Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Some Things I've Been Needing to Post

I’ll post the third installment of the Kindle publishing series Friday, but here’s a few items I’ve been intending to blog about and/or announce.

First, the newest Illuminata is out, and there’s an expansion of my piece on “To A Writer” in it. There’s also some stuff by the blogosphere’s own Rachel Olivier. You can download the July 2010 issue free here if you want, in either PDF or EPUB format.

Second, Jason Evans over at The Clarity of Night blog has published the winning stories from his first 12 contests in ebook form. The design and layout were done by JR Tomlinson, who also has a chapbook out from Motor City Burning Press. The Clarity of Night book is free as a PDF and includes a lot of great flash fiction. My story, “Precious Cargo,” which received the “Reader’s Choice Award” in the 2008 “Running Wind Contest, is in it. You can download your free copy here.

Third, a buddy of mine, Gary Addis, who is a talented writing coach and line editor, is currently accepting clients. His rates are very reasonable. So if you're looking to put an edge on your next manuscript, you might shoot him an email. Here’s his blurb below:

“When your car breaks down, you can lift the hood and stare at it. Or you can call a mechanic. What you don't do is abandon a valuable property alongside the freeway. A rejection slip from a publisher need not be the death knell of your dream of becoming a published writer. Send that manuscript to a mechanic.

I taught myself to write professionally by writing and rewriting and rewriting as many times as it took to get it right. The process required years and enough rejection slips to wallpaper my office. Allow me to shorten your learning curve. My services to you a beginning writer include manuscript evaluation, line by line editing, and even total rewrites when needed. My rates won't send you to bankruptcy court.

Initial contact should be via email.
Gary Addis:”

Fourth, I finished reading Bernita Harris’s Dark and Disorderly and enjoyed it very much. Here’s my review below:

This book is properly categorized as Urban Fantasy and I’ve only read a few books in that genre. Most of them I didn’t care for. This book I really liked, however. The main character, Lillie St. Claire, just seemed like an absolutely honestly drawn individual. She wasn't some super ass-kicking babe who every vampire and werewolf is in love with. She had faults and fears. She brooded at times, lost her temper at times, joked at times, felt weak at times, and strong at times. I felt like I could identify her as a real person.

The story was also very strong and really built up a steamroller of tension toward the end, with some nice twists here and there that I didn't see coming. The writing was excellent. The author clearly spent a lot of time crafting her sentences and it shows in the rhythm and poetry of the prose. I like to see an author who really cares about the writing. Bernita Harris certainly did. I highly recommend this one.



Maalie said...

>A rejection slip from a publisher need not be the death knell of your dream of becoming a published writer.

And of course the same applies to scientific writing. Some of my best published papers were initially rejected.

RA said...

Only a few days ago I noticed that there is a new contest at Jason Evans' site. Having never taken part in any of those I have a stupid question: They want 250 words maximum, which words count? Is "the door" two words or one? Is "to the car" three words, two, or one?
Thanks in advance. :)

fairyhedgehog said...

Thanks for the heads up about the Clarity of Night ebook. That looks like a good resource.

David Cranmer said...

Lots of insightful, helpful links here. I zeroed in on Gary Addis and "The process required years and enough rejection slips to wallpaper my office." I wish more budding writers would realize it takes years to perfect their craft and just getting prose out there for the sake of being in the limelight doesn't benefit anyone.

laughingwolf said...

great stuff, charles, i especially like your review of bernita's book [i've yet to read it, but have read other works of hers, and concur, she IS great!]

ra, 'the door' is two words; 'to the car' is three

sage said...

Lot's of good stuff here... What kind of gere is Gary's speciality.

pattinase (abbott) said...

What a lot of great information here. I may need to download this.

Charles Gramlich said...

Maalie, seems like most scientific papers come back with something along the lines of, add this and that and shorten it. Not always an easy thing to do.

RA, every individual word counts, except the title I believe. You're allowed periods for free, though. I remember it being pretty tough to get mine to 250.

fairyhedgehog, haven't seen you in a while. Hope you are well.

David Cranmer, patience is not a common attribute among people, unfortunately. But yes, a good many could have used more time to polish before pub.

Laughingwolf, yes, it was a good book. Glad to see she has gotten quite a lot of good reviews.

Sage, the stories I've read by him are action/adventure focused, but cross various genres. He's also done a lot of nonfiction.

Pattinase, this lot has been building up. I needed to get them posted.

Ron Scheer said...

Interesting debate going on at murderati about taking time to polish when so many badly written books get to be bestsellers. If you're writing for other writers, the polishing is a matter of showing that you respect the craft. But so many readers are indifferent to that; just want a helluva story.

As for rejection slips, I was responsible for some when I read manuscripts submitted to an academic journal. My "not-ready-for-publication" meant a paper was good as far as it went, but it needed more development.

Heff said...

Is Playboy on Kindle ?

Charles Gramlich said...

Ron Scheer, that's a good point, but I'm thinking more of those tales that had the heart of a good story but were too cluttered up because the writer didn't have enough experience to get to the heart of the matter.

Heff, they do have magazines for Kindle but I don't know about Playboy. Considering that the pics aren't in color, I'm not sure it would work anyway for a connoisseur such as yourself.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some good freebies!

Cloudia said...

you are teaching me the real talent that goes into 'genre' "paperback" lit.

I'm impressed and reaccessing my values (read 'snobbery')

Thank you Charles
(And having published a tiny bit of research myself I heartily agree with Maalie)

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex, glad you like.

Cloudia, at one time I had some snobbery in the other direction, feeling that literary fiction was a hiding place for folks who didn't know how to tell a story. In truth, I think now that literary fiction is a genre in its own right, and there are great writers and storytellers across the board. And some not so good either, of course.

Steve Malley said...

I can't wait to get Bernita's book...

Deka Black said...

What amazes me is the humongous amount of published works in the english-speaking world. And i talk only about fiction.

Everyone can fnd what he/she search... with patience, of course.

And about what you said about polish our own work,. true 300%. (Typos, by example, i must be Emperor of Typos). Or the direction of the story, things like that.

Oh, one thing only, if i have your permission: Never has happened to you something like "oh, man, i believe this story is too short (or too long)", and, in the end, after changing the lenght, realize the result is worse?

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve, I imagine you will enjoy.

Deka, I've often done variations on stories that are longer or shorter than the original. What I do is save the original as a backup file called something like: storyorg. Then I save the revised version as storynew so that I never lose the original in case I want to go back to it.

BernardL said...

Well done review, Charles. You described what makes Dark & Disorderly a great story perfectly.

Travis Cody said...

Lots of good info here.

I read your description of the character in Ms Harris' book to Pam and she said "Oooooh, now that sounds like something I'd like".

Well done Sir!

JR's Thumbprints said...

It's amazing how much I've learned over the years by reading your blog and the comments. Thanks for sharing.

Charles Gramlich said...

BernardL, very different from the super-chicks I've seen in too many such books.

Travis Cody, yes, I don't even read urban fantasy but I've gotten tired of the typical kick-butt heroine.

JR, now you're making me blush, man.

Mary Witzl said...

Bernita's book sounds great. I'm not at all adverse to books with superhero protagonists, but I do get weary of the ones who can do no wrong, who look perfect, dress impeccably, and are always cool.

X. Dell said...

I'm currently reading Write with Fire by some author. I forget his name.

I've spent a few bucks on writing coaches, and find them valuable. Unfortunately, I can't afford things of value. A good one, however, can make a world of difference.

In other words, until I have the money for a new transmission, I reckon to haul the 'valuable piece of property' back to my place, and put it up on cinder blocks.

Charles Gramlich said...

Mary Witzl, men have been accussed for many years of writing wish fulfillment books. A lot of urban fantasy seems the female equivalent to me.

X-Dell, I've heard of that author. They say he's a genius. That's just what they say. ;)

Erik Donald France said...

Taking Care of a Business with a Flash always feels good. Excellent jobs! And also a congrats . . .

Tyhitia Green said...

Bernita is awesome and I'm glad you found a UF you liked, Charles. ;-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik Donald France, I'm glad flash has started to come into its own. Love the stuff myself.

Demon Hunter, I'm afraid Laurell Hamilton really turned me off on the whole genre. I know I shouldn't judge but...*shudders* at remembering some obsidian/narcissus/butterfly thing.

Unknown said...

I am commenting by leaving a no comment comment.

I have your blog in my favorites file. I pop in weekly and read your posts. I plan to buy your trilogy for my son, for Christmas. You pop in on both Jess's blog and Mary Witzl's blogs and I comment on their blogs, but I just never comment on yours.

I wanted you to know you have a lurker. And you always give good information. And you have a great profile pic that reminds me of Montana.

Charles Gramlich said...

Carole, thanks for delurking. It's kind of cool that there are people moving through aether that we don't often know are there. Kind of like in the movie predator. :)

Barbara Martin said...

Thanks for the links, Charles.