Loose Id has closed

My primary publisher, Loose Id, has alas closed as of 7 May. My books published through them are now out of print, although you may see them on third party distributors for a short period while the out of print notices work through the system.

I do intend to make the books available again, but that takes a lot of time, which is a resource I’m rather short of at the moment. I’m also waiting on Loose Id to finish working on the rights releases for the cover art I’d like to re-use. I’m focusing on writing new material for now.

If you’re still looking for something of mine to read, I do have books at NineStar Press under the name Storm Duffy, which are still available and will be for the foreseeable future.

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Stationery review – Schneider refills

In the never ending quest to tidy my room, I decided to have a cull of the pen herd. I have many, many pens of various types accumulated over the years, some dating back to when I was at university [mumble] years ago. I can tell, because they’re in the biscuit tin I used as a pen case.

I was going to be ruthless about throwing out the ones that didn’t work anymore, but some of the ancient and venerable have sentimental value, or are promo pens in a barrel style that I find very comfortable to use, so I set about investigating the availability of refills.

First port of call was the Cult Pens website, a wondrous cavern of everything pen. It turned out they were having a three for two special deal on Schneider products, and Schneider make All the Refills, or pretty close to it. I already had a Schneider disposable courtesy of a sample in a previous order, so I knew they made decent cheap pens. Cue buying binge…

I needed a selection of refills, and I haven’t had a chance to do much with most of them yet, but so far — nice refills. They write smoothly and don’t need much pressure to get them started. I really like the Slider 755, which is a Parker style G2 filled with Schneider’s ViscoGlide hybrid ink. It writes very smoothly with no skipping and almost no pressure once it gets going, but can write on gloss paper without smearing even if it gets wet. It’s described as combining the best features of ballpoint and gel pens. It’s moderately expensive but I think well worth it if it continues to perform like this. I do love my fountain pens for not needing any pressure to write, but this refill comes close and is waterproof to boot.

The refills are all clearly labelled with brand, model number, colour and tip size, even the tiny D1 format multipen refills. This might not sound important, but when you’ve just opened an envelope full of miscellaneous loose refills, it’s very useful for matching refill to pen. Definitely for my “buy again” list.

You can find the Schneider range in lots of pen shops, and as of the time of writing there is still a three for two offer at Cult Pens for the entire range.

Stationery Wibble – Prologue

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of fountain pens and sealing wax
of binding combs and rings.”

I’ve been on a bit of a binge on stationery and office supplies of late for a number of reasons. Chief amongst these is the latest medical reason for staying away from a computer, but it doesn’t help that the WIP features a hero with a passion for pens beyond even that seen in racsf’s collective obsession with writing paraphernalia. I can’t type, but I can put ink on paper and dictate the results into Dragon, and only look at the screen to set the transcription running and then error-correct the result. I have a genuine justification for having acquired a breeding herd of fountain pens over the last few months, inasmuch as a good fountain pen needs no pressure at all to glide over the page, and this is an important consideration for those with RSI. All of this is to explain why there may be stationery-related wibble in lieu of anything else I can focus on for long enough to write a blog post. You have been warned.

Out now: A Collision With Reality

My alter ego’s new short is released today. It’s the first of a series of short stories, but can be read as a standalone. More details below:

acollisionwreality-f500-400x600

Flynn’s new boss is so hot he can’t wait to get home to tell the chatroom how much he wants Dom’s cock down his throat. By Friday, he’s shared quite a few thoughts on what he’d like his boss to do to him. But he’s not as anonymous as he thinks, and Dom’s intent on disciplining him for breaching company policy on social networking. Dom gives him a choice of put up or shut up: he can play out the fantasy in real life, or he can walk out of the office without a word to HR as long as he never talks that way about Dom again. Flynn chooses “put up”—but he’s forgotten about one of the things he said he wouldn’t mind doing.

ISBN: 978-1-9459-5236-4
Series: In Like Flynn 1
NineStar Press (where you can find an excerpt)
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon: Australia ¦ Brazil ¦ Canada ¦ France ¦ Germany ¦ India ¦ Italy ¦ Japan ¦ Netherlands ¦ Spain
Or search on your local Amazon using ASIN: B01MZ2891M

Barnes & Noble
SmashWords

Guest post: Jacey Bedford – The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Jacey is a long time friend from the Usenet writing group rec.arts.sf.composition – the sf is for science fiction, not San Francisco, as the group had to regularly explain to bemused newbies. :-) Jacey’s published by Daw; her second book was released a few months ago, and her third will be published early next year. If you want to know what it’s like to be picked up by a major name in SF&F publishing, read on. If you want to read what caught the acquiring editor’s eye, there’s a giveaway in the post…

My first book, Empire of Dust, launched on 4th November 2014 from DAW. I was so excited. I’d waited a long time for novel publication.

Empire of Dust cover artI got the first review (http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-7564-1016-2), from Publishers’ Weekly, no less, and read it with trepidation. (Hey, it was the first review of my first book, I was allowed to trepidate!) I read it and I read it again. Gradually it began to sink in. It was a good review. Then I looked back at the email that it had arrived in – a congratulatory email from my editor, enclosing the review. (I should have read that bit first and saved myself a giant case of the trepids.) It ends with: “Bedford builds a taut story around the dangers of a new world…. Readers who crave high adventure and tense plots will enjoy this voyage into the future.”

And it struck me, as I read it for the fourth or fifth time how author worries morph as you move along the path towards and beyond your publication. I was talking to Alastair Reynolds on Twitter not long ago (Al and I did our first ever Milford (http://www.milfordSF.co.uk) together back in 1998 before he got his first publishing deal and became mega-famous), and he reminded me that: ‘Worry is the gift that keeps on giving.’

First, you worry that your writing just isn’t good enough to make the grade. Despite all, you stay focused, finish your book, polish it, and think that, just possibly, it doesn’t suck too badly, but then you worry about selling it. Your first step is to find an agent. It may take months, it may take years, but eventually (if you jeep trying) you snag an agent and all of a sudden it feels as though you’ve leaped an insurmountable obstacle with one huge bound. Are your worries over? Of course not. The next big question is whether your precious manuscript will ever sell. (Truth? It might, it might not, but while you’re waiting keep on writing more.)

Craossways cover artIf you are very lucky (and luck does play a big part), all of a sudden, a sale, and your life changes in an instant. Are your worries over? Far from it, but they turn into different worries. Will the reviews be good? Will readers like it? Will sales be good enough to cover the advance your publisher has paid you? Will you get a follow-on publishing deal after this? I think most authors will recognise this cycle of self-doubt and worry (and hard work), but the thrill of seeing the finish line racing towards you makes you forget the speedbumps along the road to publication.

My first completed book didn’t sell, and neither did my second (unsurprising because it was a sequel to the first – duh!), but my third, Empire of Dust, sold (though not until I’d written seven altogether!). I not only sold Empire, but in the same deal I sold my fifth completed manuscript (a historical fantasy called Winterwood) and got a commission for a sequel to Empire. Yeah, a three book deal with DAW, my dream publisher of science fiction and fantasy! Pretty cool, huh?

Winterwood cover artI was offered the first sale in July 2013. After a year of edits, rewrites, additions, inventions, reinventions, and just about the craziest most creative spurt of my life to date, my debut book, Empire of Dust, hit the shelves in November 2014 and the sequel, Crossways in August 2015.

Word of mouth and social media are hugely important, especially in these days of diminishing browsing opportunities as high street bookstores disappear from our towns and cities. If you like a book, SHOUT about it to your friends, on Facebook, Twitter, your blog and all the many possible outlets. Your shouts are the oxygen the publishing industry needs.

Thank you to Jules for hosting this. Thank you to you for reading.

I have a mailing list on mailchimp. If you’d like to sign up to receive occasional emails (and I do mean occasional) I’d be very pleased if you would go to my website and sign up here: http://www.jaceybedford.co.uk/contact.htm I will be giving ARC copies to random subscribers. The twenty third person to sign up will get a copy, as will the fifty-first

My Books, Present and Future

Empire of Dust, DAW, November 2014 – Psi-Tech #1

Space opera. Is there anywhere in the galaxy that’s safe for a Telepath who knows too much? Evil megacorporations, planetary settlements, Psi-techs implanted with psionic technology, a star-spanning manhunt, treachery… and love. Cara and Ben battle huge odds to save a settlement, but can they save themselves?

Crossways, DAW, August 2015 – Psi-Tech #2

A hunt for survivors turns into a battle for survival. This follows on where Empire of Dust leaves off. An illegal freeport space-station, a lost ship full of settlers, renegade Psi-Techs… and the megacorporations want revenge on Cara and Ben. They’ll go to any lengths to get it. But something is stirring in the depths of foldspace.

Winterwood, DAW, February 2016 – Rowankind #1

The start of a new historical fantasy series, set in 1800, in a Britain with magic, featuring Ross, a cross-dressing privateer captain who likes her life in the high seas accompanied by a boat-load of barely-reformed pirates and the jealous ghost of her late husband. On a deathbed visit to her estranged mother, Ross gets an inheritance she doesn’t want. Enter Corwen, handsome wolf shapechanger…

Silverwolf, DAW, Late 2016/early 2017 – Rowankind #2

The further adventures of Ross and Corwen as they struggle with the changes in Britain after the events in the first Rowankind book.

Nimbus, DAW, 2017 – Psi-Tech #3

Something is stirring in the depths of Foldspace and unless Ben and Cara can convince the megacorporations that dealing with it is more important than profit the human race is doomed.

Jacey Bedford

Jacey at Novacon 2012Jacey Bedford is a British author of science fiction and fantasy, agented by Amy Boggs of the Donald Maass Literary Agency and published by DAW in the USA, with (currently) five books under contract. She’s also sold short stories on both sides of the Atlantic and has been translated into Estonian, Polish and Galician. She’s secretary of the Milford SF Writers’ Conference in the UK [Link: http://www.milfordSF.co.uk]

Writer Links

Twitter: @jaceybedford

Website: http://www.jaceybedford.co.uk

Blog: http://jaceybedford.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jacey.bedford.writer

book log: LA Witt & Lauren Gallagher – Writing faster for the win

Have some book log completely out of order, because otherwise book log won’t be happening…

Short book (20,000 words according to the author), but packed full of useful advice presented in an entertaining manner. The most important piece of advice is right up front: not all techniques work for every writer, so take and use what works for you personally.

This isn’t about how to type faster. It’s about how to be more productive with your writing time, and that includes protecting yourself from burnout. A lot of it is stuff that should be obvious, but isn’t until somebody points it out to you; other techniques are ones that all too often writers have been told they shouldn’t do, by a writer/editor/agent who thinks that if it doesn’t work for them, it’s bad for everyone. Some are things that are much less obvious, and which you could go for years without working it out by yourself.

Even if you already know everything in this book, it can help to have the positive reinforcement from another writer who learnt it the hard way. And besides, I know everything in this book already, and I still found it an entertaining read, well worth the £1.26 I paid. This matters – you’re more likely to remember and follow advice if it was fun to read.

Very much recommended for writers, and even non-writers who are interested in the nuts and bolts of writing.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

legal defence fund for Dear Author

I’ve been mostly offline for the last couple of weeks, so I’m late with this news. Romance book blogger Jane Litte and her group blog Dear Author have been sued by erotic romance publisher Ellora’s Cave for reporting on the problems experienced by some of EC’s authors. Those problems include allegations by a number of authors of late or non-existent royalties payments, and books being put out with little or no editing.

There is now a defence fund, as this is going to be an expensive suit to fight. I’ve donated, because I believe that Dear Author should be able to report legitimate concerns about a publisher’s behaviour without fear. There’s more information about the fund at Dear Author’s post. As some people in comments have been concerned about their legal name being exposed by the donation process, I can report that the GoFundMe site asks for your name twice, the first time being the name to use on the public acknowledgement, and the second time defaulting to using the same name but allowing it to be changed to the name on your credit card. There’s also an option to be anonymous on the public acknowledgement.

It’s been mentioned in the comment threads at Dear Author (and in the coverage at the Absolute Write Water Cooler, which is where I first saw the news) that a few authors have been publicly gloating about the lawsuit. The authors in question have had poor reviews, and as a result think that the Dear Author blog deserves everything it gets by way of punishment. They’re being very short-sighted. It may give them a warm happy glow now to see their supposed nemesis punished, but the chilling effect of this suit is going to have major repercussions for authors if bloggers decide it’s safer not to report on publishers’ misdeeds. That includes the self-publishing platforms — some of those have done some very naughty things that I’d rather know about when I’m deciding where to publish.

No, I’m not just saying this because Dear Author was nice to me. The only review I’ve ever had from Dear Author was a D, and I think it did hurt my sales. I’m saying this because I think that Dear Author’s reporting is good for authors in general, and I resent someone trying to make them shut up.