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A Letter to a Friend Just Starting Out Indie Publishing

This is a wonderful letter written by an awesome writing friend, which ought to be shared with all writing friends who are new to the self-publishing world! And even if you’re not a newbie, it’s an excellent refresher / guide for what to do next time. 🙂

Fiction by Rachael Ritchey

So, I have a friend who is a published author, but her publishing company recently shut their doors. It was probably for the best, and in the midst of it a gift actually came in the ability for this dear author friend to take her work to the next level.

It will be so much better than it was with that failed publishing house for a few reasons, but one that is foremost in my mind is that her artistic vision can be put into the hands of people who really care about seeing it thrive, to capture its beauty, and are passionate about making that creative presence shine in the modern publishing industry.

My friend has thus far been shy about drawing attention to herself, but I want to help her draw attention to what she is trying to share with the world, so as I help her take…

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Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Uncategorized, Writer's Jukebox

Writer’s Jukebox: Haikyuu!! OST

I can never remember the name of this show, only its unique punctuation and the epicness of its soundtrack.  But I’ve been listening to its soundtrack fairly often – it’s very dramatic and upbeat, which is great for when your mind’s gone all sluggish and you’ve got five papers to hand in before Wednesday.

My favorite track in this set is “Kamiwaza Sokko,” which seems to be using strings in place of guitars – I like the sound of classical instruments used them to achieve that rock ‘n’ roll sound. 😀

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Uncategorized

Writer’s Jukebox: “Brave” by Amarante

Of all places, I first heard this track in a fashion accessory tutorial video on YouTube. The style and the singer’s voice is reminiscent of BØRNS, whose Candy EP I enjoyed to an extent.  I think this is one of those songs I like to have playing in the background while I’m writing things of the homework variety, but I can see myself writing poetry while listening to this as well. 🙂

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Novels, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

Another Excerpt from ‘Elite Falcons: The Hunted’ feat. Tatiana

Late last year, I dug Elite Falcons out from the bottom of the “Unfinished WIPs” pile.  To borrow a NaNoWriMo term of art, I “pantsed” my way through the planning process, didn’t take any notes, and thus have long since forgotten how the plot was supposed to go.  Judging by what I’ve written so far, most of the young leads get kidnapped except Max and another kid named Elliot.  How they were to get from this point to being recruited into a top-secret spy agency for teenagers remains a mystery I hope to crack this year.

Other themes I was trying to cover, judging by what past-Allison had written, included racism, anti-bullying, and dispelling ethnic stereotypes.  I don’t think I was too effective and I need to rethink how I’d written some things so my past self’s good intentions carry through.

At the moment, I’m writing a scene which picks up where Max left off.  Some time has passed since he got into that car with the awkward social worker lady (although nowhere near as much time has passed in the real world).  But it’s not done.  In the meantime, here’s a decent (albeit melodramatic) scene I’d written two years ago about another character, Tatiana.

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 From her bedroom, twelve year old Tatiana Dean watched the people stop underneath the brightly-striped awning just below, peer through the front window expectantly, and ultimately walk away looking dismayed.  She, too, wondered why the bakery her parents ran so attentively was still closed at ten o’clock on a Saturday morning.

They’re probably sleeping in, Tatiana reasoned, stepping out of her room and eyeing the closed door across the hall.  It happens to the best of us. Continue reading “Another Excerpt from ‘Elite Falcons: The Hunted’ feat. Tatiana”

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Grammer nazism?

Reposting on the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Allison the Writer

This is a re-post of an old article I wrote on an older blog.  Readers beware.  It contains profound notions, rant material, and a pinch of immaturity.  I’ve edited it a little, just for the sake of strengthening my points.

The grammar nazi logo.

Some terms that people use out here on the worldwide web really irk me.  For example “food porn.”  I’m not going to make a big fuss if someone uses that term (at most, I might stop visiting your cooking blog,) but it does strike me as a little … disturbing.   In the writing world, however, it’s become a bit of a trend for strict grammarians to call themselves “grammar nazis.” And, to further emphasize this trend, a lot of these people proudly sport this logo too.

Someone please explain to me why any sane person would want to parody such a disgustingly hateful symbol like the…

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Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Uncategorized, Writer's Jukebox

Writer’s Jukebox: “Uso no Honto”by Masaru Yokoyama

I don’t watch much anime, but I find I really enjoy anime soundtracks.  I used to not understand why my peers would play songs like “Let it Go” on repeat, either for the fun of it, or for productivity.  But now, I’ve had this particular song on repeat, and I understand why this odd habit works.  The song is played primarily with a piano and strings, and the combination, to me, can only be described as uplifting.  It’s a pleasure to read to, to write to, and to just sit back and relax to.

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

Authors & Fans

Disclaimer: I’m just a young adult who published a novelette in her mid-teens, so I’m by no means an expert in any of this. Much of this post is based on observation and speculation. 

Today, authors (and artists in general) of all levels of fame are becoming far more accessible to their fans.  They share updates across social media platforms, offering small tidbits of their personal and writing lives to fans – in the case of famous authors, sure, they’re famous authors, but this kind of interaction helps us know for sure that they’re really people too, just like us.  (They just happen to have more success and they’re good at writing novel-length works….  Totally not jealous here. 😛 )  As nice as that can be, this increased level of interaction between authors and their fans isn’t all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.

Snubbed by the Author?

An acquaintance – we’ll call her Melody – posts a lot about a favorite book series on some social media platforms, and analyzes (both fanon and canon) dynamics between certain characters.  She has interesting things to say, and she’s not afraid to be critical and harshly so if something about the series or the author’s actions bothers her.  She did once go as far as to say the hated this author (in jest, it seems), because she worried about the direction the author was taking their latest book series.

Melody recently posted about how she received some unfriendly treatment from this author, who likely falls under the famous author category.  The author must have been doing a Q&A session on her blog; Melody asked a polite, non-confrontational question on the author’s website.  The author’s (private) reply was non-responsive, simply a link to the “hate” post Melody had made before.  I think this was effectively a snub.

I can understand how awful it must feel to be treated this way by a professional author.  Melody and I agree that the way the author went about it could’ve been worse, but it certainly surprised me to see a well-known, professional author retaliating in such a manner!

But I also get that authors, like the rest of us, are only human beings; human beings have flaws and feelings. As an artist and author myself, who has received plenty of criticism ranging from bluntly constructive to downright gratuitously nasty, I can understand the desire to react vindictively towards a reader who isn’t afraid to frankly speak her mind about perceived flaws in my art.

Maybe Melody went too far in her criticism.  Maybe the author is overreacting.  Perhaps they’re both justified in their feelings and actions.  Either way, multiple peoples’ feelings must have been hurt.

The Overly Attached Fan

This part is about the other side of the AuthorxFans relationship, and it’s kind of an extreme case.

My friend – we’ll call her Abby – is a young author who wrote a children’s book.  She has to deal with fans who are probably young enough that they should have adult supervision when browsing the Web.  Abby’s happy to receive fan mail and messages – it makes her really happy to know that readers of all ages enjoy her book.  She even replies when she can.

Abby has a particular(ly) young fan who’s convinced they’re “totes besties” because she replied to their fan messages once or twice, and uses their limited Web browsing resources to send her “fan mail” constantly.  And when she doesn’t respond, this fan keeps pushing; she sometimes gets the same message several times in a 24 hour period.  Also, all their messages are signed off with “Your friend, [Name].”

This fan is a little kid who simply doesn’t get it.  They won’t take a hint, and their constant overtures are now bordering on harassment.  But it’s still really hard to fault a little kid, especially one who’s too young to understand the consequences of their actions!

Professionalism, Professional Barriers

Vic Mignogna is a voice actor whose work I admire.  In this video, he’s talking about stalkers and whether he has any, but he also describes some interesting things that happen about interacting with his fans in general.

The part about getting 200+ fan-emails a day, including chatty messages from fans who just don’t understand that he’s a busy professional, not their best friend, resonated with me because of my friend’s situation.

[I was lucky enough to get not one, but two replies from this person when I sent him a fan letter thanking him for inspiring me to pursue voice acting.  But I’m not going to bug him any further.  I know he’s busy. 🙂 ]

The main takeaway I have from this video is that you can have fans who love you, and you can love them back, but that doesn’t make you friends.  Professionalism, here, is the key.  The relationship between artists and fans is different from that of peers – there are barriers of professionalism that need to be there for the artist’s and fans’ respective safety (and mental health)!

Although we artists, authors, actors, etc. are also regular people with feelings and flaws, just as we cannot become BFFs with our audience, I feel like we also can’t be pettily vindictive towards them either, the way we might be with peers from school or work.

Even when it comes to dealing with harsh critics and haters among the fanbase, as hurtful as it is to read their comments, I feel like producers (e.g. authors), especially professionals, need to maintain a level of professional decorum from their side, even if consumers (e.g. fans, critics, haters) on the other side won’t.

I’d come up with a stunning concluding paragraph, but I’m all “written out” right about now, so … yeah, those are my two cents on these issues.  Peace out! ^_^