing, but it meant a lot to me.

Okay, okay, enough stalling.  Hmmm, well, my day started off in its usual ho-hum fashion–I got up, had a cup of coffee, spent thirty minutes on my elliptical machine, ate breakfast while screwing around on the Internet and catching up with the news, wrote an email to my sister, thought about writing a blog entry then nixed that idea, and finally settled in to get some writing done on a new story idea I had the other day. 

Fifteen hundred words and a few hours later, I needed a break so, I logged back onto the Internet and thinking I might just write that blog entry after all, clicked on WordPress.  With my ongoing fascination for blog stats, I clicked on them first and got a nice surprise at the number of hits I’d had on the entry I wrote on Tuesday–Deadly Virus Hits Publishing Industry!  Couldn’t figure it out, I mean that story isn’t exactly hot news.  As a matter of fact, my entry came several days after the news broke on the first scandal and um, I think it was a day after the second.  So I looked at the “Referrers” section of my stats and there were a lot of hits coming from Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books. 

Anyway, long story short–I know, I know, too late for that, right?–my blog and I had been mentioned in a post on SB/TB!  Squeeee!!!  I love that sight!  Really!  Almost as much as I love Manny Ramirez and the Red Sox.  I’ve written about the SB’s before, even gotten a comment on one of my Cassie Edwards’ posts from one of them, but I never expected to be mentioned on their site!

I tell you, it was a real OMG! minute for me, and that was why I missed my husband–or one of the reasons, anyway.  Though he usually doesn’t understand my fan-girl-moments–especially when it comes to Manny–he always indulges me and lets me get it out of my system.  In fact, you might say his most romantic moments come when I’m acting like a squealy teen-aged girl.  He’ll grab me and dance me around the room.  Of course, that could be self-defense on his part, because I stop squealing and just enjoy the fact that I’m dancing with someone who understands me and loves me for who I am.

It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

Oh, in case you want to read a good blog post–which, coincidentally, has my name in it, squeee!–here’s the link:

http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/the_fallout_continues/

A huge bouquet of roses and thank-yous to SB/TB for mentioning me!

The thing is…(you didn’t think I’d leave that out, did you?) I’m told promotion is all important for a writer.  It’s vital to get your name out there where the readers can see it.  I get that, but on top of being a loner, I also have a shy streak a mile-wide and tend to go a little squicky when it comes to promoting my name.  SB/TB just did it for me and gave me one of the nicest gifts I’ve ever received!

To quote them, “big ups!

Writing is a tough business these days.  Bad enough that we pour our sweat and blood into a manuscript, but now we have to contend with the deadly Auth/Ed/Pub-Stupiditis virus which has infected the publishing industry and seems to be growing at a rapid pace.  The symptoms are many and varied, but for a lot of us, they include a sharp rise in blood pressure, nausea, and an inexplicable urge to pound your head against the nearest hard surface.

Not sure where or when it started–perhaps as long ago as the Janet Dailey plagiarism case or maybe with James Frey and his infamous memoir that wasn’t really a memoir.  Recently we’ve had the Cassie Edwards thing to make us beat our heads against a wall and now, in the past week we’ve had two–count ’em, two!–more cases of Auth/Ed/Pub-Stupiditis, real head-bangers that have me  wishing for a motorcycle helmet, a large bottle of Tylenol Extra-Strength, and a fifth of Jack Daniels to wash it down.

Head-banger #1 –  “Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years” by Misha Defonseca (real name, Monique De Wael).  This one’s been around for a while, was published internationally and even made into a movie in France.  Turns out, the whole story is a complete and total fake, a fantasy according to Ms. Defonseca, who was outed this past week.  She did, at least, have the grace to admit she was wrong and apologize.

Head-banger #2 – “Love and Consequences” by Margaret B. Jones (real name, Margaret Seltzer) about growing up a half-white, half-Native American foster child in South-Central Los Angeles.  Not a word of which was true.  She too, was outed this past week, in part by her sister–and, oh, the mind boggles at the family feud that one’s going to spark.  Ms. Jones/Seltzer admitted the book was a total fabrication and offered up the excuse of doing it to give a voice to people who aren’t usually heard.

So, my question for the publishers and editors is what the hell were you thinking?  I mean, that first one alone would’ve had my radar pinging like mad.  Come on now, a young girl survives for four years in the woods during the Holocaust by living with a pack of wild wolves who adopted her and kept her safe?

*eyes rolling madly as head connects with wall again* 

And for the authors, did you really think you would get away with it?  Are you that insulated in your own little world that you forgot about the Internet and all those search engines out there just begging for some computer whiz-kid to come along and Google your name?

*deep breath*  At least it’s not plagiarism.  

The thing is…like with the Cassie Edwards thing and the fact that her books are still being offered for sale, I don’t know who to be more pissed with on this one; the authors for trying to dupe their readers or the editors/publishers for being blinded by all those dollar signs flashing in front of their eyes.

That one’s a toss-up, but the thing that really ticks me off is the thought of all those struggling writers out there–myself included–who would do just about anything to make it as an author…

except lie, cheat and steal.  I’d say we need to re-think our priorities, but I’m not willing to sacrifice self-respect for a few dollars.  And God knows, if anyone out there wants my fifteen minutes of fame, I’ll gladly give it to you.  I don’t really want it, I just want to write my stories and maybe, maybe make a few pennies to drop in my piggy bank…I’m saving up for that bottle of Jack Daniels!

I have a feeling I’m going to need it before this is over.

That’s what it says on the home page of my publisher, L&L Dreamspell.   Followed by the question; “What are you doing today to make your own dreams come true?”

Well, as it turns out, I’m not doing anything today to make my dreams come true.  I don’t have to, because L&L Dreamspell is doing it for me!

I received an email from them this morning saying they’re celebrating their one year anniversary–congrats LLD!–and letting their authors know that the website had been updated and the latest edition of the newsletter was out.

So, I checked the site and–woo-hoo!–my name and book are now listed on their author page!  Snow Shadows by Caitlyn Hunter!–I added the exclamation mark.  Hee-hee!  Then I clicked over to the newsletter and there it was again:

Snow Shadows – a red-hot romance by Caitlyn Hunter

Red hot!  Romance!  By ME!

That would have been enough to make my day, but then I opened another letter from them and um, shall we say, did a wild Snoopy dance?  Yep, I did, and that’s not all, I belted out a few choruses of “Happy Days!” at the top of my lungs!

The thing is…I’ve been with three publishers so far and LLD is without a doubt, the publisher of my dreams.  Not only are they releasing my first print book, but Lisa and Linda are…well, a dream to work with, if you’ll pardon the pun.  And, judging by that second letter, they’re willing to share the benefits of their hard work with their authors.  Wildest dream, indeed!   

So, thanks LLD, for making my dreams come true.  You really are the best and I’m convinced there’s a special place in Heaven for you! 

Oh, before I go, here’s the link for the newsletter:

http://www.lldreamspell.com/NLFebruary2008.html

Check it out!  And in case you want to learn more about them, their link is in my sidebar.  Really great books–including my sister, Christy Tillery French’s latest, The Bodyguard and the Rock Star!  And if you’re an author looking for that dream publisher, take a look at their submission guidelines.  You could be the next one to receive that special Dreamspell treatment!

I wasn’t one of those authors who loudly professed my outrage at what Cassie Edwards did on any of the many blog sites that reported on her plagiarism.  Sure, I lurked daily, read what others had to say, agreed with most, and disagreed with a few.  But outside my own blog, I didn’t come right out and say how disgusted the whole thing made me.

The thing is…even though all the uproar seems to have died down, what Ms. Edwards did still bothers me.  So, yesterday when I saw a number of her books on display at a bookstore, well, I picked them up a couple at a time and quietly took them off to another section of the store, as far away from the romance books as I could get, and then I hid them behind other books so no one could see they were there.  On my way home, I stopped by the grocery store for a few things and while I was there, I did the same thing with every Cassie Edwards book I could find in their book section.

Not a very strong or loud show of support for the authors she plagiarized, I grant you, and completely unfair to the clerks in the store since they’ll have to put them back in their proper places–if they ever find them!–but it worked for me.

Will I do it again?  Well…yeah, I will.  Because I firmly believe her publishers–or even she–should’ve pulled every single one of her books off the shelves when all this first came out.  But they didn’t and so I’m staging my own little protest rally, or sit-in, or demonstration, or whatever you want to call it.

<sigh>  Once a baby boomer, always a baby boomer.

Okay, so I thought the Cassie Edwards thing had pretty much faded out of the limelight, but something happened over the weekend that stirred it up again.  Another romance author was heard from, posting some totally irrelevant comments on her blog and challenging Nora Roberts’ right to speak about the whole plagiarism issue.  I have to tell you, that was a real WTF moment for me.  I mean, come on, every romance author out there knows that Roberts was a victim of plagiarism and that alone earns her the right to give her opinion on this whole sorry mess.

But it’s not just the people who have been a victim who should speak up, it’s  all of us.  When Ms. Roberts said plagiarism hurts every author, not just the one being stolen from–sorry for the paraphrase, I don’t have time to go back and look up the exact comment–I wanted to stand up and cheer!

Because she’s right!  Plagiarism does hurt all of us in one way or another.  I know this whole thing has hit me on a number of levels.  And I admit, the ones that are really getting to me, are the personal ones.  Like the fact that I’m currently in edits on a book which is based on a Native American legend and I wasted three hours the other day re-reading my research and comparing it with the words I wrote in a scene where my main characters discuss the legend–and driving myself totally apeshit in the process!  There’s also the fact that my writing focus has shifted in the last year and now I seem to include a Native American element in all my stories as Ms. Edwards did in most of hers, making me worry about comparisons–which will likely never come.

My personal feelings aside, I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. Roberts.  Plagiarism is wrong and when an author chooses to sink to that level, every single one of us should have the courage to shout it from the rooftops.  And I don’t care who the guilty party is, just as I don’t care that Ms. Edwards is a grandmother or that she’s a skilled violinist–which should give you an idea of the irrelevance of this latest author rant.  I mean, WTF does that have to do with anything?–or how many books she’s sold.  Whatever she is and how ever many books she’s sold, the fact remains, she’s a thief.  There is, in my mind, no valid excuse for that!

The thing is…beyond the lame-ass excuses for why she did what she did, there are a lot of people out there shrugging this off and wishing everyone would shut up and move on to something else, but I’m sorry, I just can’t.  I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point.  This is something that will be with me for the rest of my life, especially the rest of my life as an author.  Because I believe as an author, it’s my words that define me.  They’re mine, they come from my heart, my brain, my imagination.  The fact that I’ve written them down and choose to share them with others doesn’t give anyone the right to take them away from me.  It’s as basic as that.

So, a note of thanks to Nora Roberts for standing up and saying what needed to be said and showing me what it means to have the courage of your convictions.  And to Cassie Edwards, Janet Dailey, and all the people out there who are trying to convince us that this issue isn’t worth getting worked up over, a hat-tip for reminding me of how important honor and integrity are to me.

And speaking of hat-tips, a huge wave of mine to the New England Patriots and the New York Giants for the awesome play-off games yesterday.  Congrats!  

Yesterday, when I posted my thoughts and feelings about the Cassie Edwards plagiarism thing, I stayed away from Ms. Edwards’ publishers.  Like most everyone, I was outraged when the letter from Penguin/Signet came out saying she’d done nothing wrong, but they’ve since retracted that statement and said they will investigate.  No word from her other publishers yet–or if there has been, I missed it.  I have no doubt it’s going to be a while before we hear anything else from Penguin/Signet, so I’ll wait until I hear their verdict before I address the publisher issue further.  

As for Ms. Edwards, like I said in my previous post, I feel a small amount of pity for her, and I imagine she just wants this whole thing to go away so she can get on with her life and her career.  Sad to say, that’s probably what will happen.  If she can endure the storm currently raging against her and a slap or two on the wrist, all will be well in her world again at some point in the future.

We have only to look to Janet Dailey for proof of that.  Ms. Dailey is a proven plagiarist, was even gutsy–or stupid–enough to steal from Nora Roberts, the best and the most widely-read romance writer in the business.  She was caught, taken to court, claimed it was a case of psychogical stress or some such nonsense, and a few years later landed another contract with another publisher.  She’s back to writing, her books are being published and all is right in her world.  

I think the same thing will likely happen to Ms. Edwards.  She has a product to sell, she’s made a lot of money for her publishers in the past, and like Janet Dailey, someone, somewhere, at some point in time, is going to offer her another contract.  I don’t agree with it, but the fact is Cassie Edwards sells, and that’s what a publisher is going to look at; how much money her books made in the past and how much money they might possibly make in the future.  Some publisher, willing to take a chance, will sign her and if her first post-plagiarism book makes them money, she’ll be offered another contract after that one–probably for more money–and so on and so on and so on.

The thing is…for me, this raises the question of how do Ms. Dailey, or Ms. Edwards–if my prediction comes true–deal with being a known cheat in their chosen profession?  How do they have the guts to go out there and do book signings after what’s been said and proven about them?  How do they withstand the constant snickers and finger-pointing aimed in their direction when they do?

After giving it a good deal of thought, I think I know the answer; confidence in one’s self and belief in one’s writing.  

I don’t have that, but I’m hoping it’s a learned trait and will come with time.  Janet Dailey has it and I suspect, so does Cassie Edwards.  It’s an admirable quality, one I’d like to have, but if I do ever get to that point, I hope I don’t have to go through the kind of public ridicule these women have gone through to get it.  Not that I feel sorry for them, they’re both cheats in my eyes, and they brought it on themselves.  But after all was said and done, at least in Ms. Dailey’s case, she came out…well, I won’t say the better for it, but she survived and is once again doing what she loves.  The jury’s still out on Ms. Edwards.

So, to all my fellow struggling authors, I hope you take note of the lessons buried beneath the feelings of outrage, disgust, and betrayal in this whole Cassie Edwards thing; believe in yourself and your writing.

Because when you get right down to it, that’s all that matters. 

That just about sums up how I feel right now…wasted and without a clue what to write about.  I think I may have done some serious damage to my muse with my latest writing binge–two novellas in two months!–and I don’t know whether to get down on my knees and beg her forgiveness or just leave her to sulk in a dark corner of my mind until she gets over it.  Probably better to leave her alone and let her cool off a bit, she’s liable to kick my ass if I don’t.

So, I’ve been writing, and like I said, I’ve completed two novellas, one a cougar story which needs some serious polishing before I do anything with it, the other a…I’m not sure what to call it.  I submitted it as a paranormal romantic suspense, but now that I’ve had time to think about it, I think it’s more of an urban fantasy, with elements of romantic suspense.  It’s not paranormal–I don’t think–and I hope the publisher doesn’t throw it in the trash because I sent it under the wrong genre.  Just another thing to chew on my fingernails about while I wait to hear from them.  Nineteen days and counting…

I do have something to keep me busy while I wait; the first round of edits on Snow Shadows, my paranormal romance that’s coming out later this year with L&L Dreamspell.  But since I haven’t written anything on this blog since shortly after Christmas, I decided I needed to get in at least one or two entries for January before I sink into the mire of rewrites and revisions.

Plus, a couple of things are weighing heavy on my mind right now.

First the owner of the now defunct e-publisher, Twilight Fantasies Publications, which shall not be named, did something I find truly despicable and repugnant, she’s self published a fifty page novella she once offered as a free read on her publishing site.  When I heard this, I had a true WTF moment?  Not the first this publisher’s given me and probably not the last.  Anyway, not only was the book once offered as a free read, it’s now up for sale for over sixteen dollars (hardback) and just under seven dollars (paperback).  I mean, come on, who’s going to pay that kind of money for a book that size, much less one that’s already been released for free?  It is offered in ebook format for under four dollars, but still…

The thing is…this author, who put this book out originally under her pen name, is now offering the same book under her real name.  I guess that’s a case of changing the names to protect the innocent, huh?  Not that she’s innocent in any way or form in my mind.  She’s slapped a new cover on it, listed the publisher as Twilight Fantasies (I assume to make it look like the book was good enough to get accepted by a real publisher), put the original editor’s name on it (who I understand was never paid for her work), and is asking an unbelievable amount of money for it.  Can we all say scam?

I have no idea what this particular vanity press charges to publish something, or if they even charge, could be they take it out in royalties, or something, but if they do, my question to this scurrilous woman is; did the money you owed your authors, editors, and cover artists pay for this?  And if so, when can we expect our percentage of the royalties?  Will you pay them or will you slink off into hiding like you did before, complaining all the way about people being mean to you?

Beyond that, I feel sorry for any reader who purchases your exhorbitantly priced book, they could’ve gotten your fifty pages of nothing (totally my opinion of course) for…well, nothing!  Kind of makes me wish I was vindictive enough to prove your point about how mean people are by posting a message to any readers out there who want to buy your book and offering to send it to them for free.  But alas, woe is me, one of the first things I did when I severed ties with you was delete my copy of the free download.  Oh well.  And, knowing you and your pompous jerk of a husband, you’d probably sue me for copyright violation or something.

Which brings me to the next thing on my mind–Cassie Edwards and her “alleged” plagiarism of various authors.  This one really pisses me off, for a number of reasons, all of which I’ll comment on tomorrow–I hope!

Right now, I’ve got to see if I can coax my muse out of hiding.  I may need her when I work on  those edits!  Hmm…maybe an imaginary trail of white chocolate macadamia nut cookie crumbs will do the trick. 

Oh, and before I forget, Go Pats!  And, sorry Peyton!  You didn’t make it this year, but I’ll be rooting for your brother in the play-offs.  Eli’s coming…

Do you ever have one of those days when your mind can’t seem to settle on any one thing but is constantly jumping around like a jackrabbit on drugs?  Well, I’ve been going through a string of days like that.  Haven’t gotten any writing done to speak of and for the first time in years, I didn’t put up my Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving.  Just wasn’t in the mood.  What’s up with that?  Usually Christmas is my favorite time of year.  I count down the days for months, waiting for Thanksgiving when I can put up my tree and then dive headlong into the season.

Not happening this year and I’m not sure why, but I think perhaps it’s because I submitted my paranormal romance, Unwiling Angel, to another publisher even though I have no idea how things with the first publisher, Twilight Fantasies, are going to turn out.  I just don’t know if it was the right thing to do, but I was sick of biding my time while the owners of TFP decide what they’re going to do, so I submitted.  I didn’t try to hide anything from the new publisher and I have to tell you, I was blown away when they wrote back saying they’d like to offer me a contract.

That’s when the doubts started to set in.  I hesitated, worried that I was going to drag them into this mess with TFP and okay, I’ll admit it, also worried that my writing career would be hurt in some way if I signed the contract.  I talked to my lawyer and he advised me not to sign, but to wait a few more months until we know a little bit more about what Twilight’s going to do.  So, I wrote the new publisher and explained why I wouldn’t be signing the contract and…

the owner called me at home!  That one really knocked me for a loop.  I mean, it’s extremely flattering that they were willing to take a chance on the manuscript in the first place, but to call me at home and give me the reasons she thought it was okay for me to sign with her company?  That was, to say the least, over the top pleasing and gratifying!  It also warmed my heart because of all the books and stories I’ve written, this one is my favorite.  I really want to see it published.   Perhaps I was blinded by that, but this morning I followed my heart, signed the contract and sent it back to them.

The thing is…my mind is still worried.  Why?  Well, I’ve narrowed it down to three things:

1)  I had been thinking of putting in some extra work on the manuscript; adding about thirty-five thousand words, taking it from novella to novel length; fleshing out the love story between the heroine and the hero; and while I was at it, spicing it up a little bit.

2)  This is another new e-publisher and I’ve been burned twice–well, actually I was only singed on the first one, but the second one was a full-out, writhing-in-agony, burning-at-the-stake conflagration–and I swore I’d never take that chance again.

3)  I know several authors who will, like my lawyer, think I’ve done the wrong thing.  I’m not looking forward to sharing this news with them.

Okay, I think I hit the nail on the head with that last one–selling a book should be a happy occasion.  Right?  Oh hell, it should be a screaming-from-the-rooftop, champagne-corks-popping, day-long-happy-dance!  That’s how I felt with every book and short story I’ve sold, and the fact that this publisher is interested enough to take a chance on my novella, knowing that if TFP files for bankruptcy, the rights could be held up for unknown amounts of time in a court case, should at least edge that celebration up to a week-long event…but I’m just not feeling it right now.

Hopefully, once I announce it, my friends and fellow authors will surprise me.  I’m pretty sure my lawyer won’t, but hey, he’s a lawyer.  What can you expect?  This was a decision made from the heart and everybody knows lawyers don’t have hearts–oops!  Sorry Paul, couldn’t resist that one! 

All kidding aside, I’m hoping some day I might be able to look back on this and know following my heart was the right thing to do.

**I’m not sure, but I have a feeling that this post may turn into a “Friday Folly”–hence  the asterisks and question mark.  Oh well, we’ll see.

Twilight Fantasies Publications has closed its doors and the authors–of which I am one–have no idea what’s going to happen next.  Will they file for bankruptcy, thereby leaving the future of our books in the hands of the court?  Or will they just fade into oblivion, thereby leaving all their authors to wait and wonder if it’s safe yet to re-submit their work?  Who knows?  I can give you my opinion–I think they’ve packed up their toys and gone home and we probably won’t hear another word out of them–but that certainly isn’t etched in stone and fair warning, it’s based more on my own personal hopes than facts.

So, I’ve been reading a few of the blogs and watchdog sites which have seen fit to comment on the closing and I’m very dismayed by some of the posts by other authors.  Particularly those made by authors who are more experienced and thus in a much cushier position than authors who are just starting out–like me.  Normally, I enjoy reading the thoughts and remarks of people who know more than I do about a given situation, but this time around, I’m a little…um, sickened by their smugness.

The thing is…these authors who are speaking from their loftier perches on the ladder of success, seem to be well, I think blaming is too strong a word here, so let’s just say implying that when an author gets caught up in the death throes of a dying epublisher, said author has no one to blame but herself.  I’m sorry, but I don’t get that.  Haven’t these people ever heard of compassion?

Apparently not.  A few of them have even gone so far as to say we–meaning the authors who are caught up in the <insert name of epublisher who’s gone belly up here> debacle–were so “desperate” to get published, we would have handed our rights over to just any old Tom, Dick, or Harry on the cyber-space highway as long as they offered us a chance to get our work out there.

Now that just flat-out pisses me off, and I’m here to tell you it isn’t so.  Not in my case and not in the case of countless others who have–or will in the future–go through this.  I’ve been privileged to read the work of some of those authors and I can tell you, these are not fly-by-night, anything-for-a-quick-buck, looking for glory, desperate authors.  These are writers who have poured their hearts and souls into their work, who have taken the time to learn how to write a book, and who, in some cases, are turning out better work than some of the crap written by several of those best-selling authors published by the big New York houses–and trust me, you don’t even want to get me started on the unoriginal junk that’s being churned out by those people.

Okay, so there are authors out there who think it’s our fault we’re going through all this heart ache.  Where do they get that?  Perhaps–and I’m quoting a fellow author here–it’s their “Diva Attitude” that makes them say things like this.

…and even as I write this and worry that some of those “Diva Authors” are going to take a very big, very vicious bite out of my ass for it, an email just came through my inbox warning of yet another epublisher–one that’s been in business for a while and by all accounts was one of the more stable ones–that is closing its doors.  If it’s true, several of those “Diva Authors” are going to be caught up in this one and we’ll be able to see how they handle it.

Poetic justice?  Maybe, but I prefer to think of it as sweet revenge.  Which probably makes me sound like a spiteful bitch, but I can’t help being glad they’re going to get a taste of their own medicine, because I know for a fact it won’t kill them…but it is a bitter pill to swallow.

Got sugar?         

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

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Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams