VIRTUALLY HERS came out Oct. 2009. Get it at SAMHAIN Publishing. VIRTUALLY ONE coming soon.

I've also made available at Amazon BIG BAD WOLF a COS Commando book, an earlier manuscript about Killian Nicholas Langley. You can sample the first five chapters right here. EBOOK now available for KINDLE, NOOK, and at SMASHWORDS for $4.99.

I appreciate all your emails. If you'd like to buy Virtually His NEW, please contact me. Thank you.


Big Bad Wolf Author's Note/CH. 1

Big Bad Wolf CH. 2

Big Bad Wolf Ch. 3

(more chapters on left side bar below)

To read excerpts of VIRTUALLY HERS, scroll down & click on the links on the right.



VIRTUALLY HERS OUT IN PRINT AUG 2010! Discounted at Amazon!

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Watching The End Of The World As We Know It

Okay, the post title is a little melodramatic, but lately I've been feeling like I'm one of the few dinosaurs left with the impending Ice Age. No, I don't feel a catastropic disaster is going to kill us all, but then it's not 2012 yet ;-P.  And no, I'm not depressed or overwhelmed or even panicky; it's just a strange floaty feeling, as if anything I'm doing now can change at any moment.

Let's look at what's happening around us in ways Big and Small.  First, the Middle East, starting with Egypt.  Thousands of Arabs are standing up, demanding to have democracy, this coming after centuries and centuries of autocratic rule.  They say, in times past, it was easier for dictators to stamp out the kind of demonstrations we saw on TV, but with the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook (and the Internet), the immediacacy of any kind of news doesn't give them much time to quell an uprising.

Whether that is true or not, one can't deny that there is change going on in that part of the world, and there's a feeling that something different will emerge in Egypt, Sudan, Bahrain, Libya, and other Arab states.  It's confusing times because we don't know what's coming, but we know we'll be affected by it, be it in small ways, like the price of gas, or bigger ways.

Second, the Space Shuttle program is coming to an end tomorrow.  It will take its last flight and will be retired.  Thousands of people will be without their jobs and for the first time ever in a long while, the US will have no space program.  We are going to hitch a ride with the Russians when we need to go to the space station.  JFK is spinning in his grave.

Again, it's not as if DOOM is going to befall us all now that we can't go up in space, at least, not for a while, but it's sign of the times that we're no longer IT.  Other countries are working on their space programs, and we're shutting down ours.  Of course, realists would say that we never found anything on the moon anyway, and landing that thing on Mars was a waste of money, but still, we've lived so long in the Age of Expansion, that we've grown to think that Space is ours, you know? 

Ray Bradbury was the first science fiction writer that gave me an awareness of what was possible with rocketships and space travel.  When I first understood what the space shuttle was, the idea of space travel for the masses became more real, that maybe...oh well, not in my lifetime.  I know there are other things being experimented on by scientists, like the space escalator, but that's still a concept.  As it is now, there are many at Cape Canaveral who aren't happy campers right now.

The third thing I'm bringing up affects me personally.  It's the publishing industry.  Everyday, someone out there is blogging about the impending doom of the system as we know it now.  Print books aren't selling and ebooks are becoming more and more popular.  Publishers are scrambling with new models while box stores like Borders announced bankruptcy.

The days of big contracts being offered to new authors are over.  That's what they're saying.  Those who are on top have nothing to lose, but those who are new will have to struggle harder to be heard among the thousands of new voices that are cropping up among the self-publishing and e-publishing venues.

Someone like me, in the middle (we're called mid-listers), has to find new ways to get new readers.  The Internet is a great place to find them, but to me, it's also a place in which to get lost, especially now that we're expected to learn how to put our ebooks out in different formats for different e-reading devices, become our own publishing houses, and also stand out enough to get readers to buy them.  For those who are tech-savvy, yeah, it's easy and fun, but for someone like me, it's basically lots and lots of time doing stuff I don't like doing.

Many have pointed out that we could hire people to do that for us.  Yes, there are services to set everything up, and the cost varies, and believe me, it still takes time even if you have someone to do everything for you while you write.  As someone with a day job, it's time I don't have, and it's also a lot of money involved.  If you start out with a minus $300-$600 (hiring someone to do the formats, cover, looking for stock pics, set up accts, professional editing, ISBN #s--just off the top of my head) per book, you'd better be damn sure that there are readers out there who will pay for your book for you to recoop those expenses.  Unless, of course, you're just rich enough to treat this as a hobby, and have the extra money to spend.

I don't know what's coming up, but definitely the world of publishing as I know it is changing.  Agents are questioning their roles.  Publishers are cutting back.  Anyone can self-publish and make it into the NYT and USAToday lists. 

There is a possibility that the future generation won't even be familiar with a print book because their parents are starting them out with a Kindle, Nook, or I-Pad.  I was telling my business partner that, if I do decide to open that bookstore, I probably have a ten year window because there are still readers of my generation who do enjoy browsing bookstores and buying physical books and checking for backlists.  There are also, surprisingly, many, many readers who don't go online at all, and still depend on their local bookstore owners for recommendations.  But for sure, the Kindle and the Nook are changing the reading world.

Change can be exciting and scary at the same time.  The cynical part of me says that old saying, about the more things change, the more they remain the same.  The hopeful part of me says that I'll have lots of fun being the new kind of author.  The lazy part of me says that I'll just have to pray to win the lottery so I can do all this as a hobby ;-).  Because, you know, the more I have to work at being an author, the less likely I will have time to write.  Not with a day job as a roofer.

Is there something in your world that is affecting you in a life-changing way?

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Deborah Blake Dempsey said...

Wow, this is a great post. I agree with you about all the changes and having to reprogram ourselves with new technologies. The changes are exciting, but they are drenched in insanity and scary. Trying to figure our way in this "new" world is causing more and more people to become confused and worse despondent, and yet the opportunities are incredible if, as you say, you have the time, money and other necessary resources to indulge in it.

As an unpub'd writer I have no idea what I will do, need to do or should do. I'm watching all the changes (and contributing to it because I am an iPad devotee) and I don't know if I should dig my heals in to support the current structures (and hopefully, help delay the job losses) or go with the flow because it is inevitable.

I love technology and I enjoy change, but I do have fears that we are giving up so much of our control and are placing ourselves in the hands of others who will control us. As your FB update mentioned, employers are asking for passwords to a platform where people go to connect with friends, share a laugh and be who they are. Apparently, you have to be who everyone else wants you to be or be penalized. It's a tough choice, but I do believe in being a rebel with a cause and this may get me into trouble.

Gennita said...


There is so much learn, esp for old dinosaurs like me ;-P, and it's hard to even keep up with all the names of devices and formats. Sometimes I just want to give up. Most times I ignore it and just keep on chugging along and hope for the best.

There are many techy out there making exciting announcements and there so many techy readers who want these changes to come faster and faster, and for cheaper and cheaper. They drown out people like me, who are the turtles in this race. And of course, in this day and age, it's so archaic to just say, "I just want to write. Please." It's not possible any more, unless you're way on top.

Deborah Blake Dempsey said...

You're right. You have to take on two jobs as a author - to write and to seriously promote and make sure you're out there. This of course does not mean most can quit their day jobs (unfortunately).

I can't wait until they build the machine where if you think it it's automatically created in whatever form you want it to be. Although, that can be pretty crazy scary considering half the stuff that flits through my mind. LOL


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