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Saturday, March 31, 2012

in search of crackers

When I'm sad, I eat chocolate. When I'm happy, I eat chocolate. When I'm nervous about appearing in public, I eat crackers.


Speaking of appearing in public, check out these amazing writers. Wow. I mean simply having one's name next to "Mark Twain." That's fairly amazing.  Alfred Uhry? Holy shit. Louis Lapham? We love him in this house. Go Harper's. Okay now it's go Lapham's Quarterly.

 Look at those credentials and those accomplishments.

Huh. Who the fuck is this Summer Devon? Oy.

I think I'll go find some crackers.

In other news, I find the fact that it's snowing/slushing a relief. This is freaking NEW ENGLAND. We needed to awake from the good weather dream. The shoe has fallen and we can get on with our lives. Alas for the dead wisteria blossoms on the vine taking over the house, but we knew this was coming. Stupid overeager plant is at least 10 years old--it should have figured this out by now.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Amazon Called

Yes. Jody was right! It was plagiarism. The nice thing is that Eric from Amazon is now a close personal friend, as in I know where he lives and he promises it won't take weeks and weeks to figure out next time. If there is a next time. 

They got away with about ten dollars this time. Once they get more than $50, I'll push for the money or legal action more than I do. But I've figured out that this chasing thieves (plagiarists and pirates)takes a big bite out of time/creativity/life and I've put a price limit on how much I'll spend on 'em

Pssst--hey you! Want a book?

Listen, it's easy. Just email me or leave a comment below and you get a FREE copy of my latest book! Yes. It is that simple.

Now the drawback: I'll probably put you on my mailing list (unless you're there already). I shall probably look at you with big, sad eyes, hoping you write a review, but I will not nag you.

And those two drawbacks aren't so bad. I only email you when I have a new book out. And you won't actually see my big, sad eyes. So it's worth it.

Warning: I don't have that many to give away, so let me know soon. 

 In 2310, Jazz White is one of few surviving soldiers of a hated regime. Now “reprogrammed”, stripped of many of his memories and killing skills, Jazz is an outcast until he’s summoned by the government’s elite time-travel agency and told he must journey to the 1800s. His mission—to protect Eliza Wickman, an English woman trapped in war-torn Spain. Once he arrives in the dreadful place, it becomes clear he’s been tricked. His real mission—Jazz must father her child, who will prove important to the future of civilization.Guilt-ridden by his deception, Jazz must keep Eliza safe while he escorts her to England, all the while fighting his attraction to her innocent eroticism. But an agent from his time has other plans, and does his best to sabotage Jazz’s efforts. As the connection between him and Eliza grows, the agent could be the least of Jazz’s worries. His biggest fear is far more personal—what will happen once Eliza learns the truth?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

People have asked

hey Kate, have you heard back from Amazon? Has your pal Jon Fine figured out what happened? Any word yet? 

What was that about?

Answer: No; not as far as I know; I've had no word yet.

 I have no clue.





Okay, maybe I did get a clue, from astute person Jody Wallace, who pointed out that it was likely plagiarism-- again.

Will I spend time and energy going after this?

Now that the book is down, at last, a stake driven through its heart, I'm less frothing and upset. I got used to pirates, after all. Maybe I'll get used to plagiarists.

I hope not.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Two of my books are up for awards!! Getting to be a finalist is a very cool surprise--though the winning vote won't go for me (or rather us, since one is a BD/SD book, House of Mirrors). #1 reason: the competition has some good books in there. #2 both are the get-out-the-vote sort of awards and I'm not going to push for them, and is Bonnie.
We're both working on books, thank you, though nothing together at the moment.

Where are these contests you ask? House of Mirrors is at The Romance Review.
the other is at the Sammies and whoops! That one is closed. But I do have this nifty button from TRR. Pretty!

 Since we're talking promofomoschmomo here's an article I wrote over at Heroes and Heartbreakers. In which I define qualities of Chick Lit and Young Adult and then decide who did it first.  So yes, I'm a presence on the internet.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Short Story


This was published in "The Monocacy Valley Review" which hasn't existed for a very long time.  It was my first paid fiction project.

BLURRING

"What I don't understand is why you said I was a mechanic, for God sake. I hate to get my hands dirty. Why a mechanic?" David is speaking quietly. Has he calmed down?

Janice shrugs. She doesn't think he'd pay much attention to any answer she could give and, anyway, she isn't sure why she said a mechanic. Perhaps because he looks like one: thick fingers on a slight, unathletic body. She can imagine him wiping his glasses on a rag he's just pulled from his coveralls, telling the customer that the distributors shot.

David and Janice are driving home from a party. They live outside town. David insisted on getting a place for the garden because Janice said she liked gardening. She was enthusiastic at first, reading the seed packages, watching for the first green shoots. By the end of the summer, though, the garden was a jungle of weeds and choked tomato plants. By winter, David complained about the long commute into the university, and now Janice wishes they lived closer in.
 
The trip is too long tonight. Janice is looking at the ground outside the car. Out the front window, it comes at her stately and slow; at the side it whirls by. She's trying her best to ignore David. 

“Oh, Jan.” He sounds sad and tired, but not particularly upset. It is November, too cold to roll down the Chevy’s windows and lean out the way she wants to.
 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dear Amazon.... It's me, Kate. AGAIN.

Hey, about that plagiarized book on your site? I wish you'd send me the money from sales of that book, but you did send me the plagiarists' address and suggest I track him down on my own to get my cash, that's something, I guess.

Now it's this new situation that has me perplexed. Someone took the profits from one of my books--a book that was not authorized for sale--and that someone is you.

This is from a book I tried to eliminate from your site, but, you told me no, the dashboard is forever. I can't take away anything, just take the book into the draft form and it'll never pop up on the sale page again. You promised!

SO imagine my confusion when The Rat Catcher, a book I'd said goodbye and buried forever, suddenly showed up with a BUY IT NOW button. I immediately went to my KDP board and hit the "unpublish button" I hit that baby a lot.

Nothing happened. The book stayed up there.

So I started writing letters. Here. Let me refresh your memory on this.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Metadata! Discoverability! Flux! Synergy!

I'm blogging somewhere else today. 

I wrote about Tagging Books and I hope you notice that I managed to use the buzz words "metadata" and "discoverability" Made me feel cutting edge.Of course that feeling won't last, thank God. I hate even watching the buffalo herd of Publishing thundering along the Plains of Industry toward the Cliffs of Insanity where the timid Writers try to nab a few as they all Tumble To the Sea of Obscurity and Dusty Remainders.

Speaking of extinction and brainless beasts. . . Naw. Never mind.

Trying to be a good, on-top-of-my-trade writer, I went to RWA last summer and then this meeting last weekend and even in that short time--eight months, maybe? The world has shifted even more toward the ebook.

As one person on some panel said, "We could see changes were coming. We was only off by how fast they've been." He said he'd expected the world to be different in a matter of five years. "Try five months."

One interesting thing I haven't seen regurgitated elsewhere:  the people who buy 99 cent ebooks are the ones who used to go through used book stores.
The first one was free on Amazon--
addiction set in almost at once.

I guess that means the people who grab free books with no intention to read them are the ones who do curb shopping and grab anything that doesn't look a dog peed on it. That would have been us before our town cut down on bulk trash day.

That's not quite true. Free books are why I NOW have to shell out the big bucks for Naomi Novik, Patricia Briggs and a few others who lured me in with freebies. So maybe free books are often more like putting crack samples curbside instead of fugly old couches.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Happy New Release Day to Meeeee

A new Summer Devon book is out today! 



I wrote this a long time ago, just after I wrote Somebody To Love.
 
A couple of New York editors liked it, but after a lot of consideration (on both their parts) took passes because they couldn't think of where it would go in the bookstore. Regency set romance? Time travel? Or at least that's the reason I got for the rejections.
 
 So now it lives where bookshelves aren't as important.


Let's lift the blurb from the site, shall we?


Blush sensuality level: This is a sensual romance (may have explicit love scenes, but not erotic in frequency or type).


In 2310, Jazz White is one of few surviving soldiers of a hated regime. Now “reprogrammed”, stripped of many of his memories and killing skills, Jazz is an outcast until he’s summoned by the government’s elite time-travel agency and told he must journey to the 1800s. His mission—to protect Eliza Wickman, an English woman trapped in war-torn Spain. Once he arrives in the dreadful place, it becomes clear he’s been tricked. His real mission—Jazz must father her child, who will prove important to the future of civilization.


Guilt-ridden by his deception, Jazz must keep Eliza safe while he escorts her to England, all the while fighting his attraction to her innocent eroticism. But an agent from his time has other plans, and does his best to sabotage Jazz’s efforts. As the connection between him and Eliza grows, the agent could be the least of Jazz’s worries. His biggest fear is far more personal—what will happen once Eliza learns the truth?

Monday, March 05, 2012

SBD two things ruined by people I love

The best part of this ruination is neither gave away plot points. They managed to destroy an entire novel or production with one sentence.

THING ONE:
Jeez. Thanks a lot, Gretchen.
Watching Dr. Zhivago with Gretchen. Beautiful snowy scenes. That music. We're talking atmosphere deluxe. Gretchen leans over and says: "Check it out--that's obviously a set because you can't see their breath." This was years ago--I'm talking decades--and it's all I really remember the movie......well, except that music and that's a major earworm.



THING TWO:
Listening to a book on tape. It's a mystery called A Crack in Everything. I mention to Mike that I'm liking it. He says. "I remember that. Let me look up the review." (he does short reviews of every audio book he listens too. He is like that. You should see his graphs on our utilities or gas consumption in cars)

"Oh, yeah. I wrote 'hobo bag, hobo bag, hobo bag.' The character mentions her damn hobo bag every few minutes."

He's right. And now I listen for "hobo bag" instead of paying attention to the book. It's in every goddamn chapter.

I can only hope that I can some day manage to destroy an entire book*** or movie with a single sentence. Because wow. the heady power of an observation!

______
*** but not MY book. Please, god, not something I wrote. 

Thursday, March 01, 2012

vote for me!

It's sort of a contest for a YA read. There's no chance in heck I'll win, but I don't want my numbers to look pathetic. Could you maybe vote for Thank You Mrs. M? Maybe? Please? 






By the way, if you're self-pubbed or small-press pubbed romance author, you might want to look into that book-club and its monthly genres. OR if you like reading books. I hadn't heard of these other books.


(except Laurie's book. If you don't vote for mine, pick hers.)