Month: August 2013

Updates and One Lovely Blog Award

Okay, so a lot’s going down. Let’s get started, shall we? First, you may have noticed that I’ve taken down my countdown and link for my Smashwords link for Blood Chimera. Why? Because a publishing contract may be happening after all. No final word yet (and it’s not with the same publisher as before) but since I won’t have final confirmation until after DragonCon, it makes no sense to put the book live at that time. The new publisher is still an indie, but they fulfill the main requirements I have — namely they bring talents to the table that I can’t do myself, including some bang-up awesome marketing. So I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that works out. Because while I can do some of this myself (and expect I will) it would be nice to have a support network. Oh so nice. After that, the next step will be to figure out if I’m going to self-publish Marduk’s Rebellion or keep trying to find a publisher. Okay, so second, C. Jeffrey over at …

Villains and Rape

Okay, let’s talk about rape. If you don’t want to, that’s fine, but I need to discuss some elements of this issue. It’s been bothering me. I want to talk about rape as a storytelling and literary device, but I recognize it’s impossible to remove it from its real world context as something that has, odds are, actually happened to someone you know (the statistics are rather appalling in this regard.) Rape is very personal and very, very charged, and for this reason, more and more I’m seeing writers talk about rape as an edgy literary trope they can use to push boundaries and emphasize just how evil their villains are. Rape or the threat of rape is still a very common theme in movies, books and comics. Note that I’m saying ‘writers’ and not ‘male writers’ because I’ve seen both men and women use rape this way (I’ve seen plenty of self-identified feminist writers use rape to emphasize how evil the menfolk are.) Take any random guy, have him rape the hero or their …

Book Cover Reveal – Blood Chimera

Okay, here it is, the cover for Blood Chimera. (See my post On Book Covers for the lead up to this.) The cover went through a lot of revisions: at least seven different iterations. The original cover even had an illustration of Jackson on the front (someone said it looks like a romance novel, and that was completely true.)  I played with putting a chimera on the cover comprised of different animals important to the story, but it looked like a fantasy book. Ransom note lettering? Too hard to read. Eventually I decided I liked Maureen Johnson‘s push for gender-neutral covers and came up with the idea of using a glyph of Cipactli. Once I hit upon that, the rest fell into place reasonably quickly. (For those interested, clouds and background blood smears were created in Corel Painter, the Cipactli glyph in Adobe Illustrator, and final collage, correction and typography in Adobe Photoshop.) I showed the prototypes to a lot of people — pretty much everyone I could find. Some people didn’t like the fact …

The Girl Who Stole High School

This worked out to be quite a bit more open-ended than I originally intended, so I suspect more stories are probably in store for later. An older Charlie and Megan can be encountered in Blood Chimera. _________________________________ There was a girl at Charlie’s high school no one else could see. The first time Charlie Du saw the girl, it was at lunch in the cafeteria. Jessica Simmons and Leica Hamilton were doing that thing again, the one where they and all their friends would gather at the table right next to Charlie’s and loudly ask supposedly innocent questions. “Why do you think someone names a girl Charlie, anyway? Do you think her father must have wanted a boy? Do you think he beats her because she’s not a boy?” “Do you think his father named her that because he killed lots of people during the Vietnam war?” “Do you think her dad dresses her in boy’s clothes?” “She’s so tall. Maybe she really is a boy, you know, but just, you know, like that movie with …

The Kidnap and Ransom Business

When I began researching Blood Chimera (I tend to do a lot of preparatory research on books when I know I don’t know a damn thing about certain subjects) I began to play with the idea that the main character, Jack, is a kidnap and ransom specialist. What’s a kidnap & ransom specialist? Well, it’s been depicted in a few movies (probably most famously in Proof of Life) but a K&R negotiator is someone who comes in to organize a response to a kidnap for ransom situation. It’s a very small, select field, and incredibly secretive. There’s no single path to becoming a K&R specialist, but K&R people typically have backgrounds in law enforcement or military special forces (or both), and they can expect to fly all over the world and spend months at a time in the field. It’s dangerous, ugly work that puts their life at risk in foreign climes on a regular basis and requires them to be at home in the bureaucratic nightmare of dealing with governments, organized crime groups, terrorist …

Copyright 2013, Jennifer Williamson

The Art of No

So remember that publishing deal I was gushing about just last week? The one I wanted so desperately? I’m walking away from it. What? Insanity! I know, I know. I can hardly believe I’m doing it myself. The company seems like a good one. I adore the person who was my contact. (For legal reasons, I’ll be naming no names.) I was so exited. I was going to be published! I celebrated when the contract arrived in my mail box. Tonight I turned it down. There are a lot of reasons why. Some I won’t go into. I will however address the reasons that were independent of the publishing company themselves (or which would be true of any small indie press, which this was). On investigating the contract and doing some hard analysis of risk/reward and ROI, I came to some conclusions regarding my own personal situation. I’m a graphic artist. Technically, I used to be a graphic artist, but I did it professionally for twenty-years. A print graphic artist. I know layouts, typography, pagination, …

You’re Not Good Enough

‘What if I’m not good enough?’ That’s my goblin. It’s not just my goblin. It’s my husband’s goblin and my friends’ goblins and it haunts the dreams of so many people I know, online and in the real world, who dip their toes in creative works or dive in with both feet and a held breath. That goblin waits for the dark hours of the night and ambushes us from paragraphs of mangled reviews or worse, from the silence of a lone voice echoing lost in the static of the internet. So let me be perfectly clear: you’re not good enough. Don’t be mad. I’m not good enough either. No one is good enough. We are, all of us, flawed and imperfect and self-destructive, and while we are constantly striving towards perfection, it a goal that none of us will ever reach. Take a deep breath and accept that you are not good enough. Be liberated by that, so that you give yourself permission to make mistakes. (Sometimes the accidents are so damn beautiful.) Pick yourself …