Thursday, March 31, 2011

Special Letter from HWA

Dear HWA Member:

The National Board of the Horror Writers Association previously voted unanimously to remove Dorchester Publishing and its Leisure imprint from our list of Approved Publishers, primarily because the company no longer meets two of our key criteria:

1. The initial print run by the publisher for a book-length work of fiction or nonfiction must be at least five hundred copies and must be widely available in brick-and-mortar stores (not "special order" titles). In other words, print-on-demand publishers and Internet-only publishers do not qualify.

2. The publisher must not wrongfully withhold or delay royalty payments to authors. We have been hearing an unusually high number of reports from our members of unpaid advances and withheld royalties on their Dorchester books. We have also heard reports that electronic versions have been published in breach of members' copyright.

New Dorchester titles are not eligible for Bram Stoker Award consideration nor will its authors be eligible for Active Status membership for any books published after January 1, 2011. It has been made clear to Dorchester that it is welcome to reapply for Associate membership status only if all these problems have been rectified.

The HWA president has written an open letter to Dorchester, which appears below. This e-bulletin has been authorized by HWA's National Board of Directors.

Open Letter to Dorchester Publishing:

To the Attention of Robert Anthony, President, Dorchester Publishing

Dear Mr. Anthony,

This is an Open Letter on behalf of the Horror Writers Association.

We have been made aware of numerous claims by our members and other authors that reflect poorly upon Dorchester’s business practices. This is particularly the case with the Leisure imprint.

On behalf of our members, I write to remind you that Dorchester/Leisure has been removed from our Approved Publisher List. New Dorchester/Leisure authors cannot use their relationship with your organization as status credits for our Membership categories; nor are your titles published after January 1, 2011, eligible for Bram Stoker Award consideration.

We request that you pay all HWA members who are owed royalties by Leisure/Dorchester no later than April 30, 2011. We also request an immediate assurance that Dorchester will fulfill all your contractual obligations to all HWA members published prior to March 31, 2011; that you provide a full and accurate accounting of royalties due as per your contracts with each HWA member; and that you will pay all future royalties in full and on time.

We also request Dorchester audit your catalog and that of your Associates to determine that no fiction is offered for sale in electronic format in breach of authors’ copyright or other rights, and that Dorchester compensate HWA members for any electronic copies of their work that have already been sold in breach of their rights, no later than April 30, 2011.

We request that Dorchester provide immediate active assistance to all HWA members wishing to revert rights where that reversion is consistent with Dorchester’s existing policies and/or contractual obligations.

Leisure/Dorchester should also cease and desist from publishing any material written by HWA members where that member has requested Leisure to do so within your mutual contractual obligations, and in any format—printed or electronic.

Should Dorchester complete these requests and show ongoing good faith toward all authors, including HWA members, HWA will reconsider Dorchester’s status.

Rocky Wood
President HWA (in accordance with Resolution of the HWA Board)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Update for Week Ending 3-26-2011

As I write this, I am getting ready to go to Planet Comicon in Kansas City. I am pretty excited about this. This is the first year that I've attended a Con since I was in college.

Next some exciting news. A good friend of mine whose enthusiasm for horror greatly exceeds his budget, requested that his local library requested First Time Dead Vol 1. He chose this book based on my review. I looked on my site traffic and saw that a library read my reviews. I hope that I played a small role in their decision. I urge all of my readers to request that their library order the books I recommend.

I finally came up with the idea to tie together the middle of my book. I hope to complete my outline by 3/31 then it will be time to start writing. After that the goal will be for 500 words a day. It will take six months to complete the rough draft. I am looking forward to the challenge.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Special Guest Blog from H.C.Elliston

If a magic formula for writing a good book exists, then I’d love to hear about it! Getting TICK TOCK RUN to the stage where I felt proud (and like I wouldn’t totally embarrass myself) took endless late nights, missing out on a social life, and an overdose of stress. For over two years, I went to bed every night with words flying around in my head. I’d jump up, race to the bathroom and scribble ideas on an empty toilet roll tube – I still do that now, did it last night! I am still learning the craft of writing. Always will be. My stories won’t ‘hit the spot’ for everyone as we all have varying tastes. I can only hope that a small chunk of readers enjoy curling up on their sofa, trying to work out who the baddie is, while cheering my characters on. Writing this novel has been one of the toughest undertakings of my life, it’s also a very lonely experience, but one of the most satisfying.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekly Update for week ending 3/19/2011

This week has been busy. I added considerable detail to the first third of my outline for the Lucky Sequel. (I really should come up with a name.) I'm happy with the results so far. This prep work helped me fix a plot error. I had someone appearing as a normal human after death. This is fixed.

I know that my publisher has other books in the queue before mine, but I'm very anxious to receive their final copy. My situation is being made worse by the imminent arrive of my business cards and the t-shirts that I had printed to advertise my book. I plan to wear the shirts at ConQuesT KC during Memorial Day weekend. Originally I planned to have a dealer's table and sell some May December Publications books; however, it won't work out.

I've joined The Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society ( KaCSFFS ). The monthly meeting was last night. Three people read. Someday, I will too.

Until next week, I remain, Dane Grannon

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Action Lab Entertainment -- Fracture #1

A few days ago, I received my copy of the Kickstarter edition of Fracture from Action Lab Entertainment. I've been swamped but finally took the time to read this wonderful issue.

I won't give a spoiler, but the concept behind the comic is excellent. I enjoy the ying/yang nature of the book. The interplay between Malice and Virtue is excellent. I'm glad that I participated in this Kickstarter project. I'm glad that I learned about this from The Nerdist Podcast.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekly Update for week ending 3/12/2011

I await formatted manuscript from my editor. The ending is sound. Publication date is getting close. I know this writing doesn't reflect it, but I'm extremely excited and filled with dread. What if sales are as pathetic as my novelette, Escape From Hope?

The sequel plotting is going well. I finished the first 24,000 and the last 24,000 words. The problem lies in the middle arc. I need to devise a plot strong enough to tie it together. It is not helping that the 'G' key is sticking on my keyboard.

I have many ideas about what I need to accomplish in terms of social commentary and distant events, but I need to be able to show the changes without telling. It will be boring if not in context.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Successful ending

Both of my beta readers like the latest incarnation of my ending. I really like it as well. The only person I haven't heard from is the editor. I think it will be acceptable. I am happy.

Last night, I plotted out another six thousand words on my outline.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New ending feedback

My beta readers thought my new ending was horrible. I'm glad for their input. The last thing that I wast is to put out a substandard product. @astrademon had a great suggestion. I'll try to write it up during lunch.

Note to Writers: Always thank your beta readers -- they are priceless.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekly Update for week ending 3/05/2011

On Thursday I received a copy of the artwork that will be the cover of Lucky Streak. Shawn Conn did an excellent job capturing the essence of the scene. I am extremely happy with it. Needless to say, I'm very excited.

Todd finished reading my manuscript. He made a suggestion for changing the last chapter. To be honest, it was very hard to hear any criticism of my novel -- my baby. That said, I kept an open mind and decided to try and rewrite it. I'm still torn about whether or not I can accomplish what I want, but I'll write it and see. I spoke with some of my other readers and they also said that the ending seemed weak. I need to improve my story. I hope that this makes the story better.

Part of this adventure is learning to work as a professional. I need to incorporate others' advice into the structure of my story. I hope I've learned my lesson.

Until next time, I remain, Dane Grannon