So there is this Podcast – in which Sarah and I both chatter
To the North of the Holy Roman Empire are the pagan Norse-lands. It is here that Prince Manfred of Brittany, and Erik, his Icelandic bodyguard, must venture in the dead of winter to a mountainous land of trolls and ice to find a stolen pagan relic, the arm-ring of Odin, something so magical that it should not be possible to move it beyond its wards, let alone take it away. It is gone, and unless it is recovered before Yuletide and the re-affirmation of truce-oaths, a new Viking age will be born. King Vorenbras will lead his berserkers in an orgy of killing, rapine, looting and destruction, across the Empire’s unguarded North-Western flank.
Princess Signy is the King’s older stepsister, and everyone believes her to be the thief, a witch and a murderess. Everyone, that is, but Cair, her stable-thrall, a man plucked from the ocean, with a hidden past. Cair doesn’t believe in witches or magic, let alone that Signy could steal and murder. If he has to drag the foremost knight of the age, and his deadly bodyguard kicking and screaming though the entire Norse nine worlds to prove it and free her, he’d do it. No Kobold, dwarf, or troll is going to stop him, or his scepticism. Not the wild hunt. Not even a Grendel. He doesn’t believe in this superstitious rubbish. He’s a man of science and learning, and he’s used that to fake his way into being feared as a magic worker. But for Signy, he’ll be all of mankind’s witches.
He’ll have to be, because that’s what it’ll take to defeat the dark magical forces which are marshalled against them.
And now it is available from… me. The rights to this book reverted. It is available an e-book on Amazon (the picture is a link, and if you use it, I get an extra 6% – from Amazon, not from you. If you think Authors are overpaid, don’t use it!
“You little lard-faced bastard,” yelled the Svart, kicking at me as I held him aloft by his ratskin weskit.
Like the blackhead had room to talk. If I stretched him, he’d be a quarter my height and a tenth of my weight, and his face was the same color as maggot, only scrawnier than most maggots.
“What did you do with her, Glibflint?” I snarled at him. “And if you kick me, so help me, I’ll eat you, and puke your remains into the sea.”
He blew me a raspberry.
I shook him so hard his that his little sharp teeth nearly rattled out of his head.
“Answer me, or that’s just the start!” I screamed into his face.
“Not going to,” he hissed, working his mouth to find spit.
I knew what that meant. Svartalfar are as brave as a mouse with a cat… unless they’re being watched.
I grabbed his leg, with the other hand. Dropped his weskit and swung him savagely at the shadows behind me. They’d never be in the shadows in front, let alone the light. He was a lousy club as I thrashed into the squalling mass of them. They poured out of their little crack like roaches. Yammering and ululating in their nasty triumph, surging around me, trying to get behind me.
I flung Glibflint at them, trying to haul out my sword as the gibbering shrieking mass snatched at me. Biting, pulling, kicking, clinging.
Down I went under a stinking tide of little vermin, shrieking their triumph as I fell.
I hit the ground hard. Tried desperately to roll.
Cold little pinching hands made a net, holding me down.
The sharp lava-rocks beneath me stabbed at me, tore my shirt as I struggled desperately to get up, to break free.
My nose was full of the smell of moldy cloth and half rotten meat, and fresh blood.
They were trying to cram something into my mouth, crushing my lips back against my clenched teeth.
I believe – no one tells authors these things, what do they have to do with their books? and of what possible interest could it be to their readers and followers, after all? – that the Paperback launch of DOG & DRAGON was today. I believe Barnes and Noble and Simon and Schuster (who do a laughable -in the if I don’t laugh I’m gonna cry sense job of distribution of my books for Baen) are having a ‘how’s-your-father’ which means B&N have apparently reduced their order by 90% – only taking bestsellers. So: if you haven’t got a copy, if you want a copy, or want to support a struggling author to the princely tune of 7.99 (yes, I will get 64 cents of that ) – please, it’s available.
(that’s a link, folks, if you click on the picture. I get almost just as much from you using that link to buy this (as well as any other Amazon products you happen to buy at the same time) as I do from my publisher. Also, I get it sooner.)
It’s also there as an e-book. I’m not sure how much I’ll be paid for that, but I am almost sure something.
The link however good for me
I refer you to this post.
It’s time this games company had its head placed firmly in a place where the sun does not shine.
Wrestling for words is always a tough one. I was looking for suitable swearwords for a YA novel a little while back, knowing full well that at 13 there weren’t many I hadn’t heard. Some I didn’t fully understand yet, and for true expressiveness I had to pass through boot camp and end up yelling at the little darlings myself. Then I ended up working as a fisheries scientist on trawlers, and just when I thought I’d heard it all, in fish factories where delicately bred ladies would discuss the merits of the water of green pineapples for the complexion… or something of that sort, while wielding really sharp knives with terrifying speed.
Yet while YA novels push boundaries of sex into areas where no man has been (well, no ordinary hetero man – like 95% of the male audience) they’re good on what when I was young was considered blasphemy, but they still haven’t got f…ing punctuation of f… ing sentences f…ing right yet. It is a punctuation. At least when you’re teenage boy among your peers, trying desperately to prove you’re not a teenage boy, it seems it is.
So: reality is not what one seeks because in reality the gay kid is not everyone’s best friend, and the group is not always gifted with a suitable white male doofus and jerk as the villain. We have applied to central planning for a larger supply, and they have promised they’re working on the school system to oblige, but in the meanwhile we have been instructed to just make-believe.
It’s a good thing we’re writing fiction, in other words, with no need to suspend the credibility. I believe it has been called training the youth to accept political debate from the PTB without throwing up or bursting out laughing. It is our duty to educate them. And if they are not educated enough, to betray them to commissars so they can be re-educated (I believe they send them to salt mines in Vermont). Like royalties, it’s all about delivering small change you can believe in to the starving authors/masses (or both).
Seriously, reality diverges considerably from either the normal text in books (let alone for YA audiences) and what editors will accept in traditional publishing, and what readers will accept in the broader world. I freely admit the idea of my dear little offspring and future grandkids reading the sort of scatological spew I managed as a real 14 year old idiot has no appeal at all. And, dear hearts, as I grew up in the ’70′s when people were still seriously trying this in print, that sort of spew irritated me then. I could do better, and they always got it wrong, and it was condescension. It did appeal 20 year old adolescents with low IQ’s, but while there are a lot of them, some in their 50′s by now, and still adolescent, they don’t read a lot.
I have noticed that children have separate vocabularies – the brighter one – i.e. probably the ones who read – quite a number, depending on who they are chameleoning with. There’s the gung-ho boys vocab, the talking girls (younger) vocab, the talking to girls (older) vocab, the talking to authority vocab, and the talking to the stupid (aka adults including parents. It takes growing up to realize that these lumbering behemoths are more than just ATMs and taxi services. Stupid is often relative – some of mine are a great example. And some think I am.)… and that’s without the dialects spoken to the different types within these groups. The dialect spoken to the girl next door whose heart or blouse the young Lothario have no interest in getting into is quite different to the fine sentiments and poetic soul that comes out with Desiree Hardache. You didn’t swear much in her presence – or in the presence of those you respected or were afraid of, or wished to impress. That was for lummoxes, who… don’t buy a lot of books.
Which brings me back to my thesis – it’s not the reality of language that sells the book – it’s convincing the audience that they are group who would hear that from you. i.e. You’re talking UP not down your audience.
Oddly, they’ll accept your respect, not your assumption of equality.
Or at least, that’s my take. What’s yours?
And here, for your edification is a little poem on the delights of spoken English.
cross-posted at Mad Genius Club