Side Note: As a race into publishing Last of the Immortals, I am doing a set of Goodreads giveaways. Auberon is going on now, and will end on 11/3. After that, we’ll do a set for Queen of the Pirates, and finally Last of the Immortals. This is your chance to own a hard-copy version, sure to be a collector’s item because I will revise all three when Book 4 comes out, hopefully sometime next year, Good Lord and Muse willing.

Also: Thank you to everyone for the comments. It really makes my day when I log in and see a lot of comments in the spam queue that I actually get to approve and display, as opposed to the bots I have to contend with on a daily basis, wanting to sell me crap, services, or ED medicine. The interwebs are really stupid that way.  (Do me a favor and update your anti-virus checkers?  Most of this crap comes from machines that have been hijacked. And if you are still running Windows XP, upgrade.  It’s faster, more stable, and less prone to crap. A good internet is your responsibility.)


I don’t have firm dates yet, but the third Javier Aritza novella is coming out in December. The Gilded Cage.  There is also a craft book I have been working on in the background for the better part of a year, when I could carve out time to put my thoughts on paper. It is something for the beginning writer, to help them understand the technical aspects of good story-telling that they need in order to  look more like a professional. They are certainly not things I learned in my creative writing classes. (Granted I never went MFA, being too much of a numbers nerd, but I have shown drafts to two people wanting to make the jump from non-fiction/journalism to genre fiction, and they both seemed to get something out of it.)


I got an email from a friend of a friend last night. She’s a big-time writer who was on a panel and got asked a question about the “usual path to publication.” They discovered that in the last 3-5 years, there is no such thing.

Times were, you wrote a novel, found an agent, got rejected 10-15 times, and then finally either gave up or got published. If you were lucky, you wrote something that sold and your next novel got picked up. Quite a few were, then less and less.

Some folks made a living as mid-list writers, earning as much as they would have at a desk job, but getting to write all day instead of labor.

Those days are mostly gone now. If you don’t capture lightning, if you don’t sell millions of copies world-over, you get dropped.

Such is the fate of many traditionally published novelists.

Other folks write short fiction and submit it to various genre magazines and anthologies. There is less money here, as a single story will net you somewhere between $200US and $500US. I.E. not enough to live on, unless you have a spouse who can support your dreams. Many people do this, and are quite happy, if not wealthy.

And then there is Jeff Bezos. He invented the future.

I married my publisher, a successful novelist who once had several books traditionally published by one of the big houses, and who still sells into the periodical space with mysteries and stuff.

She also  indie publishes. Her nineteenth(?) novel is due out in December. She is about halfway through re-publishing a baker’s dozen of short pieces, from all across the genre, one per week.  Go look.

I don’t do traditional publishing. Everyone I know who has (and I know a bunch of nice folks through her), universally tell me horror stories about it. You have one chance in a million to make it to the big time.

I don’t need the fame. I’d rather have money.

I  indie publish. (While I technically have submitted two stories to The New Yorker, that was because they do literary Science Fiction there, and both of the Hive stories are kinda literary. After this, every Hive story goes to them first for quick rejection, because I like their rejection policy and approve of it.)

When I publish, my works are passed through a couple of first readers who catch mistakes and holes in my logic, plus a copy editor who finds missing words, bad tense, and lost periods. (She’s amazing that way.)

Then it gets a cover, a blurb, maybe some internals like an Author’s note. And then it goes up for sale on the usual sites.  We do post them on Kobo, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble, but the vast majority of my sales come from Amazon.  As in, ninety-seven percent plus.

Jeff made that possible. And he’s going to win the 21st Century. Period.

The Traditional Manhattan Model of publishing (see above) was all about being gate-keepers to what was “Good Literature.” They decided if you were good enough. Over the last generation, they’ve devolved into a useless money and marketing grab. I will point out that Kim Kardassian and Snooki are both New York Times Best Selling Authors.

Yes, you read that right. Quality literature, right?

Because of Jeff Bezos, I get to publish novels and novellas and short stories. You get to decide if they are any good. You get to log in and give the story a rating and a review, so the next person who comes along can read it and determine if they want to give me money. It’s not much money, but one of these days it might be enough for me to no longer have a day job.

I get to do what I love most in this world, which is to tell stories. And I seem to have fans, as weird as that is to someone like me. People send me notes telling me how much they like Suvi, and how much they enjoyed a particular piece. That energizes me to go at it again tomorrow.

To give you an understanding of how much I want this: I get up at 4:30 AM. Wake up, mind you. My alarm actually goes off about once per month. I’m generally awake before the alarm. Shower and out the door with breakfast in hand by 4:55. Listen to NPR for the news until I get over the pass, and then turn it off and let the story unfold in my head for the last half hour or so. Get to work, park, head up to the office, and set up my machine in the kitchen/break room at 6:00 AM. Eat breakfast, read the news, pay bills, catch up. Around 6:30, start writing. Head down, keys banging furiously, snarl at anyone who comes over to bother me. (They’ve learned to wait until I surface, unless the building is on fire.) At 8:00, fix my second coffee, pack up, and head to my desk, where I go at it in t-sql until 17:00, with a long walk at lunch to think more story thoughts. Most nights, home and ready to start working again around 19:00 (I live way out in the boonies.) Put in a couple of hours of work. Go to bed around 21:00. Rinse. Repeat. On the weekend, I live for the times when I can spend hours and hours writing.

There is a motivational poster at work that sums it up. “There is a difference between wanting and committing.”

I don’t want an editor or Traditional publisher telling me what I can write, or when, or how. I will live or die on my own merits, my own strengths and weaknesses, on my own story-telling.

Because of Jeff, I get that chance.