Scarlet Letters

The not-so-private thoughts and rants of Elizabeth Donald, journalist/author and founder of the Literary Underworld.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dragoncon schedule

Dragoncon Schedule! (tentative, naturally)

Friday
TBA photo shoot

Saturday
11:30 a.m. Reading, University Room
3 p.m. Signing, Borders kiosk, Exhibition Hall

Sunday
2:30 p.m. "Wait Until Dark," creepy panel with Sherrilyn Kenyon and Laurell K. Hamilton
8:30 p.m. "Memento Mori," ghost panel

Monday
11:30 a.m. Signing

This does not include panels that I will attend but not speak, or other events. I haven't even looked at the publishers' party list yet...

If you're looking to buy ABADDON from me at the con, catch up with me either at the Borders signing or the Monday signing. I think Borders may offer the book throughout the con, but I'm not sure. Also, we only have one box, so when they're gone, you're SOL until the book hits bookstores!

ABADDON!

All right, folks. Here we go.

ABADDON is now available in trade paperback. And for a bargain price, folks: six bucks.

Best of all, Cerridwen is fast-shipping a box directly to my hotel in Atlanta, so I will have books on hand! Kudos to Cerridwen, and to Borders, which is setting up a quickie premiere signing on Saturday!

So how can you get your paws on this brilliant piece of fiction?

• Buy it at Dragoncon!
Advantages: You get it right away, you get it signed and you help pay my hotel bill!
Disadvantages: NONE! I urge you - nay, beg you - to buy it at the Borders signing Saturday or at my autograph session on Monday, but I should have books on hand at all my panels as well. My full schedule will be posted shortly, here and at the Literary Underworld.

• Buy it at a later signing or convention!
Advantages: You get it signed, and I feel less like a moron. Ain't nothing worse than the two-hour hell of a signing in which no one shows up. I really like this option if for no other reason than to stroke my ego.
Disadvantages: You have to wait. I'm currently negotiating signings and events. Also, if you don't live in St. Louis, Chicago, Memphis or Nashville, chances are slim I'll be signing in your area. I am open to traveling other places, if they are within a reasonable drive of St. Louis and there is a venue available. If you're going to be at Archon, I will have it there.

• Buy it from Cerridwen Press.
Advantages: For the next four weeks, readers' direct orders on the web site get priority over all other orders.
Disadvantages: No signature.

• Buy it from Borders.
Advantages: It helps sell-through at bookstores, which encourages them to keep ordering me and discourages them from returning me. Returns damn near destroyed me with NOCTURNE.
Disadvantages: No signature.

• Order it from you local bookstore. Yes, sometimes those booksellers fail to recognize my genius and my book is not shelved. Then you have to order it from them. To order it, you will need the ISBN: 9781419957970. It is available through Baker & Taylor, or will be shortly. It is not, to my knowledge, currently available through Ingram.
Advantages: Free shipping to your local store, and they might order a couple extras just in case.
Disadvantages: No signature, and you have to wait for it to arrive.

• Order it from Amazon.
Advantages: Um. You get the book.
Disadvantages: It's not on Amazon yet, and it may be weeks before they get around to uploading it. You'll also have to pay for shipping unless you order enough stuff to make $25. However, I encourage you to put your reviews on Amazon! When the book is up, I'll let you know.

• Order it direct from me.
Advantages: Helps clear my inventory, and you get a personally autographed copy.
Disadvantages: You have to pay shipping (at cost book rate is usually about $3-4 domestic) and you have to wait a few weeks. For the next month, con inventory is priority.

Do you also want to help? Sure you do!

• Talk about the book. I implore you. On your blog, to your writers' group, at the PTA meeting, I don't care. Word of mouth sells ten times as many books as the best advertising.

• I will have a banner ad as soon as I manage to, um, get one made. Should you see your way clear to post it places, I'm just fine with that.

• Post your opinion on web sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Shelfari, LibraryThing, etc. Particularly on Amazon, it's the only way reviews ever sell a book. Yes, this falls under "talk about the book," but sometimes readers don't realize the power they have. Go viral!

• Request it from your local library. So you already have your copy. If your library gets a request, they'll order it. Then other people will take it out, fall in love with my brilliant prose, and want to go buy it. And my entire collected works. Other people will take it out from the library, and the library will buy my entire collected works. No, seriously, this is very effective. Please?

• Ask for the book at stores that don't stock it. They'll ask if you want to order it, but of course you already have your copy, so you can decline and mutter, "I'll just get it at Amazon." Ooh, they hate Amazon. :) They'll buy me just to keep the next person asking from buying off Amazon!

• Wear your absolutely smashing Nocturnal Urges merchandise anywhere and everywhere. You know you want a T-shirt that says, "I got my black belt at Sensei's dojo." That shop's going away soon, so drop by before they vanish! Oh, and the "Your neck or mine?" shirts are available direct from me!

• Did I mention talk about the book?

I am very happy, very excited and so, so pleased the book will be on hand at Dragoncon. I truly believe ABADDON is the best book I have yet published. There's many more places I want to take the Nocturnal Urges series, and if there's going to be more books, it will be because ABADDON sold like gangbusters. If you want more Memphis vamps, it's time to dig in!

As always, thank you all for your support, for your advice and of course for digging into your wallets time and again for my work. It means the world to me and to my son. I never forget that without all of you, I'm just talking to myself. You're the ones who really make it happen.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Swamp Thing!

Finally, I am in the swamp. I don't know why this one is going so hard. Today I took a bit of time to go back and do a few revisions on the beginning. I don't usually do that - rough draft is rough draft, fix it later - but a few problems are nagging at me.

For one thing, Kancethedrus and Tam were turning into carbon copies of each other. When I am essentially flipping a coin to decide who will say X line, I'm in trouble. I decided to smarten Kance up a bit, cutting his first line, which was essentially making him out to be Mongo the Dunce. He stays clumsy, though - that endears him to me, that and his crush on Alesia.

Tam, however, is giving me fits.

In the last day or so, I read an excellent blog post about creating a hero. I've gone back 500 entries on my reading list and I can't find it. But the basic upshot was, quite often you have a hero whose only recommending characteristic is that the author says he's a hero. All the other characters say he's a hero. Everyone agrees he's a terrific guy. So why does the reader wish he'd strangle on his medals?

Tam's not annoying, but he's not a person yet, either. He did great in the opening scene - stood up for Truth Justice What Have You right away. That's supposed to tell us he's a hero. That, and his love for Wynter, which is the driving force behind the quest.

But we have to get why Alesia and Kancethedrus are willing to risk their lives for him, why they love him enough to go through the hell I'm about to inflict on them. We've got to get it, and Tam has to be worth it. Right now, he's worth it because I say he is.

Giving me fits, I tell you.

The good news is, I've got additional antagonists. With the addition of a little bourbon and a quick flip through the sourcebook, I managed to get Ruebel back in the game AND keep him from screwing with the plot too much. I'm not sure what he's going to do in the final analysis, and I hope the Powers That Be don't mind me deviating a bit from the outline. But I needed a bit of urgency for the departure and I needed Tam and Alesia to solve a minor problem on their own. Ruebel's racist ass provided an excellent opportunity. Plus I got to use a cliche pun.

I think I'm going to go watch some more postapocalypse in the hopes of luring the Muse back. I could use her help with Tam. At any rate, we've finally made it into the swamp, 25 percent of the way through this thing. The word "finally" does not begin to describe it. Enough character-building for now - let's go meet the Darkhoppers.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
12,789 / 50,000
(25.6%)


P.S. Both Patrick Sweeney and Parish Roberts are fired from the name pool. Except I already named characters after the both of them. Cody the Weregator, indeed.