As some of you know, I still work part-time at Fullerton Public Library as a substitute librarian. My job is to sit at the Information/Reference Desk, now casually labeled the “Ask Here” desk, and answer patrons questions.
The other morning, a patron came in looking for books by an author I’d never heard of. We didn’t have any of her books in print or as downloadable books, but the woman told me she had read the first book in a paranormal romance series read it and was hot to read the next. She’d gotten the first book as a Kindle freebie, so I went to Amazon and discovered that the books were indie published. Apparently, the author in question, H.P. Mallory, had been such a success with her two indie series, she now has a contract with Bantam for more books in the series.
This all reminded me of Stephanie Laurens’s Keynote Speech at the recent RWA conference. She talked about how the publishing industry has changed and is in the process of changing. The writing process is the same; the reading process is the same; but the distribution system has been upended. Authors now have more options than ever before, including going directly to the reader. If you missed the speech, it’s at Laurens’s website.
There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “May you live in interesting times.” which is sometimes taken more of a curse than a blessing. Whatever you may think of the changes in the publishing industry, you can’t deny that we are living in interesting times.
aka Lyndi Lamont
Ex-racer Mitch Delaney is a public figure whose life has been plastered across the tabloids more than once. But he believes that anything worth doing is worth a risk, and he wants Amanda in his life. But when they draw the attention of the tabloids, his custody of his son is threatened. Amanda has waited twenty-eight years for the right man. But will happiness come at too high a price?
coming from Amber Allure
Linda McLaughlin aka Lyndi Lamont
Every writer has a favorite word. You know, the one that creeps into your writing, over and over again, when you’re not paying attention.
In my case, the word is “that”. Every time I have to submit a manuscript I try to remember to do a global search for the word “that” and cut as many as possible. If I don’t, my editor will point out how much I’ve overused the word. You’d think “that” would be a fairly invisible word, like “the” but it isn’t. Not quite anyway, another word I have to watch out for, especially when I’m writing a historical with British characters.
For some writers, the favorite word is the generally useless “very”. Even if it’s not your favorite word, it’s a good one to search out and eliminate wherever possible.
My former writing partner, Anne Farrell, and I are revising our old Precious Gem romance for self-publishing as an e-book. It has been thirteen years since it was released, way back in the last century. So we’re updating the manuscript and looking to revise and tighten it as we go, including cutting out as many that’s as possible.
So what’s your favorite word?
I haven’t posted here in a while, but yesterday I happened to discover two very interesting TED conference videos.
The first is Eli Paliser on “internet filter bubbles”, an unintended consequence of the personalization of the web. It should be of interest to all of us who use the web for research.
And Dr. Deborah Rhodes talk on mammography is of importance to all women, regardless of age:
What have you discovered lately?
I know some of you are wondering, what in the heck is steampunk? Simply put, it’s Victorian-era science fiction, often inspired by the novels of Jules Verne. The graphic novel & movie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, is probably the most obvious example.
Wikipedia defines Steampunk as:
…a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely usedâ€”usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britainâ€”that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them; in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc.
Not all Steampunk technology runs on steam power, there are also ray guns, dirigibles, clockwork mechanisms and mechanical computers based on Charles Babbage’s designs.
I’ve been hearing about steampunk for a couple of years now, so I jumped at the chance to take Suzanne Lazear’s online class through the LARA Chapter and I’m learning a lot. Suzanne wrote a great steampunk post at Castles & Guns that will explain it better than I can.
Like steam itself, steampunk is impossible to contain. Authors are using their imaginations to add fantasy and paranormal elements, to re-write history, and to heat up the Victorian era with erotic tales. There is steampunk romance, steamypunk (erotica) and gaslamp romance (Victorian-era romance with steampunk or fantasy elements, but without elaborate worldbuilding). And it’s not just books and short stories, movies & videogames. There are steampunk RPG’s (role playing games), steampunk conventions, steampunk fashion, and steampunk sex toys. Some people have even steampunked their homes!
But why steampunk and why now? Some think it’s a reaction to our economic recession. In the foreword to Steampunk Tales Free, publisher John H. Sondericker III writes: “With many of us feeling the stresses and strains of a world economy in decline, the time is right for the resurgence of escapism into the magnificent and fantastic worlds of classic pulp.”
There’s a nostalgia about steampunk, a longing for an era when technology wasn’t just useful, but often elegantly designed and built to last. I grew up around antique cars since that was my dad’s hobby. Those old cars were beautiful, with tufted leather seats and brass headlamps. And who can resist the charm of a steam locomotive like the one used for the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies?
Personally, I’m looking forward to exploring this fascinating genre a little more. What about you?
Free The Princess: A practical literary guide to Steampunk and the Victorian Era
Article on Worldbuilding in Steampunk by author G. D. Falksen
Steampunk Emporium: Authentic Period Clothing for a Better Tomorrow
article in Boston Globe on Steampunk, Nov. 4, 2010
And last but not least, Lady Clankington’s Cabinet of Carnal Curiosities (This is a hoot, but may not be safe for work)
So far as the Duke of Wolveton is concerned, Charlotte Longborough is a scandal waiting to happen.More info →
Christmas in Marietta, with all the trimmings, may be just the ticket.More info →