Monday, March 26, 2012

Sylphs are badass

I received a wonderful email today. Check this out!


Your book, Battle Sylph, will be part of one of our (new) features. The feature is called "Badass Hidden Gems" and Battle Sylph made the list. Please check it out this Friday, March 30th and let your readers know!

Thanks for your great book and keep writing!!!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Testing, testing, 1 2 3...

I signed up for an account at which will theoretically push my posts from my blogger site to Facebook, which then pushes automatically to Twitter. This means less work for me! Yay!

Uh, to make this relevant in any way, Alphabet Soup for Sylphs should be ready in the next week or so.

Crap, I just committed myself to getting it done...

Now to see if this works. Off to Facebook!

I've started to edit "The Lord of Winter"

As I say above, I've started to edit "The Lord of Winter". I'm doing the hard copy edit, which I enjoy. This is followed by the type in the changes edit, which I loathe, followed by the read it over a bazillion times, which generally puts me to sleep. Needless to say, this always takes me a while.

Thanks to everyone for your comments on the cover I plan to use. I'll definitely make my name larger. I also plan to tweak the image a bit more (learned some new techniques recently, but the bulk of it will stay the same).

For the interest of anyone that cares, here's the first page of the story, which unintentionally contains all the text that I put in the snippet. This is just to show you how much I edit stuff. It's going to be a wee bit different from what I posted.  >.>

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Lord of Winter cover

I think I like this cover. What do people think? Would you pick this up to take a look at what the story's about?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Lord of Winter snippet

A lot of you want to see a taste of this, so here it is. I've only run this through the first edit, so I reserve the right to decide to tweak things more.

Hopefully everyone still wants to read it after this post.  :D

Half of them didn't reach the castle.
It took weeks of struggling to get through the frozen snows and frigid winds of the northern plain, the ground beneath them not ground at all but ice in a sheet nearly a mile thick. It was endless, broken only by cracks and fissures that they lost three of their people and all of their horses to.
It would have seemed madness to continue.  Six of their group, which started out as thirty strong, decided it was insanity and long since turned back, making the slow return through the frozen wasteland with their fellows' scorn sounding in their ears. Another nine had died, whether from accident or cold or the increasing attacks of the creatures that served the Lord of Winter.  Born of ice and wind, they were lethal and relentless, and it was only the determination of the group that kept them going until finally they saw the castle in the distance, rising up out of the ice and so brilliant in the sunshine that it was blinding to look upon.
"There it is," the leader gasped. He was a burly man short three toes from frostbite who went by the name of Porl.  He shaded his eyes and stared at it, his face nearly hidden in the furs of the massive, thick coat he wore.  "The castle of the Lord of Winter."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sample of the cover

Jan wanted to know if I was going to put up a snippet from The Lord of Winter and if I'd let people see the cover. The answer is yes to both.  I haven't even looked at the story for editing, so I'm not prepared to throw any of it up, but you can see the abomination that's my cover in progress. I actually like it so far. And no, the horns are not gonna end up looking like that.

And yes, he's supposed to be blue.

Monday, March 19, 2012

More on the whole Dorchester thing and me

I've been reading all the comments people have been making and I appreciate the support. I've reread what I posted and I feel the need to clarify a few things.

I have received some payment for the books from Dorchester. That said, they haven't paid everything that they owe me and what payments I've received have always been late. So they've been in violation of contract since I started. Also, they decided to stop printing paperbacks after I signed, which they were able to get away with due to the legal wording in my contract. I'm not happy that my books are in trade, since it's so much more expensive and I get fewer sales.

As for the idea of my publishing the Sylph books independently, I'd rather not. I could, but I do like having the backing of a publisher. That said, I suppose I could. Someone pointed out the existence of a publishing service given by Amazon to me, so if all else fails, I likely could release them myself. That comes at a cost to me, with no idea if anyone will actually buy them. However, I'm really hoping to get with another house instead, for all sorts of reasons. Not the least of which is, if I'm with another house, I can more easily get all the rest of my work published.

Last note is, I will give the whole self-publishing thing a test run. I will put out Lord of Winter as an Epub. I haven't had much luck finding an artist due to the whole too shy to ask anyone issue and too cheap to pay much, so I'm working on a picture for the cover myself. Gah. I'll post it for comments once it's done more.

Friday, March 16, 2012


The last person I cared anything for at Dorchester has gone.  I didn't say anything publicly at the time, but my editor left in January. With this new person gone as well, I'm not feeling any loyalty anymore. Mostly I'm just feeling tired.

I don't really want to get into the whole thing, but this is a letter from SFWA to its members dated 13 Dec 10 that states pretty well what's going on, and put Dorchester onto probation for a year due to contract violations. They were supposed to clean up their act. They haven't.

There are no new Sylph books coming out, despite the fact that they're written, because Dorchester hasn't been paying me for the ones that are out and certainly can't afford to buy any new ones. They also refuse to relinquish the rights back to me. Lawyers are now involved.

Anyway, here is the letter.

Dear SFWA members:
As many of you are aware, over the last year, Dorchester Publishing Co, inc, which publishes books by several SFWA members, has been undergoing a number of changes to its business and in how it publishes its authors. The board of SFWA has been following the developments as they’ve occurred, and had asked members with Dorchester contracts to make us aware of if there were any improprieties involving payment or regarding their rights.
In the course of this inquiry, we became aware of several instances in which Dorchester acted against the contractual and legal interest of authors, specifically by not paying royalties when contractually specified, or distributing books in a medium for which it had not legally secured rights.
Dorchester does not dispute these events, and when it became aware of our inquiry, it contacted SFWA to offer us information and background to help answer our questions.
We feel this cooperation has been a positive first step by Dorchester and we look forward to its continuing efforts to rebuild their brand and their business, and to do well by our members and other writers with whom it works. That said, we cannot overlook the troubles the company has had, which have adversely affected our members.
Thus, by vote of the board, Dorchester Publishing is on probation as a qualified Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America market for a period of one year, December 10, 2010 – December 10, 2011.
In this case, “probation” means that although Dorchester would remain on our official list of qualified SFWA markets, during the term of probation, fiction published by Dorchester may not be used to apply for membership until after the probation is completed.
If Dorchester successfully completes its one-year probation, fiction contracted during that term will be viewed as acceptable for qualification for SFWA membership. If it does not SFWA will remove it from the list of approved markets.
Fiction contracted and paid for (by initial advance payment) before the term of probation will not be affected by Dorchester’s probationary status.
After a conversation between the Board of Directors and Dorchester, SFWA asked Dorchester to meet a series of benchmarks as a measure of a good faith effort to return to a solid standing. During the period of probation, SFWA expects the following from Dorchester in order for it to remain on the qualifying list after its probation period:
  1. That it fulfills its contractual and financial obligations to the authors it has already published, including full and accurate accounting of royalties per contract, with scheduled payment of any royalties outstanding;
  2. That it examine its catalog to ensure it is no longer offering fiction in formats for which it has not contracted rights, and makes whole those authors whose rights it has violated;
  3. That there are no instances of contractual violations on the part of Dorchester against authors signed to publishing deals after the start of the probationary period;
  4. That Dorchester assist those authors wishing to revert rights, consistent with the company’s existing policies regarding rights reversion.
During the probationary period, and depending on member participation, SFWA will be in contact with its members known to have outstanding Dorchester contracts to assure Dorchester is fulfilling its contractual obligations to them, or is actively and affirmatively working to correct previous violations.
While SFWA may act at any time to deal with a member complaint against Dorchester, at or near the six month mark of the probationary period it will perform a formal review of Dorchester’s progress on tasks above, with the results to be provided to the members of SFWA via our normal means of member communication.
Dorchester has pledged to work with SFWA during this probationary period. Dorchester Senior Editor Chris Keeslar has informed us that his company is “working to clean up every mistake that has been made, and we categorically affirm our desire to meet the criteria SFWA lists.”
This pledge from Dorchester to improve its practices and to work with SFWA for the benefit of our members strongly encourages us that writers, our members among them, will soon once again find Dorchester a congenial market for their work.
We look forward to working with them to make it so, and are hopeful that in a year’s time we will be able to retain Dorchester as a SFWA qualifying market.
John Scalzi
President, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I really need to come up with better post titles... sheesh.

I received a package in the mail from Dorchester the other day. I am now the proud owner of THE SHATTERED SYLPH in German! At least, I think it's that one, given I can't read German. Regardless, I'm all giddy. :)

I've been working on getting Alphabet Soup for Sylphs ready for e-publishing. It's taking a while because the only one I have to edit it is me, instead of the army of people used for the Dorchester books. I'm worried I'll miss something.

The Lord of Winter isn't anywhere near ready. I'm still figuring out American tax rules and whatnot on SmashWords. I haven't even started to edit it. Plus I have to find a cover artist, because I'm not doing it myself.

Here, have a painting.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I got to stop wandering around internet blogs when I'm in a silly mood. I run into stuff like this...

Then things like this happen....

To quote my husband of sixteen years when I asked him if this reminded him of anyone:


I need to get back to writing THE CUCKOO, which I'm apparently 20,000 words into, not 7,000 like I reported. Woot!

Friday, March 2, 2012


The ebooks aren't ready. Heh. To be honest, I haven't started them. I have LORD OF WINTER at my agent for a read through and I'm letting ALPHABET SOUP sit before I edit it over. I don't foresee a lot of changes, but I want it to be as tight as possible before I put it into a form people can download. At least I can say the cover is done.

I have been working on things. I'm about 7,000 words or so into book four of my Cuckoo series, titled THE OMEGA (not sold yet). I'm also writing a novella titled CHILDE OF THE BLOODED MOON. Of late I usually have two pieces going. One being a typed novel, the other being a handwritten shorter piece.

I also just finished editing and submitted a novella called RUNES OF THE DAEMON to a friend who's starting up a new ebook publishing company called 4F. It should launch this summer, I believe. But I wrote a 16,000 word fantasy romance novella for him, with oodles of sex.

Here's the thing, and I guess I'll poll you guys about it. He's suggested that I use a pen name for this piece to differentiate it from my other writing, and I don't know if I want to for a whole lot of reasons. The point is, this is a romance story between a man and a male daemon and I get very graphic in the sex scenes.

I'd like to use my own name, but I don't want to run into anyone who's vehemently against that sort of thing for whatever reason and end up getting flamed or whatever. What is the common vote? I'll still have the piece listed on my website once it's out regardless, but should it be written by LJ McDonald or by Gwen Gerrard (my nom de plume of choice).

On another level, I'm really annoyed with myself that I'm even asking this. *sigh*

Here, have a painting.