Sunday, March 31, 2019

More Salt Magic snippets

Getting the typos in the e-book fixed is taking way longer than it should. Yeah, yeah, I know, formatting books for Kindle is so easy now and there's no excuse for hiring somebody instead of learning how to do it myself and I should try [THE LATEST TOOL]. Yeah. On those mornings when I wake up and say to myself, "I really feel like getting frustrated out of my mind trying to use a software tool that doesn't work as advertised," I try one of those tools. Meanwhile, I'm still using a formatting service.

And so, while I wait:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Salt Magic: something completely different

Today I'm fixing a couple of typos and preparing to release the e-book of Salt Magic, a Regency fantasy romance -- more fantasy than romance; I won't be listing it in any of Amazon's "romance" categories. I'm a bit nervous about this release because it represents a radical departure from my previous e-books and I don't know how readers will take it. If there are any readers, that is. I think of the Applied Topology books as light, fast-moving, funny. Popcorn books: a little something crunchy and tasty when you're in the mood for it.

Salt Magic is more... oh... dreamy, stylized, flavored with Regency romance and Orkney lore of the sea. Cedar Sanderson has done her usual excellent job as cover artist, giving me a cover that signals in every
possible way that this is a sea fantasy and not a quick tour of mathematical magic.

And I'm changing the kind of teasers I post, as well. No clever chapter titles or entire first chapters; instead I'm shamelessly imitating Amanda Green, who is much better at promotion than I am, with very short excerpts on, I
hope, evocative backgrounds. (Given the length of Salt Magic -- 100,000 words, as compared to 60-70,000 words for the Applied Topology books -- I'm afraid that the sheer length of a sample chapter would put people off.)

I'll probably post some more mini-excerpts over the next few days. Comments and reactions?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Charles Town and the Internet

Bookworm's delightful post on her visit to Charleston reminded me of another way in which life has become much easier in this century -- at least for writers. Way back in the twentieth century I wrote a historical novel set in, I think, the early eighteenth century. (Oh, okay, to be precise it was a bodice-ripper; that's what was paying the mortgage back then. But I did my research!) I shipped off the manuscript (a big stack of paper. Remember those things?) and eventually it went past the editor and stalled out with the copyeditor. We had a somewhat acrimonious exchange that went roughly like this:

Copyeditor: There's no such place as Charles Town. Did you mean to write Charleston?

Me: This is a historical novel. At the time of the book there was no such place as Charleston. My characters refer to the town by its original name, Charles Town.

Copyeditor: No. There is no "Charles Town" in my atlas.

Me: Of course there isn't, you idiot, it's a modern atlas I suggest you consult an eighteenth-century atlas.

We went a few more rounds in this style. Eventually I trudged over to the university library, xeroxed a solid pound of contemporary documents referring to Charles Town, highlighted the references and sent the papers to the copyeditor. The argument ended; I don't have any illusion that I had persuaded her I was right, more likely she simply decided I was too insane to be worth arguing with. (In retrospect, there were a number of incidents in my younger days where I thought I'd won an argument with facts and reason, and now suspect my opponents concededed just to get me to stop talking.)

Nowadays, this particular argument wouldn't have happened at all... or if it did, it could have been resolved by a few clicks in a search engine.

For at least the next week, I swear that I will not grumble about the deleterious effects of the Internet on our social fabric without at least adding But I don't have to go through stupid fights with copyeditors any more!

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