You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘south’ category.

Okay, I wasn’t going to write about this, but the fact is, I’m still mad about it and I can’t think of any other way to get it off my mind.  So, I’m going to get it all down, and I apologize if it’s all a little garbled and incoherent, but hopefully once I get through with this blog entry, that’ll be the end of it.

A little background first, I’ve been locked in a battle with an epublisher for the rights to my book, Unwilling Angel, which won first place in their Zuzu’s Petals writing contest and was published by them.  After various breaches of contract, I wrote them and told them I wanted my rights back.  They, in turn, wrote me back and tried to blame me–and a few other authors who were asking for their rights back–for the whole mess. 

Now, while I have written a little about this fight, I’ve managed to avoid coming right out and saying the publisher’s name.  Not that it would’ve taken a genius to figure it out, but I at least tried to keep my mouth shut and not spread vicious rumors.  As of this past weekend, that’s over with.  Last Monday, Twilight Fantasies Publications shut down their web site and on Saturday, they shut down the author’s loop, the reader’s group, and their blog site–all without having the courage to come out and warn the authors who had remained loyal to them.  No word, no explanation, not even a “go jump in the lake,” even though the authors who were still with them were practically begging them to post something on the author’s loop and explain what was going on.  They didn’t see fit to do that and the lack of explanation has taken me to a whole new level of fury.  Not for myself–well, okay, a little for myself–but more for all the authors they left hanging.

Okay, so Twilight Fantasies Publications is owned by a husband and wife team.  I know the wife is a teacher and it’s my understanding the husband is too.  The wife is also an author who writes erotic romance under a pseudonym, and the husband seems to be very protective of her.  To a point.  When all of this started happening, he was quick to cite her illness as the reason behind the lack of communication and their failure to honor their contracts.  But he, as co-owner, never stepped up to the plate to do anything to help her run the business, just made excuses and quite arrogantly suggested that it was the fault of the authors because they weren’t doing what needed to be done to keep the business afloat.  WTF?  It’s his business, and while most authors are happy to do whatever is needed to sell their books, most aren’t willing–or able–to step in and run a publishing company.

So, in my eyes, he’s no more than a spoiled brat who knows he’s in trouble and is doing everything he can to point the finger of blame at someone else.  Sure, he took up for her, but if he really was fully behind her, he would have stopped issuing excuses and done whatever he could to save the business.

He didn’t, he was way too busy trying to find someone to share the guilt and in so doing, he shoved the guilt firmly back in her corner.  She will be the one to suffer for all of this–if, that is, she has even a smidge of conscious–and the suffering isn’t likely to end with the demise of her business.

As a teacher, in a state which I’m told frowns on anything that even approaches pornography, I have to wonder what will happen to their careers if all this gets out.  She writes erotic romance–something a lot of people say is nothing more than dressed-up porn–and beyond that, she and her husband were running a business that dealt in erotic books.  Doesn’t matter that they also published books which were “sweet romance,” most of the books they were selling were erotic.  And I think that’s the only thing the condemners will see.  As a teacher, I don’t think I’d want to be in her shoes–or his either, for that matter–if that ever comes out.

Now, as to her being an author, what I want to know is how could she do what she did?  She’s an author, for Pete’s sake, how could she treat other authors that way and live with herself?  Didn’t she think about how she would feel if she were the one on the receiving end of that type of misbehavior by a publisher, or is she, like her husband, so childishly arrogant that she thought she could get away with it by pointing her finger at everybody else?

The thing is…what effect this whole ugly mess will have on either or both of her careers is yet to be seen.  I have a feeling it isn’t going to be pretty when it all comes out.  I mean, I’ve lived in the south for most of my life and I can’t see the residents of the Bible Belt letting her–or him–off easy.

So, one career down, one to go.  I can’t imagine some other publisher, especially one who knows what she did, accepting anything she writes for publication.  One thing I’ve learned, cyber-space is a small world.  Now maybe there are some out there who might take a chance and publish something by her, and I have to say it’s my wish that she finds them.  But, I also have to be honest and tell you, if she does find someone who will publish something she writes, I hope they’re as unscrupulous and uncaring of their authors’ feelings as she and her husband were.

Because, well, payback’s a bitch.

Advertisements

That’s a quote from Mark Twain.  I included it as the title of this post because not only is it appropriate to today’s post, it’s the world I’ve been living in lately.

I’ve spent the last couple of days with my head immersed in ancient Cherokee legends as I added some details to my book, Snow Shadows, which the publisher asked for before it goes into editing.  I’ve also been working–sporadically!–on the next book in the series and my sister and I are collaborating on a book based on the life of our great aunt and on the stories my dad tells about his childhood.  Yep, after the cancer scare, we both realized if we didn’t get some of his stories down, they’d be lost forever.  Neither of us are willing to let that happen.

So, we decided to quit talking about it and git ‘er done.  In preparation for the actual writing, we’ve been researching old Southern sayings and life in western North Carolina in the early to mid 1900’s.  And frankly, I’m amazed at all the sites we’ve come across for the sayings.  I do declare, I never knew Southern-speak was so popular, but it seems it is so, there you goAin’t that the berries?  The sayings, as you may have guessed by now, are many and varied, and a few of the sites include an explanation of what they mean–for all those who don’t speak “Southern.” 

Anyway, it’s fascinating stuff and a hoot for me as I grew up hearing quite a few of them.  It’s also turned into an enjoyable way to take a break from writing and I am chugged full and happy as a dead pig in the sunshine!

I am also grinning like a mule eating briars (I used to hear this all the time, and though I haven’t found it verbatim on any of the sites, I have found variations of it) because today, October 25, 2007, my rights for my book officially revert to me.  It’s been a long, frustrating battle with a publisher who at times could make a preacher cuss or hell, [they] could even depress the devil, but now that it’s over, I feel a huge sense of relief and a lovely sense of accomplishment–hence, my mile-wide grin.

The thing is, this publisher isn’t showing any evidence of mending fences with its authors.   I suspect the only reason I finally got a professional rights reversion letter from them is because I threatened to go public with their very unprofessional behavior to various author watchdog sites.  When I did that, I also gave them a 24 hour deadline to respond to me, and lo and behold, I received the reversion letter yesterday.  As of today I am free and clear

…but they’re still stonewalling other authors.  I can’t figure out if that’s good or bad.  Oh sure, it’s bad for the authors they’re not responding to, but could it also be a good sign?  Does it mean they’re willing to fight to keep their business going–which could be very good for the authors who get their rights back because those rights won’t be yanked away from us again by a bankruptcy court if they do go under–or does it mean they’re just being spiteful?

I don’t really know, but I do know they need to step up and address all of their issues instead of popping out of hiding every other week or so to toss another round of excuses in our faces.  I’m sick of that and I just want them to know:

Excuses are like back sides, everybody’s got one and they all stink.  Now, maybe I’m letting my mouth overload my tail but fish or cut bait!  If you don’t, I’m gonna knock you in the head and tell God you died!

You think that’ll get their attention?  Probably not, but giving them down the country sure did make me feel better!

I can’t think of a single thing to write about right now.  So I’m just going to do my personal style of…um, can’t remember what it’s called…you know, that psychic thingie where you have a pencil in your hand, you clear your mind, and let your pencil write without thinking about what you’re writing, only I’m doing it with a keyboard instead of a pencil–and jeez, I hope my editor doesn’t read this ’cause she’ll probably drive all the way up here from Georgia and shoot me for that run-on sentence.

It’s a ho-hum Tuesday in my neck of the woods.  The sun is coming out, melting away the mist that’s hovering around the mountains and we’re supposed to have a high of 73 degrees today.  It was down in the forties this morning when I got up and it’s almost like being back in Maine.  Except here I have the mountains around me, which is something I really missed when I lived in Maine.  Not that there weren’t mountains there, but we lived in southern Maine, about a half hour south of Portland in a little town called Saco.  You had to drive some distance to see mountains, but I could get in my car and be at the beach in about ten minutes.  That was nice, but I’m not a beach type of person, I much prefer the mountains.  I guess that’s because I was raised in Knoxville, at the foot of the Smoky Mountains. or maybe it’s because my dad’s family is from Black Mountain, NC, and I spent a lot of time there while I was growing up.  We always went to the mountains on vacation.  I never even saw a beach until I was eighteen and went to Florida with some friends after my freshman year of college.

Stream of conciousness–is that what this is called?  Hmm, doesn’t sound right, but what do I know?

Since I got up, I’ve been researching publishers, trying to figure out who I’m going to submit my manuscript to–you know, the one I just got the rights back for?  I’ve got a list of five, one of which is located in the South and is looking for books with a strong southern presence, which Snow Shadows definitely has.  It takes place in the mountains of North Carolina and is based on an ancient Cherokee legend–hard to get more Southern than that.

Next, comes the dreaded query letter–blech!  I don’t even want to think about that right now.

Okay, I’ve got to say this and quit putting it off.  Maybe if I write about it, I can put it aside.  The Red Sox lost last night and the Yankees won, which means our lead in the AL East is down to 3 1/2 games.  There are eleven games left and I’m afraid the prediction I made back in May is about to come true–the Yankees are going to come back and take the AL East.  The Red Sox, well, the way we’re playing right now, we don’t even deserve to be in the wild card race, but we’ll probably make it.  I just don’t think we have a snowball’s chance of going any farther (further–there’s those two words again, I’m going to have to look them up on Grammar Slammer and get them straight in my mind once and for all).

And as Forrest Gump said, that’s all I have to say about that.  It’s too painful to talk about.

So, this ho-hum day is going to be spent in the worst possible way–well, okay, maybe not the worst possible, but it’s pretty bad in my book–drafting, and hopefully polishing, a query letter to be sent to the publishers I’ve chosen to submit to.  I probably should read over the synopsis again, I’m sure it could benefit from a bit of polishing too.  I should probably get busy on that right now…

The thing is, there’s this side of me I call the Procrastination Slut and I have a feeling she’s going to come to the forefront today.  Which means I probably won’t get a thing done, at least, nothing of any value.  

Oh, well, that might be the best thing considering my second book is coming out tomorrow, and I’ll be busy all day with promotions.  I hope you’ll check it out, Unwilling Angel by Caitlyn Hunter at www.twilightfantasies.com.  It’s a sweet paranormal romance along the lines of It’s a Wonderful LIfe.

 

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams

Advertisements