Friday, June 17, 2016

Inside Baseball

This post is not about baseball --but the inner workings of book publishing.  The paperback edition of Sky High Stakes is just now available on Amazon.  It has taken over a month since the book was published for it to show up on Amazon.  Why?  Well no one knows, or at least I have not been able to find the someone who does.

I do not sell a lot of paperbacks on-line, mostly e-books, so it was not that big a deal--mostly it just seemed strange.  This process is driven by the database of a major book distributor which Amazon accesses to build their database (I think).  This is electronic stuff so it happens basically instantly--except when it doesn't.

We more or less take the invisible inter-workings of the world for granted--which is the way it should be; but when they do not work it makes you feel helpless.

Just in case you were wondering, I am a baseball fan.  I follow the Colorado Rockies. Even though they will lose more than they win, I always have hope it will turn-around very soon.  That is a true fan.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Writing Style

In the last few weeks there has been several reviewers of my books make comments on my writing style.  Generally nice comments although a couple seemed to imply that I had a youthful writing style--I do not believe it was meant as a compliment.

My first reaction was joy.  I was just pleased someone thought I had a writing style.  No doubt every writer has a writing style but the suggestion that my style was based on my conscience decision to write a certain way indicated a level of thought that probably does not exist.  My style is conversational.  It is me telling you, the reader, a story.  It is a verbal narrative taking the reader into the story and introducing the characters.  Much of my writing is narrative--the characters tell the story in their own words.

As a result I chose words that are more everyday conversational.  No doubt you have read authors who write with words that you would not normally hear in conversation but that add a sense of grandeur to their story.  I was just reading a story where the author described a statement made by one of the characters as lapidary.  Which means an elegant and concise statement.  Can you imagine a conversation with one of your friends who would say "that was a lapidary statement", probably not.

I hope this does not sound like I am disparaging or responding to reviews.  I enjoy the reviews from my readers even when they are not all five stars.  Each reader brings their own perspective to the book and comes away with their own unique experience.  It is the great joy of reading.  The reader is interpreting the story based on who they are and as a result can have very personal reactions--good and bad.

This leads to several comments by reviewers.  Language.  As in foul language.  My stories feature some rather less than stellar characters (bad guys) and with my conversational style of writing you can imagine some f words being tossed about.  Most displeased reviewers react to the first few pages of the books--because they tend to have the highest concentration of foul language.  This is due to my introduction approach which highlights the low-lifes in a scene that establishes them as the villains or in one case the victim at the hands of evil doers.  So this is usually stressful scenes featuring the bad guys so their language choices are not going to be family friendly.

The use of language that some find objectionable is much less than the impression left by the first few page readers would suggest.  I try to make the characters real and use real language when it fits within the story, the character and the nature of the scene--never do I use language to offend.

My books are written for mature readers and for some the language is objectionable (which is of course their right as a reader)--but for me it is part of the story.  My conversational story would include some of those f words but not too many uses of lapidary.