As part of the Hop Against Homophobia blog hop (http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com) in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia (May 17), I have been asked to talk about my perceptions and experience with homophobia. As a writer, I think the place where you can gauge social issues best is in the everyday entertainment that people seek out on their own.
Posts Tagged ‘writer’
As an author, I have a certain idea of how my work should be perceived.
As an author, I am pleased when people become invested in my characters, inspiring strong opinions both positive and negative. That investment often results in feelings of approval when one’s favorites triumph, and of anger and betrayal when they fail. The ultimate betrayal is, of course, when a character dies or is killed, his potential spent for the sake of the requirements of the narrative.
I knew, in an abstract sense, that authors have fragile egos. It’s inevitable, when you pour your heart into creating something, that you want people to respond positively. As Stephen King put it, “Authors are needy.” But I honestly wouldn’t have believed the kind of crap that some authors spew at critical reviews, and at the reviewers who write them. Then I started reading the angry reader discussion threads about it on Goodreads, which were often accompanied by extensive documentation.
I mean, it’s great when people love your work, but if others think your work is crap, they’re entitled to their opinions, especially when they’ve bothered to write you a review at all. And I truly despise the common tactic of talking all kinds of trash about the reviewers, making condescending asides and snide remarks about their analytical skills or education, then loftily declaring oneself to be above the fray and unwilling to participate in anything as vulgar as internet flame wars.
Meaning: “I’ve had my say at your expense, but if you respond, you’re a bottom-feeder.”
It’s ridiculous. Honestly, if we as authors are so narcissistic that we think everyone who doesn’t love us must be mentally deranged, then we have no business posting our work in public forums. Come on, people. If you want your audience to take you seriously, then show a hint of professionalism, and maybe even a little gratitude that someone took time out of their day to tell you what they thought of your work.
This was an amazing year, full of challenges. I published my first three novels in a whirlwind of eagerness, and finished my fourth. I learned my lesson about moving ahead too fast, though, so I will be holding off on publishing the fourth novel until my editors have a chance to look it over in more detail. I am aiming for a release date in March, but we’ll see how their schedules work out. In the meantime, I am working on upgrading Sunrise and Moonlight to improved second editions.
After redoing all the formatting of the 2nd print edition of Sunset, the finished proof looks great, but it’s significantly longer than the original book. Although the new edition is somewhat shorter in actual length, the formatting choices I used make the book another 50 pages thicker, topping out at 502 pages. I don’t want to tinker with it at this point, because I’m afraid I’ll mess up the cover alignment, so I’ll probably go with this version. If I choose the wider distribution option, however, the cost of the book skyrockets due to the increased length. In order to offer it for sale at a reasonable price, I will be restricting the sale of the print edition to Createspace and Amazon. It should be available January 1st.
For similar reasons, I have decided to discontinue the sale of the print editions of the two novellas, due to the relatively prohibitive cost of producing such short books. In their place, I will be producing a single combined edition, which is a more reasonable buy at 174 pages.
The third novella, The Red Wind, is turning out to be more complex than I envisioned, so I am putting that project on hold until I can decide whether it would work better as an entirely new novel in the series.
And that’s all my news in a nutshell.
Thank you for your support, and I look forward to 2012.
Sunset just got named one of the best vampire fiction releases of 2011, by the Barnes and Noble SciFi and Fantasy Blog. So, why did I feel the need to have it re-edited? In part, because after two years of writing as a second profession, I learned how many elementary mistakes in sentence structure, cliched expressions, word choice, passive voice, etc. I made by writing from my gut, without first educating myself in the craft of writing. As an exercise in intuitive writing, Sunset is outstanding, but there was a lot of refinement that comes from experience.
So I found a new editor, Karin Cox, who went through the text line-by-line and highlighted areas that could be improved or fixed. The result is a much stronger novel, in my opinion. Jason, my proofreader, said the changes were like reading an entirely new book. Which makes me happy that there was so much room for improvement. It’s still not perfect. It never will be, in my jaundiced eye. But it’s a fair ways closer to that goal than it was before. Thank you to those who encouraged me over the last few years while I found my footing in this massive undertaking. I hope the updated work earns your favor.
The revised ebook edition of Sunset is now available from Amazon.com, BN.com, and Smashwords. The Smashwords edition will be further distributed to some of the next tier of e-retailers over the course of the next month. The print edition of Sunset will be updated in the next few weeks, and hopefully, I will be able to start on the revised editions of Sunrise and Moonlight by the end of January. Starlight, the fourth novel, is still planned to have a March release, but I want to make sure it’s properly edited beforehand, so that an updated edition won’t be necessary, and my editors have their hands full with the first three novels of the series.
In the meantime, I am continuing to work on The Red Wind, the third novella, which tells the story of Luscian Firstborn. I will keep you apprised of new developments, and thank you for your support.
Tags: Arshad Ahsanuddin, author, indie author, indie writer, Pact Arcanum, revised edition, second edition, Sunset, vampire, vampire novel, writer, writing
Posted in Book related, On Writing, Site related | 1 Comment »
As part of the Indie Writers Unite! blog tour, I have Helmy Kusuma in the studio today to talk about his book Mementoes of Mai.
Helmy Kusuma was born in Palembang, Indonesia. He spent 18 years there and went to Jakarta to continue his education. Having been working for IT industry for a decade, he decided to turn the tide and became a writer.
Helmy Kusuma has published two novellas: ‘Mementoes of Mai’ and ‘Cinta 3 Sisi’, a thriller short story, ‘There Is Hope’, and a collection of flash fiction, ‘A Flash of Inspiration’.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your book.
Mementoes of Mai is a fictionalized story of my decision to become a writer. I had been working in IT industry for a decade and suddenly a fork was presented to me, a fork that forced me to choose between love, passion or comfort. I didn’t choose the latter.
Q. What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?
Absolutely love. Love has been the source of inspiration from old times and it will continue to do so. The profound subtlety of its meaning which give layers upon layers make love the perfect source of great story.
Q. How long did the book take you from start to finish?
I wrote most of Mementoes of Mai in two months and spent another two months on editing it.
Q. What surprised you the most about the book writing process?
Events tend to mold themselves around the characters and most of the times the characters demand different scenarios from the first ones I had in mind.
Q. Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?
It never cease to amaze me that I could write a certain event that made me laugh each time I read it.
Q. What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?
Understanding. I strive to depict as vividly as possible all events in my book so that readers could be personally involved and felt that those events were their own, thus giving them new perspective and understanding.
Q. What projects are you currently working on?
I am in the middle of writing my science fiction novel, Inverta, and in the process of formulating necessary seeds for my next romance novel. I don’t know which one of them would win my priority.
Q. Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?
Beside writing, I do everything I can, legally, to gain money: export import business, retail business, freelancing, etc.
Q. Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?
I mostly write from experience, but for my science fiction novel that would be near impossible, so a little research would be required.
Q. What can we look forward to in your next book?
Surprises, awesomeness and romantic moments.
Thanks for coming in! You can find out more about Helmy Kusuma and his book Mementoes of Mai at the following links:
Book purchase links
A Flash of Inspiration
Mementoes of Mai
Other Social Media addresses
Tags: A Flash of Inspiration, Arshad Ahsanuddin, author, blog tour, Helmy Kusuma, indie author, Indie Writers Unite, Mementoes of Mai, There is Hope, writer, writing
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And now for something completely different. In honor of Halloween, I have indie author Jon Riesfeld in the studio today to talk about his novelette focusing on one of the great monsters of history, a villain all the more terrible for the fact that he was completely human.
Tags: afterlife, Arshad Ahsanuddin, blog tour, Hitler, Holocaust, indie author, indie writer, Indie Writers Unite, Jon Reisfeld, justice, supernatural trial, The Last Way Station, writer
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This week, as part of the Indie Writers Unite! blog tour, I answered a few questions by author Jennifer Rainey at her Independent Paranormal blog. Meanwhile, I have indie author Camelia Miron Skiba in the house to share a few words about her personal experience growing up in the shadow of the vampire legend, Dracula.
Growing up in the land of Dracula
As my biography states I was born and raised in Romania, or Dracula’s birthplace. Since Arshad loves vampires I thought my blog should be about vampires and how I grew up with them. Literally.
Tags: Arshad Ahsanuddin, author, blog tour, Camelia Miron Skiba, Dracula, Hidden Heart, indie author, indie writer, Indie Writers Unite, Pact Arcanum, vampire, writer, writing
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