Marital Bliss and Other Developments

It’s been well over a week since I last updated the blog here.  No doubt all y’all have been on the edge of your seats wondering what’s become of me.  Well, my half-hearted prediction came true: the business of traveling and the wedding overwhelmed everything else and I was lost in a sea of kids, mothers, aunts, significant others, drunken revelers, and all the others that you would expect at such an event.  It was a pretty good time, even though several times when the better half, the kids, and I walked in, we received blank stares and, “Oh.  We didn’t realize you were coming…with the kids,” followed by a mad scramble to make room, since it seemed there never was enough seating for everyone.  It’s almost as though we hadn’t told anyone we were coming.

Oops.

But wait, it gets better.  Flying back on Tuesday, we were delayed in departing Orlando and thus missed our connection in Phoenix.  So Southwest was kind enough to put us up in a hotel for the night before getting us home Wednesday (yesterday) morning.

But seriously, don’t get the wrong idea.  It was a good trip.  Very good, despite the stress of flying four kids across country.  It’s not every day one’s sister ties the knot, after all, and the ceremony and celebrations were beautiful and tons of fun.  And Florida is a fun place in general.  And for certain the Atlantic is a whole lot more fun to swim in than the Pacific.  Or at least the Pacific along the California coast – can you say freaking cold?  Yeah, I thought you could.

So that’s why there were no chapters while I was gone.  Hardly a surprise, right?  😉  Sorry about that.  I’ll just put the next one up on Saturday and call it even, ok?

Cool.

Speaking of cool, while I was away, three more short audiobooks of mine went live on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.  These are the next three of my Larian Elesir stories – short stories and novelettes all, and thus quite affordable as audiobooks go.  Just $3.95 apiece (less if you’re an Audible member).  I highly encourage you to check them out, if you’re so inclined.  And of course, if you’re not an Audible member and decide to join and make one of my stories your first purchase, I’ll get a nice hefty “bounty” for your head.  Erm…for your business, I mean.  I think it’s $50 – not too shabby.  So anyway, do go by and have a look.  Nick Mortise read them all and I think he did a great job.  Listening to them put a smile on my face.  And reminded me that I really ought to write more Larian stories because he’s cool and I enjoy him.

So that happened.  Let’s see…what else to put out?  Oh yes.

On Saturday, 31 May, I’m putting The Pericles Conspiracy on sale for $0.99 on Amazon.  Actually, I told Amazon to lower the price just a minute ago, so it’ll probably drop sometime tomorrow, so I’m not late.  You see, I decided to experiment with a paid promotion, and on Saturday Booksends is going to feature Pericles.  So it’ll be $0.99 for the day, then on Sunday it’ll go to $2.99.  Then either Monday or Tuesday, depending on how it’s doing, it’ll return to full price.  So if you’ve had the hankering to check Pericles out but haven’t gotten around to it yet, now’s the time.  Or rather, Saturday’s the time.  Kindly wait until then; hopefully the ad will drive a bunch of folks to purchase it on that day, and the more who do the more ranking boost it’ll get, so…wait until then, if you would.  🙂

So that’s what’s new around here.  Hope all’s well with y’all.  Time to get a little work done, then hit the rack.

Until next time.  🙂

Travel Time

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I fly out to Oregon for Dean and Kris‘ Character Voice and Setting Workshop.  It runs from Saturday afternoon through the following Saturday, and I’m pretty much certain I won’t have any time to update things here.  Nor will I want to, because I’m going out there to work on improving my writing, not to screw around on the web.  🙂  The workshop should be fun.  I’ll have a play-by-play after I get back.

But I don’t want all y’all to be bored while I’m away, so here are a couple cool things to check out in the meantime.

1) The Piano Guys

If you aren’t acquainted with these guys, you should be.  They are extremely talented musicians.  And the things that guy does with his cello!  Wow!

2) Skyrim

Yeah yeah, I know.  Everyone loves it, and everyone’s addicted to it.  I am too.  But if you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months and haven’t checked it out, here’s a taste of what you’ve been missing.

Yeah.  Totally kick-ass.

Well, that’s all I’ve got so I’m going to sign off.  It’s getting toward 2300 now and we’re about to head out for the midnight showing of The Hunger Games.

Yeah, I really went there.  That really happened.  😛

 

Book Bloggers and Publishers

Interesting article in the UK Guardian yesterday about the relationship between book bloggers and publishers.  Apparently there’s a bit of a spat over something that Harper Collins said.  In a letter to various book bloggers, HC set out their new policies about review copies.  Basically they’re saying they’re not going to just send out review copies willy-nilly anymore (did they ever?) but rather only send copies that the bloggers request, that they’d like reviews posted within a month of receiving the review copy and ideally within 2 weeks of the book release, and that they’ll be tracking who they sent review copies too and verifying that everyone actually posts a review who got one.  If someone receives review copies and doesn’t post a review, they may be removed from the mailing list for future review copies.

Apparently a lot of book bloggers are taking umbrage over this.  There’s a lot of “I ain’t your bitch” and “I don’t work for you” talk.  And frankly, I don’t understand why.  Nothing in that letter seems unreasonable to me.

Ok guys, you may not work for the publishers in the traditional sense, but they are paying you (in the form of early copies of their books for free) and they have a right to expect a satisfactory service in return for that payment.  Not a good review, but good service.  They are perfectly within their rights to request that service within a reasonable amount of time that supports their business needs, since that is the whole purpose for paying you.  They are also perfectly within their rights to verify that everyone who gets paid actually provides the service for which they are being paid, and to terminate the business relationship if they are not doing so.  Seriously, I don’t understand the outcry.

Dear readers, do you have any insights here that I may be missing?  Because if not, it seems to me this is much ado over nothing and, if I may be so bold, a rather sorry display of entitlement on the part of some bloggers.  Seriously folks, publishers aren’t your bitches.

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor…

…the sponsor being my wife, of course.

She has a small business where she hand-crafts cools items to help out moms and little kids: blankets, burp cloths, floor cushions, coffee cozies, that sort of thing.  Obviously, I think her stuff is great.  🙂

She asked me to plug a giveaway she’s having.  Here’s the prize: 

As you can see, it’s a very cute dress.  We put our little girl in one very similar that my wife made.  She loved it, looked cute in it, and it fit great.  Details on her giveaway rules are on my wife’s business blog, here.

And her business website is here.  Check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a less important note, I posted Passing in the Night up on the various ebooks stores this morning.

It’s live on Smashwords now.  Should be live on Amazon by the end of the weekend, and the various Smashwords distribution partners in a couple weeks.  The price is $1.99 for a killer 12,200 word hard science fiction novelette.  Go ahead and check that it, too!

Evening with Edmund Morris

I live in Ballston Spa, NY, about 25 miles north of Albany.  A couple weeks ago, I did a google search for local writers clubs, and found the NY State Writer’s Institute.  They have a visiting writers series, and I was surprised and excited to see Edmund Morris was scheduled to come to town for a talk.

For those who don’t know, Edmund Morris writes presidential biographies, the most famous being Edmund Morris’s Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy Bundle: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, and Colonel Roosevelt. He won the Pulitzer Price for the first in the series, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, which came out over 30 years ago and details TR’s early life and career up until he became President. Theodore Rex details his exploits as President, and Colonel Roosevelt, which just came out last fall, details the remaining years of TR’s life.

The books are meticulously researched and cited (the references and bibiolography sections of the three books totals about 400 pages).  They’re also very good reads.

Last night he came to town, and I happily went to see him.  I was impressed with how good a speaker he is.  He’s a researcher, and it shows, but he could easily be a professor or teacher.  He was interesting and very informative.  Best of all, he spoke with a stately british-sounding accent that added a certain authority to his words.

Afterwords, he had a book signing, and he was kind enough to sign all three of his books for me.

It was a pretty cool evening.  I’m glad I went.