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Posts by TXRed

Apropos of Nothing, a Gentle Reminder…

July 19 is the deadline for submitting nominations for the 2019 Dragon Awards. Any book, movie, comic, game, published or aired between July 1 2018 and June 30 of 2019 is eligible.

Anyone can nominate, and voting will begin in August.

Remember, these are fan choice, so if you read/saw/played it and liked it, you can nominate it!

http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_nominations.php

And please stay hydrated and cool. Summer’s cranking up in the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s easy to get busy and forget to drink enough water and other hydrating fluids.

Random Musing on Writing: Something Completely Different

From one of Maximilian’s childhood textbooks. Author photo.

Celebrity books are not new. Nor are people angling for endorsements from celebrities in order to sell more books. It’s just that the quantity has increased since the mid-1400s.

I was intrigued and amused to discover that Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I Habsburg (1459-1519) wrote and published epic poems and novels. One of the poems, Theuerdank, is a fictionalized account of Maximilian’s trip to meet and marry his first wife, Mary of Burgundy. It falls somewhere between the literary allegory pattern of things like the drama “Everyman” (Jederman) and adventure stories. Theuerdank was originally released in a collectors’ edition in 1517 and given only to nobles. Then a revised popular edition came out for the general market two years later. Both had lavish illustrations via woodcuts. It is one of the early books printed in German, and in fact a special type-face had to be designed for the work.
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Not Publishing, but Content Creation

An illustration from a book by Maximilian II Habsburg. Author photo.

That’s the basis of Kris Rusch’s piece Rethinking the Writing Business: Part 1 over at Kris Writes. We authors are looking at ourselves as publishers, or working with publishers and trying to match their take.

Nope. Wrong. Too limited. Read more

Javert and Antagonists

Last month, PBS wrapped up a costume drama based on Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. It was very well done, although I got impatient with some of the characters for the same reason I got impatient with them when I read the novel. Hugo wrote for a different time and different readers.

But the character of Inspector Javert remained one of the most intriguing. In part, this is because he was the first antagonist I ever encountered in screen, as opposed to a villain. I was probably 6 or 7 when I first saw Les Miserables. It was on TV, on a Saturday afternoon, when they ran Dumas and Hugo dramatizations. Javert’s actions didn’t make sense, and my poor parents had a lot of difficulty trying to explain them in language a child would understand. Later, after the musical came out and I read the entire novel, he made sense.

Javert is virtue turned to vice. Which makes him such a fascinating antagonist. Read more

Blast from the Past: Ending a Series: When do you say good-by?

[Alma Here. I’m away from the internet, so please be patient if your comment gets into moderation or I don’t answer. One of the other mods will free your comment from limbo (or purgatory, if it was naughty).]

Some writers, or at least the names assigned by publishers to a series, don’t end. If you have any question, look at the shelf of westerns at your local bookstore, and if you get to # 400 with the same author and character, you can be pretty certain you’ve found the Eternal Series. In other cases, the publisher says, “No, you have to keep going, because these are too popular to stop now!” You’ve encountered those, I’m sure, where the reader can tell that the writer dreams of killing off the protagonist just to be free of him or her. And there are the series that stop abruptly, leaving reader and characters hanging because the publisher decided that the series wasn’t producing. For indie writers, or those with more flexible publishers, we have to decide for ourselves. It can be a little difficult. Read more

Local Stories – Universal Stories?

David McCullough is one of the popular historians working today in the US. He’s a leading voice for keeping history where people can read, discuss, and enjoy it. He’s released a new book about what used to be called “the Old Northwest,” Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and the stories of the frontier days there.

It’s gotten a mixed reception from professional historians, in part because McCullough calls the stories “untold.” People who spent their careers writing about that same region chided him for that.

Recounting the Untold History of the Early Midwestern Pioneers

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/recounting-untold-history-early-midwestern-pioneers-180972095/

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Publisher Bites Author

From over at PG’s place, the dreadful tale of a publisher-relationship that went badly wrong for the writer. Short version – he got stiffed and was not paid what he was owed.

Dan Rhodes got curious about why one book wasn’t earning anything. Here’s the first part of the story, and the publisher’s explanation: it was all a mistake.

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