So the Fox & Willow Kickstarter is 70% funded! Huzzah! Thank you all so much! 😀 We have about 13 days left, so I'm popping in for another plug to pledge or spread the word  – anything you can do … Continue reading » Related Stories Fox & Willow ...
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Heart of the Dreaming - 5 new articles



Fox & Willow is 70% Funded!

So the Fox & Willow Kickstarter is 70% funded! Huzzah! Thank you all so much! 😀

We have about 13 days left, so I’m popping in for another plug to pledge or spread the word  – anything you can do to help would be brilliant.

For those of you who have been keeping up to date with our comic on Tapas or Webtoons or even the main SSD site – we’ve obviously been on hiatus for several months to work on this Kickstarter, but we will be updating pages this week. (Patreon got the updates this morning, whee!)

Also, Aimo and I were working on another Kickstarter-funded project  – a comic anthology The Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures, and we had about 10 pages of full color to work through, between the scripting and the lettering and lovely art and all that jazz, so we were focused on that particular bit of work for several months. (Here’s a sneak peek at the first page – the story is called A Certain Tea House…)

The Kickstarter for this one is over, but it should be available to purchase once it hits print  – I think October of this year. 😀

Looking forward to seeing both of these beauties in print in the next few months!

 

 

 

Fox & Willow Kickstarter is Live!

The Fox & Willow Kickstarter is now live (actually it went live on Tuesday, but I’m silly and forgot to post here…so!)

Here’s the linky link -> Kickstarter

We’ve been live for only a couple of days and we’re already nearly half-way to our goal amount so I’m utterly thrilled about that – thank you all so much!

In the meantime, there’s about 14 hours left if you want to grab the Early Bird pricing on a sweet hard cover edition (with or without signed bookplates) so if this was on your to-do list – go take advantage of it while you can!

 

Updates and Upcoming Kickstarter!

*waves*

Hi everyone. Remember me? Yes, I’m still here and kicking around. Life has been…crazy since the last time I blogged.

Between the pandemic, having my kids stuck at home, having to send my exchange student back to Japan, trying to write, needing my esophagus dilated, having an ovarian cyst rupture and kill my remaining ovary and sending me straight into menopause…well. It’s been a time.

Like everyone else, I imagine

Radio silence isn’t ideal, I realize, but I’ve just been caught up in the usual whirlwind, which has been complicated by bouts of depression and trying to just keep up with the news in the world as it changes hour by hour.

That being said, things have been moving behind the scenes a bit. If you read my post from November or so, you might remember how Fox & Willow’s publication debut was basically dropped due to some major wtfkery – however – we were then acquired by Outland Entertainment and they’re going to get our little fairy tale comic onto bookstore shelves!

To that end, we have an upcoming Kickstarter next week to help with the initial print costs – I’ll be posting a link soon! I’m really so very excited by this – Aimo and I have been working on this comic since 2012 and this is definitely a nice step forward. I can’t wait for you guys to see it!

 

 

A Symphony of Starlight Blog Tour and Contest!

It’s been a long couple of months and the holidays are almost here so I’m doing a little celebrating of my own with a blog tour!

Aside from some interviews and guest blogs for the next few weeks, there are also two chances to win a signed copy of  A Symphony of Starlight! (open worldwide!) Visit the participating blogs listed below for the RaffleCopter links and requirements!

As a bonus, I’ve also dropped the ebook price to .99 for the next week or so, so if you were looking for a gift for yourself or someone else, now is the time to jump on it!

Kindle

Everywhere else

 

 

 

Blog Tour schedule as follows:

December 16 The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom (Guest Blog)
http://creativelygreen.blogspot.com/

December 16 ilovebooksandstuffblog
https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com/

December 16 JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
https://jbbookworms.blogspot.com

December 17 Simply Kelina
http://simplykelina.blogspot.com

December 17 Fang-tastic Books (Guest Blog)
http://fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

December 17 Rising Indies United
https://risingindiesunited.blogspot.com/

December 18 Paranormalists
https://paranormalists.blogspot.com/

December 18 Supernatural Central (Interview)
http://supernaturalcentral.blogspot.com

December 19 Boundless Book Reviews
http://www.boundlessbookreviews.com

December 19 Roxanne’s Realm
http://www.roxannerhoads.com/

December 20 Gimme The Scoop Reviews (Reviews)
https://gimmethescoopreviews.blogspot.com/

December 20 Lisa’s World of Books
http://www.lisasworldofbooks.net/

December 23 The Book Junkie Reads (Interview)
https://thebookjunkiereadspromos.blogspot.com/

December 23 I Smell Sheep (Guest Blog)
http://www.ismellsheep.com/

December 24 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!
http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com

December 25 Christmas

December 26 Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
http://mommasaystoreadornottoread.blogspot.com/

December 26 Jazzy Book Reviews
http://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com/

December 27 Sapphyria’s Books
https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/

December 27 Books 4 Book Nerds
https://booknerdbooks.wordpress.com

December 27 Liberty’s Literary Loves
http://www.libertysliteraryloves.com/

December 30 Between Dreams and Reality (Review)
http://www.betweendandr.com

December 30 T’s Stuff (Interview)
http://www.tsstuff.net

 

Advocacy in the Time of Bullshit

So this week was a bit of a mess on a number of fronts. And maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve been on steroids for a couple of weeks and I’m also menopausing like crazy, but I just…have no more patience. For anything.

(Yes, the steroids helped – I can hear again, huzzah. Boo, the menopause continues and hotflashing is shit and yes some of the herbal remedies help, but still. Really, body? Right now?)

There have been some good things – the kickstarter I’m contributing a story to funded, so I’ve already turned in a script to the editor for that. Awaiting feedback so I can talk to Aimo about how we want to set the pages up a bit better. I also have the formatting for A Symphony of Starlight done, so with any luck I’ll have paperback versions ready to go by the end of November, early December. If you were waiting for that, you should be able to at least get them by Christmas.

But the thing that is really getting  to me this week is that for the 2nd (3rd?) time I’ve had a small press contract fall through for the print version of Fox & Willow. Now in the other cases, the small press ended up going out of business, or we didn’t agree on some of the print details and couldn’t make it work. Fine, it happens.

But this time irks me more, because I had a signed contract. I had the promise of an advance on delivery/publication. I had hopes of getting it into bookstores and all the rest of the trappings that come with more traditional pubs. And I’ve been waiting and preparing. Trad publishing is slow, even with smaller presses. That’s part of the deal.

I went to Malaysia this summer to help Aimo rescan the pages. I’ve been relettering them all myself, fixing up the images, making sure the sizes are all correct and I’ve been getting ready to put them all together into Adobe InDesign to format it. (In short, all the work a publisher would probably normally do?) Aimo and I have also been brainstorming to add more content – after all, it *is* a webcomic. Sure we’re going to make some edits on some of the pages here or there, maybe add a page or two, slap a fancy cover on it, but it *is* free and out there for anyone who wants to read it right now. So we wanted to make sure there is added value and all that type of stuff to make it worth the price tag.

And it was all due in about a month, so I’ve been stretching myself a little thin. (On top of the stupid sinus infection/exchange student/back to school/day job/book release/laptop battery swelling.)

But then I started hearing some rumors about how the publisher in question wasn’t paying people. Which to be fair, sometimes happens with small presses. And not everyone was complaining about that – I didn’t have specifics, just…whispers.

It’s not a good feeling, though.  So I’d been kind of hovering and wondering what I should do – and then the shit hit the fan. Rather then go into specifics, I’ll toss a couple of links up here so you can check it out if you’re interested, but it turns out it’s way deeper than just not paying a few people. It’s systemic abuse, gaslighting, racism, and possibly something criminal as far as funds go.

Controversy Erupts Around ChiZine Publications

Authors Break Silence with Complaints About ChiZine Publications

CHIZINE FUCKED UP, BUT THEY’RE THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG

The evening some of this new broke, the oddly apropos tarot card up above actually showed up in my SugarMuses box. (It’s from the Tarot de la Nuit, if you’re interested in such things.) Mermaids are my wheelhouse anyway, and the Two of Swords was pretty much exactly where I was with trying to figure out what to do.

I was only on the edge of all of this – had no idea about any of it or I would never have submitted anything – and once we heard the first stories of not just late payment, but terrible treatment of interns and employees, calling writers names, etc, Aimo and I decided to yank it. (And this was before the worst of it came out, to give you an idea of how bad even the first stories were.)

And really, publishers calling their authors “cunts” is beyond the pale. Like, even if you really think that, keep it to yourself and be professional about it. Authors are the people making your product. Without us, you have nothing to publish. And this isn’t limited to small presses. I was orphaned multiple times at the Big 4/5 publisher I was contracted to. My second editor refused to meet me or my agent for lunch. Made fun of my writing to my face. Didn’t actually edit my book.

When this particular issue happened to me, I was too new. Too unsure of what I should do. And no one stood up for me. My agent at the time didn’t. My publisher didn’t. I had my book edited on the sly by someone else and turned it in that way. It wasn’t ideal, but at the time I only wanted to make sure I could produce the best book I could. These days, I would probably make more of a stink.

It’s very hard in this industry. We all try so hard to get those publishing deals and sometimes things aren’t perfect. It’s easier to stay quiet and keep your head down. But having professional differences isn’t the same thing as being dismissive. Respect, even respectful disagreement, costs people nothing.

Pay authors what they are owed. Work with them to make a good product. Be kind. The end.

As far as Fox & Willow goes, I’m not sure I even want to bother putting it out on submission again. At this point it might just be easier to self pub it. (We did go ahead and start uploading it to Webtoons – I’d held off in respect to the publisher, even though we have about 17k readers on Tapas anyway, but I feel like Webtoons might have a bigger platform. We’ll see…)

In the end, Aimo and I dodged a bullet. I’m heartbroken for the authors/interns who were wrapped up in all this and tried everything they could to try to fix the issue with the channels available to them. I hope they get the money owed them/rights back. Maybe now that it’s come to this the writer community can figure out a better way to deal with things like this when they come up. If nothing else, we have to learn to speak up not only for ourselves, but for others who maybe don’t have the ability to make themselves heard.