Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Boxes of books are surprisingly heavy

The other day, I got a stack of advanced reading copies (ARCs). If
you're not familiar with the term, basically, an ARC is a prefinished
book that may not have the finished art or even edits and is meant to
be given to reviewers or whoever for prelaunch promotional purposes.
(This is a simplified explanation, so please don't hit me over the
head.)

Anyway, the box was sitting at my front door when I came home from
The Day Job, and rather than pick up the box and unlock the door and
fend off a pair of cats who really, really want to get out, all at
the same time, I decided to unlock the door and shove the box inside
(and thus startle the cats into backing up for a second or two,
giving me enough time to get in).

Good theory -- but no. Ow! That box was HEAVY! My toe was saved only
by the sturdy tip of my shoe (now that's a glowing testimonial:
"Crocs: The tips are sturdy enough to kick around boxes"), and the
fact that there was enough of an impact that the box tripped and
rolled over the threshold, allowing my foot to skid off.

Fortunately, I hopped inside, again startling the cats into backing
up, again allowing me to try a quick maneuver and close the door
before the cats could dash out. (I should say here that these cats
are elderly -- they're about 18-plus years old, neither in the
greatest of health -- but obviously, they're spry when they need to
be!)

As you might have imagined, the cats were bouncing around, not only
because of my homecoming, but because I kicked (or at least shoved)
something new into the house. But then they got bored and wandered
away, yowling for their dinner.

And after I took care of that -- feeding the cats asap when I get
home allows me to deal with other matters while they're chomping away
-- I opened the box and took out the books. There weren't that many,
mind you -- maybe twelve, ARCs of THE SLEEPER AWAKES and FESTIVAL OF
STARS, but they were dense enough -- and I decided to put them in an
organized pile, on top of the dining room table, which was crowded
enough (still clearing off from Christmas). And I had to do so a few
at a time, because those suckers were cumbersome.

When I was done, I had a pile of those books taking up precious real
estate at the corner of the table, and I knew that I would have to
figure out where to move them next when I had to clear off THAT area
(because, you know, once in a while we eat at the table or invite
someone else to eat at that table).

So the box was heavy; the books were cumbersome; and they needed to
be shuffled around. Now tell me, considering all that, don't ebooks
make sense? This is all leading up to two things: one, go visit
greenbookfriends at myspace, where Cerridwen Press authors have
gotten together to talk about ebooks and how they're actually a good
idea, and two, we'll be announcing a contest soon, also with the
theme of how ebooks are good.

Meanwhile, I'd better make sure the tips of my Crocs are okay!

Eilis Flynn
INTRODUCING SONIKA, on sale now from Cerridwen Press!

--

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Although I expect to have my (e-pubbed) Cerridwen books in (paper) print
sooner or later, a couple of days ago I had the rare opportunity of getting a few
ARCs (as in "advanced reading copies") of my first two books. Ordinarily I
wouldn't have had the chance, but I got these as the result of a contest entry
that didn't go off (long story, don't ask). And as I held them in my hands -- in
"real," perfect-bound book form, trade paper size, with the cover art in
black & white (and in the case of one of the books, with the earlier version of
the art, not the final version, which amused me no end) -- I felt a strange lack
of elation.

Mind you, I DID feel a certain amount of satisfaction. It's one thing to know
your book has been published and edited, with cover art, copyright notice and
everything, but if it's electronic, the knowledge is purely intellectual.
It's different if you hold it in your hands. (However, holding the books in my
hands doesn't make my actually reading them after the fact any easier. For some
reason, I don't like reading my own work after it's done -- it's FINISHED,
fergoshsakes, I have other things to do! No, after I'm done writing, the reading
of my books is in your hands, dear reader.)

But it's anticlimactic. If this were the first time I'd "greeted" these
books, that would be one thing. Getting my author copies a few days before official
release day, now THAT's the first time I held those books (even though the
"holding" was actually "beholding," but you know what I mean). That's when I
said, "Well, lookit you!" Or something like that. The feeling of accomplishment.
Even some pride, but not too much, because that's asking for trouble. No, the
ARCs I held were an afterthought. That's not to say I'm not proud of them --
but it turns out I didn't need the printed books to be proud.

Who would have thought? Not I, that's for sure!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I've got my first two reviews on INTRODUCING SONIKA, and I'm happy with 'em
-- so far people seem to like her!

From Jacquie Rogers, for ParaNormal Romance:
Introducing Sonika is a seamless blend of the comic book world with the
Happily Ever After of romance. We have a sexy, uber-intelligent hero who's
protective, even though Sonika could, indeed, kick his ass, too. Depth and complexity
of character along with non-stop action make this book a must-buy for any
reader who's looking for romance, but kicked up a notch.I'm hoping this is only
the first in an Eilis Flynn superheroine series because I can hardly wait to
read the next one.

From Anne Boling for Review Your Book reviews:
Introducing Sonika by Eilis Flynn is a bigger than life, tongue-in-cheek,
fantasy novel. The plot is humorous and imaginative. I was reminded a little of
the Batman TV series. The characters are wonderfully real, as real as a
superhero can be. John is adorable in his dorky way. Sonya is strong and smart. I
wish I could kick butt like her. I hope this is the first in a series.
Introducing Sonika is sure to please fans of fantasy.

And it looks like if I wrote a sequel, somebody might read it. What else
could a writer hope for?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

As a rule, I avoid making New Year's resolutions. Why bother? It's just one more thing that you have to try to remember that more likely than not you won't. So every year I resolved not to make a New Year's resolution. And for the most part, I succeeded in keeping that resolution, and I was pleased as punch that I kept my resolve in that.


Then about December last year, I started to think about it. Should I? Should I not? I have to do something -- it was time, I decided. It's a new challenge! And I suspect it's going to be a lot cheaper to learn to plot and organize than, say, going back to graduate school. So I resolved that I would learn how to plot. And I would learn to organize (pretty much in the same category as organizing).


So I dragged out My Plot Doctor by Carolyn Greene, and Debra Dixon's GMC. Let's see if there's anything I can actually learn from them this time around!