A Fire and Some Writing Links

Today, my evening was interrupted by this fire or rather the resulting smoke and sirens. The fire is within easy walking distance of my home. I could even see the smoke plume and of course hear the sirens and the fire engines. Lots of fire engines, by the sound of it. Luckily, it seems no one was hurt.

Still, I really don’t like fire sirens close to my home. It brings back memories of November 2006, when the house across the street burned down.

I have been somewhat frustrated by the Guardian of late, not just because their TV reviewers have rotten taste (the Guardian TV reviewers have had rotten taste since I started reading their website years ago) but also because of their relentless pro-nuclear-power cheerleading. But I still loved this post by A.L. Kennedy about the frustrations facing beginning and early career writers and how a good reader and a cup of hot cocoa can help on the Guardian website.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch has some insights on what the respective decisions of Barry Eisler and Amanda Hocking mean.

Interesting reading, though unlike many others I can understand why Amanda Hocking made the decision she made. I can understand why she would want a book which she can actually find on the shelves of a physical, which maybe her friends and family can find on the bookstore shelves. A book for which she can do a signing or reading without getting raised eyebrows. And e-books, though widespread in the US, are still only a fraction of the market. For many people, something that is only published as an e-book might as well not exist. One also shouldn’t forget that Amanda Hocking has been getting a lot of crap, not just of the “She’s just a self-published hack” form but also of the “Her books are just some Twilight knock-off. They wouldn’t even sell if not for Twilight” form* that pretty much every writer of paranormal YA fiction has been getting these past few years. In that light, I can’t blame her for wanting the legitimacy of a traditional publishing deal.

I also don’t see why the models of indie and traditional publishing couldn’t exist in parallel with authors able to choose which path they want to take or maybe even switching tracks.

Finally, Lynn Viehl of Paperback Writer offers a hilarious take on the current indie publishing debate

*For the record, I don’t believe either of those things. I haven’t read Amanda Hocking’s books yet, but her sales record speaks for itself. And reflexive prejudice against paranormal romance or urban fantasy annoys me to no end anyway. But there often is a certain undertone to debates about Amanda Hocking’s success.

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