Victoria A. Jeffrey's authorly doings. . .

Monday, July 22, 2013

Spell Your Name In Runes!

I was killing time on one of my favorite sites, Stumble Upon, and I came upon something that I thought readers would like. It's called Write Your Name in Runes, a little interactive program that let's you see what your name looks like written using the Viking alphabet. The program can be found on the site and is hosted by NOVA.
Above is my name, Victoria, spelled in Viking runes. You can have your name in runes downloaded as a picture to your desktop to share it with friends by email or Facebook.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Schisms Is On Sale!

I have a sale going on all summer long!

Schisms, the first book in the Red World trilogy is on sale for only $0.99! You can pick it up for this low price on most major ebook outlets like Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords! This sale is going on all summer long, until October!

And remember, my new release, the second book in the Red World trilogy, Cryptic Tongues, is out!

Buy it now for $0.99!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

When A Popular Series Is Left Unfinished

Among readers I’ve noticed something interesting when it comes to a series. Many readers will not purchase the first book in a series until at least a few books in the series are already out or until the entire series is finished. I understand the reason for it and I have often done it myself, unwittingly. What I have learned in reading blogs by long time  authors, publishers and editors Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith is that before the advent of empowered self-publishing (indie publishing) – and this was during the time when traditional publishing called all of the shots and authors either accepted them or did not get published or resorted to vanity publishers, numerous authors, through no fault of their own, usually, were dropped when changes and fluctuations in a publishing company took place. Usually, if they got a new editor that didn’t like them or didn’t like their books or if the marketing team felt the books were not performing well, the series was dropped. Other publishing houses from what I’ve learned did not like buying a series that belonged to another house, so that series often got canceled. It left the author hanging and it also left readers of that series hanging. Note: For beginning writers, I would suggest you read Kris’s blog and Dean’s blog. Also the Passive Voice is a good one. They have a wealth of information on the traditional publishing industry. Many of the horrors writers were, and are still going through, are eye-opening. Many are treated like peons or cattle and the traditional publishing houses sometimes seem to think even less of readers.
So there’s that problem. Then there's another issue: death.

The author dies before the series is done. This happened to me in regards to Frank Herbert and with Tolkien. I was young when I started reading Tolkien and Herbert, when I’d found out that Tolkien wanted to write more stories in his world but felt he no longer had the time to continue. But Tolkien’s work is so vastly comprehensive and cyclical that this loss in the author’s voice in Middle-Earth is not felt as deeply by me. His work feels complete even though it is unfinished. Most writers never reach Tolkien’s level of skill in world-building though many have created great worlds of their own. Most series are linear stories. There is a definite beginning and it moves, generally, in a straight line towards an ending. When I started reading the Dune chronicles I had no idea Herbert was dead. It wasn’t until I’d gotten to Dune: Chapterhouse that I started looking for the next book and I found, to my chagrin, that it would not be. Years later Kevin J. Anderson and Herbert’s son would release sequels and prequels – I’ve read the Prelude To Dune prequels and even though Orthodox Herbertarians might disagree, I thought they were pretty good and enjoyed them, though I have no interest in the other books. As for the original voice of that universe dying? I was crushed! Anderson, though I like him, is not Herbert and Herbert’s voice is gone forever and will not be able to further broaden this wonderful universe. This is one of the worst things that can happen. Where as, in the first issue of a publishing house killing a series, when business changes an author may try to wrestle the rights back from a publishing house and he or she can resume writing and finishing the series. When an author dies it creates a void. A deep void for readers who have come to love a certain series. They know it’s not finished and that it will never be finished by the original author. Which means that it will never be *truly* finished.
This is why it has taken me years to finally decide to read Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series. Years ago my younger brother was telling me how immersive and expansive his world was. This was about ten years ago. I hesitated for years because at that time I had transitioned to historical fiction, having temporarily lost interest in fantasy, but I’d always kept my brother’s recommendation in mind. Later, I found out that Jordan died and then I’d decided not to read the books.
But then I heard great things about Brandon Sanderson as a writer after he’d come along and finished the series. Though Sanderson is not the original author, because many in WoT fandom had good things to say about him I finally decided to take the plunge into this world. It’s a new world for me. I bought the first book, The Eye of the World on audio book and I have to say that I am enjoying it. Jordan is a very good storyteller. I do hear that some of the middle books are mostly filler. I may listen up to book four and then skip to the last books, but so far I like the book. One of the troubling things about a situation like this is the loss of voice. As a reader you get used to a certain author’s voice and come to rely on it when navigating your way through the world they’ve created. When that author dies, no matter how good another substitute author may be, that elemental force for the story is lost forever and as a reader I mourn that loss. I did so with Frank Herbert and I may do so with Jordan but even so, if the books are good, sometimes it is well worth it anyway. So, I’ll be getting back to my Eye of the World! Until next time, happy reading!