Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pocketbook Writer

I’m being a bit lazy on the blogging front today. I worked well yesterday and made good progress on the new Taleran book. I’m really starting to enjoy working on fiction again. The flow of ideas is coming back to me, and I spent a fair amount of time going through and updating my “Taleran Encyclopedia,” which lists all the characters, and various points about language, and calendars, and religions, and all the other exciting elements involved in creating a world like Talera. I have already added a substantial amount to that work and also needed to familiarize myself again with all the elements since it’s been a few years since I worked on Witch of Talera.

In being lazy this morning, I spent a fair amount of time on my deck reading a book by a friend of mine, Charles Nuetzel, who is a somewhat retired author of numerous books. The current book is Pocketbook Writer: Confessions of a Commercial Hack. It’s from Borgo Press, and published by Wildside, just like my Taleran books.

I met Charles many years ago via email and did a length interview with him, which is reprinted in the book. It’s certainly an interesting look at a bygone era in publishing. Charles lived through and worked in the early period of the explosion in paperback book titles. He wrote in all kinds of genres and under many pseudonyms, although I first came in contact with his work in SF and Fantasy. He was very much influenced in those areas by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the first books I found by him were Sword and Planet tales, Warriors of Noomas and Raiders of Noomas. These have been re-released by Borgo in a single volume under the title Torlo Hannis of Noomas, which Charles was kind enough to dedicate partially to me. He’s also written a new edition to the series, with a collaborator (Heidi Garrett), called Slavegirl of Noomas, and I believe there are plans for a further book as well.

I’ll make my blogging rounds later this evening. In the meantime, don’t forget that Ello is hosting Dr. Gigi Durham today for a discussion on the issue of the sexualization of young girls and the problems it is creating, for women, men, and society. I’m heading over there now.


Travis Erwin said...

Glad to hear you are settling into the groove and will be creating something good for us to read on down the road.

Lisa said...

I envy you the reading time on the deck! Say hello to the birds and to the brown rat if you see him (I kind of like him).

And -- having a book dedicated to you...that is about the coolest thing I've heard in recent memory.

Good luck with the new book!

Sidney said...

I had not heard of him but that sounds like an interesting book.

laughingwolf said...

oh yes, good you are back in the rhythm and updating the 'cyclopedia, too

your bud, charles, seems like a wonderful friend, will have to see if i can find his stuff

Danette Haworth said...

Yes, what Travis said. Always good to be in the groove.

the walking man said...

Charles, I think you are NOT being lazy at all. Isn't this time away from work the reason you took up the profession you did?

Collaborating with your craft from years past to move it forward is a very good addition to the overall culture of it eh?


Chris Eldin said...

Ahh... the deck!

I finally have reliable connectivity again. I'm glad I didn't miss too, too much over here.

Danny Tagalog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danny Tagalog said...

Hi Charles, I'll try and pipe up a tad and run up a groove myself. The "sexualization of young girls" in Japan is worrying ang 'manga' is the culprit. Saying that, Koda Kumi an enormously popular celebrity singer was mentioned as:
"judg(ing) a competition of young girls dancing to her music. The only trouble about all this is that most of the girls were between 2 years old and 12 years old. If you're at all familiar with Koda Kumi, you’ll understand that it should be the dread of most parents to see your six year old daughter shake her bum and touch her self suggestively even if it is for fun and fame on national television…

Bernita said...

I always liked the signature terms, " swords, warriors, raiders" etc. in Sword and Planet novels - direct,thrilling, satisfying.
Glad you are working on more Talera, Charles, and feeling that slow build-up of creative excitement.

Erik Donald France said...

Very cool.

I always think of Daw books fondly.


Charles Gramlich said...

Travis Erwin, thanks. Unfortunately I'm a slow writer so it'll probably be awhile.

Lisa, that reading time was very nice, and yes, it was kind of Charles Nuetzel to dedicte the book to me. A thrill.

Sidney, it actually was pretty interesting, especially for me the publishing stuff.

Laughingwolf, Charles Nuetzel is a nice guy to know.

Danette, thank you.

Mark, I used to think of lazy as a dirty word but I'm beginning to revise my thinking about it. Sometimes it's a necessary thing.

ChrisEldin, the blog world sometimes moves at the speed of soap operas so you're not likely to miss much with a few days away.

Danny Tagalong, geeze, that Koda Kumi thing sounds ridiculous. Although I've never read a manga I've looked through them in the stores over here and I can see a lot of them are based in high school and very sexualized.

Bernita, I like that too. I've been enjoying naming the ships in the current WIP. We have Jahiskil, Khiang, Harkest, and Gleene, which in Nysphalain mean respectively, Raptor, Warrior, Revenge, and Blade.

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, so do I. Daw books that is.

Cheri said...

I'm debating picking up a new style of books because I've been saturated by the same group of writers for a few years now. After I finish the Dark Tower series, that is. Hah!

Lana Gramlich said...

Blogger won't let me comment on any of its blogs from any location for 2 days now. <:(

Lana Gramlich said...

So NOW it works! I'm glad you're into writing again. Tell me--when can we expect a sequel to CiL?

X. Dell said...

(1) Thanks for the Ello reminder.

(2) I've only talked to one hack-writer of that era, who ghosted a number of novels, but I knew him mostly from his non-fiction work. In describing those days, he made them sound like something I could have gotten into, although they were just cranking out stuff, one book after another, and without a word-processor in sight.

Still, I've always loved to type.

Josephine Damian said...

Professor Gramlich!

4 days into my blog hiatus, and I've got 25% of my thesis research typed up. At this rate I could have all my reasearch compiled in 3 weeks, and start writing the first draft. I just may up my thesis completion deadline from 10/1 to 9/1.

How do you spell relief?

Glad to hear you're back in the writing groove.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cheri, I never get time to get bored because I hardly ever read more than three books in a row in the same basic genre.

Lana, I've had trouble on some sites the last couple of days. How about you write the sequel to CIL and I'll proof it.

X-Dell, I thought pretty much the same thing. It would have been interesting to try my hand at it but I bet I would have burned out quickly.

Josephine, amazing what one can do with some time eh? Congrats. Glad you've made such good progress.

Travis Cody said...

I took a trip to the bookstore the other day for the latest Jim Butcher novel. I also picked up A Cruel Wind, which is a compilation of 3 books of The Dread Empire by Glen Cook.

It's been a long time since I read the Black Company novels from Mr Cook, so I'm looking forward to getting into something new for me, although these stories were published more than 25 years ago.

Barrie said...

Please send some of those "in the groove" vibes my way. :)

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Glad the writing is going well! That's a huge upside of the end of the semester -- time to get into the groove again and actually breathe. I also envy you your deck. I'm almost never on any deck but I remember the one my dad built by an cheap stand-up swimming pool by my childhood home with great fondness. The 70s, the parties . . . it even makes me nostalgic for my tan! Thanks for the heads up to Ello -- I agree, it's a good issue to think about and being around little girls from time to time, I think it's totally depressing how much stuff is marketed to the fulfilling the expression of distorted male desire as determined by the media (being thin, sexy, bizarrely distant -- The Little Mermaid anyone? I lose my voice to get my man?! Point made, I think.) At least before ten, one should be spared such garbage.

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis, you are in for a treat. The earlier Dread Empire novels are very good, although I didn't like them quite as much as the Black Company books. But Cook is a very good writer, in my opinion.

Barrie, consider it done.

Michelle, whereever there is a buck to be made there is someone willing to sell inappropriate materials to kids of any age. I really think some of the manufacturers need to take a close look at themselves.

LoveRundle said...

If you're getting to work on your projects, does that mean school is finally out for you? I got to see my teachers a few weeks ago after its been at least four or five months, and I forgot how much I missed them. Teachers are everything!

I'm glad to hear that you get to go back to writing. I'm going to try to start reading more. I have way too many books that have been sitting on my shelf waiting for the comfort of my lap.

Danny Tagalog said...

Hi Charles,

Thanks for your comment - my son does like kindergarten, it is me - the protective father, who doesn't think such a system is ideal! Luckily, the kindergartens here are a lot of fun. I should focus on that, I know!

Manga - it's interesting in that the art has influenced the concept of what constitutes female beaity - exaggerated, large eyes - childlike.