Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: July 2014

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Friday, July 25, 2014

On Sunsets

I'm away right now. Not doing normal things, like working and writing and e-mailing and whatnot. Really, I shouldn't even be blogging. But I had a thought yesterday, and writing it down will help me remember it better. So I'm going to do it here where I can share it with you.

Watching sunsets is important.

For me, anyway.

I used to do it a lot. Like, whenever I could. And I've had a lot of great ideas while doing it. Somehow over the past few years, I've been doing less and less of it. Yesterday was the first time in recent memory that I sat down and watched a sunset. I had nothing else to do during that time. No one to talk to. No task that needed to be completed. It was just me and the world, reenacting a human ritual I suspect is an ancient as anything that could even remotely be called humanity.

And I felt more at peace and connected with the world than I have in some time.

So, sunsets. Stop and enjoy them. Even SANDMAN's Lucifer got something out of it. You will too.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hairy-Footed Women, and Other Protagonists We Need More Of

Today's post brought to you by this, which is awesome.

Also of note! The price for the Soulwoven e-book has dropped to $2.99.

Gender norms are a topic of note in my house, my family, my reading, and, sometimes, my writing. I will admit that discussions of them often make me uncomfortable (aka aware of my privilege) and fill me with doubt as to whether I'm secretly a reprehensible human being despite all my efforts not to be.

But sometimes, they're just awesome.

Like today, when my fiancee sent me a link to this post about someone changing The Hobbit so that Bilbo is a girl. I am, I will admit, an unabashed fan of swapping the genders of protagonists and seeing what happens. So this is really in my wheelhouse. But also there's the picture. And in the Facebook link I was sent (embedded at bottom), there's an even better picture of a woman cosplaying the hell out of Bilbo, hairy feet and all.

I'm sure I'm late to this party, because this blog post went up seven months ago and I'm always late to the Internet party, but it's still cool.

And it made me think how much the world could use more female protagonists with hairy feet, hairy legs, hairy armpits, etc. Because hairlessness is a feature of childhood, and that's, well...problematic. I'll let you fill in your own dots on that one.

So what other kinds of protagonists could we use more of? Let me know and maybe I (or someone I know) will get a great idea for a story built around them. :-)

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Coolest Thing

This is mostly just a chance to be happy, which I don't do often enough on this blog. Because writing really does make me happy. Sharing stories makes me happy. Touching lives makes me happy. Moving people makes me happy. That's why I do this instead of something else.

Yesterday I found out that people have been sharing a quote from Soulwoven:

"And of all the futures she could have, she didn't want a single one that didn't have him in it."

It's from the end of chapter thirty-seven, and it means a lot to me.

And I am absolutely beside myself with joy that other people feel the same way.

Wattpad, at some point, made a graphic of it. You can see it here. And now it's turning up on Instagram and elsewhere, and I'm just absolutely tickled.

This is why I write, plain and simple.

Thank you to whoever at Wattpad made that graphic and put it up on Pinterest. And thank you to everyone who's shared it, and everyone who's read the book and been touched by it. You guys are wonderful.

Friday, July 11, 2014

More Thoughts on Amazon, and Fear, and Desirable States of the Publishing Industry

I've been continuing to noodle everything that's going on between Amazon and Hachette these days, and last night as I was falling asleep, I had a very interesting thought:

I've spent plenty of time wondering what would happen if Amazon "beat" all the major publishers and attained Crushing Market Power (THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!). But I have spent very little time considering what would happen if the reverse were true. So I thought about that, and, in short, it would be bad.

I talk a lot about how publishers are shooting themselves in the foot by not selling directly to consumers more actively, meaning readers have to turn elsewhere (usually Amazon) for e-books. Well, some of them are changing gears. And if they do it well enough (which I suspect is unlikely), they could conceivably drive readers away from Amazon. This would be a terrible thing for authors, and, I suspect, for readers as well.

Amazon, for all its evils, has vastly expanded the options an author has for building their career. Ditto for selling backlist titles. Amazon has also created markets for very cheap books that did not exist before, which is good for readers. Frankly, if I have $.99 to spend on a book, I'd much rather grab a new, cheap e-book than a paperback copy that's falling apart out of a bargain bin somewhere.

In world without Amazon, or where Amazon sold as few e-books as B&N and Apple do, it would be much harder to start a career as an independent author (which, for the record, is how I think most authors should start their careers). That would be at least as bad as a world without traditional publishing, in which Amazon had no reason not to dictate draconian terms to independent authors.

Which leads me to my newest thought on where the publishing industry is: right where it should be.

If Hachette and Amazon are battling each other tooth and nail over publishing terms, that's a good thing, unless you happen to be a Hachette author. But most authors aren't Hachette authors, and eventually Hachette will make peace with the beast, and those authors' lives will go back to normal. It will then be someone else's turn.

It would be best if Amazon and large publishers made war on each other without putting their business disputes between authors and readers. But in the end, I think, I'm glad that they're warring with each other at all.