Books Anne has written or has a chapter in.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Facebook FAIL

As some of you may know, I've been locked out of my personal Facebook account since last Friday, which was about the same time a bunch of new security/privacy changes went into effect. I tried to log on, and got a password/identity error screen. Tried resetting password, but every time I tried to log in with the new password, the "temporarily locked out" screen appears.  I've tried every trick I can think of to get past the "temporary locked out" screen, but nothing works. It says that if you click on Okay to indicate this is truly your account, you'll regain access within 24 hours. Obviously it doesn't work, or I'd be logged in by now.  Have sent the FB bug report numerous queries, etc. but no response.

All of which leads me to believe that maybe I can do without Facebook.  I have this nifty blog, I'm on Twitter every day, I have a Goodreads account. I guess that's all I need.  It's all I can keep up with, at any rate!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Irene and other blowhards

Watching the Weather Channel's frenzied drumbeat countdown to destruction (wait, wasn't that a Megadeth album?).  I truly wish all my friends and colleagues along the U.S. East Coast safe passage through the storm, and hope even more that the media buildup for this hurricane will turn out to be not so much.

As a Florida native, I've lived through so many hurricanes that I've lost count. Most were not as bad as expected (some were outright duds), but a few were so frightening they'll always stay in my memory. Luckily for me as a writer, I'm using those experiences to craft the opening chapter of my next novel. I think the most shocking 'cane I lived through was back when I lived in Panama City around age 8 or 9, and I remember watching my mother fill the bathtub with water in preparation for the approaching storm. The eye came right over us, and I'll never forget how I listened to the howling winds dying down and then all was silent...bright and sunny, but no usual neighborhood sounds of birds, dogs barking, etc. My parents, my sister, the family dog, and I stood around in the front yard gawking up at the sky with its deceptive bright blue eye, which lasted about 10 minutes. Then the breeze started to kick up, which turned into strong winds, and here it came again.  When it was all over, we had 3 pines down in the yard just barely missing the roof, and a live electrical wire snapping across the sidewalk in front of our house. Huge scary excitement for a young kid. And great grist for the storytelling mill.

Hoping Irene will not be as terrible as predictions are trumpeting. But then again, you shouldn't take warnings for granted. We'll see how it plays out over the weekend.  Hunker down!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My interview on Jeannine H. Gailey's blog

The Kitsune Books 2012 lineup of authors and other tasty tidbits are revealed in my interview on Northwest writer Jeannine Hall Gailey's blog.

Check it out HERE!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In the Spooklight!

Plotting some Halloween fun over at the Horror Writers Association website.  Games, giveaways, fiction snippets, ridiculous pix of members in costume, and much more!  Details coming soon...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is there a Book 3?

I was asked on a forum if there will be a Book 3, to follow Shaman's Blood, in my Wandjina series. Yes indeed, the story continues after Shaman's Blood. I'm working on Book 3 now, mostly getting my timelines sorted out and making sure they mesh. Same kind of thing I did in SB, where basically the same story is told from two points of view - one in the present, and one from a generation or two back.

The last book will complete the tale, at its beginning where the Quinkan became fused to Alice's bloodline. I know what the final scene looks like, but haven't mapped out yet quite how we get there. All in good time. ;D

Monday, August 8, 2011

Amazon's next move?

Seems like everybody wants in on the book publishing action, even little old Amazon. But this article on Amazon Publishing may pull the covers back further on their latest foray in to consolidating the book industry than they'd like:

I'm kind of ambivalent on this. As a publisher, I have to deal with Amazon whether I like it or not. As an author, I have to deal with Amazon whether I like it or not. As a consumer, I buy from them all the time without blinking. The monolith that is Amazon has been good for authors in many ways, opening up avenues for self promotion and having books listed whether they are best sellers or not.

But Amazon's encroaching control over book production, distribution, pricing, and copyright issues should be something to think about and pay attention to, not that we (small presses and their authors) could stop them if we wanted to. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A small, useless rant

Working on ebook conversions today (pawned off the hard one to my buddy Pete!), and in reading over the updated stylebook on Smashwords, I just started to see red. Not an appealing red like the background of this blog, but an honest-to-goodness flushed, fuming red that makes me want to punch something. Normally I'm a very mild mannered, reserved sort of person, but as a publisher of artistic, quality books, this was the last straw.

The SW "stylebook" says, "With ebooks, there is no 'page.' By giving up the control of the printed page, you and your readers gain much more in return."  No, we lose the artistic work done by the people who chose the font, paper color, layout design, illustrations, and page flow that makes that book a joy to look at while reading.

Quoth SW: "Page numbers are irrelevant."  No, actually, Kindle and other readers are now putting page numbers in because readers like them and prefer them when navigating the book.

"A reader should be able to consume your book however works best for them, even if that means they like to read 18 point Helvetica with blue fonts, lime background color, and triple spaced lines...Most readers want your words, not your fancy page layout or exotic type styles."  I'm sorry, but that fancy layout and choice of the perfect font to complement the content and theme of the book contributes to the content in many ways, tangible and intangible. If artistic graphic design and careful layout didn't matter, all books would just be a .txt file with no images or formatting.  And if you can't imagine reading a book that way, take a look at an epub file sometime.

I can't express how angry that last smug statement about readers just wanting the words makes me.  The look of the book and the reading experience the formatting produces are, for me at least, integral parts of the joy of reading books. I'm always subliminally aware of the page designer and typesetter's work when I consume a book, and a skillfully put together book is well worth the price.

I've read that ebooks are now outselling print on Amazon, so obviously they can't be ignored. But this attitude of dumbing everything down to the lowest, cheapest level and thumbing one's nose at skill and artistry just make my blood boil!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New outlet for THIN LINE BETWEEN

Very happy to report that my publisher for Shaman's Blood is now carrying its prequel, Thin Line Between
Here it is: Thin Line Between ebook