Archive for October, 2010

Revamp and Shit

I’ve had a bit of a revamp around here. I got bored with the white and decided to go with something more in keeping with the darker aspects of my work that I’ve been leaning toward lately. Sort of combining my “old” self (Charley Oweson) with the newer, m/m self (Sarah Masters). I love writing dark books, but it remains to be seen if the darker work will be taken as well as my other m/m. We’ll see.

The last two books of the Blinded series—Wildfire and Shimmer—are at the formatters, so they should be available soon. Scared is with two beta readers, so that novel will be sent to the publishers shortly. A single title, Grafton’s Point, in the Dreams & Desires anthology, the proceeds going to a battered women’s shelter, will also be available soon. As for WIPs…at the moment I have four books on the go. One for EC, one for who knows where, one co-authoring with Jaime Samms, and an m/m. You’d think with 4 to choose from I’d have the urge to write at least one of them, but I don’t. So, I might well start a new short today just so I keep up with my chapter a day regime that I’ve been sticking to for the past two weeks now. It’s working well, although some days the procrastination fairy does sit on my shoulder and prod me to do other things. Like she did this morning by making me re-do this site. Bless her…

I’m on a bit of a downer today, but ho hum, such is life, and I’m sure I’ll knock myself out of it in an hour or two. Sometimes life throws a curveball and makes me wonder what the fuck the point is with certain things, and I ask myself whether I need to take a new direction. Still, I’ll plod along as usual, see if anything changes—God, I’m always saying that!—and then if it doesn’t, I’ll think about making some changes of my own. Sometimes it’s like I’m beating a dead horse, know what I mean? I reckon it can apply to anything in life: When do you decide enough is enough? When do you say, “Right, that’s it! Fuck this for a game of soldiers!”

Yeah, it’s to do with writing, my career, whether all this hard work is worth the virtual paper it’s written on. But…that’s a story for another day. I think I’m just tired, may possibly need a break after hammering out Scared. Unfortunately, I never know when to quit until I burn out. So maybe I just need to either start a new book or go and do something else for a week or two. Avoid manuscripts like the plague. Um, yeah. That’s likely…

Whatever you’re doing today, I hope it’s a good one, and if you need to reflect, like me, I hope you come to the best solution for you. One that makes you happy. TTFN, loves!

 

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New Cave Release – Annabel Joseph

Kat doesn’t know whether or how to end her six-night-a-week party habit, not to mention her unhealthy addiction to meaningless sex. Then an accident lands her in the hospital. She wakes to find a menagerie of origami figures—and a gorgeous neurosurgeon—beside her bed. The complexity of the paper creations is nothing compared to the complexity of dark-eyed, authoritative Ryan, who seems determined to give her life some direction. Trouble is, Kat’s just as determined to resist his efforts to tame her wild side.

With persistence, Ryan draws Kat into his world of dominance and submission, where quiet commands and lengths of rope awaken needs and desires she never knew she possessed. But Ryan’s intimate, erotic shibari sessions frighten Kat as much as they excite her, for each simple knot requires infinite trust and inspires complicated emotions.

Then a family crisis tests their love and threatens to snap the fragile ties that bind them. Will fortune ever smile on this unlikely couple, or will fate tear them apart?

Reader Advisory: For those who subscribe to a “more the merrier” philosophy (*cough* we do *cough*), this story contains a scintillating m/f/f/m scene.


Knickers!

Come and have some fun with me at Three Wicked Writers Plus Two! I’m discussing doing housework when you’re not fully clothed! Oooh-eerrr, missus!


Scared is Complete!

After twelve days of writing like a loon, my first m/m novel, Scared, came in at 67K. It’s one of those books that, as soon as the plot formed, I had the urge to keep going until it was done. No stops, no procrastinating. I had the plan to write a 3K chapter every day, but obviously some days went to two or three chapters. I wrote it arse-backwards all the way, skipping chapters so the loudest characters got their say first, then went back to fill in the ones who didn’t have the courage to bully me into writing their parts. Bless them.

There are six main characters, something I didn’t expect when I started. Originally it was meant to be a novel about Toby and Russell from my short story Grave Findings, expanding on that book and what happened after that one ended. Whoa, lots happened, and a small part of Grave Findings, where Toby stops a couple of men harassing a young boy, turned into the basis of the plot in Scared. Boys abducted in order to be sold on in the sex trafficking trade.

It isn’t a pleasant subject, and I’m praying I handled it well, but it’s something that has bothered me for a long time. I read a true-crime book once, that stated more boys are abducted than girls, just for this purpose. It’s shocking and frightening, and when you delve into this terrible world, you realise there’s so much nasty stuff going on right under your nose.

Tomorrow I’ll be going through the book again from start to finish, making sure, because of me skipping chapters, everything runs in sequence and makes sense. The second draft also gives me the opportunity to add extras, things I tend to skimp on with the first draft, because I want to just get the main story down.

I felt lost when I finished. The book has literally controlled my life the past few days, and now maybe I can get to sleep without thinking on what happens next. Unfortunately, I don’t think that will be the case. The bad guy in Scared, “Frost”, decided he has a tale of his own to tell, so don’t be surprised if I do another mad few days writing another novel all about him. But that can wait for a little while. I need to give my poor brain a rest, not to mention my fingertips.

But, ahhhhhhhhhhh, it feels so good to have got that story out of my head and onto the page. I’ve just got to hope readers like it, despite the horrific subject matter. Eep!


Let me be Grumpy in Peace!

As I’ve aged, I’ve found I’m being ruder to people on the telephone. You know the people I mean—telemarketers. I now understand why some old people are beyond grouchy. They’ve had enough of people asking them for something, bugging them when they just want a bit of peace, and generally being in demand. I mean, those old folks have had years and years of it.

Eff knows what I’m going to be like by the time I’m their age. I’m starting to get bad now.

Take ten minutes ago as an example. I’m waiting on an important call, and the phone rings. Whey hey, excellent. I can get this call out of the way and return to a book cover that’s been giving me fits all morning.

Except it wasn’t the call I was expecting. It was some guy from my internet provider trying to get me to “switch” to their company. After he gave his spiel he then said, “Do you know what the best thing is about this, Mrs Ellis?”

I said, “NO, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me…”

“Yes, Mrs Ellis. The best thing is—”

“The best thing is,” I said, wanting the ability to stretch my hand down the phone line and strangle the mofo, “I’m already with your company with the deal you’re offering.”

“Oh, are you, Mrs Ellis?”

“I am, sir, and I’m really busy so I need to go.”

“Right, Mrs Ellis, let me just tell you—”

“I’m busy.”

“Let me just say—“

“Let me just say—again—I’m busy.”

“Is there a time I can call you back when you’re less busy?”

“Yes, there is.”

“And when would that be?”

“When I’m asleep. I’m busy all the time, so take your chances.”

“Right on, Mrs Ellis. We can discuss—”

“The fact that I’m already with your company, with the deal you’re still trying to tell me about even though I’ve told you once I’m with your bloody company and have that very deal.”

“Yes, Mrs Ellis. That’s right!”

“Oh my God. Right. I’m going to be rude. Please bugger off. Thank you. Byeeeeeeeeeeee!”

Yes, I really said that.

Now, let me grow into a grumpy old bastard in peace, will ya?


I am the Bloody Oracle!

Come on over to Three Wicked Writers Plus Two and have a whinge and a laugh with me about being the oracle and knowing where everyone’s “thingy” is!


Kerching! You’ve made $1.96, Ms. Masters!

Yep, you read the title right. $1.96. God, I’m so bloody rich I could squeal. This amount was apparently made this past year plus a few months on one of my titles. Of course, it’s below the stated amount where the publisher issues royalties, so that whopping amount is probably not accruing significant interest by itself but may well be when popped into the bank along with other authors who haven’t made enough to be issued royalties either.

The thing is, if I was also paid for the 75+ covers and 20+ edits I did for the same publisher, then I could be given that $1.96 along with the other royalties. Sadly, after I left the company, working my month’s notice I might add, the publisher has seen fit not to pay me another dime, despite breaching her own contract by doing this.

I recently asked for my rights back on The Book That Has Sold Fuck All, only to be ignored—as I knew I would be. In my contract, I’m within my rights to have the book returned to me, and in my email I asked if I needed to send a registered letter or would my email be enough. I’m taking it that I need to send a registered letter, but if rumours are to be believed, that will get ignored too. So, why waste my money on postage? I’d rather buy bread or milk with it. Also, there is another bother regarding this publisher. My contract automatically renews if I don’t write to them 90 days before the renewal date stating I want my rights back. Who is to say, when I do that, the letter will even get acknowledged? The publisher could say they never received the letter. As I’m UK and they are US, I have no clue whether I could check on whether the letter got there or not.

My take on it is, if I’ve sold so little of that book, why would the publisher even want to keep it on their shelves? Far be it for me to insinuate the book is selling and I’m just not aware of it, because that would be a naughty thought, but I’ve thought it all the same.

I could join the author group, a bunch of disgruntled people who have banded together to fight for their rights, and it seems those who have joined are getting their rights back. So it seems the rest of us, who don’t want to join the group, are being ignored. We’re not threatening legal action, so we can, to put it bluntly, go fuck ourselves.

You would think, due to the recent “news” about this company, the publisher would do all they could to iron out the wrinkles, keep people happy. Still, all I can say is if you’ve ever considered buying my book there, and I’m guessing you can work out for yourself which publisher I’m referring to, don’t bother. I’d rather the book languished in the dusty cyber files than be purchased.

It’s sad that all those authors who support this publisher have no idea that their editor or cover artist hasn’t been paid (providing I was said cover artist/editor, although there are other editors I know haven’t been paid either). Where does that royalty money go? I mean, 75+ covers and 20+ edits…you can’t tell me NONE of those books have sold.

It is, quite frankly, a crock of stinking shit when you’re used in this way. You may ask yourself why I’m not pursuing this, why I’m not raising my fist and demanding payment. The answer is easy. I believe in karma. If I’m treated unfairly, be it in situations like this, being accused of something I didn’t do (another topic entirely), or some other slight directed towards me in life, I leave it to karma to bite people’s arses. I’m not into retaliation, getting my own back, going around behind the scenes doing spiteful things to the people who have upset me. (And yes, people have been doing that to me. Well aware of it. You have a nice day now, all right?) No, things have a way of working out for themselves. If I got arsey and went about using my energy to ruin those who have upset me, I’d lose lots of precious time and gain a lot of angst, and really, I can’t be bothered to chase folks who mean jack shit to me. For me to respond and come out fighting, I’d have to give a shit about the people who wanted to piss me off in some way.

And quite honestly, I don’t.